Beginnings

The company’s founder, Edward Lisle, was born in 1852 at 106 Dudley Road, Wolverhampton. His education at St. Luke's School ended in 1866, at the age of 14, after which it is believed that he joined his brother working on the railway. In the 1871 census he is described as a machine fitter.

Edward became interested in cycles, and in his spare time built a velocipede in the cellar of the family's next home at 71 Park Street, Wolverhampton. He entered some of the races that took place in the grounds of the Molineux Hotel and was very successful, riding his home-built machine. This led to a demand for his cycles, which he started building to order.

In 1876, at the age of 24, he went into a manufacturing partnership with Edwin John Sharratt, who lived at 15 Franchise Street, Wolverhampton, and is described in the 1871 census as an out of work coachman.

Edwin purchased the ex-Humber factory in Pountney Street, known as the Star Cycle Works, and joined Edward in the new business; Sharratt and Lisle. The partnership lasted for just 3 years, after which Edwin Sharratt decided that he wanted to go his own way, and left to start his own separate business, Sharratt and Company, in part of the Pountney Street factory.

In 1883 Edward Lisle founded the Star Cycle Company, but continued to sell his machines under the Sharratt & Lisle name until 1896, when he founded the Star Cycle Company Limited, with a starting capital of £120,000.

In March 1891 Edward Lisle registered the six-pointed star as the company's trademark. Number 155,130.

By 1889 the Star Cycle Company had purchased a factory in Stewart Street, and in 1899 production reached 10,000 cycles a year. By 1904 Star was the largest Wolverhampton-based cycle manufacturer.



The front of Stewart Street Works. As it was in 2001.


I would like to thank the late Jim Boulton, the late David Evans, Peter Lisle, and Brian Rollings for their help in producing this section.

References
 

Star Cars in Competition by John Warburton. Vintage Sports-Car Club Bulletin.
Pages of Motoring History. The Field, the country gentleman's newspaper. July 24th, 1924.
Powered Vehicles of the Black Country by Jim Boulton with Harold Parsons. Black Country Society.
Star catalogues and adverts.
Brooklands Volume 1 by W. Boddy. Granville Publishing Company Limited. 1948.


 
 
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