Saturday, March 30, 2019

Did you hear the one about Tom, Dick, and Harry flying a Stratofreighter into southern Wisconsin? Sounds like the set up to a joke, but it's real.

Donald J. Quinn was a pilot who bought a farm in Dodgeville in 1964, and built a 3,000-foot-long landing strip so he could fly his jet DC9 into his back yard. Four years later he had transformed the runway into Dodgeville's municipal airport, and the old dairy barn into Dodgeville's quirkiest restaurant.

He wanted the Inn to have something eye-catching out by the highway. So in 1977 he bought a huge Korean War vintage C-97 Stratofreighter, had it flown into Dodgeville's tiny airport, and parked it in front of his motel.

The C-97 took on a lot of oil to run all of its 112 pistons. It had a 53 gallon oil tank and used two gallons of oil an hour. But by the time they came in to land, the low oil light came on.

One of only a couple dozen surviving, of 56 made, C-97 Stratofreighters, this plane was flown into  Wisconsin by pilot Dick Schmidt, copilot Tom Thomas, and flight engineer Harold Waligorski. It was towed to the Don Q Inn, to open it as a coffee shop, and it now sits in a field.

The plan was to buy other smaller aircraft and turn them into rooms for adventurous hotel guests, but today the C-97 stands alone because after buying the plane, he had a end of fortune, and his plans to
mount the giant airplane on stilts above the Don Q Inn parking lot fly in more planes and use them as motel rooms came to a stop, and 2 years later he sold the whole enterprise. 9 years later he was dead.

He said he would set one plane aside so that he could start a school for aircraft mechanics.

Since then it was used for filming a commercial in 1975 with Farrah Fawcett, she autographed the fuselage

The C-97 was based on the B-29 bomber and used during the Berlin Airlift and Korea War. With a wingspan of 141 feet and four 3,500-horsepower engines, the C-97 was once the largest thing in the skies.

The Inn was built in many strange ways, probably to generate word of mouth free advertising, and get some free publicity from tv shows, the main lobby has a fireplace made from the front of a steam locomotive, surrounded by barbers chairs, for example

Ground water that has accumulated during heavy rains apparently caused the empty tank to “float” to the surface, breaking open a six-inch slab of pavement at a closed down service station in Eugene, OR.

a Sinclair station in the mid 50s

Possibly the single most influential commercial building design ever devised, the Texaco gas station, the porcelain-sided oblong-box-with-bays, designed by Walter Teague

I wonder if Walter Teague is related to Al Teague?

Teague's early role in consumer culture is most popularly associated with designs such as the first Polaroid camera, the UPS truck, Texaco service stations, and the Pringles Chips canister; while Xbox and the Boeing 787 Dreamliner headline Teague's post-2000 design work.

1938 endurance run truck, still out to prove the durability of the Ford

looks like a Lincoln salesman out to get publicity shots

running on empty, 1936, Dorothea Lange, grocery store in Widtsoe, Utah

Close up detail is going to make a good banner

In a bid to get business in the Easter Petrol War. A Bermondsey Petrol Station sign says 'Free Sex' but it should read 'free six-fold green shield stamps'. April 1975. Sextuple stamps just doesn't have the same ring to it as FREE SEX.

last of the pagoda gas stations inspired by the Worlds Fair

The "Harley Sprague" station is famous -- it's one of only two surviving examples of the pagoda-style stations that were trademarks of the Wadhams Oil Company, which built them in and around the Milwaukee area in the 1910s and 1920s. The design was inspired by the popularity of pagodas at various World's Fairs of the early 20th Century, but there was no further Japanese connection to the company, which eventually became a subsidiary of Socony-Vacuum. This particular station was the last of the Pagoda design to remain in operation as a gas station, continuing into the 1980s.

Thanks to James C for clinking the tip jar!

nice old sidecar tin toy

Friday, March 29, 2019

Shirley Temple in her “Dreyer Racer” that was gifted to her by Bill “Bojangles” Robinson.

