Saturday, May 9, 2009

Real 70s. Op-art

It's 1972. Chess:

Fischer-Spassky. 1972 World chess championship, Reykjavik
There are no laurels in Iceland, and the winner was crowned with a wreath of Icelandic birch leaves

Teletype. Why?

'Printing telegraph' was introduced by Morkrum, an American company that in 1910 installed first devices for Postal Telegraph Company in Boston and New York. Fist general purpose teletype was produced by the same company in 1922.
Teletype is an electro-mechanical typewriter which can be used to communicate typed messages from point to point and point to multipoint over a variety of communications channels that range from a simple electrical connection, such as a pair of wires, to the use of radio etc. For many decades it was an important instrument of news agencies, government institutions, private corporations and armed forces.
Actually the correct name is 'teleprinter', and 'Teletype' is a trade mark of Teletype Corporation of Skokie, Illinois, USA. German teleprinters made by Siemens & Halske were called 'Fernschreiber' (telewriter).
From 1920s teleprinters were an integral part of Telex networks.

In our AH this bulky device plays a significant role. Mark starts his media career as a petty staff worker with national news agency translating teleprinter feeds from abroad. Then he widely uses teleprinter preparing his news broadcasts. Eva for at least two years is employed as a typist by a regional branch of Pan-European Continental Telegraph Agency. In German-dominated Central Europe the device is called 'Fernschreiber' (see above).

Shown: Telex machine T100 manufactured by Siemens

Teleprinter a.k.a. Teletype

Siemens Fernschreiber 100
early 1960s

Friday, May 8, 2009

Chris Farlowe. Why?

Born John Henry Deighton in Islington, North London, in 1940, he reached his early teens just as the skiffle boom was breaking in England... His first band was his own John Henry Skiffle Group, where he played guitar as well as sang, but he gave up playing to concentrate on his voice, as he made the switch to rock & roll.

He eventually took the name Chris Farlowe, the surname appropriated from American rock & roll vocalist Tal Farlow, and was fronting a group called the Thunderbirds, as Chris Farlowe & the Thunderbirds. They built their reputation as a live act in England and Germany, and slowly switched from rock & roll to R&B during the early years of the '60s...

In 1966, with his EMI contract up, Farlowe was snatched up by Andrew Oldham, who knew a thing or two about white Britons who could sing R&B, having signed the Rolling Stones three years earlier, and put him under contract to his new Immediate Records label. Immediate's history with unestablished artists is mostly a story of talent cultivated for future success, but with Farlowe it was different -- he actually became a star on the label, through the label. His luck began to change early on, as he saw a Top 40 chart placement with his introduction of the Jagger/Richards song "Think," which the Rolling Stones later released as an album track on Aftermath. That summer, he had the biggest hit of his career with his rendition of the Stones' "Out of Time", in a moody and dramatic version orchestrated by Arthur Greenslade, which reached number one on the British charts.

That's the beginning of Farlowe's story according to AMG (click here for full article). Great singer is still alive and kicking, sometimes on stage, sometimes in WWII memorabilia business.
In our AH Chris Farlowe enjoyed a superstar status from the mid-Sixties and well into the Seventies. It will be tedious to name all those who failed to achieve this status. We'll just mention a forgotten combo from Liverpool, relatively unknown London R&B quintet, etc. More important, Farlowe is Mark's favorite singer.

And now to the real Mr Deighton: here's his official website, along with an extensive fansite.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Chris Farlowe. Out of Time

For us, this is much more than a song. "Out of Time" sounds so symbolic...
Image: Twenty Flight Rock

Vickers Turboprop. Why?

Airliner featured in previous post is perfectly real. First protype flew in 1959, and a small fleet of 20 Vanguards entered BEA (British European Airlines) service in 1962. Original configuration included 108-seat tourist class saloon and 18-seat first class saloon at the rear. Soon it was changed to 139-seat all-tourist class.
In AH Vanguard's configuration remains unchanged. Mark Toma travels to and from London as a first class passenger, courtesy of Special Research Bureau. The main competitor of this handsome  medium-haul turboprop is German Ju 692 Ostwind, powered by four turbojet engines.

BEA Vickers Vanguard Turpoprop

What is it doing here? See the explanation.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Radio. Why?

1953 Tesla radio set showed in the previous post is not only stylish but symbolic. A guy named Mark Toma worked for a State-owned radio channel. Steady job. Decent salary. A decade and a half of professional experience. Late-night program, all of his own. Scores of devoted listeners. A rare opportunity to break through breaking-news routine, to speak about things that never happened. Things that tear his memory apart.

Then came a lovely September day that changed everything. A charming student trainee from a provincial University stepped into Mark's office. There was a challenge in her eyes and in her smile. A challenge that at once set his heart on fire. But after only two-months-and-something the lady disappeared without a trace, as though she had never been there.
Popular broadcaster lost his love and almost immediately lost his job. A pure coincidence? Any reason? And who was the girl - an angel or a spy? And why Mark's world is so different from ours?
Let's try to find out.

That's for Starters

Tesla 308u Talisman tube radio

Watch the video: