EDCO is based in Couvet, in Val de Travers, near Neuchatel, Switzerland. The company was formed in 1867 as Eduoard Dubied & Cie SA. It won’t have escaped your attention that the ‘E’ and the ‘D’ of EDCO are Eduoard’s initials. Couvet is not a large place and the company was an important local employer. The main road through Couvet is called Rue Eduoard-Dubied.
Another of the few streets in Couvet is named after Pierre Dubied, Eduoard’s grandson and, in his turn, an owner/manager of the firm. In that late Victorian way, Pierre took a paternal interest in his employees, building an infirmary, offering health insurance and providing a form of social security to families in need. Would it be cheeky to suggest that, at the time, fear of socialism focussed the mind of many a capitalist on the importance of their ‘Christian values’? Power comes not from the barrel of a gun, but the threat of losing your mighty factory to an angry revolutionary rabble can make a good, but wealthy, man consider that building an infirmary is seductively inexpensive.
In a noticeable echo of Terrot, Eduoard Dubied & Cie SA was primarily in the business of producing knitting machines. Like Terrot it was also associated with the German city of Chemnitz, with Pierre buying a business there in 1935.
EDCO had a long association with bicycle products. The EDCO website claims that they produced their first bicycle part in 1902. I have certainly seen a 1910 EDCO advert for a 3 speed hub and another EDCO advert from 1926 that features the newly invented Presta inner tube valve.
In the 1980s, perhaps as its knitting machine business was failing, EDCO returned to bicycle products, and produced a series of EDCO Competition groupsets. These featured its own precision ‘bearing’ components (I think I may remember headsets, hubs and possibly bottom brackets) but also including top-end Simplex and, later, Sachs-Huret derailleurs branded as EDCO.
In 1987 Eduoard Dubied & Cie SA went bankrupt and a new company, EDCO Engineering SA, arose from the ashes. This company is still in business today, and includes beautifully machined bicycle hubs amongst its products.