Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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S. E. Saunders

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1920. Dunleary non self righting life boat.
1923. Beryl.

S.E. Saunders Ltd, boatbuilders of Goring on Thames, and later of East Cowes, Isle of Wight with offices at Bush House, London (1923)

See also Saunders-Roe Aircraft

1870s Samuel Edgar Saunders started his boat-building business at Goring-on-Thames[1].

1901 S. E. Saunders showed a boat at the Yachting Exhibition using his patented method of construction using several skins sewn together with copper wire, making for lightweight construction [2] - see Saunders Patent Launch Building Syndicate

By 1911 had moved his business and family to Cowes on the Isle of Wight

c.1911 Started construction of aircraft

1912 By this time, the company was operating as S. E. Saunders Ltd of East Cowes [3]

1912 In conjunction with T.O.M. Sopwith, designed and built what may have been the first amphibious flying boat which won the Mortimer-Singer prize, piloted by Harry Hawker.

1913 Constructed a life boat for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, building 33 lifeboats by 1929 [4].

1917 Patented an aeroplane frame design. [5]

1918 Patented a radiator for aircraft engines. [6]

1920 Details of the Motor Lifeboat 'Dunleary' made by S. E. Saunders [7]

1929 Exhibited the Cutty Sark, a 4-seater flying boat with all metal hull at the International Aero Exhibition at Olympia [8]

1929 Company bought by Alliott Verdon-Roe; name changed to Saunders-Roe.


Produced marine engines rated from 2.5 to 5 hp and these were mounted on a frame for stationary applications [9]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Times, 18 December 1933
  2. The Times, 5 February 1901
  3. The Times, 20 February 1912
  4. The Times, 19 December 1933
  5. The Engineer 1918/03/29
  6. The Engineer 1918/11/08
  7. The Engineer 1920/03/19 p298
  8. The Times, 18 July 1929
  9. A-Z of British Stationary Engines by Patrick Knight. Published 1996. ISBN 1 873098 37 5