WHEELS OF INDUSTRY.
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The wheel of wealth will be slowed by all aioiculties of transport at whatever points arising, 45 a carriage is by the roughness of the roads over which it runs. '—John Beattie Crozier.
Petrol Price Down.
We sunderstand that a drop in the price of petrol, if it has net -been announced before this issue is in the hands cif readers, is imminent. The stocks of petrol in the country are very great, and, but for the possibility created by the coal strike of a big call upon those stocks, the announcement of the fall in price would, no .doubt, have been made sooner. There is every reason why the price should be brought down to 2s. 6d. per gallon.
Natalite for Great Britain.
An experimental consignment of the new patent alColiol fuel, Natalite, will arrive at the Port of London this week, per s.s. " Chmy Castle," from South Africa,
Natalite has been manufactured and has been in general use in South Africa for four years, and is now also being produced in East Africa, India, and Australia, but this is the first consignment to reach this country. It is being imported under special permit given by the Excise end Customs author-die& The whole of the first consignment will be used exchnively for demonstration and experimental purpeees. Tests carried out by the leading engineers, scientists, and by the principal automobile clubs in the Empire have shown that Natalite will give as good mileage as petrol, mid in many other respects is superior as a fuel for internal-combustion engines.
Japan Oil Companies Amalgamate.
At a meeting recently held at Tokyo, Japan, it was decided to amalgamate the Haden Oil CO. and the Japan Oil Co. into one concern, under the name of the Japan Oil Co. The company at present known as the Japan Oil Oe. has a capital of 40,000,000 yen, the capital of the Hoden Oil Co. being half that of the Japan Oil Co. One of the conditions of the amalgamation is that the Hoden Oil Co. should increase its capital by a further 20,000,000 yen
Statistics recently issued by the Rubber Association of America, Inc., indicated that importations of crude rubber for the month of March, 1921, had fallen off decidedly as compared with similar figures for March, 1920. In like manner importations for the 'first three months of the year have shown, a decided decrease as contrasted ivith a like period in 1920. According to the statistics, importations of crude rubber for March, 1921, amounted to 14,416 tons, while those for March, 1920, amounted to 31,650 tons. Total importations for the first three months ending March 31st, 1921, amounted to 37,234 tons, while the same period in 1920 showed imports aggregating 85,995 tons.
The British Engineers' Association.
The annual general meeting of the British Engineers' Association took place at 32, Victoria Street, London, S.-W.1, a few days ago. At a meeting of the council of the association that followed, Mr. Neville Gwynne, late chairman of the Executive Committee, was elected president of the association, in place of the retiring president, Colonel 0. Cl. Armstrong, D.S.O., who had .occupied the position of president for three years and to whom a very hearty vote of thanks. was accorded. Mr. E. W. Petter was elected chairman of the Executive Committee.
A Municipal Demonstration..
In connection with the annual conference of the Institution ef Municipal and County Engineers, it has been arranged to hold a demonstration of 'mechanically
propelled vehicles, -Such as are used for municipal work, in Lincoln's Inn Fields on Thursday, June 16th. Many of-the Metropolitan authorities are sending machines, and a most repre. sentative collection of municipal appliances will be on view, including gulley cleansing machines, motor sweepers, electric dust vans, tipping lorries, road rollers, fire-engines, tar-spraying machines, grilling machines, road sweepers, and collectors,sete. Many of the prominent British manufacturers will be represented, amongstthese being Straker-Squire, Ltd.; Lacre Motor Car Coe Ltd.; Merryweather and Sons, Ltd.; Earlier Motors, Ltd.
LIMO Coaches a Day.
Some intere,sting figures were given by the Chief Constable of Blackpcol at an inquiry held by an Impeder of the Ministry of Transport at Blackpool into an application by the Corporation for a regulation to limit the steed of motors in certain streets of the borough to ten miles an hour. He said that during five days covering Easter of last year 760 motor coaches and 3,281 motorcars CAIlls into Blackpool by the Preston new road, and 328 motor coaches and 2,283 cars by Layton,. Another census was taken over the Whit. holidays. It is proposed that the speed limit should oily be in operation during the summer months.
