Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Fokker for all your flying needs

William Kilbourn.  The Making of the Nation.  The Canadian Centennial Publishing Co. Ltd, 1965; McClelland & Stewart Ltd., Revised Edition, 1973.
So, in reality, it was the Fokker that was whipped to a standstill.

Silver City Airways

Clifford Makins (Editor).  The Eleventh Eagle Annual.  London:  Longacre Press Ltd., 1962.

Silver City Airways started as a stunt in 1948, carrying an Armstrong Siddeley car from England to France inside a Bristol Freighter aircraft.  When it landed and was unloading, the crew was approached by an observer who needed a way to get his Bentley back to England.  This is how the air ferry started.  In 1949 the company hired three Freighters, and in spite of the high costs, carried 2,600 cars, 100 motorcycles and 7,900 passengers in that year alone.  In 1951, the company expanded to 8 aircraft, and attracted 7,529 cars, 3,240 motorcycles and 30,137 passengers.  To get around a law that prohibited passengers from traveling without a vehicle (in order to protect airlines like B.E.A.), Silver City encouraged people to travel with a bicycle, even a borrowed one! Eventually, cows, racehorses, produce and general cargo also joined the manifest.

For the full article, read the High Road to France.

In 1962, economic pressures (including problems associated with its aging aircraft) led to a takeover by a holding company of British United Airways, and in the following year to an amalgamation with Channel Air Bridge, forming British Air Ferries.  That entity soldiered on until 1971.

There's much more information at the Silver City Airway's tribute website.


A visitor to the Barber Vintage meet

Fritz Von Opel's rocket powered glider

Impression by Roger Gould, from Early Airplanes, by John Blake, Camden House Books 1974
On Sept 30 1928 Fritz von Opel made a flight in a glider powered by 16 powder rockets, each providing about 50 lbs of thrust. The flight was a success, the craft reaching a top speed of 95 mph. One flight was enough, however and the experiment was abandoned.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Vanished Tool Brands: Canforge, Welland, Ontario

Canforge wrenches like those above are very rare in my neck of the woods, and these are the only four SAE ones I have ever encountered. Curiously, I've never turned up a duplicate.  The wrenches are stamped "Forged Steel--Treated" and the ones in my collection include several whose openings are measured in 32nds of an inch.  How long has it been since anyone has produced wrenches in these size.  Also, if you look closely at the wrench second from the top, you'll notice it has no fractional size markings whatsoever, suggesting it was either supplied with a particular machine, or it dates back to the time before manufacturers put such markings on their wrenches.  I don't know if the "Canadian Forge" wrench below was made by the same company as Canada Forge but, if so, they did make metric wrenches as well:

Canforge tended to focus on much larger forgings, and so perhaps the scarcity of such wrenches is because they ultimately left wrench manufacturing to other companies prepared to specialize in this area.

The Canada Forge Company Ltd was founded in Welland in 1906.  In 1912, it was amalgamated with the Canadian Billings & Spencer Company of the same city, and with the James Smart company of Brockville, Ontario, becoming Canada Foundries & Forgings.  During World War I, in addition to munitions, the company produced 100,000 of the infamous Ross rifles.  By 1919, the company employed 1000 men, making it the largest employer in Welland.  In 1977, it was renamed Canada Forgings, a division of Toromont Manufacturing of Toronto.  It is still going strong, and counts among its customers such giants as Pratt & Whitney, General Dynamics, General Electric, Siemens Westinghouse, Atomic Energy, BF Goodrich and Rolls-Royce.

For early pictures of the company's premises and activities, visit the Welland Public Library site.

A half ton shell, 1921

Will Irwin.  "The Next War"  An Appeal to Common Sense.  New York:  E.P. Dutton & Co., 1921
The rising cost of the military-industrial complex.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Moto Guzzi Zigolo 98cc

Seen at Paris Vintage meet. Produced from 1953 to 1966.

Remington Electric Light Car, 1880s

The Remington Electric Light car and accessories designed for "Illuminating wrecks and enabling repairs to be carried on at night along Railroads".
 The car housed a 5 hp boiler, engine and dynamo, and came equipped with five 2000 candle power arc lamps, related poles and wiring.

Omer Lavallee; Van Horne's Road, Railfare Books, 1974

Steam locomotive

Robert Soulard.  A History of the Machine.  The New Illustrated Library of Science and Invention.  Edito-Service S.A. Geneval & Hawthorn Books New York, 1968.

Overland Model 79

Pictorial Brighton 1859-1984.  Brighton Anniversary Book Committee, 1984.

The company was short-lived, founded in the early 1900's but purchased by Willys in 1908, who saved it from bankruptcy.  The marque, however, was continued until 1926 until it was re-badged as Willys-Overland.

