Archive
Sign of the Times
The Return of The Toys (Dec, 1946)

Gallery of new toys for the 1946 Christmas season, the first one toy makers could gear up for after WWII. Check out the “reaction jet engine” on page 3 and the proto-legos on the last page.


The Return of The Toys

This year’s mechanical marvels are sturdier, more realistic —and more expensive.

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Industrial Humaneer (Dec, 1946)

Very interesting article about the industrial designer Egemont Arens, who designed some of the classic consumer goods of the last century (some, like the Kitchen Aid stand mixer, are still available), and his philosophy of design, which sounds remarkably modern.


egmont arens -industrial “humaneer”

arens’ design’s got to look good, sound good, feel good, taste good, smell good, he asks, how easy is it on the nerves?

AFTER ten years of being one of the best industrial designers in the country, Egmont Arens has now become an expert “nerve specialist.” Arens has designed everything from a locomotive to a baby carriage, from a welding torch to a cigarette lighter, from a juke box to a toy horn, and what he has discovered is that the success of any designed object is determined basically by only one thing: how easy it is on the nerves.

Trapped in the nerve-jangling complications and tensions of present-day living, Arens believes that what modern man needs most are simplicity and relaxation in his surroundings. Instead of designing solely for “sales appeal”, or “esthetic presentation” therefore, Arens concentrates on designing an object to the “specifications” of the human system. He calls it “industrial humaneering.” Arens “humaneers” an object by giving it a color and contour which are relaxing to the eye, by giving it a texture and shape which are pleasing to the touch and inviting to the grasp, by muffling any noises which may jar on the ear, by eliminating any odors which may offend the nose, and lastly—if the object is, say, a reed musical instrument or a toothbrush—by making sure it is compounded of materials which figuratively, as well as literally, will leave the user with a pleasant taste in his mouth. After making it easy on the nerves, Arens completes his humaneering of the object by making it easy on the muscles. In designing, say, a household-cleaning appliance, he will use every trick in the book to insure that in lifting, carrying, cleaning, operating and storing the appliance, the user will be required to do just as little bending, stooping, squatting, reaching, and wrenching as possible.

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Promise of a golden future (Mar, 1953)

Promise of a golden future
Yellow uranium ore from the Colorado Plateau is helping to bring atomic wonders to you

Long ago, Indian braves made their war paint from the colorful sandstones of the Colorado Plateau.

THEY USED URANIUM-Their brilliant yellows came from carnotite, the important uranium-bearing mineral. Early in this century, this ore supplied radium for the famous scientists, Marie and Pierre Curie, and later vanadium for special alloys and steels.
Today, this Plateau—stretching over parts of Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, and Arizona —is our chief domestic source of uranium. Here, new communities thrive; jeeps and airplanes replace the burro; Geiger counters supplant the divining rod and miner’s hunch.

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Electric Preacher (Aug, 1949)

Wow, that’s pretty cool. I wonder why don’t they do that in the mega-chruches. Can’t you just imagine Jerry Fallwell shooting lightning from his finger tips? He’d look like a pudgy version of the Emporer from Star Wars… Oh. Mabe that’s why they don’t.

Fingertip Sermon is given by George E. Speake at a Christian Endeavor convention. One million volts arch from his body through electrodes on his fingertips. Sparks really fly when he’s on the pulpit!

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AROUND THE WORLD BY KART! (May, 1962)

AROUND THE WORLD BY KART!

“They said we were crazy to try — but we’ve already traveled 10,000 miles!”

By William Glen Davis

DRIVE a kart around the world?

Man, you’re nuts! You’ll never make it!”

This was the almost universal reaction that greeted my announced intention to circle the globe on a four-wheeled beetle smaller than many a baby carriage. Now, 10,000 miles later, I like to think the scoffers have been silenced.

My plan was first to drive from Los Angeles to Mexico City and back in order to test the feasibility of a ’round-the-world trip by kart. Then I would head for New York and from there take a boat to Europe. Once in Europe I would work out the details of my itinerary.

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GADGETS Can Make Your FORTUNE (Sep, 1949)

One interesting side note about this passage:

“Another man who made a highly profitable find in the food field in recent years is Leo Peters, originator of the “Pak” margarine package, made out of plastic and containing a capsule for coloring. By merely kneading the “Pak,” a housewife can give a pound of margarine the appetizing hue of butter. It took Peters a long time to put the idea across, but once it was accepted by manufacturers he began collecting royalties estimated at $1,000,000 a year.”

