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News and Comment.

27th February 1908
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Page 12, 27th February 1908 — News and Comment.
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Which of the following most accurately describes the problem?

This journal fosters, represents, and chronicles commercial motoring in all its branches; it has the largest and best circulation throughout the United Kingdom, the Colonies, India, and foreign countries generally. No part of our exclusive and valuable circulation is due to the forcing of sales in useless quarters.

Our announcement of " The Motorcab Special " has aroused considerable interest. 'We make a brief reference to the matter on page 545, and repeat our formal announcement on page 546.

C.V. Trials Report.

The Judges' Report on the R..k.C. trials will be presented at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers at 3 p.m. on either the 4th or 5th of March.

Show Preparations.

The adjoining column contains the dates of our three special numbers in connection with the shows of next month, and we would ask our readers specially to note the dates. Further particulars will be published in due course, and our readers may rest assured that the high standard of 1907, when our reports of the Agricultural Hall and the Olympia Shows were admitted on all hands to be the best of any, will be fully maintained.

Exhibitors at Olympia.

The list of exhibitors at Olympia, which we published last week, was as we received the official communication from the S.M.M.T. We are glad to remind our readers that the name of Humber, Limited, of Beeston and Coventry, should be added, because that company's entry into the arena of commercial motor work is a very welcome one from the point of view of all who are interested in cabs and small delivery vans. Richard Garrett and Sons, Limited, of Leiston, Suffolk, will also be represented, and accessories and components will be shown by Ambrose Shardlow and Company, Limited, Ealing Works, Attercliffe, Sheffield ; Prested Battery Co., Elthorne Road, Holloway, N.; Salsbury and Son, Limited, 124, Long Acre, W.C.; and the Jupiter Fire Extinguishing Co., 35, Cannon Street, E.C. A petition has been lodged for the winding up of the R.M.C. Syndicate, Limited, of tog, Victoria Street, Westminster, S.W.

The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders is taking steps to secure the standardisation of cab regulations throughout the country.

A Patent Action.

Fodens, Limited, of Sandbach, has taken action , against Wallis and Steevens, Limited, of Basingstoke, in respect of an alleged infringement of Mr. Foden's patent for a particular combination of a locomotive-type boiler and the frame of a wagon. The case occupied the Court for more than one day, and we hope to give the decision in our next issue.

Are Taximeters Accurate ?; The Home Secretary has announced his intention to require all taximeters to bear the seal of Kew Observatory, and only a limited time will now he allowed before a closer scrutiny will be undertaken by the police in the streets of London. It should be remembered, however, that variations between the indicated charges over the same trip on different occasions are not inconsistent with accuracy. Taximeters register according to time and distance, and it is well known that the incidence of stoppages in London traffic may vary on any two occasions during a /rip between the same two points.

A Long Agenda Paper.

So full was the agenda paper for the February meeting of the Executive Committee of the C.M.C.A., that the sitting had to be adjourned for a week, in order that the business might be completed. Important arrangements were considered, including those for the holding of the annual general meeting and dinner. The report and accounts were received and adopted, and various routine business was transacted, including the payment of Messrs. Firth and Company's charges in re the Kensington Borough Council versus Messrs. Wild and Robbins.

The Brighton and South Coast Motor Cab Company, Limited, has been registered, with a nominal capital of 4-100, and with its office at 44, Bedford Row, W.C.

Mr. T. F. Woodline, secretary of the S.M.M.T., contributed an interesting article on the motor industry, with particular reference to the commercial side, to a recent issue of the " London Chamber of Commerce Journal."

An Ambulance Station.

The City of London Corporation has agreed to pay the Postmaster-General an annual rental of 4;329 125. 6d. in respect of a station for electric ambulances. The accommodation is sufficient for some three vehicles, and this charge appears to be unduly high.

Tenders Invited.

The Corporation of the City of Norwich invites tenders for the supply of a steam motor wagon, and these must be sent in upon forms which may be obtained from the City Engineer, Mr. Arthur E. Collins. Documents must be delivered not later than 12 noon on Monday next.

