HINTS FOR PRACTICAL PEOPLE (Apr, 1917)

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HINTS FOR PRACTICAL PEOPLE

ELECTRICITY AND VANITY

AS far as the average woman is concerned, electricity could not be applied in a more pleasing way than in this combination mirror and electric light. By throwing a strong light on the object to be reflected the mirror does its best work. Possibly it will be an aid to a few of the gentler sex when they wish to add just a “touch of rouge”. As a shaving mirror, also, it is ideal.

The light is obtained from a self-contained dry cell battery, and the frame can be made of ivory, white, pink, or blue finish.

PREVENTS STEALING CURRENT

A SIMPLE interrupter, placed in an electric circuit, will prevent the use of current for lighting purposes and allow it to be used only for heating or power. The little invention breaks the circuit for two seconds, at intervals of every twenty seconds, by means of clockwork. Power appliances or heating units will continue to run during the brief time that the current is shut off, but lights will go out completely for the length of time no energy is supplied. Lights which were placed on such a line would be intolerable but units for which it was intended would be efficient. Current sold at a cheaper rate for heat and power, could not be used for lighting, against the wishes of the company furnishing the energy, when this device is used.

BOILING WITHOUT WATER

EGGS may now be boiled and the baby’s milk heated without putting either the eggs or the bottle directly into the water. A new electric cooker makes this possible. The electric current is passed directly through the water and only a very limited quantity of the liquid is required. To boil a couple of eggs for breakfast a spoonful of water is ample. The process is consequently rapid and requires an astonishingly small quantity of current.

The device consists of a heater containing a porcelain dish with a cover. Carbon electrodes prevent the formation of metallic salts. The water from the steam on condensing is gathered and held in a groove where the top fits on the porcelain. A metal plate over the porcelain is the holder for whatever is to be cooked or heated in the device.

TO ATTRACT BUYERS

FROM the street it seems like the searchlight of a miniature lighthouse, casting its curious eye across the sidewalk. It can be seen from a long distance up the street, and it attracts the attention of every passerby. It is the new oscillating lamp for store windows.

The device is made by attaching a small incandescent lamp to an oscillating electric fan. A separate electric circuit is attached to the lamp, and the fan blades removed. This makes the movement of the light much more rapid than that of the swinging fan. The construction of the little machine is a short job for anyone handy with tools.

UMBRELLA CLOTHES BAR

A NEW form of drier that is useful in the laundry, kitchen, or nursery has a number of arms that radiate from a common center like the ribs of an umbrella. These arms revolve about the center so that all may be filled without taking a step. The arms operate independently of each other; each is made of one piece of wood so that there are no parts to come off. Each arm is two feet in length; the driers are made in different sizes with eight, twelve, or sixteen arms.

INVISIBLE SEWING MACHINE

THE sewing machine is not a thing of beauty at best. Neither is it the best tonic in the world for aching backs and general muscular pains, when it comes to operating one. It takes up as much room as some really beautiful and useful article of furniture which we would rather have in its place.

There is a new sewing machine on the market which is a real sewing machine, standard make and up-to-date in all its accessories, which takes up about one-twentieth of the old machine’s space, which works by a tiny foot motor, and which can be put up on the shelf when not in use. Its electric motor is mounted permanently on the machine head, and the cost of the machine, motor and all, is less than that of the ordinary high-class sewing machine with its cumbersome cabinet. The machine in its carrying cover is no heavier than a suit case, and it can be brought down and used on the dining-room table, the window sill, and it can even be tried on the piano. Any electric-light socket will furnish the power.

CREAM SEPARATOR FOR THE HOME

THE average family uses the cream from the top of the bottle of milk. It is a difficult matter to pour the cream from the top of the bottle satisfactorily, as with it comes a large portion of the milk.

A little device, which is designed to separate thoroughly the cream from the milk, is now on the market. The price is but thirty cents for use in pint bottles, and fifty cents for the quart size.

This device consists of a wire attached to a rubber disc. The disc is a little less in circumference than that of the inside of the bottle at the bottom, and a little larger than the circumference of the bottle at the arch. The disc is inserted in the neck of the bottle, folded, and gently lowered until it reaches a level where it spreads, It then is raised till it reaches the arch of the bottle, coming between the cream and the milk. The cream then is poured off readily.

