James Bond’s Weird World of Inventions
007 tangles with the trickiest assortment of supergadgets ever assembled for the screen in new James Bond movie, “Thunderball”
By HERBERT SHULDINER
Gadgetry is a smash hit in Hollywood. Dozens of new films and TV episodes are filled with zany gimmicks and pushbutton devices to entertain audiences.
The thing that started this remarkable trend is the unprecedented success of the gimmick-packed James Bond movies. The first three 007 films raked in over $75 million. Gold finger alone has earned about $43 million—more than any film has ever returned over a comparable time span.
They should have had another label on the picture, pointing at her head with the text “Woman”. Considering we’re too stupid to understand what a diving helmet or air tube looks like, why should we know what a woman looks like either?
Woman Is Expert Deep Sea Diver
CLAIMING the distinction of being the only woman deep sea diver in the world, Mrs. Winifred Height, of Wilmington, California, recently brought to the surface the barrel of a brass cannon that experts state belongs to the period of early Spanish occupation of California. Mrs. Height learned the occupation from her husband, who has gained fame as an under-water worker.
Undersea Classroom Reveals Ocean Secrets
DOWN among the coral reefs off the Florida coast lies the world’s strangest college laboratory—the under sea classroom of the marine zoology department of the University of Miami.
Clad in bathing suits, the class sails to the laboratory site, dons diving helmets and sinks into the sea, as assistants on the boat above send fresh supplies of oxygen pulsing through the air tubes.
SCHOOL for DEEP SEA DIVERS
IF YOU think diving is a glamorous profession, visit the Navy’s Deep-Sea Diving School, at the Washington Navy Yard, and be disillusioned. Here, picked men are trained in the grim and hard business of rescuing sunken submarines, repairing ship bottoms, and doing a hundred and one specialized mechanical jobs on the bottom of the sea.
With every man a potential hero, facing injury and death in his routine daily work, the idea of developing diving “prima donnas” is discouraged at the outset. Students are sent down to their underwater jobs strictly in rotation, and for periods depending upon their strength and abilityâ€” just as they will be later sent down as regular divers of the navy.
Tin Fish Is One-Man Submarine
UNDERWATER FLIVVER DIVES THIRTY FEET, MAKES FOURTEEN-MILE RUNS
SHAPED like a fish, a one-man, homemade submarine built by Barney Connett, of Chicago, Ill., is believed to be one of the world’s smallest underwater boats. Shorter than the average canoe, the craft measures twenty-three inches at its widest point and is thirty-seven inches high. Painted gills and eyes heighten the fishy look of the ship, which has a stabilizing tail fin surrounding its propeller.
Scientists Raid the Ocean Floor
Explorers now aim at the conquest of the sea floor, a great dim world of incredible riches.
A LOUD blare of confused noises breaks in upon the botanist’s thoughts, distracting his attention from the bizarre plant he has been studying intently in the dimness of the sea bottom.
He sighs, and a thicker-than-usual flock of bubbles burbles up from the artificial “gills” which enable him to breathe his oxygen directly from the water.
Diver Collects Cash in Drive
Dressing a solicitor in the full regalia of a deep sea-diver was the novel means employed recently by the British Lifeboat Institution to attract the attention of pedestrians on the streets of London to their campaign for funds. Fully equipped, from lead-weighted shoes to a heavy steel diving helmet, the solicitor clumped along the sidewalk selling buttons to passers-by. The photograph at the left shows a woman making a contribution to the fund.
One of the things you notice when reading these old magazines is that liability law did not really seem to exist in the first half of the century. Some of the activities and devices promoted by these magazines are just plain dangerous. We’ve covered crazy schemes to give city kids fresh air by hanging them out of apartment windows, playground equipment that seems designed to crack heads open, electric baths and children’s car seats that look like they’ll catapult the child through the windshield. Modern Mechanix in particular seemed to love publishing ingenious ways to drown yourself. Here are a few of my favorites:
Cooky Jar Diving Bell
These two brothers both made homemade diving helmets. Their first model used a water tank and their second, designed to increase visibility, used their mother’s pilfered cooky jar.
Pressure Sack Saves Divers’ Lives
WHEN deep sea divers must be pulled up rapidly, without time to accustom themselves to the change in pressure, they become very sick. A German inventor has devised a pressure sack for this emergency. Divers are placed inside it as soon as they are pulled up, and kept under a gradually diminishing pressure for several hours. Iron chains surround the sack.
When there is not sufficient time to get a diver into the pressure sack, compressed air can be forced into his suit. Ropes are used to prevent suit from bursting.
GIANT CLAMS TRAP SEA DIVERS
IN GRIP OF SHELLS Shells of huge clams found off the coast of Papua often weigh more than 400 pounds. Divers who accidentally step into the open lips of the monsters are not infrequently held with such force that they cannot release themselves and are drowned. The shells close with such force that they serve as gigantic traps.