Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 125,710 pages of information and 196,433 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Dunlop Cycle Co

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of Coventry

1892 Company established - it was a cycle depot[1] - presumably Pneumatic Tyre Co

1892 Advert seeking an assistant familiar with cycles; address c/o 51 and 53 Donegall St, (Belfast)[2].

1893 Dunlop's Emporium for Cycles established by Dunlop Cycle Co in St Mary's Gate, Manchester[3].

1893 Dunlop Cycle Co was taken over in October 1893 by the newly launched John Griffiths Cycle Corporation Ltd of Dublin, which also took over the agency-division of the Pneumatic Tyre and Booths Cycle Agency Ltd; both were small chains of cycle depots, retailing the products of various manufacturers[4]. Dunlop Cycle Co was liquidated in November 1893. John Griffiths was said to be late Managing Director of the Pneumatic Tyre and Booths Cycle Agency Ltd. It was also noted that there were agreements between the Dunlop Cycle Co and various cycle manufacturers including the Coventry Machinists Co[5].

1896 After a 2 year break, during which Dunlop Rubber Co (this was presumably Pneumatic Tyre Co) concentrated on tyre manufacturing, the company entered bicycle manufacturing, under the name of the Dunlop Cycle Co.

As Dunlop had a commanding positon in pneumatic tyres, other cycle manufacturers were displeased at having to fit a rival's products to their bicycles. Dunlop therefore decided to find a new name for its bicycle producing arm. Ariel was a trade-marked name that had been acquired with an earlier acquisition by Dunlop. The result was the Ariel Cycle Co[6]. The 2 companies used very similar logos (see image).

Dunlop and Ariel Cycle logos, courtesy of Jeremy P. Mortimore

1896 J. W. Stocks was riding Dunlop cycles[7].

1896/7 Directory: Listed under cycles. More details

1897 Both Dunlop and Ariel Cycles (and other makes) were displayed at a show organised by John Griffiths Cycle Corporation Ltd in Dundee[8].

1897 Cycle Components Manufacturing Co acquired the Ariel Cycle Co. These cycles were ridden to victory in the world's championships of 1897 by J. W. Stocks (professional) and E. Gould (amateur) and paced by Ariel multi-cycles.

1898 Cited in Parliament as an example of the problems of over-promoted cycle companies (the shares were still quoted at that date)[9].


See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. The Standard, 27 November 1893
  2. The Belfast News-Letter, 21 December 1892
  3. Manchester Times, 17 March 1893
  4. The Standard, 27 November 1893
  5. Freeman's Journal and Daily Commercial Advertiser, 25 November 1893
  6. Ariel Motorcycle History [1]
  7. Sheffield & Rotherham Independent 27 July 1896
  8. The Dundee Courier and Argus, 29 April 1897
  9. The Morning Post 25 May 1898