SHOOTING THE MAIL
A CATAPULT device for airmail pickup is one for the coming air age, designed by Louis P. Wulf.
Present methods employ a heavy shock-absorbing mechanism in the pickup plane which relieves stress on the cable when the mail is jerked from its resting position on the ground. This new wrinkle, however, obviates the necessity for such an arrangement, the mail being hurled forward in the direction of the plane’s motion by an explosive charge when the cable engages the hook. In tests, an ordinary 10-gauge shotgun shell, set in a specially designed and reinforced gun barrel, has been sufficient to catapult a 15-lb. mail bag at speeds over 100 m.p.h.
NEW in SCIENCE
Hydrofoil Bus is claimed by its German inventor to be the fastest passenger boat in the world. In a demonstration on Lake Lucerne, Switzerland, it carried 32 people 50 mph. Motor is 350 hp. Hydraulic wings lift it high in the water.
Mail Pushcart replaces the usual mailbag for Irving Wonnacott of Oak Park, Ill. Local post office tested several models to ease delivery of magazine and periodicals, decided on this one. It holds more than bag, saves wear and tear on postmen.
FLYING POST OFFICE
A 200 mph. “flying post-office” using the Fairchild Packet cargo plane, is in the offing, according to a recent announcement by Post Office Department and Air Transport Association officials.
The plane will be equipped with unique facilities for storing and sorting mail in flight which, coupled with the plane’s great capacity, long range and ease of loading will give far faster airmail service between major American cities than is now possible.
The plane is capable of carrying up to seven tons of airmail in its squared fuselage.
A PERFECT SALESMAN
THE IDEAL postal clerk who never gives five twos for two fives and never argues with patrons, is being tried out in the post-office in Washington, D. C. As might have been guessed, it is an automatic machine which dispenses stamps and makes change quickly without charge.
If the machine proves successful, it is probable that similar ones will be installed throughout the country by the government.
POSTMEN USED TO TEST TANNING PROCESS
One of the most unusual scientific laboratories in the world is a pair of shoes. When chemists of the United States Department of Agriculture, in Washington, D. C, recently wished to test the relative wearing qualities of shoe-sole leather produced by two different tanning methods, they sought the aid of postmen, who are proverbially-hard on their shoes.