London to Brighton Veteran Car Run
The London to Brighton Veteran Car Run is the longest-running motoring event in the world. The first run was in 1896, it has taken place most years since its initial revival in 1927. To qualify, the cars must have been built before 1905, it is the world's largest gathering of veteran cars – 443 started in 2005, 484 in 2009, compared to 37 starters in 1927, 51 starters in 1930 and 131 in 1938. It takes place on the first Sunday in November and starts at sunrise from Hyde Park and follows the old A23 road to finish at Brighton – a distance of 54 miles. There are two official stops along the way: Preston Park. Preston Park is the official finishing point; the organisers emphasise that the event is not a race – they do not publish the order in which cars finish, participants are not permitted to exceed an average speed of 20 mph. Any that finish before 4:30 pm are awarded a medal. There are a few other events preceding the Veteran Car Run such as Motoring Forum, Veteran Car Run Sale, a motor show, participant reception.
The first run took place on a wet Saturday. Organised by Harry J. Lawson, named "The Emancipation Run", it was a celebration of the passed Locomotives on Highways Act 1896, which had replaced the restrictive Locomotive Acts of 1861, 1865 and 1878 and increased the speed limit to 14 mph. Since 1878 the speed limit had been 4 mph in the country and 2 mph in the town and an escort had been required to walk 20 yards ahead of the vehicle; the 1865 act had required the escort to carry a red flag at a distance of 60 yards. The run was the first meet of the Motor Car Club, of which Lawson was President; the event started with a breakfast at the Charing Cross Hotel, which included the symbolic tearing in two by Lord Winchelsea of a red flag. The competitors gathered outside the Metropole Hotel, with the cars accompanied by a "flying escort" – estimated by one witness as "probably 10,000" – of pedal cyclists, recreational cycling having become popular with the English in the final decades of the 19th century.
A total of 33 motorists set off from London for the coast and 17 arrived in Brighton. The first of the cars set off from London at 10:30 am and the first arrival in Brighton, by a Duryea Motor Wagon, beating the next closest Brighton arrivals by more than an hour. Two Duryea cars participated in the run, marking the first appearance of American motor vehicles in Europe. During the next few years, Commemoration Run took place between Whitehall Place and Sheen House Club covering the distance of about eight miles; the run was not staged again until 1927, annually run from 1927 until the onset of the Second World War. Owing to petrol rationing, the event was cancelled until 1947. With all this considered, it is the world's longest running motoring event. Since 1930, the event has been controlled by the Royal Automobile Club; the 1953 comedy movie Genevieve is set during one of these runs. Many racing drivers and celebrities have taken part in the event, including Richard Shuttleworth, S. C. H. "Sammy" Davis, Sir Malcolm Campbell, Prince Bira, George Eyston, Richard Seaman, Kaye Don, George Formby, Phil Hill, Stirling Moss and Jochen Mass.
The 72nd anniversary run took place in 1968 and was joined by celebrity participants Prince Rainier and Princess Grace of Monaco, in a 1903 De Dion-Bouton. That year Stirling Moss participated, driving a 1903 four-cylinder Mercedes; some participants dress up in a late Edwardian style of clothing. In 1971 Queen Elizabeth II was a passenger in a 1900 Daimler. A regular participant is Prince Michael of Kent. In 2010 the RAC launched the Brighton to London Future Car Challenge, following the same route as the veteran car run, but starting in Brighton and finishing at Regent Street, London – and taking place of the day prior to the veteran run; the event is intended to showcase low energy impact vehicles of various technologies – Electric and Low-Emission ICE. Participants compete to minimise energy consumption using "road legal" vehicles in "real world" conditions; the results of the inaugural 2010 event showed that the electric vehicles used the least energy, compared to the hybrid vehicles and the diesel powered internal combustion engine vehicles.
