A REGULAR foursome at the country club consists of Dr. Mark Atkins, Tom Kelsey, Asst. Secretary of a large insurance company, Larry Strong, Vice-President of an oil burner company and Allen Kirby, banker. One of the first to start play each Saturday afternoon, they generally get through in time to sit around the locker room and chat a while before going home to dinner.
Dr. Samuel W. Stratton, President of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Selects Marvels of Today Beside Which Those of Antiquity Seem Commonplace
THE NINE WONDERS OF THE MODERN WORLD
EDGAR C. WHEELER
THE ancient world had seven wonders. All were architectural and artistic. You may still recall them—the Pyramids of Egypt and the Sphinx, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, the Tomb of Mausolus in Asia Minor, the Temple of Diana at Ephesus, the Colossus of Rhodes, the Statue of Jupiter Olympus in the valley of Olympia and the Pharos (Lighthouse) of Alexandria.
All of the romance and secret wizardry behind the screen revealed in a stirring, vivid novel
Ants Have “Cowboys”
S. W. NEWMEYER
"ONE million, seven hundred thousand, twenty-three dollars—and eighty-seven cents!" Jacob Eckstein’s moan rose to an anguished wail, but he was too disheartened to pound the desk with his usual fervor. “And not yet a picture! With so much money Carleton could’ve bought all the sheiks in Arabia and shipped them home in gold cages for personal appearances.”
Celluloid Viaducts, Dams and Skyscrapers Tested by Artificial Cyclones and by Floods Made with Mercury to Determine How Real Ones Can Be Built Safely
ALDEN P. ARMAGNAC
ACROSS the Potomac, the Arlington Memorial Bridge is being pushed to completion. Six massive piers are finished and ready for the superstructure; and the end of next year will probably see a 2138-foot roadway joining Washington, D. C., with the South.
World Experts with New Instruments Will Plumb Last Depths
JAMES N. MILLER
EXPLORERS of many nations are preparing to embark on what may be the most farreaching voyage of discovery since Magellan sailed around the globe. With ingenious new instruments they propose to penetrate and chart the “deeps”— those vast black canyons of mystery that lie miles down under the oceans.
Invisible Rays from Heavenly Bodies Stimulate Growth at Order of Divine Power, Says Noted Electrical Authority
ARTHUR A. STUART
A SAVANT in the dark ages attempted to create life by black magic. He used such terrifying ingredients as the hair of a bewitched dog, snake oil, wolfsbane, toad’s eye, deadly nightshade, extract of vampire, a portion of black cat and a bit of rooster’s comb snipped off by moonlight.
Four-Billion-Candlepower Beam from Huge Projector Promises to Make Whole Sky a Movie
GIGANTIC advertisements with letters 150 feet tall are now hurled across the sky above New York's “Great White Way” with a colossal four-billion-candlepower projecting engine—a device tamed from its wartime duty of sending blinding light against the crews of Zeppelins over London.
A Food Chemist Tells How Recent Research Explodes Pet Theories of Nutrition
T. SWANN HARDING
A MIDDLE-AGED man of my acquaintance, suffering from high blood pressure, called on his physician—a highly reputable practitioner—and after a thorough examination was told: “My friend, your trouble comes from eating too much meat.”
Automatic Device, Operating When Motor Stalls, Prevents Disasters in the Air
FIVE hundred feet above the Cricklewood, London, airdrome the other day, a huge fighter plane’s motor coughed, sputtered, and ceased its steady drone. Experienced airmen, standing on the field, watched with horror as the big plane’s nose went up in the air, robbing the slowing craft of its last mile of flying speed.
EVERY time you put your foot on the earth, you step on hundreds of millions of your partners. An entire microscopic world, with a population running into billions, lives and moves and multiplies in every shovelful of garden loam. We used to think animals and insects and plants were the only living things in the world.
Powerful Microscopes Reveal Strange Animals and Plants in the Soil; So Small That Millions Could Rest on Your Finger Nail and Yet So Energetic That They Feed Us All
mighty suns, incomparably larger than our earth, so large that we yet know as little of it as the cricket along a railroad track knows of the mechanics of a locomotive. But here we have the reverse of that picture—a complete world on the surface of each particle of fine loam or silt, so small that you can pile millions of them on your finger nail!
Despite Skeptics, Navy Goes into Action on the French Front, and Giant Weapons Take a Town with a Single Shot
REAR ADMIRAL CHARLES P. PLUNKETT
ST. NAZAIRE was the port selected for us because it had a 150-ton crane at one dock and two 125-ton cranes at French locomotive shops, with the Montoir storehouses near by. But when we got there we found plenty of chance for Navy ingenuity. The barracks they wanted us to sleep in were full of potatoes, and the floor had sagged.
How new vault doors of copper defy the most successful of all bank criminals
"IT'S a flop," cried “Wabash Whitey,” veteran torch burglar. Glancing at the clock over the bank door he saw that it was nearly four A.M. Dawn was approaching. Early risers were beginning to appear on the streets of the small Indiana town. It was no time to be trying to burn a way into a bank vault.
