Monday, November 30, 2015

Fairchild C-119 Flying Boxcar

The World Book Encyclopedia.  Chicago:  Field Enterprises Educational Corporation, 1958.

Warner W. Pflug.  The UAW in Pictures.  Detroit:  Wayne State U Press, 1971.

The designer of this aircraft, Armand Thieblot, was born in Paris, France.  He established himself in Europe before emigrating to the U.S. in 1928, where he worked for Columbia Air Liners and Fokker Aircraft before joining Fairchild in 1933.  He died in 1978 at the age of 74.

We used to make things in this country. #219: Allcock, Laight & Westwood Company, Limited, Toronto, Ontario

In the early 1800's, Samuel Allcock founded S. Alcock & Company in Redditch, Worcestershire, England.  He and another Redditch manufacturer, Charles Laight, visited Canada and decided to form a partnership to sell Allcock's British-made tackle along with Laight's needles & small wares in Canada and to make and sell fishing rods in Canada.  In 1854, Mr. Milward was sent to Canada to set up the business of providing sporting equipment and clothing, as well as essential supplies for hunters and trappers. Beginning with a location on King Street in Toronto, the business moved several times, finally ending up at Sportsmen Headquarters on 230 Bay Street next to the Toronto Stock Exchange. Milward was replaced by Benjamin Westwood in 1868, and in 1885 he bought Laight's partnership and firm became Allcock, Laight & Westwood in 1898. In 1919, the firm was bought by two of its directors.  By 1925. they were making their own lures and in 1927 they also began manufacturing lures for the Creek Chubb Bait Company of Garrett, Indiana, at that time one of the largest tackle producers in the world. By the early 1950's, the company had moved its head office and factory yet again to Leaside, Ontario. The company appears to have been rolled up sometime in the 1960's.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Stitching horse

 My sister has started to repair horse harnesses as a sideline. Much of the sewing is done by hand using an awl and this bench-mounted harness sewing vise or clamp allows positioning and holding the work perfectly. The harness is held at working height in the clamp and the tightening and releasing mechanism is foot operated.  All in all it's a very nicely made and handy device still as useful as when it was made. 
 No manufacturer's name on it that we could find.

Douglas Skyray

Wingspan 33 feet, aircraft length 45 feet, top speed, 722 mph. First flown Jan, 1951, retired 1964, 422 built. 

Radio producer hand signals, 1954

From The New Wonder Book Cyclopedia of World Knowledge.  Volume X.  International Press, 1954.

Sunbeam Clipmaster

We found these instructions among my late father-in-law's papers.  Lucky for us, he never threw anything out.

I've scanned and uploaded the entire manual here: Sunbeam Clipmaster Hair Clipper.

According to Wikipedia:

In 1897 John K. Stewart and Thomas Clark incorporated their Chicago Flexible Shaft Company, which made horse trimming and sheep shearing machinery. In 1921 the company produced its first Sunbeam branded household appliance, the Princess Electric Iron (with an option to buy a fireproof metal storage box). The name "Sunbeam" came from a company wide contest to rebrand its growing home appliance business. Edwin J Gallagher (1897–1983) a buyer and traffic manager for the company won the contest and received a check for $1,000. The company did not officially incorporate its name to Sunbeam until 1946.

The company's fortunes began to decline in the 1980's, and it was forced into bankruptcy by a financial scandal perpetrated by its CEO, "Chainsaw Al," in the 1990's.  Since 2004, it has been a subsidiary of the Jarden Corporation.

Sidecar Sunday

Photo by Alvin
Barber Vintage 2015

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Mason Bogie locomotives in Canada

Canada Atlantic Railroad #8, built in 1877 ,was reputedly the only standard gauge Mason Bogie locomotive in Canada.  It was later renumbered to 724, finally as Grand Trunk #1312 and scrapped before 1910. I found two other Canadian Mason Bogies belonging to the New Brunswick  Railroad and the Rivière-du-Loup railroadneither of which I can find any info on.

