Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Notes on the care and feeding of the Lewis gun, WW1

 From the WW1 notes of Frank W. Elliott who enlisted in the Canadian infantry and served as a stretcher bearer when he wasn't out taking pictures as a tourist, apparently. 
Learning to operate the Lewis gun was part of training and below are his study notes for disassembly, compare to the official document at the bottom. Thanks to Historikate 

Clipper ship Swordfish

Robert Carse, The Twilight of Sailing Ships Grosset and Dunlap 1965

Honda for 1965

License & insurance in 48 hours--those were the days!

Below, what one wag thought Honda might be bringing to the salesroom:
William Cole (Editor).  The Punch Line.  New York:  Simon & Schuster, 1969.

We used to make things in this country. #187: The Archive Two-Hole Hanging Clipboard

As you can see, I've got two of these devices.  I have no idea what Canadian company produced them.  If someone out there knows, I'd love to hear from them.

As for the "Made to Wear" slogan, apparently office workers back then had quite different sartorial tastes than today.

Update May 5, 2015

I stopped at a yard sale on the weekend and picked up this old clipboard: 

So, it seems that "Made to Wear" was associated with "The Perfection File."  Still no information on the manufacturer, though.

I was impressed with the mechanism--simple but elegant.  When you press down on the long handle, it bears down on the two clips against a flat spring, with a brass roller transferring the motion.

Monday, March 30, 2015

We used to make things in this country #186 Power tools

I used to service power tools at Sears years ago and never saw one this old. I recognize the C315 model number but at that time the manufacturer- and the fact that it was made here was not important (wasn't nearly everything?)  Anyways, the switch recently gave out on this nice old machine, and it was consigned to recycling.

Thanks, Fred!

T-34 in action

Lt Col. Robert J. Icks, Tanks and Armoured Vehicles.  Phillip Andrews Pub. 1945
One of the model kit manufacturers should do a T-34 model kit of this scene. 

Peripheral Pachyderm Computer

Popular Science, February 1967

Blue-Point Boxocket single-offset wrench

It's a box-end wrench, it's a socket--no, it's a Boxocket!

I found one of these recently in Ottawa.  According to Alloy Artifacts, this model (X16) was made in 1927. (I think it's cool that this tool was made the same year that Lindbergh crossed the Atlantic!)  The "Boxocket" series itself was introduced in 1926 or 1927 and usually sold as sets.  Apparently, these were among the first double-box wrenches available from any manufacturer.  The Boxocket name was apparently continued into the 1950's.  Anyway, mine has been cleaned up and added to my other wrenches so it can be put back to work.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

HMS Ark Royal, 1960

Robert Blackburn, New Horizon Book of Flying, Golden Pleasure Books 1963
A Sea Vixen and a Scimitar prepare for takeoff on the flight deck.

Portland postcard

Postcard from early in the last century.

How to operate your Panzerfaust

We've all been there.  Someone cuts you off on the Autobahn, you get out the Panzerfaust, but you've misplaced the instructions!  So, they started sticking them right on the device.  Remember to keep the kids away from that back blast!

Displayed at the West Point Museum.  Well worth a visit.

Wheatley & Wilson Ltd., Montreal, Quebec

A "Truline Steeledge" ruler made by the Acme company.  It may have been a promotional item for Wheatley & Wilson.  On the other hand, it's curious that their W&W logo is located where it is.  This suggests that they may have had a hand in the ruler's design or manufacture. 

From what little I can discover online, however, Wheatley and Wilson appears to have been a printing company involved with The Gazette newspaper. Their web presence today is limited to their involvement with an historic Montreal edifice, the Desbarats' Building, which was completed in 1930.

It's interesting how a firm like this can vanish with so little trace.

Sidecar Sunday

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Launch of the Battleship Georgia, 1904

The USS Georgia served with the the US Navy till 1920 and was sold for scrap in 1923. Navy ships continue to be built at Bath Iron Works.