LAWN CLOTHES PIN

THE sketch shows a simple clothes pin recently devised for preventing the blowing away of linens spread on the lawn to bleach. It is made from a five-inch length of heavy wire. In use it is pressed firmly into the sod.

NOVEL GARBAGE COLLECTOR

WILLIAM M. WALSH, highway commissioner at Grand Rapids, Michigan, employs a unique device, on which he holds patents, in connection with his garbage collection system.

To any ordinary dump wagon a movable crane is attached, mounted with bolts and bars just behind the seat. A handle controls the mechanism, easily operated from the ground. From the handle a set of gears communicates with a drum which governs a steel cable passing through pulleys in the arm of a crane and terminating in a yoke with two iron-hooked arms. These hooks fit over iron nubs attached to specially constructed cans. A second cable, terminating in a crooked piece of steel, completes the outfit.

When the driver draws alongside the cans, filled with garbage and rubbish by the white wings, he swings the crane to either side, as demanded, the swivel being governed by a short bar operated from the seat. The yoke is then lowered and the hooks are attached to the iron nubs of the cans. The can then is drawn above the wagon and the hook of the second cable is attached to the iron rim at the bottom. A shift of gears allows the driver to operate the second drum and the can is quickly tipped, the rubbish dropping into the wagon. The operation goes on until all cans have been emptied.

TUBERCULOSIS AMONG FRUITS AND VEGETABLES

DECENT scientific investigation has confirmed the theory that fruits and vegetables are afflicted with tuberculosis. T. J. Burrell, working upon the blight of the pear and apple in 1879, was the first to attribute a plant disease to bacterial origin. His work has been confirmed and his conclusions more fully established by S. Q. Swinton, a recent investigator.

According to Mr. Swinton, the predisposing conditions which contribute toward the development of tuberculosis in fruits and vegetables are similar to those of the human body—insufficient nourishment and exposure to extremes of heat and cold. If fruits and vegetables are not properly fertilized and watered they are not nourished and suffer in con- sequence Tuberculosis manifests itself particularly in fruits and vegetables but every part of the plant—root, stem, leaf, flower, fruit, bark, wood, veins—is subject to the disease.

Although there is only a slight resemblance between the human body and a vegetable or fruit, the latter may be likened to the human body. What the bones are to the human body, the core and seeds are to fruits and vegetables. The disease attacks core and seeds. There is no discharge, but the core is discolored and spongy. The fruit is bitter; the vegetable tasteless. Unless the general public is aroused to plant protection this disease will continue to spread and increase until the value of the product is diminished or totally destroyed.

LATH LIKE LIGHTNING

OLD-TIME lathers who prided themselves on their speed in lathing a house, will soon be able to double their pace when the invention of a Westerner, Mr. C. S. Boden of Palo Alto, California, gets on the market. Inventors are always striving to perfect new tools which increase man’s speed and efficiency, and Mr. Boden has achieved both these points in his automatic lathing and tack hammers.

The automatic hammers spit out tacks or nails, and drive them much as bullets come from a gun. They are more efficient than the human hand, and rarely if ever drop or bend a nail or tack. The nails are fed into the hammer on paper strips, and a trigger on the hammer handle enables the operator to stop the feeding of nails or tacks when he desires to strike more than one blow in driving, or wishes to pound on something.

SUBSTITUTE ALCOHOL LAMP

THE top of a Mason jar exactly fits into the space allotted to the alcohol lamp under the chafing dish. Some day if you happen to be minus an alcohol lamp get a Mason jar cover and twist some wire, yes even a hairpin will do, across the top so that it fits into the grooves on either side. In the middle of the cover attach some absorbent cotton to the wire, and saturate it with wood alcohol. When lighted it will prove to be as good as any alcohol lamp ever made. Outside of its use for the chafing dish it is practical for emergency heating.

NEW MASSAGE GLOVE

THERE is a glove now on the market for the masseur or masseuse which promises added comfort to the victim being massaged and less work for the masseur. The little circles on the fingers of the glove are small raised discs of solid yet flexible rubber. Between these little raised discs are small holes. The glove is first filled with the material to be massaged into the skin, and the glove is closed around the wrist of the wearer. When the little round discs are worked on the skin, the massaging fluid comes out through the small holes. In this way none of the fluid goes to waste, and the temperature is more nearly body heat than in the average rub.

