Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Felix William Hudlass

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Felix William Isherwood Hudlass (1874-1965)

1874 Born in Chorlton[1], son of Elijah Hudless

c.1888 Apprenticed with his father who traded with his brother as Hudlass Brothers of Higher Bridge St, Bolton and Southport. The business sold sewing machines and also automatic knitting machines.

1891 Teacher of music, lived with his father, Elijah, 48, an agent for sewing machines, in Ormskirk[2]

1894 With his father started Phoenix Works as photographic engineers but straight away started on motor experiments.

1895 Built his first car, claimed to be the first practical car in Lancashire.

1896-7 Felix was a musician; he gained 3 patents on improvements in cameras and lantern projectors

Soon disposed of the photographic side of the business and concentrated on motor engineering - Hudlass Motor Works

1898 Married Clara Louisa M Pape in Ormskirk[3]

1900 of 26, Westmoreland Road, Barnes, S.W.

1901 Engineer, motor car builders, employer, lived in Southport with Clara[4]

1901 His father died[5]

1902 Due to lack of capital Felix sold the business to Phoenix Motor Co

1902 Motor and electrical engineer of Southport; creditors' notice published so presumably he was bankrupt[6]

1902 Started work for Weller Brothers Ltd in West Norwood. Was in charge of the works with 50 staff.

c.1904 the firm closed due to lack of capital

c.1903 Became club engineer of the Automobile Club of Great Britain and Ireland[7]

1905 Associate of I Mech E; club engineer of the Automobile Club of Great Britain and Ireland

1911 Consulting mechanical engineer to the Royal Automobile Club lived in Barnes with Clara Louisa Hudlass 36, Maurice Hudlass 9, Harold Hudlass 7, Leonard Henry Hudlass 5[8]

1911-15 Patents relating to motor cars, one in conjunction with Harold Denton Smith

1917 Patent with Smith on stretcher carriers

1918 Awarded OBE - Consulting Engineer to Motor Ambulance Department, British Red Cross Society Headquarters, London.[9]

1918 Patent with Autoniters Ltd and Smith on improved combustion in engines

1919 Patents on scooters

1920 Produced a motorcycle - see Hudlass

1921 Patent on improved bath chairs for wounded soldiers

1929 Patent with John Gascoigne Bower on control of springs in vehicles

1937 Patent on testing brakes

1937 Patent with John Forbes Gower on means of fixing badges to vehicles

1947 Transferred to member of I Mech E. Retired from the RAC; he was succeeded by his son, Maurice Hudlass as chief engineer[10]

1965 Died in Kingston, Surrey

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. BMD
  2. 1891 cendus
  3. BMD
  4. 1901 census
  5. BMD
  6. The London Gazette 14 November 1902
  7. The Times, Oct 27, 1958
  8. 1911 census
  9. London Gazette 4 June 1918
  10. The Times, Oct 27, 1958
  • Mechanical Engineer records