WHEELS OF INDUSTRY.
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1. 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.
The Tractor Scandal ! The Issue Cleared Up.
In the House of Commons on 14th January, in reply to Mr. Pemberton Billing, who sought information of the Minister of Munitions concerning -the result of the inquiry on the alleged case of bribery and blackmail in connection -With the importation of agricultural tractors, Sir. W. Evans -replied that "the allegations referred to by the hon. member have now been fully investigated under the supervision of the Director of Public Prosecutions, with assistance. These allegations rest entirely upon two sitatutory declarations made by two gentlemen recording a.conversation they had had on the same day with a Mr.
E. B. Killen, a director of The company, which acted as. the agent for the sale of "Moline " tractors in this country.' The statutory declarations were entirely based on this conversation, and the declarants .did not purport to deal with the facts as being within their own know. ledge, and their statements are not there... fore in any sense evidenceof such facts recordedin such conversation, but only of thefact that such a conversation took. place: Mr. Killen was examined by the Director of Public Prosecutions in regard to the conversation, but repudiated ever havingmade some of the most important Statements attributed to him,. and emphatically denied his having, at_ any time, or to anyone, stated that any agreement or any document in writing was ever in existence, saying that he must have been completely misunderstood. There is no reason to doubt that the statutory declarations record with substantial accuracy the statements made by Mr. Killen in the conversation referred to, and I consider that the declarants acted properly in calling the attention of the Minister thereto. But I am advised by the Director of Public Prosecutions that, as the result of the searching investigation to which the statements then, and stibsequently, made by Mr. Killen have been subjected, not only is there no prima facie case against any officer of the Ministry upon which
any proceedings could be launched, but that the result, of the investigation liSs been completely to exonerate the Agricultural Machinery Department of the Ministry -and its officers, past and present, from any justifiable suspicion of corrupt practices or improper conduct. I regret that Mr. Killen cannot be held 'criminally responsible for making his slanderous and untrue statements, which, whether made wilfully or carelessly, were calculated to throw doubt upon the honour of patriotic, public officials, but I am advised that the form in which his statements were made protects him from such proceedings."
No Gas! But Only in Three Places.
There has been much speculation concerning the number of gas undertakings in the country which will be unable to supply gas for traction purposes. We have ascertained by inquiry that there are only three places where a supply will be impossible, namely,
Sheffield, Dudley, Tottenham.
If there are any snore, we have not been ablo. to hear of them, and it is gratifying to note that their number is so small.
-Austin's Tank Contribution.
By far the most exciting incident witnessed during the Tank's last day in Bir
mingham was the appearance of a fleet, of Austin armoured cars, which had been driven from Longbridge Works, Northfield, their birthplace, to Victoria .Square, headed by the Austin band and guarded by Austin Volunteers. Each of the cars bore appropriate inscriptions, besides intimating to one and all that "This fleet is leaving for the Front Monday morning." The Austin cheque, which was for £96,875, in payment of 125,000 War Savings Certificates takenup -by the employees, was handed to the Lord Mayor on the top of the Tank. Both procession and presentation gave rise to the greatest enthusiasm.
Mountain Transport in Italy.
The difficulties with which the mechanical transport units of the Italian Army have to contend are not., common to anything like the• same extent to other belligerents. When roads are chiselled out of the face of the cliffs, or form a series of zigzags with acute turns and bends up the mountain side, it may well be imagined that an error of judgment or a slight miscalculation of distance, by the matter of a few inches only, may result in complete disaster to a convoy of motor vehicles. It will readily be appreciated that the task of transport on such roads becomes considerably more difficult under the stress of a retreat when operations haVe to be carried out without lights and at the highest possible speed.
