Title: Things seen
Pages: 62 - 63
This range of freestanding wall units called Interdove consists of a series of shelves, angle pieces, drawers, magazine racks and sliding doors, made of chipboard, curtain-coated with melamine paint, and fixed together by means of small plastic mouldings and front and rear grooves. Shelf uprights are movable, no wall fixing is required and the units can be used as room-dividers. The range comes in one colour combination - white, orange and dark olive -which the makers hope to extend to other colours soon. It is sold in four fixed combinations, supplied knock-down with full illustrated instructions, and prices vary from £76 7s for units 6 ft 1 in high x 6 ft 4 in wide x 14 1/4 in deep to £134 14s, for ones measuring 5 ft 9 in high x 10 ft 6 in wide x 17 in deep. Designed by C G Boulogner for Bogeryds Mobler AB in Sweden, the units are made under licence in Britain by E & H Grace Ltd.
There are now three models in the Swiss Elna Lotus range of sewing machines. The Lotus ZZ which was launched about a year ago has now been joined by the Lotus EC (Economic) and the Lotus SP (Special) Designed by CEI - Raymond Loewy, Paris, the machines are identical with only minor differences relating to their uses. The aluminium alloy casing is die-cast as a single shell and painted electrostatically in two tones of grey. Working components are fixed directly into this casing and the machine is extremely compact and light, weighing only 14 lb 5 oz. The usual outer casing has been replaced by a non-removable cover, the three flaps when open becoming the sewing surface. Tools and accessories are kept in a lidded compartment on the top, the foot control and lead fit inside the machine when the flaps are closed, and there is a carrying handle The EC, a straight-stitch machine, costs £51 9s; the ZZ costs £61 19s and also does all forms of zigzagging including satin stitch and pre-set buttonholes. The SP can do all this plus such things as blind stitch, edging stitch, stretch sewing altogether 20 different uses. It costs £72 9s. All three can be used for embroidery. They are simple to operate by turning the dials on the front, tension is automatically adjusted, there is a transparent plastic presser foot which makes it easier to see what you are doing, a bobbin extractor, and a flywheel locking device.
A new knitwear press means that a girl can iron a cardigan every nine seconds. Called the IBIS RF-60, the machine has two operators and can process about 3000 garments a day. A rotating frame carries four fabric covered bucks fitted with steam and vacuum pipes. The garments are carried on metal frames hinged at the back of the bucks which lift automatically to help the operator load when the machine turns. The other operator trims and straightens the garment, and applies steam. The next station is an automatic press, and the fourth is for vacuum processing. Finally the garment passes to the first operator for unloading. The timing of the processes is controlled by a punched card program. The IBIS is made by Isaac Braithwaite & Son and costs £5750.
One across, three down
A new portable meter for electronic engineers made in France by Schneider Radio Television has adopted a crossword solution to the awkward problem of switching between different ranges and differed units. The Digitest 500 measures at full scale 50 microamps, 50 millivolts to 500 volts and 50 ohms to 500 000 ohms. The usual solution is to engrave all 17 ranges round the outside of a large circular switch; the Schneider instrument has piano keys which select the required unit and range from a table. The instrument is mains or battery powered, more than one per cent accurate, and uses LSI integrated circuits to power its numerical indicating tubes. It costs about £100.
The Volkswagen 181 is a runabout vehicle with a moulded ABS body mounted on a reinforced VW 1500 frame. Other features taken from the VW 1500 include the engine front seats and the safety steering column. The 131's dual braking system incorporates the drum brakes of the VW 1300 on the front axle and those of the Commercial on the rear.
There is room for luggage under the bonnet, which also accommodates the heating system, 8.8 gallon petrol tank and spare wheel. Detachable windows can be fitted, and doors are interchangeable. The 181 reaches its top speed of 68 mph at 4120 rpm. Its climbing ability, with one passenger and on a good road, is 55 per cent in first gear and 29 per cent in second.
Desert island discus
The Lanby buoy, made by Hawker Siddeley Dynamics, is currently being tested by Trinity House with a view to replacing some of its 32 lightships. The discus shaped hull, built by Green and Silley Weir, was evolved by Hawker Siddeley to minimise rocking; even so the buoy moves through 27 degrees and the main light (made by AGA signals) has to be specially designed to allow for this. Instead of the conventional central bulb and rotating lenses it has a revolving hexagonal array of six panels each carrying ten prefocus lamps. When a lamp fails, current is automatically switched to the next panel. The whole installation is designed to be as failure proof as possible. Power for the light, foghorn and control equipment is supplied by one of three diesel alternator sets. Nickel Cadmium batteries can provide full power for five days if all three engines fail, and dry batteries would power an emergency light and fog signal for a further 20 days. The main light will keep turning if six of its eight electric motors fail. All the Lanby systems are closely monitored by a shore station via a telemetry link, and provision is made for fitting radio and radar beacons. A small outside compartment has food and medical supplies, and a "press for rescue" button. The Lanby buoy costs a little over half as much as a conventional lightship, and is 90 per cent cheaper to run.
New packaging designed for Shell Berre by CEI - Raymond Loewy Ltd. has won the Oscar de l'Emballage 1969 awarded by the IFEC (Institut Francais de l'Emballage et du Conditionnement). The new products will eventually be used in most of the countries where Shell products are sold, which explains the straightforward, easily comprehended symbols. Colour has been used to distinguish between the three different types of product: blue for products used in car care, black for maintenance and green for household and personal products.
Deep freeze seal
Ideal for home frozen vegetables, which must be sealed to prevent dehydration, the Bosch FG 1 automatically seals plastic bags placed between its upper and lower bars. The FG 1 can also be used for thicker PVC films for aprons, curtains and tablecloths and could be used for making PVC clothes. It is designed and manufactured by Bosch in Germany and its approximate retail price is £6 6s.
Cross country crane
Based on a four section square-tube hydraulically erected jib, the Iron Fairy range of cranes are designed for delicate handling in confined spaces. The Iron Fairy Cairngorm is a cross country version of the new 10 ton model; it has all-wheel drive and orbital steering. Designed by Peter Ralph, the Cairngorm has all motions controlled from within the cab, which also protects the driver in case of overhead accidents. When folded up the crane has exceptionally low headroom. The range is made by the British Hoist and Crane Company.
The mind pogles
The Pogles family designed and made by Peggy Nisbet, are printed in washable silk screen cotton and stuffed with Courtelle. Mr and Mrs Pogle cost 1 3s 6d each; Pippin and the boldly striped Tog cost 7s 6d each. Made by Peggy Nisbet Ltd Weston-Super-Mare, Somerset.
Caithness Glass are planning to start a new glasshouse at Oban this summer. Their chief designer, Charles Orr, has developed a new decorative technique for what is to be known as Oban Glass. This is an extension of the casing technique (in which one coloured metal is super-imposed on another) by applying thin stripes of carefully chosen colours to the hot ball. The innovation is simple in its present form but can be extended as the blowers gain experience.