Sir George White Bt., (1854 - 1916), a ‘self-made’ entrepreneur and philanthropist introduced the first conventional electric tramways to Great Britain. Bristol Tramway’s electric system opened in 1898 and London United Electric Tramways followed in 1901.
Through Imperial Tramways, he pioneered electric street traction in many other cities. He introduced motor busses to Bristol in 1904, setting up a factory to build “Bristol” commercial vehicles in 1908. In 1908 also, he introduced motor taxis to Bristol’s streets, while at the same time turning his attention to the air.
In 1910 he founded what was to become the Bristol Aeroplane Company. His aircraft works at Filton were the first in the United Kingdom to be organised and financed on an industrial scale.
"Bristol" aircraft distinguished themselves in both World Wars and by 1944 the company's workforce had risen to 70,000 men and women.
To maintain employment at the conclusion of the Second World War the company began to manufacture motor cars to aircraft standards, under the direction of George S.M. White, the founder's grandson.