Handicraft Contest SPURRED by Red Cross (Mar, 1946)

Handicraft Contest SPURRED by Red Cross

ENTRIES pouring in for the Popular Science Servicemen’s Handicraft Contest from all over the world now indicate that the judges are going to have a hard job to pick the prize winners. The excellence of the craftwork is partly the result of the encouragement and instruction that servicemen have received from the Red Cross, which is now conducting its 1946 National Fund Campaign.

Life Belt From Old Inner Tubes (Feb, 1932)

Life Belt From Old Inner Tubes

SWIMMING students, long distance swimmers and water sports enthusiasts can do nothing better than to provide themselves with this inexpensive life belt, which is made simply from segments of two old inner tubes and attached to a belt as illustrated in the accompanying photo. A band connects the two tubes in the back, holding them together and
preventing chafing.

Umbrella Rack From Sewer Pipe (Feb, 1932)

Umbrella Rack From Sewer Pipe

HERE’S a hint for plumbers, or, for that matter, for anyone who is handy with a paint brush. Old sewer pipes that are not too badly battered can be painted up with decorative designs to make highly ornamental umbrella racks as shown in the accompanying photo. You can go in for this stunt on a wholesale basis and turn out a number of such racks and sell them to the people in your neighborhood. Three or four umbrellas can be deposited in one pipe.

The Art of Making Lifelike Marionette Bodies (Feb, 1936)

The Art of Making Lifelike Marionette Bodies

Materials and tools . . . Various types of joints . . . Costuming . . . How to string puppets . . . Hints on their manipulation

By Florence Fetherston Drake

Lifelike MARIONETTE bodies may be made in several ways for use with heads of the type described last month (P. S. M., Jan. ’36, p. 57):

1. Sewed and stuffed with kapok or cotton, and weighted.
2. Papier-mache shell bodies, filled and weighted.
3. Of wood (scrap pieces and dowel sticks) whittled to shape.
4. Best of all, carved from softwood, but this takes more knowledge and artistry than the others and therefore should follow experiments with one of the simpler methods.

Are Workshoppers Wacky? (Dec, 1946)

Judging by the delightfully insane people at Maker Faire I’d have to say yes, workshoppers are wacky.

Are Workshoppers Wacky?


IN CHICAGO there is a steely-faced banker who would rather duck into his cellar on a sunny Saturday than shoot 19 holes of golf. In Hollywood there is a movie actor who prefers tinkering with old clocks to night-clubbing along the Strip. In Boston there is an auto mechanic who passes up the movies to sneak back to the shop and whittle bronze into chessmen. All over America, the breed of male who keeps the cellar light on half the night is increasing.

Who are these artists who scorn the conventional pastimes, and why do they do it? To be blunt: Are workshoppers wacky? Most of their wives think so, and some of their best friends are sure of it.

But what is a workshopper, anyway?


Here are two simple designs of midget trailers that can be towed by foot-operated juvenile autos or carts. The one at the right is exceptionally easy to build. Sides, seat and floor are plywood while the front and back may be sheet metal. With circular holes in the sides, and the latter cut to a pleasing contour as shown, the thing has a decided streamline effect. Still, there’s no top and the rider seems to project through the roof. For the more advanced young “trailerites” the “covered wagon,” shown below, may be preferred as it more closely simulates the real thing in that it has a roof and a hinged door through which riders have access to the inferior. This one, also, is built mostly of plywood on suitable framing. In both cases a pair of coaster-wagon wheels, preferably of the pneumatic-tire type, are used for comfortable riding

Tom Thumb Planetarium Easily Built from Odds and Ends (Oct, 1937)

Tom Thumb Planetarium Easily Built from Odds and Ends



IF YOU ever attended a performance in a large public planetarium, you probably envied the lecturer’s ability to rehearse any part of the drama of the skies at will. Or perhaps you never have witnessed the march of the stars across a giant dome, and are anxious to see a man-made sky in action. At a cost of less than a dollar, you can assemble, from odds and ends, a midget planetarium that will put on a performance right in your own parlor.

HOW TO MAKE A Potato and Banana Band (Nov, 1935)

HOW TO MAKE A Potato and Banana Band

Novel musical instruments like ocarinas formed from ordinary clay in shape of various fruits and vegetables

Professor of Industrial Education Humboldt State Teachers College, Arcata, Calif.

MUSIC has been played on many instruments, but one of the simplest and most novel types can be obtained indirectly from the vegetable garden.

In any music store may be purchased a little instrument known as an ocarina. It is really a whistle made of clay, and, because of its shape, is sometimes known as a “sweet potato.” Though not extremely melodious, it is easily played and affords a great deal of entertainment.

Polarized Light Experiments (Oct, 1934)

USING A MICROSCOPE FOR Polarized Light Experiments

By H. J. Sexton and O. M. Freeman

WITH apparatus costing less than two dollars to make, the amateur microscopist can now produce and observe polarized light. This opens up a field hitherto limited by the prohibitive cost of the required accessories. It enables the amateur to witness the most beautiful phenomena and conduct the most delicate investigations of which the microscope is capable.

Nowhere in nature are to be found more astonishing and magnificent displays of variegated color effects or more exact delineations than those produced by polarized light in its passage through a simple slide made from a strip of mica, or a thin section of horn or quill. No degree of magnification, however high, will so clearly resolve the limits and boundaries of a specimen composed of layers normally transparent to ordinary light.



Make if REALLY USEFUL and LOTS OF FUN for him

Boys from five to twelve safely run and enjoy a motorized wagon. Learn many lessons they can use later. Entire cost only $18.70, If you now have wagon and motor. Any small gas engine is suitable. Price includes all pulleys, belts, shafts, and instant clutch. We have new wagons and motors available. WAGON CAN BE CONVERTED IN LESS THAN AN HOUR.

With a small ELECTRIC motor, wagon makes enjoyable and never failing entertainment in the recreation room. Can be safely operated by a four year old.