"The Story of Robert William Edlin and the Pneumatic Tyre"

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

Booklet on A4 size paper entitled "Grandfather Edlin and the Pneumatic Tyre" by Robert Wilfred Edlin, 1992, containing commentary, and copies of photographs and archives.

Administrative / Biographical History

Robert Wilfred Edlin was the grandson of Robert William Edlin who built the first bicycle for J. B. Dunlop in 1888. The pneumatic tyre industry started in Edlin's small cycle business in Belfast, where Edlin, Finlay Sinclair and John B. Dunlop made the first pneumatic tyred bicycle, c. October 1888. This was followed by racing machines in 1889. By November 1889, Dunlop, Edlin and Sinclair had manufactured 20 bicycles, 6 tricycles, and fitted the new tyres to 24 machines bought in from Rudge. A new company, the Pneumatic Tyre and Booth's Cycle Agency Ltd, Dublin, was then set up in association with Booths [sic] Cycle Agency Ltd, Dublin, of which Harvey du Cros was chairman. A factory was established at Booth's premises, but in January 1891 the business moved to Coventry, where it was known as The Pneumatic Tyre Co. In 1895, Edlin moved to Birmingham where he remained for the rest of his life, opening a factory there under the name of Robert William Edlin, Pneumatic Tyre Manufacturer. He died in May 1923.


The Modern Records Centre uses a classification scheme. For further details of the scheme, see http://www.warwick.ac.uk/services/library/mrc/mrcclass.shtml. 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 item was deposited in the Centre by the Oswestry Bicycle Museum through the National Cycle Archive, c. 1995.

Other Finding Aids

Authority records exist for John Boyd Dunlop (GB 152 AAR1957), Robert William Edlin (GB 152 AAR2415), Finlay Sinclair (GB 152 AAR2416), Pneumatic Tyre and Booth's Cycle Agency (GB 152 AAR2417), Booth's Cycle Agency Ltd (GB 152 AAR2418), and Pneumatic Tyre Co. (GB 152 AAR 2419).

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

Other deposits by the National Cycle Archive (MSS.328).