The Financial Adventures of JERRY QUIRK —A True Story
To Help You Get Ahead
AFTER ten years of hard work and conscientious saving Jerry Quirk had $4,000 in bond and mortgage investments. During those years he had heard many stories of quick profits (on paper) that his friends had made in the bull stock market. Finally Jerry decided to take a flier.
IF YOU are one of those people who “don’t know the first thing about radio" or a member of the still larger group that know just enough on the subject to realize their inability to get the most out of a radio investment, then you are the type of person that the Popular Science Institute of Standards had in mind in publishing a new booklet called “What the Radio Buyer Should Know."
Commander BYRD Tells Roy Guffin How to Get into Aviation
What Would You Ask?
Answers to the Sam Loyd Puzzles on Page 66
Cheese and Imagination
Guess This Word
An Arabian Lunch
An After-Dinner Test
The Cost of a Villa
A Present for Grandma
Young men are sending letters by the thousands to this magazine, asking for information as to opportunities in aviation, how to get into it, and what it holds for them. To afford every one the advantage of expert advice from high authority, POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY arranged with Commander Richard E. Byrd, U.S.N., famous North Pole and trans-Atlantic flyer, to answer the questions of one typical young man with an inclination toward aviation, Mr. Roy Guffin.
A Discussion by Leaders in American Life, with an Introduction
Will Durant, Ph.D.
Rt. Rev. William T. Manning, D.D., S.T.D., D.C.L., LL.D.
Willis R. Whitney, Ph.D.,Ch.D.
Vernon Kellogg, M.S., LL.D., Sc.D.
James J. Davis
Rev. Stephen S. Wise, Ph.D., LL.D.
Commodore Herbert Hartley
Heber D. Curtis, Ph.D.
Dr. Frank Crane
John Dewey, LL.D., Ph.D.
Daniel C. Beard
Samuel Hopkins Adams
George Palmer Putnam
Royal S. Copeland, M.D., A.M., LL.D.
THE printing of these statements is a public service. It ought to bring us closer to the day when the absurd phrase “the conflict between science and religion” will be permanently in the discard. When theologians presume to prescribe the boundaries of truth they put themselves in the impossible position of most of their predecessors through the Middle Ages.
Champion Regains Lost Senses and Lands Safely by Miracle
L. G. POPE
FOR about forty minutes Lieut. Carleton C. Champion, crack Navy flyer, had been spiraling upward in his Wright Apache plane above the Naval air field at Anacostia, D. C., bound for a new world’s altitude record. He was breathing oxygen, now, to keep himself conscious.
Wonderful Microscopic Cameras Reveal "Insides" of Metals; X-Rays Take Pictures of Molecules!
IN A New York laboratory, pictures of bits of iron and steel, magnified 6000 times, are being taken, distinct and clear! Under the lenses of high power microscope-cameras, other metals, paper, and rubber are revealing their innermost secrets—what makes them hard or soft; why they are flexible, brittle, elastic, or ductile.
Offers of Millions, Offers of Marriage and 14,000 Gifts in Packages Sent to Atlantic Flyer
What Do We Talk About ?
THROUGH the crowded events that followed the great flight to Paris, the author of this article was one of Col. Lindbergh's chief aides. And in the swift preparation of Lindbergh's book “We,” he wrote several chapters describing the welcoming receptions which the modest aviator did not wish to write himself.
Cities of 30,000,000, Skyscraper Sidewalks, Roof Top Airports and Food Piped As Water Is Today
Rare Gases Put to Work
MYRON M. STEARNS
FROM the height of a great precipice two men looked down on a continuous stream of moving automobiles. Farther from the ground than the Palisades rise above the Hudson River at the highest point, they were on no natural crag. They were looking down from a window on the twentieth story of a New York hotel—not a fabulous building of a hundred years hence—but a matter-of-fact structure of today.
Australian Beetles Grown by Millions in California Nursery for War on Insects That Ravage Orange Groves
ARTHUR A. STUART
JUST a few days ago, a county plant expert walked into a southern California orange grove to a tree whose trunk was spotted with tiny black-winged insects, and snapped open an inch-long gelatine capsule he had in his hand. Out flew ten ladybugs, among them one of especial distinction.
"HOLY mackerel! What's the matter with him?” shouted the general manager of the airplane factory as he watched the company’s latest production, a huge monoplane, on its first test flight. The chief engineer turned pale as he saw the plane glide toward the flying field with motor running at half speed, and skim across the runway at eighty miles an hour.
NEW searchlights of tremendous power, yet lightweight enough to speed from place to place on their motor carriages, have recently been developed by the U. S. Army Engineer Corps as anti-aircraft equipment in wartime, and demonstrated on the Eastern Coast.
Meteorites Crash to Earth with Gems, Precious Metals and Secrets That Have Been Applied in Industry
NEIL M. CLARK
IT WAS a holiday and a citizen in Colby—a speck on the map in central Wisconsin boasting less than a thousand souls—had been celebrating well but none too wisely. Home now, he leaned against the door jamb to steady his legs a bit before going in to supper.
Huge All-Metal Biplan, Tested for Uncle Sam, Carries Six Guns and Four Tons of Deadly Bombs
NEW war terrors are forecast on this page in our artist’s conception of the new giant bomber, the Curtiss “Condor,” swooping down to destroy an industrial center. From its three two-gun nests machine gunners pour streams of bullets at enemy planes attacking from any direction, while the man at the bomb controls manipulates them to drop the explosives through an opening in the fuselage.
"Music" Played by Colors, Statues Dance to Help Solve Problems of Illumination
ROBERT E. MARTIN
THE marvels of light from its crude yesterdays to its present brilliance, with a glimpse of future splendors that now seem quite incredible, are shown to visitors at a unique permanent exhibition. It is a museum and a laboratory with a factory adjacent.
THE inquisitive and inventive mind, seeking new and better ways to do things, has not neglected football. Fast and accurate footwork is required by the latest method of training football men, devised by Dick Hanley, coach at Northwestern University.
