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Bown Manufacturing Company of Aeolus Works, Summer Lane, Birmingham. (Near Snow Hill)
Bown were motorcycles produced from 1914 to 1923.
1862 The factory was established by William Bown and the
marque is related to Aeolus, Aberdale
and Levis. The Aeolus name was trademarked in 1877 and used extensively on bicycle components, including ball bearings for which he held a patent, one of many (1). Towards the turn of the century the commpany had over 1000 employees. W. Bown died in 1900 and a family member took over.
1913 According to some sources Bown was associated with Aeolus motorcycles as early as 1913.
1914 The machines were very basic and powered by a 269cc Villiers
two-stroke engine with front-mounted magneto ignition. Single or two-speeds
were available, both with belt final-drive. Petroil lubrication and Druid
forks were used. A 2hp Precision
engine was available as an option.
1915 That model continued and then all production ceased.
1921 Late that year four models were produced - two two-strokes and two
four-strokes. One of the two-strokes was little changed since before the
war, with a 269cc Villiers
engine and flywheel magneto. The other, listed as a Bownian, was
smaller and simpler. Of the four-strokes, one had a 348cc Blackburne
engine driving a three-speed gearbox and the other had a 293cc JAP
engine and two speeds.
From 1922 to 1924 William Bown assembled small Villiers-powered
machines of 147cc capacity, and also 248cc and 348cc JAP
and Blackburne powered
1922 Only the models with Villiers
engines were listed.
1923 Just one model, with a 147cc Villiers
engine was available. It was to be Bown's last year.
Note: Taken over by Aberdale
in the 1930's, Bown is associated with Aberdales from 1946 to 1949 and Levis from
1950 to 1958. From 1950 to 1958 the Bown marque was associated with
autocycles of 98cc and 123cc with engines by Villiers,
and after 1955 they also built Sachs-powered
Bown of Tonypandy, Wales
Bown were motorcycles produced from 1950 to 1957.
Until 1949 they built the autocycle
for Aberdale of London, and
in that year adopted the Bown name.
1950 Having revised their autocycle design, they used a 99cc Villiers
2F engine with a cradle frame fitted with blade girder forks and
enclosing side panels below the petroil tank.
1951 The firm added a small motorcycle to their list. It had a 99cc two-speed
Villiers 1F engine,
neatly fitted into a frame with duplex downtubes and tubular girder forks.
1952 Those two models were joined by their Tourist Trophy which
was fitted with a 122cc Villiers
10D engine and telescopic forks.
1953 The range continued in that form.
1954 Production stopped.
1956-1957 The name returned for only two years. It was used for an imported
German moped with a 47cc Sachs
1888 February. Stanley Exhibition of Cycles in Westminster. W. Bown components
for cycle manufacture.
1. William Bown did not invent the ball bearing. This laurel goes to Leonardo da Vinci, who created it to solve one of the problems on his helicopter.
Sources: Grace's Guide, Wikipedia et al.
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