Founded in 1901 by Vickers Sons & Maxim Ltd., as a motor car and machine tool manufacturer, Wolseley were making narrow gauge mining locomotives and submarine engines by 1902. The company's cars were renowned for their quality and durability and their innovative designers and skilled workforce were to be employed producing a much wider range of products such as, aero engines, lighting sets, commercial vehicles, military vehicles, marine engines and airship machinery.
More specialised products included the first purpose designed motorised sleighs for exploring Antarctica, used by Scott's ill-fated expedition in 1912 and, almost stranger than fiction, a 2 wheeled gyroscopically controlled car to the design of a Russian inventor. These diverse products, and others, are described and generously illustrated in this book with more than 250 photographs and drawings.
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By Darryl Grey
Aug 15, 2012
Norman Painting has collated a delightful series of chapters on a fascinating range of engineering projects from the motor sleds used by Scott on his ill-fated journey to the South Pole, to mobile vacuum cleaners, a 2-wheeled gyrocar, lighting sets, railway locomotives, commercial vehicles, engines for Straker-Squire Motor Buses and Wolseley-Renault engines to name but a few. During this period, Wolseley was owned by Vickers, and this saw the company heavily involved in aero engines and aircraft, airship engines, armoured cars, and submarine engines. Perhaps the most impressive build is of the 12 cylinder in-line 60-litre engines built for a racing hydroplane, although apparently by special order you could acquire an in–line 16 cylinder engine with a capacity of 81 litres. If you are interested in veteran and vintage motor vehicle engineering and want a great read then this book is well worth the twenty bucks. Available through mail order - my book arrived in less than a week.
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