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British Industrial History

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Arnold Motor Carriage Co

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1897. Arnold-Benz driven by A. Cornell of Tunbridge The Engineer 1897/06/04
1897. Benz system.
May 1898.

of 59, Mark Lane, E.C., and East Peckham, Kent,

1894 Walter Arnold, owner of William Arnold and Sons, in partnership with Henry Hewetson became the first concessionaire for Benz cars. They commenced trading as the Arnold Motor Carriage Co in Mark Lane, London.

The Arnold was an English automobile manufactured by Arnold Motor Carriage Co of East Peckham, Kent, in 1896.

The agricultural engineering firm built twelve cars patterned after the Benz; one survives.

In 1896 they exhibited at the 1896 Motor Show.

The winner of the first ever London to Brighton race drove an "Arnold" motor car.

Walter then started manufacturing Benz cars at his Paddock Wood factory as Arnold Oil Carriages.

1897. Mentions Walter Arnold and Mr. Cornell of Tonbridge [1]

1898 July: "A visit was paid to the workshops in connection with the Arnold Motor Company's works, where motor cars In various stages were seen in the course of construction."[2]

This became Hewetsons Motor Car Co


We understand that, to meet the special requirements of the British public, Arnold's Motor Carriage Company, of 59, Mark Lane, E.C., and East Peckham, Kent, has arranged to offer an entirely new pattern of motor-carriage fitted with the well-known "Benz" motor. This improved type may now be obtained with double cylinders, and is made in three sizes, giving 3, 5, and 8.5 horse-power respectively. The motor, which is placed horizontally on the carriages, and therefore easy of inspection, is run at the reduced rate of 300 revolutions per minute, this reduction of speed minimising wear and tear, and practically doing away with unpleasant vibration, when travelling at full speed.

The engines are fired by the electric spark from an induction coil worked by a two-volt accumulator. The connecting up of the coil is done in a very simple manner: one wire from the coil runs direct to the sparking tube, which is fixed in the end of the cylinder, and the return wire from the tube is led to an insulated spring, and makes and breaks contact by the action of the engine, the framework of the engine being used as a return for the current.

The exhaust box is placed directly under the engine, and the carburettor, being fixed at the back of the carriage, is easily accessible. The shaft of the engine is fitted with a conical pinion or cam, working a small shaft, which revolves at half the speed of the engine, and the cams put in and out of gear the exhaust valve, whilst the air valve works automatically.

The intermediate shaft, which carries the balance gear and two speeded pulleys, is driven by means of belts from the English shaft, this means of transmitting power being found to be very suitable for motor-carriages, as the slight slip in the belt causes the carriage to start very gently.

The motor is fitted with a tank holding sufficient water for cooling the engine for three or four hours.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Autocar 1897/09/04
  2. Kent & Sussex Courier - Friday 01 July 1898
  3. The Automotor Journal of 17th March 1897
  • Wikipedia
  • Vital to the Life of the Nation. Published 1946