W.G. Pye & Co. Ltd. was founded in 1896 in Cambridge by William George Pye, an employee of the Cavendish Laboratory, as a part time business making scientific instruments. By the outbreak of World War I in 1914 the company employed 40 people manufacturing instruments that were used for teaching and research. The war increased demand for such instruments and the War Office needed experimental thermionic valves. The manufacture of these components afforded the company the technical knowledge that it needed to develop the first wireless receiver when the first UK broadcasts were made by the BBC in 1922. Instruments continued to be designed and manufactured under W G Pye Ltd, later situated in York Street Cambridge, while a separate company was started to build wireless components in a factory at Church Path, Chesterton.

 

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