August, 2006 Monthly archive
Swimming Students Learn Strokes From Machine Teacher (Nov, 1931)

Swimming Students Learn Strokes From Machine Teacher
ON a casual glance at the contraption shown in the photo at the left, you would think it one of Rube Goldberg’s latest inventions. But you’re wrong, for it’s a machine to teach perfect swimming strokes. The student rests in a belt cradle as shown, while his feet and hands connect with handles in the mechanical arms. A system of gears and levers to which the guide arms are connected serve to compel movements that conform to correct outlines as set forth by swimming experts.

Film Discs Replace Ribbon Film (Dec, 1932)

Film Discs Replace Ribbon Film

FILM discs replace ribbon film in a new type movie machine recently introduced. The device projects pictures from a film disc that greatly resembles a phonograph record. The disc measures 18 in. in diameter, which equals 1,000 feet of ordinary movie film. A unique optical arrangement allows the pictures to be transposed from standard sized motion picture films to be printed spirally on the disc.

Vest-Pocket Respirator Guards Workers’ Lungs (Dec, 1940)

Vest-Pocket Respirator Guards Workers’ Lungs

Small enough to be carried in a vest pocket, a one-ounce respirator protects industrial workers against dust with new convenience. The unbreakable, soft rubber device covers the nose alone, so that a wearer can talk, eat, smoke, and don glasses or goggles. While the user breathes naturally through his nose, an ingenious valve exhausts stale air and allows only filtered air to enter. Although the replaceable filter folds to wafer size, its effective area of nine square inches assures easy inhalation. Elastic ear loops hold the respirator.

The HIDDEN Cost of eye accidents is higher (Nov, 1946)

The HIDDEN Cost of eye accidents is higher

Bookkeeping records seldom show the true costs of eye accidents—merely compensation and medical expense. However, the “hidden” costs* (machinery and work damage, idle time and lowered worker morale, to name but a few) are estimated— by a recognized authority—to be four times the amount of the direct cost of eye accidents.

The Spirit of War Service (Apr, 1918)

The Spirit of War Service

Alone in the midst of war’s desolation, the telephone lineman crawls to mend the broken wires.

On all sides the thunder of artillery; in the air bursting shrapnel.

He faces danger with that unconquerable spirit of war service which permits him to think only of maintaining the telephone connections.

Cigarette Case Keeps Account of Smokes Given to Friends (Sep, 1940)

Cheap bastard.

Cigarette Case Keeps Account of Smokes Given to Friends
A novel cigarette case keeps tabs on the cigarettes your friends “borrow.” When you want a smoke yourself, press one button to open the case. But when an acquaintance “bums” a cigarette, press a second button. This not only opens the case but operates a counter built into the case.

BOMBARDING the Atom for POWER and GOLD (Dec, 1932)

It’s very odd to read an article that speaks about nuclear power without mentioning the neutron. In fact the neutron was proposed by James Chadwick the year this issue was printed.


Locked up in the atoms which make up all matter are tremendous stores of energy which, if harnessed, would yield millions of horsepower at a negligible cost. Read here about amazing advances made by science in its attack upon the atom and about the feat, recently achieved, of actually changing mercury into gold.


IF SCIENCE succeeds in its current quest for a means of splitting atoms on a mass-production scale, and thus making it possible to utilize the tremendous energy bound up in the electron and proton, all the machinery which now furnishes our power may be thrown into the junk heap.

Origin of The Pocket Protector (Dec, 1950)

Millions of nerds curse the name of T.C. Evans for years of unwitting social stigmatization.

Plastic Liner Protects Shirt Pocket From Damage by Pencils
If you carry sev-eral sharpened pencils in a shirt pocket, this easily made plastic liner can be used to protect the shirt from being soiled or damaged by the pencils. Just cut a strip of sheet plastic to fit snugly in the pocket, heat the plastic and bend it double, leaving a space the thickness of a pencil between the plastic folds. Then bend down one end of the plastic to slip over the edge of the pocket.
T. C. Evans, Baltimore, Md.

Armrest for Car (Nov, 1950)

What will those scientists think of next?

Armrest for Car
Easy-chair comfort for the car driver is provided by an adjustable armrest which hooks over the back of the front seat. The driving aid—a flexible metal bar with a sliding cushion—fits all cars. A small lever permits the foam-rubber cushion to be adjusted to the most comfortable height, then locked in place. The metal bar is covered with fabric to prevent damage to the car upholstery.

Old Tires Rolled Into Lump Make Odorless Fuel (Jan, 1932)

This seems like a bad idea to me.

Old Tires Rolled Into Lump Make Odorless Fuel
HEREAFTER you need not worry about the disposition of all your old auto tires, for believe it or not you can make use of them as fuel. After you have gathered up a number of discarded tires proceed as follows: Take a sharp knife and cut a slash in the side wall just about an inch above the bead, which should then be removed. Then cut the tire crosswise and roll it up as if it were a carpet or rug and tie it securely around the center with a heavy piece of wire. Place this roll in an open fireplace and you will have an intense heat for about four hours, and there will not be the slightest smell of burning rubber. Two or three rolls at a time will easily keep a fair-sized room comfortably warm.— Edward Sievers.