Monday, August 31, 2009
The contest runs through the first weekend of October!!! Don't miss out!
Sunday, August 30, 2009
This week we are borrowing a real video from another YouTuber, mackie270. "A Quarter To Nine" is a fantastic Al Jolson number from the 1935 movie, "Go Into Your Dance." This clip features Ruby Keeler, who, in the lingo of her time, was known as a "Hoofer." I have listened to this song for many years, and this is the first time I have seen the movie clip that goes with it.
We videoed the big Fairbanks at Boonville again this summer. I zeroed in on the ignitor, which is a neat gizmo for lighting off an engine. Ignitors were very common in the early part of the Twentieth Century, when engines ran at low RPMs. I read somewhere that sparkplug ingition is mechanically simple, and electrically complicated; and ignitors are electrically simple, but mechanically complicated. With sparkplugs, the coil is actually two coils, a primary and a secondary. Ignitors require only a single set of windings. There is a set of points that closes in the cylinder when the rod pushes on the ignitor arm, and the points pop open when released, making a spark at the same time. An electrical engineer could probably explain what happens with the coil when the points close, and then break the circuit. Anyway, it is fascinating to watch. During the last part of the video, Duane closes the mixture valve on the carburetor and lets the engine die, then cracks it open again and lets the engine run. I think he has practiced this a few times.
Saturday, August 29, 2009
This Keck engine was pulling the Baker fan at Pinckneyville during the recent steam and gas show. It developed a knock, which caused some looking and diagnosing, then adjustments. They had it running quietly again in short order. Greasy gloves transmit heat well; watch for the engineer to figure that out.
Friday, August 28, 2009
This week I pulled out some records I had previously posted that were recorded with the old microphone. I re-recorded them to the hard drive with the new mike and replaced the uploads on YouTube. This record was made by A C Eck Robertson in 1922.
Thursday, August 27, 2009
This is a 200 point match for pistols, requiring you to shoot two targets. Click on the photo for the link to the pdf, and you can print it, or download it. You will need two targets for each pistol you shoot, and one for each rifle. Shoot one target at 25 feet, (or the nearest distance at your range) offhand with your pistol, four shots for each squirrel, for a total of twenty shots. Each shot touching the kill zone is worth 5 points; and a shot touching the squirrel, but not touching the kill zone is minus 1 point. The second target is to be shot at 50 feet, with your arm(s) or pistol supported by shooting stick(s), tripod, side brace, or any combination of those to simulate braces you would utilize in an actual hunt.
If you want to shoot the match with a rifle, shoot one target at 25 yards with shooting sticks to support your rifle. Shoot four times at each squirrel, worth a total of 100 points for all twenty shots. We don't want any wounded game, so dial in your sights beforehand. You need to submit only one target for each rifle you enter.
Class I: Rim fire with iron sights
Class II: Rim fire with optics
Class III: Center fire with iron sights
Class IV: Center fire with optics
Class I: Rim fire with iron sights
Class II: Rim fire with optics
Class III: Center fire with iron sights
Class IV: Center fire with optics
This contest is a good one to share with novice shooters, so please take a new shooter to the range with you, and send along photos of your shoot that would be suitable to post.
The way you prop or brace your firearm is up to you, except, please do not shoot from sandbags from your bench. Make it simulate a field expedient rest to help you make a difficult shot.
Scan or photograph your targets and e-mail them to: truebluetravelinman (at) gmail (dot) com.
If you have difficulty downloading the target, please send an e-mail to me, and I will e-mail the pdf file directly to you.
Please send targets in by Midnight, September 30. (Extended through the first weekend of October!!!!) The pdf is courtesy of Engineering Johnson; Thank You EJ!
UPDATE!!!!!!!!!!! The contest is extended through the first weekend of October. More time to shoot!!
This beauty is an International Harvester hit-and-miss gas engine, restored and displayed by a husband and wife from southeast Missouri. Watch closely, and you can see the latch for the governor catch and release the exhaust push-rod.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Twin brothers from the Taylorville, IL area displayed some of their gas engine collection on adjoining trailers at Pinckneyville. I was taking photos and video as fast as I could, but they were hard to keep up with. Lots of putting and blowing smoke ensued.
