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

Showroom decoration

Periscope Shop, Rockland Maine

Toronto downtown

The Sky Detectives, 1930

Ambrose Newcomb.  The Sky Detectives .  Chicago:  The Goldsmith Publishing Co., 1930.

"Archie, get back in the plane right now!"

We used to make things in this country. #278: Telephones

Merged with Telus in 1999.

Merged into the Federal Telephone & Telegraph Co. of Palo Alto, California in 1910.  Bridgeburg itself is gone, merged into Fort Erie in 1932.

Although only in operation between 1908 and 1912, the company made thousands of telephone sets.  Today, its former factory houses the Waterford Antiques Market.

Ultimately became Nortel, which failed in 2009.  The crash left 60,000 Canadian workers without jobs and, in many cases, without pensions.

The Brockville factory opened in 1922, and began assembling telephones in 1935.  The head office was moved there from Montreal in 1948.  At its peak, it employed 1000 people.  The end came in 1996 when the plant closed, putting 340 people out of work.  The huge factory was demolished in 2008.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

First heavier than air flight in Europe

The American Heritage History of Flight, Simon and Shuster 1962
Three years passed after the Wright brothers made their historic flight but incredibly, the news was not in the public eye. When Brazilian Alberto Santos-Dumont built a heaver-than-air craft and made his first flight on October 23 1906 in Paris he (and all of Europe) believed he had been the first. The flight was of 50 meters distance at an altitude of about 5 meters compared to the Wright brothers 120 feet and 12 seconds duration.

Twinfone Dual Listening

Let's see your smartphone do this!

Otis elevators

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

In 1852 Elisha Otis invented the "safety elevator" and started his company the following year.  His invention made possible the rise of the skyscraper.  

Sidecar Sunday

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Little Giant Crane

Little Giant Cranes, formed in 1947 in Ohio. It's still in business today as a division of Manitex.

The Earthmover Encylcopedia

Mobile Telephone back in the day

Sheldon Kideckel started Challenge Communications in Toronto in 1969 and by 1977 had taken most of the mobile phone market from Bell, whose offerings were ugly, chunky black boxes.  Still, not a lot of market penetration, as these phones cost almost as much as a new car.  Bell tried to stifle the company, but the CRTC ruled in favour of Challenge, which nevertheless went under because of its legal costs.  Kideckel responded by starting a new phone company and, ironically, received a $75,000 order for 14 car phones for company executives from -- guess who? -- Bell. Anyway, nice logo:

Teddy Roosevelt in a steam shovel

Du Pont.  The Autobiography of an American Enterprise. 
Wilmington, Delaware:  E.I. Du Pont de Nemours & Co., 1952.

Friday, November 10, 2017

E. B. White

Geoffrey H Doughty, The New Haven Railroad's Streamline Passenger Fleet 1934-1953, TLC Publishing, 2000
Railroads are immensely complex, and they seem to love complexity just as they love ritual and the past.
 E.B. White
 The Points of my Compass

Wellington Sears Cotton in wartime

Wellington Sears appears to be or used to be a leading producer of industrial textiles.

How to cover mouth and nose, 1950

Morris Fishbein, M.D.  Modern Home Medical Adviser.  Doubleday & Co., 1935, 1950.

It's coming on flu season.  Practice this at home!

The village that steam shovels together...

Adelaide Leitch.  The Visible Past.  The Pictorial History of Simcoe County. 
Ryerson Press, 1967.

Above, a Marion Shovel, Model 75.  Below, a generic drawing.

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