Happy New Year!

Monday, January 3, 2022 0 comments

Wow 2022 already!

How time flies when you are having fun.😕

Here is hoping that 2022 brings health, happiness, and lots of Steampunk Shenanigans to you all!

Thanks for reading.

Keep your sightglass full, your firebox trimmed, and your water iced. 

Watch out for the horse shoes!


Airship Construction

Friday, February 19, 2021 0 comments

Building the last great airship.

It is in 1930's propaganda style German, but there are some great images and film of construction details.
Released a year after the Hindenburg disaster, this film documents the construction process of the next zeppelin, the LZ 130. At this stage seen in the film, she was to have been nearly identical to the LZ 129 (Hindenburg), with only a small number of minor improvements (notably, her tail fins were 60 centimeters shorter in addition to some slight changes elsewhere). Later redesigned with new passenger decks and tractor-type engine cars designed for helium, the LZ 130, named the Graf Zeppelin (II), would ultimately be the last zeppelin ever flown.
Keep your sightglass full, your firebox trimmed, and your water iced. 

The Old Navy seen from the New Navy!

Saturday, August 29, 2020 0 comments


An aerial view of a portion of the Grand Fleet at anchor in the Firth of Forth looking at the iconic rail bridge, taken from the British Airship R.9.

Come take a trip in my Airship

Sunday, July 5, 2020 0 comments

A lovely little ditty.

Thanks for reading.

Keep your sightglass full, your firebox trimmed, and your water iced.

Description of a downed airship 1917

Saturday, April 4, 2020 0 comments

Secrets of the L49

Found this fascinating description of the interior of the downed German airship L49.

Keep your sightglass full, your firebox trimmed and your water iced.

From the ‘Nottingham Evening Post,’ 1st November 1917.

In the early hours of 20th October 1917, disorientated, suffering from airsickness, with only two engines working and attacked by Nieuports of Escadrille N.152, Zeppelin L49 came down in France.

It was examined in great detail by the British and French and an account of an inspection by an American “air expert” was published on 1st November 1917.




An air expert of the Chicago Daily News, who visited the wrecked Zeppelin at Bourbonne-les-Bains, has communicated the following account of his impressions to the Press Association’s correspondent.

“Having just visited Zeppelin L49, which fell five kilometres from here, I have been struck by a number of facts. In the tanks there was still a large amount of petrol. The alcoholised water used for fluid ballast was frozen in the reservoirs, and in the 19 balloons of goldbeaters’ skin there was a great lack of gas. The only conclusion to be drawn from these facts was that the Zeppelin’s descent was caused by want of gas, and the impossibility of dropping ballast owing to the freezing of the water.

“Two meteorological authorities have informed me that the Zeppelin’s commander was, in all probability, deceived by the heavy wind like a mistral, which was more violent at the higher than at the lower altitudes. The highest altitude shown by the instruments was 7,000 metres, and rising to this height no doubt resulted in loss of hydrogen, and caused the liquid ballast to freeze. After descending to a lower altitude the commander was unable to reduce his ballast but went on in the hope of reaching Germany. French fighting machines, however, forced him to land. Hoping to set his machine on fire, the commander fired his pistol at the Zeppelin until stopped by a French sentinel. Fortunately he did not succeed. His only remark was ‘As you please, but I thought I had the right to destroy my machine when I surrendered.’


“I went all over the captured airship from the turret platform to the cars. In the wireless telegraphy compartment I found some dry biscuits marked ‘Hanover,’ but was afraid to taste them for fear of poison.

“After all I had heard of Zeppelin comfort, I was surprised not to find much. On the contrary, I should not care to pass a night in one, even for the pleasure of bombing Berlin. The means of communication in the interior of the envelope consisted of an aluminium bridge 4½ inches wide of very fragile construction made of small pieces of aluminium and thin wood, with wire here and there to assist the passenger in keeping his balance. The sides of the bridge were merely waterproofed cloth – nothing else between the passenger and the ground beneath, but all, perhaps, that was necessary. But, still, I confess to being somewhat surprised at the makeshift appearance of the construction and workmanship, of which any English or French workman would have been ashamed.

