Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Military ABC motorcycles

A shipment of ABC motorcycles destined for WW1 war service in Egypt. Apparently they were lost when the (unknown, at least to me) transport ship was sunk.

Suzuki GS 300

Another bike that came and went. Not sure why they made this one and also not sure why I bought it used in the mid-nineties... This was the cheap and cheerful basic transportation bike that grew out of the GS250. Still 8 valve but with a 5 speed transmission and drum brakes. 

Tuesday, December 11, 2018


Thanks, Rolf!

Although these cars were always rare in North America, surprisingly about 285,000 were made between 1955 and 1969. An unknown quantity were actually exported to the US for the first 6 years of production. We thought Volkswagens were small!
 Power was supplied by a rear mounted 2 cylinder 2 stroke engine in sizes of 250, 300 and 400cc giving a top speed of about 60mph. 
 The company was located in the town of Dingolfing, Bavaria and was bought by BMW in the mid sixties. I believe the ad is from 1957 as the 400cc engine was new that year.

Palmer tires

Palmer Tires started business in 1895, making tires for cars, motorcycles and bicycles. In 1937 they changed their focus to aircraft tires and aircraft-related rubber products. In 1983 the company was acquired by Marstons, the former producer of Sunbeam motorcycles. In 1985 the company was sold again, becoming part of the IMI Group. 

Monday, December 10, 2018

First Hurricane, Canadian Car and Foundry

Airborne, A heritage stamp collection, Canada Post

Date (near the tailwheel) appears to be November 21, 1939, 2 months after Canada declared war on Germany.

Know your Lucas Dynamo

E3LM Generator

Sunday, December 9, 2018

C97 Stratofreighter

On our visit to the Reading Pa, airport I saw a familiar B29-like tail in the distance and once closer, was surprised to see it belonged to something even rarer, a C97, a freighter developed from the Superfortress.
 This is the only airworthy example- "The Angel of Deliverance" belonging to the Berlin Airlift Historical Foundation. 

Sidecar Sunday

The Swallow Sidecar factory, 1930

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Point Traverse, Ontario

Life saving crew at Point Traverse, Prince Edward County, Ontario. About 2/3rd of the 19th -early 20th century shipwrecks in Lake Ontario happened between Prince Edward County and the Main Duck Islands. 

1914 ABC

I don't recall where I found this image (labeled "1914 ABC"), but in trying to find out more, I found that googling mostly produces images of the transverse mounted engine ABC, not the fore-aft arrangement shown here. The Douglas of the time had a similar layout. 
I eventually found the comprehensive ABCRoadmotorcycles site which provided the images below of the other side of possibly the same model (without sidecar) and also a P.V., once again similar but having a different intake manifold. The site covers the aviation, motorcycle and automobile history of the company.

P.V. Motorcycles

Empire State Express

Note the day the service was supposed to start, Dec 7 1941. Although the schedule was almost certainly kept, the nation had its attention elsewhere. 

Planes in formation, Catalina PBY

I believe these are early PBY-3 models, a prewar version without the side gun blisters.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Brewster Car Bodies

As the 1925 ad states, the company started out making high quality carriages in 1810. As automobiles grew in popularity, they imported high quality makes from France and England, making bodies for cars for the American market. As that fad passed they struggled financially and in 1925 were bought by Rolls Royce America as their body manufacturer. This also did not last and the company went bankrupt in 1935 despite building over 100 cars under their own name, built on a Ford chassis.
 An aeronautical division kept going, coming out with several models of aircraft, including the Brewster Buffalo.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

SS Queen Mary

It's July 1947, and after a long conversion from troop ship back to luxury liner, the flag ship of the Cunard line, the Queen Mary prepares to leave on its first postwar voyage to New York City. In the foreground a rider on a Scott Flying Squirrel pauses to take it all in.

MV four, side view

Nice drawing but no artist's name that I can see. Not sure of the year either, possibly the late 50s? 

Canadair Challenger #1

The Challenger had started out as a design by Bill Lear but was developed and substantially changed by Canadair during the program, gaining a wider fuselage, new wing and avionics.
 The top photo shows the plane during assembly in 1977, the lower during an early test flight. The first prototype first flew in November of 1978. On April 3, 1980 the aircraft crashed during stall testing in the Mojave desert and was destroyed. Two crewmembers parachuted to safety, the pilot's parachute failed to deploy and he was killed. More here. 
The third prototype had a much longer life, acting as a testbed for many modifications and tests as the Challenger matured. It was finally retired in 2005 and is now at the Canadian Air and Space Museum in Ottawa. 
The comprehensive story of the program and aircraft here.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Another job you probably don't want to do. BSA production line worker

Or maybe you would. The BSA C11 production line in the 1950s. 

