Thursday, December 30, 2010

Nebraska State Capitol

The Nebraska State Capitol, located in Lincoln, Nebraska, is the capitol and seat of the Nebraska Legislature and houses other offices of the government of the U.S. state of Nebraska. It is one of the most distinctive statehouses in the United States. It is 400 feet (121 m) tall. There is an observation deck at 250 feet (76 m). There are 15 floors. It is the 3rd tallest building in the state, and the tallest in Lincoln, Nebraska. This capitol building's height is surpassed only by the Louisiana State Capitol. The Louisiana State Capitol is 34 stories but was influenced by the Nebraska State Capitol's design.
The building was designed by Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue and constructed between 1922 and 1932. The Indiana limestone structure draws on both Classical and Gothic architectural traditions, but represents major innovations in state capitol design (Wiki).

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Books for the Masses

From Gorky (now Nizhny Novgorod) to village libraries
Photographer: Nison Kapelyush

Monday, December 27, 2010

Sugar Exhibition

Artist: Wilhelm H. Deffke (1887 - 1950)

Originally uploaded by Susanlenox @ Flickr

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Help Needed

Tome Wilson wrote:

Jordan (Mr. Bodewell around here) is not only a great guy with a wife and kid, but he also runs the steampunk/alternative music label Sepiachord. You might have seen him on Dieselpunks sharing new music with us every day, or you might have listened to The Sepiachord Passport this year. As one of the cornerstones of our community, I love Jordan and everything he does for us.
Long story short, Jordan's family recently got hit with some very serious medical bills. Even with insurance, payment plans, and a second job, Jordan is going to have to turn off everything and close Sepiachord for at least a few years until he can get back on his feet.

So, if you have a few quid and a heart, you can help my friend give his family a good holiday. We may not be able to pay off everything, but we can at least make sure Jordan can keep his family warm and fed this Winter.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Hydrofoil Torpedo Boat

As World War II was drawing to its final conclusion, German naval designers in late 1944 were proposing some truly radical designs under desperate circumstances. Among them was the final evolutionary step of the K-Verband development for their hydrofoil attack boat projects.
Designated the TR-5b, the futuristic Tragflügelboot concept called for the addition of twin turbojets to be added to a VS- type hydrofoil to create a high-speed, heavily-armed hydrofoil fast attack craft. The turbojets (two Jumo 004s or He S 011s) were to be mated to the hydrofoil to allow a drastic increase of speed during the final attack phase and disengagement of enemy vessels.
Although tests with the radio-controlled jet powered boat Tornado of 1944 revealed several problems with this kind of propulsion (only viable in calm seas and with persistent control problems), the addition of turbojets for the TR-5b was seen as a possible solution to increase the chance of surviving an attack against Allied ships.
Armament has never been disclosed for this vessel but from the depictions looks like standard S-boot armament of guns, torpedoes, or mines.
However, this project arrived too late and held no significant advantage over the German S-boots. Likewise, the German explosive speedboats also came to nothing except some experimentation. The TR-5b was to start construction in early 1945 but was cancelled instead by the realities of the naval war.

Source: Rob Arndt @ strangevehicles
Color artwork: Joe Hinds

Monday, December 13, 2010

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Friday, December 10, 2010

Torre Littoria

Turin, Italy
Architect: Armando Melis de Villa
Engineer: Giovanni Bernocco
Built in 1933-1934

Photo by nicolasnova
(Full frame @ Flickr)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Le Dixmude

In early 1920s the Dixmude (f. German LZ114/L72) was the world's largest dirigible.
In Cuers-Pierrefeu, 2 hangars are built to receive the air giant.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

HMS Furious

Ordered from Armstrong Whitworth at Elswick in 1914 as a "light battlecruiser" fitted with two 18in guns and laid down on 8th June 1915. She was launched for completion in that design on 15th August 1916.
On 26th June 1916 it was decided to convert the ship for use as an aircraft carrier. In 1921 she was taken in hand for a third change in design. Work was carried out by HM Dockyards at Rosyth and Devonport and provided a full length flight deck with Bridge structure and funnels removed. In addition there was a small lower flight deck forward. This was dispensed with after aircraft weight and speed increased. Exhaust gasses were discharged by uptakes led to the stern. The bridge facility was replaced by an open type at the deck edge. The ship joined the Fleet in 1925. Further changes were made to the stern structure and the quarterdeck was raised to flight deck level between 1931 and 1932. The ship was modernised and refitted before the outbreak of WW2 and she re-entered service with six twin 4” mountings controlled by two gunnery directors for AA defence.
Displacement as an aircraft carrier was 22,450 tons with an overall length of 786 feet 3 ins., a beam of 89 feet 9 ins. over bilges and a draught of 25 feet at full load. The main propulsion was provided by steam turbines of 90,000 SHP driving four shafts to give speed of 30knots. Armour was provided for protection of machinery and steering gear with external bulges for underwater protection. Armament provided included the six twin 4in mountings and three eight barrelled 2 Pdr Pom-Pom mountings. During WW2 this was increased by single 20mm Oerlikon mountings to improve defence against close range air attacks. The radar fit was minimal, compared with other Fleet aircraft carriers and was fitted during wartime refits as was required to suit deployments. Total complement including aircrew exceeded 1200. By the end of WW2 about 30 aircraft could be carried, depending on type embarked.
This ship was extensively deployed during WW2 until withdrawn from operational use when modern Fleet Carriers became available supplemented by several Light Fleet and Escort Carriers. She took part in operations off Norway throughout the war, carried out deliveries of aircraft to Malta and to the Middle East via West Africa as well as providing air cover for Atlantic and Malta convoys and supporting the allied landings in North Africa.
After the end of hostilities in Europe she was placed in Reserve and sold for breaking-up in 1948.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Monster Palace

Designed by J. Gorfein in 1925, this Workers and Peasants Palace has three faces: Marx (on the left), Lenin (centre) and Engels. It's only a concept, of course, lucky enough to be published in popular Ogonyok weekly.