A meeting of the unsecured creditors of MacNamara and Co., Ltd., is to be held on Thursday, June 2nd, at 12.30 p.m., at Winchester House, Old Broad -Street, London, E.G., to consider a scheme of arrangement. A copy of the scheme can be seen, and forms of proxy obtained at the company's registered office, 12, Castle Street, Finsbury, E.G., any day between 1T1 a.m. and 2.p.m. Proxies must be lodged by 1 o'clock on May 31st.
The Film and the Tractor.
An interesting fi]7.2, having as its motive the attracting of public attention to the advantage of the agrimotor, has been prepared at the instance of Agricultural and General Engineers, Ltd., the agrimotor with which an exsoldier commences to cultivate his farm being a Peterbro made by Peter Brotherhood, Ltd. There is a etrong love interest throughout the film, and many opportunities are afforcled for exhibiting the technical side, in the way of ploughing incidents. The film will shorty be released for public exhibition.
The 1921 Roads and Transport Exhibition..
'The annual Roads and Transport Exhibition, organized by the County Councils Association, will this year take place in London from November 17th to 25th.
Liverpool Coach Meeting.
In view of the extraordinary conditions now prevailing, no one can say what, level will be reached in motor
coach fares this season. This was an opinion expressed at a meeting of the Liverpool and district motor coach proprietors held recently. The meeting was held under the auspices of the Liverpool and District, Chester, and North Wales Motor Char-à-bancstOwners' Association, an Mr: W. H. Furphey, of the Coiling-. wood Transport Co.,-presided. A num. bar of interesting matters were referred to, which we hope to be able to deal with in an early issue.
'the chairman welcomed several new members, including Mr. Roberts and Mr. C. IL Edwards (of the Lancashire 'United Tramways, Ltd.); Mr. -Alfred Harding, Birkenhead; and Mr. J. H. Hudson (Allied Psoa,d Transports, Ltd.).
An Aldershot Parade.
This year, as was the case last year, the annual commercial vehicle , parade organized by the Transport Committee of the Aldershot and District Chamber of Commerce was held on Whit-Monday in ideal weather. This is the third parade of this kind which has been held in Aldershot, and once more it was a success both from the owners' and drivers' points of view. Five classes were open for traders' vehicles, whilst there were three classes for -vehicles run by the Army, Navy, and Air Force Institute.
Class 1 was for light vehicles, class 2 for one-tonners, class 3 for two-tonners, class 4 for vehicles of three tens and over, class 5 being set. aside for steamers. The three classes for the N., A. and A.F. institutes were set aside for Ford vans, one-ton vehicles, and three-ton vehicles.. Seven teams, each comprising three 'vehicles, also competed for a cup which was presented. by the C.M.T_T.A. for the beat team.
The prizes in the respectiveclasses i were awarded as follow :— Class 1.—The firstprize of £2 10s. was won by A. J. Andrews, driving a Ford for Messrs. B. Hiscoek, whilst the second and third prizes of £1 10s. and £1 were won by G. Starkey and D. Pain respectively, driving Ford vans for Messrs. Darracotts.
Class 2. —The first prize of £2 10s. was awarded to B. Crail, driving a Ford for Messrs. Naylor Bros., the second prize of £1 10s. to F. bums, driving a Star for Messrs. Solomon Bros., and the third prize of £1 to F. Tinsley, driving a Ford
for S. Bide and Sons. .
Class 3.—The first prize of £2 10s. and the second prize of £1 10s. wereawarded to A. Corinett and S. Ashill, in the employ of J. Colyer and Co., Ltd., driving a Halley and Napier respectively. Class P. Eade was awarded first prize of £3, driving a Leyland for Messrs. Solomon Bros., whilst V. Crawte and W. E. Crickmore, each driving a Leyland for J. CoVer and Co.,. Ltd., were awarded second and third prizes of
£2 and £1 10s. respectively, whilst tho fourth prize was won by A. C. King, driving a Peerless lorry for the AngloA-Merman Oil Co., Ltd. A special driver's prize, awawsled in this class for the driver with the longest record of service with one firm AVM; awarded to W. Fonder, who has been employed by Mesurs. W. Kinghara and Sons for 31 years.
There were only three entries in class 5, for steamers, and the prize of £3 was awarded to C. Smith, driving aFoden for 1'. White and Co., Ltd.
