The First Ring Tone (Apr, 1956)

Telephones Will “Ring” With Musical Tones
Telephone users will welcome the news that the Bell Telephone Laboratories is experimenting with a new device that will eliminate the b-r-r-r-ing of present-day instruments. The gadget, using transistors, will produce pleasant musical tones resembling those of a clarinet. Sound emanates through the louvred area at the base of the set, shown in the photo with a white background.
This device requires less than 1 volt for operation; the ordinary telephone bell needs about 85 volts. A full-scale field trial of the new equipment is expected to provide enough technical data and customers’ reactions to help determine its future.

Build your own answering machine (Jun, 1958)

“Impossible, you say? The miracle of electronics has all but removed the word “impossible” from the dictionary.”

Make the POP’tronics Secretary

Tell your friends that their telephone messages to you will he recorded by electronics


HOW WOULD YOU LIKE to have a secretary who will answer your phone and take messages at any hour of the day or night but who will demand no pay and no coffee breaks? Impossible, you say? The miracle of electronics has all but removed the word “impossible” from the dictionary.

There are two types of systems you can build which will do this job for you. The deluxe system requires two tape machines or one tape machine and one disc machine— when a call comes in, it plays a recording of instructions and then switches over to record the message. The simpler type, to be described here, requires only one recorder and anyone who can put together a small amplifier can build it.

Subliminal Advertising (Apr, 1958)

Now ad men have a new way to persuade you. They can pop a suggestion into your mind, using TV or movies, without your knowing it

TV’s New Trick: Hidden Commercials

By Wesley S. Griswold

PROBABLY you’ve heard about—perhaps even worried about—a revolutionary new way to beam messages into the human mind. Especially suited to TV and movies, the new idea-injecting technique is said to work while you, all unawares, are innocently enjoying the program. The idea-words appear superimposed on the picture images too fast and too dimly to be seen in the normal way. Yet they register on your mind.

Despite rejection by the national networks, uneasy skepticism by the F.C.C. and alarm from people who fear that this strange development may bring wholesale invasion of privacy and risk of political tyranny, two means of reaching people’s subconscious minds by television are currently being tested.

World’s Tiniest TV Camera (Apr, 1956)

For 1956 that is actually an impressively small camera.

World’s Tiniest TV Camera
Telecasting of programs by means of a TV camera palmed in the operator’s hand is forecast as a result of the recent development of a new electronic device in West Germany. As shown in the photo (left), the video pickup is smaller than many microphones. Heart of the instrument is a miniature tube called the ‘Mini-Resitron.”

This camera works in pretty much the same way as conventional, larger TV “eyes,” converting optical images into electrical signals. Operation depends largely on a sensitive layer of semi-conductor material developed by Prof. I. Walter Heimann. The inside of the camera is an amazingly compact array of tiny components and intricate wiring. Subminia-ture tubes and other parts are clustered around the “Mini-Resitron,” while a flexible metal hose is wrapped around the cable that leads from the camera.

Still in the experimental stage, the new unit will probably go into production some time later this year.

ASCII Art – 1948 (Oct, 1948)

This would be a lot of fun without a text editor. One mistake and you have to start over.
More about ASCII Art on Wikipedia.

By Paul Hadley
WHILE purely entertaining, doodling with a typewriter gives vent to the imagination and originality of both the experienced and the hunt-and-peck typist. Fill-in pictures are the easiest to “draw” with a typewriter. An example is shown in the flower which is made with the letter X alone. Such pictures, whether a flower or a portrait, are made by using an outline of the subject as a typing guide. This is done by tracing the outline lightly on paper and backing it with carbon paper to type the picture. Caricature or cartoon “drawing” combines letters with symbols as shown in the examples below. Here, half-spacing of the typewriter is required, as in the case of the owl’s beak and feet. The log cabin shows what can be done in drawing a picture in perspective.

The beginnings of ubiquitous surveillance (Jan, 1965)

A Cure For Crime in the Parks

Here is a modern solution to the problem that is plaguing every large city in America today!