Monday, August 24, 2009
Sunday, August 23, 2009
With the 50th anniversay of Hawaii's statehood still on my mind, I went looking for this song on YouTube, and found it posted by MickeyClark69. I first heard this song on Arlo Guthrie's Hobo's Lullaby album in the 1970's. I bought that record for the City of New Orleans, but this song quickly became one of my favorites. This recording is performed by Vaughn DeLeath, one of the remarkable singers of the 1920's
Saturday, August 22, 2009
"Construction engineers are great fellows, and they are smart. They know all about stresses and strains. You admire them a great deal while sitting around a table looking at their blueprints. But just wait till you are seven hundred fifty feet up in thin air, standing rigid and paralyzed in a rickety little cage, suspended only by a piece of wire. At that moment you wish all construction engineers were in hell, and you know very well, figures or no figures, that a one-inch steel cable isn't strong enough to support a big guy like you who weighs a hundred and fifteen.
On the south shore there was a little frame building which served as field office for the great Golden Gate Bridge. We went in there to get our safety helmets. When we came out we couldn't see any bridge at all, because the fog was so thick. "Well, we'll go up anyway," the bridgeman said. "Maybe it won't be so thick up above." We walked out along the temporary pier under the bridge, to the immense south tower, three blocks out in the water. We got into a wire cage and started up.
This cage was like an elevator, except that it didn't go up anything. No shaft at all. It just went up through empty air, like a bucket on the end of a rope, and the top of the ride was nearly two hundred feet higher than the Washington Monument. As long as we were in the fog I was all right, because I couldn't see. But pretty soon we came out above it and then the fright closed in over me. We went up and up and up. The fog and snatches of bridge and shore and city widened out below us. The elevator began to swing up and down. I knew instantly what that was: it was the cable fraying, and only a strand or two was left holding us. At two places on the way up we passed little shelves where the elevator sometimes stopped to let workmen out. When you came to one of these shelves the top of the elevator would hit it, and the cage would bump and jiggle around. It was enough to make a man want to lie down on the floor and cry.
Finally we were up there. Then we had to step across and open slice of sky about a foot wide (wide enough to fall through, all right), and then climb a steel ladder for twenty feet, cross a catwalk, climb another ladder fifteen feet, and then we were out on top of the world. Oh, God, who ever talked me into this?
The top of the tower was big as eight or ten rooms. There were little shops and control houses, and men in helmets were sitting around eating lunch. The view was wonderful, if you dared look. The fog was vanishing now, and the whole immense bridge was there below us, in both directions, and there was the Golden Gate with little ships going through it, and over yonder was Sausalito, and back here was San Francisco, and out there was the ocean.
Around the edge of the top was strong wooden railing. Sense told me I could pound on it all day with a sledge and not make a dent, and yet I knew that if I leaned on it, as the bridgeman was doing, it would collapse. Furthermore, I knew that if I stumbled I wouldn't fall to the floor. No, I'd fall up about five feet, and then out about five feet over the rail, and then seven hundred fifty feet down. That's the way I fall at the top of a high tower. Consequently, I stayed about six feet from the edge, with one arm wrapped around the doorway of one of the control houses.
The bridgeman said I was doing all right; a lot of people kept their eyes shut all the way up in the elevator, and a lot backed out when the elevator stopped--they just couldn't step across that foot of open space. And others who had gone on up would get so scared they would lie down on the floor and turn white and sweat and tremble. I was doing all right, he said. I was very careful, however, to step rhythmically and like a cat, so as not to set up any vibration that would collapse the tower. He said it was built so that an earthquake wouldn't collapse it, but you never can tell.
He asked if I wanted to walk down the catwalk that ran beneath the two cables, from the tower clear down to the bridge floor in the center. I sure would have liked to, but unfortunately I had an appointment with my music teacher and couldn't wait. So we climbed down the ladders and waited for the cage, and went swinging and jerking down to sea level again, me getting braver with every foot of the descent.
There was a young fellow in workmen's clothes on the elevator. I said to him, "How long did it take you to get used to these high places?" He said, "When I started I was on the graveyard shift, from midnight till eight. It was so dark I couldn't see what was under me. By the time it got daylight I was all right. But I was so damn glad to get a job I'd of clumb the Eiffel Tower." Personally, I would joyously starve to death before I'd work one hour at the top of the Golden Gate Bridge.