In the recent Italian debacle, the most difficult problem of all, which called for a superhuman effort from those engaged in till.' task, was the removal of heavy howitzers from emplacements on the
mountain slopes. In the Italian Army practically all these gulfs and their divereified equipment are hauled by powerful F.I.A.T. tractors,which are capable of traversing most difficult country as well as climbing acute gradients. The work done by these tractors and their teams contributed largely to the success of the recent rearward movement, and prevented the Austro-Gerrnan forces from obtaining the victory which they believed to be within their grasp! This work was not without its dangers and its exciting moments, and after working 48 hours without sleep it is not surprising that drivers had a less steady 'hand than under normal conditions. The accompanying -illustration shows one of these big tractors Which has overturned completely on a dangerous mountain road, Owing to a slight miscalculation of distance on the part of the driver. Despite the big drop the machine has made, it is interesting to note that practically no damage was done to the mechanical organs of the E.I.A.T. tractor—a splendid testimony to the solid build and design of this Italian production. •
The New York City postal authorities appreciate the value of motor vehicles for mail transportation. They recently purchased 150 White and Packard vehicles of capacities varying from, 15 cwt. to 3 tons, .which were put into service at the beginning of the year. These machines are being utilized for station and depot work irr Manhattan, and for collections
and parcel-post work in Brooklyn. It is
• indeed interesting to learn that in six of the cities in which the authorities utilized their own machines last year half-a-million dollars were saved. A garage occupying 75,000 sq. ft. of floor space has been completed for the vehicles.
Mr. Alex. Steuart, managing director of the Rapid Motor Transport Co., Ltd., Glasgow, has received an appointment under the Ministry of Munitions. The company have, as a result, suspended operations until after the war.
Gas Cylinders for Sale.
We are informed by the Superintendent of the Stores Department of the South-Eastern and Chatham Railway Companies (54, Tooley Street, S.E. 1) that there are in store at the Ashford works of the railway companies a small number of old gas cylinders. They range in size from 16 ins, in diameter up to 20 ins, in diameter, and from 3 ft. in length up to 10 ft. in length. The quantity is small, viz., 73 all told, the only two big Parcels being 23 cylinders 10 ft. long by 16 ins. diameter, and 11 cylinders 7 ft. 3 ins, long by 20 ins. diameter. Their working pressure was originally 105 lb. per sq. in., but naturally the railway companies in disposing of them would .not be able to give any guarantee as to the pressure they will now stand. Should this interest any of our readers who contemplate using gas on their vehicles, inquiries should be made at the address given, Where official authority to view them at Ashford is supplied.
Aa evidence that the, tractor is paining sway for the cultivation of extensive acreage, it is noteworthy to place on • record the fact that this class of machine
• is now being used to expedite farm work on a rubber plantation of some 20,000 acres in Sumatra, which is controlled by one of the largest tyre-manufacturing companies in the States. Before the tractor was put into service it required 250 coolies to plough three acres-a day; the tractor at present in use is cultivating 20 acres of land in the same time.
191/ Running Figures For New York Buses.
With the exception of both Paris and Berlin, there are no foreign metropolitan public-service motorbus undertakings of any considerable -size, except in New York. The Fif,th Avenue Coach Co. of that city has motorbus operating concern which haS always been of special interest to the comthercial-vehiele world in this country. It is particularly an organization which has to compete with very strenuous rivals in respect of the tramcar and the overhead railway systems of the district through which it runs. Some years ago the company was successful in securing the services, as chief engineer, of Mr. C. A. Green, who was then assistant chief engineer to the London General Omnibus Co., and, as was to be expected, Mr. Green took with him an extraordinary store of experience.
This company commenced operations on `5th August, 1207, on the Fifth Avenue route. In June, 1908, an extension of this service was made. In June, 1910, the well:known Riverside Branch Service was inaugurated, and in 1911 the New York Transportation Co., as it then was, owned 80 clotible-deck buses, of the type which was at the time 'employed in .London. The whole service grew out of the old Fifth Avenue horse bus line, which, in itself, had a very unprofitable career. The first attempt to motorize the service was with battery buses, which was not successful. An early machine was of the petrol electric type ; this was built by the General Vehicle Co. and weighed 71tons without passenger load. As might be expected, its operation was not attended with success.
After an investigation of what was being done by similar concerns in Europe, the company was much impressed with the successful operation of the De Dion chassis which was doing such excellent service in London at about that time. A fleet of De Dions was soon after that put into service, and at the same time 10 more petrol-electric machines were started. The. De Diens won out, however, but since then the company has been build its own machines on lines which show an intimate knowledge of the good and the bad of the' latest European models. At the present time the latest machines are equipped with Knight engines, and it is understood that these are giving very excellent. service.
A copy of the company's balance sheet for 1917 has recently come to hand, and E28
we may usetuil extract a few details from it, as indications of the cost of operation of heavy-type petrol-driven chassis in New York. The number of bases in full operation in 1917 is shown as 176; between them, during the year, these machines have covered nearly 6,000,000 miles, and have carried over 22,000.000 passengers. The company only operates on a 10-cent fare.