In Class 1 for--Ford vans run by the N.1 A. and A.F. Institutes, the first prize of £1 was won by H. Kilham, arid the second.. prise of 15s. by G. Edwards, whilst in Class 2 E. Allen was awarded the £1 prize, and inclass 3 A. Tigwell the £1 prize.
The Cll. C.A. cup for the best team was won by a, group of three Fords in the service of Messrs. Darracotts, a prize of £1 being awarded to each of the winning drivers. A special challenge cup, presented by Mr. F. B. Bateman for the best-turnedout trader's vehicle in any class was won by the Napier vehicle owned by J. Colyer and Co., Ltd. (driver A. Connett, who was awarded the first prize in class 3).
"The Motor Ship."
The editorial offices of MU associated journals, The Motor Skip and The Motor Boat have been transferred to Imperial Buildings, 56, Kingsway, London, W.C., to which address all editorial communications should be sent. The editorial staff will be glad to welcome members of the trade at the new offices at any time and to give them all the help and information that lies in their power.
The business otfic.es of both journals will remain as heretofore at 745, Rosebery Avenue, London, E.C.1, to which all communications regarding. advertisements and accounts should be addressed.
The Goodyear Tyre and Rubber Co. (Great Britain), Ltd., of 162, Shaftesbury Avenue, London, W.C., announce a reduction in the price of their giant pneumatic tyres fur lorries and coaches.
A Petrol Rail Coach.
3. G. Brine and Co., of Philadelphia, have just completed a petrol-propelled passenger coach and trailer, which is intended for use on some of the electric railroads. The coach is 22 ft. long, 8 ft. high, and with the chassis weighs 6 tons. It is capable of carrying, with the trailer, 65 passengers, althongh, if passenger accommodation is limited to the coach, the trailer can be used for the transport of goods. This new vehicle in the development of an idea on which motor and railway engineers of the city have been working for some time past, one aim being to endeavour to produce a simpler and less expensive means cf transportation. it is claimed that the Brill° coach has now passed the experimental stage: The U.S. Government is sponsor for the invention and has purchased a coach and trailer, the performance of which is to be closely watched by army engineers.
Motor Plough to the Rescue.
Owing to the cutting down of the gas supply at l3.romsgroye, The Broinsgrove Messenger last week found itself without power for driving the printing and casting machines. This need was met by placing an 11 h.p. Wyles motor plough in an adjacent, yard. Connection with the shafting was established by removing panes of glass from the machines room window, and running the driving belt through the opening.
The Liverpool Motor Haulage Clearing House, during the coal shortage, has been of useful service to steam wagon proprietors in being able to procure for them supplies of coal.
A summary of the Netherlands. Government's reply to the recent American Note protesting .against the awarding of the monopoly of the Djambi ptlfiekt in the Dutch East Indies to the Batavia Oil Co. bee been received by the State Department. It is understood to contend that America's pretest had come too late, as the Dutch Parliament bad already paesed a Rill covering operations in that field.
The Netherlands GovermiteuVe reply to the recent American Note, • further says that the Netherlands Governmeet does not draw any distinction between Dutch and foreign capital in the exploitation of oilfields, and that the Government desires to see American .capital take part in such exploitation. With regard to the recent granting of a ..concession to the Batavia Oil Co., the reply says that when, in January, Mr. Phillips, United States Minister at The Hague, requested permission for American companies to participate, the Bill covering operations in the Djambi district had already been drafted and the question, pending the approval of Parliament, had been settled,
The Note adds that there are rich oilfields in Sumatra, and Borneo, and the Minister for the Coloniee would gladly enter into a contract for their exploitation on terms, similar to those governing the contract with the Batavia Oil Co.
Cost of Louth Roads.
Farmers and other ratepayers in the Louth Rural District continue to discuss the amazing figures which have been brought before the rural district council as to the increase in the expenditure on thc roads, and a special sub-conunittee has the matter under investigation.