“One notable exception, however, was the wireless room and installation, which closely resembled that of a transatlantic line of the latest type. According to a French expert who was sent to examine the apparatus, it included several new features of some importance. He assured me that in spite of the operator’s attempt to destroy the machinery before abandoning the ship, it would be possible to reconstruct the apparatus completely,

“Forward of the wireless room, the roomy bridge on the control station was furnished with a fibre mat, and with thick glass wind-shields on all sides. On the right and in the centre were two wheels for the elevating and directing rudders respectively, like those on a small motor yacht. A chart table stood on the right. Square stools, with rounded corners, made of thin wood, were used here elsewhere. They were so lightly made that when a French officer stood on one in order to reach the envelope it collapsed.


“Aft of the wireless room stands the engine-room, where the largest of the five motors actuates the direct drive propeller. This is reached by a ladder which leads to a narrow path, 500 or 600 feet long, within the envelope. On the engine-room floor there was a folded parachute, which looked as though the engineer wore it attached to his shoulders until the moment when the commander decided to surrender.

“From this main motor-room, where the engine is twice the power of the others, I walked inside the envelope along a frail, narrow path of little sticks mounted on aluminium to a point where two diverging paths led to the nacelles.

“On the way I passed a tube of balloon cloth, enclosing an extremely light aluminium ladder, with rungs as far apart as possible, and leading to this was a wooden ladder reminiscent of those used for toy dog performances, but probably much less strong. I climbed uncertainly some 40 rungs to the top of the envelope, where was a small gun platform for two men and machine guns. I noticed here that the top of the envelope was almost white, shading gradually into black towards the lowest part.

“The aft nacelles, one on each side, were reached by ladders about eight feet long leading down from the interior of the envelope. Each of these contain two motors driving a single propeller – two motors being employed so that only one may be used on each side if it is desired to economise fuel.

“Inside the envelope are 19 balloons of goldbeaters’ skin, with smaller balloons built into them for the purpose of taking any overflow of gas, or if required they can be inflated by means of valves which are controlled from the navigation bridge forward.

“The envelope also contains water tanks of canvas, with a capacity of two hundred litres each, evenly distributed. This water ballast can also be controlled from the bridge. There are besides 16 petrol tanks of very solid construction, so arranged that any motor can be fed from any one tank. The rest of the contents include some spare parts, hammocks for the crew, which were probably not much used this last journey, and the aluminium framework that gives the envelope its shape.”
Image: 'The Sphere,' 3rd November 1917.

2019 World Parasol Duelling Champions!

Sunday, September 8, 2019 0 comments

Madame Saffron Hemlock is proud to announce...

The 2019 World Parasol Duelling Champions!

L to R
Raven Hawthorne Street Duelling and Flirtations Champion
Farmer Mandy Compulsory Figures Champion
Linda Laszchuk Duelling and WORLD CHAMPION!
Congratulations Ladies!

Inflating An Airship

Sunday, March 24, 2019 0 comments

Fill 'er up!

This photo shows the partially inflated gas bags of the British R33.

 From FB user Rick Zitarosa: "Gas lines at Lakehurst could provide 100,000 cubic feet per hour at 1-inch of pressure. Weather was a factor on working conditions and while the wartime-size ships could be inflated in a day or two Harold Dick advises that the inflation of the LZ129 commenced in mid January and took over 2 weeks. A critical juncture in the birth/life of a ship because in addition to having the riggers moving about attending to snags/folds/possible tears it was also necessary to ensure even inflation of adjacent cells and the proper addition and movement of sandbags, ballast, etc as the ship became buoyant."

Of course our ship, the HMAS Velvet Brush is inflated with steam, so while it wouldn't be quite so dangerous it would have been very hot!

The picture was posted on the awesome FB group Airships, Dirigibles and Zeppelins
There is an amazing collection of photos and expertise in that group.
Highly recommended is you are looking for an almost daily hit of Airship Wonderfulness.

Thanks for reading.

Keep your sightglass full, your firebox trimmed, and your water iced.

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