Chuck Weisbecker has turned the silent Jivaro weapon into the latest California sport.

AT 14 Chuck Weisbecker began his blowgun career with a long brass tube and a sharpened bicycle spoke. While with the Marines in the Pacific he made another lung-powered airgun and went after bats, snakes and lizards.

Scoot-Mobile (Jul, 1947)

Scoot-Mobile will go 75 miles on a gallon of gas and 40 miles per hour, according to its designer and inventor, Norman Anderson (at left of group), of Corunna, Mich. He hopes to market the vehicle— made mostly from airplane parts—for $350. It has automatic shift, knee action and brakes on all three wheels.

Magnetic Secretary (Jul, 1947)

Of course, it’s all the slutty secretary’s fault! I’m sure he’s just disgusted that she feels the need to harass him like that.

Magnetic Secretary
SECRETARIES who prefer to sit on their boss’s laps while taking dictation may not like this new office aid, but for more efficient business it holds promise. The mechanical secretary is a little thirty-pound gadget called the Peirce (spelling correct) magnetic wire recorder. As the boss talks into the mike, his voice is transferred into electrical impulses. These are changed into magnetic impulses which magnetize a fine steel wire. When played back, the magnetic impulses revert to electrical impulses and are amplified into high fidelity soun

NEW IN THE AIR (Nov, 1959)


VANGUARD 2C is new VTOL (above and at right) with ducted fans in wings, pusher prop in tail. Cruising speed is 165 mph.

KAMAN DRONE helicopter carries two torpedoes weighing 1,000 lbs. for 110 miles.

Double-Spiral Corkscrew (Dec, 1956)

Double-Spiral Corkscrew

DRAWING the cork from a bottle of imported wine is often a losing battle. Bottles of wine should be stored on their sides to keep the cork wet and pullable. But on the long voyage from the vineyards of Europe to your table, the cork often dries out. Then you’re likely to end up with a half cork bobbing around inside the bottle and your guests have the choice between swallowing bits of cork or straining them out with their teeth. Unic, pronounced “unique,” a new Swiss corkscrew with two right-hand screws, gets all corks out in one piece. It’s being imported by Susi Press Company, 200 Hill Street, Whitinsville, Mass. •

Behold the Computer Revolution (Nov, 1970)

Behold the Computer Revolution

By PETER T. WHITE National Geographic Staff
Illustrations by National Geographic Photographers BRUCE DALE and EMORY KRISTOF

MY WIFE IS MAD AT COMPUTERS. “Those awful machines,” she calls them. “How they mess up our credit card accounts! Imagine sending a bill for $232.24 every month for four months after you’ve paid it!”

But I’m not mad. That mixup was settled after five months; and we never did feel as computer-harassed as some Americans, notably the Kansan repeatedly reminded that his department store bill was “overdue in the amount of $00.00.” At last he too managed to pacify the computer— with a check for $00.00.



They’ll give airliner speeds plus weather-free reliability.

By Frank Tinsley

THE train of the future, whipping passengers vast distances through continent-girdling tubes at speeds and in comfort far surpassing that of modern air travel, is no longer merely a dream in the minds of our more imaginative designers and engineers. This old idea (New York’s first working subway train was sucked through a tube) has been brought well within the realm of probability—and the hero of this advance is, as has so often been the case in the history of technology, a new material.



TWO University of Southern California lads named Bob Tierney and Tom Morey started out to create a super surfboard of glass fiber and honeycomb paper—a heavier version of the kind used to make those Christmas bells. The surfboard broke in two, but they still had a lot of the honeycomb to play with. One day a friend took a disc of it, pulled it down over his head. Pouf! An amusing hat.

Pipe-Shaped Cigar Lasts Longer (Nov, 1934)

Pipe-Shaped Cigar Lasts Longer

A NOVELTY smoke, now on the market, is pipe-shaped cigar which is said to last three times as long as those of ordinary shape.

The unusual design of the cigar moreover is said to retain the ash intact, making the aroma more enjoyable. Recently brought to America, the cigar originated in Europe.

Oil-Soaked Bricks Lure Lobsters (Aug, 1931)

Oil-Soaked Bricks Lure Lobsters

A NOVEL bait for lobsters has been developed by New England fishermen who, knowing that lobsters hanker for anything having an odor of oil, conceived the idea of soaking some common house bricks in kerosene for 24 hours and then placing the oil-soaked bricks in the bait cabin of the trap. Since the bricks are porous, they absorb quite a lot of kerosene and the oily smell clings thereto for several days.

More lobsters are caught in traps so baited than in those in which mixed bait is used. Due to the fact that the bricks retain their oily odor for several days, the work of baiting the traps is lessened and the expense is not heavy, for a gallon of oil will serve to “oil” a large number of bricks.