It's Shirley Temple, but why she's posing with an empty gravity racer, I don't yet know

This is about the time, age 17, that she co-starred with Cary Grant in the movie, one of my favorites, Batchelor and the Bobby Soxer

if it wasn't for bad roads... etc etc

They had a wide variety of Pontiacs on I Dream Of Jeannie

Elmer Zurakowski has left the building, and the GM tech center will never be the same... Mr Z had been working for GM since 1951. Yup, 67 years ago he was an 18 yr old and got a job and was one of the last of his generation to get one of those jobs that last a lifetime.

Since he started working, man has went to the moon, GM invented the Corvette, Ford created the Mustang, GM came up with a 30 years and retire plan that Mr Z has lapped TWICE, and someone invented the internet, flatscreens, 700 hp supercharged factory produced cars that can hit 200 mph, with a warranty, and porn is free on the internet.

A hell of a lot has happened while Mr Z has been punching a clock.

They created the interstate freeway system for Pete's sake!

The UAW says Elmer Zurakowski is the highest seniority hourly employee in the all of General Motors. Mr. Zurakowski stopped at his local UAW hall before coming in to work on Wednesday.

There they showed him a plaque made for him by his co-workers celebrating a more than 67-year-long career.

“Well I started working when I was 18-years-old. I became a die maker apprentice. This was at Plant 23 in Detroit,” recalled Zurakowski.

It was 1951. He remembers as he started the job seeing workers building tanks for the Korean War. He was ready to learn.

“When I started the apprenticeship I wanted to go into the wood field. They said according to your tests it shows you would be better working with metal than wood. I didn’t know anything about metal, but growing up on a farm I used wood all the time. What they did, I think, they needed more die makers than wood pattern makers. But I went along with that and I was very happy with it,” said Zurakowski.

only in Wisconsin do they advertise that they are likely to have another DUI by showing the cops the red cups that helped them to their first DUI

The odds of a single 4 leaf clover rooting into a fender line..

When you fix a squeaky belt with a bar of dove soap

She was cutting through. Maintenance guy put cone on front size facing the street, but forgot to place on one the back side.

Finally someone knew the reason Barbara Eden was posing with a Bonneville in 60's hippie paint scheme... I Dream of Jeannie S-04 EP-12 Jeannie, My Guru

unusual radiator ornament, both a light, and a thermometer. It was wired to light up the whole motometer, and shine illuminate the green and red lenses on each side, and also light up the manufacturer of choice nameplate on the front

The Moller Motor Car Company of Hagerstown Md. used them on most of their vehicles from 22 to 29 including the taxi.

Moller was the re-organized Crawford car company, and made the Dagmar, with the unusual Gidelite hood ornament and the Neville “More Room” steering wheel

the American Bicycle Co., successor to the Crawford Bicycle Co., sold their factory to the associated Pope Manufacturing Co., who used it to manufacture the short-lived Pope-Tribune, and the former Crawford Bicycle plant was sold to the Montrose Metal Casket Company, who closed down their Hagerstown operations in 1913 and the vacant facility was purchased by the New York and Hagerstown Metal Stamping Co. in 1914 in order to produce munitions for the British Army.

That firm was reorganized as the Maryland Pressed Steel Co. on March 30, 1915, and within the year it had been purchased by the Poole Engineering and Machine Co., who held $17 million in government munitions contracts, but in a year, they introduced the Bellanca C.D., a small 35 hp biplane designed by the legendary Italian engineer Giuseppe M. Bellanca, in the hopes of getting a lucrative US government contract for its manufacture.

However, the signing of the Armistice brought the War to an end in November of 1918 and along with it Maryland Pressed Steel’s lucrative ammunition contracts.

And that is why it's tricky to get into business. Things change mighty fast and what you are making might become a fad, whose time is up, like bikes, or short lived, like the Pope Tribune, or get into contract work, which is often very short sighted and done with quickly.

Maryland Pressed Steel began the manufacture of PASCO and National wire automobile wheels under license starting in mid-1919, saving the firm from insolvency, at least for the time being. Unfortunately the post-war recession affected the sale of new automobiles during 1920 and 1921, and an absence of orders for the firm’s wire wheels forced the firm into bankruptcy.

In 1922 Poole Engineering sold the Maryland Pressed Steel Works to R.J. Funkhouser Co., who subsequently sold it to Moller. Shortly after Moller moved into the old Bicycle Works, he reorganized the Crawford Automobile Company as the M.P. Moller Motor Car Co.

And that's how Moller began making Dagmars.