JUST for FUN (Apr, 1931)

Remember that safety standards and knowledge of long-term chemical effects on people were VERY different in 1931. Please refrain from actually trying any of the pranks here. Besides possibly hurting yourself or others, it’ll just make you look like a dick.


by Kenneth Murray

The practical joker is always with us, but unfortunately for the gayety of nations, he sometimes runs out of ideas. Here are a few joke novelties which are entirely mechanical and which you can make yourself in no time at very little expense.

SPEAKING of jokes, here are some that you can have a lot of fun with. Have you ever “bit” on the old one of picking a thread off the lapel of a friend’s coat, to find that it is connected to a concealed spool holding yards and yards? Well, here are some more good ones; entirely mechanical so that you needn’t possess unusual dexterity to secure a laugh, and you can turn them all out in the workshop in a couple of hours. Then for some fun!

$500 FOR ONE PAPER DOLL (Apr, 1948)


Jack Eisner might make you a doll for $200, but his regular price is more, and his customers keep him very, very busy.

BY Louis Hochman

SOUNDS silly for a man to spend his time cutting out paper dolls. Stuff for kids and crazy people. But it’s silly like a gold mine for Jack Eisner of Kew Gardens, Long Island. He cuts out paper dolls and sells them for $500 apiece.

His first paper doll was a caricature of Jack Oakie, the film comedian. Eisner admits it was pretty crude, but it impressed the art director at Paramount Pictures.

“You’ve got something there,” the art director told Eisner and doled out twelve whole dollars for his paper doodle.

That was Eisner’s first paper profit. Since then, he has bettered both his technique and his income. Now he gets from $200 to $500 for a single caricature.

Prop and Tiller CLUB HOUSE (Aug, 1929)

This is a pretty sweet clubhouse.

Prop and Tiller CLUB HOUSE


HAVING selected the site for this novel clubhouse, preferably in a more or less open space in backyard or vacant lot, stake off the floor plan and locate the tower foundation.

Dig a pit about 5 ft. square and 18 in. deep and raise the four upright timbers, 4 by 4 in. by 17 ft. 6 in., one at a time by means of poles and ropes. When the first is up, guy it with four wires and by means of a plumbline see that it is absolutely vertical. When the second is up, secure this to the first temporarily by means of boards nailed diagonally, and so on with the other two.

Old Auto Parts Prize Contest (Jan, 1932)

Old Auto Parts Prize Contest

ON this page are shown a number of suggestions of what can be done with various old auto parts. “We will, until further notice, pay for ideas submitted to this page under the following plan: $3.00 FOR EACH PHOTOGRAPH SUBMITTED TO THIS DEPARTMENT AND PUBLISHED BY US. Photographs must be BONA FIDE, and show the article after it has been converted and is ready for use. Photographs must be large and clear. A short article describing tile nature of the construction and its uses should accompany the photograph.

Shadow Amusements (Apr, 1938)

Shadow Amusements

CHILDREN and grown-ups alike are intrigued by shadow pictures. Many house parties have been salvaged from the depths of boredom by the arrival of a guest who knew how to flick his fingers before a table lamp in such a manner as to cast mirth-provoking silhouettes upon the living room wall.

Easy STUNTS with Paper (Dec, 1929)

Easy STUNTS with Paper

Amusing tricks can easily be performed with sheets of paper if you know how to fold and cut or tear to obtain intricate and unusual patterns. Soldier hats and headpieces of other styles as well as the Jacob’s ladder can be speedily produced.


ALL you require in the way of equipment is a sheet of paper. All you need to do is fold it several times, here and there; tear it, so and so . . . and there you are with a clever paper hat, a mariner’s wheel, a paper ladder or some other clever little knick-knack of entertainment or utility.

“Ye Atom Smasher”… A Modern Crossbow (Apr, 1940)

Apparently to make a crossbow modern you just have to give it a sciency name. Still waiting for a Photon Cannon.

“Ye Atom Smasher”… A Modern Crossbow

By George F. Snell Jr.

FOR the dub archer, hopelessly infected with the romance of medieval weapons, a crossbow should be the answer. A sporting crossbow is easier to make than a really good long bow and is much less difficult to shoot accurately. The cost should not exceed four or five dollars.

The power of a crossbow like the one illustrated is invariably a surprise to those not familiar with archery. In one test it shot a bolt (arrow) not only through a thick telephone directory, but also through a 3/32″ piece of sheet steel used to back it up! Such a powerful weapon must always be used with the utmost caution.

Moods of Cone Bird Tell Weather (Sep, 1931)

Moods of Cone Bird Tell Weather

MADE from a pine cone, and mounted on a pair of stilts carved to resemble legs, this odd little weather bird will tell you just what kind of weather is in the offing. When fair weather is due, the bird will bristle up as if it were angry, but when a storm is somewhere near, it will quiet down and smooth out its scales. A realistic head should be carved and glued to the end of the cone. Hot dry air causes the leaves to ruffle up; stormy air causes them to settle.

Novel Colored Postcards Made With Cancelled Stamps (Jan, 1930)

Novel Colored Postcards Made With Cancelled Stamps

Fashioning artistic postcards with cancelled postage stamps is all in the day’s work for an obscure Chinese artisan of Formosa. He sketches his scenes and then fills them in with parts of stamps, to make truly colorful pictures. Two of his best pieces of work show a lady riding in a rickshaw and a lady riding a caribou. Exceedingly intricate designs can be worked out with the stamps and the art introduced by the Chinese is destined to become quite a fad.

Plans for Making a Racing Razor Blade Iceboat (Jan, 1929)

Plans for Making a Racing Razor Blade Iceboat


RAZOR blades, box wood, and an old flour sack are the materials used in building this simple, fast and sure sailing iceboat. Balanced so that she will sail herself in all winds not strong enough to tip her, it will be found that this style boat is the answer to those boys who have often tried to make a workable miniature iceboat, only to find that the balance was wrong, that the thing was too heavy, or that it would not steer.