John Henry Knight

Managing Real Estate Broker with Fathom Realty PB00068179

John Henry Knight was born in Farnham, Surrey, England back in 1847 to John and Mary.  His father died when he was nine, but bequeathed him “The Anchor Inn, in Normandy when he was twenty-one.  In 1851, he was training as an engineer, where he developed an enthusiasm for steam powered transportation.

He opened up his own engineering works on West Street Farnham.  In 1895, he was issued a citation by the Superintendent of Police for using a locomotive without a license.  He was fined half a crown in a hearing later that month.  His invention is currently on display at the National Motor Museum.

If you haven’t figured out by now John invented Britain’s first gasoline-powered motor vehicle.

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Comments (20)

Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Retired - Franklin, MA
Previously Affiliated with The Todaro Team

Good morning, James Dray 

Feb 25, 2021 03:01 AM
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

Thank you very much, James, for sharing this story.

Take care, be safe and have a great day.

Feb 25, 2021 04:14 AM
Brian England
Vacasa - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

Such a nice bit of history and I believe the gas-powered vehicle is indeed becoming history.  I think in 5-10 years, gas-powered cars will be thought of as antiques, haha.

Feb 25, 2021 04:28 AM
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

Now I know why this song was called John Henry was a Steel Driving Man!


Feb 25, 2021 04:31 AM
James Dray

It's been a long time, love that song

Feb 26, 2021 12:51 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello James - I imagine there are quite a few inventions that we know today that originated with a citation/fine.  An interesting part of history.

Of course, your profile today makes me think of own AR member who has shared his architectural finery as well as first-rate observations beyond his primary craft: John Henry, Florida Architect

Feb 25, 2021 04:52 AM
Raymond E. Camp
Howard Hanna Real Estate Services - Ontario, NY
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson Greater Rochester

Good morning James,

A large fine for getting ahead of the horse!

Make yourself an astonishing day.

Feb 25, 2021 04:54 AM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

Good morning James. Some creative minds understand progress and most have no clue. Enjoy your day.

Feb 25, 2021 04:59 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Okay, James... you got me... I had no idea what this man's contribution to our world was until you told me.

Feb 25, 2021 05:41 AM
Bob "RealMan" Timm
Ward County Notary Services - Minot, ND
Owner of Ward Co. Notary Services, retired Realtor

Don't you wish you had that car in your garage today James Dray ? I know I sure would like to own an original automobile.

Feb 25, 2021 05:52 AM
Rocky Dickerson
Realty One Group - Las Vegas, NV
Superior Service!

Good morning James Dray so this guy has a brilliant invention and gets fined for breaking a law? Sounds like a government to me LOL

Feb 25, 2021 06:24 AM
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


And soon the gasoline engines will be dinosaurs...We will all be electrically powered. A

Feb 25, 2021 07:23 AM
Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS
Fathom Realty Washington LLC - Tacoma, WA
South Puget Sound Washington Agent/Broker!

I didn't know the collation between John Henry and this John Henry Knight. This is fascinating James Dray 

Feb 25, 2021 08:11 AM
Jeffrey DiMuria 321.223.6253 Waves Realty
Waves Realty - Melbourne, FL
Florida Space Coast Homes

Pretty cool. It looks quite a bit like the first car Henry Ford made in the USA.

Feb 25, 2021 08:51 AM
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi James Dray - All I could. think about was how much is/was a "Crown".  I will google it! LOL

Feb 25, 2021 09:57 AM
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Hi James- just think of what he started!!!!!   It would be interesting to see what he would have thought about today's cars. 

Feb 25, 2021 12:47 PM
Debe Maxwell, CRS | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
The right Charlotte REALTOR!

It's funny how the Superintendent of Police categorized his invention as a "locomotive". I wonder what John called it?

Feb 25, 2021 02:06 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

That's a pretty important invention and look where it's gone!

Feb 25, 2021 07:52 PM
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, EXP - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Hi James, Thanks for sharing another great story.  John Henry Knight played a big part in what we have for vehicles now.

Feb 25, 2021 08:16 PM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

For a second I thought you were writing about our Ghost aka John Henry the Architect:))Endre

Feb 25, 2021 10:13 PM
Dorte Engel
RE/MAX Leading Edge - Bowie, MD
ABC - Annapolis, Bowie, Crofton & rest of Maryland

Dear James,

A vast improvement over charcoal-fired horseless carriages, but about to be eclipsed by the next generation of electric motor vehicles.

Mar 15, 2021 05:08 PM

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