Sunday, July 23, 2017

Sidecar Sunday

British 16 Ton tank

The 16 ton tank was a development of the Vickers medium tank and was first produced in 1929. Its four man crew was protected by .5" to 1" thick armour and with an 180 hp air cooled engine was capable of about 30 mph. The main gun was a 3 pounder but the tank also had machine guns in two small turrets at the front corners (here obscured by debris from the collapsing wall). The tank was expensive to build and not successful, only three were built.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Dual controls on a twin screw cruiser, 1965

John Bohannan.  Your Guide to Boating Power or Sail.  Barnes & Nobles, 1965, 1969.

Let your fingers do the driving!

Hockey team, Aylmer, Quebec, 1895

Diane Aldred.  Aylmer Québec.  Its Heritage.  Aylmer Heritage Association, 1977, 3rd Edition 1989.

They look like convicts.  Maybe its just their conviction.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Hupmobile, 1934

Princess St, Kingston, late 1970s

Paul Von Baich The old Kingston Road, Oxford University Press 1980
View east from Montreal St.

Canada's first time machine

Canada 1962.  The official handbook of present conditions and recent progress.  
Ottawa:  Information Services Division, Dominion Bureau of Statistics, 1962.

Or was it the first?  Time paradox!  The Duke and Mister G, pictured above, pondered this very question.

Japan's "Pull-Man" Car, 1915

The Book of History.  A History of All Nations from the earliest times to the present.  
Vol. II.  The Far East.  New York:  The Grolier Society; London:  The Educational Book Co., 1915.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Another job you wouldn't want to do, Railway brakeman

Trains Album of Photographs, Book III, Midwestern Railways,  1943
Here a brakeman guides the engineer in to couple up to a car on a siding.

Morgan racing

Classic Bike November, 1982
Looks like a lot of fun, less so if you're the passenger.

Forty years of aviation progress, 1956

The Universal Standard Encyclopedia.  New York:  Standard Reference Works Publishing Co. Inc., 1956.  
An Abridgement of the New Funk & Wagnalls Encyclopedia

I'd think the downwash from the jet would swamp the little biplane.

Parts of a Rifle

The New Wonder Book Cyclopedia of World Knowledge.
Philadelphia & Toronto:  International Press, 1954.

Below, "Naming of Parts" by the British poet, Henry Reed, originally published in 1942:


To Alan Michell

Vixi duellis nuper idoneus
Et militavi non sine gloria


To-day we have naming of parts. Yesterday,
We had daily cleaning. And to-morrow morning,
We shall have what to do after firing. But to-day,
To-day we have naming of parts. Japonica
Glistens like coral in all of the neighboring gardens,
          And to-day we have naming of parts.

This is the lower sling swivel. And this
Is the upper sling swivel, whose use you will see,
When you are given your slings. And this is the piling swivel,
Which in your case you have not got. The branches
Hold in the gardens their silent, eloquent gestures,
          Which in our case we have not got.

This is the safety-catch, which is always released
With an easy flick of the thumb. And please do not let me
See anyone using his finger. You can do it quite easy
If you have any strength in your thumb. The blossoms
Are fragile and motionless, never letting anyone see
          Any of them using their finger.

And this you can see is the bolt. The purpose of this
Is to open the breech, as you see. We can slide it
Rapidly backwards and forwards: we call this
Easing the spring. And rapidly backwards and forwards
The early bees are assaulting and fumbling the flowers:
          They call it easing the Spring.

They call it easing the Spring: it is perfectly easy
If you have any strength in your thumb: like the bolt,
And the breech, and the cocking-piece, and the point of balance,
Which in our case we have not got; and the almond-blossom
Silent in all of the gardens and the bees going backwards and forwards,

          For to-day we have naming of parts.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Sikorski S-40 Southern Clipper

The ungainly looking S-40 was an interim-design flying boat produced while the more modern S-42 was being designed, hence only 3 were built. Another view here

Evolution of the Automobile, 1933

Raymond Loewy. Evolution chart of automobiles. Boy, did he get it wrong...

Engine gondolas of a captured Zeppelin, 1917

From The Engineer, Nov 2, 1917

Nice work if you can get it: Hauling ice, 1954

The New Wonder Book Cyclopedia of World Knowledge.  Volume X.
International Press, 1954.

See the Rockies!

The Canadian National, taking a page from the CPR's book of tourist promotion.

Street car track construction

Filey/Howard/Weyerstrahs; Passengers Must Not Ride on the Fenders, Green Tree Pub. 1974
There are better versions of this picture around, but in April of 1923 TTC crews replaced this tangle of streetcar tracks at the intersection of Queen, King and Roncesvalles streets overnight. The intersection had been designed and constructed offsite then moved down to be installed. 
Things are pretty efficient with all the modern equipment but I'm not sure that this could be accomplished today.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Bombing up a Sopwith Scout, 1918

Hugh W. Peart & John Schaffter.  The Winds of Change.  A History of Canada and 
Canadians in the Twentieth Century.  Toronto:  The Ryerson Press, 1961.

