Pye of Cambridge

The Story

Welcome ...

                        ... to a site charting the history and achievements of the Pye of Cambridge Company.

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Tangent Galvanometer 

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The Story of Pye 

Pye of Cambridge arms or crest

From WG Pye beginning the company in 1896 in his garden shed, through a vital support of the country during both World Wars, to a global technology company of up to 30,000 employees.

Some of the remarkable people who have shaped and moulded a worldwide technology company that improved the lives of many.

The vast range of products and technologies, ranging from hostess trolleys to TVs to military radar and communication equipment to outside broadcast vehicles.

Some of the 60 or more companies that designed, developed, manufactured and marketed a huge range of products and services.

Latest News

BBC 100th Anniversary Exhibition - "Radio Enters the Home"

 An exhibition of Pye radios, together with an array of information panels depicting the history of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) will go on show at the Cambridge Museum of Technology (CMT) from Saturday 4 February 2023 to Sunday 17th December 2023.

Guided tours will be made at 2pm on the second Sunday of the month. 

The exhibition, called ‘Radio Enters the Home’ is located in the Pye Building at CMT. It celebrates 100 Years of the BBC bringing radio into the home and the first radios made by Cambridge company Pye. Some 25 of the earliest Pye radios made between 1922 and 1932 are on display, together with panels outlining the history of the BBC and how radio helped Pye grow to become the largest company in Cambridge.

John Little, Chairman of CMT said “We are delighted to be able to share with our visitors this wonderful collection of Pye radios, combined with the fascinating story of how the BBC began and evolved to reach this impressive 100 Year milestone.” 

The radios for the exhibition have kindly been provided from a collection of Mike Kemp, a local radio and Pye historian. 

The exhibition is included in the normal Museum entrance fee.

In addition to the temporary exhibition, the Pye Building houses a superb permanent exhibition of Pye products from the 1910s to the 1980s, covering scientific instruments, domestic radio, two-way radio, record players, televisions and TV broadcasting.

Tony Barnfield of Cambridge Talking News visited the new exhibition prior to its opening in order to interview Mike Kemp, Bob Bates and Jim Smith regarding their roles in setting up this tribute exhibition to the BBC's centenary. In addition they discuss the role played by the Pye company in enabling "Radio to Enter the Home". 

The discussion follows both the BBC and Pye's history in leading to this landmark, particularly during the formative 1922 to 1932 period.

The interview is available on this player - courtesy of Tony Barnfield.

Cambridge Talking News, February 2023 

The "Story of Pye" Presentations

The "Story of Pye" presentations to local societies are now being re-started. 

However, because some may have difficulty in attending the live presentations, we have prepared a video which covers some of this material.

The "I didn't know Pye did that" Corner ...



Pye Implantable 


Type EM.1005

 "The Pacemaker is designed for the treatment of complete heart block by providing electrical pulse stimulation of the cardiac muscle."


A standard industrial television camera was built into a pressure resistant housing to enable it to work underwater.

Later in the 1950’s the design was further improved and used to find the wreckage of crashed airliners.


The Transportable Reporter - a battery operated, rugged mobile radio telephone.  For those on the spot communications and reporter "scoops".



Aircraft Instrument Landing System for use on airfields around the world.

A Year of Pye Photographs


Pye advertising in the 1990s


Pye Cambridge Station, viewing through control room to studio beyond


Meadowcroft, Church St, Cambridge - Home of Cathodeon, then a management "retreat"

Pye Staff in the early 1920s                                                                       (Click on all photographs for larger versions)


The annual Pye outing to the seaside in the 1930s


The River Cam flood of 1978, the weekend before the grand opening of the new Pye Telecom building.


Pye "Wavy Roof" Building in St Andrew's Road, including the original radio mast


Early OB Vans in St Andrews Road


Colour TV Demo Studio at Radio Olympia 1949


First Colour OB Van for BBC 1967


Pye Annual Sports Day Programme


Lord Thorneycroft (L) (Chairman) making a presentation to Peter Threlfall (MD)


Pye Company Staff in 1926

Welcome to the Pye Story - starting in a Cambridge garden shed to become a huge multinational business