Not your normal Edwardian preserved item - this is a cast iron urinal for men, originally located at New Street in the centre of Burton-Upon-Trent in Staffordshire, across the road from the General Hospital and near the Bass brewery's railway line. It was one of twenty-two new 'water closets' provided to the males of Burton in 1902/3 as part of Burton Town Council's sanitisation scheme. It is built in cast iron with a louvred glass roof. Urinals like this were common on the urban streets of Britain in the Edwardian era, however public conveniences for women were not to be provided until much later in the century.
Wednesday, 28 November 2012
Monday, 26 November 2012
This 1905 built locomotive, number 2818 of the Great Western Railway, is an early example of GJ Churchward's 2800 (or 28XX) class heavy freight steam locomotives, with a 2-8-0 wheel configuration. The first, originally numbered 97 and soon renumbered 2800 (hence the class name), was built in 1903 and underwent two years of trials before the first batch of locomotives was built. They were an extremely successful freight locomotive and during the First World War were used on the 'Jellicoe Specials', hauling heavy, lengthy coal trains to the north east coast of Scotland from where they were put on ships to power the Royal Navy Grand Fleet based at Scapa Flow.
The 2800 class were built up until 1919, and a modified version was built from 1938 until 1942. During the life of the 2800 class, most had the frames changed to a curved front, however 2818 retained the 'straight' frames, with a visible step between the main footplate and the footplate above the 'pony' two wheeled truck at the front of the locomotive, which is why it was chosen for preservation as part of the National Collection. It is seen here on display at the National Railway Museum's Shildon outstation known as 'Locomotion'
Saturday, 24 November 2012
The Richard-Brasier car company was the product of the co-operation of Georges Richard, a small car manufacturer, and M Brasier, formerly a designer for the Belgian car company of Mors. This French company earned a good reputation in 1905 when a Richard-Brasier won for France the Gordon Bennett Race that year, however in that same year Georges Richard went to work for Unic, who made London taxis amongst other vehicles, and M Brasier continued on his own. This 1903 24hp Richard-Brasier limousine cost £770 when it was sold to Lieutenant Colonel MF Gage, who later sold it to Captain JV Taylor who used it up until the First World War. It was presented to the Shuttleworth Collection by Captain JV Taylor's relations in 1956.
Thursday, 22 November 2012
North British Railway poster from 1907 advertising services to the 6th International Motor Exhibition at Olympia. A reproduction of the poster can be bought from - http://www.past-reflections.co.uk/copy_of_Motor_Exhibition.html
Tuesday, 20 November 2012
This is the last surviving Aurora motorcycle, built in Coventry in 1904. Like many early, small motorcycle manufacturers it was literally built in someone's back yard - the address being 22 Norfolk Street, Spon End, Coventry, a typical terraced house. The company did not last long - it was started by a Swiss national, Charles Bourquin, in 1902 and ceased production in 1905, when it is alleged he absconded to London with money and goods belonging to the company and other people, and vanished.
The motorcycle has a very low profile showing that it was either built or modified for racing at some point, and interestingly is powered by an Aurora built engine, when small manufacturers like this, including Aurora, usually bought and fitted other company's engines. Other interesting features - or lack of them - include no clutch, brakes or suspension! It has been restored to running condition and is described as 'exciting' to ride. It can be seen at the Shuttleworth Collection in Bedfordshire
Sunday, 18 November 2012
The Bristol Boxkite was the first aircraft built by the British & Colonial Aeroplane Company (soon to be known as 'Bristol'). Named the Boxkite owing to the appearance of the aircraft, it was a 'pusher' with the engine, usually a 50hp Gnome rotary engine, facing the rear of the aircraft mounted at the rear of the lower wing. To add further to the strange look of this design, the elevator is mounted forward of the wings.
This slow, two seater aircraft was designed and mainly used as a trainer aircraft, it's stability making it very suitable for this role. From it's introduction in 1910, seventy-six (a very large amount for such an early aeroplane) were built including to military customers such as the Royal Flying Corps and the Imperial Russian Air Service. None survive today, however three replicas were built for the superb 1965 film 'Those Magnificent Men In Their Flying Machines'. Fortunately one replica is kept airworthy at the Shuttleworth Collection and when the weather is calm enough takes to the air where I was fortunate enough to see it fly in September 2012.
