A COMBINATION motor boat and automobile, capable of a speed of 40 miles per hour on land and 7 miles per hour in the water, has been invented by a well known Scottish engineer after a long period of experimentation to produce a practical and serviceable vehicle.
Smokers will find this little elephant both an attractive and useful ornament for their dens. Pick him up and an ingenious switch inside him automatically turns on an electric cigarette lighter in his neck. Put him down and the lighter goes out. Only a few inexpensive parts are needed.
FROM the land of the midnight sun down the Pacific slope of two continents a 16,000-mile highway will stretch, linking Alaska with the Argentine. Already the road has been surveyed on the ground and from the air from Central America to Fairbanks, Alaska. At the moment a party of five men are fighting Central American jungles, chopping their way down canyons and across mountains to Panama, mapping what will become the central portions of the long highway.
Striking and little known facts that challenge belief. Anyone doubting the truth of the statements may obtain proof by writing to Robert L. Ripley, in care of Modern Mechanics and Inventions, 529 So. 7th St., Minneapolis, enclosing a stamped envelope.
Nautilus May Meet Zeppelin at Pole Details of the methods by which the Graf Zeppelin and the Nautilus, Sir Hubert Wilkins’ polar submarine, hope to complete at the North Pole the most amazing rendezvous in all history, are pictured in the above drawing. The map shows the route these craft will follow. The Nautilus, described [...]
Safety Tail Light Shows Direction Motorist Intends to Turn THE frequency of motor accidents may be lessened considerably when a new automatic tail light exhibited recently at the International Patent exhibition comes into widespread use. The turning of the steering wheel of the device, shown at the right, flashes on a light in the rear [...]
These drawings show the construction of four novel toys made from circus balloons that will prove highly fascinating. Fill the balloon with hydrogen and attach to it a postcard bearing your name, and a request to return it from whatever point it falls to earth.
by JAY EARLE MILLER Based on an interview with Dr. W. R. Whitney and Associates of the General Electric Research Laboratories Scientists have accomplished the marvelous feat of literally taking nothing, sealing it in a glass tube and making it perform the tasks hitherto done by huge motors. Thyratrons, as these amazing vacuum tubes are called, may soon relegate all machinery to the junk pile. Already vacuum tubes are curing dread diseases, increasing the range of man's senses, and saving industry huge sums.
Articulated Bus Shows to Advantage in Traffic and on Narrow Roads THE size of the motor-bus seems to be limited only by traffic conditions and the roads over which it is to operate. Finding it impossible to widen the German roads or to thin out traffic, a manufacturer of that country has introduced the articulated [...]
Trailer Saves Return Haul Costs A GREAT saving in the return trips of trucks used for the transportation of automobiles from factory to dealer has been effected as a result of the development of a new type of trailer. Built with rear extension that can be folded back, the trailer can be shortened so that [...]
Swimming Strokes Taught From Outboard Powered Raft AN OUTBOARD powered swimming raft was the unique means employed by Johnny Weismuller at Miami Beach, Florida, during the past season to teach beginners the theory and practice of the new swimming strokes. The pupil is swung between the U-shaped opening of the raft in a canvas belt, [...]
Oil-Soaked Bricks Lure Lobsters A NOVEL bait for lobsters has been developed by New England fishermen who, knowing that lobsters hanker for anything having an odor of oil, conceived the idea of soaking some common house bricks in kerosene for 24 hours and then placing the oil-soaked bricks in the bait cabin of the trap. [...]
Edited by H.H. Arnold Ten years of Commercial Aviation TEN years ago the first aerial mail line had been in operation for a very short time. The war trained pilots were trying to make up their minds whether to take up aviation as a profession or to get jobs on the ground. The Army and Navy had hundreds of surplus airplanes which they were selling for almost nothing. There were then a few far sighted people who were convinced that air transportation must certainly come into its own some day and were struggling with short air lines. There were hundreds of gypsy pilots picking up a few dollars here and there as they flew around the country. Then there was the trans-continental air mail system operated by the U. S. Post Office Department.
NEAR the "Miracle Mile" on fashionable Wilshire Boulevard in Hollywood, an artificial miniature lake and trout stream have been created. The property, valued at $750,000 is owned by Ruth Roland, movie actress, and it is she who has launched this enterprise almost in the heart of Hollywood. No expense has been spared to make this a fisherman's ideal paradise in miniature. The pool has little appearance of artificiality, and although it is only 150 feet long, 50 feet wide and 4 feet deep, it holds 225,000 gallons of water.
"IT'S a dark and stormy night," said John Doe to his wife after supper. "Let's stay home and read the ads in the latest magazines." "I haven't had a breath of air all day," countered Mrs. Doe. "Why not put some gas in the costly motor and take a nice long drive? If we put the top down we can read the ads on the clouds, for clouds, my dear, have a silver lining at night as well as day."
Outboard Starter Rewinds Itself A NEW starter for outboard motors makes obsolete the rope starter heretofore used. A steel tape, which automatically winds itself into the container in readiness for the next pull as soon as it is released is the feature of this device. Boating enthusiasts who have had difficulty in finding their starting [...]
