Saturday, October 09, 2021

Mr Stoody who invented the drill bit hardfacing process, and his mobile 9-1/2 inch Zeiss telescope mounted on his '32 Ford, to share the extremely rare amateur astronomy scope experience with others

notice the stabilizers under the middle of the car in the above photo, and that the rims changed 

it's now at the Griffith Observatory used in conjunction with their 12" Zeiss scope. 

9½-inch refractor: Manufacturer: Carl Zeiss Co, Jena Germany 1920s?

Installation: Originally mounted on an automobile owned by Mr Stoody of Whittier California in 1933, and sold to Griffith Observatory in 1954. 

Objective Diameter = 9½-inches (242 mm)

Objective Focal Length = 141 inches (3.58 m)
multimillionaire founder of the Stoody Company, a company specializing in the processing and welding of metals. 
The telescope was equipped with a finder scope and a binocular turret that allowed observation with both eyes. 

The instrument, originally ordered for personal use from Zeiss (Germany), was fitted to a 1932 Ford owned by a friend, Mr. Ed Turner, in charge of promoting and disseminating this novelty among California amateurs and amateurs. The project cost approximately $7,000.

the founding of Western Hills Country Club and the story of its founder, Shelly Stoody, who made his money in manufacturing materials out of metal alloys, but was also a patent holder for items dealing with cattle and other animals.

McCombs related that Stoody created his "Double S" (Shelley Stoody, presumably) in the early 1950s to breed Hereford cattle and made it a success in short order. Stoody, it was noted, looked down upon his domain "from his house atop the summit," which might well mean the house which sits surrounded by a few dozen palm trees that is on the hill directly east of Western Hills.

The "Double S" had a show ring, but also an air strip for his private plane. Unfortunately for Stoody and his passengers, an attempt to land the plane on the ranch in late June 1961 was altered by a gust of wind and the Beechcraft plowed into the hillside a short distance from the strip, which was below his home. Stoody and two passengers died instantly and the third passenger died later in the hospital.

After Stoody's death, the ranch was sold to a syndicate of physicians from Orange County, who paid $600,000 for the property and, in 1966, opened Western Hills.

A little research about Stoody yielded some interesting information about him. He was born 20 March 1899 in Union, Ohio, just northwest of Dayton, and his father Charles was a carpenter and then a machinist and blacksmith who specialized in repair work. By the time young Shelley registered for the draft in 1918 during the First World War, the Stoodys had relocated to Huntington, West Virginia, near the borders with Ohio and Kentucky, and Shelley and his older brother Winston worked as machinists for their father.

In 1921, Shelley Stoody, recently relocated to Whittier, opened up a welding company called Stoody-Rice, but soon took in as partners his father and brother and renamed the firm the Stoody Welding Company. By 1926, the company was simply known as the Stoody Company, but Winston had become president, Charles served as vice-president and Shelley was the secretary and treasurer. The elder Stoody soon retired but his sons continued to run the business with Shelley assuming the role of vice-president when his father stepped down.

In 1948, Stoody achieved some notoriety for buying a $25,000 helicopter for his commute from the peninsula to Whittier (cutting his travel time down from 1 1/2 hours by car to only 20 minutes by copter.) He was, in fact, a longtime pilot, having been an early aviator in Whittier, where he began his flying career in 1926, and he had a private plane at the airport in Torrance when he moved to the PV Estates. A Los Angeles Times article reported that he planned to build a helipad and hangar at his residence as well as at his business.

The increased wealth that allowed Stoody to live in Palos Verdes came from a patented process for more durable drill bits called "hardfacing," essentially creating an overlay coating of abrasion-resistant alloys welded onto the bits. Two products, "Stoodite," which was the first cast hardfacing rods and "Borium" the first use of tungsten carbide (the Stoody Company had a tungsten mine in the Mojave Desert from the late 1920s) for hardfacing, were innovations by the firm, which also was a pioneer the "submerged arc welding" process, in which the molten weld and arc zone have a compound of manganese oxide, silica, lime, calcium fluoride and other materials to protect the product from contamination. The financial windfall from his business allowed the entrepreneur to buy the 426-acre spread in Carbon Canyon that he called the "Double S" and Stoody also owned a cattle ranch in Nevada.

In 1921, brothers Winston F. and Shelley M. Stoody opened up the Stoody Welding Co. to service the growing farm implement and tractor repair business. Right after opening their storefront, oil was discovered in nearby Santa Fe Springs, and soon a whole new business was born: repairing drill bits from the oil rigs.

