Knapp Double Wheel Generator

knapp double wheel generatorFound at Live Auctioneers. Description: “Painted cast iron original double wheel generator to provide the power to Knapp model trains and trolleys.  In talking to various collectors we feel this is the first Knapp toy train generator to have surfaced and it is in near perfect state. The top of the motor sports the Knapp name plate; this piece appears in the 1908 Knapp catalog 16″ l. , 12″ t.” [Read more…]

How To Build Your Own Industrial Civilization

how to build your own industrial civilization“The Global Village Construction Set (GVCS) is an open technological platform that allows for the easy fabrication of the 50 different Industrial Machines that it takes to build a small civilization with modern comforts. Key features of the GVCS: Open Source – Low-Cost – Modular – User-Serviceable – DIY – Closed-Loop Manufacturing – High Performance – Heirloom Design – Flexible Fabrication.”

“A modern, comfortable lifestyle relies on a variety of efficient Industrial Machines. If you eat bread, you rely on an Agricultural Combine. If you live in a wood house, you rely on a Sawmill. Each of these machines relies on other machines in order for it to exist. If you distill this complex web of interdependent machines into a reproduceable, simple, closed-loop system, you get these 50 machines.”

The GVCS is a work-in-progress. See the wiki, the blog and (the best introduction) the movie.

Related: How to make everything ourselves: open modular hardware.

Steam engine galleries


Locomobiel Stoommachine is a Dutch site, but it is worth clicking around because of the quantity and the quality of pictures and drawings of all possible steam engines and their applications. (note 02/2011: site has been moved and renamed).

The development of the electric motor

Electric motor

Picture gallery at the Spark Museum.

Dynamos from the 1880s


A gallery of illustrations.