HOMEMADE CLOTHES DRYER FOR OIL STOVE

A CLOTHES rack for drying clothes over an oil stove can be made at home from stiff wire by a person with little skill. At the lower end each piece of wire is bent into the form of a hook; by means of sliding rings at the center and upper end a rack is formed which can be fitted to the stove as shown in the illustration. By sliding the retaining rings the wires may be disengaged from the stove, collapsed, and stored in a small place.

RECORDS PHONE CALLS

A DEVICE for recording telephone calls received when the telephone owner is absent has been invented by C.E. Bedeaux, an efficiency expert at Grand Rapids, Michigan. It consists of a steel shelf bolted to the battery box of a telephone. At one end a clock works is mounted which operates through the medium of a cogged rod and a large cog and a celluloid covered cylinder. On this cylinder rests an ingeniously constructed pencil which, through several steel wires and a pinion, is connected to the clapper of the bell. With every vibration, secured with the minimum of pressure on the clapper, the pencil operates and registers the code marks on the cylinder. This revolves when a governing clutch is set by the phone owner.

ICE FROM AN ELECTRIC-LAMP SOCKET

-THE electric ice man has arrived at last! He has come via the same route that the electric stove, electric fan, and electric light arrived; that is, from the electric-lamp socket. For the price of a few pounds of ice, say for example eight cents a day where the electric rate is ten cents a kilowatt, he will keep your ice box at a far lower temperature than ice even in the hottest weather, will not track up your floors with mud and water and will furnish cubes of ice frozen from your own drinking water.

The new attachment is complete in one unit. It consists of an electric motor of one-eighth horsepower, a compressor to which the motor is belted, and tinned cooling coils. To attach it to any refrigerator it is only necessary to cut a small hole in the top of the refrigerator, put the cooling coils in the ice compartment, and attach a plug to the nearest electric-lamp socket. The cooling is done by abstracting heat from the ice box through the tinned-copper ice-making coils in which liquid sulphur is being boiled by the heat extracted from the ice chamber of the refrigerator. The sulphur steam, unlike ordinary water steam, is formed at the low temperature of fourteen degrees Fahrenheit. It passes into the electric condenser where it is again compressed into a liquid and loses the heat it has gathered. Thus the same quantity of liquid is compressed and boiled over and over again. Each time it goes through the process it gathers a certain amount of heat from the refrigerator and radiates it through the compact coils on top of the ice box.

Economy of operation is secured by a thermostat which starts and stops the motor when the temperature rises or lowers above the temperature it is desired to maintain. The temperature inside the ice box remains practically the same, the variation being less than one degree. The first cost of this device is rather high, but afterward it is economical.

NEW AUCTION TABLE

THERE is a new auction table sold at the large department stores, which would seem to make bridge, more than ever, a very serious matter.

At the right hand of both scorekeepers there is a glass-covered drawer which contains an auction score pad and pencil. To note the score, the scorekeeper does not need to remove the pad. It just is pulled out, the score recorded, and the drawer closed, the pad out of the way, and the score visible at all times.

This is a mahogany table with folding legs, and the top is of green baize. It is 31 inches square by 27 inches high, and easily portable.

COMBINED MAIL-BOX AND MILK-BOTTLE HOLDER

A COMBINED mail-box and milk-bottle holder has been invented recently by Piter Maczuzak of Keiser, Pennsylvania. The object of this invention is to prevent both the milk bottles and mail from being stolen, and to be conveniently accessible for receiving the milk from the vender and the mail from the postman. This invention consists of a case divided into two compartments, one of which serves as a mail box normally locked; the other as a milk-bottle receiver normally opened for the reception of a bottle, the same being automatically locked upon placing a bottle within. Access to the bottle is had through the mail compartment when the bottle compartment is closed. The mail compartment is made secure by lock and key.

ROLLING SWING

CHARLES M. CALHOUN of Green-wood, South Carolina, has invented a unique and safe amusement device for children which can be manufactured at small cost. It consists of a pair of large wheels connected by any suitable framework and having swing chairs suspended in offset relations to the hub of the traction wheels. These swing chairs are hung pivotally after the fashion of Ferris Wheel swing chairs so that the child is swung alternately up and down as the vehicle is rolled along. The carriage can be made from either wood or metal.

ECONOMICAL CLEANER FOR TEETH

“THIS little device contains inside a spool of floss which is made of a non-metallic, highly polished resilient substance, and as only a half-inch or a little.

more of floss needs to be used with this spool at one time, it is much more economical than the ordinary dental floss. When the half-inch is used, it is cut off by a little attachment on the spool.

