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Homepage. This page: A look at two copies of this motor trade magazine, one from 1934, the other dating to 1949.

The Accessory.

The Accessory magazine was produced by Brown Bros. Limited of Great Eastern Street in London, suppliers of motor-related tools, accessories and consumables from the earliest days of motoring in the UK. Paints and other surface finishes would also feature in their stocklist, even into recent times. The first copy of the magazine featured on this page dates to February 1934.
The Accessory magazine printed in 1934
The magazine was directed at anyone involved in the motor-trade, and to them it was offered freely, whereas anyone not involved in either the cycle- or motor-trade would have to fork out five shillings per year for their copies. Numerous advertisements are featured within the magazine's pages, the first appearing on the cover itself, making a case for the L.S.D. "Niagara" Car Washing Plant.

The British Industries Fair of 1934.

The editorial in this issue is given over to the upcoming British Industries Fair to be held at Olympia, and also in Castle Bromwich in Birmingham. The exhibition first took place in 1915, and had become an annual event thereafter. Whereas the first Fair incorporated around 5 miles of stands within the Royal Agricultural Hall, by 1934 it was expected to feature some 32 miles of stand frontage for the attendees to take in, across both locations. Companies involved in the motor trade would make up a large contingent of the companies displaying at the Fair, with attracting overseas buyers seen as a key ambition to help with the Country's finances.
Mr Leslie Walton, of The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders Ltd, had this to say:
"I am convinced that, so far at least as the motor industry is concerned, we are definitely leading the Nation back to prosperity. Exhibitions are landmarks which indicate progress, and the recent and current Shows at Olympia are definite in that respect. By the time the British Industries Fair opens its gates to the public, the remaining industries of Great Britain will also have benefited by the turn of the tide, and it is to be anticipated that the ever-growing display of British products will coincide with rapidly increasing demands from overseas. Everywhere abroad, the spirit of increased trade with Great Britain is evident, and our manufacturers can, in most instances, clinch the business by seizing the opportunity to supply the goods in the form in which the purchaser desires to have them. In that direction lies success."
Peter the Engine Heater

Garage-workers' equipment.

Most of the garage products advertised or referred to in this publication were sourced from within the British Isles. A mechanic needing a spark plug cleaner could do worse than find out more about the B.E.N. Sparking Plug Cleaner for instance, available from all the Brown Bros branches. Lucas would happily supply you with electrical items to suit the modern motor-car, and Ripaults the cables you'd need to connect them all together. Garages regularly asked to weld vehicle bodywork or chassis may well have sent away for a leaflet on the "ALDA" High Pressure Welding Outfit, whereas those more used to working on a car's engine may instead have more use for the Black & Decker De Luxe Engine Kit. This latter item came in a large fold-out box, in which a mouthwatering variety of tools were presented, along with a sturdy portable electric drill. Engine re-bores could be handled by the Van-Norman "PER-FECT-O" cylinder re-boring bar, and speedy chassis lubrication by the high-pressure "Tecalemit" Electrogun, a sturdy-looking compressor with a variety of fittings to suit all sizes of vehicle grease nipple.

Maintenance advice.

In addition to trying to sell you things, the magazine also ran regular advice columns designed to help the maintenance and repair of 1920's and 1930's vehicles. This issue looked at the inner workings of Zenith and SU (Type HV) carburetters, with a few trouble-shooting suggestions for regular problems that arose with their use.
Brown Bros could supply all manner of handtools to suit everyone's toolbox requirements. An advertisement for BSA spanners is a reminder that the firm produced spanners for sale direct to the trade and public. Therefore not all BSA spanners that turn up today in car boot sales or in auction, were ever necessarily supplied with a BSA bicycle or motorcycle.

Fast-forward to 1949.

A postwar copy of the same magazine title
The issue of The Accessory for October-December 1949 - the 35th year of publication for this (no longer monthly) magazine - incorporates very few advertisements, reflecting the hard times that the Country found itself in during the early post-war years. Despite various new cars being introduced since the end of the war, many were destined to head straight for the docks and export overseas, to help bring much-needed finance back to these shores. The editorial reflects on just this situation:

The Earls Court Motor Show of 1949.

"NIL DESPERANDUM. In the face of all adversities this is the characteristic attitude of the average Britisher and to which the pages of history bear ample witness.
In none is this spirit more discernible than the present-day motorist. An observant visitor to the recent Motor Show at Earls Court could not fail to sense this "never say die" atmosphere. It was so apparent. The very fact that, day after day, hundreds of would-be car buyers travelled many miles just to gaze on a tantalising array of post-war models for which no fixed date for delivery could be given, was proof enough that "hope springs eternal" however unpromising the prospects.
It was a case of "I know what I want when I can get it and," with a perceptible shrug of the shoulders, "until then I must made do - and mend."
The cover shows a garage mechanic checking the wheel alignment on a new E493A Ford Prefect, using the Brown Bros' "Chass-O-Meter". The garage is Norman Reeves (Motors) Limited - Ford distributors and engineers, a fact borne out by the signwriting on the Fordson 7V breakdown lorry parked in the background.
Articles within this post-war issue look at the overhaul of tractor clutches, maintenance of commercial diesel engines, a look at an Esso Lubricating Service installation at Clifton's Service Station (London), and a number of tips on the correct use of a micrometer.
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