Renard Train.

Mr. Basil Hope has been addressing various public meetings ill County Down, with reference to the proposed establishment of an Irish transport company for the service of Portavogie, Ballywalter, Donaghadee, Bangor, and the Ards district. Tie stated that a 75h.p. motor unit with carriages would cost something under ,'3,000; that such a train coula attain a top speed of to or 12 miles per hour ; and that it could average seven to eight miles per hour with a load of 20 tons. He estimated the cost, if the carriages were loaded to their fullest capacity, at about 1.7d. per ton per mile. A train would be lent for a trial on condition that the transport expenses were paid. A London Agency.

Mero, Limited, of Renton Street, Sheffield, intimates that the Memo patent, silent, change-speed gears will be sold in London by Mr. J. H. Burgess, lately of the Simms Motor Manufacturing Company, Limited, who has opened offices at 8, Albion House, New Oxford Street, W. Trials can be arranged from that address.

A Halley First-Aid Engine,

The Corporation of Clydebank has ordered n 2oh.p. Halley chassis for equipment as a first-aid machine in the service of its fire-brigade department. The body will be suitable for c,irrying

• six men,1,200 feet of hose, and a 40: foot ladder, and its installation will be

• carried out under the directions of the firemaster at Clydebank, Mr. Whyte. It is expected that this vehicle will be one of the Halley exhibits at Olympia.

Postal Motors La Madrid.

A report on the trade and commerce 'of Spain by the British Commercial 'Attache at Madrid, which was issued on 14th February by the Foreign Office, says that a contract has been made for ten years by the Madrid Postal .Authorities for the carriage of the mails in the city by motor. For this purpose there are in use : eight, thh.p. electric motoryans by Messrs. .Milde; two, 24-3oh.p., four-cylinder, petrol cars by Messrs. Mhz; and eight, small De Dion-Bouton cars, which latter have been taken off. The only car to be seen in use for industrial purposes is a 24h.p. Aries, furniture van, but there are three other lorries registered at the Town Hall. In regard to the matter of trade generally, there appears to be some difficulty in Madrid in getting repairs done and there was often considerable delay in obtaining spare parts. Steps are now being taken to remedy these difficulties. The accompanying illustration shows a face view of a" Universal " wheel which is made by Cook's Universal Tyre and Wheel Company, of 9, South Street, Greenwich, London, SE,

We recently examined a set of these wheels after they had run about 5,000 miles and we could not detect any trace of wear and tear on the short, rubber, cross tubes, in spite of the fact that these tubes, in addition to acting as the resilient medium, are also called upon to take all the torque, and, therefore. form a " spring drive." The cost of maintenance of such a wheel need not be excessive, whilst the freedom from worry, on the score of punctures, should ensure its extended use for light van,: and lorries. The tread may he shod with rubber, wood or steel, but, if with the former, there is-no need to put more rubber into the tire than is sufficient to ensure silent running, because resiliency is not specially required in the tread of such a wheel. This type of wheel was exhibited last. year at the Agricultural Hall.

Six mOre 3o-cwt. Dennis vans, being the third repeat order for that make, have been tought by Harrod's, Limited, and one two-ton van of the same make has been supplied to the Derby Cooperative Provident Society, Limited. The last-named order was obtained through the company's Nottingham agents—Starey's, Limited.

Petrol Fire Engines for the L.C.C.

