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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 90.djvu/401

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Popular Science Monthly

��385

���The anchored car is raised from the ground, heavy castings take the place of the rubber tires on the rear wheel to give momentum to the gear-shift, and a special mechanism gives warnings

��Learning to Drive an Automobile in a Stationary Car

LEARNING to drive an automobile on a crowded city street is a rather nerve- racking experience. A better way is to sit in an anchored car like the one illustrated above, which is an invention of Mr. C. M. Bishop, and imbibe instructions. The first lesson is devoted to familiarizing yourself with the controlling devices of the car, and on this imaginary^ trip, you are "accom- panied" by the instructor.

After that you must go it alone, while the instructor stands on the left side of the car and operates a special mechanism by which

���factory to be treated for the extraction of oil and other marketable whale products

��he can throw up various precaution signals and produce an effect on the engine such as would be occasioned under certain con- ditions on the road. The signal post, which is placed near the left front wheel is similar in plan to those used in traflfic police regulations, except that they indicate "danger," "steep hill," "downhill," "road closed" and more difficult warnings as the pupil advances in the work.

The instructor, standing beside the car but out of view of the amateur motorist, operates these signals at wheel by means of strings supported by a secondary post. At the same time, he keeps his hand on the principal part of the mechanism, which consists of a lever controlling a strong band- brake attached to the rear wheels. The car is raised clear of the ground so that it cannot move. The rubber tires have been removed from the rear wheels and heavy castings put in their place. This weight gives the same momentum to the gear-shift as would be obtained on the road, while the band-brakes controlled by^ the instructor operate against the entire surface of the iron tires.

The instructor can stall the motor in any speed, and the pupil learns by actual ex- perience what to do in every contingency. It seems reasonable to suppose that the student will absorb the instructions more quickly on account of the elimination of the things that cause nervousness. There are no pedestrians to get under the wheels; no plate-glass windows to loom suddenly up in close proximity; no hills to slide down at breakneck speed and no relentless blue- coat on guard with stop-watch in hand, should the speeds get mixed.

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