What Scientists Have Discovered About This Widely Discussed Subject in Thousands of Exhaustive Tests
What Was Your Experience?
KENNETH WILCOX PAYNE
WHILE American engineers were perfecting trans-Atlantic telephony by radio, an engineer in Paris was attempting a still more marvelous communication. He was trying to send messages to persons in New York without any physical apparatus at all, but by the direct action of mind on mind—by telepathy.
Below is shown the largest ship ever built in America, the airplane carrier Saratoga, recently launched. It can carry 83 planes. Its top deck, obstruction-free for landing and starting, is nearly 900 feet long
America’s first mine-laying sub, the V-4, takes the water at the Portsmouth, N. H., Navy Yard. She carries eighty-eight men. Electric cooking, movies, and post office are among features for the comfort and amusement of the sub’s crew
Speed records for load-carrying power boats are shattered by a new type of craft, tested recently at New York. An odd fin at its stern enabled it to better a sixty-mile clip with twenty-four passengers. The “fan tail” enables it to breast the water aquaplane style
Safety in the event of collision is claimed for his remarkable craft by Adam Drekolias, who recently tested the first full-sized model, seen above, at New York. Telescoping metal chambers, shown at right, expand and make the ship buoyant.
Here Are Things the World Says Can Be Done, and It Is Ready and Eager to Pay You Millions if You Can Only Do Them
The World Cries to You For—
HENRY SMITH WILLIAMS
THEY will tell you that opportunity knocks once only at any man’s door. Don’t let them fool you. Opportunity knocks every day at all our doors. But most of us are too deaf to hear. Or if we hear, we fail to understand. Did you hear the static crackling last night, when you had your radio tuned-in on that concert?
Linemen Struggle in Icy Storms Without Food or Rest to Repair Phone Lines That Sputter Tragedy
ROBERT E. MARTIN
THOSE fellows are playing with red-hot death!” My friend Bill, who has spent half his life at that very kind of “play,” in and about New York City, jerked his head upward toward a cluster of linemen on a telephone pole, silhouetted against the dusk.
Gus Finds in So Many Autos of Merit the Problem That Confronts Us All and Puts Client's Query Up to You
A Chance to Earn Ten Dollars
"HOW" about giving the Auto Show the once over tonight?" suggested Gus Wilson to his partner as they were closing up the Model Garage for the night. “I’m game,” Joe Clark replied. “Stop around for me any time after eight.” “Can’t you make it earlier? I’ll have Bill Crowley in tow. He wants me to help him pick out a car.”
The story of a boy who wanted to be a mechanic, and his winning fight with the crookedest man in the lumber camp
THE Old Boy was at his wits’ end. There went the bell on the tractor again, and the whistle-punk was still missing. He went to the door of the cook-shack and bellowed: “Emmet!” There was no answer. He waited a few seconds, his troubled eyes on the graying east.
We Can and Will, Says an Air Authority, and Helicopters Will Vie with Planes When the Problem of Endurance Is Solved
LATE reports from England reveal that the British Air Ministry has purchased the plans of an Italian engineer, Isacco, for a plane capable of rising straight up into the air—a type of flying machine long sought by inventors. In America, a recent report aroused wide interest, despite the company’s refusal to confirm it, that the Curtiss aircraft organization was building a vertical-rising craft similar to the Italian’s.
A Monk’s Laws of Heredity, Ignored For Years, Now Explain Differences Between Members of the Same Family
L. G. POPE
WHY are you different from your brothers and sisters? What gives one man brown eyes, another blue; makes one woman a blonde, another a brunette? Some of us are naturally thin, others stout; some tall, some short. Some are subject to diseases that others resist.
Establishes Rubber Plantation as Large as the States of Connecticut and Rhode Island Combined
HYATT E. GIBSON
ROMANCE is unfolding anew in the drama of industry! What gold, diamonds, coal and oil used to be, rubber has become—the lure to adventure and a source of fabulous wealth. A new race of treasure hunters has arisen. Throughout a vast belt drawn around the waist of the earth, extending some 900 miles on each side of the equator, men are plunging into the jungles for the precious milky fluid that produces the rubber we know in thousands of everyday articles without which the conveniences of modern communication and transportation would be well-nigh impossible.
LARGEST of weapons yet devised for war on disease is a gigantic new X-ray machine operated successfully for treatment of cancer in the research hospital of the University of Illinois in Chicago. It weighs four tons, occupies three large rooms, and cost about $500,000.
HOW came people to wear clothes? Was it because of modesty? Or immodesty, to make the body more mysterious and alluring? Or for adornment, or for protection from the elements? Each of these theories has been advanced. Now Dr. Knight Dunlap, professor of psychology in Johns Hopkins University, offers a new explanation.
