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Thread: High-quality black-and-white photographs of large old machines and tools

  1. #501
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    It reminds me of three freight elevators we had at our "old plant" we abandoned in 1977 when I built a new plant in Denver for Portadrill manufacturing company (formerly the Winter-Weiss Company) which ran off a block-long section of line shaft. They were installed in 1878! Originally there was a large steam engine that ran five blocks running everything for an early Denver company called McFinnity-McGee company which had a large millworks (wood), paint, glass & mirror works, and everything else imaginable. The company closed down in 1935 and the steam engine removed, and many sections of the line shaft removed for electric motors. I wish I'd been able to see that setup. Those elevators were in three sections of a long narrow building which was originally built in 1868 for the Denver-Pacific RR. The boiler was a 150 hp Kewanee "Portable boiler", meaning that it was a free standing locomotive style return flue boiler, not "bricked in". It was, along with a smaller boiler, used to heat the plant.

    At my grandfather's and father's jewelry store near the Capitol building on Broadway they shared a basement with a luggage company, which was accessed with a hand operated freight elevator. A large 1 inch rope ran over about an 8 foot pulley which would lift an amazing load with some reduction gearing The luggage company used it a lot, our family's manufacturing/retail jewelry business had very little use for it. I didn't have much interest in the jewelry business but my much younger brother really has become a fine custom jeweler and has carried on the business my grandfather started in 1919.

    As to a water powered elevator I never had anything to do with one but I knew of them. Yes, they were still around and they ran on city water pressure. Water was more plentiful before the city expanded to much. I did have some experience with an old church pipe organ that had a water powered blower! Ordinarily it couldn't be heard in the sanctuary unless a lot of stops were pulled using more wind.

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  3. #502

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    Quote Originally Posted by hemmjo View Post
    I do agree that kind of thing can be dangerous, but any reasonable person can clearly see the danger and be smart enough stay away from it. "Back in the day", people were smart enough to not stick their fingers into places were they did not belong. The open gears allowed the operator to monitor the lubrication situation and to reapply when necessary.

    ..............................
    I don't completely disagree with you about people being 'smart enough to not stick their fingers were they don't belong, but I don't completely agree either.

    Case in point: My Dad, (born 1916) was a hugely intelligent guy, member of Mensa (yeah, he was in the top 2% of the population in terms of IQ), widely read, knowledgable on a wide range of subjects, and very very good with his hands. Carpentry, mechanical, etc.

    He spent some time in the early 50's working in lumbermills in Vermont; This was way before OSHA & other such bothers, obviously. One time he was operating a veneer shear in a plywood plant, and had a female partner at the other end of the 8 ft. plus bed to help move the sheets under & away from the huge blade. Operating switch was next to his knee, all he had to do to cut was to flex his leg a bit and the blade would cycle. He had to keep yelling at his partner to not put her hands under the blade to clear out debris. He got tired of that pretty quick, not wanting to take her fingers off. He walked up to the foreman and told her to 'get that dumb cow off my machine before she gets her because of her own stupidity!!'

    Now the real point: He once reached into the middle to pick up a stack of 8 ft long 2x4's coming off a 4 ft diameter circular blade. He heard the blade go 'TING!!' in that way saw blades do. Dropped the stack, looked at his left hand and his middle finger had a small chunk taken out at the last knuckle, on the ring-finger side. Didn't separate the end, just took a divot about 10% across. Finger was saved, but for the rest of his days his middle finger did a little side-track at that joint. Made him giving The Finger an interesting visual.

    Yup. Mensa material. Always safety conscious. And just a moment of lapsed attention marked him forever.

    It's not like dumb people are dumb all the time, and smart people all the time. it's easy to be really really smart and still do dumb things, or have someone else's dumb thing hurt you.

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  5. #503
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    The fingers of my left hand are a bit mangled because of a momentary fit of complacency while working with a table saw. It only takes a moment.

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  7. #504
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    Quote Originally Posted by kb4mdz View Post
    I don't completely disagree with you about people being 'smart enough to not stick their fingers were they don't belong, but I don't completely agree either.

    Case in point: My Dad, (born 1916) was a hugely intelligent guy, member of Mensa (yeah, he was in the top 2% of the population in terms of IQ), widely read, knowledgable on a wide range of subjects, and very very good with his hands. Carpentry, mechanical, etc.

