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Perry, Thornton, and Schreiber

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July 1908.

of the Westminster Bridge Road Garage

of Long Acre, London

1907 Mentioned as Perry, Thornton, and Schreiber, Limited, Longacre, London.[1]

1907 'Perry, Thornton, and Schreiber, Limited. The exclusive British agents for Ford Cars are exhibiting one special show chassis and five cars, two of them being fitted with two seated bodies, one with a three-seated body, one with a four-seated body and one landaulette.'[2]

1907 October. 'We are informed that Mr. Schreiber has dissolved partnership with the firm of Perry, Thornton, and Schreiber (Limited), 117-119 Long Acre, W.C. The firm, who will in future be known as Perry and Thornton (Limited), still bold the exclusive concession for Ford cars in the British Isles. They report that the guaranteed number these cars actually sold and in use up the end September last was 15,128 of which 9,454 are the Ford Junior. The cars are low priced, and very economical, owing to their lightness.'[3]

1907 ‘A particularly interesting exhibition is that of Messrs Perry, Thornton and Schreiber Ltd, 117 Long-acre W.C. who are showing several new model Ford cars on their stand, No 93 (Main Hall). Like the Winton and Buick, the smart little Ford hails from the United States and is made by a firm whose yearly output is truly colossal in point of numbers. As a matter of fact, the Ford Company claim to be able to turn out from their factory no fewer than 45 complete 15-h.p. vehicles every day. The whole thing is so stupendous that one is naturally inclined to ask: How is it done? There can be only one answer to that – Standardisation, and it must not be forgotten that we in England – as well as our friends on the Continent, do not, and probably never will – understand the meaning of the word Standardisation as it is understood by American manufacturers. The Ford Junior is a cheap car – a very cheap car for its power – but it is so well built that the makers are prepared to guarantee it against all defects in workmanship and material for a period of twelve months. Among the many successes achieved by the car in open competition this year may be mentioned the Irish trials when it secured a gold medal for reliability. The Ford chassis is one that reveals in a forceful manner how few are the parts that constitute it, and yet everything that is necessary is there but nothing more. Everything is so simply arranged that any intelligent novice could master the control and direction of the vehicle in an hour or so. The exhibition includes a 15-h.p. polished chassis, a 15-h.p. two-seater, selling at £165; a two-seated 15-h.p. side-entrance car, painted dark green, offered at £225; and a 15-h.p. launderette. All the vehicles are fitted with a four-cylinder, vertical, water-cooled engine, having a bore and stroke of 3 and three quarter inch by 3 and three eighth inch respectively, and improved two-speeds and reverse planetary gear, giving a direct drive to the live axle. The frame is of pressed steel, very light and strong, whilst the suspension is by full end semi-elliptic springs fore and aft. A novel feature is the steering, which consists of a miniature epicyclic gear, contained in a brass boss on top of the steering-wheel, thus making the steering irreversible and adding to the ease of control whilst any play can be taken up by simply turning a brass cap. The mechanical features of the 1908 models are identical with the 1907 type, except that they are larger in proportion and heavier, and the wheel base has been considerably lengthened so as to allow for the fitting of a side-entrance body.’[4]

1908 ‘Recently at the Motor Club in London occurred the annual banquet by Perry, Thornton & Schreiber, the Ford representatives for Great Britain, to the Ford dealers of that country. The event followed the Olympia show, at which the Ford motor company had a large exhibit. During the evening a telegram was received from Henry Ford, reading, “Best wishes for a good dinner and a prosperous season in Great Britain.”'

During 1908, Perry, Thornton & Schreiber moved into new premises in the Westminster Bridge Road; there were just seven employees – four men and three boys.

When the famous Model T went into production in October 1908, eight of the first batch to be built were shipped to London for the new car’s world show debut on Perry, Thornton & Schreiber stand at London’s Olympia motor exhibition.

The partnership split up in 1909 - some say acrimoniously - as Percival Lea Dewhurst Perry (KBE) went on to become the 1st Baron Perry. He was granted the Freedom of London on 18 January 1921. He was chairman of Ford Motor Company for 20 years from its incorporation in 1928. He was made CBE in 1917, knighted in 1918, raised to the peerage in 1938 and died on 17 June 1956 in the Bahama Islands.

Bernard Martin Thornton struggled on alone but in 1911 came the formal announcement in the London Gazette that the company was thereafter struck off and dissolved.[5]

See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. Leominster News and North West Herefordshire & Radnorshire Advertiser - Friday 31 May 1907
  2. American Register - Saturday 19 October 1907
  3. London Evening Standard - Tuesday 22 October 1907
  4. The Westminster Gazette of 16 November 1907
  5. London Gazette Publication date:5 May 1911 Issue:28491 Page:3464