WHEELS OF INDUSTRY.
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The wheel of wealth will be slowed by all diffienities of transport at whatever points arising, as a carriale is by The roughness of the roads over which it runs."—John• Beattie Crozier.
Gas-firing and Steam-wagon Boilers.
The Nt,cird " efficiency" in our footnote to letter No. 1616 on page 482 of our last week's issue should be read in conjunction with our earlier references to gasfiringMolesworth gives 5 lb. (mean) of water as capable of being evaporated by the gas from I 11a. of coal, but it is clear. that this result can only be obtained if the -whole of the coal—both hydrocarbons and fixed carbon—is bment as gas. When coal is retorted at a gas-works the fixed carbon remains in the retort as coke, and only the bituminous or carbonaceous portion is gasified. " Town gas ", of course, more than twice as rich in British thermal units as is producer gas, but only enough of the former (say 5 cubic ft.) is obtained from 1 lb. of coal to evaporate about 2 lb. of Water (from and at 212 degrees Fahrenheit).
Gas-firing cannot appeal to steamwagon owners on the score of fuel economy. The points in its favour, we may repeat, are ; (1) ease of control, no stoker being required ; (2) absence of smoke and dust; (3) quietness, Any one of these three points may more than counterbalance extra outlay on the fuel. Possibly the most serious factor in the _ problem of adaptation is to avoid visible exhaust. The excess or so-called waste heat from an ordinary boiler which is fired with coke or coal proves very valuable to superheat the exhaust steam. The substitution of gas-firing may involve condensing, as well as the installation of a battery of cylinders, but weight will he saved by removing the ashpan and fire-bars, by running with empty bunkers, and in the future by the use of smaller boilers.
• Owing to the fact that Mr. Justice
Eve was sitting, last week, in the Court of Appeal he could not deliver his judgment in the carte of the Weston-superMare Urban District Council versus Henry Butt and Son' Ltd., but at the time of going to preSshe was expected to do so on Wednesday. A full report of the 'lodgment will appear in our next issue,
Brown Bros. Report.
The 21st annual report of Brown Bros., Ltd., shows a profit far the year ended 1917 of £42,27. After adding an amount brought forward from the last accounts, and deducting aertain items, there is a net balance of £57,713 for disposal. The directors propose to appropriate this as follows.: a 6 per cent. dividend on the cumulative preference shares, and a per cent, dividend and a bonus of 2i per cent, on the othdinary shares, and an amount which brings the reserve fund up to £80,000. After these deductions have been made a sum of £26,712 is to be carried forward.
Bexley U.D.C1 is making inquiries as to Ole cost of a motor vehicle for the Fire Brigade.
Fordson Tractors and Autumn Ploughing.
In the House of Commons last -week, Colonel Royds asked the President.. of the Board of Agriculture whether he is aware that a number of tractors at the disposal of the Food Production Department for autumn ploughing are Fordsons with the Oliver plough attached; and, seeing that, in the opinion of many praCtical farmers, this combination is not the hest suited for the work required in most counties, if he will say what provision is being made for a supply of a heavier type of tractor? Sir E. 'Winfrey: The answer to the first part of the question -is in the affirmative. With regard to the second part of the question, there are already in the counties some 1700 heavier tractors provided by the Food Production Department, which it is proposed to retain. It is anticipated that a further 209 heavy tractors will be provided. In view of the decision not to break up a large additional quantity of grass land, it is not proposed -that the Food Production Department should supply more heavy tractoths.
Petrol Consumption in Mexico
The daily consumption of petrol by autordobiles in Mexico City is esti mated at 15,000 litres, or approximately 575,900 gallons. Most of this is used by machines that carry passengera for hire. It is estimated that the monthly outlay in this direction is over $100,000.
