1890 Earlsdon ‘No 2’ Crossframe safety (with solid tyres)


1890 ‘Earlsdon No 2’ Crossframe safety 

Made by S & B Gorton (subsequently Quinton Cycle Co)

18″ Frame

30″ Wheels with solid tyres

(Now sold)

A few months after this bicycle was supplied by S & B Gorton, their factory burned down. When they opened their new works, they did so under a new company name, Quinton Cycle Co.

Harry Lawson, inventor of the safety bicycle, came to work for them and, in 1897, the company was taken over by a new firm created by Lawson, the New Beeston Cycle Co. This company made Britain’s first motorcycle and was an early producer of automobiles.

Having come from a private collection where it was regularly used – observe the toolbag behind the saddle – this rare crossframe is in excellent working condition and ready to ride.







Samuel Gorton, a practical machinist, founded the firm at Earlsdon but the business outgrew its premises and moved to Whitefriars Lane, Coventry. ‘Earlsdon’ safeties were produced in 1889 at the very cheap price of £7 5s with ‘Earlsdon’ tricycles at £15. Another model was the ‘Gorton’.

The works were burnt out on 6 July 1890. New and larger premises were built in Quinton Road. A new company was formed, the Quinton Cycle Co. A depot at Hertogenbush was opened in 1891 and all cycles sold there were branded ‘Duc’ cycles.

The Quinton Cycle Co was formed following the fire which destroyed the business of S. and B. Gorton in 1890. It seems that H. J. Lawson had some involvement, possibly as manager, having formerly worked as manager of the Tangent and Coventry Tricycle Co. and also works manager of the Rudge Cycle Co. The Quinton Cycle Co. had a 234,000 sq. ft. factory in Coventry. In 1892 at least 15 varieties of machine were offered including the ‘Quinton Scorcher’, ‘Quinton Racer’, ‘Quinton No.1B’ and ‘British Workman’. The company ceased to exist in 1897 when its business was taken over by the New Beeston Cycle Co. Ltd.


Set up by H. J. Lawson in 1897 in Beeston, Notts., with a new 2 million sq. ft. factory, after the closure of the Quinton Cycle Co., which it appears to have acquired. Lawson was the Chairman. Other directors were: Dr. Charles Webb Iliff; Lord Norreys; H. Hewitt Griffin; Rowland Hill, J.P.; Thomas Robinson; Rev. T. J. Jarrott; S. Gorton (General Manager); and E. F. Peirson (Secretary). Made the ‘New Beeston’ and ‘Quinton’. Also had an address at Quinton Works, Cheylesmore, Coventry. The Company became defunct c.1901.

The Eadie Manufacturing Co. acquired the machinery to increase production of free wheels under licence from the James Cycle Co. Ltd. An extra on machines was a device to allow the handlebars to be turned parallel with the frame without loosening the handlebar clip.

[Extracts from Ray Miller’s Bicycle Encyclopaedia]