Apparently this strange air rifle was a weapon concocted by an Italian bicycle maker during World War II. In WWII Italy there were many paramilitary groups disgruntled with the German occupation of Italy and the Italian Fascist Party. The rifle was filled with air from a bicylce pump and several 11mm round bullets were inserted into a spring fed tube magazine on the left hand side. To load the user worked a bolt which fed a bullet from the magazine into the chamber. Pulling the trigger forced a strong gust of air into the chamber propelling the bullet.
While primitive compared to modern firearm technology, this unique air rifle would certainly have been deadly. It had a range of up to 100 yards and actually packed enough force to kill a person. It would have been especially useful because it was silent and lacked muzzle flash or smoke when discharged. Currently this odd air rifle is in the possession of the Beeman Precision Air Rifle Company.
Leo Calini and Eugenio Montuori + Massimo Castellazzi, Vasco Fadigati, Achille Pintonello and Annibale Vitellozzi, Termini Station, Rome, Italy, c. 1952 (via procrete)
“Plans for a new ‘Termini’ station were published in 1947 after a design competition to replace the half-built and severely damaged station on site previously. Opened in 1950, the final design was the result of the collaboration between the two winning teams of the design competition. Despite the scale of the building, and the mixture of uses (such as the 5 story office building behind the concourse), the layout is extremely simple and its functional success over the past 60 years owes much to this.”
Children crowd around an Italian ice-cream seller and his cart. The image is taken from a series of 37 photographs published in the book, ‘Street Life in London’ (1877), with text written by John Thomson and the journalist Adolphe Smith.