Saturday, 21 February 2015

The London Motor Show - 1916

"Arrol-Johnston", Dumfries, Scotland

My Blog "The London Motor Show - 1907" highlighted some of those vehicles available in that year. But by 1916, while new technological advancements continued to be made, 'The Great War' of 1914-1918 now hindered the ability of manufacturers to develop new models and fulfill deliveries as most were engaged in military supply work. By the close of 1916 English vehicle manufacturers were no longer able to supply any vehicles whatsoever for purely civilian use. This is reflected in some of the advertisements shown here and it is obvious that manufacturers hoped their loyal and interested customers would show patience while their resources were wholly employed in supporting the war effort.

"Austin Motor Company Ltd"

But developments in all aspects of vehicle manufacture and equipment for military use continued throughout the war years, these improvements ultimately being of benefit to the motoring public once the war ended and civilian production resumed. Manufacturers were quick to use these rapid technological advancements as a selling point. While unable to supply orders meanwhile, vehicle manufacturers were obviously keen to keep their name to the fore, even exhorting prospective customers to place their names on waiting lists to ensure speedy supply once peace was declared and normal production resumed.

"Wolseley Motors Ltd"

Manufacturers of motoring accessories were however still able to supply customers although I would imagine that supplies may have at times been limited due to manpower shortages and priority being given to fulfilling Military orders. Compulsory conscription from 1916 meant that many factory positions were now of necessity filled by an "army of women". Over the war years approximately one million women joined the British workforce but despite their proven work output and new found skills numbers fell away rapidly by the end of the war as positions were reclaimed by men. In fact there was a marked post-war backlash against employing married women which reinforced how strongly traditional employment preferences in the manufacturing sector endured, even after such a radical social upheaval.

"Clincher Motor Tyres"

So, while there appears - for very obvious reasons - not to have been a "London Motor Show" in 1916, these are actual advertisements of the period December 1915 to December 1916, being taken from copies of "The Graphic" in my possession. A war theme pervades many of these advertisements and illustrations, vehicle manufacturers and suppliers obviously wishing to emphasize to the general public that they were also actively playing their part in defeating the enemy.

"Vauxhall Motors Ltd"

A Napier Car outside the Tate Gallery, London

"Hupmobile -
Hupp Motor-Car Corporation, USA"

"Zenith Carburetter Company Ltd, London"

"Napier" - now wholly producing
vehicles for Military use 

"Sunbeam Motor Car Company Ltd"

"Dunlop Rubber Company Ltd"

"Austin Motors Ltd. 20 h.p. Cabriolet

"The Daimler Company Ltd"

"Buick Motor Cars"

"Clincher Tyres"

"Napier Motors", London

"C.A.V." Lamp Bulbs

"Dunlop Rubber Company Ltd."

"The Standard Motor Co. Ltd, Coventry"

"Sunbeam Motor Car Company Ltd"

"Redline Motor Spirit"

"Napier Motors, London"

"Goodyear Tyre & Rubber Company Ltd"

"Sizaire Berwick" - F.W. Berwick & Co. Ltd,

"Harley-Davidson Motor Co, Ltd"

Motor Car Insurance -
"London & Lancashire Fire
Insurance Company Ltd."

"The Austin Motor Company Ltd."

"Beldam V Steel-Studded Tyres"

Biblography :
  • "The Graphic" [from my own collection]


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