Monday, December 3, 2018

SS Bonnington

The SS Bonnington ran on the Arrow Lakes in British Columbia from 1911-1931 for the CPR system. The boat was built in sections in Ontario and shipped out by train and assembled. The compound steam engines were made by Polson Ironworks in Toronto.

Illinois Guaranteed Banjolele

I'm not sure the world needs or needed a ukulele-sized banjo, but they're not uncommon online. Despite the cracked drum the sound is much more pleasing than a ukulele!

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Sunday morning ride

Turn of the last century edition, picture probably dates from 1898. That's 120 years ago.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Sidecar Sunday

That man Eric Oliver again...

Know your Armstrong shock absorber

New for 1952. Available with springs of 85-130 lb force, damper oil is 10W, quantity of oil is 140cc for the 4 inch stroke model. 

Farming heritage

In the background, golf course and suburbs.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Plastica Font

R.S Hutchings The Western Heritage of Type Design, Cory, Adams & Mackay.1963
One of the very first Sans Serif shadow fonts, this typeface was designed by Herbert Post for Berthold AG. Depending on source Plastica was released in 1929-30 or in 1932. This style of shadow font was popular through the "Moderne" era. 
Berthold was a leading type foundry in Germany, founded in 1858 and only closing in 1993- the beginning of the digital era.

Baldwin's 1000th locomotive.

The Baldwin factory in Philadelphia built their first locomotive in 1832. It was a copy of the British Planet class and had its share of teething problems. The buyer was reluctant to pay the full amount and Mattias Baldwin swore that it was to be their last engine. However 1861 saw the 1000th locomotive built and delivered to the Pennsylvania RR as number 212. This little 2-4 -0 tank engine featured 56 inch drivers and weighed 24 tons. I suspect it was used in commuter service.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Art Glass, 1959

Glass sculpture; Totem Pole, lampwork, multicoloured glass, 5 1/4 inches tall. Designed and executed by John Lees, Vancouver. 

This entry was found in a catalog of an exhibition of glass art at the Corning Museum of Glass in Corning NY in 1959. 
In a catalog of 291 pages, featuring pieces from all over the world, this was the only entry from Canada. Can't get much more cliche than that!

Exuding character...

What modern car compares?

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

P61 Black Widow, Mid Atlantic Air Museum.

The Mid-Atlantic Air Museum is restoring a P-61 Back Widow that was recovered from a New Guinea mountainside after it crashed in January 1945. The aircraft was brought back to the US in 1991 and has been undergoing restoration ever since. The whole story here.
A whole museum has grown up around that first airplane and we went down to take a look. 
Space is at a premium at the museum and although work continues as the restoration gets closer to completion, the plane is relegated to a corner of the hangar. Although it's jammed in among other airplanes, the tour allows the visitor to walk around and under it. Good for studying details, not so good for taking pictures. When asked if there was a estimate for a completion date, the guide cheerfully announced "Tuesday!" No year was volunteered. 
I plan on being there to watch the first flight!

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Royal Scot visits Hamilton

In 1933 the London, Midland and Scottish Railway sent its famous passenger train, the Royal Scot to North American for display in the Century of Progress Exposition in Chicago. The train also made a transcontinental tour through the US and Canada,  Here it draws crowds in its Hamilton, Ontario stop.
 To suit North American conditions, the locomotive was outfitted with electric headlight, brass bell and wooden pilot. Due to the longer distances involved, a larger tender was also used. 
 More here

In order to transport the train to North America, track was laid on the Canadian Pacific ship Beaverdale and the locomotive and 8 cars were deck cargo on the ocean voyages.

We used to makes things in this country #297 Turret Cigarettes

Before plastic and paper containers, metal tins like this for disposable product were common. Difficult to discard...I use this one for storing jewelers files.
From Cigarettespedia
Turret Cigarettes were produced by Ogden’s of Liverpool, a division of Imperial Tobacco Canada. The original version was regular sized (70 mm) and non-filtered, and was eventually discontinued. Imperial Tobacco relaunched the brand as a filtered cigarette, in regular (75 mm) and king size (85 mm), in 1978; this version lasted only a few years before being withdrawn.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Monday Mystery, model truck

Here we have a nicely constructed and detailed truck model. It's largely bolted together and apparently made in Germany, though there are no maker's marks on it and only the simple letter "W" in script in the grille. Some of the components (ie the wheels) look like Meccano parts.  Any ideas or information welcomed.

Safety on the streets

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Massey Harris drag harrows

Tools for tilling the soil.
plowing and discing done, time for the harrow.