You Can Now Play Real Golf at Home (Oct, 1921)

This word, “real”, I do not think it means what you think it means.

You Can Now Play Real Golf at Home


Henceforth you may play golf indoors and virtually watch the appearance of the shot and the extent of the flight through the air. A clean, straight-hit ball is a poem of swift, silent flight. With this new machine and the score card of any course in the world, you can play that course, using the machine for your shots up to the green, and with a piece of carpet and a putting cup playing the hole out to its conclusion.

Snow Storms Made to Order (Sep, 1936)

Snow Storms Made to Order

By Prof. S. L. Bastyamov
of the Artificial Climate Laboratory

THE heat of the Turkmenian sun blazes a few feet from biting Siberian frost. Balmy Caucasian weather is separated by a thin partition from a crisp Arctic day. All seasons of the year, summer and winter temperatures, calm weather and winds, humidity and drought are reproduced in the same place, in the same building—the Moscow Laboratory of Climate.

Travel in your Home (Sep, 1936)

Travel in your Home

This deluxe home on wheels contains every convenience of the modern home—and some not found even there.

THE French inventor, Loubet, who holds a record number of patents on practical sporting and traveling equipment, has recently demonstrated the latest of his constructions for the benefit of people who like to travel and take their homes with them.


CALCULATIONS of all kinds can be easily solved on the BINARY CIRCULAR SLIDE RULE

This rule will quickly solve the simplest as well as the more difficult problems involving calculations in Arithmetic, Algebra and Trigonometry.

A Hand-to-Hand Combat with Sea Monsters (Oct, 1937)

It’s about time someone took a stand against those vicious killer turtles! Everyone knows what happens when you let them get out of control.

A Hand-to-Hand Combat with Sea Monsters

HAVING taken upon himself the occupation of slaughtering deep sea monsters, armed with no other weapon than a knife, Wallace Casewell, officiating captain and constable of Panama City, Florida, a well built chap in his early forties, has spent years in this dangerous and not exactly lucrative hobby —and all because he claims that, as a boy, he conceived a vital dislike and disdain for sharks, turtles, swordfish and other sea killers.

Inventors’ Brain Children (Oct, 1937)

I don’t think Press-On Nails would have sold as well if they were called “artificial horn”. Of course, if you grew up watching TV in the 80’s then there really is only one brand of nails (video) worth talking about.

Inventors’ Brain Children

Many inventors vied with each other for public favor when they exhibited working or other models at the recent annual convention of the nation’s inventors, held in New York. Some of the most outstanding devices of popular interest are illustrated on the accompanying pages.

As Automatic.. AS JUNE SUNSHINE (Feb, 1931)

I live in Portland, OR. There is nothing automatic about June sunshine here. We apparently average 6 clear days for all of June.


As automatic as sunshine, more automatic than your water supply or your electric light, Bryant Gas Heating is so effortless that you can forget your furnace room for weeks at a time, yet enjoy ample, dependable heat, automatically delivered, automatically controlled.

Automatic Chicken-Plucker (Aug, 1929)

If you want to see a rather disturbing, yet captivating, video that shows how insanely scaled up modern food-animal production has become, watch this clip from the movie Samsara. If you’d like a video with a more vintage feel, check out the amazing “This is Hormel” from the always awesome Prelinger Archives at

Automatic Chicken-Plucker

Application of the principle of the vacuum sweeper lias been applied to this device shown below so that it automatically plucks fowl in a few minutes time. The bird is held against a rotary “grill”, enclosed in a cylinder, through which suction passes as in a sweeper. As the feathers are separated by the air current, they come in contact with a metal plate, equipped with several catchers which pluck the feathers and fine down when rotating.

Enlarger for Your Candid Camera Made From Globe (Oct, 1937)

Enlarger for Your Candid Camera

By Wayne Daniel Clegg

How many times have you looked into the window of a photo store, admired the expensive miniature enlargers and longed to be the proud possessor of one? But your pocket reveals your total financial resources—three precious dollars. With that money and a little time and energy, there is no reason why you cannot have a miniature enlarger just as attractive and efficient as a factory-made model.

Mumbai New York Scranton

My sister Tamara has a new book out and you should all buy a copy.  Seriously, go buy one. I’ll wait…

If you’re thinking “didn’t his sister just come out with a movie a while back?“, that was my other sister Melinda. They’re twins and you should buy or watch her movie too. Yes, they make my brothers and I look lazy and unambitious, but that’s alright because we actually are lazy and unambitious.

On  a related note, I’m in NYC all week for work so I won’t have a chance to post any new stuff until next week. In the mean time, perhaps you’d like to read posts about Robots? Everybody loves robots.


Description from Amazon:

An extraordinarily moving memoir from an iconoclastic new talent—an artist, cook, and illustrator whose adventures at home and abroad reveal the importance of living life with your eyes wide open.

Best known for her witty illustrations, and as a cook beside her mischievous father in her family’s legendary Manhattan restaurant, in Mumbai New York Scranton, Tamara Shopsin offers a brilliantly inventive, spare, and elegant chronicle of a year in her life characterized by impermanence. In a refreshingly original voice alternating between tender and brazen, Shopsin recounts a trip to the Far East with her sidekick husband and the harrowing adventure that unfolds when she comes home. Entire worlds, deep relationships, and indelible experiences are portrayed in Shopsin’s deceptively simple and sparse language and drawings.

Blending humor, love, suspense—and featuring photographs by Jason Fulford—Mumbai New York Scranton inspires a kaleidoscope of emotions. Shopsin’s surprising and affecting tale will keep you on the edge of your seat.


“I’ve been trying to eat my way through Shopsin’s menu and realize it’s going to be a lifetime endeavor. Now Tamara, Kenny Shopsin’s daughter, has written a sprawling travel memoir that ranges all over the planet and which I finished the same day I started reading. Slinging simple declarative sentences that hide sounding depths, and speaking in a quiet voice that you realize too late is the hum of a jet engine, you’ll race to Mumbai and back before you have time to process the ride. But oh man will the memory linger.” (Patton Oswalt author of Zombie, Spaceship, Wasteland )

“Shopsin tells us this story in a terse, true manner. A beautifully illustrated memoir full of love, with no bullsh*t.” (Maira Kalman, author of And the Pursuit of Happiness and The Principles of Uncertainty )

“Sometimes a friend gives you a piece of writing and you are terrified to read it because what if it turns out your friend is a terrible writer? This was a particular concern with Tamara Shopsin, for not only is she a friend, but a brilliant designer, illustrator, cartoonist, and short order cook whose work in all these areas have long delighted and inspired me. So I am very relieved to report that MUMBAI NEW YORK SCRANTON is as virtuosic as her pancakes, which is to say: perfect, meaningful, and astonishing.” (John Hodgman, author of That is All )

“Tamara Shopsin writes like she illustrates—wry and succinct, with judiciously placed punch. She scatters Hansel and Gretel-style crumbs of fantastic, compelling memoir in woods of travelogue. Mumbai, New York, Scranton is muscular, efficient, understated, and surprising.” (Gabrielle Hamilton author of Blood, Bones and Butter )

“This (true) story is as dramatic as they come, complete with twin sister, eccentric father and the love of a good man. But because Shopsin is so fundamentally uninterested in being flashy, she gets our attention by not trying to get our attention. Mumbai New York Scranton gathers momentum secretly, accruing emotion entirely through food, art, furniture and the achingly mundane details that any survivor will recognize. Could not. Put. It down.” (Miranda July author of No One Belongs Here More Than You and It Chooses You )

“A charming, rewarding,and unusual narrative.” (Publishers Weekly )

Purchase on Amazon