Thursday, February 28, 2019

Rotax motorcycle engine cutaway

I don't recognize this engine, liquid cooled and reed valve, unlike the first gen rotary disc engines. I'd say kart engine except for the kickstart.






thanks again, Rolf!


Norman motorcycle, 1948


Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Hallowell tables


I was touring a local metalworking shop and there- looking as though it had been there for a hundred years- was a good solid Hallowell workbench. I didn't feel as though I could whip out my phone and take a picture- it wasn't that photogenic anyway- but I did later find this 1942 ad instead.  
Standard Pressed Steel Co. was founded in Philadelphia in 1902 by Howard Hallowell and moved to Jenkinville in 1920. When they needed work tables they made their own and soon began selling them under the Hallowell name. 
Happy to report that Hallowell (albeit under different ownership) and Standard Pressed Steel Co. (making fasteners) are both still in business. Good to see.

Yacht Savarona III

 The yacht Savarona III was the yacht that replaced the apparently inadequate 294 foot Savarona II shown below. 
The problem was, according to owner Emily Roebling Cadwalader, other yachts owned by people like J P Morgan were bigger.  She was the heiress of the industrial fortune that resulted from the wire and cable business that built the Brooklyn Bridge and others, so she wanted a boat that would eclipse all other private yachts. The Savarona II was launched in 1928, the Savarona III a mere two years later. The new boat was 407 feet long and cost about $10,000 per foot. For comparison, the average income in the US that year was about $1400.
 The ship was powered by 6 steam turbines giving a speed approaching 20 knots and a range of 7- 10,000 miles.  The hull was divided into 12 watertight compartments and was equipped with gyro stabilizers. Accomodations were sumptuous- designed to surpass anything owned by the Vanderbilts, Astors and the like. 
 To keep the show on the road... errr afloat.... required 83 crewmembers. 
 Unfortunately the Crash of 1929 had changed everything and after very little use, the yacht was put up for sale. It was not sold until 1938 when Turkey purchased the craft for its president. It's still there, though it is seldom used.  More here.

The Savarona III is still the largest private non-royal yachts ever made, though for recent decadent yachts go here.

Bill Robinson, The Great American Yacht Designers, Alfred A. Knopf, 1974


Cessna Crane,1942

A total of about 5425 were built including 826 for the RCAF. 
It was known as the Crane in Canada and the Bobcat in the US.
Two Cessna Cranes pictured at Dauphin, Manitoba.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Hawker Typhoon

Ready for action with cannons and rockets. 
Judging by the steel runway, probably somewhere in France.


Monday, February 25, 2019

136 Guiges St. Ottawa

 I found this photo in a journal of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada of a house of indeterminate age located near the Byward Market in Ottawa. I liked the details of the house and the analysis (below) that accompanied the photo.
 Sadly, its been torn down and doing a Google Maps search for its replacement isn't worth it.
Photo Malak
Ottawa Oddity.
The house at 136 Guiges Street is in the tradition of the Lowertown, Ottawa small dwelling: 24 foot frontage, window and·door on the ground floor, window and door to balcony on the second floor, a population explosion going on within. Number 36 is rather special, however, and for reasons other than its discreet use of ornament. It is totally clad in galvanized iron. Pediment, parapet, gazebo, window frames - no part, save the stoop and the sash, exposes any material to the weather except sheet metal. Some of the cladding (the false stone, the quoins) was marketed commercially, but most of it was devised by a resident family of tinsmiths who brought their work home with them. Except for four- find them- ornaments that have fallen off, the exterior is altogether sound. The tin smiths' fancy stands as a monument to their medium, and their triumph over it. 
Stanley White, Ottawa
Royal Architectural Institute of Canada

Update 27/02/19. 
A fellow blogger, They lived in Gananoque informs me that the facade was actually saved and is on display in Byward Market as an art piece! Story here.

 There is the small detail that the actual facade art piece and Malak Karsh's photo are mirror images but we'll leave that as the last bit of mystery.

Farmall 560

Window display

Petite Moto

Here's another French maker of what looks like an early lightweight motorcycle. I can find nothing online about it but it would be nice to have a better picture of the engine, which appears to be a flathead four stroke coupled to a two speed transmission.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Gypsy Moth engine cutaway

 The plaque says: 98 horsepower,  max rpm 2100 rpm, fuel consumption 7.25 gph. 

Friday, February 22, 2019

Gold Star Banjo, 1980

Still being made and sold today. Saga is still around also, still a  supplier for stringed instruments. 


Coachbuilt 1937 Cadillac Series 90 Roadster


This was, without question, the most spectacular car at the Toronto Auto Show. Built on a V16-engined 154 inch wheelbase bare chassis sold by Cadillac in 1937, the body was built by Hartmann of Lausanne for Philippe Barraude.      Full story here.



