WHEELS OF INDUSTRY.
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"The wheel of wealth will be slowed by all difficulties of transport at whatever points arising, as a carriage is by the roughness of the roads over which it runs."—John Beattie Crozier.
600 British Agrimotors.
So far as the exigencies will allow the Government is stimulating British tractor manufacture. Special permission has been granted by the Food Production Department to AlIdaya and Onions, Ltd., for the production of 600 of their cultitractors during the current year. The Birmingham agrimotor, which we described in our issue dated 18th October, has created an excellent impression in domestic farming circles, its reserve of power and universatility constituting its most salient characteristics.
The report of the Manchester, Liverpool, and Counties C.M.U.A. for the )-ear ended 31st December, 1917, shows
that in spite of prevailing war conditions the Association has again made substantial progress both in respect of membership and the work undertaken for the furtherance of the interests of its members. During the year 72 new members have been admitted, making a net _total membership of 269. As forecasted in the Association's report for the previous year, a further extension of benefits under the legal defence scheme has been brought into force. Progress in connection with the installation of automatic water fountains is, as might be expected. more or less at a standstill, due to the difficulty of obtaining fountains. After the war, however, the scheme promises to find much favour..
The financial position of the.Assoeiatima continues to be satisfactory. The in 4a28 come for the year amounted to £450, and the expenditure £405, leaving a balance of .£45 net profit. The continued progress made during the present period of stress augurs a successful future when conditions again become normal.
To Italy's Aid.
Some idea of the motor activity which accompanied the Movement of FrancoBritish troops to the Italian Front upon the Austro-German invasion of the Trentino is offered by the accompanying illustration. A column of F,I.A.T. lorries, each with its attendant trailer, is shown parked for the Bight in an Italian frontier town. Some of the trailers are fitted up as workshops, others as kitchens. The column carried all its own supplies of petrol, oil and spares, as well as food for the men, together with general stores. Some of the motor tranepor.t columns covered more than 1000 miles to reach the Italian Front.
In order to support the engineering section of Edinburgh University, the Albion Motor Car Co., Ltd., Scotstoun, Glasgow, last week presented to the Wenate a 25 h.p. Albion engine.
There is an urgent need of more women motor transport drivers for, duty with the Royal Flying Corps_ Applicants must have had good driving experience, and be willing to serve in any part of the U.K. Application should he made to The Commandant, Women's Legion Motor Transport Section, 15a, Pall Mall East, London, S.W.
New Gas Restriction Order,
The situation with regard to supplies of petrol and coal-gas is now clearer. By an order dated 3rd January, coalgas will only be allowed to be used on those vehicles for which a petrol allowance is granted, but there will be no limit to the quantity that may. be used. Trade vehicles will also be alloweda supply of petrol, but only to the extent of an emergency ration. With this exception, a gas permit and a motor spirit licence will not be granted for the same vehicle. New regulations are made concerning the use of taxicabs and of vehicles which stand for 'hire without licence. -• Our own feeling is that by April, or. perhaps May, there will, in all probability, be no petrol available for corn
mercia1 vehicles or other utility motors and it is therefore, imperative that users should set to work without the los of an hour in order that, when the supplies of liquid fuel cease for all except military purposes, they may be ready to run their vehicles on gaseous fuel: Materials and labour for the necessary gas containers are not available in the abundance that will justify a policy of postponement.
• Coal-gas Filling Pipes.
With reference to our note upon the smallness of some gas filling orifices, Messrs. "Lyon-Spencer inform 'us that they have already had this matter under attention and Cwil shortly provide us with an opportunity of seeing what they • have devised to overcome the trouble.
