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Here’s a small selection of the accessories coming onto the market. n some ways they give a greater insight into the motor cycling scene in 1911 than the bikes themselves. They also remind us that ingenuity and imagination have been around for a long time.
Looking more a constipated goose than an eagle, this ‘handle-bar mascot’ must have delighted the Promenade Percy set.
“A few days ago we inspected a foot muff intended specially for sidecar use. The Quidos as it is called, is made of stout brown canvas, edged with fur, and padded with very soft finely divided cork. This cork is treated by a special process to remove deleterious substances and the expand and soften the cells of the cork. The advantages claimed for the use of this particular form of padding are that it is not only extremely light, but absolutely waterproof, and at the same time very warm.” And if a foot-muff alone can’t keep your best girl cosy…”A sidecar foot-warmer, introduced by Messrs. Brown Bros, Ltd, Great Eastern Street, EC takes the form of an oblong box, the exhaust gases being oonducted into it bv means of a flexible metallic tube. It should prove a boon to all-weather sidecarists, and especially to competitors in the forthcoming winter runs.”
Is this the first intercom system? Designer Ernest Clegg certainly thought so; he explained: “It is a speaking tube of light metal, which clips on to the shoulder of th<» foremost rider. The horn ends can he turned in any direc- tion, and can be extended. Conversation can be carried on quite easilv, and it does not obstruct the view.”
“A novel form of carrier has been produced by Mr EA Wallbridge, of 31 Wood Street, Woolwich, and sold under the uame of OAI. It consists of an angle steel carrier made to fit almost any machine, in which lies a collapsable metal box. This box is made to form a kind of metal hand bag in its normal condition, but by an ingenious system of hinges it can be extended to carry a large amount of luggage or shut up quite Hat to form a solid carrier, or the box can be detached from the carrier by a simple spring clip.”
“Adlington’s combined silencer and exhaust whistle.” Clever, but possibly suggestive to the juvenile mind.
“A real novelty is the Prest-O-Tire tube—a tube filled with carbonic acid gas under pressure for inflating tyres. It is shorter than the average tyre pump, but rather thicker, and it weighs but 18oz, and contains sufficient gas to inflate about eight motor cycle tubes. The price is not excessive, and refills cost but 6d, while the labour and time saved are enormous. To inflate the tyre it is only necessary to unscrew the needle valve and connect the union nut of the valve mechanism to the tyre valve, then turn the needle valve slowly and the tyre inflates. The mechanism…could be conveniently attached to any suitable frame tube by suitably sized pump clips.”
“Mr Parnaby, 319, Fletcher Road, Preston, is making a speciality of a neat sparking plug case, an exceedingly useful accessory made of turned wood. It is adapted to take plugs of almost any size, and ensures them being carried safely and being kept clean. Such an accessory should find a place in every motor cyclist’s tool bag.”
“Sledge shapedfoot protectors which were used on HF Miller’s four-cylinder FN.” In those pre-Tarmac days running boards and legshields (often called ‘mud shields’ were designed to protect the rider from the road surface rather than the weather.
“An effective but somewhat unsightly mackintosh mudshield fitted to a Bradbury.”
Mr Henderson of North Shields came up with a dual-purpose mirror. As well as offering a rear view, it could be be used to refelect the light from the headlight to light up any part of the bike for night-time repairs, or to illuminate signposts. In the days when gaslights were dominant riders also made use of acetylene inspection lamps which had to be connected and ignited. Mr Henderson’s idea was certainly more convenient.