Sunday, September 30, 2012

Christina Street, Sarnia, Canada, 1959 and 2009

The same location, 50 years apart.

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Opua railhead, Bay of Islands

A 1960s postcard in which Opua is described as the railhead of the Bay of Islands, but it has not seen NZR trains since 1985 and tourist trains from Kawakawa since 2001 when the Land Transport Authority decided the track was in too poor condition, although there is a possibility that these may resume at some stage. See earlier posts.

A 1980s scene of preserved 4-8-2 steam engine J1211 running along the main street in Kawakawa with a tourist train to Opua.  This was before the bullet nose streamlining was (re)added in 1988.

Cuban American car stamps

Despite the diplomatic stand off between the US and Cuba since the Cuban revolution in 1959, that didn't prevent Cuba from putting classic American cars on their stamps in 2002.  Many American cars from before the revolution can be seen in Cuba, although frequently they have been re-engined and reconditioned from Russian parts. Left to right, top to bottom: 1956 Pontiac Catalina; 1951 Hudson Hornet; 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air; 1959 Cadillac Fleetwood; 1957 Mercedes Benz 190 SL (German of course); 1957 Mercury Monterrey.

comment on YouTube comments

One of the reasons we decided upon comment moderation last year.

fun in Baja, Mexico

An intriguing DVD movie sleeve from 2009 we came upon by chance. Not viewed, but on imdb the average of 118 user votes is a mere 2.7 out of 10.

Union Pacific's one-time depot, North Platte, Nebraska

Roadside and trackside views of the depot built in the golden days of passenger train travel. After passenger traffic ceased through here in 1971, Union Pacific had no further use for the building and demolished it in 1973.

It is one of the buildings that must have influenced the architects of the former Auckland Railway Station in Beach Road which was opened in 1930 and closed with the opening of the Britomart Transport Centre in 2003, see earlier post.

Lambton Quay trams, Wellington, 1940s

Two views, likely taken on the same day, of traffic in Wellington's main shopping street of Lambton Quay (originally it was the shoreline), probably late 1940s.  The top view is the intersection of Lambton Quay (to the left), Customhouse Quay (to the right) and Willis Street (the continuation of Customhouse Quay which begins at this point).

The lower view shows a tram about half way along, with the once well-known Drapery Importing Company or DIC department store to the left.  This building still exists, but the lower level is now separate boutiques.  All the buildings on the right except one have now been demolished and replaced.

For lots more, see the books Wellington: a Capital Century and Wellington Transport Memories.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Banff passenger train depot, Canada, circa 1955

Canadian Pacific's premier trans-continental passenger train The Canadian is seen stopped at the Banff depot in Alberta about the time this train began in 1955. It ceased in 1978 (see earlier post).

struck-off lawyer's luxury and classic car collection sold at auction

a 2002 Aston Martin DB7 Vantage Cabrio, but with only 7,300 km on the odometer, sold for $NZ 52,500 ($US 43,500)

One-time high profile Auckland-based lawyer Barry Hart was struck off the licensed legal practioner's register last month for gross misconduct, including over-charging clients.

On the TVNZ news is this news item and video of the cars in his collection that were sold at auction today to pay off some of his debts to finance companies.

2 ft 6 in gauge steam in spring, Hungary

A postcard/pocket calendar issued in 2004 by the Gyermekvasut adolescents railway (see earlier post) in Hungary, website (Hungarian only)

1965 Pontiac Le Mans 4-door sedan

Swastika Laundry van

But in Ireland, not in Nazi Germany. The Swastika Laundry was founded in 1912, and was located on Shelbourne Road, Ballsbridge, a district of Dublin. The delivery vans, of which an example is seen here, were electric powered. With Ireland being neutral in WW2 the simultaneous use of the swastika - used by the laundry in its original good luck context (although you can't help wondering about the colour scheme) - by Nazi Germany didn't cause any problems for them, and apparently it continued to be used into the 1980s.

Italian narrow gauge diesel

A postcard of a 950 mm gauge diesel loco with a train seen at Esterzili on the island of Sardinia.  This was built by Breda TIBB in 1959 with a 689 hp (514 kW) motor, and has a 70 km/h maximum speed.

Washington DC streetcars outside Union Station

The station was opened in 1908 and at the time was a grand structure.  It progressively deteriorated until the 1980s when refurbishing took place.  Details of Amtrak's present Master Plan for the station here (pdf, 15 mB)

Washington DC's streetcars ended in 1962.

hail Victoria in Wellington

While on the subject of Queen Vic, here are a couple more Wellington edifices from the 1890s to her glory: a giant statue of her in Post Office Square (in reality she was only 4'11") and Victoria College, now Victoria University of Wellington.  Given the sprawling complex that VUW is now, it's hard to appreciate that this is all it began with in 1899, what is now the Hunter Building and even this was later added to. About the only VUW building of architectural distinction, a campaign was required to save it from demolition and replacement by another high rise in the 1970s.

Both illustrations were considered for but not included in the book Wellington: a Capital Century

1960s cars at the top of Mt Victoria

A view of the parking lot and the Admiral Bryd memorial (see earlier post) at the top of Mt Victoria in Wellington. In front is what looks like a 1959 Ford Anglia, followed by a 1964 Ford Zephyr, a Vauxhall and a Fiat 500.  In front of the memorial are a Holden, 1940s Ford Prefect and a Volkswagen Beetle.

