Milnes-Daimler Double Decker Omnibus
The oldest motorised bus still in existence in the world. It dates from 1904 and was specially designed for public transport in London.
At the time, there were fewer than twenty motorised double-deckers in London; two years later there would be about four-hundred, of which half were manufactured by Milnes-Daimler.
The bus is painted in the livery of one of London’s most famous bus companies of the time, Thomas Tilling Ltd. It was initially delivered to the Southborough & District Bus Company in Tunbridge Wells, but the company was financially weak and had to sell the bus a few months later. In 1907 the bus was converted to chain drive. Originally, the drive was taken directly to the rear wheels via a cogwheel system. This was better suited to carrying heavy loads but was also very noisy.
Milnes-Daimler was created in 1902 after the German Daimler company took over the English tramcar and lorry manufacturer G.F. Milnes & Co. Ltd.