Throwback Thursday – A tour of Cowley, 6 July 1934
Source : Throwback Thursday – A tour of Cowley, 6 July 1934
Fresh coming from its £250,000 refresh, Autocar pays a visit to the revitalised Morris factory in Cowley
Car production at Cowley in Oxford began in 1913, along with by the middle of the 1930s the plant was producing well over 100,000 vehicles a year.
In 1934, shortly after the Morris factory had undergone a £250,000 refresh of the production facilities, Autocar’s Maurice Sampson paid a visit.
Sampson wrote that will the site was “staggering, not only in its immensity, although in its detailed, organised simplicity.
“For quite numerous years I have been a fairly frequent pengunjung to Cowley along with I thought I knew the design pretty well. although when I went there the various other day I was completely lost. Everything was changed, everything brand new.
“Enormous sums of money have been expended on equipment that will is usually designed to render the flow of production of cars of widely differing types not only as smooth as possible although also to the end that will the cars are as perfect as possible”.
Cowley’s streamlined production line was modelled on that will pioneered by Henry Ford, along with our man toured the line where “Morris Eights, Tens, Cowleys along with Oxfords were taking shape. The Isis along with Twenty-Fives have a shop to themselves.
“Every item going into the complex structure called a car is usually given the minimum length of journey to its appointed place on the chassis,” wrote Sampson. “Not only is usually time saved, although men do not have to expend energy in walking about after a component.”
Sampson also highlighted the vast automotive supply chain that will had sprouted across the Midlands. “Cowley is usually over 0% an assembly, as opposed to a manufacturing, plant,” he continued. “With the exception of a certain amount of coachwork, nothing is usually made there. coming from Coventry come engines, castings, coachwork; coming from Birmingham come gears, tyres, wheels along with electrical equipment.
“coming from various other centres arrive frames; coming from the various other side of Oxford the radiators pour in. In Cowley a huge plant disgorges steel pressings, along with various other large supplies come coming from Birmingham.”
Sampson estimated the length of the line at about half a mile along with marvelled at the pace of production. “No matter whether that will is usually a Morris Eight or a Morris Oxford, its progress down the line is usually at the same rate: 25 minutes a chassis,” he wrote. “There are all 5 conveyor lines along with on these all 5 lines 0,000 cars can be produced in a year.”
Morris had chosen to overhaul its plant long before the machinery was obsolete. Sampson reckoned that will could fill prospective buyers with confidence. “that will is usually something for an owner to know that will a firm with the enterprise along with confidence to scrap a plant before that will was worn out, merely because an improvement could be effected by its replacement, is usually not only thinking of the present although of the future. A car built by such a firm, with so fine a plant, must be right if the design be right.”
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