. Mr. P. J. Sheldon, County Surveyor of Essex, in his annual report, stated that the total length of main roads was 788 miles 4i furlongs, that under the direct control of the county council being 671 miles 74 furlongs. The main roads (exclusive of claimed main roads) had cost for upkeep and improvements £127,658, and, allowing for sundry receipts, there remained a net expenditure for the year of £123,896. The continuance of the war had rendered the upkeep of the roads in anything approaching a fair condition a most difficult problem, • efficient, labour had been greatly reduced, g-ranite supplies had been;controlled, whilst team labour iii the ordinary sense had almost ceased to exist, and the only really .satisfactory point in the situation was that, considering the heavy military strain, many of the principal roads had been and were subjected to, it was remarkable that they were not in a much worse condition. In his opinion a great deal of unnecessary damage had been done to road surfaces through the excessive speed at which Army motor lorries were driven, both loaded and empty.
More Second-hand Prices.
As further ,proof of the high prices which are being paid for secondhand commercial vehicles, Leyland Motors (1914), Ltd., have receutiv informed us that a number of Leyland second-hand steam wagons running on rubber tyres, which had anything of a life ranging from five to ten years, have fetched
prices between £750 and 21400. A 1915 " released" Leyland subsidy lour, ton petrol lorry was recently sold by auction in London for the 211131 of 1520 guineas.
• Do You Want These ?
Armstrong-Whitworth and Co., Ltd., Elswick Works; Newcastle-on-Tyne, informs us that it, has for disposal a considerable number of varied commercialvehicle components. 'Included in the list are a number of petrol tanks both large and small, 76 Type 30 White and Poppe carburetters, as well as some of several types made by Trier and Martin, 43 brass and copper radiators, over 500 Dunlop detachable wire wheels, and many San
key steel whew. The company is prepared to consider an offer for the complete stock as it stands, or for any of the parts delivered F.O.R. at its works.
Mexican Petroleum Exports.
Unofficial Mexican reports from the shipping companies in the Tampico district., 'as published by the "Tampico Tribune," show that the petroleum exports for the month of April were the largest for several months, having been some 775,000 barrels in excess ,Of the March shipments. The grand 'total for the district was 4,286,517 barrels, while for March the total was 3,511,442 bar
rels. Additional tonnage allotted by the United States Shipping Board was the cause fdr the increase, owing to the demand for war purposes.
Electrics for Glasgow.
At tbe•Glasgow Corporation Cleansing Committee, relative -to the purchase of two two-ton tipping wagons, the superintendent submitted a letter from Edison Accumulators, Ltd., that it was improbable that the two chassis' (which were being made in America);' would be delivered this year owing to transport difficulties and stating that, with a view to giving immediate delivery of the wagons, they would substitute other chassis at the same price. The Committee 'agreed to accept the chassis now offered.
• Burst Tyre Calls Out the Fire Brigade..
HeSton and Isleworth Fire Brigade was called out recently under unusual circumstances. The U.D.C. reports re.ceipt of a • false alarm from the post opposite the Windsor Castle, Bath Road. A sergeant in the A.S.C. was riding a motorcycle, and just !before reaching the alarm post a tyre bursting the Machine collided with the post, and this started the bell, and so caused the engine to turn out.
For the year ended 31st March last Hertfordshire County Council only received £5560 in 'fees of motorcar and motorcycle licences, a• decrease for Abe year of £3099. In 1916 the fees came to' £12,420.
Value of Road Surfaces.
A scientifically conducted test was recently carried uut in" order to determine the advantages of various classes of road construction. It was found that to draw a load over a concrete road in an ordinary vehicle required a pull of 27.6 lb. per ton of, gross load, over a road with a,sphalte surface and a concrete base 49.1; lb. per ton, and over a good water-bourn' macadam road 64.3 lb. per ton. Over good gravel road the power required was 78.2 lb., over dry dirt 92 lb., and ovet wet and muddy land 218 lb. per ton. These are informative figures, and show how essential it is that a road designed for heavy traffic should have a; hard, clean, and level surface. Buell as is only obtainable when concrete is used.
Industrial Reconstruction Council.
