Sunday, May 31, 2020

New York double decker streetcar

Number 6000 was an experiment in increasing passenger capacity while keeping crew costs down. It attracted a lot of interest when introduced at Bowling Green Park in 1912 and packed the passengers in but was not well liked, being referred to as the Broadway Battleship. They were expensive to build, were slow loading through the center located doors and stairways. 

Sidecar Sunday

Chris Vincent and unknown passenger hard at work at the German Grand Prix, 1962

Transcona grain elevator rescue

In 1913 The CPR built a large grain elevator in Transcona at the east side of Winnipeg Manitoba. The building was constructed of concrete, then a fairly new material, built on a floating foundation, and stood 92 feet tall. 
During the loading of grain in the fall, the building sank into the ground and was leaning almost 27 degrees.  Compacting of the soil on the low side prevented it from falling all the way over. The 875,000 bushels of grain were removed over a three week period and a plan was established to right the structure. 
The Foundation Company Limited of Montreal and Vancouver started work in December 1913, underpinning the structure with 5 rows of 14 piers each and excavating under the high side. Then, using a matrix of screw jacks, the building was brought back to a vertical position over a period of 10 months, rotating the entire building over the center row of piers. When the building was vertical it was 14 feet lower than when it was first constructed.  

Friday, May 29, 2020

Ford 8N clutch

You might recognize this tractor, it's the 1952 8N that went through the ice last winter. I just replaced the carb on it (Chinese import, sigh) and had yet to make the mixture adjustments. So because I needed a tractor for another task, this seemed like a good time to do it. I stepped on the clutch pedal- which didn't feel right- and started the engine. I let it idle a minute to get the oil where it needs to go, and put it into first gear, Grunch! and I was moving. I hadn't released the clutch, Akk! Had to scramble to shut the engine off before I ran into something. Crisis averted, I had to figure out what was going on. 
 The pedal kind of mushes to the floorboard without releasing, but pretty much everything is hidden inside the bellhousing, the tractor has to be split to see inside. May as well do it!

First support the front half on blocks, the rear on a trolley jack. Battery out and remove seven bell housing bolts. 

Tip up and prop up the hood, remove one end of the radius rods and tie rods. 

Remove the exhaust pipe clamp, coil wire,  throttle and governor rods, hour meter cable and an oil line.

Pry the two halves apart about 6-8 inches and a look inside shows the throwout bearing is OK. The clutch comes off the flywheel with six bolts and- about after about an hour of working inefficiently...there's the problem- the rivets have sheared on the disc and the plate comes out in bits.  If it is original, it's lasted 68 years. 
One of the nice things about this model tractor is that most parts are still available, and a new plate has been ordered. 

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Raleigh 20 Folder

A friend dropped by, she had just picked up a nice little folding bike. It's in great shape and came complete with a period plaid vinyl zippered bag on the carrier. Even the original dealer sticker is in good shape. Bloor Cycle used to be THE big bicycle dealer in the city. 
The Raleigh 20 was a very popular model built in both folding and non-folding versions from 1968 to 1984.  Easy to mount and dismount, its small size made it an ideal short range.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Architectural Observations

This unusual structure is located near Embrun, Ontario. From a distance I guessed it might be a modern church- modern as in the 1960s or 70s. But no, it is a just a barn with additions. I didn't ask anyone but I could guess the conversation that resulted in this unique structure. 
"We need room, have to build a bigger barn."
"Hmmm,  Bob on the next concession has a empty Quonset building , we could buy that and maybe erect it beside the existing barn?"
"I have a better idea.... hold my beer."


We used to make things in this country #313, Wagner Electric

This motor was found buried in the mud at a dumpsite in Arizona, cleaned up and plugged in, it ran perfectly. In these days of integrally manufactured devices, motors like this have much less value than they used to. Surplus motors often found their way into home shops as power for grinders, lathes and other tools. 
  Wagner Electric was founded in 1891 at St Louis, where they made motors and electrical equipment. The Canadian branch of the company was acquired by Sangamo in 1910, the factory was located on Adelaide St. W. Toronto, probably at Stafford Ave. Space was soon at a premium and a new building was bought, located at 183 George St, Toronto, During the second World War, with production again running at full speed, more space was required and the company was able to relocate on Laird avenue in Leaside, a new industrial and residential subdivision of Toronto. The company grew, expanding to 180,000 sq. ft. and employing 825 people.
In 1970 the Sangamo motor business was purchased by Prestolite who moved the company to Guelph. 
50 years of Sangamo history book here.

