New Commercial Inventions (Jan, 1932)

New Commercial Inventions

IF former models were built like a skyscraper, this desk is a Radio City. The lower right-hand drawer contains a special superheterodyne model, tuned from the top panel, together with a dynamic speaker. Closing the drawer automatically shuts it off. On the other side, one drawer contains a telephone and special index for convenient finding of names.

And damp or dry, as well, in accordance with the preferences of its owner, does this air conditioner, which is designed for summer and winter use. For summer, the automotive-type radiator is filled with a generous quantity of ice water; for winter, a 1300-watt electric unit keeps it hot. It will even serve as a dryer for hair, clothing, etc. The housing is of solid cast aluminum, with crackle finish; the fan is safely enclosed. It is necessary only to add a small quantity of clean water occasionally.

The seal shown here, devised by a large clothing store to cope with the problem of returns, will undoubtedly be a blow to many a thrifty shopper. The time-honored custom of purchasing a wrap or dress, and returning it after wearing it is now checkmated. The dress is returnable only with price tag attached; and this is conspicuously attached by the little seal shown (about twice its size) which cannot be removed without destroying it.

THE small 110-volt light bulb illustrated at the right is adaptable to many uses; but the bracket furnished with it, as shown, is especially for clamping it to a desk phone to illuminate the dial; notes may be made, or a list of numbers consulted. The metal shade is so clamped to the bulb that twisting the knob, at the top, seats or unscrews the lamp and lights or extinguishes it.

The pen illustrated at the left is filled by a stroke of the plunger within its transparent bakelite barrel; the latter shows at all times how much ink is contained. The pen-point is one of high quality.

This “divinator” operates like the “treasure finders” so interesting to Western and Southern readers; but is intended for the easier task of finding iron pipes and conduits which have been hidden in walls and ceilings. When the coil approaches these, the change in inductance causes a distinctive note in the buzzer. By this means, it is simpler to go out and find a pipe, when it is desired to make a tap, than to keep a large file of records and blueprints and consult them. The device is simple and economically operated, a dry-cell battery supplying current.

This electric clock has a standard action, operated by 60-cycle current, like others in use in homes and business places; but to this feature it adds an illuminated display panel which exhibits six cards, in succession, each minute. The cards, 4×10 inches, are made up in colors for the owner’s announcements, or local advertisers; and can be changed as often as desired. The clock dial is 11 inches across and has a “sweep” second hand.

  1. John W says: November 10, 20115:29 am

    Advertising clock: Precursor to GoogleAds?

  2. Charlene says: November 10, 20119:01 am

    One of the actual reasons behind the invention of the clothing tag (unmentioned here) was the prevalence of an urban legend about a girl who died wearing a dress she’d bought that had previously been worn, cleaned with noxious chemicals, and returned. The tag was meant as reassurance that the item being purchased had never been worn.

    In reality, any high-end store who refused a return after the tag was removed would lose custom, since there are many legitimate reasons to return an item after the first cleaning. If the item was resellable, they’d just replace the tag.

  3. M.S.W. says: November 10, 20119:02 am

    Wonder if that desk is what inspired the design of SPOCK’s station on STMP?

  4. M.S.W. says: November 10, 20111:20 pm

    Link to SPOCK’s station:…

  5. Timaay says: November 10, 20117:18 pm

    Those side consoles at Spock’s station could slide into the wall when not in use. A feature that was not demonstrated in he film.

  6. Toronto says: November 10, 20117:42 pm

    I’ve never seen a clock like that – it’s pretty neat. I’m imagining a 6-part Burma Shave ad on it.

  7. Kenneth Wright says: November 11, 201112:00 pm

    Charlene, there’s a still more ghoulish variation on the “poison dress” urban legend, in which the deadly garment has been returned to the store after being used to adorn an embalmed (thus, supposedly, poisonous) body for viewing at a funeral parlour. You’ll find it at….

    The theme, which has surprisingly often been echoed in modern literature, both high and low, goes back at least as far as the Ancient Greek myth of “The Shirt of Nessus”, which killed the unsuspecting Heracles. I’ve tried to think of a contemporary moral to this tale that doesn’t involve shopping for vintage clothes on eBay, but nothing quite seems to fit …

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