Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Alfred Harmsworth

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From 'Bartleet's Bicycle Book'.
1904. Mrs. Alfred Harmsworth.

Alfred Charles Harmsworth

Final decades of the 19th century: birth of the popular press in Britain - Alfred Harmsworth was the publisher of the Daily Mail and the Daily Mirror.

1900 Bought a 12-hp Panhard.[1] [2]

1904 'HARMSWORTH, Alfred C., J.P. Besides being one of the most expert motorists, is the proprietor of the Daily Mail.
Cars: 60 h.p. and 40 h.p. Mercedes, 10 h.p. Panhard, 12 h.p. Serpollet, 28 h.p, Mercedes, Lohner Porsche, Columbia Electric phaeton, electric brougham, Napier. He considers 120 miles a good average day's spin for a motor-car. He has toured many thousands of miles in this country, on the Continent, and in America, and considers his complete immunity from accident to be clue to his thorough knowledge of the mechanism of the cars he has driven. He holds that a motor, in the hands of a skilful and careful driver, is unrivalled as a means of locomotion, but in the hands of an unskilled person, is a danger to everyone. He also thinks side-slips are the most frequent causes of accidents, and presented £100 to the A.C.G.B. & l., of which he is an active member, for a side-slip prevention competition.' [3]

1904 HARMSWORTH, Mrs. Alfred. Is the wife of Mr. Alfred Harmsworth, the well-known newspaper proprietor, and is much in attendance at all the chief motoring events in England and on the Continent. [4]

He and his brother Harold Harmsworth started Answers a topical paper in 1888 in a small office in London. After a year they ran a competition to guess the amount of the Bank of England's return for a particular week. It was a huge success and the winner won a pound a week for life! After that, the circulation shot up to 78,000 per week, and 205,000 six weeks later. The offices expanded and they launched some light hearted comics at a half penny each. There after they 'concentrated on the ladies' and produced Forget-Me-Not and Home-Sweet-Home magazines. [5]

They also produced short books for boys which were very popular.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Autocar 1900/01/27
  2. The Autocar 1900/02/17
  3. Motoring Annual and Motorist’s Year Book 1904
  4. Motoring Annual and Motorist’s Year Book 1904
  5. Sketch Magazine, May 1894.
  • Motoring Annual and Motorist’s Year Book 1903