Friday, November 30, 2018

Plastica Font

R.S Hutchings The Western Heritage of Type Design, Cory, Adams & Mackay.1963
One of the very first Sans Serif shadow fonts, this typeface was designed by Herbert Post for Berthold AG. Depending on source Plastica was released in 1929-30 or in 1932. This style of shadow font was popular through the "Moderne" era. 
Berthold was a leading type foundry in Germany, founded in 1858 and only closing in 1993- the beginning of the digital era.

Baldwin's 1000th locomotive.

The Baldwin factory in Philadelphia built their first locomotive in 1832. It was a copy of the British Planet class and had its share of teething problems. The buyer was reluctant to pay the full amount and Mattias Baldwin swore that it was to be their last engine. However 1861 saw the 1000th locomotive built and delivered to the Pennsylvania RR as number 212. This little 2-4 -0 tank engine featured 56 inch drivers and weighed 24 tons. I suspect it was used in commuter service.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Art Glass, 1959

Glass sculpture; Totem Pole, lampwork, multicoloured glass, 5 1/4 inches tall. Designed and executed by John Lees, Vancouver. 

This entry was found in a catalog of an exhibition of glass art at the Corning Museum of Glass in Corning NY in 1959. 
In a catalog of 291 pages, featuring pieces from all over the world, this was the only entry from Canada. Can't get much more cliche than that!

Exuding character...

What modern car compares?

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

P61 Black Widow, Mid Atlantic Air Museum.

The Mid-Atlantic Air Museum is restoring a P-61 Back Widow that was recovered from a New Guinea mountainside after it crashed in January 1945. The aircraft was brought back to the US in 1991 and has been undergoing restoration ever since. The whole story here.
A whole museum has grown up around that first airplane and we went down to take a look. 
Space is at a premium at the museum and although work continues as the restoration gets closer to completion, the plane is relegated to a corner of the hangar. Although it's jammed in among other airplanes, the tour allows the visitor to walk around and under it. Good for studying details, not so good for taking pictures. When asked if there was a estimate for a completion date, the guide cheerfully announced "Tuesday!" No year was volunteered. 
I plan on being there to watch the first flight!

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Royal Scot visits Hamilton

In 1933 the London, Midland and Scottish Railway sent its famous passenger train, the Royal Scot to North American for display in the Century of Progress Exposition in Chicago. The train also made a transcontinental tour through the US and Canada,  Here it draws crowds in its Hamilton, Ontario stop.
 To suit North American conditions, the locomotive was outfitted with electric headlight, brass bell and wooden pilot. Due to the longer distances involved, a larger tender was also used. 
 More here

In order to transport the train to North America, track was laid on the Canadian Pacific ship Beaverdale and the locomotive and 8 cars were deck cargo on the ocean voyages.

We used to makes things in this country #297 Turret Cigarettes

Before plastic and paper containers, metal tins like this for disposable product were common. Difficult to discard...I use this one for storing jewelers files.
From Cigarettespedia
Turret Cigarettes were produced by Ogden’s of Liverpool, a division of Imperial Tobacco Canada. The original version was regular sized (70 mm) and non-filtered, and was eventually discontinued. Imperial Tobacco relaunched the brand as a filtered cigarette, in regular (75 mm) and king size (85 mm), in 1978; this version lasted only a few years before being withdrawn.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Monday Mystery, model truck

Here we have a nicely constructed and detailed truck model. It's largely bolted together and apparently made in Germany, though there are no maker's marks on it and only the simple letter "W" in script in the grille. Some of the components (ie the wheels) look like Meccano parts.  Any ideas or information welcomed.

Safety on the streets

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Massey Harris drag harrows

Tools for tilling the soil.
plowing and discing done, time for the harrow.

Bond Minicars

The Bond Mk2 three-wheeler, powered by a 197cc Villiers engine. Posed here are four of nearly 3000 built during 1952 and 1953. Apparently less than 20 survive today.

Sidecar Sunday

Leslie Grimes cartoon from The Motor Cycle magazine in 1927.
 More on the artist here.

Parks P-2 Biplane

The American Heritage History of Flight, published by American Heritage Publishing, 1962

Oliver Parks bought the rights to the Kreider-Reisner sport plane in the late 20s in order to start an airline, aircraft factory and flying school. Parks built more than 40 of these airplanes, powered by the WW1 surplus Curtis OX-5 engine, which was still available as surplus at that time. 
A development of the plane was the Wright radial engined Parks P2, shown above. Sixteen were built before Parks got out of manufacturing, selling the plane to Ryan and it became the Ryan Speedster.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Honda RS750

Biker Station 1997/11
Honda tried out flat track racing with the ultimately unsuccessful NS750, a mutant CX500 but with lesssons learned, came back in 1984 with a race bike based on the European XLV750R dual sport. The bikes were handbuilt and immediately successful. Ricky Graham won the championship and Bubba Shobert won in 85-87. Mission accomplished, Honda folded up their tent and left. Ricky Graham won it again with a privateer team in 1993.

Biker Station 1997/11

It was good to see them out on the track again this year with the M3 Racing team.
Mac McGrew
RS750 Chassis

Mini power

Belt drive DOHC? That's not stock!

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

1914 Humberette

Top view of Humberette Cyclecar chassis. with water-cooled V twin engine and tubular frame.

More here

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Supercharging your MG, options.

End of  the crankshaft, or belt drive?

Zeppelins over England

Taken from the gondola of LZ-11, a flight of German Zeppelins makes its way to England on the August 9, 1915 bombing raid. During the war there were 159 raids, where 220 tons of bombs caused $7,500,000 damage in English cities. By 1918, losses due to Allied firepower put an end to the program. More here.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Elgin Alligator Wrench

Described online as probably the commonest of the adjustable alligator wrenches. 
Despite that, I don't think I've never seen tools of this type till this one. With the non-parallel jaws, it does not look to offer any advantage over a set of pliers.

Monday Mystery; 1929 Yamartago

Here's another obscure Japanese motorcycle. Nothing comes up on Google at all. 
The utility trike apparently came in two sizes, a 350, which appears to be a homebuilt copy of a JAP (J.A. Prestwich) flathead and a 500 which was a genuine imported JAP engine. Other British components included the carb, magneto and transmission. 
No word if it was also sold as a regular two wheel motorcycle though the construction seems to indicate that possibility. Any information welcomed.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Kanon vernier caliper

This unusual length (7 inch) vernier caliper turned up recently here in Toronto. It's not a name I've come across before but a quick Google search finds the company was started in 1938, and manufactured the first Japanese stainless steel caliper in 1955.  The company is still in business, making a variety of calipers, depth gauges and torque tools.

Tonka dump truck

Wish I'd had one of these as a kid!

Herman Miller poster

Summer picnic, 1970

Battery drama!

Eveready Battery ad from the 1930s

Sidecar Sunday

Friday, November 16, 2018

More Obscure French motorcycles, Mazoyer

After WW2 engineer and motocrosser RenĂ© Mazoyer designed and planned to put into production a 500cc single cylinder motorcycle. He had enough parts to build twelve prototypes but in the end only managed to complete between three and nine unit- depending on the story- some being motocrossers, at least one was a road bike. According to an article in the April 1987 Classic Motor Cycle, one of these bikes was found in a junk yard in 1972, This led the finder to RenĂ© Mazoyer who knew the former owner of the bike and that led to the finding of the second bike shown here. It does not appear that any more examples of this motorcycle have appeared in the last 30 years. More here.