Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Three-Speed Gear Syndicate

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March 1904.

Maker of three-speed gear hub, of Lenton, Nottingham.

This device had a complex background. It owed something to Henry Sturmey but in practical terms probably more to the mechanic William Reilly, whose designs were patented in the name of a colleague, James Archer, to avoid a restrictive contract Reilly had entered into with the Hub Two-Speed Gear Co.

1900 The gear was used in an experimental light car that Sturmey built in 1900 and was subsequently used for motorcycles for a few years but found its appropriate application in the cycle.

1903 Company formed by Frank Bowden to produce the three-speed gear hub later known better as the Sturmey-Archer, Bowden having obtained the rights to both the Reilly/Archer and Sturmey 3-speeds. Reilly's hub went into production as the first Sturmey-Archer 3-speed.

Post-1904 Sturmey appears to have had no significant involvement with the syndicate after 1904, when he sold it his foreign patent rights. [1]

1908 Became the Sturmey Archer Gear Co

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. [1] DNB