Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Frederick William Bremer

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c1918. L to R. Fred Bremer, possibly H. J. Dowsing or Alfred Bremmer, and Tom Bates.

Frederick William Bremer (1872-1941) of Bremer Engineering Co

1872 September 12th. Born in Stepney, East London, the son of Gerhard Bremer, an immigrant boot-maker, and his wife Lydia

1881 Living at 86 Greenfield Street, Mile End Old Town: Lydia Bremer (age 52 born Cambridge), Widow. With her none children; George Bremer (age 31 born Stepney), Restaurant Proprietor; Alfred Bremer (age 30 born Stepney), Boot Maker; Arthur Bremer (age 28 born Stepney), Mirror Frame Maker; Walter Bremer (age 17 born Stepney), Cigarette Maker; Henry Bremer (age 16 born Stepney), Errand Boy; Frederick Bremer (age 8 born Stepney), Scholar; Louisa Bremer (age 22 born Stepney), Cashier at Restaurant; Alice Bremer (age 11 born Stepney), Scholar; Emily Bremer (age 7 born Stepney), Scholar.[1]

c.1885-1890 Fred saw articles in the Engineering magazine, in particular on the Priestman gas engine which had only been used for stationary applications up to that point. From these articles he developed his designs for a car.

By 1888 the family was living in Walthamstow where Fred built his design of car in a workshop at the back of the house. It used a single cylinder engine and a flywheel to keep the engine running between strokes. The fuel was paraffin.

1891 Living at 1 Connaught Road, Walthamstow: Lydia Brewer (age 64 born Cambridge), Widow. With her four children; Alfred Brewer (age 40 born Stepney), Boot Maker; Alice Brewer (age 21 born Stepney), Machinist Under Clothing; Frederick Brewer (age 18 born Stepney), Electrician; and Emily Brewer (age 18 born Stepney), Machinist Under Clothing.[2]

1891 Electrician. Later became a gas engine fitter, engineer and bicycle maker.

1892 First use of his car on the road. Built with his assistant Tom Bates

1894 Built a car with a 4-cylinder engine

1896 With his mentor Herbert John Dowsing took out 2 patents on driving gear for motor carriages and on electric lighting for a car.

1896 March. Patent. '6,417. H. J. Dowsing and F. Bremer, "New or improved driving gear for motor carriages."'[3]

1901 Living at 15 Albert Road, Walthamstow: Lydia Bremer (age 74 born Cambridge) with her two sons Alfred Bremer (age 50 born Stepney), Boot Maker and Frederick Bremer (age 29 born Stepney), Bicycle Maker Own account.[4]

By 1912 his business was Fred Bremer, Motor Manufacturer, 27 Grosvenor Park Road, Walthamstow.

1914 Report on the Crystal Palace Motor Museum. '...There is quite a representative group of the motor cars of the early "90's," the oldest being a very small car, built by Mr F. Bremer, Walthamstow, in 1892, a vehicle little bigger than a bath chair, with a Horizontal Engine, fitted with coil and accumulator ignition, the transmission being by belts and chains.'[5]

1916 April 22nd. Married Annie Garner where his surname is 'Brewer', possibly to lose the German connection during WWI

1917 His business was Bremer Engineering Co, motor manufacturers

1933 Presented his original car to Vestry House, Walthamstow

1941 Died; buried in Walthamstow

ca.1964 The car was restored by Trott and Boorer

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. 1881 Census
  2. 1891 Census
  3. The Autocar 1896/04/11
  4. 1901 Census
  5. The Scotsman - Thursday 16 April 1914