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WW1 Military Motors - 1916 set x 50 cards


Lancashire Fusilier

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Lancashire Fusilier

With reference to the ' Sidcot ' Flying Suit designed by Frederick Sidney Cotton, who was born in Queensland, Australia on 17th June 1894, moved to England and during WW1 served with the Royal Naval Air Service. Not only did he design the ' Sidcot ' Flying Suit, but also, as a Pilot and keen photographer himself, he was a pioneer of aerial photographic reconnaissance, serving with the RAF as a Squadron Leader during WW2 in the RAF's Photographic Development Unit based at Heston Aerodrome.

For his work on designing the ' Sidcot ' Flying Suit and on Aerial Photographic Reconnaissance, he was awarded the O.B.E.

He died in London, on 13th February, 1969.

The attached photograph of Frederick Sidney Cotton, is dated 1941.

LF

This image is reproduced strictly for non-commercial research and private study purposes as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.

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Lancashire Fusilier

The ' Sidcot ' Flying Suit, designed by Frederick Sidney Cotton.

LF

This image is reproduced strictly for non-commercial research and private study purposes as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.

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Lancashire Fusilier

There was even a civilian or private purchase version of the RFC's ' Sidcot ' Flying Suit, as seen in this Robinson & Cleaver Ltd., of Regent Street, London advertisement circa WW1, priced 8 pounds 8 shillings ( 8 guineas ).



LF




This image is reproduced strictly for non-commercial research and private study purposes as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised


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Lancashire Fusilier

George Constantinesco, the co-inventor of the WW1 ' C.C. Gear ' aircraft synchronised Vickers machine gun system, like so many other multi-talented inventors of that era, also had a strong interest in motor vehicles and their engines, and prior to WW1, George Constantinesco had been working on various motor vehicle projects, including motorcar petrol fuel supply systems, hydraulic transmission systems and a sonic torque converter.

With the outbreak of WW1, those motor vehicle projects were put on hold in favour of the delevlopment of the ' C.C. Gear ' system.

Following the end of WW1, George Constantinesco's interests returned to motor vehicles, and in the early 1920s, he manufactured his own brand of ' Constantinesco ' motorcars equipped with his various inventions.

George Constantinesco was born in Rumania in 1881, moved to London, became a British Subject in 1916, and died at Ulverston in 1965.

LF

George Constantinesco 1881- 1965

This image is reproduced strictly for non-commercial research and private study purposes as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.

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Lancashire Fusilier

An advertisement for the ' Constantinesco ' motorcar, which incorporated many of George Constantinesco's inventions and required no clutch and no gears.

LF

Graces Guide This image is reproduced strictly for non-commercial research and private study purposes as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.

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Lancashire Fusilier
The ' Scarff Ring ' invented by Warrant Officer F. W. Scarff, of the R.N.A.S., and the Admiralty Air Department, entered service in July 1916, with Scarff's design giving aircraft gunners a much improved multi-directional field of fire, and also enabled their machine guns to be rapidly trained on their targets with much less physical effort.


The ' Scarff Ring ' consisted of two steel rings, an upper rotating ring and a lower fixed ring. The lower ring being fixed to the aircraft's fuselage, with the upper ring riding atop the lower fixed ring on steel ball bearing runners and free to easily rotate through 360 degrees. To assist with rotation, there was also a curved alloy back-support attached to the rotating ring which the gunner could lean his back against to assist in rotating the ring in either direction to his left or right.


A tubular metal arch-shaped support for the machine gun was fitted to the rotating upper ring, with each end of the gun support attached to the rotating ring by a hinged bracket which allowed the gun support to easily move up and down. In addition to the gun support travelling up and down, it could also be locked in position by use of a ' Bowden ' cable which engaged pins into cut-out slots in quadrant plates on either side of the gun support.


The weight of the machine gun(s) and it's arched support were counter-balanced by strong rubber ' Sandow Cords ', which gave the gun support an almost weightless means of movement up or down.


The Scarff Ring could be used for a single machine gun or twin machine guns, and remained in service until the late 1930s.


The attached photograph, shows a ' Scarff Ring ' fitted with twin Lewis Guns, which is on display at the Imperial War Museum.


LF



IWM This image is reproduced strictly for non-commercial research and private study purposes as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.

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Lancashire Fusilier

Without doubt engineering was much more "joined up' then.

David,

WW1 produced some superb inventions, and perhaps it was also a case of " Mater artium necessitas ", " Necessity is the mother of invention ".

Regards,

LF

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Lancashire Fusilier

A nicely detailed view of a ' Scarff Ring ' mounted with a Lewis Gun fitted in a Royal Aircraft Factory's R.E.8 aircraft of No.59 Squadron ( Serial No. B5106 ) flying out of Vert Galant Aerodrome on 15th May, 1918.