Novel Ford Axle. ,
America has been prolific in devising different means whereby the ubiquitous Ford car may have its range of usefulness extended. The latest of the Ford attachments to ,make its appearance—the " Axleford "—is pessessed of more originality than most as it sets out on new lines of its own. It is intended to double the load-carrying capacity of the Ford chassis by streisgt}tening the
axle by attaching a double-truss design of electric steel casting, which contains and braces the axle, and prevents the possibility of sagging under the increased load; which sagging is the cause of breakage by overload. In addition, a pair of semi-elliptic side springs, attached directly to the body, are furnished, which are Mounted on brackets carried on the ends of the axle reinforcement, and which, whilst taking the extra load, prevent the sidesWav which is one of the causes of trouble with high bodies and heavy loads on the standard and unsupported Ford design. This new design is put forward as what it is, a -reinforcement of the Ford chassis to carry up to 1500 lb. loads, and differs from most of the conversion units on the Market in that it carries the double load on the same pair of wheels and . tyres, and, indeed, on the same, although strengthened, axle, and it is claimed that the prevention of sag in the axle prevents cross-binding of the bearings, mid so enables the engine to deal with the heavier load with facility, without reduction of gearing; although, of course, the chassis parts, travelling at the same speed under double the load, will receive heavier shocks. We do not know if this attach/nein is yet on the British market, the only address in connection with it that we have at present being the Axleford Truck Co., of Chicago.
American War Lorry . Convoys.
As with us, there is a great congestion on the railroads in the .States, owing to the requirements of the military. This congestion was, indeed, a prominent feature also lasts year during the winter months, and many American motorcar manufac,turers were unable to deliver their. .cals to their customers for want of wagons', in some cases' factories having had to be closed down for several days, by reason of not having been able to clear their output. Under these con
ditions, delivery by road was undertaken, in some cases over distances approximating 1000 miles. The same conditions now applying, and most of the Liberty war trucks for the American armies being built or assembled in themiddle west, not far short of 1000 miles from New York, the Government has decided that, instead of utilizing the railways, all Liberty trucks shall be driven from factory to seaboard with the double object of saving railway wagons and of giving the trucks a full and ample test. Further than this, the very practical arrangement is being made that these trucks shall not make their journey empty, but shall also be used to convey military stores from the_ producing centres to the ports, thus doubling the effected saving on the railway organization. In this way it is' hoped to release 50,000 railway wagons, Which would otherwise be required for the conveyance_ of these trucks and stores to seaboard.
The trucks will make their, journeys in complete sections as they will operate in France, each section comprising 27 cargo trucks, two petrol tank wagons, one baggage and ration truck, one light repair truck, and one officer's car, and will be accompanied by their crews of 76 men per section.
Mexican Eagle Oil Progress.
The report of the Mexican Eagle Oil Co., Ltd., for the year ended 30th June, 1917, shows a gross trading profit of $20,521,647.60. After . providing for field redemption and depreciation accounts, and deductions for interest on sterling first mortgage bonds, there is a net profit of $12,948,398,28, to which is added the balance of $5,627,440.89 brought forward from last year, giving a grand total of $16,503,419.26. The first and second dividends aggregating 10 per cent, paid on the preference and ordinary share capital absorbed $5,000,000.00, and out of the unappropriated balance of $11,503,419.26 it is proposed to pay a further, dividend of 10 per cent., making 20 per cent. for the year upon the preference and ordinary shares' leaving $6,503,419.26 to be carried forward. The foregoing figures are stated in Mexican gold pesoes, which have a par value of 241d. sterling.
The President of the company states that while drilling activity during the year under review has been restricted, there is an ample reserve of oil for all the company's requirements. During the twelve months in question, 237 vessels loaded at the deep sea station at Tuxpa.m—an increase of seven shipsover the total of the previous year. General extension work has naturally been restricted owing to the abnormal conditions prevailing, but the refineries and new topping plant at Trixparn are declared to have worked satisfactorily.
Tractor Work on Farm.
The general all-round utility of the modem tractor for diversified duties is nowadays well appreciated. As an example of what the present-day machine will accomplish we reproduce an illustration herewith of a Garrett tractor,
owned by Messrs a and A. Kanto's, of Cranes Farm, Wickfords Essex. This machine was delivered in January, 1916, and has since been at work regularly and consistently carrying out the whole haulage for two large farms, besides threshing operations, hay baling, chaffcutting, etc. As regards running expenses, that is to say oil and fuel con-. gumption, repairs, etc., the owners express entire satisfaction. Difficult Bus Operation.
