The Human Torch Makes His Spectacular Dive
Like a flaming comet, the diver, Jake Cox, plunges fifty feet from a tower into a pool of gasoline. The instant his blazing body touches the surface of the lake, the inflammable liquid is ignited, so that he seems to have plunged into a roaring volcano. He has actually done so—for the fraction of a second—but before.the spell bound spectators can collect their thoughts, he has already reappeared on the surface, forty feet away from the burning liquid
The Human Torch
Enveloped in flames, a bold man dives from a fifty-foot tower into a lake of gasoline, transforming it into a seething furnace
IT is night time. On the top of a tower, fifty feét high, stands a queer looking figure, dressed in three suits. The outside one is of cloth, the one under it, is of rubber, and the one next to the skin is of asbestos. On his head are three rubber caps, over which is an asbestos cap that comes down to his shoulders and leaves two holes through which he can see. His gloves, his wristlets, his shoes—all are of asbestos. Directly below him is a square area of water, fenced in with logs or boards. The surface of this boxed-off section is covered with gasoline. Suddenly an assistant steps up to the figure and lifts a bottle, from which he pours gasoline over the man’s body. Around the lake stand two thousand
people, fascinated by the actions of two. In a moment, the assistant sie^s back from the oil-covered figure and shouts a signal to somebody below. Immediately all lights are extinguished, leaving the figure in darkness. Then the stillness is broken by the report of a revolver shot. The assistant has fired at the diver, the sparks from the revolver transforming him into a livid cone of flame. With a shout, he leaps from the platform and in a beautiful parabolic dive, plunges into the lake below. As he flies through the air, his body takes on the appearance of a torch, long tongues of flame trailing out behind him. Striking the film of gasoline, he is enveloped in a veritable inferno of fire, which erupts as
soon as his fingertips touch it. But his work is only half done. If he comes up in the lake of fire he will be burned alive. How does he escape? He swims under water some thirty or forty feet until he has passed the burning gasoline, when he rises to the surface, safely out of danger’s reach. This is no easy thing to do, for his shoes and the three heavy suits greatly hinder his movements. Furthermore, he dare not open his mouth or breathe through his nose while he is taking his spectacular dive, lest the flames suffocate him. It requires reckless courage to be a “thriller de luxe.” If the slightest accident or miscalculation occurred, the “Human Torch” would be extinguished for the last time.
Make Every Glass a Sanitary Drinking Cup
THE simplest of all the recent devices for guarding against the germs, which often lurk even in drinking water, is a small
small piece of waxed paper, or a semicircular celluloid strip, which folds over the rim of the glass and prevents the lips from touching the surface of the tumbler while drinking. It will fit over any glass or cup, and will make it possible for you to enjoy an ice-cream soda, or a drink of water anywhere. The part of the paper which is held inside the glass will prevent any sediment, which may be in the bottom of the glass, from reaching your lips. This little invention, is the idea of a woman, Miss Cornelia Fiske, of Baltimore, Md.
If You Value Your Life, Be Careful with Electricity
SOME safety hints for the wise, which are intended to guard against serious accidents and a possible loss of life, are being sent out broadcast by the electric light companies. From them may be selected the following: Do not cover an electric globe with paper or cloth. It may start a fire. Do not hang an
ordinary lamp cord over a nail or metal work. Do not leave a cord connected when you are through with it. Do not touch any wire that is down on the ground, whether it is an electric, telephone or guy wire. In an emergency, remove a wire with an instrument equipped with a wooden handle, keeping the full length of the handle between yourself and the wire.
The Smallest Fountain Pen in the World. It is Two Inches Long
THE fountain pen shown in the accompanying illustration might well be used to exemplify the slogan “Perfection in
little things.” It was made as a tiny sample, by a prominent fountain pen manufacturing company, and is as perfect in every respect as the pens of usual size. It holds only a few drops of ink, but while the ink lasts, the pen can be used to very good effect. It is provided with a pocket clip that is perfectly able to perform its duty, regardless of its diminutive size. It is carried in a box with its own little filler, and the printed directions for its use just exactly as if it were being offered for sale like its big brothers.
