Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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D. Rudge and Co

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D. Rudge and Co, of Coventry, manufacturers of cycles

1880 George Woodcock, a well known Coventry solicitor, bought Dan Rudge's Wolverhampton business from his widow, amalgamated it with the Tangent and Coventry Tricycle Co as Rudge and Co, and installed Harry Lawson as manager. Other people recruited were Charles Vernon Pugh as Director, William H. Nelson as Works Manager, Victor A. Holroyd as sales manager and Sidney Smith as Accountant.

1880 Woodcock relocated the combined business to Ariel Works, Trafalgar Street, Coventry[1] (a short distance away), at a time when the watch trade in Coventry was declining.

Harry Lawson persuaded the Rudge Company to make a number of examples of his design of "Bicyclettes" but limited demand led to commercial failure[2].

1885 Rudge took over manufacture of the Coventry Rotary which continued in production until 1892 [3].

1886 The Royal Crescent tricycle was made for about three years. It was introduced in Roadster, Ladies and Racer forms. Also the Royal Crescent tandem tricycle [4].

1887 A public company Rudge Cycle Co was launched to acquire as a going concern Rudge and Co of Coventry, London, Manchester, Liverpool, Newcastle-on-Tyne, Leeds, Edinburgh, Canterbury, Dublin and Paris. It was claimed to be "the principal manufacturing company in the world for cycles of every description". The business had been formed some years ago by the amalgamation of Messrs Rudge, Messrs Haynes and Jefferis and Tangent no. 2 Works. George Woodcock was to retire from active management of the company. Harry Lawson would continue as sales manager and Walter Philips as works manager[5].

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Rudge Motorcycle History [1]
  2. Bicycle: The History by David V. Herlihy, Yale University Press, 2006
  3. Rudge Motorcycle History [2]
  4. Rudge Motorcycle History [3]
  5. Daily News, 18 October 1887