I Battled An OCTOPUS For Treasure (Nov, 1939)

I Battled An OCTOPUS For Treasure

No legendary treasure was ever guarded by a more terrifying dragon than the one which the author encountered when he searched below the sea for silver bullion.

by Lieut. Harry E. Rieseberg

WHEN George Harding, an ex-diver, asked me to join him on a treasure salvage expedition I jumped at the opportunity.

I had been laid up in John Sealy Hospital in Galveston, Texas, as a result of an accident, and upon my discharge I was eager to find any way to bolster my sadly depleted finances. Since I have long been a diver and treasure salvor, Harding’s offer was practically perfect.

The tale Harding told was one to whet the adventurous appetite of any man, much less one of my profession. He told me of a steel hulk, the liner Columbia of the one-time American Panama Mail Company, which was now lying in shallow waters off lower California with more than $100,000 in silver bars some place inside her.

AUTO RADIO “DE LUXE” (Jan, 1938)

TO MEET the growing need for broadcasting from outside points, the National Broadcasting Company, of Chicago, 111., has outfitted a new car with all necessary equipment for this type of work. The vehicle is capable of traveling from place to place at high speeds.

The equipment for this mobile unit consists of two transmitters, three receivers and a gasoline driven generator, all compactly mounted in a specially built touring sedan. Considerable weight reduction was achieved by discarding storage batteries and substituting the generator for the transmitters’ power supply.

Immediately in back of the front seat is the control panel and console, which houses the ultra-high frequency receiver and the specially designed four-stage high gain audio amplifier. To the rear, in the space usually occupied by the back seat, is a large compartment containing a fifty-watt transmitter, used for stationary broadcasts. A forty-watt ultra-high frequency transmitter is used for mobile broadcasts. The mobile unit is so designed that one man can drive and broadcast at the same time.

Putting Fire on a Stick (Aug, 1949)

Putting Fire on a Stick

MATCHES first sparked onto the scene back in the 1600’s when a German alchemist set out to brew himself a pot of gold and came up with a pot of phosphorus.

It wasn’t long until boxes of matches were developed. The first ones were long sulphur-tipped splints which ignited when drawn through the folds of phosphorus-coated paper. There was a slight hitch, though—since phosphorus cost $250 an ounce, it was cheaper to use dollar bills!
“Lucifer” was what they called the first friction match, tipped with antimony sulphide and potassium chlorate. It was appropriately named, too, for it sparked like hell and smelled like the very devil.

Then came the “Drunkard’s Match,” chemically treated so that it couldn’t burn past its midpoint. No matter how lit up you might be, your fingers wouldn’t be ignited.

Yes, matches were very dangerous objects in the old days. It wasn’t till 1911 that William A. Fairbum adapted sesquisulfide of phosphorus to provide for our present-day type of non-poisonous match-head.

Now for some figures: last year this country consumed about 520 billion matches. Of these, 200 billion were given away free, a practice known in no other country. As a result, each American uses about 14 matches a day at a per capita cost of six-tenths of one cent a week!


My favorite quote is this caption from the second page: “HAIR is from live European peasant women…”


By Robert Brindley

THERE is only one positive cure for baldness and that is the toupee.

Long the butt of jokes and scornful remarks, there was once a “plain brown envelope” sort of mystery surrounding the making, selling, buying and wearing of cranium cozies but all that has been changed. A man named Louis Feder has made them absolutely undetectable and non-skid. Most important of all, perhaps, he has won for them a wide social acceptance.

Mr. Feder presides over the House of Feder in New York City. His hairpieces are known as “Tashays” (not only a word he coined but a device for which he was granted a U. S. Patent).

Jet Powers Boat (May, 1955)

Jet Powers Boat
Powered by a jet-aircraft engine, a new hydroplane has been built in England for an assault on the U.S.-held water speed record of 178.497 miles per hour. Pilot of the hydroplane is Donald Campbell, son of the late Sir Malcolm Campbell, whose Bluebird held the speed record in the late 1930s. The new craft, also called Bluebird, is driven by the jet discharge into the air, as in an airplane. Steering is achieved with a marine-type rudder. The new Bluebird reportedly has excited the interest of both American and British Naval officials.

Fisherman and His Pets (Feb, 1952)

Fisherman and His Pets
Most fishermen have a hobby of some kind and Henry Larsen, lob-sterman of Freeport, N. Y., is no exception. He likes to train pets of all kinds. He hasn’t yet discovered a way to train the lobster, but he has worked out a tightrope routine starring Sonja, his cat. Sonja gracefully trips across the rope carrying two white mice and a small chicken on her back. To make the act a little more exciting, Julius, a bantam rooster and another of Larsen’s pets, perches unconcernedly on the rope, forcing the cat to step over him as she carries her passengers along the rope.

3 Important, New Electronic Digital Computers (Sep, 1952)

3 Important, New Electronic Digital Computers
For Engineering, Science and Business

Entirely new circuit designs have enabled CRC to produce a complete line of relatively small, low cost, highly reliable, digital electronic computers.
They may be purchased outright, or leased with the option to buy. A complete parts and service warranty, including both preventive and special maintenance will be included with lease if desired.


I like this passage:
“BLUNDERS and hoaxes have embarrassed millions of persons, have changed the course of history, and have cost their victims millions of dollars. Science itself has been the cause of blunders. Early theories, that were accepted as fact, are still used to fool a gullible public and to sell stock in perpetual motion machines and schemes to convert base metals into gold.”

Yes, that gullible, gullible public.


Eighty years before Lindbergh, the first non-stop flight across the Atlantic was reported. That blunder is no greater than other misleading tales that have fooled the world. Here are history’s outstanding blunders and hoaxes.


BLUNDERS and hoaxes have embarrassed millions of persons, have changed the course of history, and have cost their victims millions of dollars. Science itself has been the cause of blunders. Early theories, that were accepted as fact, are still used to fool a gullible public and to sell stock in perpetual motion machines and schemes to convert base metals into gold.

In many cases newspapers have been the victim of hoaxes and blunders. The general attitude is to blame the newspapers for carelessness, but speed is so important to a highly competitive news gathering organization that little time can be devoted to checking back on stories.

One of the greatest journalistic blunders occurred in 1844 when a New York newspaper reported the sensational news of the first successful flight across the Atlantic. The story gave a very convincing account of the purported landing of a balloon near Charleston, S. C, after crossing the Atlantic from Europe in the astounding time of three days.

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.

Plywood Dome Will Serve as Church in Korea (Jan, 1958)

Plywood Dome Will Serve as Church in Korea
All the building materials for the igloo-shaped sanctuary in the photograph above could be carried in a large pickup truck. The 39-foot hemisphere, built from 134 sheets of 1/4-inch exterior-grade plywood, will be used as a church at Naju, South Korea. Using the geodesic-dome design of architect Buckminster Fuller, the building gets its strength from the geometric pattern of the 4 by 6-1/2 foot sheets of plywood on 2 by 2-inch ribbing. It was erected in 16 hours, left, with much of the work done by small boys. The building weighs 3500 pounds.