Edwardian Cars (1904-1915)

Published in 1959 by © Hugh Evelyn Limited, London; drawn by George A. Oliver.

The Veteran and Vintage Sports Car Clubs, founded in the 1930s, inspired the first attempts to preserve examples of early cars. The early century was a period of steady development. Many advances we enjoy today were invented, but practical use was limited by lack of suitable materiel or production methods, or appreciation of their significance. By 1914 electronic actuation of gear-change had been tested but the accumulators were inadequate. In 1910 4-wheel braking was introduced but caused locking-up so was largely abandoned. Gear-changing was tricky before the preselector gearbox and synchromesh. Expanding clutches on the De Dion and epicyclic gearing were a success. Automatic transmission arrived early but was not followed up. Lanchester put a disc brake on its transmission, but bad roads caused excessive wear. Rear-mounted engines were common: designers worked just to make cars go. When reliability was achieved they turned to improving braking, control and easier maintenance. Appearance became an issue: cars developed characteristic shapes. Early cars were severe; inelegant but practical, some even handsome. Closed bodies were rare. People were used to open vehicles and weight hindered performance.

Prints are 47.5 cm w x 34.5 cm h (18 ½ ″ x 13 ½ ″) with slight variation from the printer’s cut 50 years ago.

The images you will see on this site are photographs of the prints. Magnifying them by hovering over them or viewing enlarged images may show some slight distortion of line, fill, colour or text. The prints themselves have no such distortions.

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