PYE Museum Homepage The Story of Pye
1896 to
The history of the Pye Group of Companies in scientific & analytical instruments, radio & line communications, broadcasting, domestic radio & TV and industrial electronics from 1896 to the present day
The virtual museum of the Pye History Trust - Celebrating Britain’s Scientific & Industrial Heritage
Pye Ltd Radio & Television - Company Timeline
1896 A part-time business making scientific instruments was founded in Cambridge by William George Pye (an employee of the Cavendish Laboratory), which became W. G. Pye and Co. Ltd. The company was initially set up in a garden shed at 19 Humberstone Road.
1897 Moved to 30 St Andrews Road and in 1899 moved to Mill Lane (Granta Works).
1913 Moved to Cam Road/Haig Road - 40 employees making lab equipment for students used for teaching and research. World War 2 increased demand for such instruments and the War Office needed experimental thermionic valves. The manufacture of these components afforded the company the technical knowledge that it needed to later develop the first wireless receiver when the BBC began broadcasts 1922.
1928 Pye Radio Ltd was formed by Charles Orr Stanley to acquire the radio branch of the business from W. G. Pye & Co and separated from the instrument business.
1932 A TV department set up by Peter Goldmark who 18 months later moved to RCA in America later and is credited with inventing the LP record
1934 B J Edwards appointed head of TV development
1935 Cathodeon Ltd set up to produce valves and cathode ray tubes
1935 Collaborated with Ever Ready to design and manufacture radio receivers.
1936 Marketed a 9 inch set when the BBC first broadcast in 1936.
1937 A 5-inch Pye television receiver was priced at 21 guineas and within two years the company had sold 2,000 sets at an average price of £34.
1937 The new EF50 valve from Philips, enabled Pye to build a high gain 45MHz fringe reception receiver, a Tuned Radio Frequency (TRF) type not a Superhet type.
1937 Pye Radio Ltd renamed Pye Ltd and C O Stanley took over management of the business
1945 After the war, Pye
1949 Pye claimed to be ‘The largest TV manufacturer in Britain’.
1949 Pye Ltd acquires 51% of Pamphonic Reproducers Ltd and provided further cash for operations.
1951 Oulton Works, Lowestoft opened and progressively took on all PYE TV manufacture
1954 Pye’s V4 tunable television was launched in March.
1955 Pye acquired remaining 49% of Pamphonic
1956 PAM (Radio and Television) Ltd formed to provide transistors and circuit boards
1956 Pye developed the first British transistor. Pye first used transistors in a product sold as a subsidiary brand: the Pam 710 radio, with the transistors from Newmarket Transistors (another Pye subsidiary). When the product proved acceptable the company launched the Pye 123 radio. Products such as these reversed the market decline.
1960 EKCO (founded by Eric Kirkham Cole) merged with Pye Group as British Electronic Industries; initially each company retained its own operations and management but by 1962 the new company had complete control of EKCO and was re-named Pye of Cambridge.
1967 After financial losses in 1965 and 1966 Philips obtained a 24% shareholding in the Pye Group. First colour TVs handmade in Lowestoft for display at Wimbledon
1976 Philips now owned 51.7% of Pye. It absorbed the Pye consumer businesses (i.e. radio, television and domestic appliances) and agreed with the British Government that Pye would concentrate on professional/industrial electronics markets.
19?? The Lowestoft factory was subsequently sold to Sanyo for the manufacture of television sets after Philips moved the manufacture of Pye televisions to Singapore.
19?? The EKCO Southend factory was sold to Lloyds bank to house the ACCESS credit card company.
  1959 PYE Advert