Car-sled (Jun, 1959)

Russian car-sled has speed of about 45 mph, can tote 1,100-lb. load over firm snow.


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.

Fan in Place of Light Bulb Makes Lamp Produce Breeze (Jan, 1955)

This is actually a really good idea. Most fans have really irritating and balky aiming mechanisms. Where can I buy one of these?

Fan in Place of Light Bulb Makes Lamp Produce Breeze

You can turn a desk lamp into a ventilating unit with a recent German invention. It’s a compact fan that screws into any light-bulb socket. The three propeller blades are plastic and the device comes in a variety of colors.

Home Made TV Station (Aug, 1949)

Next time you bitch about trying to get your video blogging software to work, check out what this guy had to scrape together to get an amateur TV station running in 1949. He built a garage full of equipment and had three giant antennas.

Radio ‘Ham’ Builds TV Station

California amateur sends voice and picture over transmitter made from $500 worth of war-surplus parts.

By Andrew R. Boone

PULSING through the California skies from a weather-beaten back-yard shack, the image of a beautiful brunette flows into television receivers around San Francisco Bay. The boys who have seen her call the vision Gwendolyn.

Reproduced by a collection of secondhand tubes and war-surplus video equipment, Gwendolyn represents the first standard TV image broadcast successfully and repeatedly by an amateur. Soon, from the same station, W6JDI-TV, radio ham Clarence Wolfe, Jr. hopes to televise live images.

Machine Speeds Pretzel Bending (Aug, 1949)

Machine Speeds Pretzel Bending

THERE are more crunchy pretzels to munch when you sip long, cold drinks this summer, thanks to a new automatic pretzel-twisting machine that rolls and ties them at the rate of 50 a minute—more than twice as fast as skilled hand twisters can make them. Developed by the American Machine & Foundry Co., of New York City, the pretzel . bender is helping to meet the increased demand of pretzel lovers, who eat millions of pounds each year. On this and the following page is the story of how pretzels march from raw dough to baked twist.

Safety Holder for Fag Smokers (Mar, 1933)

The fact is, Jean Luc Picard can make anything look cool.

Safety Holder for Fag Smokers

For men whose wives complain about ashes on the rug, the invention of a Cincinnati, Ohio man will prove a great boon. This new “safety smoker,” as the gadget is called, consists of a small box like affair of light metal, with top and sides covered by a light screen. The fag is inserted and held as shown.

Gyro-Wheel Car (Jun, 1935)

Gyro-Wheel Car Zooms Along On Giant Tires At 116 m.p.h.

RADICAL in design, a pleasure vehicle, known as the “gyrauto,” has been introduced in Europe to replace the orthodox type of automobile in use today.

Designed by Ernest Fraquelli, young Italian engineer, the gyrauto is said to be capable of attaining a speed of 116 miles per hour and to operate at a much lower running cost than do more conventional cars. Seats, engine and all controls are suspended between two huge rubber-tired wheels which revolve as the car moves forward. There are accommodations for an extra passenger in addition to the driver.

The unusual piece of apparatus was demonstrated recently in Brussels, Belgium.
Fraquelli’s unique vehicle is similar in general design to the Dyno-Wheel motor bus featured on the cover of this issue of Modern Mechanix and Inventions and described on page 87.


Vote for Pedro!


Voice-Operation Demonstrator Crowns Centuries of Effort by Scientists to Duplicate Human Speech Artificially

HE HASN’T any mouth, lungs, or larynx-but he talks a blue streak. His name is Pedro the Voder, and you may see him in action at the New York and San Francisco world’s fairs. His creation from vacuum tubes and electrical circuits, by Bell Telephone Laboratories engineers, crowns centuries of effort to duplicate the human voice.

To manufacture Pedro’s conversation, his operator employs a keyboard like that of an old-fashioned parlor organ. Thirteen black and white keys, fingered one or more at a time, produce all the vowels and consonants of speech. Another key regulates the loudness of the synthetic voice, which comes from a loudspeaker. A foot pedal varies the inflection meanwhile; so that the same sentence may state a fact or ask a question.

Bat Car (Aug, 1950)

This is the coolest freaking car. It’s like a combination of the Batmobile and a land speeder from Star Wars.

Ground-Hugging Motor Car Being Made in Sweden

Cruising the streets of Stockholm is a new Swedish car, built so low it seems to glide along the ground. The little car seats two and is designed to sell for about $386. When the plant is in full operation, about 50 of the cars will be turned out each week.