Thursday, August 17, 2017

Plymouths on the assembly line, 1959

Above from The World in 1972.  History as we lived it.  The Ottawa Citizen,
The Associated Press. 1973.
Images below from Bill Toboldt.  Fix Your Plymouth.  All Models 1967-1952.  
The Goodheart-Willcox Co., Inc., 1967.

Groves Tasteless Chill Tonic

Fortunately, today we have McDonalds.

Edwin Wiley Grove made a fortune from this quinine-laced tonic, which he introduced in 1878. British soldiers were provided with it as an anti-malarial and in 1890 it actually out-sold Coca-Cola!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The beginning of the couch potato, 1968

Vanished shovel makers: Blackcat & Boisvert

Above, a Blackcat 2 shovel that I still use.  Note that the handle is made by splitting the shaft and presumably steaming the two haves apart to form the handgrip.  It's been a long time since anyone made them that way.

Below, my Boisvert.  I suspect it came from Quebec, mais qui sait?

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

1955 Pontiac sedan

Planes in Formation; Sikorski Sea King

The American Heritage History of Flight, Simon and Shuster 1962

Vanished tool makers: Dalton Manufacturing Corporation, Sound Beach, Connecticut


The company made lathes between 1913 and the late 1920's or early 30's.  They were essentially hand-made.  About 200 were in the hold of the Lusitania when it was torpedoed, but I doubt that they're in restorable condition today. The Sound Beach factory, including all of its machine tools, was acquired by the Swedish Electrolux company as their first American location for producing vacuum cleaners. Interesting, I can find no mention of a "Sound Beach" (other than Long Island Sound) on the 'Net. 

More information here.

Vanished tool makers: Bishop wood chisel

A vintage tang chisel, with what looks like "Bishop" stamped on the blade.  It has a very slender blade.  Below, compared with a Ward chisel of the same size.  The Bishop chisel is on the bottom.

There was a George H. Bishop company in the U.S., but their products seem to have been restricted to hand saws and scrapers, so I don't think my chisel came from their foundry:

1909.  Source:  Hyperkitten Tool Co.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Record haulage

Robert Pike, Tall Timber Tough Men, W W Norton & Co, 1967
As I read in a long-forgotten late 19th century book, about animal cruelty and how things were done pre-fossil fuels, "Men and horses should never have been put together on the same planet".

Douglas Dauntless production line

 A few of approximately 5000 Douglas Dauntlesses built during WW2.

Anglo camera flash unit

A neat Japanese-made "Anglo" flashbulb unit.  (The name is no accident--the Japanese producers understood their market very well.)  The reflector segments collapse into a more compact form for storage, and also presumably to protect them.

Interesting that it used both a removable battery and a removable capacitor.  That would certainly make replacing the capacitor easier, since those devices did fail after so many uses, as anyone who has experience with old automotive points-type ignitions will appreciate.

Seeger circlip pliers

From the German company that originated the circlip. Now known as Orbis-Seeger.  Interesting that they found it necessary to stamp them "Original Seeger."  Seems there must have been imitators around.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Morris Lathe, 1921

From Practical machinist website comes this info;
The book "American Lathe Builders 1810-1910" by Kenneth L. Cope states the following: ...Founded by John B. Morris in 1891, the firm began making machine tools when it bought the radial drill business of Roos and Mill about 1906...

...lathe production began in 1908 with a 16" geared head and feed lathe designed by William L. Schellenbach for use with the new high speed steel cutting tools... 1909 a cone head version, also designed by Schellenbach, was offered in 14", 16" and 18" sizes. The company reorganized as the John B. Morris Machine Tool Company Co. in 1910..

The company became part of the Associated Foundries of Cincinnati but there does not seem to be much more info available on the fate of the company.

Early Buick racecar

It's hard to tell what what year or model it started out as. Any guesses?

The Airship

Written and presented in 1898 by J. M. Gaites- five years before the Wright brothers.

