Grace's Guide To British Industrial History

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Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 147,919 pages of information and 233,587 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 147,919 pages of information and 233,587 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

1908 Paris Salon

From Graces Guide


It is doubtless owing to the fact that this month's Paris Salon will be an economical exhibition that the rumour had got abroad that its success was compromised. There will not be the ultra lavish display of decoration and electric lights which marked the decennial year, but as these are only accessories — though very necessary ones in the eyes of the French organisers — they can be dispensed with without the exhibition itself suffering any loss.

The first effect of the economical movement is to divide the Paris Salon into two distinct exhibitions, the first one, devoted to pleasure vehicles, being held in the Grand Palais from November 28th to December 13th, and the second show, for all commercial applications, being in the same hall from December 24th to 30th. The reason for the change is that it is impossible to find any one building in Paris capable of housing the whole exhibition, and that the erection of a special hall on the banks of the Seine, as was done last year, is a costly proceeding. It is true that the Galerie des Machines is available, but its inelegant lines are a horror to Salon artists, and its distance from the centre of the city is a serious objection. Therefore two distinct shows in the same building, succeeding one another at an interval of ten days, is the most economical and practical arrangement possible.

Although exhibitors have been strongly recommended to diminish the amount spent on the decorations of their stands, and towards this end the decoration competition has been abolished, there are undoubtedly a certain number of firms who object to the expense and upheaval caused by an annual exhibition. Individual exhibitors are asked to be modest in their displays, leaving it to the organising committee to decorate the building in such a way that the whole will present an artistic appearance. It is a step in the direction of the American idea of uniform decoration, and there is no doubt that if further economies have to be adopted the Western idea will have to be still more closely copied. Dissatisfaction is not very wide-spread, for from close enquiries only one really important firm has been found to abstain from exhibiting, and the total number of firms who have engaged space reaches over 700.

Small Cars the Feature.

Undoubtedly the feature of the Paris Salon will be the attention given to small cars. The tendency of the past two years has been towards the creation of popular models, but whereas in previous years small firms or new-comers to the industry have been chiefly responsible for the movement, in 1909 many of the world-famed constructors, who began with small cars in the early days of the industry, and drifted more and more into the realm of the large car, will come back to low-powered models5 suitable for the man of moderate means. It is recognised that the powerful touring car has almost reached its commercial limits of extension, whereas there is a practically unlimited future for reliable little cars selling from £200 to £300. Improvements, for the most part, will be in the direction of refinements in detail, simplification, and accessibility, radical departures from standard designs being rare.

From what can be learned of the experimental work going on at the factories, a considerable amount of attention w ill be paid to light-weight engines for aeronautical work. There is a natural reticence at giving out information on this branch of the firms' activities until immediately before the Salon, but sufficient is known to put forth the statement that probably a dozen leading firms will present aero engines, and that exceptionally light weight, so anxiously sought for a year ago, will be considered of lesser importance than regularity of running.


During a recent visit to the Darracq establishment at Suresnes, we were informed that the only really new model for 1909 would be a small tour-cylinder model known as the R.R.A., the four cylinders of which have a bore of 75 and a stroke of 100 millimetres. The power rating is given as 12-14, and the selling price is 6,000 francs for two-seated body, 6,400 for four-seater, and 6,900 francs for side-entrance body.

In general design the engine follows last year's model, having the cylinders cast in one block, with inlet and exhaust piping integral, and valves all on one side. Among the changes are the adoption of a mechanically-operated Dubrulle lubricator, driven off the camshaft, in place of the pressure-fed lubricator of the present year. There have been certain improvements on the carburetter, the air and petrol inlets being linked up to open simultaneously, with a view to preventing the ‘gasping' which generally took place on suddenly opening the engine full out after being closely throttled down.

The clutch control has been entirely re-designed, though the leather-faced cone type with cork insets is still retained. The clutch spring is now housed within the forward end of the gearbox, and has a new and direct pedal control. On the taxicab model there is a universal joint between the clutch and the enclosed spring, but on the small touring car models the connection is direct by means of a short shaft. The spring itself mounted within a steel sleeve or piston, which has a fore and aft movement when operated on by the pedal, but which is prevented from revolving by means of a pin passing through the forward end of the box. Special provision has been made on the new model against the loss of grease and oil from the gearbox, the ends of the shafts being covered by absolutely oil-tight caps.

