Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

One of my vices is vises, Larin

 I had never heard of the Larin name, but a quick Google seems to indicate that 5" Larin is still in business selling automotive tools. Their vises are imported and don't seem to have many fans, and this one is not in good shape, missing a jaw and the handle.

Curtiss flying boat 1912

Monday, August 29, 2016

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Smith's Instruments

Smith's instruments, well known to vintage British motorcycle and car fans, applies its experience to the war effort.

McLaughlin Carriage Co.

The company built both carriages and automobiles until 1915 when the carriage portion of the business was sold to another carriage works in Orillia. The McLaughlin Motor Car Co., by then manufacturing Chevrolets and Buicks, was merged with GM in 1918.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Swallow SS.1 Coupe

Introduced at the 1931 London Motor Show, the Swallow SS cars were produced till 1936. These cars were more known for their styling and low cost than their performance though they certainly look fast! 551 were built.
 Part way through production the company changed hands, and the Swallow Coachbuilding name was changed to SS cars.

Transit Buses Inc. (Checker Cabs diversifies...)

Mass Transportation Magazine, January 1954

In 1948 Checker started producing bus chassis for the Dearborn, Michigan based bus distributor, Transit Buses Inc. The firm had been organized in 1941 as a selling organization for the rear-engine Ford Transit Bus, whose bodies were built by the Union City Body Company of Union City, Indiana. 
When the war ended, Transit and the Ford Motor Company couldn’t reach an agreement on the vehicle’s future, so Transit designed an updated 31-passenger model and hired Checker to produce the pusher chassis which was powered by a transverse-mounted Continental Red-Seal engine. 
The buses were assembled at the Union City plant and sold through Transit’s Dearborn-based distribution network. Sales started off well, over 500 of the vehicles were built during 1948 and 1949, 300 of which were purchased by the City of Detroit. However sales of the new vehicles were far-below Transit Buses expectations so they sold the entire operation to Checker early in 1950. 
Checker introduced their Series E Buses in the summer 1951 and although the firm was now owned by Checker, the bodies continued to be built by Union City and marketed by Transit Buses Inc. The City of Detroit ordered 450 units in 1950, however sales fell off dramatically in 1951 and 1952. Between 1950and 1953 less than 500 are thought to have been built, and that number included the 450 units purchased by Detroit. In the meantime Checker engineers had designed a new series of 28 to 42 passenger buses, however the entire project was scrapped and all bus production ended in September of 1953.

Encyclopedia of American Coachbuilders & Coachbuilding - Over 1200 Auto Body Builders Represented

Thursday, August 25, 2016

First takeoff from water

Henry R Palmer, The Seaplanes, Leonard Morgan Publishing, 1965
The Curtiss hydroplane that on January 26. 1911 made the first successful American flight from water.

The yacht Standard, 1902

D.W. Fostle, Speedboat, Mystic Seaport Museum 1988
In 1902 there was no faster yacht around. The sixty foot Standard was capable of at least 25 miles per hour, powered by her six cylinder Riotte 4 stroke gasoline engine producing 110 hp out of a massive 3016 cu in! The 3200 lb engine weight offset the lightweight wooden hull- clad with 3/16" mahogany- which weighed less than 1500 lbs.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Southern Pacific Cab Forward

In order to prevent suffocation of the locomotive crews in the long tunnels of the Southern Pacific, the oil-burning locomotives were set up to run backwards, putting the crew up front. Below, the engineers seat on the right hand side.

Case Traction Engine explained

 Taken from the "Case Steam Engine Manual" with editions dated 1899, 1911, 1915 and 1922.

Seems pretty straightforward!

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Derailment, with complications

Michael R.Farrell, Who made all our Streetcars go? Baltimore NRHS Publications 1973
April 8 1913. This Baltimore streetcar has plunged off the Long Bridge over the Patapsco River. The hanging sign says "Direct to Curtis Bay", I don't think they meant INto the bay.