Guelph Museums
Thanks, Gary!

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Priestman Bros Ltd Modified Gun Carrier Steam Grab

A fine example of the swords to ploughshares concept, surplus WW1 tanks are fitted with a derrick and are used for cleaning up ruined cities.

Bryant X705 Monoplane

An entry for the 1927 Dole air races, the twin-tail two-120 hp engine tractor/pusher-configuration aircraft crashed on a test flight in August 1927.  The pilot bailed out, made it past the rear propeller but his chute got caught on the tail and he was carried to his death. 

Monday, May 25, 2020

Standard Chart of Axe Patterns

Before modern manufacturing and distribution systems, unique axe head shapes developed in the different regions of the USA. In about 1900 the axe makers association decided to organize the many hundreds of axe heads being manufactured and created a "Standard Chart of Axe Patterns". I wonder how many are left today.

Allan Klenman, Axe Makers of North America, Canada Whistle Punk Books.1990

Machine gun Monday, Nambu Experimental Type 2 Model B

Apparently this odd looking Japanese "rapid fire pistol" was designed prewar by rifle manufacturer Kijiro Nambu, firing the 8 x 22 pistol round. It was originally fitted with a 50 round magazine from the Type 1 but the mag size was reduced to 30 as shown below. It was rejected by the Japanese military, so did not reach production and it seems that only about 50 were built. 
More here.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Sidecar Sunday

Swallow Gadabout with sidecar...

Swallow Gadabout Scooter

The Swallow Sidecar company started business in the twenties, they later expanded into cars under the SS name- changed to Jaguar after the war. For some reason in 1946 they also introduced the Gadabout scooter- about the same time the Vespa was introduced. 
Power was provided by a Villiers 125 cc engine, giving a top speed of about 35 mph. It was not that successful, about 2000 were made in total.

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Taking a break, 1927

It's a little hard to be certain with this grainy 1927 picture but it looks like the rider is making a cell phone call while taking a cigarette break. Further investigation leads us to the Ariel model lineup, the 4G was introduced nine years later... but no evidence of 5G.

Friday, May 22, 2020

Volkswagen ad, 1956

Artist, Hans Looser
See comments...


Sawmill in rural Ontario, 1940s

The caption for this photo was Jone's Mills at Clinton's Corners. I'm somewhat familiar with the largely wilderness area "north of Hwy 7" but cannot find the Corners on a modern map, I assume it would be near Cloyne Ontario.  I also found a photostream that this picture is part of. See it here.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Graders on tracks

Here we have a couple of contenders for first road graders on tracks, apparently a dead end in grader development. Champion had their Yuba Ball track tractor powered unit in 1911, discontinued because of the expense, below is a Russell #10 Road Patrol of about the same period. 

Monday, May 18, 2020


Machine gun Monday, Canadian Automobile Machine Gun Brigade

The Canadian Automobile Machine Gun Brigade was formed in 1914 as an idea of Canadian resident and recent French immigrant Raymond Brutinel who, seeing the future of warfare, had bought a large shipment of Colt machine guns and was planning to join the French Army. He was convinced to join the Canadian army instead and incorporating his ideas, the brigade was formed.  He purchased eight armoured cars of his own design from the Pennsylvania company, Autocar. Backup and support were provided by 8 trucks, 4 cars, 17 motorcycles and 16 bicycles operated by a 134 man crew.
 When the brigade was organized in September of 1914 it was the first self-sufficient motorized unit in the Allied forces. It could be described as the precursor of the WW2 mechanized method of warfare. 
The success of the brigade led to reorganization in 1916 and the formation of the First Canadian Motor Machine Gun Brigade as it absorbed other machine gun batteries. 
 Brutinel continued to develop machine gun strategies and by 1918 he had been promoted to Brigadier and was in charge of all aspects of machine gunnery in the Canadian army.
More here

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Handley Page Manx

 The Handley Page Manx was part of a 1939 British government development program on tailless flight, the intent being a heavy defence fighter. The small pusher configuration aircraft was powered (underpowered) by two deHavilland 4 cylinder engines.
 Flight characteristics were apparently stable enough though it required constant attention at the controls. However, it was structurally weak and only flew a few times over the entire period of the war. It was revealed to the public immediately after the war and then stored until being scrapped in 1952.