July, 2007 Monthly archive
Loudspeakers Page Hospital Doctors (Jul, 1933)

It’s hard to imagine a hospital without a P.A. system.

Loudspeakers Page Hospital Doctors
No time is lost in calling any particular physician in one of New York’s big hospitals, where a new paging system has just been installed. When a telephone call for a doctor is received at the central switchboard, it is referred to an operator who, finding the doctor is in the hospital, repeats his name before a microphone. Eighty-five loudspeakers in the corridors and ante-rooms of the hospital broadcast the message. Wherever he is, the doctor takes the call at the nearest telephone. Western Electric engineers, who installed the system, provided controls for adjusting the volume of the loudspeakers.

Pedaling Peddler Sharpens Scissors (Jul, 1940)

Pedaling Peddler Sharpens Scissors
Both transportation and power supply for his work are furnished by the bicycle of the British scissors grinder pictured at the left. For the rear wheel of the bicycle that rolls this sharp-witted grinder from house to house in search of jobs also whirls the grinding wheels on a shaft mounted on the handlebars. A belt connects shaft and rear wheel.

Distorting Lens Animates Cartoons (Jul, 1932)

Distorting Lens Animates Cartoons

HAVE you ever stretched the drawings on a rubber apron to make them take various shapes and proportions? Or blown up a balloon on which was a design and watched it grow more and more distorted?

This same effect is achieved from a drawing by means of distorting lenses in a new projection machine, shown above, recently invented by Maurice E. Morris, Ogden, Utah. When turning the crank, which revolves the lenses, the object is made to appear in various animated shapes due to the action of convex and concave mirrors.

Baby-Feeding Gadgets Form Odd Collection (Jul, 1940)

Baby-Feeding Gadgets Form Odd Collection
RANGING from crude clay cups used by the “mound builders” to the latest sanitary nursing bottle, baby-feeding gadgets collected as a hobby by Dr. D. Edward Overton, of Garden City, N.Y., record 500 years of history. Among the fifty or more items in Dr. Overton’s collection are early nursing bottles with nipples of ivory, tin, whalebone, and glass. Some of the glass bottles are shaped like human heads. Others, resembling powderhorns, were produced by pioneers from cow horns by tying a piece of thin leather over the small end to form the nipple. Whale-oil wicks in the lower compartment of one “two-story” metal feeder made it possible to heat the milk contained in the upper section.

One Big Blow (Mar, 1948)

Resisting the urge to comment.

One Big Blow inflates this non-sinkable swimming suit enough to keep the girl afloat for many hours. When uninflated, the suit looks like any other, the tube being concealed when not in use.

Fun with Black Light for Home Chemists (Jul, 1939)

This looks pretty fun though I’m not sure where you can buy uranium nitrate these days.

Fun with Black Light for Home Chemists


CHEMICALS that glow with magic colors in the dark, under invisible illumination with “black light,” have been applied to theatrical costumes and decorations with spectacular effect. Your own home laboratory can be the stage for equally striking experiments with these substances, which possess the curious property known as fluorescence. Also, you can prepare other substances that shine in the dark through the phenomenon called phosphorescence—which is distinguished from fluorescence by the fact that phosphorescent chemicals continue to glow for some time after removal from the light that excites them.

A quick picture of the American way (Sep, 1958)

Boy, time has a funny way of changing how we perceive things. Nowadays this could be an ad for Greenpeace or the Sierra Club. You look at it and just cringe. Well, I do. I’m sure many members of the current administration would look at this ad with a teary eye for the lost days when the U.S. was the utterly dominant industrial power in the world and the rest of the countries on earth either provided customers or raw materials.

A quick picture of the American way—
with only 5.5% of the world’s land area the U. S. is served by 46.3% of the world’s trucks

ATA Foundation Inc.

American Trucking Industry


And you thought switching to the metric system was hard…

An alphabet of forty-one letters would be an improvement over our present one of twenty-six, according to a Portland, Ore., educator. In the English language the letter “a” alone is pronounced eight different ways. He would add a new letter for each sound. With such an alphabet, he declares, a person unacquainted with the language would require only two weeks’ time to learn it.

Rear View TV for Cars (Sep, 1956)

This is one they got right.

REAR VIEW TV for dash of tomorrow’s auto will tell driver what’s going on behind. Universal Broadcast System made device.


Unusual musical effects may be evoked from a “merry-go-round” harp created by three Seattle, Wash., musicians. By operating foot pedals like those of a bicycle, the performer rotates a five-foot vertical spindle carrying the strings, and plucks them as they go past. The odd mechanism provides enough strings to play four chromatic octaves on a portable instrument, and brings them all within easy reach of the player. A pair of disk-shaped sounding boxes, attached to the spindle, enhance the tones produced. The inventors, who have named the instrument “rondolin,” expect their unusual harp to find a place in concert as well as dance orchestras.