Page:The Cycle Industry (1921).djvu/108

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of modern mechanical engineering. The innumerable parts of a bicycle render the organizing of production in large quantities a question of brains and system. Time was when engineers in some other branches rather looked down on cycle factories as the home of the inefficient, but the trade journals of the mechanical world have recognized, more particularly during recent times, that a high-class cycle factory possesses some of the best brains in light mechanical engineering, and some of the best plants of tools and machinery it is possible to obtain.

The parts of a bicycle are produced with such accuracy to-day that every detail is absolutely interchangeable with another if the machine emanate from a firm bearing one of the well-known names in the trade.

High-class firms have a drawing office where all the details are worked out on paper to fractions of an inch, and here are designed all the tools for the rapid production of the parts with a mathematical accuracy that ensures easy fitting in the shops. Nothing escapes the vigilant eyes of the head of this department who, in conjunction with the tool room manager, is responsible for every part of a fresh design going together with smoothness and precision.

Then, when production is proceeding, each part is inspected by viewers. This department is a most important one, and in a high-class factory is always so regarded. The viewer may in some cases be quite a subordinate, but he or she is provided with most accurate gauges which are tried on every part; with lightning like quickness the gauge detects inaccurate workmanship, an error or wear of tools, and back go the faulty parts to the producer to be rectified or they may, on detection, have to be scrapped altogether.

It is only by such means that a perfect bicycle can be