Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
ukelele lady

Things Now Gone

Recommended Posts

DaveH

What was Carbide, and can you still buy it ?

I had at one time an old brass front light that fitted on my push-bike,

it was illuminated by carbide/gas.

Can remember the carbide as looked like bits of blue/green stone, and gave of a distinctive gas like smell,

the lamp had a water reservoir that dripped on the carbide to produce the flammable gas.

Where did Carbide come from, and did it have other uses .. ?

OK Steve, it's ask the chemist time again.

"Carbide", properly called Calcium Carbide, is a compound of calcium and carbon made by heating calcium compounds from limestone with coke in a furnace.

It's main use to react with water to produce acetylene gas (now called ethyne gas)

This gas has many uses, most notably in oxy-acetylene welding of metals.

I have not seen or heard mention of calcium carbide for many years. Moggy used to have some in his lab and me, Stuart and Frithy did actually get to make and test some acetylene with it during either our Friday afternoon "Creative Activities" or our 4th year "CSE chemistry for the 3 of us" lessons.

I seem to remember that there was a way to make a depth charge explosive with carbide, a weighted 35mm film cassette can (preferably with a screw cap) and asmall hole to let water into it but this must have been banned years ago.

Your lamp had my interest as I have come across such lamps before, but only on late Victorian and Edwardian bikes, although their use persisted well into the 1950's when electric lamps became plentiful and affordable.

I have checked in an old favourite book "Chemistry experiments at home for boys and girls" for details of these lamps, availability of carbide and possibly the depth charge experiment. I know that the original 1951 copy had some of these details but my copy, a 1970 reprint (ironically a Norfolk School prize book for coming top in chemistry that year lol ) has no reference to carbide at all.

I assume that its use and misuse was so dangerous that it was no longer made available except perhaps to recognised industries which could deal with it safely.

The following extracts from a 1948 Encyclopedia may be of interest.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
SteveHB

OK Steve, it's ask the chemist time again.

"Carbide", properly called Calcium Carbide, is a compound of calcium and carbon made by heating calcium compounds from limestone with coke in a furnace.

It's main use to react with water to produce acetylene gas (now called ethyne gas)

This gas has many uses, most notably in oxy-acetylene welding of metals.

Thank you Dave for your information on Carbide,

sad to say but my gas bike lamp went many years ago, no idea what happened to it.

Your mention of depth charges has jogged my memory,

as I remember being told of a way that was used by poachers to catch salmon,

the old blue plastic Domostos bottles were very strong,

you put some Carbide into a dry bottle and some pebbles to weight it,

pierce a small hole, and screw on the cap, then toss it into the salmon pool.

Bang ! it stunned the fish.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
hilldweller

OK Steve, it's ask the chemist time again.

"Carbide", properly called Calcium Carbide, is a compound of calcium and carbon made by heating calcium compounds from limestone with coke in a furnace.

It's main use to react with water to produce acetylene gas (now called ethyne gas)

This gas has many uses, most notably in oxy-acetylene welding of metals.

I have not seen or heard mention of calcium carbide for many years. Moggy used to have some in his lab and me, Stuart and Frithy did actually get to make and test some acetylene with it during either our Friday afternoon "Creative Activities" or our 4th year "CSE chemistry for the 3 of us" lessons.

I seem to remember that there was a way to make a depth charge explosive with carbide, a weighted 35mm film cassette can (preferably with a screw cap) and asmall hole to let water into it but this must have been banned years ago.

Your lamp had my interest as I have come across such lamps before, but only on late Victorian and Edwardian bikes, although their use persisted well into the 1950's when electric lamps became plentiful and affordable.

I have checked in an old favourite book "Chemistry experiments at home for boys and girls" for details of these lamps, availability of carbide and possibly the depth charge experiment. I know that the original 1951 copy had some of these details but my copy, a 1970 reprint (ironically a Norfolk School prize book for coming top in chemistry that year lol ) has no reference to carbide at all.

I assume that its use and misuse was so dangerous that it was no longer made available except perhaps to recognised industries which could deal with it safely.

The following extracts from a 1948 Encyclopedia may be of interest.

I have seen gatherings of pot-holers in Middleton Dale getting all their equipment ready and they were certainly still using carbide lamps until very recently. I suppose the power to weight ratio of these lamps must be better than electric lanterns . A tin of carbide in the pocket and plenty of water available "down under"

One little known problem with distributing acetylene gas around a factory from a centralised supply is that the gas supply pressure must be kept below a certain low limit in order that it remains stable. In the cylinder the gas is absorbed in acetone soaked cellulose material and higher storage pressures are possible. If the cylinder is jarred or dented and a void appears in the packing then the cylinder becomes a potential bomb.

Under no circumstances should copper piping be used with acetylene because very readily detonated explosive compounds can be produced. Explosions have occurred with even a short bit of copper pipe used to join lengths of rubber welding hose. The material used for welding nozzles is a special alloy.

