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The Lisle family came from Yorkshire. Thomas's father moved to Wolverhampton, and worked as a ledger clerk in Blakenhall. Two of his three sons, Richard and Thomas, ran a japanning and tin company in the area. Thomas was the uncle of Edward Lisle.
1858 Thomas produced japanned hardware
By 1861 he was working as a clerk for Henry Fearncombe and Co.
1868 Produced a cycle catalogue; he had a factory at Villiers street, Moorfields, Wolverhampton. His early machines were a French Bicycle, a German Tricycle, and a Ladies Velocipede. The French Bicycle and the German Tricycle were based on the Michaux Velocipede. He also produced a special Postman’s Tricycle for rural postman that sold for 35 shillings.
The Ladies Velocipede was a treadle-operated tricycle with treadles connected by levers to cranks on the rear axle. Other features included a padded seat and tiller steering.