HAY-MAKING in the rain is a daily miracle with a new drying and curing process invented by Arthur Mason, of Chicago. His extraordinary machine, he says, makes it safe and profitable to grow alfalfa in the rainiest sections of the country. Let it pour; the green, wet alfalfa goes into the device at one end, and from the other comes dried alfalfa meal.
Intricate Tests Show Remarkable Efficiency of New Refrigerators—How to Select the Right One
PROFESSOR COLLINS P. BLISS
COME with me to the Sage Research Laboratories of New York University and I will show you how temperature is made to order in a remarkable new laboratory. This unique place was designed with but one object in view—to find out all there is to know about iceless refrigerators.
Magicians of Chemistry, Juggling Atoms, Are Wresting Secrets from Nature to Satisfy Countless Modern Needs
LOUIS E. VAN NORMAN
A CONVERSATION with the great German pathologist, Koch, years ago, is one of the bright spots in my memory. One of his remarks will always remain vivid. “It is not the conquest of nature, not the imitation of nature, which is the whole duty of man,” he said.
TODAY’S complex life is relegating more and more persons to the hospitals, Dr. G. B. Smith, neuropsychiatrist, recently told the American Medical Association. Body and mind, long thought of as separate, are closely connected, modern research in mental hygiene has shown; and up-to-date medical treatment must take into account the emotional conflicts caused by this complicated age.
THROUGH the telescope, visitors to the Grand Canyon of the Colorado soon will be allowed to peer into the mists of past ages, when strange monsters roamed the land. An observatory, it is announced, is to be established on the Canyon’s edge, where sightseers may gain close-up views of geological discoveries in the depths of the great gully.
GARDENERS of the insect world have their pumpkin patches and weed their gardens. Jean Bathellier, French naturalist, recently described his observations of white ants of Indo-China raising microscopic pumpkin-like pellets —a kind of fungus, somewhat like the mold on stale bread. The ants prepare a bed of fragments of leaves and grass. These they chew into a fine material, in which they plant the germs of fungus.
THE fastest speed of rotation ever known in a mechanical device has been attained by two French scientists with a new centrifuge, or whirling machine. Speeds have been measured up to 15,000 revolutions a second. The inventors say 1,000,000 revolutions a minute is possible.
WHEN the wells run dry, we may get our necessary oil supply from the bottom of the sea. Today, off the coasts of southern California and of North Carolina, samples of mud and sand are being taken and distilled to determine their oil-producing capacity.
THE Hawaiian volcano, Kilauea, awakens after three years and spouts boiling lava. A terrific earthquake rocks Palestine, killing hundreds. One after another come upheavals that rock the earth. What are the reasons? On the very rim of angry Kilauea’s crater stands an observatory where American geologists look down into the seething pit to learn the answer.
A FUTURE race of supermen, so often pictured in fiction, is far more than mere fancy, a strong probability, judging from evidence recently obtained by Dr. Frederick Tilney, professor of neurology at Columbia University, one of the world’s foremost authorities on the human brain and its development.
IN THE hope of making the ocean airways safe for trans-Atlantic flyers, two men plan this year to record weather observations in Greenland. They are Prof. J. E. Church, director of the Mount Rose observatory, Nevada, and P. C. Oscanyon, New York radio operator.
YOU may have to double up to get inside one of these half-size automobiles—but they're real cars, for all that. Proprietor of what is said to be the only business of its kind in the world, Jack Landon of Los Angeles, Calif., makes midget cars exclusively.
NEW challenges to inventive genius are the latest entries in the “What’s Wanted” book maintained by the Institute of Patentees in London, England, in which suggestions for needed inventions submitted by the public are filed. An unbreakable shoe lace, a mechanical bricklayer, a folding umbrella that can be carried in the pocket—these are some of the devices laymen want.
THE Boston Post Road, New Rochelle, Port Chester, Greenwich—the villages were checked off with a steadiness most encouraging. Rough roads, but velvet compared to what he had so recently covered. The people along the way seemed to be more accustomed to horseless locomotion, too.
FLAMES leap from the hood of the speeding plane. It sways, quivers. Instantly the pilot pulls a lever marked “Emergency.” Down like a plummet drops away the whole undersection of the plane, the burning engine with it—and pilot and passengers swoop to a safe landing in a motorless glider.
SIGHT-SEEING accommodations in the Pacific Northwest approach the de luxe with the advent of this open observation car, equipped with individual windshields, as shown above. The Union Pacific Railroad recently put into operation on its Columbia River Gorge division in Oregon these luxurious cars, open at the top to permit observation of the towering mountains en route. Additional comfort for the passengers is obtained by use of forty-four individual windshields, to be adapted to each passenger in the car.
YOU can keep your house cooler in summer and warmer in winter merely by choosing the right kind of paint for covering the roof. That startling conclusion follows recent tests made by the American Society of Heating and Ventilating Engineers at the U. S. Bureau of Mines, Pittsburgh, Pa.
THE most serious riddle I have met in the examination of thousands of plates,” says Dr. Ejnar Hertzsprung, Dutch astronomer, of a phenomenon reported by the Harvard Observatory. On two photographs taken through a Harvard telescope appeared a mysterious object, like the image of a bright star.
HOME repairs to innumerable breaks in tools and household apparatus are possible by a newly invented selflocking steel tape, by which the breaks are clamped and held under pressure, as by a belt. The ingenious repair kit applies a metal strip as easily as if it were adhesive tape. A special tool is used, and the finished mend is a neat, tight-drawn band of metal held in place by a diminutive “buckle,” as in the above photograph.
Snakes’ Hospital Has Beds And Diet of Imported Bugs
A "SNAKE hospital” with comfortable beds in it and a resident physician to care for the reptiles’ ills, is an amazing feature of the new reptile house of London's Zoological Gardens. It boasts a diet kitchen, a battery of artificial sunlight lamps, and other equipment of a hospital for human beings.
WHIRLING screws whisk sacks of sugar through a warehouse in the remarkable new portable conveyor, driven by electricity, shown below. Light in weight, it can be moved about the factory and set up anywhere in a few moments without need of any rigid and elaborate framework to hold it.