Sun Furnace May Vaporize Diamonds A HEAT of 4500 degrees centigrade, intense enough to turn a diamond into vapor and to melt any known substance, is expected to be generated in an amazing new solar furnace which derives its heat directly from the sun. Eighty per cent of the sun’s heat is expected to be [...]
Capturing crocodiles alive along banks of Florida rivers proves to be an extremely hazardous, but at the same time an extremely lucrative occupation. If hunters can get close to a crocodile, they shoot him through the head to prevent damage to body skin. If close range shot is not possible, the "croc" is then trailed to his lair in under water burrow along river bank, in which he is imprisoned by means of board over entrance. Hunters locate the saurian's head by prodding with iron rod, then dig a hole to the burrow. A gaff is next hooked under crocodile's jaw, and he is pulled out.
REGINALD O. KING has recently applied for patents on a new type of landing gear which he believes will compensate for the wind resistance to the plane and thus add considerably to its speed. The wheels are made of enduro steel and have flat, fanshaped spokes bent at an angle to catch the wind, with a guard overhanging the upper half of each wheel. The idea of this is that when the plane is in motion the wind will hit the flat spokes at the bottom, causing the wheels to revolve like propellers, throwing the air forward and greatly lightening the weight of the plane.
SINCE the very beginning of aviation the alluring idea of an aerocycle or motorcycle of the air, such as is shown on this month's cover of Modern Mechanics and Inventions, has appealed to countless inventors, none of whom have to date succeeded in perfecting a craft of this type. But today, for the first time in history, the development of light motors and alloys has progressed to such a degree that the problem of building an aircycle plane is greatly simplified, so it is safe to predict that within a short time a light plane built along the lines of those shown in Douglas Rolfe's drawing on the opposite page will be commercially produced.
VISITORS to the famous New York aquarium are little aware, as they pass along before the amazing array of tanks containing fish of every shape and color, that behind the scenes of this remarkable institution there are thousands of feet of pipes, an intricate pumping system, a veri table hospital for ailing fish, and a staff of icthyologists whose task is to provide the fish with the most comfortable living quarters possible. The hospital of the aquarium is equipped with microscopes, operating tables, a research laboratory, and even an ultra violet ray lamp for the treatment of afflicted fish. Here experts study all specimens of fish brought to them, and one of the results of their labors is that fish actually live longer in the tanks than they would in their native habitat.
MINIATURE motorcycle racing is the latest innovation to be, introduced in Berlin parks for the amusement of youngsters. Riding midget motorcycles, which have side cars and all like the big motorbikes, these midget racers speed around a miniature track especially built for them, while spectators cheer from the grandstands.
Planes speeding through the thin air miles above the earth at speeds of 400 m.p.h.—power balloons floating20miles above the earth, deriving electric energy from outer space—these are some of the amazing possibilities pointed out by scientists who ascended 10 miles in a balloon. A FEW days ago two Swiss balloonists, Prof. Auguste Piccard and his assistant Charles Kipfer, ascended more than 52,000 feet into the atmosphere in a hermetically-sealed metal gondola suspended from the largest balloon ever built. In the universal acclaim evoked by this amazing achievement, the startling scientific significance of the adventure has been somewhat obscured by the mere fact that a new altitude record was set. As far as the every-day life of the human race is concerned, altitude records are insignificant, but certain facts observed by the balloonists are likely to be of vital importance to every one of us.
by Calvin Frazer Do hailstones enter the earth's atmosphere, like falling meteors, from the outer spaces? In this article Mr, Fraser explodes the "Cosmic Ice" theory and explains just how hailstones are formed in hot weather by the violent upward air currents of gigantic thunderheads. WHAT is hail? And what isn't? If you can answer these questions you are wiser than the professional weathermen were until a generation or so ago. Up to that time three totally different things had generally been confounded with one another under the single name "hail", and confusion on this subject still prevails widely outside of scientific circles.
I just think “Death Angel” is a cool name for a plane. New Boeing “Death Angel” to be World’s Fastest Bomber THE latest addition to Uncle Sam’s air forces is a veritable flying fortress-Dubbed the “Death Angel” because she is capable of attaining highest speed of any bomber and can carry a ton of explosives, [...]
HIT and run drivers, long a deadly menace of the highways, may he apprehended in the future hy means of a stream of identification disks discharged by their cars as they speed away from the scene of the accident.
A LONG plank shoved across the hole in the ice has always been the favorite method of rescuing a skater who has broken through, but up-to-date skating rinks are now equipped with a special new life saving belt which can be tossed to a person who has crashed through.
Boys Power Auto-Scooter With a One-Cylinder Motor GEORGE WENDEL, 12 and Billy Hawkins, 11, of Detroit, Michigan, failed to find the proper outlet for their speed urge in the ordinary scooter. Bicycles, even, palled after a time, for were they not muscle-powered vehicles of a by-gone generation? So George and Billy picked up some rubber-tired [...]
