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 163,368 pages of information and 245,906 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.

Critchley-Norris Motor Co

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April 1908. Critchley-Norris Steam Chassis.
1908. Burner for steam bus
ImCritNorris.jpg

Critchley-Norris of Bamber Bridge, near Preston were makers of Omnibuses

a branch of Peter Pilkington

1906 The Critchley-Norris 40hp model made its debut at the Royal Agricultural hall Show. It had a four-cylinder engine and developed 25 bhp at 800 rpm. It had a four-speed box and a cone clutch. Transmission was by side chains to sprockets on the rear wheels.

James S. Critchley designed the vehicles with W. Norris which used Crossley petrol engines.

1906 Details of their petrol bus.[1][2][3]

1906 Burnley Motor Pleasure Co bought a Critchley-Norris that ran for a number of years.

1907 The company displayed a more powerful version of the double-decker bus, for which they had a contract to supply several to the London Central Motor Omnibus Co[4]

Bus services began in 1907 with one double-deck and one single-deck Critchley-Norris and two Ryknields.

1907 Selling Motobloc

1908 They exhibited a steam bus chassis with a three cylinder engine. Also exhibited their petrol-engined chassis which had first been made in 1906.[5]

The 1908 steam bus equipment had some interesting features, as described in The Engineer[6]. The water-tube boiler was made by the Lune Valley Engineering Co. The 500 rpm 3-cylinder vertical engine was single-acting, with forced lubrication. The cylinders were 4.25" bore by 5" stroke. Steam admission and exhaust were by camshaft-operated mushroom valves. The valves were arranged on both sides, and the camshaft on the inlet side was moved longitudinally to vary the cut-off or reverse the engine. The pistons each had seven rings, and between the fourth and fifth ring a groove was cut in the piston which enabled any steam passing the higher rings to escape into the atmosphere instead of finding its way int<> the crank chamber. The lower rings were intended to prevent the access of lubricant from the crank chamber to the steam pace, and ultimately to the boiler and the condenser. The crankshaft was of vanadium steel. The water-tube boiler consisted of a central drum pressed out of a single steel plate, and external coils of mild steel tubing arranged so as to break up the passage of the gases to the flue. Each coil made three turns, and the ends were expanded into the central drum. The boiler also contained a feed-water heater and a superheating coil. The latter was placed round the paraffin burner, and designed to raise the temperature of the steam to 500 degF, equivalent to approximately 100 degF of superheat. The burner was made by the Lune Valley Engineering Co. The flame was regulated by a needle projecting through the nozzle, operated by a hand lever (see illustration). The problem of cleaning the inside of the tubes was addressed by the invention of a cleaning device, in which a pitch chain was caused to pass round and through the spirals. On the free end of this chain was attached a small brush which was drawn back through the tubes by means of a handle and gearing.


See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. Automotor Journal 1906/03/24
  2. Automotor Journal 1906/03/31
  3. Automotor Journal 1906/04/07
  4. Commercial Motor 14 March 1907
  5. Commercial Motor 2 April 1908
  6. The Engineer, 3 April 1908, p.343
  • Buses and Trolleybuses before 1919 by David Kaye. Published 1972
  • Ian Allan - British Buses Since 1900 - Aldridge and Morris