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1898 Stanley Cycle Show

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

1898 November 18th-. The 22nd show and held at the Royal Agricultural Hall, Islington

The Stanley Show (November) again included several motorcars including seven or eight vehicles by the Automobile Association, Ltd., a company hailing from Holland Park, Humbers, and a 2.5 h.p. sociable tandem for three persons. The Motor Manufacturing Co. had six or eight motorcars and vans, and the Daimler "six motor vehicles of 5.5 h.p. each" and an 8h.p. char-a-bancs to carry 16 passengers at 12 m.p.h. In all there were six motor-bicycles.[1]


A general survey of this exhibition, which opened at the Agricultural Hall, Islington, on Friday, the 18th inst., and which closes to-morrow, Saturday, revealed the steady growth of the motor carriage department.

To a superficial observer, it would appear that the cycle has already assumed definite shape, whilst the autocar, which may be said to have only just emerged from its experimental stage, presents a great variety of forms, which lend a certain amount of extra attractiveness to it in the eyes of the general public, apart from the keen curiosity which every thoughtful visitor must feel as to how the almost endless number of difficult problems have been satisfactorily solved in such a short space of time.

No doubt the interest of the exhibits would be considerably enhanced if the mechanism concealed in casings were open to view, or were at least set forth by explanatory drawings, and also if the carriages could be tried, and seen running on a track built with a view to enabling them to be thoroughly tested.

In nearly every instance the carriages exhibited at this show have, however, already proved their merits beyond the cavil of either engineer or coachbuilder.

In an exhibition we are obliged to assume that carriages which are so far either total strangers or newcomers with which we are as yet little acquainted demand more attention than tried old friends. Abiding by this rule, whinch is hard on the old friends, we shall not linger long by the side of the carriages of our reputed makers.

MESSRS. HUMBER AND CO., LTD., of Coventry, display a number of light vehicles, which are all finished in excellent style. The "Humber Motor" is a vehicle designed after the pattern of as Bollee and propelled by a Turrell motor developing two and a half horse-power at seven hundred and fifty revolutions. There are three speeds of six, twelve, and eighteen miles an hour. Lamp ignition is used. By means of a regulator the motor is kept running at a slow rate when the vehicle is at rest. A sight feed lubricator is furnished for all the bearings and the cylinder. Hardly sufficient foot space has been provided for the driver, whose legs are liable to catch the wind. On the whole it is a very neat-looking carriage weighing about five hundredweight. We do not illustrate it, as it is practically the same in general appearance (though much neater in detail) as the well-known Bollee. This company also exhibit their " Motor Sociable," which seats two persons side by side, and is adapted for a seat at the back for a third if desired.

The body of this carriage is practically a victoria, and is hung on C springs, which obviate vibration and raise it comparatively high above the ground. The mechanism is the same as that of the "Humber Motor." This looks a very serviceable and comfortable carriage.

Two electrical motor tandems shown by the same firm are intended exclusively for pacing purposes, and in external appearance do not differ noticeably from similar machines exhibited last year. Storage batteries contained within the frame supply the motor, which is arranged underneath the frame close to the ground to render the machine steady. The speed can be regulated to a nicety by a resistance coil placed on the rear handle bar. A speed of forty miles an hour has been obtained by these machines. In their "Olympia Motor Tandem " a one and three-quarter horse-power De Dion motor is provided at the back of the rear wheel, and is balanced by the front seat, which is not rigidly attached to the frame, but is hung on springs in a very neat fashion, thereby giving it a kind of parallel motion.

A driving chain is used, which is claimed to be noiseless, By controlling the supply of vapour to the motor the speed is regulated at will. For hilly countries it, is supplied with an additional low-speed gear. We shall illustrate this interesting machine at the earliest opportunity. A one and a quarter horse-power motor tricycle of the Beeston type weighs about one and a quarter hundredweight. It, is specially suitable for tourists and commercial travellers, though probably most persons might consider it dear at £114, which is catalogue price. The style and finish are the same as in all vehicles constructed by this well known firm.

