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British Industrial History

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James and Browne

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September 1902.
January 1903.
January 1903. 9 h.p.
January 1903.
February 1903. 18 h.p. four-cylinder.
February 1903.
February 1903.
May 1903.
1904. 4 cylinder car.
February 1904. Four-cylinder car.
February 1905.
February 1905.
September 1905.
1906 Q4.
1906 Q4.
1906 Q4.
1906. Landaulet.
1906. Chassis.
1906. Chassis.
November 1908. 25 h.p.
November 1908.
November 1908. 25 h.p. change-speed lever.
November 1908. Overhead valve gear.

James and Browne were automobile manufacturers, based in Westminster and Hammersmith, London between 1896 and 1910.

The James and Browne factory was located at the Chiswick end of King's Street in West London, and there was a car showroom on Oxford Street.

1896 Formation of partnership of John Melville James and Tom Bousquet Browne

1898 Dissolution of the Partnership between Tom Bousquet Browne and John Melville James carrying on business as Manufacturing and Contracting Engineers at 39 Victoria-street Westminster under the style or firm of James and Browne as from the 16th day of May 1898. The business was carried on by Tom Bousquet Browne in partnership with Francis Leigh Martineau under the same style of James and Browne.[1].

1899 Claim to have made several cars; of 155 Buckingham Palace Road.[2]

1901 June. Constructing an automobile based on the Browne-Martineau system.[3]

1901 July. Details of the commutator.[4]

1901 November. Details of the 8-hp car.[5]

The early cars had an unusual engine layout with the flywheel between the cylinders. The engines were mid mounted in the chassis and the cylinders were horizontal. Drive was to the rear wheels via a 4 speed gearbox and chain. The gearbox is in 2 parts, that are linked by a connecting rod. The left containing 2nd and 4th gear, and the right 1st, 3rd and reverse.

The 2 cylinder engine is rated at 9 HP, and is just over 2.5 litres in size. A total loss oil system is used on the car, lubricating 6 main oil-ways. James and Browne also launched a 4 cylinder version (16 HP), of a similar design to the horizontal 2 cylinder engine.

1902 Partnership dissolved; Browne became managing director of James and Browne, motor manufacturers of Hammersmith.

1902 January. James and Browne formed.[6]

1904 February. Details of the 12-hp engine.[7]

1905 September. Details of the T.T. car.[8]

1905 November. Details of the 25-hp car.[9]

1906 Produced 14-16, 18-22 and 25-30 h.p. models with horizontal engines. [10]

In 1906 a vertical engined car was introduced known as the Vertex and available as either a 20 hp four or 30/40 hp six cylinder.

1908 November. Details of the 25-hp car.[11]

1911 Directory lists them as James & Browne Limited, 342 King Street, Hammersmith, London W and as motor car manufacturers. [12]

Only two of their cars are known to have survived. One was built in 1902 and the other in 1904. The 1902 model has belonged to the students of the City & Guilds College Union (Engineering Faculty of Imperial College) since 1934. The Note: James & Browne Car No. 39, constructed 1901, still runs in the Veteran Car Annual Run to Brighton.

List of Registrations

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. London Gazette, 27 May 1898
  2. The Autocar 1899/01/14
  3. The Autocar 1901/06/22
  4. The Autocar 1901/07/20
  5. The Autocar 1901/11/16
  6. The Autocar 1902/01/18
  7. The Autocar 1904/02/27
  8. The Autocar 1905/09/09
  9. The Autocar 1905/11/18
  10. The Automobile Vol. III. Edited by Paul N. Hasluck and published by Cassell in 1906.
  11. The Autocar 1908/11/14
  12. Post Office London Location Suburbs Directory, 1911.