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 147,179 pages of information and 233,417 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Radcliffe Ward

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Michael Radcliffe Ward (c1859- ), electrical engineer and automotive pioneer

c.1859 Born, Alderley, Cheshire[1]

1879 Radcliffe Ward was the electrical engineer of the British Electric Light Co Ltd (Alderman Hubback, chairman). He was involved in experiments with electric light at the George's pier head, Liverpool and with ship-board illumination systems[2].

c.1881 Mr. Radcliffe Ward designed a Gramme machine with a very much larger bobbin and flat field magnets instead of circular ones, giving high electro-motive force. It could maintain 4 to 6 arc lights of 4000 nominal candle power each. For six lights, 12 horse power was required, the machine making 1000 revolutions per minute[3]

1888 A syndicate was formed for testing Radcliffe Ward's system of electric street-traction (the driver steered the vehicle which was powered from accumulators), particularly an electric bus and a van for the Postal Service in London; it was named Ward Electric Car Co[4].

1896 After successful trials, a Company was formed, the London Electric Omnibus Co, to introduce Ward's system in London and other cities; it was expected to be considerably cheaper than the established system of horse-drawn vehicles[5].

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. 1891 census
  2. The Electrician , 1 March 1879 [1]
  3. "Useful Information on Electric Lighting" by Killingworth Hedges, 3rd edition, January 1882 [2]
  4. The Electric Vehicle: Technology and Expectations in the Automobile Age, By Gijs Mom
  5. The Times, May 19, 1896