ONCE radio’s big problem was to send the waves far enough. Now they often travel too far, around the earth and back again, causing an interfering echo. Occasionally they make several round trips, producing a series of echoes. Recent experiments in Germany revealed that the echo signals always came at intervals of a seventh of a second.
POPULATION is increasing so fast that unless drastic limitations are effected the world is headed for catastrophe and will have to hang out the “Standing Room Only” sign in sixty years. Such are the recent warnings of Edward Alsworth Ross, professor of sociology in the University of Wisconsin.
AFTER months of weather observations on the dreary Greenland ice cap, Prof. William H. Hobbs, head of the University of Michigan Greenland Expedition, returns more than ever convinced that the disasters from hurricanes which sweep down from the North upon Atlantic shipping lanes can eventually be averted by advance radio storm warnings.
BELIEF that man-made living beings eventually will be created artificially in the laboratory finds another supporter in Dr. Edwin E. Slosson, nationally known chemist, editor and author, who recently declared the chemist of the future will not only create life, but will find ways of altering personal character by chemical compounds.
FOLLOWING experiments just completed in the University of Chicago, A. C. Ivy of the Department of Physiology and Bessie Boggess of the Department of Home Economics assure us now that “fried foods move just as rapidly through the stomach as boiled foods, and cause no blocking of the gastric secretions, as has been alleged.”
Medicine Gains New Ground in Tireless War on Disease
A NEW English antiseptic called “monsol,” derived from coal tar, is hailed as a revolutionary aid in medicine and surgery. It can be swallowed without harm and can even be injected into the blood through the veins. Another important medical discovery is claimed by the Ringgold Chemical Laboratory in Hamburg, Germany.
DR. H. J. MULLER, of the University of Texas, who discovered recently that the use of X-rays speed the processes of evolution in plants and animals, at the same time encouraging new varieties, will now employ X-rays in efforts to breed a new kind of cotton to grow so fast that the boll weevils will have no chance to damage it.
SEVERE earthquake shocks in recent months have aroused more than usual interest in seeking ways to ward off disaster from them. R. M. Wilson, temporarily in charge of the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory, says that when the moon is in its first or last quarter, earthquakes are unusually plentiful.
AS FAR away as twenty miles, an object’s distance is accurately determined by a new giant among range finders. Within its thirteen-foot tube is a sensitive optical apparatus through which, as in smaller instruments of this kind, two sighting glasses at the ends are trained upon a far-away ship or other point of interest.
SO POPULAR has cane cream, a new sugar product developed by the U.S. Bureau of Chemistry, become in the South that the Government is now introducing it to Northern cookery experts. The delicacy is a dark brown, thick, sirupy cream. Its taste is midway between that of molasses and Canadian maple cream, a spread made from maple sugar.
"FINGERPRINTING" muffins to identify them was the novel expedient of Miss Mary Little, a Tuscaloosa, Ala., teacher, when, to win a Master of Arts degree, she recently conducted an elaborate study of ways to make them. Hundreds of muffins, some good and others failures, had to be preserved and distinguished from each other.
ARTIFICIAL production of rubber is brought a step nearer by a recent chemical discovery at the University of Notre Dame. Two chemists there have found a new catalyst (a substance that promotes a chemical reaction without itself taking part in it) that will aid in combining rubber’s chemical constituents.
MORE cobwebs than a spider could spin in a week are produced in an instant by a “mechanical spider” invented at a Los Angeles motion picture studio. It covers shrubbery with misty webs, as shown below, to add realism to the scenes. A jet of liquid rubber spurts from the device and solidifies as a tiny fan blows it into a million strands.
WHENEVER possible, POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY is glad to answer questions on subjects within its field. Queries, with stamped, self-addressed envelopes inclosed, should be sent to Information Department, POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY, 250 Fourth Avenue, New York.
Earth Rotates More Slowly Each Day, Says Astronomer
EACH day on earth, from noon to noon, is a little shorter than the last, Sir Frank Dyson, Astronomer Royal, recently declared in an address in London, England. Latest investigations by two young Cambridge astronomers show that the earth is slowing down, he said.
IF TESTS now being conducted at Leipsic, Germany, prove it successful, a new automatic mail box that weighs and stamps letters will come into general use in that country. The sender drops in his missive and then inserts coins to pay the postage.
FUTURE airplanes will have power plants completely inclosed in an engine room, says Anthony H. G. Fokker, noted aircraft builder. He recently told New York City engineers: “The airplanes we have now are loaded up outside with all sorts of things which should not be there.”
AT THE only cactus apple orchard in the United States, near San Fernando, Calif., huge quantities of this remarkable delicacy are grown for markets throughout the country. Their watery meat, which has a pulpy sweetness, is used to make jellies, preserves and candy; or the apples may be eaten just as they are plucked.
A GERMAN priest has just perfected for practical use an explosive that is said to be more destructive and less hazardous to use than dynamite. It has been known that carbon powders such as soot and coal dust form powerful explosives when impregnated with liquid air; now the Rev. Johann Julius Braun, of Marbach, Germany, has eliminated the danger that barred their use.
