Thursday, February 29, 2024

Chandler Six

"The most fairly priced fine car".
 Fredrick Chandler and a number of other executives left the Lozier Automobile company in 1913 to start the Chandler Motor car company, basing it in Cleveland. They focused on quality cars for the middle class and became quite successful.
 By 1927 there was a line of 10 models and a total of 20,000 units were sold. Unfortunately the next year they were in trouble with overexpansion, banking on higher sales that never came. The factory was bought by Hupp and in 1929 the Chandler car discontinued.
 Fredrick Chandler used the money from the sale to start up a automotive fastener company (Chandler Products) which exists today as a division of the Elgin Fastener Group.

Porsche 1600 engine cross section


Wednesday, February 28, 2024

We used to make things in this country #359; English wheels

We were visiting my old school, this thing has appeared in the metal shop since I graduated. If it had been there while I was there, I might not have left.

Once again not much comes up for the name Trident Tools. A thread on Jalopy Journal establishes that the "Trident" wheel is not just a recast of the British Edwards or Ranalah wheels...


Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Dayton Wrench

Another wrench found at Liberty Tool and another name I've not seen before. According to a thread at Garage Journal, Dayton tools were sold by Grainger and made by either Bonney or Thorsen. Not a lot more information that I can find, this wrench is a lot plainer than the one shown at Garage Journal, marked with only USA at one end and an odd little "w" on the other end. (Not referring to the big owners initial filed in next to USA!). 

Tug o' war

Who dreams these stunts up? In 1934 near Philadelphia, ten men and a boy pull the new stainless steel Zephyr to demonstrate the lightness and efficiency of the new train.

Monday, February 26, 2024

Moulton ladder lock


As the cast-in text says, this is a compound ladder lock. I fiddled with it for a few minutes and couldn't figure out how it might work, maybe it ties together the two parts of an extension ladder or maybe two ladders? 

According to the company history Elijah Spare came to Cambridge Massachusetts from Vermont in 1839 to build a church. Story is he couldn't find a ladder so after the church was done he stayed in Cambridge and started the first American ladder company. The company is still in business today. 

Street scene 1910

 Market St. in Newark New Jersey in 1910, lots of horses, an never-ending long line of trolleys and absolutely zero cars.

Sunday, February 25, 2024

The big freeze of 1926

Jacques Lesstrang, Lake Carriers, Salisbury Press, 1977

 In 1926 there was a big freeze up on the Great Lakes, 150 freighters were frozen into the ice below the locks at Sault Ste Marie. The icebreaking ferry Chief Wawatam was brought up from Mackinac along with 5 tugboats. They worked for three weeks to free 126 of the boats, the remaining boats were stuck till spring.

This year the locks are closed for maintenance from Jan 15 till March 25.

Sidecar Sunday

Motorcycle Sport Apr. 67

 That's quite the audience!

Saturday, February 24, 2024

End of the line

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    That's one way of reversing the direction of a tram at the end of the line... 

Honda cutaway engine

Here's an unidentified and interesting Honda engine. Capacity unknown. Vertical cylinder, electric start and liquid-cooled SOHC single with the overall layout of a motorcycle engine but without a transmission, wonder what it's from... 

Update; It's a demo model to illustrate the externally adjustable valves on the Helix 250. (see comments)

Thanks, Rolf!


Thursday, February 22, 2024

Bohn Auminum and Brass Corp. motorcycle ad

 Well, the future is still in the future, maybe we'll get it then. 

Actually, this is from a series of extravagantly futuristic-themed ads for the Bohn company of Detroit, drawn by Arthur Radebaugh.

One of my vices is vises, Rock Island

McSherry Auctions
Here's a vise found on the McSherry Auction site, currently sitting at a dollar, halfways across the country unfortunately, shipping isn't practical... The only identification is the patent date which led me to patent # 1,111,103 which identifies the device as (probably) Rock Island and covers the method of presetting the jaw opening, a pin sliding through the body. 

Thanks, John!


