Saturday, October 31, 2015

Model T bodies

Honda in the 'hood

Energy saving ideas for schools!

With rising heating costs, perhaps it's time to reconsider this idea.  Sew in a pocket for smart phones, and we're good to go!

Prince Royal Limo of Nissan, 1966

The Japan of Today.  Public Information Bureau, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Japan, 1967.
On display at the 1966 annual Tokyo Motor Show.  In that year, the Prince Motor Company (formerly the  Tachikawa Aircraft Company), which made vehicles for the Emperor, merged with Nissan.

Friday, October 30, 2015

We used to build things in this country. #218 Dodge Wood Split Pulleys

Globe and Mail, 1919

The Dodge Wood Split Pulley Co. was originally located on Adelaide St, just west of Yonge St in Toronto where they made drive line components for manufacturing plants. In 1888 they moved to Pelham Ave. in the Junction area north of the CPR mainline and were renamed Dodge Manufacturing Co. They expanded quickly but there seems to be little information on the company after the move. No idea how long they were active but the implementation of individual electric motors on machinery instead of the old single central steam engine with power transmission by shafts and belts must have put them out of business.

Bissell's carpet sweeper

I bought this 1930's or 40's Bissell carpet sweeper at a yard sale for $2!  It's primarily of plywood construction.  All it needed was some glue to repair delaminations on some of the veneer and the brush driven wheels.

In the 1870's, Melville and Anna Bissell owned a china store in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  In those days, fragile objects usually came packed in sawdust, which got everywhere.  Melville had purchased a carpet sweeper to address this problem, but his own improvements led him to patent his own version in 1876.  Soon, he and his wife had founded a cottage industry to supply these to local customers.  Business expanded, and a manufacturing plant was opened in 1883.  Sales increased even more when they heeded the advice of their bookkeeper to market the appliance based on the quality of the wood ("golden maple, opulent walnut and rich mahogany") and not its engineering merits.  In Britain, even Queen Victoria had palace staff buy Bissell cleaners.  In 1889, following Meville's death, Anna took over the company reins, becoming one of the first female CEO's in the U.S.  By 1890, the company was producing 1000 sweepers a day and "bisselling" had become a verb.  The company continued to prosper, and in 2009 took the lead from Hoover to become the premier North American floor-care manufacturer.


Olympus XA2, 1981

Canadian Geographic, Dec 81/Jan 82
According to Camerapedia, The Olympus XA series of cameras was a range of very compact cameras in a clam-shell case. They were designed for Olympus by Maitani Yoshihisa

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Dirt Track Laverda

Thanks, Fred!

C&J framed 750 Laverda at Wauseon, nice job done here, and it works well!.....

Flying Boats and sailing ships

John W D Taylor, Flight, A Pictorial History from the Wright Brothers to Supersonic. Peebles Press 1974 

Imperial Airways flying boats in Alexandria harbour, about 1930

Flattracker American

source unknown
Anyone recognise this engine or bike?

 Update. Here's what we've learned.
"The American was an effort lead by Bill Kennedy, somewhere in Ohio.  Kennedy had previously fielded a stream of great riders on very hot Triumphs. The American was to take the Triumph successes to a new level against H-D. It was a wonderful effort-basically fighting to keep something on the track against the steadily improving XR, although ultimately with little success. Got to like someone who would build his own motor.  I recall the bike being ridden by a number of hot guys for a year or two, including Jay Ridgeway, I think. There is more information out there-I don’t believe that I ever saw it on the track, but it was run in Ohio, and probably at some nationals."
 Thanks to Fred- and Mike! 

Telling a fid from a ditty bag

John Bohannan.  Your Guide to Boating Power or Sail.  Barnes & Noble, 1965, 1969.

We used to make things in this country. #217: Canadian Marconi Company, Montréal, Québec

A battered Marconi Model 219 from the 1930's or 40's.  It was free at a yard sale and destined for the garbage if no one took pity on it.  Guess what--it's now in my barn.  No idea what I'll do with it.

Guglielmo Marconi founded the Marconi Wireless Telegraphy Company of Canada in 1903, which took another 22 years to become simply the Canadian Marconi Company.  Ownership passed hands several times until 1968, when GEC acquired 50 percent of the company shares.  After that,  British Aerospace nabbed the firm in the late 1990's, and further ownership muddle ensued.  See the Wikipedia article on CMC Electronics if you really want to get a headache.  In any event, I suspect the company stopped making radios in Canada a long time ago.

As for Marconi, he had a long relationship with Canada, beginning with the first wireless signal sent across the Atlantic in 1901.

