Thursday, July 27, 2017

Private Snafu

From 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.

Private Snafu has a fascinating history, involving the talents of such giants as Frank Capra and Theodor Geisel (a.k.a. "Dr. Seuss") and voiced by Mel Blanc.  You can find many of the films on youtube.

Vanished tool makers: Anchor-brand wrenches

I picked up these two old wrenches recently.  They're marked in both SAE and metric sizes.  Only the top wrench carries the anchor logo.  Does anyone know who made these?  

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Spanish water sellers, 1901

From Happy Hours in Story Land.  New York:  McLoughlin Bros., 1901.

Solent-class flying boat in cross-section

From J.E. Pryde-Hughes (Editor).  The Children's Book of Achievement.  Wonders of Modern Enterprise.  
London & Glasgow:  Collins Clear-Type Press, 1953.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Warner Aircraft engines, 1942

I'd never heard of this engine company, begun in 1928. They focused on lower hp radial engines for light planes and trainers. To my surprise I find they're still in business- at least in some form- with a nice website and now located in Colorado. Not building engines, they sell some engine parts, memorabilia and some nice posters.

G.C. Electronics Angle Reamer and Fork Tipped Tool

This little 8" tool has has a sharp, curved point at one end, and a fork at the other.  So, logically but unimaginatively enough, it's called an "Angle reamer and forked tip tool" and was designed to aid in probing and soldering printed circuits.  It was made with special stainless steel hardened probes that solder will not stick to.

It was made by GC Electronics, which started out life in 1930 as the General Cement Manufacturing Company of Rockford, Illinois. I've discussed the company before in a previous post on the Speedex Trig-O-Matic wire stripper. Their website proclaims:

For over 75 years, GC Electronics has grown and changed with the times, Migrating its way from Tubes to Transistors to Integrated Circuits to the Microprocessor era. From Early Telephone and Radio to the Internet, GC Electronics has been serving the needs of the Electrical and Electronic Distributors for almost 4 generations.

Ireland's principal industries, 1942

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

Faith and begorrah!  Times have changed!

Monday, July 24, 2017

Pinball Tilt mechanisms

In case you were wondering...

Vanished Tool Makers: Elyria Metal Products Company

Above, a stamped steel wrench from this company.  Apparently, they were one of the suppliers of tool kits for Jeeps.  They were undoubtedly stamped out by the thousands.

The company may only have existed during World War II to serve this purpose.  I assume it was located in Elyria, Ohio, near Cleveland.  Aside from being the present headquarters of the Ridge Tool Company, the city doesn't seem to have distinguished itself.

Vanished Tool Makers: ARCO (Arrow Metal Products Company), New York City

An electric drill-mounted jig saw from ARCO.  Originally out of New York City, by the 1970's the company had relocated to Englewood, New Jersey.  The tool is actually quite well made. Although I have no intention of using the tool, I removed the front plate to lubricate it and was impressed by the precision of the parts within.  I also love the way they produced the serrated letters in the word "Jig" on the name plate.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Dzus, expanding the product line for wartime....

St. Andrews by the Sea

The president of the CPR, Cornelius Van Horne had an estate on Ministers Island across the bay from St. Andrews, so maybe it's no coincidence that the CPR acquired the Algonquin Hotel as part of their chain of resorts.

Queen Mary in cross-section

J.E. Pryde-Hughes (Editor).  The Children's Book of Achievement.
London & Glasgow:  Collins Clear-Type Press, 1953.

Another job you wouldn't want to do: Drying fish

The Canadian Educator for Home and School Use, vol 3.  Toronto:  The Iroquois Press, 1929.

Ontario Public School Geography.  Toronto:  W.J. Gage & Co., Limited, c. 1920.

Sidecar Sunday

British 16 Ton tank

The 16 ton tank was a development of the Vickers medium tank and was first produced in 1929. Its four man crew was protected by .5" to 1" thick armour and with an 180 hp air cooled engine was capable of about 30 mph. The main gun was a 3 pounder but the tank also had machine guns in two small turrets at the front corners (here obscured by debris from the collapsing wall). The tank was expensive to build and not successful, only three were built.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Dual controls on a twin screw cruiser, 1965

John Bohannan.  Your Guide to Boating Power or Sail.  Barnes & Nobles, 1965, 1969.

Let your fingers do the driving!

Hockey team, Aylmer, Quebec, 1895

Diane Aldred.  Aylmer Québec.  Its Heritage.  Aylmer Heritage Association, 1977, 3rd Edition 1989.

They look like convicts.  Maybe its just their conviction.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Hupmobile, 1934

Princess St, Kingston, late 1970s

Paul Von Baich The old Kingston Road, Oxford University Press 1980
View east from Montreal St.

Canada's first time machine

Canada 1962.  The official handbook of present conditions and recent progress.  
Ottawa:  Information Services Division, Dominion Bureau of Statistics, 1962.

Or was it the first?  Time paradox!  The Duke and Mister G, pictured above, pondered this very question.

Japan's "Pull-Man" Car, 1915

The Book of History.  A History of All Nations from the earliest times to the present.  
Vol. II.  The Far East.  New York:  The Grolier Society; London:  The Educational Book Co., 1915.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Another job you wouldn't want to do, Railway brakeman

Trains Album of Photographs, Book III, Midwestern Railways,  1943
Here a brakeman guides the engineer in to couple up to a car on a siding.

