Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 148,487 pages of information and 233,925 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Imperial Cycle Co

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From 1887 the company made bicycle fittings and, later, complete bicycles, possibly after Norman Duckwood Downes (sic) bought the ailing bicycle business of Hearl and Tonks c.1899.

1894 Dissolution of the Partnership between John Henry Rowse and Wilfred Denham carrying on business as Cycle Agents under the style or firm of the Imperial Cycle Co. at Manchester and Birmingham. John Henry Rowse would carry on the said business alone[1]

1901 It is said that Downes created Imperial Cycle Co in 1901, but no official record of the this company's formation has been found.

1901 Imperial made their first motorcycle. The engine was mounted forward of the handlebars with a leather belt driving the front wheel. It failed to sell.

1901 a "New Imperial" Motor Cycle was exhibited at the "Stanley Show," London.

1902 At the Stanley Show they had a 2hp model.

1903 They were no longer in the market.

1907 The Imperial Motor Cycles commenced production on a small scale, and this increased steadily.

1907 SHAREHOLDERS of the Imperial Cycle Company Ltd were given notice that, in accordance with the Companies Act, 1862, the Final Extraordinary General Meeting for the dissolution of this Company, confirming the sale of its assets to the New Imperial Cycle Co. Limited, as per Special Resolution passed on December 13th, 1907, and confirmed on 30th December, 1907, will be held at Lower Loveday - street, Birmingham, on Monday, February 8th, 1909.[2]

1908 Official records show the formation of a limited company called the New Imperial Cycle Co.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The London Gazette 27 November 1894
  2. London Gazette 29 December 1908