Auto Made from Beans
Versatile Plant Furnishes Chop Suey Sauce and Plastic Moulded Parts for Cars
PLASTICS — chemical compounds which, are compressed under heat into desired shapes, and thereafter are not subject to corrosion—are increasingly in use. Some are made of coal-tar products, some of milk; and one, which Henry Ford is now employing extensively, utilizes the Chinese soy bean. This useful plant, is, next to rice, the staff of life in the Celestial republic; like beans, peas, and other “legume” plants, it contains the proteins, or nitrogen compounds, for which we eat meat. Its oil, also, has found many uses; and those who have eaten the great American national dish, chop suey, are familiar with the dark soy sauce which accompanies it. The mechanical uses of the soy bean (which does not resemble American beans) are of more recent discovery.
Toys Keep Pace With Children’s Tastes
A YOUNG father of a two-year-old youngster, noticing the eagerness of his offspring to lay hands on something with wheels on it in which he could move about, sat down one evening in his basement workshop and knocked together that simple mechanism of juvenile locomotion known to millions as the kiddie-kar. Observing the popularity of the toy with children of the neighborhood, the father concluded that it would be a good idea to manufacture the cars on a commercial scale.
He was right. It was a good idea—good enough to set him on the path to financial independence. Today his invention is produced by the thousands, and this Christmas Santa Claus will slide down an unguessable number of chimneys on a kiddie-kar.
Robot Machines Are Cutting Costs, Boosting Profits and Making Jobs, Bringing More Leisure to Everyone.
THOUGH its history is brief, automation already has its own folklore. One of its most widely told legends concerns C.I.O. President Walter P. Reuther and a Ford executive who were touring Ford’s automated engine plant in Cleveland. As they strode past huge self-operating tools that bored cylinder holes, positioned connecting rods and bolted down manifolds, the Ford executive wisecracked: “You know, not one of these machines pays dues to the U.A.W.” Retorted Reuther: “And not one of them buys new Ford cars, either.”
He Made Sky Mapping a Big Business
High above the broken floor of the Rio Grande River basin, an airplane growls monotonously over 32,000 square miles, each click of its Cyclopean camera bringing nearer to completion the largest photographic mapping project ever undertaken in the United States.
EXACTING and tedious is the scientific job of gathering up 32,000 square miles and literally pasting them in your hat. Only one man is utterly capable and he is the fellow who supervises the shooting and assembling of this vast mosaic.
Behind the SIGNS
How the mechanical “spectaculars” work with steam, bubbles and light.
The new sky sign is an excellent example. Nearly every large city has at least one running electric signâ€”where words chase one another across the side of a building. But the dirigible “runner” is definitely new.
It took 26 miles of wire and 10,000 light bulbs, 5,000 on each side, to construct the dirigible sign. Enough ordinary lamps to light the display would have added too much weight, so Leigh’s thinker-uppers grouped small bulbs, about the size of Christmas-tree lamps, in such a way that their light appears to come from single large bulbs. “What from the ground looks like a single pinpoint of light is actually 10 small bulbs arranged in a spiral cluster 18 inches across.
Those malicious mirrors are no joke to Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company folks who make them.
IF YOU really want a fun house mirror for your front hall, the place to write is Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company, one of the few outfits in the world that make these roguish reflectors. Top grade glass and top workmanship go into this product. Pittsburgh makes eight standard laughing gallery mirrors and will also bend glass to order. Pictures on opposite page show how it’s done.
Birth of a Bauble
IN ITS first year of operation, the world’s only mass-production factory for manufacturing glass Christmas-tree ornaments, the Wellsboro, Pa., plant of the Corning Glass Works, has turned out more than half of all the new decorations which will bedeck American trees this season. At the rate of 400 a minuteâ€”approximately 2,000,000 a weekâ€”the brightly colored globes have been pouring from the production line. Six months of intensive work by Corning engineers made possible the ingenious machines which turn a pound of glass into thirty average-size ornaments.
Balloons Are Booming
Dream up a new inflatable toy and you’ll also inflate your bankroll.
By John Noah
“WHY do so few people have new ideas for toy balloons?” That’s the question that puzzles H. W. McConnell, president of one of America’s largest toy-balloon companies.
Balloon sales are booming and retail outlets are begging for new types to market â€”but the fresh ideas don’t seem to come. For want of amateur inventors, virtually every toy balloon that McConnell and many other balloon men produce must be devised by someone within the industry.
$10,000 If You Die Laughing
Insurance against laughicide is all in the day’s business for these Mad Hatters of the comic greeting-card industry.
By Edward Dembitz
“WHY don’t you write?” the card asks tenderly. “Is your hand broken?” You lift the cover and, wham, a miniature metal bear-trap clamps down on your finger!
“Well, now it is!” jeers the caption. “Now you’ve got a real excuse for not writing.”
If this card kills you, don’t worry about it. The Barker Greeting Card Company of Cincinnati even has that one figured outâ€” they’ve taken out an insurance policy which pays $10,000 to the heirs of anyone who laughs himself to death over one of their products.
MECHANIZING the “DELIVERY BOY”
From a single boy on a bicycle to a nationwide service whose trucks travel more than 20,000,000 miles per yearâ€” that’s the story of United Parcel Service which delivers hundreds of thousands of packages a year in sixteen cities. The “delivery boy” organization specializes in handling deliveries for retail stores. Above, left, driver checks up on himself before starting day’s run. Right, loading parcel-filled container on tailboard of truck. Tailboards of some trucks are elevators which hoist the containers to level of truck floor.