The work a the Industrial Reconstruction Council is expanding se rapidly that it has been found necessary to secure more adequate office accommodation, and, the address of the:organiza. tion will in future be; 2 and 4, Teclor Street, E.C. 4. The work has been reorganized and divided into sections superintended by sub-committees. Mr. Ernest J. P. Berm 'remains chairman and administrative chief, Sir Alexander Roger is in charge of the membership section, Dr. William Garnett and Mr. Emil Davies control meetings, and Sir Herbert Nield,K.C., M.P., is Parlia
mentary representative. • The Council is also extending the work of propaganda through other organizations, and is now prepared to send speakers to any societies to lecture or initiate discussionn upon the various aspects of the Whitley Report. Applications should _be _ made" to the secretary, who. would also be glad to supply literature for distribution.
Motor tractors are selling well in parts of :Scotland. The demand in Dundee exceeds deliveries from Manchester. Mr. Thomas Shaw, the local agent, has had many sales, and farmers appear to be very keen on the Fordson Type.
Another section has been adder" to the ,Dundee Volunteer Corps of' the this'.being the "fifth under the local e.stablishment.
• America and Electrics.
In America electric vehicles are used extensively in five navy yards three arsenals several depots in imuling mail arid parcel-post matter, and at the various departments of the Government in Washington, also at Panama, and by the Bureau. of Insular Affairs in Manila. The electric vehicle is given preference at the navy yards for the reason of economy and freedom from fire risk, and the reason of handling by employees, many of whom are incompetent to operate, much less to care for, petrol-driven vehicles. The latter are practically barred from many sections of the various yards where inflammable stores, ammunition, etc., are handled.
At the arsenals, the same general ad vantages are found for electrics where they are called upon to haul smokeless powder and similar munitions; oils, acids, naphtha, etc., as well as guns of many calibres, machinery, etc. The dependability of the electric in mail work is well known; in fact, the electric is often given the hardest routes, namely, those involving close schedules under traffic conditions.
Goods Carrying by Tramcars at Night.
At a recent meeting of the Bradford City Council the chairman of the Trams ays Committee (Aldermen E. Priestley) stated in reply to a question that the committee viewed with approval the question of utilizing the tramemy lines and overhead equipment for the purpose of conveying goods at night in order to relieve the roads of a great deal of traffic and in view of obvious difficulties now being experienced in transport and with traffic in Bradford. The matter had already been under consideration.
Subsidies for Buses.
In the House of Commons last week, Mr. Gilbert asked the Minister of Munitions what were the grounds on which the London General 'Omnibus Co. applied for a subsidy for their motor omnibuses in south-east London; whether the subsidy is paid yearly, half-yearly; or n26 quarterly; whether it is paid on the total mileage run by the omnibuses per week, including Sundays, or if it is only paid on the estimated mileage run when carrying munition workers ; can he state if the omnibuses have to give preference to the munition workers on all routes over all other passengers and can he give any estimate of the t-Otal number of munition workers carried on the various omnibus routes since the subsidy has been paid? Mr. Kellaway : The original agreement with the London General Omnibus Co. provided that the services in the Woolwich area should be supplied without charge to the Ministry, and it was only when the company stated that they were unable to continua these services without the aid of a subsidy that terms were arranged. The company renders quarterly statements of account. As stated by the present Minister of Blockade in .his reply to my hon. friend on 18th June, the amount of the present grant is based on the difference between the average earnings per mite of the omnibuses in the south-eastern area as compared with the average earnings of the oninibuses in the remainder of the Metropolis, subject to certain conditions. The question of giving preference to munition workers was considered, and was found to be asspracticable. The number of Arsenal and Dockyard workers usino the omnibuses is apprcedrnately 13,500 a7day.
Ilford U.D.C. has arranged to purchase the fallowing vehicles :—A Sentinel 3-tori second-hand steam wagon at £650, plus unloading gear, £60; a 3i-ton. Orwell electric wagon from Mossay and Co., Ltd., for £1122, unloading gear to be fitted, either electric operative, which will cost .£50 extra; or Wilkins unloading gear, the alternative price for which the electrical engineer is to obtain from the makers and a second-hand 15 lip. Talbot car from Todd. and Wright, Ltd., for £400.
The accounts of Rolls-Royce, Ltd. for the year ended 31st.October, 1917, ;how a profit, after making all necessary provisions, of £142,056 as against £82,640 for the previous year
A Championship Tractor.
