James Owen of Penrhos

and his descendants

Byrne Curing Process

Initially, Pneumatic Tyre and Booth's Cycle Agency Ltd purchased the components for their tyres from other companies such as Byrnes Bros., a Birmingham business engaged in the production of general rubber goods. (William) Harvey Du Cros, one of the Dublin businessmen who had financed the Pneumatic Tyre company, also financed Byrne Bros and around the turn of the century he bought up the Byrnes’ Company and factory, integrating them into the Dunlop Rubber Company Ltd., the company that would, from 1910, become a significant plantation owner in Malaya.

An important development in SE Asia rubber production was the development of the Byrne Curing Process. This process was developed to try to make cultivated rubber of a comparable standard to the rubber from the Brazilian rain forests (wild Para), which manufacturers preferred. In 1912 a company called the Rubber Curing Patents Syndicate Ltd. had been founded and immediately sent a team headed by F A Byrne to Malaya to promote its curing process and to establish patents in SE Asia. Rubber from that area had long been criticised for its inconsistency due to the variety of processes used on different plantations and it was hoped that the efficacy and low cost of the Byrne process would encourage all plantation owners to adopt it. Within a year the owners eager for standardisation were experimenting with it. As was reported on the previous page, in 1916 John had been working for the Byrne Curing Process.


Trixi and John's daughter (Beatrice) Claire was born on 25 July 1911 at Djembatan Lanoen, Great Karimon, an island off the Singapore coast. Just after her birth the family moved north to Kala Perga, Kelantan, near the border with Thailand (see map). where their son, John Michael Fitzgerald-Day was born on the 10 February 1917. However, when the family sailed to the United Kingdom in 1919 their previous permanent residence was given as the ‘Straits Settlements’ (see map); these consisted of Singapore, Malacca, Dingding and Penang. Trixi’s brother, Edwin, returned to the UK the following year, giving his ‘Country of last permanent residence’ as ‘Federated Malay State’ which suggests he may have moved to live with or near his sister at some stage.