Vehicular Inspiration

Simple machines, and some not so simple, are the source of much inspiration for us. We can never pass up a beautiful pulley or impeccable gear mechanism that still works smoothly. A couple months ago, Kevin took a trip to Calgary, Alberta and down through the USA before heading back to the island. Here are a collection of some of the most memorable objects.

Massive waterwheel in Fort Steele, British Columbia.

Massive waterwheel in Fort Steele, British Columbia.

It is always amazing to see massive structures with incredible craftsmanship. Not only are these objects built to function and survive for a very long time, their sheer scale is awe-inspiring.  There is natural beauty in the symmetry and repetition of the waterwheel, yet it towers over all other things in its vicinity.  The contours on the railroad snow plow powerful and penetrating, with two slopes culminating in a precise slicing edge.

Old railroad track snow plow, also from Fort Steele. 

Old railroad track snow plow, also from Fort Steele. 

Gasoline Alley at Heritage Park, Calgary, Alberta. 

Gasoline Alley at Heritage Park, Calgary, Alberta. 

On the other hand, we have vehicles where the beauty is in the details. Classic Fords could be found en masse at Heritage Park in Calgary. A Model T-Ford is easily found amongst other classic cars. The particular model shown is of a 1916 Model T-Ford truck. There were also other interesting paraphernalia including an electronic bicycle to a Michelin Man tire pump, to an early tow truck with a manual wench. 

The part that goes with the jack for our drafting table. Not included in each purchase unfortunately. 

The part that goes with the jack for our drafting table. Not included in each purchase unfortunately. 

Before he turned into the bigger, fluffier, kind-eyed guy we know today. 

Before he turned into the bigger, fluffier, kind-eyed guy we know today. 

Tow truck with manual winch.

Tow truck with manual winch.

Detail of winch from tow truck.

Detail of winch from tow truck.

And finally, a quick run through Astoria, Oregon, the first permanent U.S. settlement on the Pacific Northwest Coast. It is a particular gem well worth the minor detour if you are going between Seattle and Portland. Not only is there a giant bridge that seems to pop out of nowhere, a beautiful pier and the fresh scent of the Pacific, you can find some great vintage pickings. One particular favorite spot is Vintage Hardware. It is easy to spot as it occupies a large building downtown. Wonderfully eclectic collection. You can check out more on their website. 

Old bandsaw. Get it while you can! 

Old bandsaw. Get it while you can!