each lamp separately, often in a strong wind or rain which consumed many matches, time,and frequently spoiled his temper for the remainder of the evening. Electric lamps have noneof these disadvantages. They can be controlled from the driver's seat, can be turned on or off by merely turning or pushing a switch-button, are not affected by wind or rain, do not smokeup the lenses, and do not send a stream of unpleasant odors back to the passengers.
The apparatus used to supply the electricity for the lamps consisted of a generator, ora "storage" battery, or both.
The generator alone had the disadvantage that the lampscould be used only while the engine was running. The battery, on the other hand, furnishedlight at all times, but had to be removed from the car frequently, and "charged." With boththe generator and battery, the lights could be turned on whether the engine was running ornot, and, furthermore, it was no longer necessary to remove the battery to "charge," or putnew life into it. With a generator and storage battery, moreover, a reliable source of electricity for ignition was provided, and so we find dry batteries and magnetos beingdiscarded in a great many automobiles and "battery ignition" systems substituted.
The development of electric lighting systems increased the popularity of theautomobile,
but the motor car still had a great drawback-cranking. Owing to the peculiarfeatures of a gasoline engine, it must first be put in motion by some external power before itwill begin to operate under its own power. This made it necessary for the driver to "crank"the engine, or start it moving, by means of a handle attached to the engine shaft. Cranking alarge engine is difficult, especially if it is cold, and often results in tired muscles, and soiledclothes and tempers. It also made it impossible for the average woman to drive a car becauseshe did not have the strength necessary to "crank" an engine.
The next step in the perfection of the automobile was naturally the development of anautomatic device to crank the engine,
and thus make the driving of a car a pleasure ratherthan a task. We find, therefore, that in 1912, "self-starters" began to be used. These were notall electrical, some used tanks of compressed air, others acetylene, and various mechanicaldevices, such as the spring starters. The electrical starters, however, proved their superiorityimmediately, and filled such a long felt want that all the various makes of automobiles nowhave electric starters. The present day motor car, therefore, uses gasoline for the engineonly, but uses electricity for ignition, starting, lighting, for the horn, cigar lighters, handwarmers on the steering wheel, gasoline vaporizers, and even for shifting speed changinggears, and for the brakes.
On any car that uses an electric lighting and starting system, there are two sources of electricity,
the generator and the battery, These must furnish the power for the starting, or"cranking" motor, the ignition, the lights, the horn, and the other devices. The demandsmade upon the generator are comparatively light and simple, and no severe work is done byit. The battery, on the other hand is called upon to give a much more severe service, that of furnishing the power to crank the engine. it must also perform all the duties of the generatorwhen the engine is not running, since a generator must be in motion in order to produceelectricity.
A generator is made of iron, copper, carbon, and insulation.
These are all solidsubstances which can easily be built in any size or shape, and which undergo very little
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