Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Alfred John Dawson

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Alfred John Dawson (1882- ) of the Dawson Car Co

1882 Q2. Born at Wolverhampton the son of Abraham Horace Dawson, an Engineering Coppersmith on the Great Western Railway and his wife Elizabeth Minshall

1891 Living at 14 Red Cross Street, Wolverhampton: Abraham H. Dawson (age 35 born Walworth), Engineering Coppersmith. With his wife Elizabeth Dawson (age 34 born Wolverhampton) and their three children; Alfred J. Dawson (age 8 born Wolverhampton); Louisa Dawson (age 7 born Wolverhampton); and Abraham H Dawson (age 4 born Wolverhampton). Also his father-in-law George Minshall (age 43 born Staffs.), Carter. One lodger.[1]

1901 Living at 86 Bright Street, Wolverhampton: Abraham Dawson (age 45 born Walworth, London), a Locomotive Coppersmith. With his wife Elizabeth Dawson (age 44 born Wolverhampton) and their six children; Alfred J. Dawson (age 18 born Wolverhampton), a Metal Turners Apprentice; Louisa Dawson (age 17 born Wolverhampton); Horace Dawson (age 14 born Wolverhampton); George Dawson (age 9 born Wolverhampton); Albert Dawson (age 8 born Wolverhampton); and Ernest Dawson (age 2 born Wolverhampton). Also his father-in-law George Minshall (age 70 born Market Drayton) a retired carter. One boarder.[2]

Apprenticed with the Great Western Railway at Wolverhampton

c1906 Married Ada Wainwright

Worked for BTH

1911 Living at 32 Kingsway, Coventry: Alfred John Dawson (age 28 born Wolverhampton), Engineer Tool Maker at Hillman Car Co. With his wife Ada Dawson (age 30 born Wolverhampton). They have been married four years with no children. Also his wife's parents James Wainwright (age 77 born Stourbridge) and Grinada (age 68 born Kidderminster). They have been married 35 years with four children of whom three have pre-deceased them. [3]

Worked for Daimler

Worked for Hillman. Responsible for the design of the Hillman Nine

1915 February. Appointed manager of the Hotchkiss factory newly opening in Coventry [4]

Returned to Hillman as works manager to work on the post-war 11hp model

1917 Patented the 'Splash System' of engine lubrication. [5]

1918 May. Described as works manager of Hillman [6]

1918 December. Resigns from Hillman to start work on his own account. [7]

1918 Started Dawson Car Co

1924 February. Emigrated to Australia

1931 'SILVER WEDDINGS. DAWSON-WAINWRIGHT - August 4 1908 at St. George's Parish Church of England, Wolverhampton by the Rev E. M. Baker. Alfred John Dawson eldest son of A. H. Dawson and the late Mrs E. Dawson to Ada youngest daughter of the late Mr and Mrs James Wainwright, of Wolverhampton, England. Present address 115 Victoria road, Bellevue Hill Sydney New South Wales'[8]

1939 April 28th. Returned to the UK and stayed at 86 Bruford Road, Wolverhampton

1939 Stayed at 42 Forest Road, Southport with a note that he is visiting from Australia.

1940 July 12th. Returned to Australia

1943 Living at 2 Kialla Court, Plumer Road, Rose Hill, Sydney. Occupation as engineer.[9]

1957 November 9th. Died at Christchurch Hospital, Hampshire, and living at 1425 Wimborne Road, Bournemouth.

1970 His wife Ada died in Bournemouth

A. J. Dawson came from an old engineering family, with a grandfather who was a co-worker with George Stephenson on his 'Rocket' steam engine, A.J. Dawson spent some years with the Hillman Motor Company rising to works manager and where he designed the 1913 Hillman Nine. In June 1918 he left to set up the Dawson Company to produce his own car the 11-12 hp Dawson, a well-designed and high quality car launched in 1919. However it was also expensive and failed to sell well, only 65 cars being built before the company was wound up in 1921. In 1924 Dawson travelled to Australia. [10]

His father Abraham Horace Dawson was the son of Abraham Dawson (born c1818 in Liverpool), a locomotive driver, so could have been associated with George Stephenson as claimed

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. 1891 Census
  2. 1901 Census
  3. 1911 Census
  4. Coventry Evening Telegraph - Thursday 25 February 1915
  5. The Engineer 1918/02/01
  6. Coventry Evening Telegraph, Tuesday 28 May 1918
  7. Coventry Evening Telegraph - Tuesday 10 December 1918
  8. 1931/08/04 The Sydney Morning Herald
  9. Sydney Electoral Roll
  10. [1] National Archives