Thursday, August 31, 2017

Airequipt Stereo Theatre, 1956

National Geographic, March 1956


That fathometer is fascinating!

John Bohannan.  Your Guide to Boating Power or Sail.  Barnes & Nobles, 1965, 1969.

"Are you sure it measures fat?"

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Vacuums for everyone.

The Canadian Hoover plant was in operation from 1919 till 1966.

Office life before the cube farm

Matthew Luckiesh.  Director,  Lighting Research Laboratory, General Electric Company, Nela Park, Cleveland.  
Light, Vision and Seeing.  Second Printing.  D. Van Nostrand Company, Inc., 1944.

Cutting corners

Over the years, there have been some interesting ways thought up to create a more portable form of mitre box.  Here are two.  First, the Sandvik 232 adustable mitre saw guide:

It is designed to allow two cutting positions:  left and right.

Remove the coarse-threaded plastic hand bolt, and you can arrange the guide to cut mitres on the left side of the board:

Below, in use, with the guide clamped to the workpiece:

The guide itself will take a regular hand saw, but not a back saw, which is a drawback as a regular saw doesn't have as rigid a blade:

Mine was originally sold in the Beaver Lumber chain of stores, for $14.49.  It's no longer available.

Now to the second tool. In 1960, Robert I. Johnson of Eugene, Oregon was awarded U.S. patent no. 2,956,598 for a "portable mitre box."  Eventually, it became the awkwardly named "Anglerite" (which would have benefited from a hyphen) produced by the Nielsen Saw and Manufacturing Company of Eugene, Oregon.  That company was around in the 50's and 60's but has left no presence to be captured by the Web.  The tool was presumptuously identified as a "Model 350" but may have been the only tool offered by the company.  I certainly have been unable to find any other offerings.

It's also designed for a regular hand saw.  The guide is simply too wide to permit anything other than a huge back saw to fit with enough blade clearance.  So, a drawback.

Unlike the Sandvik, it has another adjustment for making compound mitre cuts:

Also, unlike the Sandvik, it comes with a built-in clamp, which unfortunately leaves much to be desired.

My conclusion:  both tools are too gimmicky to serve the purpose for which they were intended.  Neither is rigid enough to permit the user to cut accurate mitres.  While better than trying to cut mitres without a guide, a carpenter would be much better off with a simple mitre box.

Elesco Locomotive Superheater


WW2 Gas Producer technology

John Fuller Ryan, Wartime Woodburners, Gas producer vehicles in WW2. An Overview. Schiffer Military History 2009

The Imbert gas producer unit consists of (from left to right) the boiler or firebox with air injectors near the base. In the middle is the radiator unit used to cool the gases from the firebox, below that a prefilter unit that baffles the gas through water. To the left of that is the large filter which contains oiled wood chips, oiled cork, or some other finely-divided material to remove  ash, soot etc. Above the large filter is the fan used to accelerate gas for startup and an air intake to mix the produced gases with air.

A while back The Duke did a post entitled The Original Thule to which a comment was made, suggesting the large containers on the roof were actually methane bags- which made me wonder about gas producer vehicles, another alternate fuel arrangement. When I happened upon a book on the subject, I had to pick it up to learn more about these vehicles. After scanning, I see gas producers are an entirely different thing and quite likely commenter Steve is right (or could it be an early natural gas bladder arrangement?) 

In any case the gas producer vehicles look like they were a viable if not convenient or efficient alternate fuel for a hard-pressed population requiring motorized transportation. Pick up a copy of the book for more info.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Franklin for 1925

Mystery Tool

I'm thinking some kind of auto-body repair tool, maybe for filing bondo in some hard-to-reach area?

Re-inventing the bread knife

I recently rediscovered this peculiar knife. It carries U.K. Registered Design No. 985267.  In Canada, it was registered in 1978 as a "culinary cutting and serving tool" by the Hing Wah Houseware Manufactory Limited of 49-50 Middle Kwai Chung Village, New Territories, Kowloon. That is, Hong Kong. The Canadian registration expired in 1993.

It's certainly odd. Is that a bottle opener at the rear of blade? In addition to the peculiar perforations, which appear to serve only a decorative purpose and which would make the knife more difficult to clean, it also has 2 riveted pins on the back, located 2 inches above the cutting teeth:

These limit the size of the loaf of bread that it can cut through. So, nothing bigger than baguettes.  I don't know if their purpose was to attach the knife to some kind of holder, to keep a slice of bread from falling off of the knife while it was being served, or if they were there to keep the blade pointing downward when the knife was laid on its side.  I'll probably never know.

