Author Topic: Douglas History  (Read 5176 times)

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Offline alwyn

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Douglas History
« on: 18 Jan 2006 at 00:25 »
Hi all,
The following passages are taken from the preamble to an article about the history of the Douglas Motorcycle Company found linked to bristol.history.com

The rise and fall of the Douglas Motorcyle Company, makers of world beating machines and importers of the Vespa scooter.
 
Little is known about the early life of the Douglas brothers, William and Edward, apart from the fact that the family lived in Greenock and was of the Douglas Hamilton clan, which accounts for the Scotsman badge and the tartan tank bordering used on some of their motor cycles manufactured during later years.
 
William was asked to come to Kingswood on the eastern outskirts of Bristol, to repair boot-making machinery… and was joined by Edward. When they founded the Douglas Engineering Company, with a borrowed capital of £10, neither could have known that they were destined to play a leading role in the birth of an important new industry.
 
The year was 1882, when both the car and the motor cycle were unknown. Their initial venture into business was the establishment of a blacksmith’s shop; with the borrowed £10 they bought a portable forge, a vice and a grindstone—surely the very barest of necessities. Yet the £10 was repaid in full within three months.
 
Soon they were able to set up a small foundry and from this they supplied boot and shoe lasts to the footwear trade. They obviously had a good knowledge of their customers’ requirements for they became well-known locally for their ability to produce castings of high quality.

Douglas started out making drain-covers and lamp-posts but in 1907, thanks to Bedminster designer Joseph Barter, the company fitted a unique horizontal twin-cylinder engine on to a standard cycle frame. It was the start of a legend. The first model was a bit primitive but by 1910, Douglas had started racing. In 1912, Douglas machines took the TT and Grand Prix of France titles and the company’s 20 year domination of the sport had begun. By 1923, Douglas machines held 150 British and world records.


This is an invaluable resource about the history of Douglas. To visit follow this link << http://weldgen.tripod.com/id62.html >> 

Alwyn
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