From the Mason Locomotive records the company had three Mason Bogies in 3' 6" gauge
Build number 487, 0-4-4, 3/11/73 Riviere du Loup #2 10x15 33" drivers.
Build number 509, 0-4-4, 8/22/73 Riviere du Loup #3 12x16 36" drivers.
Build number 510, 0-4-4, 8/27/73 Riviere du Loup #4 12x16 36" drivers

Largest commercial vehicle made in America, 1907

Cyclopedia of Modern Shop Practice.  Chicago:  American Technical Society, 1907.

Apparently, the word "truck" as applied to such vehicles didn't come into use in America until 1913.

Wesco oilcans (A.E. Westwood Ltd., Birmingham, England)

Above, Wesco oilcans in my shop.  Traditionally, they were red, but at some point the company changed the colour to blue.

A.E. Westwood Ltd was founded in 1928.  By 1937, the company was offering 22 different models of oil can. Today it is part of the SJ Group in Alcester, Warwickshire, roughly 20 miles south of the original location on Mosley Street in Hall Green (which is now an auto mechanics shop). Instead of metal, the oil cans are now made of high density polythene with nylon pumps.  It's refreshing to find an old established British tool maker that is still in business.

Motorcycling, 1966

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Motor Torpedo Boats, WW2

As the caption says- but you can't tell, six MTBs from the air. (source unknown)

De Havilland DH 66, Imperial Airways

An inaugural flight between Croydon and India with this three engine, seven passenger biplane left the United Kingdom on December 27, 1926, and arrived in New Delhi on January 8th 1927. Note the refueling operation and fuel cans in the foreground.

Project Ploughshare

The World Book Encyclopedia.  Chicago:  Field Enterprises Educational Corporation, 1971.
See Operation Plowshare.  Poor Nevada!  Hard to believe now that the U.S. government actually believed that this idea was viable.  It was only discontinued in 1977.

Children's entertainment in Manitoba before the internet

The Manitoba Readers.  Fourth Reader.  Thomas Nelson & Sons.  Clark Bros. & Co., Ltd, Winnipeg, undated.
"Golly gee willikers!  I could watch them toads all the lifelong day!  They's funny!"

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

TX500 Custom

Good use for an old unloved-back-in-the-day Yamaha TX500

1924 Sunbeam

1924 supercharged two litre six cylinder racer. The 1923 normally-aspirated version gave Britain its first victory in a GP event.


Aeroplane vs. Submarine, 1916

Horace Porter.  Our Young Aeroplane Scouts in England.  A.L. Burt Co., 1916.

LJKS predicts the 1975 British Grand Prix in 1970

Nick Brittan (Editor).  Motor Racing.  The International Way Number 1.  London:  Kaye & Ward Ltd., 1970.
Setright didn't get this one right.  He wasn't even close.

Velocette MAC

photo by Alvin

Curtiss-Wright P-40 #15,000, 1944

Welam A Shrader; Fifty years of Flight A chronicle of the aviation industry in America 1903-1953 Eaton Manufacturing 1953
According to Wikipedia, this P-40 was decorated with the insignia of all the armies that had bought any product from Curtiss-Wright, not just P40s.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

One of my vices is vises: Harness sewing vise

I've had this peculiar vise for ages, and thought it might be a saw vise designed for sharpening small handsaws.  The ad below, reproduced in a history book, enlightened me.  I presume that the vise was used to hold adjacent sections of the leather harness in place before sewing them together.  

Reader's Digest Association (Canada) Ltd.,  In Search of Canada.  Montreal, 1971.
Somewhere or the other, I also picked up a shoemaker's hammer: 

Maybe I can embark on a second career in boot repair, but I need one more tool and it will be my last stand.

Pictures of weather, 1950's

From an old school book. To me, the pictures capture the innocence of the era. Sadly, I didn't tag the images with the source, and I've since donated the book to a local school museum.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Tugboat Murray Stewart

Charles Maginley, The ships of Canada's Marine Services, Vanwell Publishing 2003

The Murray Stewart was built by Port Arthur Shipbuilding in 1918, operated by the Department of Transport and lent to the Royal Canadian Navy during WW2. After the war she was sold and returned to Thunder Bay. In 1977 she was renamed the Georgian Queen and operated as a cruise ship out of Penetanguishene till 2014 when she was put up for sale.