Friday, April 20, 2018

John Wanamaker holiday catalog of pedal cards and toys for kids, 1905

before the 8 track, was a 4 track

2 sides... when you flip the cartridge over it would have the magnetic tape reading heard on the other half of the tape, and the half tape was divided into left and right so you heard the music in stereo

8 tracks were an improvement brought on by new tech ways of making smaller read heads that were 1/2 the size

and everything I wrote above is speculation based on obsevation. Thanks Steve!

"The four tracks were divided into two "programs", typically corresponding to the two sides of an LP record, with each program comprising two tracks read simultaneously for stereo (two channel) sound playback. He licensed popular music albums from the major record companies and duplicated them on these four-track cartridges, or "CARtridges", as they were first advertised."

if you've ever wondered what Bullitt would look like if it had been made in France

thanks Steve!

trying to cash in on Speedbuggy

Mid Engined "Autocross" car?

Thanks Steve!

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Mechanical Mistress

Manager walks into the sales office and tells a salesmen “Hey Jeff somebody slashed your tires!”

German Tin Litho Clockwork Carette Limousine

train jigsaw puzzle 1887

Aquila Italiana - Fabbrica Automobili Torino - 1913

The Florida bicycle-boat. From Judge’s Library, A Monthly Magazine of Fun 1887.

Judge was a weekly satirical magazine published in the United States from 1881 to 1947.

It was launched by former "Puck" illustrator James A. Wales, who sold the magazine in 1885 to William J. Arkell.

Arkell managed to lure Bernard Gilliam from "Puck" and made him a full partner at "Judge."

a kid locked in a car, with the key... and somehow, they figured out how to get the kid to unlock the car

I would have had everyone standing around get out their keys, and every one show the kid how they are hitting the unlock button. Kids are mimics, and want to do stuff, and want to copy other people.

Regardless, they got the kid to hit the right button in under 5 minutes. Pretty good!

things that are great ideas separately, but not when merged together

Will Eisner the originator of the graphic novel, namesake of the Eisner Award, the comic book and cartoon industry equivalent of the Oscar, drew comics for, and about, the U.S. military to assist the maintenance mechanics in learning the dull info

At one point, Eisner traveled to Korea to get a firsthand knowledge of GI requirements. 

During the trip, he wrote, “A big guy with a dead cigar in his mouth came up to me, poked his finger in my chest and asked, ‘Are you Will Eisner?’ I said I was, and he said, ‘You saved my ass.’ 

His tank had broken down in a combat situation, and he used material from one of my stories for a field fix, and it worked and he was able to drive to safety.”

Eisner’s high school friend Bob Kane — future creator of Batman — told him he should consider going into comics. Leaping into the new field in 1936, he quickly made a name for himself. He cofounded the Eisner and Iger Studio, where he created Sheena, Queen of the Jungle.

Eisner is most famous for The Spirit — a genre-bending series about a masked crime fighter. His assistant was Jules Feiffer who later won the Pulitzer Prize in 1986 as America's leading editorial cartoonist, winning the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film in 1961, he wrote the screenplay for Popeye, starring Robin Williams and directed by Robert Altman, was nominated for Broadway's 1976 Tony Award and in 2004 he was inducted into the Comic Book Hall of Fame.

Feiffer taught at the Yale School of Drama and has been a Senior Fellow at the Columbia University National Arts Journalism Program.

They collaborated well on The Spirit, sharing ideas, arguing points, and making changes when they agreed. In 1947, Feiffer also attended the Pratt Institute for a year to improve his art style

Among Eisner’s other hires was the 17-year-old Jacob Kurtzberg, who became Jack Curtis and later, when he left the company, Jack Kirby. Under that moniker, he helped create a series of superheroes, including Captain America, the Incredible Hulk, and the X-Men.

Many early comics artists were Jewish. They were enthusiastic about fighting Nazi Germany. Besides Eisner, several prominent comics creators, including Stan Lee, Jack Kirby and Joe Simon served in the U.S. military during the war.

Less well known is Eisner’s stint in the U.S. Army and his work for, and on, the military where he was drafted in as a private, but left a CWO. War and military service were strong threads running through Eisner’s long and productive life.

Most observers also give Eisner credit for coining the term “graphic novel” — and then elevating graphic novels to the level of a serious art form.

 Each issue of PS Magazine consisted of a color comic book style cover, often designed and drawn by Eisner; eight full pages of four color comic continuity story in the middle; and the rest was filled with technical, safety, and policy information printed in two color to save money.

