The Daimler Company

Scope and Content

The documents concerning Frederick Lanchester’s relations with the Daimler Company are largely typed copies of letters and reports, made at a later date than the originals, and put together into a dossier. This splits content physically and by subject into three sections. The first summarises his relations with the company; the second consists of documents (mostly copies) concerning Lanchester and the Daimler Company; the third part has documents concerning Lanchester’s Laboratories Ltd. and the Daimler Company. The documents were copied and brought together in 1935 and early 1936. The terms Daimler and Birmingham Small Arms Company (BSA) are used sometimes apparently as interchangeable; Daimler was a BSA subsidiary, and Lanchester’s agreement was technically with BSA, although his work was mainly with Daimler. Letters in this correspondence from BSA/Daimler come also either from the BSA office in Birmingham or the Daimler office in Coventry. Lanchester’s summary of the whole relationship is given in the first document (LAN/1/5/1). Broadly his complaint is that Daimler still benefits from his name and his patents, Daimler never used his services to the best advantage, Daimler failed to support his joint venture with them (Lanchester’s Laboratories Ltd.), and in the final break with the company he was not well treated financially. Includes documents concerned with terms to end the partnership between Lanchester and Daimler.