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British Industrial History

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Sydney Dawson Begbie

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Sydney Dawson Begbie (c1865-1947), Early cyclist and pioneer in motor business

1887-95 At Begbie, Twentyman and Co becoming partner and works manager

1895-99 Manager of Springfield Cycle Co

1899 Formed Begbie Manufacturing Co, Consulting Director of Century Engineering and Motor Co and director of the Woodhead Manufacturing Co.[1]

1904 'BEGBIE, Sydney D., A.M.I.M.E. 407, Oxford Street, London, W.; The White House, Harlesden, London, N.W. Car: 24-h.p. Whitlock-Aster. Is Managing Director of the Begbie Manufacturing Co., Ltd. Resident Engineer of the Societe L'Aster, St. Denis. Consulting Engineer to Henry Whitlock, Ltd., and The West London Motor Co. Ltd. Commenced motoring in 1895, and went through the 1,000 miles in 1900. Hobbies: Sports of all kinds, has excelled at boxing, and has held many world's records for cycling'. [2]

1911 Living at Lasswade, Hill Head, Fareham: Sydney Dawson Begbie (age 46 born London), Mechanical Engineer - Employer. with his wife Maude Mary Begbie (age 33 born London). Two servants and their families.[3]


1948 Obituary [4]

"SYDNEY DAWSON BEGBIE, whose death occurred on 23rd May 1947 at the age of eighty-two, had a long connection with the cycle and motor industries. After serving his apprenticeship with Messrs. Begbie, Twentyman and Company, Ltd., engineers and cycle makers of Kentish Town, London, he was admitted to partnership and made works manager in 1889.

Six years later he was appointed manager of the Springfield Cycle Company, Ltd., of Sandiacre, Derbyshire.

He resigned this position in 1899 and went into business on his own account, becoming managing director of the Begbie Manufacturing Co, motor-part makers and engineers.

He disposed of this business in 1904 and began a long association with Messrs. Aster, Ltd., of which company he was managing director for twenty-one years.

On the formation of the Arrol Johnston and Aster Engineering Co in 1925 he was appointed deputy chairman.

In the following year he became chairman of Messrs. Press Caps, Ltd., and held office until his retirement from active affairs in 1938. For a brief period he occupied the chair of Messrs. Tilling Stevens, Ltd., of Maidstone.

He was a director of Messrs. S. Smith and Sons, Ltd., makers of speedometers, of Cricklewood, for twenty-two years, and also of Messrs. K.L.G., Ltd., sparking plug manufacturers, London.

Mr. Begbie was elected an Associate Member of the Institution in 1899 and was transferred to Membership in 1904. He also served as president of the London section of the Engineering Employers' Federation from 1920 to 1924."


See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. IMechE proposal
  2. Motoring Annual and Motorist’s Year Book 1904
  3. 1911 Census
  4. 1948 Institution of Mechanical Engineers: Obituaries