The event was not organised as a race, but the General classification of the fastest finishers was: Genevieve London to Brighton events Brighton Speed Trials Official website LBVCR 2010 Information Veteran Car Club of Great Britain's page about LBVCR Cuckfield Companion's page about LBVCR Sponsor Renault Sport's page about LBVCR 1950s cine film London to Brighton Veteran Car Run flickr.com group Future Car Challenge website LBVCR Press Release relating to Historic Electric Vehicles A US version of the car run, from New London to New Brighton
Robert Bosch was a German industrialist and inventor, founder of Robert Bosch GmbH. Bosch was born in a village to the northeast of Ulm in southern Germany, he was the eleventh of twelve children. His parents came from a class of well-situated farmers from the region, his father, a freemason, was unusually educated for someone of his class, placed special importance on a good education for his children. As a child, Robert liked to try to invent, he saw potential for himself to become an inventor, studied quantum mechanics. From 1869 to 1876, Bosch attended the Realschule in Ulm, took an apprenticeship as a precision mechanic. After his school and practical education, Bosch spent a further seven years working at diverse companies in Germany, the United States, the UK. On 15 November 1886, he opened his own "Workshop for Precision Mechanics and Electrical Engineering" in Stuttgart. A year he made a decisive improvement to an unpatented magneto ignition device made by the engine manufacturer Deutz, providing his first business success.
The purpose of the device was to generate an electric spark to ignite the air–fuel mixture in a stationary engine. In 1897, Bosch was the first to adapt a magneto to a vehicle engine. In doing so, he solved one of the greatest technical problems faced by the nascent automotive industry; the invention of the first commercially viable high-voltage spark plug as part of a magneto-based ignition system by Robert Bosch's engineer Gottlob Honold in 1902 was a key stage in the development of the internal combustion engine. Before the 19th century ended, Bosch expanded his operations beyond Germany; the company established a sales office in the UK in 1898, other European countries soon after. The first sales office and the first factory in the U. S. were opened in 1910 respectively. By 1913, the company had branch operations in America, Asia and Australia, was generating 88% of its sales outside Germany. In rapid succession in the years following the First World War, Bosch launched innovations for the motor vehicle, including diesel fuel injection in 1927.
In the 1920s the global economic crisis caused Bosch to begin a rigorous program of modernization and diversification in his company. In only a few years' time, he succeeded in turning his company from a small automotive supplier into a multinational electronics group. From the beginning, Bosch was concerned about promoting occupational training. Prompted by his awareness of social responsibility, he was one of the first industrialists in Germany to introduce the eight-hour work day, followed by other social benefits for his associates. Robert Bosch did not wish to profit from the armaments contracts awarded to his company during WWI. Instead, he donated several million German marks to charitable causes. A hospital that he gave to the city of Stuttgart opened in 1940. In the 1920s and 1930s, Robert Bosch was politically active; as a liberal businessman, he sat on a number of economic committees. He devoted a great deal of energy and money to the cause of bringing about reconciliation between Germany and France.
He hoped this reconciliation would bring about lasting peace in Europe and lead to the creation of a European economic area. The Nazi regime in Germany brought Bosch's peacemaking efforts to an abrupt end; the company employed forced laborers during the war. At the same time, Bosch supported the resistance against Adolf Hitler and together with his closest associates saved victims of Nazi persecution from deportation. Bosch owned a farm south of Munich, he was a passionate hunter. When he died in 1942, he was survived by four children from two marriages. A son from his first marriage died in 1921 following a protracted illness. In 1937, Bosch had restructured his company as a private limited company, he had established his last will and testament, in which he stipulated that the earnings of the company should be allocated to charitable causes. At the same time, his will sketched the outlines of the corporate constitution, formulated by his successors in 1964 and is still valid today. Bosch was afforded a state funeral by the Third Reich.
He was inducted into the Automotive Hall of Fame in 1984. Robert Bosch: The prevention of future crises in the world economic system. London, Constable, 1937 Theodor Heuss: Robert Bosch – his life and achievements. Transl. by Susan Gillespie. New York, Holt, 1994. ISBN 0-8050-3067-0 Hans-Erhard Lessing: Robert Bosch. Reinbek 2007. ISBN 3-499-50594-0 Robert Bosch GmbH Robert Bosch Stiftung Robert-Bosch-Hospital German inventors and discoverers Bosch Fernseh Newspaper clippings about Robert Bosch in the 20th Century Press Archives of the German National Library of Economics Robert Bosch at the Automotive Hall of Fame
World War I
World War I known as the First World War or the Great War, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. Contemporaneously described as "the war to end all wars", it led to the mobilisation of more than 70 million military personnel, including 60 million Europeans, making it one of the largest wars in history, it is one of the deadliest conflicts in history, with an estimated nine million combatants and seven million civilian deaths as a direct result of the war, while resulting genocides and the 1918 influenza pandemic caused another 50 to 100 million deaths worldwide. On 28 June 1914, Gavrilo Princip, a Bosnian Serb Yugoslav nationalist, assassinated the Austro-Hungarian heir Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo, leading to the July Crisis. In response, on 23 July Austria-Hungary issued an ultimatum to Serbia. Serbia's reply failed to satisfy the Austrians, the two moved to a war footing. A network of interlocking alliances enlarged the crisis from a bilateral issue in the Balkans to one involving most of Europe.