The selective gear set combined with the differential on the rear axle will not be reproduced on any of the 1909 models, the small cars having three progressive speeds forward up to the 18-22 h.p. model, but being fitted with a four-speed wherever required at an extra cost. Final drive, therefore, is by means of propeller shaft from the gear set to rear live axle, and by bevel gear to road wheels. A stout radius rod is carried from a point at the rear end of the sub-frame, on which the entire power plant is fitted, to the rear axle housing.

Three-quarter elliptic springs are a feature of all models, and a side change-speed lever is fitted to all but the voiturettes. A complete mud-shield is carried under the frame. The new high-tension Bosch magneto will be fitted on all models, with double ignition by storage batteries on the larger cars if desired. There will be two models of voiturettes and eight distinct models of cars.

In the former class are a 7-9 h.p. single-cylinder car, selling at 3,500 francs with two-seated body, and a double-cylinder 8-10 h.p. model. The cars comprise a two-cylinder of 10-12 h.p., four-cylinder models of 12-14 h.p., 14-16 h.p., 18-22 h.p., 20-24 h.p., and 25-30 h p., also a six-cylinder model of 40-50 h.p.


Renault announces a voiturette as the novelty for 1909, an elegant-looking little vehicle, similar in general appearance and design to the ubiquitous Renault cabs, and driven by a two-cylinder engine of 75 by 120 millimetres bore and stroke. The only features in which it differs from the present taximeter models are in the matter of suspension, semi-elliptics being employed in place of three-quarter elliptics, a few details on the carburetter, and the fitting of the filter at the forward end of the crankcase, which was only applied to the large models of the present season. The voiturette is fitted with a two-passenger body having sloping platform behind, add is catalogued complete at 5,000 francs.

All last year's models will be continued with detail modifications, and in addition two new types of extra-light chassis will be produced. The gearbox will be of a new model, the steering column will be more inclined, the overall space of the engine will be slightly less, and all thee details will be lightened. These two models, which will be respectively 20-30 h.p. and 35-45 h.p., will allow the use of comfortable closed bodies, inside steering, etc., on condition that the coachwork is lighter than usual. These two models are intended to be very speedy cars, having a low tyre upkeep.

The eight-cylinder aeronautical engine has undergone some changes, and is now provided with one fan only, drawing in a current of air, distributing it over the cylinders, and out-letting at the base of the metal casing on to the muffler carried longitudinally under the engine. The propeller mounted on the end of the camshaft instead of the crankshaft, thus giving a low speed without the need of gearing.


A new aeronautical engine will also be shown by the Societe Gnome. The engine, which will have seven cylinders revolving round a central shaft, and, of course, cooling themselves by their passage through the air, is constructed entirely of nickel steel, this metal being employed for the cylinders, crankcase, crankshaft, etc. Ball bearings are employed throughout.

Carburation and lubrication are obtained through the centre of the engine, the crankshaft being hollow. Bore and stroke are 110 by 120 millimetres, and the horse-power obtained is declared to be about 50 at 1,200 revolutions.


Berliet will show two new models at the forthcoming Salon, one being a four-cylinder 15 h.p. shaft-driven car, and the other a two-cylinder 8-9 h.p. model, specially designed for taxicab work, light touring, or delivery vans. The larger of the two models will be made in two distinct types, one having a three-speed gearbox and the other being fitted with four forward speeds.

The principal changes for 1909 will be the adoption of high-tension magneto in place of low-tension employed up to the present, also the application of a new force-feed circulation to all models except the four-cylinder 60 h.p. In all there will be seven models, as follow: 8-9 h.p., two cylinders; 15 h.p., four cylinder, with either three or four-speed gearbox; 22 h.p., four cylinders, with both shaft and chain drive; 40h.p., four cylinders; 40h.p., six cylinders; and 60 h.p., four cylinders.


Brasier has already produced a light two-cylinder touring car of 102mm. bore and stroke, which is practically a reduction of the larger four-cylinder shaft-driven models. It is announced that a four-cylinder model of about 15 h.p., having cylinders in one casting, will be presented at the Salon.