The Fire Brigade Committee of the L.C.C. reported recently with reference to the adoption of petrol-driven engines for the Fire Brigade. It stated that the boiler of one of the steam fire engines was worn out and that the engine was of an obsolete type, and another, which had been in use for some years, was now considered too small for use in London. In place of these two engines, the Committee proposes to obtain two petrol-driven, motor fire engines of 500 gallons capacity. All the motor fire engines obtained for the brigade up to the present have been steam driven, but the Committee was advised that petrol-driven engines had now passed the experimental stage. It was desirable to try them, inasmuch as, if efficient, their adoption would effect great economy, no gas being required for keeping up steam in the engines, and no boiler being necessary. An objection to petrol engines in the past had been the danger of the petrol becoming ignited, but a safety device was now obtainable which practically renders this impossible. Trials with a petrol-driven engine constructed by Messrs. Merryweather and Sons, Ltd., had been made and favourably reported upon, and the Committee has decided, subject to the usual sanction, to obtain two such engines from this company with certain special accessories, for 7s. each. The two steam engines will be taken in part.payment, Cr33 .ros. being allowed for them. We are glad to learn that the Governor-General of the Soudan, General Sir Reginald Wingate, had most satisfactory results from the Arrol-Johnston vehicles which were specially purchased and equipped under his instructions for use in the desert.

More Motoreabs.

De Dion-Bouton (1907), Limited, of to, Great Marlborough Street, W., announces that it is now prepared to accept orders for early delivery of cab chassis. These will comply in all respects with the London police regulations, and will be fitted with two-cylinder motors.

Fire-extinguishing Demonstration.

Messrs. Sinclair and Company, of 19, Eldon Street, E.C., yesterday (Wednesday) arranged for a practical demonstration of the rapid extinction of tire, on the vacant land between Aldwych and the Strand, by permission of the London County Council. The six tests were of an unusually severe character, and devoid of any element of" makebelieve."

"Prowling" Cabs in Paris.

Paris motorcab hiring agents have just formed themselves into a onion for the protection and advancement of their interests. Already they are engaged on specific reforms. The urgent necessity for unifying motorcab tariffs is being impressed upon the Municipal Council by this new union, and the police are being approached with a view to the better regulation of " prowling" by vehicles off their stands.

A Motor User's Knife.

A neat little knife, which is marketed for the use of motorists, is that known as the " Comae." This is sold by the United Motor Industries, Limited, of 45 and 46, Poland Street, W., at 35., and it is provided with a cutting blade, a little screwdriver for ignition adjustments, a pin for tire valves, and a platinum point file; the whole, in a leather case, forms a neat and portable tool, and should be of considerable service to all those who are responsible for the driving of motor road vehicles. Glycerine.

Any readers who desire to obtain " pale distilled " glycerine for use in the radiators of petrol-propelled vehicles will do well to address the United Alkali Company, Limited, Hazlehurst Works, Runcorn, as they will then be buying in the cheapest market.

Thawing Snow.

A subscriber to this journal, Mr. J. Stokvis, or Arnheim, has kindly furnished us with a photograph from

which we reproduce the accompanying illustration of a Stokvis-Bfissing, 24h.p. vehicle which he recently supplied to the Municipality of Amsterdam. A tank is used for the distribution of a concentrated brine solution, and we learn that this method of thawing snow has proved to give satisfactory results under many conditions. It certainly should prove fully as convenient a method of spreading the salt as that which is more customary in this country, ic., its. rflerelY: being shovelled out of a cart.

The " Board of Trade Journal " an flounces that a subsidy at the rate 0 4,000 rnilreis per kilometre will bi granted by the Brazilian Governrnen to companies or private individual. building roads and organising publi. services of commercial motors.

Case Dismissed.

Owners of wagons and tractors oc casionally suffer prosecutions or ac tions-at-law, but they appear to be in creasingly successful in the defence they seek to establish. At the recen Berkshire Assizes, at Reading, a pre petty owner endeavoured to saddle th proprietor of a Wallis and Steeven tractor with the destruction by fire of . row of cottages, but, the case failed the jury agreeing with the expert evi deuce that the tractor did not and coul, not emit sparks. On the i9th instant the Keighley Corporation sued Georg Hattersley and Sons, Limited, fo iz3 175. 9d. in respect of alleged dam age done to a tramcar by the defendan company's motor wagon. The evidenc showed that the motor wagon was abl to pull up, and that the tramcar wa not. In this case, too, the verdict wa for the defendant. The old dictum c giving " a dog a bad name " evident' does not apply, .

