Sunday, May 31, 2015

Paean to Progress

Annette Wynne
R. Aileen Belfry, B. Gertrude Bergey, Erna A. Martin.  Across the Country.  Toronto:  The John C. Winston Co. Ltd, 1959.
The poem was first published in 1919 in Wynne's collection, For Days and Days: A Year Round Treasury of Child Verse.

Boring work

Chris H. Groneman, John L. Feirer & John C. Spry.  General Shop.  Mc-Graw-Hill Co. of Canada Ltd., 1956.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Sidecar Sunday


British Mark IV light tank



Lt Col. Robert J. Icks, Tanks and Armoured Vehicles.  Phillip Andrews Pub. 1945
This enthusiastically driven light tank is a British Vickers-built Mark IV. Obsolete even while it was being designed in 1935, only about 30 or 40 were built and were mostly used for training..  

London, England 1884

F. Roy Willis.  Western Civilization.  An Urban Perspective.  Volume III.  D.C. Heath & Co., 1973.

Quintessentially Canadian!


A wishing well made of beer caps.  Photographed at a yard sale.  It would probably make you wish for another beer.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Another job you wouldn't want to do. Drilling tennis rackets

Well, you didn't think they did them by hand, did you?

Cessna Skymaster

James Gibson, The Flier's World. Random House 1976
A distinctive airplane, anyone around Toronto who looks up knows the traffic-reporting Skymaster flown by Darryl Dahmer.
 Unique among multi-engine craft, the centerline thrust provided by the push-pull engine configuration provided a measure of safety to the airplane. Almost 3000 were built in several different configurations between 1963 and 1982.

The English Ford Line

Continental Holiday.  The American Travel Guide to Europe.  New York, 1961.
Above, how they were marketed.  Below, how they were made in 1939, and then in 1960.  In the later photo, the two seated workers appear to be having a relaxed visit, totally unconcerned with being on camera for this publicity shot. Shades of the 1959 Peter Sellers' movie, I'm All Right Jack.  The British way of life:  nice work while it lasted.  Or, to play with the caption, "Every few seconds, someone in the world screws ... someone else."
W.G.V. Balchin (Consultant Editor).  The Country Life Book of the Living History of England.  Country Life Books, 1981.

Laurie Lee and David Lambert.  The Wonderful World of Transportation.  Garden City Books, 1960.

Mystery Tool



I picked this up recently.  By releasing the two red knobs, you can slide the one inclined piece of clear plastic over the other, which sets the depth for the cutter pictured in the bottom photo.  On the left in the bottom photo is a curved piece of spring steel, which obviously holds what is being cut tightly against the outer plastic guide.  The depth of cut is measured on a Vernier-type scale.

The sticker applied by a previous owner indicates both a 1/16 and a 1/32 set.  What does that mean?

It appears to have been designed for cutting or trimming thin slices of some soft material. The slogan on the bottom is especially curious:  "Keep your weights down and your times up!!!"

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Glider takeoff


James Gibson, The Flier's World. Random House 1976
The towplane gains speed on the grass strip, while the glider is already airborne. Two bystanders stroll by, apparently not interested enough to look over. I hope I'm never that jaded.

Parts of a steam locomotive

Yes, this will be on the test...

Don't touch that dial!


An old Marconi radio I photographed at a yard sale. Interesting that there's a frequency range designated as "Amateur & Aviation."  That would have been neat -- listening into aircraft transmissions back in the 1930's!

Training a child to deal with the paparazzi

Elizabeth B. Hurlock.  Child Development.  McGraw-Hill, 1942, 1950.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Motorcycles of my youth

Robert Patrignani Mario Columbo Golden Treasury of Motorcycles Crescent Books 1971
Ahh, warms my heart to look at them. 
Replace the high bars with drop bars, add a cafe seat and a cheap aerosol paint job and off we go. Wide open everywhere.


And the reality. The snow isn't even off the fields, I have to be somewhere and something is broken.... again.

Canadian Armoured car 1918



Lt Col. Robert J. Icks, Tanks and Armoured Vehicles.  Phillip Andrews Pub. 1945
The Canadian armoured cars of WW1 were built by Autocar in the USA. They were armed with two Vickers machine guns and the 5 man crew was protected by 3/8" armour plate, enough to keep small arms fire out and not much more. 

Working on the gang drill

Matthew Luckiesh.   Light, Vision and Seeing.  Second Printing.  D. Van Nostrand Company, Inc., 1944.

Remember ignition points?


A recent yard sale find.  From the days when there were ignition points to be adjusted.  These particular Snap-On tools were made in Canada!  The case was filthy and the tools were a little rusty, but for $5 I could easily overlook that.  In any event, they cleaned up reasonably well.




Below, a picture from a 1971 catalogue I found on the web.  Turns out I'm missing the points file and feeler gauges.  Instead, my case included a steel rule from a Calgary garage and, incongruously, a golf tee tool!


