Jason Clarke Antiques

Early Twentieth Century Retail Display for Mazda Light Bulbs by British Thomson Houston Ltd


For sale, a unique early twentieth century retail display for Mazda light bulbs for BTH Co Ltd.

The mahogany case is lined with blue velvet with the various components presented in order of their manufacture culminating in the bottom right hand corner with a complete Mazda light bulb.

To the back of the case are pinned two paper labels stating the manufacturer, “BTH CO Ltd – Rugby” and below, “Mazda Gas Filled Lamp”.

The company of British Thomson Houston Limited (BTH) gained the rights from America’s General Electric Company in 1911 to produce their Mazda brand of lightbulbs and they were advertised widely throughout the period of their manufacture for their reliability, predictable performance and for their economy in the use of electricity.

Formed in 1894, BTH was a rebranding of the less catchy Laing, Wharton & Down Construction Syndicate which was formed in 1886. In 1900, BTH built its manufacturing premises in Rugby and were one of the foremost electrical engineering companies in the UK. They were one of the six telecommunications companies that formed the British Broadcasting Company (BBC) in 1922.

They merged with Metropolitan-Vickers in 1928 to form the Associated Electrical Industires (AEI) and continued to manufacture Mazda trademark light bulbs into the 1950’s.

In 1967, AEI was bought out by the General Electric Company (GEC).

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