Canadians in WW2

Men of Les Fusiliers Mont-Royal follow a Sherman of the 27th Armoured Regiment while clearing Falaise, Aug 17 1944.
 Below, an artillery convoy passes through the ruined town.
Lt Col D J Goodspeed, The Armed Forces of Canada 1867-1967, Queens Printer Ottawa 1967
Two months after D Day and still only 30 miles from the beaches, the Allies close up the Falaise Gap, trapping 50,000 Germans soldiers inside. Many escaped but losses to men and equipment were huge. Two days later the Allies liberated Paris.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Sidecar Sunday

Cast iron tub from Standard Sanitation

It's rare to find a tub like this, cast iron tubs are heavy and awkward to move so they generally just get smashed by renovators. Compared to the current cheap fibreglass versions sold today, this is a beauty. After 85 years the enameling is suffering a bit but I hope some one rescues it. Seen at the ReStore in Rockport Maine. 

Friday, August 19, 2016

Bristol Beaufort

That's a great logo.

Airloc fasteners

Airlok fasteners were part of the product line of the Carr fastener Co. of Cambridge Mass.  The company started out making snap fasteners to hold the side curtains of early, “open” automobiles but soon broadened its product line to include fasteners for clothing, automobiles, boats and airplane curtains, as well as radio tube pins, clips and sockets. 
There was a Canadian factory, located in Hamilton. In 1928, this plant became the United-Carr Fastener Company, when its parent company merged with the United States Fastener Company of Boston, Massachusetts.The plant was dramatically expanded. By the late 1930s, over 150 men and women were working here.
After World War II, the company also began producing precision-made parts, such as pen and pencil components, television connectors and screw shells for electric lights and fuses. In the 1960s, production was transferred to a 75,000-square-foot facility in Stoney Creek. Airlok fasteners are still available today.
 The somewhat odd-looking Curtiss Wright AT-9 in the ad was built as an intermediate trainer during WW2. It was a difficult aircraft to fly and after WW2 they were scrapped instead of being released for civilian use. Nearly 800 were built.
 Image below shows the parts that make up an Airloc fastener. The system consists of a receptacle, a stud, and a cross pin. The stud is attached to the access panel and is held in place by the cross pin. The receptacle is riveted to the access panel frame.


Michael R.Farrell, Who made all our Streetcars go? Baltimore NRHS Publications 1973
It's 1891 and electricity is well established in cities, in this case Baltimore. The new trolley companies needed to add even more to this forest of overhead wires.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Keller Pneumatic Tools

Julius Keller arrived from Germany in 1880 and for thirteen years he worked as a tool maker in Philadelphia. In 1893 he invented a new piston valve for the pneumatic drill, which made the drill a tremendously efficient tool. This technology is still being used today. To make use of his invention, he started his own company, the Philadelphia Pneumatic Tool Company. During his life he patented over 17 tools and motors. 
In 1912 he moved his family and Co. to Fond du Lac, WI, and renamed the company Keller Pneumatic Tool Co. 
 Five years later he gave control to his son William who immediately moved the company to Grand Haven, Michigan. The company was again renamed, this time to William H. Keller Tool Co. 
Seems like the son might have been distancing himself from his father? The 1921 scan above mentions Chicago as a head office which doesn't seem to fit the other info I've found. 
In any case in 1954 the company merged with Gardner-Denver.

Horse car, Toronto 1890

Mass Transportation Magazine January 1954
Seaton village via Spadina Ave.

Austin Seven Swallow

Lord Montagu of Beaulieu, Jaguar, Jaguar Cars, 1990
In 1927, the Austin Seven was rebodied by Swallow Sidecars as a sporty little two-seater. The car was produced for five years and brought the sidecar company into the auto market.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

United Airways Boeing 247

John J. Floherty, Board the Airliner, Doubleday, Doran & Co. 1934
 Not sure where this picture was taken, does anyone recognize this building? Looks like an uncomfortable blend of Greek Revival railway terminal and airplane hangar

First German aircraft shot down in WW2

September 26 1939. The destroyer Somali approaches a Dornier Do 18 shot down by Skua fighter-dive bombers from the HMS Ark Royal. The flying boat, the first German aircraft shot down in WW2, made an emergency landing in the North Sea and was sunk by the destroyer.

Britool in wartime, 1942

Monday, August 15, 2016

Another job you wouldn't want to do, grading coal.

Asa Briggs, The Power of Steam, University of Chicago Press, 1982

At a coal pit in the north of England a foreman monitors a crew of men at the sorting belts as they grade coal.

Alternate proposal to the Panama Canal

As proposed in Scientific American in 1884...