Sunday, January 31, 2016

Long before the Norton Girl...

The Canadian Navy overseas

J A Foster, Heart of Oak, Methuen 1985
Three Canadian Destroyer escorts, the Skeena, Fraser and Margaree at anchor in Saigon, South Vietnam, year unknown.

Black Tiger at Indianapolis, 1973

I think that the face on the cover pic bears more than a passing resemblance to Paul Newman, who was at his auto racing and acting height when this edition was published.  If so, I doubt that Newman endorsed this use of his image. 

"Patrick O'Connor" was the nom de plum of Irish-born Leonard Patrick O'Connor Wibberley.  This particular book was first published in 1962, one of a series of young adult books about a fictional "Black Tiger" racing car.  Wibberley is perhaps best known for five satirical novels about an imaginary country Grand Fenwick, particularly his 1955 book, The Mouse That Roared (which was made into a 1959 movie starring Peter Sellers).

Ratch-O-Matic screwdriver

An interesting idea.  The handle is spring-loaded and, as you shove it in against the portion holding the blade, annular teeth on both parts engage to permit you to spin the fastener.

The only information I can find is that the "Ratch-O-Matic" Canadian trademark was filed by the Harlaken Specialty Company, Ltd. of Ingersoll, Ontario in 1974.  The company was founded by Harley Wilmur Douglas and Gordon Edward.  The trademark was inactivated in 1990.

Harlaken also registered "Tract-o-Lite" in the mid-1970's, although that name had been used previously in the U.S. for much longer for lamps on early Ford tractors, particularly those made by the C.H. Hall Lamp Company of Detroit. 

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Sidecar Sunday

American tank in action, 1942

The New Educator Encyclopedia.  Toronto:  General Press Service, 1942.
Yeah, send that in against a Panzer.

To which Mister G added:

That looks like a M2A3- armed with a 30 cal. and 50 cal. machine guns. Obsolete by the time that pic was taken.

We used to make things in this country. #227: Newell Manufacturing Company Limited, Prescott, Ontario

Above, a bottle opener.  Below, several Newell hacksaws:

The W.F. Linton Company of Ogdensburg, New York was incorporated in 1902 to manufacture brass curtain rods but went belly-up the following year. Edgar A. Newell, a prominent businessman in the same city, bought the firm and renamed it the Newell Manufacturing Company.  His son was hired to run it after Edgar started a new firm in 1908, Newell Manufacturing Company Ltd., in Prescott, Ontario just across the St. Lawrence River from Ogdensburg.   Initially, brass curtain rods were the only product, but the line was eventually expanded to include many other products that required plating, including towel racks, stair nosings, ice picks, and other items (presumably also including bottle openers) requiring a finish of brass, zinc, or nickel.   Many were marketed under the "Newlco" trademark.  By 1917 the company began using a non-tarnishable laquer, making its curtain rods cheaper to produce and better suited to lace and ruffle curtains.  This got the attention of the Woolworth's department stores, which began to carry the Newell products.  In 1921, the company purchased the Barnell Manufacturing Company of Freeport, Illinois and renamed the Western Newell Manufacturing Company.  In 1923, the machinery of the the Universal Hack Saw Company of Hamilton, Ontario was purchased and moved to Prescott, adding nickel-plated hacksaw frames to the company's offerings.  In the late 1930's, a third factory was established in Los Angeles.  During World War II, the Freeport factory produced more than 230 million metallic belt links for machine guns within a two-year period, earning an Army/Navy E award for excellence in wartime production.   In 1955, the company built a $200,000 factory at a new location in Prescott.  In 1966, all of the Newell companies were consolidated under the umbrella of the Newell Manufacturing Company of Illinois.  The next four decades saw the Newell company absorb a handful of other companies in related industries, including the Boye Needle Company, WearEver and Kirsch.  With the purchase of Rubbermaid in 1999, the new larger company became Newell Rubbermaid.  This was dubbed the "merger from hell" by Businessweek magazine, since shareholders of both parent companies took a bath.  Nevertheless, the corporation continued its policy of "growth by acquisition" by absorbing American Tool Companies in 2002 (adding the Irwin and Vice-Grip brands) followed by the American Saw & Manufacturing Company in 2003. It's thirst for new companies came at a price: in the United Kingdom, the company was criticized for its closure of a number of factories, including those of Parker Pen, Berol, Record and Marples tools.  In 2015, the corporation became even bigger when it merged with Jarden Corporation, creating a $16 billion company to be named Newell Brands.

In March 2000, the Newell-Rubbermaid shut down the original plant in Prescott, putting more than 100 people out of work. The jobs were transferred to the U.S. facilities.  In 2002 Newell's presence in Prescott ended completely when it closed down the marketing office of Newell Window Finishings.  

Friday, January 29, 2016

Sawmills for the CPR

Bill McKee & Georgeen Klassen, Trail of Iron, Glen-Alberta Institute 1983
A stack of 2 million lodgepole pine railway ties waits at Hawkins Creek near Yahk BC. 1928

Apperson Jackrabbit

photo by Alvin

Hand signals for the floor of the stock exchange, 1942

The New Educator Encyclopedia.  Toronto:  General Press Service, 1942.