The story starred his earlier character and was called "Joe's Dope Sheet." Each episode offers the same cautionary tale: a soldier who ignores preventive maintenance learns of its importance in the end. Eisner commanded a high level of freedom to create the continuity section.

Will often used sexual references and humor to get the point across, and created other characters over time, including buxom Corporal Connie Rodd, and Master Sergeant Half-Mast McCanick.

Many soldiers at the time barely had a high school education; some couldn't read at a fifth-grade level, said 1st Sgt. Richard Bernard, a panel member.

"So what's the best way for you to reach somebody who can't read the technical manual itself or understand some of the words, but to make a comic strip that grabs their attention?" Bernard said.

From 1951-1971, Will Eisner produced 227 issues of PS Magazine for the US army, a comic book to make the daily grind of the soldier in Korea (and stateside) a little bit less of a chore and imbue the Army's endless amount of preventive maintenance bulletins with some lightheartedness and eye catching visuals

The magazine was established by the Department of Defense in 1951 to help American troops in Korea deal with aging equipment from World War II and new weapons that hadn’t been adequately tested.

Eisner and his staff took engineers’ descriptions of how to do something and translated them into ordinary soldier lingo. And the illustrations always depicted the action from the mechanic’s point-of-view, not the manufacturer’s. Hence, the revolution.

For twenty years Eisner refined and retooled his product to reflect the times that soldiers were experiencing. Each year he was forced to re-pitch his vision of educational sequential art to satisfy the US army’s requirement to have open bids. According to his wife, “After tests were conducted that overwhelmingly showed that soldiers best understood technical material when it was presented using Will’s graphic approach, opposition grudgingly disappeared.”

you can enjoy a dedicated blog to the PS Magazine

For a really good bio:

In his classic history The Great Comic Book Heroes, Feiffer acknowledged that his former boss was unique. His line “had weight. Clothing sat on his characters heavily; when they bent an arm, deep folds sprang into action everywhere. When one Eisner character slugged another, a real fist hit real flesh. Violence was no externalized plot exercise, it was the gut of his style. Massive and indigestible, it curdled, lava-like, from the page. Alone among comic book men, Eisner was a cartoonist other cartoonists swiped from.”

Will Eisner even did some offshoot work for the Fish and Game departments of Idaho, Maine, Pennsylvania

In 1993, when the PS Magazine organisation was being moved from Lexington- Blue Grass Army Depot in Kentucky to Redstone Arsenal in Alabama, the original PS art produced variously by Will Eisner, Mike Ploog, Chuck Kramer, Murphy Anderson and Zeke Zekely was packaged and sent for safe-keeping to Carlisle Barracks in Pennsylvania.

Not long after that, it was discovered that the entire PS art trove at Carlisle Barracks had been deliberately burned in a furnace used for document destruction.

But, it turns out that as the material was being sent for destruction, one of the boxes "fell from a forklift" and a few pieces were grabbed and hidden away... or, more likely, someone realized incredible art, valuable both historically and financially was never going to be missed by the furnace, but could possibly make life a lot easier

You can download issues in PDF (free!) at and or

Maybe someone out there has seen this unusual tin lizzy before... look at the "spinner" hub caps. That's new to me

turn down the volume, and you may want to skip watching the whole 9 minutes, but this is an impressive 67 year old with gymnast balance doing tricks on a bike

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

kick back with a donut, and some coffee... and enjoy the best of Buster Keaton

if you like to listen to what he's saying,  you may want to read

Hat tip to the eclectic Blort!

Drivers Education school with hi perf Mopars... including a Super Bird

Superbird pace cars

It was a beauty, until one night a stocker race car got crossed up, went through the midway, and t-boned it.

CJ Richards was promoting Airborne Park Speedway, whose name he immediately changed to Plattsburgh International Raceway.

Above was used at Sunset Speedway near Barrie, Ontario, Canada.

restored and displayed at the 2012 Carlisle

fresh cool AC blown in your car at the drive-in back when AC option cost too much for most people to get a car with the factory installed AC

barn find 1971 Roadrunner. 383, 4 speed, B5 blue, air grabber hood, black bucket seats, factory tach, non console, non a/c, manual steering, power disc brakes

The only missing parts are the front valance, turn signals and front bumper brackets. Everything else was found in the building.

the Paul Bunyan load, September, 1952. A 1949 Peterbilt 390, 12 foot bunks, and adjustable Rossi chocks. the 40 foot logs were 7, 8 and 9 feet in diameter. 53,670 board feet. Driver, Wes Copeland, previously a WW2 bomber pilot

click on the above to read the fine print on the truck specs, engine, brakes, etc etc, and the load specs

all the inventory, all 4 million dollars worth, now, only good for parts. March 19, 2018, a surveillance camera recorded hail at Mitch Smith Chevrolet in Cullman, Alabama.

