Founded in Kingswood, Bristol in 1907, the Douglas Motorcycle Company had become well known for their horizontally opposed two cylinder engines and their production of quality speedway motorcycles.
Motorcycles were not their only manufacturing goal as they also produced a series of Automobiles between 1913 and 1922.
Founded by Edward and William Douglas originally as an engineering company in 1882, where they initially did blacksmithing until they progressed into foundry work then finally after acquiring W.J. Barter's horizontally opposed two cylinder design, which had been used by Barter from 1902 to 1907 until Barter's Light Motors Limited had closed.
Originally in 1907, The Douglas Motorcycle Company produced a 350 cc version of their horizontally opposed twin, which in 1915, they then changed the mounting to be lengthways when they added a belt drive system to their motorcycles.
The Douglas Motorcycle Company successfully managed through the First World War when they received a military contract to produce over 70,000 of their horizontally opposed motorcycles.
After the First World War during the 1920's the Douglas Motorcycle Company received a Royal Warrant where they then produced motorcycles for both Prince Albert and Prince Henry.
By 1923 the Douglas Motorcycle Company increased their popularity due to their recent start of dirt track racing production motorcycles. These dirt track motorcycles featured a Hemi or a completely hemispherical head version of their horizontally opposed two cylinders that ranged from 500 cc to 600 cc. They continued to produce these dirt track racing motorcycles well into the 1930's with 1929 being their most successful year. In 1929 1,200 Douglas Motorcycle Company dirt track motorcycle were produced and sold out.
By 1934, the Douglas Motorcycle Company had produced a 494 cc motorcycle with a shaft drive system and also managed to purchase Bond Aircraft and Engineering Company.
From the First World War to the Second World War, the Douglas Motorcycle Company still continued to produce their motorcycles as well as a new line of generators.
This choice however did not help the Douglas Motorcycle Company's fate as they were forced to shut their doors and cease production of their motorcycles in 1957.
Original Authors: Nicholas
Edit Update Authors: M.A.Harris
Updated On: 06/06/2008