Sign of the Times
Fortunes Waiting for Inventors (Jul, 1933)

Fortunes Waiting for Inventors


Editor’s note: Mr. Yates, the nationally known patent expert who conducts this department, will answer questions of readers desiring advice on how to secure patents, or methods of procedure, or on ideas for inventions, when such requests are accompanied by a stamped, self-addressed envelope. Never send models, as they will not be accepted. Address Mr. Yates care of Modern Mechanix and Inventions, 529 South Seventh Street, Minneapolis, Minn.

1. A Fortune in Earrings

MANY millions of sets of cheap earrings are sold in the chain stores every year. Mechanically these things belong to the middle ages. They are held in place actually by two small set screws that not only irritate but also become loose and permit the earrings to drop off. If you do not believe me ask your wife or your girl friend.

Shocking STUNTS for Lodge Initiations (Jul, 1933)

Are those guys dressed like ghosts or is this the initiation for the KKK?

LATEST TRIUMPHS IN Electric Ships (Nov, 1933)

Running at highest speed, they necessitated a generating plant capable of producing more electricity than the combined generating capacity of the 154 power stations in the entire states of North Dakota, Mississippi, Wyoming, Nevada, and Delaware.

Something tells me Nevada probably has increased it’s power generating capability since 1933. How many kilowatts do you think the Bellagio or Luxor consume?


Revolutionary Method of Propulsion Used in Gigantic Normandie May Herald Sweeping Change in Transatlantic Travel

By Kenneth M. Swezey

WHEN the 75,000-ton French liner Normandie starts next spring on her first voyage westward, electrical power equivalent to the combined steam powers of the Leviathan, the Majestic, and the Ile de France, will whirl her giant propellers. Electrical machinery will haul her ropes, raise her anchors, guide her helm. A thousand electric servants will watch over every item of comfort and safety of her 3,500 passengers and crew.

Not only will the Normandie be the most completely electrified ship in the world, but she will be the first electrically-driven ship to pit her might against the directly steam-driven ship in the race for transatlantic supremacy.

From the earliest days of the steamship, until about 1907, this race was waged with the help of the constantly developing reciprocating engine. Edged on by the demand for larger and faster vessels, the simple steam engine of a few hundred horsepower grew into a double-and triple-expansion engine of thousands of horsepower, until the maximum was reached in the 40,000-horsepower engines that drove the Kaiser Wilhelm II.

Depression Spurs Lost Gold Treasure Hunts (Aug, 1933)

Depression Spurs Lost Gold Treasure Hunts


Treasure long lost under ocean waters is the golden loot which is luring half a dozen expeditions to recover it, spurred on by the urgent need for gold developing out of the present economic conditions. Charles Courtney, master locksmith who battled death to recover $60,000 from a sunken treasure ship, tells his story of high adventure in this fascinating article.

GOLD, down through the ages a symbol of wealth, has now become so doubly priceless that we in this country may not even legally possess it! Beyond a doubt that is one reason why so many expeditions are at work today recovering the gold of other ages—gold which went down weeks or years or centuries ago, and since that time has been resting uselessly in the mud-filled hulks of ancient galleons.


Bright university students read fast while the dull ones make a hard job of it. The words at the left end of a line are read more carefully than those at the right end. That’s the reason typographical errors in printed material are more likely to get by at the right side than the left.

These are some of the conclusions arrived at by W. R. Miles and H. M Bell of the Psychology Laboratories of Stanford University, California. In order to get the data upon which they based their deductions, they made photographic studies of the eye movements of students engaged in reading material with which they were not familiar, such as a difficult passage on “didactic poetry.”

Return of the Giant Killer (Apr, 1951)

Return of the Giant Killer

When David bagged Goliath, the slingshot was a murderous device—now it’s coming back as a weapon for sportsmen.

By Robert Hertzberg

THE man in the bright red shirt strode past the big “No Hunting” sign and knocked on the door of the farmhouse. As the farmer stepped into view, the man said, “May I hunt on your property. . .”

“No!” interrupted the farmer. “Can’t you read signs?”

The would-be hunter reached into his pocket and held up a shiny, fork-shaped object.

“… with this weapon?”

The farmer stared and then burst into laughter. “Sure, you can hunt all you want on my land with that thing. If you bag an elephant, just leave me half.”

“That thing” was one of John Milligan’s Specials, a seven-ounce aluminum alloy slingshot powered by a pair of gum-rubber bands 11 inches long. Milligan didn’t get an elephant because elephants don’t run wild in Detroit, but that day he settled for two pheasants and a rabbit. Believe it or not, his total bag for the season was six pheasants, 14 squirrels, 18 rabbits and 4 coons. Could you have done as well with shotgun or rifle?


This is one of those things were technology has really helped. Before DNA tests the only things they had to go on were blood tests and lie detectors.


by H. W. Secor

Among the most difficult types of disputes handled by courts of law are those seeking to determine the real father of a child.

IN 1945, a California jury decided that Charles Chaplin was the father of Carol Ann, daughter of Joan Barry. The jury’s decision cost the famous comedian over $100,000 for attorney’s fees and a sizable sum each month for the support of the girl until she reached the age of 21.

“The irony of it all,” says genetics counselor Sheldon C. Reed, “is that Chaplin is not her father. … By the laws of heredity he is excluded as a possible father.”

This trial was one of the most famous of the cases known as “disputed paternity cases.” They are among the most difficult types of disputes which are handled by our courts of law.

Gigantic Carved Head Nears Completion (Mt. Rushmore) (Nov, 1933)

Gigantic Carved Head Nears Completion

CUTTING into the solid granite of a 300-foot cliff, workmen under the direction of Gutzon Borglum, famous American sculptor, are now putting the finishing touches on the sixty-foot head of George Washington which will form the center of the sculptured group in the Black Hills mountain-top memorial in South Dakota. In specially-designed saddles, the men are lowered down the face of the cliff by winches to cut away the rock with pneumatic drills and hammers. To the right of the sculptured figures, a 500-word history of the United States is to be cut into the granite in letters three feet high.

Little-Known Sidelights on the Soldier (Sep, 1944)

Little-Known Sidelights on the Soldier

BORROWING IS TABOO among front-line soldiers who are emilyposted on Army etiquette. The idea is that when a man has toted his own heavy equipment, including water, rations, cigarettes, and other necessities, besides arms and ammunition, he’s entitled to them himself. His buddies realize this—they are in the same fix—so cadging is out.

MOST WELCOME GIFT to soldiers is heavy wool socks, appreciated in a big way for the comfort they afford tired, aching “dogs” on the march.

$35,000 REWARD for URANIUM (Sep, 1955)

$35,000 REWARD for URANIUM
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