Seeing the Stars from the Bottom of a Well
THAT stars are visible in the daytime from the bottom of a deep shaft or well has been generally believed since the days of Aristotle, but there is not the slightest foundation for the idea. Baron Humboldt, who spent a good deal of time in mines himself and questioned miners in various parts of the world, found no evidence in support of this belief, and it has since been thoroughly exploded. But like many other “exploded” ideas it flourishes just as vigorously as ever.
Fireproof Leggings for the Foundry Worker
THE foundry is the one workshop where old shoes, such as the workman loves to don for the sake of comfort, are not worn —or should not be. They offer too little protection against splashes of the molten metal. Usually a Congress shoe of specially prepared leather is worn, over which a legging is fitted to protect the leg and knee.
A very good type of legging for the foundry is shown in the accompanying illustration. It is made of asbestos in the shape of a boot and covers not only the leg and knee but the top part of the foot as well.
It is held in place by steel bands which fasten round the leg with spring clasps. Structural steel workers riveting white-hot bolts into big beams need not worry about exposed legs when they are so well protected with asbestos leggings. Men who use the oxy-acetylene flame in confined spaces would find the leggings convenient.
How the German mask protects the sniper as he lies prone on the ground The cut-out on the side of the mask is to enable the wearer to use a rifle
The Latest Thing in German Sniper’s Masks
A HEAVY metal mask captured from the Germans by the Canadians on the western front attracted considerable interest in army circles. It is made of one quarterinch Krupp steel and although it is not much larger than a man’s head it furnishes ample protection for a sniper lying prone upon the ground.
The cut out on the right of the mask permits a rifle to be held to the shoulder in the natural position. Note the peculiar sloping eye slits. Evidently they were cut this shape to conform to the angle of
eye turns his head to peer through either of the slits, which are so far apart that only one at a time can be used. It has been suggested that a whole army of fighters should be equipped with masks of a similar nature, to reduce the very great number of head wounds. This is obviously impracticable.
A Blind French Soldier Invents a Stenographic Machine
LIEUTENANT MULLER, a Frenchj man blinded in the war, has invented a machine for blind stenographers. It promises to simplify the work of teaching stenography to men who have been deprived of their sight, thereby providing them with a means of earning a livelihood. The machine is constructed for a pho•
netic system of stenography. The signs are expressed by raised points, each sign representing an entire syllable. The keyboard is divided into two parts, five keys for the right hand and five for the left. Thus the initial consonants of the syllables are. written with the left hand and the final consonants with the right
The cleaner will not be out of keeping with the prettiest dressing-table articles
hand. One motion writes a syllable. As no distinction is made between certain consonants, such as T and D, F and V, Ch and J and other combinations of consonants such as Br and Pr, PI and Bl, Cr and Gr, each consonant does not have to be indicated. The Muller machine has ten consonant signs, fifteen vowel signs and three final consonant signs which make, altogether, twentyeight signs.
eight signs. The usefulness of the machine is greatly enhanced by its size and weight. It is small enough and light enough to be carried in a valise. The paper is fed through the machine from a large roll. The signs are embossed on the strip of paper by the pressure of the keys. When the blind man wants to read his notes all he has to do is to pass the paper tape which has unfolded from the reel, through his fingers.
Lengthening the Period of the Comb’s Usefulness
KEEPING the comb in a sanitary condition is not so easy a task as it would seem. Merely washing it with soap and water has little effect. A reliable comb-cleaner is needed. The cleaner shown in the accompanying illustration is the invention of A. Abraham, of Rockford, 111. Its strings are of steel,
covered with twisted brass wire, which is just rough enough to scrape the sides of the teeth and the intervening bottom spaces, without making the teeth themselves rough. The framework is finished in various styles. Some of them are nickeled, some are finished in copper and some in oxydized brass.
A Hybrid Between the Automobile and the Motorcycle
IN an effort to combine the comfort and stability of the automobile with the economy and lightness of the motorcycle, Alfred A. Scott, of England, has invented the small three-wheeled car which is shown in the accompanying photographs.