But the Stoody brothers were not content to merely repair busted bits. They were convinced there could be a way to make the drill bits more durable, and to stay sharper longer. From their experiments begun in 1922, they developed a technique, called hardfacing, that would stay with the industry for many decades. Hardfacing is the overlaying of metal with a coating of abrasion-resistant alloys via a welding process. This overlay greatly extends the life of the equipment.

Winston and Shelley began applying hardfacing to drill bits, at first called the "Stoody Rod," then later the "Stoody Self-Hardening." They developed the first chromium-manganese alloy for this process. Two years later, they introduced the "Stoodite," a cast welding rod that would become the industry standard for the next 40 years. Their next breakthrough came in 1927, when they perfected the use of borium, a tungsten-carbide material that became one of the hardest commodities ever used.

In the 1930s and 40s a unique vehicle roamed the streets of Los Angeles. The car, owned by Shelly Stoody, was typical for the time except for a 9.5” diameter, 12’ long Zeiss telescope mounted to the roof. It is unknown today how Shelly procured the 1920s era telescope but regardless, he would drive his showpiece to various amateur astronomy events and presumably share views of the sky. In 1955 Stoody sold the telescope to Griffith Observatory

a lot of people with bad grades did just fine on talent and ability instead

one of my favorite race car driver songs

back in the 60s and 70s, a lot of people bought cheap buses and drove them to concerts, and some drove them deep into the nowhere woods to be used as hunting camps for generations, here's the 2nd one I've found and posted

Kevin Bacon has a charity org which is having a fundraiser by raffling off a 1969 F100, crazy huh?! Restored by Gateway Bronco

a back road in Gogebic County, as beautiful as most back roads in the yoop

I've been wondering, here did the term "bulldozer" come from? Not sure, but the first one was built from a model T and junkyard parts of course, by a farmer to get a contract with the Sinclair Oil Co

the bulldozer shovel blade has been around long before the first motorized tractors. In fact, the first wooden blade bulldozers were mule-or- horse-powered and used to move dirt as well as smooth rough ground for planting fields…for farmers.

Most people, however, give credit for the bulldozer invention to Kansas farmer James Cummings and draftsman J. Earl McLeod who created a scraper blade in 1923.

 Their patent, approved in 1925, was for a “scraper blade mounted forwardly of the tractor on a pair of pivoting arms which are linked to the sides of the tractor, e.g. bulldozers.”

The story begins in 1923, during the early years of the oil industry, with the Sinclair Oil Company laying an oil pipeline across Washington County from the oil fields of Teapot Dome, WY to refineries at Freeman, MO. 

When Sinclair Oil Company laid the pipeline from, they used a WWI trencher to dig the trenches and horses with wood slips to fill them back in. The horses were on one side of the trench and a man was on the other hanging on to handles on wooden boards. The horses would pull the slip ahead and the man pulled it back until the trench was filled.

When the crew crossed Cummings’ fields, he questioned if there wasn’t a better way, as while the actual digging of the trench had been mechanized, backfilling the trench was still being done with mules and dirt slips. 

The foreman replied that if he had an idea, they’d try it the following Monday. Cummings drew up plans with the help of a local draftsman, J. Earl McLeod,  who was taking correspondence drafting courses, and the men proceeded to build the new machine from parts scoured from junkyards in the area. 
“The dozer they built was lifted by a spring off an air motor windmill and a lever off a John Deere plow,” Durst says. “The blade was made out of oak and reinforced with iron with a metal blade on the bottom. The frame was made from Model T parts, windmill springs, and assorted odds and ends." 

The first day it filled in 1 1/6th miles of trench which was far more than the horses could do, and Cummings and McLeod were given the contract for backfilling the pipeline from Deshler, NE to it's terminus at Freeman, MO.

Duane Durst and his son, Frank, worked on the reproduction beginning late in 1984. 

The Fordson tractor with an oak board dozer was unveiled at a town celebration the following June. One honored guest was Earl McLeod, who designed the original machine. Durst says he felt it was important to tell “the rest of the story” and honor McLeod, whose work had been hidden in history.

“The scraper blade in the front of the machine is technically the bulldozer, and the machine is referred to as a crawler tractor."

In the late 19th century, bulldozing meant using brute force to push over or through any obstacle, referring to two bulls butting heads in a fight.