Perhaps not the best invention since, well, sliced bread.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Toyota 250 mm Angle Wrench

I'm not sure where this tool came from, I've never seen a quality tool like this om any Toyota vehicle tool kit.

Know your roof trusses

Walter E. Durbahn.  Fundamentals of Carpentry.  Volume II.  Practical Construction.
Chicago:  American Technical Society, 1951.

Bell & Howell Robomatic

Aaron Sussman.  The Amateur Photographer's Handbook.  Seventh Revised Edition.
New York:  Thomas Y. Crowell Company, 1941, 1965, 1967.

Introduced in the mid-1950's, it was apparently still on the market 10 years later.  I can well remember having to endure long slide shows of acquaintance's vacation trips, especially if they brought out several carousels.  Groan!

The term "robot" was first used in 1920 in Karel Čapek's play R.U.R. ‘Rossum's Universal Robots.’  Karel's brother Josef actually came up with the word, which originated in an old Slavonic word "rabota" meaning servitude or forced labour, the method through which serfs paid their rent.  The play itself is a fascinating piece for its time.  Read The Origin of the Word 'Robot'.  Because of his views, Hitler hated Karel Čapek and he was No. 2 on the Gestapo's most-wanted list.

Sidecar Sunday

le Container

This is going to hurt....

The yacht Maybe, 1915

The Art of the Boat, Photographs from the Rosenfeld Collection, Mystic Seaport 2005
The Morris Rosenfeld & Sons were in business taking photographs of boats in the first half of the 20th Century.  They were responsible for taking many stunning sailing yacht pictures but also of smaller motorboats such as this one, taken in the same location as this photo.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Shake Hands with Us: WWII Japanese Surrender pamphlet

W.A.B. Douglas & Brereton Greenhous.  Out of the Shadows.  Canada in the Second World War.  Oxford University Press, 1977.

Transporting oil by sea

Canada 1962.  The official handbook of present conditions and recent progress.
Ottawa:  Information Services Division, Dominion Bureau of Statistics, 1962.

Oh, terrific!  Below, how it all started:

The Petroleum Handbook.  Compiled by Members of the Staff of the Royal Dutch Shell Group.
Third Edition.  London:  The Shell Petroleum Company Limited, 1948.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Re-engining a fighter plane

Roger A Freeman; Mustang at War, Doubleday 1974
The Mustang became a complete fighter plane when the larger and more powerful Roll Royce engine replaced the original Allison. The top photo shows the prototype installation of the test Rolls Royce Merlin 65. The bottom photo shows the later production Packard Merlin installation.
 The new engine increased top speed by 70 mph and more importantly, accomplished that speed at 25,000 feet from 13,000. 


Eye surgery, 1930's

John R. Crossland & J.M. Parrish (Editors).  The Treasury of Many Wonders.
London & Glasgow:  Collins Clear-Type Press, c. 1936.
From today's perspective, it looks like a scene out of Doctor Who!

Mazda Miata, 1993

July 1993

Look closely:  it's a woman driving!  Very clever!

Another old can opener

Other than the 'Made in Japan" stamped on it, there is no info available on this device, which looks like it might work...

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Army surplus, 90 years ago.

Considering that an average wage was about $20 a week at that time, these ain't cheap!

The lost art of sheet metal work

I was at a yard sale on the weekend.  Among the stuff on the table was this hanging container.  Shabby-looking to most, but I was really impressed with the quality of the work that went into it. Look at the lovely folded and soldered seams. No blobs of solder anywhere!

The guy who made this was skilled at his trade. No one makes stuff like this anymore.  It will last forever, or at least far longer than the plastic crap that has supplanted it in the marketplace. I'll give it a new coat of paint on top of the galvanizing and give a new purpose somewhere in my shop.

More Chinese junk

I was in Canadian Tire a while ago and bought a package of five Mastercraft sanding belts for my Craftsman sander.  The initial two were fine.  However, I went to use them recently, and all three broke one after the other at the glue seam after only a minute or so on the sander.  I've never had this happen before. They weren't cheap either.  I looked more closely at the package: "Imported for..."

I frequently rail on this blog against cheap products, which are usually made in China.  Of all people, then, I should know better to look at the source of items before buying them.  Someone up the food chain obviously decided they could save a few pennies per belt by using lower quality adhesive. I've since bought some new belts at Lowes, made the U.S.A. No problem with them.

I've marked the Crap Tire package "Junk" and stapled it above where I store my extra belts, just to remind me to never buy from this source again.  "Superior line of my products" my ass.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Stamped steel train

Although the manufacturer is not known, this roughly O scale toy has lines similar to the smaller Stafford Liner pull trains but with better wheels and cruder manufacture. I'd date it as postwar but if anyone has any info on this toy please contact me.