Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Theodore James Biggs

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Theodore James Biggs (1869-1959) of Eastmead and Biggs and many others

1869 Born in Frome, Somerset

1882-84 Educated at Taunton College

1885 Apprenticed E. S. Hindley and Sons

1891 Met Robert Samuel Lovelace, a blacksmith, and took over the Poole Foundry with the aim of producing the ‘Lovelace’ bicycle. Biggs was put in charge of design but no bicycles were ever made

1892 Joined Raleigh Cycle Co

1897 Joined A. C. Hills

1900-04 Partnership with Frederick Eastmead, a lift manufacturer from London, to design the Eastmead and Biggs motorcar. They manufactured three cars but lacked the funds to produce and market them in significant numbers and the business was sold in 1904.

c.1904 Re-joined Raleigh

1905 Joined Humber at Beeston

1906 Married May Clunies Ross

1908 Joined Humbers’ Coventry works where he designed the TT motorcar racers of 1906-7 and 1908, and later redesigned the Humber Cordner 3 speed gear for their Road Racer bicycle.

1909 Appointed Chief Designer for Arrol-Johnston and designed GP racers in 1910-11 and 1912 and the first engine with an aluminium crankcase and water jacket.

1912-14 Returned to Humber as Chief Engineer, designing the 10, 11 and 14 horsepower Humber cars and the 11 horsepower Brooklands racing car.

1914-22 Worked at F. E. Baker as Chief Designer and designed the Beardmore Precision Motorcycle

1922 Joined Aster Engineering

1927 Remained with the company when it merger with Arrol-Johnston and became Arrol-Aster.

1939 Joined Austin

1948-54 Worked with the Harden Tool and Gauge Co to design and patent the Harden-Biggs Conversion Axle.

1959 June. Died in Birmingham

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