March, 2007 Monthly archive
Homemade Tractor Has One Wheel (Jan, 1933)

Homemade Tractor Has One Wheel

WITH a power plant that is suspended securely inside of a big ring-shaped wheel, a garden tractor has been built largely from odds and ends by R. D. Read of Akron, Ohio. It operates like the unicycle automobile developed in England. (P.S.M. May, ’32, p. 63.) A single-cylinder motorcycle engine was used without modification except for the installation of an additional gear for cranking, and a planetary type clutch operated from the plow handle.



When snow-blocked roads hindered Father Frank Nestor, of Cando, N. D., from visiting his outlying parishes during the winter months, he determined to build a machine that would be proof against unfavorable weather. An opportunity came to purchase a good 100-horsepower airplane engine secondhand, and around this Father Nestor constructed the remarkable air-propelled vehicle that he calls his “snow-boat.” On packed snow or ice the slender streamlined vehicle can travel at a speed of 100 miles an hour.

Auto Stealing Now $50,000,000-a-Year RACKET (Jan, 1933)

Auto Stealing Now $50,000,000-a-Year RACKET

By Edwin Teale

A BLUE roadster, traveling at high speed, rounded a curve outside a New Jersey town and apparently vanished into thin air.

Five minutes later, two motorcycle cops, flattened against whizzing machines, raced around the corner, flashed past a lumbering furniture van and headed after the stolen car. Without knowing it, they had already passed it. Snugly housed within the big van, the roadster was already the center of attention of a corps of experts. License plates were being shifted; wire wheels were being substituted for wooden ones; gray, quick-drying paint was being applied to hood and body.

A hundred miles away, across the state line, the van stopped, A light steel runway slid to the ground from the rear of the truck and a gray roadster, with wire wheels and Pennsylvania license plates, rolled to the pavement ready for sale to an unsuspecting buyer. The latest trick of a motor-stealing mob had worked and the police were baffld.

Huge Pencil That Cannot Get Lost Also Has an Easy Grip (Oct, 1924)

Huge Pencil That Cannot Get Lost Also Has an Easy Grip

For the use of editors, writers, business men and others whose desks are covered with letters and manuscripts, a pencil so
large that it can always be readily found when hidden under a mass of papers, has been introduced by a European manufacturer. Because of its size, one end generally projects when lying under a heap of correspondence. Should it, however, become entirely buried, i t s location can be quickly detected by passing the hand over the desk, when the thick shaft will be distinctly felt. About twice the length of an ordinary pencil, it has a correspondingly greater diameter, affording a good grip. The lead is of such ample size that it does not have to be sharpened frequently.

Lindy’s Invention Perfects the Mechanical Man (Sep, 1935)

Lindy’s Invention Perfects the Mechanical Man

Lindbergh’s new “mechanical heart” calls attention to the fact that medical science even now has marvelous machines which will replace parts of the human body or do the work of parts that fail.


MEDICAL science has machines that will breathe for you, talk for you, hear for you, eat for you, circulate your blood—and even sweat for you—if you should ever happen to need them. Colonel Charles A. Lindbergh, a mechanical genius as well as a great aviator, has recently constructed a “mechanical heart” by means of which vital organs can be kept alive outside the body for months and probably years. So far, of course, only animals have been used in the experiments with the mechanical heart conducted at the Rockefeller Institute by the famous medical research man and Nobel prize winner, Alexis Carrel.

To Lindbergh goes the credit for another piece of scientific apparatus, a blood testing device which operates on the same principle that keeps a ball suspended in midair by the force below a spray of water.

Photo Lens Registers Rays Predating Dinosaurs (Feb, 1938)

Photo Lens Registers Rays Predating Dinosaurs

BELIEVED by its makers to be the fastest in the world, a new astronomical photographic lens has been used at Mount Wilson Observatory in Pasadena, Calif., for taking pictures of light rays which, scientists claim, left distant stars before dinosaurs trod the earth. In conjunction with the 100-inch reflector at Mt. Wilson, the new lens has photographed spectra of nebulae 30,000 times fainter than the faintest star visible to the unaided eye.

Dr. M. L. Humason, who conducted the Mt. Wilson Observatory tests, reported that the speed of the observatory’s spectrograph was doubled through use of the new lens, which has a speed of F. 0.59. Astronomical data placed the nebulae observed by Dr. Humason as being an estimated distance of 80 million light years from the earth. Through use of the new lens, scientists can now observe faint objects which have previously been deemed hopeless from an astronomical viewpoint, according to Dr. Humason.

Hen Changed to Rooster by Biologists (Feb, 1936)

Hen Changed to Rooster by Biologists

TURNING roosters into hens and vice versa is the newest miracle to be attempted by science. Working at the Biological Institute of the College of France a group of scientists are engaged in a series of amazing experiments on the hypophysis gland, a small gland situated at the base of the brain.

It is their belief that by transplanting this gland from the body of a rooster into the body of a hen a complete change of sex will be effected.

In early experiments conducted on various breeds of poultry French Biologists have succeeded in proving their contention.

Rare-Stamp Racketeers Thwarted by Black Light (Sep, 1933)

Rare-Stamp Racketeers Thwarted by Black Light

By Edwin Teak

IN THE palm of his hand, not long ago, an eastern dealer held two carmine and blue postage stamps. One was worth 50,000 times its weight in gold. The other was worth no more than a scrap of paper. Yet, even under a high-powered magnifying glass, he could detect no difference. Only rays of black light, coming from a quartz lamp in his laboratory, had disclosed an amazingly delicate operation performed by stamp surgeons of the underworld.

The original was a rare 1918 twenty-four-cent airmail stamp with an inverted center. Less than one hundredth the size of this page, it was worth $3,300. An ordinary stamp of the issue, with center right-side-up, can be purchased for as little as a dollar and a quarter. Rare-stamp racketeers had bought two ordinary stamps and had combined them to produce a fake stamp with an inverted center.

From Cook Stoves to Tanks . . . They Roll from the Automobile Factories (Aug, 1941)

From Cook Stoves to Tanks . . . They Roll from the Automobile Factories


THE Detroit genius for industrial organization is sorting out the sudden chaotic avalanche of defense orders with its customary frantic and incredible orderliness. It is responding to the fabulous impetus of something like a billion and a half in armament orders assigned by the U. S. Government to the automobile industry. The vast industrial center, already a huge magnet, drawing raw materials and manufactured parts selectively from many parts of the country, is being called upon suddenly for all its reserve power. Its standard products, such as automobiles, trucks, and their accessories, were in extraordinary de-mand, but now there are imperative pleas also for airplane, marine, and tank engines; for the airplanes and the tanks themselves and for antiaircraft guns, cook stoves, ammunition components, refrigerators, Diesel engines, and a conglomeration of other articles.

Piano Students Use Giant Keyboard (Aug, 1939)

What movie does this remind you of?

Piano Students Use Giant Keyboard

WHEN Arthur Zahorik, a high-school music teacher in Milwaukee, Wis., tells a student to “run up the scales” he means it literally. For on the classroom floor stands a two-octave model of a giant piano keyboard, with white keys a foot wide, upon which students step to demonstrate their mastery of chords and scales. Each of the keys is actually a treadle which, when depressed, closes an electrical contact, causing a metal rod to strike a tuned metal plate and sound the correct note.