SILKY cloth, strong enough to be fashioned into clothing, is the latest product which the chemist’s magic is extracting for the farmer from those hitherto wasted by-products—cornstalks. Samples of the fabric were exhibited recently by Dr. O. R. Sweeney, chief chemist of Iowa State College, with paper and lumber substitutes also made from cornstalks.
THE huge mechanical centipede shown below, and two others like it, will save the engineers of the Moffat Tunnel in Colorado $2,500,000. It is called a “cantilever girder,” by its inventor, George Lewis, general manager of the project; it crawls on its back into the tunnel as it is excavated, and with protruding arms supports the roof, eliminating cave-ins.
EXCESSIVE expansion of steam pipes resulting from high temperatures has been accommodated in a unique manner by these large ducts, recently constructed in France, composed of flexible corrugated pipes. The flexibility permits the loops to adapt themselves to whatever expansion the steam causes.
CONCRETE that is 15 percent to 30 percent stronger than the usual kind is now made possible, it is claimed, by a curing process, perfected by a Los Angeles corporation. “Curing” is the treatment of wet concrete by which its moisture is conserved in order that the concrete shall dry slowly and uniformly.
NOT content with possessing the only gold flute in the world, Prof. Dayton C. Miller, of Cleveland, proposes to construct one entirely of the more precious metal, platinum. Such a flute would probably be intrinsically the most expensive musical instrument in the world.
BY A new process the gases that you exhale in breathing may be analyzed in from six to ten minutes, instead of the thirty or forty formerly required. Chemists of the U. S. Bureau of Standards perfected the method. What the gases consist of is shown by the amount of heat lost from a delicate electrically heated platinum wire surrounded by a sample of the gas.
MILK, in these days of diverse byproducts, means a good deal more than a wholesome beverage. It may be the “jewel” in your ring, the leather in your suit case, or the linoleum you walk on. There is far greater demand for butter and cream than for skimmed milk; consequently, the residue from the creameries has to be utilized in other ways.
THE prevailing opinion that gas warfare is “devilish, brutal, and should be abolished” is unfounded, according to the recent statements of two experts on the subject. In fact, they declared, gas can be one of the least brutal yet one of the most effective weapons of combat.
RADIO waves make plants grow, is the recent amazing statement of Admiral W. H. G. Bullard, Chairman of the Federal Radio Commission. Under his direction, a crop of barley was planted beneath the towers of the Navy’s high-power radio station at Arlington, Va., to fertilize the soil for subsequent gardening.
NOW it is possible to time water sports just as accurately as automobile or other land races. The illustration above shows a new electric timer for rowing races, first used at a recent intercollegiate regatta in the East. The experiment was successful, and in the future all such events may be timed by similar devices.
IMPURITIES seeping into the blood fluid from bad or excess food in the digestive tract are the real cause of “old age,” according to Dr. Leonard Williams, British physician. They adulterate the "plasma” — the watery yellowish fluid in which the blood’s red and white corpuscles float—and hinder its waste-removing duties, he says.
NEXT time you see a rainbow in the sky, make careful note of its colors, their arrangement and brilliancy. Then save your notes for comparison with subsequent rainbows. You may think all rainbows are alike. Actually, though, each one is different, according to a recent statement of British meteorologists.
BEFORE long the Everglades— Florida’s famous tropical marsh—may be no more. Final plans for its drainage have been completed by the State, and the Legislature has authorized bonds to finance the gigantic reclamation project. Ninety miles long and fifty wide, the historic swamp, infested with tropical reptile and insect life, has long been the subject of various reclamation schemes.
APPROXIMATELY 360,000,000 blows, during thirty years of continuous use, moulded a hammer handle to the form of hands that used it. This tool is owned by a Philadelphia sawmaker to whom it was handed down by his father and his grandfather, also sawmakers.
GREAT BRITAIN has started something which, in the end, may save the world billions of corns and foot-aches. The Government, through its Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, recently has undertaken a census of the nation’s feet.
Plans for motion pictures of earthquakes have just been announced by the U. S. Coast and Geodetic Survey. One of its experts, Capt. Paul Whitney, recently conferred with seismologists of the University of California to locate the “faults” or rock breaks along which earthquakes occur.
THE smallest book in the world could get lost under a nickel. This midget volume, 166-1000 of an inch across and 6-100 of an inch thick, contains 64 pages! The printing was done by specially processed plates, 112-1000 of an inch wide. The tiny volume is an illustrated Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, with an engraving of Edward Fitzgerald, the translator.
CORN and cotton fields were successfully measured last summer by the U. S. Department of Agriculture’s remarkable speedometer-like “crop meter,” a device attached to an automobile. As described in a previous issue of POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY, this apparatus was designed to count crops instead of miles on its several dials, showing the proportionate distance along any given route through the farming district occupied by wheat, oats, corn, or other crops.
SHIP collisions in fog may now be averted with a new radio “whistle detector” designed by Frank Rieber, a consulting engineer of San Francisco. The delicate apparatus is said to pick up the inaudible sound of a distant ship’s whistle, show the direction from which it comes, and tell how far away it is.
PIANO playing can now be criticized from an accurate record, instead of entirely from the aural memory. A device perfected by Otto Artman, a Baltimore piano instructor, writes a record of the performer's arm movements during playing. By comparison with an expert’s record, errors are discerned.
CAN vampires, the fearsome bloodsucking bats of the tropics slit a man’s flesh so stealthily in the night that he may lose his life-blood in his sleep? Yes, says C. H. Townsend of the U. S. Department of Agriculture, in a recent statement in the New York Zoölogical Society Bulletin, contradicting another naturalist’s opinion that such a bite would cause instant awakening and that the wound would not continue to bleed, due to possible astringent qualities of the bat’s saliva.
THOUGH boiling kills most disease germs, a few can resist prolonged heat, according to recent researches by bacteriologists of the Hooper Foundation for Medical Research at the University of California. Tetanus, or lockjaw, germs, the tests showed, can survive ninety minutes in boiling water.
