Memories of Brook Motors in Huddersfield - picture galleries from the famous firm
Nov 10 2010 By Andrew Jackson
IN May 1904 Ernest Brook founded a business in Huddersfield that would become known all over the world.
Against conventional wisdom, he started making alternating current electric motors, and he did this in one room with two assistants and starting capital of just £300.
On its 50th anniversary in 1954 it employed more than 2,000 people and, with Ernest’s sons Frank and Jack in charge, was the largest exclusive producer of AC motors in the world, and had a turnover of £4,500,000.
That year Brook Motors Ltd operated 10 factories in Huddersfield, its biggest being Empress Works on St Thomas’s Road, and had just opened one at Barugh Green, Barnsley.
The company’s acquisition meant it was operating with 1m sq ft of factory floor space – and this was not counting the recently-opened Brook Motor Corporation of Chicago, which was building up a flourishing market in the US.
Brook Motors was one of the more enlightened employers in Huddersfield. Ernest Brook himself installed a profit-sharing scheme, and to mark the 1954 jubilee celebrations a gratuity, or independent pension, scheme was introduced.
To see more pictures of Huddersfield's history in pictures click on the logo below.
Management insisted on clean, well-lit, hygienic premises with the most up-to-date machinery.
At its height, Brook Motors was producing more than 70% of the world’s electric motors. It went through numerous mergers, though the name still survives in the 2010 company, Invensys Brook Crompton.
Production ceased in Huddersfield in 2000 and was moved to Poland.