Archive
Origins
Sunburn Is “Made to Order” for Customers by Portrait Photographer (Sep, 1929)

I wonder when people started using the term suntan instead of sunburn. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was invented by Coppertone to distinguish between a “good” sunburn and a “bad” sunburn.

Sunburn Is “Made to Order” for Customers by Portrait Photographer

IF A person desires to appear in a portrait with a healthy glow of tan, Preston Duncan, Hollywood photographer, satisfies that desire by using a special lamp that sheds a golden ray of sunburn over the subject when the picture is being taken. The ray is produced so that it registers perfectly on the negative. The color is contained in the glass plate through which the light is shown.

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Typewriter Works Automatically (Jul, 1939)

Here we have the birth of the customized form letter.

Typewriter Works Automatically
To speed up routine office correspondence, such as form letters, reminders of overdue accounts, and similar business forms, an automatic typewriter recently placed on the market types prepared paragraphs of text on letterhead stationery, making it necessary for a stenographer only to fill in the salutation, address, and additional dictated material meant for a specific addressee. Electrically operated, the machine has a control dial with which any one of several prepared texts may be selected at will for automatic typing on stationery inserted in the machine.

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GROCERY STORES GET MUSIC IN “WIRED – RADIO” PROGRAMS (Jul, 1936)

Oh joy. The birth of musak and the blue light special.

GROCERY STORES GET MUSIC IN “WIRED – RADIO” PROGRAMS
HOUSEWIVES in New York City are now buying their groceries to the strains of concert orchestras, as the result of a recently inaugurated “wired-radio” service being offered to hotels, restaurants, and shops. Special musical programs, reproduced from high-grade recordings in a central studio, are transmitted by direct telephone lines to loudspeakers installed in fifty stores of a large grocery chain.

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Loudspeakers Page Hospital Doctors (Jul, 1933)

It’s hard to imagine a hospital without a P.A. system.

Loudspeakers Page Hospital Doctors
No time is lost in calling any particular physician in one of New York’s big hospitals, where a new paging system has just been installed. When a telephone call for a doctor is received at the central switchboard, it is referred to an operator who, finding the doctor is in the hospital, repeats his name before a microphone. Eighty-five loudspeakers in the corridors and ante-rooms of the hospital broadcast the message. Wherever he is, the doctor takes the call at the nearest telephone. Western Electric engineers, who installed the system, provided controls for adjusting the volume of the loudspeakers.

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Baby-Feeding Gadgets Form Odd Collection (Jul, 1940)

Baby-Feeding Gadgets Form Odd Collection
RANGING from crude clay cups used by the “mound builders” to the latest sanitary nursing bottle, baby-feeding gadgets collected as a hobby by Dr. D. Edward Overton, of Garden City, N.Y., record 500 years of history. Among the fifty or more items in Dr. Overton’s collection are early nursing bottles with nipples of ivory, tin, whalebone, and glass. Some of the glass bottles are shaped like human heads. Others, resembling powderhorns, were produced by pioneers from cow horns by tying a piece of thin leather over the small end to form the nipple. Whale-oil wicks in the lower compartment of one “two-story” metal feeder made it possible to heat the milk contained in the upper section.

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Rear View TV for Cars (Sep, 1956)

This is one they got right.

REAR VIEW TV for dash of tomorrow’s auto will tell driver what’s going on behind. Universal Broadcast System made device.

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THIS WAS GERMANY’S FLIVVER (May, 1945)

END OF ANOTHER NAZI DREAM . . .
THIS WAS GERMANY’S FLIVVER
“PEOPLE’S CAR” PROMISED BY HITLER IS ERSATZ JEEP

BACK in the thirties, when Germany’s war preparations were weighing heavily on her people, Nazi leaders dangled before the public a vision of a wonderful “poor man’s car” soon to pour from the factories. It was to be an automotive marvel, light, fast, roomy, and inexpensive; and it would reward Germans for the low wages, long hours, and shortages.

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WONDERS OF ANT LIFE SEEN IN GLASS HOME (Jul, 1933)

WONDERS OF ANT LIFE SEEN IN GLASS HOME
Between two photographic plates, held in a wooden frame, a New Hampshire naturalist placed dirt and thus constructed an anthouse with transparent walls. By this means the activity of an insect city is easily studied. The tunnels and subterranean chambers made by the ants are clearly visible and their work can be seen from each side of the glass home. The transparent cages offer more varied activity than a goldfish bowl, and the ants require much less attention than goldfish. The case is provided with a handle.

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Metal Diving Suit Developed (Aug, 1938)

Isn’t this from Innerspace?

Metal Diving Suit Developed
FITTED with ball bearing knuckle joints, which provide mobility for the wearer, a new all-metal diving suit is said to enable a diver to descend to a depth of 1,200 feet. The suit eliminates the need for air lines, having a specially designed built-in air tank. Hand-operated grappling irons are a feature of the suit.

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Electric Camera Photographs Walls of Human Stomach (Jun, 1932)

That seems like a really smart design. Of course swallowable cameras have gotten much better lately.

Electric Camera Photographs Walls of Human Stomach
A NEW wonder in photography that will take pictures of the innermost recesses of the human stomach has recently been developed by three doctors of the University of Vienna. This amazing device, shown on the right, takes eight pictures simultaneously.

The new camera is contained in a tube 1/2 inch in diameter and three inches long. The powerful light is operated by a battery with cables running down the throat to the filament, as shown in the drawing.

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