Mechanical Aids for Play or Work (Jul, 1930)

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Mechanical Aids for Play or Work

TEACHES YOU TO DANCE—A Berlin dancing master invented this checkerboard affair to make it easy to learn dancing steps. It is a floorboard, designed to fit the average size room. On it are numbered squares. A code tells upon what square the feet should be for each step.

A TINY PROJECTOR—This movie projection machine, invented in Germany, is less than four inches long—small enough to fit in a coat pocket. A special size film is used. The battery is so powerful that 200 shows can be given without changing it. The image that is thrown on a screen or wall by the tiny device is about the size of a picture frame.

SOMETHING NEW IN PIPES—The stem is curved to fit the chin, against which the pipe rests. The idea is to save the teeth by making a tight grip unnecessary.

LIGHTER ALWAYS HANDY—When you reach for a cigarette, you can’t miss this lighter, as it fits on top of the package. The metal frame to which it is attached slips inside any standard size package and thus becomes a sort of skeleton case that keeps your cigarettes from being crushed.

NEW NUT-LOCK—Vibration which is caused by the passing of heavy trains will not loosen this rail-joint nut-lock, says the inventor. Note the notches in the shoulder of the nut. These catch in the tooth of the washer and keep the nut from slipping. The Union Pacific Railroad is experimenting with this new device.

NEW USE FOR A HAT—By this invention a woman’s hat is made into a sort of overnight traveling bag. A pocket containing a latchkey, powder puff, and needle and thread fits into the side of the hat. When the flap is closed it is effectively hidden. Makers of men’s hats might follow suit; quite a lot could be easily hidden away in a silk top hat.

A BOOK FOR YOUR LUNCH—Those who carry their lunch to work or on pleasure trips will find this new lunch box convenient and appealing. When closed it looks exactly like a fair sized book of reference, yet it is large enough to hold all that one would care to eat at a meal.

A LIGHTER FOR PIPES—There is nothing new about electric lighters for cigarette or cigar but this one is so designed that it can be used to light pipes, as the end is the right size to fit the pipe bowl.

MAKING GREAT -Bricks twenty feet long and five feet wide may be made by a new process developed at State College, Pa. The photo shows Professor Joseph B. Shaw, left H.C. Beard, center, and Myrll C. Shaw at work in the State College laboratory. In the photo a white-hot brick is being compressed as a demonstration of their method, which may revolutionize the brickmaking industry.

NO CABLES IN THIS ELEVATOR—Model of a lift, the work of a Washington, D. C., engineer, which operates much on the principle of the extension arm of a desk telephone. The cage is operated by “lazy tongs” run by machinery.

SLIDING FLOOR FOR TRUCKS—No elevating of the front end is necessary with this new English truck which has a sliding floor, electrically operated. The lower view shows the floor as used to load heavy objects. The upper picture shows the truck being unloaded, the moving floor dumping the coal.

  1. Richard says: August 9, 20112:31 pm

    Notice the dance floor also has white footprints going around the floor. If they’ve got the numbers, why do they need the footprints? If they’ve got the footprints, why do they need the numbered squares? Why not just number the footprints?

    A primary rule in ballroom dancing is, “Don’t look at your feet”. It’s impossible to have the right posture and form while looking down. The dancers in the photo clearly aren’t reading the numbers on the floor.

  2. Charlene says: August 10, 20119:50 am

    The “lazy tongs” elevator was hardly a unique innovation. Google Patents shows over a dozen lazy-tongs elevator patents before this date, one dating back to the 1880s.

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