Friday, 30 September 2011
Recreated at the Science Museum in South Kensington, London is a Ship's Wireless Cabin of 1910, with the latest Marconi Wireless equipment. From the museum's own display board;
"The Marconi Company hired their equipment to ship-owners, and provided a trained operator. This 1.5 kW installation was standard for larger ships. Because of the noise from the spark gap and the rotary converter which powered it, most of the transmitter was enclosed in a 'silence cabin'."
Thursday, 29 September 2011
This motorcycle, built by NLG and powered by a Peugeot V twin engine, was built in 1907 and entered a place in history in 1908 when it won the first ever motorcycle race at the famous Brooklands racetrack in Weybridge, Surrey on April 20 1908. The rider, WE Cook, kept the motorcycle until he died in 1949, and it is now preserved in the National Motorcycle Museum, Birmingham
Tuesday, 27 September 2011
This 1914 advetisement from 'Flight' magazine is from the Blackburn Aeroplane Company of Leeds, West Yorkshire, a well known early British aviation company. The oldest flying British aeroplane is a 1912 built Blackburn Type D Monoplane, similar to that shown on the advert, and is based at the Shuttleworth Collection, Bedfordshire, UK
Sunday, 25 September 2011
Produced by the Liquid Fuel Company (hence 'Lifu') at Cowes on the Isle of Wight, this steam powered car didn't use fire and coal like a steam locomotive and like the name 'steam car' implies, but instead used a paraffin fired boiler fitted under the bonnet instead of a traditional petrol or diesel internal combustion engine, which provides steam for a two cylinder engine. Compared to petrol powered cars of 1901, steam powered cars provided smoother and quieter running, however the Lifu was nowhere near as powerful as its American rivals (in the USA, the popularity of steam powered cars clung on a lot longer than in the UK).
This 1901 built Lifu was taken off the road and preserved early in its life compared to many other cars owing to its low power to weight ratio, and it took part in the 1956 London to Brighton Veteran Car Run. It is now on display at the Enginuity centre, one of the Ironbridge Gorge attractions in Shropshire, UK
Saturday, 24 September 2011
Friday, 23 September 2011
This strikingly painted Bleriot XXVII is a bit of an enigma - it's pre-1936 history is not authenticated, however it is believed to be the Bleriot XXVII shown at the Paris Aero Show of December 1911. It was stored for the duration of the Great War at Le Havre, was bought by Richard Nash at 1936 and after restoration to airworthiness crashed in June of that year, but was restored again, and after being sold to the Royal Aeronautical Society in 1952, and after years of loan to the RAF Museum was finally sold to them in 1992 along with other Edwardian and Great War aircraft. The Bleriot XXVII is now on display in the rebuilt Edwardian Grahame-White Factory. The aircraft's official page on the Royal Air Force Museum's website can be visited here http://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/london/collections/aircraft/bleriot-xxvii.cfm
Thursday, 22 September 2011
The Thirty Nine Steps, published in 1915, is one of my favourite books, and a real classic. Set in May and June 1914 just before the outbreak of the First World War, the book is narrated by the main character, Richard Hannay, a Scotsman who emigrated with his family to South Africa at a young age, became a mining engineer, and travels to London in search of excitement. He soon wearies of what London has to offer, but excitement turns up soon enough when a man who lives in the same apartment building fearing for his life and describing a plot he uncovered to assasinate the Greek premier who was attempting to smooth over problems in eastern Europe, and ultimately steal the battle plans for the Royal Navy. Sceptical at first, the story is confirmed when the spy is found dead in Hannay's flat.
Now on the run from both the German spies, wanting to kill Hannay for the secret he now knows, and the British Police suspecting him of the spy's murder, Hannay goes up to Scotland by train, and does his best to evade capture by rail, foot, a succession of motor cars, and by elaborate disguise and bluff. I won't ruin the rest of the story - however I will say that if you have seen any of the adaptations of the book, from the 1935 Hitchcock movie to the 2008 BBC television movie, the book is completely different, and in my view so much more exciting and evocative of the era
Wednesday, 21 September 2011
Adorning the walls of the 1911 built Michelin House in South Kensington, London, are these fantastic Ernest Montaut prints of Edwardian motor racing. These photos are just a small selection of those around the building. For more information on Michelin House, now the Bibendum Restaurant, visit http://www.bibendum.co.uk/
Tuesday, 20 September 2011
This very modern looking two seat car is a 1914 built Perry, a company which manufactured cars in Tyseley, Birmingham, from 1913 to 1916. After the Great War the design for the Perry 11.9 was bought by Bean, who continued to produce similar looking vehicles in the West Midlands during the 1920's. This particular Perry was seen at the Royal Flying Corps Aerodrome at Stow Maries, Essex in May 2011
Monday, 19 September 2011
This recreated modern Edwardian bathroom is fitted into one of the recreated terraced houses of Ravensworth Terrace, rebuilt at the Beamish Open Air Museum. The bathroom is typical of an upper-middle class house and for the time depicted (1913) would be a fairly new installation, complete with a shower fitted to one end of the bath (just out of shot)
Sunday, 18 September 2011
Several of my friends are extras in this series so i'll be keeping a good look out for them!
