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Why flying snail?

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Noel
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A trivial snowy afternoon question. Just curious how the old CIE logo from the 1950s acquired the nickname flying snail?

 

For the 1950s it was a great looking logo. Now knowing the nickname I can see a vague resemblance to a snail, but if I hadn't know the nickname I'd have never thought of a snail myself. It more resembles a wheel, greek/roman helmet, flags on wheels, etc.

 

It looks more like a wheel at speed on rails. :confused:

 

3472642179_312b24c69b.jpg

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Noel, the official name for the symbol was the 'winged wheel', symbolising speed. It dates from 1941 when the Dublin United Tramway Company, recognising the diminishing importance of trams in its operation, changed its name to the Dublin United Transport Company. The centre bar of the symbol carried the name 'Iomchar Atha Cliath' written in Irish script. Following the formation of CIÉ in 1945, the new company opted to retain the logo, but without the name, as it was no longer to be used solely within the Dublin area.

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Previously to 1941, the Dublin United Tramways Company had a garter on green for a short while, prior to that grey with yellow lining (1960's 121 wasn't the first!). ORIGINALS, on original actual paint, can be seen in Enniskillen Railway Museum, of DUTC garter on grey, DUTC garter on green, and original "snail", complete with DUTC name in Irish along its middle, on green.

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Thanks JHB for reminding me where I'd seen the DUTC logo with the name 'Iomchar Átha Cliath' on the centre bar. Noel this is the 'snail' as used between 1941 and the end of the DUTC on 31 December 1944 (the bottom of the logo is slightly obscured by an item in front of it). Note the use of the buailte (dot) over some of the letters. In modern usage the buailte has been replaced by a 'h'.

DUTC Logo1941-1944.jpg

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The gold lining continued into CIE days too. The green is authentic; it came from the DUTC's own stable, and was the same shade continued into CIE says. Therefore, for anyone wanting the correct pre-1955 carriage green, or CIE bus or (occasional) steam locomotive green, or what the B113 and D class were originally painted in, there ye go. Same paint is on 800, though ignore the UFTM's incorrect "G S" lettering on the tender.

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Hi Gang,

 

Another point of note regarding the "Speed on Wheels" logos, or their irreverent title "The Flying Snail" is that there are two variants of the symbol/logo. As there are two variants, the symbol is sometimes incorrectly placed on models.

 

There is a Left facing version and a right facing version. The symbols upper wings should always face in the direction of travel. This is obvious on a bus where the Left facing symbol is on the near-side; right facing symbol on the off- side. For a railway coach this rule does not apply. Take a look at the way CIE placed the symbol in their AEC - 2600 - Railcars. The symbol faces the way the railcar will be, or was, driven. A left facing Symbol is used on both sides of the Railcar. When viewed on a double track railway, the passenger always saw the symbol travelling in the direction they were going. The misunderstanding of the placement of the symbol can be this; passengers waiting to travel in the opposite direction standing on the opposite platform will view the snail as travelling in the wrong direction.

 

Railway Coaches and Goods Wagons should always have the left facing snails on them.

 

Oh, I too have incorrectly placed snails on my models.- must do something about this soon.

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Very true indeed, Old Blarney. Also, when attaching an "eau-de-nil" (never yellow!) "flying snail" to a steam loco tender, the same rule usually applied; the snail faced forward on both sides. I have a notion that I saw a photo somewhere of one facing "backwards" (i.e. the "normal" way round) on a tender, so this may have happened, but not often.

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Noel, the official name for the symbol was the 'winged wheel', symbolising speed. It dates from 1941 when the Dublin United Tramway Company, recognising the diminishing importance of trams in its operation, changed its name to the Dublin United Transport Company. The centre bar of the symbol carried the name 'Iomchar Atha Cliath' written in Irish script. Following the formation of CIÉ in 1945, the new company opted to retain the logo, but without the name, as it was no longer to be used solely within the Dublin area.

 

Pic taken in Headhunters, Enniskillen.

