Perks and Birch

Modified: 2009/06/11 15:41 by ctmadmin - Tagged as: Beeston, Coventry Transport Museum, Perks and Birch, Singer
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Perks, Birch and Duret demonstrate the 'motor-wheel'.

Perks and Birch were pioneering motor engineers once located in Coventry.

In 1899, E. Perks and F. Birch grabbed the attention of the motoring world with a concept design called the ‘Motor Wheel’. This took the form of an aluminum-alloy wheel which held a single-cylinder engine unit and fuel tank, and was designed to replace the front or rear wheel of a pedal-cycle, or tricycle.

Built at small works near the Foleshill Road, the motor-wheel was tested on a cycle and tricycle on the surrounding streets. The manufacturing rights were then bought by the Singer Cycle Company.

Staffordshire born Perks moved to Coventry in the 1880s, and like so many others found work in the thriving cycle industry. During the 1890s while working for the Beeston Motor Company, he became more involved with the development of motorised transport which ultimately brought him and Coventry born Birch together.

It’s not known exactly how many years that Perks & Birch worked for Singer, but Birch later opened up a cycle shop at Spon Street, and by 1933, established a motor garage at Conduit Yard.
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