June 18, 2008

Professor Magnus and the Thunder Lizard

Filed under: Creations — admin @ 9:40 pm

Dear friends,

My son and I had a wonderful time last weekend making a short film about a certain mad scientist.  Hope you enjoy it.

Cheers,
Fzz

the machine

April 7, 2008

The Steam Rocket

Filed under: Creations — admin @ 1:26 am

Dear friends,

What better to entertain the young steamers at the steampunk picnic than a steam rocket! We knocked this together in a couple of evenings, and didn’t have time to test it before heading off to deepest darkest Penge. Read more about its construction and public debut here.

Yours,
Fzz

Steam Rocket and Launch Console

April 5, 2008

Dinosaur Safari

Filed under: Pictures — admin @ 6:45 pm

Dear friends,

Today saw us journey to the far reaches of Penge on the trail of the elusive thunder lizards. Pictured below is the inestimable Herr Döktor, our expedition leader, having just found the first sign of their presence. We have many more pictures from the Safari and picnic.

Yours,

Fzz

Herr Doctor

March 31, 2008

Egg Cannon

Filed under: Creations — admin @ 2:38 pm

Every Easter my brother and I have a friendly competition – together with our kids the challenge is to build some crazy device to throw an egg as far as possible. The criteria are simple – either build it from whatever is in Dad’s garage (which is full of useful building materials), or it has to fit in the back of the car together with the suitcases, kid’s strollers, etc. In the past we’ve built a trebuchet and a ballista. But this year my son and I decided to build an egg cannon.  Read the rest…

Egg Cannon

February 26, 2008

California State Railroad Museum

Filed under: Pictures — admin @ 11:21 am

Dear friends,

On Sunday my son and I were forced down from the mountains early by a huge snow storm, so we took the opportunity to call in at the California State Railroad Museum in Sacramento on our way back to San Francisco. The museum isn’t huge, and as it was winter they didn’t have any locomotives in steam, but what they do have is a glorious celebration of the pioneering years of rail in California. Lots of lovely shiny brass; almost too shiny in a way – these engines somehow don’t quite seem as real to me as they would have if they’d been a little more dirty. But they’re still wonderful nonetheless.

Many more pictures are here.

Yours,
Fzz

brassy steam

December 28, 2007

Gastown Steam Clock

Filed under: Pictures — admin @ 1:09 am

Dear friends,

December found me in Vancouver, one of my favorite cities with its stunning location overlooking both the sea and the mountains. Vancouver is also home to the rather wonderful Gastown Steam Clock. The clock is fairly recent, being built in 1977, but it’s decidedly steampunk nonetheless. A small steam engine is powered from the steam supply used for commercial heating, and raises two-inch steel balls to the top of the clock. These then fit into hooks on a descending chain, and drive a conventional pendulum clock in the same way that the falling weights power our grandfather clock at home. The steam whistles on the top of the clock then sound the quarter hours in style. What a wonderful idea!

More pictures are over here.

Yours,

Fzz

Gastown Steam Clock

October 28, 2007

Desktop Jacob’s Ladder

Filed under: Creations — admin @ 1:05 am

Now with a little more steampunk style, and considerably less risk of electrocution, here is my rebuilt desktop Jacob’s Ladder. Ah, the smell of ozone in the morning!

More pictures and video here. Construction details are here.
Sparks!

October 14, 2007

Jacob’s Ladder

Filed under: Creations — admin @ 9:59 am

Every mad scientist should have their own machines for making big sparks. This one only generates inch-long arcs, but it’s still noisy, dangerous and rather fun. More photos and some video are over here.

Sparks!

October 1, 2007

Prospect Park

Filed under: Pictures — admin @ 6:36 am

Today was a beautiful day in New York City, and at the suggestion of Mr Fats and Dr von Zarkov, I decided to explore Prospect Park in Brooklyn, and Green-Wood Cemetery nearby. What a lovely peaceful afternoon.

This is the old boathouse. The boat is the PV Independence, an electric boat.

And poor Mr Wood (indeed, that is his name) seems to be doing battle with the trees which are invading his mausoleum.

May 13, 2007

The Airship “Beta”

Filed under: Pictures — admin @ 12:49 am

In the London Science Museum there is a wonderful aviation gallery; it’s not huge, but they have planes through the ages, including the Vickers Vimy that Alcock and Brown first flew non-stop across the Atlantic in 1919, eight years before Lindberg’s solo flight. They also have a fabulous collection of aeroplane engines, including the Maybach engine from a Zeppelin. But what really captured my imagination was the gondola from the airship Beta. Doesn’t this just make you want to build your own personal airship?

More pictures.

Gondola of the airship Beta

April 20, 2007

Radio Valves

Filed under: Pictures — admin @ 12:36 am

Dear friends,

Hidden away on the 7th floor of the ugliest building at University College London are a couple of glass display cabinets. Almost no-one knows they are there, and most people pass by without noticing them. Which is a shame, because the contents are really rather remarkable. Here is a collection from the very dawn of electronics, commemorating John Ambrose Fleming’s invention of the thermionic valve (or tube if you’re American).

I hope you find my pictures interesting.

Yours,

Fzz

Fleming valve

April 13, 2007

Steam Power

Filed under: Pictures — admin @ 11:02 pm

Dear friends,

Here are a few pictures from my archives, of assorted steam locomotives, traction engines, and oddball machinery. Most of these date from the late 19th century, or very early 20th century.

- Fzz

PS. I just added some more pictures of strange unusual steam power: Fairlie Engines and Mountain Railways.

Traction Engines

New Copper Pipe Lamp

Filed under: Creations — admin @ 5:40 pm

Dear friends,

Here is my latest creation. It’s a little more minimalist than the previous lamp; the aim was to capture the general impression of water level gauges on steam locomotives.

Lamp

More pictures, and pictures of its construction.

- Fzz

Copper Pipe Lamp

Filed under: Creations — admin @ 5:34 pm

Dear friends,

Here is my copper pipe lamp, complete with wonderful (if rather pricey) squirrel-cage bulbs.

Lamp Picture

More pictures, and pictures of its construction.

- Fzz