' The illustration which appears on page. 501 shows the British tractor champion driver and ploughman with the Overtime tractor on which they set up their praiseworthy record. It was taken just after the conclusion of the three months competition for the handsome prizes given by Mr. Gordon Selfridge. These prizes were offered for the largest acreage ploughed by any tractor working for the Feed Production' Department.
The driver (left) is Mr. Wilfred Powell and the ploughman (right) is Mr. J. G. H. Wall. Both hail from Hereford, and are splendid examples of the yeomen of England such as no other country can produce. Messrs. Powell and Wall have a record to be proud of. Using an Overtime tractor and a threefurrow Cocksbutt plough ‘sith special breasts for the heavy clay land of Herefordshire, they ploughed a total of 825 acres in the 34 weeks ending 3rd Mayan average of over 24 acres per week, including all stops for weather, breakages, renewals and time in moving from farm to farm. Their 'biggest acreage in one week is aq (record), in one month 164i (also a record), and in the three month: of the Selfridge competition 454i acres. For the first seven weeks of that period they never sat down to a meal, but took all their food While. ploughing, and reduced their sleeping time to only those hours during which it was impossible to see to work. At the end of 'seven weeks the weather became too wet for ploughing, and gave them a short rest. This is a wonderful performance, and was only accomplished by a cembination of skill, courage and that persistent determination which is so evident in their faces..
The championqhip shield, which is attached to the front of the tractor, is "a very handsome work of art of cast bronze on. an oaken base. The very charming background is the entrance to the quadrangle of the . ancient palace of the bishops of Hereford.
Mr. Edward G. Brown, M.I.Mech.E., whose offices and showrooms are at 5, 6 and 7, Great Hampton Street, Birmingham, informs us that he is sole district agent. for the Wild-Barfield patent electric steel hardening furnaces to which we made reference in our article on the "Normalizing of Carbon Steel," which appeared in a recent issue. He also informs us that he is at present installing one of these furnaces at the Birmingham Technical School.
The . Ilford tramways manager has called attention to the high price of horse hire. The .Council now pays 21s, per day, and he suggests the purchase of a second-hand petrol lorry for cartage purposes.
The French Government recently purchased a 45 h.p. tractor of the caterpillar type for 21000. It is proposed to operate this machine in the rice-paddy fields of Cechin China, and if successful, it is expected that a market for this type of machine will be opened in that district.
A special commission has been appainted by the Secretary of Foment° For the purpose of establishing four agricultural experimental stations in various portions of Mexico. The States of Puebla and .Vera Cruz have already taken steps by donating tracts of land for the purpose indicated.
.Sir D. Ryland Adkins, M.P., reported
I upon an interview with War Office Officials regarding the arrangements in contemplation by the Warrn Office for dealing with damage to. roads by timber traffic.
• It was decided to get further questions '
asked inPa.rliameht as to the scope of the authority of the Controller of Roads and Bridges, and the extent of the duties of his office. If the replies of the Government are not satisfactory, the Secretary of State for War is to be asked. to receive a deputation on the subject.
Agriculture in Mexico.
• Some thee since instructions were sent to-the Governors of all the States in the Mexican Republic that = they should take steps to put into cultivatipn all the unused arable•lands possible by allotting them to those who wished. to undertake, the task. Most of the Governors have now reported that under these instructions the largest area ever known, is now under cultivation and that the coming crops will exceed anything known in the history of the Republic, thus rendering it unnecessary tp -import from abroad in order to meet the demands of the people.
Strakers on War Work.
The illustration which we publish on this page depids a fleet of Straker-Squire lorries and a few other vehicles, which i form part of Messrs. Maple and Co.'s (Tottenham Court Road) fleet lined up' with their staff. The whole of these machines are enrolled in the Motor Volunteers, and are being need, exclusively on work of national importance. These vehicles are, we understand, accomplishing much arduous wOrk, including longdistance runs, 4ild it can be said without fear of contradiction. that there is hardly a more severely-worked fleet of machines in the whole of the Metropolis.
