Dieselpunk + Steampunk Culture

Lord_k's Article – March 2011 Archive (28)

It Happened Here

1944. Wehrmacht soldiers marching through London, German police band playing "Horst Wessel" in Trafalgar Square...

Of all 'what if?'s, the fuel for alternate history, the most important is 'what if Germany has won the war?' Imagine the United Kingdom sharing the fate of France and other Nazi-occupied countries. More than half a century ago, two young Englishmen started to imagine. Kevin Brownlow and Andrew Mollo were their names. It took them eight years to…


Added by lord_k on March 31, 2011 at 6:00am — 5 Comments

Dutch Modernism: Willem Marinus Dudok

Today, a few works of an architect whose name is seldom mentioned outside his home country, the Netherlands.

Willem Marinus Dudok was born on 6 July 1884, in Amsterdam. In 1905 he began his military service with the Engineering Regiment in Utrecht as a Second Lieutenant and later served in Amsterdam supervising the fortification works. In 1913 he retired from the Army and was…


Added by lord_k on March 30, 2011 at 7:00am — 4 Comments

The Smallest Dreadnoughts

Here is a story of an unusual and unlucky battleship class that failed to revive the Great Armada glory.

Of course the term "pocket battleship" was invented to label the German Deutschland class. But two lesser sea powers can claim the copyright: one of them is Greece with its ill-fated…


Added by lord_k on March 29, 2011 at 7:00am — 2 Comments

The Art of A.M. Cassandre

It's time to present the most influential European graphic artist of the Diesel Era, a man who created scores of iconic images.

Cassandre is Dieselpunk. Just start to explore the Interbellum, and you'll be immediately welcomed by his travel posters. Just start to search an appropriate font for your latest Dieselpunk artwork, and you'll come across his typefaces. You may never heard of Adolphe Jean Marie Mouron aka Cassandre but you certainly recognize his…


Added by lord_k on March 28, 2011 at 7:00am — 5 Comments

Sunday Streamline #25: Polish Medalist

In August 1936, Polish government commissioned an experimental class of two Pacific (4-6-2) locomotives.

The decision to build a locomotive of the future was made by Polish authorities to celebrate 20 years of independent Polish State Railways (PKP), created right after the Armistice from parts of Austro-Hungarian, Prussian, Saxonian and Russian railways, - and also to prove the domestic industry's capability to supply world-class quality products.

To prove the capacity…


Added by lord_k on March 27, 2011 at 7:30am — 8 Comments

Knights of the Air: Davis Gun

Speaking of Death from Above, we cannot ignore a recoilless gun developed by Commander Cleland Davis, USN, between 1910 and 1914.

Here I feel like invading Redfezwriter's realm but hope we won't fight about a gun. Let's open an old but still excellent book, "The Machine Gun" by…


Added by lord_k on March 26, 2011 at 7:00am — 7 Comments

Lord K's Garage - #81. Gals on Bikes

Don't you think our Garage is too serious lately? Relax:

Here are 14 photographs of beautiful ladies and their magnificent two-wheel machines, borrowed from steampunkvehicles @ tumblr. Usually I select pictures of much higher quality for this weekly column, but here quality is definitely not the reason to hide the beauty from your eyes, dear friends.

Three examples:…


Added by lord_k on March 25, 2011 at 6:00am — 6 Comments

Palais de Chaillot, Paris

The palace was built in 1937 as a centerpiece of the Exposition Internationale (Paris World Fair).

Nearly sixty years before, the Palais du Trocadéro was built here for the 1878 World Fair. The palace's form was that of a large concert hall with two wings and two towers; its style was a mixture of exotic and historical references, generally called "Moorish" but with some Byzantine elements. The architect was Gabriel Davioud:…


Added by lord_k on March 23, 2011 at 6:30am — No Comments

Flat Tops and Cone Tops

No aircraft carriers and missiles today, just beer & soda cans.

If canned food is the Steam Era child, canned beverages were introduced in the Diesel Era. Technicians at the American Can Company, even before prohibition, began toying with the idea of putting beer in a can. As early as 1929, Anheuser-Busch and Pabst experimented with the canning process. Schlitz even proposed a can design that looked like a small barrel. The major problem the early researchers were…


Added by lord_k on March 21, 2011 at 7:00am — 11 Comments

Sunday Streamline #24: Manchurian Candidates

Today, the streamliners arrive from the most unexpected place: Manchuria.

A bit of history: in 1932, Japan created a puppet Manchu State, formally separating Manchuria (occupied by the Japanese forces a year before) from China. In 1934, the Great Manchu Empire was proclaimed, with Puyi of the Qing Dynasty (remember Bertolucci's The Last Emperor?) as a…


Added by lord_k on March 20, 2011 at 8:00am — 1 Comment

Knights of the Air: Flight over Vienna

The Flight over Vienna was an epic action performed by Italian poet and nationalist Gabriele D'Annunzio on 9 August 1918.