The Pilot Officer discussing the mission with the Observer, is Major Charles J. Mackay, M.C.

LF

IWM This image is reproduced strictly for non-commercial research and private study purposes as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.

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Lancashire Fusilier

Here is an interesting colourised photograph of the same R.E.8 aircraft shown in the previous post, taken from a different angle, and we can see that the R.E.8 in addition to the Observer's Scarff Ring mounted Lewis Gun, is also armed with a fuselage side-mounted synchronised Vickers machine gun.

LF

This image is reproduced strictly for non-commercial research and private study purposes as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.

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Lancashire Fusilier

In this photograph of an aircraft taking part in the First Battle of Bapaume on 25th March 1918, we can see details both of the Observer's Scarff Ring twin mounted Lewis Guns, and also the synchronised Mk I Vickers aerial machine gun mounted on the left side of the fuselage.

Also note, the officer with his back to the camera wearing a matched set of double shoulder belts, declared obsolete in February 1919.

LF

IWM This image is reproduced strictly for non-commercial research and private study purposes as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.

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Lancashire Fusilier

The next two posts show various views of both the Mk I & Mk II Vickers aerial machine guns.

LF

IWM This image is reproduced strictly for non-commercial research and private study purposes as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.

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Lancashire Fusilier

The Vickers Mk II Aerial Machine Gun.

LF

IWM This image is reproduced strictly for non-commercial research and private study purposes as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.

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The Pilots and Observers are wearing the late war ' Sidcot ' Flying Suit, invented by Flight Sub-Lieutenant Sidney Cotton of the Royal Naval Air Service ( RNAS ).

The ' Sidcot ' was made of an outer layer of proofed khaki twill material, over a rubberised muslin inner lining with a mohair liner and a large mohair collar. The ' Sidcot ' also had a handy chest map pocket, and two knee pockets.

For extra leg warmth, the ' Sidcot ' flying suit could be worn with sheepskin lined ' Fug ' Flying Boots.

The ' Sidcot ' Flying suit came into service in December, 1917.

There was even a civilian or private purchase version of the RFC's ' Sidcot ' Flying Suit, as seen in this Robinson & Cleaver Ltd., of Regent Street, London advertisement circa WW1, priced 8 pounds 8 shillings ( 8 guineas ).

LF

The private purchase Sidcot suit came first: Sidney Cotton commissioning Robinson & Cleaver to make the initial one to his design in the winter of 1916/ early 1917.

Robinson & Cleaver - the primary manufacturer of Sidcots throughout - then registered the design, for commercial exploitation, on Cotton's behalf.

These private purchase Sidcots were publicised in February 1917, and were available as bespoke items from then - some nine months prior to adoption of the official pattern (again made by Robinson & Cleaver) - and the advertisement reproduced will be Feb - April 1917.

Cheers,

GT.

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Lancashire Fusilier

The private purchase Sidcot suit came first: Sidney Cotton commissioning Robinson & Cleaver to make the initial one to his design in the winter of 1916/ early 1917.

GT,

I much appreciate the important and interesting information linking Robinson & Cleaver with F. S. Cotton's ' Sidcot ' Flying Suit, and their being the primary manufacturer of the Sidcots.

Robinson & Cleaver Ltd., being prominent in the Drapery & Linen business, both retail and manufacturing, and having prestigious Department Stores in Belfast and London, were very well placed to supply the various materials used for the Sidcots, and also to manufacture the Sidcot flying suits.

I read a report, that F.S. Cotton was a good friend of one of Robinson & Cleaver's Directors, a J. Evans, and that may be another link.

I also found this nice photograph, showing an original WW1 ' Sidcot ' flying suit made by Robinson & Cleaver.

Regards,

LF

This image is reproduced strictly for non-commercial research and private study purposes as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.

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Lancashire Fusilier
On certain aircraft, such as the Handley Page bomber, where the Pilot was seated directly behind and in close proximity to the machine gun(s) fired from Observer/Gunner's cockpit located in the nose of the aircraft, which placed the Pilot at risk from the spent cartridge cases being forcefully ejected from the machine gun(s) as with the aerial Lewis Gun, a ' Deflector ' was fitted to the Lewis Gun, which diverted the ejected spent cartridge cases into a canvas collection bag attached to the Deflector, with the opening to the collection bag being stiffened and kept open wide by an elliptical metal ring.

Once the collection bag was filled, a flap at the base of the bag could be released and opened allowing the bag to quickly empty and then resealed for continuing use.


The attached photograph shows the nose gunner in a Handley Page 0/400 bomber located immediately forward of the Pilot, firing a Lewis Gun mounted on a Scarff Ring, and fitted with a ' Deflector ' and a spent cartridge collection bag.

The gunner, is also wearing a ' Sidcot ' flying suit.


This photograph, was taken near Cressy in the Somme region of Northern France on 25th September 1918.