Two months ago it was stated that the amount expended had risen. from
2,410 in 1918-19 to £15,279 in 1919-20 and £7,740 in 1920-21. At the annual meeting a month later these figures formed the subject of a keen debate) when it 'was stated that the increase to the ratepayer amounted to 8s. per sieve, but, in the absence of Canon LongIey, chairman of the finance committee, the council had not the advantage ef the. statement which his had prepared on the subject. Sines that time the sub-committee has met, and though, of course, its findings are private until it reports to the body which appointed it, Canon
Langley has pointed out to an enquirer one factor in the discussion which goes a long way to explain the tremendous disparity in the figures. It is very misleading, he says, to compare the figures of a year when no work was done on the roads with those of a year when the highway authority. was net only doing the work of that current year, but the deferred work of previous years.
Speed Limit Application Dropped.
The Town Council, Bury St. Edmunds, has now decided to withdraw the application that was made in June last for a speed limit of 10 m.p.h. in a number of streets in 'the borough. The application was of an extensive character, embracing no fewer than 26 roads and. streets, covering practically the whole of the centre of the town. Strong opposition had been organized by the Suffolk County A.C., in conjunction with the R.A.C. and also by the A.A. and M.U., and this fact materially influenced the council in arriving at this decision.
Confusion in Names.
There is frequent confusion in the names of the two Timken companies hi America. The Timken-Detroit Axle Co. and the Timken Roller Bearing Co. are two entirely separate and distinct organizations, one with its head office at Detroit, Michigan, and the other at Canton, Ohio. The only connection is that a certain amount of the shares of both 'companies is held by the same members of the Timken family. In the past the two companies had the same sales organization and combined in advertising the Timken products; but, in line with the American idea of specialization, it was decided. 801/10 years ago that this combined sales effort was not satisfactory, and since then the two enterprises have been entirely independent of each other.
In the same way the Timken axles will he sold in Great Britain by Automotive Prodacts Cot, of 3, Berners St., London, W.1, and the Timken roller bearings by the British-Tioaken Co., of Ward End, Birmingham.
Keasington Borough Council reports that two Ford metervans purchased a year age have, compared with horse traction, effected a saving of £800. It is now proposed to . purchase a third Ford van.
As reported in Tim Commercial Motor a month age, the Lincoln City ratepayers are faced with a loss on the running of the new buses. In Aix months £1,200 has been lost, daring which time the buses have arrived at intervals of a fortnight. The City Council has estimated for a £2,700 loss on the next year's working. The public wanted the buses, owing to the straggling nature of the town., and they still need them. The rumour that the Electricity and Tramways Committee has considered following the example of Liverpool and 'disposing of the vehiclee can be definitely =denied. The council has, the confidence of the public and is prepared to face this question of burden on the eates.
On Whit-Monday several buses were engaged by private parties, as a, result of which the Corporation is considerably better off. So far as the future is concerned,. several Sunday schools have intimated their intention to hire buses ta give their scholars their annual treat, and other institutions will, no doubt, follow this example.
Halifax and Emergency Coach Services.
The Halifax Corporation Sunday service of tramcars has been suspended fee about a month on account of the coat shortage. Airing this time the members', of the Rabfax Motor Association have. provided a service of motor coed-ries which. have run, on the various corporation. tram routes, and the vehicles have been: well patronized by the public.
At a meeting of the highways committee a few days age it was decided to permit chars-a-basics to ply on the tram routes on Sundays only, in condi-. don that 15s. per vehicle per day is paid to the, corporation. The members of the Motor Association resent this decision, which they regard as an imposition., in: view of the public Service which is rendered, and they have accordingly decided not to run their coaches on the tram routes on Sunday..
The highways committee thinks that, owing to the wear and tear of the roads by these vehicles, the charge is justified,'
Why the char-a-ba,ncs proprietors of the city should be penalized for enclea vouring to provide the public with trans:: port services in an emergency, it is difficult to appreciate.
Another American Record.
The annual review which has just beeu issued by the National Automobile Chamber of Commerce shows that all previous American records for motor vehicle production and sales were broken during 1920.
More than 3,000,000 motor vehicles are in use by farmers, while over 100,000 are treed by physicians, 30,000 by State Governments, 10,000 by .municipalities, 12,000 by _rural schools, and additional thousands by various h'ecieral Government agencies. The taxes paid by motorcar users during 1920 amount to 316,720,000 dollars.