Friday, September 28, 2012

early Wanganui River, bridge and tram

The original bridge over the Wanganui River in the city area and a view of a tram about to turn the corner from The Avenue (Victoria Avenue) into Taupo Quay. See earlier posts for more pics like these.

an F18's fiery demise

The smoke is from the canopy motors.
The left engine has the nozzle fully open, showing that #1 engine was developing no power.
The white thing is the seat-stabilazing drogue chute. The pilot’s head is pinned to his chest from the severe “G” forces produced by the solid rocket motors in the ACES II seat. They burn for about 2/10ths of a second ... enough time to propel him at least 60 feet (20 metres) clear of the aircraft.
Impressive photos of an accident in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada. The sequence shows the canopy leaving the scene, the pilot in his rocket-powered seat exiting, the parachute opening sequence, and the separated seat falling away. All of this happened in about two seconds from canopy off to the fireball. The pilot survived ok.  (Thanks to Cliff for sending this in)

1920s and 1930s farm equipment

The latest in the Shire series of mini-pictorial albums covers farm life in Britain during the 1920s and 1930s which was the period when traditional horse drawn methods became mechanised with tractors and motor vehicles.  As with other Shire albums it is fairly superficial, designed for those who like a collection of photos and illustrations (a mix of monochrome and color) and a bit of background text. And like other Shire albums it has 64 pages in A5 (15 x 21 cm) format, softcovered.

famous NZ aviators

Not honored on banknotes (and unlikely to be), but their fame has been marked and acknowledged in other forms, including on this stamp issue - Richard Pearse (1877-1953) was a pioneering contemporary of the Wright Brothers, except in NZ, and Jean Batten (1909-1982) made record breaking solo flights around the world in the 1930s.

See the 3-volume DVD set Classic New Zealand Aviation.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

classic NZ aircraft stamps

And you will find them featured in the 3-volume DVD set Classic New Zealand Aviation.

rough seas as experienced onboard a container ship

We have featured a few such pics in our books so here are a couple more - hopefully the containers were well packed.

the Duluth, South Shore and Atlantic Railway's massive ore docks at Marquette, Michigan

Not dated, but probably circa 1940. "In the land of Hiawatha" is a reference to the region, according to one definition, the Upper Peninsula of Michigan along the shore of Lake Superior, also known as Gitchee Gumee. 

The DSS&A became a part of the Canadian Pacific's Soo Line in 1960.

the Oddicombe cliff to beach railway, Devon, England

This double track funicular system has been operating since 1926 and since 2009 has been run by the Friends of the Babbacombe Cliff Railway.  It looks to be about 200 metres in length, but while there are some details of technology, that statistic, and the gradient and gauge, don't seem to appear in their website.

Peugeot 404 in the Tunnel du Mont Blanc

A couple of this iconic French car - produced from 1960 to 1975 - in the 11.61 km  (7.215 mile) long, 8.6 metre (28 ft) wide, and 4.35 metre (14.3 ft) high tunnel opened between France and Italy in July 1965, probably taken not long after opening.

As 404 is now associated with Internet error messages, it's not a name that would be used today.

Further back are a Renault Dauphine and a Citroen DS, likewise iconic French cars.

traffic in Calais, France, circa 1970

On either side of the Théâtre Municipal are automobile signs: Fiat and Renault.  Among other vehicles on the streets can be seen a Citroen ID DS, Traction, 2CV, Panhard PL 17, Renault Dauphine, Simca 1000, Ariane and a Peugeot 404.  It looks like a traffic policier in the bottom right.

the NSB Di4 class diesels

Technically very similar to the DSB's ME class (see earlier post), 5 of this class were delivered by Henschel to the Norwegian State Railways in 1981.  They are now used solely to haul passenger trains on the non-electrified Nordlandsbanen between Trondheim and Bodo as seen above.  They are Co-Co type, fitted with an EMD 16-645E V16 prime mover rated at 3,300 hp (2,450 kW).

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Fort Cody, North Platte, Nebraska

North Platte, Nebraska, is best known for Union Pacific's giant Bailey Yard, but is it also the hometown of Buffalo Bill.  Inspired by that, the Fort Cody Trading Post opened in 1963 and has been in continual operation since. The first Fort Cody (pictured about the time it opened) was on US Highway 30 at the western end of North Platte. The second and present Fort Cody was built to coincide with the opening of Interstate 80 in 1968 and has remained at this location since.

Italian 740 class steam loco at Aica

An Italian 740 class 2-8-0 'Consolidation' is seen at Aica on the Fortezza (Franzensfeste) - San Candido (Innichen) line in the South Tirol, not far from Fortezza.  Not dated.

a Fiat railcar stops in Petone

A photo from about 1971 showing a Fiat railcar on its way to the Wairarapa stopped in Petone with the sign for the Todd Motors car assembly factory visible above the station awning.  The Hillman sign belonged to the same operation. See earlier posts.

early Leyland tip-truck, 1910s

Freshly arrived from the 'mother country' and emblazoned with both the name of the manufacturer and the customer, a Leyland truck is seen on Wellington wharves after being unloaded and prior to being driven 100 miles (160 km) north over rather basic and steep roads.  Not dated but probably circa WW1.  According to the lettering this was the Palmerston North Borough Council's second truck!

Is the gentleman a local representative of the manufacturer, or someone from the Palmerston North council keen to demonstate to the locals what their new machine will do?

For more scenes like this, see the book Wellington: a Capital Century.

Tower Hill, Hamilton, circa 1920

A nice pic showing a delivery truck on an unsealed road with presumably a water tower in the distance.  The name Tower Hill seems to have disappeared from local nomenclature.

old Osaka tram picture, Japan

The interesting thing about it are the two trolley poles - like a trolley bus the return current went back through a second wire instead of the ground.