Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Douglas Neale

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of Edinburgh

1896 Application to erect a workshop in Torphichen Street, Edinburgh.[1]

1897 February. Details and image.[2]

1899 Convicted of assault in Glasgow. Douglas Neale, a young man, described as an electrical engineer.[3]


1897. THE NEALE CAR [4]

This car is the invention of Mr. Douglas Neale, of Edinburgh, who has for some time past been giving a great deal of attention to motor-car building. The car is electrically driven, with a range of speed from 3 to 12 miles per hour, the type of cell being Plante or pure lead, and the number of cells 15, the duration of charge 35 miles, and the commercial capacity of each cell 115 ampere hours = 1,450 Watts total output, or 4.62 B.H.P. hours, for a total weight of 405 lbs. The motor is 1 B.H.P., and weighs 100 lbs., the car itself totalling up to 448 lbs. For a run of 35 miles the total weight of the car fully charged is 9 cwt.

Mr. Neale's system of electric traction is covered by seven patents, and the following advantages are claimed for it:—

(1) Owing to the direct drive from the armature shaft on to the wheel of the vehicle all necessity for intermediate shafting and gearing is obviated and a considerable amount of energy is saved.

(2) The arrangement of steering gear is such that it is not necessary to multiply the motion of the handle, so that the axle is moved at the same rate as handle; this renders the steering quicker and more under control than in methods necessitating multiplied motion.

(3) Besides the steering lever there is only one switch, which enables the driver

(a) To go ahead at any desired speed. (b) To go astern at any desired speed. (c) To apply the brake, which is electric. (d) To ring the electric gong. (e) To stop.

All of these effects can be obtained at will by the one switch handle without removing the hand from it. The electric brake is a great convenience, especially to ladies, as no muscular exertion is required in stopping the vehicle quickly. An ordinary brake operated by the foot is also fitted to comply with the Board of Trade regulations.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. Edinburgh Evening News - Thursday 19 November 1896
  2. The Autocar 1897/02/27
  3. The Scotsman - Wednesday 03 May 1899
  4. Automotor Journal 1897/03/17