Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Quadrant Cycle Co

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c1885. Exhibit at Lakeland Motor Museum.
c1885. Quadrant Tricycle. Exhibit at the Hull Street Life Museum.
c1888. Quadrant Dwarf Roadster. Exhibit at the Hull Street Life Museum.
1890 February. Exhibit at the 1890 Stanley Cycle Show.
1899. Quadrant. Shaft drive. Exhibit at the Hull Street Life Museum.
1898. Lloyd's cross-roller gear, as fitted to the Quadrant Chainless Bicycle. From 'Bartleet's Bicycle Book' No. 47.
1898. Quadrant Ladies Cycle.
1898. Quadrant Ladies Cycle.
1898. Quadrant 1.5 h.p. This machine was motorised in 1900 by Arthur Taylor for the Cycle Depot, Redfield Road, Bristol. Engine marked Le Brutus. Exhibit at the Sammy Miller Museum.
1898. Quadrant 1.5 h.p. This machine was motorised in 1900 by Arthur Taylor for the Cycle Depot, Redfield Road, Bristol. Engine marked Le Brutus. Exhibit at the Sammy Miller Museum.
1898. Quadrant 1.5 h.p. This machine was motorised in 1900 by Arthur Taylor for the Cycle Depot, Redfield Road, Bristol. Engine marked Le Brutus. Exhibit at the Sammy Miller Museum.
April 1899.
Quadrant Model No.21
Quadrant Model No.21
c1900. Quadrant shaft drive cycle.
August 1902.
November 1902.
December 1902.
February 1903.
July 1903.
November 1903.
November 1903.
November 1903.
May 1904.
1904. Quadrant motorcycle 3 h.p. Exhibit at the National Motorcycle Museum.
December 1906. 14 h.p. Four-cylinder chassis.
March 1913.

of Sheepcote Street, Birmingham.

1883 After dissolution of the Lloyd Brothers partnership, Walter John Lloyd and William Priest carried on the businesses...'[1]

1886 Listed as the Quadrant Tricycle Co [2]

1889 Jan/Feb. 1889 Stanley Cycle Show. Spring wheel for a cycle. [3]

1890 Jan/Feb. 1890 Stanley Cycle Show. Illustrated. [4]

1894 Some ties between the company and the Puncture-Proof Tyre Co.[5]

1895 October 24th. Became a limited company. The company was registered to take over a private business carried on under the same title. Directors were: William Priest, Managing Director; Walter John Lloyd; Henry G. Priest; and William A. Priest [6] [7]

1896/7 Directory: Listed under cycles. More details [8]

1897 Exhibited a chainless cycle at the National Cycle Show[9]

1900 The firm moved into the world of motorcycles by fitting a Minerva engine to the down-tube of a heavy-duty bicycle. They then moved on to a forecar.

1901 The motorcycle side of the company was founded by W. L. Lloyd (W. J. Lloyd?) with the first models to his design being fitted with 211cc Minerva engines.

1900s William Priest and Tom Silver joined the business and helped it to evolve in to building motorcycles

1901 November. Details of the motor tricycle.[10]

1903 The company had its own design of engine mounted in a loop frame. This design had a single lever to control the throttle, ignition switch, spark advance and valve lifter. That year Tom Silver set a new Land's End to John O'Groats record on a 3hp model, which boosted sales greatly.

1903 The Quadrant was first brought out at the end of the year, as a single speed machine, and was one of several makes of forecar that enjoyed a run of popularity at that time.

For 1904, a two-speed model was available, gear selection being made by the engagement of friction clutches to V-belt pulleys situated in the region of the bottom bracket. A curious arrangement of two air-cooled engines mounted side-by-side was employed, these being connected by a leather faced clutch when load conditions required the use of both. Final drive was by chain.

From 1903 onward Quadrant produced their own engines in a wide range of capacities and types.

1904 A forecar model was added. This had twin 2.5hp engines. They were mounted side-by-side with a clutch in between, so one or both could be used.

1905 October. Details of the Lloyd change-speed gear. Lloyd is Chief Engineer of Quadrant.[11]

1907 Some financial difficulties and they were re-formed as the Quadrant Motor Co by Priest and Silver. Lloyd's new company, Lloyd Motor Engineering Co was incorporated this year.

1949 J. R. Mead, chartered accountant of Coventry, was appointed liquidator of the company; on the same day he was also appointed liquidator of[12]:

Extract from Bartlett. [13]

No. 47. “Quadrant" bicycle, fitted with Lloyd's "Cross-roller" gear, patent No. 6435/1897. Weight of complete machine 35 lbs. Presented by E. Figg. The rear portion of a frame is shown, separately, to demonstrate the mechanism of the gear; this was presented by A. R. Wayte, of Dublin.

This gear was a development of — but a great improvement upon — the bevel system of driving; when two "teeth," one driving and one driven, engaged each other, each was free to revolve on a fixed stud: this minimised the friction which is inseparable from any rigid mechanical method of conveying rotary drive round a right-angled corner. The hollow shaft, enclosing the usual chain-stay, revolved on ball-bearings. A letter from Walter John Lloyd, inventor of the gear, accompanies the exhibit. Mr. Lloyd (who is still alive) was an extremely clever engineer, and was responsible for the many ingenious innovations which were embodied in “Quadrant " cycles. Notable among these were the special method of mounting the front wheel of a tricycle, which helped to make the “Quadrant" of 1886-1890 such a popular

Mr. Lloyd also devised a very efficient spring-frame, while his back-pedaling band-brake* (fitted to exhibit No. 47) will repay careful examination. Note also the extension from the fork crown, strengthening each blade.*

Harry Chinn, of Birmingham — brother of the more famous Fred. Chinn — made several records on the Crystal Palace track, using a “Quadrant" racing bicycle with Lloyd's cross-roller gear. He ran third in the 50-miles National Championship, and covered 29 miles 465 yards in one hour (15th September, 1900).


National Cycle Collection exhibits:-

  • Tricycle
  • Tandem Tricycle

National Motorcycle Museum exhibits:-

  • 1904 Quadrant Forecar

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. [1] Gazette Issue 25258 published on the 10 August 1883. Page 27 of 52
  2. 1886 Stanley Cycle Show
  3. 1889 Jan/Feb. Stanley Exhibition
  4. The Engineer 1890/02/14 p139
  5. Puncture-Proof Tyre Co
  6. The Stock Exchange Year Book 1908
  7. Birmingham Daily Post - Tuesday 29 October 1895
  8. Peck's Trades Directory of Birmingham, 1896-97: Cycles
  9. The Engineer 1897/12/10
  10. The Autocar 1901/11/16
  11. The Autocar 1905/10/28
  12. The London Gazette 4 March 1949
  13. Bartleet's Bicycle Book
  • The Engineer of 22nd Feb 1889 p158
  • The British Motorcycle Directory - Over 1,100 Marques from 1888 - by Roy Bacon and Ken Hallworth. Pub: The Crowood Press 2004 ISBN 1 86126 674 X
  • [2] Ian Chadwick's motorcycle web site
  • [3] Yesterday's Antique Motorcycles web site
  • [4] UK Motorbike Web Directory and Search Engine
  • Coventry’s Motorcycle Heritage by Damien Kimberley. Published 2009. ISBN 978 0 7509 5125 9