WHEELS OF INDUSTRY.
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Boring for Oil Commenced.
The operations in connection-with the drilling of the first oil well to be bored in this country were inaugurated on Tuesday by the Marquis of Hartington, and it is now permissibre to say that the site is on the Duke of Devonshire's property at Hardstoft, near Chesterfield, a few miles north of Pye Bridge, which is rightly regarded asthe cradle of the petsoleum industry of the world. Various sites in the neighbourhood of these places haue been examined and if anticipations are realized the whole area may become quite a busy oil field. The depth of the boring is expected to be about 3000 ft. th 400C) ft., and in a matter of a very few weeks now the news may come that "oil ha.s been struck." .
• In connection with the issue of a permit for the extension of the existing motor omnibus service from Boreham to Witham, by the National Steam Car Co., Ltd., the subjoined tormsthavetbeen fixed by the Essex County Council. Payment by the company of the sum of £10 per route mile per annum payable in advance quarterly or otherwise, such payment to he deducted from 'any amount that may be due under the following mileage rate should it exceed the minimum payment :—A contribution at the rate of a penny per bus-mile.
The rates are to be 'subject to revision in 12 months.
The county surveyor of Notts., Mr. J. C. Haller, reports that of the main road reconstruction Seheme, largely assisted with Road Board grants, 8E4 out of 90 miles of rural main roads and 20 out of the 24 miles of urban main roads have been completed, at a cost of
127,521. The average cost of the rural main road reconstruction was 21072 824
12s. 4d. per mile. Out of the 321 miles of directly maintained main roads, 175 miles of I■letts. are faced with tarmac. Last year 107 miles of Notts. main roads were surface tarred, at a cost 'of 1.165d. per yard. Much damage has been dono by timber haulage, the responsibility for some of which is accepted by the Treasury.
Ploughmen for Autumn Cultivation.
Farmers will be pleased to hear that the Food Production Department has been able to arrange with the military authorities that soldier \ ploughmen belonging to agricultural companies who have been recently graded " A " are not to be withdrawn from the farms for the present, even though substitutes have already been provided by the military authorities: The War Office has also informed the Department that every effort will be made to find an additional number of skilled ploughmen to assist in the autumn work. To this end inquiries are being made into the number of ploughmen serving in the Army at home who can be Made available for sending out on two months' agricultural furlough.
County Tractor Training.
Cheshire. which was one of the pioneer counties in the training and use of women for work with tractors, is reopening a training centre there which Was closed some time ago. There is a demand for 20 more women to drive tractors in Cheshire and further demands are expected for women to work on privatelyowned tractors Mere.
, Mr. R. L. Forbes, one of the general managers of the Royal Mail Steam Packet Co., has retired from the company's service owing to continued illhealth. Mr. P. G. Mitchell, head of, the freight department, has been appointed an acting assistant manager.
The Road Transport Board last week met the representatives of borough and district councils of the metropolitan area and suggested that the local authorities should organize the cartage work of the traders within their boundaries, especially in connection with the delivery of retailed goods. The suggestion is that a committee of traders should be formed to carry the scheme into effect' without delay, failing which compulsory schemes might have to be established. A resolution covering the proposals was put to the conference, but objection was raised by several members, and it was withdrawn, the local authorities to be circularized on the question.
Volunteer Drivers Wanted.
Metor drivers in the employ of commercial concerns and taxidrivers who are desirous, in their spare-time, to do what they can for the common cause should oer. tainly join a volauteer motor transport organization. The work is appropriate and congenial to 611C11 men, and the drills (four a month until efficient), then three per month) do not interfere with a man's daily work, being held in the evenings at suitable hours. Just now there are soma vacancies on the strength of the Middlesex A.S.C. Mechanical Transport Volunteers, Central Group, and application to enrol should be made to Capt. R. H. • Regnart, 406, Euston Road, N.W. 1.
The Industrial Reconstruction
A conference on the place of conciliation and arbitration in the Whitley scheme will be held under the auspices of the-Industrial Reconstruction Council on Tuesday, 22nd October, at;-.6 p.m. in the Hall of the Institute of Journalists, 2 and 4, Tudor Street, E.C. 4. The subject will be introduced by Mr. E. H. C. Wethered, of Bristol, after which the discussion will be open.
"Extraordinary Traffic" Appeal : Guarantor s List.
The following is the first list of guara. tors in connection with the Weston-superMare U.D.C. v. H. Butt and Co., Ltd., case in which the Commercial Motor Users Association recently decided to appeal Associations.—Commercial Motor Users Association (Inc.), £500; National Traction Engine Owners Association, £250.
