Bettmann was also Mayor of Coventry
Siegfried Bettmann (1863-1951) was one of the co-founders of the Triumph Cycle Company in Coventry, along with Mauritz J. Schulte.
German-born Bettmann first came to England in the early 1880s, working in London for several years. Here he met fellow German Mauritz Schulte and they subsequently became interested in the cycle industry.
In 1889 they both established the Triumph
Cycle Company in Coventry - the home of the British cycle trade. Here they soon began marketing their own 'Triumph' safety cycles of high quality.
As the business began to grow, new extensive works were built at Priory Street in 1894, and the following year, Bettmann married Annie Meyrick. Together they made a home in the desirable Stoke Park area of Coventry and it was also around this time that Bettmann became a British Citizen.
In 1902, Bettmann and Schulte decided to begin the manufacture of motorcycles to add to their already successful line in cycles.
Bettmann became evermore involved in local politics and in 1913; he became Mayor of Coventry - the first non-British subject ever to do so. The outbreak of War the following year saw many friends and associates turn against him due to his German roots, although he remained loyal to his adopted country, supplying many 'Trusty Triumph' motorcycles for War service.
In 1917, Schulte left the company and Captain Holbrook replaced him. By 1923 Triumph began making cars also but this financially stretched the company and ten years later, Bettmann retired. However in 1935 he formed a consortium and purchased the cycle manufacturing arm of Triumph as the motorcycle side was salvaged by Ariel's Jack Sangster.
By the outbreak of WWII, Bettmann decided to completely retire and spent his final years with his wife at their home 'Elm Bank'. Bettmann died in 1951 aged 88.