Thursday, November 30, 2023

See-through Dassault Mirage


This incredible full size Mirage in acrylic is on display at the Musee Air + Espace at Le Bourget airport in Paris. 

Predictions for motorcycling's future

 Just coming off the exciting seventies, litre bikes! how could it get better? They predicted smaller, more efficient engines, more utilitarian and commuter bikes...

 They missed the Harley buyout, turbos,  2 stroke multis, race reps like the GSXR, radial tires on 17" wheels... 

We had to wait 10 years for the digital dashboard and when it came it was LCD rather than LED... 

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Another business opportunity

 Cast iron mold for lead fishing sinkers. Just four at a time, they'd be expensive...

Snap on Midget M70K

The Midget socket set was an odd size, 9/32" drive. Amazingly this set looks almost complete. More history here.

Tach Dwell meter

When did you last use a Tach Dwell meter? 

 Googling Fox Valley brings up the Fox Valley Metrology company- started in 1996, which seemed to be too late for this sort of meter. More googling brought up a earlier company- Fox Valley Instrument of Cheboygan Mi. which is now out of business.

Apparently no connection between the two companies, but with the similarity in names, one does have to wonder...


1937 Audi Front

 The Audi Front was the first 6 cylinder front wheel drive European car. Introduced in 1933, it used the 2 litre engine of the Wanderer, the company which had been acquired by Audi the year before. The engine was turned 180 degrees to drive the front wheels. The model shown is a 1937 with the enlarged 2200 cc engine.

Monday, November 27, 2023

Jeep Station Wagon

Probably about 1955? I wouldn't change a thing, just drive it like it is...


Monday Mystery J S Kent

Here's a blade-type thing with a thread and eye of some sort on one end (possibly for insertion of a wooden handle?). The corroded blade seems to be marked J. S. Kent Barnstable Mass. Ideas anyone? 


Sunday, November 26, 2023

We used to make things in this country #354 Torpedo Snowshoes

Another small town industry that is long disappeared. 

Sidecar Sunday

Cristine Somer-Simmons. The American Motorcycle Girls:1900-1950. Parker House, 2009

 Mrs and Mr Roy Smith on their trip from New Jersey to Miami. C'mon kids, look happy!

Saturday, November 25, 2023

Alton Railway streamliner No. 50

 The Abraham Lincoln was the name given to Alton Railways St. Louis- Chicago service. The train featured what has been considered the first diesel electric road locomotive in the US. In 1935 it arrived from GM as a boxcab, and as No. 50, it was used by the B&O for passenger service. 
It was transferred to the Alton, a subsidiary of the B&O and was soon fitted with a slanted nose to give it some semblance of streamlining. Still not much of a looker. 
Fortunately, it was recognized as significant, today it's on display at the National Museum of Transportation in St. Louis, Missouri.

Below, (As delivered)

Swandean Spitfire

The Swandean Spitfire was a speed record contender built after WW2. It was based on a Rolls Royce Merlin engine from a Mosquito with the chassis made from two Daimler Scout chassis welded together. The car was used mainly in the Brighton Speed trials, achieving 240 kph in the flying kilometer. For comparison., the car on the right is the Bennet Special, based around a 250 cc motorcycle engine.


Friday, November 24, 2023

Go west, young man

 Aerospace is the future! Or boating... 1959.

Pasture pump

This large lump of cast iron is an ingenious device, set out in a field and connected to a well, a cow pumps its own water by pushing the paddle when it would like a drink. Apparently the critters catch on quick and it works very well.


Thursday, November 23, 2023

Hill Clutch Works

 Another necessary component in the shaft and belt-driven factories.

 This company did not roll over and die when electric motors took over, they opened a forge and started building transmissions and machine tools, later merging with Acme Machinery, another heavy production machinery company. The company moved to Gorham, Maine in 1985, where they are still making heavy production metalworking machinery today.

Ohio history. 

Company website.

Oxwall tool box

Thanks, Ski

 Oxwall sold a ton of cheap adequate-to-poor tools over the years, Progress is Fine covered them years ago. My own childhood experience was with a 79¢ set of small carving chisels from Woolworth which were sharp and remarkably, kept their edge! 
They made a wide variety of tools which turn up frequently at junk and used tool stores, I generally leave 'em right there! but if I run across one of these boxes, I think I'd need to buy it and then fill it with Oxwall tools!

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Cookie cutters

We're only here for the graphics.... I love the Cookie Cutters font. But the manufacturer's name GMT Co. warranted a quick google...and amazingly enough this supplier of kitchen gadgets has had their story told;

In 1883 Gustav M. Thurnauer opened a store located at 84 Duane St. in New York City, in 1887 he (and his brother) moved down to 66-68 Duane St. where they soon occupied four floors selling kitchen utensils and related merchandise.

 According to the history at the company was still around in 1964, having published a booklet named "Fashions in Gadgets"... something else to search for!


Lasting Tool, F. Faust San Antonio

thanks, Ski...

 Here's a nice elegant multitool, intended for shoemakers, a lasting tool as it's described as in the patent. It also says it was not known to have been produced, This is probably the only example ever made!

Tuesday, November 21, 2023

Monday, November 20, 2023

Konig engine

Flat four outboard motor, Image below from a good article at Oddbike.

BMW cutaway 1968

Nice cutaway, the artist has a signature at the oil pan, can't quite make it out; Sch....nzio?

1933 Hillman Tourer

 Cute little car, its 1200cc engine allowed speeds up to nearly 60mph!

Sunday, November 19, 2023

Lawn boat

Someone has this perfectly proportioned boat on display in their front yard, and doesn't it look perfect.


Sidecar Sunday

 George O'Dell and Cliff Holland in the rain clinching the 1977 Sidecar Title. O'Dell was the first man to lap the IoM at over 100mph in a sidecar outfit.

Painting of the team at the same event.

Below, also O'Dell and Holland...

Saturday, November 18, 2023

Axe abuse

 I can't understand how anyone could abuse a tool to this extent.

Eagle boats


 These 201 ft Eagle boats were commissioned by the US government during WW1,  intended as quick and easy to build coastal submarine hunters. The nation's shipyards were busy building destroyers and larger naval ships, so the Ford Motor Company was commissioned to apply their production line techniques to the job, one of the cost cutting techniques was to use flat metal sheets for the hull, resulting in a boat that did not behave properly in heavy seas.

 The program ended due to the end of the war and I see two stories, either about 60 were built and they were used for training and coastal patrols during the interwar period. or only eight were constructed in total. Wikipedia records the lives of 60 boats, we'll go with that.

Whatever the actual numbers, by WW2 eight were still in use and these did see antisubmarine patrol service.

Clearly not all flat sheets!