WHEELED CABINET FOR PHONOGRAPH AND RECORDS

A NEW cabinet for the phonograph and records which can be moved easily from place to place has two wheels and two legs. When it is desired to move the cabinet, pushing down on the handle raises the legs so that the cabinet may be moved on the two wheels. This cabinet should meet the approval of all phonograph owners who use their machines both inside the house and on the piazza in summer.

DOING AWAY WITH THE KITCHEN

IN the modern two-room apartment the bedroom usually folds into the wall and the bed comes out from a well constructed, airy closet. The bedroom is used at least half of the twenty-four hours, and the kitchen is used less than ten per cent of this time. The logical thing to eliminate first then, is the kitchen.

The new style of kitchen is “compressed” as much as possible into the small space behind these mahogany doors. It is not even necessary to enter another room or go on the porch for the refrigerator, as that is very snugly cared for under the supply cabinet. The cabinets are made of steel, white enameled. The enamel is baked on to stay, and should surely be sanitary.

The “kitchens” come to the purchaser complete, including either an electric stove or gas stove, and a fireless cooker. The recess for the stove is porcelain enamel lined over walls that have an air space and are insulated with asbestos to eliminate all radiation of heat. The compartments are perfectly ventilated by connection with a flue in the wall. This connection can be made easily.

EVER READY MUCILAGE

THE comparatively few times that the average person uses mucilage does not reconcile him to buying a whole jar.

for ten or twenty-five cents, only to find that when he wishes to use it again it has dried up.

The newest kind of mucilage comes in sticks and leaves. It is put up in jars, or in little books, the “pages” of which are mucilage. By simply moistening the sticks or leaves they are ready immediately for use.

EXIT THE HOT WATER BAG

“DON’T use a hot water bag for that pain” is the latest admonition. “Use an electric pad instead.” All you have to do is to attach a plug to your electric light socket, and almost immediately you have the soothing heat right on the sore spot. The pad can’t leak as does, all too frequently, the hot water bag. Time doesn’t have to be taken to get the water and fill the bag.

SQUEEZER TO HASTEN JELLY MAKING

THE time required for making jelly can be greatly lessened by the use of a squeezing device to hasten the extraction of the juice. As jelly is made ordinarily, the fruit is cooked and then the juice is allowed to drain through the bag over night; this makes a two-day operation, gives opportunity for dirt to get into the juice, and requires considerable labor. By the use of the squeezer the juice may be extracted within a few minutes after the cooking is complete, and the operation completed the same day; in addition, the juice is more completely extracted than is possible by draining. A thick cotton or wool cloth should be used with the squeezer to prevent “cloudy” jelly.

LITTLE SCALE WITH BIG CAPACITY

‘”THIS little scale is for grown-ups and babies too. A glance down shows the correct weight instantly. It is small enough to be kept in the most diminutive bathroom. The scale operates on the mechanical principle of the automobile speedometer, and a revolving dial clearly marked with the regular graduations is enclosed in glass.

FIRST AID TO MOVERS

WHEN you move you will find it very convenient to pack a suitcase or handbag with hammer, screwdriver, tacks, nails, screws, cleaning brush, dust cap, apron, and any other articles you are likely to need at once. If you have room, add common silver, salt, pepper, sugar, napkins, paper plates, and cups for your first meal. Take this with you, and it will save the time of unpacking, and the cost of buying articles you own already.

SIMPLE METAL SCAFFOLD

A DEVICE to lessen the expense of building operations and to eliminate the unsightly and dangerous wooden scaffolding is the simple metal scaffold. The device is a folding steel bracket having two supporting legs which are braced against each other at the outer end to prevent any side motion. The brackets take hold of the studding directly so as 10 prevent motion at the inner end. The bracket itself weighs only fourteen pounds, but supports a greater weight than will be put upon it in ordinary operations. The scaffolds can be very quickly put up and taken down, and are easily moved from place to place.

ARM REST LEDGER STAND

THE latest device for holding corporation ledgers and office books of any size or dimension is the Larson Book Rack, which adjusts books automatically to arm rests.

