Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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George Gilbert (2)

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George Gilbert (1854-1915), cycle pioneer and manufacturer

1854 Q4. Born at Coventry

Apprenticed as an art metal worker to Francis Skidmore

1870 Left Skidmore to join Coventry Machinists Co when it first started making bicycles

1875 He formed the Centaur Cycle Co with Edward Mushing in West Orchard and was particularly successful in introducing a lightweight bicycle.

1881 Living at Stoney Stanton Road, Coventry (age 28 born Foleshill), machine fitter. With wife Hannah (age 29 born Foleshill), silk weaver, and their children George F. (age 8) and Edith (age 2). [1]

Other inventions patented by Gilbert were the movable saddle, detachable cranks, adjustable dust-proof back wheel bearings and the Centaur patent tubular steel tricycle.

1900 the firm started to make cars, and motorcycles were also made and continued in production after the firm was taken over by Humber in 1910.

1901 Living at Sunnycroft Park Road, Coventry (age 49 born Coventry), cycle manufacturer and employer. With wife Hannah (age 49 born Coventry) and children Edith (age 22), Ernest (1age 19), Henry (age 16), Bert (age 14), Sam (age 13), Frank (age 9) and Stanley (age 1). Two servants. [2]

George Gilbert then farmed at Crabmill Farm in the Paradise area of Foleshill where he was born, until his death in 1915.


See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. 1881 Census
  2. 1901 Census
  • Summary of the Papers of the Centaur Cycle Company [1]