Friday, 16 November 2012
Although most tramways had moved to electric traction in the early 1900's, it didn't mean the complete end of horses employed on the tramways - the new elevated electric power lines meant that tower wagons such as this were needed to maintain and repair them. Some companies used motor wagons (such as Leicester which had Leyland's), and others had horse drawn tower wagons, such as this one used in Manchester and built in 1911. The platform at the top is on a turntable to improve access - in modern terms, the closest equivalent would be a cherry picker
Wednesday, 14 November 2012
Compared to the rather ungainly No 1, which proved to be a failure, the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway's second electric locomotive, No 2, had a defined purpose. No 2 was an 0-4-0, with all four wheels powered, and did not require any external infrastructure such as overhead wires or a third rail, being powered by internal batteries. No 2 emerged from Horwich works in July 1917, having been under construction slowly for over a year, and was designed to shunt coal wagons at Clifton Junction power station, which in turn produced electricity for the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway's electrified Manchester & Bury line.
No 2 replaced five electric capstans which instead winched the coal wagons, and No 2 could haul three fully laden 20 ton wagons at a time, and it's batteries had enough charge for 25,000 miles between overhauls. A 1/76 (OO Gauge) kit of No 2 is available to purchase - http://chrisgibbon.com/webftp/Pages/lyrbatterypage.htm
My thanks go to the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway Society for the very generous permission and sending of these images which I believe are unseen on the internet before. Please visit their website to see a lot more interesting Edwardian railway images.
Monday, 12 November 2012
Film footage and photographs of the 1911 'Round Britain' Air Race, from 22nd July - 25th July. The race was one of the inspirations for the superb 1960's film 'Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines', one of the best Edwardian era films. This was uploaded to YouTube by Bomberguy
Saturday, 10 November 2012
Now in the Coventry Transport Museum, a stones throw away from the location of where this car was built in 1912, this unusual early three wheeler was designed by JWF Crouch, an engineer who had been an apprentice with Daimler and a driver for Deasy before setting up his own company in 1911. It is a good example of the small, more economic motor cars that were more and more popular in the lead up to the First World War. Driven by an 8hp water cooled engine, which powers the single rear wheel by chain drive, these Crouch 'Carettes' were very reliable and competitive with other cars, and gave economy of up to 50 miles a gallon. This Crouch is shown as owned by a Suffragette who is using it as a way to get around town putting up posters
Friday, 9 November 2012
There is a similar looking, but shorter and four wheeled, Newcastle Tram of similar vintage surviving - Newcastle 114 of 1901 at Beamish - http://electric-edwardians.blogspot.co.uk/2011/12/newcastle-class-tram-114-1901.html
Wednesday, 7 November 2012
Built in 1901 by the Tyneside industrial locomotive maker of Hawthorn & Leslie, this small steam saddle tank locomotive (saddle tank meaning the distinctive type of water tank fitted - sat over the boiler, like a saddle) is an 0-4-0ST, with four coupled driving wheels. It was built for Webster's Brick and Lime Works in Coventry, and was originally named 'Rosabel' after the daughter of the Managing Director, Henry Webster, of the London & North Western Railway, as the locomotive hauled wagons laden with bricks over the LNWR's line between Coventry and Nuneaton. During WW1 it hauled large naval guns being built at the Coventry Ordnance Works, and eventually in 1928 was renamed 'Henry' by it's new owners at British Celanese at Spondon near Derby, named after Dr Henri Dreyfus, the Swiss chemist who was the chairman of British Celanese.
It is seen here in April 2012 at the Barrow Hill Engine Shed near Chesterfield, Derbyshire, and is a superb typical example of an Edwardian industrial locomotive employed by private owners at large industrial sites such as brick works as in Rosabel/Henry's case, factories, breweries, coal mines etc etc
Monday, 5 November 2012
This is 7 of 25 in the Lambert & Butler Motors Series of Cigarette Cards, issued in 1908. From the back of the card;
"The illustration represents a 28hp Minerva Limousine. These cars have become exceedingly popular in a comparatively short time owing to their sweet running, speed, power and reliability. Their performance in the 1907 Circuit des Ardennes established a record. Out of a field of 23 starters, they were placed first, second and third, covering the distance of 375 miles in 374 minutes - all three cars finishing within 79 seconds of each other"