Sign of the Times
Invisibility At Last Within Grasp of Man (Oct, 1936)

Something tells me Modern Mechanix got scammed on this one. My guess is the two Hungarian guys got some investment funding and then vanished into thin air along with the cash.

Invisibility At Last Within Grasp of Man

by A.L. White

Two Hungarian scientists solve age-old quest with devices worthy of Arabian nights wizards.

SUPPOSE that out onto a stage come eight chorus girls performing an intricate dance. Gradually something seems to happen, the heads, faces, and upper parts of the bodies of the girls seem to be disappearing. In fact, little by little they do become invisible to the audience until at last only eight pairs of legs are seen gracefully skipping about on the stage in perfect rhythm. You rub your eyes and begin to think you’d better see an oculist right away, but while you are worrying about it, back into your vision come the eight girls, wholly there and dancing gaily as though they had not just given you the shock of a lifetime. Or suppose again that a girl is sitting atop a piano, singing. The piano begins to fade from sight; finally the girl is left sitting in midair, nonchalantly swinging her feet and blithely singing, as though her perch was perfectly substantial.

Lost: A Generation of Scientists (Mar, 1946)

Lost: A Generation of Scientists


Fundamental scientific research is at a standstill in America. That is the harsh fact of a matter that has been hushed and avoided too long. The cause is a literal interpretation of democracy that has yanked 150,000 men out of scientific studies to make a scant two percent of the total armed forces.

More than 15,000 of these drafted science students by now would be working toward their doctorates if they were British or Russian. But being Americans they were drafted. Also kidnapped by the armed forces were many brilliant practicing scientists who happened to be young and healthy. And unless Congress has been unusually alert in the few weeks it has taken to print this magazine, our present and future scientists are still being drafted, although trolley cars are running again in the ruins of Nagasaki.

Spring in City’s Park Spouts “Radium Water” (Jun, 1939)

Ah yes, the curative properties of radium.

Spring in City’s Park Spouts “Radium Water”
America’s third-biggest metropolis may possess a valuable radium mine. Its city fathers recently learned to their surprise that Fairmount Park, Philadelphia, contains the country’s most radioactive spring, when Dr. J. Lloyd Bohn, Temple University physicist, tested the water that gushes from it. What interests him about the spring is not the curative powers sometimes claimed for such waters, but the possibility that a rich natural deposit of radium may be found near-by.

More Doctors Smoke Camels THAN ANY OTHER CIGARETTE! (Mar, 1946)


According to this recent Nationwide survey:

More Doctors Smoke Camels THAN ANY OTHER CIGARETTE!

This is no casual claim. It’s an actual fact. Based on the statements of doctors themselves to three nationally known independent research organizations.
THE question was very simple. One that you . .. any smoker . . . might ask a doctor: “What cigarette do you smoke, Doctor?”

Fountains of Flame Played Like a Pipe Organ (Aug, 1939)

Fountains of Flame Played Like a Pipe Organ


WATER, light, flame, music, and fireworks, synchronized into a vast extravaganza, are providing new entertainment thrills nightly as one of the most spectacular outdoor attractions of the New York World’s Fair.

This Lagoon of Nations display centers in a giant fountain which rises from an oval lake two blocks wide by four blocks long. Water, geysering in beautiful patterns from 1,400 nozzles, is painted in constantly changing rainbow hues by batteries of powerful electric lights from below. At climaxes in a performance, towering gas flames roar through the columns of scintillating water, from more than a hundred jets. Showers of fireworks burst overhead. Stirring music thunders an accompaniment to the display from the heart of the fountain.

Make Hallowe’en Whoopee with Mechanical Tricks (Nov, 1932)

These tricks are really dorky but anyone who uses the phrase “nocturnal orgy of nonsensical abandon” is OK in my book.

Make Hallowe’en Whoopee with Mechanical Tricks


A Hallowe’en party might be defined as a nocturnal orgy of nonsensical abandon. In other words, an affair when any goofy trick is in order. If you want to show your guests some real fun perform the stunts described here and then won’t be a single moment of boredom

ON HALLOWE’EN Eve you can stage all the goofy stunts you have been wanting to exploit for a long time. Nothing is too low-brow for the occasion. It is the one time of the whole year, not even excepting New Year’s, when you can forget worldly cares and the weight of adult responsibilities, and have a thoroughly good time.

New York World’s Fair 1964-1965 (Apr, 1965)

Very cool 25 page photo spread of the World’s Fair from a 1965 National Geographic.

Check out the odd assortment of items in the time capsule on page 22 (larger view). Among other things it has a rather clunky looking computer memory module, birth control pills, a pack of cigarettes and a bikini.

New York World’s Fair 1964-1965

CLASSROOM IN A CARNIVAL. A journey round the world. A look back in time, and a window on the future. A treasure house of religious faiths. A procession of products. And a dream of “Peace through Understanding.”

This is the New York World’s Fair of 1964-1965. Here you can see how atoms collide in the first public demonstration of controlled nuclear fusion, at General Electric. Listen to the rustle of stars as picked up by a radiotele-scope at Ford. Take a journey into space, booked by the Martin Company in the Hall of Science. See how your voice “looks” on TV at the Bell System (page 515).

Soviet Cities on the Moon? (Feb, 1958)

Soviet Cities on the Moon?

by Albert Parry

We advertise our failures, but the Soviets don’t. For all we know, Moscow’s scientists and engineers did try to shoot a rocket to the moon last November 7, to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Communist seizure of power in Russia, but failed.

You will recall that for a while, during that weekend, some mysterious radio signals were heard from outer space. They were not accountable by the two Sputniks, and soon they faded out.

We may surmise that, in their try for the moon, the Soviet shooting team took a wrong aim, and that the rocket they fired is now either orbiting around the sun or is lost in space.

Tomorrow’s Store Today (Jan, 1948)

Tomorrow’s Store Today

Foley’s is designed to channel the flow of incoming stock and outgoing customers and purchases with maximum efficiency.

DOWN in Houston, Texas, is what is said to be the most modern department store in the world. Foley’s is carefully planned to speed the flow of customers and merchandise. Shoppers park their cars in the garage and walk through a tunnel to the store. All purchases go down a chute to the basement and travel on a belt conveyor to the sorting ring in the garage. Each customer’s bundles are waiting for him when he is ready to drive out. The ten-million-dollar store is six stories high, but it has been so built that six more stories can be added if business increases and more space is needed.

Around the World on the New Airways of the Seas (Feb, 1935)

Around the World on the New Airways of the Seas

By Capt. Eddie Rickenbacker

This noted flier predicts that business men will fly from New York to Canton, China, in a week, a trip that now takes a month. He foresees dirigibles flying around the world for weeks without stopping to land. Read this exclusive, revealing story.

IN MY opinion trans-Atlantic service via Bermuda and the Azores will be in existence within three years with heavier-than-air planes and without stop by dirigibles. Trans-Pacific service is also feasible today with Douglas airplanes.