Charron has given serious attention to the small car question by the production of a two-cylinder car of 80 by 120 bore and stroke, and a four-cylinder model in one casting of the same bore and stroke. In design the two models are identical, the differences being only in the number of cylinders and the size of the parts.

Simplicity and accessibility have been developed to the highest degree. The radiator is on the dashboard, in Renault style, and has circulation by thermo-syphon. Ignition is by high-tension magneto, and carburetter is an automatic type with three additional air valves, the apparatus being connected to the inlet port by a straight length of copper tube, bell-mouthed at its base and attached at the engine end only. Cams are naturally mechanically operated and on one side only, inlets and exhausts being interchangeable. Lubrication is by means of gear pump within the crank chamber, the oil tank being carried on the right-hand side of the engine where it is eminently accessible, the carburetter being at the opposite side, and the magneto in front.

Transmission is through a leather-faced cone clutch, to a three-speed gearbox, the primary shaft of which has smooth bearings and the secondary shaft ball bearings. Final drive is by propeller shaft and rear live axle. In accordance with the now general tendency in Continental design, the rear suspension is by means of three-quarter elliptic springs; semi-elliptics are employed in front.

The Charron Co. announce that they will show on some of their larger models a new type of drive giving direct on all four speeds. To all requests for detailed information we have been met with an enigmatic smile.


Officially, Panhard will be satisfied to present 1908 models, unchanged except in detail, for the 1909 season. It is well known, however, that the Knight engine, as recently adopted by Daimler, has been undergoing very thorough tests at the Avenue d'Ivry factory for the last three or four months. As motor constructors do not usually occupy their testing blocks for months at a time for the amusement of their engineers, there is every reason to believe that a Panhard engine built on the Knight patents will be presented at the next Salon, though whether many of the models will be fitted with this engine is open to considerable doubt.

A light two-cylinder car will be one of the new lines, and there is also a possibility of a new epicyclic gear, carried within the flywheel, being presented for 1909. The patents for this were secured some time ago, but all attempts to obtain an official announcement regarding its adoption have proved unavailing.


The Mors factory, after undergoing an entire re-organisation, commenced the production of 1909 models a couple of months ago, so that a number of the chassis turned out this year will have all the features of those to be built in the coming season. There are seven distinct models, three of which are shaft-driven and four fitted with side chains.

The newest and most original models are two four-cylinder cars with their cylinders in one casting, the bore and stroke being respectively 80 by 90, and 80 by 130 millimetres. These two models are shaft-driven, and, contrary to what is generally looked upon as Mors practice, have high-tension magneto.

The four larger models, all chain-driven, are fitted with low-tension magneto. On the 1909 Mors the crankcase is a new casting in one piece, without a detachable bottom, the crankshaft being put in from the forward end. All angles have been avoided, the casting being rounded off as tar as possible, so that there is hardly any crevice on which dust and oil can lodge.

De Dion-Bouton

De Dion-Bouton sticks to the same general design throughout, paying more attention than ever to light popular cars. The smallest of the series, the 8 h.p., model BN, is fitted with the 100 by 120 single-cylinder engine with automatic inlet valve. An unusual feature is a leather-faced cone clutch in place of the multiple-disc clutch employed on the other models. The reason for the adoption of this is declared to be its simplicity and lower initial cost. A larger single-cylinder model, with automatic valves, has 100 millimetres bore by 130 millimetres stroke. The smallest four-cylinder model has the four cylinders, of 66 by 100 bore and stroke, in one casting.

The 12 h.p., 18 h.p., and 25 h.p. models have their cylinders in pairs, and the 30 h.p. model has four cylinders of 110 by 130 millimetres cast separately.

Georges Richard

Georges Richard, the constructor of Unic motorcars, announces that their distinctive feature next season will be a series of 10 h.p. two-cylinder and 12 h.p. four-cylinder cars fitted with closed inside steering bodies suitable for doctors, commercial travellers, etc. The two-cylinder model has a bore of 75 millimetres and stroke of 110, while the four-cylinder engine has 75 millimetres bore for the same length of stroke. The other models will be a four-cylinder 16 h.p., and a four-cylinder 24 h.p., each with either three or four speeds; also a six-cylinder 23 h.p. model with a bore and stroke of 85 by 120.