HERE'S a new way to utilize the discarded inner tubes from your motor car's tires. Mitchell Carter, a Los Angeles inventor, recently conceived the idea that they might be made into toy rubber balloons for children. He tried his scheme, and it worked admirably, becoming the joy of the neighborhood.
COLLISION with an iceberg off the coast of Labrador recently cost the Canadian steamship Montcalm a new propeller blade—a minor accident the more noteworthy because it was the first reported mishap from this cause in the fifteen years since the International Ice Patrol was established!
POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY is always glad, whenever possible, to answer all of its readers’ questions on technical or other problems that are within its scope. Any inquiries should be addressed to the Information Department, Popular Science Monthly, 250 Fourth Avenue, New York City.
M. DESCARSINS, French Army radio engineer, has developed a radio transmitting circuit in which he can employ as much as twenty kilowatts of power on a forty-five-meter wave. Russia, India and South America have reported hearing signals from his station.
THIS unusual one-piece radio outfit was designed by an Ohio inventor, who claims for it compactness, portability, and economy of construction. The set is built inside an aluminum drum, which houses the receiver and is a frame for the loudspeaker cone.
HOT air is the unusual agent employed for highly polishing plated metal in a recently devised tarnishremoving process. After nickel-plated articles have been cleaned in a special bath, they are placed in a wire basket that whirls at high speed while a pipe blasts hot air through it. The metal is dried and brought to a high polish in this single operation, saving considerable labor and expense in the finishing process.
PREVALENCE of snakes, scorpions and similar pests in Egypt has led farmers there to devise a novel method of safe sleeping during the hot summer months. They build huge round urns of baked mud outside their homes. The urns are shaped with tapering bottoms and large rims, and at night the whole family can climb into them, quite confident that the slippery sides will keep snakes and other disturbers of their slumber at a safe distance.
TWO new burglar alarms have recently been perfected by inventors in widely separated corners of the world. Using a new kind of supersensitive electric cell, which responds to the light or shade falling on it, Dr. Robert L. Burt, of the California Institute of Technology, has devised an alarm that is said to give instant warning when anyone enters the room.
THAT the crust of the earth twists slowly on the planet’s internal core, as though the skin of a orange were loose and rotated around its inside portion, is the suggestion of Professor Bruno Meyermann, of the University of Goettingen, Germany.
EVERY second Americans drink 75,000 cups of coffee! That is the amazing estimate of Cyrus F. Blanke, St. Louis, tea and coffee importer, based on a study of data for the first five months of 1927. We consume 121 billion cups of coffee a year, he declares. More than a billion and a half pounds of coffee, and a hundred million pounds of tea. will be used to satisfy America’s 1927 thirst for beverages, the figures indicate.
YOU don’t need a back yard to grow table vegetables, according to Mrs. C. A. Alcott, of Alhambra, Calif. She has had built several unique “vertical gardens,” in which she grows successfully strawberries, carrots, onions, radishes, and spinach.
NOW that Dr. W. W. Coblentz and his staff of experts at the U. S. Bureau of Standards are making notable advances in the study of luminous animals and bacteria, the mystery of the will-o’-the-wisp—the strange, flickering light that has occasionally been seen at night over marshes—may soon be solved.
HAILSTONES as big as baseballs fell in a recent Canadian storm near Cochrane, Alberta, according to reports. The spheres of ice, some described as four inches in diameter, worked costly havoc, tearing down telephone wires and puncturing automobile tops.
IN A recent balloon race from Detroit, the winner, Svend A. U. Rasmussen, of Detroit, soared approximately 580 miles to a new world’s distance record for craft of his class. The previous record for balloons of this “third category”— 42,400 cubic feet capacity — was 500 miles. To become official, the new record must be confirmed by the International Aeronautical Association.
BUILDING ships half a mile from the nearest water is the unusual practice at a dry land shipyard which is doing “land office business” in San Francisco, Calif. After each craft is completed, it is swung by a huge crane on a special motor truck trailer and driven to a waterfront pier.
CRYSTAL PALACE, a famous London structure, which housed part of the Hyde Park exhibition of 1851, contains 242 miles of glass panes. In a recent renovation steeplejack glaziers squirmed all over the lofty glass dome of 100,000 pieces, several hundred feet above ground.
TWO new radio time signals, twice day, on shorter wave lengths than any previously used—24.9 and 37.4 meters—have just been instituted by the U. S. Naval Observatory, Washington, D. C. With those already in effect at Washington, at Greenwich, England— the world’s time center—and at other points on the globe, they will distribute “standard time”—one of the most important services astronomy can render.
NATURE sometimes produces strange freaks, and one of the queerest is the tree root pictured below, recently picked up in Richmond Park, London. The extraordinary resemblance to the neck and head of a duck puzzled even the hen, which, wandering aimlessly across the grass, came upon the phenomenon and stopped in bewilderment to examine it.
ARE “puncture-proof” compounds for automobile and bicycle tires true to their name? Sixty-five of these preparations are the subject of a recent report of the U. S. Bureau of Standards. Relatively small punctures, says the bureau, may be plugged more or less permanently by the best of them, and porous tubes sealed; large punctures, cuts, blow-outs and “pinched” tubes need other remedies.
PERHAPS the only place in the world where the eagle is a domesticated servant of man is in the scarcely known district between the Caspian and Aral Seas in Central Asia, where it has been recently found that the semicivilized Kazak nomads tame the birds and teach them to hunt.
WHAT was the first toy soldier? This remarkable pottery plaything, recently discovered in a burial mound near Ixtlan, Mexico, claims the title. Archaeologists estimate its age at thousands of years. It is believed to have been made by the ancient Toltecs of Mexico.
FROM a cannon’s muzzle to a library center table is a long jump, but that is the evolution made by this six-pounder naval shell, with the aid of two dexterous and industrious sailors. The library lamp is the product of one week’s labor by these two sailors from the U. S. S. Cunningham, a destroyer stationed at the Charlestown Navy Yard, Boston.
