Glass Boat is a Fiberglas-reinforced plastic assault craft which the Army is putting through rigid tests at Fort Belvoir. It weighs less than 300 pounds and carries 15 men. A World War II plywood craft of the same type weighed over 400 pounds and carried only 12 men. The propulsion unit of this new attack weapon is a neat 33-hp outboard engine.
Conducted by Robert Brightman Caption: The giant spiral nebula known as Messier 81. Its distance is three million light-years. The central part consists of stars so close together, it is impossible to resolve them. A time exposure made through Mt. Palomar telescope. -- THE sketch at the bottom of this page indicates the method used by Sylvestus B. Burdakin of Elmwood, Connecticut, to achieve an adjustable bearing surface for his alt-azimuth mounting. True, it is a variation of a theme but we think our readers will find it interesting. His letter follows: "Having finished my telescope, I decided to let you know of a couple of ideas that have proved helpful. Although my mirror did not come out perfect I can use it with good results on the moon. Later I intend to make another mirror, and get it perfect, I hope.
JUST in case MI's cover caused some worry among American Locomotive Company officials let's reassure them. Chrysler is not going into competition with them! The locomotive and tender on these pages is strictly a miniature—one-third regular size, nearly 27 feet long.
By Luis Hochman Meet a housewife who lives on the cobwebs in her home—and just loves Black Widows. "COME into my parlor," said Mrs. Nan Songer to the big spider who sidled up beside her at her home in Yucaipa, Calif. Because she not only refused to follow in Little Miss Muffet's hasty footsteps but invited the spider into her home, the insects now are busy repaying Mrs. Songer for her kindness by spinning her the oddest career in the country—cultivating cobwebs, right in her own home. Every day her brood of more than 50 spiders turn out hundreds of feet of fine silken strands that she sells to manufacturers of precision optical instruments.
GOT any questions on your mind today? Ask Tom Howard, the zany dunce-master on CBS' radio and television crazy quiz. It Pays To Be Ignorant—he'll give you any answer . . . except, of course, the right one. But ask him for a light and you may end up with all your pockets full of pipes—complete with built-in lighters.
By Frank Rose THOMAS Gaskins of Palmdale, Fla., spends a good part of his time looking for unusual knees—and his wife doesn't mind a bit! In fact, she encourages him. However, the knees he's seeking are not the Grable-type that adorn the female form. They're the exotic growths that spring up from the roots of the cypress tree. It all started back in 1934. Gaskins was fed up with his job as salesman for a chemical company. He wanted a business of his own, but he couldn't hit upon anything that suited his limited capital.
THE best driver and the fastest car didn't win the 1949 Indianapolis race. They broke records, set a blistering pace never equalled. But they didn't win. Iron-nerved Dennis (Duke) Nalon and his 550-horse-power Novi Mobil Special, designed by Bud Winfield, should have won that race. We wish they had, because that was the combination Mechanix Illustrated boldly predicted, away back in our May issue, would cop the 500-mile classic. But the Duke didn't win because, on the 24th lap, after shattering every Speedway record for 55 miles and pounding down the straightaways at 200 mph, his great car suddenly died of a broken axle.
By West Peterson THE awful calamity of ferocious beasts hunting human prey in the streets of New York after breaking out of the Central Park Zoo panicked the entire city one gloomy Monday morning back in November, 1874. The highly esteemed New York Herald revealed the grim details of the "catastrophe" in the full-page story you see reproduced here. "Another Sunday of horror has been added to those already memorable in our city annals," the Herald announced in a dramatic report on the Zoo break. ". . . We have a list of forty-nine killed, of which only twenty- seven bodies have been identified, and it is much to be feared that this large total of fatalities will be much increased with the return of daylight. The list of multilated, trampled and injured in various ways must reach nearly 200 persons . . . Twelve of the large carnivorous beasts are still at large, their lurking places not being known. . . ."
"You need a hobby," warned the doctor. So Dave Elman dug up more than 500,000 pastimes—for other people. By Fred Horsley "PICK any noun in the dictionary, and I'll name you a hobby for that word," Dave Elman, the originator of radio's Hobby Lobby, boasted as he leaned back in his office chair in midtown Manhattan. "All right," I said and opened up a small dictionary on his desk. "Here's one for you—auk." "That's easy. I've got that hobby right here in the office. Ned Hand of the American Museum of Natural History collects the remains of auks as his hobby. See those bones over in the corner? That's your auk hobby." "Well, here's a slippery one for you— eel."
Here is a sure-fire plan to down supersonic rockets like ducks—and wipe out the terror of sneak attacks. By Frank Tinsley HITLER was right when he ranted about the fearful havoc a "secret weapon" would wreak on his enemies. His V-2 rockets unleashed such terror on battered Britain that they nearly won the war—for the Nazis. For there was absolutely no defense against these mighty 3500-mph missiles—and no way to tell when—or where—they would strike next.
By Tom McCahill A "warm missile" is one way our English cousins might sum up the new Crosley "Hotshot." Whatever you call it, though, this brand-new, miniature American sport car should prove a fiery shot in the arm to its big, somber American contemporaries. This new car is something to have fun with and enjoy—definitely not a vehicle to carry crepe at your grandmother's funeral.