Civilian Designs Simple Gas Mask (Mar, 1940)

This is insane. I don’t trust myself to make an improvised shelf, let alone a gas mask. Plus, a gas mask that requires you to hold your nose while breathing does not exactly inspire confidence.

Civilian Designs Simple Gas Mask
With the threat of gas raids hanging” over more and more cities in Europe, the demand for gas masks in many communities far exceeds the supply. To provide some sort of gas protection in case of an emergency, an ingenious Scandinavian inventor has designed the improvised mask shown at the left. It consists simply of a hollow wooden tube and a cloth bag filled with chemicals. Air purified by the chemicals is sucked into the mouth through the tube, while the nose is held shut with the thumb and forefinger of the hand holding the mask.

Why Don’t We Build… Underwater Tanks (Dec, 1950)

Why Don’t We Build… Underwater Tanks

We need such a weapon for beachhead invasions … we have already solved its technical problems.

By Frank Tinsley

EVEN at the outset of our World War II campaign of island conquest in the Pacific, it became evident that some form of armor was needed to spearhead landing operations. The old technique of wooden landing barges and surf-spattered Marines was obviously inadequate. To pit unprotected flesh and blood against an array of underwater obstacles, mines and wire entanglements, backed up by well concealed and heavily bunkered machine-gun nests, mortars and artillery, was a murderous waste of expensively trained men.

Rack Protects Food from Poison Gas (Feb, 1940)

Rack Protects Food from Poison Gas

Supplies of food and drink can be protected from contamination by poison gas in case of wartime air raids by a novel and inexpensive device developed by M. Jaffe, a British inventor living in Liverpool. Food is placed on a raised wire platform and covered by an inverted mixing bowl, bread box, roasting pan, or other nonporous kitchen utensil. By means of two long wire handles, the covered food is then lowered into four or five inches of water standing in a basin or in the kitchen sink. The water forms a perfect air lock inside of the improvised food protector, making it impossible for gas fumes to seep in. With the device, it is said, one minute is sufficient time to protect a supply of food which could be consumed without fear of contamination or pollution after the danger of the gas raid had passed. Larger units could be used for protecting food in hospitals and other institutions.

Radiation Proof Bike Suit (Mar, 1952)

I get the feeling this poor kid’s father embarrassed him during his whole childhood. I can imagine the picture of him modeling his father’s bullet-proof lederhosen.

Lead-Lined Suit specially designed to protect against radioactivity in an A-blast, was designed by Leo Pauwela of Los Angeles and is modeled here by his son. “If it doesn’t land on us, we’re safe,” they say.

Fortress on a Skyhook (Apr, 1949)

This thing kind of looks like a little Deathstar, and it will only take 10 trips to build. Let’s do it!

Also, they claim the atomic reactor reaches tempuratures of 600 billion degrees. Does this seem a little high to anyone else?

Fortress on a Skyhook

The U.S. is working on plans for a satellite base, Defense Secretary Forrestal reveals. Take a long look at this man-made moon—and learn how it may rule the world.

By Frank Tinsley

EVEN Jules Verne would be amazed at the latest activities of the U. S. Department of Defense. Secretary James Forrestal disclosed recently that his department is working on a “satellite base” to revolve around the world like a miniature moon, as a military outpost in space.

WWII POWs get a Disney Designed Insignia (May, 1945)

DRY YANKEE HUMOR is puzzling guards at a German base prison camp for Allied airmen, since American POW’s there decided to adopt insignia to show their new status. The postcard below, sent by Capt. Robert H. Bishop, a bomber navigator now at the camp, brought the design at the right from the Walt Disney studios to Germany, via the Red Cross.

Air-Raid Vault Uses Chain of Gas Masks (Aug, 1939)

Air-Raid Vault Uses Chain of Gas Masks

Like smokers grouped around a Turkish bubble pipe, users of a new French air-raid shelter inhale from a common source. Tubes connect their masks with a single pipe leading from a battery of oxygen cylinders, as shown above. Thus they are constantly assured of pure air to breathe, without recourse to poison-absorbing canisters that hinder free respiration; and elaborate gasproofing precautions may be dispensed with.

Chemcraft for Victory! (Dec, 1944)

The basic message of the letter to all the readers of the magazine is: buy a Chemcraft outfit or your big brother will be killed by Japs and Nazis. Also, it will help you find a job after the war.


Dear Jack,
It was swell to get your V-mail letter. Hope it won’t be long before I am back home with you. I’m glad to hear that you are interested in my Chemcraft Outfit. Now I realize how important chemistry is and what a vital part it plays in our war effort. And after the war chemistry will be more important than ever. So the more you and I can learn about chemistry the better our future chances of success. Our Chemcraft Outfit will help you get a good start. So stick to it. All my love to you, Mom and Dad.

Your loving brother,

Spaniard’s Mirror System Creates an “Invisible Army” (Jul, 1933)

Of course if your enemy happens not to be exactly perpendicular to your mirror then they might start to wonder why there is a big, bright sun hiding in the bushes.

Spaniard’s Mirror System Creates an “Invisible Army”
NOW comes the most astonishing of military ideas—that of rendering soldiers and artillery invisible by means of protecting mirrors which reflect the surrounding landscape back into the enemy’s eyes!

Whether or not this idea would be according to Hoyle, in conformity with the hoary traditions of warfare handed down through generations, does not appear; conceivably it would be embarrassing to an army to find a serene landscape of clouds and fields popping away at it with machine guns and rifles—a sort of black magic not provided for in the drill book regulations.

G.I.’s Photograph Their Own Pin-Ups (Oct, 1944)

G.I.’s Photograph Their Own Pin-Ups
SERVICEMEN may go to Carl Oppenheimer’s photographic studio in New York any day between five and eight in the afternoon to make their own pin-up pictures. He permits them free use of all his equipment— cameras, films, lights, props, darkrooms, and chemicals—and he stands around ready to assist and advise them at every step, from the lighting to the finished print.

Cooperating with him are models from the Pat Allen agency who make their contribution to the war effort by donating their time to this unique “canteen” for camera fans.

Through the medium of the accompanying photos you may sit in on a typical session at the studio with the GI’s, the models, and the benevolent Mr. Oppenheimer.