Friday, April 19, 2024

Panagra Airlines, 1959

 Panagra, also known as Pan American-Grace Airways, was formed in 1928 as an airline for service in South America. Its first flight was a four passenger Fairchild flight between two cities in Peru but soon was flying between the US and various Central and South American destinations. The airline did well and in 1967 merged with Braniff.

Bevel King TL-700 Grozer pliers

 These odd jaw pliers were found at a thrift shop for $1 The lettering was worn but searching eBay for "TL-700" turned out the full name is "BEVEL KING TL-700". They are used in glasswork, are known as grozer pliers and are for breaking glass along a scoremark.  The flat jaw is placed on the top of the glass, the curved on the bottom, then just pull.  Demo on Youtube.
Thanks, Inno!

Thursday, April 18, 2024

1953 Corvette

Only 300 Corvettes were made in the year of introduction-1953. It was powered by a normal Chevrolet inline 6 giving it a top speed of about 105mph.. 
Only one choice of colour, all were Polo White with red interior.

Perfecto 2 speed differential for Ford Model T

The Perfecto two speed rear axle was a planetary gear system that when engaged reduced the final drive ratio of the Model T from 3.6:1 to 5.5:1. this enabled the car to climb most hills in Ford standard top gear (downshifted into the Perfecto intermediate gear) as well as adding a "bull low" to the transmission. This was a useful modification for the Ford Model T and about 650,000 of the units were sold between 1920 and 1927.


Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Nylint hot rod

 I'm not sure about the relationship between the Buddy L and Nylint roadster hot rod toys, they look similar but not identical. Terry sends us a picture of his upgraded Nylint hot rod, with spiffy new wheels and radial tires. 
 People restore these toys! Link.

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Official military hydraulic oil

Non-petroleum base.....

by Monsanto. Really? 


Magneto synchronizer

 By US industrial Tool and Supply Co. for aircraft engine tuning use, and still available today, magnetos are still common today.
  Wish I could add more to the following statement, found at least three suppliers;  "For internal timing and synchronizing of magnetos to the aircraft engines. Simply attach 3 clips to magnetos and adjust until both lights flash in synchrony and the buzzer changes pitch."

Monday, April 15, 2024

BMW Modulo concept, 1978

I don't remember this concept at all.  The motor looks like it was designed by an illustrator... 
The general design concept probably resulted in the BMW R80GS when someone pointed out that BMW already had a suitable motor...
  More here (scroll down). 

Mack wrench

 Here's a nice wrench made by Williams, likely for a Mack Truck tool kit. I would guess it would date to the 1920s?

Saturday, April 13, 2024

Know your knots!

Never was much good with knots!

A wall display by the Columbian rope and twine company of Auburn, New York. The company imported sisal and other fibre from the Philippines and Mexico and produced quality rope products from 1903 till 1982. Company history at the New York Heritage website.


Mercedes Benz at your Studebaker Packard dealer

 From 1957 till 1963 Studebaker-Packard imported and serviced Mercedes Benz cars at their dealerships. The company was struggling, Packard made their last car in 1958, Studebaker in 1966. Mercedes was on the rise.

Friday, April 12, 2024

Launch of a Sloop of War

 1875 photograph by Whipple and Black Photographers. Curiously, the ship has not been named. 
Update. The ship is the USS Adams, and was laid down by Donald McKay  It was commissioned in 1876 and was was in service till 1919. (thanks, Dave. More in comments)

 The Atlantic Works were located at Marion and Chelsea St. in East Boston.

Thursday, April 11, 2024

One of my vices is vises, Athol Machine Co. #69

This a fairly small vice with narrow 2" jaws. The A.M. Co. logo indicates pre 1921 (info from but an unusual feature is the key slot mount. I haven't seen any other Athol vises online with that feature.


Chcago Specialty 3003 Spanner Wrench

 Another spanner wrench for locknuts, this time from Chicago Specialty, who made all sorts of plumbing tools. I assume this might be used on locknuts on sink drains.

Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Poor man's rocking chair?

If you want some movement in your chair and rocking is too violent maybe this is a solution. The spring looks like purpose-built and fits tight over a reduced diameter area on the bottom of the leg.
 It works quite well, gives a pleasant rocking time motion. No idea who the maker was.


 Well, it didn't quite turn out like that. But Timken is still around.

Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Supa Shells fairings

Make your 1960 BSA look fast.

 I remember hearing references to "Supa Shells" along with Avon in the British motorcycle press, but I can find little information on the company. No idea when they disappeared but I don't think they made it to the seventies, when Vetter was just getting cranked up. Fiberglass construction made custom bodywork affordable, even if the styling sometimes left a little to be desired.

