Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Clipper Tyre Co

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Clipper Pneumatic Tyre Company, of 14 Regent Street, London

of Alma Street, Coventry.

John Davenport Siddeley was sent by Dunlop Pneumatic Tyre Co to be their representative in Coventry. Realising the potential of the pneumatic tyre for giving added comfort to wheeled vehicles he started importing continental tyres; this was possibly the first of the 'quick fit' tyre companies.

1897 The Clipper Pneumatic Tyre Company was floated, with John Davenport Siddeley as managing director [1]. The objects of the company were to purchase from Dunlop Pneumatic Tyre Co a licence to manufacture pneumatic tyres under the Bartlett (Clincher) patents, to take a licence from the Dunlop Pneumatic Tyre Co to manufacture the Westwood Rims, to take a sole licence to make Bagot tyres, to manufacture and sell tyres and rims under these patents.

In order to publicise his products Siddeley undertook and organised a marathon cycle ride from Lands End to John O'Groats, his main part in this venture was to make sure everything ran smoothly rather than ride all the way himself, and he could be seen carrying his own design lightweight bicycle over his shoulder and brief case in his hand at various railway stations on route, either joining the ride or going on ahead to make sure accommodation was ready and sending telegrams to newspapers so as to get maximum publicity. It would indicate that he was 100 years before his time in being his own Spin Doctor!

1898-1920 Annual reports in Coventry Archives[2]

1901 Before the company moved premises to Alma Street, they started to manufacture their own tyres. This was next door to Dunlop Pneumatic Tyre Co's fire engine house. At this time he decided that his future was in motor cars rather than tyres, so he sold the company to the Dunlop Pneumatic Tyre Co.

1903 The tyres were made by the Continental Caoutchouc and Guttapercha Co (see advert).

1904 The Clipper Tyre Co was registered on 15 March, in reconstruction of the Clipper Pneumatic Tyre Co[3]

1912 Clipper Pneumatic Tyre Co of Alma St, Coventry.

See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. The Morning Post, 10 March 1897
  2. National Archives
  3. The Stock Exchange Year Book 1908
  • [1] Armstrong Siddeley Owners Club web site
  • JOHN DAVENPORT SIDDELEY - HIS LIFE & TIMES Adapted from the John Davenport Siddeley Memorial Lecture delivered by Derek J. S. Ainscow, the grandson of John Davenport Siddeley, at the Coventry Techno Centre on 8th November 1999.