March, 2007 Monthly archive
World’s First Drive-in Movie Theater (Aug, 1933)

Movie Theater Lets Cars Drive Right In

First of its kind in the world, an open-air movie theater exclusively for motorists has just been opened at Camden, N. J. Patrons drive in and park their cars in semicircular rows. Then, without leaving the vehicles, they enjoy talkies projected on a sixty-foot screen. Occupants of a car may chat or smoke without fear of disturbing others, since their car is for practical purposes a private theater box. A newly perfected system of directional sound projection make the talkies as plainly audible to the farthest as to the nearest of the 400 cars accommodated. Each row is inclined so that cars may use the rear part as an aisle without interrupting anyone’s view.

General Motors’ Rear-Engine Car (Apr, 1949)

General Motors’ Rear-Engine Car

By Bernard W. Crandell

WHENEVER the subject of rear-engine cars plays across the auto columns of the nation’s newspapers, a certain bunch of boys in Detroit snicker to themselves!

Rear-engine cars! Not for the American public, they say. And they ought to know. They’re the head stylists and engineers for General Motors Corporation. Why are they so convinced?

They know this rear-engine stuff isn’t new at all. In 1902, 18 out of the 23 automobiles in production had their engines placed aft. But then gradually the engineers were overcome with violent symptoms of front-engine fever. They wanted to put the motors up front! And they said they had good reasons for doing so.

Electronic Hot Dog (Apr, 1946)

Electronic Hot Dog is the latest wrinkle as the machine at the right demonstrates. A coin inserted, a button pushed and the frankfurter is cooked by radio waves and delivered to the customer. The electronic grill will also dish out grilled cheese sandwiches and hamburgers.

Elevator Garage Stores Auto Under Lawn Of Home (Feb, 1938)

Elevator Garage Stores Auto Under Lawn Of Home

LACKING room to build a garage at the side of his home and being forbidden by city ordinance to erect one in front or at the rear, a suburban Londoner solved his problem by installing an elevator garage under the front garden. The elevator is electrically driven and control switches within the house cause it to rise or lower within a few seconds. When in a fully lowered position, the elevator roof is flush with the ground.

Radio Gets Robot Sound Technician (Feb, 1936)

Radio Gets Robot Sound Technician

A ROBOT sound effects technician for broadcasting studios has been perfected to eliminate more than 800 gadgets now required in the presentation of various programs.

The new device consists of two turntables for records and three automatic pick-up arms. Each record is divided into numerous channels, and each channel contains a special bit of sound, such as street noises, gurgling water, railroad trains, and the like.

In the event the program called for a street parade in a large city, one pick-up arm would be placed on a street noise channel, another on the marching feet channel, and the third would pick up martial music.

Do you Weigh More in Denver or New York? (Feb, 1932)

A quirky article that tries to explain gravity and relativity.

Do you Weigh More in Denver or New York?


Maybe you think you weigh the same in Denver as you do in New York, but that’s because you don’t know your Einstein or your relativity. You really weigh more in New York, Why? Read this article and find out—we defy you to begin Mr. Miller’s story and lay it down without finishing it.

A FEW weeks ago a British Air Force cup racing plane, piloted by Lieut. G. H. Stainforth, took off from the waters of the Solent, that protected arm of the sea lying inside the Isle of Wight, and flashed eastward over a measured course at more than 415 miles an hour—just under 7 miles a minute.

The trim little racer weighed something more than two tons just before the start. Roaring down the eastward course all out, she weighed something less than that. Coming back, westbound, she weighed a bit more than before she took off.

Turning Out Photographs by the Million (Apr, 1924)

Turning Out Photographs by the Million

Great Plants in All Parts of the Country Are Developed to Supply Quick Service and Assistance for Army of Amateurs

DEVOTED exclusively to developing films and printing pictures for an army of amateur camera enthusiasts, great plants have been built up in all parts of the country. During the “busy” months of June, July, August and September, when the weather is best suited to taking pictures, the seven largest finishing plants in Chicago handle more than 114,000 pictures daily. Several have an output of 8,000 to 12,000 every twenty-four hours, and many print more than 5,000,000 as an annual average.

In Cincinnati, a single company serves almost a hundred drug stores, employing a fleet of automobiles to collect the film and deliver the pictures to the proprietors who have found that the “side line” in film service is a profitable advertisement and brings in potential customers. In one week, one of the collectors for this company brought in 20,000 spools of film and as many as 17,500 prints have been distributed in a single day.

How Your Home Locks Work (Nov, 1946)

How Your Home Locks Work

PSM photos by W. W. MORRIS

1. The simplest, most common door lock is the single-tumbler type, the workings of which are exposed here in an oversized model. The slots in its key are called wards. They are mated with projections inside the lock to permit the key to turn. This type of lock gives little protection since an ordinary skeleton key will usually open it.

2. Inside a one-tumbler lock. The semicircular projection (arrow) just inside the keyhole fits a notch in the rear edge of the key and prevents a strange key from turning.

3. As the key turns, the notch or bitting in its bottom edge permits it to pass along the back of the irregular tumbler (arrow) fixed to the bolt. Without this notch the key would be stopped.

Grotesque Motorcycle Masks (Dec, 1933)


For races on cinder tracks, daredevil New York motorcyclists wear grotesque masks to protect their faces against flying particles from the wheels of each other’s machines. The racers dip the masks in water to soften them and then press them against their faces. When dry, the masks take on the contours of the cyclists’ features. Goggles are worn over the eyeholes. In addition, the racers wear football helmets to guard their heads.

How the Experts Build a Snow Man (Dec, 1951)

How the Experts Build a Snow Man

Their big, fancy snow sculptures take a lot of work, but you can copy them on a smaller scale in your yard.

By Carol Ennis

BUILDING a snow giant like this one is a real construction job that crews of students tackle every winter at Dartmouth College for the school’s Winter Carnival. They begin by erecting a framework around which the statue is molded. A separate scaffold gives working platforms at several levels. Snow mixed with water forms slush for shaping the statue. The job takes the crew about three weeks of spare-time work.

For your yard this winter, you can build a small version of this Alpinist and his horn. If the scale is modest, the statue won’t be as much work.