Gladstone Adams


1880 – 1966


Who was Gladstone Adams?

Captain Gladstone Adams was, at one time, the Chairman of Whitley Bay Urban District Council.

In April 1908, he drove down to Crystal Palace Park in a 1904 Daracq-Caron motorcar to see Newcastle United play against Wolverhampton Wanderers in the FA Cup final. It was such a novelty to see a car in those days that it was put into a car showroom window while he was there, because so many people wanted to see it. On the way back from the cup final, snow kept getting on the windscreen and Gladstone had to keep getting out of the car to clear it. This experience led to his invention of the windscreen wiper. In April 1911, Gladstone patented the design of a windscreen wiper with Sloan & Lloyd Barnes, patent agents of Liverpool.

In World War I, Adams served in the Royal Flying Corps, the forerunner of the RAF, as a photograph reconnaissance officer. One of his duties was to prove the death and then arrange the burial of Baron Manfred von Richthofen, the 'Red Baron', after he had been shot down and killed. When World War II broke out, Adams was sixty years of age, too old for active service. However, he joined the Whitley Bay Air Training Corps, and a trophy given by him to the cadets is still awarded each year and bears his name, the Gladstone Adams Cup.

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May 16, 1880
  • England
Lived in
  • Newcastle upon Tyne

on July 23, 2013


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