Bottle-Breaking Machine (Jan, 1936)

Bottle-Breaking Machine

LEGALITY is the mother of invention here. The federal law demands that empty liquor bottles be broken; so a Superior, Wis., inventor built this machine to do it safely, without spreading glass splinters around. It may have entertainment value, too; as the chime of broken glass sounds melodious in merry ears.

SEEDS For the Wide World (Apr, 1946)

SEEDS For the Wide World

Tons of foods from thousands of American acres will help the starving world feed itself PEOPLE in many parts of the world will eat better vegetables because of vast quantities of top quality vegetable seed the United States has furnished Europe, India, China and the South Pacific as part of its war and rehabilitation efforts.

Sun Still is a 24-inch Vinylite plastic (Dec, 1951)

I just like the giant drinking straw. They should combine this with a Sodastream and use the CO2 for flotation.

Sun Still is a 24-inch Vinylite plastic

sphere which desalts ocean water and makes it drinkable. Black inner bag absorbs sun’s heat and evaporates water leaving salt residue. Vapors condense as fresh water in reservoir chamber. Still provides 2-1/2 quarts daily, folds into small container.

Thousand-Mile Lightning Rod PROTECTS GREATEST POWER LINE (Jul, 1934)


CARRYING the heaviest electrical current ever conducted by a commercial power line, the longest and most efficient transmission system in the world will soon be in operation between Boulder Dam on the Colorado River and Los Angeles, Calif.

50 Years Ago in… Scientific American (May, 1938)

“The improvements in the phonograph have now been carried to such a degree of perfection that the instrument is practically ready for general introduction.”

50 Years Ago in… Scientific American

(Condensed From Issues of May, 1888)

COAL IN THE MAKING—”During the late violent storms in the Channel the sea washed through a high and hard sand hank near the Isle of St. Malo, France, nearly four meters thick, laying hare a portion of an ancient forest which was already passing into the condition of coal.”

IT’S THE LAW! (May, 1942)

I don’t know about in 1942, but I’m pretty sure that snooping on another person’s mail is against the law in every city and state.


by Dick Hyman

Moonshiners in Pittsburgh, Fa., are required by law to hang out a sign explaining that they are operating a still.

An Ogden, Utah, ordinance forbids the holding of picnics in cemeteries.

In Seattle, Wash., a 30-year-old ordinance decrees that it is “unlawful to use water during a fire”.

Snooping in another person’s mail is against the law in Fort Atkinson, Wis.


Maybe the republicans can try this in 2016?


Recalling the days of the pioneer settlers, a monster parade of “prairie schooners” is being formed from all parts of the country by a farmers’ organization to spread its propaganda. The covered wagons and teams are to be furnished by those members and sympathizers living at ten-mile intervals from a central point.

New Type of Filing Cabinet Affords Speed and Accuracy (Jul, 1929)

Sadly, these two women later lost their jobs to robots. (video)

New Type of Filing Cabinet Affords Speed and Accuracy

THESE girls, shown at right, don’t have to worry about taking reducing exercises. They are filing clerks in the office of the New York Life Insurance company, New York, and spend their working day climbing and moving the ladders shown.

Snapshots in Sound (Jul, 1958)

Nothing says “vacation” like lugging a fifteen pound tape recorder and pile of adapters around with you.

Snapshots in Sound

Relive your summer vacation with a record on tape

YOU’RE ALL PACKED and ready for that summer vacation you’ve planned for a whole year. You make a last-minute check. Got the bathing suits? Travelers checks? Suntan oil, guide book, maps, camera, film . . . ?

Didn’t you forget something? You took a camera, maybe even a movie camera, too, to make a permanent record of fun in the sun. But did you ever think of making a sound record of your vacation?

Model Plane Masterpiece (Oct, 1954)

Model Plane Masterpiece

ONE of the most beautifully designed and carefully constructed model airplanes you are apt to run into in many a moon is the F-92 Black Leopard, built by young Robert F. Shaw, San Pedro, Calif.

Bob, a hydraulic press operator for North American Aircraft, took five years to complete his prodigious task, spending a total of $42 for parts and materials.