Whitehouse collection

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

The collection contains the papers of Frederick Charles Whitehouse, who was involved in the development of the Shilovsky Gyrocar, a two-wheeled gyroscopically balanced vehicle. The papers include engineering training materials, notes, exam papers and handbooks.

There are three series: [1] Draft notes; [2] Examination papers; [3] Handbooks.

Administrative / Biographical History

Frederick Charles Whitehouse was born in Birmingham in 1885, and attended the Central Technical Day School.

He worked for Morris Commercial Motors, Soho Works, Birmingham for many years as a designer (he is listed as a "motor designer" on the 1911 census), and worked on the Morris Commercial Director bus, which was one of the first buses used by Birmingham Corporation for the public transport fleet. He was involved in the design of the Shilovsky (Wolseley) Gyrocar in 1912. It was designed by the Russian Count Dr Peter Schilovski and was built after Schilovski approached Wolseley, but was destroyed after WWII.

Whitehouse allegedly helped to design the caterpillar tracks on the motorised sledges used by Captain Scott on his last expedition, and worked on the design of tank tracks in the WWI. He also designed and built a side-car for his motorbike so that his wife could accompany him on trips.

In 1939 Whitehouse had a paper published in the Journal of the Institute of Petroleum, called "Lubrication of the Modern Commercial Vehicle Chassis" (Volume 25, 1939, pp.623-628). During WWII he worked on the design of tractors and aeroplanes. Following his retirement, he lectured at the local technical college on technical drawing. He died in 1967.

(NB. above notes provided by donor).

Conditions Governing Access

Open to researchers, by appointment. For further information, please see: nationalmotormuseum.org.uk/Motoring_research_service

Conditions Governing Use

Please apply to the Archivist if you would like to make any copy of the material.