Showing posts with label Cold War. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cold War. Show all posts

Friday, April 4, 2014

Enigma Machine - And other Ike museum holdings

Rather than having options paralysis and not getting around to this blog, I'll present photos of a German WW-II Enigma Machine and leave the commentary to Wikipedia. This one of the magnificent relics residing in the Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential library and museum. We were there today as Spawn the Younger (aka gingercat) competed in the statewide National Geographic Bee.

As amazed as I was in seeing one of these in person and the appreciation I have for human ingenuity and engineering, the museum also has a few reminders of the Reich who used it against much of the world.

Some of Hitler's personal artifacts. This case radiated pure evil.

But do not despair, this museum is full of Allied goodness as well. It even has artifacts from early in the Cold War.

Norden Bombsight: Used by Allied forces for precision, high-altitude bombing runs.

American individualism exhibited in the form of a jacket from the Big Red 1

Recreation of home fallout shelter

Ike's presidential era podium for telecasts. Don't worry, gingercat will only use her powers for good.

Gemini and Apollo memorabilia

The actual teleprompter reel from Ike's speech on the dangers of an emerging military industrial complex. Ike was the only President to win an Emmy Award. There is big money in war machinery. I'm reminded of this on seeing full page ads in the paper versions of The Hill and Politico in Washington, DC.
Mommy! Are you my Mommy? For the uninitiated, this is a Whovian moment.
Early Jetsonian living room. This one is special for Ted Munk.

In case you are curious, all of these photos came straight out of a Fuji X100. I am in love with this camera.

Copyright notice: The images and text on this blog, unless stated otherwise, are the property of Dwayne F. Kansas brought the world John Brown and Dwight D. Eisenhower. You are best off not messing with Kansans.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Happy New Year!

Happy belated New Year to everyone! 

I'm a little behind due to a last minute attempt by the Mayans on my family.  I guess they were upset by the documentation of the battle to save Earth from the Destructor fleet and decided to throw us a nice dose of food poisoning.  Never fear- we all made it to 2013 more or less intact.  I was happy to come home from work yesterday and find my spousal unit up and moving around after three days of "an extremely low energy state".  That is a nice way to put it.

We'll never know what got us.  Was it the salsa or guacamole from our favorite Mexican restaurant?  The spring rolls from our favorite Asian place?  Our favorite sandwich shop?  Something lurking in our fridge?  We ate out frequently over a three day period before the buggies hit since we had a friend visiting from the east coast.  We, at least, were at home when it hit.  She was on a plane, but made it (barely) to the terminal before the full assault.

As this this was a less than inspirational message, I will leave you with a couple of cheerful images:

Number 1:  Svetlana Optima has dispatched one of her helpers to take care of the last of the Mayans hiding out in the jungle like that Japanese soldier on the island after WW-II.

You have to admit this image is pretty awesome!  Find it you must with a collection of other Soviet Cold War era postcards at

Number 2:  Matching JINHAO Dragon's Descendent fountain pens that arrived the day before we came down ill.  Sure, they are a little garish, but this is still the Year of the Dragon.  The youngest nerd in the house, Claire, is a Dragon and so am I.  Can you guess which pen she chose?

We'll post a more thorough review later.  The first impression has been positive.  These lay down a very smooth and inky line.  However, mine needed help getting started again after sitting for a few days.  This is not a problem I've had with the more expensive TWSBI Diamond 540 that starts right up after sitting for a month.  I think a tiny o-ring may be in order to seal the cap better.

Notwithstanding dry start performance, these are full of Dragony goodness... and they have beady red eyes!  What more could we want in a cheap fountain pen?

I sincerely wish a great and healthy 2013 to all and look forward to blogging merrily on the Typosphere throughout. 

P.S.  The girls and I watched the first two extended Lord of the Rings movies before we were again fully functional humans.  They also received NOOKS conveniently loaded with the most current edition for Christmas.  I've been remiss in not recognizing the birthday of the true Lord of Middle Earth,  J.R.R. Tolkien.  Thanks for creating magic with the written word.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Will Tomorrow Come? Enter a General...

The General and his command staff.  This is one red shirt that isn't going to cash it in five minutes into the episode.

Mayan Destructors on the move.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Robot Army Assemble!

We are now two days away from the Mayan Apocalypse and still typecasting from an undisclosed location on a mysterious machine.

That would be December 19.  Too little sleep and not enough Thin Mints...

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

One Year Anniversary: Picture Heavy!

Today marks the first anniversary of Vintage Technology Obsessions.  Before I go any further, I want to thank all of you who regularly visit this blog.  I'd like to think that I would keep going without page views, but the truth is I like to see the number go up and the comments and conversations are greatly appreciated.

In the spirit of this blog and the Typosphere, this is a hybrid post.  I think I will use a few different typewriters.  Do you recognize the machines from their typefaces?

Yeah, typewriters are real; typographical errors and all.  The machines:  Underwood Deluxe Quiet Tab, Royal Signet, Olympia SM-7, Remington Mark II (a plastic Torpedo) and a 1932 Royal known as Keylime.  I lust after a machine with German blackletter or an Olivetti Graphika.

I've been surprised at some of the posts that have picked up the most hits; mostly from Google searches.  I'm glad that I diversified content from the beginning.  I blog because I love learning about many obscure subjects that have nothing to do with my professional life.  I also love photography and this is a fun avenue for me to share images.