WHEN they raised taxes in Wooster, Ohio, T. E. Rice built himself another town. He took his wife and son with him to the country, where they now operate the highway village of Riceland, Ohio. It boasts a good hotel, restaurant, piano store, automobile shop and grocery —all under one roof.
TWELVE years of research taught Madame De Silva, an American woman of English descent, a new process of making steel. The excellent quality of the metal she makes is due to the addition of titanium-bearing sand, which she obtains from all parts of the world.
LIKE cloth is a new glass substitute that is said to be weatherproof and translucent. It is sold in rolls, and also by the yard, to be used for garages, barns and temporary buildings of many sorts. The maker declares that it admits the healthful invisible ultra-violet rays of the sun; this feature would make it useful for sun porches, letting in the rays while insuring privacy.
PULVERIZED coal is the novel fuel used by the freighter Mercer, first vessel owned by the U. S. Shipping Board to be fitted with engines capable of using this source of power. In a recent trip from Baltimore to New York, the craft averaged the excellent speed, for a vessel of its type, of 10.8 knots.
TO CHECK up on the “cosmic rays” discovered not long ago by Prof. R. A. Millikan, noted American physicist, Swiss investigators have braved the bitter cold of the Alps. The students, under Prof. Dr. De Salis, were dressed like polar explorers and slept in fur-lined bags near the summit of the Moench and the Jungfraujoch, the first peak 13,000 feet above sea level.
ALL American records went by the board with the recent launching at Newport News, Va., of the 22,000-ton S. S. California, largest commercial steamship ever built in the United States. The mighty vessel is also the largest electric-driven passenger ship in the world; her generators produce enough power to run eight Panama Canals.
WHEN the pressure of life in temperate climes grows too high, move to the Arctic. That was the recent amazing suggestion of Dr. Rudmose-Brown in his presidential address to the Section of Geography at Leeds, England. In huge unoccupied areas such as Spitzbergen, the northern Canadian Islands, and parts of Alaska, Canada, and Siberia, man could raise herds of reindeer and musk oxen and obtain an almost unlimited supply of meat and hides.
WHERE elaborate alarm systems may fail to protect a bank’s vaults against the skillful burglar, the newest invention, an inconspicuous little metal “can,” will call the police and result in the cracksman’s capture. It contains an inertia microphone, used in warfare as a submarine detector, and now science’s latest weapon against the safe-breaker.
WITH the aid of a recently invented machine, you can type off a popular song as easily as a letter—if your mind runs that way. Maestro Ferretto, a musician of Milan, Italy, has just devised a novel form of typewriter that turns a blank sheet of paper into a complete musical score. It writes the lines of the staff, the musical notes themselves with all accidentals and marks, and even the accompanying words! An electric motor operates the device.
IN A year’s time the average American inhales in the air he breathes five times his weight in dust, according to a recent estimate. However, air-purifying apparatus is now doing much to reduce this alarming total, particularly in industrial occupations.
CORRECT enunciation is soon learned with the aid of the telegraphone, a new device recently used, as illustrated below, in public speaking classes at the University of Southern California to enable students to hear themselves talk. Like a dictaphone, it records and reproduces the voice, but the record is so perfected that when it is played over it reveals any imperfections of speech such as indistinct tone or lisping.
HARMLESS to human beings and fabrics is a powerful new moth-killing preparation developed by Government experts, R. T. Cotton of the Bureau of Entomology and R. C. Roark of the Bureau of Chemistry and Soils. The solution should be suspended in an airtight closet or chest above the clothes.
SHOULD the inventor of a new electric airplane beacon, or the creator of an improved X-ray tube, share his profits with the scientist whose theories and formulas made the invention possible? John H. Wigmore, Dean of the Faculty of Law at Northwestern University, considers this a coming theme of importance, and the Faculty of Law is seeking to interest lawyers in the question.
LARGEST in the world is the tremendous De Mille studio being built at Hollywood; Calif., surpassing its nearest competitor, in Berlin. The $200,000 stage, almost big enough for a football game, has 43,680 square feet.
NOW permalloy, the highly responsive magnetic alloy of nickel and iron developed by the Bell Telephone Laboratories for deep-sea cables, has proved its use in a skillful adaptation to telephone equipment. Metallurgical engineers of the Western Electric Company assisted in seeking a way to embrittle the alloy, much more susceptible to magnetization than iron, so that it might be ground to a powder and used to mold cores for electrical telephone coils.
DID you know that in the minute or so it takes you to eat your breakfast egg, some 50,000 more are laid somewhere in the United States? Twenty-four billion eggs a year, or about 760 a second, is the present laying record of American hens, the U. S. Department of Agriculture recently announced.