Canada One Hundred 1867-1967.  Prepared in the Canada Year Book, Handbook and Library Division, Dominion Bureau of Statistics, Ottawa.

St Johns.  North America's Oldest City.  Newfoundland Tourist Development Office, August 1961.

J. Arthur Thomson. (Ed.).  The Outline of Science.  A Plain Story Simply Told.  Third Volume. New York & London:  G.P. Putnam's Sons, The Knickerbocker Press, 1922.

Eithne Farry, Karen Hurrell and Jon Sutherland.  Snapshots in Time.  100 Years of Change.  North Vancouver:  Whitecap Books, 1998.
The World Book Encyclopedia.  Field Enterprises Educational Corporation, 1970.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Schooner Picton at Gananoque

Willis Metcalfe, Canvas and Steam on Quinte Waters, South Marysburgh Marine Society, 1979

Preston Portable Garages

Globe and Mail 1919

Pleasure boating in Canada, 1960's

Invitation to Canada.  Ottawa:  Canadian Government Travel Bureau.  c. 1960

Electricity: Our Invisible Servant

Mr. Fix-It's Complete Book on How to Make Your Own Electrical Repairs.  By Six Leading Authorities.  NY:  Greystone Press, 1953.

Yesterday, for the first time since Mister G and I began this blog, I was unable to post.  My electrical servant proved unreliable, as my entire area suffered a blackout for almost the entire day. Fortunately, I still heat with wood, have plenty of candles and kerosene lanterns and mechanical clocks, so the experience was more of an enjoyable novelty for me.  Unfortunately, my computer thought otherwise.

Apparently, the cause of the outage was a malfunction in electrical control and protection equipment at a local transformer station.  (Not as exciting as the outage in Seattle last June, when a naked woman drove her car into a utility pole!)  It drives home how fragile is the link that we depend on for our modern conveniences.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

The Last Spike, Ontario Edition.

While the CPR struggled to construct the first transcontinental line through the Rockies, a similar battle was occurring in northern Ontario, Though the scenery was not as spectacular, the terrain was just as inhospitable. Tunnels, fill and bridges were common in the thousand mile stretch of Canadian Shield. Rock fill disappeared into seemingly bottomless swamps, roadbed along the shore was washed away by storms on Lake Superior. The last spike was driven in BC in November 1885, the northern Ontario portion was completed only 6 months earlier.

The Red Sucker creek trestle, made of wood, was 110 feet high.

Freshly opened rock cuts and tunnels. Below, the track is not yet ballasted and trains crept along at little more than walking speed to avoid derailments.

Two views of the Trestle at the Nipigon river, under construction and completed (below). To save time, masonry abutments were constructed and the center spans were designed offsite and later assembled onsite while the approaches were built of wood.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Ettore and the Bébé Peugeot

Phillippe Dejean, Carlo-Rembrandt-Ettore-Jean Bugatti, Rizzoli 1982
So elegant!

Imperial Airways Handley Page HP 24

The Helena, one of eight Handley Page HP 42 airliners used by The British Imperial Airways through the 1930s. Eight of these giants  carried passengers in luxury, up to 24 at a time from the UK mostly to the continent between 1930 and 1939. Cruising speed was about 100 mph, though a headwind could greatly reduce that. All planes were out of service by 1940 and no survivors remain.
The eight planes were all named after Greek and Roman historical figures. Heracles (Hercules) pictured above. 
Hannibal, the prototype. Lost over the Gulf of Oman in 1940 for reasons unknown. No trace of plane or passengers was ever found.
More here.

Steamer Butcher Boy, 1885

Omer Lavallee; Van Horne's Road, Railfare Books 1974
Looks like a cold fall day as the Steamer Butcher Boy rests at McKellars Harbour on the north shore of Lake Superior about the time that the CPR line was being completed through Ontario.

DeLaval Separator

Tweed.  A Centennial Mosaic.  Tweed & Area Historical Society, 1990.

Today you see these separators on farm lawns around eastern Ontario, being used as flower pots.

Of French descent, Gustaf de Laval was born in 1845 in Dalarna, Sweden and went on to earn both an engineering degree and a Ph.D.  In 1878 he patented the centrifugal separator, forming AB Separator (later DeLaval) in 1883.  Over the course of his lifetime, he was awarded 92 Swedish patents and founded 37 companies.  In 1991, DeLaval was purchased by Tetra Pak.  Today they've developed a robot milker. What's next--a robot cow?

Another job you wouldn't want to do: itinerant marimba player

Norman Holland.  Southern Sky Trails.  Gazette Printing Co. Ltd, (Montreal), 1944.
On second thought, that's not so bad!