A newspaper friend of mine in San Francisco named Bob Elliott (he's a Hoosier too--they're everywhere) was the first man ever to walk from San Francisco to Oakland--the first to walk across the Oakland Bay Bridge. It took him all day. The bridge was then nothing but bare steel framework. In places he had to walk hundreds of feet on six-inch girders, twenty stories above the water, or on rounded cable, with only a thin wire guide rope to hold to. In places he had to climb right up over the top of great steel arches, slick with fresh paint, with no handholds at all. A hundred times he thought he would die. He wanted to quit and go back, but that was just as bad as going on. He was terribly shaken. He couldn't sleep the night after he made the trip, and it was three days before he became composed again.
I had the privilege of being one of the few outsiders to cross the finished bridge before it was opened. But it didn't scare me. No, sir. We rode across in an automobile."
Chapter Eight; Leadville and Points West, Home Country, by Ernie Pyle, Scripps-Howard Newspaper Alliance, William Sloane Associates, 1947
The American Thresherman Association puts on a great show at Pinckneyville, IL every August, with steam and gas engines, tractors, threshing, and sawmilling. Another fascinating attraction is the veneer mill. Before we had cardboard boxes, containers of all sorts were made from rotary veneer. In this brief video you can see how the knife trues up a new log to peel off the veneer. I really enjoyed the sound of the wood being sliced.
Friday, August 21, 2009
Today is the fifiteth anniversary of Hawaii's statehood! We pulled an old Columbia out of the record cabinet to celebrate, and it leaves me a bit confused. The title is "Hawaiian," but then the label says Portugese Tango. It is a guitar and ukelele trio played by Helen Louise, Frank Ferera, and Sam Kainoa, recorded in May of 1916. The price of the record in the US was listed as 85 cents, and a farmer could expect to earn around 20 cents for a dozen eggs in 1916, so this record cost 51 hen work days back then. I hope the farmer's family enjoyed it.
This anniversary reminds me of one of my favorite jokes: A man and his wife were taking a flight to Hawaii for a vacation, and the man fretted all the way there, wondering how to pronounce Hawaii. His wife told him, "Ask someone in the airport who is leaving; they will know." So as they headed out of the airport, the man stopped a tourist who was going home, and asked, "What is the right way to pronounce the name of this state? Is it HaWaii, or HaVaii?" The tourist answers, "It's pronounced 'HaVaii!." The man proclaims, "Thank You!" and the homeward bound tourist answers, "You're Velcome!" Now,let's go tango; for Hawaii!
Thursday, August 20, 2009
This wicked looking beast was shown at the Southern Indiana Antique Machinery show at Evansville this summer. It is a Sally Saw, made by the Cummings Machine Works in Boston, Mass, and is powered by a Lauson four-stroke engine. I did a Google search, and found a little information on the Smokstak forum, and one guy who had run one was most uncomplementary. It would appear that this was a near-predecessor of the chain saw, and probably required two men and a boy to run it. Because the engine is a four stroke, the blade assembly had to be turned 90 degrees to drop a standing tree, then righted again for bucking. The blade would be difficult to sharpen in the woods by today's standards, and I question how long the drivers would last on the blade. Still, I can see how this machine would be appealing to someone who was tired of pulling a misery whip back and forth to make firewood. I am going to keep my Huskys.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
I hope everyone can stand two tractor posts in a row. This is an Aultman-Taylor that was idling around at the American-Thresherman show in Pinckneyville last week. The operator reached up and turned off the fuel at the tank as he parked it, so I hurried up onto the platform to catch the engine noise before it ran out of gas. You can hear the engine leaning out before it dies.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Monday, August 17, 2009
I got lucky at Pinckneyville and captured a real close call on video, and invented (I think) a new word. One of the tractor pull crew was enjoying some longnecks while I waited for the little train to do a run-by, and the alcoholic haze made him totally oblivious to the train as he walked over and stood on the tracks. He had his BeerMuffs on! BeerMuffs are similar to Beer-Goggles, messing with your perception in ways that can screw up your life. I wonder if his friends would have rushed over and rescued his beer if he had been hit. Oh well, he has used up a life, and may begin to figure out that machinery and beer don't mix well.