Tuesday, May 26, 2015

State of the factory worker, Ontario, early 20th C

The real earnings index in the right column was derived from the Department of Labour's calculations of expenses representing 100 on the scale, meaning the wage earner earned about 75% of a typical families needs. Pretty tough life.


The table below lists a "typical family's needs" in 1921.

Taken from The Condition of the Working Class in Toronto 1900 to 1921 by Michael Piva
University of Ottawa Press, 1979


Bikes around town, CB750

An early one, very nice. 

I Robot

Sara & Stephen Corrin (Eds.), The Puffin Book of Modern Fairy Tales.  Puffin Books, 1983.  Illustration by Ann Strugnell.
I rediscovered this book in a box of books I had set aside for a yard sale.  I decided I liked the cover illustration too much to part with the book!  Ann Strugnell--you go, girl!

On the Level: Shop Project



I found this level at a yard sale.  The brass plate was black from tarnish, and the finish on the oak body was dirty and peeling.  So, I cleaned it up.

It was clearly a high-school shop project.  The four screws do not enter the wood in an exact perpendicular fashion, and the student was a little sloppy filing the piercings over the spirit level vial. Still, a nice piece to remind me of a day when we gave teenagers the opportunity to make such things.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Pennsylvania Railroad #217

George Abdill; A Locomotive Engineers Album, Bonanza Books 1965
By the Whyte classification this would be a 4-4-4 but it is more a short wheel base 4-4-0 tank engine with a trailer. This 1861 Baldwin creation appears to be a one off- maybe for carrying the railway officials around in style.  

Spoils of war, ME 109

Dick Halvorsen, Steeds in the Sky:The Fabulous Fighting Planes of WW2, Lancer Books 1971
Apparently throughout WW2 there were Germans quite willing to give themselves and their airplanes up. This is one of them, now sporting British markings and a question mark signifying the ultimate disposition of the plane had not been decided.

Industrial recruiting of women, World War II

The new Imperial War Museum.  London:  Imperial War Museum, 1989, Revised 1990, 1992.
Industrial recruiting poster by Philip Zec.

Dormeyer electric drill




Years ago, I found a metal box designed to hold a Dormeyer drill kit, which subsequently became the subject for a 2013 Progress is Fine post.  Yesterday, whilst out on a motorcycle ride, I stopped at a yard sale and found the very drill it was meant to hold!  I snapped it up for $5, and drill and case are now reunited.

Nicely made.  Notice the lip at the bottom of the trigger.  This is the trigger lock. You pull in the trigger and move it down, so that the lip locks in the opening for the trigger.  Clever design.

From the badge, it appears that it was a "Matched Craft" brand.  Kind of a lame name.  For domestic use only!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Sidecar Sunday


Sharpening bandsaw blades

Not your average home band saw.

1970 McNamara-Ford

Nick Brittan (Editor).  Motor Racing.  The International Way Number 1.  London:  Kaye & Ward Ltd., 1970.
Mario Andretti placed first in that race.  

Children's cubby-hole

Sid G. Hedges (Editor).  The Universal Book of Hobbies.  London:  Odhams Press Limited, 1935.
It would seem that children were much more easily entertained in the 1930's than today.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Another job you wouldn't want to do. tightening nuts

Hey, with the arch bar construction, someone had to do it....

1979 Gold Wing


Nice find, good original bike (originating from South Africa!), needs a bit but other than the rusted out mufflers, seized back brake and some ignition problems it's pretty good! Should be back on the road soon.

Plymouth six-cylinder engine, 1960-1966

Bill Toboldt.  Fix Your Plymouth.  All Models 1967-1952.  The Goodheart-Willcox Co., Inc., 1967.

Toronto munitions factory, 1915

Michael J. Piva.  The Condition of the Working Class in Toronto--1900-1921.  University of Ottawa Press, 1979.
Note the high caliber of their work.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Horse drawn fire engine

Yankees Under Steam,  Edited by Austin N Stevens, Yankee Inc. 1970
In this 1908 picture a horsedrawn steampump fire engine charges to the fire. The caption on the back read, "1908- Answering Alarm 18- Lowery driving"

The "Ugly Duckling" flies, 1940



James Gilbert, The Flier's World, Random House 1976

 Igor Sikorski demonstrates his prototype VS-300 helicopter, built the previous year. During the demo, he hovered, flew backwards and sidewards and performed various precision manouevers before landing in a small enclosure.

Dynamax


From a 1970's French-made bicycle I'm fixing up for my son.  Nice badge design.

The consensus is that Dynamax was a North American brand of Motob├ęcane.  That company was founded in 1923 to make bicycles and motorcycles, eventually becoming one of the largest manufacturer of these machines in France.  Bankruptcy overtook it in 1981, when it was bought by Yamaha. Today, the Motobecane brand is used on Taiwanese bicycles imported into the U.S.

In 1978, Canadian Walter Muma rode a Motob├ęcane Mobylette moped 18,660 kilometers across Canada and Alaska.  He explained that he wanted to see the Canadian north before the huge mining enterprises changed it forever.  Shades of Raymond Murray Patterson fifty years earlier.