Monday, August 31, 2015

cars in Calexico, California, early 1950s

As is obvious, a border town with Mexico (the other side of the fence is called Mexicali).

1000 km de Paris car race poster, 1961

cars in Mojave, California, circa 1960

German iron fist poster, WW1

"This is the way to peace  -- the enemies want it so!  Therefore draw up war bonds"

William and Kate inspect an inexpensive modified car

Presumably the morning after a 'multicultural' event, as is often held in Europe now... (from a viral e-mail)

buses and trams in Station Place, Minsk, Belarus, 1980

Thus in Soviet days.

Muslim terrorist group destroys the ancient city of Palmyra, beheads its 83-year-old archaeologist

The Muslim war on civilisation continues: Daily Mail article

you can tour certain waterways, including Amsterdam canals and the Amazon river, on Google Street View

Google keeps adding features; it's worth bookmarking the Google Earth blog

Mt McKinley in Alaska gets renamed as Denali

And that is official -- L.A. Times story.  The state of Alaska made this change in 1975, but only at the state level. For those outside North America, this is the highest mountain on the continent at 20,237 feet (6168 metres).

It reflects the trend elsewhere, for example, Ayers Rock to Uluru in Australia and Mt Cook to Aoraki in NZ, but the existing names will continue in use for a long time.

'transport seen by the simple minded', 1992

Central Vermont Railroad freight train

With a GP7 on the point.  No date or location.  The successor to the CV today is the New England Central Railroad.

Hungarian V43 class electric locomotive

A total of 379 of this Bo-Bo type were produced by Ganz between 1963 and 1982 and many are still in use.

Voltage  25kV AC/50 Hz
Length  15.7 metres
Weight  80 tonnes
Output  2200 kW (2933 hp)
Maximum speed  120 km/h (75 mph)

Saturday, August 29, 2015

picture of the week

Original caption: "Des migrants attendent à la gare macédonienne de Gevgelija, le 22 août 2015. Après avoir vécu trois jours dans un "no man's land", plus de 1500 réfugiés majoritairement syriens sont entrés en Grèce depuis la Macédoine." (Migrants wait at the Macedonian station of Gevgelija on 22 August 2105. After having spent 3 days in a no-man's land, more than 1500 refugees, mostly Syrian, entered Greece from Macedonia.)

This is one of 24 photos covering the flood of Muslim migrants through Greece, Italy and Turkey to (predominately) Germany and Sweden, and some to Calais to sneak into the UK.  

Continental tires poster, late 1900s

"Did you read the sign?"
"Bah, they mock us - with our Continentals we can go anywhere"

a world of Beetles

Photo Restoration 101

Many of the pics on this blog and in our books get restorative treatment via Photoshop.  As well as the inherent faults at the time a pic was taken such as high contrast or flatness and graininess, bad storage conditions for film can make things a whole lot worse with creeping crud and discoloration.  Even the well-regarded Kodachrome wasn't immune to color shifts.

This is an example of an old slide often found in boxes in estate sales as the inheritors have zero interest in the subjects.  A lot of editors wouldn't consider making use of something like this in the first place, however, historic interest can outweigh quality considerations.

The first step is to correct the angle -- here a rotation of about 2 degrees clockwise is needed.

The next step is to crop sufficient superfluous area to the right, to avoid detracting from the primary subject of the bus, although desolate areas like this can be useful for magazine spreads.

The next step is to restore colors, and that isn't as easy as it sounds as you need a good idea of what they should be and that requires reasonably accurate assumptions.  The objective here should be to mitigate the "LA smog" effect, but not completely, as from the shadows it probably was taken in the late afternoon or early evening.

Areas of excessive shadow should be lightened a bit (but not a lot, the 'coal mine' appearance here was likely real) and little strange anomalies can be smoothed out or eliminated.

For a non-commercial blog like this, the level of processing below is sufficient, although for commercial purposes it would need more.

traffic at Western and Wilshire, L.A., 1920s

Friday, August 28, 2015

Märklin export models brochure cover, 1989

'Export models' was a reference to models intended for markets outside Germany. This shows an HO scale Swedish D class wood bodied electric from the 1920s, see an earlier post on the real thing in the Gävle museum.

pre-WW2 Esso garage art

By Frank Wootton (British, 1914-1998)

the National Train Show is this weekend in Portland, Oregon

For model railroaders, those interested in becoming one, or those who just want to admire the skills involved in fine modelmaking:

