Printing Press From Old Clothes Wringer (Jun, 1938)

Constructs Printing Press From Old Clothes Wringer

EXHIBITED at a science fair held in Boston, Mass., a novel printing press built from an old clothes wringer by Frank Jawroski, 18, created considerable interest among the spectators.

Sun Visors (Nov, 1934)

And they’re stylish as well.

Sun Visors
LIKE hands cupped under and over the eyes, these visors, made entirely of a synthetic composition, permit vision in natural colors.

Early OCR (Feb, 1949)

Reading Machine Spells Out Loud

Experimental eleetronic device looks at printing and says what it sees — at the rate of 60 words a minute.

By Martin Mann

PS photos by Hubert Luckett

SOME time ago, The New Yorker magazine satirically described the invention of a reading machine. “It is obvious,” a fictional Professor Entwhistle was quoted as saying, “that the greatest waste of our civilization is the time spent in reading. We have been able to speed up practically everything. . . . But today a man takes just as long to read a book as Dante did. … So I have invented a machine. It operates by a simple arrangement of photoelectric cells. . .”

A simple arrangement of photoelectric cells that will read a book for you now has been unveiled by RCA researchers. The device looks at printed matter and reads it aloud, letter by letter. It sounds like a radio announcer spelling out “R-I-N-S-O.”

Microwave Pipes (Jul, 1955)

Long-Distance Microwave Pipe Carries Many Television Programs

Tens of thousands of cross-country telephone calls along with hundreds of television programs may someday be carried in a single two-inch metal tube. The longdistance wave guide, developed by Bell, could be buried underground and would funnel extremely short microwaves up hill, down dale and around corners. It is constructed of thin copper wire, tightly
coiled like a spring under pressure and wrapped inside a flexible outer coating which holds the wire in place. In laboratory tests, microwaves have been carried for 40 miles in a metal tube with the same loss of strength encountered when the waves travel 12 miles in a coaxial cable. The system uses microwaves shorter than any previously used in communications.

Russian Proposes GLOBAL TV (Jun, 1958)

Russian Proposes GLOBAL TV

THE RATHER LIMITED conception of radio transmission we had back in 1925, when we wondered whether radio waves could be propagated through space (see opposite page), has progressed to a stage where today we are near the point of transmitting television through space. With the launching of the first Sputnik last October, the dream of global TV received a tremendous shot in the arm and it has gathered momentum with each additional satellite thrown into the sky—both Russian and American. The magazine which first published data on Sputnik I, the Soviet periodical Radio, has outlined a plan which would allow nearly every TV set anywhere on earth to pick up a program transmitted from any other point. Television today, of course, is pretty much limited by line of sight, except in those areas which have coaxial cables, and a few spots which are equipped with over-the-horizon scatter facilities. The system proposed by engineer V. Petrov would make use of satellites which would pick up signals from stations on earth and bounce them to other satellites for more distant relay.


If a satellite is launched from the equator so that it follows an eastward track at the proper speed and height, it will remain over one spot on the equator. In other words, if it went into orbit over Belem in Brazil, or Stanleyville in the Belgian Congo, or Singapore in Malaya, it would remain fixed in the sky over that spot. This is because—if the velocity and height are correct—the speed of the satellite will exactly match the eastward rotation of the earth. It will be making an orbit of the earth once in 24 hours (compared to the 90 to 106 minutes or so for the present satellites. Since the earth rotates on its axis once in 24 hours, there will be no relative motion between the two spheres.

Pocket-Size Wire Recorder (Aug, 1953)

Seems like you’d need a pretty big pocket if that hand holding it is any indication

Pocket-Size Wire Recorder
PERHAPS one of the most sensational units to appear on the wire-recorder scene recently is a complete battery-operated recorder, 6-3/4x 4-3/8 x l-1/2 in. in size. It records, erases and plays back through a pair of lightweight earphones.

The entire recorder fits any average-size pocket, or it can be carried and operated in a fabric shoulder-type carrying case, as illustrated in photo A. Two types of sensitive miniature crystal microphones are available, as shown in photo D. One is a lapel variety and the other is a wrist-watch type worn by the operator in photo A, for making concealed recordings useful in detective work and for checking comments in crowds at shows and similar applications.

