Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Bleriot XI, 1910

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 This Bleriot XI is the same type (with a different engine) as that used by Louis Bleriot to cross the English Channel in 1909. It was a highly popular aeroplane, used for many pioneering flights, training, and as a general purpose aircraft. They were even used during WW1 for military purposes. This example, possibly constructors number 164, was built in 1910 and fitted with an Anzani 6 cylinder 60hp engine, introduced in the spring of 1910. The Anzani is an early radial engine - most engines of the period with the cylinders arranged in a circle like this are rotary engines, where the entire engine spins around with the propeller bolted on, whereas here the engine has a crankshaft which turns the propeller, so the engine stays stationary. Nothing is known of its history up until around 1935, when it was one of three Bleriots acquired by RGJ Nash in Le Havre, France, the others being an XI works number 54 (which was damaged in a German air raid on Brooklands in 1940 and parts of it possibly exist of it, or of another Bleriot, in the RAF Museum's Stafford storage facility) and XXVII constructors number 433 of 1911, which has featured on the blog before here - http://electric-edwardians.blogspot.co.uk/2011/09/bleriot-xxvii-1911.html

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 This aircraft was purchased from RGJ Nash's collection in 1953 by the Royal Aeronautical Society, and after storage in various places was put on permanent loan to the Royal Air Force in 1964, and after restoration was put on display, and since 2003 has been on display in the Milestones of Flight building at the RAF Museum Hendon, a fitting location for it. In 2004, the aircraft, along with other aircraft owned by the RAF from the Nash Collection was gifted to the RAF Museum itself.

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Sunday, 28 April 2013

Phoenix Motor Car, 1908

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 This small motor car from 1908 was made by Phoenix Motors, Limited of Blundell Street, Caledonian Road, North London. I can find very little about this company, and it is likely this example, seen at the Crich Tramway Museum's Edwardian weekend in July 2012 is a very rare if not unique survivor

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Friday, 26 April 2013

Andrew Barclay 0-6-0T Steam Locomotive No 17, 1913

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 This side tank steam locomotive was built by the well known firm of Andrew Barclay of Kilmarnock, who usually built locomotives with a characteristic saddle tank design (which will feature in later posts) in 1913 as works number 1338, for the Dalmellington Iron Company of Ayrshire, Scotland. It is seen here at Marley Hill on the Tanfield Railway in the summer of 2012, but has since been removed from the railway for restoration, to I believe working condition

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Thursday, 25 April 2013

'Big Cat', 1903

For many years there have been reported sightings of 'big cats', such as a puma, lynx or even a lion, out in the countryside. It is likely that some are true, and it is known that people who have kept big cats as pets released them into the wild when the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976 came into force. Some have even been captured, shot or killed by other methods (ie one in Shopshire was found in 1989 after being hit by a car). Dating back even further, this Canadian lynx was found and shot in Devon in 1903 after attacking two dogs, and is now in the stores of the Museum of Bristol


Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Sheffield Tram 264, 1907

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Sheffield 264 is one of a batch of fifteen identical Trams delivered to Sheffield Corporation Tramways in 1907 by the United Electric Car Company of Preston, Lancashire. The upper deck was totally enclosed in the 1920's, which I believe means that the current condition of 264, with a 'balcony' top deck, means it is in its original Edwardian 'as built' condition. It was renumbered in the 1930's to become 342 and was only used at peak times, but clinged on until the 1950's when it was retired and entered preservation. After display at a couple of sites, including the Clapham Transport Museum, now long gone, it ended up at Beamish where it was painted in Gateshead fleet colours (although it never served at Gateshead), and was converted to an open top deck Tram owing to the poor condition of the top deck, however this later reinstated. It has been in storage in the Beamish tram depot for a number of years awaiting major restoration work to the body as well as mechanical attention before entering service again. Interestingly, there are two Sheffield 264's in preservation, the other being 264 of 1937, which is at the National Tramway Museum at Crich, Derbyshire 

Monday, 22 April 2013

Hawthorn & Leslie 0-4-0ST Steam Locomotive No 2, 1911 - Part 4

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The overhaul of this locomotive has featured several times already on this blog, and these photos taken in early April show Hawthorn Leslie No 2 back in service on the Tanfield Railway. See the previous posts regarding Hawthorn Leslie No 2 of 1911 here;

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Saturday, 20 April 2013

Stables c1900

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As much as the early 1900's saw a huge increase in motor vehicles on the streets of Great Britain, the horse was still by far the biggest method of transport on the roads, and so stables like these were commonplace. These stables would be used to house horses used to pull wagons, carts etc, and known as 'livery stables'

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  Shire horse eyeing this blogger with suspicion - he proved friendly enough though!

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Thursday, 18 April 2013

Horse drawn float, c1900

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 A two wheeled float such as this one would have been used to carry unwieldly loads, often milk churns or beer barrels. They would be driven by a single horse, and the driver would stand up at the front of the cart

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Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Beamish Edwardian Bakery

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These photos taken in April (apart from the photo of the advertisement on the side of the building taken in January) show the latest progress on the Bakery being built the Beamish open air museum - when finished, this Bakery, in the 1913 high street, will make and sell typical products of a north eastern Bakery. I can't wait!

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Sunday, 14 April 2013

Prometheus Electric Iron, 1915

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 This is a very early electric iron (although the first one was patented in 1881, but seemed pretty lethal - see here for one http://www.scienceandsociety.co.uk/results.asp?image=10325625&itemw=4&itemf=0001&itemstep=1&itemx=9 ), produced by the Prometheus Electric Company of New York, USA. Electric irons are a domestic item that today we take for granted, but would have been very novel - and also expensive - in the Edwardian era. Owing to their expense, they were often hired out by companies - this one has 'THIS APPARATUS IS THE PROPERTY OF THE NEWCASTLE UPON TYNE ELECTRIC SUPPLY COY LTD' stamped on a metal plate affixed inside the handle. Apart from the initial expense of the item, another issue with using an electric iron is where to plug it in - no wall plugs in those days! The answer was to plug it in an electric light socket, as illustrated here with the socket for the iron on the left. It is now illegal to do this, although i'd struggle to think of why you'd want to! An interesting piece of Edwardian technology not often seen, and although perhaps not as interesting as an electric locomotive or big motor car, is probably more influential in the development of our domestic lives

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Friday, 12 April 2013

Edwardian chocolate!

Not a particularly informative post, but just some nice photos of some Edwardian chocolate bars on display in the front window of the Jubilee Confectioners in the Beamish recreated Edwardian high street

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Friday, 5 April 2013

Rolls Royce 40-50hp (8 cyl) Car (Lambert & Butler Motors 12 of 25)


This is 12 of 25 in the Lambert & Butler Motors Series of Cigarette Cards issued in 1908. From the back of the card;

"This is a 6 cylinder, 40-50hp car, known as the "Silver Ghost," which, in 1907, completed under the observation of the Royal Automobile Club, a road trial of 15,000 miles, with only one involuntary stop of one minute, to turn on the petrol tap, at the 629th mile. The car holds the record (14,371 miles) for the longest run without an involuntary stop"