Albone, Daniel 1860 - 1906

English; British

(1860-1906), agricultural engineer

Daniel Albone (Dan) was born on the 12th September 1860 in Biggleswade, Bedfordshire. A competent cyclist from a young age, he won local races, and at the age of thirteen built his own bicycle. He was later apprenticed to the firm T. Course & Sons (engineers and millwrights) in Biggleswade, and began to build high ordinary bicycles in a shed behind the family home (the Ongley Arms). Popular with racing enthusiasts, the establishment became the Ivel Cycle Works in 1880s (named after the Biggleswade river), aiming to produce reliable, lightweight machines requiring minimum effort and capable of speed. Albone also invented many bicycles, including the self-steering safety bicycle, the tandem safety bicycle, the ladies’ safety bicycle, the ladies’ tandem safety bicycle, and the convertible safety bicycle. He became well-known as a competitive cyclist and was awarded the championships of Bedfordshire five times, breaking many speed records. He also established the Biggleswade and District Bicycle Club, which met at the Ongley Arms.

Albone designed and manufactured motorcars with improvements, including independent spring suspension, axle boxes, and electrical ignition. He was one of the first inventors to use internal combustion engines with bicycles and tricycles, and his greatest motor invention was the first practical and successful farm tractor, the Lyel, which was patented in 1902. Later that year he established Ivel Agricultural Motors Ltd with offices in London. The directors of the company were Charles Jarrett, J. H. Hewitt, Selwyn Francis Edge, Lord Willoughby De Eresby, and supporters included the Duke of Bedford and Lord Scott Montague. Albone also invented and improved mowers, reapers, binders and other agricultural implements, including the auto potato planter (his last creation). Albone died suddenly on 30 October 1906 from a stroke at the Ivel Works office.