Friday, April 29, 2016

CNR Hudsons

John Westwood, The World Steam Train Album, Bison Group 1993
 The five Hudsons built for the Canadian National's Toronto-Montreal service were reputedly the fastest locomotives in Canada, and one of them gained this country's speed record for steam traction. They had 80in driving wheels. 

A former manager of mine grew up near Brighton and had stories of the steam locomotives passing through and stopping at the station. At that point, the CNR and CPR run parallel and close together. He mentioned the speed contests the engineers of both railways indulged in, leaving at the same time and in the same direction. Apparently the CNR always won. If the locomotives were in fact these ones, its no wonder!

BSA M21 Side valve

1937 BSA M21

1949 Engine, exploded view

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Hawker Typhoon

Big chin. The Typhoon is another one of my favorite WW2 planes that I never thought I would ever see in person.
There is only one complete one in the world, owned by The Royal Air Force Museum and it currently on display at the Canadian Aviation and Space Museum.

Apologies for the poor photos, the plane is not well lit and in the shadow of the Lancaster. Go see it yourself!

Fordson Dexta

Good tractor... except it was a nonstarter in cold weather.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Montreal Air Meet 1910

Airborne, A heritage stamp collection, Canada Post

Cromwell Dixon in his Knabenshue airship, Montreal Air Meet, 1910. 40,000 people visited the show on the Dominion Day weekend. More here

We used to make things in this country # 233 Monarch Manufacturing concrete mixer

This concrete mixer, designed by Dudas, Kuypers, Adamson for Monarch Manufacturing in about 1970, was bought by my father who went on to use it for mixing hundreds of yards of concrete as he built his barns and house, all poured concrete. Frequently it was my job to load the sand, gravel concrete and a honey can and a half of water each time. Always liked the machine as a sculpture and it wasn't till much later that I realized it was a Canadian design. As a mixer it had its issues, the angle was wrong so you had to prop the wheels up on a concrete block and when it was dumped, it was too low to get a wheelbarrow under. In any case it got the job done and its still working today, having played a major part in the pouring the sidewalk in the background. It has been out of production for many years.
Monarch Manufacturing is still in business making hydraulic cylinder and iron castings, the mixer business was sold to Crown Construction Equipment in 1993.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Bugatti Poster by Roger Soubie

Phillippe Dejean, Carlo-Rembrandt-Ettore-Jean Bugatti, Rizzoli 1982

Postcard silliness

There might be a Davis card for every occasion, I'm not sure what this might be suitable for...

Monday, April 25, 2016

GTW #6407, 1958

John Westwood, The World Steam Train Album, Bison Group 1993
It's 1958 and diesel locomotives have replaced much of the steam power in mainline duty. Here a U-4-b class streamlined passenger 4-8-4 has been reduced to doing commuter service in the Detroit area.

Royal Rifles of Canada

The Royal Rifles had been wiped out in the defense of Hong Kong, December 1941.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Sidecar Sunday

Southern Pacific Daylight

John Westwood, The World Steam Train Album, Bison Group 1993
Looking like a model train in this aerial photo, locomotive #4449 is on an excursion run in the early nineties.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Pasta maker by Ettore Bugatti

Phillippe Dejean, Carlo-Rembrandt-Ettore-Jean Bugatti, Rizzoli 1982
Pasta machine made from car parts by Ettore Bugatti. Hard to tell how it works by the picture.

Live out west in Canada!

Date unknown

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Crescent Snips

Mechanix Illustrated Oct 1962
Advertising snips made by the famous Crescent adjustable wrench company when the company was still located in New York, though the founder and his son had already sold the company in 1960. Wikipedia tells the familiar tale of multiple sales, moves and mergers until the brand names current residency with the Apex Tool Group.
Popular Mechanics July 1943

Steamboat Frontenac, 1816-27

Drawing of the Frontenac's steam engine.

Toronto of Old

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

1919 Schneider Cup Sopwith Seaplane

Ellsion Hawks, British Seaplanes Triumph in the Schneider Trophy Contests, Real Photographs 1945
This event held in Bournemouth, included three machines from France, one from Italy and three from England, one of which was this Sopwith seaplane flown by Harry Hawker- later of Hawker Hurricane fame. Unfortunately fog ruined the event and only the Italian entry finished the course.

