Saturday, May 29, 2010

Dennis Hopper

Legends never die.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Jones & Laughlins Pocket Steel Guide

Picked up a curious little book at the SOWA vintage market. The guide describes itself as useful information for business men, mechanics and engineers. The original version was published in 1898 but the copy I have was revised in 1901. The first half of the book is dedicated to engineering problems related to iron work. It has charts that cover all the sizes and tolerances of the available steel stock. It then goes on to a short section on power transmission, covering bearings, pulleys, belts, and ropes. It contains guides for building with concrete and wood and even earthen structures. There are full tables of sines, cosines and other trigonometry.

The most interesting things I found are at the end of the guide and are not directly engineering related. Because the guide is so old is has information on forms of measure that are specific to every country. For example a Belgian foot or "elle" is 39.371 inches. There is a guide to measure based on Bible values. A chart for calculating the area of a circle, and a chart for calculating interest are included. A standard army ration is outlined and there is a section dedicated to treating common injuries. The amount of information is amazing for such a tiny little book. For size reference the book is 3.5" by 2.25" and clocks in at 498 pages.

U.S. population as of 1890 census

Standard ration for the Army

How to splint an leg

Little history of the U.S. flag

Bible weights and measures

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Corona Lighter

Picked up this handy little guy a couple of weeks back at what I consider Bostons best vintage store and arguably one of the countries best vintage stores, Bobby From Boston. The lighter is made by the IM Corona corporation who according to most sites I've found has been around since 1933 and makes very popular cigar lighters. Unfortunately couldn't find much more information on the company other than that. I also could find no information on the lighter I purchased.

The lighter I bought appears to be a pretty standard imitation of the Zippo windproof lighter, it however has a trick up its sleeve. Instead of having an empty bottom shell, a small tailors measuring tape has been installed, making this lighter very useful.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Budington Press

Back home from the sailing trip. Had a great time and great weather the entire time. I'll get into the trip more in another post.

Before I left I visited the opening day of South End Open Market here in Boston. The start of the market was even better this year than last. It was nice too see it moved to a street that really puts in in the center of all of the galleries. Got to get some fresh baked bread and other delicious local foods. The vintage market is always my favorite parts and there was lot more large furniture this year than compared to last. Definitley cool to see.

One of the vendors that caught my eye while I was there was Budington Press. The company is run by Elizabeth Budington, who collects turn of the century plate glass negatives. The booth they had set up was selling a number of prints from her amazing collection of negatives. Check out their site to see more of the collection.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

+13° 58' 0.97", -61° 1' 7.00"

Leaving for St. Lucia to do a week of sailing on Sunday. Probably wont be another post until I get back. Hoping for steady winds and nice weather. Depending on the wind might make the trip up to Martinique for a night. Here are some vintage pictures of the area.

Shotgun Stories

You all are here because you think this was a good man, but he wasn't.

This is the same man who ran out on us, and that's what he's answering for today.

You raised us to hate those boys, and we do. Now its come to this.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Moth Boats

Hydroplaning dingy that can sail 30 knots? Yes Please! Saw these things the first time during the Volvo Ocean race when it was in Boston. The boats were cranking around Boston Harbor.

Moth boats are a racing class of dingy that focuses on a small narrow hull that can hydroplane. The original development of moth boats has its lineage in two countries. Similar style boats were being developed in Australia and in America in the late 1920's. Although there was some knowledge in each country of the other countries developments, due to communications limitations both designs developed relatively independently for almost 30 years. Eventually one design leagues for moth bots appeared in America, Britain and Australia. These leagues eventually combined into an international moth league. Even though they are a one design class the regulations are relatively lax which has allowed some amazing technical developments. Recently hydrofoil design has been advanced along with added rudder and trim controls. Carbon fiber and other high tech materials have been introduced making the boats stronger, faster, and lighter.

The only downside to the boats is the ridiculous learning curve and the fact that they are almost totally useless in light winds. When not on a hydroplane the boats simply don't move and zero stability. Racing one is definitely a full body workout. They appear to be almost impossible to tack, and require a gymnast to jibe under anything but perfect conditions.

I apologize in advance for moth boaters awful taste in music.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

60's Elan

The Elan was released by Lotus in 1962 and produced until 1975. Three versions of the car would be made, a coupe, a roadster, and a +2. The +2 version has an extended wheelbase and a full back seat. The Elan is one of the few +2's that maintains the looks of the smaller version and is still stunning. I would love to get a my hands on a Elan roadster definitely on par with the MGB and TR4 for most fun summer car.