By Robert Hertzberg

A COLLEGE professor walking his dog is knifed to death. The small daughter of a foreign diplomat is robbed of her bicycle. A woman pushing her baby in a carriage has her purse snatched.

Where do these crimes take place—in a lawless Suez port town, or in the very heart of America’s richest city? You only have to read the newspapers to know that murder and mugging are frequent occurrences in New York’s famed Central Park, an otherwise beautiful oasis of lakes, playgrounds and trees bounded on three sides by the world’s plushest apartment houses and on the other side by an incredibly overcrowded and festered slum.


The guy in this article absolutely fits my definition of a hacker. There was a problem where two radio stations were broadcasting the same syndicated content on the same frequency. Listeners near either station had no problem. However there were locations where both signals could be recieved. This would be fine, except for the fact that the cable running to one of the stations was longer than the other, so the signal was delayed by 1/23000 of a second. Enough to cause destructive interference. So the engineers solution was to create an acoustic delay line out of 23 feet of lead pipe stuffed with cloth and gauze with a speaker on one side and a microphone on the other. The slower speed of sound delayed the signal long enough for the two stations to be in sync.


A FEW weeks ago the popular radio show, Information Please, used the following catch question:

“Who hears the speaker first, the people at the back of the auditorium, or the people 3,000 miles across the country who are listening to the broadcast of the speech?”

The catch was that radio waves travel with the speed of light, 186,000 miles per second, and sound waves only 1,080 feet per second. Therefore, the answer went, the listeners three thousand miles away would hear it first.

New TV Sets Project Pictures (Aug, 1949)

New TV Sets Project Pictures
A PACKAGED projection unit made by North American Philips Co. is being incorporated in current models by more than a dozen manufacturers of home television receivers. Some of these new models will throw the video picture on a screen outside the unit, just like home movies. Main components of the Protelgram® are shown in the photo at right. The optical system is diagrammed below.
A 2/2-in. picture tube, whose face is a lens as well as a fluorescent screen, forms the heart of the unit. A 25,000-volt power supply produces a picture of high brilliance on the tube face. The image is reflected by a concave mirror and another tilted at 45 degrees. Spherical distortion is removed as the image passes through a correcting lens.
The projector is a modification of the Schmidt-type optical system. Most of the receivers in which it will be used will employ 12- by 16-inch viewing screens in the cabinet; a few will use the projector to throw a three- by four-foot image onto an external screen.

Zebra TV Skin (Sep, 1954)

Those kick ass. I want a leopard skin TV.


TV “SERVICE-SAVER” is the title of the booklet held by the young lady using the telephone in photo A. Recently issued by the Raytheon Manufacturing Company, this booklet contains numbered pictures of faulty TV reception. It is a timesaver for TV-set owners and repairmen. The house-wife matches the picture on the screen with a similar one in the book. She then reads the number over the phone to give the repairman a good idea of what is wrong before he leaves the shop.

Intense activity in color TV continues in various manufacturer’s laboratories. Photo B shows engineer Donald Perry in the service department of Motorola Inc., checking out the composite color-bar signal which appears on the oscilloscope and on the face of the color tube.

The TV set illustrated in photo C is a portable model available with either 17 or 21-in. screen. This decorator’s model has control knobs on top, and a choice of “sleeves” in a variety of modern colors and durable fabrics that can be changed quickly.
The first compatible color-TV cameras to come off the television industry’s commercial production lines are the two units illustrated in photo D. These RCA units were recently shipped to the National Broadcasting Company and the Columbia Broadcasting System respectively.

Plastic Shell Equips Phone For Two-Way Listening (Nov, 1953)

Plastic Shell Equips Phone For Two-Way Listening

Two persons can share the same telephone with a device patented by Roger Heap of Lyme, Conn. Simple in design, it consists of a T-shape plastic shell which cups over the receiving end of the phone. The hollow arms transmit the message to listeners at both sides. Heap fashioned the device so that he and Mrs. Heap could join in three-way conversations with their son in Detroit.