Archive
Impractical
Iron Whale Swims Ocean Bottom Like Fish (Jul, 1933)

Iron Whale Swims Ocean Bottom Like Fish

Denizens in the ocean depths may soon find prowling among their haunts a huge iron monster swimming with fishlike motions and bearing a close resemblance to themselves. This strange monster is to be built from plans devised by Herr Schiff, a German engineer, who has already constructed a workable model for his astounding brainchild, which is shown in accompanying photos. The curious undersea craft is equipped with two fins and a tail which operate in the same manner as do these elements of a live fish. Intended chiefly for the exploration of the ocean bottom, the ship is said to be capable of maneuvering with all the flexibility of its fleshy prototype. Two electric eyes placed in the head for observation purposes make the resemblance to a sea serpent more complete. The craft was designed and constructed after an extensive study of the swimming motions of many types of fish, particularly the larger sharks and whales.

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Fire Box Traps Pranksters (Feb, 1938)

This is an awesome idea. When someone pulls the fire alarm, we’re going to handcuff them to that very spot. If they were stupid enough to pull a fire alarm some place close to, you know, a fire, well that’s their own fault.

Fire Box Traps Pranksters
THE sending of false fire alarms by mischievous persons may be eliminated through use of a newly developed call box. To use the device, the sender of an alarm must pass a hand through a special compartment to reach the signal dial. Once the dial has been turned, the sender’s hand is locked in the compartment until released by a fireman or policeman with a key.

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Glasses Eliminate Headlight Glare (Feb, 1938)

Glasses Eliminate Headlight Glare

Complete comfort and safety are promised to the night automobile driver who will wear a new type of eyeshade. Colored material above the eyes blocks out the glare of approaching headlights at a distance and as the bright headlights approach, shields at the driver’s left block out the glare from that direction. It is claimed the eye glasses serve to tone down the brightness at the left side of the road and to leave perfectly clear and visible the right side where the driver is traveling.

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Giant Coffee Urn In Service (Mar, 1938)

That looks pretty dangerous.

Giant Coffee Urn In Service
THE U. S. Coast Guard base at New London, Connecticut, has been provided with a coffee urn which is believed to be the largest ever constructed. It holds 60 gallons of water and the handle on its cover is just within reach of an average size girl. The big coffee maker is the center of attraction on cold nights for men returning from chilly excursions aboard patrol boats.

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Hinged Fins Strapped to Legs Aid in Treading Water (Jan, 1932)

Hinged Fins Strapped to Legs Aid in Treading Water

ABOUT the strangest thing yet in the way of contraptions for walking on water recently appeared in Catalina Island, California. Consisting of a set of three flipper-like discs attached to the lower leg, the device gets its water treading power from the mechanical arrangement whereby the flippers spread out on the down stroke to catch hold of the water, and fold up out of the way as the leg comes upward. The results of the test, conducted by Albert E. Arnold, noted swimming coach, is indicated in his remark, “I’ll still use boats for a while.”

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Invisibility At Last Within Grasp of Man (Oct, 1936)

Something tells me Modern Mechanix got scammed on this one. My guess is the two Hungarian guys got some investment funding and then vanished into thin air along with the cash.

Invisibility At Last Within Grasp of Man

by A.L. White

Two Hungarian scientists solve age-old quest with devices worthy of Arabian nights wizards.

SUPPOSE that out onto a stage come eight chorus girls performing an intricate dance. Gradually something seems to happen, the heads, faces, and upper parts of the bodies of the girls seem to be disappearing. In fact, little by little they do become invisible to the audience until at last only eight pairs of legs are seen gracefully skipping about on the stage in perfect rhythm. You rub your eyes and begin to think you’d better see an oculist right away, but while you are worrying about it, back into your vision come the eight girls, wholly there and dancing gaily as though they had not just given you the shock of a lifetime. Or suppose again that a girl is sitting atop a piano, singing. The piano begins to fade from sight; finally the girl is left sitting in midair, nonchalantly swinging her feet and blithely singing, as though her perch was perfectly substantial.

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Safety Belt Makes Chair Safe Seat for Child (Apr, 1942)

Is this a safety device or an instrument of torture? It seems pretty cruel to strap the kid into a chair so that when his toy falls on the ground, which it undoubtedly will, it rests just out of reach. Also, I’m sure that if he tries hard enough the boy could find a way to strangle himself.

Safety Belt Makes Chair Safe Seat for Child

IF it weren’t for the safety belt holding him to the chair, Jimmie, here, would probably take a spill in his efforts to reach that toy horse. Then some one would have to pick him up and put him back. It could go on for hours. But all this can be eliminated by use of a recently patented safety strap which fits over his shoulders and around his waist like a double Sam Browne belt. The ends are securely attached to the chair legs. The strap allows him plenty of movement, yet prevents him from toppling.

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Woman Invents Dimple Machine (Oct, 1936)

Woman Invents Dimple Machine

DIMPLES are now made to order! These aids to beauty can be produced as the result of a new invention
by Isabella Gilbert of Rochester, N. Y. The device consists of a face-fitting spring carrying two tiny knobs which press into the cheeks.

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Head Measurements Help To Identify Criminals (Jul, 1939)

Head Measurements Help To Identify Criminals

A device long used by hat stores, to measure the size and shape of a customer’s head, now helps police of Norwalk, Conn., to identify criminals. According to sponsors of the new method,who use it in conjunction with fingerprinting, no two men have heads of exactly the same shape. Therefore, the perforated contour patterns produced by the device will afford a check on a suspect’s identity, and may prove particularly valuable if he has attempted to alter his fingerprints by chemical or surgical means. Since he cannot change the contour of his skull, this would remain as a telltale clew to his identity.

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Wanted: Men to Sell Sunbeams (Nov, 1931)

I suppose this is technically possible if the box contained a Bose-Einstein condensate, but I have my doubts.

Wanted: Men to Sell Sunbeams
PLANS to market sunbeams, containing quantities of healthful ultra-violet rays with vitamines, have been put forward by the University of Cincinnati. The rays are put up in small packages, and are filtered out with quartz or other transparent substances.

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