Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Another job you wouldn't want to do; chimney inspection and maintenance.

Asa Briggs, The Power of Steam, University of Chicago Press, 1982

A steeplejack installs ladders on an industrial stack in England. Using wooden plugs and iron dogs he attaches sections brought up from the ground by rope and pulley.

DKW two stroke development

In the prewar racing era, DKW tried nearly every possible idea to increase the power of the 2 stroke engine, employing various supercharging methods on their split singles including different arrangements of a large diameter pumping piston that increased the amount of charge into the intake. Below is a magnesium piston, the crankshaft and cylinder of the bike (#3 above) restored at the Barber Motorsports museum about 10 years ago. The postwar supercharger ban put a damper on 2 stroke development till the advent of the expansion chamber exhaust by MZ.

Sidecar Sunday

Classic Bike, 1987

The short flight of the Old Glory

Four months after Lindbergh made the first solo transatlantic flight, Randolph Hearst sponsored another transatlantic flight attempt, this time nonstop to Rome with three people on board. It was decided that the flight should start at Old Orchard Beach Maine and with great publicity and fanfare the single engine Fokker F-VIIa took off on September 6, 1927. Several hundred miles off Newfoundland the pilot radioed that they were having difficulties and the airplane soon ditched in the Atlantic. Wreckage was found but the crew was never seen again.  Story here.

Saturday, June 27, 2020

The future is round

Allan Elder, Made in Canada: Craft and Design in the Sixties, McGill-Queen's Press 2005

 This is a 1971 sketch for the Electrohome Hemisphere '80 future concept, a look into the far-off future of home entertainment, with a spherical TV projection and speaker unit suspended from the ceiling, operated with a remote control and accessing a proposed Canadian communications satellite system. This concept was never realised. 
This concept was the work of Gordon Duern, a Canadian designer and artist employed by the company and followed the introduction of his earlier Electrohome Apollo 860 stereo (shown below). 

 During the late seventies, the company struggled under the wave of Japanese electronic imports and got out of the consumer market in the eighties. 
The Duke posted the history of the Dominion Electrohome company here.

Player's Plyers, 1982

I'm not a musical instrument guy, but I'm not sure what benefit a special pair of orange-handled needle nosed pliers might bring to my life, even if they are specially ground....

Another sad chapter in the Norton story

Powered by an aircooled rotary engine, only 100 were made in 1987

Friday, June 26, 2020

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Firing order, early 20th century

 Here's a lovely mmachine from a different time. It's a comprehensive teaching aid to demonstrate the four cycle engine by the Welch Scientific Company, which along with showing engine dynamics also featured provision to show the effects of adjusting ignition timing. Note the wooden pistons.

thanks, Rolf!

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Spent Bullet train

I found this sad sight on a Polish site,
Smartage.pl  Text is translated from Polish. 
In 2002, Nagareyama Onsen was opened in Nanae on the island of Hokkaido. Next to a small platform, however, was placed one of the older super-fast Japanese trains - 200 Series Shinkansen from the 80s.
However, the small station and the train standing by it fell into oblivion. The decaying train that was once the pride of the Japanese railway was retired in 2013 due to its very poor technical condition. Currently, only its remains remain at the station.
Before the train was removed, a Japanese photographer took this amazing photo of a destroyed and ragged super-fast train. The picture was taken on July 7, 2012.

Great Lakes steamer, Buffalo

Dana William Ashdown, Railway Steamships of Ontario, Boston Mills Press, 1988

This steamboat, owned and operated by the New York Central and Hudson River Railroad was built by Thomas Quayle and Sons at Cleveland in 1878. Made of wood, the ship featured reinforcing wooden arches above deck, first introduced in sidewheeler days. Not many stories on the boat online but after a name change to Auburn in 1899 it appears it was converted to a barge in 1911, and abandoned in 1924. Shipbuildinghistory.com

Ship history here

Firing orders for American V8s

And a Beetle motor?

Chrysler's first Hemi

Robert Genat, Hemi, the Ultimate American V8, MBI publishing, 2002

After WW2 Chrysler was looking for a modern engine design to take it into the future. For a company used to flatheads, the hemi arrangement with its splayed valve layout and hydraulic lifters was a big leap. This cutaway engine shows the angles involved and locations of components required to get it to work. In early testing the valve train suffered rapid wear but problems were sorted out and the 331 cu. in. engine was released in 1951.

Monday, June 22, 2020

Handley Page O/100

Handley Page O/100 heavy bombers at a Dunkirk area field in 1918. The twin engine 100 foot-wingspan bombers were Britain's first heavy bomber and were mostly used for night bombing. They were replaced by the Vickers Vimy at the end of the war. Interesting to think that powered flight was only about twenty years old at this point, about the age of most of the crewmembers.

Monday Mystery, what make of car?

We've covered the the 
gas-producer vehicles of WW2 in a previous post,  these systems with their burner, heater, radiator and associated plumbing  could really spoil the original styling, Some commercial systems were reasonably well integrated but none could be considered beautiful. Above a large American styled car sold by GM in Denmark, below a Daimler Benz and a Panhard.

The next two images are both described as an Opel Wanderer, but I believe Opel and Wanderer were different companies, so I'm not sure what these actually are.

Above images from John Fuller Ryan, Wartime Woodburners, Gas producer vehicles in WW2. An Overview. Schiffer Military History 2009

And finally a fancy sedan with wheel covers and chrome flashes, anyone have any idea what make this one is?


Sunday, June 21, 2020

Harley Davidson Rapido

Here's another ad like the MG Midget school of advertising post of a few months back, how many disparate elements can we jam into one photo in the hopes of attacting every possible buyer. Salt flats, airplane, orange jumpsuit, green pantsuit, a racer about to T-bone a touring Sportster. Anything else? Lots of fun!

Sidecar Sunday

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Architectural Observations, It's all a matter of scale...

2013 Streetview 

In the mid-1800s when these houses were built in downtown Toronto, they were probably considered to be substantial buildings. 150 years of use later, they're considered heritage and the house lots were saved as a giant 4 or 5 story deep hole was dug around them for the next generation of downtown. Progress is fine...

What we're in for!

"Expert" pinchers by Facom

I found ( but did not buy) these elegant 8 inch long made-in-France end-cutters at Cardon's Tool store near Perth, Ontario. 

Harley Davidson RR-250

This was a diversion for Harley Davidson in the seventies, part of a foreign venture in the form of ownership of the Italian Aermacchi concern. This was intended to help HD compete with the invasion of small bikes from Japan. This racer did well in Europe, winning three world championships with Walter Villa in 74-76. 

thanks, Jon!