Dieselpunk + Steampunk Culture

Lord_k's Article – April 2011 Archive (30)

French Flying Gunships

Back to the story of aircraft-mounted cannons:

Voisin airplanes were only a beginning. The cannons were mounted on a number of other flying machines. An extract from The Cannon Pioneers by Anthony G Williams:

"The Breguet 5Ca2 (see above) was also originally fitted with a 37 mm cannon for bomber escort purposes, as was the Caudron…


Added by lord_k on April 30, 2011 at 7:00am — No Comments

Lord K's Garage - #86. Opel Rocket Motorcycle

When it comes to rocket propulsion, a bike is seldom mentioned. But why?

Let me introduce a 1920s rocket two-wheeler - and a brilliant article by Paul d'Orleans / The Vintagent (sure many of you are familiar with his blog).

"It's summertime, and a young man's fancy turns to... attaching rockets to his motorcycle! Except, in each of these cases, a middle-aged man is actually…


Added by lord_k on April 29, 2011 at 6:30am — 5 Comments

Soviet Tobacco Art

This poster is an interesting mix of old and new:

A Russian proletarian dressed after a pre-Revolution fashion (visor cap + silk blouse + striped trousers + high boots) is riding a cigarette made by state-owned factory, with state-owned Mosselprom grocery store in the background. The brand name awarded with such a bombastic presentation is not too impressive - just Pachka ("Pack"). 1920s at their best.

This working-class guy is advertising a…


Added by lord_k on April 28, 2011 at 6:30am — No Comments

Finnish "Lighthouse Battleships"

Väinämöinen and Ilmarinen were the largest ships of Finnish Navy.

During the early inter-war period, the Finnish Navy consisted of some 30 ex-Russian vessels. Most of these were old and in bad shape, and the types were not ideal for requirements of the navy as they mostly had been taken as war-trophies following the civil war. In 1925, a tragic incident highlighted the sorry state of the navy. An old torpedo boat was lost in a fierce storm,…


Added by lord_k on April 27, 2011 at 6:30am — 2 Comments

Horizontal Skyscrapers

Moscow, 1920s. Strange structure above a tram stop. Haven't you seen it before?

Try to remember... No? OK, I'm not playing games any more. It's a photocollage. Such structures exist but not in Moscow, built much later. But they stem out of 1920s proposal made by El (Lazar) Lissitzky (1890-1941), a giant of Russian and international Avant-garde. In a week or two we'll have a good chance to talk about Lissitzky multi-faceted personality, his influence and…


Added by lord_k on April 26, 2011 at 6:30am — 4 Comments

Frederick Blakeslee's Air Pulp

Today we honor a brilliant Diesel Era artist who was considered among the best of his peers.

Frederick Manley Blakeslee was born December 4, 1898 in Buffalo, NY. He studied mechanical drafting and basic art training at the Albright Art School in Buffalo. He worked from 1915 to 1920 in the drafting department of the Curtiss Aeroplane Factory, which was only three blocks from his family home. He was transferred to a Brooklyn factory in 1921, and afterwards…


Added by lord_k on April 25, 2011 at 6:30am — 2 Comments

Sunday Streamline #29: Dreyfuss Rockets

These steam locomotives, hauling the most famous American express train, are the ultimate Diesel Era icons.

No other "steam-stream" design is so eye-catching. No other can be called a synonym of streamlining. Yes, among its contemporaries are true masterpieces like the Milwaukee Hiawatha…


Added by lord_k on April 24, 2011 at 8:00am — 3 Comments

Knights of the Air: Made in Hungary

Has it ever occurred to you that the most bizarre aircraft of the Great War were designed in Austro-Hungarian Empire?

Actually, these aircraft were designed in the Transleithanian part of the realm, by the Magyar Lloyd Repülőgép és motorgyár Részvény-Társaság (Hungarian Lloyd Aircraft and Motor Works, Inc.). Its main product, the C-Series observer/recce planes, were quite conventional.…


Added by lord_k on April 23, 2011 at 6:30am — 7 Comments

Lord K's Garage - #85. Avions Voisin

A lady and a car:

“Kiki de Montparnasse languishing in the passenger seat of Man Ray's Voisin 10 CV C7, 1928 (ca.) Kiki was Man Ray’s lover during the 20’s of the last century, and it is her back we see in Man Ray’s famous work ‘Le Violon d’Ingres’, 1924, (Getty Museum)." Well, Man Ray (who took this photo) surely deserves a special article, as well as his muse Alice Prin aka Kiki.…


Added by lord_k on April 22, 2011 at 6:30am — 1 Comment

Fáa di Bruno, a Quarter-Dreadnought

Have you ever heard of an Italian monitor?

