The day of the grimy roller towel is fast vanishing. Hotels, restaurants and other public places where washrooms are a necessity are installing the automatic hot-air drier shown at left.

The press of a foot pedal is all that is necessary to operate the device. A steady blast of hot air is forced from the nozzle. By massaging the wet hands for several seconds, the drying process is facilitated. The hands are thus dried faster and in a more thorough manner than if a clean towel were used.

Health authorities throughout the country are advising the installation of this machine in all public wash rooms. Prevention of a great amount of disease that is now spread through the use of unsanitary towels will thus be possible.

King Gillette’s Safety Razor (Jan, 1954)

King Gillette’s Safety Razor

By Alfred Lief

A SALESMAN who wanted a business of his own, King C. Gillette tackled the dictionary to find an idea for something he could invent, make, and sell over and over again to the user. This was in the 1890’s, and his $6,000 a year was a pretty good salary. But he was 40 and restless.

Gillette had not gotten far into the alphabet when a personal need supplied an answer that literally hit him on the chin. He was shaving one morning with a straight-edge razor of the barbershop type; the blade was dull and useless and he had to go out and get it rehoned.

Science in Pictures (Sep, 1947)

Science in Pictures

Push-Button Telegraph center permits messages to be typed only once, on a “printer perforator,” at point of origin. When messages reach the center, a clerk pushes a button for the city of destination.

Fishy Idea dreamed up by amateur inventor Dr. Carl Omeron, right, looks like a spark of genius. This is it: Tie balloons to a live “Judas” fish (which you catch the hard way). Put Judas back in the water and he’ll lead the way to the whole school.

New York Dairies Deliver Milk in Paper Bottles (May, 1929)

New York Dairies Deliver Milk in Paper Bottles
THE OLD familiar milk bottle which greets the householder on the back stoop every morning bids fair to be replaced by a paper container which has several advantages over the glass bottle. In the first place, the new container cannot be shattered and it has no glass edges to be chipped off with consequent danger of foreign particles finding their way into the milk.



THE IDEAL postal clerk who never gives five twos for two fives and never argues with patrons, is being tried out in the post-office in Washington, D. C. As might have been guessed, it is an automatic machine which dispenses stamps and makes change quickly without charge.

If the machine proves successful, it is probable that similar ones will be installed throughout the country by the government.

Picture-Naries (Jan, 1954)



Early locomotives required hot fires to keep up enough steam to pull their cars. But when the engine ground to a halt, steam pressure rose rapidly. There were no safety valves and the engineer had to pull a hand lever and blow off steam to prevent an explosion. It was a fearful sight and observers likened it to a grand display of temper. Thus, blowing off steam grew into an expression for any type of outburst.

Lewis Waterman’s Fountain Pen (Sep, 1954)

Lewis Waterman’s Fountain Pen


By Alfred Lief

LEWIS E. Waterman, by turns a short-hand instructor, book salesman and life insurance agent, was 46 years old in 1883 when he struck not oil but ink.

In those days a salesman often wore a vest chain with a small metal container holding a vial of ink in one pocket and a collapsible penholder in the other. Working in New York, Waterman gave up this bulky equipment and bought a writing contraption with its own ink reservoir. On his next call he handed this pen to an insurance applicant at the crucial moment.

Giant Mt. Rushmore Memorial Completed (Jan, 1942)

Giant Mt. Rushmore Memorial Completed

HUGE faces of Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt carved atop 6,200-foot Mount Rushmore in the Black Hills of South Dakota were recently completed, after 14 years of blasting and chiseling by famed Gutzon Borglum. The faces are of a size proportionate to men 465 feet tall. Borglum died last year and the great task was finished by his son.

Best for honeys like you – ever since Mother was a baby, too! (Jun, 1954)

I knew the word pablum (or pabulum), but I didn’t realize the current meaning actually was inspired by this product.

Best for honeys like you – ever since Mother was a baby, too!

Asleep now, but soon his growing appetite will be demanding attention. He craves variety … and gets it from the four different-tasting Pablum cereals … so easy to digest . . . high in nutritional values so important right up through his third year.

SALVO ~ A New Game of SKILL (Mar, 1932)

“You sunk my salvo!” doesn’t have quite the same ring to it.

SALVO ~ A New Game of SKILL

SALVO! Here is a two-handed indoor game which is on a par with checkers and chess, in that the most mentally alert player wins.

The only requisites to play “Salvo” are two pencils and some scrap paper. Each player draws two fairly big squares (three by three inches or larger) and rules these off into 100 smaller squares, ten on a side.

To designate the vertical and the horizontal rows of squares, the vertical rows are indicated with letters at the top from A to J, and the horizontal rows from 1 to 10 at the left side.