Tag Archive: lawson


Thomas Humber (1841 – 1910) was a British Engineer interested in improving the bicycle designs of those times. Humber was credited with inventing the safety bicycle  with the pedal driving the rear wheel. Later on, he pioneered same size wheels and diamond-frame design in bicycles.

A Humber Bicycle –

In 1869,  Humber and Company was created to manufacture bicycles. In 1892, Thomas Humber sold off his rights to Henry Lawson of Daimler (England). As a logical step , Humber was experimenting with motorization. In 1896 , they introduced motorized bicycle fitted with Pennigton engine. A 1904 Humber motorcycle –

Humber continued to excel in the motorcycle and motorized tricycles. Parrallely they were experimenting with cars. In 1898 they introduced the first car and followed up with another in 1899 –

This was followed with a car in 1903 , called the Humbrette

During the war , Humber manufactured aircraft engines and continued to manufacture cars after the war.

In 1928 , Humber acquired Commer and in 1929 they acquired Hillman.  In 1932 , the Rootes group acquired Humber. Rootes group was taken over by Chrysler in 1964 and in 1978 Chrysler(Europe) sold off to Peugeot. After 1976, the Humber marque slowly disappeared.

Some of the famous and well know Humber cars – Humber Pullman and Humber Sceptre.

 


The Humber logos –

Daimler (England) has no technical connection with Daimler (Germany) except for the use of the Daimler name and purchase of a few engines for power boats in 1890s.

The creation of Daimler (England) can be credited to 2 people – Frederick Richard Simms (1863 – 1944) and Harry J Lawson (1852 – 1925). In 1891 , Frederick Simms formed the company Simms & co to manufacture power boats. In 1893, he renamed the company as Daimler Motor Syndicate, after purchasing the rights to use the Daimler name from Gottilleb Daimler and engines from DMG. In 1895, Harry Lawson formed the company British Motor Syndicate with aim of buying patents and controlling the motor industry in Britain. In 1896 , Harry Lawson merged British Motor Syndicate with  Daimler Motor Syndicate to form   Daimler Motor Company.

In 1896/97 , Daimler Motor Company used Daimler engines on Panhard & Levassor vehicles to create motor cars for sale in England. One of the first Daimler cars , a 4 HP , 2-Cyl , 4-speed gear box car

In 1900 , HM  King Edward VII (then Prince of Wales) bought the early  Daimler, a 2-cyl, 6 HP version,  and thus started the Royal relationship with Daimler . Daimlers were used by the Royal family in England and as state cars in many other countries across the world till Rolls-Royce & Bentley took over the Royal duty.

In 1910, Daimler was taken over by BSA group and was integrated in to their automotive business.

Daimler was known for introducing new technology & luxury in their cars. Daimler was considered to be the pioneer of car radio when they tried out this as early as 1922. One of the most famous, pre-war models was the 1926 Double Six.  The Double Six was fitted with a Knight Sleeve valve V12 engine – 2 straight 6 cylinder engines combined side by side to create a V12 engine. It was also equipped with a fluid flywheel (fore-runner to the current torque converter) and a Wilson Pre-selector gearbox (fore-runner to the current automatic transmission with paddle shift).  The car was constructed in variable wheel bases to meet customer needs.

One of the distinguishing features of Daimler cars and later Jaguar cars is the Fluted radiator grill. In 1907, Daimler cars were made with radiator cooling tubes arranged vertically in the front. This became the current radiator grill and is one of the most important styling elements in modern cars.

In 1932 , BSA/Daimler acquired Lanchester and Lanchester formed the mid brand between an expensive Daimler and a cheap BSA car. In 1960 , Jaguar cars acquired BSA/Daimler/Lanchester and in between 1966 & 1968 were a part of BMC (British Motor Corporation) and BMH (British Motor Holdings). In 1968, they became a part of the reorganized and nationalized British Leyland. In 1984, Jaguar cars along with Daimler/Lanchester became independent of British Leyalnd. Ford PAG acquired Jaguar cars in 1989 and in 2007 , was sold to Tata Motors of India.

Jaguar and Daimler were involved in “Badge Engineering” , where Daimler cars were sold as Jaguars and vice-versa. One of the famous re-badged Daimler cars was the Double Six which was re-badged as Jaguar XJ12.

The Daimler Logo –