Nominations Wanted.

Notice is hereby given that, under th rules of the Association, nomination for the vacancies on-the.Executive Corr mittee of the C.M.V.A. must be in th hands of the Secretary, Mr. W. Ree Jeffreys, i, Albemarle Street, W., by th proximo. The following candidate have been duly nominated for election I Colonel Crompton, Mr. W. Dalzi( (Glasgow), Mr. S. D. Gilbert (Van guard Motorbus Co., Ltd.), Dr. H. S Hele-Shaw, F.R.S., Mr. H. Thorns°. Lyon, Mr. J. C. Mitchell (London Roa, Car Co., Ltd.), Mr. L. G. Oldfiel (London Omnibus Owners' Feder@ lion), Mr. R. R. Robbins, and Mr. E Shrapnell Smith. There still are severs vacancies, and any nomination must b accompanied by a letter from the mem her who is nominated to the effect tha he is willing to serve if elected. Th continuing members of the Execntiv Committee, who do not retire until nex vear are : Messrs. G. Arnold, E. G Brewer, Captain R. K. Bagnall-Wild Messrs. F. C. A. Coventry, W. J Baker, H. Howard Humphreys, W. G Lobjoit, Douglas Mackenzie, D. H Simpson, James Scott, W. H. Willco Charles Wheeler, and Ittid Withering ton. It is announced that the Highways Congress to be held in Paris this year will give special attention to the question of commercial motor vehicles and the public roads. The congress, in which M. Barthou, French Minister for Public Works, is one of the prime movers, will also deal in an exhaustive manner with the dust problem.

In Scotland.

Orders for Albion vans come thick and fast to the Scotstoun works. The boom of the one-ton van is certainly proved here, and customers' demands are in respect of both general and special uses. The conveyance of gas stoves was specifically named in our issue of the 23th July last, and the number of gas-making undertakings which so use rnotorvans to-day has gone ahead since that date, Glasgow's department being one of the latest.

K.T. Tires.

Testimony to the non-skidding properties of the " K.T." tire, which has been described in our columns, has again been given by Messrs. J. and E. Hall, Limited, of Dartford. Mr. A. Ernest Gelder, the manager of the K.T. Syndicate, Limited, informs -us that the Dartford company has written advising the syndicate of the satisfactory result achieved with these tires, and stating that their non-skidding properties have enabled the steep hills on each side of Dartford to be climbed and descended with safety when the roads were in a very bad state owing to grease.

A New Fire Extinguisher.

Messrs. Henry Simonis and Company, the well-known fire engineers, of Norfolk House, Norfolk Street, Strand. W.C., have recently put upon the market a new fire extinguisher, which is known as the " Phccnix," This is constructed on new lines, and no glass bottle or sulphuric acid is used. The pressure necessary for discharging the contents is obtained from a steel cartridge, Which contains liquid carbonic gas. It is claimed that this extinguisher will throw a jet for 45 feet horizontally, or 30 feet high. The cartridges are tested to 3,7591b. pressure.

Three to One.

It is a sign of the times when one of the oldest makers of motorcars produces two catalogues which show a ratio of three to one in favour of the commercial side as compared with the private side. Dennis Brothers, Ltd., of Guildford, has nearly reached this position, for it requires 84 pages to deal with commercial motors, and devotes only 32 to touring cars. This reversal of relative importance does not mean that the company's turnover in pleasure vehicles has slackened, for that is not the case : its sales of utility vehicles have multiplied beyond expectation. The 84-page catalogue of Dennis commercial motors is descriptive yet succinct, whilst no less than to pages .are given to schedules of parts, with code words and prices. The specifications, illustrations, testimonials, and costs of working complete an admirable production, the whole range of commercial vehicles, both for passengers and goods, being covered in detail. it is one of the best conceived and most admirably executed catalogues of its class which we have seen, and it should materially aid business wherever touch with a likely buyer is obtained, From Southampton.