The total wholesale business in motor Vehicles, parts, tyres, and accessories amounted to 3;594,814,620 dollars.
Essex CC. and Speed Limit.
The Essex County Council reports, with reference to the application for a regulation limiting the speed of motor vehicles to 10 mile an heur on certain roads in Braintree, that the Ministry of Transport. states that the provisions of Section 1 of the Act are sufficient to cope with such danger as may arise from the driving of motor vehicles at more than 10 miles an hour on the length of roads included in the application, particularly in view of the fact that warning notices have been erected. Flaying regard to the character of the roads and all' the circumstances, the Minister doee not feel justified in imposing the desired speed limit.
A Fordson to the Rescue.
A .Fordson tractor has been called upon to drive the dynamo for a Birmingham cinematograph during the hours that the supply of town gas is cut. off. The lay-out, which was devised in the course of an afternoon by Mr. 3. T. Cross, of West's Picture Palace, Erdiegton, and Messrs. Chamber and Co., The Parade, Sutton Coldfield, consists Of a tractor driving the electric motor by bolt, and an arrangement of switches by means of which the gas engine can be cut in and theetractor cut out without. interfering . with the performance. Assuming that the tractor is driving, the gas engine is then started and the voltage is worked up till it is approximately equal to that indicated as being developed by the tractor. Then both gas engine .and .tractor are ewitehecl in to run sientaltenetinely, the last stage in the proceeding being to cart out. the tractor when the ehenge ever is complete.
The tractor, which has been hired from a farmer, is run at about 900 relent., at which speed it consumes about. two
gallons of paraffin per hour. It runs fight and the water ,keeps • quite cool. A long exhaust pipe is led from the cylinders to a closed tub half-filled with water. The exhaust. pipe terminates. in an L piece, the short aim of which ie immersed in the water. The gas hubbies up through thewater and leaves the tub through a number of thin tubes which project through the cover at. the top.
Cambrjdgeshire to Spend £32,000.
pambridgeshire County Council has authorized its mechanical haulage committee to purchase, as required, various vehicles and road plant at an estimated cost of -232,060. Purchases enggested. include one Tiger steam tractor and four five ton trailers, and five five ton Paden steam wagons and four Eagle few ton rubber-tyred trailers.
Electrics Preferred for Refuse Collection.
Reading a paper on the municipal works of Derby before a meeting of the municipal and county engineers, Mr. C. A. Clews, the borough engineer, stated that the corporation had for refuse collection two two ton electric vehieles, one five ten steam lorry, and one four ton petrol lorry. The number of electries was being increased, and the steam and petrol vehicles would he dispensed with for this particular class of work. Pot road work the corporation has two five ton steam lorries, one 30 cwt. petrol lorry, one petrol sweeping machine, and one 1,000 gallon petrol watering machine, which mere convertible into a five ion lorry.
Passenger Services in Japan.
The Kolbe Street Motor Car Co., Tarnonderi 5 Mime, Kobe, obtained a few weeks ago official permission to establish a regular motorbus service on a large scale, to be commenced within 100 days from the data mentioned. The company i is capitalizedat 5,000,000 yen, and their traffic, which is intended to cover the whole city proper, which will be served by 45 vehicles, will be divided into seVeral routes ranging from three to ten miles in distante.
The company also intends to maintain a taxicab service in many of the • busy paats of the city.
Llanelly Town Council wants to borrow £2,500 for the purchase of •two 'electric lorries.
T. Wright, of Oki Leaks, is to supply the Boston R.D.C. with a Fester:compound tractor and accessories for .850.
A tender of £1,324 Hrs., submitted by Mossay and Co., to supply an electric tipping wagon to the Gainehorough V.D.C. has been accepted.
Middlesbrough Corporation ha-s been iecommendeel by its tramways committee to establish a central train and omnibus i depot in Parliament Road.
The Local Legislation Committee of the House of Commons has passed the clause in the Rotherham Corporation Bill regarding the expenditure of. £3,200 for omnibuses.
__The North Eastern Railway Co. hate received the sanction of the Stanley Urban District Connell to run a motorbus serviceabetween South Moor and Lanchester:' Lindsey (tides.) county surveyor has been authorized to purchase two steam tractors, two five ton tipping steam wagons, and ten side tipping trailers, either new or second-hand.