I saw a video of what little remained of a new factory which had been specified with copper pipe for welding gasses, luckily it was empty at the time.

She was only a welder's daughter but she had acety------------------------------------------- !

HD

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest SuzyC

A 45rpm 7 inch single gramaphone record.

Now there's something else that's a "thing now gone" :(

My retirement present from work was a record player, which was very thoughtful of the younger generation, as I still had lots of vinyl tucked away in boxes. It is a source of great fun and entertainment (remember this we shout! :) ) because, of course, it has to be played very loudly. Has saved me a fortune in replacing my record collection for CDs, although I do have those too (mostly compilations of old stuff :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest SuzyC

Not exactly how I remember The Platters version of it from 1958

<object width="480" height="385"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=57tK6aQS_H0?fs=1&amp;hl=en_GB"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=57tK6aQS_H0?fs=1&amp;hl=en_GB" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="480" height="385"></embed></object>

There was also, blue, blue, blue, blue, Esso blue, etc. with a little cartoon man jumping about. Talk about brainwashing. I can never get the following blurb out of my head "You´ll wonder where the yellow went if you brush your teeth with Pepsodent". This obviously belongs to another thread of advertising which I think has been covered.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Bayleaf

There was also, blue, blue, blue, blue, Esso blue, etc. with a little cartoon man jumping about. Talk about brainwashing. I can never get the following blurb out of my head "You´ll wonder where the yellow went if you brush your teeth with Pepsodent". This obviously belongs to another thread of advertising which I think has been covered.

The one that goes round and round in my head is

"The Esso sign means happy motoring,

the Esso sign means happy motoring,

the Esso sign means happy motoring,

So call at the Esso sign

For Esso Extra"

Sad or what?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Waterside Echo

The one that goes round and round in my head is

"The Esso sign means happy motoring,

the Esso sign means happy motoring,

the Esso sign means happy motoring,

So call at the Esso sign

For Esso Extra"

Sad or what?

Not sad at all. It just proves how good the advertising people were at promoting their clients goods. W/E.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest plain talker

There was also, blue, blue, blue, blue, Esso blue, etc. with a little cartoon man jumping about. Talk about brainwashing. I can never get the following blurb out of my head "You´ll wonder where the yellow went if you brush your teeth with Pepsodent". This obviously belongs to another thread of advertising which I think has been covered.

hehe Suzy, surely it was "You'll wonder where your dentures went

when you brush your teeth in wet cement!"

?????

(Actually I STR my mother telling me Pepsodent was the first advert on ITV when it started broadcasting - or is the Almost Alzheimers hitting me, yet again, and it was Gibbs SR?)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
RichardB

Actually I STR my mother telling me Pepsodent was the first advert on ITV when it started broadcasting - or is the Almost Alzheimers hitting me, yet again, and it was Gibbs SR?

ITV went live at 7.15pm on 22 September 1955, with a line-up including the Hallé Orchestra playing Elgar's Cockaigne Suite and an excerpt from The Importance of Being Earnest, starring Sir John Gielgud.

The first advertisement came a little more than an hour into the schedule (22nd Sept 1955, 8.12 PM), viewers saw a tube of Gibbs SR toothpaste in a block of ice, with a voice-over pronouncing it a "tingling fresh toothpaste" for teeth and gums.

(SR = Sodium Ricinoleate).

<object width="480" height="385"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pKuEwsEiSp8?fs=1&amp;hl=en_GB"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pKuEwsEiSp8?fs=1&amp;hl=en_GB" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="480" height="385"></embed></object>

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest plain talker

ITV went live at 7.15pm on 22 September 1955, with a line-up including the Hallé Orchestra playing Elgar's Cockaigne Suite and an excerpt from The Importance of Being Earnest, starring Sir John Gielgud.

The first advertisement came a little more than an hour into the schedule (22nd Sept 1955, 8.12 PM), viewers saw a tube of Gibbs SR toothpaste in a block of ice, with a voice-over pronouncing it a "tingling fresh toothpaste" for teeth and gums.

(SR = Sodium Ricinoleate).

<object width="480" height="385"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pKuEwsEiSp8?fs=1&amp;hl=en_GB"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pKuEwsEiSp8?fs=1&amp;hl=en_GB" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="480" height="385"></embed></object>

Thanks for clarifying that for me, Richard.

I was half-right, wasn't I? I knew it was a toothpaste!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ukelele lady

Remember the darning mushrooms?

A wooden object shaped like a mushroom, my mother never had one,

she used to use an old screw top jar to put inside the sock.

I suppose socks have become more affordable that we don't

have to make-do and mend.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest SuzyC

hehe Suzy, surely it was "You'll wonder where your dentures went

when you brush your teeth in wet cement!"

?????

(Actually I STR my mother telling me Pepsodent was the first advert on ITV when it started broadcasting - or is the Almost Alzheimers hitting me, yet again, and it was Gibbs SR?)

Ha I like that one he he

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest SuzyC

Not sad at all. It just proves how good the advertising people were at promoting their clients goods. W/E.