WHEN the busy Londoner feels the need of something to ease his nerves or to cure a cold, he may find it on the nearest street corner; for a shilling-in-the-slot machine selling medicine has recently appeared on the streets of the British metropolis. The machines will soon be ready to supply the impatient purchaser anything from pills to hair tonic, reports say.
BY REMODELING a hair clipping machine, New York’s Public Library has just provided itself with an electric eraser that speeds alterations of records. When clerks faced a volume of revising and correcting, the engineer of the building, John H. Fedeler, proposed this ingenious expedient to replace the hand rubber.1 Now, with the whirring eraser disk, four or five hundred catalog cards can be changed daily.
Largest Block of Concrete In World for Temple Roof
TO FORM the roof of the huge George Washington Masonic National Memorial Temple, at Alexandria, Va., workmen recently poured the largest one-piece concrete slab in the world. Seventy-eight feet eight inches wide, 110 feet long and more than three feet thick, it rests upon massive beams and columns of reinforced concrete.
ALL-NIGHT golf, played with luminous balls, may be the fashion one of these days. Recently spectators in a New York City park saw Millard J. Bloomer, a New York experimenter, unwrap from tinfoil eight balls that glowed in the twilight with a greenish yellow phosphorescence.
BEDDING of all types came in for scientific investigation recently at the hands of Dr. H. M. Johnson, of the Simmons Fellowship for the Study of Sleep. Vertical coil box springs were best, he concluded; for the mattress, good cotton filling or horsehair.
When the spring is wound the blade in a razor invented in England oscillates from side to side in a metal holder. The user simply directs it here and there at will over his face and emerges clean-shaven. The holder also serves as a safety guard, says its inventor
To increase the development of his arm and back muscles a wrestler is touring the United States with a strange-looking auto driven by chain and sprockets. The operator supplies the motive power with his hands and steers with his feet
Electrical “Normalizing” or Self-Massaging Machine
Somewhat resembling a physician’s examining table, this device is composed of a series of padded blocks on which the subject lies. When current is turned on the sections roll from side to side in alternate directions, thereby massaging the body
Insert a stick of sealing wax in the top of a new electric heating device and the cylindrical reservoir Alls immediately with molten wax, which you can drop in desired quantities. It can be operated with one hand and avoids the messy use of matches.
By mixing a special gas with oxygen, Dr. F. Dammert, Munich physician, provides a cure for seasickness, which relieved him and many other passengers coming to America recently. It is administered to the patient with an ether cone
Instead of requiring calculations by mathematical formulas, as does the ordinary sextant, the instrument above, invented by H. B. Kaster, of California University, enables the observer’s latitude and longitude to be read directly
On their pistol range the Los Angeles police have devised behind the targets a steel bulkhead which deflects bullets into a trough. They are salvaged, melted up, cast and fired again. The U. S. Army may adopt the idea when building new ranges
For practice at his home in Sussex, England, Perry, the famous oarsman, has constructed a tank in which he operates a twelve-foot oar. His “boat” is a wooden box fixed securely beside the tank, whose metal rim, high where required, prevents escape of any water.
MOTORISTS who wish to take some of the bumps out of a day’s ride may now avail themselves of a convenient new shock absorber, attached in a few moments to the spring. It is said to arrest the vibration and jolts caused by irregularities in the road, without interfering with the spring’s natural action.
PHONE service is brought directly to your car seat by a handy new type of curbside booth. For the use of passing motorists, a Pasadena, Calif., hotel recently installed the new phones on the highway outside its doors. It reports that tourists are quick to take advantage of the convenience; important telephone calls they forgot to make are accomplished in a moment without leaving their cars.
SMALLER than the nucleus of any comet ever before observed was the core of the Pons-Winnecke comet that passed near the earth last summer. According to the recent announcement of Dr. V. M. Slipher, director of the Lowell Observatory at Flagstaff, Ariz., a comparison of its apparent size with that of the moons of Jupiter, whose actual size and distance are known, showed it to be probably not more than two or three miles in diameter.
SCIENTIFIC weather forecasts weeks, instead of days, in advance, have already given encouraging results, according to H. H. Clayton, the noted meteorologist. Last year, he announced recently, his advance estimates of prevailing monthly temperatures proved to be correct for all except the two months of February and August.
COURTEOUS motorists in Europe are adopting new splash guards to avoid showering pedestrians with mud or slush as they pass. The devices fit close to the wheels, near the ground, to stop flying dirt and water. They are mounted on the axles in such a way as to remain stationary while the wheels revolve.
Leadville Is Highest Town; Brawley, Calif., the Lowest
THE highest and lowest towns in the United States are disclosed by a recent census. Leadville, Colo., first a gold mining camp and then a silver, zinc, and copper source, tops the country with its altitude of 10,185 feet above sea level. Brawley, Calif., a fruit-growing town in the Imperial Valley, is 112 feet below sea level.
HOW the modern “divining rods” of science can actually detect buried treasures of useful ores was recently told by Dr. Max Mason, president of the University of Chicago. Ingenious new instruments send special forms of sound waves, or electric or magnetic impulses, into the earth, and through their sensitive recorders reveal what lies beneath.
