Trains, Automobiles and Guns

In continuing on with the Planes, Trains, Automobiles and Guns themes (Planes were the last post), we visited Union Station, in downtown Ogden, Utah.  It’s definitely worth a visit if you are in the area.  The station contains four small museums that you can visit, for $7.00 per adult.  The current station was built in 1924, after the previous station burned down.

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The Grand Lobby in Union Station

In Wisconsin, we call this a bubbler.  The rest of the country, for whatever reason, seems to think this is a water fountain.

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At it’s heyday, 120 trains went through Ogden every day.  Union Station is now used to house several small museums, including an outdoor display of diesel and steam engines.

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The Utah Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum has a small space honoring the Utah Cowboy Hall of Fame as well as historic western memorabilia.

The Browning-Kimball Classic Car Museum has about a dozen old cars on display.  What is unique about the cars is they are all driven out of the museum every year during the annual Heritage Festival in Ogden every May.

The blue car on the right is a 1931 Lincoln Model 202A.

P1050978 (2)Below is the 1929 Pierce-Arrow.

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Below, on the far right, a 1929 Durant model 6-60.  The red vehicle is a 1911 Knox Model S Roadster.  The beige vehicle on the far left is a 1930 Cadillac Model 452.

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The Utah State Railroad Museum is now the proud owner of the The Golden Spike safe, which was originally held at Stanford University, and contained the original Golden Spike of 1869, a 17.6 karat gold spike used to connect the final rail of the Transcontinental Railroad, connecting the Union Pacific with the Central Pacific in Promontory Summit, Utah Territory, May 10, 1869.

After the 1989 earthquake in California, the museum displaying the safe and spike was damaged, and a new museum was built, with a new display case for the spike.  The safe was then donated to this museum in 2010.  The “golden spike” on display in the safe is the Utah Centennial Golden Spike.

Before trains, people were not really aware of “time.”  There was morning, afternoon, evening and night.  People used sundials to keep track of time.  After trains, “time” became important, and people soon realized that the time in Chicago was not the same as the time in Ogden.  In 1884, the National Railway Time Convention proposed standard time zones, and in 1918 Congress finally passed the Standard Time Act, making the time zones official.

The John M. Browning Firearms Museum  has a large display of firearms.  The museum started with the history of the Browning family, talking about John M Browning’s father, Jonathan.  The family history was a bit confusing, because Jonathan was a polygamist with several wives and lots of children.  (too many branches in the family tree!).  Jonathan was a gunsmith in Ogden, and John followed in his footsteps, working in his shop at young age.  He is considered to be one of the most successful gun designers in history, with many of his 128 patented designs still in use today.   He sold many of his designs to Winchester, Colt, Remington and Fabrique National de Herstel (FN) of Belgium.  Original models of his guns are on display.  They provide an excellent history on the development of rifles, shot guns and automatic weapons.

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His very first invention, in 1878, was the single shot rifle (top rifle in the photo below).  In 1883, he sold the patent to Winchester, and in 1885, they started selling Model 1885 in 33 calibers (bottom rifle).

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John M Browning also developed a 9mm pistol.  The top pistol was his first prototype, and the other three were patents he sold to Fabrique National (FN).

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He developed a number of weapons for the military.

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Including this automatic rifle, which was first used near the end of WWI, and continued to be used through the Vietnam War.  It can fire 500 rounds per minute.

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In 1911, Browning designed the M1911, semi-automatic weapon used by the military as their standard sidearm.  It was manufactured by Colt, and used until 1986. Below are several variations of the model.

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If you are a gun owner, John M Browning probably had something to do with the design and development of the guns that you own.  We enjoyed our visit to Union Station, and highly recommend a visit if you are in Ogden, Utah.

Now it’s back to work…

Quote of the Day:  “Jobs fill your pocket, but adventures fill your soul.” – Jamie Lyn Beatty

 

 

 

 

Hill Aerospace Museum

After leaving Bryce Canyon National Park, we headed up to Ogden, Utah with our friends Tom and Ellen.  They just stayed one night, and headed up to their summer work camping job in West Yellowstone, MT.  After looking at the weather in Grand Teton National Park, we opted to spend two nights in Ogden.

We enjoy going to museums, and Ogden has several interesting museums available.  It’s a planes, trains, cars, cowboys and guns paradise!  I though about doing one blog to cover all the museums, but I know people like to look at photos, so I will break this up into two posts, and just cover the planes today.  You can always double-click on the photos to enlarge them.

Hill Aerospace Museum, located on Hill Air Force Base (Utah’s largest employer) just south of Ogden, is an excellent place to spend a few hours looking at over 100 planes and exhibits from the Wright Brothers, World War I and II, Korea, Vietnam and current day battles.  They also have a STEM Education program, and the several dozen school children that we saw running around, seemed very excited to learn about aviation history.  The large planes are outdoors.

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Hill Aerospace Museum

Hill Air Force Base is tasked with maintenance and repair of planes.  In the exhibit on the Wright Brothers, they focus on the man tasked with helping the brothers maintain the plane.  Charles Edward Taylor is considered to be the world’s first aviation mechanic.  He built the first successful engine for the Wright Brothers, and taught them how to build engines.  He was the lead mechanic on the first transcontinental flight in 1911.  Below is a replica of the 1911 Burgess-Wright Model F Flyer.

In World War I, this Curtis JN-4D “Jenny” was used by the Signal Corp for training.

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The plane below, a North American B-25J “Mitchell” was used to attack Japan after the Pearl Harbor attack.  Although the planes inflicted minimal damage, troop moral increased, and Japan had to bring their fleet back home to protect their country from direct attack.

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The museum is packed full of planes.  In the first main building, they do not have an area where you can look down on the planes.

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The Boeing B-17G “Flying Fortress” were used in WWII for their strategic bombing of targets in Germany.  This plane is painted in the colors of the 493rd bomb group.

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The museum has a display on the role women played during WWII.  The number of women employed during WWII increased by 57%, and many women were employed in areas traditionally employed by men.

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With their red and white shark paint scheme, these Curtis P-40N planes went into combat against Japan.

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Curtis P-40N “Warhawk”

On the way to the second indoor building, we noticed this plane outside in the courtyard, the Lockheed (V) C-140B “Jetstar.” It was used by President Lyndon Johnson.  We were unaware the Presidents had smaller jets at their disposal.  There was no access to view this plane up close.

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The second building had some stairs where you could look over the planes from a higher vantage point.

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The F-16 “Fighting Falcon” has been the backbone of the Air Force since the mid 1970’s.  At speeds over Mach 2, (about 1400 mph), they are quite impressive! The museum has several on display, and this plane is from the 388th Tactical Fighter Wing assigned to Hill Air Force Base.

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The newest addition to the museum, is the F-16A Thunderbird, received in 2017.

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The outdoor display is just as impressive as the two indoor buildings.

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The B-1B Lancer, put in service in 1986, can carry the largest payload of guided and unguided weapons.

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Boeing B-1B Lancer

The C-130 Hercules, not as “svelte” as the B-1B, has been in use since 1956 as a cargo plane for troops and supplies.

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They had the back landing door open, to view the interior of the C-130.

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B-47 Stratojet

These photos are just a fraction of the planes on display at the museum.  If you are in the Ogden, Utah area, we would highly recommend a visit to this museum (free, donations accepted).   Thank you to all the men and women that have served our country, and keep us safe.

 

Quote for the Day:  “Hitler built a fortress around Europe, but he forgot to put a roof on it.” – President Franklin Roosevelt