Major success came in 1901 with the invention
of the spiral hairpin. This was a predecessor of the hair clip.
He left the bicycle business and established various invention
and trading companies. The American rights to the spiral hairpin
were sold for 20,000 pounds, a fortune in 1901.
From 1903-1906 Godward served on the Invercargill
Borough Council, built an impressive new house, painted portraits
and landscapes, played a variety of musical instruments and
sang in local musical productions.
In 1908 he started a motorcycle business in Invercargill
and fitted the imported bikes with his own invention –
a petrol economiser. His economisers worked as well in cars
as they did in motorcycles. He invented 72 models of the economiser
and by the 1930s was recognised as the world’s leading
authority on the internal combustion engine.
For much of this time he was based in New York.
Marguerita continued to live in Invercargill. In 1929 the city
of Philadelphia, one of the largest public transport operators
in the United States, adopted the invention. Some 580 buses
and 3000 taxis were fitted with the vaporiser.
Godward died on 2 December 1936 on board the SS
Mongolia returning home to Invercargill.