SERVANTS from the Laboratories (Jan, 1947)

SERVANTS from the Laboratories

TEN pounds of clothes are washed, rinsed and damp-dried in 30 minutes by the Akka automatic washer, at right. The machine swishes soapy water through the clothes 144 times a minute. When the washer is done, a rubber lining in the lower half of the sphere hydraulically presses the clothes against the washer’s perforated top and removes 92 per cent of the soap. Then the washer rinses out the rest with cold water and, finally, squeezes water from the clothes.

A True Light Amplifier – The First Laser (Dec, 1960)

Not bad, this was published six months after the first laser was demonstrated.

A True Light Amplifier

UNTIL now, no one has been able to take a light ray and amplify it thousands of times as we can with radio waves. Some attempts have been made using photomultiplier tubes and similar means, but the success has been limited and the amount of amplification possible by these methods small. Now, by modifying the Maser (see “The Amazing Masers” February, 1959 issue of Electronics Illustrated), Hughes Aircraft Company scientists have been able to produce an experimental light amplifier that treats light as if it were just a radio wave, which it really is.

Harley Procter’s Floating Soap (Aug, 1953)

Harley Procter’s Floating Soap

By Alfred Lief

IN 1875 a workman in the Procter & Gamble plant in Cincinnati went to lunch and forgot to turn off the soap-mixing device. Paddles kept beating the mixture until it was foamy and when the foreman discovered it he blew his top.

The batch was ruined, he insisted.

Harley T. Procter, son of one of the founders, didn’t think so. He made it into bar soap, put a groove across the middle of each so it could be broken in two and the bars sold like hot cakes. But the new soap needed a name.



Radiant heating—modern by American standards — has been warming Korean homes for more than 2000 years, according to L. G. Nonini, of Wallace, Idaho, who worked in Korea for some time. The home builder first digs ditches along the site of his new home. Over the ditches he lays thin slabs of stone, and over the stone he smooths a layer of mud. The mud is covered with heavy oiled paper. The ditches are connected to a firebox on one side of the home. Smoke and hot gases pass through the ditches, warming the floor which radiates heat throughout the home. A chimney from 10 to 20 feet high provides sufficient draft to draw heat through the ditches.

Golf Club Cart Abolishes Caddy (Dec, 1933)

Golf Club Cart Abolishes Caddy

A NEW golf club cart now on the market may relegate the caddy to oblivion, along with the telegrapher, the movie theatre musician and the horse.

The cart is built along the lines of the truck commonly employed in wheeling boxed goods. The golf bag straps to the handle, its bottom resting on a small platform.

When moving the clubs from one hole to another, the golfer simply takes the cart in tow and wheels along over the fairway to the next tee.

MODIFIED STOCK CAR RACING – America’s New Sport of Thrills (Dec, 1933)

MODIFIED STOCK CAR RACING – America’s New Sport of Thrills

Modified stock car racing is taking the country by storm, and offering young speed demons a chance to win handsome prizes. Here an old head at the game tells you how you can strip down your car and qualify for these spectacular events.


MODIFIED stock car races are now being featured on almost every dirt track race in the country. These spectacular events are winning a fast-growing popularity, attracting thousands and thousands of people on the look-out for some new thrill.

As this sport increases in popularity, the chances for steel-nerved drivers to win huge purses also become more numerous. State and county fairs most always stage a stock car race—and it is here that budding young speed demons get a chance to break into the racing game.

Urge Alcohol Gas for Farm Relief (Dec, 1933)

Origin of the ethanol lobby?

Urge Alcohol Gas for Farm Relief

FOR economic and technical reasons a mixture of alcohol and gasoline for automobile fuel is being recommended by farm relief advocates.

Use of the fuel by motorists would consume 680,000,000 bushels of corn a year, greatly reducing the crop surplus, it is said. The gasoline would be diluted with 10 per cent of alcohol. It is claimed the fuel results in greater power at considerably less cost.

Pumping Gas (Jun, 1942)

SHUTTING ITSELF OFF when a car gasoline tank is full, an automatic filling-station hose nozzle prevents tanks from overflowing and spilling gasoline over fenders to spot the finish and waste fuel and money. Inserted in the filler neck of a gas tank, the nozzle is opened by a hand valve as with ordinary nozzles. When the gas tank is full, gasoline starts to rise in the filler neck. As soon as it reaches the level of the tip of the filler spout, an automatic valve shuts off the flow. The device speeds up filling-station service.

Travelling Dressing Room—Movie Star Introduces Her “Dressmobile” (Sep, 1930)

This looks like it’s the first “star” trailer.

Travelling Dressing Room—Movie Star Introduces Her “Dressmobile”

KEEPING temperamental moving picture stars happy and comfortable while on location has long been a serious problem with directors, but Metro-Goldwyn seems to be on the right track in the solution of this problem by providing luxurious traveling dressing rooms for the expensive talent.

The making of Macintosh – An Interview with The Macintosh Design Team (Feb, 1984)

This is a pretty fantastic article. It’s really amazing how forward thinking these guys were. I loved how Jobs kept pointing out the fact that the Macintosh was designed so well that it actually had less chips than a standard IBM video card. It’s also pretty incredible to see how Steve Jobs’ devotion to making designs that are as simple and elegant as possible was exactly the same as it is today. This quote could just as easily have come from an article about the iPhone:

“Jobs: If you read the Apple’s first brochure, the headline was “Simplicity is the Ultimate Sophistication.” What we meant by that was that when you first attack a problem it seems really simple because you don’t understand it. Then when you start to really understand it, you come up with these very complicated solutions because it’s really hairy. Most people stop there. But a few people keep burning the midnight oil and finally understand the underlying principles of the problem and come up with an elegantly simple solution for it. But very few people go the distance to get there”.

By the way, if you liked this article you really have to check out It’s a site created by Andy Hertzfeld that’s full wonderful stories about the creation of the Macintosh by the people who created it.
He also wrote a great book covering the same subject called Revolution in The Valley.

An Interview: The Macintosh Design Team – The making of Macintosh

On October 14, 1983, the design team for Apple Computer Inc.’s new Macintosh computer met with BYTE Managing Editor Phil Lemmons at the company’s Cupertino, California, headquarters. In the dialogue that followed, Bill Atkinson, Steve fobs, Andy Hertzfeld, Larry Kenyon, Joanna Hoffman, Burrell Smith, Dave Egner, Chris Espinosa, Steve Capps, Jerry Manock, Bruce Horn, and George Crowe discussed the evolution of their brainchild.

BYTE: How did the Macintosh project begin?

Jobs: What turns on Andy and Burrell and Chris and Bill and Larry and everyone else here is building something really inexpensive so that everyone can afford it. It’s not very many years ago that most of us in this room couldn’t have afforded a $5000 computer. We realized that we could build a supercheap computer that would run Bill Atkinson’s amazing Quickdraw and have a mouse on it— in essence, build a really cheap implementation of Lisa’s technology that would use some of that software technology. That’s when the Macintosh as we know it was started.