A CEMENT TILE FACTORY for your town — START ONE (Feb, 1909)


AN AUTOMATIC MACHINE that makes 3,000 to 5,000 feet of drain tile per day—every work day in the year—makes a highly profitable business for some live man in every town. The demand is practically unlimited—drainage doubles farm production and farm values.

Germ-Killing Lights for Safer Surgery (Sep, 1936)

Germ-Killing Lights for Safer Surgery

Bacteria destroying lamps for the operating room were recently demonstrated to the American Society of Surgeons. The lamp (below) sends out ultra-violet rays which have the property of killing germs in 60 seconds, yet not harming the patient.




PRESENT day methods of transit seem likely to be revolutionized by further development of the gyroscope. The invention of a new monorail car by E. W. Chalmers Kearney is a direct outgrowth of the Brennan gyroscope monorail.

Delivery Cars That Advertise (Feb, 1930)

Delivery Cars That Advertise

SOME unique delivery trucks and wagons are used by Los Angeles merchants, and one of the most odd is the car shown below.


Because using an actress who was actually Chinese would be ridiculous.


A South Carolina girl of French-Indian descent is a Chinese temptress on TV

GLORIA SAUNDERS, one of the most talked-about girls in Hollywood, is the dramatic star of “Mysteries of Chinatown,” a television show on the ABC network. Playing the part of a beautiful Chinese girl, Ah Toy, she gets involved in a constant mess of crime and murder each week to the delight of her fans.

Latest Conveniences for the Household (Feb, 1934)

Latest Conveniences for the Household

STARTS FURNACE FIRE. This portable gas torch expedites the chore of starting a fire in the furnace. Lighted with a match and thrust beneath the grate, it fires the coal.

MAGNET IN CAN OPENER. The arrowpoints to a steel magnet set in this can opener to attract small metal bits that otherwise might fall into the can.

Turn Snapshots Into ‘HUMANETTES’ (Nov, 1936)

Turn Snapshots Into ‘HUMANETTES’

Sensational invention. Almost human in appearance. A life-like cut out figure. Any snapshot, photograph or picture can be “immortalized” by this strange new process. Surface covered with moisture-proof transparent PORCELITE. Will not peel, tear, crack, or soil. Looks like porcelain bas-relief.

Motorcycle Driven by Steam Operates Almost Noiselessly (May, 1936)

Motorcycle Driven by Steam Operates Almost Noiselessly

Silent except for a faint chug-chug at the start, a steam-driven motorcycle is in operation in Miami, Fla. It runs smoothly at one mile or fifty per hour, makes fifty miles per gallon of gasoline, kerosene or distillate and has no gears.

Skin-Tone Analyzer Selects Right Color for Face Cosmetics (Oct, 1939)

Skin-Tone Analyzer Selects Right Color for Face Cosmetics

To determine the exact cosmetic color that will best blend with individual skin tones, a novel analyzing apparatus has just been introduced for beauty-shop use. A complicated system of lenses, prisms, and a polarizing screen is used to throw a tiny rainbow of light onto the skin of a customer. Analysis of the basic color tone of the skin is then made by noting which shade of the spectrum is most absorbed and which is most reflected.

Five Noted Thinkers Explore the Future (Jul, 1976)

This is a particularly interesting to me because it was published in the month I was born.

In a lot of ways these people were exactly right about the problems of today, if not the will or ability of people to make the needed changes. Wealth inequality is getting worse, not better. There is a nascent back-to-the-cities movement, but suburbs, which are so environmentally wasteful, are still occupying ever larger swathes of the country. And people, or at least people in power still don’t care about reducing energy consumption.

We haven’t had the energy crunch they predicted yet, but climate change requires almost the same types of societal changes to combat and we just haven’t seen it.

Asimov nails the “global village” (internet) and instant communication with anyone at any time. Though for all my hyper-localized social media, I still don’t know the names of any of the people on my floor let alone the rest of my building.

I really liked Buckminster Fuller’s quote: “We have typewriters sleeping with the good plumbing and we have people sleeping in the slums.”. It does point out the glaring inefficiency if huge parts of our society. Say one thing about Foxconn, they don’t have this problem. It does seem wasteful to have all of this infrastructure that just sits idle at night.

Five Noted Thinkers Explore the Future

ARE the suburbs dead? Will there be an economic resurgence of our inner cities? Will larger and larger units of government take more and more control over land use? Is mankind in general entering an era of greater affluence, of new and different attitudes toward land ownership? Is the oil crisis a blessing in disguise?