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The Lancashire Steam Motor Co. Ltd of Leyland, in Lancashire was formed in 1896 by James Sumner & the Spurrier family. The company built steam wagons.



  • 1896 Formed from J. Sumner by James Sumner, Henry Spurrier, Henry Spurrier (II) and George Stretton Spurrier. The company started by making steam wagons from premises in Herbert Street, Leyland, where they employed 20 persons. This brought together the skills of Henry (II) who describes himself as a steam engine maker, James Sumner who was a blacksmith employing several people and the money from Henry (Senior) and George who were wealthy from being oil merchants and later farmers.
  • 1896 The first vehicle was a 30 cwt steam van with an oil-fired boiler and a two-cylinder compound engine developing 10-14 hp.
  • 1897 Henry Spurrier (II) and William Sumner showed their first steam vehicle at the Royal Agricultural Show where they won the top prize.
  • 1898 Henry Spurrier (II), William Sumner and Ted Hamer take the vehicle to the Royal Show in Birmingham and win first prize of £100. Later the same year they win another £100 at the Liverpool Self-Propelled Traffic Association Trials.
  • 1898 First order for vehicle (3-tonner) from Fox Brothers and Co of Wellington to transport wool. Produce another for Peek, Frean and Co
  • 1899 Produce vehicle for Liverpool Corporation
  • 1900 June. Royal Agricultural Show at York. Showed a steam tipping wagon with a carrying capacity of five tons
  • 1900 Produce vehicle for Chelsea Municipality
  • 1902 Commenced building a factory on three-acre site in Leyland, Lancashire. Charles Basil Nixon is company secretary and W. Norris is chief engineer.
  • 1902 Produce a vehicle for Blackburn Corporation
  • 1903 The company employed 160 and they produced a 4-tonner Model B with 35 hp. By the end of this year the company had produced 39 steam vehicles.
  • 1904 The company produced 33 steam lorries or buses this year
  • 1904 Produced the companies first experimental petrol driven lorry known as 'The Pig' with 2-cylinder 12 bhp petrol engine to carry 30 cwt. It was not adopted for manufacture but the later 'Y' model was produced in small numbers.
  • 1905 They showed a four-cylinder Crossley engined bus with a channel support frame built for the London and Suburban Omnibus Co.
  • 1905 Produced 25 steam and 16 petrol vehicles this year
  • 1906 Showed more powerful 35-40 hp bus
  • 1906 Produced 30 steam and 27 petrol vehicles this year
  • 1907 Showed a 50 hp model[clarification needed]
  • 1907 Produced 36 steam and 17 petrol vehicles this year
  • 1907 T Coulthard and Co, an engineering firm in Preston, was taken over by LSMC.[1]
  • 1907 Company changed name to Leyland Motors, to reflect move away from steam to Internal combustion engined 'motor' vehicles.


  • Steam wagon
  • Steam bus
  • The 'Pig' petrol wagon
  • Model Y


Very few examples exist of these early vehicles.

See also

  • Charles Basil Nixon
  • Henry Spurrier
  • Henry Spurrier (II)
  • J. Sumner
  • James Sumner

References / Sources of Information

Based on Graces Guide article.

    • The First Fifty Years. Leyland Motors Ltd. Published 1946.
    • Traction Engine Album by Malcolm Ranieri. Pub 2005
    • Buses and Trolleybuses before 1919 by David Kaye. Published 1972
    • The Engineer of 22nd June 1900 p650

External links

  • add relevant web site links here

Smallwikipedialogo.png This page uses some content from Graces Guide. The original article was at Steam Motor Co Lancashire Steam Motor Co. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with Tractor & Construction Plant Wiki, the text of Graces Guide is available under the GNU Free Documentation License.