Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Mount St. Helens & the Railway, 1980

From Railfan & Railroad.  Nov. 1980.  Vol 3 No 7.

"Ironically, the BN owns the volcano."

Osmiroid Basic Calligraphy

Above, the a few pages from a booklet I turned up.  There's lots of information on the firm of E.S. Perry on the web, so I won't repeat it here.  Suffice it to say, that British company has vanished along with so many others.  Personally, I think their branding left something to be desired.  Osmiroid?  Sounds like an ointment for piles.

If anyone's interested in looking at the full booklet, I've uploaded it here:

Monday, June 26, 2017

Making WAVES in WWII

Movie Lot to Beachhead.  The Motion Picture Goes to War and Prepares for the Future.  
By the Editors of Look.  Doubleday, Doran & Co., Inc., 1945.

Vanished Tool Makers: James Hartley & Co., Sunderland, England

I found this beautiful old glass cutter at a ReStore recently.  The handle is a lovely, open-grained wood and the ferrule is brass.  The head is steel, and has a set screw for holding a carrier for an industrial diamond.  The diamond is very worn so this tool saw heavy use.

The firm of James Hartley wasn't really a tool firm--they made glass.  In 1836, the Hartley brothers set up their own glass-making business in Sunderland, on the north-east coast of England, formerly better known as Wearmouth.  There they established the Wear Glass Works and traded as James Hartley & Co.  In 1838, building on German technology, James was granted a patent for Hartley's Patent Rolled Plate.  For the next 50 years, this would be the company's major product..  In fact, by the 1860's, the firm was using this process to make one-third of all the glass made in England and employing up to 700 workers.  Jame's heirs lost but then regained control of the business in the 1890's, but the company was finally rolled up in 1915.  So, my glass cutter is at least a century old.

The story didn't end there, though. One son continued making coloured glass as Hartley, Wood & Co., which was eventually taken over by Pilkington's in 1982. (The British Pilkington company invented the Float Glass Process in the 1950's, a revolutionary method for producing flat glass by floating molten glass over a bath of liquid tin.) The original company continued under the Hartley, Wood name until 1997.  The National Glass Centre was built in 1998 in the interests of preserving the skills of these glass-makers, but went into bankruptcy only two years later.  In 2005, Pilkington was acquired by a Japanese company, NSG.

Man meets train on trestle

George Abdill; This was Railroading, Bonanza Books 1958
The source had no explanation why this man was facing off against the train.
 This spectacular wooden trestle was part of the Kettle Valley Railway of the CPR. Anyone have any estimates of quantity of wood used?

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Kodak Instamatic, 1966

Better Homes & Gardens, July 1966

Flash pictures without changing bulbs every time!  Just imagine!  Introduced in 1963, they kept improving it--see below.

The New Book of Knowledge Annual 1969.  Grolier Inc., 1969.

Chain repair pliers

These are stamped “J.N.M. & Co., Pat July 26-10 Re Aug 2-15, on one side, and “Necessity” on the other. 

They are J.N. MacDonald chain repair pliers.  In 1910, paved roads were few and far between, and tire chains were essential to navigate the much more common mud roads (see 1917 ad below). The inventor was listed as residing in Hartford, Connecticut, and the 1910 letters patent state that “This invention relates to an improved implement for repairing chains, such as the tire chains of automobiles and the like…and by the use of which links may be expanded and again closed as may be required.”

A later patent was assigned to James M. MacDonald of nearby Wethersfield, suggesting the possibility of a family-owned tool business.  


Saturday, June 24, 2017

Sidecar Sunday

Terrible thing to do to a Suzuki RG500!

Belsaw belt sander

Monte Burch.  Gun Care and Repair.  Winchester Press, 1978.
Nice little machine!

The Family Handyman, April 1985
The Belsaw company started in Kansas City, Missouri in the 1930's. In 1983, they merged with the Minneapolis, Minnesota-based Foley Manufacturing Company to become Foley-Belsaw.  The companies split apart some time later. Foley-United makes tool grinders. Belsaw today seems a shadow of its former self, but still makes molding pattern knives and supplies parts and manuals for the older machines.

Industrial Design, 1954

Cool cover for a trade magazine.