2 Computers? No-Just One (Sep, 1952)

2 Computers? No-Just One


Integro-Differential Analyzer
Leading design and research engineers have found that one IDA computer does the work of 2 ordinary computers — because of such ahead-of-the-field features as those outlined below:

Interchangeable Set-up Boards: permit problem change-over in minutes; thus IDA is always at work, there’s no lost set-up time!
20 Uncommitted Amplifiers: perform any computing function; and any required scale factor may be used for any number of inputs to any amplifier.
Hold Control: usually found only in most expensive computers, permits introduction of gross non-linearities.
8 Initial Conditions: once fixed, are automatically restored after each solution.
New Extra-Convenient Compactness: with the IDA you can actually sit at your desk while you compute!

Read for yourself the complete story on the truly advanced IDA computer. See how its twofold greater efficiency boosts your owa Just write for Catalog SA. Includes theory, set-up, typical examples.
Distributed Nationally by Burlingome Associates, 103 Lafayette Street, New York 13, N. Y.

Science Creates a Monster (May, 1954)

This is the monster from The Creature from the Black Lagoon. It’s 50th anniversary site is here.

Thanks to Stannous for the tip about the anniversary site.

Science Creates a Monster

Hollywood has produced some weird costumes but this $18,000 horror-suit tops them all. By Harvey B. Janes

AN ominous order rang through the studios of Universal-International pictures recently: “Gill-Man—report to the underwater tank to test your three heads!”

Accordingly a horrible monster, half man and half fish, lumbered menacingly across the lot, stopped at the huge water tank, poised for an instant and then plunged into the murky depths.

To the casual observer it might have seemed as though the studio was being attacked by a frightful sub-human creature from out of the past but the camera and set crews, producer, directors, actors and script girls all held their ground bravely. Were they too frightened to move? Or did they all know it was a trained monster?

Plywood Dome Will Serve as Church in Korea (Jan, 1958)

Plywood Dome Will Serve as Church in Korea
All the building materials for the igloo-shaped sanctuary in the photograph above could be carried in a large pickup truck. The 39-foot hemisphere, built from 134 sheets of 1/4-inch exterior-grade plywood, will be used as a church at Naju, South Korea. Using the geodesic-dome design of architect Buckminster Fuller, the building gets its strength from the geometric pattern of the 4 by 6-1/2 foot sheets of plywood on 2 by 2-inch ribbing. It was erected in 16 hours, left, with much of the work done by small boys. The building weighs 3500 pounds.

Compact Television Unit Demonstrated (Jun, 1939)

Compact Television Unit Demonstrated
DEVELOPED by a well known radio firm, a new portable television transmitter unit stands only five feet high and about two and one-half feet wide. In a recent demonstration, the transmitter was sighted on a golfer teeing off (right) and the images were picked up by a television receiver housed in a small tent erected at a point about 150 feet away from the site where the transmitter was being operated.

Muzzle Safeguards Chickens (Jul, 1938)

Muzzle Safeguards Chickens
EASILY attached to a chicken’s beak, a new aluminum muzzle prevents vicious picking, cannibalism and feather pulling. The muzzle is so delicately balanced that it automatically swings out of the way when the chicken lowers its head for eating and drinking, swinging back into a closed position when the bird raises its head. The device thus prevents the chicken from attacking others, or its own body.

The First Disposable Camera (Sep, 1949)

Apparently, this is one of those ideas that takes 30-40 years to catch on.

Mailbox Camera
HOW often have you arrived at a scenic beauty spot without your camera? A. D. Weir got caught on this pictorial limb so many times that he decided to do something about it.

The simplest remedy was a pre-loaded camera which could be rented at a near-by store for a small fee. That wasn’t a new idea—but in the past, devices to handle film inside such a camera had cost too much. Weir, a mechanical engineer, worked out a plan for feeding the 35-mm film without using a metal spool or winding device.

