Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Noordyn Norseman in production

Norman R. Ball, Mind, Heart and Soul Professional Engineering in Canada 1887-1987, National Museum of Science and Technology, 1987
Showing six of over nine hundred built in 25 years.

Barque Gazelle

 In 1891 C. McLennan built the last barque in the region of Pictou, Nova Scotia, the 999 ton barque Gazelle. The East Coast wooden ship era was coming to a close. I can't find any other images and not much history on this ship except that by 1905 she had been sold and was sailing under Russian colours. 
A bit more here.

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Express Werke of Neumarkt, 1934 catalog

Express Werke was founded in 1884 to build bicycles, eventually branching out into motorcycles. In 1958 the company joined up with DKW and Victoria to form the company Zwei rad. The brand Express was discontinued in 1959. 

thanks, Rolf!

We used to make things in this country, # 303 Stevens Lathe

Remember, Treat your Machine like a Living Friend...
 Stevens, started by John James Stevens was another maker of machine tools based in Galt, in business from about 1910 till at least the end of WW2. This 1916 ad is directed at munitions makers in WW1. 
More at Vintagemachinery.org.
Surprisingly, Stevens doesn't seem to be mentioned at the very comprehensive and authoritative Lathes.co.uk

Sidecar Sunday

Friday, April 26, 2019

Stratosphere Jim and his Flying Fortress.

Being hurried out the door of yet another used book store, I picked this book up for a quarter- or free- without looking closely at it, thinking it might be a personal history of a B17 pilot or something similar. But no, its better than that!
 Published in 1941 as the equivalent of the bodice-ripper for depression-era technology-craving 14 year old males, the story features a futuristic secret fighter plane capable of making a mockery of all other current planes, (pick 'em out from the illustrations!) 
As you might expect, the designer has a secret mountain hideaway to build his miracle planes (a la John Galt in Atlas Shrugged) and is actually engaged in developing a real flying fortress, complete with machine guns, mega bombload, "helicopters" in the wings to hover in the air out of antiaircraft fire range while shelling enemy positions with an 8 inch cannon and protected by a super bulletproof alloy to keep it safe from enemy fighters! Whew! it's all too much!
Naturally, our heros are resourceful, capable and of exceptional courage and character, excellent role models for us all.

Lots of fun. The story, from what I could determine by not reading it, is remarkably predictable despite having not one but two noted authors Oskar Lebeck and Gaylord Du Bois who both made names for themselves in the comic strip world. But really the best part is the illustration work by Alden McWilliams,
 If I had found this book as a kid I would have loved it. 
Alas, now I'm just a bit too jaded and cynical... 

The paper in the book is showing its age. 

We used to make things in this country, #302 Pictou Shipyard

Scottish Shipwrecks

 The Ashby Park (hull #20) is launched in 1944.

Avondale Park, the last Allied ship sunk by the Germans in WW2

Norman R. Ball, Mind, Heart and Soul Professional Engineering in Canada 1887-1987, National Museum of Science and Technology, 1987

Ship model at Halifax Maritime Museum

Although wooden ships had been built at Pictou, Nova Scotia in the 19th century, the shipyard acted as a marine repair facility for the first part of the 1900s. 
 During WW2 the yard was greatly expanded by the Foundation Company of Canada and went to work building cargo vessels. Pictou built twenty four of the one hundred seventy six 5000 ton Park class ships that were built in Canada during the war. 
 After the war the Ferguson Brothers bought the shipyard and continued to operate it till bankruptcy forced closure in 1984. During the Ferguson era, one hundred seven barges, trawlers and ferries were constructed. The shipyard still exists, operating as Aecon Atlantic Industrial, now as a marine service facility.

Boeing P12/ F4B-1

First flown in 1928, almost 600 P12s were constructed in many different variants. Even so, they were obsolete by the mid 1930s and all were grounded by 1941. 

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Egli motorcycle frame

Large diameter tube frame, looks better with Vincent bits attached! 

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Saint Urbain and Vitré street, Montreal

 These two pictures show the corner before and after electricity came to town.

Norman R. Ball, Mind, Heart and Soul Professional Engineering in Canada 1887-1987, National Museum of Science and Technology, 1987

Of course, with or without wires, it's unrecognizable now. Even the street name has changed.

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

HRD 1926

Howard R. Davies Super 90

8N- field find

 Remarkably, these things keep turning up. This later (1952?) side-distributor model was moldering away in the company of a couple of derelict Massey Harris tractors. No idea if it was for sale or not. The Suzuki T500 muffler and header pipe is a nice touch.

Wireless? It'll never catch on...

Friday, April 19, 2019

Wartime propaganda film

War Museum

John Bertram & Sons (Canada Tool Works)

Here we have a nice little lathe used for turning locomotive drivers. John Bertram & Sons was located in Dundas, Ontario and specialized in large machine tools for shipbuilding and railways. Previous post here.


Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Crampton locomotive

 I don't normally do posts on British railway locomotives for a couple of reasons, first the British do railfan far better than I ever will and second, there is just so many odd-looking (to my North American eye) steam locomotives, I can't keep track of them
But the Crampton might be one of the oddest of all, this high speed passenger locomotive has a single driver and it's located behind the firebox in order to get a 7 1/2 foot diameter wheel while maintaining a low center of gravity. The large diameter driver keeps the wheel revolutions down to minimize the balancing issues of reciprocating/ rotating weights. 
I would think poor weight distribution would have robbed this machine of much of its tractive effort. 
The concept must have worked well enough as it led to a series of even larger diameter single driver locomotives of more conventional design that lasted well into the twentieth century in various European countries.
There is an American connection, the president of the Camden and Amboy Railroad of New Jersey was impressed enough with the Crampton to want them for his line. Previous post here.  Oddness carried to a new level.