The rack is made in various sizes, of wood and steel material, and automatically adjusts itself to the use of any book that it is applied to, by means of screws at the end of the leather straps which extend from one end of the rack to the other. In turning the leaves of the book, the face is always brought up to the level of the arm rests, which are along the entire length of the rack. The device has a bridge-like appearance and is portable, but not collapsible. It is made to sell at a moderate price.

15 comments
  1. Adair says: May 26, 20112:11 am

    I like the olden age lifestyle, because at that time corruption is less and the people lived happily.

  2. jayessell says: May 26, 20113:56 am

    Didn’t the ancient Greeks complain about corruption?

    See this and the snarky comments:

    http://www.misterkitty….

  3. Stephen says: May 26, 20115:22 am

    Also, if the “olden age lifestyle” consists of running live mains current through water to boil it, or cooling a fridge with poisonous sulphur dioxide, I’d rather live in modern times.

  4. jayessell says: May 26, 20119:22 am

    And… the guy who yearned for the
    “good old days” gets his post deleted, making
    Stephen’s and my comments off topic.

    Now OUR posts are redundant.

  5. Hirudinea says: May 26, 201110:19 am

    “The electric current is passed directly through the water”, and if you touch a wet egg it also passes through your heart, good design.

  6. Jari says: May 26, 201110:38 am

    Oh yes, people lived very happily here in Europe during WW1.

  7. John says: May 26, 201111:13 am

    I don’t know whether Adair is being ignorant, stupid or just taking the piss but between June 1918 to December 1920 in “olden times” 50 million people died in the Spanish Flu epidemic. That was about 3% of the world’s population at the time. http://www.webcitation….

    At the time this article was published women in America didn’t yet have the right to vote.

    And it certainly wasn’t the “Good Old Days” if you happened to be Black http://lcweb2.loc.gov/a…

  8. JMyint says: May 26, 201111:49 am

    I think Adair may have been talking about political corruption. I don’t suppose he has heard of the terms ‘Party Boss’, ‘Political Machine’ or ‘Gerrymandering’. Maybe he should read up on the Progressive Movement a bit.

    http://www.academicamer…

  9. John says: May 26, 201112:20 pm

    JMyint: Don’t forget his reference to how “people lived happily” which I’m sure is supposed to mean how much more then as compared to now

  10. Charlene says: May 26, 20115:14 pm

    I’d like to know exactly how people like Adair think lives were happier in the old days than now. Even if you weren’t black, Asian, Indian, gay, or female – which leaves about 20% of the population, but I guess they’re the only ones who mattered back then – how happy could you be after losing a child, as almost all families did back then? How happy could you be without proper dentistry or antibiotics? Without pain relief? Without vaccines?

    It’s like the arrogant, self-important a-holes who boast that they grew up without any safety equipment like smoke detectors or seatbelts and “they were fine”. They forget that not everyone was fine, and those who were killed because they didn’t have safety belts, smoke detectors, etc. aren’t here to contest the point. Fire used to be one of the top ten causes of death in Canada (sorry, don’t have US statistics at hand); now it isn’t in the top twenty. Deaths by auto accidents have plummeted on a per-mile driven basis.

  11. John says: May 26, 20115:39 pm

    Charlene: The American figures from 1900-1998 may be found here No listing for death by fire but it’s amazing what people used to die of before they lived long enough to develop the heart disease that has stayed at number 1 for the longest time.

  12. jayessell says: May 26, 20115:50 pm

    Re #6:

    We’re descended from some minor princes, who owned only a few miserable villages. We were poor. Our servants were poor, our secretary was poor. Our overseers were poor. Our cooks were poor. Our tutors were poor. Our footmen were poor. Our horses were poor. Our greyhounds were poor. Everybody was poor.”

    (Umm… not sure if that quote is for the prosecution or the defense.)

  13. Timaay says: May 26, 20116:33 pm

    The good old days meant no Novocain, no sanitation, no deodorant. When you walked into a bar the floor would be covered in tobacco juice. The streets of New York city during the turn of the century were so loud with the sound of horse shoes, steel banded carriage wheels on cobblestone streets with the shouts of drivers and the clanging of trolleys that one could go nearly deaf standing in Times Square in mid afternoon on any given day.

  14. slim says: May 26, 20117:03 pm

    Anyone who thinks the old days were good should check out the photos at Shorpy.com for a while.

  15. Charlie says: May 26, 20117:18 pm

    Actually, they should do that anyway. Shorpy is a fantastic site.

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