THE MOTOR MANUFACTURING CO. LTD. of Coventry, exhibit a line collection of heavier vehicles, some of which are making their first appearance. Their latest arrivals, the "Sandringham" phaeton and the "Beatrice" Victoria, took our particular fancy. They are substantially built, well designed, and present several special features. The five horse power motors, built on Mr. Geo. Iden's (the manager of the Motor Manufacturing Co.'s works) system, are horizontal, and placed below the centre of gravity. The parts of the motor are easily accessible. A silent worm gear giving four speeds is employed. All working parts are enclosed. There are no belts or pulleys. The driving chain is arranged centrally, and also completely cased in. Owing to the position of the explosion chamber vibration is greatly reduced.

The body of the ear is isolated from the frame through the intervention of double springs. Altogether these two carriages seem to us to be among the best designed and most comfortable looking of their kind; they are graceful in appearance, easily manipulated and the price is very reasonable. We congratulate the company on such exhibits, and look forward to a practical trial with interest.

Their five horse-power phaeton and parcels van present no special new features. They are built, on the well-known Daimler system, as is also their new four horse-power motor char-a-banc, which seats nine persons. This car, which embodies all the latest improvements in this kind of vehicle, has four speeds, is very stoutly and well adapted for rough work. The oil consumption of this vehicle is stated to be only 5/8d per mile, with a load of from twelve to fifteen hundredweight.

Among the exhibits of this company we noticed a few light vehicles, such as their new motor voiturette, constructed on the Bollee or Turrell motette system. In this vehicle sufficient room is provided for the driver, thus remedying a defect which we have seen in nearly every vehicle of this class. The front seat may be detached and replaced by a carrier. The steering is effected by a lever. There are three speeds of five, ten, and sixteen miles per hour. It is claimed that this vehicle does not skid, due to the arrangement, of the weight.

A ladies' and gentlemen's "Motocyclette," built on the Werner system, is also shown, the moter being placed in front of the socket tube, and driving being effected by a cord direct on to a pulley on the front wheel. In other respects the machine represents an ordinary cycle, and can be used as such, though, of course, it is necessarily heavier (and stronger) than a machine built, for human propulsion alone. Its speed varies between ten and twenty-four miles per hour.

Two other exhibits of this company are a light four-wheeled vehicle for two persons and a motor tricycle on the De Dion system, which are built either with tub or electric ignition. They are very neat machines. A number of detached motors are also shown.

Mr. F. R. Simms's motor tricycle, called the "Motor Wheel," is exhibited by THE MOTOR CARRIAGE SUPPLY CO LTD. The motor of this vehicle, which is about, one and a half brake horse-power, is automatic in action, the cooling of the cylinder takes place by means of natural draught, and the petrol is automatically fed to the motor in correct proportion at any speed. This machine can be converted into a one or two-seated tricycle, a carrier tricycle, ambulance tricycle or a military gun carriage. One of the most prominent, features of this tricycle is its magneto-electric ignition gear, in which the electric current is produced by a reciprocating movement imparted to a soft iron casing around the armature between it, and the magnets, and the arrangement of the contact breaker within the combustion chamber of the cylinder is such that the circuit can be broken and the spark obtained at any part of the stroke, thereby enabling the speed of the motor to be varied at will.

The spark is produced by means of a magneto-electric machine, composed of a horseshoe permanent, magnet, for convenience sake divided into three, a stationary armature, and a soft iron envelope, the last mentioned having an alternating motion, and working between the magnets and the armature, thus cutting the lines of force at every stroke. The advantages of this construction will he realised by electricians when it is stated that the total weight, to be driven or moved, including the spindle, envelope, and all combined, does not exceed half a pound, and in the smaller machines is less than a quarter of a pound. This electromagnetic machine weighs about eight pounds for cycle motors, and eighteen pounds for automobile motors running at not less than three hundred revolutions per minute, and twenty-eight pounds for stationary gas and oil engines running at no less than sixty revolutions per minute. A further advantage is found in the fact that a sufficient spark for ignition can be obtained at a comparatively low speed, although, as is the case with all such machines, the higher the speed within reason the better the spark.

For cycle motors a very efficient machine has been produced, which does not exceed the gross weight of eight pounds. This, as compared with the primary-secondary batteries generally used, is undoubtedly a very great advance, to say nothing of the fact that these magnets will last, if properly set, front four to six years, and can then be re-magnetised it an approximate cost of 1s. the time occupied being infinitely less than for recharging accumulators.

