Archives Video: Electric Vehicles For Inside Factory Use In 1952


Check Out That Turning Radius

Check Out That Turning Radius

Even way back in 1952, electric vehicles had a place in the world:

“Electric vehicles. Inside the factory in Chelmsford, Essex. Vehicles are used for bakery and milk floats, also by the Sanitary and Cleansing Dept. Electric vehicles can be up to two ton trucks.”

“Draftsmen designing new electric vehicles. Engineering and manufacture of vans etc.”

States the description attached to this from-the-archives video.

There’s some discussion as to how electric vehicles work (benefits, operation, etc.) in the opening of the video.  Then, it’s onto seeing the various EVs in action.

EVs are not new.  They date back to at least the 1890s.  They fell in and out of favor a few times since then, but now EVs are clearly here to stay.

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5 Comments on "Archives Video: Electric Vehicles For Inside Factory Use In 1952"

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Great movie! Fascinating to see how well all that old stuff works.

I think the most significant technology breakthroughs in a century of electric vehicles have been in power electronics to eliminate switchgear and commutation, and the battery chemistry. Motors have changed very little over that time.

Yeah, there’s a couple of interesting tidbids that I can’t quite hear at the very beginning.

I don’t know what it is, but with cell phones have been a deteriorating sound quality tolerance in general. There are quite a few blogs where I can hear the HOST but I cannot make out what the person on the phone is saying, (there is nothing wrong with my hearing, incidentally), and it ruins the program… This particular video was remastered with very low volume, and they made no attempt (something easily done these days), to mask the heavy ambient.

You would have thought they’d have attempted to make a better master in the UK in 1952, especially since in 1932 the WESTREX (licensed loosely from AT&T) recording system was much better than the Western Electric Standard people in the USA were stuck with.

Ok, finally made out what he said. Apparently british motor manufactures used, some Jargon not used in the states. Autosynchronous motors today mean a permanent magnet rotor which shifts into alignment with the stator, but with the advent of slow ramping Variable Frequency Drives this would be somewhat less of a problem, since the thing can easily “LOCK IN”. In 1952, he must mean what US manufactures called “self-starting Synchronous”, having a Damper or Amortisseur winding which was short circuited through a resistance (the induced voltage through the powerfactor correcting resistance, so to speak would increase what little torque there was – a good thing since large synchronous machines started somewhat recalcitrant compressors and other not so easily started loads,(the wiring also used for the DC electromagnetic field (Permanent magnets at the time were not strong enough so electromagnetic magnets were the only option)so that the motor would accelerate (albeit with lower starting torque), until it would get up within a few percent of synchronous speed, so when the short was removed and DC from the exciter was applied, the motor was going fast enough (and the slip low enough), that the Rotor would “Lock In” to the constantly rotating… Read more »

Yes, I think he is referring to a self starting synchronous motor. Most of the newer ones I’ve seen have a squirrel cage in the rotor to allow them to start as induction motors. But they could also be started using the rotor windings as you describe. Probably more common back then because it would simplify rotor design, even though it requires rotor switchgear.

That’s the damper or amortisseur winding he talks about.

You can’t start it from the rotor since there’s only 2 slip rings and the electricity comes from induction anyway. THe only power GOING TO the rotor comes when the DC is applied to the 2 wires causing ‘Pull – In’.