Skateboard Wheel Holds 10 Kbit (Jan, 1961)

Tiny Drum With a Big Memory
THIS 6 oz. stainless steel memory drum holds more than 10,000 bits of information recorded on its magnetic surface. Designed for airborne computers, it can hold as much information as larger, conventional drums.
Because the drum is a thin shell, most of its mass is concentrated at the surface, where it provides maximum strength and rigidity to withstand severe vibrations and shock. A lightweight frame surrounding the drum holds magnetic pickup and recording heads imbedded in rectangular blocks of plastic called slider bearings. These bearings slide over the surface of the drum on a cushion of air, staying only 100 millionths of an inch away from the drum. International Business Machines Corp., New York, designed it to withstand more than 15 times the force of gravity.


This reminds me a lot of that Robotic Pack Mule video that’s been going around.


An Original MI Design by FRANK TINSLEY

IMAGINE, if you can, machines that walk—articulated mechanical “mule trains” that could thread a tortuous path through boulder fields and forests and negotiate mountain passes with heavy loads of freight. Sound crazy? Well, our Armed Forces and Space Authority are dead serious about it. Right now engineers are perfecting pilot models that are already walking around laboratories and testing grounds.

One of these devices is the solar-powered Moon Rover vehicle intended for remote-controlled reconnoitering of the moon. Designed by the engineers of Space-General Corporation, the Moon Rover will be lofted to our lunar satellite by an Atlas-Centaur rocket. Upon landing, the six-legged explorer will unfold, raise its panel of sun batteries and, with the power thus generated, march off about its business at a brisk three mph, picking up geological samples with pincer-like fingers, analyzing them and flashing the information back to earth.

What’s 500 times faster than a sliderule? (Mar, 1953)

In the mid 50’s every company on earth made their own computers.

What’s 500 times faster than a sliderule?

Today’s quick answer to mathematical problems for engineers and designers is GEDA — the Goodyear Electronic Differential Analyzer. GEDA uses voltages and wave forms to compute in an hour the most complex math problems that would take 500 man-hours or more, using slide rule methods—acts as an “electrical brain” that can solve any problem from trajectories of space rockets to improvement of workflow through factories.

The newest GEDA, Model L3, is smaller, more compact and easier to operate than other electronic computers—occupies no more space than the average desk. After brief instruction, clerical workers are able to operate GEDA.

AUTO RADIO “DE LUXE” (Jan, 1938)

TO MEET the growing need for broadcasting from outside points, the National Broadcasting Company, of Chicago, 111., has outfitted a new car with all necessary equipment for this type of work. The vehicle is capable of traveling from place to place at high speeds.

The equipment for this mobile unit consists of two transmitters, three receivers and a gasoline driven generator, all compactly mounted in a specially built touring sedan. Considerable weight reduction was achieved by discarding storage batteries and substituting the generator for the transmitters’ power supply.

Immediately in back of the front seat is the control panel and console, which houses the ultra-high frequency receiver and the specially designed four-stage high gain audio amplifier. To the rear, in the space usually occupied by the back seat, is a large compartment containing a fifty-watt transmitter, used for stationary broadcasts. A forty-watt ultra-high frequency transmitter is used for mobile broadcasts. The mobile unit is so designed that one man can drive and broadcast at the same time.

Putting Fire on a Stick (Aug, 1949)

Putting Fire on a Stick

MATCHES first sparked onto the scene back in the 1600’s when a German alchemist set out to brew himself a pot of gold and came up with a pot of phosphorus.

It wasn’t long until boxes of matches were developed. The first ones were long sulphur-tipped splints which ignited when drawn through the folds of phosphorus-coated paper. There was a slight hitch, though—since phosphorus cost $250 an ounce, it was cheaper to use dollar bills!
“Lucifer” was what they called the first friction match, tipped with antimony sulphide and potassium chlorate. It was appropriately named, too, for it sparked like hell and smelled like the very devil.

Then came the “Drunkard’s Match,” chemically treated so that it couldn’t burn past its midpoint. No matter how lit up you might be, your fingers wouldn’t be ignited.

Yes, matches were very dangerous objects in the old days. It wasn’t till 1911 that William A. Fairbum adapted sesquisulfide of phosphorus to provide for our present-day type of non-poisonous match-head.

Now for some figures: last year this country consumed about 520 billion matches. Of these, 200 billion were given away free, a practice known in no other country. As a result, each American uses about 14 matches a day at a per capita cost of six-tenths of one cent a week!

Church Juke Box (Jan, 1953)

Church Juke Box installed in Lutheran Church in Harrison, N. J., plays hymns for visitors who enter for prayer. Rev. Bornhoeft, reserve army chaplain, thought of it. Selector is remote control.

Moon Farms to Banish Starvation (May, 1954)

Moon Farms to Banish Starvation

FIFTY years from now much of the world’s food may be grown high in the sky! Tomorrow’s farmers may raise their crops on artificial “moons” that have been launched into space and move in orbits around the earth. And the successful agriculturalist will probably be a combination chemist, biologist and engineer.

Fantastic as it may sound, this revolutionary type of farming is more than possible. Five years of intensive research in this country and 60 years of study by five other nations have explored its potentialities. This news comes from the very conservative Carnegie Institution of Washington which has released a 357 page report on the almost unbelievable new science of “algal culture.”


My favorite quote is this caption from the second page: “HAIR is from live European peasant women…”


By Robert Brindley

THERE is only one positive cure for baldness and that is the toupee.

Long the butt of jokes and scornful remarks, there was once a “plain brown envelope” sort of mystery surrounding the making, selling, buying and wearing of cranium cozies but all that has been changed. A man named Louis Feder has made them absolutely undetectable and non-skid. Most important of all, perhaps, he has won for them a wide social acceptance.

Mr. Feder presides over the House of Feder in New York City. His hairpieces are known as “Tashays” (not only a word he coined but a device for which he was granted a U. S. Patent).

FORD ATMOS (May, 1954)

ONE of the wildest “dream” cars ever to roll out of a Michigan experimental laboratory is the creature shown above, the FX-Atmos—built by Ford and backed up by the determination that “it shall never be built for sale.” This, say the engineers, is purely a “car of the future,” however
it represents styling concepts that could easily appear in the Fords of a few years from now, if the general public accepts them. The engine design and other mechanical factors were not included in this project. Wheelbase is 105 inches; length: 220.58 inches; height: 48.1 inches.

These signals find the way (Jan, 1953)

These signals find the way

When you dial a telephone Dumber, high-speed switching mechanisms select your party and connect you. Through a new development of Bell Telephone Laboratories, similar mechanisms are doing the same kind of job in private wire teletypewriter systems which America’s great businesses lease from the telephone company.
Company X, for example, operates an air transportation business with scores of offices all over the country. At one of these offices, a teletypewriter operator wishes to send a message, let us say, to Kansas City. Ahead of the message, she types the code letters “KC”. The letters become electric signals which guide the message to its destination.
Any or all stations in a network, or any combination of stations, can be selected. Switching centers may handle 50 or more messages a minute . . . some users send 30,000 messages a day. Delivery time is a few minutes.
Defense manufacturers, automobile makers, airlines and many other American businesses are benefiting by the speed and accuracy of the new equipment — another example of how techniques developed by the Laboratories for telephone use contribute to other Bell System services as well.
Improving telephone service for America provides careers for creative men in scientific and technical fields.