All the small vehicles exhibited by the DAIMLER MOTOR CO LTD., of Coventry, are of the heavy type, and built in the excellent manner for which this company is famed. We have repeatedly heard adverse comments on the rigid outlines of the carriages of this company, but we hold that such lines are in harmony with their solid build, which is perceptible at a glance. On close examination it will be found that these cars will stand very rough wear.

The new eight horse-power omnibus of this company carries twelve persons, in addition to conveying luggage on the top. Its maximum speed is about twelve and a half miles an hour. The steering is by a wheel, though this is now horizontally placed (and not vertically, as shown in the photograph).

Another new carriage of this company is an eight horse-power char-a-banc for seating sixteen persons, in which the petrol supplying the Daimler motor is gravity led, as is also the lamp. Use is made of roller chains for the driving, and the steering is by wheel. The chains are duplicated on each side, so that, there is no danger of the machine being incapacitated by chain failure. The car attains a speed of ten to eleven miles an hour.

A very pleasant-looking carriage is the "Grafton" phaeton, the body of which is built in natural light wood. It seats either two or four persons, the back seat being arranged to turn down. A speed of sixteen miles an hour is obtained by this carriage. We made a very close inspection of this vehicle, and found that with all its neat appearance it is strongly constructed.

The construction of the "Imperial" mail phaeton also reflects credit on the firm. Their five and a half brake horse-power parcel van, which seems to be well proportioned, carries a load of a ton, its maximum speed being eight and a half to nine miles per hour. It is a sister machine to the winner of the £100 first prize offered by the Royal Agricultural Society last summer.

The four horse-power waggonette looks very neat and comfortable. As already observed, the features of all the vehicles of the Daimler Motor Co. are their great strength and durability.

In the main exhibition hall we came across the Reeves speed changing gear on the stand of Messrs. CHARLES CHURCHILL AND CO, LTD., which is stated to be applied to motor vehicles. As shown by the accompanying illustrations, this very simple and effective device has two pulleys, one being arranged on the driving, and the other on the driven shaft. Each of these pulleys is composed of two cones, the apices CC of which face one another, thus forming a V-shaped groove for the reception of a specially made belt. The cones are operated by pivoted levers D D through the medium of a right and left screwed spindle E E so that when one set of cones are caused to approach each other, forcing the belt towards their periphery, the other set of cones will be separated, and allow the belt to move toward their centre, thereby varying the speed of the driven shaft. Figs 1 and 2 plainly show the details of the gear, which is certainly an ingenious arrangement, though we do not know whether it has been tried on an autocar.

The BEESTON MOTOR CO., LTD., of Coventry, have one of their motor tricycles on John Piggott's stand. It is a well-finished machine, using a one and a half horse-power oil motor, with tube ignition and geared to twenty miles hour, one charge of petrol lasting about sixty miles.

A large and most interesting display of all kinds of motor vehicles is made by THE AUTOMOBILE ASSOCIATION LTD of London and Paris. One of their latest carriages is the "Tourist," a three-wheeled vehicle having a three and a hall horse-power one-cylinder motor, cooled by air, and fired electrically. It bears similarity to a Bollee, but instead of the driving wheel being shifted for slackening the belt, a Jockey pulley is employed. There are three speeds of six, twelve, and eighteen miles per hour, but twenty miles may be obtained by varying the ignition.

Their "Cambier Duo" is a solidly-built carriage fitted with a four horse-power one-cylinder motor, having electrical ignition and Longuemare coolers, a rotary pump being used for water circulation. This vehicle possesses two speeds and a reverse, and is built to seat either two or four persons.

A five and a half horse-power "Cambier" waggonette is of similar construction as regards its motor and mechanism.

The well-known "Vallee" racing car of four and a half brake horse-power has three speeds and a reverse, a rotary water-circulating pump with Longuemare coolers, a front double suspension, and the steering is effected by a wheel. This carriage is, as it was in August last at the Laundry Exhibition, the flier of the show.

The Automobile Association also exhibit a new "Lynx" delivery van of five and a half horse-power, constructed to carry half a ton. The mechanism presents no particularly new points but it would be an advantage if the machinery were properly encased to exclude dirt.

The "Lynx" dogcart, seating four persons, has a graceful appearance. Its motors, which are five and a half horse-power, are inclined at an angle of 45 degrees, which allows the body of the cart to be built on better lines than would otherwise be the case.

