Thomas Parker

Thomas Parker must have been the first motorist in Wolverhampton. He claimed to have had an electrically powered vehicle running as early as 1884 and developed many prototypes during his lifetime. He religiously obeyed the Light Locomotive Act, the red flag law, which was only banished in 1896. It set a speed limit of 4m.p.h. in open country and 2 m.p.h. in towns. The Act required three drivers for each vehicle, two to travel in the vehicle and one to walk ahead carrying a red flag. One of his cars gave over 18 months trouble free service on daily runs to and from Tettenhall, to the E.C.C. works at Bushbury.

During a talk that he gave to the automobile Club, he described the hilly town of Wolverhampton as being without a single yard of level ground from Tettenhall to the town. He groaned at the "Queen Square gradient", which was a real problem when insufficient batteries limited his progress. One of his cars went to London and was shipped to Paris, but the ship floundered in mid channel and his valuable car was salvaged and brought home. Some of Thomas's vehicles had hydraulic brakes on all four wheels, as well as four-wheel steering. These features are even now being described as revolutionary.

One of Thomas Parker's early cars outside the family home; The Manor House, Upper Green, Tettenhall. Thomas is sat in the middle and on the back seat is believed to be his son Alfred.

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