about the AEC

About the AEC Society

The AEC Society was formed in 1983 following the final closure of the works at Southall.

For over sixty years AEC Limited, formerly the Associated Equipment Company Limited, was the builder of commercial vehicle chassis and diesel engines for use around the world, including the iconic London double decker bus.

The London General Omnibus Company, or LGOC, was founded in 1855 to amalgamate and regulate the horse-drawn omnibus services then operating in London.

The company began producing motor omnibuses for its own use in 1909 with the X-type designed by its chief motor engineer, Frank Searle, at works in Blackhorse Lane, Walthamstow, London. The X-type was followed by Searle's B-type design, considered to be one of the first mass-produced commercial vehicles.

In 1912, LGOC was taken over by the Underground Group of companies, which at that time owned most of the London Underground, and extensive tram operations. As part of the reorganisation following the takeover, a separate concern was set up for the bus manufacturing elements, and was named Associated Equipment Company, better-known as AEC.

AEC's first commercial vehicle was a lorry based on the X-type bus chassis. With the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, AEC's ability to produce large numbers of vehicles using assembly line methods became important in supplying the increasing need for army lorries.

AEC began large-scale production of the 3-ton Y-type lorry, commenced in 1916, and continued beyond the end of the war. From then on, AEC became associated with both lorries and buses.

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