Outwitting the Plant Smugglers (Sep, 1936)

Apparently James Nevin Miller liked to recycle.

Outwitting the Plant Smugglers

Sometimes the smuggling of plants is innocently intended—the “law breakers” never giving a thought to the dangerous pests they might bring into the country with the fruit, plants or vegetables. On the other hand, some plant smuggling is done because of the money such contraband brings.



OLD BLADES MADE NEW and ready for SMOOTH shaving INSTANTLY by the


Always ready for use—Cannot wear out—Stropper is nickel steel — strop is finest horsehide. Made especially for Wafer Blades. Makes one set do the work of 12. Outfit complete sent prepaid upon receipt of $1. Money Order. Stropper alone 35c, silver or Money Order.

Rudolph Hardware Co., Dept. L, Smithfield St., Pittsburg, Pa.

People Who Live in Glass Houses (Sep, 1936)

Did they give this picture to an intern and say “Here, you have five minutes, write something!”? Because a quarter of the “article” is composed of the owner’s name and genealogy and the headline is just the first half of a proverb that has nothing to do with the piece.

Or maybe the Pinkham’s of Swamscott, Mass were notorious hypocrites, and an editor at Mechanics and Handicraft had been spurned by good old Lydia when she married that Gove bastard…

People Who Live in Glass Houses

Homes, with walls mostly of glass, are products of the new trend throughout the United States, and now, Miss Lydia Pinkham Gove, 48-year-old granddaughter of the late Lydia E. Pinkham, is building one in Swampscott, Mass., at a cost estimated between $20,000 and $25,000. (See sketch at the left.)

Air-powered Tricycle (Oct, 1937)

Air-powered Tricycle

UP IN Fairbanks, Alaska, a youth who likes to tinker has converted a discarded airplane dolly, an old bicycle wheel, and wrecked airplane parts, into an air-powered tricycle which attains a speed of 15 m.p.h.

Meet A Metal Master (Dec, 1950)

Sadly, it doesn’t seem that Mr. Bonson’s work ever became very popular. A quick Google search on his name only comes up with his wife’s 2011 obituary and an endorsement for his 1974 attempt at a seat on the Eugene city council.

Meet A Metal Master

The nation’s top stores sell the copper and brass products of a bearded Oregonian whose salesmen won’t let him shave.


Louis Frank Bonson of Eugene, Oregon, is a kindly man who loves his work, takes a lot of pains with it, and does not care whether he makes a great deal of money. Despite this, he can scarcely keep up with the orders that are flooding him from America’s most distinctive gift shops.

Airplane Field for Tall City Buildings (Oct, 1937)

This is one of those incredibly bad ideas that everyone seemed to have at the same time. Maybe it had to do with the coincidence of a fad for aviation and one for skyscrapers. Whatever the reason, they never really address the catastrophic consequences of a crash, nor the problems of traffic management.

Airplane Field for Tall City Buildings

New invention is expected to solve the problem of providing aviation facilities for large cities. Platforms are designed to operate on the roofs of large buildings and permit happy landings and easy take-offs.

AN invention of J. Herbert Jones of Brooklyn, N.Y., is expected to revolutionize the problem of airplane landings and take-offs in restricted areas, such as on the tops of large buildings, decks of ships, water fronts along the coast, or small land areas.

No New Posts This Week

I am travelling this week for work and will probably not get a chance to post any new articles. But unless you’re one of the dozen or so regulars who have read the site for the last 7+ years, I suggest you peruse the archives. I’ve posted almost 9000 articles over the years and a lot of the best are ones you’ve probably never seen.

You can start with the very first post in October 2005, or try reading by year. The site was just getting started in 2005 but there is some great stuff there. You can also try browsing by category; From the Archives, Just Weird and Scary are a few of my favorites.

Or browse by tag. I only started tagging posts a few years ago, so there are lot of posts that they don’t cover but you can’t go wrong with The World’s Fair,  In the Future,  Computer Ads or a collection of what Hugo Gernsback was up to 80 years ago. Personally I’m a big fan of headgear.

I’ll return to my normal posting schedule next week, but while I’m gone, I’d love to see what your personal favorite posts are in the comments.




A Mobile Home — The Latest Innovation (Oct, 1937)

A Mobile Home — The Latest Innovation

HIS home on wheels, mounted upon a 1-1/2-ton truck chassis, is the newest thing in the motor world.

This type of unit provides ample room within for complete equipment but is much more easily handled and parked than the regular trailers, inasmuch as it is unified.

Burlington Watch Co. – Fighting the Trust!! (Feb, 1909)

When I saw this ad I assumed that the “Fight the Trust” rhetoric was just an attempt to capitalize on the anti-trust zeal of the time, and to some extent it certainly was. I’m pretty sure they did, in fact, care about “what it costs” to produce and sell their watches. However there apparently was a Watch Trust that controlled much of the market around this time.

More information about the Burlington Watch Co. at pocketwatchrepair.com and the NAWCC (National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors).

Also, “Be posted” is an odd turn of phrase, which I guess means “send mail in some form or another. I’d never heard of sending “a postal”, but it seems it simply meant to send a postcard.

Fighting the Trust!!

The Smashing Anti-Trust Fight Now On!

Trust Prices Eclipsed at Last!

An absolutely first-class high-grade watch at a price within the reach of the people—The Burlington Special No-Trust Watch.

The World’s Masterpiece of watch manufacture—the Burlington Special—now sold direct to the public at it’s rock-bottom, no-trust price (and besides without middlemen’s profits).

World’s Largest Vertical Letter File (Oct, 1937)

World’s Largest Vertical Letter File

THE largest vertical letter file in the world was built in Prague, Czechoslovakia. It consists of 3,000 drawers, 10 feet high, reaching from floor to ceiling and covering approximately 4,000 square feet. The drawers are all equipped with roller bearings.