Sunday, April 30, 2017

Allis Chalmers WD45

Good solid looking tractor. Not really up on my old ACs but I believe this one spotted yesterday in Ayr, Ontario is a WD45.

Leica M2, 1961

Continental Holiday.  The American Travel Guide to Europe.  New York, 1961.
Ernst Leitz GmbH of Wetzlar, Germany made around 82,000 of these cameras between 1957 and 1968.  The "M" within the nomenclature of this series of cameras comes from the first initial of "MeƟsucher" (or "Messsucher"), which is the German word for "Rangefinder".  Examples sell for over $1000 these days.  Somebody on ebay is even asking $18,999 for just a body!

Leading industries in Canada, 1947

A totally different employment picture today.  As in: "Would you like fries with that?"  That's called "precarious employment." It's going to get worse. The head of Canada's economic growth council recently predicted that over 40 percent of Canadian jobs may be lost to automation in the coming years. The top five occupations at risk are: retail salesperson; administrative assistant; food counter attendant; cashier; transport truck driver.

"The butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker..."  The last one's long gone. 

Sidecar Sunday

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Boeing B1-E

A 1929 Western Canada Airlines Boeing B1-E moored off the BC coast. The 420 hp Pratt and Whitney Wasp engine gave it a cruising speed of 95 mph and made it a well-performing and useful aircraft. The B1-E was a development of the open-cockpit Model 6 of 1919, also known as the B1. After 5 B1-E were built in 1929, they were given a new model number to indicate they were a new design. 

Chrysler Airflow details

 Airflow frame construction

Interior view, 1934 Airflow

Yanmar IKK wrenches, Japan


A couple of Yanmar wrenches I picked up.  Yanmar is a huge Japanese maker of diesel engines.  The company dates back to 1912, when Yamaoka Magokichi founded the Yamoaka Engine Workshop in Osaka.  By 1936, it had become Yamaoka Internal Combustion Machines, changing to Yanmar Diesel in 1952. In typically Japanese fashion, the name "Yanmar" was apparently taken from the founder's name, combined with the Yanma dragonfly.  In 2002, the company became Yanmar Limited.  In 2016, Yanmar bought the German compact equipment manufacturer Schaeff (which was founded in 1947 as the North American Manufacturing Company in Sioux City) and partnered with Toyota to the develop the next generation boat hulls.

The markings on the wrenches are curious.  I'm assuming that these were made for Yanmar by IKK, with the peculiar Japanese Industrial Standards logo (replaced in 2008) also shown on the wrench:

All I can find on the web is a comment that IKK was a Japanese maker of hand, power and industrial tools in the 1960's.  Below, another of their wrenches found on the 'Net:

They may have been part of IKK SHOT, a Japanese heat-treating company in Tokai, Aichi that now specializes in steel shot and steel grit. According to their website, IKK SHOT started manufacturing steel shot and steel grit in 1957 as IKK (Itoh Kikoh) and became independent in 1997.


Funk & Wagnalls New Practical Standard Dictionary.  Britannica World Language Edition.  1946, 1957.

The word was coined in 1834 by the English physicist Sir Charles Wheatstone (1802-1875) from Greek rheos "a flowing, stream"  + -stat "regulating device."  I'm assuming that the name also inspired the Canadian indie rock band, the Rheostatics.

Wheatstone also happened to invent the telegraph, coin the word "microphone," invent the stereoscope, come up with the Playfair cipher encryption and, perhaps most importantly, make improvements to the accordion, renaming it the "concertina."

Below, a simple sliding rheostat in my possession:

Friday, April 28, 2017

Yamaha RD dragbike

Couzinet 101

The Couzinet 101 was an unusual aircraft, using three low power engines to power a three seat touring airplane that first flew in 1933. As a prototype, it failed to find a buyer and was purchased by the Spanish government in August of 1936. Its ultimate disposition is unknown.. 

Furnas Motor Control

I love these old enameled badges.  This one was on an electric motor control box.  I assumed that "Furnas" was a phonetic rendering of "furnace" for trade mark purposes.  Not so.

According to the Batavia Historical Society:

In 1931, Carl Furnas left the Allis-Chalmers Co., at West Allis, Wisconsin, where he was assistant general plant manager after twenty-one years with the company. 
Working in his basement with his wife, their daughter and two or three assistants, he started the Furnas Electric Company that grew to be one of the nation's outstanding producers of electric motor controls. The company moved into rented space in West Allis in 1934; and in October 1940, moved to McKee Street in Batavia. The company grew steadily until its products were sold all over the world. 
In 1996, the company was merged with a German company and became known as the Siemens-Furnas Controls.

