De Dion Bouton
The Essential Library & Source Book 1888–1931
The Essential Library for the first time presents a full bibliography of the De Dion Bouton company, charts of passenger and commercial vehicle production, and introductory essays on the key stages of the company’s evolution.
De Dion Bouton – The Essential Library & Source Book 1888–1931
In the forty years that the De Dion Bouton company in Puteaux was fully operational, its output included passenger and commercial steam vehicles, tricycles, motor cycles, motor vehicles of single, twin, four and eight cylinder configuration, trucks, delivery vans, street cleaners, omnibus, stationary and marine engines, military vehicles, including armoured cars, troop transporters, searchlight trailers and field ambulances, aircraft engines, railway carriages, tramcars and, of course, bicycles. Alongside the vehicles that actually went into production, there were projects conducted, sometimes over many years, on electric vehicles, motorised ski transport, marine vessels of all sizes, and hot air balloons.
The combined mass of endeavour at the factory represents a formidable challenge for any commentator, and goes some considerable way to explaining why a full history of the business has never been attempted. A number of motoring historians have written about the company, but there still remain deep chasms in the historical record for researchers to delve into.
This is the first attempt to produce a comprehensive bibliography of references for those key events that shaped the progress of the business, and those vehicles that marked the success and ultimate decline of the enterprise during its lifetime, along with illustrations of many of the vehicles produced.
To accompany the individual chapters of references there are a series of introductory essays that aim to provide both a narrative of the business and the context for the coverage in journals and other media. For those readers wishing to pursue an interest in specific Types of vehicles and years of manufacture, there are charts included that list the key characteristics of each vehicle Type.
The Essential Library & Source Book will be of value to those interested in the De Dion Bouton marque and to all early motoring enthusiasts curious to learn more about the fluctuating fortunes of the world’s largest engine manufacturer at the turn of the last century, whose contribution had largely been forgotten forty years later.