Today in Motorcycle History

Knight of Farnham

J. H. Knight built a "Steam Road Carriage" in 1868, and in 1894 built a steam-powered tricycle. In 1896 he displayed a petroleum-engined three-wheeler at the Crystal Palace Show which had a two-speed gear and a single front-wheel with tiller steering. This machine was produced in limited quantities before being converted to four wheels.

In 1895 John Henry Knight was fined by Surrey County Council for travelling at a speed in excess of twice the speed limit. He was doing 9 mph in a 4 mph zone. He was also guilty of failing to have a man walking in front with a red flag. After travelling some 150 miles on public roads, it was prevented from further progress by the authorities.

Also in 1895 he wrote to The Times about his visit with Panhard & Levassor in Paris.

Knight was instrumental in the introduction of motorised vehicles to Britain. A founding member of the Automobile Club of Great Britain, the first ever "club run" was hosted at his Barfield home. He died in 1917, aged 70.

One of his original machines is in the collection of the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu UK.

Sources: Graces Guide,

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