Portland Expo Center
2060 North Marine Drive, Portland, OR 97217

Public Show Hours
Friday, Aug 28, 2015 :- 12:00 Noon – 6:00 PM
Saturday, Aug 29, 2015 :- 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Sunday, Aug 30, 2015 :- 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM


Winterthur trolleybuses, Switzerland, 1950s

Seen in the Bahnhofplatz (railway station place). This city's first trolleybus line opened in December 1938 as a tram replacement and and today the system consists of 3 lines.  More info

streetcar safety

'No jumping!' -- on an old Polish matchbox.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

trains and ships at San Pedro Harbor, Los Angeles County, circa 1910

1937 Riley Nine Monaco Saloon

Britten-Norman-2A Islander

Seen in Invercargill in the mid-1980s.

work on the Auckland underground rail loop is expected to start in November

According to Radio NZ, the final legal obstacle has been dismissed and work on the $2.5 billion project will begin later this year. Auckland Transport said work on the tunnel along Albert Street would start next May.

Chief executive David Warburton told Morning Report tens to hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent buying property for the project.

The 3.6 km underground railway line will run from Britomart, through the CBD, to Mount Eden Station.

Full article

Newark streetcar, New Jersey, circa 1910

Postcard publishers in those days didn't seem to like trolley wires and removed them. 'Bellville' should be spelled Belleville.  Some info is here

it may look nice, but it's also dangerous

Railroad tracks are for trains, not for playing on!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

buses in George Street, Millicent, South Australia

From the look of it, in the 1940s.

to Lookout Mountain, L.A., by the Pacific Electric

World cycling championships booklet cover, DDR, 1960

a cup of tea for the ladies in an NZR sleeping car, 1950s

We toyed with putting this NZR publicity pic in the new book New Zealand Railway Memorabilia for its entertainment value, but left it out.

The awkward stance on the part of the attendant is probably due to the limited space, but that expression on his face - priceless!

Uruguay transport theme stamps, 1969

Danish actor Mads Mikkelsen on religion

"I hate religion. End of story. I believe religion is a catastrophe. God is much greater than religion that has been made by people. No sensible person will contradict me in this point. Religion is a personal thing, but is definitely not to be equated with God. God created flowers and the children. Has the same God composed the ten commandments in which he prescribes not screwing with the wife of your neighbor? That would be a rare God. One should not throw God and religion into a pot."

When you see this sort of thing, you can't help thinking he has a point.

Victorian Railways T class diesel-electric

Low nose unit T390.
A total 93 of these Bo-Bo type were produced in batches by Clyde Engineering in Granville, NSW, between 1955 and 1968 and numbered T320 to T412. They were in effect the EMD G8 type, powered by an EMD 567 prime mover, although only the first 25 were the standard design -- the "flat top" -- the rest had a cab raised above the hoods and the last 51 had lower short hoods. Of these the last five were built with an extra 10 tonnes of ballast weight for improved adhesion and low speed controls for use as shunting locomotives in Melbourne. These were reclassified as the H class shortly after being delivered.

In July 1969 an additional "flat top" unit was bought second hand from Australian Portland Cement who had ordered it for use at its narrow gauge Fyansford Cement Works Railway, Geelong in 1956. This was numbered T413. Another, T414, came from BHP used at their Iron Knob and Whyalla Steelworks; it was built in November 1956 as DE02.

In 1984-1985 Martin & King of Somerton, Melbourne, rebuilt 13 "flat tops" as P class locomotives. This involved a new cab and carbody, replacing the EMD 8-567C engine with an EMD 8-645E, replacement of the main generator and traction motors, and provision of a separate head end power generator.

The majority of them still exist; only 34 have been scrapped.

(info condensed from wikipedia)

old days at Blenheim station

Looking north.  Is that a G class 4-4-0T in front of the train?

1947 Saab Ursaab

Another car with notable fastback styling.
(pics via

According to the Saab Museum website:

"The Swedish Ur best translates as original, and Ursaab was the Saab’s first prototype automobile.
"Project 92, so-called as numbers 90 and 91 had already been assigned to civilian aircraft, was agreed in 1945. Saab had decided that, with the Second World War drawing to a close, there would be a need to diversify away from military aircraft. Ideas included motorcycles, cars, commercial vehicles and even fitted kitchens! Other Swedish companies, however, had the motorcycle market sewn up, Volvo already produced cars, and trucks were manufactured by Scania-Vabis. A Saab had to be the right size, type, construction and price – a small, affordable car. Thus, Saab had found its niche."

1951 Renault 4CV