From Our Berlin Correspondent.
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I understand that the Gaggenau firm has executed a repeat order kr the butcher's lorry supplied to the Metz garrison and illustrated in the issue of the 4th instant.
The Frankfort Commissioner of Police has instructed his subordinates to summon all drivers of self-propelled vehicles that are noisy and "emit disagreeable smoke and steam in a very offensive way."
The ist of February witnessed the commencement of the winter trials of the freight-automobiles in possession of the Prussian Army Transport Department. Considering the state of the roads and the duration of the trials, which are to last three weeks, the test s uncommonly severe.
Another Bad Result.
The North German Automobile and Motor Co., I.td., finishes up its third year with a loss of 342,256 marks (si17,113), or 285,683 marks
/.14,284) more than in the preceding year. The directors suggest that the present capital of 2+ million marks should be reduced to 11 million, and then raised by the issue of 14 million six-per-cent. preference shares. This company manufactures under a Kri6ger licence, and lorries are a speciality.
Working Companies with Subsidised Vehicles.
:Messrs. Buessing and their Berlin agents have founded the first Berlin Automobile Transport Company, beginning with a couple of six-ton lorries bearing the War Office's subvention-plaque. They hope to do transport work for breweries and big trading concerns. The Gaggenau firm, which owns TO subsidised vehicles, has alse founded a similar company. This latter company is to start operations, on April ist, in one of the large cities of South Germany.
Petrol Cabs for Berlin Police: A Slight Concession.
As night have been expected, the Berlin Police President's little excursion into the province of economics, with a view to the solving of the question of demand and supply by a bureaucratic ipse dixit was not taken by the trade " lying down." Apart from direct protests from the industry, which fiowed in upon the President, the Association of German Automobile Makers and the Imperial Motor Club at once " mobilised "; they ignored the police, and sent a deputation to the Minister of the Interior; who, I hear, ha s called upon the Polizeipraesidium for an explanation. Up to the present, as a result of the protests, direct and indirect, the police authorities have agreed to consider applications for licences as they arise, making exception where the maintenance of the veto miglit involve hardships.
Berlin Traffic Statistics.
Agreeably with official returns on Berlin's traffic, which have just been published, at the end of 1908 the aggregate of public horse-vehicles had dropped from 11,503 to 11,287. This deeLne is mainly due to the constant increase of mechanically-propelled caLis and omnibuses. Horsedrawn cabs have decreased from 7,176 to 7,033, while the mechanical variety show an increase of 74, now standing at 716. My recent estimate about Berlin was much too high. Of the 972 omnibuses running in Berlin, 157
are power'I he rolling-stock of the tramcar company consists of 3,213 cars--two more than in the preceding yenr. I notice that motorcabs were involved in 137 accidents (four fatal, 22 serious, and iii light). The electric-trams " butcher's bill " is : seven persons killed ; 63 seriously injured ; and 436 lightly injured.
The Composition of Rubber and Skidding.
I subm a Led to the Continental Rubber Coin1s:11y, Hanover, the letter of your correspondent Mr. Richard Muirhead respecting a possible influence of the composition of rubber tires upon skidding, and, in the absence of any definite experience in the direction indicated, the company's experts are disposed to think that the skidding of tires, both solid and pneumatic, depends rail:, r tpon the particular profiling. of the tires, which adhere more or less to the roadway, and then to the distribution of weight upon front and rear :isles. In the case of pneumatics, the nir-pn–sure would also come into consideration. A vehicle with very hard-inliated tires would tend to skid more on asphalt than one with flatter (less hard-inflated) tires, as the latter naturally jkOSS.CC a broad surface of adhesion, and hence effect a larger area of contact by reason of their comparative softness allowing a better grip.
Cologne's Refuse Automobiles.
Cologne's stock of automobiles for removing refuse now consists of four, representing as many systems, one of them bC111;.; steam driven. Two of the petrol vehicles have already been illustrated in your columns. At first, the automobiles were iron shod, and they drew trailers tired in like fashion ; but the good hurghers of Cologne complained so strongly about the clatter through the streets at night time that the automobiles were fitted with rubber tires, and the trailers disused. Cologne burghers appear to be highly wrought—or a little prejudiced against modern means of locomotion. I wonder what some of the complainants would say to sleeping in a room looking on to a Berlin street through which ponder ous electric trams thunder and crash nineteen or twenty hours of the twenty four ! But I suspect Cologne thoroughfares need asphalting. Any stick is good enough to beat a dog with, however; people who are prejudiced against automobiles often put down the rattling to the vehicles, whereas the cobbled and uneven'roads are to blame.
Nuremberg's Burgomaster and Motorphobes.
Apparently inspired by the recent action of the Berlin President of Police, one of Nuremberg corporator's, in a speech mainly directed against the alleged excessive and perilous speed of automobiles, proposed that no more self-propelled vehicles should be licensed for hire in the city. Ile was very far from having matters all his own way. A colleague, who criticised his proposals and statements, pointed out that a time would come when people would smile at the present police regulations and the fear of automobiles. The First Burgomaster, Geheimrat Dr. von Schuh, vigorously opposed " any numerical limitation," observing that before the introduction of the railroad into Germany men who had rendered service in the interest of public welfare and health insisted upon the dangerousness of adopting such a means of traffic. Von Schuh pooh-poohed the idea of drawing conclusions for Nuremberg from statistics respecting other towns, and boldly declared his faith in a sentence which deserved to be italicised a" My standpoint is that the conditions of traffic improve in
proportion as an are licen
sed." He also accused the motor
phobe corporator of begging the
question. There was, asserted the First Burgomaster, absolutely no ground for stating that automobiles travelled at high speeds in Nuremberg. Let opponents of the self-propelled vehicle see Imw smoothly streettraffic worked in Berlin ; with what wonderful dexterity the chauffeurs extricated their automobiles from a perfect maze of vehicles; and how wary Berliners had grown in crossing the streets, looking right and left before leaving the footpath. As a matter of fact, went on the Chief Burgomaster, our people would have to get accustomed to the automobile ; they were not yet " schooled " to it.
After these blunt remarks, the City Fathers decided against the necessity of special measures re self-propelled vehicles ; existing regulations would amply suffice, if strictly carried out.