Morgan racing

Classic Bike November, 1982
Looks like a lot of fun, less so if you're the passenger.

Forty years of aviation progress, 1956

The Universal Standard Encyclopedia.  New York:  Standard Reference Works Publishing Co. Inc., 1956.  
An Abridgement of the New Funk & Wagnalls Encyclopedia

I'd think the downwash from the jet would swamp the little biplane.

Parts of a Rifle

The New Wonder Book Cyclopedia of World Knowledge.
Philadelphia & Toronto:  International Press, 1954.

Below, "Naming of Parts" by the British poet, Henry Reed, originally published in 1942:


To Alan Michell

Vixi duellis nuper idoneus
Et militavi non sine gloria


To-day we have naming of parts. Yesterday,
We had daily cleaning. And to-morrow morning,
We shall have what to do after firing. But to-day,
To-day we have naming of parts. Japonica
Glistens like coral in all of the neighboring gardens,
          And to-day we have naming of parts.

This is the lower sling swivel. And this
Is the upper sling swivel, whose use you will see,
When you are given your slings. And this is the piling swivel,
Which in your case you have not got. The branches
Hold in the gardens their silent, eloquent gestures,
          Which in our case we have not got.

This is the safety-catch, which is always released
With an easy flick of the thumb. And please do not let me
See anyone using his finger. You can do it quite easy
If you have any strength in your thumb. The blossoms
Are fragile and motionless, never letting anyone see
          Any of them using their finger.

And this you can see is the bolt. The purpose of this
Is to open the breech, as you see. We can slide it
Rapidly backwards and forwards: we call this
Easing the spring. And rapidly backwards and forwards
The early bees are assaulting and fumbling the flowers:
          They call it easing the Spring.

They call it easing the Spring: it is perfectly easy
If you have any strength in your thumb: like the bolt,
And the breech, and the cocking-piece, and the point of balance,
Which in our case we have not got; and the almond-blossom
Silent in all of the gardens and the bees going backwards and forwards,

          For to-day we have naming of parts.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Sikorski S-40 Southern Clipper

The ungainly looking S-40 was an interim-design flying boat produced while the more modern S-42 was being designed, hence only 3 were built. Another view here

Evolution of the Automobile, 1933

Raymond Loewy. Evolution chart of automobiles. Boy, did he get it wrong...

Engine gondolas of a captured Zeppelin, 1917

From The Engineer, Nov 2, 1917

Nice work if you can get it: Hauling ice, 1954

The New Wonder Book Cyclopedia of World Knowledge.  Volume X.
International Press, 1954.

See the Rockies!

The Canadian National, taking a page from the CPR's book of tourist promotion.

Street car track construction

Filey/Howard/Weyerstrahs; Passengers Must Not Ride on the Fenders, Green Tree Pub. 1974
There are better versions of this picture around, but in April of 1923 TTC crews replaced this tangle of streetcar tracks at the intersection of Queen, King and Roncesvalles streets overnight. The intersection had been designed and constructed offsite then moved down to be installed. 
Things are pretty efficient with all the modern equipment but I'm not sure that this could be accomplished today.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Bombing up a Sopwith Scout, 1918

Hugh W. Peart & John Schaffter.  The Winds of Change.  A History of Canada and 
Canadians in the Twentieth Century.  Toronto:  The Ryerson Press, 1961.

Vanished Tool Makers: Weed Chain Tire Grip Company, Bridgeport, Connecticut

I picked these pliers up for a buck at a yardsale last weekend.  I could see that they had patent dates, so they intrigued me.  I asked the seller, a retired mechanic, what he thought they were used for.  He said, "putting on and removing old-style wheel weights."  Well, they could be used for that, but that's not what they were designed for originally.  They're tire chain repair pliers, now joining my first pair that I described in an earlier post.

Harry D. Weed lived in Canastota, New York, better know today for its onions and for the International Boxing Hall of Fame.  In the early years of the last century, he observed that motorcyclists and car owners would wrap their tires with ropes or vines to help get through the muddy mires that constituted roadways in those days. 

Alfred P. Sloan, Jr.  My Years with General Motors.  New York:  Macfadden-Bartell, 1965.

Naturally, rope didn't last very long, so Weed experimented with using hardened steel. In 1904, he received a U.S. patent for his "Grip Tread for Pneumatic Tires:"  

He went on to found the Weed Chain Tire Grip Corporation: 

Source:  Makrochips Blog

The new company advertised heavily in many popular periodicals:

 “The Automobile” January 28, 1905.  Source:  The Old Motor

In 1908, the Thomas Flyer that won the New York To Paris Race was equipped with Weed Chains. The same year, as part of the New York Automobile Carnival, Harry Houdini was challenged to free himself from Weed Chains, performing this feat in the Keith & Proctor's Theatre in New York City.  On the evening of April 10, 1908, Houdini overcame six padlocked Weed Chains in addition to two steel-rimmed car wheels and handcuffs and leg irons, over 400 pounds of weight. Houdini got out, but it took him 29 minutes and he was exhausted at the end of it.  The event was widely reported and orders poured in.  (To read a contemporary account written by the Weed company, visit Wild About Harry.)

In 1911, he sold his patent to the American Chain Company, which soon moved production from New York City to Bridgeport, Connecticut.  American Chain itself lasted until 2006, when it was acquired by the Peerless Industrial Group.

Source:  Linn's Stamp News