Lanchester, F. W. (Frederick William), 1868-1946

In 1888 Lanchester began work as Assistant Works Manager for the Forward Gas Engine Company in Saltley, Birmingham. He became Works Manager in 1889, resigning the post in 1892 to visit America. Patents taken out by Lanchester during this time remained his own property. On his return from the United States in 1893, Lanchester set up a small business in Birmingham to make dust proof bearings for cycles to his own design. The venture was unsuccessful however, and was forced to close. From 1894 he worked at the development of his first motor car assisted by his brothers. In 1899 he formed the Lanchester Engine Company, and by 1901 the first motor car was in production.

Lanchester was now able to combine his twin interests of flight and aircraft with cars and manufacturing and in 1907 and 1908 he published a two volume work on aerial flight, known as Aerial Flight . In 1908, Lanchester joined Birmingham Small Arms as a consultant engineer and technical advisor, an association with them and with Daimler Company Ltd which lasted for 28 years. From 1908 he became involved with both the motor car and the aeronautical fields at a national level giving papers at many institutions. From 1909 he was on the Advisory Committee for Aeronautics where he worked on the military uses of aircraft, resigning in 1920. From 1911 he had gradually withdraw from the day to day management of the Lanchester Engine Company and was able to take up consultancies with many other organisations. In 1925 he formed Lanchester's Laboratories Ltd to give himself better research facilities and premises to carry out his consultancy work. The company produced radios and loud speakers for sale.


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