crabtree 100 years

Crabtree celebrates its 100th birthday

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A lot can change in 100 years. Technology develops, new challenges emerge, solutions are found – and those with a passion continue to design and innovate.

crabtree 100 years
Crabtree’s patented Lincoln switch

In 1919, John Ashworth Crabtree designed and patented a quick make and quick break switch. This innovation, which safely managed electric arcs that can occur in switching devices, was the beginning of the philosophy that became the culture of electrical safety for Crabtree.

A century later and the company remains dedicated to electrical safety, this time with digital technology in Arc Fault Detection Devices.

Crabtree’s AFDDs automatically detect and disconnect arc faults and prevent fires occurring in electrical cables and final circuits, providing higher levels of safety for homes and workplaces.

For a business that has weathered the storms of time, changed ownership, evolved its working methods and undoubtedly over 100 years, engaged many staff, one thing hasn’t changed. That is the drive for new product development – a vital ingredient in the success of the brand.

We’re now on the 18th Edition of the Wiring Regulations, but back when the 12th Edition of the regulations was just being published in 1950, Crabtree had been operating for over 30 years.

Over the years

It launched a number of innovations during that time, including one still used today – British standard 13A twin sockets. Now a staple in homes and businesses across the UK, British standard 13A twin sockets were first introduced by Crabtree in 1947.

In 1956, Crabtree introduced its first earth leakage circuit breaker, the voltage operated E.60 range.

Earth leakage circuit breakers (or RCDs as we now know them) are standard products these days, but they were new in the 1950s when Crabtree developed this technology for devices that protect people from risks of electric shock.

crabtree 100 years
The Queen visiting Crabtree in 1962

Fast forward 60-odd years to the very latest earth leakage devices and you will find innovative “A Class” Miniature RCBOs that include two-pole switching as standard for even higher levels of personal protection.

Mike Cash, Group Marketing & Channel Manager at Electrium, said: “When Crabtree launched, we had a motto: That which is built soundly endures well. It was inscribed onto the company plaque and rightly so.

“Crabtree was built soundly enough to provide 100 years of electrical safety for our customers. And with a 100-year solid foundation what else can we do in the years to come?”

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