Traffic in the Fifties

William D. Sheldon, Queenie B. Mills & Maragaret K. Moore.  Our School.  Allyn & Bacon, Inc., 1961.  Illustrated by Ruth Potter.
A kid's-eye view of the street.  I remember those huge bumpers!


My selection of gimlets.  The two straight-handled ones at the bottom right are identical, one marked "Mastercraft" and the other "Irwin 900."  Methinks Irwin made these for Canadian Tire.

Below, a few others I keep in my vintage tool chest.  I haven't been able to find any information on J.B. Ridge Ltd. of Sheffield.

Ashdown Catalogue, 1955
(As near as I can determine, a "bellhanger" was originally the term for the tradesman who installed the bell systems in the homes of the wealthy, who would use them to summon servants.  Later, it seems to have become a term for an electrician.)

Friday, March 27, 2015

Nord Griffon II

This ramjet equipped research aircraft achieved 1450 mph in 1958.

Steamer New Orleans

William H. Ewen; Days of the Steamboats; Parents Magazine Press 1967
After his success with his steamboats in the Hudson, Robert Fulton decided to expand inland. In 1811 he had a 116 ft steamboat built in Pittsburgh for service on the Mississippi river. The first steamboat to be seen in that part of the world, she sailed down the Ohio and Mississippi rivers and made it to New Orleans without trouble. For the next three years she carried passengers and freight in the lower Mississippi between Natchez and New Orleans till she sank after striking a tree stump. 

We used to make things in this country. #185: The Otterville Manufacturing Company, Otterville, Ontario

My suggestion for a better slogan:  "If you don't have a business here, you otter!"  

As the timber around Otterville was cleared, the town was poised to collapse except for the efforts of H.E. Bullock and J.E. Bullock of Chicago and F.G. Bullock and W.F. Kay of Otterville who founded the Otter Sweeper Company in 1879.  This firm produced the first carpet sweepers in Canada. By 1898, three models were offered:  the Star (for $2), the Ruby ($2.50) and the Pearl ($2.75).  The company also made step ladders, corn shellers, corn planters, piano stools and baby carriages.  

The company was associated with the Illinois Malleable Iron Works, selling items from the Chicago plant through the Otterville location, including post hole diggers, wire fence stretchers and pumps.  The Illinois Malleable Iron Works was established by H.E. Bullock in 1880 in Rochelle Illinois, but moved to Chicago in 1884 where it took its final company name.  An 1886 fire destroyed the factory, most of the patterns and a great deal of the machinery, but a new factory was built and at its height it was employing around 400 men.  It seems to have folded in 1937. The company had a Canadian presence in Guelph, Ontario--the International Malleable Iron Company--which operated between 1912 and 1990.  

Eventually, the Otter Sweeper Company became the Otterville Manufacturing Company, selling English bicycles and general wood products.  When F.G. Bullock passed away, the plant was shut down in 1932.

Today, the company is remembered today in two ways.  Lee Valley Tools makes (in Canada!) and sells a modified version of the Otterville piano stool mechanism.  In 2013, the Otterville township council agreed to rename New Street as Bullock Street.

Information and images taken from South of Sodom. The History of South Norwich.  (South Norwich Historical Society, 1983.)  I found the book in a Trenton, Ontario thrift store and bought it for this entry, since I'd never heard of the company before.

The town of Otterville was given the name of Sodom by the local Quakers, due to the presence of a tavern. Now part of the township of Norwich, one claim to fame is that Hulda Randall Minthorn, the mother of the 31st president of the United States, Herbert C. Hoover, was born in Norwich's Quaker community in 1848.

Postscript.  After I wrote this draft, I happened to be passing an old piano stool in my house that we've had for ages:  

Out of curiousity, I looked under the seat.  Yep!

Another job you wouldn't want to do: Assembling calculating machines, 1954

The New Wonder Book Cyclopedia of World Knowledge.  Philadelphia & Toronto:  International Press, 1954
For more on Friden, see Extracting Square Roots.

Sonicweld Kawasaki Flattracker