De Dion Bouton motor tricycle, 1898.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
De Dion Bouton, a pioneering motoring company founded by Count Albert De Dion and George Bouton, manufactured tricycles in France between 1895 and 1902. In 1895 they fitted their new single-cylinder, air-cooled, petrol engine to an adapted pedal tricycle. They then went on to make purpose-built tricycles with stronger frames and increased the capacity of the engine. This tricycle was built by the Motor Manufacturing Company in Coventry, who produced the tricycles under licence from de Dion Bouton for the British market. Production of early tricycles such as this one was ended by the popularity of the two-wheeled type of motorcycle.