Time travel collecting

Here's a fun thread for the Christmas season.
Premise: You have a time machine that allows you to come and go between the
present and any year between 1800 and 2100.
Remember it's only a time machine and (except for adjustment in ground
level) you will not move geographically. You can travel, but no, you can't
take your Transit van with you!
You might want to get rich or get something that you desire, but you mustn't
change history, so you need to think carefully about what you move and what
you can extract from the past that will not cause too many temporal ripples.
What example of our mechanical heritage would you be after? How would you
pay for it?
The swift amongst us will have spotted that we can trade forward too. What
is there that's around today that you think might be valuable in a hundred
years time?
I think I'd want to speak to the person settling T.E. Lawrence's estate for
a start, ............. What about you??
Regards,
Kim Siddorn
Reply to
J K Siddorn
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Nice one. What to bring back will take some thinking about, but what I would most like to do is solve an historical puzzle concerning Robert Stirling's 1816/18 hot air engine:- Could the design of this entirely novel prime mover have been realised by a village pastor with a sideline interest in technology, or was Stirling in fact have a gifted engineer and applied thermodynamacist years before that discipline was apparently born?
Reply to
Nick Highfield
Bradford 1802 for the birth of my great great grandfather so I can establish which of the all too many John and Hannah Cravens were his parents and thus demolish my brick wall, or Bradford c1900 to see if the Beanland of Beanland & Perkins (see the A-Z) really is my great great uncle. If you insist on gain then anytime between 1944 and 58 to keep hold of any of my dad's cars: BSA Scout, Singer 9, Alvis 16/20 (JW5791 if anyone sees it), Austin 7, Wolseley 14, or best of all the Railton with its superb straight 8, Tele-andre shocks, leather upholstery and LOUSY Bendix brakes. Enough of this dreaming and back to the oven-cleaning ttfn Roland
Reply to
Roland and Celia Craven
Oh that's easy, I'm glad you didn't limit the number of trips, though!
Back to 1800 (1647 would be better, the earliest date mark we've got on the house), to see what the farm was like then. I could also see the little quarry working and the horses dragging cart-loads of slate up the hill. I'd like to meet the Rev. Morrell in 1840 and find out who owned the farm before him. Later on 1920-30, it would be lovely to go back and see what the engines were on the remaining concrete bases and to see the lineshafting in situ.
I'd go down to the tramway in 1920 and watch the little steam trains work their way from the Glyn slate mines to Chirk I'd go and visit the Powell Bros. Cambrian Works in Wrexham, at the height of their production, also by train. I'm not sure what date Telford built the aqueduct at Chirk, that would be an interesting trip out as well.
I might even make the trip by train to London and back (only 4 hours claimed).
I would bring back the engine which would have driven the lineshafting from the threshing floor, and loads (and loads) of digital photos.
As for the personal gain bit, I think I'd be too absorbed by all the things I would want to see, to be bothered to make money out of it. I suppose I could sell the TV rights of all that I'd seen, but somehow it would seem a cheap stunt to turn all the locals of history into a "fly on the wall' prog.
Leave nothing but footprints, take nothing but photos and memories ( and maybe an engine) would be a good policy I think. I'd have to brush up my Welsh a bit as well, they didn't speak much else here then. Regards, Arthur G
Reply to
Arthur Griffin
I'd take a video camera as well, to record my home and its hamlet as it was in around 1948 and then I'd walk up to Codnor and spend a day or 4 filming the Notts & Derbys trolley buses - another week or two for Nottingham, ditto Derby, ditto Glasgow, Sheffield, Liverpool,...................
Brian L Dominic
NB Rumpus
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Reply to
Brian Dominic me
Gentlemen,
I personally would love to go stand on the beach in Kittyhawk America and watch Wilbur and Orville take to the sky's and then tell them where we are today. Difficult to imagine nee comprehend that in a short span of time we have gone from 25 mph to mach 4+ in air and unlimited, relatively speaking, in space. What other area of human endevour has created so much in such a short time except maybe computers.
Martin P
Reply to
Campingstoveman
How refreshing, all the resposes so far have concentrated on historical explorations rather than the possibility of making a fast buck.
Still not sure what I would bring back, but any development or experimental models which Stirling built on his way to the 1816 patent and first 'production' engine would be nice, and I might just place an order for an Atkinson 'Cycle' engine to be picked up later!
Following on from other's local history ideas, it would certainly be nice to confirm my researches into when and why the two up, two down lean-to we live in appeared on the side of an earlier building some time in the 1840's.
