Armstrong

Armstrong Wireless and Television Ltd was started by Claude Charles (C. C.) Jackson in 1932 in a small factory on King's Rd, Camden Town, in London. He decided not to name the company after himself, but called it “Armstrong” as his favourite car was the Armstrong Siddely As the original name implies they started off by making both televisions and radio sets, and only later switched to manufacturing Hi-Fi equipment. Their first product was a ‘portable’ radio. This wasn't perhaps portable by modern standards as it was very large and very heavy.

Following the company move to new premises in Warlters Rd, Holloway, London, N7 in May 1939. C. C. Jackson had decided that they as more production space was availabe, Armstrong should start making TV's using a new 9-inch tube by WW2 broke out and this cuppered the plans somewhat!

 
Ron Sheppard joined the company in 1940. Initially he was involved in the design of equipment and then found his niche writing e the installation and user guides that were provided to the customer with each set sold. Ron tried to join the RAF in 1940, but much to Jackson's relief he was turned down due to his very poor eyesight.


During the second world war the factory was used for making the 'J Tube' - a vital part of incendiary devices. They also repaired radios and produced  public address systems for factories


Once the war ended, the munitions machinery was removed and during the immediate post-war period Armstrong made radios for ships as well as TV sets, but then settled down into making consumer radios, amplifers, and tuners, particularly chassis models without a cabinet. These were designed as high-quality units, with a technical performance superior to mass production radios.  Although most of these chassis units were purchased  by individuals who wished to what we might now call ‘upgrade’ their equipment, some units were also sold to other manufacturers.

During the 1950's the audio and ”high fidelity“ market burgeoned and the traditional radio and radogram market started to fade so a company name change to Armstrong Audio came  in 1963 to underscore the shift from radio chassis manufacture towards Hi-Fi tuner, amplifier, and receiver manufacture.  

During the 1960's and 1970's Armstrong produced their best known ranges, the 500 and 600 series and sold many thousands of units, both through specialist Hi-Fi dealers and the new ‘discount warehouses’.

At the end of the 1970's Armstrong ceased manufacturing and moved out of Warlters Rd. The building was to be demolished and they decided not to invest in a new factory. The site and building were actually owned by the British Coal Pension Fund. For some years during the 1970's the owners had been planning to redevelop the site. As a result during the last six years or so of the factory's life they did not charge Armstrong any rent as they wanted to be able to knock the place down as soon as they were ready. The factory and arcade were demolished during 1980.

During the 1980s  development of the 700 range progressed but the cost of a new factory could not be found.   Armstrong Amplifiers limped along with staff working part time, or on an unpaid to see if they could bring the 700 range to market.  Unfortunately, despite healthy sales,  lack of capital for manufacturing premises  led to the demise of manufacturing.

Following a further name change, Armstrong Hi-Fi and Video Services,  continue to provide  contract service and maintenance to a range customers from their Walthamstow premises.