Harley Peashooter


This 1926 350cc road model was Harley Davidson's response to the 1925 AMA proposal for a lightweight racing class, which soon acquired the somewhat derisory nickname "Peashooters" compared to the large V twins. 
Indian and Excelsior already had suitable models, Harley grudgingly built two versions, flathead and OHV, the OHV model engine was developed into the peashooter racer. The introduction of this bike coincided with the beginnings of dirt track racing in New Zealand and Australia and when those racers showed up in Europe the sport took off there too, morphing into speedway racing. 
Conversion to a dirt racer meant the modified engine was fitted to a short wheelbase frame and generally, the 3 speed transmission was replaced with a jackshaft mounted countershaft sprocket. Low handlebars allowed riders to tuck in for better streamlining. 
Despite its worldwide racing success, the model was discontinued in 1930.
March  1985 The Classic Motorcycle 

Thursday, February 21, 2019

1949 Delahaye 175

 We visited the Toronto Auto Show today, the new cars are nice and all, but the spectacular cars were in the Art and the Automobile gallery. 
This 1949 Delahaye 175 was one of the more extravagant ones, bought new by the Maharaja of Mysore at the Salon of Paris that year. Built as an enclosed car, it was later modified to a cabriolet by a later unnamed owner. Elton John also enjoyed it for a time.







Rotax engine cutaway

Here's a nice cutaway 2 stroke aircooled Rotax engine, Proportion-wise it looks like a snowmobile engine - possibly 250 cc or more but the tag says a bore of 45mm indicating an engine of about 80cc, too big for a weedwacker or chainsaw, too small for a kart or lawnmower. Any guesses?


thanks, Rolf!



Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Stelco and the new Mackenzie building, 1960

This the way they used to build skyscrapers, structural steel frames riveted together and if Stelco Steel had their way in the early 1960s- bolted together instead. 
Possibly the collapse of the Union Carbide building on Eglinton Ave while it was under construction two years before opened the door to alternate building methods and material specifications. Coincidently both buildings were designed by the same architect firm, Shore and Moffat. 
Looking at buildings going up these days, the preferred method seems to be a poured reinforced-concrete honeycomb. 
   Toronto's Second Empire styled Post Office (built 1872-74) was torn down to make room for the Mackenzie building which was constructed to accommodate the Canadian Government's need for more office space during its expansion in the Postwar period. Located at 30 Adelaide East it served various agencies for nearly 30 years till it was sold in the late nineties.
 Unlike a lot of buildings of that era it was not torn down and has received a new lease of life as the "State Street Financial Center." I think I still prefer the Post Office building.
The eighth Post Office, 30 Adelaide St. E. 1874-1958, 
Architect Thomas Fuller



Boston and Maine caboose

West Paris, Maine

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Monday, February 18, 2019

Progress is fine, but ....T shirt!


I got this T shirt for Christmas, the blog's colour header image adapted to a single colour on a T shirt by my lovely wife. We thought other people might like one too- so through the miracle of the internet...You can buy them here.


Sunday, February 17, 2019

Belmont Park airshow, 1910

The American Heritage History of Flight, Simon and Shuster 1962
Here's a flypast at the October 1910 airshow held at Belmont race track on Long Island. From top is a Wright, a Farman, out front is a Bleriot, Then an Antoinette and another Farman.
 Various competitions were held, the altitude record was set at 9714 feet and the 100km speed race was won at an average speed of 61 mph. 
Three airshows had been held in the US that year, only a year after the Bleriot cross-channel flight and the Reims air meet. Aviation fever had struck.

Flight Officer Frank Hanton

Roger A Freeman; Mustang at War, Doubleday 1974
One of the Canadian squadrons flying Mustangs in Europe was No. 400 (City of Toronto) and one of the more successful pilots was the man shown above, hugging his airplane. 
Flight Officer Frank Hanton recorded the first nighttime victories by a Mustang on the moonlit night of August 14, 1943, catching and shooting down both a Me110 and a Ju88 as they were landing. From On Watch to Strike
A quick Google search fills in more of his story. During his service he 
shot down a number of German planes and also ran up a tally of 54 trains destroyed while on ground attack missions. 
On one of those missions he was shot down and suffered burns to his face when he crash landed. That made him part of the Guinea Pig Club, the pioneering plastic surgery program where injured and disfigured soldiers and airmen were integrated back into society. 
After the war he flew for the Manitoba Government Air Services until his retirement in 1978.
More on Hon. Col. Hanton here
Update; I got derailed a bit on this post, getting distracted by the Guinea Pig Club. Turns out there is a Canadian connection in Dr Albert Ross Tilley who worked closely with New Zealander Dr Archibald McIndoe in the program. Incredible work.

Sidecar Sunday

OK, no more Nimbuses.. Or is it Nimbi?