WITH the aid of radioactive substance such as “Radium C,” one of the solid products of decaying radium, and “polonium,” another related substance, atoms can now be pvdverized, according to G. Kirsch and H. Pettersson, who recently told the Academy of Sciences at Vienna, Austria, that they had successfully bombarded pure carbon—the principal element of coal—with the radioactive rays.
HOW big are falling raindrops? The difficult task of measuring their size has just been performed by J. J. Nolan and J. Enright, of University College, Dublin, Ireland. According to the average they found, it would take 312 raindrops laid side by side to make an inch. A very few reached ten times this size. More than three thousand drops were measured.
WHEN you burn your finger does your brain learn it by a sort of radio or electric wave that transmits the message through your nerve system? That was the old belief, based on the fact that stimulated nerves had never been found to give off heat.
SYNTHETIC materials recently made up the wedding costume of a West Virginia girl, exhibited later to the American Chemical Society. It cost but $25. All was artificial, from the tulle veil to the silver-rayed slippers. Dress, stockings and lace were of rayon made from wood and cotton.
Flying Ambulance, Odd Birdlike Glider, Improved Parachutes and Sky Beacons; Scores of Ingenious New Uses for Airplanes
TRAVEL by plane at less than rail fare is now possible, according to Sir John Rhodes, British aviation enthusiast. With one passenger, he recently completed a 1500mile pleasure trip through France and Belgium in a small plane of the “moth” type at a cost of less than seventy dollars—including gasoline, oil, housing for the airplane, and even customs fees.
A REMARKABLE new type of life-saving parachute was successfully tested recently at the Navy’s air station at Anacostia, D. C. Unlike the fabric previously used, the new silk, a special weave, has the distinction of being porous until air pressure closes its tiny orifices.
A NEW type of balloon that could stay in the air for weeks, and travel halfway around the earth, is proposed by Lucien Bodin, a Frenchman. Besides its ordinary gas bag, filled with hydrogen gas, not quite large enough to support it alone, the craft would have an auxiliary compartment filled with air to supply the additional necessary buoyancy.
CAN a man-built flying machine surpass in speed a man’s endurance? The human factor will be the eventual limit of an airplane’s velocity, according to Major Louis H. Bauer, Medical Corps, U. S. A. Future airplanes may reach a speed that will not allow a turn to be made; pressure on the side of the pilot’s brain, caused by a sharp curve, would result in death.
BRILLIANT scarlet fog-piercing lights, of the type invented by Raymond R. Machlett of New York and illustrated in a previous issue of POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY, are now in use at Curtiss Field, N. Y., and Hadley Field, near New Brunswick, N. J. The U. S. Bureau of Standards has made a favorable report ou the new airplane beacons and if final Government tests now being conducted prove satisfactory they will be installed at landing fields throughout the country.
PURSUING and capturing law-breakers—studying eclipses of the sun— and discovering factory violators of the smoke nuisance laws are some of the strange uses for airplanes disclosed by a recent survey directed by William P. MacCracken, head of the new civilian aviation branch of the U. S. Department of Commerce.
IS AN air mail service across the ocean to Europe likely soon to become a fact, instead of, at present, a fascinating possibility? A few days ago, Second Assistant Postmaster General W. Irving Glover announced the Post Office Department would establish an air route over the Atlantic at the first opportunity, and that schedules probably could be maintained with regularity.
NOW the secret of a bird's perfect flight is to be a secret no longer. A new instrument invented by Huguenard and Magnan, two French students of aerodynamics, may be attached to a bird's back and used to record its motions in the air with perfect accuracy.
IF YOU don’t know how to swim, this “aquabike” may solve the problem for you. A pair of bicycle pedals driven by the feet rotates a small screw propeller at the submerged end of the device. Floats on the arms and one at the end keep the rider on the surface of the water.
A LITTLE care often will safeguard you against the possibility of punctured or blownout tires. A large percentage of flat tires are not caused at the moment the tire runs over the puncturing object. In most cases, the tack or nail is lying on the road in such a position that its point is not aimed directly upward.
STEEL will melt, boil, and finally evaporate in an amazing electrical furnace, which does not create enough heat to scorch a piece of paper! The furnace resembles a glass bell such as many restaurants use to cover doughnuts. Inside the bell is set up an electric coil through which a strong current reverses itself 30,000 times a second.
SOMETHING new in auto jacks are these individual wheel lifters. You don’t need to hunt through the tool chest for your jack, and then get down in the mud to put it in place beneath the axle— for each of the new set of four jacks is permanently bolted on to the axle of the car near the wheel it raises.
TO CRUSH an eggshell so delicately that the inner membrane would be unbroken, a pressure of fifty-one pounds had to be exerted by a giant testing machine at the Bureau of Standards in Washington, D. C.
WHEN a remarkable “flying doughnut” airplane with four circular wings recently attempted to take the air at Curtiss Field, N. Y., a crash ended the short experiment. From a height of three feet the odd craft, described in the September issue of POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY, fell, struck a bump, and collapsed.
HE'S a twenty-two-piece orchestra all by himself! This labyrinth of horns, drums, tubes and strings is really a highly intricate musical assemblage, the result of seven years’ work by Albert Nelson, of Minneapolis, Minn. Only the inventor is able to master it, but when Nelson gets his hands, knees, feet and mouth to going all at once, the results are said to approximate an orchestra of over twenty pieces.
BENEATH the ground of London, England, in a secret tunnel that hid Crown Jewels and paintings of the London National Gallery during the war, is probably the strangest subway station in the world. No train ever has entered it; but on its seventy feet of standard subway track engineers and signal dispatchers of the London Underground Railways learn the intricacies of underground railroading.
TEST yourself with the twelve questions below, selected from hundreds seht in by our readers. For the correct answers turn to page 167. 1. Where can submarine gardens be seen in the United States ? 2. How was Mammoth Cave formed ? 3. Where is the ground covered with moss instead of grass ?
