Papers of the Centaur Cycle Company

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

Photocopy of article from The Irish Cyclist, November 9, 1904, entitled "The Home of the Centaur". Three press cuttings, two being obituaries on the death of George Gilbert, June 1915, and the other an illustrated article in the Coventry Evening Telegraph, 7 December 1996, about the works, Gilbert and the bicycles

Administrative / Biographical History

George Gilbert (c.1853-1915), cycle pioneer and manufacturer, was apprenticed as an art metal worker with Skidmore, but left the trade to join the Coventry Machinist Company in Old Cheylesmore when it first started making bicycles. Five years later in 1875, aged 22, he set up the Centaur Cycle Company with Edmund Mushing in West Orchard and was particularly successful in introducing a lightweight bicycle. The King of Scorchers, brought out in 1890 weighed only 26 lbs. Other inventions patented by Gilbert were the moveable saddle, detachable cranks, adjustable dustproof back wheel bearings and the Centaur patent tubular steel tricycle. In 1900 the firm started to make cars, and motorcycles were also made and continued in production after the firm was taken over by Humber in 1910. George Gilbert then farmed at Crabmill Farm in the Paradise area of Foleshill where he was born, until his death.


The Modern Records Centre uses a classification scheme. For further details of the scheme, see It is compatible with ISAD(G): General International Standard Archival Description (2000).

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on access to these papers.

Acquisition Information

This collection was deposited in the Centre by a descendant of George Gilbert.

Other Finding Aids

Authority records exist for George Gilbert (GB 152 AAR2256) and the Centaur Cycle Company (GB 152 AAR2257).

Conditions Governing Use

There are no restrictions on the use of this archive, apart from the requirements of copyright law.


Further deposits are not expected.

Related Material

Deposits made by the National Cycle Archive (MSS. 328)