Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Rudge Cycle Co

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c1878. Rudge No. 5. Exhibit at Lakeland Motor Museum.
1880. Rudge Rotary Tricycle.
Dick Howell with 59-inch Rudge racer. From 'Bartleet's Bicycle Book'.
c1885. Rudge Rotary. A tricycle for the ladies' market. Exhibit at Glasgow Museum of Transport.

Rudge Cycle Co, of Coventry and other places.

1887 A public company Rudge Cycle Co was launched to acquire as a going concern Rudge and Co of Coventry, London, Manchester, Liverpool, Newcastle-on-Tyne, Leeds, Edinburgh, Canterbury, Dublin and Paris. It was claimed to be "the principal manufacturing company in the world for cycles of every description". The business had been formed some years ago by the amalgamation of Messrs Rudge, Messrs Haynes and Jefferis and Tangent no. 2 Works. George Woodcock was to retire from active management of the company. Harry Lawson would continue as sales manager and Walter Philips as works manager[1].

1887 The Rudge cross-frame safety was patented and sold as the Rocket.

1888 February. Stanley Exhibition of Cycles in Westminster. Military cycle. [2]

1888 The Triplet Tandem Quadricycle Direct Steering Roadster was first produced [3].

1889 Jan/Feb. Stanley Exhibition. Exhibited for-wheel and two-rider model. [4]

By 1889 the company was making safety bicycles with diamond pattern frames but with halved tubes for lightness named the Bicyclette. The company produced the Déesse brand for sale in France.

1890 Jan/Feb. The Stanley Exhibition of Cycles at the Crystal Palace. Bicycle illustrated (Rudge and Co). [5]

A Parcels Carrier and Parcels Express were made before 1892 as well as the Roadsculler and Triplet.

1892 The Coventry Rotary continued in production until 1892 [6].

1894 The company built the Giraffe safety bicycle, along with J. K. Starley and Co, under licence from Humber

1893 For many years all Marriott and Cooper machines had been made for them by Rudge Cycle Co, of which Walter Phillips was manager. In April, 1893, Phillips left the Rudge Co. and joined Humber, taking with him the Marriott and Cooper connection.

1894 The company merged with the Whitworth Cycle Co to form Rudge-Whitworth

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Daily News, 18 October 1887
  2. The Engineer of 24th February 1888 p161
  3. Rudge Motorcycle History [1]
  4. The Engineer of 22nd Feb 1889 p158
  5. The Engineer of 14th February 1890 p138
  6. Rudge Motorcycle History [2]
  • Rudge Motorcycle History [3]