LF



IWM This image is reproduced strictly for non-commercial research and private study purposes as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.

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Lancashire Fusilier

A Lewis Gun, fitted with a ' Deflector ' to which is attached a spent cartridge collection bag.

Note the flap at the bottom of the collection bag, which allows for easy emptying.

LF

This image is reproduced strictly for non-commercial research and private study purposes as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.

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Lancashire Fusilier

The Lewis Gun ' Deflector ' fitted with a spent cartridge collection bag, with the bag's emptying flap on the reverse in this image.

LF

This image is reproduced strictly for non-commercial research and private study purposes as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.

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Lancashire Fusilier

One final aircraft photograph before moving on, which shows a massive Handley Page 0/400 Bomber of No.14 Squadron Royal Naval Air Service ( RNAS ) being prepared for a misson flying out of Dunkerque Aerodrome, located in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region of Northern France.

Not only does this photograph show the HP 0/400's enormous size, but also, we can again see the bomber's nose cockpit armed with twin Lewis Guns mounted on a Scraff Ring and fitted with ' Deflectors ' and spent cartridge collection bags.

LF

IWM This image is reproduced strictly for non-commercial research and private study purposes as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.

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Lancashire Fusilier
To close out this series of posts, here is a ' Scarff Ring ' aside relating to a WW1 era ' Stereoscopic Camera ' which produced 3-Dimensional images, and was based on the earlier stereo camera inventions of Sir Charles Wheatstone in 1833, and Sir David Brewster in 1849.


The Stereoscopic Camera had two lenses with separate image sensors and film for each lens, with the distance between each lens being similar to the distance between a person's eyes, which simulated human binocular vision.


Stereoscopic photographs was very popular in Britain during WW1 when used in conjunction with the hand-held Stereoscopic Viewer, which allowed WW1 stereoscopic photographs, particularly those action 3-Dimensional photographs taken at ' The Front ', to be viewed in the comfort of the user's own home.


As well has being used for home use, Stereoscopic Cameras were also used by the British military, particularly by the RFC/RAF for aerial reconnaissance photography, using larger commercial Stereoscopic Cameras and much larger Stereoscopic 3-Dimensional Viewers, with the professional 3-D images giving an improved view of the aerial reconnaissance photographs.


In the attached 1917 photograph, we see a commercial Stereographic Camera, being used for aerial reconnaissance photography, which interestingly, has been mounted on an aircraft's ' Scarff Ring ' mount, using a camera ' mackenzie fitting ' which would have given the photographer the same multi-directional capabilities as that used for the aerial gunner's Scarff Ring mounted machine gun(s).


LF



IWM This image is reproduced strictly for non-commercial research and private study purposes as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.

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Lancashire Fusilier

A commercial Stereoscopic Viewer used by the RFC/RAF for the 3-Dimensional viewing of aerial reconnaisaance photographs.

LF

IWM This image is reproduced strictly for non-commercial research and private study purposes as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.

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Lancashire Fusilier

A sturdy portable carrying case for the Stereoscopic Viewer, allowed the viewer to be used at various locations and ' in the Field '.

LF

IWM This image is reproduced strictly for non-commercial research and private study purposes as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.

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Lancashire Fusilier
Here is a typical WW1 RAF stereoscopic aerial reconnaissance photograph, this particular photograph was taken by No 10 Squadron Royal Air Force on 22 July 1918, and shows an area south of Mount Kemmel, some 6 miles S.W. of Ypres in the West Flanders region of Belgium.

Mount Kemmel, also known as Kemmel Hill, was the scene of fierce fighting when captured by the Germans on 25th April 1918, and again when recaptured from the German during late September 1918.

These twin photographs, when viewed through the stereoscopic viewer, would be seen as a single 3-Dimensional image.


LF




IWM This image is reproduced strictly for non-commercial research and private study purposes as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.

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Lancashire Fusilier
The small hand-held Stereoscopic Viewers which enabled the users to view card mounted 3-Dimensional photographic images, were very popular during WW1.

The 3-D images, marketed at showing ' action ' at the Front, gave those back home a glimpse of the daily lives their family members and friends were experiencing whilst serving in France, Flanders and elsewhere, as seen in the comfort of their own homes back in Britain.

The 3-D images covered a wide range of topics, with some photographs being specially staged or posed, and other being actual ' action ' photographs.

Seen also as morale boosters for those on the Home Front, there were often references in the photograph's captions to defeats being inflicted on the ' Huns ' and the ' Bosche '.


LF




This image is reproduced strictly for non-commercial research and private study purposes as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.

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Lancashire Fusilier

Some sample WW1 card mounted stereographic photographs, which were viewed through the 3-D stereographic hand-held viewer.

LF

These images are reproduced strictly for non-commercial research and private study purposes as permitted under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised.

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