Copyright 2005 Frank Andrews - Home - Lightbulb Index - Contact Email: Frank
The GEC bought the technology for the manufacture of metal filament lamp from Germany at the beginning of the 20th Century. They were allowed to use the name Osram as part of this agreement. After the first world war it was established that the GEC would use the name “Osram” in the UK and the British Empire and the German company OSRAM GmbH (which latterly,at least, was part of Siemens) in the rest of the world. GEC used the brand “GEC” in areas where it was not permitted to use Osram.
When the GEC made its operating divisions autonomous, the lamp operation was called “Osram-GEC”.
In the 1980s OSRAM Germany was anxious to recover the Osram trade mark for its exclusive use, A deal was done with Lord Weinstock whereby they bought it, at the same time taking a half share in the UK operation, which included providing technical management.
A few years later Lord Weinstock asked them take the GEC share, so the operation became wholly owned by OSRAM GmbH.
Manufacture continued, with some rationalisation in both directions, but gradually manufacture was closed down starting with the Wembley factory in 1991, until none was left.
Wotan was the brand used by OSRAM GmbH for selling their products in the UK prior to the merger.
©2009 Ray Burgin
(Ray Burgin worked for Osram GEC and OSRAM for many years.)
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