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Help dating a Douglas photograph.

Started by jcjefferies, 14 Mar 2013 at 19:45

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From the design of the motorbike in the picture posted 2007 below in the forum can someone please suggest an approximate date?

Larger view

There is some disagreement exactly who the people in the photo are but it cannot be the ones suggested by a Douglas family member in the post as Edwin the man said to be in the photo died 1905 before the boy was born. Could the photo have been taken as early as 1905 as I thought Douglas did not start motorcycle production until 1907! I would expect such a "special" bike wherever possible would use existing bits so is around 1914 a more realistic date for the photo?

I have an interest in the Douglas company and the family because my father worked for Douglas in the mid 1920s and his cousin married a Douglas. 

Chris Jefferies


1913-14? Gland nuts on the inlet manifold, so later than 1912.




It has adopted the two-panel petrol tank and gas-welded front fork girders as used on 1916 models onward.


oil baron

Hi all

A couple of points that might help date the photo.  The front forks are of the later pattern introduced during WW1, that style of lightweight fork continued in to the thirties, but there is no anchor for a drum brake, in fact there appears to be no front brake at all!  The registration number if genuine, there is no good reason to believe it is not, such as an obvious made up sequence, may provide some sort of clue.  Registrations with the letters DD correspond to Gloucester, but from the internet it appears that the 3 letter registrations ADD were not introduced to January 1935, but that is not to say the motorcycle was built then. I would have thought the style of the peoples dress would tend to indicate the twenties rather than later.
Regards  SteveL
Steve L

Alan Cun

Hello All,

Dont know where but the pic shown is actually a half size Doug produced for I think it was for a chap from India for his son having purchased a full size one for himself. Maybe it is in Jeff Clews book. I think the factory produced 4 half size ones.

Look back through the LDMCC mag about 3 years and see my half size play bike made from TS CW and stationary engine bits.
regards Alan


Hi Chris,

Is the person really tall or is it a miniature Douglas!



Thanks for all the help which has confirmed my thought that the photo was much later than 1905. As a non expert looking at bike photos 1914 looked ok. I didn't think it would be during WWI as surly resources would not be wasted producing something like a miniature motorbike but it seems it could also be after the war.

The info posted in 2007 from a Douglas family member is obviously incorrect and the man cannot be Edwin Douglas who died 1905. Also the style of dress of the man to me does not look like what the joint owner of a large company would wear. This makes me think that the info in the original post from a 1960s journal may be correct which stated he was a foreman responsible for the building of the miniature motorcycle for an Indian client.


This is an old thread but I just came by this picture by accident searching for something else! This is from "The Graphic" June 8 1918 and it looks like the owner of ADD2 was Master E. Douglas