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article number 702
article date 02-01-2018
copyright 2018 by Author else SaltOfAmerica
Our Technology, 1922 - Part 3-A: Autos - Signs of Development for Our Crude Vehicles
by Various Popular Science Magazine Writers

From issues of Popular Science Monthly, 1922.

* * *

Rubber Spring Blocks Absorb Motor-Bus Jolts

RUBBER spring blocks replace the usual spring shackles in an auto-bus model now being manufactured. Buses so equipped ride as easily as the best of touring-cars, it is claimed. The end of the spring is inserted in a large block of very resilient rubber, which is held fast in a housing riveted to the chassis frame.

In order that the springs may also carry their proper share of the load, lipped plates are bolted to the ends of the two-top spring leaves. These plates fit into the spring block, which encloses the lips. Stretching the block in this manner puts the upper and lower members of the block under a compression of about 100 pounds to the square inch when bolted up.

The rubber block acts very much like a shock absorber of the cushion type, although in this case the spring pad is always in compression. The designers claim that the rubber blocks are easier to replace than the bushings and pins of the ordinary form of spring suspension, and that the life of the block in service is over 30,000 miles.

Rubber blocks in steel socket absorb jolts.

Sleeping Quarters for the Truck Crew

FOR relief drivers, a bedroom above the cab makes this truck pile up the miles on its overnight trips between Chicago and
Detroit. A sleepy man isn’t going to get the most mileage out of his gasoline, and by adding this cabin, the owners have utilized what was wasted space for the comfort of the crew.

The cabin contains one bed similar to a ship’s berth. It is reached by climbing a ladder placed at the right of the driver’s seat through a trapdoor. A man has only room to lie down, but it is far more comfortable to sleep in a real bed than to snatch forty winks in a seat at the driver’s elbow.

Sleeping quarters provided above truck cab.

Pivoted Front Spring Relieves Strain on Truck

A TRANSVERSE front spring pivoted at the center and shackled to the axle at each end has been adopted on a one-ton truck model produced by an American manufacturer to minimize frame distortion and give increased flexibility to the running gear.

Rough roads strain such a chassis very little, for with spring suspension of this type a front wheel can be raised more than a foot from the ground while all other wheels rest on the road.

Additional bracing for the front axle is provided by two diagonal radius rods shaped like a wishbone. The ends of the rods are attached to the axle at each side near the wheels, and the butt of the wishbone terminates in a ball joint that fits in a socket on the under side of the transmission case.

Even the bracing is perfectly flexible and will accommodate itself to an uneven road, saving truck and driver many jolts.

One front wheel can be raised a foot above the other without frame distortion.

Folding Top Adds to Buss Riders’ Comfort

FOLDING down in front of the driver when not in use, a hood now carried by London buses can be raised instantly to protect the passengers against a sudden shower. The arrangement is extremely simple.

The hood is supported upon wooden uprights, which slide along a brass rod attached to the rail of the bus, while the cover itself folds up like a concertina. At the forward end of the coach, the supports fall forward on hinges and the hood drops into a receptacle behind the glass wind-shield.

How the hood unfolds as its uprights slide along rods on each side of the bus is shown in this photograph.
INSET: Folded hood in its receptacle.

No Axles nor Chassis Frame in New Joltless Auto

NOW comes the axle-less automobile, with the claim that it will travel over the roughest roads without jarring its passengers.

Transverse springs, placed about 10 inches apart, and pivoted to vertical members that carry the wheel spindles, enable the wheels to absorb shocks and to conform to the road without transmitting appreciable jolts to the chassis. In tests the car has been driven at 50 miles an hour over roads that were almost impassable to the standard car traveling at 20 miles an hour.

The frame, or chassis, is an integral part of the body, and is bolted solidly to it. Since all four wheels are virtually floating, the location of the transmission presented a problem that was solved simply by bolting the differential housing solidly to the frame of the car and driving the wheels by independent shafts leading therefrom.

Two springs are used on each pair of wheels. The upper spring is fastened to the frame and the lower bolted to a steel yoke connecting the wheels. The springs themselves are curved into an unusual form, and it is stated that this peculiar shape, together with the elimination of the axles, greatly reduces the unsprung weight.