Makers.—£200 each: Fodens, Ltd., Leyland Motors, Ltd., Sentinel Wagon Works. Ltd. ; £100 each W. Allchin, Ltd., Clayton and Shuttleworth, Ltd., Yorkshire Commercial Motor Co., Ltd., Mann's Patent Steam Cart Co., Ltd., R. Garrett and Sons, Ltd. ; £50 each: Ave. ling and Porter, Ltd., C. Burrell and Sons, J. Allen. W. Foster and Co., Ltd., .T. Fowler and Co., Ltd., McLaren and Co:, Marshall, Sons and Co., Ltd., Ransomes, Sims and Jefferies, Ltd., W. Tasker and Sons. Ltd.
Users.—£150, Henry Butt ; 250 each : Eastern Motor Wagon Co., Ltd., E. W. Rudd. Ltd., Thos. Tilling, Ltd. ; 25 guineas each: H. C. Bauly, Ltd., Birmingham and Welland Counties Transport Co., Currie and Co., Ltd.. Lever Bros., Ltd., Hales Clinkers, Ltd., Fry Bros., Ltd., Dagnalls, Ltd., J. Mowlem and Co., Ltd., F. Ray ; £25 each : Bryant and May, Ltd., Cadbury Bros., Ltd., Norfolk Motor Transport Co. ; £21 each: Chivers and Sons, Southern Transport Co., Ltd., Wort and Way; £20 each: Pickfords, Ltd., Mann, Crossman and Paulin, Ltd. ; 15 guineas: Boots (Nottingham), Ltd. ; 10 guineas each: G. Monro, Jar.. Bahia'
Saw Mills Co., Ltd., General Motor Carrying Co., Harrods, Ltd., E. Nelson and Co., Ltd., Planters Margarine Co., Ltd., Stroud Brewery Co., Ltd., White's Haulage Co., Ltd., X.Y.Z. Transport Co., Ltd., the Proprietors of THE COMMERCIAL Moron; £10 each: Edison Steam Rolling Co., Ltd., Greenail. Whitley and Co., Ltd., Pease and Son, J. Nimmo and Son, Ltd., Smith and Forrest, Ltd. ; 5 guineas each: W. Hampton, Ltd., Bath Steam Haulage Co., Ltd., II. and A. Trower, J. Smith's Tadeaster Brewery, Pilkington Bros., C. Poulter, Ltd. ; £5 each: J. a Beattie and Co., Ltd. ; A. and W. Evans, C. Hammerton and Co., Ltd., Usher's Wiltshire Brewery Co., Ltd., _Mutter, Howey and Co., Ltd., J. Nall and Co., C. Price, A. Leney end Co., Ltd., Friary Holroyds' Breweries, Ltd., Gardner, Lockett and Hinton, Ltd., Neville Marriage, Tate's Commercial Garage ; 3 guineas: Lion Cartage Co., Ltd.; £2 10s. : Denton Bros. ; 2 guineas each: Henry Farr, T. Mitchell and Sons, T. Taylor, H. Hibbert ; 1 guinea each; J. Gilmour and Sons, World's Stores, Ltd. ; £1: A. Auston.
The special machine installed by Messrs. Parsons and Kemball, Ltd., of Town Quay, Southampton. for the removal of refractory wheels from their axles was designed and manufactured by Messrs. Hollings and Guest; Ltd.
The operations at Cippenham are de straying local amenities and creating local disaffection, for certain footpaths and roads have been closed by Col. Stavely under the powers conferred on him.
Birmingham-made Bosch Sparking Plugs.
It is stated that the Controller of Patents has granted to a Birmingham ,firm a licence to manufacture under a German patent, No. 26,436, of 1917, in the name of Robert Bosch, sparking plugs capable of resisting very high compression pressures. The company to whom the licence was granted proposes, to erect works, 10 acres in extent, and to place their resources of £100,000 behind the manufacture of the plugs.
Fodens for the M.A.B.
Despite repeated application to the Ministry of Munitions, the Metropolitan Asylums Board has failed to get a satisfactory priority certificate for a steam tractor it decided to purchase some months ago, and as a consequence it has purchased a second-hand 5-ton Foden steam wagon. This was bought for £1200 from H. C. Bauly, Ltd., and the vehicle is four or five years old. The body has been replaced by one of a more suitable type, and new wheels with rubber tyres have been fitted at an additional cost of 2300. The Board has empowered the engineer to get another similar Foden.