Southend-on-Sex Light Railways Committee hate accepted the offer of the Westetril Motor Char-a-banes Co., Ltd., to run a service of pneumatie-tyred buses from the Kursa.al to the northern end of Chalkw.ell'Avenue.
" A new bus service between South Shields and Sunderland has just been instituted by the Northern General Transport Co. of Chester-le-Street. During the week there is a half-hourly service, and tin Sundays a 20-minute one.
Essex County Council reports that it has refused an application by the London General Omnibus Co., Ltd., for permission to run a service of omnibuses from Ilford, via Green Lane, peeing Beacontree Heath, Rush Green, and Horn church to Tipminsfer.
' The borough engineer of Swansea has submitted to the 13.ealtir Committ e quotations for the supply of two .additional electric vehicles. As these quotations show a considerable increase in cost, the Committee has decided to defer the quest-non of purebeee.
The eleetrical engineer Of :Southendon-Sea Town 'Council is to report upon the Cod of providing and maintaining a small system of three trackless trolley vehicles. Before such a system can be installed, bowever, Parliamentary sanction will have to be obtained.
Sir Charles H. Bedford, LL.D., D.Sc., late director Central Excise Laboratory for India' will read a paper before the Indian and Colonial sections of the Royal Society of Arts on Friday, May 27th, on Industrial (including Power) Alcohol." The chair will he taken at 4.30 p.m. by Lord Southborough. Sir C. Bedford has just returned from India, where he has been experimentally investigating the commercial and technical possibilities as regards various waste vegetable materials for power alcohol production, as well as various matters relating to the denaturation of and excise restrictions on alcohol.
Transport by Jinrikishas.
According to a report of the Johannesburg Municipal Council-, the present condition of the jinrikishas plying for hire has been unfavourably commented upon. Several attempts have been made by jinrikisha proprietors to induce the public to use jiarikishas as passenger vehicles, and, with this end in view, some really first-class vehicles have, from time to time, been put on the streets, but without result, as jinrikishas are used in Johannesburg mainly as marketing artd delivery carts, and, as such, serve the needs of a large section of the public. In view of this, it is maintained that provision should be made in the by-laws for licensing linrikishas for the conveyance of goods, and those licensed for this purpose should be denuded of all trimmings, and he neatly painted and have the words " delivery cart " painted on them. if any jinrikishas are put on the streets for the conveyance of passengers, only first-class vehicles suitable for the purpose should be licensed. Now the law provides for the rating of jinrikishas into two classes : first-class for Europeans and second-class for natives. This distinction, by reason of the use to which the vehicles are now put, has become unnecessary, and it is therefore proposed to amend the by-laws as follows :—Jinrikishas shall be rated as first and second class, first-class conveyances being licensed for passengers and second-class conveyances for goods.
The motor vehicle must surely replace the jinrikisha for passenger and goods conveyance at no far distant date. The present means of transport are slow, primitive, and uncerrifortable, and not m accord with modern development.
Johannesburg Traffic Reform.
A deputation from Johannesburg cartage contracting firms met the town engineer and the licence officer recently, and represented that the council's definition for a locomotive included any motor vehicle which draws a trailer, and that the use of locomotives was restricted to a few streets only. Consequently, rubber-tyred steam or motor wagons drawing a trailer, which are in common use in other countries, were practically debarred in Johannesburg. They maintained that the definition is antiquated in that it tended to keep up-to-date traffic off Johannesburg streets, and asked that it should be amended.
The municipal council concludes that the request of the cartage contractors is reasonable, and decided that the regulations should be so amended as to bring them into line with the regulations obtaining in the United Kingdom.
The Stoke-on-Trent Watch Cora mittee has appointed a special committee to deal with the whole question of motorbns and coach traffic in the Potteries.
Regulating Coach Traffic.
At a meeting of the Worthing Corporation Highways Committee, the superintendent of police inquired whether there were any regulations prohibiting motor char-i-banes traffic in Montague Street, or whether the council could make some regulations prohibiting such traffic.