Discontent is rife among the inhabitants of Farnborough due to the inefficient state of the motorbus service in the town. Mr. W. E. Foster, chairman of the Aldershot and District Traction Co., Ltd., writing -with reference to the growing number of cemplaints received, points out the difficulties with which the oexcpany has to contend, and quotes from the • annual report, which states that tIM.sinsatisfactory result •of. the year's working was chieflY due" to loss of skilled labour, the difficulty of getting spare parts, which necessitated a reduction of the services, resulting in a number of vehicles lying idle, and to the heavy increase in the price of petrol, materials and wages. It would, perhaps, he of advantage, he adds, if councils and various public bodies in areas affected signified to the tribunals. and to others responsible whether they considered it to the focal interest that the company's organization should be kept going by being provided with the proper number of skilled employees.
The Lyons Fair.
The early list of commercial vehicle exhibitors at the coming Lyons Fair includes the nameS of -Messrs. Berliet, Saurer, Atlas and Chas. -Blum et Cie. As in Great Britain, magneto manufacture has made. great strides, andseveral magneto firmeiwill be showing for the first time.
Driving Licences for Women.
The Commissioner of Police is in communication with the War Office and the Ministries of Munitions, 'Labour and National Service regarding the issue ofdriving licences enabling women to be employed on trains in the metropolitan area.
Birmingham Bus Results.
The am-astute el the Birmingham Corporation motor omnibus service for the year ended 31st March last show a total revenue of £62,558. Of this sum, special buses run for tile benefit of munition workers breught in £12,323. Actual traffic receipts amounted to £49,914. The expenditure for the year was i530 £52,472, so that a balance of over £10,000 was available for transference to the profit and loss account. The chief items of expenditure were petrol, £13,844; repairs and maintenance, .£14,839; and traffic expenses, 220,598.
19,000 Bright Ideas.
During the-year 1917 the totalnumber of patents granted was 19,000 as compared with 30,000, the average annual
aggregate during normal times. The ingenuity of inventors during the past . year has been concentrated upon, among other things of timely import, the internal-combustion engine, automatic machinery, labour-saving tools, aeronautics, and agricultural implements.
In Austria, at the request of the Ministry of Agriculture, a society has been formed of the agricultural motor manufacturers of the dual monarchy in the interests of food production.
The American Aircraft Production Board has ordered 4000 Hispano-Suiza nero engines to be built in the U.S.A. by the Simplex Automobile Co.
Striking Electrical Progress.
A by-product of war industry likely to be particularly distasteful to the German business community is the amazing increase in the United Kingdom's generation of electricity for industriaj uses. It is estimated by the British Empire Producers' Organization that the national output of electricity has more than doubled in the past three years owing to the urgent demand from munition factories. There are some astonishing examples of local generating stations producing six or eight times the prewar quantity. One well-known steel works is actually purchasing over 40,000,000 units a year, which is far more than what would in 1914 have been regarded as a large demand for any town in the country, with perhaps halfa-dozen exceptions. It is not surprising that, in Such circumstances, the future of the electrical industry is a subject of exceptional interest to more than one Government department in view of its vital bearing on industrial reconstruction, and it is gratifying to gather that the makers of electrical machinery and apparatus are seriously calculating how to:keep level with the great potentiali-. ties of thisekey industry.
The Acting British Consul at Casa. blanch draws attentiom in. recent report to the possibilities of motor transport in the larger Moroccan townsFez, Marrakesh, iMoroceo City), and-, Mequinezand its iftfluence upon active and snore extensive building operations. This country would 'seem to offer great attractions for post war trade in heavy vehicles.
100! Going Strong!
The Institution of Civil Engineers completed the hundredth year of its existence, having been established in 1818 at a meeting of eight engineers at the Kendal Coffee House in Fleet Street. At the last ordinary meeting of the Institution, before the discussion of papers, a statement commemorative of the founding of the Institution on the 2nd January, 1918, was made, present conditions precluding more than formal celebration of the centenary.
Henry Oliver, Ltd., with a capital of £2100 in £1 share; to be manufacturers of, and dealers in, agricultural tractors, cultivators, ploughs, etc. .
J. Graham Reece, Ltd., with a capital of £2100 in £1 shares, to be manufacturers of, and dealers in, agricultural tractors, cultivators, ploughs, etc.
Clement Skurray, Ltd., with a capital of £2100 in £1. shares, to be manufacturers of, and dealers in, agricultural tractors, cultivators, ploughs, etc.
Nortons (Agriculture), Ltd., with a capital of 22100 in £1 shares, to be manufacturers of, and dealers in, agricultural tractors, cultivators, plough; etc.
