Early Days for Royal Enfield 1851 to 1900



1851 - 1900
Early days
  1900 - 1930
  First motorbikes
1931 - 1950
Bullet & Madras Motors
1951 - 1970
The legend is forged
1971 - 2010
The Bullet comes home

 

Early Days

In 1851 George Townsend built a successful needle-making mill, Givry Works, in the small village of Hunt End, England. About 30 years later, George Townsend Jr. chanced upon an invention in his neighbourhood – a bicycle saddle that only used one length of wire in its framework. The patenting and marketing of the 'Townsend Cyclists' Saddle & Spring' was the beginning of a new age for the company. 
As well as sewing needles and bicycle parts, Townsend slowly began to produce bicycles. The 'Townsend Cycle' was reputed for its sturdy frame, a characteristic that all Enfield bikes would follow.

 

By 1890, the company was in financial trouble, and financiers brought in Albert Eadie and R.W. Smith. Two years later, the firm had been re-named ‘The Eadie Manufacturing Company Limited.' They soon received an order for precision rifle parts to be supplied to the Royal Small Arms Factory in Enfield, Middlesex. To celebrate the contract, Eadie and Smith named their first new design of bicycle, the ‘Enfield.' 

By 1899 the first mechanical vehicle was advertised by the, again renamed, 'Enfield Cycle Company.' A tricycle and quadricycle were available, both powered by a De Dion 1.5 hp engine. The Enfield quadricycle, though it had its share of mechanical troubles, was awarded a silver medal in the 1,000-miles road trial of 1900, a race organized by the Automobile Club of Great Britain and Ireland.