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 William Frederick Bremer

Photo added by Björn Haglund

William Frederick Bremer

  • Birth 12 Jul 1872 Stepney, London Borough of Tower Hamlets, Greater London, England
  • Death 1941 Walthamstow, London Borough of Waltham Forest, Greater London, England
  • Burial Walthamstow, London Borough of Waltham Forest, Greater London, England
  • Memorial ID 9697645

Frederick Bremer is recognised as the man who built the first petrol driven car in Great Britain in 1892.
When he was 16 years old he moved with his family to 1 Connaught Road, Walthamstow, in east London, where, four years later he built Britain's first car in the back yard. Some of the parts originally came from bicycles. In the first half of 1892 Frederick Bremer drove his newly built car on the roads of Walthamstow, thus becoming the first petrol driven car on the roads of London. The car has no clutch, but the same effect could be achieved by using a leather belt to gradually engage and disengage power. There is no gearbox or reverse gear. There is an advance and retard setting for the spark and this is used for controlling the power of the engine along with a very basic throttle and mixture controls. In 1912 the British "Motor" Magazine recognised the Bremer Car as the first British built petrol driven car. Having completed the car, he moved onto other things, including a 4-cylinder engine car in 1894, which sadly has not survived. After building the car Fred ran a series of small businesses, including the Bremer Engineering Co, with engineering and bicycle and motor manufacture. During his years as an engineer he took out a few patents, including one for improved gears for motor carriages. Fred donated the car to the local museum, the fine Vestry House Museum in Walthamstow in 1933, where it can still be seen today. In 1964 the car was entered into the legendary London to Brighton Run enlisted as car number 1. This yearly run, on the first Sunday of November since 1896, is open to all motor vehicles (with 3 wheels or more) built before 1905. Fred's car managed to cover 17 miles before the crankshaft broke. The next year, again as car number 1, it completed the 54 mile course in just under eight hours. Frederick Bremer died in 1941 and is buried at St Mary's Church, Walthamstow.

Bio by: Björn Haglund





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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Jim Tipton
  • Added: 23 Oct 2004
  • Find A Grave Memorial 9697645
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for William Frederick Bremer (12 Jul 1872–1941), Find A Grave Memorial no. 9697645, citing St Mary the Virgin Churchyard, Walthamstow, London Borough of Waltham Forest, Greater London, England ; Maintained by Find A Grave .