Tag "alternative energy"
Sun Furnace May Vaporize Diamonds (Aug, 1931)

Sun Furnace May Vaporize Diamonds
A HEAT of 4500 degrees centigrade, intense enough to turn a diamond into vapor and to melt any known substance, is expected to be generated in an amazing new solar furnace which derives its heat directly from the sun. Eighty per cent of the sun’s heat is expected to be captured by the furnace, which has been designed by scientists of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. It consists of a mounting similar to that of a telescope which always follows the sun, upon which are 19 lenses which focus the sun’s rays on a central spot within the apparatus.

Solar Helmet (Dec, 1958)

Solar cells on top of helmet power a tiny transmitter and receiver during daylight. The silicon cells also charge four small storage batteries to operate the set at night. (U. S. Army Photo)

Big Bee-hive Gets Water From Air (Jul, 1934)

Big Bee-hive Gets Water From Air

AN ODD “drinking water fountain” in Europe acts as a giant artificial spring, condensing the moisture of the air.

The thick brick walls keep the inside of the stone structure at a lower temperature than the outside, so that moisture condenses on the thousands of stone slates.

Leg Power replaces electricity (May, 1945)

I don’t buy it. Hair dryers use a LOT of electricity. Plus, unless they have some sort of flywheel or intermediate battery, wouldn’t the power fluctuate if his speed alters?

Leg Power replaces electricity in this Parisian beauty salon, where Madame has her hair dried despite the lack of coal-generated current. An ingenious beautician hires unemployed 6-day bicycle racers to peddle away on a bike, the back wheel of which is attached to a small generator! The current runs 6 driers.

Urge Alcohol Gas for Farm Relief (Dec, 1933)

Origin of the ethanol lobby?

Urge Alcohol Gas for Farm Relief

FOR economic and technical reasons a mixture of alcohol and gasoline for automobile fuel is being recommended by farm relief advocates.

Use of the fuel by motorists would consume 680,000,000 bushels of corn a year, greatly reducing the crop surplus, it is said. The gasoline would be diluted with 10 per cent of alcohol. It is claimed the fuel results in greater power at considerably less cost.



Not in the future—but right now—scientists are putting to work the limitless energy of the sun.

By Lester David

SOON, a native of East Punjab, India, will walk into the local version of the neighborhood hardware emporium, plunk down 80 rupees and buy a newfangled kind of stove. Back home, he’ll proudly unwrap the shiny gadget, set it up and tell his wife to start dinner.

Less than an hour later, she’ll call out the Indian equivalent of “Come and get it!” and the family will sit down to a meal—a meal cooked by sunshine in the world’s first mass-produced solar stove!

This initial Solar Cooker—a device simple to operate, easy to maintain and economical to use—is actually in production in India right now and is just about ready to go on the market.



IN THE endless quest for cheap sources of energy, two proposals have recently been advanced which demand serious consideration, both for appeal to the imagination and the possibilities of practical operation.

The high speed windmill shown on this page is the latest development of Volf’s laboratories in New York. The first of these power producing units will be in operation by May first. Three fans are provided so that one is always facing a wind current. The fans are geared to a gyro stabilizer which runs on inertia so that the fans will not run down in calm intervals between gusts of wind.

Sun’s Rays Harnessed to Run Steam Engine (Nov, 1936)

Sun’s Rays Harnessed to Run Steam Engine

One of man’s great ambitions— to harness the sun to a steam engine—has been achieved. Dr. C. G. Abbot, secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, has developed a solar heater and demonstrated that it would operate a one-half horsepower steam engine with sufficient efficiency for commercial purposes.

Salt Water Powers Radio (Aug, 1962)

If you build one of these, you too could be this cool.

Salt Water Powers Radio

Battery made of scrap metal and a pill vial runs for months!


THE salt-water cell powering this transistor radio has all the advantages of a dry cell, costs only pennies to make, and lasts for months. The complete radio receiver, with battery but less earphones, can be built for $3 or less.

As shown in the photos, the battery delivers about three-tenths of a volt. The radio consumes only 12 microamps while running, and in actual tests ran three days continuously without any detectable dip in volume.

Inflatable Solar Collector (Jul, 1961)

It’s a giant space condom!

Inflatable Solar Collector

Rocketing into space in a canister the size of a teacup, a solar collector will billow out to a conical shape with a metalized Mylar reflector that is seven feet in diameter.

The sun’s rays striking the reflector are focused onto a collector. These rays will be transformed into heat energy which then may be used to power various electrical and mechanical instruments in space.