Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Robert Samuel Lovelace

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Robert Samuel Lovelace (1858-1935), inventor of the Lovelace bicycle

1858 Born the son of Robert Lovelace, an Agricultural Labourer, and his wife Mary Ann Hester Hillier

1881 Listed as a Blacksmith at Henstridge.[1]

1891 Listed as a Cycle Maker at Henstridge.[2]

1901 Listed as a Cycle Manufacturer at Henstridge - Employer.[3]

1911 Living at Bike House, Hentridge, Blandford, Somerset: Robert Samuel Lovelace (age 52 born Hampreston, Dorset), Cycle and General Engineer - Employer. With his wife Caroline Lovelace (age 50 born Henstridge) and their four children; Francis Lovelace (age 21 born Henstridge), Cycle and General Engineer; Ann Lovelace (age 19 born Henstridge), School Teacher; Matthew Lovelace (age 13 born Henstridge); and Edward Lovelace (age 12 born Henstridge).[4]


1935 Obituary.[5]

The funeral took place at Henstridge, Somerset, yesterday, of one of the pioneers of the bicycle trade . He was Mr Robert Samuel Lovelace, who began business as a blacksmith in 1881 and soon afterwards branched out into the bicycle world by making one of those high machines known as the "penny-farthing" because of the small wheel at the back.

When safety machines were introduced his wife rode the first model built for women. Mr Lovelace took up road-racing, and 43 years ago on solid tyres he won the 21 miles' championship in 60 minutes 20 seconds. He was regarded as one of the West of England's best known inventors, and was responsible for repeated improvements in the comfort and construction of bicycles.

Mr and Mrs Lovelace celebrated their golden wedding four years ago .


See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. 1881 Census
  2. 1891 Census
  3. 1901 Census
  4. 1911 Census
  5. The Scotsman - Wednesday 13 February 1935