December 23rd, 2010

marcus 2013

1939-40 Army and Navy Stores Catalogue

I've recently got hold of a copy of the 1939-1940 Army and Navy Stores catalogue, which I've started to post to one of my web sites. It's a VERY comprehensive catalogue of pretty much everything you could buy in Britain at the time, and I'll be scanning it as time and available space permits - it's more than 1000 pages so I can't promise to get all of it on line, it's slow work and I have other priorities, but I'll be adding more as often as I can. I've started off with firearms, since I know a lot of people are interested, and a few groceries.

Hopefully something here will be useful to writers etc. - and if anyone particularly needs to see something let me know.

fire spreading in a building

This is a kind of tedious question, but it's extremely vital to my story and I'm worried about making it unrealistic.

Question in a nutshell
: How long would it take an intense fire started by supernatural means to spread through an old building around the size of the Biltmore Estate?
Googled: fire spreading in brick buildings, how fast does fire spread in a building

The climax of my story occurs when a character sets fire (using supernatural means, so the fire is very powerful) to a huge boarding school. It is three stories, and about the scale of the Biltmore House. The layout is extremely random - think Winchester Mystery House. The building is mostly made of brick, but has been added on to randomly over the last 80 years, so there are portions that are old and parts that are newer.

The fire is started on the first floor (Point A, marked by the crappy fire). What would be a good estimate of the amount of time it would take the fire to reach Point B (marked by the star, and accidentally by the dropper) on the third floor? It would be burning it's way through a lot of old wood, mainly, and the exterior is brick so it's just spreading indoors.

Edited to add: During the course of the fire, there is no attempt to put it out. The school is high security and in the middle of nowhere, so no firefighters will be alerted. There is no sprinkler system installed. So this fire will run its course until it burns out on its own.

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Also, how fast do you think the smoke would get to the fourth floor? There is a character trapped at Point B, and I have no idea how much smoke would have made it up to that corridor by the time his rescuer finds him (entering from the opposite side of the building from the fire). The building is not extremely open - lots of twisting and turning corridors, and most of the staircases in the part of the building with the fire are behind doors. So would there even be any smoke up there after about 20 minutes? Or would the fire have already reached Point B by that time?

I'm sorry this question is so complicated, and probably asking too much. But I'm stumped, and this is a very important scene. I want to make it as real as possible, but I know nothing about this topic. Ask any questions you need to, and I'll be happy to clarify.
John Locke

Regional assemblies in medieval Norway

Having searched all through Google, Google Books and Wikipedia (search terms Eidsiva, ting, thing, þing, varþing, etc.), I come here as a last resort hoping someone can clarify a few details.  i know that in medieval Norway (13th-14th century is my time of interest) there were local assemblies (tings) and then also regional ones.  The regional ting I'm interested in is Eidsiva or Eidsvoll.  I know the local thing (or varþing) took place in May.  What I need to know is, what time of the year did the regional ones take place?  I seem to remember reading that it was in the winter, but now that I'm trying to double check this I can't seem to find that information anywhere.  Anyone have any information?  Thanks so much!