Another carriage, the "Orient" express, is of a very fine appearance, whilst, its three and a half horse-power motor has magnetic ignition. There are three speeds and a reverse, and two independent brakes. This carriage seats three persons.

Among a large variety of other vehicles we noticed the "Mors" dogcart and the "Hercules" carriage, having a double-cylinder ten horse-power horizontal motor, and fitted with pneumatic tyres which are unusual for such a heavy vehicle.

We do not altogether admire the three horse-power "Automotette" as it appears to us rather clumsy-looking. However, it has some very good points, is lever steered, seats three persons, and has two independent brakes. Two speeds are provided, which by advancing ignition, may be raised to twenty miles an hour.

Several autocycles are exhibited. One of these is a tricycle, and another is a similar machine with the front wheel removed and fitted with a front seat, converting it into a quadricycle. A third of these autocycles is fitted with a trailer.

These machines. and likewise the Barriere tricycle, are very serviceable-looking. The arrangement and attachment, of the motor in the Barriere motor tricycle can fairly well be grasped by reference to the two accompanying illustrations, which give the side and back elevations of the machine.

The frame of the machine is very strongly constructed throughout, the tubes employed being of large diameter and heavy gauges. The front fork is particularly designed to take the jars and shocks occasioned by rapid travel over rough roads, and to lessen the stress thrown thereby upon the fork crown and stem. It does not altogether appeal on the score of beauty, but is wonderfully firm and rigid. No bridge is used, except in lobular form enclosing the axle, which allows a neater and closer fitting of the motor. The novel features in the motor itself are the separation of the exploding and exhaust chambers, which go far to improve the running of the engine by improving the combustion of the driving mixture to a considerable degree, and also aiding in silencing the exhaust. The latter feature is further aided by the wing-flanging of the exhaust pipe, by the employment of which, the exhaust is cooled down in a marked degree before it reaches the silencer. A neat compression silencer is also fitted, which also assists to obtain that running silence which is very fairly claimed for this machine. The usual form of trembler is not employed for sparking, but a neat and simple apparatus, the action of which cannot be affected by grease or dirt. It is formed of a small drum of non-conducting metal penetrated to the periphery by the conductor, which stands up a little above the surface of the rim in the form of a stud, and makes contact at every revolution of the disc with a projecting tongue of spring steel. No grease or dirt can accumulate or prevent, the action of this simple apparatus. A special reversible accumulator, with 3,000 miles capacity, is carried from the top tube as shown. All the working parts are protected from dirt and mud by a carefully-designed and well-fitted and made casing of aluminium. Michelin pneumatics of 2.25 inch diameter are fitted, and also conduce to smooth running. As will be seen from the illustration, all the controlling gear is close to hand and efficient brake-power provided. The tricycle looks a thoroughly workmanlike vehicle all over, and, so far as can be perceived by a close outward scrutiny, appears to be most excellently made and titled.

The Automobile Association also displays a most useful assortment of accessories, such as oil-feeders, grease-boxes, coolers, carburetters, burners, saddles, spare tanks, etc.

In another part of the main building we discovered a motor tricycle manufactured by THE ARIEL CYCLE CO, of London and Birmingham. This is a very compact and neat-looking machine of the modified De Dion type, propelled by a one and three quarter horse-power motor furnished with electrical sparking device adapted to be timed for regulating the speed. It is British build throughout.

THE ARSENAL MOTOR CO LTD of St. Albans, have on view in the Minor Hall a roughly-finished motor sociable tricycle. We are disposed to think it a grave mistake on the part of this company to exhibit it carriage in this exceeding poorly finished state. We fail to appreciate the advantages which they claim as features of their machine.

It has afforded us great pleasure to observe that some more of the cycle manufacturers have already entered the motor carriage industry, and we have heard that others intend to follow, so that we may expect to see an increased number of motor exhibits at the next Stanley Show. The majority of the light vehicles exhibited this year are finished in admirable style, and leave little to be wished for. At this exhibition we did not see a single sample of a steam car, nor of an electrically-propelled four-wheeled vehicle. Considering the short experience that our makers of motor vehicles have had, we can sincerely congratulate them on the immense progress they have achieved.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Motor Magazine of 3rd November 1908
  2. The Autocar 1898/11/26