Fiat 501 SS

Gianni Marin, The Motor Car, London House and Maxwell 1963
The engine used in this car was a special version of the 501 Sport. I don't know what made it special, like it's predecessors, it was a single carb 1500 cc side valve inline 4 making 30 hp.  The car also featured four wheel mechanical brakes and an electric starter. The model was quite successful in 1500cc competition in its day.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Max Ward's Fox Moth

Gordon Bain, De Havilland, A Pictorial Tribute, Airlife Publishing, 1992
One of the bush pilots struggling to make a living in Canada after the war was a young man named Maxwell Ward. Max grew up in Edmonton, Alberta and joined the RCAF, learning to fly in 1941. On discharge from the Air Force he made plans to start operating in the Yellowknife area — he was only lacking an aeroplane.
In August 1946 Max arrived at Downsview, Toronto, with the intention of buying a Fox Moth. Although he did not have enough capital to buy the aircraft outright a deal was struck and the Polaris Charter Company began operating with DH83C CF-DJC. From that lowly beginning the charter airline Wardair was built. Wardair operated until 1989 when it became part of Canadian Airways. Canadian in turn was acquired by Air Canada in 2000.
That original Fox Moth is now no more and its registration was then worn by one of Wardair's Boeing 747s. That plane was scrapped sometime after 1996, then owned by Saudi Air. 
Max, remembering his beginnings, wanted to have another Fox Moth to be painted exactly as his first. In January 1973 he bought DH83C CF-DJB c/n FM28 from its owner Jack Edwards of Kenora, Ontario and it was painted to represent CF-DJC. At this time, though, it was not fully representative of 'DJC as the Canadian authorities demanded it have the new style registration of C-FDJB. It just did not look right.
On 5 September 1976 the aircraft stalled into Lake Ontario and suffered considerable damage. A rebuild was possible but a new fuselage had to be made. On completion the Canadian authorities relented and allowed the 'proper' marks to be carried. Kept at Toronto International Airport the aircraft flew only rarely to go to Watt Martin's strip at Milton for its annual maintenance and for a few weeks to appear in a film for which it was fitted with floats.
On 15 May 1989 CF-DJB was flown to Ottawa to be placed into the Canadian Transport Museum. 
From De Havilland, A Pictorial Tribute, by Gordon Bain, Airlife Publishing, 1992

As it looks today.

Kawasaki rotary discs

When I was a kid I owned an example of this advanced engineering. Good power but the carb stuck out the right side- way out- and was covered by an aluminum eggshell case. A crash on the right side broke the case- $45, the engine inhaled sand, gravel and whatever else was on the ground so that broke the rotary disc- $15, a piston- $15 and rings- $15. Compare that to a Honda 90 piston $4.80, rings $2.40 at the time. 
I repaired it two or three times and gave up. When a kid was getting a few dollars a week for allowance, it was just not possible.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Imported Ring Wrench

An interesting gimmicky ring wrench I got as a stockingstuffer a few years ago, I've never used it but it looks like it might occasionally be useful,- I guess. But it's also let down by shoddy materials and workmanship. Don't get any ideas though, it does have a patent pending...


photo by Alvin

Norton at Barber

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Studebaker Avanti and Champion

Locomotive Josephine

Locomotive No. 3, of the Toronto, Simcoe and Huron Railway was considered to be one of the most beautiful high speed passenger engines of its time when it was delivered in 1853. Built by Brandt of New Jersey, the drivers were 6 feet diameter, boiler lagging was silver, the domes brass. The cab was polished wood.        Sadly, the engine was completely unsuited for the cheap and quickly constructed railway. The rough and badly ballasted track prevented the locomotive from being used as it was intended but the Josephine became the mascot of the railway. It was almost as famous as its engineer, Cyrus Huckett about whom this popular song was written:

 I dressed myself from top to toe,
 And out from Toronto I did go;
My hair all combed so slick and fine
 I looked as prim as the Josephine.
My superintendent told me, oh!
I'se the best looking driver in the country, oh!
 I looked in the glass and found it so,
Just as Brunel had told me, oh!

Saturday, April 16, 2016

The Story of Canada

Donald Creighton.  The Story of Canada.  Toronto:  The Macmillan Company of Canada Ltd., 1959.
The book's dust cover reproduced an evocative painting from the Royal Ontario Museum's Sigmund Samuel Collection.

One man's massager is another man's parts cleaner

Above, a "Spherco Massage" device that I picked up somewhere.  I re-purposed it initially as a small parts cleaner.  Clamping the massager to a retort stand (and clamping the stand to a workbench--the thing vibrates!), I zip tied a plastic jar to the massager.  Add a little cleaning solvent, drop the part it, and set it to vibrate (it's controlled by a rheostat, so you can adjust the intensity).  Works nicely.  I've since discovered that it is also effective with spray paint cans.  Simply put the spray can upside down into the larger plastic jar (emptied of solvent, of course) and set it to vibrate for 15 minutes or so. The paint gets well-mixed.

The company itself goes back to at least 1960, when the "Spherco" trademark was first registered.  In 1964 the company had an exhibit at the New York World's Fair.  It seems that it distributed through franchisees. In 1974, you could become a dealer for $200.  I don't think the company is still around anymore.