Friday, April 18, 2014

Some of George Carette's Electric Trolleys

Friday, April 18, 2014
         (Cloudy and warm)

Some of Geroge Carette's
Electric Trolleys

  Two days ago, I posted about some of the nice trolleys that will be coming up for auction at Bertoia Auctions (Vineland, NewJersey, USA). As the warmer seasons approach, the auction houses list more and more auctions. Everyone likes to get out in the warmer times, especially antique toy collectors. I had posted about  American Trolleys, but I saw several of Georges Carette - the famous German toy manufacturer in the early 20th century. I knew I would add a post about George Carette's trolleys, because I would be able to add some pages from his  original catalogue that was reproduced in 1979 by New Cavendish Books.

It's hard to find George Carette toys on the Net, especially in North America. So when they show up, I like to write about them. If you ever get a chance to look or buy the Carette  1979 catalogue, look at it or buy it. It's an encyclopedia of information of a once fantastic toy company.

What is interesting with this very newly-introduced toys (at the time) was that electricity on a commercially large scale had only begun a decade or so earlier, thanks to the American inventor Thomas Alva Edison.  You can imagine how people must have felt to have electricity, when just 
a "moment in time" before, they were using candles made from wax and whale oil!

What's interesting about these early electric toys is that the power came from above on an elevated electrical system.

I only selected 10 pages from the  approximate 300 page reproduction of New Cavendish Books.

These trolleys or trams certainly are colourful. What's also interesting is that these electric trollies would have replaced the previous horse drawn versions.

You can see the actual elevated [poles that suspended the electrical wiring and current that would propel the trolleys.

Not all of the trolleys would have  elevated mast to conduct electrify from the overhead wires to the motors of the trolley. In this case, the engine would pulse the trolleys.

The page below illustrates the transformers, then called "commutators" that would reduce the household power to a manageable and save power level for children. These commutators would allow the train and trolleys to go either frontwards or backwards.

As an aside, I don;t know if any of you gave elver seen old wiring in a house. It would be cloth covered,and periodically there would be porcelain attachments in the wood house construction to  continue the electrical current all over the house. Also, there would be the older fuses that would have a thin piece of metal encased inside a piece of see-through glass. This fuse would then screw into a socket where the master fuse box was. Too much power would cause the piece of thin metal to melt, and cut the electricity. This invention saved the wiring from overheating and causing a fire.  Today, recent and antique fuses are collectibles.

Many of the trolley and train accessories were magnificent pieces. What's even more interesting was the fact that some were hand painted, but most were hand assembled!

AS well as the trollies, there were of course trains. I added a page just to shops everyone. 
I have posted about Georges Carette several times before, and if you search my blog, you'll find these posts.

Thanks for dropping by,
and have a great part of the day or night,
wherever you may be.

Wait and See!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014
       (Cool, sun changing to clouds)

Wait and See!

   My niece Carly sent me a link to a great site, and of course the person who  the link was all about. My wife also forward to me Carly's e-mail. A double -set of e-mails must have meant something very interesting, so I checked it out. However, I check out sites even with 1 e-mail!

    I visited  Mr. Michael Paul Smith's Flickr stream of photos, and I don;lt know where to begin. I won't give everything away, since today's title for this post clues you a "clue". I visited Michael's Flickr site, and had to keep going back. Of course, I had received Michael's permission, and having written a letter or two, I got Michael's amazing story. I'll be writing his bio and lots of material in future posts, but for now, it's all about the great photos and his work.

Michael Paul Smith started out being an art director. However he suffered a heart attack at a young age and had to change professions. The advertising industry is a very stressful industry to work in, although the rewards can be very nice. All of the photographs below are of vintage (older) cars and scenes around Michael's home town in the state of  Massachusetts (USA). Michael is quite modest about his work, but he is an exceptional person. His skills as an art director have allowed him to carefully  arrange the cars and trucks in his scene. However, he does this with lots of panache (skills) and also with subtlety. Nothing appears to be arranged. 

I can see his fine eye as a photographer in terms of arrangement and composition. However his lighting is super! I would think that he waits for the right moment when clouds and sun are best for his photographic settings, and then takes the photos. Also the camera levels (height) and angles are noteworthy.

What I like is how Michael has integrated the old cars and trucks into the settings. I remember when I used to go to Vermont in the fall to photography the changing of the leaves. I would "stumble" into towns and stores in Vermont that had not changed in 150 years.There was once a town, whose name I never wrote down that had the town square, in literally a huge square, with a large wooden gazebo for an old-time band to play. Another time, I found myself inside a "drug store" that had not changed since the 1920's. It was complete with the turnable stools, the soda fountains, the wood floors, and the merchandise laid out as if I were on a movie set.

 You can see here how Michael photographs his scenes at all times of the year. This one is a winter scene. It's even more noteworthy as it was taken in winter and at night.

The lighting is great in this photo. Michael waited until a cloud opened up to let in some sun. I also like that small building in the corner. I'm unsure if it's a garage. My sister in Toronto, Ontario (Canada) has a small unheated garage like that. It's not used as a garage though, and I don't even know if a modern day car could fit into it. One thing though, The city may not allow you to knock down the garage as it  from the 1920's and I think classified as "heritage". That means that the city prefers you to keep the structure as it is! 

Here's a small change to Michael regular photographs. He's warmed up the scene perhaps with a filter on the lens or in a photo-editing software, and added some writing to make the photo appear as a postcard.

If you didn't "peek", you'll now understand why today's title is "Wait and See".  All of the  cars and trucks are small models.  All of the locations are either real in the town or surroundings, where Michael lives, or hand-built scaled-down scenery that Michael also built.

As I mentioned before, I didn't want to write too much, as I will gradually add more narrative in future posts to tell you about Michael's interesting bio. Michael has lots of narrative for each of his photos on his Flickr website that you can click on under his name at the beginning of the post.

I hope you didn't mind my small "ruse' or trick in not "spilling the beans" right away. I wanted you yo see just what a "treasure" Michael was  to have connected with thanks to my niece Carly, and my sister Brenda.The Internet certain'y has been an exceptional invention and location for people with all kinds of different interests to learn and find other people, and today's post about Michael Paul Smith, certainly is exceptional. 

Thanks for dropping by to visit, 
and as always, have a great part of the day or night,
wherever you may be.
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