Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 148,159 pages of information and 233,681 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.
1891 Draper's apprentice in London
c.1899 acquired Hearl and Tonks
1901 Cycle manufacturer, working on his own account, living in Aston with his parents.
1901 Having already been established in the bicycle trade, Downs entered the powered market at the Stanley Show. A model was exhibited that had a 3.5hp engine mounted above the front wheel driven by belt. Only one machine was sold and all the others were used by staff.
Produced Imperial motorcycles between 1901 and 1903 in Birmingham. Later the name was changed by adding New in front of it.
1901 It is also said that he created New Imperial in 1901 but no official record of the formation of his earliest company (Imperial Cycle Co) has been found. Official records do show the formation of a limited company in 1908, called the New Imperial Cycle Company.
1911 Living at 32 Bloomfield Road, Moseley, B'ham (age 33 born Nottingham), Manager Cycle Manufacturing and an Employer. With his wife Mabel Downs (age 36 born Wolstanton) and their children Marjorie Elizabeth Downs (age 7 born Birmingham) and Joan Mabel Downs (age 3 born Moseley).
1912 Established the New Imperial Motors Ltd to make motorcycles in Loveday Street, Birmingham.