Friday, April 29, 2011

The Seat of Modernism

"S 36"chair, ca. 1930
Designer: Hans Luckhardt
Made by Gebr. Thonet , Frankenberg, Germany
Upholstered version

Photo by γuniversum @ Flickr

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Jim Ripple's Robots

A Soviet sci-fi / social satire movie, loosely based on Čapek's R.U.R., 1935:
Jim Ripple is an inventor of industrial automatons, guided by the sound of saxophone.
He hopes his invention will help to destroy Capitalism.
But vicious capitalists use robots to fire and oppress 'live' workers. Jim is killed in a riot.
Class-conscious workers re-program Jim's steel monsters and use them against their oppressors. Robots dancing in the streets: revolution, revolution has come!

Via nicolya @ Dieselpunks LJ community

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Post Office, Palermo

The Palazzo delle Poste on Via Roma, designed by Angiolo Mazzoni, was built between 1930 and 1934. It is an interesting fusion of Classicist and Rationalist architecture.
Photo by rebranca61 @ Flickr

Friday, April 22, 2011

One of a Kind

The unique Udet U 11 Kondor was developed in 1925 for Deutsche Aero Lloyd, an airline in search of an 8-passenger plane capable of flying over the Alpes.
A high wing monoplane with all-metal fuselage was powered by four Siemens-Halske Sh.12 air-cooled pusher engines (92 hp). The passenger cabin was spacious, 3.90 m long, 1.6 m wide and 2.0 m high. There were also a luggage compartment and toilet. Pilot and navigator were seated in an enclosed cabin, with an open cockpit for the observer. Top speed was 160 km/h (at 2,000 m), cruising speed 135 km/h, maximal range 520 km.
The U 11 made its maiden flight on January 19, 1926, with Harry Rother at the controls. The plane appeared underpowered, too heavy for its engines. Its prospective buyer, already merged with Junkers Luftverkehr AG into Luft Hansa, preferred more powerful Junkers G 23/24 trimotors.
However, after a series of tests with the DVL (German Aviation Laboratory) the U 11 joined Luft Hansa fleet as an experimental aircraft. In 1928, it has been seriously damaged as a result of emergency landing and never flew again.
The Udet Kondor has a distinction of being the first quadrimotor flown by Luft Hansa.

Source: FliegerWeb

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Shades of Blue

Former South Shields Corporation Karrier E4 Weymann trolleybus 204 CU3593 is pictured at the head of the line at the Sandtoft Trolleybus Museum, on August 8th 2009.

Photo by emdjt42 @ Flickr

Shame, Shame, Shame

"Shame on you! Your name is still absent from the Dobrolet shareholders list!"
A. Rodchenko, 1920s

More Rodchenko posters @

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Five Stars: 1927

Washington, D.C., circa 1927. "Thayer Studio."
No further information on these lithe and lissome lovelies.
Harris & Ewing glass negative.


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Montreal at Night

The Aldred building and the towers of Notre-Dame basilica
Photo by MartinMtl @

The Aldred Building, designed by Ernest Isbell Barott, of the firm Barott and Blackader, was Montreal's first skyscraper. Its construction demonstrated several significant events: the shift from classical detailing to a modern style free of historical reference; the beginning of the age of skyscrapers in Montreal; a new type of building structure, the use of new materials, and the introduction of modern services; and the extravagance and economic success of the 1920s. Commencing construction on July 20, 1929, in the prime of the ‘roaring twenties’, it was fortunate that work on the Aldred Building continued despite the historical stock market crash three months later. Upon completion in 1931, the building was described by the Montreal Gazette as "graceful and dignified, one of the most beautiful structures in the city". Presently overwhelmed in height by modern skyscrapers, in its day the Aldred Building was a beacon, towering over Montreal (source).

