Thursday, August 30, 2018

K-line wrench

Here we have another older imported wrench that seems to be fairly good quality but an orphan, I've never heard of the name K-line and nothing immediately appears online either. 

Toro Tractor

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Little Giant Tap and Die

In 1885 Fredrick Wells applied for a patent on a new and improved die-stock and the next year he and his brother left their employer Wiley and Russell Manufacturing to make and sell thread cutting tools. The Greenfield Mass. company did well, eventually also including drills and drilling machines in their lineup. 
In 1912 they were acquired by Greenfield Tap and Die and the product line streamlined back to threadcutting tools.  More history here at
Meanwhile in Canada, in 1914 the Well Brothers Canadian branch bought out Canadian Tap and Die, based in Galt Ontario. Was the Canadian branch an independent company or had it been included in the sale to the Greenfield Tap and Die? 

Intercolonial Railway #66 Moncton

The caption described this as being the first locomotive built in Moncton, New Brunswick, 1866- lots of proud well dressed men posing with the locomotive.  I suspect a McAvity link but so far have found no evidence of any 19th C locomotive-building companies in New Brunswick. Any info welcome...

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Yacht Pardon Me

Baldwin locomotive in Japan

John K. Brown, The Baldwin Locomotive Works 1831- 1915, John Hopkins University Press, 1995
On display at the 1903 Osaka Exposition, Baldwin displays a Mogul 2-6-0 locomotive destined for the narrow gauge Sanyo railway. Also on display are steel locomotive tires made by Baldwin subsidiary Standard Steel Works.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Allison V12

Allison's competition were the radial engine manufacturers, Wright and Pratt and Whitney.

We used to make things in this country #295 Adams Launch and Engine

The Adams Launch and Engine seems to have been in business as a manufacturer of boats and gas engines in the early part of the 20th century, there doesn't seem to be any information online except that the company was sold to J.T. Payette in 1914.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

30 lbs

Cast iron York barbell weights- before they made them out of blowmolded plastic housings filled with plaster.

Cudahy courtesy signals

This would appear to be an aftermarket company that provided automobile turnsignals in the early days of motoring. The salesman sample below is attached to a Marx car as a demonstrator. Any info on this company or product would be welcomed!

Friday, August 24, 2018

Karman Ghia

The mail must get through!

The Classic Motor Cycle September 1989
The Craigivar Express. A Scottish postman built this steam car in about 1897 and used it on his daily runs for many years. 

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Studebaker electric, 1903

Electric cars are the future! This model claimed a forty mile range and anyone could drive it.

Victoria Bergmeister Vtwin

thanks to Cutaway Collector.
Designed in 1951, the Bergmeister 350 didn't go into production till 1953. Unfortunately sales were not good, and only about 5000 were made before production ceased in 1958. It is thought that about 60 remain, including this cutaway engine. It might be one of a kind!

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Port Austin Level

Part of the fun of snooping around used tool shops is discovering things you never knew existed even if they aren't that rare or terribly exciting. The Port Austin Level company was founded in 1947 and continues to make high quality levels in Michigan to this day. I should have bought this one.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

AMC Sportabout

Not particularly successful in its day, this variation of the Hornet holds up well 40 years later.

72nd running of the Peoria TT

In 1931, brothers Bob and Bruce Walters, with Bruce’s wife Gladys, moved to Peoria, Illinois, and took over an existing motorcycle dealership in the city. They had just come from Galesburg, Illinois, where they owned and ran a successful dealership and were active members of the Galesburg Motorcycle Club. When they arrived in Peoria and had established themselves, they helped form the Peoria Motorcycle Club. The Peoria Motorcycle Club, along with leadership from Bruce Walters, who was not a chartered member, started organizing their own local TT races.
In 1940, the club purchased an 80-acre plot of land south of Peoria proper which captivated Walter’s imagination. “Just looking at the land, I could visualize its potential,” Walters said in a 1978 magazine interview. “It was just a valley full of willow trees then, but I could see that if we cleared the trees we’d have a natural amphitheater with a race track for a stage.” 
 The track is still there, largely unchanged and we caught the race there last weekend. Great event! The reprint poster was $5, I had to buy it. The entry price has gone up somewhat...
 It was good to see two Hondas RS750s from the 1980s being used in anger.

Monday, August 20, 2018

AKE wrench

I found this wrench by AKE at Liberty Tool in Maine. I can't find any info on this Japanese-made tool, I don't think it's related to the German maker of saw blades and cutting tools.

Cord 812

Take Me To Your Ruler : Witco, Denmark

Folding Rulers Made From Wood & Brass or Fibre Glass

Previously we explored the history of a brass and wood ruler (properly a straightedge) produced in the USA by the Murray-Black Company. And as far as wooden rulers produced in Canada are concerned, The Duke covered that subject quite well in his discussion of the Acme Canada Company 

Today I have another well crafted wooden ruler to offer up, but this one hails from Denmark, and I am at a loss for the history of the company since I can’t quite figure out who they are! My model is the 202, which is 36 inches in length, and lacks a metric scale.

The name Witco is used by numerous companies across the globe today, none of who appear to produce folding rulers, or measurement devices of any type. But at some point in the last century, a Danish company called Witco (at least the rulers are made in Denmark) made some wonderful folding rulers. The terrible truth about folding rulers is that they tend to be poor at producing a straight edge for line drawing, and they have largely been displaced by the far more versatile (and longer length) retractable tape measures that we all own and use today. Still, many men in carpentry, cabinet building, and other specialized trades find use for them, especially for inside measurements.

I have identified a few different Witco folding ruler models through online auction/sale sites. These are:

Model 202 (wood and brass 36 inches)
Model 404 (wood and brass 24 inches)
Model 501 (GlassFibre 1 meter / 39 inches)

So, who is Witco?

It’s a mystery. The fact that a fibre glass product was manufactured suggests that whatever the origin of the company, it was still active during or post the second world war since that material was invented in 1938. Prominent companies that operated as Witco in the 20th century were the Western International Trading Company (produced wood tiki furniture products), the Wilde Tool Company (a USA based tool company that is unlikely to be the same company), and the Witco Chemical Company. One working theory I have would see the Diwa Manufacturing Company of Denmark producing these rulers for the Witco Chemical company as an advertising item. I have seen Witco Chemical tape measures produced for advertising purposes. Diwa produced rulers in wood and plastic in the mid 20th century that were often used as promotional swag by companies around the world (especially their slide rulers). Diwa typically used 3 digit model numbers (301, 601, etc) for their products. Also, I find the Diwa company font is somewhat similar to the Witco font used. All quite speculative on my part. Please shed some light on this if you have any information!


CB 450 Police bike.

Ridden to the Peoria TT yesterday