When motor vehicles were first introduced to the public some 18 years ago as a freight-carrying possibility, they were purchased experimentally em ones arid twos, and as their great value for fast traffic purposes became apparent, Messrs.
Maple used their slowlyeaccumulated experience of a variety of :makes to single
out the best types, as they revealed themselves particularly suitable for allround work.
Situated, as the company are, in the very heart of London, and bearing in mind that all their departmental chiefs are enthusiastic motorists, the firm were in a particularly favourable position to examine the claims and reputation of every type of vehicle on the market and to test it as to its suitability for arduous work. Therefore, their example is typical of the manner in which large users have built up substantial fleets by ,a process of slow elimination of makes of machine found to give inconsistent service.
Walsall's Tram Profits.
The Walsall Corporation reports that the net profit of the tramway undertalt • ing (including motor omnibuses) for the year ended the 31st March, was £16,515
15s., appropriated as follows ;.'-'To Borough Fund in relief of :rates, £5000; to special reserve account, motor omnitinsel}, £4895 13s. 9d. ; balance (carried forward), £6620 is. 3d.
The L.C.C. has approved a proposal to use a paraffin carburetter experimentally on a motor lorry, and sanctioned expenditure of £48 for the purpose.
At the request of the Sutton U.D.C., the L.C.C. has arranged for a firebrigade officer to inspect said report to the district council upon a first-aid motor appliance purchased by the district council.
In view of . the increasing 'strain laced upon the ambulance services, the L.C.C. has given instructions that the number of relatives or' other personsallowed to accompany injured persons on the ambulance vehicles is to be restricted as far as possible.,
The Contracts Committee of the L.C.C. report having entered into the following contracts (1) with Thomas Tilling, Ltd., for hire of 2-ton motorvans front1st July, 1918, far the duration of the war, plus nine months or alternatively five years, which ever is the shorter period; (2) with the Central Motor Hiring Co., Ltd.', for a motor ambulance for conveyance of children to and from cleansing stations, from 6th May, 1918, to 5th May, 1919; the estimated value of contra:M. is. £512.
Parcels Delivery in York.
The York Traders' Association has been asked to receive a deputation from the Electricity and Tramways Committee with a view to securing their support in establishinga parcels delivery system in the city:
Neath R.D.C. proposes to acquire a steam lorry. .
Lewes T.C. proposes to purchase a motor ambulance.
Ilford U.D.C. is to purchase two 3Aton G.V. electric vehicles.
Burnley Electricity Committee is to purchase an electric vehicle.
'Chorley T.C. is considering the purchase of a motor ambulance.
Weston-super-Mare U.D.C. is considering the purchase ef a motor fireengine.
Southward B.C. is putting aside £130 so that the borough engineer can purchase a second-hand motorcar.
• Ilford U.D.C. is making inqiiiries fer the purchase of a second-hand petrol lorry of about 2 tons capacity.
Leyton U.C. js acquirinetr a Britishbuilt electric vehicle, which it is purchasing through the Edison Accumulator Co., Ltd.
Hampstead B.C.. has • purchased a motorvan for £160-, for transport in conneetion with the local communal kitchens..
Stirlingshire C.C. has appointed a committee to purchase for the Eastern District., a steam tractor; new or secondhand.
Williton (Somerset) R.D.C. is to provide a motor ambulance for the hospital, "six months after the conclusion of peace."
Richnuind has selected a Yorkshire steam wagon for street-watering. The price is £1013, this being the lowest of three tenders.
Maidstone has obtained permission to borrow £12:00 for thepurchase of a.31ton electric tipping wagon, and is now endeavouring to obtain priority for purchase of the vehicle.
Cheam Fire Brigade , Committee is making inquiries from Hurstpierpoint Council as to the Method to be adepted to convert a manual into a motor engine at the cost of about £200.
Poplar B.C. is to apply £700 from the profits of the electricity undertaking towards the cost of the purchase of an additional motor wagon. A further sum-of £480, profits. of the same undertaking, has been earmarked fot the ereetion of a garage for motor wagons.