Reply to
Nick Highfield
I can think of a large number of 'make money' items, but I can also think of a lot of things that were 'lost' to us in later generations that would be nice to put in order. Slightly changing history perhaps, but probably more satisfying.
Kim: Have you received my emails re collection in Bristol??
Kind regards,
Peter
Peter Forbes Prepair Ltd Luton, UK email: snipped-for-privacy@easynet.co.uk home: snipped-for-privacy@easynet.co.uk
Reply to
Prepair Ltd
As to engines, I have a problem
I don't feel that anything small and air-cooled will ever attract the kind of respect and enthusiasm that we have seen for the earlier water-cooled and mechanically under-rated engines of the pre-1950's.
There will always be a following for air-cooled stuff, I have a Lister VA in the shelter, but it has to be water-cooled for me, with a nod to Arthur and the early air-cooled stuff which is interesting, if it is made early enough.
The epitome of the collector's engine has to be the Richard Hornsby type that the late Dennis Quincy used to rally round the UK, and now like so many others is probably doomed to spend the rest of its life in storage.
Kind regards,
Peter
Peter Forbes Prepair Ltd Luton, UK email: snipped-for-privacy@easynet.co.uk home: snipped-for-privacy@easynet.co.uk
Reply to
Prepair Ltd
Simple - a quick tour round Cornwall Works in Birmingham in about 1910 ish when the engines were in the height of production, and a check to see that 19088BR was originally despatched with magneto ignition and not a later factory conversion. Then off to Stamford and Lincoln for similar reasons. A quick excursion to the Bushmills distillery to get them to lay down a few malts for my collection at a later date. Plus half a day with the Warsop mobile service agent to learn how to set up a Benjo Rammer so it runs properly.
Regards
Dan
Reply to
Dan Howden
Like others here, I'm deeply impressed by our selfless search for knowledge and - what? - ambience? rather that setting out to make a profit.
For myself, I'd like to cheat by three years and be in Aboukir to see Nelson break the French line at the Battle of the Nile. On to be in Gibraltar to see the fleet set off for Trafalgar and so to the Rainhill Trials, visit the Great Exhibition and be at Cape Canaveral to see the Apollo mission set off for the moon.
Amazingly enough, they never met, so I'd like to engineer a meeting between Nelson and Wellington at dinner and just sit and listen. Whilst in that era, a couple of Harrison chronometers would be nice, as would a brace of Joe Manton hexagonal barrel pistols.
Around 1860, I'd like to register a patent that covered every option for both two and fourstoke engines , beating Otto to the punch. I would then make it freely available to anyone who wanted to use the principals involved as Otto and the Crossley Brothers so fiercely defended their rights as to hold back serious ICE development for a generation.
Not entirely devoid of self-interest, I'd like to buy a couple of mothballed Spitfires from the airfield that my father used to visit (he worked for Roneo) in 1949 when you could pick them up for £100 and bid at a couple of ex government auctions when they were selling off the end-of-contract Merlins that - except for test hours - had never run. Twenty five quid a go they were and even then the tag end of the batch were pushed down a mineshaft in Derbyshire as landfill because they couldn't sell 'em.
I'd find my dad in 1955 and give him the £250 he had - but would not spend - on the "entirely useless" blower Bentley that languished on a car lot five miles from here for months. A frequenter of the pits at Brooklands in the twenties, he'd have absolutely loved it!
And finally, I'd like to search out my younger self and give me the money to buy the Brough Superior SS100 Black Alpine, the Vincent Series A Rapide, the Excelsior Manxman, '59 Manx Norton and '38 Mk VIII cammy Velo, all of which I was offered during the late sixties, but could not (or would not!) afford.
There, I can die 'appy now!
Regards,
Kim Siddorn
Reply to
J K Siddorn
"J K Siddorn" wrote Snip:-
All sounds a bit too much like changing history Kim, the "temporal ripples" could see you disappearing up your own whatsit. But then of course, you would no longer exist and the changes could not have been made so everything would be as it was. But then of course, you would again exist and be able to change history. But then......................Oh dear!
I once had the pleasure of a trip around the AC Cars factory at Brooklands, can't quite remember when but I imagine it was during Brian Angliss' ownership. Anyway, one hall of the factory appeared to be half full of Excelsior Manxman motorcycles - there must have been a couple of dozen. Did Mr. Angliss have some sort of obsession?
Reply to
Nick Highfield
And if the changes you made had prevented Volvo from making cars, where would you be then?
Simon Taylor
Brooklands,
Reply to
Simon Taylor
I'd liked to have had a quiet word with Benny Franklin and put him right about the positive - negative thing, you know, which way does electrickery move?
