James Easton Wood
1850 - 1884
2nd Sept. 1850
Born in Edinburgh, Midlothian
23rd Dec. 1882
Married Julia Frances Betts
JAMES EASTON WOOD
Birth: 02 SEP 1850 Edinburgh Parish, Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland
Father: JAMES WOOD
Mother: JANE EASTON
The marriage record shows that James Easton Wood (son of James Fava Wood) was a surgical instrument maker, like his father.
James is recorded as a widower. This must be a second marriage. Unfortunately, he died 2 years later.
Do these articles refer to James?
Given the careers of his brother, Vincent and his brother-in-law, Charles Drewry, it is probable that they do.
In The Annual Register, p. 99, 1875
Another article describing the wheel springs invention is shown on the right (and transcribed below).
The article was in 'The Field', 18/12/1880 and the journalist provides his address: 13, Newcastle St, Farringdon St, EC. Although James was living at 17, Hyde Road, Middlesex, when he got married in 1882, the wedding took place at St John’s church Hoxton, Shoreditch which is less than 2 miles from Newcastle St.
James' address in September 1884, in the probate record below was 29, Paternoster Square, less than a mile from Newcastle St.
(Note that '29, Paternoster Square' was at different times recorded as the property of James's brother, Vincent and his his brother-in-law, Charles Stewart Drewry.)
A search in the 1881 census does not reveal any James Wood at any of these addresses.
[Note also that in 1891, Charles Stewart Drewry offers a new 'patented sprung wheel' for sale.]
BICYCLING AND TRICYCLING SPRINGS
There are various indications that the subject of vibration which we adverted sometimes since, it's beginning to receive the attention its importance merits. We then discussed a method in which indiarubber was extensively utilised for reducing those constant and rapid pulsations which pervade the entire machine during its passage over and even services, and absorbed by the diffusion of very appreciable amount of power. Ease and comfort was obtained from the old bow springs, which were often brought out in front of the handles; but these have, although fully appreciated by many bicyclists, succumbed to the modern ideas of elegance, and to such absurd extremes have some theoretical makers gone that the spring is frequently of little more use than as a means of fastening on the saddle. In many instances the spring is of fair proportions, but the plan is almost universal of situating the forward attachment behind the head of the bicycle. Thus,owing to the proximity of the saddle to the handles, the rider's weight rests upon the anterior extremity instead of upon the centre of the spring, And consequently he obtains only a partial benefit from the greater length.
It is believed by many practical riders, and not without sufficient cause, that a great part of the vibration and jolting arises from the hind wheel intensified by the ever-decreasing size of the latter, which, in the case of many road bicycles, is only 16in. in diameter, and rarely exceeds 20in. With the object of minimising the effect of these adverse elements, and at the same time respecting the prejudices of bicyclists in favour of the ordinary short spring, Mr James Wood of 13 Newcastle Street, Farrington Street, E.C. proposes to supplement the saddle spring by a pair of scroll or C springs attached to the hind fork ends as shown in the accompanying illustration. The inventor submitted to us a machine so fitted for trial upon the road. It had the usual short saddle spring sliding upon the backbone, and the first impression on mounting was that the saddle was fixed upon one of the old bow springs of seven or eight years ago. Indeed, the spring felt so easy behind as to render more apparent than ever the result of the absence of any method for reducing the concussion arising from the front wheel, for the saddle spring was attached to the 'neck' by the usual bolt, but however this may be, it in no way affects the value of Mr Wood's invention, which acts in a very beneficial manner in diminishing the jolting always experienced in riding bicycles having small hind wheels.
The efficacy of these scroll springs received an illustration quite unintentional upon our part; for after proceeding some four miles the ordinary spring snapped just behind the saddle bolts and its utility was thus entirely destroyed; yet we rode the bicycle in this state sixteen miles - a considerable part over rough macadam - and the only inconvenience experienced arose palbably from the front wheel. It might be thought that these springs would impart an independent movement of the hind wheel to and fro; but even if so, the effect was not apparent when riding. If made strong enough to bear the riders weight when mounting, there seems little chance of their breaking; and, neatly constructed, they are no disfigurement to a bicycle.