Dieselpunk + Steampunk Culture

John L. Sands's Article – October 2011 Archive (9)

The Strange Case of the "Midnight Ghost"

Duesenberg ceased production in 1937 after Cord's financial empire collapsed. However, between 1937 and 1940, one automobile put the final touch to this historical marque. It it took three years to complete both the tailor-made interior and futuristic body. By command of the owner, it was to be painted in a two-tone grey paint scheme so it would look like a ghost in the…


Added by John L. Sands on October 30, 2011 at 8:00pm — 6 Comments

The Highest Alto

Although the alto saxophone has never been the popular solo instrument that the tenor has, it has created a few jazz giants. The great ones from the Dieselpunk Era include Johnny Hodges, Benny Carter, Charley Parker and Cannonball Adderley. This article will introduce you to Johnny Hodges whose friends and fans called, “Rabbit.” He was the artist that took an…


Added by John L. Sands on October 28, 2011 at 5:30pm — No Comments

Harmony with Machines

One of the keynotes of our Dieselpunk subculture would be the visit to the auto factories of Detroit by the Mexican muralist Diego Rivera. In 1932, at the height of the Great Depression, Rivera arrived in Detroit, where, at the behest of Henry Ford, he began a tribute to the American worker on the walls of the Detroit Institute of Arts.…


Added by John L. Sands on October 25, 2011 at 1:30pm — 5 Comments

The Tube that went Spro-ing!

The history of armor development has been plagued by the simultaneous development of armor-piercing projectiles. When I was eleven years old my family visited the American Museum of Natural History(the Met) in New York City. The most impressive exhibit was a 1700 pound pull crossbow that had a winch to draw the cable back and had to be fired from the prone position. It was from the year 1200 and was the predecessor of the ballista. Its bolt would skewer four armored horses…


Added by John L. Sands on October 20, 2011 at 10:00pm — No Comments

Lifting the Fog of War

“War is an area of uncertainty; three quarters of the things on which all action in War is based on are lying in a fog of uncertainty to a greater or lesser extent.”

-Carl von Clausewitz,1806

The two ways of gaining situational awareness in wartime are to scout on the ground from a hidden building or hilltop, or use an aerial observation platform. The view from the sky is the far superior of the two.



Added by John L. Sands on October 17, 2011 at 2:30pm — 1 Comment

The Dog That Got in "Der Fueher's Face"

The German people, including Adolph Hitler, are not known as a people having a sense of humor. There were jokes about Der Fueher told in secret by the Germans(1) knowing that if the Secret Police, the Hitler Youth, or members of the Nazi party overheard them, the teller would disappear forever. People knew you did not joke or make fun of Hitler. He was known to fly into a rabid range when he heard of anything that would shed a bad light on his dogma or his person. His retribution was swift…


Added by John L. Sands on October 15, 2011 at 5:30pm — 1 Comment

The Sparrow and the Whale

The Sparrow

The Curtis F9C-2 Sparrowhawk is a very small fighter(nicknamed a parasite fighter) that was constructed in 1930. Although the Sparrowhawk was armed, its primary duty was reconnaissance, and it provided the ships it served with a much wider search area. But wait, what is that ugly structure on the upper…


Added by John L. Sands on October 14, 2011 at 3:30pm — 2 Comments

The Lineage of the Black Widow


This account comes from a friend of my father who influenced my early life and is fondly remembered today. John K. (Jack) Northrop was a true pioneer and futurist.  He invited my family to the maiden voyage of the YB-49 Flying Wing Bomber (1949) which is the first time I ever saw a jet airplane. He introduced me to the hobby of plastic modeling, and guided me to getting a BS in Aeronautical-Astronautical Engineering at Northrop Institute of…


Added by John L. Sands on October 13, 2011 at 3:30pm — 3 Comments

S-38 Explorer's Air Yacht (1928)

In my mind, one of the most memorable design during the classic years of aircraft was the Sikorsky S-38-BS flying boat amphibian. Igor Sikorsky was both an aviation visionary and a superb craftsman. In the mid-1920s he envisioned the future of aviation was not military, carrying the airmail, or stunt plane shows, but was in travel. There was little infrastructure for…


Added by John L. Sands on October 12, 2011 at 3:47pm — 4 Comments

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