By July 1914, the great powers of Europe were divided into two coalitions: the Triple Entente—consisting of France and Britain—and the Triple Alliance of Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy. Russia felt it necessary to back Serbia and, after Austria-Hungary shelled the Serbian capital of Belgrade on the 28th, partial mobilisation was approved. General Russian mobilisation was announced on the evening of 30 July; when Russia failed to comply, Germany declared war on 1 August in support of Austria-Hungary, with Austria-Hungary following suit on 6th. German strategy for a war on two fronts against France and Russia was to concentrate the bulk of its army in the West to defeat France within four weeks shift forces to the East before Russia could mobilise. On 2 August, Germany demanded free passage through Belgium, an essential element in achieving a quick victory over France; when this was refused, German forces invaded Belgium on 3 August and declared war on France the same day. On 12 August and France declared war on Austria-Hungary.
In November 1914, the Ottoman Empire entered the war on the side of the Alliance, opening fronts in the Caucasus and the Sinai Peninsula. The war was fought in and drew upon each power's colonial empire as well, spreading the conflict to Africa and across the globe; the Entente and its allies would become known as the Allied Powers, while the grouping of Austria-Hungary and their allies would become known as the Central Powers. The German advance into France was halted at the Battle of the Marne and by the end of 1914, the Western Front settled into a battle of attrition, marked by a long series of trench lines that changed little until 1917. In 1915, Italy opened a front in the Alps. Bulgaria joined the Central Powers in 1915 and Greece joined the Allies in 1917, expanding the war in the Balkans; the United States remained neutral, although by doing nothing to prevent the Allies from procuring American supplies whilst the Allied blockade prevented the Germans from doing the same the U. S. became an important supplier of war material to the Allies.
After the sinking of American merchant ships by German submarines, the revelation that the Germans were trying to incite Mexico to make war on the United States, the U. S. declared war on Germany on 6 April 1917. Trained American forces would not begin arriving at the front in large numbers until mid-1918, but the American Expeditionary Force would reach some two million troops. Though Serbia was defeated in 1915, Romania joined the Allied Powers in 1916 only to be defeated in 1917, none of the great powers were knocked out of the war until 1918; the 1917 February Revolution in Russia replaced the Tsarist autocracy with the Provisional Government, but continuing discontent at the cost of the war led to the October Revolution, the creation of the Soviet Socialist Republic, the signing of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk by the new government in March 1918, ending Russia's involvement in the war. This allowed the transfer of large numbers of German troops from the East to the Western Front, resulting in the German March 1918 Offensive.
This offensive was successful, but the Allies rallied and drove the Germans back in their Hundred Days Offensive. Bulgaria was the first Central Power to sign an armistice—the Armistice of Salonica on 29 September 1918. On 30 October, the Ottoman Empire capitulated. On 4 November, the Austro-Hungarian empire agreed to the Armistice of Villa Giusti after being decisively defeated by Italy in the Battle of Vittorio Veneto. With its allies defeated, revolution at home, the military no longer willing to fight, Kaiser Wilhelm abdicated on 9 November and Germany signed an armistice on 11 November 1918. World War I was a significant turning point in the political, cultural and social climate of the world; the war and its immediate aftermath sparked numerous uprisings. The Big Four (Britain, the United States, It
A spark plug is a device for delivering electric current from an ignition system to the combustion chamber of a spark-ignition engine to ignite the compressed fuel/air mixture by an electric spark, while containing combustion pressure within the engine. A spark plug has a metal threaded shell, electrically isolated from a central electrode by a porcelain insulator; the central electrode, which may contain a resistor, is connected by a insulated wire to the output terminal of an ignition coil or magneto. The spark plug's metal shell is screwed into the engine's cylinder head and thus electrically grounded; the central electrode protrudes through the porcelain insulator into the combustion chamber, forming one or more spark gaps between the inner end of the central electrode and one or more protuberances or structures attached to the inner end of the threaded shell and designated the side, earth, or ground electrode. Spark plugs may be used for other purposes. Spark plugs may be used in other applications such as furnaces wherein a combustible fuel/air mixture must be ignited.
