Tag Archives: 1900s

Chilean Aviation Pioneers


Luis Peña may have created the most niche Lego category of all time, and there are some bloody niche ones out there already. These three marvellous contraptions from the early days of flight come from his ‘Chilean Aviation Pioneers’ album, celebrating the first men to get airborne in Chile.

The Bristol M1.C (below) was Britain’s first combat monoplane. It was also Chile’s, as Britain delivered 12 M1.Cs to the country in lieu of two battleships that Chile had ordered from the UK, but that were commandeered by the Royal Navy to fight in the First World War before they could be delivered.

In South America the M1.C became the first aircraft in history to cross the Andes Mountains, whilst in Europe it became a successful air-racer after the war, back in the days when air racing was a thing. Just one example survives today, residing in a museum in Australia.

Luis’ second Chilean Aviation Pioneer (below) is the French-made Voisin Cellular biplane, which became the first plane ever to fly in Chile when it was piloted by César Copetta in 1910, some twenty year before the formation of the Chilean airforce.

Like the Bristol above the vintage aircraft has been superbly recreated in 1:40 (roughly mini-figure) scale, including the the guide wires, spindly wheels, and wooden frame and wing struts.

Luis’ Final Chilean Aviation Pioneer is the 1909 Blériot XI (below), a French design that became the first aircraft ever to fly across the English Channel, as well as the first heavier-than-air aircraft to be used in war, when it was deployed in Africa in 1910. The Blériot also became the first military aircraft to fly in Chile, in the hands of Captain Manuel Ávalos in 1913.

As wonderfully constructed as Luis’ other aircraft there’s more to see of the Blériot XI, plus the Bristol M.1C and Voisin Cellular and Luis’ ‘Chilean Aviation Pioneers album’ on Flickr. Click the link above to go flying over Chile sometime in the early twentieth century.

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The Greatest Showman

Lego Traction Engine

Before the internal combustion engine took over as the dominant technology, early vehicles were powered by all sorts of stuff. Electric – weirdly – was widely used (so things are coming full circle and perhaps Tesla aren’t that revolutionary after all), as was steam, which featured in everything from small(ish) runabouts to enormous tractors, or ‘traction engines’.

Unlike electric, steam vehicles probably aren’t going to make a comeback, but we do still like to see a nice traction engine. Yeah, we’re a bit sad. So does Flickr’s Nikolaus Lowe though, and as such he’s built this splendid mini-figure scale ‘Showman’s Engine’, completely with a wonderfully be-hatted showman at the controls. Head to Nikolaus’s photostream via the link above for more details.

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Technic Traction

Lego Traction Engine

We’re not sure what’s got into The Lego Car Blog Elves this weekend, but they’re bringing back builds of a very classical nature. From the inventively old to the actually old now, and two absolutely beautiful Technic steam tractors from Flickr’s Nikolaus Lowe.

An unusual choice for a Technic build we think these – somewhat oddly – qualify for ‘Technic Supercar’ status, being equipped with working steering, brakes, piston and valve gear, and a two-speed transmission.

Head over to Flickr for the complete gallery of images, where you can also find a link to vote for Nikolaus’ design on LEGO Ideas, whilst we figure out how the Elves have been watching ‘Downton Abbey’.

Lego Traction Engine

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Imperial Square

Lego Tram

Today’s post may be a fictional tram at a fictional stop in a fictional square, but that doesn’t stop it being completely lovely. Eero Okkonen is the builder behind this neat turn-of-the-century scene and there’s more to see on Flickr via the link. Ding ding!

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The Old Workhorse

Lego Traction Engine

The Lego Car Blog is normally full of Porsches, hot rods and fighter jets, but not today! Today we’re bringing you something much classier. And much older too…

Traction engines were the tractors of the late 1800s-early 1900s, effectively self-propelled steam engines for the roads that could pull immense loads. Very slowly, but immense loads nonetheless. The arrival of the internal combustion-engined tractor saw traction engine use decline massively, but many do still survive to this day. In fact this TLCB writer passed one close by to TLCB Towers recently that was comfortably towing both an enormous wooden caravan trailer and a Land Rover Defender behind that. Very slowly.

This superbly rendered turn-of-the-century traction engine comes from newcomer Bricked1980, and whilst it’s not our normal fodder we absolutely love it! Constructed in LEGO’s newer hues of dark green and gold, Bricked’s model features authentic chain steering, a spinning flywheel, much plumbing accoutrement, and a drawbar trailer full of assorted old-timey stuff. Which it will pull, very slowly.

Suggested to us by a reader there’s much more to see of Bricked1980s brilliant mini-figure scale traction engine design at both Eurobricks and Flickr, where you’ll also find a link to the model on the LEGO Ideas platform.

 

Lego Traction Engine

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French Thunder

Lego 1905 Darracq 200hp

The French don’t often get much credit for their automobiles. Least of all here at The Lego Car Blog, even though France pretty much invented motor racing, the world’s most famous race is held there every year, and of course they’re (sort of) responsible for the world’s fastest production car too. Well today we put that right, with one of the most amazing cars from the early years of motoring.

Powered by a 200hp V8, the Darracq LSR was little more than a enormous engine bolted to two girders, an approach that we like the sound of very much. It set the Land Speed Record in 1905 at almost 200km/h and it still exists today, regularly tackling the Goodwood Festival of Speed hillclimb almost completely sideways, despite coming from a time long before drifting was a thing.

This neat Technic replica of the monstrous French racer comes from Nikolaus Löwe of Flickr, and it’s genuinely about as technically advanced as the real car, which isn’t hard. Take a closer look at one of the forgotten heroes of motor racing via the link above.

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Last of the Steam Tugs

Lego Saturn Steam Tug

This is the ‘Saturn’, a 1908 German steam tug which saw active duty right up until 1979. That made it the very last serving steam tug in Germany and earned it a place in the Rostock Shipping Museum, where it still resides today. This gorgeous 1:40-scale replica of the last steam tug comes from Flickr’s koffiemoc who has recreated the little ship beautifully in Lego form. There are lots more images to see – including highlights of the brilliant detailing and ‘how to’ pictures of the hull construction – at koffiemoc’s photostream. Steam ahead via the link above.

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