1898 Triumph decided to extend its own production to include motorcycles and by 1902, the company had produced its first motorcycle - a bicycle fitted with a Belgian-built engine. In 1903, as its motorcycle sales topped 500, Triumph opened motorcycle production at its unit in Germany. During its first few years producing motorcycles, the company based its designs on those of other manufacturers. In 1904, Triumph began building motorcycles based on its own designs and in 1905 produced its first completely in-house designed motorcycle. By the end of that year, the company had produced more than 250 of that design.
1902 Branched out into making Triumph motorcycles at their works in Much Park Street. At first these used bought-in engines but the business took off and they soon started making their own and, in 1907, expanded into a new factory in Priory Street, taking over the premises of a spinning mill.
1902 The first Triumph motorcycle was known as the No. 1, a converted fitted with a Belgian-made 2.25bhp Minerva engine on the front tube. At the time, internal combustion technology was more advanced in continental Europe than it was in the UK, and Mauritz Schulte, the designer (and co-owner of the Triumph Cycle Company), happened to be a perfectionist. The Minerva was felt to be the best engine for the purpose.
1907 After the company opened a larger plant, production reached 1,000 bikes. Triumph had also launched a second, lower-end brand, Gloria, (see below), produced in the company's original plant.
World War I. The outbreak of World War I proved a boost for the company as production was switched to support the Allied war effort. More than 30,000 motorcycles - among them the Model H Roadster aka the "Trusty Triumph," often cited as the first modern motorcycle - were supplied to the Allies. Major orders for the 550cc Model H came from the British Army during World War I and, by 1918, they were Britain's largest motorcycle maker.
Bettmann and Schulte fell out after the war, with Schulte wishing to replace bicycle production with automobiles.
1919 Mauritz Schulte left Triumph after conflicting opinions with Siegfried Bettman, with a 'Golden Handshake' of £15,000. Schulte believed that Triumph should concentrate on car production, Bettman strongly disagreed. The successor to Mauritz Schulte as General Manager, was Colonel Claude Vivian Holbrook, who worked for the War Office during World War 1 as a motorcycle procurement officer.
c1921 Triumph Motor Co formed
By the mid-1920s Triumph had grown into one of Britain's leading motorcycle and car makers, with a 500,000 square feet plant capable of producing up to 30,000 motorcycles and cars each year.
In 1932, Triumph sold off its bicycle manufacturing facility to Raleigh.
1933 Triumph had been struggling financially, and Bettmann had been forced out of the chairman's spot and he retired completely in 1933.
1936 The company hit financial problems however and in 1936 the Triumph motorcycle businesses were sold to Jack Sangster of Ariel to become the Triumph Engineering Co.
Source: Graces Guide
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