David Lionel Salomons

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 2464 SF/DL
  • Dates of Creation
  • Language of Material
      English, French, and Hebrew.
  • Physical Description
      c. 200 items

Scope and Content

Includes letters patent, certificates and models relating to his inventions, letters, photographs, paintings, badges and furniture. There is a large collection of plans and specifications for the additional building work to Broomhill along with many items painted or written by David Lionel, which also includes his manuscript notebooks on various scientific subjects.

Administrative / Biographical History

David Lionel Salomons was born in 1851 and died in 1925. He was the son of Philip Salomons and had two sisters, Laura and Stella. He attended Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge from 1870 to 1874 and later established a scholarship to the College in 1895 and bequeathed them his scientific instruments. He inherited his uncle's Baronetcy in 1873 and was appointed Deputy Lieutenant of Kent in 1874. While he is more commonly known as Sir David Lionel Salomons he was permitted by Royal warrant in 1899 to use the surnames Goldsmid and Stern in addition to and before that of Salomons.

He had five children namely Maud Julia, Sybil Gwendolen, Ethel Dorothy, David Reginald and Vera Frances later known as Vera Bryce Salomons after her marriage. It was Vera Bryce Salomons who ensured the long term survival of Broomhill House. Some mementos exist for David Reginald.

His talents lay in the field of science and he was an electrician, an engineer, a photographer, an inventor and an expert on motor mechanics.

David Lionel extended Broomhill considerably to cater for his inventions. He added a water tower, work shops, science theatre with Welte organ, and stable block. He installed electricity to Broomhill, making it the first building in the country to use electricity for domestic purposes.

From 1895 the motor car became David Lionel's major interest and as early as 1874 he had built an electrically propelled automobile. He built garages which are some of the earliest in Britain and organised the first motor show in England in 1895. He was also heavily involved in the early motoring organisations.

Related Material

Sir David Lionel's collection of over 5000 items relating to the history of transport and locomotion, which included ballooning, was presented to the Bibliothèque Nationale in 1936 by his daughter Mrs Vera Bryce Salomons. A few items of this collection remain at Salomons and are described in the Catalogue of Ballooniana.