In this case, they are sometimes referred to as flame igniters. In 1860 Étienne Lenoir used an electric spark plug in his gas engine, the first internal combustion piston engine. Lenoir is credited with the invention of the spark plug; some sources credit Edmond Berger, an African American believed to have immigrated from Togo, with creating a spark plug in early 1839, though records show he did not receive a patent for his device. Early patents for spark plugs included those by Nikola Tesla, Frederick Richard Simms and Robert Bosch. Only the invention of the first commercially viable high-voltage spark plug as part of a magneto-based ignition system by Robert Bosch's engineer Gottlob Honold in 1902 made possible the development of the spark-ignition engine. Subsequent manufacturing improvements can be credited to Albert Champion, to the Lodge brothers, sons of Sir Oliver Lodge, who developed and manufactured their father's idea and to Kenelm Lee Guinness, of the Guinness brewing family, who developed the KLG brand.
Helen Blair Bartlett played a vital role in making the insulator in 1930. The plug is connected to the high voltage generated by magneto; as current flows from the coil, a voltage develops between the central and side electrodes. No current can flow because the fuel and air in the gap is an insulator, but as the voltage rises further it begins to change the structure of the gases between the electrodes. Once the voltage exceeds the dielectric strength of the gases, the gases become ionized; the ionized gas allows current to flow across the gap. Spark plugs require voltage of 12,000–25,000 volts or more to "fire" properly, although it can go up to 45,000 volts, they supply higher current during the discharge process, resulting in a hotter and longer-duration spark. As the current of electrons surges across the gap, it raises the temperature of the spark channel to 60,000 K; the intense heat in the spark channel causes the ionized gas to expand quickly, like a small explosion. This is the "click" heard when observing a spark, similar to thunder.
The heat and pressure force the gases to react with each other, at the end of the spark event there should be a small ball of fire in the spark gap as the gases burn on their own. The size of this fireball, or kernel, depends on the exact composition of the mixture between the electrodes and the level of combustion chamber turbulence at the time of the spark. A small kernel will make the engine run as though the ignition timing was retarded, a large one as though the timing was advanced. A spark plug is composed of a shell and the central conductor, it passes through the wall of the combustion chamber and therefore must seal the combustion chamber against high pressures and temperatures without deteriorating over long periods of time and extended use. Spark plugs are specified by size, either thread or nut, sealing type, spark gap. Common thread sizes in Europe are 10 mm, 14 mm, 18 mm. In the United States, common thread sizes are 12 mm, 14 mm and 18 mm; the top of the spark plug contains a terminal to connect to the ignition system.
Over of the years variations in the terminal configuration have been introduced by manufacturers. The exact terminal construction varies depending on the use of the spark plug. Most passenger car spark plug wires snap onto the terminal of the plug, but some wires have eyelet connectors which are fastened onto the plug under a nut; the standard solid non-removable nut SAE configuration is common for many trucks. Plugs which are used for these applications have the end of the terminal serve a double purpose as the nut on a thin threaded shaft so that they can be used for either type of connection; this type of spark plug has a removable nut or knurl, which enables its users to attach them to two different kinds of spark plug boots. Some spark plugs have a bare thread, a common type for motorcycles and ATVs. In recent years, a cup-style terminal has been introduced, which allows for a longer ceramic insulator in the same confined space; the main part of t
An ignition magneto, or high tension magneto, is a magneto that provides current for the ignition system of a spark-ignition engine, such as a petrol engine. It produces pulses of high voltage for the spark plugs; the older term tension means voltage. The use of ignition magnetos is now confined to engines where there is no other available electrical supply, for example in lawnmowers and chainsaws, it is widely used in aviation piston engines though an electrical supply is available. In this case the magneto's self-powered operation is considered to offer increased reliability. Firing the gap of a spark plug in the combustion chamber of a high-compression engine, requires a greater voltage than can be achieved by a simple magneto; the high-tension magneto combines a transformer. A high current at low voltage is generated by the magneto transformed to a high voltage by the transformer; the first person to develop the idea of a high-tension magneto was Andre Boudeville, but his design omitted a condenser.
