Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 149,270 pages of information and 234,239 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

1906 Motor Show (Crystal Palace)

From Graces Guide

Jump to: navigation, search

Held 26th January to 3rd February

Detailed report.[1][2]


In the catalogue of the fifth annual Motor Car Exhibition now being held at the Crystal Palace, Sydenham, it is stated by the manager that he has "gathered together all that is thoroughly up-to-date in motor cars." We regret that the assertion cannot, however, bear a strict interpretation, for, with only about one or two exceptions, all the leading British motor car builders' are conspicuous by the absence of their exhibits. Briefly, it may be stated that the show is rather an agents' or a traders' Exhibition than one of the manufacturers'. Most of these now confine their exhibiting in London to the show promoted by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, and in arranging this annual event in advance of the great Paris display are acting in their own interests.

Perhaps the most interesting of the home products are the improved Ryknield cars shown by the Central Motor Car Company, Limited. The engine of the 20 horse-power car has four vertical cylinders cast separately, with the valves all operated from one shaft. The operation of both the ignition and the throttle of the engines is effected by a single lever on to of the steering wheel by a circular ratchet. This car has also a type of radiator which differs from most now on the market. It consists of vertical copper tubes of rectangular section, and the cooling fan is driven by an endless coiled spring. There is nothing novel about the transmission, but the frame is of pressed steel, and its form gives the impression of good design. The ignition is effected by the Eisemann high-tension magneto apparatus only. A departure has been made in the arrangement of the brakes, the hand brake acting on the driving shaft and the foot brake on the wheels - the reverse of the ordinary constructions. Neither brake is connected with the clutch.

Amongst the foreign exhibits the Pilain car commands attention on account of the ingenious method by which the makers have been able to obviate the use of the usual change-speed gearbox. The motion is transmitted from the engine to the road wheels by means of a cardan shaft and live axle. The latter has a number of concentrically arranged bevel wheels, with which a similar number of pinions on the shaft are in constant mesh. One or other of these pairs of bevels transmits the motion according to the engagement of a series of dog clutches on the live axle, and the reverse is also effected in a similar manner. The axle necessarily looks somewhat heavy, but the arrangement is decidedly ingenious, and gives what most motorists seem to desire, namely, a direct drive on all speeds, while the unpleasant train of sliding gears is obviated. The Pilain ear is shown on the stand of Mr. W. H. M. Burgess, Glasshouse-street, London.

Visitors to the Exhibition have had an opportunity of inspecting the working parts of the new four-cylinder 10-12 horse-power 1Humber petrol car, which has just completed a run of 5,000 miles. We were informed that the whole of the parts were exactly the same us when the car left the works, with the exception that a new fibre bush for the commutator had been fitted. With the exception that one or two of the bearing brasses showed slight signs of wear, and one of the cranks had the appearance of shortness of lubricant, the parts seemed in thorough working order. The trial commenced on December 18th, and was completed January 27th, the car being run every day, the daily distance being from 100 to 200 miles. For the 5,000 miles 262 gallons of petrol were used, which works out at 19 miles per gallon. Eighteen gallons of lubricant were used, which, at the price of 5s. per gallon, would cost £4 10s. The grease used was 28 lb. at 6d., 14s.; and 8 pints of gear oil, 8s. 6d. The re-charging of the accumulators, eleven charges in all, at 9d., was 8s, 3d. These particulars are taken from the signed observers' sheets, and total, with 8s. 6d. allowed for the replacement of the worn fibre ring for the ignition apparatus, £19 1s., or less than a penny per mile. The only other running expense was that of the tires. The total involuntary stops were 49 minutes for the car, 7 minutes for cleaning platinum points of one trembler, 12 minutes for adjusting the ignition apparatus, 80 minutes for dirt in carburetter pipe, and 30 seconds for dirt in petrol feed pipe. The tire stops totalled 2 h. 18 min. for five punctures.

There are several exhibits in the marine section. Perhaps the most interesting is a 65 horse-power Gardner paraffin engine shown by Messrs. Norris and Henty, 87, Queen Victoria-street, London. It has four vertical cylinders, and has an atmospheric burner for vaporising, but the explosions are produced by the Simms-Bosch magneto apparatus. The valves are mechanically operated and easy of access for cleaning. The cylinders are cast separately. In the Gardner engines the governor is of the centrifugal typo, operated by gearing direct from the lay shaft, and acting on the inlet valves, and sparking apparatus on the "hit-and-miss" principle. Another important feature of these engines is the device for controlling the speed within a large range. By means of a hand lever and sector the governor and timing gear can adjusted so as to reduce the speed. Small valves carried on brackets fixed on the return circulating water pipes - are arranged over the air inlet valves for the purpose of introducing a small supply of water into the cylinders when working on heavy loads.

Gaines' Reversing Propellor Company, Limited, show specimens of their propellers, including twin screws for transmitting 48 horse-power for a now yacht building by Mr. W. Fife, of Fairlie. They have also a combination clutch and reversing lever.

Mr. James Taylor, of Chertsey, shows a shallow-draught launch, fitted with is 6 horse-power two-cylinder Fafnir-Taylor motor with water-cooled exhaust and reversible propeller. The dimensions of this craft are:— Length, 26ft.; beam, 4ft. 2in.; and draught, 15in., while there is seating accommodation for eight people. The bottom of the boat is arched from the stem, the highest point, being about amidships. From the stern the bottom is also curved, and this forms a tunnel for the propeller.

The Saunders' Patent Launch Building Syndicate, Limited, Solent Works, Cowes,- Isle of Wight, which has made a speciality of light copper-stitched hulls for high-speed boats, shows two types of petrol-driven boats and steam launch engines.

The Exhibition closes tomorrow — Saturday.

See Also


Sources of Information