A. Bentinck and Co., Ltd., with a capital of 22100 in £1 shares, to be manufacturere of, and dealers in, agricultural tractors, cultivators, ploughs, etc.
Barrett Machinery Co., Ltd., sith a capital of £2100 in £1 shares, to be manufacturers of, and dealers in, agricultural _tractors, cultivators, ploughs, etc.
Alexander and Wilson, Ltd., with a capitalof £2100 in £1. shareey to be manufacturers of, and dealers in, agricultural tractors, cultivators, ploughs, etc.
Record Oil and Grease Co., Ltd,, with a capital of £2000 in £1 shares, to adopt an agreement with T. Naylor, and to carry on the business of manufacturers, distillers and refiners of mineral, animal and• vegetable oils, lubricating and burning oils, paraffin-scale, wax, stearine, etc.
Graveney Motor and Engineering Co., Ltd., with a capital of £3000 an £1 shares, to adapt an agreement with G. Blunt and to carry on the business of manufacturers of, and dealers in coinptinents, accessories and appurtenances aonnected with the manufacture of all classes of motor vehicles, etc.,
Stoke's New Fire-engine.
A new motor fire-engine has been delivered to the Stoke-on-Trent Corporation,' and the first public demonstration of the capabilities of the machine recently took place. The vehicle, which was built by John Morris and S.ons, Ltd., the fire-engine specialists of Salford, is fitted with a. four-cylinder engine developing 75 b.h.p. It is complete in all equipment and carries a 50 ft. telescopic ladder, and when fully manned accommodates a team of 14 men. The pump is capable of delivering 500 gallons of water per minute at a pressure of 120 lb. to the sq. in., playing six jets at One time if desired, and will throw a column of water 200 ft: high.
A feature of the machine is the arrangement made for dealing with email outbreaks of fire. A 40-gallon tank is embodied, connected to 150 ft. of rubber hose which is housed on a winding reel. A stream of water can be 'brought into play, by the aid of a stnall pump fitted, in less than half-a-minute. As it is generally agreed that the vast majority of ordinary fires-can be tackled and extinguished by the smaller apparatus, due to the rapidity with which. it can be brought into use, this new engine should be the means of effecting a saving of much valuable material. The fire-engine coat £1275. General satisfaction was expressed at. the demonstration in favour of the machine, which behaved well throughout the arduous test.
Higher Cab Pares.
The Watch Committee of the Leeds C.C. decided at .their" last meeting to authorize a 25 per cent. increase in taxicab fares. It is interesting to note that this revision has been 'brought about as the result of the individual efforts of Mr. F. W. Hopper, of the Provincial Motor Hiring Co. Ltd., Elmwood Mills, Camp Road, Leeds. Mr. Hopper has also been instrumental in obtaining advances in cab fares in two other cities during 1917.
Wandsworth Guardians are purchasing a motor vehicle for £275.
Rochester T.C. has purchased a 5-ton Aveling and Porter steam tractor for £702.
York City engineer is malting inquiries concerning the purchase of a steam wagon. Ayr TO, is purchasing a motor lorry at a cost of £260 for the removal of household refuse.
York O.C. has authorized the tramways manager to purchase another motor chassis for bus service.
Halifax Corporation has decided to purchase two second-hand Ford vehicles fur the removal of household refuse.
Cardiff Corporation is allowing taxicab proprietors to charge an extra 6d per journey over and above that shown on the meter.
Approval has been given to the application of the Lancaster T.C. for as loan of £6000 for the purchase of electric motorbuses.
Epsom 13.D.C. is in touch with Dennis Brothers, Ltd., concerning the purchase of a motor fire-engine. Part of the sewage farm is being mortgaged for the purpose.
Chelmsford T.C. is at present negotiating for the purchase of a second-hand Panhard chassis, with the object of drawing the steam fire-engine. The price asked is £150.
On page 407 of *our last issue we published an illustration of a steam wagon assisting in the prompt handling of perishable foodstuffs in Covent Garden market. We referred to this machine as a Clayton steamer, but in reality it was an Aveling and Porter wagon, a point which was probably obvious to our readers, from the "Kent Horse," a feature of identity on the smokebox.