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Pressinfo : Die Goodmans Geschichte bis 1972

Natürlich ist diese Firmen-Geschicte etwas aufgehübscht, weil der Reporter eingeladen war. Und die ganzen Einbrüche im Verkauf und die eventuellen Tiefschläge wurden ausgeblendet. Auch in England ging es während der Weltkriege ganz schön ruppig zu.

Doch lesen Sie selbst :

Reprinted from the GRAMOPHONE August 1972



On a recent visit to the new Goodman; factory at Havant, I was asked by the Managing Director, Bernard Cushion, to guess how many different types of speakers they currently produced. I made a wild stab at 50 and was astonished to be told that the figure was 3,000. Later, as I toured the factory, I was impressed as much by the numbers of units being produced as by their variety.

The Havant complex, employing about 850 people, is really two factories side by side. The older building, has been making Plessey loudspeakers for many years and is still devoted entirely to the small units for radios, TV sets, etc. I saw three production lines working at breakneck speed (or so it seemed to me) each turning out 800 speakers an hour - a total of 95.000 a week! Despite this high rate of production, every unit is tested for response, resonance, etc.

The second factory building is new and its 140.000 square feet, house the Goodmans high fidelity loudspeaker operation. Here things certainly seemed a little more leisurely. Yet, though the manufacturing and testing procedures are naturally more sophisticated, the staggering total of 25.000 hi-fi drive units per week is reached.

Goodmans have always been one of the few speaker manufacturers to make all the pieces themselves - they even have their own quite considerable paper-making plant to produce a speaker cone with precisely the mechanical features demanded by the various specialist designs.

This, plus such other facilities as coil winding, tool making and anechoic room, has been rationalised, of course, to serve the two factories since Goodmans moved down to Havant last year.

How it all began

This enormous manufacturing organisation could hardly have started from more modest beginnings. Edward Stanley Newland founded the business as a 'moonlighter'.

Having come out of the Royal Flying Corps after the 1914-18 war with some knowledge of the newfangled radio, he worked in the family shirt and collar business in Clerkenwell by day and began reconditioning and reselling ex-Army earphones by night. These he found by browsing in the Farringdon Road junk stalls during his lunch hours.

At first, Mr. Newland could not advertise from his own lodgings and so used the premises of a Mr. Goodman, whose name has survived though Mr. Newland bought out his partner for £5.10s. shortly afterwards. The growth of the company, through several expanding premises, and aided by Mr. Newland's wife, who also interested herself in the business, makes fascinating reading. (See for example the article entitled "Triumph of Enterprise" in Scope, May 1955.)

"a machine shop" - einen Maschinen-Halle gekauft

The Newlands were able to acquire a machine shop and go into full-time production in 1931 and settled in the Wembley site in 1936. The 1939 war brought vast orders for moving coil earphones, a process which Goodmans Industries originated, microphones and loudspeakers of all kinds.

It also brought something much less welcome. In 1944 a shower of incendiary bombs destroyed the Wembley machine shop and many machine tools were lost which proved more laborious to replace than the building itself.

Post-war developments have extended the sale of Goodmans loudspeakers to almost every set maker in the UK and, of course, throughout the hi-fi field. Nor must we forget the huge public address and musical instrument markets.

Just about my own first acquaintance with the Company was in 1958 when Kevin Hughes, who used to be Mr. Newland's right hand man, invited me to join him for four days as a guest of the Commissariat of the World Fair at Brussels.

A feature of this particular 'Expo' was the tasteful use of background music relayed from a huge studio which also controlled the public announcements and several concert events, etc.

No less than 300 8" and 40 12" Goodman speakers were in continuous use from April to October and I remember being bowled over particularly by the atmospheric relays of music in the "Gardens of the Four Seasons".

These 17th century style gardens were inspired by famous Flemish paintings by Brueghel and others and all the record companies vied with each other to provide appropriate music (with Vivaldi and Bach much in evidence).

Some 160 speakers were placed alongside the footpaths to give low level sound and, since no single speaker predominated, the spread of sound was very impressive and easy on the ear. Electronic crossover was used through three 120-watt 'Williamson' amplifiers with a most exacting technical specification overall.

The story up-to-date (bis 1972 ....)

Following the death of Mr. Newlands in August 1955, and some heavy commitments in regard to death duties, the company was successively allied to Robinsons (1958), Radio Rentals (1963) and, after Plessey had acquired 20% of the equity in 1967 and renamed the firm Goodmans Loudspeakers, came the acquisition into the Thorn Group in late 1968.

The move to Havant followed in 1971, and the famous old Wembley home of Goodmans since 1936 was finally closed on 1st September, 1971.

Apart from their overriding interest in loudspeakers, with such milestones as the Axiom and Audiom ranges and the famous Maxim midget, Goodmans have more recently extended their hi-fi image to include electronics.

The emphasis is very much on complete systems, which now account for about 50% of the hi-fi business.

Bernard Cushion again had the last word during my visit: having asked me how many countries I thought Goodmans exported to, and receiving the reply "perhaps 30", he produced order books listing 106 importing countries. In effect, this covers the whole world.

A triumph of enterprise indeed. Edward Stanley Newland has been quoted as saying "The world is so full of opportunity that I would have no qualms at starting up again". Though he has not lived to see it, the business he began with a handful of 16-shilling earphones now reaches out to every corner of the globe.

View into the anechoic test room with a Double Maxim loudspeaker ready to be measured".

General view of new Goodmans factory with coil assembly lines on the left and specialist speaker assembly on the right.

The machine shop serves both Goodmans factory blocks. Automatic lathes are in the foreground with power presses beyond.

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