The Real Book About Ships, 1953

I love these old children's books from the 50's.  You'd be surprised at the information they contain.  Among other things, I learned that to build a battleship in those days required 30 tons of blueprints!

The illustrator, Manning de Villeneuve Lee, was born in 1894 in Summerville, South Carolina and trained at the Philadelphia Academy of Fine Arts.  He became a professional artist whose artwork can be found in many private and public collections.   Over the course of his long career illustrated more than 200 books, with an emphasis on historical subjects and books for young people.  He died in 1980.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Monza 1957

In 1957 and 1958 an attempt to transfer the Indianapolis 500 type of racing to Europe and the Monza 500 was born. Intended to be a contest between American and European drivers, the Europeans never bought into it and after two years, the idea was abandoned.

Record Auto Vice No. 74

 A reader from the UK sends these instructions for a 4 inch Record Auto Vice that he had obtained. His accompanying note reads;

 "A few years ago I found a dusty old box in the back of my father's shed. When I blew the dust off I realised that it was the original packaging for a vice, only then to discover that the unused vice was still inside in near mint condition. These instructions were also in the box.
 I have since cleaned the vice up and have it mounted on my work bench and use it regularly. Of course, I have kept the box and instruction sheet."

Nice find! and thanks for the contribution.
We wondered what relevance the Orb Chain Link logo had to the vice. Googling the name brought no information but we discovered that the sticker had been applied to cover another dealer's stamp, Woodberry, Chilcott &Co.
 Turns out they are still in operation as a metal supplier in Bristol.

Nuclear rocket engines, 1971

The World Book Encyclopedia.  Chicago:  Field Enterprises Educational Corporation, 1971.

The hubris!  Just imagine the catastrophe if one of these things failed on the launch pad or in the air.

Pioneer Electronics

I found this mug in a thrift store a while ago.  It brought back memories of a time when Pioneer pretty much owned the audio market.  

The Pioneer logo above was used from 1969 to 1998 and was a combination of the Greek letter Omega (as a symbol for Ohm) and a tuning fork.  Brilliant!

For an interesting video history of the company during these years, go to Pioneer Electronics 50 Year History.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

CPR in Montreal

John Westwood, The World Steam Train Album, Bison Group 1993
Locomotives waiting for the afternoon commute runs in the late 50s. All three are of the 4-6-2 wheel arrangement and all were retired in 1960.

Flag raising at Camp Borden

Nov 30 1921, the ensign of the Canadian Air Force is formally raised at Camp Borden. Avro 504Ks circle the ceremony.

Ford Maverick Instrument Panel, 1974

When simplicity was enough for most drivers.

St. Pierre tools, Worcester, Massachusetts

Above, my St. Pierre hammer.  I first thought it was a hot chisel before I came across the original 1958 patent, which identified it as a welder's chipping hammer.  The hole in the hammer head is to secure a wire brush:

Turns out I also have a box-end wrench by the same maker:

Henry St. Pierre invented a better tire chain because he got tired of getting his father's car stuck in the Vermont mud.  In 1920 he started a company in Worcester, Massachusetts to manufacture these chains.  Eight years later he bought a plant from the Rogers Drop Forging Company and began to use this technology to make automotive tools.  World War II redirected the company's efforts to aircraft parts and anchor chains, but come the peace the company decided to venture into the production of pitching horseshoes, eventually becoming the world's largest producer of these items, a distinction the company still holds.  Today the St. Pierre Manufacturing Corporation also still manufactures tire chains.


Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Last pair of Blundstones

I've worn and enjoyed Blundstone boots for many years, tough, easy to pull on and comfortable from the first time they were pulled on. This pair was different.  These ones, from new were uncomfortable, they never seemed to break in,  I wore them walking out and about, sometimes causing so much discomfort, I'd take them off to make it home. I couldn't throw them out- they're not cheap- and it took a number of kickstart sessions with a reluctant large bore motorcycle to sufficiently ruin them that they finally were wearable, but as the instep was now damaged- only on dry days.
 Then later I discovered that these would have coincided with about the time production moved from Australia to some third world country. So they weren't Blundstones, they merely looked like Blundstones.
 Anyways, nowadays the advertising is big on the relationship with Tasmania- where they used to be made- and you have to look closely to find the true country of origin. Oh, and now that they're benefitting from reduced costs from cheap third world labour, you think the price has gone down? You can keep them.

Honda MR50

Sure, its all tricked out, modified and enhanced... but the original Honda version was way better looking.