The Model 79 was introduced in 1913.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Steamer Montauk

Ron Zeil, The Long Island Railroad in Early Photographs, Dover Publications, 1990
In the second half of the 19th Century the coastal villages of Long island were well served by steamboats lines. The Montauk Steamboat Company bought the nearly new Queen Caroline in 1895 and renamed her Montauk. In 1898 The Long Island Railway, feeling the competition from steamboats, bought the company and according to the above-referenced book, the LIRR ran this steamer into the teens before selling her.  The Great Lakes Maritimes database records that, by 1902, she was running between Cleveland and Sault Ste Marie and that she spent the rest of her days on the Great Lakes. She apparently ended her life as a dredging barge and was scrapped in 1972.

Fading Fiero

One of the better-looking GM products of the last few decades. This one, stored in a Scarborough industrial complex parking lot, looks neglected but still saveable.

Lucky Lindy's Pluck

From C.L. Paddock.  Golden Stories for Boys and Girls.  (Canadian Watchman Press, 1930).

Let this be a lesson to all of you!  Keep away from poker games, drinking sprees and, most of all, girls!

Let's roll out the barrel!

Nikolai Mikhailov.  Discovering the Soviet Union.  Moscow:  Progress Publishers, 1965.
"Although it had taken months of practice, Anatoly was finally getting the hang of the game of Find the Elephant."

First locomotive in the US

John Stevens (1749-1838) was an American inventor who had constructed a number of screw-driven steamboats before turning his attention to the idea of a steam-powered railroad. At his estate in Hoboken he built this locomotive which was capable of pulling several passenger cars. 

Sidecar Sunday

From La Vie Quotidienne des Français au XXe Siecle.  1900-2000.  (Booster-LPM, 1999)Sidecar wireless transmitter station

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Electricity packs a Terrific Wallop!

Stephen Clark & Daniel Lyman (Editors).  The Complete Illustrated Tool Book.  Galahad Books, 1974.

"Wallop" is such a great word.  You don't hear it very often.

U.S. Navy Flight Preparatory School, 1943

Austin.  An Illustrated History.  David C. Humphrey, 1985.

Friday, December 26, 2014


Wood and fabric body, painted in French racing colours.
Seen at the 2014 Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix

Flying Tiger Line

Len Martin, Airliners of the World, Arco Publishing 1966
Great graphics!
More info...

We used to make things in this country. #120 (Revisited). The Peterborough Canoe Company, Peterborough, Ontario

From the 1953 catalogue of the J.H. Ashdown Hardware Company Limited, Winnipeg, Manitoba.

The Peterborough Canoe Company was founded in 1892 and its products are still highly prized.  Following the Second World War, the company turned to the manufacture of power boats but was ultimately unsuccessful in competing against cheaper aluminum and fibreglass boats.  It closed its doors in 1961.

See Mister G's earlier post for a catalogue entry for the company's canoes.

Dressed for candy making, 1927

The Home University Bookshelf, Vol VI.  New York:  The University Society 1927.
"And after this," said Alice, "since we're dressed for it, we'll perform an appendectomy on the cat."

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

LaGuardia Airport, 1960

I was just at this airport and I can report that I saw no promenade like this, though the rest of the facility seems.... uhhhm "vintage". Not many propeller airplanes to be found either...

Department store bikes, Benelli at JC Penney

The annual Christmas tree harvest, 1962

Canada 1962.  The official handbook of present conditions and recent progress.  Ottawa:   Information Services Division, Dominion Bureau of Statistics, 1962.
The Lorax versus the Grinch.

Soldiers enjoying winter sports, Winnipeg, 1932

The Canadian Educator for Home and School Use.  Toronto:  The Iroquois Press, 1932.

Boeing KC135/707

Boeing KC135 tanker refueling a B52. 
The KC135 and 707 airliner were both developed from the Boeing 367-80 prototype of 1954. It was a huge gamble for Boeing that continues to pay off for the company. Over eight hundred KC135s were produced between 1956 and 1966, most of which are still in service. Over a thousand 707s were built between 1958 and 1979.
Len Martin, Airliners of the World, Arco Publishing 1966
Henry R.Palmer, This was Air Travel; Bonanza Books 1967

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Electronic Cannon

From Ny-Lint

Chris Milner on his Bultaco

""Here Briton Chris Milner puts one foot on the ground for a steadying prod as he crosses a stream bed."  From Graham Forsdyke.  The Love of Motorcycling.  Octopus Books Ltd., 1977.

The Blackheath Pedestrian

W.G.V. Balchin (Consultant Editor).  The Country Life Book of the Living History of England.  Country Life Books, 1981.
Nowadays, it's eating contests that are all the rage.  Funny, that.