Bayliss, Thomas & Co.

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Thomas Bayliss, co-founder of B,T & Co.

Bayliss, Thomas & Company first began as cycle manufacturers, before later becoming involved with motor manufacturing in Coventry.

The company was established in 1874 by Thomas Bayliss, John Thomas and John Slaughter, all former workers of the Coventry Machinists Company - the first company to make cycles in the City.

Bayliss, Thomas & Co.'s first cycles, of the 'Ordinary' type, were sold under the 'Excelsior' name, a name later used in the sale of their motorcycles and tricycles. These came about in 1896 - some of the first to be developed and marketed in the country at the Lower Ford Street works.

In 1909 the company reformed as the Excelsior Motor Cycle Co., and they began building machines fitted with their own 3½ hp engines.

In 1919, the business was taken over by R. Walker & Sons and all production moved to Kings Road in Tyseley, Birmingham. Motorcycle makers Francis-Barnett then took over the vacant works at Lower Ford Street. At around the same time The Excelsior Motor Co. had also began producing motorcars, under the 'Bayliss-Thomas' name, split between Birmingham and a new site acquired in Coventry until 1927.

The Excelsior motorcycle continued to be built in Birmingham right the way through to 1965.

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