Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Thomas Charles Willis Pullinger

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May 1903. Sunbeam 10-12 h.p. with T. C. Pullinger.

Thomas Charles Willis Pullinger (1867–1945)

1867 Q1. Born the son of Thomas P. Pullinger and his wife Marianne

1881 Thomas C. W. Pullinger living at Oakley Villa, Brampton Rd, Bexley (age 14 born St Pancras), a Scholar. With his parents Thomas P. (age 41 born London), a Retired Pay Master (RN) and Marianne (age 42 born London). Also his siblings Bertram W., Helen M., and Reginald H. Also two servants and two visitors. [1]

1891 Thomas Charles Pullinger living at 80 Bolt Street, Deptford (age 24 born Bloomsbury), a Cycle Maker. With his widow mother Marianne (age 52 born Clerkenwell), a Pianist. Also his siblings Bertram Wallace (age 17), also a Cycle Maker, Helen Maud (age 16), and Reginald Hugh (age 14). One servant. [2]

Married Aurélie Berenice Sitwell (1871–1956) and had twelve children

1894 Birth of his first daughter Dorothee Pullinger.

Pullinger had extensive workshop and management experience in the early cycle and automobile manufacturing industry in England and France

Worked in France for Darracq and then for Sunbeam and Humber

1902 Joined Sunbeam as the works manager

1902 Travelled to the United States to observe car factory design and the mass production methods in Detroit.[3]

By 1904 he was working for John Marston, Limited, Wolverhampton where he supervised the construction of Darracq cars by G. and J. Weir of Cathcart[4]

1904 Became works Manager, Humber Co., Beeston, Notts., (motors and cycles) and at Coventry (Motors only)

1907 Joined Arrol-Johnston, as the manager of their Paisley works.

Subsequently also MD of Galloway Engineering Co

1910 Helped his daughter Dorothee to gain her first job in the automotive field with Arrol-Johnston.

1910 Biographical information and image at Automotor Journal 19100305

1913 Directed the construction of a multi-storeyed glass and ferro-concrete factory for Arrol-Johnston at Heathhall, Dumfries. It was the first such factory in the United Kingdom, and embodied some of the new ideas he had seen in the USA.

The First World War began before the factory was in full production, and the company switched from manufacturing automobiles to producing aero-engines for the Ministry of Munitions.

1916 Oversaw the construction of a second modern "daylight" factory for Arrol-Johnston near Kirkcudbright. The factory was conceived of not just as a munitions factory staffed by women for the duration of the war, but as an engineering college for the female staff. The company aimed to attract educated young women, and set up a structured apprenticeship system to train women who wished to take up engineering as a profession while producing aero-engine components for the Heathhall works.

Worked with Frank Bernard Halford on improving and enlarging Beardmore's water-cooled aero-engine, producing the 230 hp (170 kW) Beardmore-Halford-Pullinger (BHP). This engine was further developed by Siddeley-Deasy as the Puma[5]

1945 Died in Kensington[6]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. 1881 Census
  2. 1891 Census
  3. Glasgow departures
  4. The Engineer 1904/04/29
  5. Flight Archive [1]
  6. BMD
  • Biography of Dorothee Pullinger, ODNB