Thursday, November 6, 2014

The A.T. instrument..Speedometer, Tachometer and Smiths A.T. instruments....

Sometime in 2009 I did a post on the Smiths racing tachometer, the ATRC tachometer, badged Smiths and coded ATRCxxxx...
It has generated interest over the intervening years and I've manufactured a few more as a result of the post.
so lets have another look at this instrument that carries this A.T coding...
They are characterised by the pointer rotating through a slot in the instrument dial with the pointer blade sweeping the surface of the dial rather than from completely above it as in other speedometers made by smiths and other manufacturers.
The A.T  Speedometer Company Ltd of 140 Long Acre, London WC was advertising in "Flight" magazine in July 1915 so they are one of the originals in automotive,motorcycle and aviation instrumentation....
Sometime around 1927-1930 Smiths Motor Accessories acquired the firm and they were manufactured in Chronos Works, North Circular Road, London N.W.2...
Their speedometers had been in Rolls Royce cars since the 1920's and in Bentley cars from around this time also....
Simon Roope, with who I have a correspondence has responded with some interesting, additional information in the comments section below but I've incorporated it here....thanks Simon...
 


The AT showroom was at 140 Long Acre before the Great War; an original 25 page AT Speedometer catalogue from 1912  I own has this address printed on each page.
From the early 1920s AT instruments were fitted to many prestige vintage cars, including Rolls Royce, Bentley and Frazer Nash. By then, manufacture of AT instruments had moved to West London and from October 1924 to 20 Avonmore Rd, London W14 (pg. 36, Motorsport, October 1924)
AT had German parentage (instrument manufacturers Deuta-Werke GmbH, Berlin) and under the newly formed Trading with the Enemy Act of 1914 company assets were confiscated at the outbreak of war. Ownership passed to Smiths, then to S.D Mckellen in 1920, and to Jaeger in December 1928 who in October the previous year had been bought by Smiths. In 1930 manufacture of AT instruments moved to the newly built Chronos Works. (pg. 82, James Nye's new book 'A Long Time in Making; History of Smiths' and pg. 42-44, 'Roadcraft' magazine published by Smiths for the 1937 London Olympia Motor Show).
In 1931 Bentley Motors went into liquidation and was acquired by Rolls Royce. 
Two years later the first Rolls Royce made Bentley car (3 1/2 Litre saloon) went on sale. So in 1933 it is the model of car that is new not the fitting of AT instruments to Bentley cars; this had happened ten years earlier.



Lets have a peruse of a 1934 A.T. catalogue to view the items they made then.
In the early 1950's Smiths responded to the demand for a racing tachometer without the inherent lag of the chronometric principled tachometer and introduced the ATRC version....see my 2009 post on this.


Following are examples of car and lorry dashboards from around 1955 which utilise the A.T. versions Smiths made.


Smiths AT speedometer from a Leyland bus....
During 1964,1965 Smiths made industrial versions of the A.T. Tachometer available also....
As mentioned I did a posting in 2009 and this discusses the principle of operation of the A.T instrument and is useful to assist....
Finally, Smiths made hand held industrial tachometers to measure rotating shaft speeds etc and these of the A.T principle.....
They often had multiple scales altered by a knob on the case....




Monday, September 29, 2014

Photos from the archive of Ross Slaughter on his father, Les Slaughter, a well known Australian racer on Velocettes....

Les Slaughter was a well know name just prewar with racing Velocettes in Australia up to his untimely death in the 1956 Ampol Trial in an MG TF.....
Les, left with Bill Mayes on the promenade of Bondi Beach in Sydney with his MGTF just prior to the start of the 1956 Ampol Trial.
Sadly the car rolled on a bridge and they ended upside down in a creek, with little water, but with no help they both drowned...a terrible ending for men intimately involved with the motor trade in Sydney.Les was a foreman at P & R Williams the NSW Velocette distributors then later involved with BMC cars...
His son, Ross, has kindly helped with copies of his father's photo archive and they are of great interest and I'll run several posts to cover them....
As well as road racing Velocette's, Les scrambled and hill climbed BSAs and was involved prewar with Penrith Speedway west of Sydney.
So lets have a look at some of Les's pics from just prewar up into late 1940's..


 Looks like Les on an OHC Norton and on the Old Vale Circuit at Bathurst which was last used in 1937...

1939, Les on a BSA at the Mt.Nebo Hill Climb near Wollongong, south of Sydney.


Three pics of Les on a 2000 mile economy run in 1940.....
 Les on his 500 Goldie at Bathurst entering conrod straight.... Senior race 1940.


The 1946 NSW Victory TT at Bathurst, Easter 1946....Les on a Mk.7 KTT Velocette.
 
 Bathurst 1947, Les,#8  Mk.7 KTT chases #94 W.Hedley, Norton....
Probably late 1940's, but unsure where...Les to the right, Alan Burt with a MAC scrambler of sorts and beside him, Jack Humphries...


 The ladies, pit crew...urge on #24 Les Slaughter and #8 D.Nichlos at the Poplars circuit, 05.03.1949.

Les on the dirt, unsure when or where....

Geoff Duke was in Australia in early 1956, during the European racing off season.....