History of Furse

Furse delivers the most complete and effective protection against lightning and earth fault current risk, both safeguarding life and ensuring continuous, normal operation of electrical systems.

To stay in business for over 125 years is truly a great achievement, but to do it in a century that has seen such unprecedented social and technological change is remarkable. Yet through all that the past century could throw at it, including two world wars, Furse has remained a constant force in an unpredictable world.

It started in 1893 when William Joseph Furse acquired the premises and steeplejacking business of Joshua Till on Burton Street in Nottingham. Starting with one employee, Mr. Furse improved and expanded the business. Recognizing at an early stage the growing importance of electricity, he diversified into electrical installation, and opened a workshop in Goldsmith Place for the manufacture of switchgear and components.

The next seven years to the turn of the century saw further development into a multi-disciplined engineering business, adding lift and theatre equipment manufacturing and installation to its existing activities.

The first quarter of the new century saw a continuation of the company’s growth, opening electrical installation subsidiaries in Manchester and London, as well as a second steeplejacking branch also in Manchester. The company was incorporated in 1912 as W J Furse & Co Ltd with the founder as chairman, and his sons W F Furse and H J Furse as directors.

In 1926 Furse Wholesale Ltd was set up as a subsidiary of the main company, to handle trade sales of electrical equipment. In 1958 the company was acquired by E V Industrials Ltd, who in turn sold their interests in the organization to Crown House in 1967. Furse Electrical Contracting was merged with other interests within the Crown House Group to form Crown House Engineering.

A new era for the Furse brand

The later 1980s and early 1990s were a turbulent time for Furse. In 1987, the organization changed hands twice, as first Coloroll Plc and then Thomas Robinson Group took control. Thomas Robinson Group, based in Derby.

In 1998, Furse became a part of the Thomas & Betts corporation and in 2012 Thomas & Betts was acquired by ABB, a leading global engineering company, that energizes the transformation of society and industry to achieve a more productive, sustainable future. With a history of excellence of its own stretching back more than 130 years, ABB’s success is driven by 144,000 talented employees in over 100 countries.

Today, the Furse name remains as a tribute to its founder, continuing to be synonymous with innovative electrical engineering and management success.
The Furse Total Solution incorporates customer needs for earthing and lightning protection, including structural lightning protection systems, earthing for lightning protection, power and telecommunications systems, transient overvoltage protection and customer project consultations, technical guidance and system design.

Furse delivers the most complete and effective protection against lightning and earth fault current risk, both safeguarding life and ensuring continuous, normal operation of electrical and electronic systems. Furse continues to reinforce their commitment to both quality and service, providing solutions which deliver safety and protection of people, structures and electrical services within the built environment. Or as we like to say, we connect and protect in electrification.

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About the author

Gary Baker

Gary is the Global Brand Manager for the ABB Furse brand, based in Nottingham, UK. He has worked for the company for over 35 years and have held several positions within the company during this time. Gary's knowledge and experience of the business, the markets, the customers and the products is a key advantage in maintaining the ABB Furse brand as a recognized market leader in the field of Earthing & Lightning Protection.
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