Archive
Toys and Games
The Original Ant Farm (Jun, 1936)

More information about Prof. Frank Austin’s Ant Palaces. (Link)

ANT PALACES Create NEW Pastime

THOUGH it sounds like something out of “Alice in Wonderland,” the ant palace is a very real contrivance that sells for five dollars, and sells very rapidly at that. Strange things have been built in the name of entertainment, but seldom anything quite as novel and ingenious as these glazed-in ant apartments with both northern and southern exposure.

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Toy Train Delivers Rural Mail (Apr, 1935)

Toy Train Delivers Rural Mail

“NECESSITY is the mother of invention.” An Oregon rancher, living a mile from the highway, proved the truth of this old maxim when he put the world’s smallest mail train in operation over a spur line between his home and the road to save his wife the trip.
The train, powered with small dry-cell batteries, makes the trip to the road every morning, pulling a tiny mail box. Upon arrival, it is stopped by a lever laid along the track.

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Duck Hunt – 1935 (Jul, 1935)

Birds Hit With Bullets of Light
BULLETS of light instead of the usual lead shot are being employed by Chicago’s sportsmen in a new trapshooting game.
The sport, which is said to be absolutely noiseless, may be played in an ordinary hall. It is held to be a valuable aid in perfecting marksmanship.
Photo-electric cells are mounted in the bodies of duck targets which move across a panelled opening at one end of the room. Each gun has its source of light which flashes on when the trigger is pressed.
If a marksman “hits” the photo-electric cell directly in the center of the bird’s body, the duck falls and the number of respective hits is registered automatically in light.

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Calculating Machine is built of Toy Parts (Aug, 1935)

This reminds me of the Tinker Toy computer built by Danny Hillis, though not quite as cool.

Calculating Machine is built of Toy Parts

CONSTRUCTED entirely from the wheels, gears and structural members of a popular construction toy set, an amazing calculating machine at Manchester University, England can do in a few minutes problems which ordinarily would require many days of tedious work by mathematicians. The only other machine of its kind is at Boston, Mass. When experiments on this machine have been completed, Mr. A. Porter and Professor Hartree, its builders, propose to make a larger model, 27 feet long and 12 feet wide.

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How Comic CARTOONS Make Fortunes (Nov, 1933)

How Comic CARTOONS Make Fortunes

The “funnies” you read every day bring $8,000,000 a year to a small group of 200 cartoonists. How they rose to the top and how you can enter their select circle is told here by leading comic artists.

THAT laugh you had today over your favorite funny strip is worth money— $200 to $1,000 a day to the cartoonist that made you chuckle.

His pen and ink characters are part of a great $8,000,000 industry that is far from overcrowded and that is practically depression proof.

Of the 200 successful cartoonists today the majority were not “born artists.” In many cases they were not artists at all, but just fellows with a knack for sketching who thought of a good idea or a funny character that “made a hit” with an editor and eventually with newspaper readers.

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German Boys Build Scale Model Liners for Sea Cruises (Sep, 1935)

This is the coolest boat model I’ve ever seen. You can ride around in it!

German Boys Build Scale Model Liners for Sea Cruises
EXPERT marine constructionists, between the ages of 9 and 16 are being developed in one of the most novel trade schools of the world at Potsdam, Germany. Under the tutelage of experienced marine engineers, the youths receive a thorough technical training in building exact replicas of real steamships on a scale of one to twenty.
Grades are given according to the aptitude and intelligence shown in building the model vessels. The plans from which the youth work are the same plans, scaled down, of such ships
as the Normandie and the Queen Mary. At the end of the school year, advanced students build models that can actually go to sea.

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Power It with a PULSE JET (Jun, 1952)

Power It with a PULSE JET

THIS model plane project uses what may be the smallest successful pulse-jet engine ever built. It was developed after scores of experiments and the building of a dozen test models by Hiram Sibley, Jr., a California guided-missile engineer.

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Automat Swaps Candy for Bottles (Jul, 1935)

Automat Swaps Candy for Bottles
TO INSURE the return of empty milk bottles and eliminate the cost of replacements, an automat has been devised which dispenses candy and gum in exchange for “empties.” Shaped and painted like a huge milk bottle, the container has a capacity of 60 bottles. The empty bottle is placed on a red hook in an opening near the top and a handle is pushed to the right to deposit the bottle. Gum or candy is discharged into the customer’s hands.

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Strictly Fresh Ideas for Easter Eggs (Apr, 1939)

Strictly Fresh Ideas for Easter Eggs
IF THE eggs used in making these novelties are blown’ by the method illustrated, the contents may be used for the table in the form of an omelet or scrambled. Clean the shell with soap and warm water, es–pecially if water colors are used in decorating. Sails, wings, legs, and other parts may be fastened on with model-airplane cement. Features are modeled in artist’s clay of the self-hardening type.—Hi Sibley.

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Rifle shoots infrared ray (Oct, 1962)

Rifle shoots infrared ray
You can stand in front of this target rifle without fear of being hurt. Instead of bullets, it shoots a beam of light. Both rifle and its special target are powered by flashlight batteries. A bull’s-eye is scored when a pulse of infrared light strikes the center of the target and activates a flashing light and a bell. The rifle is manufactured by Infrared Industries, Waltham, Mass., makers of electronic devices for the government’s missile and satellite programs.

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