Archive
Origins
Swinging Tanning Lamp (May, 1949)

Ahh the Waco Aircraft Company, long known for it’s fine tanning products.


Roving arm with ultraviolet bulb paints sun lovers full-length, a side at a time

AT least one of the rigors of artificial sun-tanning is eliminated by a new sun lamp with a moving bulb: You don’t have to keep moving either the lamp or yourself to insure an even tan. Orbitan takes care of that by swinging a standard 275-watt ultraviolet bulb in a straight, level path as long as six feet. Moving back and forth it gives you an even tan from head to toe.

An optional accessory is an electric timer which will turn off the lamp at the end of a desired period of sunning. The timer gives a warning sound 20 seconds before switching off the current. This permits resetting and additional tanning in another position without waiting for the bulb to cool before it is relighted.
The lamp alone costs about $30; with bulb, about $38; the timer costs about $10. Appliance Division, Waco Aircraft Company, Troy, Ohio.

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The First Disposable Camera (Sep, 1949)

Apparently, this is one of those ideas that takes 30-40 years to catch on.

Mailbox Camera
HOW often have you arrived at a scenic beauty spot without your camera? A. D. Weir got caught on this pictorial limb so many times that he decided to do something about it.

The simplest remedy was a pre-loaded camera which could be rented at a near-by store for a small fee. That wasn’t a new idea—but in the past, devices to handle film inside such a camera had cost too much. Weir, a mechanical engineer, worked out a plan for feeding the 35-mm film without using a metal spool or winding device.

So, now you can drop into your drugstore, ask for a Photo-Pac and for $1.29 you get the loaded camera. After you take your eight exposures, you drop the entire unit in the mailbox. A few days later the mailman brings your prints and negatives. For helping to convert Uncle Sam’s mailboxes into darkrooms, we’re sending Mr. Weir Mi’s $50 Prize Gadget Award.

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An Automatic Machine Tool (Sep, 1952)

This is the fourth in a series of 5 articles I’ve scanned from an amazing 1952 issue of Scientific American about Automatic Control. Discussing automatic machine tools, feedback loops, and the role of computers in manufacturing and information theory, these are really astounding articles considering the time in which they were written.

This article is a fascinating exploration of the history and state of the art in automatic machine tools as of 1952. This is the CAM in CAD/CAM.


An Automatic Machine Tool

Feedback control has begun to advance in the working of metals. Presenting the first account of a milling machine that converts information on punched tape into the contours of a finished part.

by William Pease

THE metal-cutting industry is one field in which automatic control has been late in arriving. The speed, judgment and especially the flexibility with which a skilled machinist controls his machine tool have not been easily duplicated by automatic machines. Only for mass-production operations such as the making of automobile parts has it been feasible to employ automatic machinery. New developments in feedback control and machine computation, however, are now opening the door to automatization of machine tools built to produce a variety of parts in relatively small quantities.

The problem will be clearer if we first review briefly the history of machine tools and their relationship to manufacturing processes. The story begins in the last quarter of the 18th century. Prior to that time the tools of the millwright, as the machinist of that day was called, consisted chiefly of the hammer, chisel and file. His measurements were made with a wooden rule and crude calipers. His materials were prepared either by hand-forging or by rudimentary foundry casting. Crude, hand-powered lathes were already in existence, but they were used only for wood-turning or occasionally for making clock parts.

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Ionic Breeze ’38 (Jan, 1938)

I’m crushed. I can’t believe the Sharper Image would lie to me like this. For years they’ve been telling us that they are the inventors of the ionic breeze, that it’s space age technology, a miracle of modern science. But it was all a big lie, now I know it was actually invented buy some undetermined person in 1938.

Sharper Image, how can I ever trust you again?

Electrostatic Device Clears Air Of Smoke, Pollen
DESIGNED for home or factory use, a compact electrostatic air cleaner device was recently placed on exhibition at a convention of iron and steel engineers held in Chicago, Ill. The new cleaner is said to remove dust, smoke, and pollen from the air more efficiently than ever before.

In operation the electrostatic cleaner forces the air through an ionizing screen and the solid particles in it, 90% of which would pass through the average filter, are electrically charged. The air is then passed over grounded plates, causing the dust and pollen particles to cling to them.

