Tuesday, August 21, 2018

AMC Sportabout

Not particularly successful in its day, this variation of the Hornet holds up well 40 years later.

72nd running of the Peoria TT

In 1931, brothers Bob and Bruce Walters, with Bruce’s wife Gladys, moved to Peoria, Illinois, and took over an existing motorcycle dealership in the city. They had just come from Galesburg, Illinois, where they owned and ran a successful dealership and were active members of the Galesburg Motorcycle Club. When they arrived in Peoria and had established themselves, they helped form the Peoria Motorcycle Club. The Peoria Motorcycle Club, along with leadership from Bruce Walters, who was not a chartered member, started organizing their own local TT races.
In 1940, the club purchased an 80-acre plot of land south of Peoria proper which captivated Walter’s imagination. “Just looking at the land, I could visualize its potential,” Walters said in a 1978 magazine interview. “It was just a valley full of willow trees then, but I could see that if we cleared the trees we’d have a natural amphitheater with a race track for a stage.” 
 The track is still there, largely unchanged and we caught the race there last weekend. Great event! The reprint poster was $5, I had to buy it. The entry price has gone up somewhat...
 It was good to see two Hondas RS750s from the 1980s being used in anger.

Monday, August 20, 2018

AKE wrench

I found this wrench by AKE at Liberty Tool in Maine. I can't find any info on this Japanese-made tool, I don't think it's related to the German maker of saw blades and cutting tools.

Cord 812

Take Me To Your Ruler : Witco, Denmark

Folding Rulers Made From Wood & Brass or Fibre Glass

Previously we explored the history of a brass and wood ruler (properly a straightedge) produced in the USA by the Murray-Black Company. And as far as wooden rulers produced in Canada are concerned, The Duke covered that subject quite well in his discussion of the Acme Canada Company 

Today I have another well crafted wooden ruler to offer up, but this one hails from Denmark, and I am at a loss for the history of the company since I can’t quite figure out who they are! My model is the 202, which is 36 inches in length, and lacks a metric scale.

The name Witco is used by numerous companies across the globe today, none of who appear to produce folding rulers, or measurement devices of any type. But at some point in the last century, a Danish company called Witco (at least the rulers are made in Denmark) made some wonderful folding rulers. The terrible truth about folding rulers is that they tend to be poor at producing a straight edge for line drawing, and they have largely been displaced by the far more versatile (and longer length) retractable tape measures that we all own and use today. Still, many men in carpentry, cabinet building, and other specialized trades still find use for them, especially for inside measurements.

I have identified a few different Witco folding ruler models through online auction/sale sites. These are:

Model 202 (wood and brass 36 inches)
Model 404 (wood and brass 24 inches)
Model 501 (GlassFibre 1 meter / 39 inches)

So, who is Witco?

It’s a mystery. The fact that a fibre glass product was manufactured suggests that whatever the origin of the company, it was still active during or post the second world war since that material was invented in 1938. Prominent companies that operated as Witco in the 20th century were the Western International Trading Company (produced wood tiki furniture products), the Wilde Tool Company (a USA based tool company that is unlikely to be the same company), and the Witco Chemical Company. One working theory I have would see the Diwa Manufacturing Company of Denmark producing these rulers for the Witco Chemical company as an advertising item. I have seen Witco Chemical tape measures produced for advertising purposes. Diwa produced rulers in wood and plastic in the mid 20th century that were often used as promotional swag by companies around the world (especially their slide rulers). Diwa typically used 3 digit model numbers (301, 601, etc) for their products. Also, I find the Diwa company font is somewhat similar to the Witco font used. All quite speculative on my part. Please shed some light on this if you have any information!


CB 450 Police bike.

Ridden to the Peoria TT yesterday

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Bangor Maine Flood, March 20 1902

More here

Bond MiniByke 1951

The Bond Minibyke was a 98cc Villiers motorscooter introduced in 1950. In the next 3 1/2 years about 500 were made. And yes, there is an Owners club.

Morgan shenanigans

I've always liked these wacky things, and it appears people have too much fun on them. I'll keep adding pictures as I find them- contributions welcomed!