Previous post

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Norton 16H

The Classic Motor Cycle Sep 1994
The flathead 500 cc Norton 16H was in production from 1911 through 1954. During WW2, nearly 100,000 were made for military service.

Friday, February 15, 2019

Autolite sparkplugs overseas

thanks, Rolf!

Herreshoff yacht, Reliance


This sloop- is it a sloop?- was America's entry for the America's Cup in 1903. The design made use of a loophole in the rules, that when heeled over, due to the bow and stern overhangs the waterline length greatly increased from 89 feet 8 inches at dock (just meeting the 90 foot limit) to about 130. Someone once explained to me why this is so, but an increase in hull length means an increase in the speed of a boat. I didn't understand it then and still don't really. 
The hull was light as could be, 3/16" bronze plates over a light steel frame. The deck was 1/4" aluminum plate. The 19 foot deep keel was where the weight was, it was filled with 100 tons of lead.
Due to a 199 foot mast and long bowsprit and boom (totalling the overall boat length at 200 feet) there was 16,000 sq feet of canvas to propel the boat.  It was the first yacht to have winches for the sails below deck. Despite the powered winches, there were still 64 crew members. To save weight the boat was completely unfinished below decks.  The boat soundly defeated the English challenger Shamrock III in all three races. 
The boat was sold for scrap 10 years later.


Thursday, February 14, 2019

Pretty things in chairs

Weird title... especially for 1903.

Rideau Canal steamboats


The Rideau King
Friends of the Rideau
The Rideau King was built in 1890 in Kingston Ontario by the Davis Dry Dock Company. A thoroughly modern boat, she had electric lighting and steam space heating and many other modern conveniences. The dining room is described as, "beautifully appointed" and the interior "throughout, the interior was finished in white and gold paint and fabrics". 
STEAMER RIDEAU STRANDED IN STORM. 
 The steamer RIDEAU KING is aground on White Island in Mud Lake near Newboro, in a driving wind storm, accompanied by thunder and lightning. The boat was blown out of her course and under full steam ran high and dry on the land. The KING had on a large cargo of freight, and several passengers. The latter were taken off. 
      Buffalo Evening News 
      October 16, 1909 

Remarks "Got off"
The Rideau Queen
From The picturesque route between Kingston and Ottawa

The Rideau Queen, launched in July of 1901, is quite up to, and in not a few respects superior to, any passenger craft at present plying on the inland waters of Canada. Her length over all is 112 feet, extreme beam 28 feet, and though 7 feet 6 inches depth of hold, has a draft of but 4 feet 6 inches forward. 
Her power is supplied by a triple expansion engine with cylinders 8}4 x 13 x 21, and a stroke of 14 inches. She is thus enabled to easily obtain a speed of twelve miles per hour and maintain it evenly throughout the run. Hard coal is burned in her grates, and passengers, therefore, are not called upon to suffer annoyance from hot cinders and grimy smoke, always attendant upon the use of soft coal. 
Her upper works as so constructed as to allow a promenade, outside the cabins, the whole length of the boat while, exclusive of the cabins, 25 feet clear is afforded forward and twelve feet aft. She is lighted through- out with electricity, a plant furnishing 350 lights having been supplied by the Canadian General Electric Company. In fact, nothing seems to have been neglected by the company which was considered as at all likely to add to the comfort of passengers. The dining room seats comfortably over fifty people, is a model of neatness, and quite in keeping with the sleeping apartments provided. These include twenty-two double and twenty-two single berths. Some of these are ensuite and all are provided with running water, lavatories, electric bells, and, in fact, all the accessories of a modern hotel or private dwelling. Another important feature is the ventilation of all the rooms. This is accomplished by the use of steam fans, by means of which the passenger can practically gauge the temperature to suit himself. These features, together with the really elegant furniture supplied throughout, brought the cost of the " Queen " up to nearly $40,000. 



Both of these boats were owned by the Rideau Lakes Navigation Company which operated on the Rideau Canal around the turn of the last century, Their fleet seems to have consisted of only the "Rideau King" and the "Rideau Queen", both the same 112 foot length, built especially for fitting through the locks.

The Canal

The War of 1812 fresh in their minds, the 126 mile Rideau canal was constructed by the British government as a military project during 1825 to 1832 at a cost of five million dollars. Running from Kingston to Ottawa Ontario, it was built as a bypass of the St. Lawrence river. In case of war this route, in conjunction with the Ottawa river, would furnish an alternate water passage between Montreal and the Great Lakes. 
It was soon obsoleted by the arrival of the railways and other factors.  By 1900 the Rideau was already a tourist attraction, the route consists of a string of remote lakes and rivers connected by a series of locks, twenty three in total. Only about 12 miles is man-made. 
The canal was designated as a historical site in 1925 and has been restored and maintained and is still a popular attraction for boaters.