Magneto ignition was introduced on the 1899 Daimler Phönix. This was followed by Benz, Turcat-Mery, Nesseldorf, soon was used on most cars up until about 1918 in both low voltage and high voltage magnetos. In the type known as a shuttle magneto, the engine rotates a coil of wire between the poles of a magnet. In the inductor magneto, the magnet is rotated and the coil remains stationary; as the magnet moves with respect to the coil, the magnetic flux linkage of the coil changes. This induces an EMF in the coil. One or more times per revolution, just as the magnet pole moves away from the coil and the magnetic flux begins to decrease, a cam opens the contact breaker and interrupts the current; this causes the electromagnetic field in the primary coil to collapse rapidly. As the field collapses there is a large voltage induced across the primary coil; as the points begin to open, point spacing is such that the voltage across the primary coil would arc across the points. A capacitor is placed across the points which absorbs the energy stored in the leakage inductance of the primary coil, slows the rise time of the primary winding voltage to allow the points to open fully.
The capacitor's function is similar to that of a snubber. A second coil, with many more turns than the primary, is wound on the same iron core to form an electrical transformer; the ratio of turns in the secondary winding to the number of turns in the primary winding, is called the turns ratio. Voltage across the primary coil results in a proportional voltage being induced across the secondary winding of the coil; the turns ratio between the primary and secondary coil is selected so that the voltage across the secondary reaches a high value, enough to arc across the gap of the spark plug. As the voltage of the primary winding rises to several hundred volts, the voltage on the secondary winding rises to several tens of thousands of volts, since the secondary winding has 100 times as many turns as the primary winding; the capacitor and the coil together form a resonant circuit which allows the energy to oscillate from the capacitor to the coil and back again. Due to the inevitable losses in the system, this oscillation decays rapidly.
This dissipates the energy, stored in the condenser in time for the next closure of the points, leaving the condenser discharged and ready to repeat the cycle. On more advanced magnetos the cam ring can be rotated by an external linkage to alter the ignition timing. In a modern installation, the magneto only has a single low tension winding, connected to an external ignition coil which not only has a low tension winding, but a secondary winding of many thousands of turns to deliver the high voltage required for the spark plug; such a system is known as an "energy transfer" ignition system. This was done because it was easier to provide good insulation for the secondary winding of an external coil than it was in a coil buried in the construction of the magneto. In more modern times, insulation materials have improved to the point where constructing self-contained magnetos is easy, but energy transfer systems are still used where the ultimate in reliability is required such as in aviation engines.
Because it requires no battery or other source of electrical energy, the magneto is a compact and reliable self-contained ignition system, why it remains in use in many general aviation applications. Since the beginning of World War I in 1914, magneto-equipped aircraft engines have been dual-plugged, whereby each cylinder has two spark plugs, with each plug having a separate magneto system. Dual plugs provide both redundancy should a magneto fail, better engine performance. Twin sparks provide two flame fronts within the cylinder, these two flame fronts decreasing the time needed for the fuel charge to burn; as the size of the combustion chamber determines the time to burn the fuel charge, dual ignition was important for the large-b
A petrol engine is an internal combustion engine with spark-ignition, designed to run on petrol and similar volatile fuels. In most petrol engines, the fuel and air are mixed after compression; the pre-mixing was done in a carburetor, but now it is done by electronically controlled fuel injection, except in small engines where the cost/complication of electronics does not justify the added engine efficiency. The process differs from a diesel engine in the method of mixing the fuel and air, in using spark plugs to initiate the combustion process. In a diesel engine, only air is compressed, the fuel is injected into hot air at the end of the compression stroke, self-ignites; the first practical petrol engine was built in 1876 in Germany by Nikolaus August Otto, although there had been earlier attempts by Étienne Lenoir, Siegfried Marcus, Julius Hock and George Brayton. With both air and fuel in a closed cylinder, compressing the mixture too much poses the danger of auto-ignition — or behaving like a diesel engine.
