Rickett, Thomas 1825

(b. 1825), maker of steam powered cars, carriages and engines

Thomas Rickett, born in 1825, was the manager of the Castle Foundry in Buckingham, makers of agricultural implements, where in 1858 he made a steam plough. In 1860, Rickett created a steam-powered car, it had a maximum speed of 19mph, three wheels and a two-cylinder engine. Encouraged by its success, Rickett placed an advertisement in The Engineer magazine advertising his carriages for sale at £180 to £200. He was, however, ahead of his time, and it is thought that not many were sold.

By 1865 the Foundry was in financial trouble and was put up for letting in February that year. A possible reason was the passing of increasingly restrictive legislation, the Locomotive Acts, in 1861 and 1865 which made the use of steam propelled vehicles on roads impractical.