    He spent some time in the early 50's working in lumbermills in Vermont; This was way before OSHA & other such bothers, obviously. One time he was operating a veneer shear in a plywood plant, and had a female partner at the other end of the 8 ft. plus bed to help move the sheets under & away from the huge blade. Operating switch was next to his knee, all he had to do to cut was to flex his leg a bit and the blade would cycle. He had to keep yelling at his partner to not put her hands under the blade to clear out debris. He got tired of that pretty quick, not wanting to take her fingers off. He walked up to the foreman and told her to 'get that dumb cow off my machine before she gets her because of her own stupidity!!'

    Now the real point: He once reached into the middle to pick up a stack of 8 ft long 2x4's coming off a 4 ft diameter circular blade. He heard the blade go 'TING!!' in that way saw blades do. Dropped the stack, looked at his left hand and his middle finger had a small chunk taken out at the last knuckle, on the ring-finger side. Didn't separate the end, just took a divot about 10% across. Finger was saved, but for the rest of his days his middle finger did a little side-track at that joint. Made him giving The Finger an interesting visual.

    Yup. Mensa material. Always safety conscious. And just a moment of lapsed attention marked him forever.

    It's not like dumb people are dumb all the time, and smart people all the time. it's easy to be really really smart and still do dumb things, or have someone else's dumb thing hurt you.
    The fingers of my left hand are a bit mangled because of a momentary fit of complacency while working with a table saw. It only takes a moment.

  8. #505
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    I will not argue with any of the previous points. I have also had a few momentary lapses over the years as well. Fortunately I still have all of my parts. But MANY if the rules imposed in the name of safety are out of line. People have come to expect everything to be totally safe.

    Life is not like that, NO NONE gets out of this game alive!!

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  10. #506
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    I have nothing mangled( except for the wifes car she mangles everything she drives) although I do have some scars...Ive never been tested for mensa, but I probably have it. and dum **** does happen at any body. like hoping on a riding lawnmower that we built a motor for and changed gear ratios so we could have a fast &fun tractor incase a gocart broke or got mangled or stuck....well I hoped on it to have some fun on halloween day 1973...about 20 min after my brother decided to see if it would cut grass...he put a blade on it, never befor had it a blade on it sinc we built it...and no blade gaurd was attached as he got hungry...I was out doing donuts and riding wheelies down the street having a blast...till he ran up yelling and screamning to the top of his lungs...so i stop stuf up and he told me he had put a blade on it...I shut it off and got off and almost half my foot was hanging off my favorite cowboy boots...that effing moron effed up my boots!!!! a few hours lator my foot was reatached works perfectly barley see a scar.but the boot was a gonner. 3 days lator(saturday morning) I was hobbeling on crutches with big heavy cast so the bones could grow back togeather..I was going out to see scooby doo....when I tripoed on the blanket I was raped on( cold in novemeber in northcarolina)and fell on a gitar amp taken apprt by my brother , with a sheet mettel edge sticking up....and a 2 " deep 4" long gash on my ass..... the look on the guys faces at the er at fort brag army base was priceless, same guys that put my foot back on, mom said I better explane it to them. then there was the landing in a pine tree top off a cliff 40" in the air that broke my collar bone....( motor cycle related..brothers motorcycle at that, the chain broke going up), then there was the cressent wrench that the mill tried to stick through my head...ok well that ONE was my fault ,the right hand is in fact faster than the brain...or the left hand. **** happens,nomater how smert you thunk you R. and going to school on a extreamly toxic US government chemical agent orange waste dump in a us government DOD school didnt help things....so I can claim the new wave exscuse's. wasent my fault....well 1 was. always remember **** happens. ( on another note, my brother keeps a field medic kit close to sew on body parts when ever needed to....and has done so many times to him and other including my daughters pet silkie chicken that some critter riped wide open with her guts hanging out, a few months lator she was back to laying eggs and flying. never coukld see any scars under the feathers. many chunks of chicken were missing.they all seemed to of grown back. always be prepared for any thing that may come your way.ANYTHING!!

  11. #507
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    I am from a construction background and I would say that every safety regulation in the book was written in blood. Every one of them.

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  13. #508
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    Oh Mark's bug! I don't know if I should call you "Lucky" or not.

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    I being 60 years old,lived around the world, started driving around 6 years old and building stuff too.lots of racing both 2 wheels and drag cars...have never wrecked a car.....too much time , blood and $$ in them to eff up. my machines are kept to look like new also. I built my 24x34 shop&12x16 2 story barn&12x12 toy shop for motorcycle&4 wheeler by my self with the exception of the slabs you should see my tile work!!! I do it all.I cant waste $$ on some moron that dont know what they are doing.( yes I have trust issues)

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  16. #510
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    Wheel lathe. Pittsburgh and Lake Erie Railroad Company. April, 1904.

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