This article was written about a year after George Orwell introduced the world to Big Brother. Since closed circuit television cameras have become one of the most important and wide spread tools of “Big Brother” it seems a rather appropriate title for the article. The even mention the privacy aspect in comparison to the “much-debated wire-tapping”.


By Creighton Peet

YOU CAN use it for anything—absolutely anything. It will show you what’s going on around corners, through walls, underwater, in the dark, at the bottom of an oil well—or inside the human stomach.

It’s TV’s little brother, a small and comparatively inexpensive wired television setup designed for industrial uses. Already three such devices are on the market. Diamond Power Specialty, a subsidiary of I.T.&T. has the Utiliscope; Remington Rand has developed its Vericon, and RCA the Vidicon. In one model the orthicon tube is the size and shape of a small flashlight, and its housing looks like a 16-mm. home movie camera.

Very Early Slinky Knockoff (Mar, 1947)

This ad appeared a little more than a year after the Slinky made its debut, but it’s the only one I’ve ever seen. I wonder if the slinky people got them shut down.

Mr. Walker

America’s greatest post-war Action Toy. It walks down a flight of stairs! Fascinating and exciting. Nothing to get out of order. No winding, no motor. Just set it on the top step, flip it and plop, plop, plop, it goes down stairs automatically like a giant night-crawler. Be the first to amaze your friends with this toy sensation. Fun galore!

SEND NO MONEY. Just write your name and address on a penny postcard and mail it to us TODAY. We will mail “Mr. Walker to you. On arrival simply deposit only $1.00 plus C.O.D. postage with postman.

AGENTS WANTED—Easy to demonstrate, easy to sell. Write for special agents deal.
Travis Products Co.
Dept. 48 C 224 W. Huron St. Chicago 10, Ill.

Flivver With a Kick (Sep, 1951)

Flivver With a Kick
STUDENTS at the University of Houston recently converted a sedate Ford into a bucking bronco! Under the direction of W. C. Rowlette of the automotive shop, they built Leapin’ Lena for the school’s annual Frontier Fiesta show.

A ’39 Ford which hadn’t been doing anyone much good was stripped of its old frame. The correct mechanical touches gave it
the lope and bounce of a real Western horse and a saddle was added. Then, the mechanized bronco was ready for the show.

Early Pay Per View TV (Oct, 1947)

It’s comforting to know that the media industry’s fascination with screwing their customers by telling them how they can use their own TVs is nothing new.

Pay-as-You-Look Television
“Phone vision,” developed by Zenith Radio Corporation, offers paying television audiences the cream of latest stage plays and movies. A combination home receiver brings in free programs as usual. Special features reach it partly by air, partly by phone line. Blurred when viewed alone (above, right), the radio image becomes clearer (left) with key frequencies received by phone. “Admission charges” go on phone bill.

New Cartoon Camera Combines Drawings And Photographs (Dec, 1940)

New Cartoon Camera Combines Drawings And Photographs

A REAL car with a flesh-and-blood driver rolls sedately along a busy city street.
Careening behind it, a caricature of an Indian in a speeding jallopy performs antics that would whiten the hair of a traffic cop. Trick photography produces animated movie cartoons of this novel sort, combining hand-drawn characters with natural backgrounds, in the studio of Paul Terry at New Rochelle, N. Y.

In making the 6,000 separate cartoons that go into a typical 500-foot animated film, the artist uses a special procedure. Each figure or object is drawn on top of an opaque silhouette, of black or white pigment, applied to a transparent sheet of celluloid. Hold it up against the, light, and you will see only the black outline of a figure; by reflected light, its details appear. So each cartoon receives the illumination of a pair of spotlights, from above, while a stop-motion camera photographs it. Meanwhile the opaque cartoon effectively blocks out the unwanted part of a real movie scene, which is projected from below through the transparent part of the celluloid. The rest of the background automatically is photographed with the cartoon, giving a composite picture. For each succeeding frame, the same procedure is used, after cartoons and background scenes have been shifted.

Robots in Ragtime (Sep, 1951)

Robots in Ragtime
THE Japanese have come up with something new in toys. It’s a mechanical orchestra and its tinny music has captured the hearts of the youngsters.

Jiro Aizawa, an ex-Kamikaze plane designer, is the creator. Loath to discard his mechanical training after the war, he turned to experimentation with robots, a subject in which he had long been interested. His results are quite amazing.

The orchestra’s actual music is produced by a phonograph record synchronized with the movements of the players. In its repertoire are: Buttons and Bows, Beer Barrel Polka and Rumba Tamba.


Boy! It’s Keen

$1.95 (Gun Only)
Box of 5 rolls caps 7 Boxes . . . $1.00


It’s a real thriller. Yes! Looks and feels like the Automatic “45’s” carried by our Army Officer . . . It’s made of strong lightweight aluminum . . . with a plastic “Pearl” handle. It’s easy to reload. Any boy would gladly give his entire allowance for one of these.


It’s Sweating to the Oldies, back before they were oldies.


Reducing Reduced to a Science

ARE you bulky of body, and heavy of heart? Would you really like to reduce? Will you accept without cost the proof that you can? Then read what this man has done! Not long: ago, in Chicago, it was stated that the scientific secret of weight regulation had been discovered. Wallace, a leading physical director, had worked seventeen years to make the announcement. But it did not take long to prove it was true.

Build a Basement Golf Course (Jun, 1950)


By Allan Carpenter

POPULARITY of miniature golf has brought the game right into the basement in the form of a knockdown course that can be picked up and stored away almost as easily as you would a game of croquet. It’s an exciting game the whole family can enjoy the year round—from the youngsters on up to the avid golfer who will find it good practice in keeping his putting eye keen. Standard putters and irons are used and scoring is done as in real golf, penalties being counted as strokes. As for space, most basements, especially those with compact heating units, will accommodate the “concentrated” nine-hole course pictured in the illustration above, but, where there’s only a minimum of space, a lot of fun can be had from a much smaller course. As each green is complete in itself and lightweight, the course can be quickly set up. Most of the greens are fairly shallow to permit stacking them in little space when not in use. Where yard area is sufficient to permit an outdoor course, a suggested layout for an 18-hole one is given in the plan view on page 197. Construction of nine additional greens is given to supplement the nine shown above.

New Electric Reproducer Plays Piano Accompaniment (Feb, 1932)

New Electric Reproducer Plays Piano Accompaniment
ONE of the strangest contraptions yet to make its appearance in the musical world was exhibited recently at the German Radio Show in Berlin. Known as the “Helertion,” the device performs the function of playing an accompaniment to a grand piano. The notes are picked up by a microphone and are altered by changing the resistance in the lattice circle, which reproduces spheric sounds and noises together with the ordinary tones of the piano.

The alteration tone is carried on through a series of amplifiers and reproduced through a battery of loud speakers. Auditors who have given the system a try-out declare that the scheme opens up a new field for musical reproduction from an ordinary . grand piano. The tonal range is as great with the reproducer as with the piano itself.