The average earnings per mile prove to be 37.69 cents—that is rather over Is. 6d. per mile. "Superintendence and shop expenses" are booked at 0.91 cents per mile, repairs 3.5 cents per mile, tyres -come out at 0.79 cents per mile, depreciation is reckoned at 1.25 cents per mile, accidents and damages cost 1.22 cents per mile. The total net profit from operation is 10.62 cents per mile.
With regard to the tyre charge shown above, it is interesting to learn that, during the first year of operation of the company, these cost 4.98 cents per mile, and in following years dropped as follows :-3.13 to 2, then 1.7 and 1.504, and in 1916 it was 1.097 cents per mile. The latest figure, 0.79 cents, is certainly a very low one, and, it is understood, is based on an arrangement by which the tyres are bought by the company on a guarantee mileage basis.
Amongst other interesting items received by the figures shown in this balance sheet are the following :—The value of the motorbus fleet shown as an asset, 800,000 dollars, an increase of ,116,000 dollars on the previous year' the value of motorbus construction in hand during the year, 23,000 dollars, and the taxes paid during the year 163,000 dollars, The total number (pis accidents involving injury to pedestrians and others was 32, of which five had fatal results, which shows the remarkable result of less than one person killed for every million miles of operation.
It is interesting to recall that Mr. G. A. Green, Many months ago, could not resist the call of is country, and returned here for that purpose. He was very soon secured as an officer in connection with -the maintenance of Tanks in the field, and one can imagine that with his exceptional capacity for hard work and his unique knowledge of maintenance problems, a more suitable selection could not readily have been found.
Up to the end of the year 1917 the members of the British Ignition Apparatus Association had supplied over 300,000 British magnetos.
Gas Container Standard Filling Orifice.
The committee of the Motor Gas Equipment Association has met frequently since its formation, and has, amongst other matters, been considering the question of standardization of filling orifices. An orifice of the diameter of 2 ins, has been considered the most generally convenient, and this size Jas therefore been adopted as standard. The Association has also arranged for the testing of fabrics by a competent chemist and fabric expert, without charge to members. A length of about half a yard of any fabric which it is desired to have tested should be sent to the Association, end a report upon its proofness or permeability will be sent within three days. The address of the Association is 7, Sack. villaStreet, London, W., all communications being addressed to the Hon. Sec.
Dunlop Profits: Distribution of £500,000 from the Reserve.
The balance sheet. of the Dunlop Rubber Co., Ltd., tor the year ending 31st August last shows a net profit of £435,1097 about £2660 better than in the previous year, but there is £165,822 profit from the rubber estates and also the unascertained profits of the cotton mills to be brought into the accounts. The ordinary shares will receive a second dividend, which make 15 per cent, for the year. Mr. C. W. Hely, J.P., and Mr. Robert Watson, J.P., have retired from the Board of Directors and Sir Henry Darz's31, Bart., M.P. and Mr. George H. du Cros have taken their places. An extraordinary general meeting follows the general meeting on Tuesday next, at which resolutions will be considered anthorizing the capitalization of part of the undivided profits by the creation of 500.000 additional ordinary shares to be issued in the form of a dividend (equal to 10s. per share free of income tax) to the holders of the 1,000,000 ordinary shares.
During the course of the past year, as a -result of the keen and increasing demand for Don friction fabrics, Hays, Hunter and Standen, Ltd., who market this well-tried material, have found it imperative to double the number of looms engaged in its 'production. It is worthy of recall that the fabric is woven from 100 per cent, pure asbestos yarn, which can be supplied with or without interwoven brass wire threads. After weaving, the material is treated by special methods of impregnation, which are stated to render it impervious to the effects of frictional or other heat, as well as preventing its braking properties from being affected by contact with grease, oil . or water. The demand for the company's brake and clutch linings comes from some of the largest. commercialvehicle users in the country, amongst Which may be mentioned the L.G.O. Co. Considerable orders are in hand for the Colonial markets. The popularity of the fabric testifies to its long-service and wearing qualities.
A department for new and secondhand commercial vehicles has been opened by Ernest Lyon, Ltd., at 4 and 5, Woodstock Street, London, W., under the management of Mr. Sutherland Pilch, whose experience of the trade is considerable.
Chas.. E. Beckand Co., Ltd., . with a capital Of £5000 in £1 shares, to be general machinists and agents for mechanical and electrical-equipment. Registered office is at 65, Bath Street, Glasgow.
