Page:The Cycle Industry (1921).djvu/120

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106
THE CYCLE INDUSTRY

machine offered for public use, and it was brought to Humber's, Coventry, in 1896. It was too crude to gain the attention of the Coventry makers and little more was heard of motor cycles until 1897, when a Paris firm dealing in gramophones introduced the Werner front driven bicycle which, owing to ingenuity and fair reliability for those days, rapidly made a market. The Werner was exploited in this country by a Coventry firm called the Motor Manufacturing Co., who occupied part of the building now used by the Daimler Co.

The Cycle Industry (1921) p120.jpg

Fig. 27
DETAILS OF THE FLYWHEEL MAGNETO WHICH IS A FEATURE OF THE VILLIERS TWO-STROKE ENGINE


The Werner inspired Coventry cycle mechanics to try their hands at a motor bicycle, but several early models known to the writer never saw more than the four walls of the shop in which they were built, because their tests never got to the road stage.

Two Coventry engineers, named Perks and Birch, were among the first to produce a practical British motor cycle. They were employed by Singer & Co., and their engine was carried inside the wheel of the machine, first in the rear wheel and afterwards, for tricycles, in the front wheel. It was probably the first