Because of the difference in burn rates between the two different fuels, petrol engines are mechanically designed with different timing than diesels, so to auto-ignite a petrol engine causes the expansion of gas inside the cylinder to reach its greatest point before the cylinder has reached the "top dead center" position. Spark plugs are set statically or at idle at a minimum of 10 degrees or so of crankshaft rotation before the piston reaches T. D. C, but at much higher values at higher engine speeds to allow time for the fuel-air charge to complete combustion before too much expansion has occurred - gas expansion occurring with the piston moving down in the power stroke. Higher octane petrol burns slower, therefore it has a lower propensity to auto-ignite and its rate of expansion is lower. Thus, engines designed to run high-octane fuel can achieve higher compression ratios. Most modern automobile petrol engines have a compression ratio of 10.0:1 to 13.5:1. Engines with a knock sensor can and have C.
R higher than 11.1:1 and approaches 14.0:1 and engines without a knock sensor have C. R of 8.0:1 to 10.5:1. Petrol engines run at higher rotation speeds than diesels due to their lighter pistons, connecting rods and crankshaft and due to petrol burning more than diesel; because pistons in petrol engines tend to have much shorter strokes than pistons in diesel engines it takes less time for a piston in a petrol engine to complete its stroke than a piston in a diesel engine. However, the lower compression ratios of petrol engines give petrol engines lower efficiency than diesel engines. Most petrol engines have 20% thermal efficiency, nearly half of diesel engines; however some newer engines are reported to be much more efficient than previous spark-ignition engines. Petrol engines have many applications, including: Automobiles Motorcycles Aircraft Motorboats Small engines, such as lawn mowers and portable engine-generators Before the use of diesel engines became widespread, petrol engines were used in buses, lorries and a few railway locomotives.
Examples: Bedford OB bus Bedford M series lorry GE 57-ton gas-electric boxcab locomotive Petrol engines may run on the four-stroke cycle or the two-stroke cycle. For details of working cycles see: Four-stroke cycle Two-stroke cycle Wankel engine Common cylinder arrangements are from 1 to 6 cylinders in-line or from 2 to 16 cylinders in V-formation. Flat engines – like a V design flattened out – are common in small airplanes and motorcycles and were a hallmark of Volkswagen automobiles into the 1990s. Flat 6s are still used in many modern Porsches, as well as Subarus. Many flat engines are air-cooled. Less common, but notable in vehicles designed for high speeds is the W formation, similar to having 2 V engines side by side. Alternatives include rotary and radial engines the latter have 7 or 9 cylinders in a single ring, or 10 or 14 cylinders in two rings. Petrol engines may be air-cooled, with fins; the coolant was water, but is now a mixture of water and either ethylene glycol or propylene glycol.
These mixtures have lower freezing points and higher boiling points than pure water and prevent corrosion, with modern antifreezes containing lubricants and other additives to protect water pump seals and bearings. The cooling system is slightly pressurized to further raise the boiling point of the coolant. Petrol engines use spark ignition and high voltage current for the spark may be provided by a magneto or an ignition coil. In modern car engines the ignition timing is managed by an electronic Engine Control Unit; the most common way of engine rating is what is known as the brake power, measured at the flywheel, given in kilowatts or horsepower. This is the actual mechanical power output of the engine in a complete form; the term "brake" comes from the use of a brake in a dynamometer test to load the engine. For accuracy, it is important to understand what is meant by complete. For example, for a car engine, apart from friction and thermodynamic losses inside the engine, power is absorbed by the water pump and radiator fan, thus reducing the power available at the flywheel to move the car along.
