William Joseph Furse acquired a steeplejacking business in Nottingham on Burton Road, Nottinghamin 1893 from Joshua Till. Recognising the importance of electricity, he diversified into electricalinstallation and opened a workshop in Goldsmith Place for the manufacture of electrical switchgearand components. By 1900, Furse's company had moved to Traffic Street, Nottingham and added lift andtheatre equipment manufacture and installation to its activities. The company was incorporated in1912 as W.J. Furse & Co. Ltd and, soon after, electrical installation subsidiaries opened inManchester and London. A subsidiary, Furse Wholesale Limited, was set up in 1926 to handle tradesales of electrical equipment and a refrigeration division was added in 1927 to sell the'Frigidaire' range of products.
On the death of William Joseph Furse in 1937, his son, W.F. Furse became group chairman andmanaging director. New stores and offices were built at Wilford Road, Nottingham for the steeplejackdivision and the firm's foundry was moved to the site from Traffic Street in 1954. In 1958, thecompany was acquired by E.V. Industrials Limited who in turn sold their interests to Crown House in1967. In 1977, the year of the retirement of the last member of the Furse family to be connectedwith the firm, Furse Power Products Limited (formerly Furse Wholesale Limited) merged with otherinterests to form National Electrical Supplies Company Limited later becoming Best and May, and thenSenate. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Furse was controlled by Coloroll PLC and the ThomasRobinson Group.
In 1988, the Thomas Robinson Group divided the Furse organisation into three divisions. FurseLifts Limited (lifts division) was sold to Thyssen Lifts and Escalators, while Furse SpecialistContracting Limited (steeplejack division) and W.J. Furse and Company Limited (engineering division)were sold to East Midlands Electricity Board in June 1991. The USA based Thomas and BettsCorporation, an electrical components supplier, acquired Furse from the East Midlands ElectricityBoard in 1998. W.J. Furse and Company Limited was still based at Wilford Road, Nottingham in 2002specialising in electronic systems protection, earthing and lightning protection and weldingequipment.