Not since the introduction of the automobile as a thing of utility has there been such an exhibit of these vehicles as that given during last week at Madison Square Garden in this city, and that the public is interested was shown by the crowds that attended daily. Nearly every maker of a motor car was represented by a product of his factory. The display embraced every kind of automobile, including not only pleasure cars, but those made expressly for commercial and fire purposes. The day when the motor fire wagon might be considered an experiment in practical firefighting has long since passed. The mechanical reliability of such wagons, when made by high grade concerns who have made a study of the requirements, is now an accepted fact. The advantages are almost equally well understood by the fire chiefs, and in many communities it is only a question of selecting the wagons best suited to the local requirements or a matter of securing an appropriation. Among the motor fire apparatus shown was the Knox combination motor fire engine, capable of carrying ten men, a large quantity of hose and ladders. It has a speed capacity of 40 miles per hour and has a pumping capacity of 700 gallons per minue. The crew rides inside the vehicle. It is an unusually complete piece of apparatus, being practically a whole fire department of itself. The Packard combination fire squad and chemical wagon attracted much attention. It was a 30-horsepower machine, carrying seven men and driver. It has a 35-gallon chemical tank in rear of the driver’s seat, and two 3-gallon tanks on rear step; 250 feet of ¾-inch hose and all the minor equipments. The Pope-Hartford Company displayed a type of motor fire wagon that has met all the requirements of the fire authorities and has proved highly efficient in every way. The Pope company has been building automobile chemicals in different styles for the past two years and has placed cars in many different cities throughout the country. Without exception, they have passed through the rigid tests of continuous service in the different fire departments and shown to good advantage. The car on exhibition was a combination chemical and hose wagon, equipped with a 40-gallon chemical tank. The car has a 136-inch wheel base, a 4-cylinder engine developing 50 horsepower, a 4-speed selective transmission and a full floating rear axle. The tires are 38 x 5½ inches in front and 39 x 6 inches in the rear. The body proper provides carrying space for 1,000 feet of 2 1/2-inch water hose. This is only one style of fire wagon made by the Pope company. The same wagon may be equipped with two large chemical tanks at an additional expense of $250. This will decrease the hose carrying capacity of the body to 500 feet. Wagons entirely devoted to carrying hose or equipped with extra large chemical tanks are also made, while a combination chemical and flying squadron often proves the best outfit for certain conditions. The Autocar company exhibited a combination hose and chemical fire wagon with a capacitv of two 35-gallon chemical tanks, 1,000 feet of hose, ladders, hand extinguishers, and all the minor fire extinguishing arms. Those whose connection with fire departments and insurance make them familiar with the conditions are aware that about 90 per cent, of all fires are discovered in their inciniency, and that the great majority of them could be put out with inconsequential loss if the means were at hand for extinguishing them. There is scarcely a person who has not knowledge of one or more instances where a house or oroperty could have been saved or the loss greatlv reduced had the aoparatus been on hand earlier. The great point, therefore, is to reach the tire as quickly after its discovery as possible. The motor fire wagon will do this quicker than any horse-drawn wagon, and the longer the distance the greater the saving in time. There are. then, two important facts that can be accented without discussion—namely, the absolute reliability of such wagons for practical service and the advantage of reaching fires with the greatest possible speed.

In a new device the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company has adapted its standard motor tire and form of fastening to a special channel rim which is removable from the wheel as a, unit. 1 ires can tie removed or applied to these rims with proper machinery and under proper conditions by experts at the tire station. The rims fit both front and rear, single or dual tired wheels. One or two spare rims with tireapplied can be kept at headquarters, and these are generally sufficient for several trucks having tire equipment of the same size. Any driver who can wield a monkey wrench can change his own tires in five or ten minutes. It is only necessary to unscrew the nuts, remove the endless clamping flange and slide off the tire, rim and all. All edges and angles of the different parts are made blunt, so that the ease of operation is practically unaffected by rust. A letter to the Firestone company from the makers of the Grabowsky truck states that a set which they have had in service for more than nine months is in perfect condition and as easy to operate as when first applied.

The exhibit of the Gramm Motor Car Company, which attracted much attention at the recent Grand Central Palace show, is now installed in the Brewster building, at Broadway and Forty-sixth street, as a part of the permanent industrial exhibition in progress there. The Gramm line includes several models of heavy trucks. These are a one-ton, 25-horsepower; a two-ton, 35-horsepower; a three-ten. 50-horsepower, and a five-ton, 50-horsepower. The motor is on the conventional four-cylinder type with a multiple disc clutch, selective sliding transmission and doublet side chain drive. A combination chemical and fire hose truck will be shown as well as an ice cream delivery wagon with a second bottom to prevent water drippings from reaching and rusting the mechanism.

A prominent feature of the exhibition was the showing of cars designed for business uses. There were exhibited various forms of these, from the light delivery wagons of the retail stores to the very heavy trucks used by dealers in the heavy classes of goods. Trucks carrying from five to ten tons in weight were shown, while cars designed especially for farmers’ uses were numerous. This branch of the automobile industry is growing very rapidly, and a prediction is ventured by interested persons that it will be but a short time when horse-drawn vehicles will be a novelty in the streets of the great cities and all their local transportation done by motor cars. It is doubtful that the business world and business men in general have appreciated the wonderful strides which this great industry has made in the past year, the vast number of trucks put into operation, some of them under unfavorable condtions, and the excellent showing these vehicles have made. Hardly a merchant who has tried or adopted the motor truck would think of going back to the unreliable horse or consider for a minute his inefficient and intermittent service. The motor truck never tires, and its mileage advantages in the same given length of time cannot be disputed. Even if the motor truck costs more to operate than a horse-drawn truck of equal carrying capacity, which statistics show not to be the case, the fact that it can do two and three times as much work in the same given length of time, together with all the other advantages of less space occupied and considerably less help involved, does it not bring out very clearly the phrase often used that “decreased expenses mean increased profits”? The recent endurance contests have brought out many points, especially the last Chicago-Milwaukce endurance motor truck contest, in which 51 trucks carried their full capacity over a distance of 200 miles in less time than by express and with the advantage that the goods were handled but twice. This should receive the approval of all business houses. The tire situation, which has been a serious i tie on account of expense, has received a thorough trying out, and the tire sizes to-day on a truck are far greater than a year ago. However, it is largely a matter of careful operation. A good driver will get 4,000 miles out of a tire, where a careless one will only get half that mileage, but it is the carelessness of the driver that destroys tires as much as the inferior compound of the truck tire. Among the heavy commercial trucks that attracted general attention was a huge one from the factory of the American-La France Fire Engine Company at Elmira. N. Y. This concern, known all over the country, makes both motor fire apparatus and commercial motor wagons. Its motor fire engines and combination wagons are in very general use among fire departments throughout the United States, and its motors for business purposes are among the best.

Other exhibits were the Mercedes, Morgan, Stearns, Knox. Fierce-Arrow, Peerless, Hewitt. Reliance. Rapid, Sampson, Grabowsky, Studehaker. White. Mack, General Vehicle, Alco, Buick, Rco, franklin. Atlas. Brush, Overland, McIntyre. Garford, Kissel. Randolph, lxinsden and W aril.

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