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American Government Special Collections Reference Desk


The New York Times
April 16, 1914

Inner Tubes From England Hold Air in Badly Worn Tires.

One of the first things which the motorist ordinarily learns after he has operated a machine long enough to experience a tire blow-out is that he cannot run far with an outer casing, or shoe, which has a hole in it without having other blow-outs.  The inner tubes will not stand the strain of protrusion through the casing or of service as a tread, for which they were not designed.  On a run to Garden City, L. I., and return, however, eight or nine taxicabs, all fitted with tires which, in the language of the trade, had been "junked" and were in a dilapidated condition, demonstrated that an inner tube, new to this country, could do precisely these things.  This new tube, which has been in service in England for some time, is a British invention, called the Searle Unburstable Inner Tube.

The demonstration run was held under the auspices of F. H. Hall, Managing Director of the English company, which is located at Birmingham; Frederick R. Simms, representing the American interests of the company, and Orson Kilborn.  For the purposes of the run the most disreputable old tires had been commandeered and fitted to the taxicabs.  Those that were not in a sufficiently worn condition to suit the managers of the run were further damaged before the start of the run by having several disks about the size of silver dollars cut out along the side walls, exposing the red rubber of the bare tube.  In one case a front tire had had a bad blowout right through the middle of the tread, so that for a distance of about two and a half inches the tube itself was in direct contact with the road.  In spite of this condition, the tube held its air all through the test and showed little sign of wear or stress at the conclusion.

The ruote followed on the test was from the Hotel Astor by way of the Queensboro Bridge and the Queens Boulevard to Jamaica and then over the Jericho Turnpike to Mineola and Garden City, where a stop was made for luncheon.  The same course was followed on the return.  Only two tires gave any trouble on the trip and in neither case was there a blow-out, a leaky valve and and puncture accounting for the deflations.  The new tubes are considerably thicker than those ordinarily used, are composed of several plies of rubber and fabric, and are reinforced on the tread side with a V-shaped ridge of gray rubber, convex interiorly.  They weigh about 75 per cent. more than ordinary tubes and cost about twice as much.  They require, however, inflation of only 50 pounds to the square inch in cases where ordinary tubes would require 80 pounds, and, as was shown on the demonstration, they can be used with shoes which would be entirely worthless under ordinary conditions.

The tubes are soon to be manufactured in this country, and Mr. Simms said that a manufacturing and sales company was now in process of formation.


At the April meeting of the Motor Truck Club of America, held last night at the Automobile Club of America, W. I. Payne spoke on "Workmen's Compensation Law and Its Effect on Motor Truck and Garage Operation."  E. S. Lott spoke on "Workmen's Compensation as Distinguished from Employers' Liability," and Edmund Ely spoke on the "Scientific Basis for Computing Rates and Adjustments."


Nine cyclecars have been entered from Detroit in the Detroit-Indianapolis cyclecar run, to be held on May 29, and a number of entries have also been received from the Chicago Cyclecar Club.


The Motometer Company, exclusive licensee of a United States patent issued in March for a heat indicating system and apparatus for internal combustion engines, and Harrison H. Boyce, the owner of the patent, have brought suit for threatened infringement against the Stewart-Warner Speedometer Corporation of New York.  Judge Hand, in the United States District Court, has signed an order to show cause why an injunction should not be issued against the speedometer company.


A letter has been sent out by the committee of the Motor Dealers' Contest Association in charge of the two-day traveling automobile show, which is to be held hereabout, shortly, to all the local dealers asking them to attend a meeting to discuss the project on Friday noon at the Manhattan Automobile Club.

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