Power is abso
Lucas Industries plc was a Birmingham-based British manufacturer of motor industry and aerospace industry components. Once prominent, it was listed on the London Stock Exchange and was a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index. In August 1996, Lucas merged with the American Varity Corporation to form LucasVarity plc. After LucasVarity was sold to TRW the Lucas brand name was licensed for its brand equity to Elta Lighting for aftermarket auto parts in the United Kingdom; the Lucas trademark is owned by ZF Friedrichshafen, which retained the Elta arrangement. In the 1850s, Joseph Lucas, a jobless father of six, sold paraffin oil from a barrow cart around the streets of Hockley. In 1860, he founded the firm, his 17-year-old son Harry joined the firm around 1872. At first it made general pressed metal merchandise, including plant pot holders and buckets, in 1875 lamps for ships. Joseph Lucas & Son was based in Little King Street from 1882 and Great King Street Birmingham. In 1902, what had by become Joseph Lucas Ltd, incorporated in 1898, started making automotive electrical components such as magnetos, windscreen wipers, lighting and starter motors.
The company started its main growth in 1914 with a contract to supply Morris Motors Limited with electrical equipment. During the First World War Lucas made shells and fuses, as well as electrical equipment for military vehicles. Up until the early 1970s, Lucas was the principal supplier to British manufacturers of magnetos, alternators and other electrical components. After the First World War the firm expanded branching out into products such as braking systems and diesel systems for the automotive industry and hydraulic actuators and electronic engine control systems for the aerospace industry. In 1926 they gained an exclusive contract with Austin. Around 1930, Lucas and Smiths established a trading agreement to avoid competition in each other's markets. During the 1920s and 1930s Lucas grew by taking over a number of their competitors such as Rotax and C. A. Vandervell. During WW2 Lucas were engaged by Rover to work on the combustion and fuel systems for the Whittle jet engine project making the burners.
This came about because of their experience of sheet metal manufacture and CAV for the pumps and injectors. In the 1950s they started a semiconductor manufacturing plant to make transistors. In 1976, the militant workforce within Lucas Aerospace were facing significant layoffs. Under the leadership of Mike Cooley, they developed the Lucas Plan to convert the company from arms to the manufacture of useful products, save jobs; the plan was described at the time by the Financial Times as "one of the most radical alternative plans drawn up by workers for their company", by Tony Benn as "one of the most remarkable exercises that has occurred in British industrial history". The Plan took a year to put together, consisted of six volumes of around 200 pages each, included designs for 150 proposed items for manufacture, market analysis and proposals for employee training and restructuring the firm's work organisation; the plan was not put into place but it is claimed that the associated industrial action saved some jobs.
In addition the Plan had an impact outside of Lucas Aerospace: according to a 1977 article in New Statesman, "the philosophical and technical implications of the plan now being discussed on average of twenty five times a week in international media". Workers in other companies subsequently undertook similar initiatives elsewhere in the UK, continental Europe and the United States, the Plan was supported by and influenced the work of radical scientists such as the British Society for Social Responsibility in Science and community and environmental activists through spreading the idea of encouraging useful production; the Plan's proposals had an influence on the economic development strategies of a number of left-wing Labour councils, for example the West Midlands, Sheffield and the Greater London Council, where Cooley was appointed Technology Director of the Greater London Enterprise Board after being sacked by Lucas in 1981 due to his activism. In August 1996, Lucas Industries plc merged with the North American Varity Corporation to form LucasVarity plc.
Its specific history is covered on the LucasVarity page but for the sake of continuity key aspects of the old Lucas business histories to date that referring to CAV and Lucas Diesel Systems are still included here. Harry Lucas designed a hub lamp for use in a high bicycle in 1879 and named the oil lamp "King of the Road"; this name would come to be associated with the manufactured products of Lucas Companies, into the present day. However, Lucas did not use the "King of the Road" epithet for every lamp manufactured, they used this name on only their most prestigious and highest priced lamps and goods. This naming format would last until the 1920s when the "King of the Road" wording was pressed into the outer edge of the small "lion and torch" button motifs that decorated the tops of both bicycle and motor-car lamps; the public were encouraged by Lucas to refer to every Lucas lamp as a "King of the Road", but speaking, this is quite wrong, as most lamps throughout the 20th century possessed either a name, a number, or both.
Joseph and Harry Lucas formed a joint stock corporation with the New Departure Bell Co. of America in 1896, so that Lucas designed bicycle lamps could be manufactured in America to avoid import duties. The King of the Road name returned in 2013 as Lucas Electrical reintroduced a range of bicycle lighting to the UK