THE question of what oil to use in the crank case during cold weather is most important, but you will also find that using the correct cold weather lubricant in the transmission and rear end will save wear on the working surfaces in these parts and make gear shifting easier.
RECENT observations with sounding . balloons show that the same climate exists above the United States, Russia, England, and the equator, if you go high enough, according to L. T. Samuels, of the U. S. Weather Bureau. Recording instruments sent aloft on pilotless balloons and later recovered indicate that above a height of seven miles the temperature is the same the world over, roughly seventy degrees below zero.
A SIXTH of an ounce of radium, the most precious substance on earth, may be made available to physicians throughout Australia by a proposed “radium bank” that would keep and lend its diminutive stores to any doctors qualified to use it for treatments.
TEST your knowledge with these questions, chosen from hundreds sent in by readers. Correct answers are on page 134. 1. Where is coal mined in the Arctic? 2. What river is called “the boat destroyer”? 3. What is the Isle of Pines? 4. Where is the greatest pearl fishery in America?
ARE you on the road, or off it? Lest you drive into a ditch, on some foggy day when clear vision is impossible, this remarkable new device for your dashboard, known as a “roadometer,” tells when you are approaching the edge of the highway. When this happens, the needle on the dial swings over to warn of danger.
EITHER water or land serves as a landing field for the latest nonrigid airship, just completed at the Naval Air Station, Lakehurst, N. J. The amphibian dirigible, said to be the first of its kind in this country, has a boat-type control car, two 180-horsepower Wright engines that give it a speed of fifty knots, and a gas bag that holds 200,000 cubic feet of helium.
BENT or twisted front axles are disclosed in a few minutes, without removing them from the car, by a new axle gage, said to be the only practical device ever invented to measure on the car, in degrees, the axle’s tilt. The entire operation of testing one end of the axle requires less than five minutes.
FIRE damp—the explosive gas that is the dread of coal miners —is detected by electricity in a new sensitive instrument just perfected. In recent tests it showed its ability to reveal slight traces of methane, the principal ingredient of fire damp, long before enough has accumulated to cause an explosion.
NOW the familiar phrase “heavy as lead” might evoke the response, “Which kind of lead?” Recent experiments reveal that the metal, long regarded by chemists as an invariable element, may be made up of three or more kinds whose weights vary.
THROUGH a new time lock for bank vaults that allows the door to open only after a predetermined time has followed the unlocking of the combination, bandits may be foiled. Even an authorized official must wait while the hidden machinery is whirring.
IS LIGHT as speedy a thing as it ever was, still fast enough to dart around the earth seven times a second, or is it slowing down? That its speed may be, at least, gradually decreasing is the amazing suggestion of M. E. J. Gheury de Bray, French astronomer, who cites the various determinations of light’s velocity made from 1849 to the present.
THREE weeks’ dust in a modern city will lower an electric light’s brilliancy by ten percent, according to H. Lingenfelser, German illuminating engineer. He finds that for maximum efficiency lamps and reflectors should be cleaned every ten days, with monthly use of soap and water.
WHEN H. L. McDaniel, a fireman of Fort Worth, Tex., saw countless pieces of furniture demolished by the high-pressure water jets that were turned on burning houses, he set about devising some way of taming the fire hose for use at close range.
HOW an airplane rushed food to a motor caravan bogged in the mud of the Irak Desert is strikingly illustrated in the sketch above, drawn from reports of the recent incident. Heavy rains had made the Mesopotamian waste impassable, and a passing air mail plane observed the motor transport that crosses it stranded in the mud fifty miles west of Ramadi.
THE latest fog-piercing beacon for airplanes is the 1,300,000-candle-power light, recently demonstrated in New York City, whose flaring cone of scarlet is said to be visible through thick haze for 100 to 120 miles. It whirls constantly on a revolving platform as shown at the left, to give a more conspicuous display.
WHAT the automobile might have been is disclosed by U. S. Patent Office records. A Kalamazoo, Mich., man’s self-starter was a hinged chassis that dropped the body a foot or two, operating cogs that cranked the motor. Another invention was a windmill-like blower to banish road dust.
FOUR electric motors in a new self-starter for planes whirl the propeller to set the engine in operation. The device was first used by Lieut. Alford J. Williams for his plane, which recently made a new unofficial world speed record. Storage batteries supply current to spin the shaft; when the plane's engine starts, the device automatically unmeshes and slides clear.
THAT they conduct their own broadcasting station is the proud boast of the radio class members at Lane Technical High School, Chicago. Great interest has been shown by the students in this project, which enables more thorough teaching of the principles of radio than could otherwise be provided.
CAPTAIN HAWTHORNE C. GRAY again reached a height of 42,470 feet, the greatest altitude any man has ever attained, in the recent balloon ascension that cost him his life, the War Department announced after calibration of his barograph by the U. S. Bureau of Standards.
