Story Behind Lucas Batteries-

Story Behind Lucas Batteries

Story Behind Lucas Batteries
Story Behind Lucas Batteries

Story Behind Lucas Batteries

I use the word haunt in the title because another word for remembering could be haunting. Lucas is a name that the older generations remember.

as being synonymous with everything to do with this story behind Lucas Batteries and British Leyland. particularly the car electrical aftermarket.

When I was an apprentice mechanic at a garage that repaired mostly British Leyland cars (BLMC), most of the aftermarket parts were made by Lucas. Lucas batteries were among the parts that we used and came with the famous green and white labels.

Another good point was that most of the parts were actually made here in the UK. Naturally, they had a reputation for reliability.

The company was started by Joseph Lucas. Selling paraffin oil from a wheel barrow in a town called Hockley here in the UK. The father of six increased the workforce. This time by including his son in the business at the tender age of seventeen.

Story Behind Lucas Batteries

His son was named Harry, and he soon changed this around. He started to diversify and make ship lamps and other pressed metal items, such as metal buckets and scoops, for all types of uses.

With the gaining popularity of motor cars, the company started to use their expertise using pressed metal goods by making car parts such as alternators, windscreen wipers, and starter motors—in fact, all the things that Lucas were to become well known for.

In 1898, the company became Joseph Lucas Ltd. Like most companies should, they began to build up a good reputation for quality, and in 1914, they won a lucrative contract to supply one of the founding companies of British Leyland, Morris Motors, with electrical equipment.

This Story Behind Lucas Batteries was made in Foreman’s Road, Birmingham, UK

The Lucas brand just grew and grew, and in 1974 the company became Lucas Industries and formed a new company identity, the green label that we know so well today, although the brand image was not used on all the products until the 1990’s.

Not to bore you too much with the history of This Story Behind Lucas Batteries? Lucas batteries were, in those days, made in Birmingham with the cooperation of Yuasa batteries.

Working conditions were said to be very poor. Due to poor control of the sulphuric acid, the factory also had asbestos issues. A guy named Derek Carr on the Birmingham History Forum stated…

“Even at the end, conditions could be bad in this factory. The charging departments were MUD floors in parts. Not real mud, you understand, but concrete dissolved in sulphuric acid.

Of course, which could easily be ankle deep in places. Sections were restored duringworks holidays, but by the time they had removed charging benches, then removed the mud, laid new concrete and reinstalled the benches, the concrete had no time to mature before the acid started again.

Meanwhile other areas of the floor were hot on the heels of the area just repaired, so there were ALWAYS muddy floors in some areas. They finally (under Yuasa) built a brand new charging department, but it was getting hot on the heels of the old ones when I left”.

Lucas batteries were aquired by a Manchester battery company known then as Manbat. manbat bought the rights to use the brand on their own products.

Fortunatly the brand has been used very sencibly and so many years later is still going strong.

eric roberts
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