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« The Kitchen Laptop Rises Again | Main | Paper Folding Photos »


Steve Long

come on folks, the first picture was not an "electrical generating device"! it was a nine cylinder, two stroke, radial aircraft engine. probably of the early "30's". very nice craftsmanship! surprising for french design of the era. usually not up to that par in the early designs.


The old airplane hanging from the ceiling of the Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers was Clement Adler's steam powered 1897 Avion III. He claimed that it flew, but the French Army observers said it didn't.


This article needs some more work...the 'supercomputer from the 1970s' is an American-made Cray-2, released in 1985.

Frederick P McNary

Both of you are mistaken, that is a Gnome rotary engine used in a French airplane in WW1.
It was famous for having an enormous amount of torque and would turn shorter than the German planes of that time. 2 cycle? hardly, that is a "rocker arm" on the tip of the cylinder barrels, and one seems to be missing. AFAIK, it is the only engine ever built that the crankshaft was stationary and the engine it self turned. According to what I have read, it would turn quite sharply in one direction, but you needed a "ten acre field" to turn in in the other direction. Way back there I took an interest in any kind of engine made, and I'm one of the few folks still around that can "time" a Model A ford.


Great blog! I like the photo!

J Sloan

Ingenuity is timeless! The word antique certainly does not imply worthless. Thanks for this story. Vive la antiques!

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