Daimler and Lanchester
History and Models
logo 1896 to the Present

 Early Years

Simms then started to build the boats on Eel Pie Island for use on the Thames, using the imported Daimler engines to power them. In 1895, a businessman named Harry J. Lawson saw an opportunity to build cars using the Daimler engine and duly bought up all the patents he could, including the rights to the Daimler engine from Simms. The only problem at the time was that, as the law stood, any vehicle on a public highway had to have a person carrying a flag to precede it. This was a legacy from the steam carriage days, but Lawson had influential friends and in 1896 managed to have the law repealed, so that vehicles could travel at 12 mph.

Motor Boat
Daimler Powered Motor Boat
red flag
Red Flag which had to precede all vehicles until the law was reformed in 1896 thanks to Lawson
Harry J. Lawson 1852-1925

Lawson formed and floated The Daimler Motor Company in London in 1896 with Manufacturing at Coventry.
Lawson organised the 1896 Emancipation Day drive now commemorated annually by the London to Brighton Run on the same course.

First London - Brighton run through Reigate (Emancipation Day drive)