By the 1940s, the term bulldozer referred to the entire machine and not just the attachment.
I'd never heard of it before, but there was also a 'CALFDOZER'  where the Aveling Barford British firm put out a pint-sized version of the bulldozer from 1945 to 1962 to aid in home construction

Specifications: 9 b. h. p. petrol, industrial type engine. Speeds, 1.4 m. p. h. forward; 16 m. p. h. reverse. Overall height, 4 ft. 7 in.; overall length, 7 ft. 1½ in., width of machine, 3 ft. 9 in., width of blade, 4 ft. 6 in.; weight, 29 cwt.

In the image below, we see Tom Hanks’ character, Captain Miller, propped up against a Ural M-63 motorcycle.

This model didn’t exist in WWII and wouldn’t be around for another 18 years.

Friday, October 08, 2021

first time I've learned that Hudson made a sliding truck bed for their car


At the Dakar in 1982, Seiko, in collaboration with L’Hôtel Guy-Louis Duboucheron, commissioned Jean-Louis Raimondi's workshops to create an impressive 8 × 8 truck

1st time I've heard of the San Pedro Matir hill climb, 150 turns in 18.6 miles each September, and each run takes about 20 minutes


too many drugs, or standards of taste far too low, when the word flamboyant gets into car advertising by some idiot that feels it's going to be believed


the graffiti game is strong with this one

finding exactly the right art to match abandoned train car windows ? Nicely done

I like it, for the looks, and ability to park anywhere. I bet it needs more power though


I do not understand why this photo cuts off the passenger side of the front


back when vehicles had door handles...

John Keogh patented the wheel in May 2001, when he applied for, and was issued the innovation patent for a “circular transportation facilitation device” under a patent system introduced in May 2001 in Australia

the 1971 dealership ordering and data books show the 440 Magnum four barrel as being not available in the Super Bee. Despite that, 26 U-Code Super Bees managed to sneak out of the production plants in 1971 for the U.S market. This one ended up in Canada

Cody was told by a friend, that he knew a collector in Canada's British Columbia owned a bunch of ’71 Chargers, including a GY3 ’71 Super Bee in pretty rough shape, but it was a factory U-Code 440 car with the A833 Pistol Grip 4-Speed manual transmission which was very rare.

He told me that his friend wasn’t going to do much with it as he had factory 426 Hemi and V-Code 440 Six Pack cars that were taking up his time so he’d probably sell it. He gave me his friend’s number so I reached out to him and arranged to go see it.

Thursday, October 07, 2021

whoops.... that wasn't supposed to happen


see the video at

amazing WW2 memorial made of black and white photos at the Kremlin in Nizhny Novgorod, thank you Vlad V for taking the time to go there and take photos to share with everyone!

see the video at

It's part of this museum exhibit

Since 1980, the military-patriotic memorial “Gorky for the front!” Has been located on the territory of the Kremlin. It presents the military equipment that Gorky supplied the Soviet army to the Eastern Front of World War II to fight the Nazi troops. At the entrance to the memorial there is a memorial sign faced with granite slabs. On one of the plates, the text is engraved: “From generation to generation, words will be passed on about those who defended the Soviet Motherland with weapons in their hands in a time of terrible trials, and about those who forged weapons, who built tanks and planes, who cooked steel for shells who, with their labor exploits, were worthy of the military valor of soldiers. Pravda, June 8, 1942.”

the first amusing reason I've ever seen for a car alarm... turn your volume down through


HA! I'm from Michigan, I know this is true

Arnold Schwarzenegger and Rae Dawn Chong (Tommy Chong's daughter) in the movie Commando in 1985 with a 1964 Sunbeam Alpine

there used to be a phrase, "equal justice under law" until these were invented to give police family members a free pass to drive drunk, speed over the posted limit, or commit other victimless crimes, known as PBA cards

Gold ones are for family, silver ones are for sponsors and donors of the police benevolence association, like the donor that buys bulletproof vests for rookies, or scholarships for kids of kia cops. 

Cops aren't the only ones giving these free pass cards out, so do other hi power legal types like mayors, and attorney generals

the Wisconsin Department of Transportation has approved a Wisconsin “special recognition” license plate for Road America. Thanks Dean P !

an entire carrier of C8 Corvettes went up in flames just outside of Nashville, TN, on Tuesday

It’s reported that the truck was a Jack Cooper auto hauler transporting the new C8s from the Bowling Green Assembly Plant to somewhere in the Nashville area.  for the video clips