Thursday, November 23, 2017

Convair XFY-1 Pogo

This was a 1954 experiment in vertical takeoff and landing. Apparently the takeoff part was OK, but it was very difficult to land, as the pilot had to look over his shoulder to see where he was going while being very precise working the controls. 
Three were built, only one flew, mostly in tethered practise liftoffs and landings. It was determined that only very experienced pilots were capable of flying it and although it was capable of speeds approaching 500 mph, jets were the future.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

There's something in the air...

The American Heritage History of Flight, Simon and Shuster 1962
Samuel Langley was an early pioneer in aviation who had made several successful flights with models as early as 1896, some lasting as long as 3/4 of a mile. Working partially with government funds, he built a full scale piloted aircraft and made two attempts at flight. 
Catapulted from a houseboat in the Potomac river, the first takeoff by pilot Charles Manly on October 7 1903 was unsuccessful, the picture above shows the plane breaking up and falling during the second launch on December 8, 1903. 
Nine days later, the Wright brothers achieved the first successful powered heavier than air flight.

Crawford Automobiles

Another manufacturer that came and went so fast they didn't even say goodbye. Soon after this ad appeared in 1909, the company was gone.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Edison's talking doll

Archeology, Nov/Dec 2011.

Shell Oil ads

Wally Olins, Corporate Identity.  Making Business Visible Through Design. 
Harvard Business School Press, 1990.

MG Midget

Diecast airplane

 Another nice little diecast toy with a 5 inch wingspan. Maker unknown, no identification, no markings except some stamped numbers "3" on the bottom of one wing, "2197" on the other. 

Monday, November 20, 2017

Our Young Aeroplane Scouts in England, 1916

Horace Porter.  Our Young Aeroplane Scouts in England.  or Twin Stars in the London Sky Patrol.
  New York:  A.L. Burt Co., 1916.

Dropping bombs by hand and shooting a revolver out of the cockpit.  That's how it all started.

Machinist's clamps

A few from the toolbox drawer by my knee mill.

Sidecar Sunday

Grand Pianos of the Great Depression

Martin Greif, Depression Modern, The Thirties Style in America, Universe Books, 1975
Neither design really appeals to me, the classic grand piano is just too much of an icon. Top, Walter Dorwin Teague for Steinway, 1939. Bottom, Charles Wright for Wurlitzer, 1932

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Rural Line Rules

Champion Spark Plug Applications, 1963

A friend gave this booklet to me recently.  I've never heard of many of the American motorcycles and motor scooters!

FCD Railbus

Geoffrey H Doughty, The New Haven Railroad's Streamline Passenger Fleet 1934-1953, TLC Publishing, 2000
A postwar experiment in light rail transit, These bus-like diesel powered railcars were to act as feeders on light traffic lines of the New Haven Railroad. Ordered in 1950, the first ones started service in 1952. Although the tow test vehicles were effective in service, a change in policy took them out of service soon after being introduced and in the 1956 photo above, shows them in storage, unused.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Mad Scientist Arcade Game

Photographed at Marvin's Marvelous Mechanical Museum in Farmington Hills, Michigan.

This place is worth a trip!  And that's no Bullcrap!

Laws of the Public Road, 1906

J.L. Nichols,  A.M.  The Business Guide; ...or...Safe Methods of Business.  
Standard Edition.  Naperville, Illinois:  J.L. Nichols & Company, 1906.  First copyright 1886.


Still around today, history here

Friday, November 17, 2017

Woolf Barnato in his Bentley, Le Mans, 1929

Brad King.  All Color Book of Racing Cars.  Octopus Books, 1973.

Woolf Barnato, one of the wealthy "Bentley Boys", drives a Bentley Speed Six to victory at the 1929 Le Mans.

U-Boat in cross-section

Dodge A100 pickup truck

Thanks, Fred!
Nice fall setting...

Kanners razor blade stropper/sharpener

Hold Dubeledge in your left hand. Unscrew blade holder, put the blade on the prongs and screw back into place. Press blade holder LIGHTLY rollers but firmly downward with your thumb till the blade lies flat on the rolls. Turn handle several times, then release pressure until blade holder springs back and automatically reverses itself. Repeat same operation about 10 times giving three revolutions to each side of the blade.
"Lather well and you will shave well"

It's quite a complicated tool to perform a simple task on what is today a very cheap blade, it really does emphasize the "reuse" factor of days gone by. 
Looking at the machine, I can figure out how it works generally though the mechanism details I'm not certain of. It appears to have a Valet self strop razor blade in place and I'm not sure if the machine will work on any razor blade or if it requires specific design blades. Last thing I wonder is how many razor blades could you buy for the price of this unit?

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Vanished Tools: Chicago Rawhide Split-Head Hammer

I recently picked up this split-head rawhide hammer for a few bucks.  It's cool that the initials for the company are even stamped onto the handle.  I surmise that the shape around the C/R logo on the head and handle is supposed to represent a stretched hide.

The tool needed new 1-1/2" rawhide faces, which are cheaply available through McMaster-Carr.

Founded in 1878, Chicago Rawhide continues to make seals (but not hammers) as part of the SKF empire, which acquired them in 1990.

The Bell is a Good Place to Work

When jobs in Canada were like low-hanging fruit.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Tea time!

How to Make Good PicturesA Book for the Amateur Photographer. 
17th Edition Revised.  Eastman Kodak Co., 

Mom looks like she's had a few too many barbiturates.

Skyblazer, 1946

Howard Brier.  Skyblazer.  Random House, 1946.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Roper stoves

George Roper started the company in the late 1874 as a manufacturer of wood and gas stoves and grew to be one of the largest appliance manufacturers in the US. This 1925 ad highlights a gas stove but they were already a large supplier of both gas and electric ranges. Town and Country models from the 1940s are still popular among vintage stove aficionados. 
In a bitter fight for the acquisition of Roper in the 1980s, GE acquired the appliance and lawn equipment company but Whirlpool acquired the brand name. Roper- under GE- then produced appliances for Whirlpool which was a major supplier to the then massive Sears Roebuck chain.

New Britain shop furniture, 1906

"May we send you our book?" That's polite. 
According to Wikipedia, the New Britain Machine Company was founded in 1887 (or 1895), produced socket sets and tools for NAPA and seems to have had a hand in most American mechanic tools, Husky, Blackhawk, Mac and Craftsman, among others. The company was sold to the Litton Tool company in 1972. See the Duke's previous post here.

Remembering pay phones

This one's an Autelco Paystation made by the Automatic Electric Company of Chicago.  

From the 1949 Catalogue

As far back as 1891, the company's predecessor's products were designed to eliminate switchboard operators.

Charles R. Foster.  Psychology for Life and Adjustment.  American Technical Society, 1951, 8th Printing 1959.

Tom Swift and His Air Scout, 1919

Victor Appleton.  Tom Swift and His Air Scout or Uncle Sam's Mastery of the Sky. 
Grosset & Dunlap, 1919.

Monday, November 13, 2017