Thursday, January 30, 2020

Fun with medical tools

A few decades ago, I acquired a couple of surgical scalpels and a handful of blades when the hospital system changed to disposable tools. I haven't had much use for Xacto knives since.
 Keep the hobby blades, these are the real thing!


Dampf-Kraft-Wagen, Deutsche Kinder-Wagen, Das-Kleine-Wunder, Des-Knaben-Wunsch, it seemed everybody had a field day with the DKW initials.
 This little front drive car with the choice of 500 or 600 cc 2 stroke engine was released in 1931 and was only sold for two years before being updated. Of the 4000 sold, apparently none were ordered with the smaller engine. The body was made of wood. the frame also had wood sections and the car weighed only 900 lbs.

The "Star" at the Davenport Works, Toronto

The Canadian Locomotive works in Kingston Ontario, built this little tank switcher for Canadian Foundry Co., a Canadian General Electric-owned company that was setting up a large foundry (The Davenport Works) at Lansdowne and Dupont streets in Toronto. The little 20 ton locomotive worked around the shop from 1902 until replaced by a General Electric steeplecab battery electric in 1932. That locomotive (name unknown) was run for 17 years till it was replaced by a little GE 150 hp diesel.
The "Star" in 1937, discarded in a corner of the lot. 

Above three images from Old Time Trains
Home territory for the locomotives.
If you need me I'll be in the screw and nut shop...

The site today, Lansdowne Ave, at Powerhouse St. looking north. 
Not many locomotives around anymore...

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Combination square and its uses

In case you were wondering...

Tools and their uses, Prepared by the US Navy (Bureau of Naval Personnel)

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Another Doe conversion

The Doe 130 was built up from two Ford 5000s.

First air mail flight between Canada and the US

 Edward Hubbard and William Boeing (right) stand beside the Boeing aircraft in which they flew the first air mail run between Canada and the US. The flight from Vancouver to Seattle was made for the benefit of the Red Cross. The load consisted of 60 pieces of first class mail.
Bill Boeing we know,  Edward Hubbard was a Boeing pilot who was awarded the Victoria to Seattle mail route in October 1920.

Monday, January 27, 2020

Yamaha SZR660

 The SRX-600 carried to the next step. We never got these 5 valve singles in North America. With electric start they may have sold better than the SRX.
Oct 1995 Cycle World 

Mystery Mechanical Brakes revisited

Above is the Alfa three shoe brake system, hydraulically operated and used into the sixties, clearly a completely different system than the Bendix. And different to the Degener Company instructional poster below. So the questions are now:
 Did Porsche or any other German manufacturer have 3-shoe mechanical drum brakes?
Looking closer at the car pictured below, did the Porsche 356 (if the drawing is of a 356) ever have mechanical brakes?
 Googling the 356 brake system only finds reference to hydraulic drum brakes, which was the industry norm when the car was released in 1948.

Same brakes, pre-war car
One last note, the image below from a forum; a German farmer found this unknown brake on his agricultural trailer, but there was no further information given.
 Ok that's it for these mechanical marvels!

thanks JP!

Bendix Mechanical Three Shoe drum brakes, 1920s

 This 3 shoe system seems like a complicated way to get improved braking power, but hydraulic actuated systems first introduced in 1921 were not yet universally trusted.
  In last Monday's Mystery we showed a poster with the title "Mechanical brakes" with diagrams of 3 shoe and 2 shoe brakes along with a Porsche-like car with mechanical brakes. Through the generosity of readers I have a manual on the Bendix Three Shoe mechanical brake of the late 1920s (part of which is reproduced below). The post raised more questions than answers!
 This system  was used on the following cars, all American.
            Lever Control Type, Also used on the Following Cars:
Durant 1928
Erskine to 1930
Studebaker Dictator (some)
Studebaker President 8 (some)
Oldsmobile 6 prior to F30
Pierce-Arrow (8 Cyl)
Hupmobile 6 (1926-1927)
Marmon 68 78
Essex to 1929
Studebaker Commander (some)
Falcon Knight
Star 4 and 6
As far as we can tell, there is no evidence of the Bendix system being used in Europe, but if someone knows different please let us know. The illustrations below differ enough from the poster that I don't think they're the same system. 
More here.

If someone needs the rest of the manual, I'll happily send it all on.
 thanks, JP
thanks, Vector Warbirds.