Wednesday, February 21, 2024

1940 McLaughlin Buick convertible

 Buicks in 1940 came in five different series, Super, Special, Century, Roadmaster and Limited. The Special, Century and Limited were based on the facelifted 1939 body, the Super and Roadmaster were a new design introduced in the fall of 1939-but only as a closed car. The convertibles (with automatic top) arrived in the spring at $1832 and $2170 for the Roadmaster Coupe. Unfortunately WW2 had also started in fall of 1939.

Witherby Dogbone wrench

 I found this ad in a 1960's motorcycle magazine, never seen one in real life, but there are a number of them on ebay in different sizes. Despite being drop forged and from Germany, it would seem to be yet another gimmicky "all tools in one" type of thing, useful in certain circumstances maybe, but won't replace your wrenches and sockets. 

 Not much info on the Witherby wrench name. It appears on another flat wrench on ebay, this one made in Japan. So it appears the Witherby brand was sourcing, rather than manufacturing. Another Witherby name also appears in New England edge tool manufacturing a century and a half ago but is most likely unrelated.  The company that's selling the dogbone wrench is John H. Graham of New York. According to the Mycompanies.fandom site;  John H. Graham & Company, Inc. was founded in 1870 by John H. Graham in New York City, New York. Its industry was manufacturing of tools and hardware, and as a manufacturers' agent. Its headquarters in later years was at 105-107 Duane St. in New York City where it operated until 1976.

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Canadian Pacific Britannia

Nicholas Morant photo

 The Empress of Vancouver, one of six new turboprop Bristol Britannia airliners delivered to Canadian Pacific Airways in 1958 being inspected in the new Britannia hangar at Vancouver International Airport. 

Kawasaki Scrambler, 1966

 Kawasaki introduced and raced this 238cc prototype scrambler in Japan in 1966. The rotary disc engine produced a claimed 28 hp. The frame was purpose-built and the tank was borrowed from the 85cc J-1. Slightly awkward looking in this form, it was released in production as the Green Streak in 1969.

Monday, February 19, 2024

Bert Levack and the JAP Zenith

 120 mph at Brooklands in 1923.

Serpollet Easter Egg

G N Georgano A Motor Racing Camera 1894-1916, David and Charles, 1976

 Leon Serpollet snapped at 52 mph in his steam-powered racer at Bexhill in 1902. The streamlined car was known as Easter Egg. It went on to set the world speed record of 72 mph the same year at the Promenade at Nice.

Leon and his brother Henri Serpollet invented and developed the flash tube steam generator through the 1880s and patented the device in 1896.

Virtual steam car museum

Friday, February 16, 2024

One of my vices is.... half a vise?


Mercedes Benz, 1930

At the equivalent of about $150-200K in today's money for any of the supercharged models, you probably couldn't afford one then and they have not depreciated...


Thursday, February 15, 2024

Bell System Wire Stripper

I've been running into Bell System tools lately, usually screwdrivers or pliers. I had to look at this one closely to figure it out. Fortunately the patent number told the story, it's a braided wire-stripper with some extra box-end wrench recesses in the handle. 

Robert the Robot by Ideal Toys

 Introduced in 1954, this was the first plastic mechanical man-shaped robot. The hand control had a handle to turn that made him walk, and he was steerable. His eyes lit up and his arms swung as he walked.  A phonograph record allowed him to talk.  The toy was a great hit and is still popular today. More here at Robots and Androids.

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Goodell-Pratt universal ratchet handle brace

This is a ratcheting handle by Goodell-Pratt, possibly a number 85 produced form 1907 till at least 1931, by then under control of the Millers Falls. Looks like the wooden handle is missing, The patent shown covers the chuck.

Goodell-Pratt was in business from 1895 to 1931, they were a manufacturer of mostly hand tools including drills and braces of all types. The Goodell company was started in 1888 by three Goodell brothers who had received their start at the Miller's Falls company. In 1895 William Pratt- of a three-generation toolmaking family- bought into the company and by 1899 the company name had been changed to Goodell-Pratt. The company was very successful and various other tool companies were acquired over the years, by the late twenties their catalog featured about 1500 different tools. The Depression brought them down, the company closed in 1931, being bought by Miller's Falls. Full history at Oldtoolheaven.