William Sugg & Co


Introduction to Technical

This category covers a huge range of equipment which is not covered by the other main headings. In general it is both gas carrying and gas control and measurement products and gas testing and photometric laboratory equipment. William Sugg clearly decided that if it was gas related he should make most of it and sell all of it! Many of the scientific products are sold with the name of the originator or designer or even manufacturer just as wholesalers today catalogue a whole range of products to provide a ‘one stop shop’.

To make it easier to find the various products I have split the section into the following loosely related sections:

Light Measurement‘ is self explanatory. It appears almost certain that William Sugg was the originator of the standard for the measurement of light – the foot candle – which is described in this section. In addition the section includes much technical equipment developed over the years associated with light measurement including the extraordinarily ingenious ‘Mirrorhead’ device designed by Crawford Sugg in the 1930’s to allow the photometric measurement of light from a fixed gas light source by a fixed photometer. When you consider that light travels in all directions from a source in varying amounts and in those days the photometer was a fixed device you need to turn to this section to see how it was achieved!

The motorised access tower was another ‘first’ from the fertile mind of Crawford Sugg. See what it looked like!

Gas Control, Testing and Measurement‘ covers everything from gas taps, pressure governors and analysis equipment to metering equipment.

Pressure Increasers‘ covers a number of devices that were developed to raise the pressure of the gas supply. Initially, this was part of William Sugg’s effort to improve the performance of the newly introduced incandescent gas mantle. Later, particularly with large commercial buildings and as more gas equipment was added, increasing the gas pressure could solve poor lighting performance for instance without having to increase pipe sizes.

Other Items‘ provides a space for anything else that doesn’t fit into the other categories! The first two were both in the hands of dealers.


Copyright © Chris Sugg 2006-13

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Site Background & Header

The background to the site is a modern picture of Westminster, the ‘home’ of William Sugg for so many years. It was taken from the roof of The House of Lords during a visit by the Heritage Group of CIBSE in 2004 and centres on Westminster Abbey. The header carries a woodcut of ‘Vincent Works’, the Sugg factory, which might well have been visible from this vantage point. William used this on one of his letter heads. The first and oldest logo also shows the intimate connection with Westminster as it carries the Westminster portcullis with the inscription ‘en avant’ – ‘in advance’. The second logo replaced the earlier one around 1920 and was used right the way through the century until the ‘modern’ era when the ‘flame’ logo was applied to the new era of gas heating equipment with the new factory in Crawley.

2 Responses

  1. I Have A “Stop clock” With the ledgand Sugg Westminster engraved on the dial it is about seven inches in diamiter and looks verry much like a ships clock. The dile showes one minuit intervals passing with a bell pinging on the minuit, a sub dile records when thirty minuits have elapsed, the clock is stoped with a leaver on the side. It is extreamley well made. So what was it used for?

    1. There is a good chance that this is a stop clock for measuring things such as gas consumption. Using a ‘test’ meter with a sweep hand the operator would connect an ‘appliance’ such as a light or a gas fire etc and see how long the appliance took to burn a given amount of gas, say, 1 cu ft. He can then confirm the rate of consumption. As all gas appliances need some control for the gas flow which is often a drilled hole in a small brass jet, the accuracy of the hole is significant and, especially with small consumers of gas, it may take several minutes to burn a sufficient amount to consider it tested. An accurate stop clock is thus a critical part of the equipment. My ‘Technical’ section is pretty thin on the ground at present although I do have plenty more information so it would be great to have a picture of your clock that I could add, with suitable thanks, along with a relevant piece of equipment for everybody’s information. Could you oblige? Chris.

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William Sugg & Co