The “Scott Sociable,” as it is called, looks more like a cyclecar than anything else. Technically speaking, however, there is little in common between the two. The one is nothing more than a high-seated motorcycle with a sidecar attached to it. It is uncomfortable and is liable to skid and tilt on making a sharp
curve. The “sociable,” however, is designed as a complete unit by itself. It is mounted on a rigid, triangular framework and its seats are carried low inside of the wheel base, so that stability is gained despite its wonderful lightness.
Practically every part has been given special attention. The caster wheel method of steering has been perfected until it can turn the car in the narrowest roads. All of the wheels are detachable. The springs are of a new type which is far ahead of any on the average light car in the way it absorbs unusually
unusually violent shocks. These springs are also detachable and can be readily replaced. Inside the car there is every approved type of accessory and appliance. Not the least of these is the hood which can be erected over the driver and his passenger in a storm.
The Bachelor’s Coffee-Brewer. It Makes One Cup at a Time
NOW comes the coffee-brewer, a device for making individual cups of coffee. The device consists only of two cups somewhat conical in shape, one of which fits into the other. Sufficient pulverized
coffee is placed in the bottom of the cuter cup to make one cup of the beverage. Then the perforated inner cup is set in place and boiling water is poured into it. It is left to “draw” for a few minutes, just as in the preparation of tea; then it is poured out into the waiting cup. The perforations in the inner cup of the device, strain the beverage.
Whetting Public Curiosity—A Real Estate Dealer’s Ruse
AN unusual method of building houses was adopted in a real estate development in Portland, Oregon. The builder believed that “familiarity breeds contempt.” As he did not want anyone to have contempt for
his houses, he corralled them until they were all done. As soon as he began building, he erected a tall board fence all around the property. The most curious person could not get a peep in. No doubt he saw to it that there were no knot holes. This arrangement had all the elements of surprise which the public enjoys in attending the theater. Not until the houses were complete to the last little detail; not until the lawns were green and the shrubs all planted; was the order given to tear down the forbidding fence.
How a Los Angeles Newsboy Increased His Business
N ingenious newsboy in Los Angeles, California, has devised a method of at-
tracting attention to his wares which has not only interested passing persons but has been the means of sparing his voice,while greatly increasing his daily income. The boy has constructed a sign, which is placed above his head so that it may be seen by persons who are at a distance from him. It is fastened to a wire, which is held in place by a belt which he wears around his waist. He has arranged two loops .of wire, through which he passes his arms. This keeps the sign from falling either backward or forward.
Sweat Bands Use Fifty-Five Million Feet of Leather a Year
LOOK at the sweat band in your hat or cap. It is about two inches wide and twenty-five inches long—a little thing, you say. It takes an annual total of fifty-five million feet of leather to put this band in the headgear men wear. It is, in truth, one of the biggest little leather
leaks brought to the attention of the public. But it is not a difficult leak to stop. By wearing hats or caps with substitute leather bands or no bands at all, you can divert the leather to more important needs.
Protecting the Phonograph from Scratches During Transportation
THE phonograph cabinet is designed to be as ornamental a piece of furniture as the piano. The dealer therefore, realizes the importance of handling
it with care. One company is employing a khaki moving - cover which is so designed that it makes the cabinets easier to handle and protects them from any danger of scratching, bumping or finger-marks. This khaki cover is shown in the accompanying illustration. It is provided with strong straps into which the arms of the carrier fit, and other straps which pass under the cabinet. There is also a loop by which the cover may be hung up when not in use.
The Paul Reveres of London Ride in Placarded Automobiles
ENGLAND has had so many air-raids that special provision has been made in the large cities to warn the people when the enemy airplanes have been sighted.
The illustrations show placarded automobiles sent out to give the warnings. The side lights are used to illuminate the signs, so that he who runs may read and get under cover. In a few minutes after the invading airplanes have been sighted, the streets of the city are without a sign of life. If a person should be at too great a distance from shelter to reach it, he drops to the ground. The signs are reversible, and on the opposite side of the “Take Cover” placard, the “All Clear” sign is displayed.
Maybe you have special needs. Write to the editor about anything within the scope of the magazine. He will be glad to help you.