Tuesday, February 28, 2017

CNR 1406 and the Niagara, St Catharines and Toronto Railway

The photo was taken at St Catharines, the steam locomotive is CNR's H-6-G class Ten-wheeler, the electric locomotive belongs to the Niagara, St Catharines and Toronto Railway. This line mostly ran between St Catharines, Thorold & Port Dalhousie. Like all the other Ontario electric interurban lines it was obsoleted by GM’s bus program that kicked in after the war. This line was gone by 1959, #1406 by 1961.


Ford tractors for 1967

"Free life and property insurance"?  What did they think might happen if you bought a new tractor?

Oddball slot-head screwdriver

I found this little 4-inch screwdriver at a thrift store recently.  It's an interesting configuration.  It's hard to say if it came this way from the manufacturer, or someone bent it into this shape.  If the latter, it's impressive, because it wouldn't be easy to bend it like this, and most people would be satisfied with just a straight 90 degree bend if it were for a one-off application.  Sadly, no manufacturer's mark on it.

Packard 7 seat sedan

1932 Packard V12 901 Sedan

Monday, February 27, 2017

de Havilland Beaver in military service

John Taylor, A Picture History of Flight, Hulton Press 1974

Canadian built de Havilland Beaver light transports served with the US Army in Korea, after winning a design contest against strong American competition. They worked so well the army later ordered the larger Otters.

One of my vices is vises: James & Reid, Perth, Ontario

I've had this old blacksmith's vise for years.  It's my only actual anvil, so it comes in handy for that reason. There are no manufacturer's marks on it anywhere.

This weekend, I put on an exhibit of old tools at the Bedford Historical Society's annual open house.  The exhibitor next to me was John McKenty, who had a display of CCM stuff (see my previous post--I was able to buy a copy of his book on CCM history from him). He was also researching the history of a Perth, Ontario hardware manufacturer and supplier named James & Reid.  He had an early catalogue from the company.  Below, one of the pages, and voilà--there's my vise!  Another mystery solved!

We used to make things in this country. #254: Kuchyt Metal Works, Fort Erie, Ontario

The Kuchyt Metal Works was located in Fort Erie, just across the Niagara River from Buffalo, New York.  The earliest reference I can find is from a 1963 government document that puts them on Petit Road.   There's very little information on the firm, other than that they specialized in front-end loaders in the 1960's, offering just three models.  Gone now, and a puzzle for owners of these implements.  There's no longer even a Petit Road shown on Google Maps for that city.  Eastern Farm Machinery Limited is still a going concern, however.

Below, images snagged from the web:

Update, Jan 2023; A reader sent me pictures of two more products, a different loader and a fork lift.
The fork lift is below. These units were adapted to or built for these Italian-made CAST tractors.

And a loader with a different narrower layout than shown in the catalog.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

When Los Angeles had streetcars

Bill Plunkett photo

CPR #2426

Ron Krause photo
CPR G-3H class Pacific #2426 moves a passenger train out of Montreal. Date unknown.

RK wrenches, Japan

Below, Honda and Suzuki wrenches made by RK.

Below, an unusual box-end wrench made for Honda by RK:

This Japanese tool company started out as Kuriyama Manufacturing Inc. of Otsu City which manufactured steel hinges.  In 1932, it was acquired by Takasago Tekko K.K. which renamed the plant the Shiga Factory. In 1943, the name was changed to the Otsu Aircraft Factory. One year later, the company relocated to its present location in Yagura, Kusatsu-cho. Following World War II, the company changed names to the Kusatsu Factory, making bicycles and their components.  In 1947, they began to make roller chains. In 1953, they started production on "RK" motorcycle chains, aspirationaly named after the German word for roller chain, "Rollenkette". (According to the company website, "The fact that German has been used shows the respect to the high technology of German during the 1950`s, and the vision of RK to obtain high technology through endless research and development.") In 1954, the parent company became the Takasago Manufacturing Company limited. In 1956, they ceased production of bicycle rims to concentrate on motorcycle rims.  Obviously, at some point they managed to get contracts for toolkit wrenches from Honda and Suzuki.

We used to make things in this country. #253: Vistavue slide viewer, Montreal, Quebec

Sidecar Sunday

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Canadian Pacific, Around the world

Hillman automobiles

All three images above from Robert Ireson, The Penguin Car Handbook, Revised Edition.  Penguin Books, 1967.

Founded in 1907, Hillman was sold to the Rootes brothers in 1928 and where it was soon merged with Humber.  In 1967, Chrysler bought Rootes.  The Hillman name continued to be used until 1979, when Peugeot bought the European division from Chrysler. Peugeot still owns the rights to the Hillman name.

The Imp was produced from 1963 until 1976.  It was the first mass-produced car with the engine block and cylinder head cast in aluminium.

Hythe.  Where the Country Meets the Sea.  Official Guide.  Hythe Publicity Committee, c. 1958

A. Tylee and G.A. Thompson and the first aerial crossing of the Selkirk mountains, 1920

William Kilbourn.  The Making of the Nation.  The Canadian Centennial Publishing Co. Ltd, 1965; McClelland & Stewart Ltd., Revised Edition, 1973.
Below, a coloured image Mister G found in Aviation in Canada.

Sadly, a largely forgotten accomplishment.  After some searching, I found the following on A City Goes to War:

On the 17th of that month (October 1920), Lieutenant-Colonel Arthur Tylee and Captain G.A. Thompson of the Canadian Air Force landed in Victoria’s Uplands neighbourhood, completing their leg of the first trans-Canada flight. Tylee, Thompson, and the other four pilots who took part in that incredible expedition had had to navigate regions that had never been charted or flown over before, facing terrible weather and mechanical trouble along the way – but they had shown that it was possible to fly across the vastness of Canada.

For more information, visit Canadian Aviation Through Time.

We used to make things here, #252 Bobcat APC

The Bobcat was a Canadian-designed armoured personnel carrier developed in the 1950s and early 1960s. It was intended to be a replacement for the WW2 Kangaroo.  During the development period requirements changed frequently including adding the need for amphibious capabilities. This dragged out the long development period even further but eventually in 1959 an order was placed for 500 units. However, budget cuts to the armed forces in 1960 cancelled the order. When APCs were ordered in 1963 the newly introduced and cheaper American M113 was ordered instead.
 This prototype and two scale models on display at Camp Borden are all that remains of the program,

Friday, February 24, 2017

Miss Toronto Contest, 1926

Pierre Berton.  Remember Yesterday.  A Century of Photographs.  The Canadian Centennial Publishing Co. Ltd.
( McClelland & Stewart Ltd.), 1965.

The Farm Woodlot, 1969

I found this old publication in a file folder I was cleaning out.  From almost 50 years ago, it throws some interesting light on priorities back then which have since been largely lost.  I live on a hundred acres of forest and field and heat with wood.  Over the 30 years I've been out here, I've seen more land sacrificed to subdivisions and starter castles.  The people who build the latter almost never seem to plant trees.  I wish sometimes I could put a dome over my property and keep all of the air that my trees generate, and leave the McMansion owners to wheeze on the air generated by their ridiculously over-sized lawns.