JUNE 2018 NEWS
On Wednesday, May 16th, 2018 MotometerCentral’s™ Founder Francis G. Clax completed the last of four scheduled Motometer Seminars for the Ontario County Historical Society Museum in conjunction with the ongoing exhibition of his motometer collection.
Early June found Francis conducting a guided tour of the same Motometer Exhibition for the Wayne Drumlins Region Antique Auto Club.
The fourth and last seminar was a very physical one wherein he demonstrated the operating means and mechanisms of several very different early Twentieth Century automobile radiator-mounted engine temperature indicator gauge-devices. The seminar was titled “Motometers – How They Work” and was based upon functional demonstrations originally performed by their manufacturers and not seen in 100 years!
Attendees were excited to see float mechanism, steam pressure, bi-metallic temperature reactive strip and thermometer-based 1920s era motor heat indicators in full operation similarly as they would have on actual automobile. Some of the gauges exhibited rising thermometer fluid, pivoting temperature semaphores, emitted very loud audible signals, had temperature increase indicating semaphores rise from their device frames or coolant fluid levels rise or fall depending on the volume of coolant fluid exposed to the liquid level type device.
During the heydays of radiator-mounted motometers there were many types and varied ways to inform the vehicle operator of their engine’s temperature or operating condition. Francis’ motometer collection contains nearly every type example ever manufactured regardless of production or sales quantity.
Understanding just how these gauge-devices worked is extremely helpful in deciding which one vehicle owners at the time would have selected for use on their vehicle, forming an opinion of modern day antique auto owner preference and collectability.
On Saturday, June 9th, 2018 Francis led a guided tour of his motometer collection on display exhibition at the Ontario County Historical Society Museum in Canandaigua, New York for the Antique Automobile Club of America’s (AACA) Wayne Drumlins Region Antique Automobile Club. The Wayne Drumlins group headed by President Richard “Dick” Stearns coordinated the tour as part of its activity packed club outing and excursion that included a lake boat tour of western New York state’s picturesque Finger Lakes’ Canandaigua Lake on a beautiful, warm and sunny greatly appreciated Saturday afternoon topped off by a light dinner at a local restaurant where the camaraderie, friendship and fellowship continued.
Many great questions about motometers and their origins were asked clearly demonstration participant interest and appreciation for the subject’s factual history.
Francis guided the group that included local auto businessmen and top quality classic car owners around the exhibit hall to show the progression of these devices as over time they became more decorative, elaborate and ornate ushering in the era of hood ornaments, or automotive mascots, and eventually moving from the radiator to the engine cowl closer to the driver and into the vehicle coach and ultimately into the dashboard where such temperature indicating gauges reside to this day. He also highlighted his showcase of motometer accessories including numerous temperature indicating lighting and illumination accessories, locking devices, radiator caps and accessory art deco style wings and other supplemental adornments.
Francis’ motometer automobilia collection extends far beyond just a few motometers or a single brand or type. His motometer automobilia collection is the most extensive one of its kind ever assembled ranging from the very earliest ones manufactured, surviving and in known existence. The collection includes the wide gamut of motometer devices manufactured around the world and of his manufacturer logo motometer he has acquired and assembled their corresponding logo radiator badge/emblems and other similar automobilia, which is by any means no easy task.
His highly unique collection that forms the basis for the MotometerCentral.com website examples also contains volumes of original advertisements; company booklets, manuals and pamphlets most little seen before or since original issuance. Hand signed letters of the most famous individuals in this automotive industry market and originally issued pants help to further provide a highly immersive experience. Clearly his collection owns every inch of the gallery space from floor to ceiling and front to back.
Surprising to some exhibit attendees there are still many more artifacts not able to be displayed due to space considerations and restrictions.
The unprecedented Francis G. Clax Motometer Collection has been on national tour since 2013 and is scheduled to be at the Ontario County Historical Society Museum until September 8th, 2018.
Francis generously donated his time to facilitating these free to the public seminar events on motometers and their history.
At the end of June, the Museum began its mid exhibition awareness marketing push by hanging a very large window banner in its front window along North Main Street in Canandaigua, NY.
Radio promotion spots have also been reserved to air in conjunction with Watkins Glen International race circuit summer racing events, such as the Sahlen's Six Hours of The Glen, July 1, 2018; Ferrari Challenge North America July 27-29, 2018; Go Bowling at The Glen (NASCAR), August 2-5, 2018; and, Pirelli World Challenge, August 31-September 2, 2018 come to the nearby “Glen.”