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British Industrial History

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Sidney Samuel Straker

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Sidney Samuel Straker (1861-1929), joint MD of Sidney Straker and Squire[1] See Straker-Squire

1861 Born in Lewisham, London

Educated at Kings College, London

1878-83 In the drawing office and workshops of Messrs Straker and Sons of Redhill, maker of printing machinery

1883 Studied in Frankfurt, Germany

1884 Engaged as the responsible engineer to Straker and Sons

1886 Went into business for himself as a mechanical and electrical engineer making dynamos and installing electric lighting.

1888 Proposed for membership of I Mech E

1891 Civil engineer, living in Lewisham with his parents, Charlis and Emma Straker, a stationer[2]

1892 Patented methods of grinding corn and pulverising grain and dry substances.

1894 Patented an improved method of lubricating bearings - presumably formed Straker, Whitworth and Co to exploit this invention.

1895 Became an associate of the Inst of Civil Engineers

1896 Patented method of evaporating water containing salts and for removing salts from coils in heating appliances

1897 Patented improvements in oil engines

1897 Patented improvements in gears for motor vehicles

1899 Patented improvement in steam omnibuses

1901 Civil and mechanical engineer, living in Bromley, Kent, with Minnie Straker 29, Kennett Straker 4, Kathleen Straker 2[3]

1901 Patent on steam vehicles

1901 Resigned as consulting engineer to Daimler

1901 Formed Straker Steam Vehicle Co

1901 Sidney Straker joined Owen, Brazil and Holborow which became Brazil, Holborow and Straker. The firm extended its Vulcan Iron Works in Bristol and opened new premises.

1904-07 President of the SMMT

1906 His connections (and only connections) with the automobile business at that time were Sidney Straker and Squire (previously Straker Steam Vehicle Co) and Brazil, Straker and Co (of Bristol, where he was a Director)[4]


1929/30 Obituary [5]

Sidney Straker was born in 1861 and received his early training at C. Straker and Sons engineering works and later as pupil with Dr. Werner von Siemens.

After occupying various executive positions with general engineering firms, he formed, in 1891, the Straker Steam Vehicle Co and subsequently, in 1905 he founded the firm of Sidney Straker and Squire - he remained Managing Director of the company and its successors until 1924 being also a director of Brazil, Straker and Co.

From 1904-7 he was President of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) and took a prominent part in the establishment of the Olympia Motor Show.

He died in December, 1929, at the age of 68.

He was elected a Member of the Institution of Automobile Engineers in 1918.


See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. The Times, Nov 25, 1913
  2. 1891 census
  3. 1901 census
  4. The Times, Apr 11, 1906
  5. 1929/30 Institution of Automobile Engineers: Obituaries‎
  • Mechanical Engineer Records
  • Civil Engineer Lists