TO DETECT and record the sideways drift of an airplane during flight, a factor that has often upset the most carefully planned voyages of skillful aviators, a new instrument has just been perfected by Rubino Plastino, war-time inventor of military devices.
WHAT makes postage stamps sold in book form often stick to the separating leaves has just been investigated by the U. S. Bureau of Standards. As a result of its tests, it has advised the Bureau of Printing and Engraving, where the stamps are made, that it may find a special moisture-proof cellophane, thin transparent material often used in wrapping of candy, better than paraffin sheets to separate the stamps in books.
MEANINGLESS jumbles of syllables were formed into intelligible words by a unique radio device recently demonstrated at Chicago. When Sergius P. Grace, of the Bell Telephone Laboratories, spoke a curious sort of gibberish into a transmitter, a loudspeaker formed the words, “Chicago, Illinois.”
AT ANY moment now Monte Arbino is likely to topple into the Arbedo Valley, in Switzerland, and local authorities have been advised by the Swiss Geological Survey to remove the farming people of the valley to another part of the country with all possible speed.
SECRET tests of a new and revolutionary type of storage battery, of unusual capacity, are being made in London, say recent reports. It is said to be powerful enough to drive an express train for a long distance over standard track, requiring no third rail or overhead wires.
RADIO music from the table is the innovation offered in an attractive furniture piece recently placed on the market. Its design suggests many unique possibilities both decorative and useful, for it may well be used as an aquarium stand or for flowers, while on the other hand a game of bridge on its musical top would be quite delightful.
IT MIGHT be inconvenient to lose an arm or a leg—but you could, if you had to, go usefully about your work without these, and an eye and a set of tonsils as well. For that matter, asserts Dr. John F. Erdmann of New York, you’d get along pretty well without an appendix, gall bladder, one kidney, part of your lungs, a portion of your brain, and as much as twelve feet of intestines in addition.
DISTASTE for the snow shovel led Arthur E. Beauchamp, of Hartford, Conn., to assemble an ingenious motor-driven snow sweeper from varied items in the junk heap. A wheezy but efficient two-cylinder motor runs the machine. It draws gasoline through a rusty carburetor from a tank the size of a thermos bottle.
BY STAYING in the air for five minutes and thirty-seven seconds, a model airplane built by John Lefker, 12-year-old schoolboy of Chicago, recently established a new world's junior duration record for outdoor model flight. The mark was made at the National Miniature Aircraft Tournament at Memphis, Tenn.
WITH synthetic gasoline, German motor cars won two of the recent races at Frankfurt. The cars, averaging nearly a mile a minute, made better time than in trials with ordinary gasoline. The new fuel is made by a chemical process from coal. Since crude oil, source of standard gasoline, is scarce in Germany and coal plentiful, the new product is economical.
THIS is not a scene in an amusement park, but a picture of a passenger train of the Hythe and New Romney Railway line passing through Hythe on the southern coast of England. Said to be the world’s smallest public railroad, it operates over a fifteen-inch gage track of eight miles and claims the amazing record of 178.000 passengers in ten weeks.
TONS of sugar, which fishes immediately gobble, is produced by microscopic ocean plants called diatoms, says Prof. H. H. Gran of the Norwegian Fisheries Bureau, who has just completed measurements of their activities. They absorb energy from sunlight, and use it to make sugar from air and water.
SHARP curves have no terrors for a motor car equipped with this new revolving axle. A small lever on the front axle tips the wheels almost completely sideways when a turn is to be made. Flattened out, the front wheels swing the car around more sharply than would otherwise be possible.
IN A specially-built, “foolproof” plane with enlarged control surfaces, Clarence Chamberlin, transocean pilot, recently gave an amazing demonstration of safe flying at the Teterboro, N. J., airport. His first stunt was entirely involuntary.
FIXING the date of a volcanic eruption by a study of magnetism is the feat just accomplished by A. E. Jones, of the Lassen Volcano Observatory. Since records have been kept, Lassen Peak, in northern California, has never been seen to erupt; but two flows of solidified lava near its top have interested geologists.
Wellington B. Wheeler, of Los Angeles, exhibits a model for his proposed “flying fish” dirigible, which he believes will revolutionize flying. The force of air entering through the craft’s nose and expelled by blowers through the finlike appendages on the sides will propel the craft, he says.
Although he has been totally blind for more than fifty years, George Keith, of Illinois, pictured at the left, has invented an array of articles that range from combination locks with more than 25,000 combinations to traps for almost all known animals.
A bus to avoid inconvenience and loss of time has been designed by C. H. Ballard, a motor driver, of London, England. Passengers leave from exits at one end while others go in by entrances at the other. Exits of both the top and the main “deck” of the vehicle are controlled from the driver's seat
When Smith W. Brookhart, U. S. Senator from Iowa, finds time to spare from other duties, he spends it at tree surgery at his new home at Hyattsville, Md., not far from Washington. In the photograph at the left the Senator is seen in overalls operating on a tree in his yard
All the skill of the expert glassworker is combined with the knowledge of the naturalist in the unique models of forms of marine life prepared by Herman Miller, glass-worker of the American Museum of Natural History. Completed, they will form a perfect exhibit of undersea life.
