Beautiful stock certificate from the New Premier Cycle Company, Limited issued in 1896. This historic document and has side ornate border with a vignette of the company's name in fnacy print. This item has the signatures of the Company’s Doirectors and Secretary, including William Herbert a co founder. The certificate shows some signs of wear and is over 127 years old.
The business can trace its origins back to 1875 when William Hillman and William Herbert formed Hillman & Herbert Cycle Co Ltd, as bicycle makers. They were joined in 1876 by George B Cooper and the company renamed Hillman, Herbert & Cooper Ltd, operating out of the Premier Works in Coventry, their Premier brand of cycles being very successful, with the factory covering 3 acres.
In 1891 The Premier Cycle Co Ltd was formed to take over Hillman, Herbert & Cooper as a going concern, however the Premier Cycle Co was wound up later that year. Some time later The New Premier Cycle Co was formed to acquire the business of The Premier Cycle Co. In 1902 this company renamed itself as The Premier Cycle Co Ltd.
In the early years, Hillman Herbert & Cooper – later, Premier – was one of the most innovative companies. After manufacturing and selling the first successful ‘safety bicycle’ – what we now call a cross-frame, seen in the illustration above – they looked ahead to the next evolutionary progression in frame design. Their answer was the unique style of frame-strengthening incorporated on their ‘Model F’ introduced in 1889.
In 1914 The Premier Cycle Co Ltd changed its name to Coventry Premier Ltd, and continued as such until sold to Singer in 1920. The Coventry Premier trademark continued to be used by Singer until c1927 when they ceased bicycle production.
Premier Motorcycles were British motorcycles manufactured by a business founded as a bicycle manufacturer by W. H. Herbert and William Hillman in 1876. Their "Hillman and Herbert Cycle Company" was renamed "Premier Cycle Co." in 1891.
Their first motorcycle was produced in 1908, with a White & Poppe side-valve engine and Chater-Lea front forks. They made their first V-twin in 1909, followed by a 499 cc single-cylinder machine in 1910.
The business changed its name to "The Premier Cycle Company (Coventry Premier Ltd.)" in 1914.
After the First World War bicycle or motorcycle production was not resumed and the cyclecar business was acquired by Singer Motors in 1921 although Premier motorcycles were produced under licence in Czechoslovakia throughout the 1930s.
History from Wikipedia and RM Smythe old stock certificate research service)