Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Steam train demonstration

David Chatterton (Editor).  The Mind Alive Encyclopedia.  Technology.  Chartwell Books Inc., 1968, 1977.

When early steam trains were just a circus act.

Jeweller's saws

This is a lovely clamp-style saw with an adjustable frame.  Sadly, for such a well-made tool, the manufacturer did not see fit to leave its name on it.

Below, another made by Dixon, apparently a German firm:

Louis A. Shore.  Arts and Crafts for Canadian Schools.  J.M. Dent & Sons (Canada) Ltd., 1946.

The jeweller's saw is in the class of coping saws. The history of the coping saw seems to be something of a mystery.  In the 19th century, there were marquetry saws with deep throats and frame saws with shallow throats used for cutting dense materials. The coping saw appears to be a tool that bridges these two forms. The first U.S. patent for a saw that looks like a modern coping saw is an 1883 application from William Jones for a “saw frame for a jeweler’s saw.”  The following year, C.A. Fenner patented a mechanism that allowed the blade to rotate in the frame (it's amazing in its gizmosity). He called it (most unhelpfully) a "hand saw."  In 1887,  Christopher Morrow patented a tool called a "coping saw," which ironically tensions its blade more like a wooden bowsaw.  After that point, the term "coping saw" crops up regularly in catalogues and patent filings. By 1900, the saw is everywhere.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Case Traction Engines, 1908

Floyd Clymer, Album of Historical Steam Traction Engines, Bonanza Books
The Case Threshing Machine Company had already been in business 66 years at the time of this ad. It was one of the largest manufacturers of steam traction engines and had been building gasoline tractors for more than a decade. After many mergers and acquisitions over the last half of the 20th century the company is still building farm and construction machinery today.

Gilera 124 Speciale Strada

Mount St. Helens & the Railway, 1980

From Railfan & Railroad.  Nov. 1980.  Vol 3 No 7.

"Ironically, the BN owns the volcano."

Osmiroid Basic Calligraphy

Above, the a few pages from a booklet I turned up.  There's lots of information on the firm of E.S. Perry on the web, so I won't repeat it here.  Suffice it to say, that British company has vanished along with so many others.  Personally, I think their branding left something to be desired.  Osmiroid?  Sounds like an ointment for piles.

If anyone's interested in looking at the full booklet, I've uploaded it here:

Monday, June 26, 2017

Making WAVES in WWII

Movie Lot to Beachhead.  The Motion Picture Goes to War and Prepares for the Future.  
By the Editors of Look.  Doubleday, Doran & Co., Inc., 1945.

Vanished Tool Makers: James Hartley & Co., Sunderland, England

I found this beautiful old glass cutter at a ReStore recently.  The handle is a lovely, open-grained wood and the ferrule is brass.  The head is steel, and has a set screw for holding a carrier for an industrial diamond.  The diamond is very worn so this tool saw heavy use.

The firm of James Hartley wasn't really a tool firm--they made glass.  In 1836, the Hartley brothers set up their own glass-making business in Sunderland, on the north-east coast of England, formerly better known as Wearmouth.  There they established the Wear Glass Works and traded as James Hartley & Co.  In 1838, building on German technology, James was granted a patent for Hartley's Patent Rolled Plate.  For the next 50 years, this would be the company's major product..  In fact, by the 1860's, the firm was using this process to make one-third of all the glass made in England and employing up to 700 workers.  Jame's heirs lost but then regained control of the business in the 1890's, but the company was finally rolled up in 1915.  So, my glass cutter is at least a century old.

The story didn't end there, though. One son continued making coloured glass as Hartley, Wood & Co., which was eventually taken over by Pilkington's in 1982. (The British Pilkington company invented the Float Glass Process in the 1950's, a revolutionary method for producing flat glass by floating molten glass over a bath of liquid tin.) The original company continued under the Hartley, Wood name until 1997.  The National Glass Centre was built in 1998 in the interests of preserving the skills of these glass-makers, but went into bankruptcy only two years later.  In 2005, Pilkington was acquired by a Japanese company, NSG.

Man meets train on trestle

George Abdill; This was Railroading, Bonanza Books 1958
The source had no explanation why this man was facing off against the train.
 This spectacular wooden trestle was part of the Kettle Valley Railway of the CPR. Anyone have any estimates of quantity of wood used?

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Kodak Instamatic, 1966

Better Homes & Gardens, July 1966

Flash pictures without changing bulbs every time!  Just imagine!  Introduced in 1963, they kept improving it--see below.

The New Book of Knowledge Annual 1969.  Grolier Inc., 1969.