Here's one, called by Rt. Hon. Sir Percival Poppycock, KCIE, Vice Commodore of the Royal Tasmanian Yacht Squadron "one of the ugliest warships ever" (I'm sure many of us would subscribe to this point of view). The monitor is the subject of enlightening article published @ cityofart.net, reproduced here with some minor additions from…


Added by lord_k on April 21, 2011 at 6:30am — 4 Comments

Soviet Advertising, 1930s

Let us begin with sturgeon, a gracious fish that brings caviar to the people of means.

This poster was printed in 1932, promoting Russian delicacies worldwide. In the Land of Soviets there was no need for commercial ads. Since 1920s (reviewed last week) the situation has…


Added by lord_k on April 20, 2011 at 6:30am — 2 Comments

Tempelhof: A Story of an Airport

Good things happen too. In my search for rare planes I stumbled upon a long, lavishly illustrated article. I am sure it belongs here.

At 11:55 pm on the October 30, 2008 the last two aircraft, a DC-3 of the Air Service Berlin and a Ju-52 of the Lufthansa, simultaneously took off from the both runways of the airport... The Berlin City Airport Tempelhof closed its gates forever. The airport mostly known for the "Big Airlift" existed over 85 years and was closed by decision…


Added by lord_k on April 19, 2011 at 7:30am — 3 Comments

Frank Tinsley's Atomic Punk

The art of Frank Tinsley is a near-perfect visualization of Dieselpunk and accompanying sub-genres.

Last week we've seen his Bill Barnes covers, glorifying aviation and aviators. These "pulp" images made before the advent of toothbrush (not to mention computer graphics!) would make a lot of present-day "serious illustrators" bite their lips (and / or nails) in…


Added by lord_k on April 18, 2011 at 6:30am — 9 Comments

Sunday Streamline #28: Loewy Torpedoes

Meet Mr. Raymond Loewy and his new brainchild: the K4 streamliner.

Probably someone will call it a "second-hand Rose": new shrouding fitted to an old choo-choo. Well, the locomotive isn't new, it worked hard for several years before receiving this fantastic outfit. Is it a sin? I am amused by the endless argument between aficionados of two long-defunct railways, the PRR and New York…


Added by lord_k on April 17, 2011 at 6:30am — 2 Comments

Knights of the Air: Sky Cannons

In HG Wells' "The World Set Free" (1914) flying machines deliver nuclear bombs but their pilots' heaviest defence / attack weapon is a handgun.

The plot is set in 1940s. But reality was well ahead the writer's imagination. If Mr. Wells took a better look around he could notice a flying machine armed with something serious - a cannon. Here is a short extract from "The Cannon Pioneers" by Anthony G…


Added by lord_k on April 16, 2011 at 6:00am — 2 Comments

Lord K's Garage - #84. Ralph Schenck Streamliner

A 1940 superfast hotrod suitable for any superhero of the era.

Little is known about this fantastic machine. Hot Rods on Line tells us: "Ralph Schenck had raced a roadster at the dry lakes in the 1930's, and in 1939 he decided to build a streamliner. He designed the body (reminiscent of the Harry Miller Submarine car) and built the chassis and frame while Joaquin Grosso…


Added by lord_k on April 15, 2011 at 6:00am — 4 Comments

Soviet Advertising, 1920s

Is there a place for commercial art in a "classic" Socialist society?

The obvious answer is "no". Everything's nationalized, planned and centralized, thus eliminating competition between manufacturers, services and brands. So what's left to advertise? But this answer is obvious only to those who do not understand the needs of such society and its rulers. There's still a need to promote important, although not compulsory, initiatives like investment into government bonds*…


Added by lord_k on April 14, 2011 at 5:00am — 11 Comments

De Ruyter: A Short Story

HNLMS De Ruyter was a light cruiser of the Royal Netherlands Navy, the only ship of her class.

She was originally designed as a 5000-ton ship with a lighter armament due to financial problems and the pacifist movement. Later in the design stage an extra gun turret was added and the armor was improved. Displacement was increased to 6545 ton (standard; 7500 full). She was the seventh ship of the Dutch Navy to be named after Admiral Michiel de Ruyter,…


Added by lord_k on April 13, 2011 at 7:00am — No Comments

Edificio Carrión, Madrid

This Art Deco buiding stands in the centre of the Spanish capital.

It was built in Callao Square between 1931 and 1933 by Luis Martínez-Feduchi Ruiz and Vicente Eced y Eced for Enrique Carrión y Vecín, Marquess de Melín, an aristocrate-businessman. The building was widely advertised long before the start of construction.…


Added by lord_k on April 12, 2011 at 6:00am — 4 Comments

Frank Tinsley's Winged World

Today we honor a talented pulp artist whose paintings combine imagination with technical accuracy.

Francis Xavier Theban Tinsley was born November 29, 1899 in Manhattan, New York City. His father was Francis B. Tinsley, who immigrated from England and owned his own wholesale coal yard. His mother was Gertrude R. Theban, who was born in NYC of German,…


Added by lord_k on April 11, 2011 at 6:30am — 6 Comments

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