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1896 Stanley Cycle Show

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Note: This is a sub-section of the Stanley Show

1896 November 20-28th. Held at the Royal Agricultural Hall, Islington. This was the 20th Exhibition of cycles, cycle accessories, machinery and horseless carriages.


Report by Autocar [1]

The number of cars which the British Motor Syndicate desired to exhibit at the Stanley Cycle Show now proceeding at the Agricultural Hall was so much greater than last year that it has been necessary to make special provision for them, and in order to do this a part of the building known as King Edward's Hall, heretofore occupied by a shooting gallery, has been devoted to them. This cheerless and chilly annexe has been made as gay as possible by wall hangings of red and white, strings of bunting from side to side, and coconut matting under foot.

The hall is lit with four arc lights, and until the time when the autocar industry becomes large and important enough to cease from being the appanage of any show promoters who may regard it as an additional bait for gate, we presume it will serve. The widespread interest evinced in the subject of autocars and autocycles by the crowds that gathered last Saturday week around the Hotel Metropole and all along the road to Brighton is evidently still dominating the public by the continually crowded state of this hall, and the keen desire shown by the eager spectators to acquire knowledge and information of the matter. It is regrettable that some arrangements have not been made to satisfy this craving, as the show certainly affords a grand opportunity for educating the community on the at present to them somewhat mysterious subject.

Entering the hall by the opening on the left-hand side of the Arcade, we find on the left four examples of the New Beeston motor cycles (tricycles) counterparts, indeed, of that particular machine ridden to Brighton on Saturday week last by Mr. Gorton, jun. Another of these cycles is shown on the stand of the New Beeston Cycle Co., of Coventry, in the body of the hall. The motors, which are auxiliary, are made under the De Dion and Bouton patents.

Next these cycles stands a four-seated, hooded Daimler dogcart, a vehicle the fame of which will go down to posterity as the winner of the great Paris-Marseilles race, and the No. 15 car of the Brighton trip. This is flanked by an electrical bath chair fitted with Dunlop pneumatic tyres and impe1led by a Britannia motor.

Then we come to a motor omnibus and delivery van, the property of Harrod's Stores, Ltd., of the Brompton Road, London, in relation to which several interested gentlemen were making anxious enquiries at the time of our inspection. This omnibus is fitted with a four horse-power Daimler n1otor by Panhard and Levassor. The vehicle carries four passengers inside and one out, plus the conductor.

Next follow two more of the Brighton cars, the second the yellow-wheeled hooded dogcart so n1uch remarked in the Brighton trip as No. 14, which ran third in the Paris-Marseilles race. Side by side with the latter we find the four-seated Daimler motor driven phaeton with its curtained awning and glass front screen, to which also tradition will cling in the future as the vehicle which carried the Earl of Winchilsea, Jerome K. Jerome, and The Pall Mall Gazette representative on the Brighton trip. The suggested comfort of this vehicle is the subject of much remark.

An electrical landau on Bersey's system divides the before-mentioned vehicle from a two-seated Daimler dogcart. The Royal red of a four-wheeled parcels express waggon next attracts, and is a counterpart of those already ordered by D. H. Evans, Ltd., Liberty's, Ltd., Peter Robinson, Ltd., and Harrod Stores, Ltd.

A crowd of spectators is continually collected round the next exhibit, which is the "Present Times" coach, now particularly familiar to the citizens of London from having formed so important an item of the late Lord Mayor's show.

Beyond this again, we found H. O. Duncan and C. R. Turrell demonstrating a Beeston motor tricycle to an interested crowd.

On a stand at the end of the Hall, Simms & Co. of Amberley House, Norfolk Street, Strand, W.C., show a combined alarm and steering handle with either horn or bell, also pneumatic roller springs, which, as shown, do not appeal to us.

The right-hand side of the hall is occupied by nine of the Coventry motettes, tandem motor-driven two and a half horse-power tricycles, made on the Bollee system, and which from the fame they gathered to themselves on the Brighton day, form the attraction of the hall.

On Stand 77, in the big hall, will be found the Gladiator motor-driven Olympia-type tricycle, which was shown running by the Gladiator Co. last year here, and which has since then been driven over 4,000 miles, and looks none the worse, save in travel stains, for the work. At Stand 104, the New Beeston Cycle Co. flank their beautifully-staged exhibits with two of their Beeston motor cycles, similar to those referred to in our previous remarks.


Report by The Engineer [2]

'The pressure on the space available was so great, that the two sections hitherto devoted to photographic apparatus and inventions have been abandoned. About 230 exhibitors, staging over 2500 cycles are represented; whilst the King Edward's Hall will be found the finest display of motor carriages which has yet been collected together in any building in this country.'


Report by Motor [3]

The 1896 Stanley Cycle Show, November 20-28th, caught the top of the boom, and with 2,028 cycles crammed into the Agricultural Hall there was but little room for cars, and very many had to be refused. Room, however, was found for a dozen or so in King Edward's Hall, the Bollee tandem form of car being prominent. All were shown by the British Motor Syndicate.



See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. The Autocar 1896/11/28
  2. The Engineer 1896/11/27
  3. Motor Magazine 1908/11/03