Vanished Tool Makers: Weed Chain Tire Grip Company, Bridgeport, Connecticut

I picked these pliers up for a buck at a yardsale last weekend.  I could see that they had patent dates, so they intrigued me.  I asked the seller, a retired mechanic, what he thought they were used for.  He said, "putting on and removing old-style wheel weights."  Well, they could be used for that, but that's not what they were designed for originally.  They're tire chain repair pliers, now joining my first pair that I described in an earlier post.

Harry D. Weed lived in Canastota, New York, better know today for its onions and for the International Boxing Hall of Fame.  In the early years of the last century, he observed that motorcyclists and car owners would wrap their tires with ropes or vines to help get through the muddy mires that constituted roadways in those days. 

Alfred P. Sloan, Jr.  My Years with General Motors.  New York:  Macfadden-Bartell, 1965.

Naturally, rope didn't last very long, so Weed experimented with using hardened steel. In 1904, he received a U.S. patent for his "Grip Tread for Pneumatic Tires:"  

He went on to found the Weed Chain Tire Grip Corporation: 

Source:  Makrochips Blog

The new company advertised heavily in many popular periodicals:

 “The Automobile” January 28, 1905.  Source:  The Old Motor

In 1908, the Thomas Flyer that won the New York To Paris Race was equipped with Weed Chains. The same year, as part of the New York Automobile Carnival, Harry Houdini was challenged to free himself from Weed Chains, performing this feat in the Keith & Proctor's Theatre in New York City.  On the evening of April 10, 1908, Houdini overcame six padlocked Weed Chains in addition to two steel-rimmed car wheels and handcuffs and leg irons, over 400 pounds of weight. Houdini got out, but it took him 29 minutes and he was exhausted at the end of it.  The event was widely reported and orders poured in.  (To read a contemporary account written by the Weed company, visit Wild About Harry.)

In 1911, he sold his patent to the American Chain Company, which soon moved production from New York City to Bridgeport, Connecticut.  American Chain itself lasted until 2006, when it was acquired by the Peerless Industrial Group.

Source:  Linn's Stamp News

Monday, July 17, 2017

Planes in formation, Seafires

Ellison Hawks, British Seaplanes triumph in the Schneider Trophy Contests, Real Photographs 1945

One of my vices is vises, Crawford Vise

I found this vise on Kijiji, another company I had never heard of. 
The ad mentions the fact that this vise was manufactured in Woodstock On. I did a search and found this on Garage Journal.
"Crawford Machine was in business for a lot of years, and at one time cast parts for the Gould-Shapely-Muir engine company from Brantford Ont. They also made cast dumbells and big cast counter weights for forklifts. They presumably built or cast other items, but I have never found any info on them. Gordon Crawford was the owner." Not much else on Google...

The evolution of IBM

Thomas J. Watson Jr.  and Peter Petre.  Father, Son & Co.  My Life at IBM and Beyond.
Bantam Books, 1990, 1991.

Thomas J. Watson Jr.  and Peter Petre.  Father, Son & Co.  My Life at IBM and Beyond. 
Bantam Books, 1990, 1991.
The New Wonder Book Cyclopedia of World Knowledge.
Philadelphia & Toronto:  International Press, 1954
The New Wonder Book Cyclopedia of World Knowledge.
Philadelphia & Toronto:  International Press, 1954
The New Wonder Book Cyclopedia of World Knowledge.
Philadelphia & Toronto:  International Press, 1954
Thomas J. Watson Jr.  and Peter Petre.  Father, Son & Co.  My Life at IBM and Beyond. 
Bantam Books, 1990, 1991.

Thomas J. Watson Jr.  and Peter Petre.  Father, Son & Co.  My Life at IBM and Beyond.  
Bantam Books, 1990, 1991.
Leonard Bertin.  Target 2067.  Canada's Second Century.  Toronto:  Macmillan of Canada, 1968.
Leonard Bertin.  Target 2067.  Canada's Second Century.  Toronto:  Macmillan of Canada, 1968.
IBM 370.  From Jet Tales.  The Lufthansa Magazine.  4/78.

Jet Tales.  The Lufthansa Magazine.  5/81


Piet Hein was brilliant! He began writing his Grooks as a member of the Danish underground during World War II, so some of them have a double meaning that was apparently largely lost on the Nazi occupiers.

Below, a sample of his thoughts on progress, taken from Grooks (Copenhagen:  Borgens Billigbøger 85, 1966, 1989) and Grooks II (Borgens Billigbøger 84, 1973, 1989).  I don't know who did the translations into English, but they work remarkably well. Interestingly, he dedicated the second book to Charles Chaplin.  Also, the legalese reads, ""Grooks may not be set to music without the author's consent."  I have to wonder what prompted that specific prohibition?  Perhaps his Grooks in Music book, which apparently had eighteen Grook verses graced with facing music by Svend Asmussen, the late Danish swing violin virtuoso who died this year, age 100.