Sunbeam Cycles was founded by John Marston, who was born in Lud;ow, Shropshire, UK in 1836 of a minor landowning family. In 1851, aged 15, he was sent to Wovlverhampton to be apprenticed to Edward Perry as a japanware manufacturer. At the age of 23 he left and set up his own japanning business making any and every sort of domestic article. He did so well that when Perry died in 1871 Marston bought Perry's business and amalgamated it with his own.
Blue Plaque awarded by Wolverhampton Civic Society attached to the Sunbeamland works In 1887 Marston began making bicycles and, on the suggestion of his wife Ellen, he adopted the trademark brand Sunbeam; their Paul Street works were named Sunbeamland. John Marston was a perfectionist, and this was reflected in the high build-quality of the Sunbeam bicycle, which had an enclosure around the drive chain in which an oil bath kept the chain lubricated and clean. Sunbeam bicycles were made until 1936.