Farm Tractor Is Also War Tank (Mar, 1935)

Farm Tractor Is Also War Tank
LIKE a broken down plow horse turning I into a snorting, spirited cavalry charger, a new farm tractor has been devised that can be converted into an armored tank equipped with gas and machine guns in a space of two hours.

The tractor is of the caterpillar type and is capable of surmounting anything from ditches to fallen trees. Its traction wheels are especially good for work in mud. Scrap metal was used to armor the original model.

The Story of Rope (Jul, 1948)

The Story of Rope

By Andrew Hamilton

THE OLD INDIAN rope trick has amazed and mystified people for generations. A fakir throws a rope above the stage where it stands without apparent support, as stiff as a rod. The trick is simply this: an unnoticed four-pronged hook at the end catches a taut piano wire in the dim light above the stage.

This vaudeville stunt is not half as amazing as the miracle of rope itself—one of mankind’s most useful tools.


Too fast to be seen by the human eye, the long tongues of chameleons and toads dart in and out as they eat. Their tongue tips are tacky and the food, usually small insects, sticks to the tips and is thrown back into their mouths. To photograph the action, London Zoo technicians designed a trigger device that fires a Dawe electronic flash lamp as the tongue hits the food
Top, stopped by an exposure of two mil-lionths of a second, tongue of chameleon is fully extended as it darts after food. Below, a toad gets his dinner. Right, the circuit used in top pictures. For photos of toad, two copper plates were used, one for the toad and the second for the food. Tongue completes circuit by touching food plate. Current was too minute to be felt.

Pocket-Size Exposure Suit (Jul, 1948)

Pocket-Size Exposure Suit
Exposure, one of the biggest trials of airmen downed at sea, is curbed by an inflatable rubber suit small enough to be rolled into a pocket in the collar of a Mae West jacket. It weighs less than three ounces and provides air insulation against cold and damp. The suit is being tested in England and may soon be adopted as standard equipment for Royal Air Force crews.

Advertising Emblems Glow Weirdly In Cathode Ray Tubes (Mar, 1935)

Advertising Emblems Glow Weirdly In Cathode Ray Tubes
IN ONE of the most unusual of modern forms of advertising, trademarks mounted at the anode position of giant cathode ray tubes are painted in cold light of great brilliancy and dazzling color by electronic bombardment. Displayed in store windows, the tubes demonstrate to shoppers one of the many feats of the electronic tube, and at the same time display a business emblem.
Gilbert T. Schmidling, inventor of the first true cold light, coats these emblems with different chemicals, each giving off a certain color of cold light under electronic bombardment. Over 400 different shades, all of great brilliancy, have already been produced. Any number of colors may be obtained in one tube by using the different chemicals.

Women Stars Wrestle Under Water (Jan, 1935)

Women Stars Wrestle Under Water
ONE of the world’s strangest athletic events was held recently when Dolly Dalton, Canadian champion, engaged Dixie Taylor, southern women’s champion, in an underwater wrestling match at Silver Springs, Florida. The remarkable clearness of the water enabled spectators to follow every-move of the contestants. Good wind is essential for this strenuous sport.

Revolution In Toilet Technology (Jul, 1938)

It may look commonplace now, but in 1938 this was cutting edge. This is the ancestor of all those “hybrid” devices everyone is so fond of today. Whever you snap a picture with your camera phone, or make breakfast with your mp3 playing waffle iron, remember, it all started with the toilet shelf.

Tank Unit Creates Odd Shelf
PLACED on top of a toilet water tank, a new unit provides extra shelf space for bottles too large to place in a medicine chest. The unit is adjustable to various sized tops
and can be installed without tools and without marring the finish of the top.

Tests Graded By Weight (Oct, 1935)

This is pretty neat though it seems that you could just punch more than one hole for a question and get the answer right…

Scale Corrects Examination Papers
WHEN a Kentucky professor discovered that nearly 75 per cent of all students’
examination papers were incorrectly marked, he invented a robot examination corrector which automatically corrects 75,000 questions an hour without an error.
Prof. Noel B. Cuff of Eastern Kentucky State Teachers College is the inventor of the robot, called the testometer. The meter is used in true and false or in the multiple choice examinations in which the student is given a perforated card, the holes to be punched bearing the number of the question asked.
The perforated card is then placed on the testometer, and wherever the correct answer has been punched, a 1/4-ounce weight drops through the hole onto the scale. The total weight registered is the student’s mark.


How Comic CARTOONS Make Fortunes (Nov, 1933)

How Comic CARTOONS Make Fortunes

The “funnies” you read every day bring $8,000,000 a year to a small group of 200 cartoonists. How they rose to the top and how you can enter their select circle is told here by leading comic artists.

THAT laugh you had today over your favorite funny strip is worth money— $200 to $1,000 a day to the cartoonist that made you chuckle.

His pen and ink characters are part of a great $8,000,000 industry that is far from overcrowded and that is practically depression proof.

Of the 200 successful cartoonists today the majority were not “born artists.” In many cases they were not artists at all, but just fellows with a knack for sketching who thought of a good idea or a funny character that “made a hit” with an editor and eventually with newspaper readers.

Boy Genius Builds Complete Electrical Laboratory (Nov, 1935)

I love this: “…products of his versatile mind and stubby fingers.”

Boy Genius Builds Complete Electrical Laboratory


From odds and ends of discarded equipment 13-year-old Franklin Lee has built a remarkably complete scientific laboratory. A few of his many successful electrical projects are described in this article.

NIMBLE fingers, an inventive mind, and. the urge to experiment have brought to 13-year-old Franklin Lee, Granite Falls, Minn., electronic wizard, a scientific research laboratory that would do credit to a college student of science.

In the well-lighted interior of his garage workshop powerful homemade electric motors turn lathes and grindstones. Standing by in one corner, ready for instant use, is an electromagnet capable of lifting a hundred pounds. Transformers of different sizes and voltages hum merrily in their baths of cooling oil, while in one corner metal glows white-hot in a homemade electric arc furnace. From discarded electrical equipment, auto parts, and odds and ends of cast-away materials Franklin built them all.