Tagg, A. E. & Wheeler, R. L.


Crossprint, Isle of Wight, 1st ed., 1989. 316 pp., numerous photo-ills., diagrams, maps & plans. D.j., 29 x 22cm. FINE. The marine and aeronautical engineering industries which emerged following the invention of the light-weight internal combustion engine at the end of the nineteenth century were graced by pioneers of character. Samuel Edgar Saunders was such a man who embraced both these fields. He was a boat builder in the Thames valley and as his boats achieved higher speeds he formed a Syndicate with several key employees, moving to the Isle of Wight in the early 20th century and adding to the development of Cowes as an area of advanced marine activity. The aeronautical developments of 1908-9, particularly in France, inspired Saunders to enter the new and exciting aircraft industry. His acquaintance with Tom Sopwith was to their mutual benefit for Saunders craftsmanship contributed to early success for Sopwith's Batboat. In turn Sopwith piloted the Saunders-built high-speed boat Maple Leaf IV to victory in successive years. The company founded by Saunders continued under his guidance until the later 1920s when he was joined by Sir Verdon-Roe, and the pioneering aircraft company Saunders-Roe Limited was formed. The general story from 1830 to the time of publication is covered in its entirety in this book, with the aerospace activities given prominence.

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