Archive for the ‘Vintage Science’ Category


Rubjerg Knude Lighthouse looks unreal. It is located on the coast of the North Sea in Rubjerg, Hjørring Municipality, Denmark. Construction began in 1899 and it was first lit on December 27, 1900.

In August of 1968 the lighthouse ceased operating but remained open as a coffee shop and museum. In 2002 it was all abandoned because of the intensely shifting sands. By 2009 the buildings were removed because of the damage caused by the pressure of the sand. It is believed that the tower will fall into the sea by 2023.

Check it out on Google Maps or Earth with these coordinates 57°26’56.02”N 9°46’27.66”E. I couldn’t see it well with Google Maps, but I know it’s there because you can plainly see it’s shadow across the sand!

Images and text found on ThingsIHappenToLike

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The Great Laxey Wheel, Isle of Wight

The Laxey Wheel (also known as Lady Isabella) is the world’s largest working waterwheel, built in 1854 to pump water from the mine shafts, and now run as a tourist attraction.

Image and text from Lemon Tea & Earwig Biscuits

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The Dynasphere (sometimes misspelled Dynosphere) was a monowheel vehicle design patented in 1930 by J. A. (John Archibald) Purves (7 August 1870 – 4 November 1952) from Taunton, Somerset, UK. Purves’ idea for the vehicle was inspired by a sketch made by Leonardo da Vinci.


Two prototypes were initially built: a smaller electrical model, and one with a gasoline motor that attained either 2.5 or 6 horse power depending on the source consulted, using a two-cylinder air-cooled Douglas engine with a three speedgear box, also providing reverse. The Dynasphere model reached top speeds of 25–30 miles per hour (40–48 km/h). The gasoline-powered prototype was 10-foot (3.0 m) high and built of iron latticework that weighed 1,000 pounds (450 kg). The next generation version had ten outer hoops, covered with a leather lining, shaped to present a small profile to the ground.


The driver’s seat and the motor were part of one unit, mounted with wheels upon the interior rails of the outer hoop. The singular driving seat and motor unit, when powered forward, would thus try to "climb" up the spherical rails, which would cause the lattice cage to roll forward. Steering of the prototype was crude, requiring the driver to lean in the direction sought to travel, though Purves envisioned future models equipped with gears that would shift the inner housing without leaning, thus tipping the Dynasphere in the direction of travel. The later ten-hoop model had a steering wheel engaging such tipping gears, and was captured in a 1932 Pathé newsreel, in which the vehicle’s advantages are first described and then demonstrated at the Brooklands motor racing circuit. A novelty model was later constructed by Purves that could seat eight passengers, the "Dynasphere 8", made specifically for beach use.


Purves was optimistic about his invention’s prospects. As reported in a 1932 Popular Science magazine article, after a filmed test drive in 1932 on a beach in Weston-super-Mare, Somerset, he stated that the Dynasphere "reduced locomotion to the simplest possible form, with consequent economy of power", and that it was "the high-speed vehicle of the future". An article in the February 1935 issue of Meccano Magazine noted that though the Dynasphere was only at an experimental stage, "it possesses so many advantages that we may eventually see gigantic wheels similar to that shown on our cover running along our highways in as large numbers as motor cars do to-day." According to the 2007 book Crazy Cars, one reason the Dynasphere did not succeed was that "while the [vehicle] could move along just fine, it was almost impossible to steer or brake." Another aspect of the vehicle that received criticism was the phenomenon of "gerbiling"—the tendency when accelerating or braking the vehicle for the independent housing holding the driver within the monowheel to spin within the moving structure.

Text from Wikipedia

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For centuries, doctors had been treating women for a wide variety of illnesses by performing what is now recognized as masturbation. The "pelvic massage" was especially common in the treatment of female hysteria in Great Britain during the Victorian Era, as the point of such manipulation was to cause "hysterical paroxysm" (orgasm) in the patient. However, not only did they regard the "vulvar stimulation" required as having nothing to do with sex, but reportedly found it time-consuming and hard work.