What Is Static? Why Do Signals Fade? How Can the Waves Penetrate Solid Walls? These Queries and Many Others Answered
THERE are many theories. One of the most plausible is that the radio wave from a distant station arrives at your set in two sections, one being the reflection from the upper atmosphere. Because the paths of these sections are constantly changing, the two sections are alternately in step and out.
Survey Shows “Electric" Sets Are Principal Goal of Manufacturers—Other New Developments
What’s New in Battery Sets
The Electric Models
Cones Win Out
Automatic A-Power Units
You May Get Stung!
High Voltage B-Eliminators
All the Volume You Want
How to Choose Your Set
THIS year will witness the development of a most remarkable situation in the radio industry. The average man, interested as he is only in the results to be obtained from radio and unfamiliar with the problems involved in radio reception, has demanded that his set operate directly from the electric light socket without the aid of any batteries or charging devices.
THE ease with which alternating current passes through a fixed or variable condenser depends entirely on the frequency of the alternation. At the tremendously rapid alternations of radio-frequency current, a very low capacity condenser offers but little resistance to the current flow.
MANY factory-built radio receivers are now constructed without binding posts. Instead, there is a heavy cable brought out of the back of the receiver. This cable contains in one woven covering all the wires needed to connect the power supply to the radio set.
THESE brain teasers by Sam Loyd, most famous puzzle maker in the world, are presented from month to month by POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY in response to requests from hundreds of readers. They are not mere time killers, but real tests of your mental ability.
Precautions You Can Take to Guard Doors and Windows and Double Security of Your Home
JOHN R. McMAHON
JIM the truckman used to drive his two-horse open vehicle to the back door of the bank. Men came out with small heavy boxes and threw them onto the truck. It did not take many boxes to make a ton of gold, worth half a million dollars. A tarpaulin was tossed over the load as a graceful gesture of protection.
Gus Helps a Husband Who Was Nagged into a Smash and Gives Some Advice for Passengers
"NOW Horace,” nagged the cross looking woman in the back seat, “are you sure we don’t need oil? You’d better have the man look over that back tire while we’re here. Is the radiator full of water? Remember what I told you—” “Yes, my dear,” the solemn faced man behind the wheel mumbled mechanically as he received his change from Joe Clark, threw the ignition switch and kicked the starter button.
AFTER a day on the road the motor camper usually does not feel in the mood for the job of pumping up the air mattresses. By using two of the regular pumps supplied with the mattresses, arranged as shown above, you can make the auto engine do the work for you.
F. R. GORTON, of Ypsilanti, Mich., wins the $10 prize this month for his suggestion of an air mattress inflating method (Fig. 1). Each month POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY awards $10, in addition to regular space rates, to the reader sending in the best idea for motorists.
THE mechanism of your windshield wiper wears in after it has been in use for some months and then you will experience some bother because the jarring of the car will gradually move it down into your line of vision. To save yourself the annoyance of constantly pushing it up out of the way, add a spring clip as shown in Fig. 3.
FIG. 2 shows a simple method of making a valve grinding tool that will do good work with minimum effort by the operator. A section of broomstick or an old shade roller is cut to the right length, slotted at the bottom and drilled for a cotter pin.
IF YOU will examine your tire chains, you will find that the wear comes at the points indicated in the drawings above and, owing to the curve of each link, when you turn the chain over, the wear comes at a different point on the link. The worn spots will not harm the tire.
EVEN in cool weather there are times when the occupants of a closed car desire to go without hats. This is particularly true during stormy weather when it is necessary to keep all windows closed. A simple holder that will keep any type of hat out of the way is shown in Fig. 4.
How to Play Surgeon to the Woodwork in Your Home— Fillers for Cracks and Holes — Polishing Blemishes
BUMP! If you have a youngster in your home, you know that kind of sound only too well. It means that Bobby, in the next room with his toy car, has violated the traffic code of the household, as laid down by yourself, and has had a tremendous collision with some piece of furniture.
Like Lindbergh's great monoplane in appearance but with a wing spread of only three feet
Not hard to build and costs little for materials; is driven by strong rubber-band motor
J. DANNER BUNCH
AVISON F. KOCH
AFTER Colonel Lindbergh’s glorious achievement, a prize possession for anyone would be a flying model of his famous Ryan monoplane, the Spirit of St. Louis. The accompanying illustrations show a 3-ft. flying model of the plane. Larger drawings and additional details are contained in POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY Blueprint No. 69 (see page 102).
An Inexpensive Blower Will Enable You to Burn Cheap Grades of Coal Satisfactorily in Your House Furnace
CHARLES B. CARLON
MANY POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY readers are of an experimental turn of mind and have an intimate acquaintance with home heating plants. They know how high is the cost of operation, how poor the draft with any but the best grades of coal, and how much manual labor is required in tending a furnace.
How to Adapt the "De Luxe" or a Factory Built Eliminator to Get Better Volume and Quality
ALFRED P. LANE
THe de luxe B-eliminator described in POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY for September was designed to operate, without adjustments of any kind, all modern types of radio sets fitted with a power tube, type 171, in the last audio stage. However, many of our readers are using older types of radio sets equipped throughout with 201A tubes.
How to Prepare the Walls—Estimating the Number of Rolls Required—Sizing and Pasting—Ceiling Work
LAWRENCE B. ROBBINS
WALL paper hanging is really a simple job when the essential points are understood. Of course, if very expensive papers and embossed wall hangings are to be used or a number of rooms redecorated, it is better to have the expert services of a painter and decorator, but any amateur can make a passable job of an ordinary room.
A Simply-Made Reference Gage Enables You to Be Sure a Square or Other Ninety-Degree Element Is Correct
WHILE many things in this world cannot be proved, the conscientious mechanic, like the physicist or chemist, seeks to have proof on as many facts as he can. You may tell a machinist that a milling cutter is hard, but the chances are that he will try his file on it.
Artistic Touches That Add Beauty and Value— “Billowing" the Sails — Painting Flags
A. W. EIDMAN
HERE'S our ship model in front of us, just about finished. We feel mighty proud of our handiwork, but there seems to be something missing. Let’s see if we can’t add a touch here and there that will give more life to our model. Have we ever seen a ship under sail ride the waves as our model rides her cradle?