Unsprung weight is the portion of the car not supported by the springs, and in the new model this weight apparently has been reduced to the minimum. Except for the wheels, every part of the car is protected against road shocks.

The upper spring is fastened to the frame; the lower to the wheel yoke.
Bolted solidly to the body, the chassis becomes part of it. To the frame are bolted the springs and the differential housing. Above is the complete car.
Attached to the frame, the springs are pivoted to members holding the spindles.
Joltless automobile.

Auto Windshield Visor Works Like Window-Shade

HANDY as an umbrella, and instantly adjusted in any position, a sun and rain curtain that fits outside the windshield of an automobile acts as a visor to protect the eyes of the driver from sunlight, rain, and the glare of headlights. The shield is made of top material, painted green on the under side and black above, with a heavily folded and stitched selvage on the edges to give wearing quality.

It is built along the lines of a window-curtain, so that it may be instantly rolled back out of sight against the top of the windshield. The angle may be adjusted by thumbscrews at the sides.

The curtain can be rolled back to the top of the windshield.

Simple Vacuum System Saves Fuel and Wear

By Joe V. Romig, Honorable Mention, Popular Science Article Contest.

A VACUUM system, connecting the interior of the crankcase with the vacuum influence found in the intake manifold between the carburetor and the motor valves, will effect a great saving in oil, gasoline, and motor repairs.

By this system, waste gas that slips down past the pistons is sucked out of the crankcase into the intake manifold and up into the cylinders again for use, instead of being wasted through the breather pipe. Further, as the result of a partial vacuum in the crankcase, which sucks air in, oil is prevented from leaking out under the forced pressure in the engine.

By using a portion of the incoming air, we get a good hot stream of air that will vaporize the gasoline and give better fuel results. This air also carries oil vapor, which oils the valve stems, and saves much needless wear.

The device is very simple. A brass or hard wood plug is made to fit snugly into the breather pipe, as in the illustration. Into a tapped hole in the top of the plug is screwed a rubber hose.

The other end of the hose is bound to the end of a small brass cock, screwed into a tapped hole in the intake manifold. By adjusting the cock, thereby varying the opening, the right amount of air dilution can be secured.

Simple breather pipe to intake manifold system.

Cylinders Rebored without Removing Engine

REBORING auto cylinders in 24 hours without removing the engine from the chassis becomes possible with a machine whose inventor, L. S. Keeler, declares the work to be absolutely accurate.

The machine has a strong frame with three bearings supporting a boring spindle an inch and a half in diameter. This spindle runs in bronze bearings that take up all wear and keep the tool in perfect alignment with the base.

The motor is electric, one quarter horsepower, and a worm gear is employed to give a steady drive.

The cutter heads are constructed with a cam adjustment so that three heads will take from two and three quarters to four and one half inches. Four cutters are inserted opposite each other in the head in order to equalize the pressure of the cutters during the boring.

The machine is adjusted over the cylinder and held in place by the bolts used to hold down the cylinder head, which fit into slots in the base. When the cutters are adjusted to the proper size, it is claimed that the cylinders are bored true, and with no variation between them.

Reboring machine works without removing engine.

Rattleproof Window Is in Hinged Sections

IN the newest rattleproof window for the motor bus, the pane is divided horizontally into two hinged sections. One half swings up and the other down, and both may he locked in any position.

Perfect ventilation, simple design, and light construction are claimed for the new window. The idea underlying the improvement is the use of hinges identical with those employed on wooden windshields for motor trucks. These lock automatically in desired position and hold the windows open as well as closed. As there are no loose parts, rattling is impossible.

Rattleproof window for motor busses.
Starts Your Car Instantly in Coldest Weather When You Step on Your Starter — made for all cars and trucks. "ELECTRIC HEAT DOES IT.” Price $7.50 complete with automatic switch and everything necessary to install. Easily and quickly installs in an hour or less without alteration to motor.

Manufactured by KASE ELECTRIC COMPANY 10-15 Sherwood Bldg. Duluth, Minn. DISTRIBUTORS: Horgan-MacDonell Co.. 939 Washington Blvd., Chicago Ill. — Tri-State Sales Co., Palladio Bldg., Dept. 1, Duluth, Minn. — Kase Electric Co. of New York, 136 Liberty St., New York City. — T. Eaton Co., Winnipeg, Canada.

