Friday, January 20, 2017

Principal Operating Parts of the Remington Noiseless Portable typewriter

Have had a Remington Noiseless Portable typewriter for a while now. Given the age of such machines when acquired second-hand, not surprising this came without its user manual. Recently just happened to spot the right instruction leaflet on a well-known global auction site. Surprisingly (or not) nobody else spotted or wanted it, so here is the machine with an original user manual.

This is a single sheet. Opening up the leaflet a cut-corner and arrow on the page underneath make it clear to the reader that there's another page to open. (That explains the arrow on my leaflet for the Victor T; that also has the arrow, but lacked the cut-corner.)

Side-by-side all the principal operating parts of the typewriter are identified and given a brief explanation in the list below.

On the back of the leaflet of course some advertising for Remtico ribbons and special Noiseless carbon paper. Nicely put are paragraphs on things to do and on things not to do.

The leaflet when folded is 8" x 5½", from a single 16" by 11" sheet printed on both sides. Will be making a reproduction copy for keeping with the typewriter. Already below scans of both sides in fairly decent resolution.


Now what would be the chances of some Remtico Noiseless carbon paper turning up online...


Monday, January 9, 2017

Moteur à ressort

An instruction leaflet for the Meccano motor number 2 (reversing). The address in Paris was the French factory at that time. This grand building still stands, currently a school.

This sheet must've been supplied in the late twenties' with a dark-red clockwork number 2 motor that was also in the lot. The motor itself was at least as ravaged by time as this cheap-paper sheet. Rusty and without its spring - if only they'd stuck to the instructions as supplied :-)
(Supplying these instructions in French and Italian may not have helped...)

This is a clockwork motor built into a model. Painted dark blue, it is a slightly later specimen. Apart from its late thirties' colour-scheme it is identical to the motor the instructions were for. One other difference with that dark-red motor in the lot is of course that this one is still working fine.

The motor is used here as the basis of a farm tractor, from the 1930 book of new models.

The black and white illustration in the book really doesn't do it justice - lots of shiny brassware!

Friday, January 6, 2017

Spanning almost a century with spoked wheels

Loosely based on a model in the instruction manual, a small motorcar built from early nickel parts.

Ribbon added by the kids; it's quite robust to be played with too. Survives rollovers just fine. Probably just like the real motorcar of around 1920, just keep a screwdriver handy to fasten any bits that become loose or rattle.

This was a first using of a recently acquired set of spoked wheels (19a). These are marked 'fabriqué en Angleterre' as early twenties' parts and were in 'used' condition. Some careful bending, cyanoacrylate for loose bosses and India ink to make rusty-patches less glaring; again good to go for building.

The small wheels for headlamps are more recent, but the double-bent bracket with the rounded corners supposedly was made not later than '16. Amazing how well these parts can survive.

The flanged plates too are probably a century old. They've got the 1913 patent marking, but no Meccano stamping yet anywhere.

The bush wheels are also twenties' articles, with the 'fabriqué en Angleterre' marking.

Impressive how well all these bits have weathered a century - and can still be toyed with and played with too :-)

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Oy oy oy Jozsi

Shellac record...

Little surprise in a stack. A very 'chipper' record in a small stack of shellac records on the Imperial label. In an old box were about 15 records dating from around '32 from the German 'Imperial' company. Mostly popular songs from movies played by uncredited dance orchestras.

And this little gem.


Friday, December 30, 2016

Beige machine spotted

A beige and angular typewriter; Torpedo 'Cicero' in a shop.

Looked a bit dejected, three keys down.

To avoid any confusion, a small label explains that it is 'decoration' and not for sale. Either way, it is in a bit of a surprising spot. Placed in the cooking section next to the cutting boards. To be fair, also with cooking books. And it is a ''Chickpea' of course :)

Friday, December 16, 2016

Bausch & Lomb 32mm 4x objective

The newly acquired microscope came with two objectives on a three-position nosepiece. One empty spot to fill - ideally with a low power objective. The 10x objective is of the divisible kind, the lower portion can be unscrewed to change from a 10x to a 4x objective. (Snippet from the December 1939 issue of Popular Science.)

Even nicer would be to fit a 4x objective at the empty position. With the amazing global flea-market that is the internet, one such objective was found to be for sale. Even though it was located in Santa Barbara it was easily purchased and shipped with amazing speed to the Low Countries.

For being nearly 90 years old by now this objective is in fair shape, only one small blemish (nick) on the front lens. Whilst this will reduce sharpness in a part of the image, it is not in focus so not too damaging. This would probably make the objective be rejected for laboratory work, but for hobby-microscopy at low powers it is still fine.

To clean the objective, used demineralised water with a soft cloth. A 'camel-hair brush' to flick off larger dust or particles. When carefully wiping clean lens surfaces of 'condensed' dirt, regular tap water would evaporate and leave a thin film deposit on the lens. With demineralised water, it can be gently (!) wiped clean and dry.

With three objectives of the right pattern fitted in the nose-piece, it does look the part again. Also it now works fine for magnifications from 20x up to 430x. For practical, hobby use, that's plenty of power.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Fastening the iris screws

This is the item in the cleaned-up wooden case.

This is another Bausch & Lomb microscope. A biological microscope with a 3-position revolving nosepiece, condenser and simple stage with clips. Came with the original 5x and 10x eyepieces and a 43x and 10x (divisible) objectives. Overall in great shape, the finish is immaculate and all the glass still very clean. This instrument was used with care and the case did its job of protecting it very well.

From the serial number, this fine instrument was made by the optical craftsmen at Bausch & Lomb in 1939 in Rochester, NY.

One of the two small issues with the instrument was that the screws that hold the iris assembly together were loose - this is not an assembly you want to have to piece together again...

Three screws (arrow) around the circumference of the iris hold it together. These screws are however completely inaccessible in the assembled instrument. To get at the screws, the substage assembly with condenser, iris and filter-holder needs to be taken apart.

The mirror pulls out, it is held by split-end of its pin in a hole. The substage assembly then can be driven down off its rack and pinion. Then the iris assembly screws off the Abbe condenser. Because the iris lever fouls the substage frame, the condenser needs to be unscrewed from the frame first. For this, remove the three screws around the condenser flange (thus also loosing the alignment of the assembly with the tube).

The iris assembly again tightened, the whole is screwed together again and fitted back into the frame. With care, the dovetail slides back on and the pinion onto its rack. With the three screws in the condenser flange not quite tightened, the assembly can be centered again.

Compared to e.g. typewriters, there is surprisingly little information online on the repair and adjustment of these instruments. However for the centering of the condenser, there is a very helpful paragraph in the small booklet 'Use and Care of the Microscope' by Bausch.

With some tweaking, the substage is again nicely entered in the view.

The other small niggle is that the fine adjustment does not quite line up anymore. It all works fine, but even at the top of its range, the two lines do not line up. Maybe it had a knock at some time that pushed down the fine-adjustment pawl, or it got serviced and not lined up then. (The line on the arm is very faint, just above the line on the moving part of the coarse adjustment.)

Perhaps indeed from a servicing - the optics and adjustments are all fine. These parts are a bit too tricky for now to tamper with. Leaving it as it now is - a perfectly serviceable microscope!

One of the slides that was in a small box in the case; small intestine. This particular microscope will be great for the children to explore the world of the minute :)