Friday, 16 September 2011
1917 Advertisement for Zam-Buk
This fantastically named ointment is about as Edwardian as it gets - this green, uniquely smelling salve was a sort of 'cure all' ointment for cuts, bad skin and other ailments, and features often in Edwardian magazines and other literature containing advertisements for the Leeds manufactured Zam-Buk. It is now available again, produced by Rose & Co. Apocathery and is very popular once again, so buy some while you can - a small tin lasts a very long time, i've had my tin for nearly a year and despite using it very often still have most of the tin left!
1908 Advertisement for Zam-Buk
Thursday, 15 September 2011
Now known as 'Bibendum', Sir Jasper Conran's Resturant in South Kensington, London, Michelin House was commissioned in 1909 and completed in 1911 as the permanent British headquarters for the French motor car tyre company of Michelin, famous for their mascot the 'Michelin Man', or to give his proper name, 'Bibendum'. The building retains it's strong history and is one of my favourite Edwardian buildings. I haven't been fortunate enough to eat in the restaurant but the cafe in the atrium at the entrance is superb and very well priced (well, for central London, and is very close to the Science Museum, Natural History Museum and Victoria and Albert Museum. For more information, visit Bibendum's website;
Wednesday, 7 September 2011
In 1914, the main part of the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition set sail from the UK in the ship Endurance, bound for Antarctica. Bound for Vahsel Bay in the Weddell Sea, the plan was for Sir Ernest Shackleton, who already had Antarctic experience from previous expeditions, and a party of men would make their way across Antarctica via the South Pole, resulting in a journey across the entire Antarctic continent which had never been done before (when the Expedition left, and up until 1956, only 9 men had ever reached the South Pole, all members of Scott or Amundsens Teams as part of the Race to the Pole in 1911/12). The Ross Sea Party would lay store depots on the other side of the Pole from the Australasian 'side' of Antarctic using the ship Aurora. After leaving the Whaling Station at South Georgia on 5th December 1914, the Endurance, its crew, and the Weddell Sea Party of the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition dissapeared. They were expected to be heard of again by November 1915, it wasn't until May 21 1916 that Shackleton and two other members of the Expedition reached the Whaling Station at South Georgia by mountain after an epic journey, starting with the Endurance becoming trapped in ice and resulting in the crew and party setting camp on moving ice floes and using the three ships boats to travel first to Elephant Island where a camp was set up, and then one boat, the James Caird, crewed by Shackleton and others sailing to South Georgia where a smaller party made the arduous mountain crossing to the Whaling Station, from where relief was sent as soon as possible to rescue all the men. Not a single man died from the crew of the Endurance or the Weddell Sea Party. The Ross Sea Party were not so fortunate with three out of ten of the party dying.
This superb book by Alfred Lansing tells the story of the Endurance crew and the Weddell Sea Party and is, despite a number of books regarding the Expedition and its fate, considered the best. The gripping and harrowing story is told very well and the book is highly reccomended for one of the most heroic stories from the heroic age of Antarctic exploration, which is considered to have taken place between 1897 and 1922, including the Edwardian era expeditions by Scott and Shackleton
Monday, 5 September 2011
From 1902 Lucas (or to give it's full name, Joseph Lucas Ltd), a well known lamp maker, started making car accessories, naturally including lamps for motor cars but also magnetos, horns and other electrical equipment. A Lucas designed lamp for a bicycle in 1879 was called the 'King of the Road' as a marketing tool and this name was used for many of Lucas' top end lighting products, although inevitable was applied by the general public to all Lucas lighting products. This display of Lucas lighting products is seen in the 1913 Motor Garage Showroom at Beamish Living Museum
Sunday, 4 September 2011
In service at the Beamish Living Museum on a very hot day in April 2011 was Tram 765, a 1914 built 'California' type Tram built for Manchester Corporation Tramways. It was built as a single deck tram for use on tramway routes where low bridges were present, and has open seating compartments at each end for smokers - which are also great for riding on the Tram in hot weather, as I found out. After the Trams were replaced by Motor Buses in 1930, Tram 765 went into storage, and in 1960 was rescued from West Yorkshire and was preserved and restored by the Manchester Transport Historical Collection. The Tram is owned by, and usually in operation at, the Heaton Park Tramway in Manchester, where you can find more information and other photographs of their Tram collection