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Mercedes-Benz A-Class

The Mercedes-Benz A-Class is a subcompact executive car produced by the German automobile manufacturer Mercedes-Benz. The first generation was introduced in 1997, the second generation model appeared in late 2004 and the third generation model was launched in 2012; the fourth generation model, launched in 2018, will mark the first time the A-Class is offered in the United States and Canada. This fourth generation A-Class will be the first to be offered both as a hatchback and sedan. Produced only as a five-door hatchback in 1997, the second generation W169 introduced a three-door hatchback. In the markets where the A-Class is or has been sold, it has represented the entry level model for Mercedes-Benz. Having grown by 68 cm since the original model, the 2012 third generation A-class was longer than the first-generation B-class, and although sometimes referred to by fans as the'Baby Benz', Mercedes themselves use that moniker for the 1982 Mercedes 190, their first compact executive car model. In 1994, Mercedes-Benz confirmed that it would be launching a compact car - the A-Class - by early 1997, which would be the company's first venture in this sector of the market.

The A-Class was first revealed to the motoring press late in 1996, launched at the Frankfurt Motor Show in the autumn of 1997, the W168 A-Class was quite unusual for Mercedes-Benz featuring a front wheel drive layout and unusual tall but yet short body. One innovation of the W168 was a frontal-impact absorption system called the "Sandwich bar". In the event of a violent frontal impact, the engine and transmission would slide underneath the floor below the pedals rather than entering the passenger compartment; this was the first complete exterior designed by Coventry University trained Steve Mattin, for which he was named Autocar magazine's'Designer of the Year'. Earlier, Mattin had worked on design for the W210 E-Class in 1991. Concurrent to the W168, he designed the exterior of the W220 S-Class; the final design freeze occurred in January 1995, at 32 months before August 1997 start of production. The W168 became infamous in 1997 after flipping over during the traditional "elk test" performed by the Swedish automobile publication Teknikens Värld.

According to the report, the W168 overturned when manoeuvring to avoid the "elk". Mercedes denied the problem, but took the surprising step of recalling all units sold to date and suspending sales for three months until the problem was solved by adding electronic stability control and modifying the suspension; the company spent DM 2.5 billion in developing the car, with a further DM 300 million to fix it. Between 1997 and 2004, 1.1 million first generation A-Class models had been sold. The A-Class was facelifted in 2001, with minor alterations to the headlights and rear bumper design and the addition of a new 170 mm longer wheelbase version, it was launched at the Geneva Motor Show. All A-Class models are powered by four-cylinder engines, with 1.4 L and 1.6 L petrol models at launch, followed by two versions of a 1.7 L diesel engine. In 1999, a larger 1.9 L petrol model was added, with the 2.1 the last W168 version to be launched in 2002. DaimlerChrysler invested EUR 900 million in developing the Rastatt plant where the A-Class is produced, created 1600 new jobs.

A further 600 people work in the office building at the plant site. Mercedes-Benz began W168 production on 17 February 1999 at its new Brazilian facility in Juiz de Fora, Minas Gerais; the Brazilian plant was the company's first factory in South America dedicated to passenger cars, with an investment of US$840 million and 10,000 employees. The factory produced A-Class and C-Class models, assembling them from pieces manufactured in Germany; the target for the cars was regional markets with modifications made to the cars to suit local conditions, like a protection for the motor base. On 15 August 2005 the factory stopped production of A-Class cars; the W169 is constructed with high-strength steel alloys with bonded joints. Standard equipment included front as well as combined head and thorax-protection side airbags; the front airbags are adaptive with two-stage gas generators operating according to the severity of accident. Optionally rear side airbags and side-curtain airbags were available; the force exerted by the seat belt system during a collision adapts dynamically to collision characteristics.

The'active' head restraints reduce neck injury in rear collisions. The cargo capacity of the W169 was increased by 15 percent over the W168. Seven four-cylinder engines were available: four petrol and three diesel partnered with either five- or six-speed manual gearbox. A continuously variable transmission system called "Autotronic Constantly Variable Transmission" is an optional feature; the petrol A 200 Turbo provides 193 hp and 280 N⋅m of torque. The most powerful engine achieved 0-100 km/h in 8.0 seconds with a top speed of 218 km/h. The newly developed direct-injection CDI diesel units use a common-rail direct injection system that improves fuel consumption and reduces exhaust emissions and engine noise. All the engines meet the tig

Cold Spring Farm (Phippsburg, Maine)

Cold Spring Farm is a historic house on Cold Spring Farm Road in Phippsburg, Maine. Built in 1774 by a Loyalist refugee from Boston, it is a fine and well-preserved example of Georgian architecture in brick, it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1985. Cold Spring Farm is located on the western bank of the Kennebec River in northern Phippsburg, at a point opposite Arrowsic Island where the river narrows, it is accessed by road from Maine State Route 209 by Old Ferry Road. It is a two-story brick structure, with two interior chimneys. Oriented facing south towards the river, its north side is built into a slope, revealing only the top 1-1/2 stories on the north side, its exterior is quite plain, with sash windows in rectangular openings, a central entrance flanked by sidelight windows. The main block is flanked by small single-story ells to the west; the interior retains period woodwork and finishes, including fireplace mantels and wainscoting. The central stairway underwent some alterations in the 19th century.

