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.

Chain repair pliers

These are stamped “J.N.M. & Co., Pat July 26-10 Re Aug 2-15, on one side, and “Necessity” on the other. 

They are J.N. MacDonald chain repair pliers.  In 1910, paved roads were few and far between, and tire chains were essential to navigate the much more common mud roads (see 1917 ad below). The inventor was listed as residing in Hartford, Connecticut, and the 1910 letters patent state that “This invention relates to an improved implement for repairing chains, such as the tire chains of automobiles and the like…and by the use of which links may be expanded and again closed as may be required.”

A later patent was assigned to James M. MacDonald of nearby Wethersfield, suggesting the possibility of a family-owned tool business.  


Saturday, June 24, 2017

Sidecar Sunday

Terrible thing to do to a Suzuki RG500!

Belsaw belt sander

Monte Burch.  Gun Care and Repair.  Winchester Press, 1978.
Nice little machine!

The Family Handyman, April 1985
The Belsaw company started in Kansas City, Missouri in the 1930's. In 1983, they merged with the Minneapolis, Minnesota-based Foley Manufacturing Company to become Foley-Belsaw.  The companies split apart some time later. Foley-United makes tool grinders. Belsaw today seems a shadow of its former self, but still makes molding pattern knives and supplies parts and manuals for the older machines.

Industrial Design, 1954

Cool cover for a trade magazine.

Friday, June 23, 2017

1957 Chevrolet 6400

1927 Miller race car

Images from Griffith Borgeson, The Golden Age of the American Racing Car, Bonanza Books 1966
In 1926, in an effort to slow cars down, the American Automobile Association spec'ed an engine size of 91 cu in (1.5 litre) capacity- down from 122. Miller refined his supercharged inline 8, installed it in both front and rear race cars and at Indianapolis in 1928, Leon Duray's car set a lap record of 124.02 mph that held for 9 years. A closed course record was set at the Packard test track of 148.2 mph and a speed of 164 mph was set at Lake Muroc, indicating an output of 285 hp at 8100 rpm. 
About fifty 91s were built before the rules changed again in 1929. 
 Cutaway drawing by Clarence LaTourette
 Transverse cross section
Leo Goossen was the designer and draftsman for Harry Miller. Here are his notes for cam timing.

Killingworth High Pit

The Manitoba Readers.  Fourth Reader.  Thomas Nelson & Sons.  Clark Bros. & Co., Ltd, Winnipeg, undated but c. 1898.

Situated in Newcastle, England, and long closed, this is where George Stephenson, the famous railway engineer, began his career.

Mystery Bracket

I've had this odd bracket kicking around for ages.  It's about 11-1/4" long, and the 4 holes are tapped 10-24.  A search for RW No 4 yields nothing.  The M-logo on it is interesting.  I'm thinking it might have come from a machine tool.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Vanished tool makers: Cooper & Sons Ltd., Sheffield, England

Above, a ratcheting screwdriver I found in a thrift store. Other than that the shank was bent and rusty and the ferrule a little crushed, it was in fine shape, and the ratchet selector works just as well as when it was first made.  It's now straightened up, cleaned up, oiled up and ready to be put back to work.  Below, the same tool in a 1939 advertisement:

There's not a whole lot of information about this company on the web.  They go back to at least the 1930's, producing tools at their "Fuluse Works":

Below, their name on a vintage rose bit in my collection:

Also, a hacksaw frame as a later offering from the firm:

Below, a 1951 ad:

Cooper & Sons also made razors under the Fuluse brand name at their Lockfast Works, also on Hermitage Street in Sheffield.  It was presumably for this product that the company was bought by the knife-making firm of Joseph Rogers & Sons in the mid-1960's.  The two firms were combined at a location at St. Mary's Gate. Through various mergers, Rogers itself was acquired by Richards, which filed for bankruptcy in 1985.   I expect that the tool-making business ended much sooner than this.

Fix Your Bike

A useful manual for maintaining and repairing bicycles, at least those manufactured up until the middle of the 1970's.  The person pictured on the cover is peculiarly androgynous. I can't find anything on the author, although the two people he mentions in his dedication were founders of the Rochester Bicycling Club.  I mailed the book off to my son to help him work on an old Raleigh Sprite a neighbour gave me.  I love the maxim: "Bikus Non Lubrium Bustibus."


J.H. Williams & Co wrench

An old but not uncommon tool, this 7/16- 3/8" open end wrench shows sculptural qualities you don't see in tools today.  The jaws appear to be intended for square head bolts.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

A distant second...

George Abdill; This was Railroading, Bonanza Books 1958
The last spike ceremony of the Grand Trunk Western took place on April 7, 1914 at Milepost 1327.7. It appears to have been a pretty simple ceremony. The CPR had been completed to Vancouver in 1887 and although there was a lot of the country without railway service no transcontinental competitor had appeared till the GTW was chartered in 1903. Construction started in Winnipeg in 1906 and by 1912 had made its way to Edmonton. From there it continued into the Rockies through Fort George and on to Prince Rupert. The company struggled along till it was taken over by the Canadian government in 1920 and has operated since as the Canadian National.

K-D Convertible Saw Frame No. 99

I like hacksaw frames since, for such a simple design, various manufacturers have been able to apply surprisingly different innovations.   This one is by the K-D Manufacturing Company of Lancaster, Pennsylvania.  It accommodates different blade lengths by having notches in the top of the frame into which the top of a movable arm can lock. 

Turning the knurled nut pushes the arm to the right, tightening up the saw blade in the frame.  Finally, by pulling the lever at the right of the arm up and over centre, the arm is locked securely in place. It's an overly-complex design, but that adds to its appeal for me.

Two substantial steel pins on each arm allow for the saw blade to be mounted vertically or horizontally.  

Two inventors, Harry W. Kulp and Martin C. Dellinger, founded K-D Manufacturing around 1920.  The company ultimately specialized in automotive tools such as valve spring compressors. The company was eventually acquired by the Danaher Corporation which merged with Cooper Industries to form Apex Tools in 2010. In 2014, Apex rolled K-D into the GearWrench brand, and the K-D brand has all but vanished since then.

TV ideas from the Sixties

From Better Homes & Gardens, July 1966

And these were considered "portable" TV sets!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

GRM trials bike

Rare GRM, made by Moto Islo for sale at the CVMG Paris Rally. 
Previous post here.

Canadair North Star

Larry Milberry, Aviation in Canada, McGraw-Hill Ryerson 1979
 The North Star was a Canadian development of the Douglas DC-4, using Rolls Royce Merlins instead of the radial engines, which increased the cruising speed about 40%. The prototype first flew in 1946. The aircraft went into service in 1948 with Trans Canada Airlines and provided the platform for the start of their transatlantic service. TCA flew them till the early 1960s and some lasted as freighters till the early seventies. 71 were built. Below, luxury air travel in 1950.