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Pocket-Sized Radio Used in Private Paging System (Apr, 1956)

My question is, what is an “confined induction loop area”? Does that mean you have to surround your building with an antenna?

Pocket-Sized Radio Used in Private Paging System
Private and individual paging of personnel in plants and offices is possible with Motorola’s pocket-sized “Handie-Talkie.” Weighing only 10 ounces and slightly larger than a package of king-size cigarettes, the set is carried on the person. Its use eliminates the need for public-address type paging and loud call devices such as bells.
A typical paging system, using the “Handie-Talkie,” consists of a selector console with individual buttons for key personnel, and an FM transmitter that radiates alerting tones and voice messages within a confined induction loop area. The receiver is powered by a 4-volt mercury battery and is free from the noise interference common to many industrial establishments. Up to several hundred persons can be paged individually. (Motorola Communications and Electronics, Inc., 4501 Augusta Blvd., Chicago 51, 111.).

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Bullet Proof Vest (May, 1962)

Of course the picture implies that someone is aiming at your head. And expecting a bullet proof vest to protect you from a headshot is a little like thinking that wearing a condom will protect you from a dirty needle.

MADE-TO-ORDER SAFETY
NEXT TIME somebody tries to make a target out of your torso, just chuckle quietly and casually invite the cad to “Fire at will” … IF you’re wearing an L. Barratt bulletproof vest These $90 lead rejectors will stuff off a Browning automatic barrage at ten feet.
FRONTING on a quiet street in London’s fashionable St. James’s quarter is a little haberdashery that specializes in making bulletproof vests for VIPs. Leonard Barratt, proprietor and vest designer, makes his 13%-pound waistcoats by sewing high-tensile steel bars into a garment of heavy linen canvas. He seldom sees his customers, who prefer to remain anonymous. He deals with intermediaries who come ’round with Mr. Big’s measurements.

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MAGNETIC DRUM STORAGE SYSTEMS (Sep, 1952)

RELIABILITY

ERA
MAGNETIC DRUM STORAGE SYSTEMS
Ruggedly designed to rigid specifications, operationally proved by tens of thousands of hours of operation in a variety of applications, ERA Magnetic Drum Storage Systems are fully engineered, operationally reliable systems.
Large storage capacity, proven dependability, alterable yet non-volatile storage, and high speed are among the important characteristics which make these systems the optimum choice for many high-speed data-handling problems.
ERA’s experienced engineers will be pleased to assist you in the application of ERA Magnetic Drum Storage Systems to your particular system requirements.
Engineering Research Associates, INC
Department S-l, 1902 West Minnehaha Avenue
St. Paul 4, Minnesota
Digital Computers • Data -Handling Sy stems • Magnetic Storage Systems • Instruments • Analog Magnetic Recording Systems • Communications Equipment.

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Large Screen Projection TV (Jul, 1957)

Far Cry from the “Cuckoo” Clock
Germany’s Black Forest was once famed for its cuckoo clocks. Bringing its technology up to date, the Saba-Works of the Black Forest has come out with a handsome large-screen projection TV set (left) that can be remotely controlled. An image of high optical density is formed on a small-faced cathode-ray tube in back of the set and projected on the screen through a lens system.

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Plastic Plants (Jul, 1951)

Plastic Plants
Real enough in appearance to fool the eye of any but the most discerning, plastic plants provide attractive floral decorations that require no attention other than an occasional dusting. These plants, made of Ameran plastisol, are not affected by heat up to 175 degrees Fahrenheit and are fire repellent and completely washable. Available in a wide color range, the plastic eliminates the fire hazard of previous artificial foliages. Leaf and stem structure of such decorative plants as Chinese evergreen, Philodendron and Caladium are reproduced by the manufacturer.

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Tiny Transistors and Printed Circuits Are Important Developments in Electronics (Jun, 1952)

Tiny Transistors and Printed Circuits Are Important Developments in Electronics
TRANSISTORS, subminiature tubes and printed circuits are now being brought to the attention of the general reader, who may be amazed at their tiny size and remarkable possibilities. Most radio students and experimenters are familiar with sub-miniature tubes and the unbelievably small components used in printed circuits, especially in the manner in which they are used in hearing aids.

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