Coventry, home of the cycle industry, was also to become the birthplace of the motor industry when the Daimler Company became the first in Britain to mass produce cars in the late 1890s. Spearheaded by H.J. Lawson, Coventry soon became a hub of motoring activity, and by the early 1900s was teaming with small and large companies, testing cars, motor-bicycles and tricycles around the local streets and surrounding country lanes. Many of these companies had previously been established as cycle manufacturers, yet introduced engines to their cycle frames in various forms, as well as producing safer three- and four-wheeled experimental machines. Other companies were established solely as motor manufacturers, many were short-lived, but others would survive and prosper. This new-found industry soon attracted a new type of worker to Coventry, specialised in mechanical engineering. These men and their families came from all parts of the UK and beyond, and made new lives for themselves in the city. Coventry has been home to well in excess of 100 independent motor manufacturers, but in recent years the city has suffered greatly with the loss of huge companied like Jaguar and Peugeot. The legacy of many of these historic cars can, however, still be enjoyed through museums and private collections. This outstanding volume is illustrated with 200 archive photographs and ephemera from the collection held at Coventry Transport Museum, and is a valuable record of the motor companies and their machines, as well as the individuals who both founded and worked for these manufacturers.
Coventry has a remarkable bicycle manufacturing heritage. From the first velocipedes built in 1868, the city went on to become the home of the British Cycle Industry, and at one time produced the greatest output of cycles in the world – with well in excess of 350 individual cycle manufacturers over a 100 year period. The Coventry Machinists’ Company were the first in Britain to mass produce cycles, and steadily, more and more companies were established in the city. Soon Coventry became internationally recognised as being a place where only the very best machines were made, and the name ‘Coventry’ itself became a stamp of quality engineering and fine craftsmanship. Richly illustrated with 100 outstanding photographs from The Coventry Transport Museum, many previously unpublished, this is the first book of its kind to cover the history of Coventry bicycle manufacture and the men who built them. From Dunlop, Hobart, Singer, Premier, Rover, and Triumph to other less well known local companies, their legacies are still enjoyed by cyclists today.
The Story of Coventry traces the evolution of the city, from the myths of Godiva, through to the issues, challenges and opportunities facing it in the twenty-first century. Exploring Coventry’s heritage through records, architectural developments and anecdotes, it reveals a fascinating and much misunderstood city, whose history is often overshadowed by its bombing during the Second World War. Peter Walters, well known for his numerous newspaper features and active role in local heritage, shows that there is a great deal more to the history of Coventry than first meets the eye. This beautifully illustrated text will delight both residents and visitors alike.
During the late Victorian/early Edwardian period, the development of the motor car represented the peak of technological experimentation. Termed 'horseless carriages', these cars were mainly constructed by inventive engineers in back-street workshops, and most simply comprised the frame and bodywork of a horse-drawn carriage fitted with a petrol engine. However, experimentation was rife – there was much debate as to the most appropriate form of motive power, be it petrol, steam or electric. As this small-scale experimentation developed into a burgeoning industry, manufacturers such as Vauxhall, Wolseley and Humber looked to the proving grounds of endurance runs, hill climbs and organized races to increase sales potential, popularity, and, most importantly, reputation. These early days of motoring were beset with reliability issues as roads were often rutted, dusty, flooded and rarely properly maintained, but comfort and efficiency improved with demand. This fascinating title covers the history of veteran motor cars from their earliest iterations until 1905, and is packed with fascinating facts about the experimental origins of the motoring industry.
This book, originally published in 1985, examines the development of the car industry in Coventry within both its local context and the wider economic environment. It is a study of expansion and adjustment which reflects the broader pattern of Britain's industrial history. The book analyses the emergence and early dominance of Coventry's motor manufacturers, the appearance of the volume producers in the 1920s and the instability of the post-war era. The relationship between cars and other sectors of the local economy, particularly cycles, machine tools and aircraft, is discussed, while the significance of the two world wars receive special attention. Extensive use is made of original sources material, much of which, prior to publication, had received little or no attention from business historians.
Contrary to popular conceptions of decadence, this volume of essays argues that the 1900s, otherwise known as la fin de Siecle, were in fact a time of essentially positive and progressive dramatic change.
Triggered in part by contemporary experiences in the Balkans, the Middle East and elsewhere, there has been a rise in interest in the blitz and the subsequent reconstruction of cities, especially as many of the buildings and areas rebuilt after the Second World War are now facing demolition and reconstruction in their turn. Drawing together leading scholars and new researchers from across the fields of planning, history, architecture and geography, this volume presents an historical and cultural commentary on the immediate and longer-term impacts of wartime destruction. The book's contents in 14 chapters cover the spread of themes from experiencing the war to reconstruction and its experiences; and although many chapters draw upon the UK experience, there is deliberate inclusion of some material from mainland Europe and Japan to emphasise that the experiences, processes and products are not London-specific. A comparative book tracing destruction to reconstruction is a relative rarity, and yet of the utmost importance in possessing wider relevance to post-disaster reconstructions. The Blitz and Its Legacy is a fascinating volume which includes war experiences of destruction, architecture, urban design, the political process of planning and reconstruction, and also popular perceptions of rebuilding. Its findings provide very timely lessons which highlight the value of learning from historical precedent.