“Free Air” Hose Winds Itself on Automatic Reel

A SELF-REELING “free-air” hose that is always within easy reach and never trails in the gutter, is a convenience appreciated by both the automobile driver and the garage keeper. The former never finds the valve clogged by dirt from the latter; the latter saves money because the hose is never accidentally cut by the wheels of passing trucks.

The installation is automatic. The hose is wound around the rim of the reel, which is mounted on top of an eight-foot post, and several turns of sash cord attached to a counterweight inside the hollow post are wound around the axle in the opposite direction. The airpipe runs to the core of the reel, which has a swivel joint in the bearing, and the hose is connected to a hole tapped through the opposite end of the core.

The counterweight is made light so that the hose can be easily pulled down to the tire, but this action raises the weight and wraps the cord further around the axle. When the hose is released, it is rewound by the falling weight.

To fill his tires, the motorist unreels the hose, which rewinds itself when released.
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America’s First Automobile And Its Giant Offspring!

No single invention developed wholly within the 50-year life of POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY is so intimately present in the daily consciousness of us all as the motor car. But do you know who built the first automobile?

The honor is now claimed for Gottfried Schloemer, who drove a strange, tiny “horseless buggy” of his own design and construction through the streets of Milwaukee, Wis., in 1889.

From this inventor’s crude “freak” of 33 years ago—the probable progenitor of the modern high powered motor car—has developed a gigantic industry in which $1,204,378,642 [$1.2 billion] of capital is invested.

The amazing industry has grown too fast for its history to be written. In wonder at today’s marvelous motor designs, we have even neglected the man who is said to have been the maker of America’s first automobile.

Mr. Schloemer’s machine was hardly a car at all as we use the word today. Not until years later were the steering-wheel, pneumatic tire, and radiator invented.

Spark plugs were unknown, and the one-cylinder motor with its 3 1/2 by 3 1/2 bore was fired by the obsolete “make-and-break” system.

There was no carburetor until 1892, when a kerosene lamp gave the inventor the suggestion for the first ever patented. It consisted of a thick bunch of wicks that dipped into the tank. As the gasoline evaporated from the upper ends of the wicks, it was sucked into the intake. And that was only 30 years ago.

Today the auto industry is so vast that it is hard to comprehend. In the United States alone are registered 9 million pleasure cars and 1 million trucks. If these cars formed a procession, radiators against rear wheels, the line would extend over 16,000 miles.

Half the population of the country could go auto riding at once, for there is a car for every ten people; but on all the state and national highways there would not be room for such a crowd.

Financially, the figures are as astounding.

The automobile industry produced more than a billion and a half dollars’ worth of cars and accessories in 1920, the banner year. This production included 2,205,000 vehicles worth $223,927,000; parts and accessories sold for $725,136,942, and tires valued at $636,750,000.

The giant progeny that grew from America’s first car has exerted a tremendous influence on other industries. For example, 27 per cent of America’s oil production is burned by the automobile, 24.6 per cent as gasoline, and 2.4 per cent as lubrication.

Eighty-three per cent of the cars registered in the world are owned in the United States.

Steering wheel, radiator, and pneumatic tires were unknown when Gottfried Schloemer’s “horseless buggy” appeared.
The present size of America’s motor car—the giant 30-year-old progeny of the tiny machine shown at the left—almost bewilders the imagination. Last year motor cars carried 6,000,000,000 passengers, as compared with 1,235,000,000 transported by all railroads combined. At last count about 10,000,000 automobiles were registered.

New Two-Cycle Auto Engine Runs on Castor Oil

Direct Injection Design Combines Power with Fuel Economy.

By Harold F. Blanchard.

OPERATING on any combustible animal, vegetable, or mineral oil, a two-cycle, direct injection auto engine, recently perfected by Eugene Tartrais, a French engineer, has been performing so successfully as to forecast revolutionary advances in motor vehicle propulsion.

The soundness of the design is indicated by the fact that the engine is being manufactured by one of the leading French automobile makers, whose racing cars have won worldwide fame because of their speed and stamina. The first three engines made are being used on Paris motor buses.

Fuel Bills Cut in Half

Although the newcomer has no carburetor nor high tension ignition system, it develops 50 horsepower at 1200 revolutions a minute. It weighs 10 pounds to the horsepower—the same as the average standard automobile engine—and occupies the same amount of space; yet it is said to be twice as economical in fuel.