New Lifeboat Resembles Casket ABOUT the strangest, and perhaps the most ominous craft yet to make its appearance in marine circles is a life saving boat that resembles a casket. Its unusual appearance, however, does not hinder its effectiveness as a means of rescuing and keeping shipwreck victims safely afloat, for the boat can neither [...]
NO ONE could believe that guns would ever fire gas, but such a thing has come to pass. That, strictly speaking, is more truth than poetry. For visitors to the Outdoor Show held recently in Chicago were treated to the spectacle of a recently invented gun firing 40,000 rounds of shot supplied from a tank of carbonic gas showing 50 pounds pressure.
PATENTS have recently been granted to Jacob Burkhardt of Detroit, Michigan, on a type of motion picture film which produces pictures having so realistic a three dimension effect that the actors seem almost to walk from the screen among the audience.
Striking action photos of ships at sea or of vacationists riding the surf at Waikiki, used in illustrating advertisements in national magazines, are made in New York studios with the use of models and ingenious mechanical aids. Mr. McGinnis tells you how one big studio produces these remarkable photographs. by Paul McGinnis AN ADVERTISER can now get a picture of nearly anything on earth made in a few hours in the studios of Underwood & Underwood in New York City with the aid of mechanical devices. He can order his bathing suits photographed on the beach at Waikiki and have a picture in a day or two which can not be distinguished from one really taken at the famous tropical beach. Some of these pictures cost as much as $1,000. apiece, but they have been so successful that more than half the advertisements in twenty-six leading magazines are now illustrated by photographs rather than drawings.
Steering Wheel for Bicycles POLO games in which the players are mounted on bikes instead of ponies is the latest sport devised for amusement of Hollywood movie stars. A unique feature of the bike mount is the ring shaped handlebars, which permit greater facility in maneuvering about the polo field.
Foot Scales Weigh Golf Strokes WEIGHING each foot of a golfer while he is addressing and striking the ball is the unique scheme recently employed to compute the weight of the force put into a drive by such golf experts as Bobby Jones. The scales tell whether he puts more weight on the left foot [...]
BANK hold-ups may soon become things of the past if the common-sense but revolutionary ideas of Francis Keally, New York architect, are put into effect. He suggests that banks be constructed with glass walls and that office partitions within the building likewise be transparent, so that a clear view of everything that is happening inside the bank will be afforded from all angles at all times.
Fido Gets Motorcycle Side-Car BEFORE the bicycle went modern and acquired a motor, Fido could get his Sunday airing with the rest of the family under his own power. He can never hope, however, to keep up with the speedy motorcycle, so one English dog lover has installed a miniature sidecar for Fido’s private use. [...]
Beauty Machine Removes Excess Flesh Without Exercise FASHION moguls have decreed that the boyish figure is passe, and that graceful curves are to be the coming mode. So, anticipating a need among the women, a far-sighted inventor has devised an instrument which literally rolls these curves into the body, getting rid of excess flesh without [...]
by ROBERT ESNAULT-PELTERIE as told to ALFRED ALBELLI Alexander the Great wept because he had no more worlds to conquer, but the modern scientist is more optimistic and plans to conquer worlds situated millions of miles from the earth. In this article a famous French experimenter tells of his problems in building a moon-rocket ship. Editor's Note: After 25 years of investigation in aeronautics and astronautics, Esnault-Pelterie has worked out a systematic plan of procedure for making a flight to the moon. He first plans to build a rocket, containing only scientific instruments, that will travel 100 miles into the air, descending by parachute and bring back data of the stratosphere. This he believes will be done in two years.
Motorboating in a Washtub THE ancient and lowly washtub, long the symbol of feminine drudgery, recently proved its conservatism in England when efforts were made to modernize it by adding an outboard motor and converting it into a sea-going craft. The tub promptly rejected the idea and submerged.
No More Rain-Soaked Cigarettes! MANY are the inventions devised to insure a dry smoke, but it has remained for a clown appearing with a circus in England to solve the problem. An umbrella over the smoke keeps off water and a spigot drains off excess moisture.
A revolving grater which can be used for everything that requires grating. A wet disk prevents sticking. The invention shown here fits any washing machine and makes ice cream in 9 minutes. A new electric vaporizer for applying warm medicated vapor to the nasal passages. By pressing a button for a minute the ointment is liquefied or vaporized.
by LEW HOLT No less than 11 trans-Atlantic flights, carrying 28 passengers, are being planned for this summer. Cold mathematics, based on a record of past performances, prove that 40% of these flights will fail and that upwards of 11 persons will die in them—unless recent advances in airplane construction afford this season's pilots new factors of safety. DESPITE the fact that the immutable law of averages decrees certain death for several of their number, more than two dozen pilots and passengers and 11 airplanes are going ahead with preparations to fly the Atlantic this summer. Some of the flyers are making the trans-Atlantic flight for scientific reasons; others frankly have no regard for science, but look on the matter as a joy flight and a sporting proposition; others are probably thirsty for the newspaper fame which will surround them with a halo of national glory if they succeed.