Magnus Volk

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A proof of concept model of the Daddy Long Legs built by Magnus Volk himself.
The Volk's Electric Railway still bears Magnus Volks name

Magnus Volk (1851–1937) was a pioneer British electrical engineer. He is most notable for having built Volk's Electric Railway, the world's oldest extant electric railway.[1] He also built the unique, but short lived, Brighton and Rottingdean Seashore Electric Railway, together with its unusual Daddy Long Legs vehicle. In 1887 he attracted attention in Brighton by building a three-wheeled electric carriage powered by an Immisch motor. In 1888, he built another electric car this time a four-wheeled carriage which was made to the order of the Sultan of Turkey.[2]

Magnus Volk was the son of a German clockmaker and was born on 19 October 1851 in Brighton. He lived at 38 Dyke Road in Brighton. On 8 April 1879, he married Anna Banfield in Burgess Hill. George Herbert Volk, his second son, is noted as a pioneer builder of seaplanes, whilst another son, Conrad Volk, wrote a biography of his father.[3] His Great Grandson is the musician Joe Volk.

Magnus Volk died in Brighton on 20 May 1937, and is buried at St Wulfran's churchyard in Ovingdean near Brighton.[4]


  1. ^ Jackson, Alan. "Volk's Railways Brighton." (Plateway Press, 1993). ISBN 978-1-871980-18-9.
  2. ^ Georgano, G.N. Cars: Early and Vintage, 1886-1930. (London: Grange-Universal, 1985).
  3. ^ Volk, Conrad. Magnus Volk of Brighton. (London: Phillimore, 1971).
  4. ^ Dale, Antony (1989). Brighton Churches. London EC4: Routledge. p. 207. ISBN 0-415-00863-8. 


  • Conrad Volk: Magnus Volk of Brighton. London & Chichester: Phillimore, 1971.

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