FIZZ-WHIZZ…A Midget Steam Car (Mar, 1947)

FIZZ-WHIZZ…A Midget Steam Car


MEASURING but 5″ in length, this tiny steam car chuffs along rapidly on any smooth surface. Doughnut-style model airplane tires give it a good grip on the “road”—whether concrete driveway, tennis court, or polished floor. Power is supplied by a 3/8″ by 5/8” double-acting oscillating engine, while the crankshaft doubles as the rear axle. No flywheel is used, the car itself having sufficient momentum. An “ink-pad” burner fires the boiler and, unless oversup-plied with alcohol, will not constitute a fire hazard. Caution: Don’t operate Fizz-Whizz where it may run under furniture or into inflammable material.

Old Records Make Flower Bowls (Nov, 1931)

Old Records Make Flower Bowls

VERY artistic and serviceable fruit bowls, flower jars, and sewing baskets can be made from those old worn out phonograph records you have on hand. The first step is to dip the record in boiling hot water to soften the rubber composition. In this plastic state they can be bent to any shape you may desire, one of which is shown in the accompanying photo. When the bending operations are completed the records may be decorated with some ornamental design.

Miniature Motor Made of Paper Clips (Jul, 1940)

Miniature Motor Made of Paper Clips

In a few minutes’ time, from several paper clips and some fine insulated wire, you can make a little electric motor that will illustrate the principle of the big fellows. The outer field magnets are wound with about twelve feet of wire, and the same length is used to wind the two legs of the armature or rotor, as shown in the photos and diagram below. Sealing wax holds the two ends of the rotor winding to the shaft, forming a commutator. One or two dry cells will supply sufficient current to run the miniature motor, which spins merrily as long as power is supplied to it.

Bazooka Turns Pitcher (Feb, 1947)

Bazooka Turns Pitcher

Using the tube of a bazooka he carried during the war, Pete Wald, a New York optometrist, devised. the mechanical baseball pitcher shown below. The tube carries the balls to a motor-driven throwing arm.

Simple Electric Eye Rings Fire Bell, Open Garage Door (Jan, 1932)

Simple Electric Eye Rings Fire Bell, Open Garage Door

ANYONE interested in experimental electricity can gain a great deal of knowledge and pleasure from the construction of this light-sensitive selenium cell, and have also a handy electric eye that will actuate through a relay any bell, motor or magnet circuit in the bargain.

First, in making the cell, notch the long edges of a piece of mica with about twenty teeth, and drill small holes in the corners, as illustrated in Fig. 3. Next tie the end of a length of No. 18 wire to one pair of holes in the mica and wind on approximately 10 turns, using every other notch along both top and bottom edges. Pull tight and tie the opposite end of the wire in the holes at the opposite end from where it was first tied. Do the same with the second piece of wire, tying the ends in the opposite corners. Fig. 3 will show this plainly. Then test out each winding as illustrated in Fig. 4. If the two windings touch at any point the lamp will light.

Boys Build Oil Barrel Locomotive (Oct, 1933)

Boys Build Oil Barrel Locomotive

A HOME-MADE locomotive, built by two 14-year-old boys from an old oil barrel, parts of a coaster wagon, bicycle sprocket and washing machine gear, startled residents as it whistled and chugged its way through the streets of Minneapolis.

The builders of the one-half horsepower steam engine are Marlon Nelson and Robert Wass. In the oil barrel they installed a small boiler coil and cut a door for a fire box. An old coal hod and a piece of stove pipe finished the boiler. The frame was made from an old iron bed.

Selsyn-Powered Intercom (Jul, 1947)

Selsyn-Powered Intercom

Spells Out Messages

SOME of those mysterious little gadgets that made certain war equipment seem almost like magic are finding their way to the sales counters as surplus goods. One of them is the selsyn, that onetime highly secret device used in antiaircraft weapons, bomb sights, and radar. Selsyns in small sizes can be picked up in dozens of stores now for between $3 and $5, and many of them will operate on ordinary 115-volt A.C.


UPDATE: Somone on digg pointed out that if you look closely at the picture of the father and son filling a model Zeppelin on page two you can see that it says “Hindenburg” on the side.



HYDROGEN, the lightest of chemical elements forms a very interesting field of experiment for the home chemist. It can be produced easily in several ways for experimental purposes; one of the most common of which consists of the action of sulphuric acid on zinc.

A flask into which is dropped a few grams of zinc scraps is fitted with a rubber stopper, thistle-tube and delivery-tube as shown in the photo. The thistle-tube is fitted into the stopper so the end will be about 1/8″ from the bottom of the flask. The end of the delivery-tube is near the top of the flask. Dilute sulphuric acid is poured down the thistle-funnel and hydrogen is produced when it comes in contact with the zinc. The top of the thistle-funnel is covered with a piece of glass to prevent the hydrogen from escaping. The hydrogen flows out through the delivery-tube and is collected in a bottle over the pneumatic trough.

Give Santa a Hand (Nov, 1950)

Give Santa a Hand

Route those toy orders to Santa through your workshop. Here are 10 wooden ones to bring shrieks of delight from your youngsters on Christmas morn

By Marvin Hartley

SANTA’S job will be easier when you turn toymaker and lend a helping hand to relieve the burden on his North Pole workshop. Among this group of 10 exciting toys, there’s at least one that will surely make Christmas extra merry for some youngster. Except for the lighthouse stool, bucking bronco and the burp gun, which require some sheet metal, all of the toys are made mostly of wood.

Pirate’s Peg Leg Holds Cribbage Cards (Jan, 1932)

Pirate’s Peg Leg Holds Cribbage Cards

FIFTEEN men on the dead mans chest,

Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum! Drink and the devil had done for the rest,

Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum!

Pirates! That’s exactly what the above chanty spells. This cribbage set is directly connected with a famous old pirate, the one that every one has heard about—Captain John Silver. What was the most conspicuous thing about old John Silver? You’ve guessed it! His peg leg! You just can’t picture John Silver without a peg leg. This cribbage set utilizes that famous peg leg, or rather a miniature of it. The crotch of the leg holds the cards and the hollowed out peg holds the four cribbage pegs.