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 149,267 pages of information and 234,239 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Thomas Hugh Parker

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1899. The Complete Car.
1899. Electric Dogcart to seat Four.
1899. Fourteen Passengers.

Thomas Hugh Parker (c1872-1948)

c1872 Born at Madeley, the son of Thomas Parker [1]

Thomas Hugh Parker designed a number of prototype cars for the Electric Construction Co whilst it considered manufacturing vehicles. No cars were ever produced commercially by the company. The most famous was the "electric dog cart", built in 1896. Reins were used to steer the vehicle at the instigation of the works manager. It was entered in a race organised by "The Engineer" magazine for self-propelled road vehicles, from the Crystal Palace, London, to Birmingham. On the day there were only five prospective runners, so the race was cancelled. The car however, was highly commended.

1899 Article on four-wheel steering for the London Electric Omnibus Co.[2]

1900 Article 'Electricity on Common Roads'. Mentions Elwell-Parker.[3]

1901 He built a steam car at the works of the Wearwell Motor Carriage Co. Powered by a 10 hp compound engine. Only one car built.[4]

Some of Thomas Hugh's cars included modern features such as hydraulic brakes on all four wheels and four wheel steering. He also worked on petrol-powered vehicles. He claimed to have invented the spark plug, the monoblock engine and the carburettor.

1907 The Sedan Automobile Syndicate Ltd was founded with a capital of £10,000 in £1 shares. The company was based at 51 Lichfield Street, Wolverhampton and was founded to acquire the Burnt Tree Engineering Works, Tipton and their interest in two patents. The first, taken out by Thomas Hugh Parker was for improvements in motor cars and the second was for an invention by L. Wirtz for improvements in variable and reversing gear.

The company produced a unique articulated car which was partly or wholly designed by Thomas Hugh Parker. It is not known how many of these cars were produced, but they were likely built at the Tipton Works.

1911 Living at 44 Mortlake Road, Kew Gardens: Thomas Parker (age 39 born Coalbrookdale), Consulting Engineer - Own account. With his wife Constance Mabel Parker (age 30 born Stourport) and their three children; Broughton George Parker (age 10 born Wolverhampton); Theodore Leslie Parker (age 8 born Middlewich); and Howard Edward Parker (age 5 born London). One servant.[5]

1948 May 4th. Died.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. 1881 Census
  2. The Autocar 1899/03/18
  3. Autocar 1900/01/13
  4. The Autocar 1901/12/07
  5. 1911 Census