Would have saved me endless hours of explaining and arguing when I was lecturing (and not only with the students!)
If that is altering history, so much the better!
And bringing back? Mt Grandmother's pianola and those evenings with all the sisters and brothers and cousins and aunts and uncles and neighbours singing around it.
Ah, the past is not like it used to be.
JW² Norton AntiVirus 2003 installed
Reply to
Jack Watson
Say there was an open Otto patent in the last twenty five years of the nineteenth century, what difference does this august company think it would make? I think there would be few changes that would not iron themselves out by - say - 1918.
I think chaos theory does not take enough notice of repetitive natural behaviour. My feeling is that events are pretty resistant to change and whether an outmoded engine, aircraft or vehicle was sold to person A or person B wouldn't make a lot of odds.
There are very few nexus events - the battles at Thermopyle & Salamis (say) would have made a great difference if the outcome had been reversed, but even a Saxon victory at Hastings might not have changed world history after about 250 years had elapsed.
Regards,
Kim
Reply to
J K Siddorn
While the original Patent was protected, it did not stop a lot of R&D going on, and when the Patent eventually expired there was a faily exponential rate on increase of engine manufacturing, but bear in mind that not only was there not a market for the engines at the time (Otto had a job convincing people) but the necessary machinery to produce them and the materials were relatively new.
Diesel had a similar problem, even once the basics had been proven, but once the momentum had built up it became unstoppable. The Nitske/Wilson book (1965 University of Oklahoma Press) is a good read on how these things worked out in those days,
Agree. Human nature tends to screw up anything that is logical and straightforward...
I am not sufficiently informed on the specific subject you mentione to comment, but I agree with the general drift of the remark :-)) How about Hiroshima ? Ferdinand's assassination ? more short-term but still events that had a big impact on history. Or, things like the Rainhill Trials on a more English note.
Peter
-- Peter & Rita Forbes snipped-for-privacy@easynet.co.uk Engine pages for preservation info:
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Reply to
Peter A Forbes
In very brief, the battles by the Greeks against the Persians and their eventual success meant that their ideas of the correct way to run a State (western style democracy) became the norm.
A Persian victory would have repressed that Greek ideal and in all likelihood the western world's political systems would have been entirely different and followed the Persian model.
Hiroshima only served to stop a bloody invasion and saved thousands if not millions of lives, but affected no outcomes. Ferdinand? Not my period, so am underinformed ;o))
I'm keenly aware of how far we've strayed OT and I never meant to travel this path. My apologies, gentlemen. An interesting example of chaos theory in itself!
Regards,
Kim Siddorn
- who wishes you and yours all the very best for the Festive season and a cheerful and prosperous New Year.
Reply to
J K Siddorn
I might add this NG, based on those I have met, is the most well read and educated bunch I have ever had the pleasure to meet and enjoy the company off. You all have interests in other areas and without boring the pants of anybody can make it interesting. Stationary engines is the NG aim but why should we not discuss other interests, we all have time to learn something no matter how little, myself for interest have taken to using the dictionary when in discussion with Roland whose grasp of the english language is much betterer than mine so in a small way has a least taught me the book is not just a door stop. Roland I am in serious mode here. Don't apologie Kim I for one enjoy your ramblings as do I hope others.
Martin P
Reply to
Campingstoveman
Thanks for the kind words, Martin, much appreciated.
I do have wide interests in the world, it's true, and freely admit to occasional cautious attempts to stretch the tolerance and perspicacity of the average participant on this site, one that is refreshingly free of the rude, crude and lewd and does not celebrate rodomontade ;o)).
That'll keep him busy for a while, Roland!
Regards,
Kim Siddorn
- who wishes you and yours all the very best for the Festive season and a cheerful and prosperous New Year.
martin.perman> said -
Reply to
J K Siddorn
We seem to have travelled a long way on the group since the early days, and it is nice to see a regular band of people with such a diversity of interests, even if a lot of them are not subjects that we would all be interested in.
The other aspect which is interesting is the knowledge base about this newsgroup's subject matter. While we occasionally get stumped by poor quality photographs as celebrated by GW in one issue of SE magazine, on a more general level we seem to be quite capable of encompassing a huge variety of motive and stationary power from steam to IC to gas turbines, and very rarely with any squabbles or rancour. THAT is priceless !!
Peter
-- Peter & Rita Forbes snipped-for-privacy@easynet.co.uk Engine pages for preservation info:
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Reply to
Peter A Forbes

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