The house was built in 1774 by William Lee, an Englishman who had settled in Boston, but decided to leave the city that year following civil disturbances of the American Revolution. Lee was from a family of brickmakers, fashioned the bricks for the house from clay found on the banks of a stream just north of the house; the property is named for a nearby spring, which does not freeze in the winter. National Register of Historic Places listings in Sagadahoc County, Maine

Meyer London

Meyer London was an American politician from New York City. He represented the Lower East Side of Manhattan and was one of only two members of the Socialist Party of America elected to the United States Congress. London was born in Kalvarija, Lithuania on December 29, 1871. Meyer's father, Efraim London, was a former Talmudic scholar who had become politically revolutionary and philosophically agnostic, while his mother had remained a devotee of Judaism, his father had established himself as a grain merchant in Zenkov, a small town located in Poltava province of the Ukraine, but his financial situation was poor and in 1888 his father emigrated with Meyer's younger brother to the United States, leaving Meyer behind. Meyer attended Cheder, a traditional Jewish primary school in which he learned Hebrew, before entering Russian-language schools to begin his secular education. In 1891, when Meyer was 20, the family decided to follow his father to America so Meyer terminated his studies and departed for New York City, taking up residence in the city's Jewish Lower East Side.

In America, Meyer's father had become a commercial printer, doing jobs in the Yiddish and English languages and publishing his own radical weekly called Morgenstern. Efraim London's shop was a hub of activity, bringing together Jewish radical intellectuals from throughout the city, many of whom met and influenced the printer's son with their ideas. Meyer earned money as a tutor, taking on pupils at irregular hours and teaching literature and other topics, he obtained a job as a librarian, a position which allowed him sufficient time to read about history and politics and to study law in his free time. Meyer frequented radical meetings developing proficiency as a public speaker and participant in public debates. In 1896, London was accepted to the law school of New York University, attending most of his classes at night, he completed the program and was admitted to the bar in New York in 1898, becoming a labor lawyer, taking on cases which fought injunctions or defending the rights of tenants against the transgressions of landlords.

London rather limited himself to matters of civil law. In the 1890s, London joined the Socialist Labor Party of America, standing as its candidate for New York State Assembly in 1896, he was attracted by Eugene V. Debs and his new Social Democracy of America and resigned from the SLP to help establish Local Branch No. 1 of the Social Democracy in New York in 1897. He was a delegate to the June 1898 convention of SDA in Chicago and was one of the political action-oriented minority which bolted the June 1898 convention to establish the Social Democratic Party of America following a dispute over the strategy of socialist colonization. In 1898, London again ran for New York Assembly in the old 4th Assembly District, this time as the candidate of the SDP. In the summer of 1901, the Chicago-based SDP merged with another group of former adherents of the Socialist Labor Party to form the Socialist Party of America, London transferred his political allegiance to the new organization, he ran for a third time for the 4th Assembly District seat in 1904, this time under the banner of the SPA.

The Russian Revolution of 1905 was inspirational to the former citizen of the Tsarist regime, London threw himself into the task of speaking to mass meetings organized to help raise funds for the relief of Jewish victims of the pogroms which erupted at that same time. London engaged in fund-raising on behalf of the Bund, the Yiddish-language revolutionary movement in regions with significant Jewish populations in the old Russian empire. London was active in the 1910 New York Cloakmakers Strike, during which the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union brought out 50,000 in a successful struggle for higher wages and better work conditions against their employers. In his capacity as counsel for the ILGWU, London drew up and published a communique in the name of the strike committee. In this manifesto, London declared: We charge the employers with ruining the great trade built up by the industrious immigrants. We charge them with having corrupted the morale of thousands employed in the cloak trade....

Treachery and espionage are encouraged by the employers as great virtues of the cloakmakers. This general strike is greater than any union, it is an irresistible movement of the people. It is a protest against conditions; this is the first great attempt to regulate conditions in the trade, to do away with that anarchy and chaos which keeps some of the men working sixteen hours a day during the hottest months of the year while thousands of others have no employment whatever.... We appeal to the people of America to assist us in our struggle. London argued against an injunction issued against the strikers before the New York Supreme Court en route to a victory of the strikers after a labor action lasting the better part of two months. London's place in the cloakmakers' strike made him one of the best-known public faces of the Socialist Party in New York City and over the course of three runs for Congress he constructed a winning coalition, emerging victorious despite the violence and fraud practiced by the campaign of his Tammany Hall-supported Democratic opponent in the election of 1914.

London thus became the second Socialist elected to Congress, following Wisconsin's Victor Berger. As a Congressman, Meyer London was one of 50 representatives and six senators to vote against entry into World War I. Once America was at war, London felt obliged to support the nation's efforts in the conflict, he opposed the Espionage Act of 1917 and the Sedition Act of 1918, whi