Mr. W. J. Rich, baker and confectioner, of Southampton, whose to-cwt. De Dion van was illustrated in our issue of the 16th January (page 436 ante), has notified the Parsons Motor Company, Limited, of Town Quay, Southampton, which company supplied the van, that it is giving great satisfaction to him in its work upon daily rounds, both in town and country.

Duty-free Chassis.

The Trade Information Department of the S.M.M.T."notifies us that the import duty on steam. wagons in New Zealand, which was originally 79 per ccnt, for foreign-built machines, and 20 per cent. for British-built machines, is now 20 per cent, for either British or Foreign makes. It appears that chassis are duty free in all cases, so complete wagons should not be exported.

Interesting Case.

It is not often that a motorcar owner has an action-at-law against the owner of a steam wagon. Judgment was given in such a case, at the Thrapston County Court, recently, by his Honour Judge Wheeler, in the case of an action by a Mr. Leonard Turnell, brewer, of Northampton, against Messrs. Whitworth Brothers, millers, of Wellingborough: j.;so damages was claimed by reason of the alleged negligent driving of defendant's steam lorry. His Honour had personally visited the spot where the collision occurred, and held that the accident was due to the plaintiff's attempt to pass on the wrong side at an excessive speed. Nothing had been said which had convinced him of negligence on the part of the driver of the lorry, and he gave a verdict for Messrs. Whitworth with costs. The original hearing of the case took place some two months ago, when the evidence showed that the plaintiff's car, in overtaking the lorry from behind, when proceeding down a hill, and in attempting to pass on the near side, had been badly wrecked by hitting a heap of stones. The principal evidence for the defence was given by Mr. E. Basil Ludlow, of the firm of Messrs. Smith and Company, brewers, of Oundle, who was cycling up the hill at the time.

From New Zealand.

We learn that Messrs. Norman Heath arid Company's latest orders for Straker-Squire wagons are from the Wellington Meat Export Company, Limited, and the Opunake Sawmilling Company. The latter of these will be specially powerful, for the carriage of timber.

The French Trials.

The first entries for the French commercial vehicle trials of May next have been received, five Lorraine-Didtrich vehicles having been registered in four of the classes. These are : a delivery van capable of carrying from 200 to 900 kilogrammes; a lorry whose useful load is above 3,000 kilos.; a hotel motorbus with accommodation for eight persons; and two heavier motorbuses with eight places.

For last year's trials the yard at the Army stores on the Quai d'Orsay served as the Paris headquarters for the competing vehicles, but, as this space is not available this year, the Gaierie des Machines, an immense ex hibition hall near the Champs de Mars, has been Secured—a change certaitil3 to be welcomed from all points of view.

An Agricultural Motor Exhibition. For the first time in France—indeed, in the world, I imagine (writes our correspondent in Paris)—an exhibition specially organised for agricultural motors will be held at Bourges in June next. Industrial alcohol will be a feature of the show, which is promised the patronage of the M. Ruau, French Minister for Agriculture.

Exhibitors are invited for the following 15 classes : (1) Fixed or portable explosion motors; (2) auto-motors ; (3) agricultural machines worked by moto,' power; (4) tractors for agriculture; (5) agricultural machines worked by motors or tractors; (6) agricultural, horticultural, and viticultural machines; (7) motorcars specially designed for the use of farmers; (8) motorcars capable of being used as portable engines; (9) tools for the construction and maintenance of agricultural machines and motorcars; (In) automobile tires and wheels; (it) fuels, Oils, greases, and acetylene; (12) denatured alcohol; (13) inventions, improvements, and ac. cessories appertaining to agriculture and motor vehicles; (4) motor vehicles and appliances for fire brigades; (15) cycles and tri-cars.

During the exhibition three competi. tions will take place. These are :—(r; For motors or tractors working agri. cultural machines or implements; (2: motor vehicles specially designed for the carrying of agriculturalists or farm products; (3) motor vehicles and -appliances for fire brigades.

The address of the secretariat formk for these interesting events is 24, Rtt( Notre-Dame, Bourges.

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