The town clerk reported that the council had no power to make regulations or to prohibit such traffic, but that under the Roads Act, 1920, the county council were empowered to make applications to the Minister of Transport to prohibit dangerous traffic, in which case the proposals must be advertised in The London Gazette and the local Press, a local inquiry must be held, and the other steps
taken as laid down by the Act. •
The committee suggested to the superintendent of .police that instructions he given to constables to request drivers of chars-A-bancs not to use Montague Street, and that if this has not the desired effect the matter be further considered.
Messrs. Henry Miller and Co., of Trinity Chambers, Trinity Square, London, E.C., inform us that they have been appointed sole agents in the United Kingdom and British Possessions for the marketing of the Hub-Odometer and Recorclogral manufactured by Messrs. The American Taximeter Co., of New York.
Messrs. Barimar's advertisement copywriter, Mr. Robert Donald, of 8, Central Chambers, Leamington Spa, informs us that he can undertake one or two more accounts, provided that they are not competitive with the business of Barimar, Ltd.
A Conference Attended by Representatives of Seven Different Countries.
ACONFERENCE, unofficial in character, of the secretaries of various standardizing organizations at present in existence has recently been held in London. The conference was convened by the secretary with the cordial permission of the main committee of the British Engineering Standards Association, and was opened by the chairman of the Association, Sir Archibald Denny, Bt.
The following secretaries were present : Dr. P. G. Agnew (U.S.A.), Mr. A. Eiiksen (Norway), Mr. E. Hijmans (Holland), Mr. J. R. Durley (Canada), M. G. Gerard (Belgium), M. Zollinger (Switzerland), and Mr. C. le Maistre, C.B.K (Great Britain).
The object of the conference was the exchange of ideas with a view to the establishment of closer relationship, and from this point of view it was eminently successful. Each secretary gave a brief report of the general organization of the work in his own country, the methods adopted in arriving at the standards, as well as the principles followed to ensure their adoption when issued. It is interesting to note that in most countries it is becoming more and more recognized that industrial standardization, whether of quality or dimensions, to be really useful most be arri ved at through a process of unifying the needs of industry rather than by attempting to set up an ideal. It also appears that, whereas engineers are everywhere giving freely of their time and experience to this important work, its value to commerce generally is far too little appreciated, and is therefore not being supported financially to the extent it should be.
Some enthusiasts are rather apt to think that the time has arrived to attempt to create an international organization for standardizing all engineering products, but the conference, it is understood, took a much more modest view, and observing the almost insuperable difficulties in the way, preferred to see international standardization develop along national lines and sectionally similar to those adopted, for instance, by the electrical industry in the case of the now well-established International Electrotechnical Commission.
The secretaries were entertained by the British Engineering Standards Association during their four days' conference.
The Opinions of an Amsrican Road Engineer on Roads for Motor Traffic.
A N INTERESTING paper on " Highway Road Construction was read recently by Mr. W. E. Williams at the Highway Session of the S.A.E.
During Um course of his remarks Mr. Williams said a concrete slab road about 8 ins, thick and of uniform depth across, or perhaps with an integral supporting curb-block of increased thickness on the edges in some locations, is the type of road that should be built in America.
Only three road surfaces have given satisfaction for automobile traffic, he declared, asphalt, brick, and concrete slabs. Thus far the concrete slab surface is the only one worthy of consideration for such traffic. Many people think that the road bed should be elastic, and that the asphalt and brick surfaces
furnish elastic conditions. Experience has proved that an asphalt surface will not stand up under heavy motor vehicle traffic. The brick surface comes nearer to the desirability of the concrete slab surface than asphalt Elasticity in a road bed is found to have been a mistaken idea. A road surface should be as nearly rigid as it is possible to make it.
According to Mr. Williams it costs more to lay the asphalt or brick for a given depth than it does for the same depth of concrete. Therefore, brick and asphalt have no chance of being competitors for service on a heavy motor vehicle highway, as the concentrated loads placed upon the wheels when the heaviest vehicles are considered, run as high as frcm 4 to 8 tons under a single wheel.
The crushing bearing value of concrete at 5,000 lb. per Eq. in. is able to carry the load, but the bearing value for many subsoils is not.
In his opinion the motor vehicle world will profit by laws that will prohibit anything above 5 ton loads.
A Book in which the Author Looks at a Vexed Subject from a New Angle.
