Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Motor Traction Co

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January 1902. The Boyer car.
April 1902. Holden motorcycle.
August 1902.
September 1902.
November 1902.
November 1902.
February 1903.
1906.

of Walnut Tree Walk, Kennington, London. [1]

1899 The London Steam Omnibus Co changed its name to the Motor Traction Co Ltd[2]

1899 The company was granted a licence to the Daimler patents in England by the British Motor Syndicate Ltd[3].

1899 First motor bus service in London from Kennington to Victoria, operated by the Motor Traction Company Limited, but the service was short lived[4].

1901 Purchased the old works of Mackenzie and Co (Coachbuilders).[5]

1901 June. 3rd AGM report. Directors present were C. E. Macdonald, C. M. Davidson and W. H. Andrews. Works not completed. Drawings for Holden patents motor bicycle and planning a light car. E. H. Bayley, a former director criticised.[6]

1901 November. Details of the Holden motor bicycle.[7][8]

1902 Agent for Germain and Boyer cars.

1902 New premises to replace those destroyed by fire in October 1899. These premises were formerly those of the Mackenzie's Carriage Works. Images. [9]

1905 Motor Traction Co (1905) was registered on 22 November, to acquire the undertaking and assets of the Motor Traction Co[10]

1906 Granted exclusive licence to certain Daimler patents as a result of negotiations involving Mercedes Daimler Motor Co Ltd and a Mr Edge[11]. The London Daimler Company Ltd was formed with the intention of taking over these rights but the use of the name Daimler was challenged by Daimler Motor Co (1904) Ltd who succeeded in the Supreme Court in defining their rights to use the Daimler name[12].


Holden were motorcycles produced between 1897 and 1902, from a design by Brig. Gen. Sir H. C. L. Holden.

(Patented in 1894, the Holden was the world's first four-cylinder motorcycle).

It used the same inefficient design that Pennington, Hildebrand and Wolfmuller [1] and others used, with the connecting rods directly driving the rear wheel.

1897 The motorcycle was first produced in air-cooled form. The horizontal cylinders drove the rear wheel directly and the camshaft was driven from this by chain and worm gear. It had coil ignition, a surface carburettor and geared pedals for the front wheel.

1898 July. Details and image of the motor bicycle.[13]

1899 The version for that year had water cooling and went into production, but the result was heavy and expensive.

1901 November. 'The Holden motor-cycle was invented several years ago by Lieutenant-Colonel Holden, R. A., Superintendent of the Woolwich Arsenal, but has only just become a commercial article. Its price is rather high, but it is a more scientific vehicle than the type which consists of an ordinary safety with a motor added. The Holden motor has four cylinders, and drives directly on to the back wheel by cranks, in locomotive fashion.'[14]

1902 By now the Holden was an obsolete relic of a by-gone age so production ceased.


See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. The Engineer 1902/02/21
  2. The Times Feb 03, 1905
  3. The Times, 16 April 1907
  4. Key Dates in the History of London Transport, by Transport for London
  5. The Autocar 1901/06/08
  6. The Autocar 1901/06/15
  7. The Autocar 1901/11/16
  8. The Engineer 1902/04/04 p333
  9. Automotor Journal 1902/04/19 p11
  10. The Stock Exchange Year Book 1908
  11. The Times, 16 April 1907
  12. The Times, 16 April 1907
  13. The Autocar 1898/07/16
  14. Herts & Cambs Reporter & Royston Crow - Friday 29 November 1901