Archive
Impractical
Vehicle Oddities (Dec, 1953)

I can’t imagine why these didn’t take off. That monorail train looks utterly stable to me! Not to mention the plane stabilized by a pendulum.

Vehicle Oddities

Boynton Bicycle Locomotive built in 1889 was tested in Gravesend, Brooklyn, on one overhead and one ground rail. Arrangement was supposed to reduce weight, friction and save power on curves.

Bicycle Airship designed to fly in any direction was the fantastic brainchild of Herman Rieckert in 1889. Bicycle apparatus in pilothouse flapped side and center wings, providing motive power.

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ROCKING BED EASES HEART STRAIN (Feb, 1936)

But is it worth it if you also get seasick?

ROCKING BED EASES HEART STRAIN
Sufferers from heart ailments are said to be aided by a new rocking bed. Operated by an electric motor, the bed alternately raises
the head and feet of the patient, helping the blood circulate to all parts of the body, thus easing the strain upon an over-taxed heart.

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Nosepiece Aids Breathing in Cold (Jul, 1933)

If it’s cold enough that you need to pull your nostrils open with a hook, I suggest simply wearing a scarf or face mask. Also, what do you do if you don’t wear glasses?

Nosepiece Aids Breathing in Cold

HERE’S a new slant on curing colds in the head. It’s a little adjustable hook which fastens to the nosepiece of your eyeglasses to lift up the nostrils and facilitate the passage of air through the nasal openings. How this extremely novel gadget is worn is illustrated in the photo at the left.

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Cream Replaces Silk Stockings (Jan, 1938)

Cream Replaces Silk Stockings
Liquid cream that dries to resemble silk stockings is a new cosmetic said to be a boon to the outdoor girl. When applied to the legs, as shown below, the inventors claim that it is practically impossible to distinguish it from real silk hose.

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Paper Hat Parasol for Men Serves as Shield from Sun or Rain (Dec, 1924)

Paper Hat Parasol for Men Serves as Shield from Sun or Rain

Protection from sun or rain is provided by a paper parasol that slips over the top of men’s hats and is held by a rubber band or piece of elastic. The flaps that hang over the brim can be folded in nine different ways, thus shielding the wearer at any desired angle while the exposed portions of the shade may be printed with advertisements. Special styles are manufactured also in thin sheet rubber with rigid side strips, while those made from ordinary paper or with cheesecloth backing have been found serviceable even in heavy rains. When not in use, the parasol can be folded up and placed in the pocket.

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Why Don’t We Have… Baby Assault Tanks (Apr, 1952)

It seems like this would just get stuck in the mud. Also, where do you store fuel and ammo?

Why Don’t We Have… Baby Assault Tanks

Tiny but deadly insect-like tri-tracks would spearhead our advancing infantry.

By Frank Tinsley

WE are living in a machine age and our wars have become mechanical, but it’s still the muddy, tired infantryman who must storm the enemy’s stronghold in bloody assault.

In some cases the tactical situation and nature of the terrain make this necessary. In many others, however, the brunt of the attack could just as well be absorbed by light, heavily armed machines. Why, then, can’t we send in a first wave of baby assault tanks and use our irreplaceable GI’s for the less hazardous chore of mopping up?

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Eyeshades Serve as Extra Lashes to Shield against Sand and Sun (Dec, 1924)

Eyeshades Serve as Extra Lashes to Shield against Sand and Sun

Fitting snugly into the eye sockets and just over the lids, light celluloid eyeshades of novel design have been placed on the market. Less cumbersome than the larger kinds, they are said to afford ample protection against bright sunshine on the beach and elsewhere, and also from dust and sand. They are manufactured in a variety of colors and do not interfere with the vision.

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PROPELLER DRIVES NOVEL BICYCLE (Nov, 1936)

PROPELLER DRIVES NOVEL BICYCLE

A whirling, three-bladed propeller provides the motive power for a bicycle of odd design recently exhibited in Paris by a French inventor. Mounted at the front, the propeller is attached to a driving rod in a gear box supported over the front wheel by a metal frame. The gear mechanism is connected by a chain to the conventional bicycle sprocket wheel, which is pedaled in the usual manner. An extremely high gear ratio, it is said, enables the cyclist to drive the propeller at high speed. A hand lever is used to operate a rear-wheel brake, as in ordinary European bicycles.

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NEW TOBACCO PLANT HAS NO NICOTINE (Feb, 1932)

Gee, I can’t imagine why these cigarettes never caught on, not to mention the tobacco salad with tobacco oil dressing. Sounds delicious!

NEW TOBACCO PLANT HAS NO NICOTINE

Tobacco minus nicotine is produced from the leaves of a remarkable plant raised in Germany. This botanical freak
is the reward of experiments conducted under the direction of the Ministry of National Economics, at a research institute established in the midst of the tobacco-growing fields of Pfalz. Although an extract from the leaves is virtually as harmless as drinking water, the “smokes” made from the plant are said to have all the flavor of ordinary tobacco.

An unexpected by-product of the experiment was the discovery that the leaves could also be used to prepare a succulent salad. As if that were not enough, the salad may be flavored with oil extracted from the same plant, according to Dr. Paul Konig, director of the institute.

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Water-Foils Support HYDROVANE Ship (Jun, 1932)

Water-Foils Support HYDROVANE Ship

FOR years builders of ocean liners have been refining the designs of their vessels until it seems that the ultimate speeds attainable by the conventional hulls have just about been reached.

Promise of ocean speeds approaching that of fast airplanes is held forth, however, by a modified hydroplane type of sea vessel designed by H. G. Allan of Glasgow, Scotland, and illustrated in the drawing below.

As shown, the unique craft is essentially a streamlined hull supported on steel hydrovanes. These hydrovanes, planes, or water wings, as they may be described, travel through the water, but virtually on the surface. Ordinary hydroplanes, which are designed to avoid wave-making resistance, attain remarkable speeds but are unseaworthy in rough water.

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