I guess there isn't a darn thing they can do to prevent this, unless they are willing to put hail proof tents (heavy canvas?) over every car and truck on the lot, every night, to prevent what might never happen again

When the game is all, and the faster it gets dried, the faster we get back to THE GAME! So, NO screwing around, they brought in a chopper to dry the field! Genius!

oh what happens when you aren't looking at where you're pointing your 60,000 pounds of truck.. or anything you're driving. Drive safe, look ahead, farther, at what's going on 4, 5 or 10 cars up ahead in your lane. It could save your life too

at least 3 of the 6 hit vehicles were pancaked.

On Monday, 19 Sep 2016, late afternoon, 6 parked cars on Interstate 94 in Gurnee, Illinois felt the impact of a semi going 55-65 drive through them.

This particularly hard accident did not cause any deaths. Seven people were injured mildly and one in critical condition.

First time I've ever seen a video of what problems a snowstorm causes for the 1st train to head down the line after the weather clears up

a simple thing like the crossing gates and bells not working... and everyone's day is ruined. Be safe out there! Look down the tracks, both ways, before crossing a railroad track

Good reason to insure anything you're shipping

Funniest thing I've read today

dash cams... a good idea

Oh no... no! Some idiot let Swift have a missile!

The Hollendyke Wrecking Service, Clarksburg. West Virginia. 1933. (when your horse power is flagging call Hollendyke!)

let me take a moment to compliment Tammi Jo Shults.. pilot who calmly landed that Southwest flight 1380 yesterday with one engine. Navy fighter pilot.

In the midst of the chaos, Shults successfully completed an emergency landing at the Philadelphia International Airport, sparing the lives of 148 people aboard the Boeing 737-700 and averting a far worse catastrophe.

“She has nerves of steel,” one passenger, Alfred Tumlinson, told the Associated Press. “That lady, I applaud her. I’m going to send her a Christmas card — I’m going to tell you that — with a gift certificate for getting me on the ground. She was awesome.”

Another passenger, Diana McBride Self, thanked Shults on Facebook for her “guidance and bravery in a traumatic situation.” She added that Shults “came back to speak to each of us personally.”

She served in the Navy for 10 years, reaching the rank of Navy lieutenant commander. She left the Navy in 1993

the homesick mechanic who stole a plane

In 1969, at the height of the Cold War, a mechanic in the US Air Force stole a Hercules plane from his base in East Anglia and set off for the States. Just under two hours later, he disappeared suddenly over the English Channel.

Homesick for his wife and stepchildren, he'd asked a few days earlier to be returned from RAF Mildenhall in Suffolk, where he'd been posted, to the USAF base at Langley, Virginia. But his request for leave had been refused.

Bitterly disappointed, the young Vietnam veteran took himself off to a military colleague's house party, where he began drinking heavily and then, according to colleagues, to behave erratically and combatively. His friends persuaded him to go to bed, but Meyer escaped through a window.

Soon after, Suffolk police found him wandering the A11 road and arrested him for being drunk and disorderly. He was escorted back to his barracks and told to sleep it off. But Meyer had other ideas. Big ideas.

Breaking into the room of a Capt Upton, Meyer stole the key to his truck. Using the name "Capt Epstein", Meyer then called an aircraft dispatcher and demanded that aircraft 37789, a Hercules transporter C-130, be fuelled for a flight to the USA.

The ground crew obediently followed their superior's orders and the bogus captain climbed aboard, released the brakes and taxied hurriedly from the hardstand towards runway 29. His engines roared.

Completely alone in the cockpit of the stolen 60-tonne, four-engine military transporter plane, an aircraft he was not qualified to fly, the 23-year-old serviceman steeled himself and thrust his throttles forward. Shortly before 05:10 on the dawn of the drizzly, overcast morning of 23 May, he was airborne.

After an hour and forty-five minutes in flight, Meyer crashed into the English Channel.

A few days later, small pieces of wreckage of the Hercules, including a life raft washed up near the shores of the Channel Island of Alderney. The mechanic's body was never found.