John Henry Knight

Died aged 70

John Henry Knight (21 January 1847 – 22 September 1917), from Farnham, was a wealthy engineer, landowner and inventor. With the help of the engineer George Parfitt he built one of Britain's first petrol-powered motor vehicles, Frederick Bremer of Walthamstow having built the first in 1892. On 17 October 1895, with his assistant James Pullinger, they drove through Farnham, Surrey, whereupon he was prosecuted for using a locomotive with neither a licence nor a man walking in front with a red flag. This is sometimes misreported as the first person to be convicted of speeding in the UK, but that sobriquet subsequently fell to Walter Arnold of East Peckham, Kent, in January 1896. Knight was both an inventor and pioneer, having created a (failed) steam powered road vehicle; a renowned steam powered ; a heat saving radiator; a brick laying machine; a grenade thrower, a speedometer, wooden vehicle tyres, and a patent 'dish lever' for tilting plates when carving meat. Knight was a founder member of the Automobile Association and politically active in the repeal of the Red Flag Act, he was also a pioneer of colour photography, plus writing various factual and practical books.

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Commemorated on 1 plaque

John Henry Knight's car, one of Britain's earliest petrol driven vehicles, was built here by George Parfitt at the Elliot Reliance Works 1895

West Street, Farnham, United Kingdom where they was