PADDLE wheels take the place of wings, stabilizers, and propeller on a new airplane designed by a University of Washington scientist to permit hovering in the air and slower landing speeds. Revolving vanes in these wheels would propel the plane and control its vertical movements.
REPEATING SLINGSHOT A repeating slingshot, recently placed on the market, makes it possible to shoot 200 BB shot without fumbling about for ammunition and without reloading. The magazine is a metal cone that fits into the wire frame of the slingshot, forming a grip. The tip of the cone, slotted to form a prong, admits […]
Machines can execute complicated maneuvers and return after their mission has been performed WITH the discovery by a French scientist that phonograph disks can be used to record mechanical movement as well as sound, the dream of airplanes and tanks that operate by remote control is brought nearer to realization. The practicability of completely automatic control was demonstrated recently at Paris where an electric truck started, changed its course, backed up, reversed its direction, and finally stopped without the guidance of a human hand. Phonograph records, used in the experiment, could guide a torpedo into a fortified harbor to destroy an enemy battleship; or drive a tank against enemy machine gun nests, rake them with fire and return the tank to its own trenches. The movements of the torpedo or tank would be carefully calculated in advance. A master control arm on a recording device would then be manipulated to create electric impulses corresponding in timing to the desired evolutions of a complicated maneuver. An electric pick-up would convert these impulses into mechanical energy and the needle of the pick-up would impress them on the disk.
A bicycle without pedals, invented by two Chicago men, is designed to operate on body motion alone. Standing on a springy footboard, a rider propels the strange vehicle simply by raising and lowering his body. The rear wheel of the bicycle has its axle mounted off center. A down-ward thrust of the legs tends, after the bicycle has been placed in motion, to pull this axle down to its lowest position, thus causing the wheel to revolve in a forward direction.
SPRAYS POWDER ON PUFF When the plunger is pressed on a new face powder container, the right amount of powder for one make-up operation is sprayed on a puff. The plunger expels the powder in a fine mist, much as an atomizer sprays liquid. The stream of powder is easily directed where it is wanted. […]
ELECTRICITY MAKES MUSIC Three new musical instruments, a guitar, a violin and a clavier, recently invented by Lloyd Lear, lecturer on the physics of music at Northwestern University, Illinois, produce their music electrically. The unusual instruments have no sounding boards and the strings when struck vibrate with little sound. The vibrations are caught by electric […]
OFFICE CALL SYSTEM USES MORSE CODE An office call system employed by officials in the traffic department of the Western Union Telegraph Company in New York uses telegraph code. Sub-ordinates are summoned by an official merely by tapping out the initials or call letters of employees on a key conveniently placed on his desk. Buzzers […]
Aww, how cute. The little Nazi needs training wheels. TWO TINY WHEELS KEEP NEW BICYCLE UPRIGHT A four-wheeled bicycle which recently made its appearance in Germany may be mounted easily, even by a beginner, and may be parked anywhere. Two small auxiliary wheels are attached by movable brackets to the frame of the cycle and […]
By Raymond B. Wailes OF ALL home chemistry experiments, tests with combustibles offer the most in spectacular fun and harmless excitement. For even after some 60,000 years of use, fire still holds a mysterious fascination. Although we are accustomed to kindling a fire with a match or some other small flame, a spark or a flame are by no means necessary to start some substances burning. Many materials ignite spontaneously when subjected to nothing more than a slight rise in temperature. Carbon disul-phide, a liquid often used as an ant exterminator, is one of these substances and for this reason presents a serious fire hazard if not handled carefully.
SHATTERPROOF GLASS USED IN SPECTACLES Hammer blows cannot shatter the glass in safety spectacles recently developed in England. Under the impact of the metal, the lenses crack as does the safety glass used in automobiles, but the broken fragments will not scatter. The glasses are designed for athletes, workers, and others who run the risk […]
By A. Morton Smith LEARNING to turn somersaults from the back of a cantering horse, to hang by one's teeth high in the air, or to run and dance on a tight wire after the manner of circus performers, is not necessarily limited to those who have spent their lives under the big tops, or those possessed of physical development and endurance particularly fitting them to excel in this field. That the many and varied arts of the circus may be mastered by any normal person who has the will to engage in extensive practice, has been conclusively demonstrated by a unique organization in the little city of Gainesville, Texas.
VARIETY OF TOYS MADE FROM COFFEE CANS A can opener and some straps are all that are required to turn empty coffee cans into toys. A drum is made by cutting two slots in the side of a can to take a neck band, as shown. The lid is secured with a drop or two […]
ARMADILLOS BRED ON TEXAS RANCH One of the most curious industries in existence is conducted by a rancher near Comfort, Texas, who breeds armadillos and from their shells and bony tails makes lamp shades and armadillo baskets. Starting with a few of the creatures and a small plot of ground, he now has a ranch […]
Daring Patrolmen in an Endless Fight To Halt the Traffic in Aliens and Contraband By Andrew R. Boone CROUCHED beside a squat tum-bleweed not fifty feet from the rusting monument that marks the boundary between California and Baja California hard by the sea, the border patrolman scanned near-by hills with his powerful glasses. He was V. E. Williams, one of Uncle Sam's mounted border officers, and he was keeping vigil on a lonely section of the border awaiting the coming of a smuggler whose habits he had been observing for several days and nights.
WATERPROOF WINDOW SHADE Made of pleated fabric that is waterproof, a new type of window shade can be lowered, or folded accordion fashion, to cover any desired portion of the window. The blind is raised in the ordinary way but is folded by use of a cord NO TIME LAG IN NEW THERMOSTAT Operating on a new principle, this thermostat actually anticipates temperature changes, according to the manufacturer, and so governs the heating plant without a time lag. Placed near the baseboard, as above, it governs the temperature in the lower portion of the room. View at upper right shows thermostat open revealing electric element that works the controls in response to difference in temperature between it and the room, thus bringing quick action
By Sterling Gleason BLACK light, heat, and X-rays are being used by experimenters in sensational efforts to solve the mysteries of heredity. Workers in a score of laboratories in many different countries are delving for secrets locked in the living animal cell. From their discoveries may emerge a new human race, stronger, more intelligent, and better able to resist disease. As the first step, they have produced an amazing chart by which the character of generations of flies yet unborn can be accurately foretold.
REVOLVING HAT NEW ADVERTISING STUNT A spinning hat bearing advertising messages is the latest wrinkle for sandwich men in Paris, France. A concealed switch enables the wearer to start the hat revolving or stop it at will. Lest even this strange apparition fail to arrest the eyes of passers-by, the hat is also equipped with […]
It doesn’t look like they’re talking about tobacco. You may differ with the traffic officer about the speed you were going . . . but you’re both likely to agree that MODEL is the best tobacco you ever bought for 10 cents. In pouch packages for men who like to dip in to fill their […]