How to Build a Boudoir Cabinet of Unusual Grace and Beauty
CHARLES A. KING
WHAT wife, sister or daughter would not value highly this dainty little cabinet, which will just fit a niche or corner in even the smallest boudoir? What young girl would not consider this cabinet a wonderfully desirable equivalent for a real grown-up hope chest?
WHEN a handsaw or compass-saw handle becomes cracked and a new one cannot be conveniently obtained, a repair often may be made as shown. Two 5/16 or ⅜-in. holes are bored close together and saw cuts made between them and across the crack.
UNSNAGGABLE, spoon-shaped arrowheads of the type illustrated have several advantages over the standard barbed points used for hunting. They do not catch in the brush while the bow is being drawn or at other critical moments; they do not cling so tenaciously when shot into roots or tangled grass; and they do not mar the shafts of other arrows when being removed from or returned to the quiver.
THE boys in a residential district of Topeka, Kansas, have many happy hours of wholesome exercise at the outdoor gymnasium illustrated. The supports are 6 by G in. posts, standing 14 ft. high above the ground. They are set 4 ft. deep in cement and are spaced 6 ft apart.
WHEN the center thwart of a canvas-covered canoe is frequently removed to make room for passengers or duffel, the unavoidable wear eventually loosens the bolts running through the wales and enlarges the holes in the thwart. Between loose bolts and worn holes, the canoe may gain an inch in beam and lose the rigidity essential in so light a craft.
STRIPS of clear pine, left over from inclosing a back porch with lattice work, were used to ornament the outdoor flower box illustrated. The box itself was built of 12 in. wide boards; it is 3 ft. long and 12 in. wide. The four corner posts are 1 by 2 in. by 4ft.
Clamp for Gluing Furniture Made with Aid of a Jack
WINSOR R. DAVIS
AN AUTO jack may be used as shown below for making a large adjustable clamp to aid in gluing furniture. The frame in which the work is placed varies, of course, according to the size of the parts to be glued, but the arrangement in any size is adaptable to a wide variety of operations.
MANY handy men occasionally have to do light riveting. To facilitate this in my own case, I have sunk a piece of hard steel ⅜ by 3 by 3 in. into the top of my workbench right over one of the front legs. Being flush with the top, the plate is out of the way, yet it makes a solid and useful anvil for small work.
TO MAKE a clothes hamper like that illustrated, a few strips of wood, a board for the top and bottom, a number of newspapers, two small hinges, a can of paint, glue, sandpaper, nails, tacks, and corrugated fasteners are required. The builder may determine the dimensions to suit himself, but those indicated give a hamper of convenient size.
WOODWORK and trim in small rooms is sometimes given a novel stippled finish with two or three coats of flat paint or brushing lacquer and a very thin glazing coat of a harmonizing or contrasting color. Glazing colors can be purchased for use over flat paints, and a glaze for use over lacquers can be made simply by thinning a lacquer of the selected color with lacquer thinner made by the same manufacturer.
ANY ONE of the blueprints listed below can be obtained for 25 cents. The blueprints are complete in themselves, but if you wish the corresponding back issue of the magazine, in which the project was described in detail, it can be had for 25 cents additional so long as copies are available.
BY USING a dressmaker’s small spring tape measure, the amateur photographer can always be sure he has the correct distance when he is taking pictures with a portrait attachment. Many photographers use a string, knotted at given intervals, but with a tape measure the exact distance can always be found.
THE owner of a graflex camera sometimes wishes to take group pictures with himself included. For this purpose an automatic timer intended for kodaks may be used, if a simple attachment is made of 1/16 in. thick sheet brass as shown, and fastened to the camera.
MINIATURE grandfather and banjo clocks are decorative and useful little novelties. A watch, small alarm clock, or desk clock will serve for the “works” and the case can be constructed to suit. Two designs are illustrated, and many variations are possible.
AMATEUR mechanics often wonder why some hand saws have a nib on the back near the point. One explanation is that carpenters of the old school used to fasten a piece of slotted wood over the teeth of the saw to protect them from damage while being carried from job to job.
TRIM the flange from one end of a spool, fit a piece cut from a clothespin into the large end of the spool as shown, and you have the beginning of a toy whistle. Notch the spool about ½ in. from the end, barely cutting through into the hole in the spool.
YOUR stepladder can be made several feet taller in a few minutes if you have ready the necessary extension pieces. Those shown are used to extend an 8-ft. ladder to 10 ft., but the same general plan can be followed for ladders of other sizes. The cost of a large stepladder is saved, there is some economy in storage space, and it is easier to carry the ladder on the running board of an automobile.
ACETIC acid is one of the weaker organic acids. Commercial acetic acid, which usually contains about thirty percent of the acid in water, is sufficient for the majority of requirements in the home workshop. Vinegar, which contains from two to four percent of this acid, may also be used where a highly diluted solution is required.
Questions Our Readers Ask about Finishing Woodwork
THAT the finishing of woodwork and furniture is a matter of the keenest interest to many readers of POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY, is made clear by the number of letters received in regard to painting problems. Among the questions recently brought up, the following are representative.
ONE of the most tedious jobs when refinishing furniture and picture frames is the sandpapering of the hollows of moldings to a smooth, clean-cut finish. The use of the little devices illustrated simplifies and speeds up this kind of work. For hollows of small radius, iron rods are bent and attached to hardwood handles ⅞ by 1 by 6 in., as shown.
IN FITTING up cellar rooms, it is sometimes desired to give the cement foundation a fine, glossy finish. This can be done if the cement has been well troweled and is reasonably even. Rub the surface with coarse sandpaper until it is as smooth as possible, give it a coat of saturated zinc sulphate solution—about 4 lbs. to 1 gal. water—to neutralize the excessive alkali, and brush on a priming coat of white lead or a ready mixed paint for interior use.
