Patents Nutty or Novel?
Almost all of the 40,000 inventions patented each year by Uncle Sam are workable devicesâ€”but as to being practical, that’s something else again. The inventions pictured on these pages, all of them taken from patent office records, are somewhat funnier but no less impractical than a large number of devices which their inventors see fit to protect with a patent. Read ‘em and weep!
Wouldn’t this be a bit loud?
Vacuum Cleaner Purifies Air
Small enough to rest on a bedside table, a vacuum cleaner now on the market has a special attachment that makes it useful for purifying the air in a sick room. Employing turbine-type blades instead of the conventional revolving fan to create suction, the unit draws room air in through a nozzle and passes it through a “germ trap” said to remove any dust and other impurities it may contain.
Cops’ COLD FEET Heated by electricity
CLOTHED in a new electrically heated uniform, recently developed by the General Electric Company, a policeman can stand at street intersections directing traffic all day long in the coldest weather and keep as warm as if he were inside.
Several thin rubber strips about 1/2 inch wide and very flexible, with a heating element vulcanized inside, are sewed into the uniform, and thin insoles of the same material are fitted in the shoes. These are connected by small insulated wires to metal plates attached to the heels of the shoes, the positive wire leading to one foot and the negative to the other.
If cold, the officer merely steps on two insulated plates set flush with the pavement. One plate is connected to the positive terminal of a 12-volt storage battery placed in a box below the plates, and the other to the negative terminal. The sole plates form the contacts and within 15 seconds the heating units begin to warm up.
Pleasure-Tower Half Mile High
Towering almost half a mile above the ground, dwarfing such gigantic structures as the Empire State Building and the Eiffel tower, a huge concrete tower 2300 feet high, surmounted with a beacon and built with a spiral ramp for autos to climb up its sides, stuns the imagination with its vastness. It is the design of the French engineer, M. Freyssinet, intended for the 1937 Paris Exhibition.
Where exactly would you drive this?
Unique Bus of Future to Duplicate Speed of Railroads
RECENT developments in everything that moves has caused many flights of imagination. Thus the fancy conjures up a bus to keep pace with other transportation. The bus between New York and San Francisco will be equipped with airplanes for trips not on the regular schedule. For diversion, billiard rooms, swimming pool, dancing floor and a bridle path would be available. The pilot would be “enthroned” over his engines, with the radio above. Space for autos would be afforded by the deck.
It’s not exactly clear from the description but it seems like this machine stores one number at a time. Then you punch in a list of numbers and if one of them matches it rings a bell. I’m not sure how this is better than just writing the number down and comparing it to a list.
“MEMORY MACHINE” KEEPS TAB ON NUMBERS FOR POLICE
Once “told” to remember, a new machine gives a “reply” in less than two seconds, helping police to keep tab on automobile license-plate numbers, serial figures on money and fingerprints. To use it, the operator punches out a pattern containing the number which is to be “remembered” by the machine.
Youthful Miami Inventor Blazes Another Trail in the Safety of Flying
ONE of the difficulties of air travel is the impossibility of making repairs outside of the cockpit while the ship is in flight. This holds particularly true when the trouble is centered about the tail. James Terry, inventor, of Miami, Fla., is shown demonstrating his safety device which makes it possible to make repairs without landing.
Why Don’t We Build An Atoms-For-Peace Dirigible
Here is a bold plan for displaying peacetime uses of the atom to the peoples of the world.
By Frank Tinsley
EARLY last year, President Eisenhower asked the Congress for funds with which to build a fission-powered merchant ship for the global spread of peaceful atomic knowledge.
“Visiting the ports of the world,” the President stated, “the ship will demonstrate to people everywhere the peacetime use of atomic energy, harnessed for the improvement of human living.”
In Washington, the basic idea of a floating exhibit of American fission techniques was received with general approval by members of the Congress. Some of the plan’s technical aspects, however, generated a bit of discussion. To avoid protracted experimental research and thus speed the ship launching date, it was originally decided to fit the vessel with a duplicate of the power plant used in the atomic submarine Nautilus.
Phonograph Disks Run Crewless War Tank
Machines can execute complicated maneuvers and return after their mission has been performed WITH the discovery by a French scientist that phonograph disks can be used to record mechanical movement as well as sound, the dream of airplanes and tanks that operate by remote control is brought nearer to realization. The practicability of completely automatic control was demonstrated recently at Paris where an electric truck started, changed its course, backed up, reversed its direction, and finally stopped without the guidance of a human hand. Phonograph records, used in the experiment, could guide a torpedo into a fortified harbor to destroy an enemy battleship; or drive a tank against enemy machine gun nests, rake them with fire and return the tank to its own trenches. The movements of the torpedo or tank would be carefully calculated in advance. A master control arm on a recording device would then be manipulated to create electric impulses corresponding in timing to the desired evolutions of a complicated maneuver. An electric pick-up would convert these impulses into mechanical energy and the needle of the pick-up would impress them on the disk.
Big Cities to Have COOLED Sidewalks
COOLING big cities by means of underground air ducts has long been the dream of inventors and sweltering citizens alike. A plan is now being seriously considered by a Chicago scientist, Dr. Gustav Eglov, of the American Chemical Society.
Dr. Eglov believes that huge refrigeration plants built at intervals of a mile and a half along city streets would rid the canyons between sky scrapers of humid hot air.