Monday, April 18, 2011

Sunday, April 17, 2011

JAZ Clock

A French table clock manufactured by the Compagnie Industrielle de Mécanique Horlogère which used the trademark “JAZ” from 1919 to 1941. This clock belongs to an art deco line launched in 1934. Its body swivels horizontally.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Yellow Car

An A1 T4-series passenger car built by vdZ for Berlin U-Bahn (subway) in 1926
Preserved at Museumsbestand BVG, Berlin

Photo by Jcornelius, Wikimedia Commons

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Bolshoi at Night

Bolshoi Theatre, Moscow,
draped and illuminated for the 20th anniversary of the October Revolution


The slogans are: "Workers of the world, unite" and "Long live the great invincible banner of Marx-Engels-Lenin-Stalin!"

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Robot Tales

Cover art by Bok

via Golden Age Comic Book Stories

White Swan, 1939

The Bílá labuť (White Swan) department store in Prague was built in 1937-1939, designed by architects Josef Hrubý and Josef Kittrich. Atop the three-storey tower extension with a terrace was an 8-metre rotating neon swan designed by graphic artist Božidar Leiser.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Somewhere in Italy, 1940

Photographer: Carl Mydans

Any help in identifying the location will be appreciated

UPD: It's in Genova.
Thanks, Rene!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Here Come the Reptiles

A rare Foth Folding de Luxe
medium format plate camera, manufactured by C.F.Foth, Berlin

This luxury edition of a popular model boasts special features like crocodile skin-clad body, pure leather bellows, nickel plating and custom paint. An eyecandy.

Friday, April 8, 2011

One Man Machine Gun Carrier

Vickers-Carden-Loyd Utility Tractor experimental conversion

The machine gun is a Vickers Berthier (an unsuccesful BREN competitor). The front area of the Carden Loyd MG Carrier was armoured and the mounting could be folded up to allow the driver to fire the gun from the vehicle.
The tractor was fitted with 4-cyl. gasoline engine and 5-speed gearbox. In its regular guise it was a humble workhorse:

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Radio Age

Photographer's daughter with home-built radio
by Alexander Rodchenko

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Zep Diner

The Zep Diner in Los Angeles, California was part of the airship craze of the 1920′s and 1930′s.
The Graf Zeppelin visited Los Angeles during its 1929 Round-the-World flight, and the most famous American dirigible was the U.S.S. Los Angeles.
The Zep Diner was located at 515 W. Florence Avenue in Los Angeles, near the intersection with S. Figueroa. The location is now the parking lot of a McDonald’s.


Monday, April 4, 2011

Transatlantic Giant

This large quadrimotor flying boat, a joint venture of Caproni and Reggiane (usually listed as Ca.8000), was designed during WWII, intended for transatlantic passenger / mail service. The project has been aborted in 1944.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Practical Kitchen

Artist: Helen Haasbauer-Walrath

via pour15minutesdamour

Delage V12 Labourdette Vutotal

In 1937 Delage, Delahaye and STAS decided to created a closed Grand Prix car. Louis Delage had his engineer Albert Lory build a new 4.5 liter prototype engine on a Delahaye 135 chassis.
Fitted was a spectacular body that was designed by Jean Andreau. His wooden model was then sent to the workshop of Carroserrie Labourdette where Jean Henri Labourdette manufactured the body and used his patented Vutotal glass windshield.
As #4, it participated in the 1937 French Grand Prix, but was damaged during practice. It was then repaired and repainted in two-tone for the Paris Auto Show. Afterwards its body was removed for more standard coachwork. The new body debuted at Brooklands but was destroyed in a lethal crash.

Info: Richard Owen @

Friday, April 1, 2011

Crystal Radio

A medium wave crystal radio receiver,
manufactured by Heliogen in Germany

The coil of wire (left) is the tuning coil. It is wound in a "basket-weave" pattern to reduce resistance at radio frequencies. In front of it in the glass tube is the cat's whisker detector, consisting of a crystal of galena touched by a fine wire, which extracts the audio signal from the radio frequency carrier wave. In front of that is the tuning nob, connected to an adjustable capacitor which is used to tune in different stations.

Text & image: Badseed @ Wikimedia Commons