For more than 100 years EKCO® kitchen gadgets have been helping in kitchens around the world. Manufactured with quality materials, these products are reliable, easy to use, easy to clean, and offer great features at reasonable prices.
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Eric Kirkham Cole was born in Rochford, Essex on the 14th July 1901 and educated at Southend High School for Boys. Shortly after leaving school Eric Cole became interested in learning how to make radios and in 1922 started a small business in Leigh on Sea to manufacture wireless sets as they were then called (this in the days when regular broadcast programs had only just commenced and the radio industry, as we know it was as yet unfounded). These original two valve receivers complete with batteries and headphones sold for £6.1Os.0d and were made at the rate of six a week.
A year or two later Eric Cole devised and patented the H.T. eliminator to replace the then expensive and short lived batteries and in 1925 a partnership was formed with Mr. W.S.Verrells; a customer who was very much impressed with the device. The following year a private Company, E. K. Cole Limited, was formed to take over the partnership and the brand name EKCO was launched.
In 1927 a factory was built behind 803-805 London Road – Leigh on Sea to accommodate the business, which was expanding rapidly and between 50 and 100 workers were employed there, These premises too were soon out-grown and in 1930 a new factory in Priory Crescent in Southend was opened, later to be greatly expanded.
By this time, EKCO, ahead as always, had started to use plastic (Bakelite) cabinets for radio receivers. These were imported because they were not then available in this country, but in 1931 Compression-moulding presses were installed at the Southend factory. The Plastics Department developed rapidly and the Company entered the plastics moulding business to cater for outside demands from many trades.