Click on the picture to enlarge
(and see elephants and camels on parade!)

Via lobgott @ LJ

Friday, December 3, 2010

Jumbo #1

The Werkspoor Jumbo was a 1930s Dutch biplane freighter aircraft design by Joop Carley and built by Werkspoor. Only one aircraft was built (registered PH-AFI) which was sometimes called the Carley Jumbo and was operated by KLM for two years.

Ordered in 1927 as a specialised freighter for KLM. The Jumbo was a large single-engined biplane fitted with two large cargo doors.
Delivered in 1931 it was operated by KLM between Amsterdam, Rotterdam and London for two years and was then passed to the airlines training centre which operated it for the next eight years. In 1938 it was described as a good trainer The aircraft was destroyed at Amsterdam-Schiphol in a German bombing raid on the 10 May 1940.

Source: Wiki

Adler Expreimental

Adler PZ Spähwagen
Built for Reichswehr
c. 1930

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

HMS Vindictive

Improved Birmingham-Class cruiser built by Harland and Wolff at Belfast under an Emergency War Programme and was ordered in July 1917. She was laid down on 8th December 1917 and was intended to be named Cavendish, but on selection to be converted for use as an aircraft carrier was renamed.
This cruiser was launched on 18th December 1918 and the 5th RN warship to carry the name Vindictive. Her conversion involved removal of 3 of her 6in guns and the fitting of a 215 ft landing deck aft with another forward measuring 100 ft. The ship carried six or eight aircraft, depending on their type. Build was completed on 19th June 1919.
In 1925 the ship was again converted and reverted to use as a cruiser in 1929. The forward hangar was retained and a catapult with crane for recovery were fitted aft. After 11 years use as a cruiser yet another conversion was authorised and the ship was converted for use as a Cadet Training Ship.
She was disarmed and modified to provide the facilities for training of Cadets. As a result her use during WW2 was limited to support duties.

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Cook Interceptor

The favorable performance of an eight wheel (8x8) vehicle developed by the Cook Brothers of Los Angeles, California resulted in a design study to adapt the chassis as a 3 inch gun motor carriage. The design utilized the 3 inch gun mount M4 developed for the 3 inch gun motor carriage M5. The new vehicle was designated as the 3 inch gun motor carriage T55 and was popularly known as the "Cook Interceptor". As originally proposed, the vehicle had two engines, one in front and one in the rear, with each engine driving one four wheel bogie. In the final design, both engines were installed at the rear. Steering was with the aid of a hydraulic booster and was accomplished by turning the entire front bogie about a center pivot point.
Earlier wheeled carriages for the 3 inch gun had been considered. The first was the previously mentioned T7 which was a modified version of the armored car T13. The second was the 3 inch gun motor carriage TIS which proposed to mount a 3 inch gun on a special Ford, four wheel drive, chassis. Later plans changed the special Ford chassis to a six wheel drive version. However, the project was dropped completely in October 1941 and the two T55 series vehicles were the only wheeled 3 inch gun motor carriages actually constructed.
Tests at Aberdeen Proving Ground revealed that the cross-country mobility of the Cook vehicle was inferior to that of a full track tank destroyer such as the T49 then under test. Both the T55 and the T55E1 were canceled without further production.

More images & info @ Air, Land & Sea

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Empress of Britain

The RMS Empress of Britain was an ocean liner built between 1928 and 1931 by John Brown shipyard in Scotland and owned by Canadian Pacific Steamship Company. This ship — second of three CP vessels named Empress of Britain — provided scheduled trans-Atlantic passenger service from spring to autumn between Canada and Europe from 1931 until 1939. This Empress was distinguished by the Royal Mail Ship (RMS) prefix in her name while in commercial service with Canadian Pacific.
In her time, she was the largest, fastest, and most luxurious ship between England and Canada. She was torpedoed on 28 October 1940 by U-32 and sank. At 42,348 gross tons, she was the largest liner lost during the Second World War and the largest ship sunk by a U-boat (Wiki).

Thursday, November 25, 2010


From the "Vie à la Campagne" revue, published by Hachette

via Vintage Poster

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Standard Gauge

Images of Italeri's 1/35 scale Fiat Autoblinda AB 40 Ferroviaria:
The Autoblinda 40 (AB 40) was an Italian armored car built in small numbers in 1940.
Armament consisted of two 8 mm machine guns in a turret. During production a need for heavier armament was envisioned and so the AB 40 was redesigned as the AB 41 which was the same vehicle except for a new turret with a 20 mm autocannon. Most of the 24 AB 40s that had been built were then converted to AB 41s.