HERE is a new idea for making knockdown tables for churches or halls where a room is to be used as a banquet or dining room at one time and as an assembly hall at another. Thirty such tables were made recently for a city church from plans originated by the members in charge.
WHILE building a circular stone tower for a water tank, I used the method illustrated to get the masonry round and plumb. A wooden template was made of boards in T-form and pivoted on a 1-in. pipe set in the center of the tower. The upper end of the pipe was braced with three ropes, tied to stakes driven in the ground some distance away.
AN ELECTRIC extension cord is sometimes thrown away because of the difficulty of locating a break in the wires that is concealed by the insulation. A break of this sort can be found by connecting the wires at one end of the cord to the high tension terminals of a Ford spark coil.
THE semi-automatic center punch illustrated below has proved to be an interesting and instructive project for pupils in high schools and vocational school machine shops to make. The body of the punch is of tool steel, the weight and head of soft steel.
WHEN highpowered, undercut milling cutters are used, the clearance is often a source of trouble because of guesswork in checking it. Small gages for this purpose can be made as shown by laying out the angle—in this case 5 percent clearance on a 10 percent undercut mill—and filing them.
FIVE general kinds of fits are in common use—the running fit, the push fit, the driving fit, the force fit, and the shrink fit. Stop to think when you are making any of these fits and avoid a misfit. Mr. “I Didn’t Think” has no business in a machine shop.
FOR benches and shop tables of varying width and height the writer uses with success a standard bench leg made of angle iron as shown. Only six ⅜-in. bolts are required for assembling each leg. The angles and flats are cut to length and punched or drilled with 7/16-in. holes.
A COSTLY piece of work sometimes is seriously damaged because of a poor thread. The stock may be of such a nature as to make the production of a satisfactory thread practically impossible, or, if the part is to be hardened, as in the case of the particular job illustrated, the process of heat-treating may so distort the threads that they must be corrected.
ON MANY occasions when melted babbitt or lead is used in the shop, it is convenient to be able to pour the metal from either side of the ladle or from the front. Any mechanic can make a ladle that will do this simply by attaching a handle to a square metal box.
IF THERE is anything under the sun that gets misplaced or lost more easily than a small chuck wrench, few machinists could tell you what it is. Until you can get or make another wrench to take the place of one that is missing, here is a quick way in which to improvise an excellent substitute for it:
WHEN a search of the hardware stores failed to locate a pair of heavy trammel points, we decided to make a pair in the shop. The construction is illustrated. The points were made to fit a 1 in. square wooden bar. The frame was made of a piece of bronze 3/16 in. thick and 3 in. long.
REAMERS should be handled carefully and protected from the rough usage sometimes accorded other tools. In one large tool crib, each reamer is kept in a holder of the type illustrated. It is a solid block of hard wood with a hole a little larger than the reamer and long enough to cover the cutting edges.
THE working hardness of a die may be checked without the use of a hardness testing machine or any tools other than an ordinary screw press. The writer used the method to be described on blanking dies which were required to punch hard, cold-rolled crucible sheets.
WHEN a sheet iron template is used for laying out work, it is common practice to scratch around the hole and then find the center with dividers. A self-locating center punch that saves this work by automatically finding the center of the holes, is illustrated below.
IN GRINDING work between centers on the lathe, it is often difficult to get near the live-spindle end of the part because the dog is in the way and would strike the wheel, which as a rule must be set at an angle. On long work it is sometimes possible to reverse the part, but this is out of the question on shorter work and undesirable even in many cases where the part is long enough and can be driven from the other end.
DUST guards on the journal boxes of electric car trucks, such as those used in New York subways, are made of soft wood ½ in. thick. Each of these must have a hole from 4 to 6 in. in diameter accurately cut to fit the axle. In making these in quantities, the boring of the hole was the most difficult job until the tool shown was developed.
MANY times we should like to know with certainty whether a seat, gasket or union is leaking. Perhaps we have no soap suds or light available for a test, or it may not be safe to have a light about. In that case a bit of thread, held in a split in the end of a match or toothpick, may be held close to the connection as shown.
How to Guard against Brown Spots When Painting Cedar
DIFFICULTY is sometimes experienced in painting red cedar siding because disfiguring brown spots come through the paint. Some painters test cedar siding beforehand by applying a strong solution of household ammonia to a few of the boards.
ANY car owner who hesitates to undertake repair work on his auto because he has not the proper set of tools, can well afford to buy a few special tools. These will save money and afford him pleasure and satisfaction. Among the general tools are adjustable wrenches, screw drivers, hammers and bearing scrapers.
Designed in Duncan Phyfe Style—Simple Enough for Boys to Build
JOHN L. HONAN
IS THERE a woman who would not appreciate the gift of such a charming sewing cabinet as this? The design follows closely upon the lines of Duncan Phyfe, most famous of early American furniture makers. Accordingly, the piece should be built of mahogany or some wood that may be finished in imitation of that noble wood— red birch, red gum or even whitewood.
UNBALANCED armatures or tight belts often cause excessive wear of the bushings in an electric motor. Even under normal use, the wear may be sufficient to require rebushing. This can be done quite easily in the home shop. One method of pressing out the old bushings is illustrated.
Old Monkey Wrench Jaw Serves as Anvil for Delicate Work
F. W. B.
THE anvil in most of our small home workshops is an old cast-off flatiron, but for bending and riveting very small parts, the back jaw and screw of a scrapped 12or 14-in. monkey wrench is better. A washer is placed on each side of the bench top when the jaw is clamped in place, as shown.
BY THE exercise of a little ingenuity, you can provide lights for any ship model. The lantern illustrated, for example, was made to fit the Spanish galleon model designed by Captain McCann for POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY (Blueprints Nos. 46 and 47, page 102).
1. The best submarine gardens known on this continent occur at two points along the coast of California, one off Santa Catalina Island, south of Los Angeles, and the other in Carmel Bay, just south of Monterey. At either of these places a trip in a glass-bottom boat will disclose the most wonderful assemblage of brilliantly colored seaweeds, fish, and marine animals, including the famous abalone and occasionally even an octopus, or “devilfish.”