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Jones's improved wrench, 1893

The common adjustable wrench with integral rack and worm had already been around for decades when Edward Jones proposed this idea which seems to require a second tool to adjust the jaw size. Not sure what the advantage is to this design.
 US patent 510263

Another job you probably wouldn't want to do, Company Photographer

O. V. Hunt Photographer Birmingham Alabama. Taking
view of 20th Street from derrick of Tuttwiler Hotel 
July 18, 1913

Sidecar Sunday

Classic Bike, Sept 1981

Saturday, January 25, 2020

The Dale, Twentieth Century Motor Car Corporation

Car and Driver, Oct 1990
Not to be confused with The Twentieth Century Motor company of the book Atlas Shrugged...

The Dale was a three wheeled economy car that was proposed in 1974 by what turned out to be a con artist named Elizabeth Carmichael. The promise of an inexpensive car that incorporated the new ideas of safety in cars (the 5 mph bumper had become mandatory the year before) was appealing to people. The story that the company was run by a mother of five who was going to take on GM and the car industry made it irresistible. The venture was well-publicized and investors flocked to jump on board.
Then it fell apart. The single "prototype" was a generator-motored cobbled-together mess, there was no factory, no company and to complete the charade, Elizabeth Carmichael was actually a man, father of the 5 children. He (she) was charged and convicted on various fraud-related charges. His (her) appeals ran out in 1980 and she was not found till an episode of Unsolved Mysteries led to her arrest. She served 32 months in prison and died in 2004.
More here.

Friday, January 24, 2020

Reassembling Canadian Military Pattern trucks

The North American automakers kicked their production lines into high gear to produce military trucks during WW2. The Canadian Military Pattern trucks were manufactured and then partially disassembled for shipping overseas. Most went to England where they were put back together in a number of factories spread around England. In many cases the cab and bare chassis arrived and were completed with whatever body was required before being shipped out to their ultimate destination.
 Some were shipped directly to where they were needed, and assembled by whatever skilled and unskilled help could be rounded up. There were several variations for knocking them down all with their own army-specified name. 
The Delta plan was one chassis plus cab in a crate, a second crate held two bodies.  This method was the most dense way of packing, and required the cab and body (box) assembled, axles, springs and drive shafts installed, brake lines connected and bled, it took more time and required skilled help. This method was generally used when reassembly was done in the Canadian-run reassembly plants in England.
The one pictured here is the Alpha method, used for assembly in the field. The wheels and top half of the cabs were removed and the parts shipped in one crate. (No mistaking who made these!). When they arrived at their destination- these pictures apparently taken in Egypt- wheels and steering wheels were fitted and the vehicle rolled away to have the cab finished. Quick and efficient. 
The other methods also specified more assembly due to smaller more densely packed crates. 
 Beta 1 had the chassis in a crate with wheels removed, the body (box) inverted over the chassis and two cabs arrived in a separate crate. 
Beta 2 came back to one vehicle per crate with the cab split into multiple pieces. These methods applied to the GS (general service) trucks, specialized vehicles had their own specific shipping methods.
During the war years between 1940 and 1945 Canada produced and shipped overseas more than 88,000 trucks.

Amal GP carb

Amal GP carburetor

Twin GP carbs, sharing a float chamber.

Claw Action Honda tires

A 1979 ad from Honda, from their short lived 23"front wheel era. 
Without mentioning the tire manufacturer, they are expounding the advantages of their new offroad "Claw Action" tire concepts. 
As far as I know the manufacturer was actually Bridgestone, and the tires failed to revolutionize offroad riding.

Anderson Electric Car Co.

In business from 1909 till about 1940, the company's heyday was in the 1910s, selling mainly to women and people who did not want the hassles of handstarting a gas engine. The maximum speed was about 20 mph and the range about 80 miles. The name was changed to Detroit Electric Car Company in 1920. About 13,000 were built in total.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Rigid glider towing

 These 1942 photos show testing by the Germans of a rigid tow-bar for glider launching and towing. Experiments with a bar 1 to 10 meters long were tried successfully. The method allowed safer nighttime operation. The practise never became widespread as the JU 52 towplanes required strengthening of the fuselage and they could not afford to be taken out of service for the time required. 

BMW R65, 1979

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Buy yours now!

Calthorpe ad, 1921

Mountain Creek Trestle

Norman R. Ball, Mind, Heart and Soul Professional Engineering in Canada 1887-1987, National Museum of Science and Technology, 1987
This wooden trestle built over Mountain Creek in British Columbia was built by the CPR in 1880 during the initial transcontinental push. The trestle was 164 feet high, over 1000 feet long with a 150 foot steel center section over the water.
 When it needed replacing, the end sections were replaced by fill while the centre portion was replaced by a 600 foot steel bridge.