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How Safety Glass was discovered.
ri–1HIS month sees one of the most interesting motoring anniversaries—the 21st birthday of the filing of the safety-glass patent.
Nowadays most motorists know that safety-glass is a sandwich of two sheets of glass with celluloid in between —hence the name Triplex—welded together by some secret solution, but few know how the idea originated.
The inventor of safety-glass was Edouard Benedictus, a French chemist of Dutch origin, who had an experimental laboratory in Paris. One day he dropped a bottle to the stone floor, and although it was starred inside like a crystal it did not break. He remembered that it had contained a mixture of various chemicals which had evaporated and coated the interior with a transparent enamel. Benedictus noted the formula but thought no more about the matter till some time later when he heard of a girl being injured by broken glass in an accident. Then he realised that on his shelf lay the secret of unsplinterable glass.
The patent was filed in 1910, but it was not till Mr. Reginald Delpech, the English pioneer motorist, took up the idea that safety-glass was manufactured. Mr. Delpech founded the Triplex Company and began to produce the glass.
At first, when open cars were the order of the day, and motorists expected motoring to entail risks, there was not great enthusiasm for the new idea. In 1914 the sales were only 15,500 square feet per annum, but in the 17 years that have passed the attitude has completely changed, and to-day the out-put of the Triplex factories is two million square feet per year.
Foreign Motor Shows.
It is surprising how our motor manufacturers neglect foreign motor exhibitions. Rolls-Royce is one of the few organisations which realise their value and although their position is consolidated all over the world they exhibit at more shows than any other company.
In the seven months following the Paris show they appeared at no less than nine international exhibitions, namely Amsterdam, Milan, Berlin, Sydney, Paris, Geneva, Prague, Brussels and Buenos Aires.
The arrangements of many of the shows are not so elaborate as Olympia. The exhibition building at Delhi one year was an affair of canvas and laths which caught fire and although the manager’s hat was lost in the flames, the Rolls-Royce staff on the spot managed to push the cars to safety just in time !
But these shows bring business. Paris, for example, is more favoured by South American exhibitors than London, while it is usually at Paris that the Maharajah of Kashmir, who owns ten Rolls-Royce, makes his purchases.
British manufacturers who wish to capture foreign trade will have to do like Rolls-Royce and send their cars abroad.
Silencers and Power.
The design and condition of the exhaust system, particularly if the engine is of small capacity and therefore dependent on high revs, for its power, play quite an important part in its satisfactory running or otherwise of a car. Woolliness can often be ascribed to a badly sooted-up expansion chamber and tail pipe, Or to a silencer which has been designed with an unobtrusive exhaust note as the principal object in view. This fact has resulted in a number of proprietary silencing systems being placed on the market, and amongst these is the C. & W., which is made by Cheswick and Wright, of Gladstone Street, Blackpool. Made specially for the Austin Seven this set is of straightforward design, embodying a large diameter pipe and expansion box. The latter contains a one piece spiral baffle, and while it gives a free passage for the spent gases, the exhaust note is pleasant, and by no means unduly noisy. It is priced at 27s. 6d., complete with the necessary clips and hangers, and the makers claim that it adds some 4 or 5 miles an hour to the maximum speed of a car.