How to


CAMERAS are constructed to be light-tight, and yet in order to make an exposure it is necessary to let light into the camera and onto the film. This requires a special mechanism called the camera shutter. It is so designed that when a release is pressed, it will move, let light into the camera for a moment or so, and then close and protect the film again from the light. As films have been made more sensitive and shorter exposures made possible, the design and construction of camera shutters has been improved until today there are shutters that split seconds into almost unbelievably small fractions and let light into the camera for just that fractional part of a second. Most of the smaller hand cameras with which we are familiar are fitted with one, or even both, of two types of shutters.

Beer Making Is Marvel of Industrial Chemistry (Jun, 1933)

Beer Making Is Marvel of Industrial Chemistry

With the removal of national restrictions against the manufacture and sale of beer, American brewers are again in action. Their operations represent one of the most extensive applications of modern industrial chemistry. More than 2,000,000,000 pounds of malt, 650,000,000 pounds of corn and corn products, and 41,000,000 pounds of hops are a part of the vast consignment of raw materials that experts will turn each year into beer. On these pages, our artist shows how the transformation is accomplished in one big, and now active, American brewery.

Engineering the Magic Carpet’s Flight (Apr, 1924)

Engineering the Magic Carpet’s Flight

Problems in Mechanics that Make the “Movie” Engineer’s Profession Recall the Magician’s Miracles

BUILD me a magic carpet on which I can ride; a flying horse like Pegasus and arrange a set so that I can disappear in a whirlwind.”

The “boss” of the moving-picture lot, without more ado, walked out of his chief engineer’s office, leaving that hard-working individual the three problems which he mentally added to the score or more of similar commands he had executed since the actual “shooting” of the scenes in the huge spectacle had begun months ago. For the engineering staff of the larger moving-picture producers is used to facing and conquering problems that for sheer unusual-ness are perhaps unrivaled.

Modern Mechanix’s Cover from Painting to Magazine (Jan, 1935)

MM’S Cover from Painting to Magazine

Three photo negatives are made of 21″x30″ oil painting (below). At same time screen of 133 dots to inch is placed between plate and lens. On one negative all but blue color is filtered out, second all but red, and third yellow. Proof of type for the cover is photographed. Type on negative is masked for drawing.

It’s Time for Canning in the Tennis Factories (Aug, 1938)

It’s Time for Canning in the Tennis Factories
This is the season for canning corn—and tennis balls. Above, balls being packed in cans to keep them “live”

Thousands of Americans are smashing tennis balls over—and into nets in parks and club grounds and thousands more are engaged in busy factories where rackets, balls, nets and equipment are produced. What you see, above, is not a parking lot for balloons but hundreds of tennis ball centers on drying racks in a factory. They have been coated with cement and are awaiting the proper moment for being covered

Above, a final stage in manufacture of tennis balls; putting on outer covering, sewing and “spooling”—ironing the seams down. Below, at right, the beginning of a tennis racket. Here a factory worker is bending strips of ash into shape. Rackets must conform to high standards as to weight, balance and stress

Drawing Animated Cartoons for the Movies (Oct, 1924)

Drawing Animated Cartoons for the Movies

MAKING laugh-creating animated cartoons for the movie screen in which grotesque clowns, misshapen animals, and caricatured people with funny faces and funnier habits go through their pen-and-ink performances requires not only skilled drawing by artists who “cast” the parts but careful work by the camera operator as well, to insure each scene its proper sequence on the reel. Unlike the studios where the dramatic plays are acted out, the animated cartoon is made up on an ordinary drawing board amid the familiar implements of the ink craftsman. And at times the creator of the characters is called upon to take
part in the play, performing with a group of the queer figures that seem to be balancing on pencils or bobbing about on top of a desk or table. When such human characters are combined in an animated cartoon with “sketched” characters, the exposures are made in two sections.

How to Sell Inventions (Oct, 1937)

How to Sell Inventions

by Donald G. Cooley

YOU thought all glass was invisible? Wrong. Go to the foot of the class.

Take a look at a plate glass display window the next time you pass a large department store. Observe street traffic and passers-by reflected in the glass. If the light strikes at the right angle the glass, far from being transparent, becomes a mirror efficient enough to enable you to adjust your tie or powder your nose from your reflected image.

A young Londoner named Gerald Brown took note of these obvious facts, realized that hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of window displays were handicapped, and invented an invisible glass window which gives the shopper the sensation that he can actually reach out and touch the articles on display. In the case of diamond necklaces, this is a beguiling illusion.

Where is Television Now? (Aug, 1938)

Wow, the entertainment industry used to have a much more enlightened approach to “hackers”:

While passing through the earphone stage, television needs what radio needed in the days of crystal sets—hams and tinkerers. RCA recently made available to amateurs certain specialized parts, including several Kinescopes, and before long complete television kits containing all the parts for receivers may be available. Once the art emerges from the laboratory, the nation’s hams and tinkerers will play an important part in its development.

Where is Television Now?

TEN years ago a woman sat under blinding lights in John L. Baird’s television studio in London while a group of men, assembled around a receiver in Hartsdale, N. Y., saw her face on a screen.

That radio transmission of a moving picture across 3,000 miles of ocean led many to believe that television, a new Twentieth-century wonder, was about to round the corner and, like radio, enter most American homes. But years passed and nothing of this sort happened. People still are asking, “When will we have television?”

Coin Magic (Nov, 1937)

Coin Magic

Spectacular, but simple tricks with coins that can be performed by any one, young or old.

by Kenneth Murray

COIN MAGIC is fun! These tricks are as astounding as larger illustrations and can be performed anywhere. All equipment for a ten or fifteen-minute exhibition will fit nicely in a vest pocket. As it is unlawful to mutilate U. S. coins, use imitation half dollars such as sold by toy stores. Practice each trick in front of a mirror before performing it in public.

The illustrations show how to pass a half dollar through the neck of a narrow-mouth bottle, through a finger ring, and half way through the brim of a hat. Also the method of vanishing three coins in one hand, changing a nickel into a half dollar, causing coins to become magnetized and as a spectacular climax, producing coins out of thin air.

Tire Tales (Apr, 1946)

Tire Tales
AT LONG last, tire manufacturers are no longer snowed under with war orders and are able to concentrate on tires for civilian cars, old and new. With natural rubber still in acutely short supply, synthetics like buna styrene will be used. Thanks to war research and experience, the substitute material makes tires that are as good as, and in some ways better than, those made of natural rubber.