Monday, April 24, 2017

BNT Canada Mystery Hammer

From a reader come these pictures of an unusual hammer with an oddly slotted and wedge-shaped head.  Although it's proportioned like a small tack hammer, it's a substantial tool, with a double head 8 inches long. The faces seem to be angled to facilitate tapping using wrist action. Comments to the Duke's previous  B.N.T. post seem to indicate the company made different types of hammers, this one must be for a specific and as yet unidentified purpose! Any ideas?

Vickers Velos

Larry Milberry, Aviation in Canada, McGraw-Hill Ryerson 1979
The sole Vickers Velos sitting at its moorings. Built for surveying in 1927, it proved difficult to fly and when it sank in the same year the design was not pursued. When I first found this image I mistook it for the short lived  Dayton Wright F. P. 2, an aircraft with a similar look built 5 years previously and with a similar story.

Rostselmash Plant, Rostov-on-Don, Russia, 1965

Nikolai Mikhailov.  Discovering the Soviet Union.  Moscow:  Progress Publishers, 1965.
Founded in 1929, the company specializes in combine harvesters and is still going strong.  (You can even request a tour!)

According to the company's history page:

In summer 1931, in the research workshop of the harvester workshop being constructed, the assembly of two harvesters of more perfect design was completed, and these harvesters were named “Stalinets”. The new machines were tested together with American harvesters. The Rostselmash machines operated better and, unlike of foreign harvesters, were able to harvest not only wheat, but also sunflower seeds, corn and millet.

During World War II, the entire plant was moved east.  Then:

On February 14, 1943, the South Front troops freed Rostov. The city was in ruins. Almost all enterprises, including Rostselmash and its towns, were demolished. Germans regularly were exploding and firing the plant within eight days before retreat. All workshops, living houses, culture center, agricultural machine-building institute, etc. turned into piles of ruins. The plant material damage comprised more than 180 million Stalin rubles. 
On February 23, on the 10th day of Germans’ retreat, the first 33 Rostselmash machines started to operate in demolished Rostov. At the same time, preparation of military purpose equipment production was started, and the repair of battle tanks, tractors and vehicles was organized. In order to refurbish the plant, it had to clean 150000 m3 of obstructions, lay 21 million of bricks and 37000m3 of concrete, install 8000 tons of metal structures, and lay 185000 m3 of roof panels. 145000 m3 of production facilities were put into operation within a short time.


We used to make things in this country. #258: Coleman Lamp & Stove Company, Toronto, Ontario

I recently photographed this old No. 4A kerosene iron at a local historical society's open house.  Although it's difficult to make out, the badge reads, "Coleman Lamp & Stove Company Limited, Toronto, Canada."  The exhibitor told me it was a remarkable advance over the old sad irons, which had to be laboriously heated and re-heated on the wood stove, and which would leave black carbon marks on white shirts.  Still, the kerosene ones could catch fire (look at the bottom of the wooden handle on the example above) and even explode!  To watch one of these things in action, go you YouTube.  Ironing in those days was clearly not for the faint-of-heart!

Below, from
Coleman's relationship to Toronto began in 1925 when he opened a plant there. Sheldon Coleman (the founders son) worked at this plant. And it was the Toronto division of Coleman that created the miniaturized gasoline pressurized stove, the Model 222, in 1976. That stove became the backbone of the Peak 1 line of Coleman products.
The Canadian company made a huge variety of lamps and stovesAccording to the Canadian Science & Technology Museum, Coleman manufactured in Canada up until the 1960's.

Google Streetview:  Queen Street East and the Don Valley Parkway

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Cunard Royal Mail Steamship sailings, 1842

George W. Brown.  Building The Canadian Nation.  J.M. Dent & Sons (Canada) Ltd., 1942, Revised & Reprinted 1950, Reprinted 1951.

Heavy hammers

Like I said, I like hammers.

Sidecar Sunday

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Cars in the 'hood, Bug Eye Sprite

 A little rusted and a little smoky, nevertheless it's nice to see this rare little thing driving around.

Tracking icebergs

Larry Milberry, Aviation in Canada, McGraw-Hill Ryerson 1979
Ever since the Titanic disaster, the US coast guard has been tracking icebergs for the safety of navigation, the job got a lot easier with the advent of reliable airplanes. During WW2 the area west of Greenland and off the BC coast was assigned to the Canadian Meteorological Service. Until 1959 Lancasters were used, flying from Comox and Rockcliffe. Douglas DC4s, owned by Kenting Aviation replaced the Lancasters- including this one with added observational capacity. The canopy above the pilots area is from a F86 Sabre. Kenting also had the contract to photograph and map Canada's arctic using war surplus B17s for the job
In 1972 the DC4s were replaced by Lockheed Electras flown by Nordair.

Ontario industries, 1942

The New Educator Encyclopedia.  Toronto:  General Press Service, 1942.