Was it also Esso who put a tiger in your tank and garages provided fur fabric tiger tails to attach to your car? Can´t remember if you bought them or got them free with so many gallons of petrol :blink:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Waterside Echo

Was it also Esso who put a tiger in your tank and garages provided fur fabric tiger tails to attach to your car? Can´t remember if you bought them or got them free with so many gallons of petrol :blink:

Yes it was Esso `SuzyC`. It would be around 1965/66, but no idea how many gallons had to purchased to get one. W/E.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Waterside Echo

1958 a tomorrow of power without end. 2010 or until the wind drops. W/E.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
DaveH

Thank you Dave for your information on Carbide,

sad to say but my gas bike lamp went many years ago, no idea what happened to it.

Your mention of depth charges has jogged my memory,

as I remember being told of a way that was used by poachers to catch salmon,

the old blue plastic Domostos bottles were very strong,

you put some Carbide into a dry bottle and some pebbles to weight it,

pierce a small hole, and screw on the cap, then toss it into the salmon pool.

Bang ! it stunned the fish.

That's exactly how the carbide depth charge worked Steve.

However, this type of depth charge is far too unreliable and unpredictable to use in real depth charges.

Most real depth charges use a standard ecplosive charge (eg, TNT) which would be triggered either on a timer set when a release pin pulled out as it rolled off the ships deck, or more commonly, by a pressure activated switch which could be set to go off at a preset depth of water.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
DaveH

A tin of carbide in the pocket and plenty of water available "down under"....

HD

...sounds like a sure fire way to blow your own leg off! :o

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
DaveH

One little known problem with distributing acetylene gas around a factory from a centralised supply is that the gas supply pressure must be kept below a certain low limit in order that it remains stable. In the cylinder the gas is absorbed in acetone soaked cellulose material and higher storage pressures are possible. If the cylinder is jarred or dented and a void appears in the packing then the cylinder becomes a potential bomb.

I think this why the carbide depth charge was so effective.

It is not just the pressure of the gas inside the film canister / domestos bottle which is unable to get through that tiny hole fast enough that blows the container apart (a physical explosion caused by pressure alone)

The gas pressure exceeds its stable pressure and explodes with chemical decomposition, - in fact I vaguely remember a flash and black smoke being produced, - and one hell of a bang far greater than the pressure alone would produce.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
DaveH

Under no circumstances should copper piping be used with acetylene because very readily detonated explosive compounds can be produced. Explosions have occurred with even a short bit of copper pipe used to join lengths of rubber welding hose. The material used for welding nozzles is a special alloy.

I saw a video of what little remained of a new factory which had been specified with copper pipe for welding gasses, luckily it was empty at the time.

Acetylene reacts with many metals to produce unstable "acetylides" (ethydes)

Copper, Silver and Mercury to name just 3

Although they do have their uses as detonators for other explosives they are notoriously dangerous to work with.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
DaveH

My retirement present from work was a record player, which was very thoughtful of the younger generation, as I still had lots of vinyl tucked away in boxes. It is a source of great fun and entertainment (remember this we shout! :) ) because, of course, it has to be played very loudly. Has saved me a fortune in replacing my record collection for CDs, although I do have those too (mostly compilations of old stuff :)

Now modern "record players" (gramophones) are all well and good,

BUT,

many of them now lack the higher 78rpm speed and the alternate stylus (or even a needle) to play them.

SO

Things now gone, -

10 inch, shellac, 78rpm singles and record players with a 1inch metal needle to play them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
DaveH

The one that goes round and round in my head is

"The Esso sign means happy motoring,

the Esso sign means happy motoring,

the Esso sign means happy motoring,

So call at the Esso sign

For Esso Extra"

Sad or what?

Would that be this one Bayleaf?

<object width="480" height="385"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_VhONf1xfeM?fs=1&amp;hl=en_GB"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_VhONf1xfeM?fs=1&amp;hl=en_GB" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="480" height="385"></embed></object>

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ukelele lady

That brought a smile to my face Dave, great stuff. lol

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
DaveH

Remember the darning mushrooms?

A wooden object shaped like a mushroom, my mother never had one,

she used to use an old screw top jar to put inside the sock.

I suppose socks have become more affordable that we don't

have to make-do and mend.

Like one of these

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
DaveH

1958 a tomorrow of power without end. 2010 or until the wind drops. W/E.

If it was going to be "power without end" why did they use the acronym ZETA in which the first 2 letters stand for "ZERO ENERGY"?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ukelele lady

Like one of these

Yes that's the thing.

Talking of the one inch needles for the 78 records there is a place where you can still buy all

these old things for old record players, I've got the address somewhere because I once bought some

needles which I might still have got.

I've plenty of 78s in the loft which have been passed down the family, brass band marches, George

Formby, Donald Pearse and some I've never heard of.

And then there's all those 45s I bought in the sixties.

Do you remember how we used to soften the 78 records to bend them into plant pots?

They'd got the ready made hole at the bottom . he he

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...