Archive
How to
Behind the Razor Blade (Jan, 1937) (Jan, 1937)

Behind the Razor Blade

by Robert W. Gordon

TAKE a look at any group photograph of half a century ago. No matter what their station in life, the faces of the men you see there will be adorned with luxuriant crops of whiskers. Some were clipped plain, with the simple dignity of a cemetery hedge. Others were brushed and trimmed in weird and wonderful designs, like decorations on a wedding cake.

Now take a look along the street—any street in almost any country. You see a new race of men entirely. You can really see their faces, and they are bright and clean. No more of this hiding behind the bush. Their jaws are as bare of foliage as an oak tree in January.

.
Sound Tricks of Mickey Mouse (Jan, 1937)

Sound Tricks of Mickey Mouse

Squeaks, squawks, oinks and music—it’s another animated cartoon hit set to music in a brand new way. Read how the hay baler joins a symphony.

by Earl Theisen
Illustrated by Walt Disney

MUSIC and noises in the animated cartoon interpret the action of the story. The narrative theme of the music and what is called the “sound effects” punctuates and emphasizes the story.

By playing on the aural nerves with symbolic sounds and noises the psychological reaction of the audience is controlled and varied according to the dramatic and emotional needs of the cartoon story.

.
“Gypping” the Public (May, 1938)

“Gypping” the Public

Millions of dollars are annually lost to the “short weight” merchants and to those dispensing foodstuffs in “phony” boxes and packages.

WHEN Mr. and Mrs. Buying Public purchase tickets to a show to observe the magician pull rabbits out of a hat, they fully expect to be fooled; they enjoy the trickery even if they are made parties to it; but when this same couple goes to the market to purchase meat at so much a pound, they object strenuously if the man behind the counter slips an 8-ounce sinker into the fowl before he weighs it.

.
Popular Magic by Dunninger (May, 1938)

Popular Magic by Dunninger

Joseph Dunninger, celebrated “mentalist” and magician, whose articles appear exclusively in this publication, is the world’s foremost society entertainer, and has appeared before more celebrities than any of his contemporaries. Among those he has mystified are President Franklin D. Roosevelt, ex-Presidents William Howard Taft, Calvin Coolidge, Warren Harding, Herbert Hoover and Theodore Roosevelt, H. R. H. Duke of Windsor (formerly King Edward VIM), Thomas A. Edison, etc.

THE weird and astounding effect created by the mystery here described is truly remarkable. Representing a “psychic” manifestation, the trick is far more impressive than many of the better conjuring problems.

.
Glories of Mankind Told in Art-Glass Windows (Jan, 1924)

Glories of Mankind Told in Art-Glass Windows

OF all conveniences met with in everyday life, glass is one of most ancient in origin. Authorities differ regarding its- beginning, but it is said to have been made by the Egyptians almost 8,000 years ago. And the coloring of it can be traced as far back as the remote eras of Chinese civilization.

Colored glass was first employed to make imitations of the brightly hued gems, such as rubies, sapphires, and emeralds with which the ancient nobles decked themselves and their horses in barbaric splendor. It was not until demand for the material to be used in flat subjects was born that it was rolled into sheets.

.
Teen-Agers Learn to Hunt SAFELY (Sep, 1955)

What, Popular Mechanics shill for the NRA? Never!

Teen-Agers Learn to Hunt SAFELY

By George Laycock

IN AN EASTERN state last year a youthful hunter aimed carefully at what he thought was the head of a deer. He made his kill, but it was not a deer. It was another hunter.

Such hunting accidents break into the news every fall as legions of hunters take to the fields. In the more crowded sections of the country the danger has become so great that even seasoned hunters often stay home on opening day.

But now officials think they’ve found a way to cut down the number of hunting tragedies. Their answer lies in education. All across the country boys and girls are enrolling in hunter-safety courses. The training is producing results. Several states have cut down hunting accidents among young hunters.

.
Things I Learned from TEN THOUSAND CATS (Oct, 1934)

Things I Learned from TEN THOUSAND CATS

By A. J. Adamson

ONLY by dealing patiently and kindly with a cat, particularly during its early life, may you develop the sort of animal everyone wants as a companion and pet. Unlike dogs, cats will respond only to kindness. Punish them and they grow surly and spiteful. I speak from rich experience, having bred fully 10,000 cats during the last quarter of a century.

The old idea was that every animal should be punished when caught in a wrongful act, but cats do not understand the meaning of a whipping. They are weak-willed and easily tempted and must, therefore, be guided in paths of righteousness.

.
Solving a Knotty Problem with a Few Deft Turns (Mar, 1945)

Solving a Knotty Problem with a Few Deft Turns
WHAT you do with your necktie when you stand in front of your mirror in the morning often means the difference between whether it stays put or needs adjustment whenever a blonde walks by. Raoul Graumont, of New York, author of the Encyclopedia of Knots, has made something of a study of knotting ties. He has himself devised a modern knot that not only stays put but also has the additional advantages of not crumpling a tie excessively and of not jamming when it is slipped down for taking the tie off without untying it. It is shown below with the Windsor knot. Both are similar to the old four-in-hand knot except that each of them makes use of a half hitch for the base.

.
This business is next to nothing (Dec, 1950)

This business is next to nothing

By Louis N. Sarbach

IMAGINE a tunnel with one end beneath New York City’s Times Square. You enter a car at this end, stow your suitcase in the rack overhead and settle down comfortably with a magazine. You have been reading scarcely an hour when the vehicle stops. An escalator carries you back to the street level and you greet the light of day once more—in San Francisco!

Sounds like something out of pseudo-science fiction, doesn’t it? Yet it’s the idea of one of America’s most practical scientist-executives, General Electric’s noted physicist, Dr. Irving Langmuir.

.
Tape Recording Guides Milling Machine (Dec, 1955)

For a much more in depth discussion of early computer controlled milling machines check out this excellent 1952 Scientific American article: “An Automatic Machine Tool”. It’s amazing to think that people are building these things in their garage now for a few hundred bucks.

Tape Recording Guides Milling Machine

Guided by orders stored on magnetic tape, a new milling machine makes all the intricate cuts necessary to turn out wing and skin panels for jet planes. An engineer converts the plans for a panel into decimal numbers, which then are perforated into a paper tape. The paper tape then is run through a computer, which coordinates the information into precise time-and-motion orders to the machine.

.