 

P1010717.jpg

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Very true indeed, Old Blarney. Also, when attaching an "eau-de-nil" (never yellow!) "flying snail" to a steam loco tender, the same rule usually applied; the snail faced forward on both sides. I have a notion that I saw a photo somewhere of one facing "backwards" (i.e. the "normal" way round) on a tender, so this may have happened, but not often.

 

I remember one Sunday in Bray while talking to none other than Mr. Bracken about items he had for sale & while going through his items he picked up a steam loco & only then did he realise the flying snail logo on the right side was facing the wrong way !!

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Hi

 

I love the flying wheel logo, and they should never changed to anything else in my opinion.

 

This type of logo was not invented in the 1940's, although the 1940's design desk played a blinder by inverting one of the wings! The 'flying wheel' or it could also be called the 'flying wings' harks back to the early Persian Empire, whom had a symbol of their god 'Ahru Mazda' the supreme creator, god of light, which in its simplest form was a disk with outstretched wings on both sides, the complex form had a human figure standing in the disk. The Egyptians and the Romans adopted similar motifs and used it in carvings, decorations for all types of things, and jewellery. The symbolism was of the sun disk (representing the god of light) suspended in the sky by wings of a bird- naturally! what else back in those days held the sun up in the sky.

 

Later with the oncoming of boats, cars, planes n trains in the late 1800's some of the manufactures adopted the motif again as company logos and to adorn the front and sides of their creations. The symbolism had changed slightly, substituting the sun disk for a wheel with many different variations of the theme;- front on, looking downwards, and side on. SS cars used a 3d flying swallow with outstretched wings, later when SS changed to Jaguar they used a logo not unlike the Persian motif, Bentley did the same- a disk with a big 'B' in it and wings on both sides. Other companies also used this symbolism on motorcycles, army uniforms, bicycles, etc... It was and still is generally used in the transport industry to signify wheels, flying, and speed, the most recent application I can thick of is the logo on the front of the new Mini car.

 

Eoin

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Very true. But DUTC picked it up from the London Underground, which arrived at it by a different route. Their logo had a line (a train, or a journey) superimposed on a circle, which represented the underground tunnel.

 

DUTC couldn't copy it directly, even with the colours changed, so they added "speed stripes"!

 

Naturally, the speed stripes represented a 72 year old J15 0.6.0, a 65 year old gas lit six wheeled coach, three loose coupled cattle trucks and a wooden guard's van, hurtling at breakneck speed to Athboy.....!!!

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Naturally, the speed stripes represented a 72 year old J15 0.6.0, a 65 year old gas lit six wheeled coach, three loose coupled cattle trucks and a wooden guard's van, hurtling at breakneck speed to Athboy.....!!!

 

I bet there were Persians on the six wheeler after the design desk boys for nicking their logo! Ahruuu Mazda

 

Eoin

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Absolutely! But the train guard intercepted them at Kilmessan Junction and took them off on the Guinness and whiskey in the local bar.....

 

They were never heard of again, back in Persia.....

 

Until it was revealed that they had actually escaped in a stolen train, which survived into modern-day Iran - and even survived through the revolution of 1979...

 

image001.jpg

 

..but, they had changed the logo to Plug & Socket, to cover their tracks..

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The link is proven - http://www.payvand.com/news/08/dec/1268.html .

 

..although, I don't see railways mentioned..

 

Interesting stuff, did you not see this section;-

 

As inscribe on the entrance arch of the UN headquarter in Geneva, perhaps no one has ever articulated the true essence of humanity as Sa'adi, the 13th century Persian Poet:

 

All Humans are integral members of one frame,

Since all, at first, from the same one essence came.

When by hard fortune one limb is oppressed,

The other members lose their desired rest.

If thou feel'st not for others' misery,

A Human, therefore, is no name for thee.

Though, when we went to Ireland to protect our King,

All we came back with, was a bloody J15

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So speaks our Great Sage, Murrayec...... Excellent!

 

What a turn for this discussion to take; meantime, a snail facing the "wrong" way - i.e. a left-handed snail.....

 

Incidentally, the colour rendition on this photograph which was taken about 1960, is excellent. Therefore it may be used as a good reference for CIE loco and (pre-1955) carriage green, as well as the "eau-de-nil".

 

image.jpg

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