Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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F. E. Baker

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December 1912.
December 1912.
January 1913.
January 1913.
January 1913.
January 1913.
November 1913.
April 1914.
1920. Enamelling Shop - North Works.
1920. Engine Testing with and Electrical Brake.
1920. Tank Welding in a Jig.
1920. Exterior View of Precision Works taken from South-East.

of Moorsom Street

of Precision Works, King's Norton, Birmingham (c1922)

Precision motorcycles were produced from 1912 to 1919, in Moorsom Street, Birmingham.

1906 Company was founded by Frank Edward Baker to build bicycle fittings under the Precision name.

1910 He started building 499cc sv single engines and quickly developed a following.

1911 Ninety-six machines at the Olympia Show, in London used Precision engines: 293cc, 499cc and 599cc singles, or 760cc V-twins.

1912 Complete machines were produced, but this was found to be less than popular with existing engine customers. The complete machines were therefore exported - to Australia in particular.

Precision motorcycles were produced from 1912 to 1919, in Moorsom Street, Birmingham.

1913 Moved to a new factory

By 1914 they employed 400 persons and produced 100 engines per week. Long description of this factory in "The Engineer". Tom Biggs joined as chief designer.

1918 The company employed 800.

Post-World War I, they released a complete motorcycle, designed by Tom Biggs, using their own 350cc two-stroke engine, in 1919. Production of a complete machine was difficult so Bakers formed an arrangement with William Beardmore and Co who injected new capital into the company; the machines were known as Beardmore Precision.[1]

Baker's engines were featured in numerous trials and race winners in the 1920s. But sales were falling and an attempt to introduce a new 250cc engine failed when the leaf-spring valves caused excess guide wear. There was also a model with a Barr and Stroud engine, and an ohc model which did not see production.

1922 Directors: Lord Invernairn of Strathnairn (Chairman), J. G. Girdwood, C.A., F. M. Luther, F. E. Baker and L. W. Gwyn. Products: "Beardmore-Precision" motor bicycle "Beardmore-Precision" specially sprung side-car motorcycle and cycle-car engines.

1924 Beardmores withdrew its capital in 1924; the company closed

1926 Frank Baker established a new company, Baker Motor Cycles, to make two-strokes under his own name.

1930 The company was eventually sold to James Cycle Co in 1930.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. I just came across a snippet regarding the relationship between F. E. Baker Ltd and Beardmore's. It was deeper than just a capitol injection and name change. It seems as if Beardmore's were looking at FEB as additional light engineering capacity for their general portfolio. In particular the Beardmore-Farquhar Machine gun. This was originally contracted out to Webley's but then moved to F. E. Baker in 1920 where it remained until the whole show fell over. FEB troubles might have been in part because the B-F Machine gun did not sell (in a world flooded with WWI surplus), and the Beardmore accounts list some 20,000 pound against FEB for guns as late as 1925. (SR 2019/04/16)