Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Bank Deco

Old Banco de São Paulo building (Praça Antônio Prado, 9)
Inaugurated: 1938
Architect: Álvaro de Arruda Botelho

More info (Portuguese)

Photo: by J Felipe @ Flickr

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Streamlined Diesel Railbus

AW No. D15

A twin bogie diesel electric railcar, powered by an Armstrong-Saurer 6BLD 140 hp engine and Laurence Scott and Electromotors electrical equipment. The body was designed by Armstrong Whitworth but was fabricated by Park Royal Coachworks Ltd, London and delivered to Scotswood for fitting.

The caption from a period publicity brochure describes this as the Armstrong Whitworth Streamlined Light Weight Oil Engined Railbus. It is powered by either a 110 or 140hp Armstrong-Saurer engine and can hold 57 passengers and their luggage. If no luggage compartment was fitted then the seating capacity was for 71 passengers. The railbus is seen here at Kings Cross.

The railbus trialled on the LNER in the Tyneside area during the summer of 1933. The passenger compartment suffered from excessive engine noise, a wooden box structure and soundproofing material were added to address the problem, but the soundproofing material caught fire on a Newcastle - Carlisle working. On July 30th 1933 the railbus ran from Newcastle to Kings Cross, it spent several days working between London & Hertford before returning to Newcastle. In both directions 35 gallons of fuel were used, fuel consumption was 7.65mpg.

From September 25th 1933 the railbus worked in the Newcastle area on the western branches. It later included trips to Blackhill, Hexham and Morpeth. The LNER acquired the railbus on June 28th 1934 for GBP2,500 and renumbered to No.294. Other routes would include Scarborough and Hull - York - Selby - Pontefract service. The railbus was scrapped at Darlington during 1939.

This railcar was the basis for similar machines sent to the Kalka-Simla & Great Indian Peninsula Railways.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Friday, February 24, 2012

Broadway, Shanghai

Broadway Mansions Hotel

Designed by B. Flazer of Palmer & Turner company, the Broadway Mansions were built in 1930-1934 for Sir Victor Sassoon, it was the tallest building in Shanghai (19 floors, 255.9 ft). Renamed "Shanghai Mansions" in 1951, and "Anti-Imperialism building" in 1969, it reverted to its original name in 1996.

Photo by archhale2008 @ Flickr

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Dubonnet Xenia

This one-off Hispano-Suiza was commissioned by Andre Dubonnet in 1937 to showcase his company's latest suspension development. Andre Dubonnet was an accomplished aviator and racing driver. The Dubonnet family had amassed a fortune from the aperitifs and cognacs that continue to bear the family name.
The streamlined, aircraft inspired styling was done by aerodynamics expert Jean Andreau and Jacques Saoutchik crafted the body on a modified Hispano-Suiza H6B chassis. The car is equipped with unusual parallel-opening doors.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Wirgin Edinex

The Edinex viewfinder cameras for 35mm film were made by Gebr. Wirgin in Wiesbaden. The first model was certainly introduced in the mid-1930s. The same camera was also sold by Adox as the Adrette, released in the late 1930s.
Expensive models of the early Edinex and Adrette were offered with unit focusing and fast lenses, while cheaper models had slower front cell focusing lenses. In both cases, the lens and shutter unit is mounted on a telescopic tube.
Production of the camera was resumed after World War II.
Early Edinex, Schneider Xenon 4.5cm f/2, Compur-Rapid shutter.
A Japanese Walz rangefinder is mounted on the accessory post.
Photo by herrschmidtke @ Flickr

Monday, February 20, 2012

Deco Camouflage

Philips radio model 834A

This Art Deco radio was made in 1933 in the Netherlands. It's front is made of bakelite and it's sides (not shown) are made of a bakelite formica. The materials deliberately mimic wood grain, so the household newcomer could merge with the furniture.

Photo by galessa's plastics @ Flickr

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Modern Wonders

Cigarette vending machine delivering a lit cigarette for a penny

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Gorky Park

Ivan Shadr, Girl with an Oar
Moscow, 1930s

A spiral structure in the background is the famous parachute tower designed by Pavel Grokhovsky - a one-man brain trust who developed all kinds of innovative concepts, from an armored hovercar to rocket artillery devices.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Rue Cassini, 12

Apartment building in Paris XIVe
Architect: Charles Abella
Sculptor: Xavier Haas

Photo by I pharmer @ Flickr

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Bizarre, Weird or Just Unusual?

It's a Maybach. Yes, Maybach. No mistake.
Its full name is Maybach SW38 Stromllinien Cabriolet.
Body built in 1937 (or 1938) by Spohn, one of the finest German ateliers.
I don't know why the coachbuilders decided to imitate the Tatra 77 (three headlights, rounded nose, etc.)
But the result is quite bizarre. Or weird?..

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Friday, February 10, 2012

In-flight Entertainment

Cine projector onboard the ANT-20 Maxim Gorki
The 'flying cinema' was intended for something more serious than passengers' entertainment. Being the propaganda squadron flagship, Maxim Gorky delivered the latest newsreels and (probably) feature films to the periphery.

Read more about the ANT-20 @

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Chicago Noir

Benson & Rixon Co Department Store, Chicago

Architect: Alfred S. Alschuler

Photo via Patricksmercy @ Flickr

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Streamline Stuttgart

Built as Schocken department store in 1926-1928, this building was an icon of modern architecture and the trademark of its architect, Erich Mendelsohn.

Photographed in 1955, five years before demolition.

Via Harald HAEUSLER @ Flickr

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Gunner Position

Avia B 71 medium bomber (license-built Soviet SB)
Czechoslovak Air Force
ca. 1937

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Pilot Radio

Model X201 made in USA by the Pilot Radio Corporation, circa 1936. The design is attributed to Jan Streng, halfway between Streamlining and Art Deco.

Photo by galessa's plastics @ Flickr