Bimbo Racer, a Ferrari for the kids

thanks, Rolf!

 Another toy that rich people gave their kids.  An 12 volt electric ride-on toy made by Sila of Torino and distributed in the USA by Ferrari, Inc. of South San Francisco. Not sure how many were made, but one sold on Bring-a-trailer for $26,000. sure beats the Pierre Guy pedal Ferrari.

Monday, April 8, 2024

Monday Mikuni Mystery

This old carb body turned up in a box of junk. The butterfly choke at first suggested a Keihin of some sort, and the fuel inlet/float mount must have been situated on the float bowl.  But a tickler? I can only surmise that Mikuni was tasked with copying an antique Amal or something for some project. Any ideas?


Monday Mystery, what is it?

Driving down a secondary road today and saw this sitting in a yard some distance from the road- too far to check it out up close. I expect its a fibreglass replica of something, real cars of this type don't sit out in the weather on a jack.


Sunday, April 7, 2024

1959 Lotus 15

What a crazy spectacular car. 

The 1.5 liter Coventry Climax engine was tilted 17 degrees to lower the center of gravity. The Lotus designed transaxle with limited slip diff and 5 speed sequential shift (like a motorcycle) was known as the Queerbox and was not known for reliability. 28 cars were built.


Sidecar Sunday


Saturday, April 6, 2024

Great Lakes passenger steamer, North West

After the 1902 refit

The North West was a steel hull, twin screw passenger steamer launched in 1894 in Cleveland for the Northern Steamship Lines, the shipping subsidiary of the Great Northern Railway. 

It was moved to the company shipyard in Buffalo, New York for completion, the interior luxuriously done in mahogany and brass for the enjoyment of the 350 presumably well-off passengers on board travelling on the upper Great Lakes from Buffalo to Duluth, Minnesota with stops in Detroit and Chicago.
  The ship was capable of a sustained 20 mph, powered by a pair of quadruple expansion steam engines which required 28 boilers burning eight tons of coal per hour to supply steam. The ship cost about $650,000 to construct ($20 million today) and feeding those boilers probably cost too much for profitability.  In 1902, it went in for a major refit, the 28 boilers were replaced with 10 more efficient ones and as a result, one of the three stacks was removed. 

As orginally built, 
from WNYhistory

   It was not a lucky boat, in 1911 it caught fire at the Buffalo pier and sank. In 1918, it was sold, raised and cut in two for transport through the Welland canal- headed for a major refit at Quebec City. While the two halves were being towed down Lake Ontario, the forward portion sank and was lost. In Quebec the ship was fitted with a new bow section, converted to a freighter and renamed the Maplecourt. Canada Steamship Lines operated the ship till 1927 when it ran aground in Georgian Bay, (which indicates it was either built shorter than before or cut in two again to get back up through the Welland canal, I can't find that info.)  The stranded boat was sold to Sin-Mac Lines Ltd. of Montreal, salvaged and put back in service.. Ten years later, it was bought by the United Towing & Salvage Co. Ltd. of Port Arthur, Ontario, to be converted for ocean service. Getting the boat out of the Great Lakes and out on the Atlantic in 1940 required her to be cut in half and stitched back together again. The end of the ship (and its crew) came a year later, when it was torpedoed off Ireland.

As Maplecourt.

Traction engines in military service

Burrell traction engines hauling supplies for the British army in South Africa during the Boer War. 

Friday, April 5, 2024

Another job you probably wouldn't want to do... Stoker at a 19th C Coal mine

 To power the steam powered hoists, coal mines frequently had 10 or more boilers lined up in a building producing enough steam to do the job. Mechanical stokers eventually came along to reduce the effort of keeping them fed.

Cable lubricator

Looks a bit fiddly and make leaky too. 50plus years of motorcycle ownership and I've never owned a cable lubricator. They don't seem to be a common item.

Thursday, April 4, 2024

Wind tunnel testing, B29 Superfortress

Last minute details. Wonder what happened to these models.

Box of Russell Jennings Spur Auger Bits

This beautiful box of bits was at an antique mall. Not cheap, but if I had any plans to ever use a brace and bit again, I would have been tempted. We covered the history of Russell Jennings in an earlier post on Irwin Auger Bits

Wednesday, April 3, 2024

Nicky Dees Burgerz

 The former Power's Diner, the current owners bought it just before Covid struck. They persevered, and it looks great front and center on Military St, Port Huron, Mi.  History here.