Sunday, April 20, 2014

Old Spring Memories in our home town of Fort William, Ontario....

Here in Central Canada we are finally supposed to get some Spring weather.  It is already April 20th and there is still tons of snow here in what used to be called Fort William and Port Arthur, Ontario.  This is just a short post to wish you all a Happy Easter and hope you have a wonderful summer.
This first photo is one of my sister and I on Easter Sunday way back in 1957 in front of our grandmother's home.

The next one here is of myself back in 1954 with my new bicycle.  My father would put one together with used parts and have it painted up at Kam Motors by "Canary" Trevisan, the painter at Kam in those days.  You could never buy a bike as cool as mine and I would get one like this about every couple of years to the envy of all my friends.  My custom bicycle was the beginning of my gear-head years that actually has never ended.

The Fort William Bicycle plate here was used 10 years after the photo on the left.  Be sure to click on all the pictures for enlargements.
The picture on the right (George Bott on the right and myself  on the left) was taken in June in 1950 at a rented cottage at Oliver Lake.
You can't buy wonderful memories like these and as the snow finally melts, we can be sure that summer WILL come.

Here's one of Bill French (driver) and myself back in about 1958 on Cuthbertson Place in Fort William.  Push mobiles or "buggies" as we called them were commonplace in many neighbourhoods back in the 1950's and ours was no exception.  If you were the tallest guy like me, you would be the pusher and the smaller you were, the driver of course.
The following picture was taken many years later in 1971, the second year that Fort William and Port Arthur became Thunder Bay.  It's hard to believe that I actually pulled my trailers with my brand new 1971 Chevelle SS 454 and clamped trailer mirrors to the front fenders.  Geez, what was I thinking.  I loved that car but as my family grew, I did sell it in favour of a 1974 Chevrolet Camper Van.....WHAT was I thinking again?

Finally a much older photo of a card game we had around the house for years that we played while travelling with our family.  My parents always saved their pennies during the winter months so that we could have a wonderful summer trip each lucky were we!!

Monday, April 14, 2014


We have used it for years and years.  It is an icon of a simple, maybe better time wherein we lived a simpler life...well, maybe for some.  
Here on Hot Rods and Jalopies, it's nice to deviate from the usual local history and vintage race cars and this post is no exception.  Lots of interesting reading here to scroll on, and click to enlarge as you need to.

45's as we knew them, formally called The 45 RPM Record was developed by RCA Victor in 1949 right after the invention of "vinyl plastic" and the 12" LP record, developed by CBS engineers in 1948.  The 45 RPM speed was the only one to be decided on by the most cost effective procedure.  Calculus was used to show that the optimum use of a disc record of constant rotation speed occurs when the innermost recorded diameter is half the outermost recorded diameter (hope that makes sense).  That is why a 7" single 45 has a label 3 1/2" in diameter.  Given the CBS LP vinyl groove dimensions and certain thoughts about bandwidth and distortion, a speed of 45 RPM comes out of the it?
To sell their idea against the current "reigning" 78 RPM and the CBS 12" LP, RCA released a series of very low priced 45 RPM "only" record players in the late 1940's and early 1950's.  Both amplified and non amplified models were manufactured.  The player shown here was sold in the early 1950's
and was equipped with a ceramic cartridge and an "RCA" jack, also invented at the time.  The model here did include an amplifier and a speaker but others were meant to be plugged into a corresponding female RCA jack in an RCA radio or early TV, and use that product's amp and speaker (something we later called a "deck").  If you are aged 60 or older, you may remember quite a few of these players by 1955, sitting on TV sets.
In spite of LP's popularity, the sales of 45 RPM records continued to increase from the 50's and well into the 70's.  In their peak sales years from 1973 to 1976, more than 100 million were sold in the USA and Canada each year.
All 45's since 1971 have been pressed in STEREO and actually have had the same fidelity output as CD's (20 Hz to 20,000 Hz)......a credit to the RCA engineers more than 60 years ago.

Many varieties of centers were made so that 45's could be played on a number of different styles of turntables, as you can see here and below.
The metal ones are the most collectible today.


On the record label to the left, the triangle center actually came attached to the record and could be knocked out to play on large spindle players.  They were produced this way mainly for use by DJ's throughout the 45 RPM era.
Here are some of your favourite 45 RPM record jackets.  A regular 45 would have one song on each side, and as time went on, record labels produced EP's which were extended play 45's and would have 2 songs per side for a total of 4 songs per record.

People who check out HR&J from time to time know that we have to add something to do with transportation to the blog posts.  The ad shown below was a very popular one in pretty much all hot rod and custom car magazines throughout the very early years of the 45.
$54.95 was a hefty fee for this back in the early 1950's.

The following article in two parts pretty much explains all about the under dash 45 RPM record player.  Be sure to double click on each of these to enlarge them for reading then come back for more!!


This collage shows some of the ways you can protect your 45's during travel or bringing to a friends place....

I have always had a special place in my heart for the lowly 45 and because of that, I have a huge collection of my own and a wonderful 1952 Seeburg M100C Jukebox I purchased from Howard King of the old King's Stereo to play them on.
Double Click on this last record for a tongue in cheek, never actually produced 45. 
Thanks for looking and hope you enjoyed this post.