Alex Moulton 1920 – 2012

It is with great sorrow that Shaun Moulton and The Moulton Bicycle Company announce the news that Dr. Alexander Eric Moulton CBE, distinguished engineer and inventor, passed away peacefully in the company of his family and staff on Sunday evening, 9th December 2012, at the age of 92.

Dr. Moulton was an inspiration for generations of engineers, designers and inventors.

Educated at Marlborough and Cambridge, Alex Moulton worked at Bristol Aeroplanes as assistant to Sir Roy Fedden during WW2.  He joined Bradford on Avon rubber manufacturers Spencer Moulton in 1945, leading a new research team.  His collaboration with Sir Alec Issigonis resulted in Moulton suspension, including ‘Hydrolastic’ and ‘Hydragas’ systems, being employed in over twelve million British cars from the original Mini to the MGF.

Dr. Moulton was also famous for his revolutionary small-wheeled, full-suspension Moulton bicycle – very popular in the 1960s and still built by hand in Bradford on Avon by a loyal team of engineers, technicians and craftsmen.

 

9 thoughts on “Alex Moulton 1920 – 2012

  1. Avatar of Matt HoltonMatt Holton

    very sad to hear this. This man lived a full life and is an inspiration to artist, athletes, and engineers. His spirit lives on and I will always think of him as I ride my bike. I have a painting of Alex Moulton that I did a few months ago that is currently available at ebay. I will ship internationally Item number 121036564931 –

  2. Avatar of Matt HoltonMatt Holton

    very sad to hear this. This man lived a full life and is an inspiration to artist, athletes, and engineers. His spirit lives on and I will always think of him as I ride my bike. I have a painting of Alex Moulton that I did a few months ago that is currently available at ebay. I will ship internationally Item number 121036564931 -http://www.ebay.com/itm/121036564931?ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1555.l2649

  3. John Christophers

    Those of us who ride his amazing bikes (me most days for the last 14 years) know that is the humanity of these Moulton machines that is so satisfying. One obituary I just read puts it well:
    Moulton was not a technocrat. Though adept at mathematics and engineering science, his inventions were all human-centred and focused on the experience and enjoyment of the user. He abandoned his design of a steam motorboat engine, for example, because once he had developed it to rival diesel power it lost its suppleness and “was not a nice thing any more”. His car suspensions and the cycle developments were entirely aimed at providing a superior experience for the user. He was very taken, through his association with Bridgestone, with the Japanese sense of the “spirit” of an artefact, reflecting its origins and the care with which it was made. He liked the idea that by seeing and using something one can detect this “spirit”, which fitted his own conviction that manufacture and industry are morally rewarding. “Man should make things … Make a profit, of course, but don’t take the money gain as the prime judgment.”
    Full article at http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2012/dec/10/alex-moulton
    He was a great man, may he rest in peace.

  4. Sue

    Oh, I so wanted one if those bikes when I was a young girl. How lovely to know something iof the man behind the name.

  5. ๋Jack Worapan

    Very very sad news. I only had chance to met him one. One of the greatest man on earth. He may passed away. His works and inspirations will carries on in our heart.

    There are no words I could express to the great man. Dr.Alex is hear with my Moulton bicycle and always.

    Best wishes from Thailand.

  6. Paul Briggs

    I met Dr Moulton (‘do please call me Alex’) a couple of years ago when I called at the Hall to buy a part for my AM7. He engaged me in conversation, introduced me to his nephew, Shaun, identified the vintage of my bike from the frame number and then introduced me to the man who had probably made the frame of my AM7. It was really wonderful to spend 15 minutes with Alex, Shaun and the staff and for them show me the workshop and bikes being made. I was so pleased to have been able to thank Alex personally for designing and producing so beautiful and practical a bicycle which is a joy to ride.

  7. i birch

    A bit of a shock, to be honest, to hear of Dr Moulton’s passing, even though I knew he was in his early nineties, but a bit of a jolt, just the same. I marvel often at his machines on the net, I mean the real McCoys, not the cheapened copies brought out by Pashley, which are unimpressive to ride and, if I may say so, an insult to the man. It brings to mind the crap that Raleigh trotted out as an answer to the moulton f-frames.
    I should like, one day, fate permiting, to own an AM. Anyway, may Dr Moulton rest in peace and may he be remembered for the engineering genius and asset to British industry which he was.

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