Radio TELEVISION Electronics
TV AND ELECTRONICS FOR 1951
A—Speed-photo transceiver aids criminal investigators. Similar to wirephoto machines used by newspapers for sending and receiving pictures, it transmits and receives fingerprints, photographs suspected checks and other investigation matter long distances over the air in a few minutes. The instrument transmits and receives the pictorial material at the rate of one cross-section inch per minute
Primitive vs. Mechanical Music
STONE age men produced music by tapping a stretched hide. Today we press a button, and presto—music!
The mechanical violin whose mechanism is exposed above is one of the latest advances in the development of mechanical music. Fingering of the violin is done by the M-shaped rod, while the bow is moved by the same mechanism which twists the violin around to present the proper strings to the bow. A perforated roll, shown at the right, controls the machine.
White horsehair is used in making violin bows. Above a worker is sorting horsehair for quality.
MAKING Movie Actors Disappear
AN ACTRESS passes her hand down in front of her body—and her head, shoulders, waist, and feet vanish in succession from the screen. These views show how the disappearing stunt is done, in the recent motion picture “Topper Takes a Trip.” Projecting an individual frame of the film on a screen, Roy Sea-wright, movie magician, painted out a little of Constance Bennett’s figure and rephotographed the frame on a few film. With each of thirty-three succeeding frames, he painted out a bit more. Corresponding sections of the background were printed on the final trick film in perfect register, through masks that covered all but the previously blocked-out portion of every frame.
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Episodes of It Pays To Be Ignorant may be listened to or downloaded here
Duncemaster Howard – Professor of Pipe-ology
GOT any questions on your mind today?
Ask Tom Howard, the zany dunce-master on CBS’ radio and television crazy quiz. It Pays To Be Ignorant—he’ll give you any answer . . . except, of course, the right one. But ask him for a light and you may end up with all your pockets full of pipes—complete with built-in lighters.
MOUNTING TOY PLANE
A discarded set of toy chime wheels and an old airplane toy, if placed at opposite ends of a 3-ft. length of broomstick, will give a small boy many hours of fun playing aviator. It is best to mount the plane at such an angle to the stick that it will be approximately horizontal when the boy gets astride or “rides” the broomstick.—D. A. Butler.
Synthetic music is being produced in a German film studio by reversing a familiar process. When artists sing and orchestras play before a microphone, their music is recorded as a wavy black line on the sound track. What would happen if an artist were to draw shapes, imprint them on sound film, and play it back? Technician Oscar Fischinger got startling results. Concentric circles drawn in a strip imitated an electric bell, eye-like spots reproduced a bassoon, and a pattern of clots sounded like a xylophone. Variations in sizes and shapes produced changes in pitch, loudness, and timbre.
This was MGM’s Lot #3 which now contains condominiums (but alas, no Starbucks). The artificial lake was seen in “Show Boat” (1953) and “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” (1960). The colonial village mentioned in the text was called “Salem Waterfront” and was seen in “All the Brothers Were Valiant” (1953) and “Plymouth Adventure” (1953)
HOLLYWOOD, land of anything-can-happen, has a whole ocean full of ships smack in the middle of an MGM lot.
It’s a man-made lake, S-shape, measuring 1,200 feet from the colonial village at one end to the jungle creek at the other. Its fleet includes everything from a Maori lumber barge to an oldtime Mississippi showboat.
That is a distinctly chunky Olive Oyl.
Checking some online auction sites there are apparently three of these sets in existence that go from collection to collection.
The figures are known as ramp walkers (or incline walkers). (Charlie’s Loyal Minions)
Toy Actors Strut Stage in “Mystery” Theater
In a “mystery” toy theater, comic figures made of wood walk either forward or backward across the stage, without the benefit | of winding or mechanism of any kind. The actors also perform as well outside the theater, on any inclined board, for the secret of their ability is that they move by gravity. Standing five and a half inches high, they are modeled and hand-painted to represent familiar comic-strip characters.