Friday, July 31, 2009

First Art Deco Skyscraper in Europe

Boerentoren, Antwerp
This 97-meter (originally 87,5 m) tower was designed by Jan Van Hoenacker and built from 1929 to 1931. Once it was the tallest office building in Europe.

Read about it (Wiki): EN NL DE

Image: @ by lewishamdreamer Flickr

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Palace of Soviets, Moscow

Design: Boris Iofan, Vladimir Shchuko and Vladimir Gelfreikh
If built, it would have become the world's tallest structure (420 m). Construction started in 1937, and was terminated by the German invasion in 1941. In 1941-1942, its steel frame was disassembled for use in fortifications and bridges. Construction has never been resumed.

Read about it (Wiki, EN)
Sketch © МУАР

Battersea Power Station

Designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, once it was the largest brick building in Europe.

Read about it (Wiki, EN)

Four-Wheeled Rocket

Wikow aerodynamic concept car
Czechoslovakia, 1931

Friday, July 24, 2009

Zenith Special Aviators' Watch

IWC of Schaffhausen calls itself a creator of the world's first specialized aviator's wristwatch - glorious Mark IX (1936). This claim is arguable to some extent - after all, Longines' Lindbergh Watch was introduced two years earlier, and dozens of other watchmakers supplied military and civil aviators with anti-magnetic chronometers from the early 1920s.
This Swiss Zenith Special (c. 1930) served with the German Luftwaffe. Right before the WWII Zenith chronometers were the French Air Force standard issue.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Wire Wonder

Swiss Ipsophone answering machine
Based on wire recording system, remote-controlled.
Developed by Oerlikon company
More about it in TIME magazine (1946)

Monday, July 20, 2009

Baltic Warrior

Soviet 'Project 69' battlecruiser - also known as Kronstadt class
Shown with nine 12-inch guns. Later she was redesigned to carry six Krupp 15-inch guns, similar to Bismarck main caliber.
Two ships ordered. Both hulls destroyed at the time of German invasion (1941).

Sunday, July 19, 2009


Farman NC.224

A batch of six airframes was built for Air France - and rejected by the customer. The machines were sold to Armee de l'Air (French Air Force) and worked as military transport.

Info (FR)

Saturday, July 18, 2009

President's Race

5th Masaryk Circuit

Prof. Masaryk was the President of Czechoslovakia

Friday, July 17, 2009

A Contender

Soviet GOMZ Sport - one of world's two first 35-mm SLRs.
Prototype exposed in 1935
Another contender, Ihagee Kine-Exacta from Germany, appeared a bit later but was pressed into production earlier than Sport.

At Knippelsbro Bridge

Kopenhagen, Denmark

Info @ Structurae (EN)

Originally uploaded by Squirmelia @

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Queen of the East

Dutch 1047 battlecruiser
In fact, an improved German Scharnhorst class.
Four ordered in 1939-40. Were to be ready by 1944. None built.

See Wiki for details
Picture from Alt_Naval

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Monday, July 13, 2009

Optical Hybrid

Swiss Alpa cameras were an unconventional mix of two technologies, reflex and rangefinder. Alpa Prisma Reflex (1949, shown above), had mirror and prism as well as viewfinder/rangefinder similar to famous Leica.
Later models like Alpa 6 (1956, shown below), were equiped only with a viewfinder.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Friday, July 10, 2009

Saturday, July 4, 2009

4th of July

 Streamlined street car passing Washington Monument
Washington, D.C., circa 1938
via Shorpy

Friday, July 3, 2009

Diesel Battleship

Admiral Graf Spee was a Deutschland class pocket battleship. Launched in 1934, she was named after the World War I Admiral Graf Maximilian von Spee who died, along with two of his sons, in the first Battle of the Falkland Islands on 8 December 1914.
Together with her sisterships it represented a unique capital ship concept - very compact, heavily armed, diesel-propelled. Her range was quite remarkable - 19,000 nautical miles at 10 knots.
Damaged by the British cruiser artillery in the famous Battle of the River Plate, Admiral Graf Spee was scuttled near Montevideo, Uruguay, 17 December 1939.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Angle of View

A Girl With the Leica
Photo by Alexander Rodchenko
c. 1934

Sky Warriors

Stained glass in the church in Crewe, UK.
Installed in memoriam of the RAF airmen

Wednesday, July 1, 2009