Fragments on forgotten makes No. 37: the Brotherhood

In 1867 the engineering business of Peter Brotherhood was established in London. They became well known as manufacturers of compressors, steam-turbines and as precision machinists. The Company was founded by Peter Brotherhood, who was born in Maidenhead in 1838, the son of Rowland Brotherhood who had been associated with Brunel in the construction of the G.W.R. The first works were under the railway arches in Compton Street, London, but in 1882 it was necessary to expand to new premises on the South bank of the Thames close to Westminster Bridge. When the L.C.C. took over these works and adjoining property as the site of the London County Hall in 1906/7 the business was transferred to Peterborough, where Peter Brotherhood Ltd. still flourishes.

They become famous for their three-cylinder radial steam-engines which were ideal for driving dynamos, pumps, fans, capstans, ships' steering gear, hoists, etc:; the Company's badge still depicts this engine. After Peter Brotherhood's death in 1902 his son Stanley carried on the business. By 1905 it was decided to enter the growing Motor Industry. A separate firm was formed, called Brotherhood-Crocker Motors Ltd., with offices at 16 Hanover Square, and a works at 158a Norwood Road, West Norwood, in S.E. London. The partners were Stanley Brotherhood, Mr. Crocker and Percy Richardson, and the design of the car was entrusted to the last-named, who had come from the Daimler Company. Engines, gearboxes and other components were made in the Westminster factory and assembled at Norwood. The Brotherhood had a four-cylinder 3.9-litre engine rated at 20 h.p. and giving maximum power at a modest 900 r.p.m. It drove via a four-speed gearbox and side chains.

This 20/25 h.p. Brotherhood was exhibited at the 1905 London Motor Show. Percy Richardson retained the prototype, touring the country in it, perhaps in search of orders, covering a claimed 9,000 miles without trouble. Nine other Brotherhoods were built. Countess Amherst had the first production model, fitted with a Mulliner 7-8-seater double landaulette body. The third car was delivered to the Hon. Charles Forester who used it for long journeys without carrying a mechanic. The next went to a Mr. Fred Kelly, and was driven by his second coachman, who found it simple to control and able to climb unfailingly a 3/4-mile 1 in 6 hill in second gear. It apparently did 7,000 miles without so much as a puncture.

Earl Fitzwilliam had a Brotherhood with a double-phaeton body, costing 1,000 gns. The chassis price at the time was £675, so this must have been an elaborate body. The Earl of Mar and Kellie had a Brotherhood with Hooper limousine body, Sir Max Waecheter a landaulette which his head coachman drove, while Percy Barlow, M.P. for Bedford, was an owner and Mr. R. H. Fowler, head of Fowler's of Leeds, ordered two Brotherhoods.

The Company's connections in the world of steam and shipping seemed to have got their car off to a good start but in January 1906, perhaps on account of the pending move from London, Stanley Brotherhood disposed of his interest in the car side of the firrn. It was moved to elaborate new premises in Tinsley, Sheffield, but the name did not survive much longer, the new factory apparently being used by Percy Richardson, financed by Earl Fitzwilliam, who had owned the expensive Brotherhood phaeton, for the manufacture of his Sheffield Simplex six-cylinder cars, which were intended to sweep the Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost off the map.

During the 1914-18 war the Brotherhood Company had built a 200 h.p. V12 water-cooled aero-engine for Naval aeroplanes and in 1922 introduced the Brotherhood undertype steam waggon with transverse boiler. A year later it made the Brotherhood tractor, powered with a 30 b.h.p. Brotherhood-Ricardo paraffin engine, which would also run on producer gas. – W. B.

I am indebted to Mr. G. N. Jacklin of Peter Brotherhood Ltd. for the above information. It is interesting that, to celebrate the centenary, the Company is holding a veteran and vintage rally and Concours d'Elegance at its sports ground in Lincoln Road, Peterborough, on July 1st.