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British Industrial History

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Francis Leigh Martineau

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1900. Experimental car designed by F. L. Martineau and Mr. T. B. Browne.

Francis Leigh Martineau (1874-c1954) M.I.Mech.E., M.I.A.E.

1874 Born, youngest son of Francis E. Martineau, of Solihull, Warwickshire.

Educated at Mason Sc. Coll., Birmingham (now Birmingham University)

Trained, Piercy and Co., Birmingham;

1895-96, Asst. Works Manager, Premier Cycle Co.;

1896-97, Designer, New Beeston Cycle Co., responsible for only British built car (De Dion tricycle) to compete in Emancipation run to Brighton, Nov., 1896

1890-1905, Designer and Director, James and Browne, Hammersmith

1898 Dissolution of the Partnership between Tom Bousquet Browne and John Melville James carrying on business as Manufacturing and Contracting Engineers at 39 Victoria-street Westminster under the style or firm of James and Browne as from the 16th day of May 1898. The business was carried on by Tom Bousquet Browne in partnership with Francis Leigh Martineau under the same style of James and Browne.[1]. Originator of the James & Browne system of automobile.

1901 Conversion ofJames and Browne into Limited Co.; appointed Director and Works Manager to 1904, manufacturers of motor vehicles.

1902, produced from stock parts first car erected and run straight out on road without previous tests.

1905 Managing Director and Designer, Pilgrim's Way Motor Co., Farnham. Designer of the Pilgrim engine and chassis.

1906 Became a Member of Council of Institution of Automobile Engineers

1909 Consulting Engineer. Inventor and designer of the Hele-Shaw Martineau electro-hydraulic steering gear for ships.

1911 Living at 81 Brook Green, West Kensington: Francis Leigh Martineau (age 36 born Solihull). Consulting Engineer. With his wife Emilia Margaret Martineau (age 25 born Germany - British subject) and their two children Peter Leigh Martineau (age 2 born Farnham) and Margaret Leigh Martineau (age 10 months born Hammersmith). Three servants.

Continued as Automobile and Marine Engineer.


1955 Obituary [2]

Francis Leigh Martineau was born in 1874 and practised as an automobile designer and consultant.

He was first elected a Member of the Institution in 1909, and had been a Member of the Institution of Automobile Engineers since 1907.

His work included the design of steering gear for an American high-speed battle cruiser, submarine electro-hydraulic controls, in collaboration with Scotts Shipbuilding and Engineering Company, Ltd., Greenock, and development of the Hele-Shaw hydraulic gear, in addition to the development of his own steering gears now in general use.

For seven years he was designer of cars, works manager and director, with James and Browne, Ltd., Hammersmith, and he subsequently joined the Pilgrims Way Motor Company, Farnham, Surrey, as managing director and designer. Later he set up in practice as a consultant.

Mr. Martineau was educated at Solihull School, and Mason Science College (now Birmingham University), and then went as an apprentice to Piercy and Company, Birmingham. He then continued in the service of various cycle companies and a motor syndicate.

For many years Mr. Martineau served on the Council of the Institution of Automobile Engineers. He was the author of several papers read before the Institution of Automobile Engineers, the Institute of Marine Engineers, and the Society of Automotive Engineers.


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