Archive
Origins
Filing Cabinet on Wheels (Jul, 1933)

And for the next 60 years, every desk in America would have a Rolodex.

Filing Cabinet on Wheels
THE last word in filing convenience is offered in a new revolving card file recently placed on the market. Compact, time-saving, the file turns at a touch of the finger and displays 1000 cards attached to ring. Manufacturers claim the system is speedy.

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The coming record revolution: digital discs (Nov, 1981)

The coming record revolution: digital discs

A laser “reads” the compact, no-wear disc to deliver superior hi-fi

By LEONARD FELDMAN

Tokyo, Japan

A Sony technician slipped a small disc into the slot of a player no larger than a portable cassette machine. I noticed the record’s shiny surface broke light into rainbow colors. Seconds later I was bathed in rich, wide-ranging stereo music that sounded better than anything I’d ever heard from discs or tapes.

Sony Corporation’s Dr. Toshi Doi, a leading digital-systems designer, explained that this was a true digital record: Information stored as number codes on its surface was being converted into music. Instead of grooves, this disc had an optical track “read” by a laser beam. I heard absolutely no surface noise or distortion and no pitch fluctuations from the spinning disc. Dynamic range, or the difference between the loudest and softest musical sounds, was awesome.

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Mystery Ray Is Revealed By Photos (Apr, 1924)

Mystery Ray Is Revealed By Photos

By WILLIAM D. HARKINS University of Chicago

RAYS of a new type, called zeta rays, were discovered recently by Dr. R. W. Ryan and the writer. These rays have attracted much attention, presumably because they were first found by photographing them, or, more strictly speaking, by photographing the tracks they produce when they shoot through air. They are not light rays, but are electrons, or charges of negative electricity, thrown out by an atom.

All owners of radio outfits are familiar with the use of electrons shot out from a hot wire, since it is the stream of these particles of matter which is made to do various “stunts” in the different types of vacuum tubes. Such a stream of electrons is also shot out from the hot wire in every electric lamp, and may be collected on a metal plate if it is inserted inside the bulb.

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PHONE CALLS ARE ANSWERED BY MACHINE (May, 1924)

PHONE CALLS ARE ANSWERED BY MACHINE

For the convenience of telephone users, an instrument has been devised to take messages and answer calls received when the owner is absent. It consists of a small cabinet containing records similar to those used in dictating or talking machines. If the person is not at home when the phone rings, the instrument repeats a message which has been dictated to it, stating that Mr. So-and-So is out and will the caller speak his message, or any other greeting the owner wishes to give.

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Arabs Try Out Skis On Sands Of Desert (Jul, 1939)

Arabs Try Out Skis On Sands Of Desert
ANEW idea for ski enthusiasts comes, not from the frozen north, but from the hot sands of the Sahara Desert. A couple of Arabs are shown here, trying their hand—or should we say their foot?—at this new form of desert travel. The bottom surfaces of their skis are treated with a special preparation to make them slide easier over the sand. Perhaps skis will supplant the camel as the ship of the desert. Or perhaps we will soon hear of summer ski trains being run to our own Mojave Desert.

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ELECTRIC MACHINE GUN IS SILENT (Nov, 1936)

This is a pretty cool looking rail gun.

ELECTRIC MACHINE GUN IS SILENT
Electricity replaces gunpowder in a silent, smokeless, machine gun recently perfected for defense against hostile aircraft. Without betraying its location, this weapon is declared capable of firing 150 bullets or high-explosive shells a minute. Projectiles are hurled from its muzzle by a series of electromagnets spaced along the barrel, which start the missile moving and successively raise its velocity as they become energized.

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Baskets Rolled Him To Riches (May, 1954)

Baskets Rolled Him To Riches

Grocer S. N. Goldman looked at a folding chair and came up with a $1,000,000 idea-collapsible wire pushcarts.

By Gilbert Hill

MOST folks look too far away for that “big chance.” It’s usually right in front of you, just daring you to do something about it.

S. N. Goldman, of Oklahoma City, believes this. He can prove it, too, because he’s built a multi-million-dollar business —on the side, away from his regular business—with a product known around the world, just by “looking close.”

Goldman is a groceryman. He operates 30 huge super-markets in Oklahoma in his Standard & Humpty Dumpty chain. But he’s just a little guy in the grocery business compared with some firms and yet many of his competitors couldn’t get along without him.

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Student Constructs Loud Speaking Electric Guitar (Jun, 1938)

Student Constructs Loud Speaking Electric Guitar

CARL WISCHMEYER, Yale engineering student, is shown with an electric guitar he constructed. For use on regular house current, it is claimed to have better tone and more volume than the conventional type instrument. At the left is shown the loudspeaker and amplifying equipment used for producing varying degrees of volume, from a mere whisper to the maximum possible with this particular amplifier. With equipment such as this, a musical instrument can be given a voice loud enough to be heard for miles, if desired. Instruments of this type are becoming increasingly popular in dance orchestras, because normally soft voiced instruments can be made as loud as conditions require. Played like a conventional guitar, volume is increased merely
by turning up the volume control.

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Man’s Legs Serve as Identification Card (Mar, 1938)

As usual, when it was time to cast his character in Memento, they went with someone much more attractive.

Man’s Legs Serve as Identification Card
Theodosius D. Rockwell, of Portland, Ore., whose face is shown above and whose legs are shown below, says that he isn’t afraid of amnesia, or loss of memory. His legs are tattoed with his telephone and social security numbers, and with his name and address in forty different languages.

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POCKET STEREOSCOPE (Jul, 1933)

This looks like an early Viewmaster.

POCKET STEREOSCOPE SHOWS VIEWS ON FILM

Gone is the old-fashioned parlor stereoscope of a generation ago, but its counterpart, in modern guise, has just made its appearance. The new pocket-sized form of the instrument, illustrated above, is as small as a pair of opera glasses and uses thirty-five-millimeter motion picture film instead of paper photographs. A shift lever causes the pictures to appear.

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