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Britain's last Tommy passed on and was laid to rest recently. Harry Patch served in the horrific battle at Passchendaele. If you have read much about the Great War you will have some appreciation of the horrors he lived through.
Siegfried Sassoon (1919)
Have you forgotten yet?...
For the world’s events have rumbled on since those gagged days,
Like traffic checked while at the crossing of city-ways:
And the haunted gap in your mind has filled with thoughts that flow
Like clouds in the lit heaven of life; and you’re a man reprieved to go,
Taking your peaceful share of Time, with joy to spare.
But the past is just the same-and War’s a bloody game...
Have you forgotten yet?...
Look down, and swear by the slain of the War that you’ll never forget.
Do you remember the dark months you held the sector at Mametz-
The nights you watched and wired and dug and piled sandbags on parapets?
Do you remember the rats; and the stench
Of corpses rotting in front of the front-line trench-
And dawn coming, dirty-white, and chill with a hopeless rain?
Do you ever stop and ask, ‘Is it all going to happen again?’
Do you remember that hour of din before the attack-
And the anger, the blind compassion that seized and shook you then
As you peered at the doomed and haggard faces of your men?
Do you remember the stretcher-cases lurching back
With dying eyes and lolling heads-those ashen-grey
Masks of the lads who once were keen and kind and gay?
Have you forgotten yet?...
Look up, and swear by the green of the spring that you’ll never forget.
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Friday, August 14, 2009
I tried to look up his oddball record on a discography site and can only guess that it was recorded between 1925 and 1927. One thing that's obvious from the name of the record, and the lyrics, is that folks didn't worry about offending others with ethnic labels eighty years ago. I guess the author liked the illiteration and built a song around it. I wonder what we are doing today that will seem incredibly insensitive seven or eight decades in the future. Click the play button and have a listen to Honey Duke and His Uke!
Thursday, August 13, 2009
We still have lots of photos and a little video from the SIAM and Boonville shows to share with you. This is a Fairbanks-Morse engine putting away; too bad it wasn't pulling something. You will note that this is a throtle governed engine. You can see the exhaust push rod cycle every other stroke; and you can see the fuel pump being stroked on the carburetor assembly.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Monday, August 10, 2009
Is this barn:
Here is a quick tool quiz. When working on a project like this one, which tools are never called for?
B. Bigger Hammer
C. Wrecking Bar
Sunday, August 9, 2009
EJ started on the violin at a very young age, and he played with the SIU orchestra when he was in high school. We made lots of round trips from the farm to Carbondale during his junior high and high school years. During one of the orchestra practices this piece by Tchaikovsky popped up, played by an excellent soloist, right in front of me; it was the first time I had heard it, and it took my feelings for the violin to a new level. Through the magic of YouTube we can not only listen to Heifetz play it, we can watch him up close at the same time. Open another tab for your morning surfing while this plays; it's a long one.
Saturday, August 8, 2009
This model Keck-Gonnnerman engine was working at the Boonville show. It will be there again in October, cutting up cedar logs, and giving the public a good show. You can hear a big Fairbanks engine banging away during part of this video.
Friday, August 7, 2009
We pulled out an obscure act from the record cabinet for your weekend dancing pleasure. The Virginia Creepers recorded this nice Fox Trot in 1920 on the Pathe label. Frank Bessinger sings, and if you do a search you will find he is almost as obscure as the Creepers.
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
This year marked the 100th anniversary of the Hercules engine factory in Evansville, which sold many of their engines through the Sears Catalog with the Econmomy label on them. The SIAM show at Evansville had a great assortment of Hercules and Economy engines this year. This engine is a 9 HP, the same model as one taking up space in our garage. One of these days we hope to get back to work on it and make it run.
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
This summer it seems like spring never ended, and the soil is nice and mellow in August, when it would normally be as hard as a brick-bat. We took advantage of the nice soil condition to move some volunteer pecan seedlings to fill in some blank spaces in our yard. We should have logs in about 40-50 years or so. Planting trees in August is almost as rare as seeing me dance. Whoa---a twofer!