An increase of 15 per cent. on the current prices of their outer covers is announced by the Beldam Tyre Co., Ltd.
The Army Cluncil have appointed the Joint Roads Committee with powers of control and maintenance in regard to public roado for war purpores.
Registration of Military Vehicles.
A circular has been issued by the President of the Local Government Board to Councils of Counties and County Boroughs drawing attention to arrangements which have been made by the Military Authorities in conjunction with the War Office and the police authorities with regard to the temporary registration in this country of motor vehicles intended for use in the Services, in order to prevent the necessity of registering each vehicle under the Act of 1903.
War Office vehicles will bear the letters B or C, or CA or CB, .CC, etc., followed by a number. Canadian vehicles will be distinguished by the letter X, and Australian vehicles by the letter A. Vehicles belonging to the United States will bear ithe letter U, although we have noticed quite a number of them running in London with the letters U.S. British Red Cross vehicles will bear the letters RN. and French Red Cross vehicles the
letters ZX, whilst vehicles belonging to the British Ambulance Committee BAC. Numbers and letters are to be 5 ins, in height and 1 in. in width (which obviously means that each part of the number or letter must be 1 in. wide, as a letter or number only 1 in. wide would not be readable). The numbers and letters are to be of a bright yellow colour, and are to be placed in such a position that they can be seen from the front and rear of the vehicle. The driver of a vehicle or lorry is to carry an identification card of authority to act as driver, signed by the officer who issued it.
Engineering Investigation in Brazil.
The Government through the Departpartment of Overseas Trade are embarking upon another investigation abroad, this time they have agreed to share the cost with the British Engineers' Association of an investigation into the prospects for the engineering industry 111 Brazil.
The investigator, whose name will be announced very shortly, will spend probably twelve months in Brazil, and his reports will cover the whole field open to engineering enterprise. Iu carrying 326
out this investigation we understand that the council of the association is not animated by any hostility towards the merchants and other existing channels through which engineering business has been carried on. They are desirous solely of obtaining for their members information of the requirements of' the Brazilian market, the openings for engineering plant and machinery, and particulars of the methods of doing business most likely to suit possible purchasers and users. It will be open to members who receive these reports to do business in any way they like. Some members of the association are already established in Brazil with branch houses, others already do buaineas through the merchanting and importing houses. Therefore one result of this investigation should be to make manufacturers more willing to adapt their proclucte and methods to local interests, and in this way -this investigation 'Should make it easier for merchants to supply their Brazilian demands from British. sources.
Manufacturing engineers not members of the association who desire to take advantage of the reports of the investigator should communicate with the secretary, the British Engineers' Aaaociation, 32, Victoria Street, London, S.W.1.
Motor Volunteers Dinner.
The City of London A.S.C., M.T. (V) (Group 1), formerly known as the City of London Motor Volunteer Corps (Group 1), the Commandant 'f which is Major R. S. Shrapnel-Smith, C.B.E., and the Adjutant Captain F. G. Bristow, are holding their annual dinner at Pinoli's Restaurant, Wardour Street, London, W., on Saturday, the 26th inst.
Building plans have been passed for the following :—Advance Motor Co., addition to factory, Kingsthorpe Road, Northampton ; Bowring Petroleum Co., motor spirit store, Bridge Street Station, Northampton ; Shell Marketing Co., motor spirit store, Bridge Street Station, Northampton; Redpath, Brown and Co., Ltd., motor wagon she'd, Westinghouse Road, Stretford ; Manchester Oil Refiners, Ltd., oil store. 353, Chester Road, Stretford.
Tractors in Italy.
Although largely an agricultural counjay, Italy never has been self-sufficing in he matter of wheat. To make up the national shortage it has been necessary each year to import about one-and-a-half million tons. In 1915 the importations were the highest on record, being 2,216,108 tons of wheat. Now that shipping is a serious problem, every effort is being made to increase the output from the 124 million acres under wheat cultivation and also to put unused land under the plough. Up to a few years ago agricultural tractors were very little used in Italy, but _owing to the shortage of labour and the high cost of cattle (a couple of labouring oxen now cost as much as 2640) farmers have shown a strong desire to obtain power-driven machines.
