Saturday, 23 January 2010

1930's Hints And Tips

Recently while having nothing better to do, I was browsing through some books on the shelf. Ian has several motorcycle related volumes and a small publication that was almost hidden attracted my attention.

Published in the late 1930’s by Iliffe & Sons Ltd of London and issued by The MotorCycle magazine was the 13th edition of Hints and Tips for MotorCyclists. Inside there are 721 hint and tips of historical interest, a few of which Ian put to the test in his budding motorcycling youth. There is also a small advertisers section at the back. To prove that using well known faces is nothing new, we see Stanley Woods claiming that motorcycles run better on Mobiliol ‘D’.

Below, I have reproduced a few to serve as a reminder as to how things were for the motorcyclists of yesteryear.

Speedometer Lamp

21. A speedometer lamp is a useful accessory, especially if much night-riding is done in built-up areas. All new machines have their speedometers floodlit internally. In the case of an old mount, it is possible to obtain a clip-on or bolted-on speedometer lamp at a cost of two or three shillings.


Removing Dents from a Tank

75. When a tank or similar sheet-metal container has been damaged it is usually impossible to remove the dent by pressing it back from the inside, owing to the difficulty of inserting a suitable tool. If, however, the tank is of comparatively light sheet metal the dent can sometimes be pulled back by soldering a bolt head in it and pulling on the bolt.



134. When a steep and slippery hill has to be ascended, as in a trial, especially with a sidecar outfit, to lower the pressure in the rear tyre. If there is time before the next hill, pump it up again.


Rubber Ponchos

450. In the days of long-distance trials ponchos were the experienced competition rider’s choice. They are made of black rubber with a cloth backing and are slipped over the head. Two types of neck opening are obtainable: (1) flexible rubber, and (2) a gusseted affair with a hook and press-studs, or with a Zipp fastener. The latter is the more convenient so far as putting on and taking off the poncho is concerned, and lasts better, but the former, due to the soft rubber clinging to the neck, naturally makes a more watertight “joint”.
Protecting the Legs

461. Many riders attach the straps on waders to their trouser buttons. A better scheme, however, is either to fix them to a small strap encircling one’s waist, or to attach a tape to the straps and loop this tape over one’s shoulders. As a result the early loss of trouser buttons will be prevented if nothing else! Straps round the ankles, or even rubber bands cut from an old car-size inner tube, will facilitate walking around in the waders, but if the waders are made too tight round the ankles the circulation will, of course, be affected.

(Ted’s tip is to invest in a pair of Wadagard ™ Motor Cyclists’ Boots. See advertisement below).
Cloth Caps

467. Ordinary cloth caps, so long as they fit well and have a large, waterproof peak are good, but they seldom stay on quite so well at speed as does a good ski-cap.

(Ted’s tip is to use in conjunction with the Jefco ™ Face Screen. See advertisement below).

485. If funds will run to it, there is nothing to beat an angora-wool scarf for softness, warmth and general comfort. However, any good wool scarf will serve, but it should be long enough to encircle the neck twice and still reach the waist. Many riders arrange their scarves so that one end runs right down the front and passes between their legs; in this way it prevents wind and cold finding their way past the openings in the coat and trousers.


Finding Accommodation

536. If when on tour you do not happen to have a list of places at which suitable accommodation is obtainable, and no arrangements have been made beforehand, plan to end your day’s run not later than, say, six o’clock. Having arrived at the village or town at which you intend spending the night, seek out a local policeman or call in to see one of the innkeepers. These worthies as a rule can suggest houses where inexpensive, good accommodation is obtainable, assuming that is what you desire. If on the other hand you want an hotel the local policeman is generally the best man from whom to seek advice.


Coin Measurements

721. Although a set of rules should always find a place in the amateur mechanic’s equipment, it sometimes happens that measurements are required without the necessary items being available. In such instances it is worth knowing that the following coins represent certain definite measurements:

One penny : 1/10th of a foot in diameter.

A sixpence : ¾ in. diameter.

Half-crown : 1¼ in. diameter.

Five halfpennies or three pennies weigh one ounce.

Now where did I put those old coins?

Here are the advertisements that are useful in conjunction with tips 461 and 467 respectively.

Even today, a long distance motorcyclist may find one of these useful. I'll have to get one of these for Ian's next birthday.

If anyone would like to read some more of these just leave a comment and 2 numbers between 1 and 720, omitting the ones already previewed.


Sally H said...

looking forward to seeing Ian in his rubber Poncho!!!!!

Nikos said...

Number 58 please but not if it has kinky connotations like all the other ones that Ian has "randomly" selected!

Fuzzygalore said...

This is great, BT! Thanks for sharing these. I would say +1 for Nikos' comment but only IF it has kinky connotations! ;oD

Affer said...

Fabulous stuff! I should like numbers 38, 23, 34 as they represent something to do with one of my earlier pillion passengers.......

Tip 461 reminded me so much of the inimitable Beachcomber's "Threadgold Thoroughgrip Garterettes"!

Baron's Life said...

Sorry I'm late but a summer riding accident had actually put me out of commission longer than I would have liked.
I wish you and your family a Happy New Year
All the best for 2010

bikerted said...

I don't know. You girls are as bad as us guys with your rubber fetishes!
It would certainly not be a pretty sight, Ian in a rubber poncho. At least he would not need to use talc to slide it on, unlike your rubber dress Sal ;o)

Thanks to Affer's stastistical choice we shall be delving into the world of nipples!

Stop the world, I wanna get off. Hahahahahaha.

Baron, sorry to hear about your accident and trust you are well on the road to recovery. Here's looking to a far better 2010 for you,

Charles Smith said...

I have what I believe is a first edition of Hints and Tips ( around 1906 ). Wonderful lines such as :- Mistrust private testimonials; motor cyclists, like anglers, are constitutionally untruthful.