• Smith and Ewen (Aero Parts), Ltd., with a capital of £5000 in £1 shares, to be engineers, manufacturers of, and dealers in, motor vehicles,: aeroplanes, etc. Registered office is at 42, Frederick Street, Birmingham.
Gadsons, Ltd., with a capitol of £30,000 in £1 shares, to take over the liminess of manufacturers, importers and warehousemen of coach and motor vehicles, carried on by Garlson Bros. Registered office is at 11-13, Rrushfield Street, E.
Nicholson Bros., Ltd., with a capital of £10,000 in Et shares, to take over the business of general motor and marine engineers and repairers, carried on at Great Grimsby and 'elsewhere by Nicholson Bros. Registered office is at Nibromo Engineering Works, Roberts Street, Great Grimsby.
. Manchester Fishmongers' Teading Co., Ltd., with a capital of £1000 in £1 shares. The company is empowered to manufacture and deal in various domestic commodities, and to buy, sell, or act as agents for -motor vehicles, etc., required for use by persons engaged in trades of this nature.•
Inland Transport and Marine Insurance Co., Ltd., with a capital of £50,000 in 49,500 ordinary shares of £1 each and i0,000-founders' shares of is. each, to carry on the business of marine insurance in, all its branches, and to insure parcels and property of all kinds for transit.-by land:or water, etc. Registered office is at.97, Exchange Buildiegs, New Street, Birmiegham.
62,000 Miles, and Still, Running!
" A trifle slow, but very Ellie." We have heard this terse comment expressed again and again by users of 'Albion vehicles, and can call to mind the words of a satisfied user who -once said ithat " ie the machine-gees out in the morning you can be sure that it..will find its stable at night." As further evidence of the reliability of this make Of machine
we reproduce the accompanying illustration, which depicts a 25 cWt. Albion lorry. in the employ of Mr. Peers Knowles,. of -Accrington. This machine notched more than 62,000 miles before it was put in deck for overhaul. The tri• flieg mishaps which occurred during this period were carried out at the road, side by the driver, Ernest Rushworth, who never failed to complete a journey. Since the overhauling was completed, several thousand. More miles have been rue. A careful record kept of the petrol used shows the machine has averaged thirteen miles to the gallon of spirit. used. Bearing in mind that the lorry is running on the notorious Lancashire roads and that it has in times of -need carried 2i tons, it will be agreed that the performance is a striking one—endorsing to the full the experience of other
satisfied users. • For one long period the weekly mileage totalled betweeh four and five hun deed, month after month ; this latter ,figure was even exceeded .on several occasions. Spencer-Moulton tyres are fitted, and so satisfactory have they proved under arduous -working conditions that a further order for this make has been 'placed. The machine would appear to be good for many, many More miles' of actual running.
Sheffield Cetineil has purchased a secondzhend Ford van, to fun on gas, for £150.
-Walsall • Corporation Electric Supply Committee has purchased amotor vehicle for £185.
. A motorcar for the use of the county surveyor s to be purchased by the Derbyshire C. C.., at a cost not to exceed :0400.
The electrical engineer of SouthendemSea T.C. has been directed to report uPon the. question of obtaining electric wagons for use in connection with the haulage of coal to the electricity works.
Swansea Corporation is .negotiating
withthe South Wales Motor Transport Co:, which .proposes to run a motorbus service to Swansea from the Pentrechwyth and Cwm .district. Thiswill be a new service, and will come under the Emergency Legislation, which requires the company to secure the -consent of the highway authority to the „new route.
Bethnal Green Council has had to release Mr. F. C. Archer from his contract to supply a Lafily motor road sweeper. Two were ordered sect one was promptly delivered, and has proved very satisfactory. As these machines are still under the export prohibition of the French Government, the second sweeper cannot be supplied.
Trade With Russia.
To those manufacturers, traders, finan. dens and ethers whoee vision is not obscured by the transitory perturbations taking place in -Russia at the present time, and who instinctively • realize the future economic and political importance of that country, the latest issue of "Russia," a journal published by R. Martens and Co., Ltd., 37, Threadneedle Street, E.C., will offer Much interesting and valuable up-to-date information on Russia's commercial and industrial posi
lion. The articles are authoritatively written, and contain much matter which should be useful knowledge when afterthe-peace commercial relationships: have to be faced. —
Dennis Brothers.-(1913), Ltd., have removed from their OnsloW Street premises to the new factory at Woodbridge, Guildford