1908 Waltham Orient Taxicab

May 13th 1908 Horseless Age – The Automobile Trade Magazine, Volume 21
The Waltham Taxicab.

The Waltham Manufacturing Company, Waltham, Mass., have brought out a taximeter cab, an illustration of which is shown herewith. This cab body is mounted upon a chassis which is identical, in the main, with that described in the November 20, 1907, of The Horseless Age, but some detail changes of importance have been made as the results of extensive practical tests.

It will be remembered that the engine employed on this chassis is a double opposed of 14 horse power, cooled by thermo-siphon and mounted transversely under the operator’s seat upon a readily detachable subframe, which also carries the frictional change speed device. This latter, when in the high speed position, consists of two beveled frictional surfaces, operating without sliding action, and for the lower speed ratios the ordinary practice of sliding the friction wheel toward or away from the central point of the friction disc face is followed. The final drive to the rear wheels is by double chains.

A characteristic of Waltham construction is the employment of the unit power plant arrangement—that is, the complete motor and change speed gear, mounted upon their sub-frame, constitutes a unit which is made interchangeable and capable of being easily and quickly dismounted from one vehicle and mounted upon any other vehicle of the same general class.

This practice renders it possible for the users of several of these cabs to save the investment usually required to buy a complete spare vehicle to be used in emergencies or when one of the regular cars requires overhauling. Under this system it is only necessary to carry as a spare equipment one or more of the unit power plants, and as each vehicle in service requires overhauling (which it should receive about once a month if in constant use), its power plant is dropped from the main frame and one of the spare power plants installed in its place. The dismounted power plant is then overhauled and when in perfect condition becomes a “spare,” to be installed upon the next vehicle the power plant of which requires attention. One of the changes recently made is the arrangement of the muffler as an integral part of the power plant. This auxiliary was formerly attached to the main frame and the exhaust connections had

to be broken when the power plant was dismounted. As now arranged the power plant can be placed upon a test stand and run under its own power for testing purposes without any connection being made except for the gasoline and ignition current.

An improved method of attaching the radiator to the sub-frame has been devised and there has been some rearrangement of the belt driven force feed lubricator. The mixture piping is also somewhat differently disposed, as are the flow pipes of the thermo-siphon cooling system.

A new lever for shifting the friction wheel has been designed and a segment provided which determines the gear ratio in use. There are also certain minor changes in the operating linkage which determines

the pressure of engagement of the frictional surfaces.

The body of the vehicle is fitted up in accordance with the best cab practice. Wide flaring metal guards flush with the body lines are used, and there is a complete metal underpan protecting all mechanism from mud.

It is stated that practically all ordinary running is done with the high speed bevel friction gear in use, speed changes being effected by the control of the engine. A5 there is no side travel of the frictional surfaces under these conditions but a pure rolling action, there should be a very small rate of wear of the engaging surfaces and a good efficiency of transmission.

 
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