The Stepney Spare Wheel

Stepney Spare WheelStepney Spare WheelIn the early days of motoring, the invention of a spare wheel system was a significant contribution to the practicality and success of this novel form of transport.

Thomas Morris Davies and Walter Davies opened an ironmongery shop in Stepney Street in 1895, followed by a cycle shop in Stepney Street Arcade and a small cycle and motor repair works at the rear of the Stepney Hotel.

In 1904 the brothers patented the first practical motor vehicle spare wheel. It was a spokeless wheel rim, mounted on which was a tyre of slightly larger than usual diameter. This rim and tyre could be attached to a wheel with a punctured tyre by adjustable clamps. Although it was only a 'get you home' accessory, and not suitable for extended use, it was widely adopted.

Business boomed and in 1906 they formed the Stepney Spare Motor Wheel Ltd, and opened 'Stepney Wheel Works' in Copperworks Road. By 1910 the company had international agencies throughout Europe and North America.

After the First World War the 'Stepney Wheel' was displaced by replaceable road wheels.

The success of Stepney Wheels enabled the Davies brothers to buy Highfield House, a substantial property at Tyisha. To record their contribution to early motoring, a commemorative blue plaque sponsored by ‘Communities First Glanmore and Tyisha’ was installed at Highfield House.

Illustration by courtesy of Llanelli Reference Library

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