Sunday, September 30, 2012


Decoration on a building at the corner of Av Afonso Pena & Rua Espirito Santo in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil

Photo by David Thompson (dct66), on Flickr

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Forgotten Streamliner

Maserati 4CL was a voiturette-class racing car, powered by a 1491 cc 4-cylinder inline engine.
Nine were built. Only one (shown) had a futuristic streamlined bodywork.
This car, driven by Luigi Villoresi, raced at Tripoli Grand Prix, 1939.
It did not finish the race due to engine/gearbox problems.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

No Blue Riband Today

SS Albert Ballin was a 20,815grt ocean liner of the Hamburg-America Line (HAPAG) launched in 1923 and named after Albert Ballin, visionary director of the line who had committed suicide several years earlier.
Albert Ballin was built by Blohm & Voss in Hamburg, and served on the Hamburg-New York City route. In 1928 a tourist class was added.
Originally built as a 16 knot ship, the engines were replaced in 1929 resulting in a speed of 19 knots. In 1934 she was lengthened by 50 feet, and speed increased again, this time to 21.5 knots.
In 1935, Nazi government ordered the ship renamed to Hansa (Ballin having been Jewish). Hansa's last Atlantic crossing was in 1939. In 1945, she was employed to evacuate Gdynia, but on 6 March hit a mine off Warnemünde and sank.
The wreck was raised and rebuilt by the Soviet Union around 1949, and renamed Sovetsky Soyuz, becoming the largest passenger ship operating under the Soviet flag. From 1955 she operated between Vladivostok and points in the Far East. She served until 1981.

Photos: ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems (1), Oldimages @ Flickr (2, 3)

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Build You a Thunderbolt

Construction of George Eyston record car, the Thunderbolt, a six-wheeler designed for Bonneville Salt Flats. In this car, Capt. Eyston set three land speed records: 312.00 mph (502.12 km/h) on November 19, 1937; 345.50 mph (556.03 km/h) on August 27, 1938; 357.50 mph (575.34 km/h) on September 15, 1938.

See Speed is Dieselpunk @ Dieselpunk Encyclopedia (NEW!)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Under the Belly

Two shots of the V-4 airship gondola, early 1930s. Above, E.M. Oppman (commander) with flight students. Below, A.F. Pomerantsev (commander, second from the right) with flight technician, flight student and pilot.
Photos from E.M. Oppman archive (Source)

Built in 1930, the V-4 (СССР В-4) Komsomolskaya Pravda was a non-rigid airship powered by a single 185hp BMW IIIa engine. Modernized in 1932 (enclosed gondola, other improvements), she served until 1934.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Contender

Designed to win the 1929 Schneider Trophy and powered by a 1,798hp W-18 Asso engine, Macchi M.67 was an unlucky craft. Three were built. One crashed during the test flight, killing its pilot, Captain G. Motta. Two other M.67s entered the Schneider race at Calshot, UK - but had to quit due to engine and radiator problems.

See Speed is Dieselpunk @ Dieselpunk Encyclopedia (NEW!)

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Friday, September 21, 2012


Voigtländer Bessa

This gorgeous German 6x9 folding camera is from the late 1930s or early 1940s, and isn't even a rangefinder: you get to measure the distance to your subject (though thankfully there's a handy DoF table on the back).
Winding is also fully manual, meaning you have to judge when you've wound the film far enough for a new frame, while not overlapping the previous exposure.
It does, however, give you the option to shoot 6x4.5 instead of 6x9, complete with a flip-up mask in the viewfinder. Brilliantly designed, especially for its age.

Text and photo: by Dan Rubin @ Flickr

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Anti-War Stamps

Two stamps of the "Anti-War Series" issued in January 1935 to commemorate the 20th anniversary of WWI.