In 1902, the American company Hamilton Beach patented the first electric vibrator available for consumer retail sale as opposed to medical usage, making the vibrator the fifth domestic appliance to be electrified, after the sewing machine, fan, tea kettle, and toaster, and about a decade before the vacuum cleaner and electric iron. The home versions soon became extremely popular, with advertisements in periodicals such as Needlecraft, Woman’s Home Companion, Modern Priscilla, and the Sears, Roebuck catalogue. These disappeared in the 1920s, apparently because their appearance in pornography made it no longer tenable for mainstream society to avoid the sexual connotations of the devices.

Time-consuming and hard work my ass – Ted 😉

Image found on WeirdVintage – Text on Wikipedia

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a1206_old electric

….. a bunch of society women have stolen Grandma Duck’s car.

Image found on Hagley Transportation Museum

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a1080_the cyprus alarm clock

Imagine having to tell your boss you’re late for work just because you farted in your sleep 😉

Image found on break.com

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a1071_ss bourgogne

Transatlantic steamer La Bourgogne entering the port of Le Havre, France, ca. 1895

Image found on AdventuresOfTheBlackgang

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Whether you’re planning on going green in your workshop or prefer working with traditional hand tools, here’s some old plans for a pedal driven lathe.



Click the symbol below to
download the plans
in pdf format


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…. their bums are different too.

And those bums are just as distinctive, just as sensitive an expressions of their personality this resent study shows – Ted


Images found on moika-palace

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795Nikola Tesla

Nikola Tesla was prevalent scientist of the 19th century. He often worked with Thomas Edison in the 1880’s until the two had a falling out because Edison became paranoid that Tesla was stealing his ideas. Tesla developed AC power used all over the world now and worked with George Westinghouse to promote it. He laid the foundation for radio, television, and almost too many modern inventions to name. Basically almost any technology he started the base for. Madness turned him into a recluse later in his life, as goes the path of many geniuses before there was more understanding of mental illness. Tesla died in poverty in a small apartment and by then was considered a full blown “Mad Scientist” in 1943.

Text from Vodka, Unicorns, and Lincoln Logs

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An article from Popular Science published in 1932 found at modernmechanix.com733_amphibike

A hybrid among vehicles, an amphibian bicycle that can travel on land or water, was demonstrated by its French inventor at a recent Paris exposition. Its wheels are hollow, bulbous floats that, with the aid of four smaller globes on outriggers, sustain it in the water. All of the floats revolve freely like wheels, resulting in a minimum of drag. When the rider pedals across the water, fins on the rear wheel serve as paddles to drive the machine forward. For a ride on dry land, the outriggers supporting the outer floats may be folded up clear of the ground. Proof that the floats would be sufficiently buoyant to support the rider was given when the inventor navigated his device, without difficulty, across a large swimming pool.

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After a very extensive and thorough renovation work S/S Norrskär returned to service in early May 2012, to all steamboat lover’s delight. Norrskär was built at Eriksbergs’s Mechanical Workshop as Sandhamn Express in 1910 and is today one of twelve passenger steamboats which has survived as a living heritage of the 200 steamboats that once existed at Lake Mälaren and the Stockholm archipelago.

The steam boat got the name Norrskär when it was taken over by Vaxholm company in 1948, which through Blidösundsbolaget still run the boat, now part of the greater Stockholm public transport.

From an article in the Swedish magazine “Nostalgia” – No 7,  2013
Text: L Berns

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Yes, I mean it. I’d go for a good board game over any computer game any day and I have a large collection of old and new board games at my week end place. And what’s more, computer games are banned there. There’s nothing better on a rainy day than to make a pot of Assam, light a fire in the fireplace and settle down for a good board game. Call me old fashioned, but playing a board game is a something people do together, most computer games you play alone.

Only one thing beats a good board game and that’s a dice game. Particularly medieval or Viking dice game and Cameron in particular – Ted 😉

Image found at Beveldrive

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An article from Modern Mechanix published in February 1929650_salt_1650_salt_2

Text and images found at ModernMechanix.com

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For a private Africa expedition (London to Capetown) Riley needed a trick to cross the rivers on his journey. The inflatable pontoons did the job but the holding rack was so close to the wheels that steering was impossible when the pontoons where in place. The brand name of the car is Riley too, if you are wondering where Riley got the money for his expedition.