The Bayard-Clement Co states that they are not yet ready to make complete announcement regarding their new models. The modifications which we have seen on the two smallest types, with two and four cylinders respectively, are in the adoption of a force-feed lubricator and other details.


There will be a slight reduction in price of Sizaire-Naudin models, but only detail modifications will be made. A small pneumatic brake will be fitted to the additional air valve of the carburetter in order to diminish the noise occasioned by the valve tapping on its seat.

G. E. M.

Petrol-electric will be represented by two new models from the G. E. M. factory, the director of which is M. Leonce Girardot. The cars, both of which have four-cylinder engines, are rated at 20 h.p, and 35 h.p. These models were presented for the first time last year, and since then a few detail modifications have been made. Thus all the electric wires have been reduced, rendered much more compact, and all the connections are contained in a double casing forming dashboard, where they are completely protected against damp and air. The battery has been carried to the rear of the chassis in order to give a better distribution of weight. The lubricating and petrol tanks, formerly under pressure, have now a flow by gravity only.


Itala has adopted high-tension magneto on all models except the four-cylinder 16-20 h.p. Six models will be produced, four with four cylinders and two with six cylinders. Changes are declared to be in the manner of suspension and details of lubrication.


Zedel will produce, as last year, a 10 h.p. voiturette and 15 h.p. car, the former with its four cylinders in one casting, the latter with its cylinders in two pairs. On the smaller car the tubular front axle has been replaced by one of forged steel, the space available for bodywork has been increased to 78 inches, and the circulation of oil is directly obtained off the camshaft.

The 15 h.p. model has bore of 80 millimetres and stroke of 120, with valves on one side operated by a single camshaft. As in the voiturette model, the changes for 1909 are merely detail ones, the general design remaining unaltered.


In common with the majority of important French firms, Lorraine Dietrich will have a small car, or voiturette, as one of its features at the next Salon. The new model has a two-cylinder engine of 8o by 120 millimetres, and is rated at 10 h.p. Water circulation is by thermo-syphon, high-tension magneto is fitted, and the clutch is of the cone type. There are three forward speeds, with direct drive on the high, and final drive by cardan shaft. This model is supplied with either right or left steering, as desired.

Two 15 h.p. models will be produced, one with six cylinders in two groups, dimensions being 80 by 120, and the other with four cylinders of 90 by 120 bore and stroke.

In both models a metallic disc clutch will be employed, there will be four forward speeds, with direct drive on the high, and final drive by cardan shaft. High-tension magneto will be used, and the petrol tank will not be under pressure.

A third shaft-driven model will have four cylinders of 110 by 130 millimetres, rated at 20 h.p., high-tension magneto, and four speeds with direct drive on the high. The petrol tank will be under pressure.

The smallest of the chain-driven models will have an engine of 120 by 140 bore and stroke, low-tension magneto, four speeds with direct drive on the third, and metallic disc clutch.

The 40 h.p. model, with a bore and stroke of 130 by 150, will be similar in general features, with the addition of water-cooled differential brake.

A 60 h.p. four-cylinder model and a 70 h.p. six-cylinder car, both with low-tension magneto, four speeds with direct on the third, and final drive by side chains, will complete the series. The big six-cylinder car will have its cylinders cast in three sets of two.

At each annual Salon some special branch of the industry is encouraged by means of a competition or a congress: thus last year alcohol as fuel was specially considered, and on a previous occasion self-starting apparatus were given special attention. This year there will be at competition for mechanical tyre inflators other than those employing air compressed in advance. This matter was promised for last year's show, but, owing to the small number of entries, the competition had to be dropped. In the interval considerable attention has been paid to the problem of providing a substitute for the hand pump, with the result that a large number of interesting appliances should be seen in the tests.

Self-starters, which it was sought to encourage three years ago, have not at all "caught on," and at the forthcoming exhibition there will be few, if any, cars that have dispensed with the cranking handle.

In the industrial section attention will be paid to the application of the internal-combustion motor to marine work.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Motor Magazine of 3rd November 1908