March, 2007 Monthly archive
Aviation Novelties (Jun, 1932)

Aviation Novelties

Novices Learn Flying On the Roof
GROUND flying has been practiced for years, it is true, and some old-timer used to try starting from a roof; but the British invention at the left stays right on the roof, to which it is fixed by a pivot. All the controls of the plane can be operated by the student, under instruction.

The new Whitley “Hoverplane”, a device for the instruction of unfledged aviators, being demonstrated on the roof of London’s largest department store.

Highways of Speech (Oct, 1923)

Highways of Speech

Necessity made the United States a nation of pioneers. Development came to us only by conquering the wilderness. For a hundred and fifty years we have been clearing farms and rearing communities where desolation was—bridging rivers and making roads—reaching out, step by step, to civilize three million square miles of country. One of the results has been the scattering of families in many places—the separation of parents and children, of brother and brother, by great distances.

Automatic “Prodder” Keeps Driver Awake (Sep, 1948)

Automatic “Prodder” Keeps Driver Awake

Falling asleep at the wheel is just about impossible when an automatic “prodder” is worn by the driver. The prodder consists of an alertness indicator developed at Tufts College of Psychology. The driver wears a headband containing electrodes that measure alertness. When drowsiness sets in and sleep threatens, the electrodes signal to the indicator which sets off a warning buzzer that instantly arouses the driver.

Full-Length Sleeping Cot Rests on Top of Automobile Seats (Aug, 1954)

Full-Length Sleeping Cot Rests on Top of Automobile Seats

Now the traveler can install a relief bunk in his car — an aluminum cot that extends above the seats from front to rear. While one person drives the other can sleep in full-length comfort. Made of lightweight tubing, the cot is supported by legs resting above the instrument panel, on top of the two seats, and on the rear-window ledge. It is quickly removed or installed and can be folded for storage. When folded, it is easily packed into place along with any reasonable amount of luggage. The bed can be adjusted for use as a regular cot.

Engineering the Magic Carpet’s Flight (Apr, 1924)

Engineering the Magic Carpet’s Flight

Problems in Mechanics that Make the “Movie” Engineer’s Profession Recall the Magician’s Miracles

BUILD me a magic carpet on which I can ride; a flying horse like Pegasus and arrange a set so that I can disappear in a whirlwind.”

The “boss” of the moving-picture lot, without more ado, walked out of his chief engineer’s office, leaving that hard-working individual the three problems which he mentally added to the score or more of similar commands he had executed since the actual “shooting” of the scenes in the huge spectacle had begun months ago. For the engineering staff of the larger moving-picture producers is used to facing and conquering problems that for sheer unusual-ness are perhaps unrivaled.

“Limousine” Sled for Small Children (Apr, 1924)

“Limousine” Sled for Small Children
Small children greatly appreciate the “limousine” sled shown in the photo, as it gives them the thrill of riding in their
own sled, yet keeps them much warmer than an open one. The frame is made of smooth 1 by 2-in. wood, securely attached to the sled. The lower part of the frame, the floor of the sled, and the top are covered with heavy canvas, and panes of glass or heavy celluloid are fitted in the upper half of the frame as shown. The back serves as a door, being hinged on so that it can be opened or closed, and a screen-door hook provided to keep it closed. The door is made of 1-in. wood, covered on the outside with canvas to match the rest of the body.—Eugene Holland, Detroit, Mich.



A cane that turns into a fish pole, as demonstrated above, permits a fisherman to try his luck whenever he encounters a promising stream. Telescopic fiber sections join to form a hollow shaft, through which the line is threaded from a detachable reel. The curved handle holds hooks, small sinkers, and an extra line. When closed, the cane is of conventional appearance.



OVERSTOCKED with a large supply of men’s spring and winter coats, a clothier in Copenhagen, Denmark, adopted a unique sales scheme. He erected a scaffolding around his store building and completely covered it from roof to sidewalk with more than a thousand overcoats. The novel display attracted prospective customers in such droves that police were summoned. Although the police ordered the proprietor to remove the display, he succeeded in selling all the overcoats.

Camel Ad: Live Dog From an Empty Kennel (Jul, 1933)

This is part of a whole series of Camel ads all with the theme: “It’s fun to be fooled – It’s more fun to know”. Which I find pretty funny considering that Camel spent the next 80 years or so lying through their teeth.

Robot Cow Moos and Gives Milk (May, 1933)

Robot Cow Moos and Gives Milk

Hidden Motors Give Exhibit for World’s Fair the Movements of a Living Animal

AN ELECTRIC cow that chews a cud, breathes, moves its head, winks its eyes, moos, and gives real milk will form one of the exhibits at the World’s Fair next summer.

This robot animal has just been completed at the New York City workshop of Messmore and Damon, specialists in creating mechanical beasts that range from prehistoric dinosaurs to modern puppies. It is an exact reproduction of a Holstein milk cow, the hide which covers the papier-mache body being that of the real animal. This particular Holstein was chosen as a model because it had a large black spot on one side. In the reproduction, this spot forms a door that can be removed if anything goes wrong with the mechanism inside.