So, now you can drop into your drugstore, ask for a Photo-Pac and for $1.29 you get the loaded camera. After you take your eight exposures, you drop the entire unit in the mailbox. A few days later the mailman brings your prints and negatives. For helping to convert Uncle Sam’s mailboxes into darkrooms, we’re sending Mr. Weir Mi’s $50 Prize Gadget Award.

An Automatic Machine Tool (Sep, 1952)

This is the fourth in a series of 5 articles I’ve scanned from an amazing 1952 issue of Scientific American about Automatic Control. Discussing automatic machine tools, feedback loops, and the role of computers in manufacturing and information theory, these are really astounding articles considering the time in which they were written.

This article is a fascinating exploration of the history and state of the art in automatic machine tools as of 1952. This is the CAM in CAD/CAM.

An Automatic Machine Tool

Feedback control has begun to advance in the working of metals. Presenting the first account of a milling machine that converts information on punched tape into the contours of a finished part.

by William Pease

THE metal-cutting industry is one field in which automatic control has been late in arriving. The speed, judgment and especially the flexibility with which a skilled machinist controls his machine tool have not been easily duplicated by automatic machines. Only for mass-production operations such as the making of automobile parts has it been feasible to employ automatic machinery. New developments in feedback control and machine computation, however, are now opening the door to automatization of machine tools built to produce a variety of parts in relatively small quantities.

The problem will be clearer if we first review briefly the history of machine tools and their relationship to manufacturing processes. The story begins in the last quarter of the 18th century. Prior to that time the tools of the millwright, as the machinist of that day was called, consisted chiefly of the hammer, chisel and file. His measurements were made with a wooden rule and crude calipers. His materials were prepared either by hand-forging or by rudimentary foundry casting. Crude, hand-powered lathes were already in existence, but they were used only for wood-turning or occasionally for making clock parts.

Promise of a golden future (Mar, 1953)

Promise of a golden future
Yellow uranium ore from the Colorado Plateau is helping to bring atomic wonders to you

Long ago, Indian braves made their war paint from the colorful sandstones of the Colorado Plateau.

THEY USED URANIUM-Their brilliant yellows came from carnotite, the important uranium-bearing mineral. Early in this century, this ore supplied radium for the famous scientists, Marie and Pierre Curie, and later vanadium for special alloys and steels.
Today, this Plateau—stretching over parts of Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, and Arizona —is our chief domestic source of uranium. Here, new communities thrive; jeeps and airplanes replace the burro; Geiger counters supplant the divining rod and miner’s hunch.

Ionic Breeze ’38 (Jan, 1938)

I’m crushed. I can’t believe the Sharper Image would lie to me like this. For years they’ve been telling us that they are the inventors of the ionic breeze, that it’s space age technology, a miracle of modern science. But it was all a big lie, now I know it was actually invented buy some undetermined person in 1938.

Sharper Image, how can I ever trust you again?

Electrostatic Device Clears Air Of Smoke, Pollen
DESIGNED for home or factory use, a compact electrostatic air cleaner device was recently placed on exhibition at a convention of iron and steel engineers held in Chicago, Ill. The new cleaner is said to remove dust, smoke, and pollen from the air more efficiently than ever before.

In operation the electrostatic cleaner forces the air through an ionizing screen and the solid particles in it, 90% of which would pass through the average filter, are electrically charged. The air is then passed over grounded plates, causing the dust and pollen particles to cling to them.

PAT does the talking (Dec, 1958)

This ia brief article about a speech synthesizer, but in the last paragraph it sounds like they were actually doing research into psychoacoustic audio compression.

PAT does the talking
“PAT” is the nickname given to a British talking machine which creates all the sounds that are normally used in speaking, and can string them together to produce the illusion of complete words and phrases. It can, in fact, talk.

In place of the human vocal cords, PAT (short for Parametric Artificial Talker) has an electron tube oscillator. In place of tongue and lips which normally vary the size of the mouth cavities, electrical resonators are provided and their resonant frequencies varied.