Television Programs Sent on Light Beams (Mar, 1932)

Why would this be better than radio? Isn’t radio already a “fog penetrating light”?

Interestingly this kind of thing is currently being considered, but for wireless networking, though an important distinction being that it is done inside a room, not in the open.

Television Programs Sent on Light Beams

TELEVISION transmitted on a light beam, opening the way to a new era in the art of broadcasting, has been successfully demonstrated at Schenectady, N. Y. by Dr. E. F. W. Alexanderson, noted radio engineer.

In the laboratory tests, instead of the electric impulses being fed into the radio transmitter as heretofore, they were modulated into high frequencies on a light beam from a high-intensity arc.

Speed Boat May Cross Atlantic in 30 Hours (Feb, 1930)

Speed Boat May Cross Atlantic in 30 Hours

MESSIEURS Moyne and Clement, French inventors, have devised a remarkable new type of speed boat with circular fins that they expect will propel their new submarine shaped craft across the Atlantic ocean in 30 hours. The model of the craft is being put through tests. There are stabilizing fins at the bow and stern. The principle of operation included two helices rotating in opposite directions to counteract torque.

“A Tornado BUSTER” for the Mid-West (May, 1931)

“A Tornado BUSTER” for the Mid-West
The above drawing illustrates the scheme proposed by Hans Kutschbach to prevent tornadoes in the Mid-west. This scheme, a modification of a similar project by Dessoliers, a French engineer, calls for the construction of a huge revolving cone that will serve to produce artificial whirlwinds, or potential tornadoes.

Bridge of Boats to Guide Trans-Atlantic Air Mail (May, 1931)

Bridge of Boats to Guide Trans-Atlantic Air Mail


Within a few weeks you’ll be able to drop a letter in your local mail box and have it delivered in Europe in a few hours, carried by airplane all the way. How this trans-Atlantic air mail will be guided by a bridge of boats or seadromes is explained in this timely article.

THE “bridge of boats” which America rushed to completion thirteen years ago to carry an American army to France and help win the war, may become a bridge again to guide the first trans-oceanic air mail line across the North Atlantic.


I’m pretty sure this was just designed by some time travelling Game of Thrones fan.


ONE of the most astounding engineering feats of recent years—that of building a wall of solid ice with liquid air around a large portion of the North Sea—is now under consideration by German engineers. Adding thousands of acres to the continent of Europe, the ice dam will serve as a breakwater to enable the engineers to construct a permanent inner dike of concrete, and then proceed to fill the inclosed space with earth sucked up by a dredge from the bottom of the sea outside the ice wall, as illustrated in the accompanying drawings.

Meter Gauges Work in Bread-Slice Units (May, 1938)

Why is there a basketball team watching the girl ride? And also, doesn’t almost one slice per minute seem a bit high?

Meter Gauges Work in Bread-Slice Units

How rapidly exercise uses up the energy in the food you eat is graphically demonstrated by a device called the “bread-o-meter” at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, Pa. When a visitor mounts a bicycle frame and pedals vigorously, a generator produces electricity in proportion to his effort, and figures on a board show how many slices or loaves of bread would be needed to furnish this energy.

Planes Need No Wheels (Feb, 1948)

How would they turn sideways? Wouldn’t it be impossible to do all the other stuff on the ground? Like, you know, get on the plane?

Planes Need No Wheels

Airplanes should keep their wheels on the ground, believes Samuel S. Knox, of Long Beach,. Calif. He has patented a landing strip formed of pneumatic-tired wheels, which could be powered to speed take-offs and braked to shorten landing rolls. It would free the plane of landing-gear weight.

Runway for Airplanes Atop Skyscrapers (Feb, 1930)

Landing airplanes on top of buildings was a really common theme in articles of this time. It’s kind of boggling that anyone thought it could be done safely.

Runway for Airplanes Atop Skyscrapers
A NEW YORKER has invented a novel turntable runway which he believes will be suitable for landing and take-off of airplanes from the tops of high buildings. The device is declared to offer many advantages over the proposed platforms for such landings. The landing table can be tilted at any angle and swung about in any direction so that the wind is along its axis. The incline naturally serves as a brake on the landing ship and air blasts assist in checking the speed of the landed ship. The turntable would also present an incline which would enable a faster than ordinary take off.

Sun Operates Gas Machine (May, 1938)

I’m pretty sure that gas is called “steam”.

Sun Operates Gas Machine

Developed by Otto H. Mohr, of Concord, Calif., a specially constructed machine utilizes the sun’s rays to produce a gas which, when broken up by means of an electric current, yields hydrogen and oxygen. The hydrogen and oxygen are then stored in separate tanks for cooking, heating, etc.

Mirror in Cap for the Sheik (Feb, 1930)

Seems like it would be pretty dangerous for this guy to get hit in the head…

Mirror in Cap for the Sheik

MODERN youth has solved the problem of the embarrassing necessity for carrying his mirror, for on sale at various men’s stores in London is a novel cap inside which is a mirror. All a young man must do is doff his cap to see whether his hair is nicely slicked and whether he is entirely presentable.