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British Industrial History

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Shaw were motorcycles produced from 1898 to 1905, in Crawley

The first machine was built by Sydney Ambrose Shaw, the son of Ambrose Shaw who had been building bicycles in Crawley, West Sussex, since the 1880s.

This was a novel design that fitted the engine behind the bottom bracket and in front of the rear wheel where it was clamped to the chain-stays. A counter-shaft, mounted above and behind the crankcase, was driven by chain to drive the rear wheel by friction roller. In other forms the drive from the counter-shaft was by chain. Footrests were fitted in preference to pedals and the engines used were either Minerva or Kelecom.

1901 Mentioned. The Shaw motor bicycle.[1]

1902 A Shaw ridden by Stanley A. East in the 1902 Automobile Club Annual Motorcycle Meeting

1903 Advertisement for secondhand Shaw Motor Cycle with 2.75 h.p. engine. chain driven.[2][3]

1904 Advertisement for secondhand Shaw Motor Cycle with 2.75 h.p. De Dion pattern engine.[4]

1905 They showed a tricycle that differed in that the two rear wheels had the passenger seat between them, but facing the rear.

1907 Advertisement for secondhand motorcycle. 'De Dion Shaw Motor Bicycle, 2.75 h.p.'[5]

The name then disappeared but resurfaced much later when the firm imported a bicycle-attachment engine from Shaw of Galesburg, Kansas, until 1922.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Queen - Saturday 05 January 1901
  2. Western Daily Press - Friday 02 October 1903
  3. Western Daily Press - Thursday 01 October 1903
  4. Surrey Comet - Saturday 24 September 1904
  5. Western Daily Press - Wednesday 15 May 1907
  • The Encyclopedia of the Motorcycle by Peter Henshaw. Published 2007. ISBN 978 1 8401 3967 9
  • 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
  • [1] Cyber Motor Cycles web site