Text and images from amphebiousvehicle.com

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William Stroudley introduces the Gladstone 0-4-2 class (LBSCR).

gladstone_2_thumb2gladstone_1_thumb2 Allen Sarle of the ‘Gladstone’ class

The Barry Railway introduces the first British 0-8-0 type, with outside cylinders.

Crewe Works builds its 3,000th locomotive.

‘Races’ from London to Edinburgh reduce journey time to 7 hours 45 minutes.

All remaining broad-gauge lines are narrowed to standard between March and May; last broad-gauge passenger trains run’ on 20 May.

David Jones introduces the ‘Big Goods’, first 4-6-0 to run in Britain (HR).

(Right) The first British 4-6-0,
No 103 of the Highland Railway, built in 1894 and now preserved, is seen on a special mixed-train run on the Dingwall-Skye line, skirting Loch Carron between Plockton and Strome Ferry, with the Skye Cuillin in the background.



(Above) GWR ‘Castle’ class 4-6-0 No 5032 Usk Castle emerges from the Severn Tunnel, Britain’s longest at 4 miles 628 yds (7km), with a South Wales-Paddington express. The crew are at pains to minimize smoke output, despite the adverse gradient as the line rises to ground level.

‘Races’ from London to Aberdeen this summer reduce journey times to a minimum 8 hours 32 minutes (East Coast) and 8 hours 38 minutes (West Coast) on 22 August.

J G McIntosh introduces the big-boilered 4- 4-0 Dunalastair class.

dunalastair_class_thumb2 The Dunalastair Class

H A Ivatt builds Britain’s first Atlantic type 4-4-2, Henry Oakley (GNR).

birch_grove_thumb2 Birch Grove

R.T. Billinton designed the E4-class 0-6-2 radial tank engine for the London Brighton & South Coast Railway in 1898. ‘Radial’ refers to the bar allowing the pony wheels to adjust independently to sharp curves. Restored class member No 473 Birch Grove is seen here on a winter day at Hoisted Keynes on the Bluebell Railway.

Wilson Worsdell builds the first express 4-6- o engines to run in Britain (NER). Dugald Drummond introduces the T9 class 4-4-0, nicknamed ‘Greyhounds’ (LSWR).
Sir John Aspinall introduces his ‘Highflyer’ inside-cylinder 4-4-2 type (L&YR).

‘Claud Hamilton’ 4-4-0 class introduced on the GER.
Wainwright/Surtees ‘D’ class 4-4-0 introduced on the SE&C.

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1927 OM Type 665 Superba


Aptly named Superba, the Type 665 OM of 1927 had a 1991cc, side-valve engine with a remarkable turn of speed. Two of these machines finished equal fourth overall in the 1924 Le Mans, only 4mph slower than the winning Lorraine’s 57.8mph, while another averaged 103.57kph for six days and nights at the Monza autodrome at the end of 1927 to set up a new 15,000km record.


1927 Packard Fifth Series Six Model 526


Packard classified their cars by Series, not by model year, so this 1927 Phaeton is a Fifth Series Six Model 526 (5 for the series and 26 for the 126in wheelbase); this was Packard’s last six-cylinder range for a decade. A total of 41,750 Fifth Series Sixes was built between 1 July 1927 and 1 August 1928, when the model was replaced by the Standard Eight.


1927_rolls_royce1927 RollsRoyce Phantom I

Reputed to have belonged to film star Greta Garbo, this 1927 RollsRoyce Phantom I carries sporting boat-tailed coachwork by Barker. Access to the rear seat, through the fold-down front passenger seat, would appear to require an agility not usually associated with Rolls-Royce clientele; the aerofoil-section running boards double as tool boxes.



