Wednesday, July 31, 2013

1985 GS550-L

Subjective of course, but possibly the homeliest motorcycle of all time.

Hurricane Two-seater

Chaz Bowyer; Hurricane at War; Ian Allan Ltd. 1974
Postwar two-seater version of the Hurricane, built for the Persian government.

Battle of the Big Singles

At a racetrack somewhere in eastern Ontario in the Thirties or Forties.  From the Ted Whitney archives.

Vanished Tool Makers: S. & Co.

Below, an old pair of pliers, identified only as "S. & Co."

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Kodak 1928

Vintage Canadian Flat track; XR750. 1975

 Brian Beddington's bike as bought from Dave Sehl.

Rickman Cafe Racer kit

Cycle Magazine June 1976
At the time, the showroom price for a Honda CB750 was about $1800 in the USA.

Anchor porn

Anchors are cool!  Below, two on display outside of the Dive Tech Training Centre near Brockville, Ontario.  I assume they were salvaged from wrecks in the St. Lawrence River or Lake Ontario.

They even have names!

The Golden Treasury of Knowledge, Volume 14.  
New York:  Golden Press, 1961.

Below, somewhat bigger ones: 
The World Book Encyclopedia.  Chicago:  Field Enterprises Educational Corporation, 1971.

Wee little bike

Monday, July 29, 2013

Spitfire: The Motion Picture

A 1942 British war propaganda film, well worth the time to view it.

Directed by (and starring) Leslie Howard, who was killed one year later in a DC-3 shot down over the Bay of Biscay by a Junkers JU 88CS.

According to IMDB:
In the film Leslie Howard's Mitchell says he wants his new fighter to be "a bird that breathes fire and spits out death and destruction; A *spitfire* bird", giving the aircraft its name. In reality, when RJ Mitchell was told the name the RAF had given to his design he is supposed to have said: "That's the sort of bloody silly name they would choose!"

Waldes-Truarc circlip pliers

I was reorganizing my circlip pliers and found I had three made in the U.S. by Waldes-Truarc:

The one at the bottom is very clever, since, by changing the pivot position, it can be switched for use with both outside and inside snap-rings.

I can't find out much about the company, aside from the fact that it's been in existence for almost 75 years, and it introduced 2 types of retaining rings for aircraft use in 1942.  It was acquired by SKF in 1985.

The German Seeger-Orbis website states that one of their employees, Hugo Heiermann, first patented the retaining ring as a "Bolt Locking Device" in 1927, and claims that these are still colloquially referred to as "Seeger rings" in Europe.  

Yonge St. at Richmond, Toronto

A Google Streetview today. Streetcars have been replaced by subways.

And the transition between the two in 1949, viewed from one block north.

CCM Perfect

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Sidecar Sunday

Unusual tools; Fencing pliers

I'm used to the type on the bottom with the orange handles, hammer and the staple-pulling hook on the back,  The older ones on the top came with a tractor we bought, I'm not sure what the pinching jaws on the cheeks are for but you get two hammer faces instead of a hammer and a hook.

Oldsmobile for 1947

The Picton Gazette, May 28, 1947

Vanished Tool Makers: M.B. Skinner Company, South Bend, Indiana


Founded in Chicago in 1898 as James McCrea & Company, M.B. Skinner bought it in 1908 and gave it his own name in 1911.  In 1920, he was possibly the first American company to institute an 8-hour day in spite of warnings from fellow business owners that this would lead to financial ruin.  In 1928, the company moved to new premises in South Bend, replacing the 3-storey building where parts had to be moved up and down on elevators to a plant all on ground level.  Mr. Skinner sold out his interest in 1933.  The company was also one of the first to give employees a bonus whenever profits increased.  As Mr. Skinner reportedly insisted to the young men who bought him out, "Capital is entitled to a reasonable return.  But when it exceeds that, the funds are coming out of the hides of the men who do the work.  I want you boys to remember after I'm gone that when you make any extra money, it should go back to the men on the job."  (Glenn C.  The Factory Owner and the Convict. 2005).   Would that businesses and corporations today heeded the same advice.

1981 CB750

Still a good looking bike.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Starrett power hacksaw blades

End of an era. What you are looking at is the last four RS-12108-5 blades from Atlas Machinery. From now on the Duke will have to choose from the other two brands below. Sign of the times... every sales guy I came into contact with asked me, "Are you making a knife?"

Tree pruner

This came from my parents' cottage.  Clever design, allowing you to move the rod connected to the cutting blad to different positions on the lever. When tools were made from steel and wood.  No manufacturer's stamp anywhere on it.  I tried unsuccessfully to donate it to a local museum.

Getting Around Glasgow 1966

I picked up this old travel book at a thrift store.  It was a real time capsule!  I love the cars!

Buchanan Street

Glasgow Cathedral

Renfield Street

St. Enoch Square
The Barrows

Friday, July 26, 2013

Italjet 350 1968

 Good looking bike using the Jawa 350 engine. One of 300 made by the Italian firm.

Bugatti Type 44

Program from the 1993 Meadow Brook Hall Concours d' Elegance
1927 Bugatti Type 44 Dual Cowl Torpedo Sport Phaeton. Body by Lavocat & Marsaud.

Benedictus hoc helicopter.

The Book of Knowledge Annual 1960.  New York:  Grolier Inc.