He was planning it as early as in 1917, but his dream to fly over the enemy capital together with his friends Maurizio Pagliano and Luigi Gori (see Poetic Bombers) shattered when their Ca.3 bomber was shot by Benno Fiala von Fernbrugg on…


Added by lord_k on March 19, 2011 at 10:00am — 1 Comment

Lord K's Garage - #80. Duesenberg J Graber Cabriolet

Mighty Duesy chassis happily married to streamline Swiss body:

Duesenberg J doesn't need a lengthy presentation. This car, powered by a 419.6 cu in (6.876 liter) straight-eight, is the Diesel Era icon. And what about the Graber Cabriolet? Wouter Melissen…


Added by lord_k on March 18, 2011 at 6:00am — 1 Comment

Transatlantic Diesels

Today, a pair of Transatlantic liners, the first diesel-powered passenger ships of respectable displacement (27,000 grt) and the last built for the famous White Star Line.

When the Cunard Line and the French Line started off with their projects of building the Queen Mary and the Normandie, the White Star Line too wanted to compete. They presented plans of a ship with a thousand feet in length, and a speed to rival the ship’s two competitors. The ship was…


Added by lord_k on March 17, 2011 at 6:30am — 1 Comment

1923 Great Kantō Earthquake

Disaster. No matter when and where, it always looks the same.

Watching news from Japan I can't help thinking about the great 1923 earthquake that destroyed Tokyo and Yokohama, killing 105 thousand (official data, 2005). About 40 thousand Japanese and foreigners were proclaimed missing, their remnants never found. Hundreds were killed in ethnic clashes that began in the aftermath of the quake, sparked by wild rumors.…


Added by lord_k on March 16, 2011 at 6:30am — 9 Comments

Italian Magazine Covers

Early 1930s, before the Abyssinian War. Magazines are packed with ads.

Of course, we've seen some spectacular examples of Italian advertising. But this set, brought to us by vespavbb1963 @ Flickr, is something…


Added by lord_k on March 15, 2011 at 6:30am — No Comments

Sunday Streamline #23: Henschel-Wegmann Train

Today, a steam competitor of diesel streamliners:

The Henschel-Wegmann Train was a unique passenger express train operated by the Deutsche Reichsbahn in Germany, which ran non-stop express services between Berlin and Dresden from June 1936 to August 1939. Both the DRG Class 61 steam locomotive at its head as well as the coaches were streamlined.

At the beginning of the 1930s, the Deutsche Reichsbahn-Gesellschaft was increasingly striving to…


Added by lord_k on March 13, 2011 at 8:00am — 5 Comments

Knights of the Air: Sopwith Triplane

Today, the first operational triplane fighter of the Great War:

Less famous than German Fokker Dr.I (the last mount of Manfred 'Red Baron' von Richthofen), the Sopwith Triplane was used in combat by the Royal Naval Air Service. The stack of three wings reduced wingspan and increased wing area making it handle and climb better than biplanes. Visibility from the cockpit was outstanding but it was slower and less heavily armed than it's German opponents.…


Added by lord_k on March 12, 2011 at 7:30am — 1 Comment

Lord K's Garage - #79. Impéria Strikes Back

Today, a brand-new car, techlogically advanced, environment-friendly - and heavily influenced by the Diesel Era aesthetics.

It's called Impéria GP, reviving a well-respected name (see below). The concept, announced in 2008, was finally presented in Bruxelles last February. The exterior styling of the car is based on classic British sports cars, similar to what Wiesmann and Morgan are doing; under the classic shell is all-new state of the art…


Added by lord_k on March 11, 2011 at 10:00am — 9 Comments

Great Lakes Aircraft Carriers

1943. Two flattop paddlewheelers are steaming across Lake Michigan...

... Isn't it the perfect steampunk fantasy? Probably it is. But they were real. USS Wolverine and Sable, converted from excursion paddle wheel steamships (one of them with coal-firing boilers!), served on the Great Lakes during WWII. Here is their story, told by…


Added by lord_k on March 10, 2011 at 6:30am — 4 Comments

Via the North Pole!

Today, a glorious airplane, a striking symbol of the international "range race".

The ANT-25 was designed as the result of a recommendation by Kliment Voroshilov (the head of Soviet People's Army & Navy Commissariate) to the RVS (Revolutionary Military Council) on December 7, 1931, to build an aircraft for long range flights. The aircraft was designed by the brigade of the Experimental Aircraft Design Department of TsAGI lead by Pavel Sukhoi under the…


Added by lord_k on March 9, 2011 at 6:30am — 2 Comments

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