There are two vertical cylinders, in which the operation is as follows: When the piston is at top dead center, liquid fuel is injected into the combustion chamber, which is filled with pure air so hot that the fuel immediately takes fire. The high
temperature of the air is due partly to the fact that the walls of the compact combustion chamber are uncooled, and partly because the air is compressed to more than 300 pounds, or four times the pressure in the ordinary engine.

The engine resembles the usual two-cycle motorboat engine in that intake and exhaust ports are uncovered by the piston; yet it differs in the fact that these ports extend all around the cylinder circumference. The exhaust openings form a ring just above the intake openings. The former are connected with the exhaust pipe and the latter with an air pump. As the piston proceeds on its down stroke after the fuel is injected and ignited, it uncovers the exhaust ports toward the end of its travel and most of the burned gases stream out through the openings. Then the piston uncovers the intake openings and pure air shoots in from all sides. Striking the conical piston head, the air streams combine to form a column of pure air that rises to the top of the cylinder head, where it spreads out and flows down the cylinder walls and thus forces out the exhaust residue.

The combustion chamber is also swept clear of gases by this action. Then the piston proceeds up on the compression stroke. As soon as its progress closes intake and exhaust ports, compression begins. When the piston reaches top dead center, another charge of fuel is injected and another explosion ensues.

There is a separate fuel pump for each cylinder and the amount of fuel it delivers may be varied by a hand or foot throttle.

The air pump is located at the front and has a bore of about seven inches and a stroke of about four, whereas the cylinders of the engine are 4.7 by 5.9 inches.

The air piston is double acting, supplying one cylinder on the up stroke and the other on the down stroke, a piston valve opening and closing the air ports of the pump.

This diagram of the two cylinders shows how compressed air forces out exhaust residue at the bottom of the piston stroke.

The fuel pumps for the two cylinders are mounted on the crankcase and driven from the water pump shaft, while the pump plungers are cam operated.

To Ignite the charge before the engine becomes warm enough to run spontaneously a little coil of wire brought to a white heat by a four-volt current is employed. The coil, placed in the combustion chamber, is mounted on the end of an insulated plug much like a spark plug.

The two chief advantages of this engine are its economy and the fact that it will run on any combustible liquid. It will run at full load on less than 0.4 pounds of fuel to the horsepower an hour, whereas the best standard engines will consume about 0.6 pounds with throttle wide open.

However, automobile engines are rarely run at full load, and with closed throttle the fuel consumption of the average standard engine is likely to increase to a pound of fuel an hour, whereas the new engine at one quarter load has a fuel consumption of only .484 pound.

Almost Any Oil Will Do

This means that where a standard engine will give a consumption of 20 miles a gallon, the Tartrais engine will give 40 miles—exactly twice the amount.

The Tartrais engine will operate not only on gasoline, kerosene, and alcohol, but on various crude oils and coal-tar oils, cod liver oil, sperm oil, castor oil, cottonseed oil, coconut oil, cocoa oil, and others without any change in engine adjustment.
It is considered very probable that the engine will gradually come into general use for automobiles, motor trucks, farm tractors, and airplanes.

Any combustible animal, vegetable, or mineral oil is said to be effective as fuel in the Tartrais two-stroke fuel injection engine shown here.
INSET: Fuel lines, air compressor and fan pulley in the Tartrais two-stroke fuel injection engine.

Home Comforts on Wheels in Modern Motor Caravan

Remarkably compact, yet completely equipped, the above camp-on-wheels, now on the market, can be attached as a trailer behind your automobile. The camp may be folded up in a few minutes.

Luxury is added to traveling comfort in the motorized home pictured above. Here the family and guests may pass the hours in a richly furnished drawing-room with beveled plate-glass windows, or may view the scenery from an observation compartment in the rear.

Luxury motor home.

While the noonday meal is being prepared over the gasoline stove just behind him, the driver is cheered by appetizing odors of roast chicken as he guides his caravan over the highways.

Motor home kitchen.

This spacious room, with wide aisle between beds is mounted on a Ford chassis. These bodies, ready for application, have recently been placed on the market.

Motor home beds.
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