1927 Swift

1927_swift  Although Swift of Coventry were aiming at the same market as Clyno, they were hardly in the same league. Originally sewing machine makers, Swift became the first British company to manufacture bicycles, in 1869. Their first car appeared in 1902 and, up to 1914, their range was highly complex. The 1912 10hp model formed the basis of ‘Swift’ s vintage production, which was always on a modest scale. This is the largest Swift of the 1920s, the 1954cc 14/40hp of 1927.

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Max Factor demonstrates his “scientific device” the Beauty Micrometer which detects defects in feminine beauty that are imperceptible to the naked eye.

How can something imperceptible by the naked eye be a defect in a woman’s beauty. People like Max here was not exactly making life easy for the weaker sex as women were called back then. Besides who was that silly old fart to say what was a perfect beauty and what was not. Beauty is as the saying goes, in the eyes of the beholder – Ted

Image found at Black and WTF

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J E McConnell introduces his 2-2-2 class on London & North Western Railway (LNWR)known as the ‘Bloomers‘.
Stratford Works, Eastern Counties Railway, builds its first engine.

The Great Northern sets up its locomotive works at Doncaster.

John Ramsbottom (LNWR) introduces his ‘foolproof’ safety valve and the screw reverser. The Caledonian Railway opens its works at St Rollox, Glasgow.

bloomers_thumb2_thumb  The ‘Bloomers’ class

The steam injector is developed by the French engineer Henri Giffard and is rapidly taken up in Britain.

First water troughs installed, by John Ramsbottom, on the LNWR Chester & Holyhead line. Between 1860 and 1863 Alfred Jules Belpaire, Belgian engineer, develops his flat-topped firebox, used by many British locomotive designers.

Steam engines replace horses on the Festiniog Railway (opened 1836).

(Right) The restored Furness
Railway 0-4-0 No 20 is Britain’s oldest working locomotive, built in 1863. In 1870, it was sold to the local steelworks and converted to a saddle tank, working in this form untiil960. The Furness Railway Trust restored it to its original appearance, and it has been in steam again since January

John Fowler’s ‘Metropolitan’ 4-4-0T is introduced for underground running. Robert Fairlie patents his double-bogie articulated locomotive design.

William Stroudley develops three sizes of locomotive-mounted snowplough (HR).



The Cambrian Railway’s viaduct across the Mawddach at Barmouth built in 1867,  is the longest wooden structure of its kind in Britain. At the northern end, a metal bowstringgirder section was built as a swing bridge to enable coastal vessels to sail up the estuary. A ShrewsburyPwllheli train is crossing.

Fairlie double-ended engine first used, on the Festiniog line.

The first of Patrick Stirling’s 8ft (243.8cm) bogie singles, 4-2-2, is built, for the GNR.

patrick_sterling_422_thumb2_thumb Patrick Stirling’s bogie single

The first inside-cylinder, inside- frame 4-4-0 express type is built by Thomas Wheatley for the NBR.


(Left) A- diminutive ‘Terrier’ 0-6-0T, No 55, leaves Sheffield Park station on a Bluebell line train. This was class AI, designed by William Stroudley in 1872, for the London Brighton & .South Coast Railway.

(Right) The first Pullman cars in Britain
were introduced from the USA by the Midland Railway, when sleeping and
parlour cars were used on its new Anglo-Scottish main line via Leeds and Dumfries. This later example shows the distinctive styling and colour scheme, and the fine detail, of these sumptuous cars


F W Webb’s ‘Jumbo’ class 2-4-0 is introduced (LNWR); the first is called Precedent.
James Stirling introduces steam reversing gear (GSWR).

president_thumb2  Presedent 

Crewe Works builds its 2,000th locomotive. First British use of the Walschaerts valve gear, developed in Belgium by Egide Walschaerts in 1844, is on an 0-6-6-0 Fairlie locomotive of the East & West Junction Railway.

The GER introduces the first British outside cylinder 2-6-0 Mogul engines.
Corris narrow-gauge railway (opened 1859) acquires locomotives.

F W Webb’s ‘Cauliflower’ 0-6-0 class is introduced (LNWR).

cauliflower_thumb2 The Cauliflower Class

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