Crime and Police
Tear Gas Trap for Cash Registers (Dec, 1932)

Tear Gas Trap for Cash Registers

A NEW device used to spread tear gas has been invented for cash. registers. It is called a “money trap” and discharges a dense cloud of gas into the thief’s face when he tries to rifle the till.

Formed and painted to duplicate a dollar bill, the box-like compartment fits snugly into the cash drawer. Upon its face is a clamp under which the regular bills are placed.

French Prison Makes Riots Impossible (Jan, 1930)

“You keep using that word, I do not think it means what you think it means.”

Reading Modern Mechanix, you’d either think that the word “impossible” meant “unlikely” or that people were way better at designing things than they really were.

French Prison Makes Riots Impossible

A MODEL prison has been built at Fresnes, near Paris, France, where it would be virtually impossible for convicts to plot and execute a riot such as the recent one in the Colorado state penitentiary at Canon City which was the most terrible of several recent uprisings in American prisons.

HOW E-Z MONEY CAN K-O YOU! (Feb, 1958)


Cut-throat moneylenders, charging up to 1000% interest, drive cornered debtors into crime . . .


“DO YOU NEED CASH?” the bright neons ask with a cold glare. “It’s E-Z!”

You can get money in the most unlikely places today, but you’d better beware, brother!

You’re buying trouble with that “personalized small loan” whether you get it over or under the counter. You were broke when you started after it. But you may end up with broken limbs, or even dead in the gutter!

Maybe you’ve been unusually lucky and the day you need a loan is still to come. But, whatever the exact time, odds are you will borrow money at intervals throughout your life!

Battery Flashlight Gives Positive Gun Sight in Darkness (Mar, 1932)

Battery Flashlight Gives Positive Gun Sight in Darkness

A GUN sight for night firing, which may be attached to any revolver or pistol, has recently been patented and will soon be marketed by Ray Helm of Chicago, Ill.

The device, which has been especially designed for night police duty, consists of six small powerful condensers, an electric bulb, a special reflector, and a switch to make contact with small batteries.

HOW POLICE CAMERAS REVEAL Hidden Crime Clews (May, 1938)



DUSK was closing down on a midwestern city when a black roadster rolled to a stop on a deserted side street. A man wearing a slouch hat stepped out, looked up and down the street, and then slipped to the rear of a neighboring store. In one hand he carried a small box wrapped in newspapers. A moment later, he returned and drove hurriedly away.

Thirty minutes passed. Then, like a clap of thunder magnified a thousand times, a blast shook the business district. The end of the store was blown to kindling.

CONEY ISLAND — Which Way’s the Ocean? (Sep, 1951)

CONEY ISLAND — Which Way’s the Ocean?


They call this beach The Poor Man’s Riviera, but on any hot Sunday substitute Bedlam-by-the-Sea. It’s also the only known habitat of certain species yet unclassified by science—like the knish bootlegger THE defendant in Coney Island Magistrates’ Court one muggy midsummer morning was a squat, balding man in a sport shirt. He listened impatiently as the charge against him was read: A startled policeman had found him on the jammed beach fetchingly attired in a woman’s ofF-the-shoulder dress, and had given him a summons for “causing a crowd to collect.”

EXPOSING The STAMP Counterfeiters (Jul, 1937)

EXPOSING The STAMP Counterfeiters

Collectors with money to spend find counterfeiters ready to meet demand for all “copies” needed.

by James N. Miller

SECRET SERVICE sleuths, working on a private tip-off, recently achieved a sensational “snatch” in New York City. In an out-of-the-way office, on a back street, they located headquarters of a gang dealing in counterfeit and stolen stamps. Elaborate manufacturing paraphernalia was seized, including engraving gadgets, perforation machines, coloring apparatus and various kinds of gum.

Crooks Cured by Surgeons Knife (Jul, 1930)

This is pretty terrifying, though I suppose it is just a much cruder form of how we use psychiatric drugs today.

A few things I noticed:
1. obviously being gay is a disorder.
2. they didn’t say if the prisoners were actually given any choice about their operations.
3. what did they do to the kids?
4. This quote
“It points also to the more illuminating truth that if the grandparents, or even the parents, of these men had been given proper medical and surgical treatment for their own glandular abnormalities, their children and their grandchildren would not have offended society…”
sounds like Lamarckism. Though according to Wikipedia that theory seems to be making a comeback.
5. Apparently you can tell a criminal by their face. From the pictures in the article that seems to mean “Foreign Looking”.

Crooks Cured by Surgeons Knife

Here for the first time is the amazing story of how criminals in San Quentin prison, California, are made honest by giving them healthy glands.


THE surgeon’s knife and the laboratory test tube have entered the campaign against crime. Experimental researches, carried on over a number of years and beginning to show results in control and reform institutions this summer, indicate that criminal tendencies may be eradicated, development of the criminal averted, and the established criminal restored to normal by medical and surgical treatment.

Triple Lens Windshield Camera Spots Traffic Violations (Dec, 1936)

Triple Lens Windshield Camera Spots Traffic Violations
MOUNTED on the windshield, a new triple lens camera, operated without diverting the driver’s eyes from the road, records three distinct views of traffic violations encountered while driving. The camera also records the time and date when used and the film shifts automatically for the next picture.

One of the views taken by the camera is a large

How Liquor ‘Importers’ Make ‘Old Stuff’ from Alcohol (Feb, 1930)

How Liquor ‘Importers’ Make ‘Old Stuff’ from Alcohol

Product of a “reliable importer” seized in his hotel room, a plant for making “old stuff” from denatured alcohol.

A dry officer shows how denatured alcohol is cut with water and doctored with creosote and burnt sugar, and below, wrapped with straw.