Moto Minarelli

On display at Boynton McKay in Camden Me.

That'll work, I'm sure.

Sidecar Sunday

Vanished Tool Makers: Niagara Machine & Tool Works, E.W. Bliss & Clearing Machine Corporation

Verne C. Fryklund & Frank Roy Kepler, General Drafting.
Bloomington, ILL:  McKnight & McKnight, Publishers, 1938

The person above appears to be using a  Niagara Machine and Tool Works "Superior" Turner.  Below, from the company's 1901 catalogue:

The Niagara Machine and Tool Works was founded in 1879 by George J. Munschauer and Adam E. Heinz in 1879 in Buffalo, New York. It was incorporated in 1901. The company specialized in stamping presses, press brakes and other sheet metal tools needed by the various industries that depended on steel. During WWII, Niagara was a major supplier of metal forming equipment to the Army and Navy air services, as well as other aircraft builders. They supplied such famous firms as General Electric, General Motors and Curtiss-Wright.   After decades of family ownership, the firm was sold in 1992 to the Verson International Group (VIG), which also acquired the  Chicago-based Clearing Machine Corporation, another famous metal-working tool company.   (Ten years earlier, Verson International had acquired the British power-press company Wilkins & Mitchell from the receiver.)


The company then became Clearing-Niagara.  In 1996, Timothy Kelleher, a major stockholder of VIG, led an investment group which bought Niagara and another famous firm, E.W. Bliss of Hastings, Michigan  (which had filed for bankruptcy protection), as well as Parts Plus, a Detroit machinery repair company.  

Howard Monroe Raymond.   Modern Shop Practice, Volume 3.
Chicago:  American Technical Society, 1902, 1919.

The new company, CNB International, soon ran into financial difficulties as sales declined, and had to start laying off workers from its 400-plus workforce.  It filed for bankruptcy protection in 1999.  In 2001, Bliss Clearing Niagara emerged as new entity owned by CIT Lending Services, Inc. of New York.  In 2006, the business assets and intellectual property were sold to the  Müller Weingarten Group, who then ran the company under the name of BCN Technical Services out of Hastings, Michigan.  That company is now a subsidiary of the German Schuler Group, after Müller Weingarten & Schuler Presses merged in 2007. It makes replacement parts for the legacy companies' machine tools, a far cry from the day when each firm was a huge tool-making powerhouse in its own right.

In 2012, the Andritz Group of Graz, Austria, purchased Schuler AG, which included BCN Technical Services as a subsidiary. Andritz began as an iron foundry established in 1852 by Josef Körösi, a Hungarian entrepreneur. 

The former Niagara  factory at 683 Northland Avenue in Buffalo sat vacant for 25 years, but in 2015 was slated to be developed into the Western New York Workforce Development Center, a new hub that will focus primarily on training for careers in the advanced manufacturing and energy sectors.

For a full history focussing on E.W. Bliss, visit Woodchuck Arts. BCN Technical Services also has an interesting history timeline.

Tyne Bridge, 1928

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Steam plough on the prairies, 1910

Ontario School Geography.  Toronto:  The Educational Book Company, Limited, 1910.

Learning to use a shaper

The Book of Bolton.  Compiled, edited and published by Ed. J. Burrow & Co. Ltd.,
Cheltenham and London, 1961.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Joseph Peavey

Robert Pike, Tall Timber Tough Men, W W Norton & Co, 1984
Joseph Peavey, inventor of what became an indispensable logging tool,  as a young man, posing with an earlier logging pry bar. The company is still making cant hooks, Peaveys and other logging tools 160 years later. Unclear of the differences between a cant hook and a peavey? See the Dukes earlier post.


New Pioneers in Alberta

Some nice drawings taken from Jacques Hamilton.  New Pioneers. Our Alberta Heritage Series II.  Commissioned by Calgary Power Ltd., 1975.  Illustrations by Dianne Bersea

Steamer "Weldon", Alymer, Quebec

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

Looks like a fire trap.