Here is a WWII era booklet written in German for sale on ebay now, with instructions on converting your car or truck to run on wood gas. This might be pretty cool! Other information about wood gas auto conversions are here, and a synthetic fuel post is here.
The Wright brothers' Van Cleve mark lives on in a modern namesake, the Van Cleve bike built by Cycles Gaansari of Springboro Ohio. Here is what Gary Boulanger of Cycles Gaansari adds:
Much is known about the Wright Brothers' aviation results, but little has been told about how the men designed and tested their theories, and how big a role bicycle technology played in their research and development. Like most self-sufficient and frugal bicyclists, the brothers scrounged discarded bike components to make something useful out of something lying around the shop. In this case, it wasn’t a fixed gear or townie bike, but the airplane that was created, born from Wilbur’s vision for flight in the 1890s.
Cycles Gaansariwas born from the need to provide reliable service, durable goods, and exciting products to the Greater Dayton cycling community. We're housed in a former livery stable/barn built in Springboro in the 1850s, just three miles south of the Wright Brothers Airport, and across the street from the Jonathan Wright House, now a popular bed & breakfast, built by the founder of Springboro in 1815.
To many, the bicycle is a tool for transportation, adventure, freedom, and recreation. Little did the inventors of the bicycle know what impact they’d have on millions of people. Then again, little did two bicycle manufacturers from Dayton, Ohio realize where their dream of manned flight would catapult both them and the fruit of their labor.
Thanks to Bill Heinze of IP Updates for finding this nifty use of a revolver. I think this would totally work, if you got a rat that would push on the cheese instead of pulling on it. This was patented in 1882.
Alois Wolfmuller patented a two wheeled vehicle in Germany in 1893, and formed a partnership with the brothers Hildebrand. The Hildebrand & Wolfmuller motorcycle was designed from the frame up to be a motorcycle, unlike other motorcycles like Roper's and others that were modified bicycles. The H & W frame was angled and built to house the internal combustion engine. The engine was a two cylinder four stroke engine that drove the rear hub with connecting rods, like a steam locomotive. The engine was 1488 cc, 2.5 hp, and drove the step-through cycle to 25 mph.
This beautiful drawing from Motorcycles of the 20th Century.
The Studebaker Wagon Company started when the five Studebaker brothers joined together to form a company in the 1850s. They had learned wagon making from their blacksmith father in rural Ohio. Their sturdy wagons were prized on farms, used by settlers heading West, and achieved national fame for sturdiness during the Civil War.
In 1892 they started building horse drawn vehicles, and their first
self propelled vehicles were electric, as shown in the ad below.
Before the Wright brothers were famous for the first controlled flight, they were in the bicycle business. Their history with bicycles started when Wilbur bought a high wheeled ordinary velocipede in the early 1880s. In 1892 Orville bought a Columbia safety bike made by Pope, which was similar to the Rover by James Starley. In 1892 they opened a bicycle repair shop in Dayton, where they also rented bicycles, and sold accessories.
In 1896 they began manufacturing bicycles, offering the Van Cleve and St. Clair models. In their best year, 1897, they made $1500 each in times when $500 per year was a good income in the U.S. They introduced several innovations, including sealed bearings, and bicycle pedals that were left or right threaded so that pedaling tended to tighten the pedals rather than loosen them. This technology is still in use today on bicycles.
An early gas powered vehicle was designed by Edward Butler of England, in 1885. The design was shown at the 1885 Inventions Exhibition, in London. Butler patented the vehicle in 1887, and built the vehicle in 1890. It was a three wheeled vehicle with two wheels in front, and the rear wheel was powered by a chain from the 2 cylinder engine. Any such vehicle in England was doomed to failure because of the highly restrictive 1865 Red Flag Act. This established a speed limit of 2 mph in town, and 4 mph in the country, and a flagman walking in front the vehicle, and two helpers to control horse traffic. The Butler Petrol cycle was a contemporary of the Benz gas powered tricycle and Daimler's vehicle among gas vechicles, and the Serpollet steam vehicle.
Cornell student Levi Lorenzo wanted to do a project about MIDI music technology, so the project he came up with was to build a hamster controlled music generator. The hamster controller uses 6 hamsters to control 3 rythmic tones. One hamster controls the "rythmic qualities of the melodies", and the other controls the note sequence. As the hamsters wander back and forth in their passages, the music created changes according to their position. The music is actually not bad!
On Levi's web page, there are links to more information, sound recordings, and a video of the hamsters making music.
Just to rub it in, my friend Marc Dilley sent me photos of his recent hike to the Enchantments, an alpine plateau surrounded by peaks in the Stuart Range of the Cascades, near Wenatchee Washington. He and some friends hiked in to the Enchantments as a day hike, which most sane people do as a 4 or 5 day trip.
This time of year the larch trees are turning orange and dropping their needles. Marc and I once went into here in the early spring, skied across frozen Colchuck Lake, carried our skiis up the snow filled Asgard Pass, climbed the peaks around the basin, and skied down Asgard Pass, in another life when we were invinceable. Marc is also a botanist, and has some wildflower articles on the Wenatchee Outdoors Club site. Marc's skills as a climber and as a photographer continue to amaze me.
Hiking around Colchuck Lake, with Asgard Pass above. I can't believe we skied down that sucker with packs on. Oh now I remember. I fell a lot, and tumbled quite a bit of the way. This little pond is Gnome Tarn, with Prussik peak on the horizon.
These are larch trees in their pre-winter color. They drop their needles shortly after turning yellow.
This is one of the bigger lakes of the Enchantments.
In response to the need for a lighter weapon than the Walker Colt and the Patterson Colt, Samuel Colt designed a lighter revolver called the Pocket Model, a revolver of .31 caliber. Need for a larger caliber resulted in the Colt 1851 Navy, the most popular handgun of the early (pre-Civil War) American West. The 1851 Navy was a .36 caliber, 6-shot revolver that weighed 2 lbs 4.5 oz, half the weight of the Walker. This revolver, like its predecessors, used a percussion cap for ignition, and each cylinder would be individually loaded with black powder and ball, by use of a built in loading lever. Colt Navy revolvers were not necessarily related to sales to the Navy, but were a favorite revolver in the Crimea War among Brits, and the Civil War for both North and South. Colt Navy Revolvers were the favorite sidearms of dozens of figures in the American West, including Pony Express riders, Doc Holliday, John
Singleton Mosby, Wild Bill Hickock and Buffalo Bill Cody. The Pony Express riders carried a Colt Navy and one or two spare loaded cylinders for emergencies.
More about the Colt Navy Revolver by someone who REALLY knows what he's talking about, at Texas Ranger Magazine. The patent below is the right basic configuration and date for the Colt Navy, but the Colt Navy had a longer barrel.