The 2017 Olympia Book Fair is now closed.

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to Battersea Evolution, 24-26 May 2018.
Carleton House
92 Malone Road
Belfast
BT9 5HP
Contact Peter Rowan
Telephone 02890 666448
Specialists Ireland, Irish History & Culture, Manuscripts, Maps, Literature, Economics, Sciences, History of Ideas, Travel, Rare Books in all fields (15th to 20th Centuries)
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Carleton House
92 Malone Road
Belfast
BT9 5HP
Contact Peter Rowan
Telephone 02890 666448
Specialists Ireland, Irish History & Culture, Manuscripts, Maps, Literature, Economics, Sciences, History of Ideas, Travel, Rare Books in all fields (15th to 20th Centuries)
P & B Rowan
Stand F02

THE FIRST BRITISH MOTOR SHOW - INCUNABULUM OF BRITISH MOTORING

MOTOR CAR CLUB, 1896]

Practical Display of Motor-Car and Other Road Vehicles, given at the Invitation of the Vice-Presidents and Council of the Motor Car Club before Members of the House of Commons and other Visitors, in the North Gallery of the Imperial Institute on Saturday, 15th February, 1896. From 3.30 to 6 p.m. ['Imperial Institute Musical and other Arrangements Programme' (cover title)], London: Waterlow & Sons Limited 1896

tall 8vo. [8]pp. plus a tipped in leaf, ivory paper wrappers, front cover lettered and decorated in silver-grey and prominently gilt embossed with the three feather heraldic crest of the Prince of Wales, advertisements on rear wrapper and endpapers, wire staple a little rusty else a very fresh copy. Extremely rare.

Note
Not located by COPAC or by OCLC (Worldcat).
An incunabulum of British motoring. This item is the programme for the earliest British motor show or event. Frederick Simms (Hamburg, 1863 – 1944), engineer, businessman and founder of the motor car industry in Britain, had in 1890 obtained from his friend Gottlieb Daimler the rights to manufacture Daimler's petrol engines in the British empire, initially for launches. Hon. Evelyn Ellis (1843-1913) while stationed in Brussels had become interested in the developing motor industry in France and Germany in the 1890s and, following the notable success of Daimler-powered Peugeots and Panhards in the 1894 Paris-Rouen trials, in June 1895 he ordered a left-hand drive motor car powered by a Daimler engine and manufactured to his own specifications by the Paris firm of Panhard-Levassour. The car was transported to England and delivered by train to near Ellis's Hampshire home. When in July 1895 Ellis and Simms drove it, quite illegally, on the English roads it was the very first petrol-driven 'horseless carriage' to do so. It was illegal because at that time there was a 4 m.p.h. speed limit and a requirement for a man with a red flag to walk in front of any self-propelled vehicle on a U.K. public road. The pair launched a campaign to raise the speed limit and to evangelise the new motor cars (a term invented by Simms) and Simms developed plans to build a substantial factory at Cheltenham to manufacture them.
As part of that campaign the pair in February 1896 founded the Motor Car Club and this event at the London's Imperial Instutute to display "motor-carriages" and demonstrate their use marked its launch. It was to be a "society for the protection, encouragement, and development of the Motor Car Industry, (such as holding and arranging exhibitions and competitions, and giving premiums and prizes). The Motor Car Club, naturally, take an active interest in the Bill which is to be presented in Parliament this Session for the purpose of gaining freedom for the Autocar. When all this preliminary work is accomplished, and Autocars are legalised, the club will probably develope [sic] its social side upon the lines of the Automobile Club of Paris" [page 3]. There were to be "practical demonstration of motor-carriages" given by Ellis and Simms (the organising "Vice Presidents") involving "starting, stopping, turning, and time tests" held "in the Gallery" to the accompaniment of a band playing. To broaden its appeal the motor car demonstrations were to be preceded by a lunch and followed by a both a dinner and a concert. This publication also contains a full programme for the music performed. The event was attended by car enthusiast, the Prince of Wales, later King Edward VII, who was given his first motor car drive there by Ellis. This publication also announced that an "International Exhibition of Motors (Motor Carriages, Cycles, etc) and their Uses" would be held at the Imperial Institute from May to August, 1896.
The new Locomotives on Highways Act 1896 by raising the speed limit to 12 mph enabled the use of the new motor cars and to celebrate that Acts's coming into operation the Motor Car Club staged on Nov. 14 1896 the famous London-Brighton 'Emancipation Run'. The London to Brighton vintage car run is still held annually in its memory.
In 1896 Simms sold his Daimler Motor Company to H. J. Lawson who transferred the intended factory to Coventry, thenceforth a centre of the British motor industry. In 1896 Simms became a director of Stuttgart's Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft which later became Daimler-Benz and in 1902 he founded, and was elected the first president of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders. In 1897 he founded the Automobile Club of Great Britain (later the R.A.C.) with Ellis as vice chairman.

Edition
First
£15,000