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|"QUANTUM SHOT" #718
Link - article by Simon Rose and Avi Abrams
...These Knobs Were Made for Twisting...
When Part 1 appeared here at Dark Roasted Blend last year, we just knew we’d have to do a follow up article at some point. So here’s a look at some more weird and wonderful dashboards and instrument panels, complete with masses of levers, dials, buttons and switches.
(American LaFrance fire engine pumper controls; top photo by Todd Lapin)
Here is a cryptic gray control panel from a vintage flight simulator (complete with a steep learning curve):
A faked picture, claiming to be from the early fifties, this model was supposed to have been created to show what a home computer might look like in the year 2004, although the phony caption does state how the machine would not be feasible for the average home. A manufactured picture perhaps, but fascinating nonetheless.
Direct from the Cold War, here we see a set of controls from a Titan missile silo monitoring station near Tucson, Arizona:
(images credit: Rich Luhr)
Many of us have seen these airport gate control panels, as we’re about to board a flight:
(images credit: Ted Power)
These old rusty controls operate a car ferry (seen in Croatia):
(image credit: Stjefan Tafra)
Here we have the dashboard of a snow-grooming vehicle (chamonix, France):
(image credit: Pete)
This set of instruments has a very important purpose, taking care of beer at a Brooklyn brewery:
(image credit: David Gilford)
Here is the wonderfully complex and shiny beer-bottling machine from the same brewery:
(image credit: David Gilford)
These are the 2006 American LaFrance fire engine pumper controls:
(image credit: Todd Lapin)
A somewhat simple panel, if you know what you’re doing, of course, from a crane - at the UK's only oil power station:
(image via, see more here)
More dials from the control room of this oil-fired power station at Inverkip, Scotland (decommissioned in 2006):
Here is how this control room looked in the 1980s, and now - slated for demolition in 2011:
This is a railroad engineer’s control station inside the GE Evolution series locomotive:
(images credit: Paul Sidorsky)
In Nagasaki, Japan, the older streetcars still have these types of control panels.
This is the control panel for the Pike’s Peak cog train in Manitou Springs, Colorado:
(image credit: Brad Kaplan)
This great set of panels (it even includes the cryptic button "Matrix Enable") seems to be a test device for aircraft navigation equipment... it certainly looks very complicated:
(image credit: Sameli)
"This looks like airport tower equipment. Top panel is the radio control to talk to pilots or ground personnel (but they took of the mike). The rest are control panels for radar and antenna azimuth. Most of it could be from late 1960s" (left image):
On the left: LAUNCH! (a model rocket control panel). On the right: An old potato warehouse air conditioning controls, found in Finland:
(images via 1, )
Typical Music studio environment provides plenty of opportunities to handle knobs and switches: on the left are racks of audio equipment, on the right are mixing consoles -
Vintage audio mixers are beautiful... Radio Studio Gear, Six channels mixer, from Suomi, Finland -
"Data Entry"... "Test Points"... The new vintage knob esthetic is here:
With the potential perils of nuclear power very much back in the news after the massive earthquake and tsunami in Japan, we see here the incredible amount of technology required to run a nuclear power plant:
This is an older model "Kurchatovski" Russian reactor control panel (also shown are the reactor chamber with graphite blocks, and the early 1950s computing unit):
This periscope (!) was used to monitor the reactor chamber (war-time model from 1943):
This is one of the control rooms at Chernobyl in Ukraine. This is for the first reactor, not the one that exploded back in 1986:
(image credit: Mark Nelson)
We looked at a few space travel vehicle panels in the first article, including the Space Shuttle and some of the early capsules, but here’s a shot of the interior of Skylab, the first space station, launched back in the seventies:
(image via NASA)
After viewing the complex panels and sets of controls for so many devices and vehicles, it’s comforting to know that in the future things will become more simplified. Here’s the bridge of the Enterprise from the original Star Trek series:
And here’s the equally uncomplicated panel which operates the transporter on a starship:
And finally, here’s the dashboard from the DeLorean in Back to the Future:
(image credit: PopCultureGeek.com)
ALSO READ THE FIRST PART! ->
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Simon Rose is the author of science fiction and fantasy novels for children, including The Alchemist's Portrait, The Sorcerer's Letterbox, The Clone Conspiracy, The Emerald Curse, The Heretic's Tomb and The Doomsday Mask.
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