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British Industrial History

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John Brown (1850-1911)

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John Brown F.R.S. of Belfast was an eminent scientist and probably the first owner of a motor car in Ireland.

c.1850 Born[1]

1887 John Brown Junior, Associate of IEE, of Edenderry, Belfast

1896 He purchased a Serpollet which arrived at his residence at Longhurst, Dunmurray, Belfast on the 6th March 1896. This car was a coke-fired steel-tyred car and weighed 27 cwt.

1901 he had an electric vehicle built

1902 he took delivery of an Oldsmobile

1901 Associate Member of IEE

He invented the "viagraph", a method of recording the inequalities in the road surface[2]

1904 BROWN, John, F.R.S., Longhurst, Dunmurry, near Belfast. Is President of the Irish Roads Improvement Association. Cars: Oldsmobile, 7-h.p. electric, built by himself. Hobbies: Yachting, fishing. Principal aim in furthering automobilism: Improvement of roads, to which end he invented the Viagraph, an instrument for testing and comparing the unevenness of road surfaces. Claims to he the pioneer motorist of Ireland, having imported a Serpollet car in March, 1896. Clubs: Royal Ulster Yacht, North of Ireland Yacht, A.C.G.B. & I. [3]

1911 Died[4]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Ireland, Civil Registration Deaths Index, 1864-1958
  2. The Times Nov 02, 1911
  3. Motoring Annual and Motorist’s Year Book 1904
  4. The Times Nov 02, 1911