Why, you might ask, couldn’t they just put the dye in the margarine? Well it turns out that the dairy lobby in this country had/has some serious pull. They saw margarine as competition to butter and had many laws passed that restricted the it’s appearance, primarily making it illegal to dye it to look like butter. The last state to repeal these laws was Wisconson in 1967. In Quebec, Canada it is STILL illegal to sell yellow margarine. More information on wikipedia.

Oh, and does anyone think that machine below looks at all “human-like”?

GADGETS Can Make Your FORTUNE

By West Peterson

THIRTY-FIVE thousand inventions will be patented in the United States this year. If one of them is yours— possibly a simple gadget with universal appeal—you may reap a fortune!

Anything from a new household appliance to an improved method of food processing, from a unique use of plastics to another member of the wonder drug family can pay off huge dividends to the lucky— and skillful—discoverer. While it’s true that many inventions are now made by research teams in well-equipped laboratories, there’s still plenty of opportunity for the scientific or gadget-minded individual.

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Planning Your ’44 V-Garden (Apr, 1944)

Have you started your victory garden yet?

Planning Your ’44 V-Garden

by Andrew S. Wing, Secretary-Manager National Victory Garden Institute

LAST year, challenged by the possibility of the greatest food crisis in history, 20,000,000 American families rolled up their sleeves and planted Victory Gardens. As a result we have had plenty of food this winter for home use and the fighting men on all fronts as well as our gallant allies. Canned goods have recently been so plentiful that a few people, watching the points go down, have, like the grasshopper in the fable, questioned whether they should work a garden this summer or not.

The answer to these slightly disillusioned persons is that they mustn’t be fooled by any temporary signs of a food surplus, for this is more apparent than real. Food officials in Washington and authorities everywhere are really concerned about the needs for food that lie just ahead, after the invasion starts.

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Science Secrets Revealed at New York Worlds Fail (Jul, 1939)

SCIENCE SECRETS REVEALED
At NEW YORK WORLDS FAIR

Cosmic rays, electronic energy and light power axe but a few of the invisible influences harnessed by science, whose magic show dramatizes its researches and discoveries for the Fair’s sixty-million visitors. Here’s a partial review to whet your appetite for this fascinating scientific show.

by Stanley Gerstin

SCIENTISTS at the New York World’s Fair are putting on a show that makes Aladdin and his magic lamp look like a piker!

They are in control of invisible forces whose secrets they use to baffle, amaze and entertain! So don’t take it on the lam if you hear your voice come in the door and go out the window. And don’t see your eye doctor if you suddenly observe an electric fan reverse its motion and cut capers when mesmerized by a flickering light. For this is part of the show—and the show will have only just begun. Shortly, a gigantic Frankenstein of aluminum, obeying the barked commands of its human director, will take over as a master of ceremonies in this fantastic temple of science.

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Inside IBM’s World’s Fair ‘Egg’ (Jul, 1964)

For a lot more info check out this page on the amazing New York Worlds Fair ’64 site.

Inside IBM’s World’s Fair ‘Egg’

FROM a distance, it looks like the storage tank for the Festival of Gas. But as New York World’s Fair visitors draw nearer, they find themselves in a people trap—IBM’s wonderfully zany exhibit pavilion, featuring the Information Machine.

It’s really a theater that sits atop a forest of 45 stylized, 32-foot-high sheet-metal trees. Their cleverly dovetailed branches support 14,000 gray and green Plexiglas leaves, forming a continuous, one-acre canopy.

You join a couple of thousand others who are queueing up on a complex of catwalks suspended above a shallow pool. The ramps lead to a 45-degree tilted grandstand, holding 500 spectators. Eventually, you take your place on what IBM calls the “people wall.” Its 12 tiers of seats are no sooner filled than an M.C. in white tie and tails comes gliding down above you in a “bucket.” He promises that in the next 12 minutes you’ll learn that computers make use of everyday methods we all use in our daily lives to solve complicated problems.

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METALLIZED BABY SHOES (Jun, 1949)

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19,000,000 CUSTOMERS WAITING!
Yes – there’s that many customers waiting right now for you to take their orders — get in on the opportunity of your lifetime. Let me show YOU how my plan permits YOU TO MAKE MONEY IMMEDIATELY.

NO ADDITIONAL INVESTMENT REQUIRED

Yes! Profits can start without additional investment. NO OTHER COMPANY has a plan like this — mine is the original “go in business on a shoe string” success plan. READ THE FACTS – it doesn’t cost you a cent to investigate my wonderful plan — IT’S ABSOLUTELY FREE-it doesn’t cost you anything NOW or EVER!

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