Motion pictures of winter scenes may be made realistic by a device that makes the actors’ breath visible, just as it would be at low temperatures. The device resembles false teeth. It enables the actors to keep Dry Ice in their mouths without harmful results. The warm breath causes the Dry Ice to give off vapor not unlike that produced by persons breathing in cold weather. The device does not interfere with speech.

Tunnel-Digging as a Hobby (Aug, 1932)

Tunnel-Digging as a Hobby

ONE of the oddest hobbies in the world is that of Dr. H. G. Dyar, international authority on moths and butterflies of the Smithsonian Institution, who has found health and recreation in digging an amazing series of tunnels beneath his Washington home.

Almost a quarter of a mile of tunnels has been completed, lined with concrete. The deepest passage, illustrated in the accompanying diagram, extends 32 feet down.
Every bit of earth was removed unaided by Dr. Dyar, being carried out in pails. He found the tunnel-digging an appealing form of exercise to relieve the intense strain of his work day, which involved much close work with high-power microscopes.

The catacombs are constructed in three levels, with steps and iron pipe ladders leading between different tiers. The idea first came to Dr. Dyar when he sought to make an underground entrance to his furnace cellar.

You Drive a MILLION DOLLAR Automobile (Apr, 1936)

You Drive a MILLION DOLLAR Automobile


THAT shiny, streamlined 1936 motor car that you bought for a few hundred dollars cost its manufacturer one million dollars!

In all the story of modern industry there is no more arresting miracle than this. The million dollar car differs in only one respect from its moderate-priced brothers on the highways—it is completely hand built. Into it goes genius of the highest order. It is the master model of skilled designers which serves as a pattern for mass production.

News Carrying Pigeons Aid Japanese Press (Feb, 1935) (Feb, 1935)

News Carrying Pigeons Aid Japanese Press

Latest news and undeveloped photographic film frequently are rushed from the scene of a big event to Japanese newspapers by pigeons. The birds have been found a handy substitute for telegraph and telephone, being sent winging to headquarters with the latest scores of games
or news bulletins. This flying messenger service has been operated successfully between Yokohama and Tokyo. Exposed film is placed in a case resembling a fountain pen and attached to the bird’s back, while news reports are carried in aluminum capsules fastened to the bird’s legs.

Holy Taxidermy (Dec, 1935)

Big Fun – Big money

Learn to MOUNT Birds and Animals

Learn this WONDERFUL new, fascinating and PROFITABLE art at home by mail. This old famous school, with over 100,000 students GUARANTEES success. Thousands of Popular Mechanics readers have already enrolled. Mount and preserve GAME ANIMALS AND BIRDS like life. Mount common and domestic animals in highly amusing and human-like groups. The actual squirrels shown above, MOUNTED AND DRESSED up. cost but a few cents for materials, but sold for $40 for a window display. Rabbits, frogs, mice. cats, pigs, sparrows, pigeons—ALL can be mounted in funny and interesting groups, imitating human situations. Great fun, tremendously fascinating, extremely profitable.

Portable Globe House for Well-Rounded Living (Jan, 1961)

Portable Globe House for Well-Rounded Living

Only 15 feet in diameter, low-cost home offers all the conveniences of a larger one. And, it can be delivered by boat, truck or even helicopter.

IT looks like a satellite that just fell out of orbit. But actually it is a down-to-Earth, low-cost portable home—with all the modern conveniences you would expect to find only in a more usual-looking (and usual-priced) house. Called the Kugelhaus (Kugel is German for “ball,” and haus means just what it sounds like), it is nothing more than a 15-ft.-diameter hollow ball. Its eggshell-like construction is of either lightweight reinforced concrete, metal or plastic. Just one inch of concrete gives good results, says the inventor, Dr. Johann Ludowici. The house can be completely assembled in the factory—with whatever furniture or other equipment is wanted—before delivery. As portable as a house could be, it can be flown to wherever you want it by helicopter, towed in by boat (it floats), or, more conventionally, carried on a truck.

Pneumatic Tubes Shoot Hot Meals To Homes (Apr, 1935)

Pneumatic Tubes Shoot Hot Meals To Homes

WHIZZING at mile-a-minute speed through pneumatic tubes far beneath the streets of Berlin, Germany, are thermos bottles each containing part of some housewifes meal. A phone call is enough to bring, in less than fifteen minutes, a complete meal ready to serve, containing exactly the desired quantity and kind of food for each course.

Dance Fees Set According to the Chemical Value of Coeds (Feb, 1935)

Only geeks from MIT could come up with a scheme where every girl going to a dance gets publicly weighed on entrance. Perhaps they could also charge by body fat percentage or cup size.

Dance Fees Set According to the Chemical Value of Coeds
THE true chemical value of the coed ranges between fifty cents and a dollar. This strange fact was revealed recently when students of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology were required to pay the chemical value of their co-partners as an entrance fee to an annual dance.

This strange method of payment is not at all unusual for Massachusetts Institute students. In the past, on this occasion, girls have been paid for according to both weight and intelligence.

The girls, upon entering, are asked to step upon the scale. This scale determines their weight, and it is shown upon a breakdown calculator in terms of chemical elements.

The variation of chemicals per pound in different bodies is not great enough to cause an error in this large scale method of determination. The reason for the low value is that the body is composed almost entirely of water.

Ad: How a helicopter hangs by its “elbows” (Mar, 1953)

How a helicopter hangs by its “elbows”

Straight up, straight down, forwards, backwards, or just hovering— the Piasecki “Work Horse” Helicopter’s peculiar flying maneuverability rests in its rotor assemblies. It is these flexible “elbows” that adjust the pitch of the ‘copter’s great blades. Each unit involves more than 625 separate parts. To machine and assemble them, Piasecki depends on Lycoming for precision production.

Radio is better with Battery Power (Oct, 1927)

Restored Enchantment

Radio is better with Battery Power

At a turn of the dial a radio program comes to you. It is clear. It is true. It is natural. You thank the powers of nature that have once more brought quiet to the distant reaches of the radio-swept air. You are grateful to the broadcasters whose programs were never so enjoyable, so enchanting. You call down blessings upon the authority that has allotted to each station its proper place. And, if you are radio-wise, you will be thankful that you bought a new set of “B” batteries to make the most out of radio’s newest and most glorious season.