General Hydraulic Power Company
The General Hydraulic Power Company (also know as the London hydraulic power company, the Liverpool hydraulic power company, and Hypower) were a lift company that made water powered hydraulic lifts. They started in 1871 and originaly worked in partnership with Waygood until the 1900s when waygood went to join Otis.
The General Hydraulic Power Company owned several high pressure water pumping stations that pumped water around London and Liverpool, which was used to operate lifts and cranes and some other stuff. They had 150 miles of pipes and ducts across london, not including liverpool and elsewhere!
In 1961 they merged with Aldous & Campbell to form Aldous Campbell Hypower. and in 1966 they took over Etchells Congdon & Muir.
In 1967 the General hydraulic Power Company got taken over by Hammond & Champness. and their pumping stations were closed down in 1977 - all of their lifts that operated on the pumped water had to be modernized.
In 1985 the underground pipes were sold to mercury communications ltd, and were used for telephone cabels
Here is the history of the The General Hydraulic Power Company...
1870s - 1890s
In the 1890s the General Hydraulic Power Company was in partnership with Waygood and made water pressure lifts
Look at this diagram carefully
The lifts worked off pressurised water which was from the General Hydraulic Power Company's pumping station.
To make the lift move there were two ropes, pulling on one rope would allow water into the hydraulic making the lift go up, and the other rope would release the water into the drain making the lift go down.
The ropes did not move with the lift, which means you would have to keep moving your hands to keep the hold of the rope.
Truck lift at tower bridge
In the 1900s Waygood wanted to make electric traction lifts so they stopped their partnership and went to join Otis
The General Hydraulic Power Company carried on making water presure lifts as Hypower, but changed to have electrical controlls (instead of having to pull a rope).
1910s - 1950s
The General hydraulic Power Company made both lifts that used their pumped water and also self contained hydraulic lifts that didn't use their pumped water system. but they never made more modern lifts, their lifts were using very old technoligy.
In 1961 They merged with Aldous & Campbell to form Aldous Campbell Hypower. (so they now made traction lifts aswell).
In 1967 the General hydraulic Power Company (now Aldous Campbell Hypower) got taken over by Hammond & Champness. and in 1979 the pump was closed down, and the few lifts that still used the pumped water were modernized.
The General Hydraulic Power Company were a very big company, but now it is very rare to find one of their lifts.
Their pumping station in wapping has now been reopened as a cafe!
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