Tuesday, June 19, 2018
Alfred Angas Scott of the Scott motorcycle company was responsible for this oddball. He started the motorcycle company in 1907 but left in 1915 to form the Scott Autocar company. In this capacity he designed a machine gun carrier based on the motorcycle/sidecar layout. The armed forces did not adopt his design and so after the war Scott adapted it into this asymmetrical 2 seater as cheap practical transportation. Handling must have been suspect as the right side wheels were in line and the 2 cylinder 2 stroke engine was center mounted.
This strange-looking vehicle was not a sales success, apparently only 100-200 were made during 3 years of production. The company folded in 1924.
|Images from The Classic Motor Cycle, Jan 1989|
Monday, June 18, 2018
Sunday, June 17, 2018
The P300 Airbus is shown at the Toronto Flying club in December 1936, enroute to its purchaser, Hennessy airlines of Haileybury Ontario. Two years later it was destroyed in a crash about 100 km northeast of Winnipeg. The paint scheme was pale blue and yellow, I wish the picture was in colour!
Saturday, June 16, 2018
I put a lot of miles on number of these things in my misspent youth, I can't tell for sure the exact year but it will be a 1962-66 model.. I get nostalgic looking at it but could I really go back to an inline 6 with 3 on the tree, beam front axle, drum brakes and manual steering and brakes...?
Thursday, June 14, 2018
In a previous post (Vanished Tool Makers: E Westman) it was noted that Elijah Westman of
Toronto had started
a tool (butcher saws and tools) manufacturing business in the mid to late 19th
century after immigrating to Canada
This immigration appears to coincide with the Irish Potato Famine that saw Ireland ’s population more
than double with an influx of Irish immigrants. He was one of five Westman
brothers (Samuel, William, Joseph and James) that made Toronto their home. Their father was Joseph
Westman, a third generation Irish whitesmith (or tinsmith) who came to Toronto with his family. James
Henry Westman, the youngest of the brothers born in 1848 (after the Westman
family had moved to Toronto Canada),
was also an important early pioneer in the manufacturing scene. Toronto
James H. Westman and George R. Baker, both of whom were born and raised in
established a manufacturing business (Westman & Baker) for printing
equipment in 1874 at Toronto 100 Bay
Street, Toronto. In
1885, operating from 119 Bay Street, they produced Gordon printing presses
(invented by an American, George P. Gordon), Beaver’s cutting machines, Baker’s
binding machines, and other printing related implements. Thereafter the
business re-located to 76
Wellington Street before finally settling in 1907
at 107 Jarvis Street,
Toronto (the only of those
buildings still standing today).
107 Jarvis St., Toronto in 2017
George Baker retired in 1912, and James Westman elected to continue to operate the business on his own but still retaining the Westman & Baker name. James H. Westman died on March 27, 1920 at the age of 71. His wife, Sarah Jane Westman had passed away the month prior on February 23, 1920. The company was purchased in 1922 by Manton Brothers, which was a
based supplier of printing equipment. Manton Brother Ltd. was later acquired by
an American paper company, Parsons & Whittemore, in 1980. I have found no
evidence to indicate that this company produces any printing equipment
You can see examples of the printing machinery manufactured by Westman & Baker (arguably the finest example of Canadian printing machine manufacturing) at the Howard Iron Works (
ON) www.howardironworks.org , the Canadian Science &
Technology Museum ( Ottawa, ON)
www.ingeniumcanada.org , Grey Roots Museum
( Owen Sound, ON)
www.greyroots.com , Mackenzie Printery & Newspaper Museum
( ) mackenzieprintery.wordpress.com. A very
unique and special Canadian journal dedicated to hardcopy printing is The
Devil’s Artisan (www.devilsartisan.ca) and I would like to than their editor, Don
MacLeod, for taking the time to scan and share this wonderful old article from
1983 with me (Westman and Baker, Makers). The Howard Iron Works
provided the pictures of a Westman & Baker platen press and also a cutter.
Please post any additional information you might have about the company, the
people, or their equipment on public display. Queenston, ON
Russell Winn was a British inventor with many inventions to his credit. This is a 1966 electric bike made by High Speed Motors of Whitney, near Oxford, in the UK. Intended for inner city use, the 140 lb bike was supposedly capable of 30mph with a 10-20 mile range. Unfortunately it seems he was a few decades too soon.
Tuesday, June 12, 2018
I recently pulled this bike out of storage for no reason but that it seemed to be time. After cleaning the carb and splitting the cases to replace the crankseals, I've been running around on it and just loving it. Snappy and agile, it's a great motorcycle even though it's almost 40 years old. Acceleration, braking and handling are all entirely adequate for modern traffic. Some people remember it but nearly everyone mistakes it for it's more famous predecessor, the Daytona Special.
While the 1979 RD400F Daytona Special gets lots of publicity as being the last of the aircooled Yamaha two stroke twins, especially in the American press, there was actually one more model year, the RD400G- this bike. We got them in Canada and I understand they were also sold in Europe, Australia and Japan. This bit of an orphan status makes it rather hard to find any technical info on them online as the American 1979 model had a unique EPA-beating motor, different than the rest of the world. I have to say I much prefer 1979 graphics, a distinctive wide red stripe over refrigerator white than this conservative red and gold pin stripe but it does set it apart, I guess. If anyone has a factory manual, even as a pdf... I'm interested.
Sunday, June 10, 2018
Public Archives, Canada
The HMCS Sioux was built in Cowes England during the years 1941-43 as the HMS Vixen. After launch it was transferred to the Royal Canadian Navy. During WW2 the ship served in convoy duty and supported the D Day landings at Juno beach. In 1945 it was refitted for service in the Pacific but the war ended before that came to be. Another refit prepared the ship for Korean war service where it did three tours. In 1963 the ship was retired and two years later it broken up in Italy.
We've covered The Starrett company here.
Friday, June 8, 2018
|Henry Dreyfuss, Industrial Design, a Pictorial Account.1929-57|
Warner & Swasey had been started by machinists Worcester R. Warner and Ambrose Swasey, who had met either at the Exeter Machine works in New Hampshire as apprentices or (depending on the story) later at Pratt and Whitney in Hartford (one of the largest American toolmakers of the mid-late 19th century).
In 1880 they quit to start their own business and moved to Cleveland where they specialized in building turret lathes, mills and large telescopes. The partnership was finally incorporated in 1900 as Warner & Swasey.
The industrialization of the country and both world wars brought a lot of business, the company continued to thrive during the 1950s, and they helped develop the emerging technology of Numerical Controlled machines through the sixties and seventies.
The company was bought by the Bendix corporation in 1980 and through various mergers and acquisitions has survived to the present in other locations. The last Cleveland area plant closed in 1995.
Thursday, June 7, 2018
This large ungainly B&O locomotive was designed by Ross Winans in 1948. The engineer's cabs location was prompted by the firebox design, so large that there was no room for a conventional cab. These locomotives suffered from the lack of crew considerations and also communications but were known for their power. They worked well into the late 1900s when they were replaced by larger conventional locomotives. This one is located at the excellent B&O museum in Baltimore.