Oregon Butcher Models Beautiful Statues of Tallow and Lard
Wilbur Freece, of Portland, Ore., has won fame as a sculptor, although he is a butcher by vocation. Using lard and blocks of tallow, he molds and cuts beautiful and lifelike figures, some of which won him first prize at the International Live Stock Show at Portland.
With spare time, a penknife and $13 worth of wood, Charles A. Cary, of St. Louis, Mo., made this model of the U. S. S. Vermont boasting full equipment. Even the steam launches on the deck have boilers. A rolling pin, coat hanger and razor strop helped form the vessel
G. P. Rixford, of the U. S. Department of Agriculture, is experimenting on his Los Altos, Calif., ranch with the wild pawpaw tree fruit, which he hopes to domesticate. It looks like a potato, but has a sweetish pulp similar to that of a banana
Why You Can Build a Better House if You Use Care In Choosing Just The Right Wood for Each Purpose
JOHN R. McMAHON
"ALICE and I came to buy the wood to build our new house," stated the young man at the lumber yard office. “Yes, Mr. Morton, and we’re in a terrible hurry, because we have to catch a train in forty minutes,” said blue-eyed Alice with an appealing smile.
Tools to Simplify Hard Work—How Long to Charge a Battery
A B C’s of Radio
Automatic Filament Control
Which Power Tube?
WHILE some radio fans take pride in the fact that they can turn out good work with only a few tools, such as a bent screw driver, a battered pair of pliers, and a soldering iron that works only part of the time, most radio fans don’t like to work that way.
You Can't Get Rid of Static, but You Can Tame Racket from Household Electric Devices and Loose Contacts in Set
The New Electric Set!
WHEN crackling and sizzling interfere with your radio reception, you may decide that something is wrong with your receiver and put the problem up to the local radio service man. Or you may blame it on static or on the electric light power transformer in front of your house.
EVERY motorist quite frequently encounters the peculiar combination of atmospheric humidity and sudden temperature change that results in heavy fog forming on the inside of the windshield. The ordinary wiper, either mechanical or hand operated, wipes only the outside of the windshield and the driver continually has to wipe the fog from the inside of the glass in order to obtain clear vision.
WALTER S. ESTBY, of Buhl, Minn., wins the $10 prize this month with his suggestion of a windshield wiper improvement (Fig. 1). Each month POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY awards $10, in addition to regular space rates, to the reader sending in the best suggestion for motorists.
WHILE it would be possible to fit the floor boards of an automobile so carefully that there would be no space around the pedals for air to blow through, most cars aren’t made that well, and consequently there always is a blast of cold air coming up around the brake and clutch pedals in winter.
WHEN you park your car on a very steep hill there is always the chance that some mischievous child will throw off the emergency brake and allow the car to coast down the grade into a serious accident. There are times, too, when you have to change a rear tire on a steep hill and you have to release the emergency brake in order to turn the wheel.
THERE are a number of waterproof cements on the market, but if you cannot secure any in your locality, a satisfactory waterproof glue can be made at home by taking an ordinary small bottle of glue and stirring in a teaspoonful of water to which has been added five or ten grains of potassium bichromate.
IF THE garage doors are sagging so that they no longer close properly, the best remedy is to have them taken down and repaired by a competent carpenter, but a temporary job can be done that will actually pull the doors back in place and prevent any further sag by drilling holes as shown in Fig. 4.
“THERE, your basket’s full,” remarked the groceryman to Mrs. Miller; and with that casual comment for a text, the lady delivered quite a dissertation on the high cost of eatables. “You fellows don’t seem to realize that the war is over,” said Mrs. Miller, among other things.
PIRATES, treasure, jewels, Spanish galleons, romance, adventure on the high seas—all these are vividly suggested by the ancient chests of dull brown oak, clasped with bands of iron, that are now so highly prized as decorations for the home.
Assembled from Standard Parts, This Sensitive and Selective Set Gives Superb Tone and Great Volume
Assembling the Set
Wiring the Receiver
ALFRED P. LANE
HERE is a new and remarkable electric radio receiver especially designed for construction in the home workshop. It is sensitive. The selectivity is of a very high order, and the great volume, combined with true-to-life tone quality, will prove a revelation to anyone who has never heard a receiver using such tremendous power.
Colors and Brushes—Outlines, Shadows, Stippling and Spattering—How to Get Brilliant, Posterlike Effects
THE term “scene painting” dates back to those days, not so very long ago, when a stage set was a painted picture composed of a back drop and a series of wings or flats, upon which were painted (often in rather amazing perspectives) the elements of the scene, exterior or interior.