Wednesday, October 18, 2017
Above, a tool made to hold safety razors.
U.S. Patent 3,996,665 was issued to Douglas B. Malchow of Minneapolis in 1976 and assigned to the Warner Manufacturing Company of the same city. Founded in 1926 the company is still around, now apparently out of nearby Plymouth. A handy way to use old razor blades that had become too dull to shave with, but still sharp enough for shop use. The tool is still available, with prices ranging from $1.98 to $34.33. Seriously, there's this much variation on the marketplace. Why?
I thought safety razors had all but disappeared in favour of disposable multi-bade ones. Turns out, they're enjoying something of a comeback. See, for example, the Rockwell safety razor, which began with a Kickstarter in 2014. They sell their razor blades for 10 cents each!
Above, from The Splendid Book for Boys. (London & Glasgow: Collins. c. 1950's.) Targeted at British children and adolescents, this article explained how to use a variety of common tools including Warrington hammers, tenon saws, "steel smoother" planes, scribing gouges, pin bits and "Washita" oilstones (which should be treated with olive oil, or a mixture of olive and paraffin). I've uploaded the entire 10-page article here.
In 1947, The Dictaphone company replaced the wax cylinder storage media they had used since Alexander Graham Bell started the company. They introduced a new mechanically etched Lexan belt named Dictabelt which was much more permanent. IBM introduced magnetic tape in the early fifties and the Dictaphone company used it alongside their mechanical system.
Somewhat surprisingly, the company is still around today recording in the medical and legal fields, presumably without the wax cylinders...
Tuesday, October 17, 2017
The illustrator, Mel Crawford, was born in Toronto in 1925. He was a graduate of the Ontario College of Art, Mister G's alma mater. Among his many art jobs, Crawford painted Howdy Doody, Rootie Kazootie, Yogi Bear, the Flintstones, Twinkles The Elephant, Rocky and Bullwinkle, Scrooge McDuck, Tom & Jerry, and Gerald McBoing Boing. He passed away in 2015.
From the manual for a Polaroid 230 Land Camera. The Land camera was made from 1947 to 1983. To develop the film, you had to separate the dry print from the wet negative. The manual urges, "Avoid contact with the chemicals left on the negative after the print is removed. Fold up the negative with the moist side in. Please put it in a wastebasket or film box. Don't be a litterbug!" I can still remember visiting my parents' cottage to discover that someone with a Land camera had been taken with the view from the dock, and had snapped some photographs, leaving behind the messy emulsion sheets on the shoreline. That's heavy irony: the person was sensitive enough to appreciate a beautiful view, but not sensitive enough to keep from despoiling it.
Below, using the Cold-Clip--finally, a technical use for the armpit!