Designer: I. Ganf

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

A Million-Dollar Look

The front end of a streamlined locomotive sitting in Shaffer's Crossing yard.
Location: Roanoke, VA, US
Date taken: September 1946
Photographer: Thomas D. Mcavoy

© Time Inc.

Read about Norfolk and Western Railway's J-class @

(Actually, it took a quarter of a million to build a post-war J engine. But the looks!..)

Monday, September 17, 2012

Minerva Cars

Leo Marfurt, 1931

In 1908, Minerva got a worldwide Knight Engine license. The Knight motor developed by Charles Yale Knight in the United States used double sleeve valves and ran almost silently. All future Minervas would use these engines. Sporting successes continued with the new engines including the Austrian Alpine Trials and Swedish Winter Trials. Customers included the kings of Belgium, Sweden and Norway and Henry Ford. After World War I, during which Sylvain de Jong and his engineers had headed to Amsterdam where they kept on developing parts, they returned to restart the production of luxury cars in 1920 with 20CV 3.6 litre 4 cylinder and 30CV 5.3 litre six cylinder models. The constructor's star rose in the United States as well where American filmstars, politicians and industrials liked the cars. The car had the same qualities as the Rolls-Royce, but was a little cheaper. In 1923 smaller models were introduced with the 2 litre four cylinder 15CV and 3.4 litre six cylinder 20CV with standard four wheel brakes. For 1927 there was a replacement for the 30CV with the 6 litre AK and also a new 2 litre six with the 12-14. Large cars continued to be something of a speciality and in 1930, the then almost compulsory for the time, straight eight was introduced in two sizes, the 6.6 litre AL and the 4 litre AP.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Friday, September 14, 2012

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Deco Stamps

Soviet 'World Spartakiade' series, 1935
Artist: VV Zavyalov

The World Spartakiade games, intended to be a 'proletarian' answer to the 'bourgeois' Olympics, were canceled.

Monday, September 10, 2012

1933 Granville Gee-Bee Atlanta Indy 500 concept

A couple of lines regarding this design were published (together with the drawing above) on whatifmodelers forum in 2008:
Granville and crew worked on the design in 1933 and it was intended for the 1934 Indianapolis 500, 'twas not to be as 3-wheelers did not fit the definition of car used by the Speedway.

Sunday, September 9, 2012


Designed by Umberto Nobile and made available for Roald Amundsen and his expedition, the Norge was the first aircraft to fly over the polar ice cap between Europe and America. She reached the North Pole on May 12, 1926.

via :ray @ Flickr

See "Airshp is Dieselpunk" @ Dieselpunk Encyclopedia (NEW!)

Friday, September 7, 2012

Flyin' High

Max Widenhoeft flight, Tempelhof aifield, Berlin
ca. 1932

Actually, Herr Wiedenhoeft built and raced a Raketenrad (rocket-propelled bike) but never flew it. The photo should be a collage, probably using this photograph.
Read more

Photo: Het Leven collection

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Poison Gas Booklet

A small booklet issued by the Union of Democratic Affairs to illustrate the danger posed by poison gas. the 1930s were jittery years for many as the almost inexorable feeling that war was coming was heightened by written works and films (such as HG Wells The World to Come). This booklet is distinguished by having a cover designed by the well-known artist Edward MacKnight Kauffer. There can be no denying the boldness - and directness of the artwork.


via mickeyashworth @ Flickr

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Two Bridges

Robert LaDuke. Shortcut. 2006

Robert LaDuke. Shortcut. 2006

See The Streamlined World of Robert LaDuke @ Dieselpunk Encyclopedia (NEW!)

Monday, September 3, 2012

Sunday, September 2, 2012


Door, Palais de Tokyo (Musée d'art moderne de la Ville de Paris)
Trocadero, Paris 16e


Architects: Jean-Claude Dondel, André Aubert, Paul Viard, Marcel Dastugue 
Sculptor: André Bizette-Lindet

Photo by Jamie Barras @ Flickr

Saturday, September 1, 2012