This Minifon recorder, made in Germany, is now available on the American market; it is powered with standard miniature A and B-batteries. The motor is driven by a Mallory mercury-cell-type battery pack that sells for $4.25. This provides 24-hour service. The A and B-batteries last for full shelf life. An a.c. power-supply unit also is available for operating the motor from 110-120 volt a.c. lines. Photos B and C are internal and external views of the recording and playback unit. Recording wire is available in spools providing 1/4 to 2-1/2 hours of continuous operation.

“NO-HANDS” TRAIN (Jun, 1958)

You don’t need an engineer on this tractor-train, because the system at Esso’s Baton Rouge refinery is electronically controlled. The train, which pulls five trailers at 2-3/4 miles at hour, follows the electromagnetic field of a wire laid in the floor.
Two gates in the building open automatically as the train approaches and shut when it passes. It makes 11 stops at service points called “beacons.” Each “beacon” sends out a different signal to stop the train at the proper place.
Known as “Guide-O-Matic,” the train is made by the Barrett-Cravens Co., Northbrook, 111.

Stuffed Frog Makes Novel Lamp (Oct, 1934)

Stuffed Frog Makes Novel Lamp
NOVELTY taxidermy, in which mounted birds and animals are arranged in special poses to serve as useful articles, is fast becoming a fad in this country. One of the most popular subjects is the frog lamp.

A stuffed bullfrog reclines lazily against his toadstool shade, holding a tiny fish-pole. Swamp grass glued to the base makes a realistic shore line, while a bit of mirror serves as the pool.

Mounted bull-frog fishing on bank of pool under shade of giant toadstool makes attractive table lamp. Taxidermists find great demand for specimens mounted in natural settings such as this. Tiny electric light bulbs are under the shade.


Really interesting piece about reporters covering the Italian invasion of Ethiopia in 1936. It’s interesting to contrast with the current reports coming out of Iraq. I wonder if they still suffer from mutton fatigue.


by Arthur T. Robb
Managing Editor of “Editor & Publisher”

THERE’S a war on in East Africa. Since early summer, when it became certain that II Duce intended to capture for Italy the last vestige of Africa not already under European rule, scores of young and old men in journalism, American and European, have turned their faces to the Red Sea, hoped or planned that their next assignment would be in Ethiopia. To youth it offered opportunity for fame and adventure denied them by the routine of police court or city hall. To the veterans of a score of big and little wars like Karl Von Wiegand and Floyd Gibbons, the din and dust of battle preparations were as the bell for the old fire horse. They had to be on their way.

“BASH AN APACHE”?!?! (Jun, 1959)

I’m really not sure what this has to do with Apaches, but damn! Spikes and acid?

“BASH AN APACHE” says this Paris cab driver, showing teeth, nail-studded bully, acid squirter he uses on tough customers

In the comments Stannous explains the term Apache. It’s actually much more interesting than the picture:

Not the Indians- French thugs:
By 1874 Paris was swarming with vagabonds. Consisting mostly of juvenile delinquents, these ten thousand or so ruffians would evolve into a new generation of street-fighter, banding into a gang which came to be known as the Apache.
The word “Apache” (pronounced “ah – PAHASH”) is a Parisian term used to describe the French street gangs of the early 1900s. The era’s local newspapers often described the violence perpetrated by these gangs as synonymous with the ferocity of Apache Indians in battle.

The typical French Apache was a young, lower-class, pimp-type vagabond with connections to the underworld. An interesting by-product of this underground culture was “Apache dancing” — a type of “street swing” which simulated actions and movements of urban violence, and actually contained combat techniques particular to the typical Apache’s repertoire. This dance was reportedly so violent that participants sometimes died of injuries sustained from being thrown across bars, onto tables, or after being struck with mistimed blows.

Understandably, this form of dancing was confined to the Apache culture, although for a short time it did attract the attention of the upper class, who came to appreciate a toned-down version which was said to be somewhat similar to the tango.

The Apaches most prominently focused on their own form of street combat however. Crude and unscrupulous, yet highly effective, “French Apache street fighting” emphasised the use of elementary street kicks, hand strikes, head-butts, throws, and an assortment of weapons both standard and improvised which included knuckle dusters, knives, razors, scarves, bodkins,,jackets, hats, the Apache gun and even sheep bones!