Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Re-engining the Lancaster!

It's that time again. Keeping a WW2 bomber flying takes a significant amount of labour and money with four 12 cylinder engines to keep healthy and fed. This year the costs go up significantly with all four engines requiring a rebuild.  At the Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum they're hoping to have it all done and flying again by the June airshow and they're in full fundraising mode.  http://www.warplane.com/keep-the-lancaster-flying.aspx
Please donate often and heavily, I like to hear that thing flying over my house!

The ingenious helmet gun

When the world seemed so large

Edna Fay Campbell, Victor L. Webb & William L. Nida.  The Old World Past and Present.  
Chicago:  Scott, Foresman & Co., 1942.  A revision of the 1937 edition.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Calling Peter Shinney

Congratulations on passing your course!

Can Am MX2 Flat track conversion

Can you really be fast when you're stoned as that graphic designer? Make a great Tshirt though. If really want take that old thing flat track racing, the whole manual here.

Jeez, it never caught on!

Folding Sidecar Sunday

Founder F. W. Watson with Watsonian's company's first product, a folding sidecar in 1910.

The Dreadnought Suit

At the beach, at the opera ... styled for all occasions!

Car trophy

An old trophy I picked up somewhere.  Solid metal topper, mahogany column and base, but no identifying information whatsoever.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Indian motorcycle cartoon

From an old Indian motorcycle brochure, cut up by someone else years ago for the sake of the cartoon.  Let that be a lesson to us all.

The cartoon:

On the reverse:

We used to make things in this country. #15: Waterloo Metal Stampings Ltd., Kitchener, Ontario

They say you can never have enough clamps.  I say that the same is true of sawhorses.  However, unlike clamps, they tend to take up a lot of room when you're not using them.

At some point, the Waterloo Metal Stampings company designed and patented neat folding sawhorse hardware that locks in place when opened up.  I keep this one in my shop.  Below, open and folded:

Below, legs folded up on the left; folded down and locked in place on the right.  Clever and simple.

The company was around since at least the 1940's, making metal stampings and trunk and bag hardware. The company was mentioned in a 1956 promotional brochure for the city of Waterloo.  It subsequently moved into the manufacture of door and desk hardware and was still being assigned patents up until the early 1990's.  Then, poof, it disappeared.

It doesn't look like anyone even makes brackets like this anymore, let alone in Canada.  Pity.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Industrial Design Comes to Bowling.

In the early 1950s (pre Harley) AMF contracted Henry Dreyfuss to design a ball return system. Somewhere, someplace I'm sure they're still out there working away....

Train à Grande Vitesse

From The Expo Celebration.  The Official Retrospective Book.
The 1986 World Exposition, Vancouver, May 2-October 13, 1986.
Operated by the Societe Nationale des Chemins de Fers--French National Railways--the TGV is the ultimate in rail transport, regularly reaching speeds of 320 kph.  Photo by Albert Normandin.  

Tackle boxes

Pics of parts of old steel tackle boxes that identify their manufacturers.  There were quite a few companies making these boxes at one time.

Union Steel Chest Corporation, Le Roy, New York

For an overview, visit A Short History of Tackle Boxes.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Most Religious Railway Car

John Westwod The Colourful World of Steam,  Octopus books 1980
The heavily decorated private railway car belonging to Pope Pious IX (1792 –1878) who used it travel around the Papal States bestowing blessings on his adoring public.

More Model Kits I Never Built...

Macaroni drying yard

Edna Fay Campbell, Victor L. Webb & William L. Nida.  The Old World Past 
and Present.  Chicago:  Scott, Foresman & Co., 1942.  A revision of the 1937 edition.

Compare this with the annual spaghetti harvest in Switzerland.

We used to make things in this country. #16: Weller Electric Corp., Kingston, Ontario

Back in the 1960's, my dad bought me my first soldering gun, a 2.5 amp Weller D-550, that I still have and that still works just fine:

The American company at that time was out of Easton, Pennsylvania but their Canadian plant was in Kingston, Ontario.  Below, from the instruction book that came with my iron:
Over the years, I've picked up two other Kingston-made Wellers.  First, a 1.2 amp Model 8200, still in its original box:

Second, a lovely Weller TCP soldering station I found at a yard sale years ago.  Sadly, it has recently stopped working, but I'm hoping I can repair it in spite of my limited electronic knowledge.

The Weller TCP (Temperature Controlled Process) system was patented by Carl Weller in the 1950's. It makes use of a closed loop system, using a ferromagnetic temperature sensor (Magnastat) within the iron's tip, with no need for external controls or adjustments to maintain tip temperature.  

These older units are generally bulletproof and highly prized by those who work on circuit boards.

From the ad below, they were still making their product in Kingston in the mid-1960's, although I have no idea of exactly where their factory was located.  However, there is a Weller Avenue in Kingston--maybe that was the location.

Popular Science, September 1965
Weller founded his company in 1946.  It was bought by Cooper Industries in 1970, which still uses the brand name.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Lobster Boat

Postwar Prosperity con't.

Poster on display at the Canadian War Museum, Ottawa

Today we Live in a Greater Canada: 1947

The Picton Gazette, May 28, 1947
A different sentiment than what industrialists espouse these days.

Will that be cash or Chargex?

Canada 1970.  The Official Handbook of Present Conditions and 
Recent Progress.  Ottawa:  Year Book Division, 
Dominion Bureau of Statistics, 1970.
The Royal Bank of Canada introduced Chargex in 1968.  In 1977, the name was changed to VISA.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Colt in 1924

National Geographic Magazine 1924

Bowden bicycle

 I was admiring this bicycle at The Carlisle Swap meet in 1984 when the owner said, "Take it for a ride!" So I did. It rode like, well... an old bicycle, but the coolest old  bicycle I'd ever seen. He called it a Hollywood bicycle but these two articles refer to it as a Bowden- after the inventor. Apparently only 6 were made.