Blood, Sweat, and Toil is the first scholarly history of the British working class in the Second World War. It integrates social, political, and labour history, and reflects the most recent scholarship and debates on social class, gender, and the forging of identities. Geoffrey G. Field examines the war's impact on workers in the varied contexts of the family, military service, the workplace, local communities, and the nation. Previous studies of the Home Front have analysed the lives of civilians, but they have neglected the importance of social class in defining popular experience and its centrality in public attitudes, official policy, and the politics of the war years. Contrary to accounts that view the war as eroding class divisions and creating a new sense of social unity in Britain, Field argues that the 1940s was a crucial decade in which the deeply fragmented working class of the interwar decades was "remade," achieving new collective status, power, and solidarity. He criticizes recent revisionist scholarship that has downplayed the significance of class in British society. Extensively researched, using official documents, diaries and letters, the records of trade unions, and numerous other institutions, Blood, Sweat, and Toil traces the rapid growth of trade unionism, joint consultation, and strike actions in the war years. It also analyses the mobilization of women into factories and the uniformed services and the lives of men conscripted into the army, showing how these experiences shaped their social attitudes and aspirations. Using opinion polls and other evidence, Field traces the evolution of popular political attitudes from the evacuation of 1939 and the desperate months of late 1940 to the election of 1945, opposing recent claims that the electorate was indifferent or apathetic at the war's end but also eschewing blanket assumptions about popular radicalization. Labour was an active agent in fashioning itself as both a national progressive party and the representative of working-class interests in 1945; far from a mere passive beneficiary of anti-Tory feeling, it gave organizational form to the idealism and the demand for significant change that the war had generated.
Recipient McKean Cup & Cugnot Awards. An automotive business & technical history addressing innovative products, construction details, marketing & manufacture, organization & financing. Marmon of Indianapolis revolutionized grain milling, electrified major cities, was innovator in engineering & styling the automobile for three decades. Dominance in racing & victory in first INDY 500 made Marmon Speedsteers the 'Corvettes' of the 1920s. Marmon-Herrington built All-Wheel-Drive trucks during the next three decades, including AWD Ford cars & trucks. Marmon Group today is among world's most diverse firms. The book contrasts sharply with the perceived state of early century technology & product reliability-durability. "Industrial titles are increasingly more important in research libraries. I am most impressed with THE MARMON HERITAGE as a product. Well done!"--R.E. Chapin, Director Libraries, Michigan State University. "One of the most unusual books published in recent years, it is at once history, technical manual, & panea of praise for the products. It will have great appeal to engineers, students of technology or advertising"--Prof. Ralph D. Gray, Indiana-Purdue Universities, Indianapolis. "I woul d like to express my sincere admiration for the accomplishment that is THE MARMON HERITAGE, a magnificent exercise in scholarship & a monumental contribution to the literature."--Griffith Borgeson, European Editor, AUTOMOTIVE QUARTERLY.
Coventry has such an interesting history that many books have been written about various aspects of it. But this is the first account of the city's past since Poole's in 1869! It goes much further than Poole too, from before recorded time and the laying down of rocks to discoveries in the city of prehistoric man. Since the Victorian was writing the city has changed almost beyond recognition of course. Poole had never heard of a motor car, or an air raid ... In a researched text, the author argues for Coventry's Roman past, long doubted, and explores its Saxon roots as home to the monastic houses of St. Osburg. He throws new light on Leofric and Godiva, including their involvement in the foundation or endowment of St. Mary's Priory, and using recent excavation work he reveals the most up-to-date ideas on its appearance and its destruction. The city's later medieval past is explained in detail, including its rise to power in the Wars of the Roses, when the royal court moved to the city, and the connection with Henry VI and his cult. Details of the imprisonment of Mary, Queen of Scots, are given for the first time, while previously unused documents are used to tell the real story of life in Parliamentary Coventry and its famous Siege. Every aspect of daily life in the city is described in the well-illustrated narrative - how Coventry folk earned their living, from weaving to motor-cars, their health, education, religious life, entertainments and crime and punishment. No one who knows the city can fail to be intrigued by this important new book. A good read, it is a fund of fascinating information and destined to become the standard work on Coventry for decades to come.
As diverse as their region, over 2,000 paintings from 34 public collections are recorded in this volume. These collections vary from distinguished Old Masters at Compton Verney and the Herbert Art Gallery and Museum, Coventry, to local history in Bedworth and Solihull. Naive paintings by often anonymous artists record the life and times of towns, villages and countryside, Hepicting coalmines, pastures and woods. More renowned artists record the history of the motor car, the industry at the centre of the region for 100 years. The collections of the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, Stratford are inique in their dedication to Shakespearean theatre, while two university collections bring the art of the region up to the minute. The Public Catalogue Foundation, a registered charity, has been set up to record the nation's entire collection of oil paintings in public ownership and to make this accessible through a series of affordable catalogues. The catalogues are produced on a county-by-county basis. On completion, the series will allow us to see a colour illustration and brief description of every oil painting in our national collection. Collections retain the revenue from the catalogues they sell, and use it for the preservation of oil paintings in their care, and for gallery education. Oil Paintings in Public Ownership in Warwickshire was made possible by the generosity of a large number of donors, who are listed inside.