The extended use which has been made of tractors during the past year or so has helped considerably ; but notwithstanding this it, is estimated that it will be necessary to import about 2.950.000 tone of wheat and maize during the year 1919. Important orders have been placed in the United States for agricultural tractors, but owing to the shipping situation at least one quarter of this order has had to be cancelled. This situation has induced the Italian engineering firms seriously to study the question of agricultural tractor product. The Fiat Co. was the first to realize the importance of this, and a few weeks ago brought out the first of a series of tractors designed to meet the very varied conditions pertaining in Italy.
After having been very thoroughly tested privately, the first public demonstrations of this tractor took place a few weeks ago in the valley of the Po, about 20 miles from Turin. Realizing the edu • eative value of these trials, the civil and military authorities gave every facility for interested persons to be taken out to the demonstrating ground in order to follow the work of the machines. Temporarily relaxing the petrol restrictions, a continuous service of motorbuses was maintained from Turin and the stir, rounding villages to the demonstration ground, thus allowing many thousands of agriculturists to watch the progress of the trials.
Electric Dust Van Collection.
Willesden U.D.C. has now decided' to get electric vehicles for dust collection, having arranged 14 seek a priority certificate for the purchase of three two-ton wagons.
The Council has come to the conclusion that the "essentials" of electric dust vans are :—
(1) The capacity must be at least 7; cubic yards, equivalent to 2i tons by weight of house refuse.
(2) The body must be low slung for easy loading. (It. is suggested that there might be folding sides to the body in order to get-the greater part of the loading done without a ladder.) (3) The body should be of galvanized steel with a wooden strip at the top to save damage to the vehicle and bins. The wooden strip I should he renewed when worn out.
(4) Covers of wood or metal should be provided.
(5) The chassis should be adapted to take a trailer.
(6) Both wagon and trailer should be mechanically tipped. (7) The motive power should be sufficient for a range of 45-50 miles di one charge.
(8) The vehicles should besable to turn in a small circle.
One trailer should also be obtained to be used in the event of bad weather, a breakdown, or other contingency preventing regular collection.
The financial aspect is indicated in the following -estimate of the capital cost ;—
That indispensable commodity, labour, has become so scarce and increasingly elusive that manufacturers are doing everything they can to make easy the way to enlistment in win-the-war jobs. , The Packard Motor Car Co. has a branch employment department on wheels—a mobile office erected on a Packard lorry and fitted up much the same as a wellregulated stationary office. Co-operating with the Federal Employment Service, this travelling employment office makes application for steady work easy. The applicant enters by a short" stairway which is swung down from the rear when the truck is not in motion, and finds himself in a completely equipped room. Benches accommodating four or five each are arranged on each side of the office, and the company's representative sits at a regulation desk. In cold weather the prospective employee need not suffer a chill while filling out an apjilication air answering questions, for a complete hot-water heating plant has been installed, operating direct from the water circulating system of the motor. The heating system can be regulated it will.
Hiring in Hull.
The Hull City Engineer reports that at the instance of the local Road Tram port Board he has let out a steam wagon at 15s. a day, the hirer finding driver, fuel and stores, and taking all responsibility.
Rotherham Corporation has received three tenders for the supply of a motor fire-engine.
Romford Guardians have under consideration thcs question of obtaining motor ambulance.
A Leyland motor fire engine is to be purchased by the Tunbridge Wells T.C. at a cost of £1335.
A motor omnibus has been Bold by the Metrppolitan Asylums Board to Bingley, Son and Follitt, Ltd., for £135.
Building plans have been passed by the Sunbeam Motor Car Co. for a workshop in Villiers Street, Wolverhampton. • Rotherham Corporation Tramways Committee proposes to invite tenders for a new motor tower wagon and to find out the cost of putting the old one into good condition.
The Health Committee of the Sheffield Corporation is asking the Finance Committee to re-rate £2200 for the purchase of two electric vehicles. The amount was rated last year, but was not expended.
The Parliamentary Committee of Barrow-in-Furness T.C. has been instructed by the council to take into immediate consideration the question of obtaining Parliamentary powers to rum motor omnibuses.
A report of damage caused to -roads by a steel-tyred motor wagon belonging to the Great Northern Railway was presented to the Streets Committee of the Bradford T.C. and referred to the Town Clerk for attention.
In making an order for a speed limit for motors of ten miles an hour along certain streets of the city of Ripon, the Local Government Board intimates that the order will remain in force for the duration of the war and twelve months after.
Gillingham T.0 having considered the desirability of substituting mechanicallypropelled for horse-drawn vehicles, has asked the surveyor to make inquiries as to the price and delivery of an electric. van for house refuse collection with a view to its purchase.