Motor Bus, A. J. Stevens & Company Ltd., Wolverhampton
- Reference Number: P/4517
- Date: [Mid 20th cent]
- Level: Item
- History Note: In 1874, Joseph Stevens, an engineering blacksmith, set up the firm J. Stevens & Co in Cross Street, Wednesfield. In 1894 the company moved to Tempest Street, Wolverhampton where Joseph's son Harry successfully built a single cylinder, four-stroke petrol engine. As a result, they decided to manufacture engines and set up the Stevens Motor Company in 1899. With an interest in powered transport, the first Stevens-built motorcycle was produced in 1903. They moved to new premises at the 'Fort Works', Pelham Street in 1904. In the same year, the company was registered as the Stevens Motor Manufacturing Company Ltd. The Stevens Screw Company Ltd. was formed in 1906 in premises situated on Retreat Street, Wolverhampton. Further premises in Retreat Street opposite the Stevens Screw Co. Ltd. were acquired by the Stevens Motor Manufacturing Co. where they decided to produce their own motorcycles under the name AJS. A new company was set up in 1909 with a share capital of 1,000 called A J Stevens & Company Ltd. The directors were Harry, Joe (junior), Jack and George Stevens. The company expanded and additional finance was required so a new public company was set up in 1914 called A J Stevens & Company Ltd. with a nominal share capital of 50,000. Production moved to Graiseley Hill in 1915. In 1920 AJS took over the sidecar manufacturing business of C W Hayward including their works at Stewart Street. Sidecars continued to sell well and new premises were sought to cope with demand. In 1922 AJS purchased the Lower Walsall Street works from the Briton Car Company which had gone into liquidation that year. In 1923 AJS began to produce wireless receivers following the formation of the BBC the previous year. By the 1930, sales had begun to fall and the company encountered financial difficulties. In 1931 the company went into liquidation. Matchless Motorcycles purchased the AJS name. They became part of Associated Motorcycles in 1938 who in turn were taken over by Manganeze Bronze Bearings in 1966. After the closure of AJS, the Stevens brothers set up a new company in 1932 operating out of the old Retreat Street works called Stevens Brothers (Wolverhampton) Ltd. Motorcycle production was resumed in 1934 but halted again when war broke out. The Stevens Screw Company Ltd. ceased business in 1992.
- Format: Photograph
- Description: A photocopy reproduction of an A. J. Stevens (AJS) 'Admiral' motor bus in Wolverhampton. The exact location in Wolverhampton is unknown.
- Terms:Public transport
- Copyright: Wolverhampton City Council
- Access Status: Open
- Contact: Wolverhampton Archives, Wolverhampton Archives & Local Studies
- in such a poor physical state that looking at them would cause damage
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