How to
Machines that Pick Your Pocket – AND MAKE YOU LIKE IT! (Dec, 1932)

Excellent exposé about all of the ways slot machines are rigged to screw you.

Machines that Pick Your Pocket – AND MAKE YOU LIKE IT! —Inside Story of the Slot Machine Racket


No matter how clever you are, you can’t beat the slot machine racket. If you play the game, you’ll have to reconcile yourself to seeing your nickels flowing away in a steady stream, paying tribute to the engineering brains which have designed these mechanical pick-pockets so efficiently that they can’t fail to keep half or more of the coins fed into them, giving the player nothing in return except the thrill of seeing his money vanish.

“GOSH!” you’ve probably said more than once, as the symbols halted, hesitated, and then swung tantalizingly away from the center row, “I almost got the bells that time. Watch this one” —and out of your pocket and into the slot machine goes another hard-earned nickel.

Mechanical Secrets of Marionette Shows Part I (Feb, 1932)

I previously posted part two of this series. You can view it here.

Mechanical Secrets of Marionette Shows
by TONY SARG As Told To Alfred Albelli

When watching a marionette show you’ve probably wondered what made the little mechanical actors appear so lifelike. In this unusual article, Tony Sarg, world’s leading puppeteer, takes you behind the scenes and explains the mechanical marvels which create the amazing illusions of reality you behold on the stage.

MEET the most fantastic troupe that ever strutted across the American stage!

These actors play to capacity audiences in the biggest theatres, yet they don’t get a single red cent for their work!

How Disney Combines Living Actors with His Cartoon Characters (Sep, 1944)

How Disney Combines Living Actors with His Cartoon Characters

UP GOES another character in the Walt Disney Hall of Fame. Out comes another surprise from the Disney bag of tricks. To be specific, Panchito, a Mexican rooster with as much personality as Donald Duck or Joe Carioca, is making his first appearance; and on the screen with him will be live, three-dimensional actors.

How to Win a Jingle Contest (Aug, 1949)

Heh, apparently a good rule for creating a jingle is to pick a stereotype and exploit it:

I used the second rule on popular sayings and made an apt comparison based on the proverbial thriftiness of the Scot:
Away the blithe pennies will roll When cold isn’t under control. But, give Leonard a trial; Its bright Master Dial

Lemme try one:
In travel there is something new
An airline called Jet Blue
Fly on it and you can too
save money like a dirty ….

What’s your stereotyped jingle?

How to Win a Jingle Contest

By Allen Glasser

CAN you write a prize-winning last line for that jingle at the top of the page? You can test your skill as a jingle genius on this limerick. It comes from an actual contest that the A & P Food Stores ran some time ago for their product Nectar Tea. You’ll be surprised to find out just how much you don’t know about composing the pretty little words that snag big money in advertising contests. Beat your brains with the dictionary, chase up rhymes with the biggest thesaurus you can find, then compare your masterpiece with the line that really copped the big cash prize. You’ll find the payoff line printed at the end of this article.




BLAZING with brilliant, ever-changing colors that rival the hues of the rainbow, the illuminated face of a giant electric clock is attracting crowds to an exhibit of timepieces at the San Francisco World’s Fair. Visitors, curious to know how this spectacular effect is obtained, are amazed to learn that this gleaming disk of light, sparkling with an intricate, moving pattern of colorful stars and concentric circles, is produced not by any complicated arrangement of colored bulbs, projectors, and revolving niters, but merely by plain white light, and strips of transparent cellulose mending tape sandwiched between two practically colorless disks.

New Boom in Gliders (Jun, 1940)

Beautifully colored article from 1940.

New Boom in Gliders

Thrilling Aerial Sport Gains Wider Popularity Through Knockdown Kits That Enable Anybody To Build His Own Sailplane, Buying All the Materials on a Pay-as-You-Go Plan


SOARING on wings assembled in back yards and home workshops, hundreds of glider enthusiasts are piloting their own sailplanes. Bought on the installment plan, their ships come in knockdown kits. Piecemeal buying enables boys and men alike to build gliders. As a result, flying without power is sweeping the nation. More than forty meets will be staged this year, from the big national events like the one held annually at Elmira, N. Y., to small sectional competitions on farm lots, desert lakes, and mountain pastures. Two hundred clubs have been formed with 2,000 members. Aside from the kits, would-be soarers need purchase few accessories. Tow rope, a couple of wrenches, air-speed meter, and a sensitive variometer fill the bill. In many towns groups club together, building their own soaring planes and cooperating in flying. At a cost far less than that of a powered plane, their members enjoy the thrills and pleasures of flying. Danger of injury is less, too, for they can land the light craft at comparatively slow speeds.

How a Fireworks Magician Tames Dynamite (Aug, 1934)

How a Fireworks Magician Tames Dynamite

Flaming dynamite and exploding mortars are the chief tools of the fireworks expert. In this vivid, intimate story one of the aces of the fireworks army takes you behind the scenes to reveal, for the first time, the thrills and dangers of his roaring trade.

MILLIONS of Americans thrill yearly to the glittering wheels, flaming rockets and spectacular bombs of the giant fireworks displays; but the men who fire them are the men nobody knows—the world’s most mysterious showmen.

WORKSHOP WIZARD on the Stage (Oct, 1948)


By William J. Duchaine

RUSSELL E. OAKES of Waukesha,

Wis., has been “making things” ever since he was big enough to wield a jackknife. Away back when makers of electric drills offered lathe attachments, Oakes had the yen for power tools. So he started equipping his shop, suffering occasional pangs of guilt over such an “extravagance,” and never dreaming he was laying the foundation for one of the most unusual careers in the U. S.

Why You Can’t Ring Bell of “High Striker” (Feb, 1935)

Why You Can’t Ring Bell of “High Striker”

Ringing the bell of the “high striker” at the county fair appears to be easy when the operator, frequently a small man, tries it. On the other hand strong men find it difficult. The explanation is simple. At some fairs, the machine is “fixed” so that the operator controls the tension of the wire on which the counter block rides. If the wire is tight, the counter block slides freely to the top of the machine, but if the wire is slightly slack, it vibrates sufficiently to retard the progress of the block. The vibration is set up by the player’s mallet striking the trip arm. A trick lever, sometimes hidden under a loose board in the platform at the side of the machine, may be depressed by the operator by standing on the loose board. By depressing this lever, the showman forces a steel pin against the bottom bracket holding the guide wire. This causes the bracket to bend slightly and reduces some of the tension of the wire. Thus, the operator may control the play permitting the bell to be rung or preventing a strong man from ringing it.

The Secrets of Making Marionettes Part II (Sep, 1934)

You can view the first part of this series here.

The Secrets of Making Marionettes


ARTISTS’ oil paints, obtainable in tubes, offer the best medium for painting marionettes. Flat white paint is used as a ground color to cover all exposed parts. When dry, white enamel is used to get a gloss on the teeth and eyeballs, using a small camel’s-hair brush as in Fig. 30. To get flesh color, mix burnt sienna with flat white paint, sometimes adding small quantities of red, yellow or blue to bring out various skin shades. Apply a spot of vermilion in the center of each cheek and blend it into the flesh color of the face. The lips are painted with a suitable mixture of vermilion and burnt sienna. Shades of blue or brown, or a mixture of both, are used to make eye shadows and lines to imitate wrinkles in the face and hands.