April, 2006 Monthly archive
Sportsman With Invisible Hands (Aug, 1949)

Sportsman With Invisible Hands

THE man with no hands walked up to the attendant in the shooting gallery and asked for a gun.

“Do you really think you can shoot?” the attendant asked, noting the stubs where hands should be.

“I can try,” Joe Padderatz replied. Whereupon he gathered a .22 Winchester into his arms and amazed the onlookers with an expert display of sharpshooting. Before he left, the amazed attendant insisted upon writing a testimonial letter. “Nobody will ever believe it unless it’s in writing!” he said.

Amaze Friends with this Sound Robot (Jan, 1935)

This is the Clapper!

Amaze Friends with this Sound Robot
STEPPING up to a mysterious oiled paper diaphragm, the amateur electrical wizard mumbles unintelligible Greek words, suddenly claps his hands. Room lights go out almost instantly, and an oscillating electric fan throws its turbulent air blast over the faces of surprised friends.
The sound robot is made from easily obtainable materials. After the paper diaphragm is in place, a thin metal disc having soldered to it a fine wire lead is attached to the center with a drop of sealing wax. Adjust the pointed screw of the fixed contact to touch this disc at the slightest movement of the diaphragm.
Almost any magnet coil or door bell magnet having around 100 turns of No. 22 or larger magnet wire will be satisfactory for the trip relay. As the soft iron hinged armature is pulled forward by the magnet, it allows the weighted lever to drop, closing the large contacts which control the fan.




Electronic robots, in one form or another, are influencing our daily lives . . . are we due for an “electronic revolution”?

THE AGE OF SCIENCE has made the word “robot” the focus of popular fears and hopes. The hope is that machines with minds, machines that can talk, think, and work like men, will give everyone a life of leisure. The fear is that robots will replace mankind, that they might run amuck and destroy their masters, that the robots will get us if we don’t watch out. What was conceived as a work-saving machine has become the popular bogeyman of the age of science.

The robot nightmare hasn’t been with us long, a little over 25 years. It pops up in films, in fiction, in newspaper editorials, every time someone develops a more advanced piece of programing for automatic machinery. When Remington Rand unveiled a computer which responded to written commands in ordinary English rather than computer code, prophets of mechanical doom made dire predictions on the future of mankind.

STENO for the BLIND (May, 1954)

The Stenomask, a silent microphone that can be attached to most office dictating machines, enables the blind to take dictation faster than the average person using shorthand. With it, the stenographer merely repeats the words of the speaker into the mouthpiece, which completely silences her own voice. The dictating machine in turn records her voice, playing it back later for transcription. Invented by Horace L. Webb, president of Talk, Inc.

Automat Swaps Candy for Bottles (Jul, 1935)

Automat Swaps Candy for Bottles
TO INSURE the return of empty milk bottles and eliminate the cost of replacements, an automat has been devised which dispenses candy and gum in exchange for “empties.” Shaped and painted like a huge milk bottle, the container has a capacity of 60 bottles. The empty bottle is placed on a red hook in an opening near the top and a handle is pushed to the right to deposit the bottle. Gum or candy is discharged into the customer’s hands.

Inventors Patent Odd Designs For Safer Planes (May, 1935)

Inventors Patent Odd Designs For Safer Planes

Unusual ships, straying away from accepted designs, are being tried in an effort to increase safety and simplify air travel. Some of thef ideas are shown here!

The odd looking barrel shaped airplane above is based on the patent of Hans G. E. Roth, of New Rochelle. N. Y. It differs from the successful Stipa-Caproni barrel shaped ship, built some time ago in Italy, in that the propellers are not mounted within the tunnel itself and in the curious arrangement of vertical fins above and below the main wing. These fins aid in lateral and directional control. Passenger accommodations would probably be located in the thickened portion of die barrel about the main wing, while die crew would be in the lower fin as shown above.

Glass Cooky Jar Becomes Diving Bell (Sep, 1935)

Glass Cooky Jar Becomes Diving Bell
DIVING enthusiasts for more than a year, the twin brothers, Joe and Jerome Maurice, 17-year-old high school students of Fond du Lac, Wis., invaded their mother’s pantry for their 1935-version diving helmet.
A heavy glass cooky jar was selected to form the bell of the helmet, and thick sheet copper was sealed to this to form the breast plates and shoulder supports for the jar.
Several improvements in construction were added to the new model. The air valve was placed within easy reach of the right hand, with the air hose entering the helmet from below to prevent kinking. The helmet may be swiftly slipped off in the event of accident below water.
The greatest advantage of the cooky jar diving bell is that it permits full vision in all directions with ample safety. Air is supplied through a two-cylinder pump at a pressure of 30 pounds per square inch. At a depth of 35 feet, the helmet functioned perfectly.
The helmet the twins used in 1934 was made from the end of a water tank, with a top air valve and welded port window for observation. The imperfections of this helmet led to the invention of the new one.

Cycle Engine Gives 50 m.p.h. Speed to Wheel Chair (Aug, 1935)

Cycle Engine Gives 50 m.p.h. Speed to Wheel Chair

A THREE-WHEELED chair built around a motorcycle engine brought Norman Tapper, 23-year-old Californian whose legs have been paralyzed since childhood, to Indianapolis almost a month before the start of the 500-mile auto race. The motorized chair was parked at the gate of the Speedway, to make certain of a good position on the day of the race.
Tapper asserted that this novel wheel chair, which he built himself from motorcycle and automobile parts, reached 50 miles an hour on the long drive from California to Indianapolis.

Type Keyboard Worn On Fingers (May, 1935)

This is possibly the most difficult method of typing I’ve ever seen.

Type Keyboard Worn On Fingers

A MINIATURE typewriter, novel because the keyboard characters are attached to a pair of gloves, was recently invented by a Tyrolian merchant.
The apparatus, which threatens to revo-lutionize the present office typewriter, consists of two parallel rails between which are mounted a small carriage, a typewriter ribbon and an automatic spacer. To operate the device, the typist merely presses the single characters on the fingers through an opening in the carriage to the ribbon, thus recording the message on paper.

Crystal Balls Tracing Planet Paths on Globe Predict Weather (Mar, 1935)

So apparently since 1935 the government has had the ability to accurately predict the weather, yet they have kept it from us.

Crystal Balls Tracing Planet Paths on Globe Predict Weather
POSITIVE predictions of weather at any future time are declared possible by James C. Brown of La Porte, Texas, once an eleven year period of tests for his “Astronomer” weather machine reaches completion. Depending upon movements of the planets for its weather predictions, the machine consists of an ordinary schoolroom globe on which have been traced the paths of the sun and moon. Crystal balls placed in pairs at 45 degree latitude on each side of the equator burn paths around the globe which, in the course of 24 hours, will record any variation in movements of the sun, moon, or stars.
The long test period is necessary to set up charts. Future readings of the machine can then be compared with similar readings on the charts to obtain the weather forecast. Movements of certain bright stars can also be recorded on the globe.