Small softback with red covers and gilt lettering. Published by Archibald Constable & Co, first edition, 1904. With 144 illustrations.
Mervyn Joseph Pius O’Gorman (1871-1958) was an English aeronautical engineer who later specialized in road safety and traffic management. At the time of publication of this book he was active in the Automobile Club of Great Britain and Ireland, which became the RAC. Later he was instrumental in the development and publication of the Highway Code.
This fascinating little book is arranged as a dictionary of motoring related terms, including French and German translations of the words (presumably in case of a breakdown on foreign soil). The definitions range from highly technical to amusingly practical. For example, here is the definition of the word “Dust”:
“Dust. Fr. Poussière (f), Gr. Staub (m).
This is the worst enemy to motoring –
(1) In the stable always cover your car (Gamage or Dunhill make covers, as in illustration.)
(2) In the road wear “goggles” (q.v.)
(3) In choosing a car, prefer one that does not sin by dust raising, viz: the body should be fairly high, and should not end in a large blunt back like most tonneaux. Cars with a tail or long tapering pointed back do not suck up the dust so much as tonneaux. A heavy flywheel on the engine, by making an even turning moment, tends to make the road wheels raise less dust.”
The condition of the book is no more than fair. The front cover is detached, and the cloth is coming away at the spine. Previous owner’s name and 1906 date on front endpaper. Binding shows a few cracks. However, this is a rare book and we hope it will delight an enthusiast.