Something for historians to ponder and perhaps debate? In 1971 the Guinness book of Car Facts & Feats gave this as the “motor show” staged by Sir David Salomons at Tunbridge Wells in October 1895, and in its 1994 edition adds the first indoor exhibition, at the Agricultural Hall, London, that November.
No dispute with that. But it may not be generally known that some motor vehicles were also shown at the Horse Drawn & Horseless Carriage & Roads Locomotion Exhibition held at the Crystal Palace in May 1896. The vehicles present included an 1881 steam tricycle, and Salomons’s motor tricycle, along with the motorcycles arid safety bicycles. There were at least four cars there, which gave demonstration runs on a route marked with red flags, and carried some lady passengers, while the Lord Mayor looked on. It was reported that “a very fair rate of speed” was maintained, in spite of the crowded state of the paths.
It was alleged that the steam tricycle had been the instigator of the action Priest v Parkins which 15 years or so previously had “stopped the public use of automatically propelled carriages”. But previous to this the act of 1878 had permitted such vehicles on the roads provided that they were preceded by a person on foot and did not exceed a speed of 4mph. Any comments, from my learned friends in the VCC perhaps? WB