Alex Moulton

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Alex Moulton
Born Alexander Eric Moulton
(1920-04-09)9 April 1920
Stratford-upon-Avon, England, UK
Died 9 December 2012(2012-12-09) (aged 92)
Royal United Hospital, Bath, Somerset
Education Marlborough College
King's College, Cambridge
Engineering career
Significant projects Moulton Bicycle
Significant awards Order of the British Empire
Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering

Alexander Eric ("Alex") Moulton CBE, FREng (9 April 1920 – 9 December 2012) was an English engineer and inventor, specialising in suspension design.[1][2][3][4][5]

A 1965/66 Moulton "New Look" Standard M1 bicycle


Moulton was educated at Marlborough College and King's College, Cambridge.[6] He was the great-grandson of the rubber pioneer Stephen Moulton, the founder of the family business George Spencer Moulton & Co. Ltd., in which he worked after World War II, specialising in rubber suspension systems for vehicles. His father, John Coney Moulton, was a naturalist working in the Far East.

During the war he had worked on engine design at the Bristol Aeroplane Company.[6] In the late 1950s, after the acquisition of the family business by the Avon Rubber Company, Moulton started up a new company, Moulton Developments Limited, to design the suspension system for British Motor Corporation's new small car, the Mini, that was being designed by his friend Sir Alec Issigonis. The combination of conical rubber springs and small wheels was one of the many innovative developments that allowed Issigonis to achieve the Mini's small overall size. This was later refined into the hydrolastic and hydragas suspension systems used on later British Leyland cars such as the Austin Maxi, Austin Allegro and Rover Metro, and most recently on the MGF.

Moulton also designed the Moulton Bicycle, again using rubber suspension and small wheels. Moulton Bicycle Company[7] is based in Bradford-on-Avon, Wiltshire, England.

Awards and honours

In 1976, Moulton was awarded the CBE for services to industry. Other honours include:


  1. Weber, Bruce (2012-12-18). "Alex Moulton, Creator of Quirky Small-Wheeled Bike, Dies at 92, New York Times". The New York Times. Retrieved 2012-12-22.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Nahum, Andrew (2012-12-10). "Alex Moulton obituary | Technology | The Guardian". London. Retrieved 2012-12-22.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Alex Moulton Obituary, The Daily Telegraph". London. 2012-12-10. Retrieved 2012-12-22.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Dr Alex Moulton CBE 1920 - 2012". Retrieved 2012-12-22.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Dr Alex Moulton Dies". BikeRadar. 2012-12-10. Retrieved 2012-12-10.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. 6.0 6.1 Parnell, Brid-Aine (2012-12-11). "Dr Alex Moulton: 'An inspiration for generations of engineers'". The Register. Retrieved 2012-12-11.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "MOULTON Bicycle Company". Retrieved 2012-12-22.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "The Sir Misha Black Medal | Misha Black Awards". Retrieved 2014-04-29.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links