Chain repair pliers

These are stamped “J.N.M. & Co., Pat July 26-10 Re Aug 2-15, on one side, and “Necessity” on the other.  

They are J.N. MacDonald chain repair pliers.  In 1910, paved roads were few and far between, and tire chains were essential to navigate the much more common mud roads (see 1917 ad below). The inventor was listed as residing in Hartford, Connecticut, and the 1910 letters patent state that “This invention relates to an improved implement for repairing chains, such as the tire chains of automobiles and the like…and by the use of which links may be expanded and again closed as may be required.”

A later patent was assigned to James M. MacDonald of nearby Wethersfield, suggesting the possibility of a family-owned tool business.  

A.L. Dyke.  Dyke's Automobile and Gasoline Engine Encyclopedia.  Nineteenth Edition.  Chicago:  The Goodheart-Willcox Company, Inc., 1941.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

DKW Mascot, 1920's

A History of Progress.  Chronicle of the Audi AG.  Audi AG Public Relations, 1996.

Curious that they would use this over-weight character as a means of marketing their sport motorcycles.

KABI oilcans, Denmark

KABI was founded in 1937 and its factory is located north of Copenhagen.  Oilcans were the company's first product, and remain today in the product line.

Naturally, the paint on my can had to bubble and discolour just under the decal. I've no idea what "Houby" refers to.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

1970s Art of the motorcycle

Building a custom motorcycle requires many skills including a fine sense of proportion... This misshapen creation looks like a sad misuse of a Honda CB350.

We still make things in this country, Canada Crayon Co.

 Although the Canada Crayon Company is still in operation in Lindsay Ontario, I doubt if any of their products come in nice finger-jointed wooden boxes like this anymore, This one with sliding wooden lid contained 144 pieces of chalk.
 The company is now named Crayola after the crayons, the most popular product from the company, first introduced by the American parent company in 1903.

Restore the voice with Evans' Pastilles, 1912

Scanned from an old newspaper I found in a thrift store.

The National Drug and Chemical Company was a wholesale outlet founded in 1905 by Canadian David Wesley Bole (February 15, 1856 – June 24, 1933). Born and educated as a pharmacist in Lambton County Ontario (which was then known as Canada West), he had previously founded the Bole Drug Company in Winnipeg in 1898.  Bole Street in Winnipeg is named in his honour.  The firm prospered and was bought by the McKesson Corporation of San Francisco in 1991.

I've no idea about the "Liverpool Throat Hospital." Mme. Gadski probably refers to Johanna Gadski (1870 – 1932), a celebrated German diva of the era.

Archer Microflame torch

Leonard E. Laske of Minneapolis, Minnesota, received a U.S. patent for this torch in 1966. These torches were popular in the 1970's.  They consisted of a red cartridge containing butane, and a second cartridge containing "Micronox", a trade name for compressed nitrous oxide.  The cartridges were forced into place in the same manner as CO2 cartridges for air guns.  The torch produced a flame of slightly over 5000 degrees F. (2760° C.). (This is hot!  By contrast, a propane torch produces 3,623°F (1,995°C.) and an acetylene/oxygen flame burns at about 6,332°F (3,500°C)).   I don't think I'd want my hand so close to such temperatures!  The Micronox burned more quickly than the butane, so you needed 2 of those cartridges to use one butane cartridge, which would give you a half hour of use. The setup was designed for thin stock, 1/32" thickness maximum.  

This heating technology has now slipped into history. Until it expired in 2007, "Archer" was a trademark of the Tandy Corporation, owners of Radio Shack, which filed for bankruptcy in February 2015.  It has since been saved by Standard General, a hedge fund, which plans to operate some of the stores in partnership with Sprint.  While only about 1740 of Radio Shack's more than 4000 stores will remain open, the deal will nevertheless preserve as many as 7500 jobs.

Monday, January 25, 2016


Crashed Spitfire in US markings

Source unknown

This plane was shot down by friendly fire at Paestum Beach, Italy

Swat this Mosquito...if you can!

Maclean's, August 15, 1944

Vanished tool makers: Cintride Ltd., Sheffield, England

I came across this curious carbide-tipped drill bit recently.  It's designed for cutting class and ceramic tile.  It is marked "Cintride England."  I imagine that this name was suggested by sintered carbide.

According to one forum:

"The Cintride works on the A6 just south of Bakewell closed around 1999-2000 I think. I visited on business in 1999 when they were still manufacturing drill bits there, saying they were much better than nasty foreign ones. It was obvious the company was on its last legs."

Same old story.

Grace's Guide

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Steam barge Union

Fred Rogers, More shipwrecks of British Columbia, Douglas and MacIntyre 1992
The steam barge Union was assembled from a collection of leftovers in New Westminster BC during the year 1873. A surplus threshing machine provided the power and a chain drive was cobbled together for the paddlewheels. It provided transportation for freight and passengers along the west coast till it caught fire while carrying a load of hay on the Fraser River in 1878 and was destroyed

Yamaha 250 Exciter, before and after

Custom version seen along College St. Toronto though I have seen it on the road more than 60 miles from Toronto. She (the owner) is tougher than I am!