Here are some of my favorite images from the last year:

This little guy was a graduation gift for a friend of the family.

Svetlana Optima is our mysterious Cold War throwback.  She was manufactured in East Germany in the early '50s and has some pretty serious trust issues.  This comes from her new ribbon day.
And now for some statistics.  Thanks to readers such as yourself, this blog passed the 16,000 pageview mark on August 11.  The top ten posts by pageview, paraphrased and in descending order, are:

ITAM Special Report: The Eight Millionth Remington
Remembering Ralph McQuarrie
Zeiss Ikon/ICA Folding Camera
Juvenile Cold War Space Fiction
Happy Typewriter Day from Keylime
The Birthday Blog Post from Space
Royal Typewriter Rescue(feature Old Red, a Royal with the Vogue typeface rescued from choppers)
A Tale of Two Cameras (the modern Sony NEX3 coupled with Olympus PEN F lenses)
Mousiest Royal Futura (a not all that fun to type on Royal with an awesome cursive typeface)
B-36 Restricted Report (Features an SM-9 keeping track of the dreaded Svetlana Optima)

And here is the subject of the top post, Remington number 8,000,000.

Just full of awesome and kind of OK to type on.  This machine receives plenty of Google search hits.

If only I could keep the bench this tidy.
Being an Art Deco icon, this machine starred in its own movie "Last Stand at the Remington".
This is an outtake from the hit movie "Last Stand at the Remington".

Yeah, totally growing up would be pretty boring.
This is the first typecast with our Senatorial Olympia SM-9.  Racoons had recently dug a hole through our roof.
This man of mystery was a hit at the 2011 Kansas City Maker Faire.

The dreaded Dollar Store "Spacebot" testing out that old saw about the pen being mightier than the sword.  However, Bill has some muscle in the form of a junk part R2-C4 unit.

I'm still bitter about losing a whole summer worth of B-grade movie reruns to the Watergate hearings.

You don't want to know.

Here's our family mascot, Trollie!  Isn't that the most creative name you've ever heard?

Gotta love southern Florida.  There was a guy shooting a monster handgun towards a 40 foot fiberglass panther on the other side of the parking lot.  Ah, the memories Trollie and I have together.

Two extremely shiny typewriters.  They don't get used nearly enough what with my weird typeface fetish.  The gold Royal goes by the name of Margo.

Thank goodness we have a good copy editor in the house!  What fate awaits this tough Royal?

Like a candle in the Windy City.  Poor Marilyn is about to lose her head.

Keylime and Old Red, the Vogue typeface Royals.  The one on the right is named Keylime.  That was redundant, but I am too lazy to reconfigure the link.

Such a happy couple.  Too bad they are about to be mauled by zombies!

"Do you hear moaning?  I swear I hear moaning."

Imaging the Transit of Venus with a pair of binoculars.

Shopping for the perfect violin for Hannah.  It was a great experience.  The bow cost more than my first car.  Sure, the car was a beater, but you get the idea.

In the violin finish lair.  This strings shop is a great maker space.

My portable typecasting machine for our summer vacation.  We came back to a very long stretch of hot and a drought that came out of nowhere.

Something shiny from the Art of the Car Concours.

This is a nice rat rod from the Kansas City Good Guys show.  The Duesenberg at the Concours was worth more than a Belgian dressage horse.  The rat rod?  Not so much, but it is awesome!

3-D printing pretty much rocks.  This is from the 2012 Kansas City Maker Faire.

Souped up kiddie cars in the Power Wheels racing series.
This is Super Awesome Sylvia and her dad, the Tech Ninja doing some live science at the 2011 Kansas City Maker Faire.

This is precisely why we need maker culture.  We are so proud of Curiosity's team!  I still have a rendering of the skycrane lowering Curiosity set as my wallpaper.  We haven't forgotten Opportunity, either.

The team, as seen on my LCD during the live streaming of the landing.  Dang, where is that sexy Mohawk Guy?

Ahhhh!!!! Not only is he adorable, the Christmas Squirrel will bring your family socks and undies.  Part 1 on "The Origins of the Christmas Squirrel" is found here.  Yes, there is a Part 2 and the story involves Nikola Tesla, Erwin Schrodinger and a certain Mr. Edison.  It was cold outside and I was on vacation.

Claire's most awesome repurposed Christmas present to me.
This is one of Claire's friends.  She is a convert to the ways of the typewriter.  We gave her an Olympia SM-9 with the Senatorial (robot) typeface.  She is a total typeface junkie and can tell you about the history and design of many typefaces.  That may be atypical for the average eleven-year-old.

Claire (aka: gingercat) and the Six Fingered Man's twin brother at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.
Thanks again to all of you that follow or have happened upon this crazy, mixed up blog of mine!  It's gotten a little serious in the last couple of months.  Me thinks it is time to break out some Hong Kong knock-off robots and a jumbo Machinder.  Yes, that would do nicely!

Copyright:  The Copyright is a noble beast that I, the owner of the blog known as Vintage Technology Obsessions, claims for my own.  With the exception of the images of the amazing Curiosity, all images and text are mine and are copyright 2011 and 2012.  Regular readers would not need to be reminded that, in addition to legal recourse, if someone were to pilfer my images for use without attribution or for commercial use of any form they would likely be awakened in the middle of the night by the buzz and hiss of a flying, steam powered Oliver Number 99 hovering over their bed.  Thieves, you have been suitably warned.