MR. J. IL BUNTING'S new book on "Is Trade Unionism Sound?" (recently published by Messrs. Bean Brothers at es.) is another of the many conscientious attempts made of recent years to find a solution to the great problem of social and industrial strife.
The author takes a completely impartial attitude towards both labour and capital, and his efforts have led him to a very important conclusion. He holds that trade unionism has overstepped itself of late years, and has, by collective bargaining, forced econ,omic development wrongly in the direction of the fixed price " whether for an hour's work or a loaf of bread." Ho believes that these artificial enactments cannot for long upset the natural laws which govern exchanges of Foods and services. Air, Bunting thinks that trade unions would be more beneficial to the country if they were to lessen their hold on the question of fixed wages, allowing each of their members to obtain what wage he 'could, whilst they recorded the results and used their influence and power with the employer who proved to pay i his workers badly. The whole book s interesting and surprisingly free from the misconceptions which are usually to be met in books on this subject. Nevertheless, we think that Mr. Bunting falls into the error that can usually be associated with this type of writer— he does not build his argument tipon foundations sufficiently deep. Too frequently is the simple instance taken as the ground for a definite conclusion, and too seldom does the author go down to the real foundation of his subject—the breadths and depths of human nature.' Writers on economics must realize that the wonderful industrial machine which man so little understands now that he has built it around himself is based upon human nature, and that any alterations to the balance of that machine can only be actuated by motives and ideas equally deep. All these problems are problems of human nature—and it is to human nature that we must look for their solu
tion. Mr. Bunting's book, however, compels its readers to think and to start upon a new line of consideration of a problem which is insistent in its demand for an early and satisfactory solution.
BUSES FOR SYDNEY.
An ex-traffic Superintendent Considers
Motorbuses will Supersede Trains. WE LEARN from The Australian, Motorist of an interesting report made by Mr. A. Edward, who for many years, was traffic superintendent in Sydney. Mr. Edward has recently returned from a tour of investigation in the U.S.A., Great Britain, 'and on the Continent, and he has become an ardent supporter of the motorbus as a rival to the tramcar.
In Australia, the State Government, as owner of Sydney's widespread suburban tram service, owns a valuable vested interest, and has noedesire to depreciate the value of its investment. In this it is practically on the same footing as the London County Council, and the traffic branch for a long time opposed. the establishment of motorbus routes in the city, and at last only agreed to license such public vehicles on lines where they would not come into competition with the tramways; thus numerous motorbuses in Sydney only assist the State-owned train service as feeders. Whilst' he was in office Mr. 'Edward could not, of course, protest against the State policy, but now that he is free he has taken the first opportunity for prophesying the doom of the tramcar.
He points out in Jiis report that the evolution of the motor -omnibus is a. striking feature in London and Paris, and in a lesser degree in New York and other cities. In Paris, New York, Glasgow, and most other large cities the tramcars are run, as in Sydney, through the main part of the city, whereas in the City of London no tramcars pass along any of the main streets, and they are even prohibited from using many of the main streets connecting up with the City. The absence of double tramlines is a very great benefit in congested thoroughfares, and the enormous number of persons carried by means of omnibuses proves oonclusively•that it is not now essential to have tramcars running iwtheimain streets of any city.
After. careful inspection 'of the various means of carrying passengers, Mr. Edward considers that the up:to-date omnibus is a distinct improvement in a crowded city upon trams.
He points out that the chief difficulty in the introduction of motorbuses into a city where trams are already in existence would be the transitional stage, as both trains and buses could not be run on narrow streets at the one time. Sufficient buses would, therefore, have to ho prepared to meet the requirements before the trains could be removed.
Motorbuses, .continues Mr. Edward, have the great advantage of general elasticity and ability to give way to approaching or following traffic.
Mr. Edward points out that, in view of the delay likely to occur in the construction ,of the underground service in Sydney and the fact that the tramcars in use are obviously unable to cope with the traffic. during the congested hour it is worth the consideration of the,railway commissioners whether their systems should not be assisted .by meth: buses. The commissioners are already authorized by law VIM these, and it is to beihoped that if they again try them_ they will obtain the best possible class of motor omnibus in sufficient numbers to give the innovation a fair and complete trial, and not introduce out-of-date, small vehicles.