Rudge

Modified: 2009/06/29 08:52 by ctmadmin - Tagged as: Coventrys Motorcycle Heritage, Harry J. Lawson, Rudge, Stanley Glanfield
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Rudge cycle workers pose for a photo during the 1880s

Rudge was a name given to both cycles and motorcycles once manufactured in Coventry.

Dan Rudge of Wolverhampton was one of the first in Britain to make cycles. When he died in 1880, the wealthy Coventry Solicitor George Woodcock purchased the business and transferred it to Coventry, renaming it The D. Rudge & Coventry Tricycle Company. This was changed to the Rudge Cycle Company in 1887 until 1894, when the business merged with the Whitworth Cycle Company of Birmingham to form Rudge-Whitworth Ltd.

In 1880, Rudge’s first cycles consisted of ‘Ordinary’ machines as well as tricycles, yet employee Harry J. Lawson became one of the first people to introduce a rear chain-driven model known as the ‘Bicyclette’, paving the way for many others to develop upon.

Unlike many Coventry cycle firms, Rudge did not enter the motor market until 1910, with their popular Rudge ‘Multi’ machine being released the following year. Rudge became main players in the motorcycle market, yet this was cut short in 1940 when they were bought out by the Hayes based Gramophone Company after falling into financial difficulties.
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