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 148,111 pages of information and 233,643 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

National Steam Car Co

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of Queen Street, Chelmsford

of 16 St. Helens Place, London, E.C.2.(1922)

1903 Thomas Clarkson designed a steam bus for Torquay

1905 Steam bus for London

1909 Company established by Thomas Clarkson (who was previously the MD of Clarkson and Capel Steam Car Syndicate for six years) to run steam buses in competition with London General Omnibus Co

Known for their thimble tube boilers

1911 Public company formed[1] as National Steam Car (1911) Ltd to replace the previous company.

1912 Walter Selby Coles is Chairman

1912 The company was estimated by a competitor to have 27 buses in operation[2].

1913-1917 For a list of the models and prices of Steam Motor Wagons, Tractors and Ploughs etc. see the 1917 Red Book

1919 A Chelmsford and District steam-powered omnibus of the National Steam Car Company was used for a wireless transmission between a vehicle and a fixed base station by Marconi's Wireless Telegraph Co[3]

1919 In the face of rising costs and without the ability to increase revenue to the same extent, the company decided to shut its services in London. The company reached agreement with the LGOC to withdraw from bus operation in London, and steam bus services ceased later that year. The name of the company was changed to National Omnibus and Transport Co[4]

1922 The company was still in existence as the directors were listed as: J. S. Browne, A. Maude, W. S. Coles G. E. Sendell, T. Clarkson, and K. P. Hawksley, Sec. B. Smith. Manufactured Steam omnibuses, coke fuel motors and electrically welded wheels.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Times Feb 28, 1928
  2. The Times, Feb 13, 1912
  3. The Engineer 29 February 1952
  4. The Times, Jan 01, 1920
  • Steam Engine Builders of Suffolk, Essex and Cambridgeshire by Ronald H. Clark. Published 1950 by The Augustine Steward Press