Wednesday, December 31, 2014
Tuesday, December 30, 2014
About now book bloggers list what they think are the best books of the year, but there have been no standouts that we've encountered this year in our subject field, so here's one from last year that deserves an accolade, primarily because it was nicely designed and by a woman at that. The cover is intended to resemble an old-time mounted picture and a hole is cut through the coverboard to reveal the picture which is part of a montage on the front endpaper. We would have uv-overglossed the picture instead, but the effect is novel. Inside there is a nice use of backgrounds and fonts, while good pictures get blown up to the size they deserve, often full page, and less good ones are kept to modest proportions. Best of all, no car is spread across the gutter and there is no paper wastage with "artistic" white space.
The author has clearly relied on photos taken by various people who in some instances are not very skilled in the art - often pictures are taken against the light or inside and poorly lighted, are low definition and a bit fuzzy or have bad contrast. You can improve these things to some degree with Photoshop, but there are limits to what you can do. Nevertheless, the best photos are good. The author's texts strike a balance between the things that a follower of a particular make would want to know, including restoration practicalities, and the salient but general info which suffices for the casual car enthusiast. All up there are 192 color pages and the book is hardcover.
at 9:08 PM
Another photo considered for, but not used in the book Wellington Transport Memories. For info and lots more, see that book. (Wallace Trickett photo)
at 7:01 PM
Helgoland is a group of islands in the North Sea, spelt Heligoland in English with a present day population of about 1,400. It was briefly a Danish possession, then a British possession from 1814 to 1890 when it was given back to Germany. During WW2 the islands were a regular target of the Royal Air Force and the population was evacuated in 1945. They didn't return until 1952; in the meantime the RAF continued to use the islands as target practice, changing the shape of the coastlines. Today it attracts tourists not least because of the tax exempt status.
at 10:37 AM
A feature of the road between Inangahua and Westport, and still there. With the use of reinforcing over the bank, the road is a bit wider today. The Buller River is alongside.
at 9:46 AM
Monday, December 29, 2014
On the 5,000 Ouguiya (worth $US 17) note there is an airport control tower and an iron ore train. Iron ore represents about 40% of the country's exports and all of it is moved to port by rail. The diesels are from EMD; on the banknote a SDL40-2, recently SD70ACS have been acquired, see earlier post.
at 9:30 PM
at 4:54 PM
As featured on this National Savings poster from 1948, the year British Railways were nationalised. European railways didn't dieselize as quickly as those in North America. National Savings sounds like a central government scheme too.
at 4:04 PM
Mobil moved out of the building in 1977 and it is now the Magnolia Hotel. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
at 2:49 PM
From the look of it, a scene set in 1931 as the stamp marks a 50th anniversary in 1981. Info on the line is here
at 11:43 AM
Sunday, December 28, 2014
The scene on the poster looks very British and the lady on the left is riding side-saddle which doesn't seem very safe when the horse is jumping over a hedge.
at 6:37 PM
The 8 battery railcars of the class ETA 176 built over 1952-54 were primarily stationed in Limburg on the Lahn and were thus known as the "Limburger Zigarre" (cigars). They were the predecessors of the class ETA 150 and ran over main and branch lines. They were powered by two 100 kW traction motors (= 200 kW) on one of the two bogies (trucks), the other bogie was unpowered. They had a service weight of 86.3 tonnes, a top speed of 100 km/h and could seat 168 passengers. Withdrawal took place over 1982-84. The first of the class, unit 176.001 (later renumbered 517.001), was the DB's first battery railcar and was restored to its original state, given the original number and was made operational again.
at 3:29 PM
Hovercraft first appeared in 1958 in Britain and work by a fan creating a cushion of air under a rubber skirt which the craft floats on while a conventional propeller provides horizontal thrust. At around 70 km/h the wings enable this one to take off as the proximity of the ground (water) provides more lift than higher up and the turbulent eddies at the wings' extremities which create drag don't exist close to the ground like they do higher up.
It's probably not a suitable commuting vehicle though, as it would not be a good idea to fly it along a road.
at 9:33 AM
Saturday, December 27, 2014
Seven of these were built, details here
at 7:49 PM
The station is clearly coated with grime, a lot of it probably from coal smoke from domestic fires during winter, and that was pretty much the case throughout not just Paris, but many big cities. The station has been cleaned of it in recent times, see earlier post.
at 7:14 PM
The Lawson L-4, a 1921 trimotor biplane manufactured by the Lawson Air Line Company for use in its night flights between Chicago and New York, had sleeping berths, a lavatory and shower (below).
at 8:22 AM