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British Industrial History

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Alfred Frederick Bird

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Sir Alfred Frederick Bird, first baronet (1849–1922), food manufacturer, was born in Birmingham, on 27 July 1849, the elder son of Alfred Bird, FCS (bap. 1811, d. 1878), and his wife, Elizabeth Lavinia Ragg

On leaving King Edward's School, Birmingham in 1867 he entered his father's business, and helped to launch Bird's blancmange powder, in fourteen flavours.

As a youth he had been a good athlete, and was given a penny-farthing bicycle on his nineteenth birthday; later, he broke the record for tricycling from Land's End to John o' Groats.

In 1875 he married Eleanor Frances, eldest daughter of Robert Lloyd Evans, a tobacconist, of Handsworth. They had four sons and two daughters. Three years later Alfred senior died, and Bird ran the firm jointly with his father's younger brother, who not long afterwards retired and died.

1894 Director of Rudge-Whitworth. Of The Firs, Moseley. [1]

A pioneer motorist, he became a founder member of the Royal Automobile Club (RAC) in 1897.

In 1900 Bird and two of his four sons, Robert and Geoffrey, registered Alfred Bird and Sons, with authorised capital of £300,000

1904 BIRD, Alfred F., Indon Grange. Solihull, Warwickshire. Cars: 4.5 h.p. Renault, 6 h.p. Panhard, 15 h.p. Panhard, 24-h.p. Mors, 18-h.p. Mercedes, 18-h.p. Mors. Hobbies: Mountaineering and cycling. Aims at touring and learning all about the beauties of one's own country; promotion of communication between town and country. Thinks the development of motoring may result in a great improvement in the making of enlarged roads, and the general condition of carriageways. Clubs: Devonshire, Alpine, Constitutional, Conservative (Birmingham) and A.C.G.B. & I. [2]

He was knocked down by a car, while crossing Piccadilly, and died on the 7th of February 1922, in St George's Hospital, Knightsbridge, London.

1903 Bio Note [3]

BIRD, ALFRED F.- Is a successful Birmingham manufacturer. He was well known as an amateur cyclist, and was the winner of several races, at one time holding the twenty-four hours' record. He is an alpine climber of considerable experience, and a member of the Alpine Club. In the early days of motoring in England he took to a Bollee. He then acquired Mr. Rolls' 6 h.p. Panhard; later, a 12 h.p. Panhard, and then a 24 h.p. Mors, and now a 15 h.p. Panhard. He was for some time Chairman of the Races Committee of the A.C.G.B.I., which he joined as a Founder Member, on December 15th, 1897. He has been a member of the Club Committee since August 9th, 1898. He was one of the guarantors in the early days of the Club, and is a debenture holder.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Birmingham Daily Post, Monday, November 5, 1894
  2. Motoring Annual and Motorist’s Year Book 1904
  3. 1903/02/26 Automobile Club Journal