Original Tape Recorder (Jun, 1936)

This is one of the earliest I’ve seen that uses magnetic tape and not wire.

Sound Recording Machine Perfected
OUT of the laboratories of a German firm comes the Magnetophon, a novel instrument for recording sound on narrow strips of film which can be preserved indefinitely. The bands resemble strips of talkie film. The Magnetophon records speeches and conversations, however fast, without difficulty. It uses the simple magnet-sound process. The recording bands are inexpensive.

Ohio Man Patents Compact Body Air Conditioner (Apr, 1934)

AN APPLIANCE designed to – condition the air at the armpits to eliminate perspiration has been patented by Clarence L. Mumaugh, of Lima, Ohio. The appliance consists of two bulb-shaped pumps, one under each armpit, provided with flap valves through which antiseptics and other chemical conditioners can be inserted.

When arm pressure squeezes the bulbs, air, conditioned by the chemicals in the bulb, is forced out through valves, cooling the armpit. Cold virus killer can be inserted in the bulbs a

nd inhaled through a long tube connected to the bulbs as a treatment for colds, if desired.

Bridge Played Via Short Waves (Apr, 1936)

Bridge Played Via Short Waves
CONDUCTING a bridge match in which the opponents were 6,000 miles away sounds incredible, but the Culbertsons engaged in just such a game. Using two official “dummies” who made the plays called for by the players located at Buenos Aires Mr. and Mrs. Culbertson engaged in the International Contract Bridge match although they were in New York.
At Buenos Aires an announcer named the plays made by the South American players. The “dummies” at New York followed these just as though they were opposing the Culbertsons, themselves. At the other end “dummies” representing the Culbertsons made the plays announced over the air.

Neon Tubes Illuminate Drinks (Mar, 1936)

Neon Tubes Illuminate Drinks
STIRRING rods of neon tube are the latest thing in restaurants. When placed in drinks the tubes, through a chemical reaction, produce unusual fluorescent rays which illuminate the liquid as soon as they are submerged.
The tubes, which measure about six inches in length, are available in various colors to match the desired color scheme. The chemical secret of the device was not revealed.

Pickup Tool Grasps, Inserts Bolts (Mar, 1935)

Pickup Tool Grasps, Inserts Bolts
A NEW tool has been designed for picking up and inserting bolts, screws or other small objects in places too small for the hand to operate. The tool consists of four fingers operated by a plunger within a tube. When pressure is applied, the fingers open; when it is released, they grasp the desired object.


My favorite quote: “The British jet plane, Gloucester, played an important part in turning back the robot attack on London.”
Damn those robots!


THE thrilling story of how the jet-propelled plane was developed in this country in almost complete secrecy was revealed recently. The beginnings go back to 1941.

In the fall of that year, the employees of the Statler Hotel in Boston were puzzled by the behavior of a mysterious English guest named Whitely. He ate his meals in his room, had a private telephone installed which did not go through the hotel switchboard, and asked that all his errands be handled by one bellboy. After a week, he left the hotel.

Keeps Smoke Out Of Eyes (Sep, 1939)

Keeps Smoke Out Of Eyes
WISHING to read his newspaper without the annoyance of clouds of smoke getting in his eyes, an Englishman invented an ingenious device—a flexible cigarette holder of unusual length. Not only does it keep smoke out of the eyes; it also keeps tobacco
particles from getting in the mouth. The idea may spread like wildfire—or smokers may
find it too much trouble to bother with.

Invents Wrist Watch Camera (Jul, 1939)

Invents Wrist Watch Camera
A WRIST watch camera is the brain child of Jujiro Ichiki, Japanese inventor. It takes real pictures, making 36 exposures with one loading, and is equipped with an f .4.5 lens. The focusing scale graduates from one foot to infinity. What a wonderful device this would be for a spy!

do—it—with—squabs (Apr, 1939)

Marketed when only 25 days old. Write a postcard, get FREE EYE-OPENING Picture Book.
Why breed for ordinary trade when these great luxury national markets are wide open for all the SQUABS you can ship, every day in the year? Go after this desirable, profitable trade now. Write today to
RICE FARM, 602 H St., Melrose, Mass.


Speeds never before attained on land may become a reality if experiments with light beam, driverless cars are successful. Here are the mechanical features that will be involved.

WITH speeds, such as recently attained by the famous Sir Malcom Campbell, already approaching the point where human reflexes are too slow to insure safe control of the car, science has turned to the photo electric cell for a possible solution. A proposed driverless car involves the use of multiple electric eyes as the heart of its steering mechanism. A powerful beam of light directed at a large lens on the front of the car is concentrated on steel mirrors set at an angle in the trackbed. The reflections are “caught” by the electric eyes which convey the electrical impulses to a mechanical-electrical brain which keeps the speeding car on its course.

The use of the electric eye for this purpose is not surprising as German railway engineers have been operating trains on the Reichsbahnzentralamt of Munich in this manner for several years-Here a spotlight is mounted on the locomotive so that it throws a beam upward to a mirror on the block signal. When the signal is red the mirror reflects the beam to photo electric cells on the locomotive which automatically set the brakes. This method was described in the Modern Mechanix for November, 1934.