The Argson three-wheeler also known as the Argson Invalid Tricycle got its name from the initials of the company founders. Arnold Ramsden Garnett and Stanley Orton Needham which forms the word Argson.
It seems the company started in 1919 but the first vehicle was not until 1920.
In the United Kingdom these were called “Invalid carriages” a name that stuck for many years and was still in use until the 1980s, today it would probably be a “Person With Disability car”.
Arnold Ramsden Garnett himself was a person with a disability as he had no use of his legs.
With the end of World War One there was a lot of Servicemen returning to the UK with disabilities inflict on them by war, so there was a real need for them to have transport.
Arnold got together with Stanley who had been a designer at Rolls Royce to come up with the Argson Invalid Carriage.
The original design was hand-propelled which is probably why it was classed as a tricycle, we will cover this later in the article.
Later models had a choice of a petrol engine or an electric one.
The company made a 170cc petrol engine to power them, but it seems they also used other companies engines of a different cc.
The company saw another boom in sales after World War Two yet again because of the huge number of people with disabilities because of the war.
While it might not look it the Argson Invalid Tricycle was regarded as a very safe vehicle as it had such a low centre of gravity.
The Brakes and controls were also very good for the time.
Amazing Journey in a Argson
In 1947 a man called Denny Denly drove a 147cc Argson across the Swiss Alps and reached an altitude of almost 2,900m (8,000ft).
Deny started the charity that would later become Disabled Motoring UK and in 1959 he received the MBE.
See the Argson Three-Wheeler
If you are in the UK or visiting the UK there is a Argson Three-Wheeler in Egham Museum which is located on the first floor of the Literary Institute, 51 High Street, Egham, Surrey, TW20 9EW
Why the Argson Invalid Tricycle Classed as a Tricycle?
Now to return to why this was classed as a tricycle rather than a three-wheeler or a car like many three-wheelers.
Firstly the original design was powered by manpower which makes it closer to a tricycle.
The second reason and it is something we keep coming across when we research three-wheelers, and that is you sit on it not in it.
The more research we do the more we discover that the three-wheelers you sit inside are regarded as cars, where some you sit on are called tricycles.