Saturday, December 31, 2022

Doncaster Aviation Event, 1909

 This was an aviation meet run concurrently with another official meet at Blackpool. The above poster was done by the commerical art department at the Great Northern Railway to promote the event (and themselves).
Apparently there is a book on the event.

Poster produced by Alf Cooke of Leeds & London

We used to make things in this country, #346 Marksman camera

 A simple box camera at a local antique store, hmmm, made in Canada, don't recognize that name... but this was a camera produced by the Bernard Marks company Ltd. starting in 1948. From the Vintagecameralab site, it appears to have been a design licensed from the J.E. Mergott company of New Jersey. It also seems, despite the Kodak and Leica manufacturing done in Ontario, to be one of the very few actual Canadian owned companies to manufacture a camera.

 There is little information on what else the company used to make, there is a patent for a propane burner for Bernard Marks Ltd. dated to 1982. Also some house-painting equipment trademarks... Other than that, very little information on the company. The multistory brick factory building at 183 Dovercourt Rd. in downtown Toronto has been converted to condos. (surprise...)

Friday, December 30, 2022

Suzuki Power Reed

Yamaha had introduced reed valves to their 2 strokes a few years earlier, and Suzuki saw the marketing advantage. They probably had to jump through some patent hoops to follow suit, they came up with this blended piston port- reed valve intake system in 1976. To my mind the comparative drawing below for the straight reed intake system isn't drawn correctly, it should just have a massive passage to the used crankcase or holes in the piston skirt. Who knows if the small reed valve Suzuki used actually added much power. 

Thursday, December 29, 2022

Benelli 250

I don't think I've ever seen one of these in person.


Triumph Spitfire Macau replica


In 1964, Triumph built a single seat Spitfire 1500 for their Hong Kong dealer, its first race was at the 1965 Grand Prix of Macau. According to this site the car eventually made it to the US where the rollbar was replaced with an offset fin behind the drivers head. 

This car, seen at British Car Day is a sort-of replica of that car, but with left hand drive and still a two seater. 

I'll add my 2 cents, that fin is ridiculous.

Wednesday, December 28, 2022

1975 Husqvarna


Change the bars, be a winner. We might have found the influence for our Yamaha 650 Maxim pilot. 
 Still one of the best looking dirtbikes...

New Haven Comet

Another diesel streamliner, brought out in the steam era before the streamline diesel concept was really worked out. This one was a 3-car double-ended trainset designed by the Goodyear Zeppelin company (an manufacturer of airships) in the early 1930s.

 The New Haven Railway started service between Boston and New Haven in 50s1934, on a mile-per minute schedule. Partially due to its fixed layout, the train was scrapped in the early 1950s.

Tuesday, December 27, 2022

Perry Barr Metal Company

Perry Barr was founded in 1920- by 1937, they were specializing in cast and machined aluminum aircraft parts. After the war, trying to keep production up, they diversified into automotive and motorcycle parts. According to Grace's Guide, they had been absorbed by another large casting company, Birmid Qualcast in the early eighties and specialized in cylinder heads.


Font Art Deco

The Art Deco alphabet- from Modèles de Lettres Modernes by Georges Léculier. (1925)
V and X seems a bit contrived, but...

Monday, December 26, 2022

Saturday, December 24, 2022

The Shepherd


Another reblog, piggybacking on a Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Christmas Eve tradition, the reading of "The Shepherd" a story by Frederick Forsyth about a Vampire pilot flying home for Christmas.  Enjoy!

Friday, December 23, 2022

The first Volvos

 Two liter, four cylinder Volvo PV4s roll down the production line at the Hisingen factory near Gothenburg in 1927. In two years 164 units were built for the home market.  

Know your Garrett Thresher

Not sure what a chob is, but there it is falling out of the machine at "E"

Thursday, December 22, 2022

Brown Bear needle nose pliers, Germany

It's hard to read but stamped in a circle are the words Brown Bear, Germany.  No information on the company at all.

thanks, Inno...


Santa Fe fail

Santa Fe Railroad's Super Chief was preparing to leave the Los Angeles Union Passenger Terminal on January 25, 1947 (or 48?) when the locomotive lost its brakes. It ploughed through a barrier and ended up hanging over the street. No one was hurt and 5 hours later it was craned back onto the rails.

Almost as impressive as the famous 1895 Paris train wreck picture.


Wednesday, December 21, 2022

Heavy duty School Bus

 They don't make school buses this tough-looking any more...
Parked in the yard at the Conway Scenic Railroad.


It wasn't just me that liked these buses... Here's a monumental view of one. (source unknown)

Nalder Bros.& Thompson Ltd. Meters

Francis Nalder started the business with his brother to build electrical meters in 1884, By 1894, the business extended partnership was in trouble and the company was divided up. In 1899 the remaining company was wound up and closed voluntarily. In the meantime, they seemed to have made a lot of meters that have survived...

Tuesday, December 20, 2022

One of my vices is vises, Another old anvil vise

 This unnamed possible 19th Century unit was found on Fbk Marketplace in Nova Scotia, much too far from me...

Egli Vincent

 Just for the record, when I build/buy my own Egli Vincent, it won't have these pipes.

(From a long-deactivated Tumblr-so there's no accompanying information...)

Monday, December 19, 2022

Rhoades hover scooter


This was apparently a device of American origin that was shown at the 1960 Cycle and Motorcycle Show held at Earls Court, London. It was powered by a two stroke twin motorcycle engine, though the make is not mentioned. Also not named is the impeccably dressed operator shown above. As so often often seems to happen with machines of this type- it then faded from public view...

Monday Mystery

This items came from an inherited machinists toolbox, any idea what they might be? The vaguely military green paint might be a clue, but there are no markings at all...


Sunday, December 18, 2022

We used to make things in this country #345, Gidley Boats

About eight years ago I found these two turn-of-the-last-century references to Gidley Boats, just one of the many small wooden boat-building companies located around the Great Lakes that mostly disappeared by the 1950s with the advent of fiberglass as a material for boat manufacture.
 The company was located in the town of Penetanguishene on Georgian Bay, beyond that there was no information appearing over the years I've been looking- in old books, magazines or online. But other people must have sensed the need to tell the story because a recent Google search showed that in the last couple of years all sorts of Gidley boat info has appeared. It's interesting the famous names that crop up in the story. Read about it here and here.

Sidecar Sunday


Something wicker this way comes...


Saturday, December 17, 2022

When is an inch not a inch?

Things that don't turn up every day, these are patternmakers rules for making sandcasting patterns. The shrinkage factor of the cooling metal is calibrated into these rules,  2-3% for steel (5/16" per foot) and 4-5% for brass, so the pattern will be made to the correct larger size to compensate.
 The L.S.S. Co.  Athol, Mass rule is a Starrett, J. Rabone is an English manufacturer, love the homemade-looking font on the Rabone rule below.

Thanks, Inno!