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Passing Comments

15th December 1944
Page 18
Page 19
Page 18, 15th December 1944 — Passing Comments
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Transport Conditions THE Monthly Pr o g re ss Now Existing in the I Report •of the S.M.M.T.

U.S.A. contains some interesting

observations by Mr. H. G. Starley, who has recently spent six weeks investigating conditions in some of the biggest cities of America, his main purpose being to further the cause of"tropic proofing," details of which we published recently. He said that public transport in America has suffered to the same degree as has ours. Trains are packed, and without priority it is difficult to obtain accommodation, whilst taxis are as troublesome to obtain as in-London; each takes about half a dozen persons who wish to go in the same direction. Hotels are, however, giving service amenities of peace-time standard, and laundry removed at 9 a.m. is relurned the same day. The only limitation he could discover concerned shoes, butter and tinned goods, but the shops were crammed with fruit and clothes, and there was a continual stream of magnificent cars, as every one has a basic ration. The extreme shortage of tyres is America's chief problem to-day, Certain States register and control cyclists. For example, in Wisconsin, all cycles have number plates, renewed annually. This reduces the risk of theft and ensures that the machines are maintained in good, safe condition. He pertinently adds that the revenue from our millions of cyclists at, say, 5s. per head, would not be an inconsiderable contribution to our Road Fund. Whilst a few cyclists might object to even this small amount, we have been assured by many that they feel that it is only fair and would tend to give them a bigger interest in road


Workers Given MOT often can an ordinary

Authority to Aid Fire / worker in a factory " tick Prevention . . off " a director, .manager or

foreman without risking his job. This right has, however, been given in one factory employing 3,000 people, but only to the men in each shift who have been appointed to act as fire-prevention officers. All, incidentally, are parttime members of the factory fire brigade, and cre trained in fire-fighting, first-aid and rescue work.

Each carries a warrant card authorizing him to take any steps he considers necessary to avoid the fire danger. His authority is comprehensive and paramount. He can stop anyone whom he observes to be smoking in the wrong place or at the wrong time; he can also order dangerous litter to be removed or signs to be placed where they can be better seen. Of course, these men must not exceed their authority, but woe betide the man, whatever his position, who refuses to obey when he is in the wrong. It appears that even Mr. Churchill would be required to put out his cigar if called upon to do so by one of these fire-prevention officers.

Motor industry's Vital QPEAKING before Stroud Part In Feeding the "Rotarians on November 22, Nation Mr. W. J. Seymour, of Vaux hall Motors, Ltd., Said that British farms must take every advantage of developments in mechanization and must continue to have the facilities afforded by road transport. It is, therefore, essential that the Government should adopt a more enlightened policy towards the latter and reduce the burdens of vehicle taxation and other restrictive legislation, which are reflected in the cost of food. Over 5,000,000 more acres of Britain's fertile land have been brought under the plough since the beginning of the war. Most of this increase is due to the employment of mechanical power, whieh is 25 times as great as it was during the war of 1914-18, and the net yield is 70 per cent. above that obtained in the pre-war years. He laid stress on the fact that tractors are driven by the same type of engine as the motor vehicle. Without the existence of an important motor industry there would have been no tractors. It was the building up, just before this war, of a reserve of many thousands of these machines that wade it possible for farmers to respond at once to the demand upon them. He concluded by claiming that until 'the motor lorry came on the scene many thousands of households in big towns scarcely knew what, really fresh vegetables were like. This .previous loss of freshness greatly. impaired Atte food value from the point of view of health. IN a Southern town a dis/charged unfit .has recently set up a much-needed taxi service, running three His charge of 6d. a mile is, however, so obviously uneconomic that it is quite generally recognized he is "doing it to get his foot in." At these times, when taxis are so much in demand, this seems especially unnecessary as well as foolish, and emphasizes the need for co-operation, both local and general, between those who ply for hire. Using a Dubious Sprat to Catch a Mackerel

THE several sparking-plug manufacturers in this country who have supplied these components to nearly all the American Flying Fortresses since early in 1943 must have felt gratified at the flattering remarks made recently by President Roosevelt in his report on Lend-Lease in Reverse. He pointed out that virtually all these machines had taken off from British bases with British plugs in the four engines

British Sparking Plugs Used in Flying Fortresses . . . of each, and that it would be impossible to estimate how many thousands of U.S. bomber crews may, since then, have owed their lives to these plugs. The numbers Supplied were not given, but it is interesting to mention that every time a force of about 1,000 Fortresses takes the air the ignition is performed by some 72,000 British plugs, giving over 1,000,000 sparks per second.

Means for Checking A N ingenious device known

the Temperature of as a thermo-couple plug Cylinders has been produced by the Lodge concern. By its use the temperature of each cylinder of an engine, either under bench test or on the road, can be ascertained. These figures are obviously of considerable value to the engine designer, who can, 'where necessary, modify the cooling system and mixture distribution until the temperature conditions of the respective cylinders of an engine are reasonably similar. The experimental departments of many of the leading makers are already using this device.


Organisations: Road Fund
Locations: London

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