THE usual mess of monthly bills had arrived, checks were drawn and the accounts paid. In addition to the current household bills there were a number of extras representing Christmas presents, holiday expenses and one or two luxuries which Mr. and Mrs. Matthews had allowed themselves.
ARE you thinking about building a house or modernizing your present home? If you are, you are in for a thrilling time if you take advantage, as you should, of the advances that have been made in the science of building in the last few years.
WAS amazed that either POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY or Dr. Free, whose articles I usually read with interest, should fall so hard for the propaganda of oculists and opticians as to publish that article, ‘Must We All Wear Glasses?’ “What we need is not more glasses, but fewer glasses.
And food from sawdust, lemonade from peanut shells, lumber from straw, cotton from banana stalks! More amazing than a fairy tale is this story of chemistry’s latest magic. Here are adventure, wonder and romance right at your door
GROVER C. MUELLER
ON THE speaker's platform in the auditorium of the Carnegie Institute of Technology at Pittsburgh some weeks ago, an unassuming man, hailing from romantic old Heidelberg, the famous university town in Germany, stood and announced in matter-of-fact tones that, after twenty-two years of experimentation, he had succeeded in making coal out of wood, cabbages, and cornstalks!
The Story of One of the World’s Most Thrilling Engineering Feats—Giant New Hudson Span Will Carry a City in a Day!
IMAGINE all of the men, women, and children of Baltimore, Md., leaving their houses on a sultry August morning and piling into automobiles to rush away from the heat of the city. Then picture this huge procession of automobiles,—about 200,000 cars in a line that would reach two thirds of the way from New York to Chicago !—passing in that one day across a suspension bridge of a single span 3,500 feet long, and you have gained an idea of the tremendous traffic to be borne on a summer Saturday by the greatest bridge in the world.
Fire Fighters, Behind Shields of Steel, Win Terrific Battle with a Flaming Oil Gusher
JOHN E. LODGE
SOOT-SMEARED, an oil driller races across the sand. His face is distorted with fear, his undershirt scorched. Behind him, amid a cluster of twenty oil derricks like ant hills on a desert plain, a pillar of flame shoots skyward. One of the towers rises bodily into the air, and is hurled in a dozen directions.
New Light on the Great Presidents Whose Birthdays We Are Celebrating This Month
FEBRUARY two Presidents, brings both to born mind in that the same month, were, in their own right, inventors. They are George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. And in their inventions they showed their different natures. We’ll take Washington first because he came first.
Amazing Stories of Tigers that Reason, a Horse that Solves Deep Problems, and an Ape that Invents
ROBERT E. MARTIN
HIS planted $10,000 four Persian shaggy upon an prayer feet exquisite rug, firmly a Shetland pony stood in the middle of the drawing room at the New York home of Sir Joseph Duveen, internationally known art connoisseur and antiquarian, one evening a few weeks ago.
Amazing Instruments Find Hidden Ores and Bring New Romances to the West
GEORGE LEE DOWD
PROSPECTING by electricity is here. The new method, which the U. S. Bureau of Mines’ experts have just tried out in Colorado, discovers underground veins of metal without digging an ounce of earth. There is no need to drill costly “test shafts” where someone thinks there is metal.
A FEW weeks ago the little Navy blimp J-3, descending to its hangar at the Lakehurst, N. J., air station, ran afoul a weather vane. With a ripping noise her gas cells parted, and 25,000 cubic feet of helium gas disappeared to wander about among the elements, perhaps for ages before being captured and put to work again.
IMAGINE a giant disk wheel whirling in space. That is our universe as astronomers now picture it. Dr. Harlow Shapley, director of the Harvard College Observatory, Cambridge, Mass., has just announced that, 47,000 light years distant in the direction of the constellation Sagittarius, he has discovered the central hub about which it spins.
HELPLESS women and children in battered lifeboats, dangling at the steel side of a sinking ship, doomed to be swallowed in the sea! Who, after the investigations that followed the tragedy, has not been stirred by the verdict of marine experts that “it could have been prevented !” Here is told how inventors are answering the Vestris challenge.
AFTER every great sea disaster humanity searches for devices and regulations that will prevent the recurrence of such horrors. The Lamport & Holt liner Vestris sank two months ago off the Virginia Capes with a loss of 111 lives. She lies on the floor of the Gulf Stream two miles below the surface white caps
WHAT would you do? Harry Guggenheim chose to go in for aviation. He marshalled the forces of science to conquer the flyer’s deadliest foes, and to make airplanes as safe and useful as automobiles. Here is the story of a twentieth-century pioneer, a man who looked into the future. It forms a stirring episode in the drama of the air.
A FEW weeks ago a new research laboratory was added to the world's gallery of modern scientific developments. It is a laboratory without test tubes, retorts, microscopes, and Bunsen burners, and without learned looking men using these intriguing paraphernalia for purposes of minute investigation.
A VICIOUS shark prowls along the sea bottom hunting for prey. Stealthily on his trail glides a monster sucker fish, bent on attaching himself like a parasite to the undersea destroyer. This and other thrilling dramas of the deep are revealed in remarkable photographs snapped recently at the sea bottom off the Bahamas by J. E. Williamson, pioneer undersea photographer, and Mrs. Williamson.
STRANGEST of New Fighting Planes Is an Unseen “Ghost” of the Air—Other Astonishing Inventions and Records Mark the Month’s Progress in Flying
A PHANTOM airplane designed for war use and said to be practically invisible in the air is nearing completion at Not" tingham, England. Recent tests showed the possibility of constructing such a plane, on which it would be impossible for enemy gunners to train artillery, as reported not long ago in POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.
NOTABLE airplane records marked the last month in aviation. An unofficial world’s record for speed went to Flight Lieut. D ’Arcy Grieg, British pilot, who flew his supermarine Napier seaplane at an average speed of 319.57 miles an hour off Cals hot, England, in four consecutive dashes over a standard course.
SOON Montreal, Canada, is to have one of the finest seaplane harbors in the world. Two 300-foot breakwaters built out into the St. Lawrence river from points of land along the shore will inclose a body of smooth water nearly a mile long and half a mile wide—plenty of room for seaplanes to land and to take off.
TURNING the roar of a 200-horsepower air-cooled motor into a mere hiss is the feat claimed for a new silencer developed by the makers of Fairchild planes. The invention, perfected with the aid of the Maxim Silencer Company, is a six-foot pipe as thick as a forefinger, which runs from the motor back under the cabin.
HILE Commander Byrd and his scientific expedition were sailing toward the Antarctic, a famous explorer already there scooped away the honor of being the first man to fly a plane over the south polar region. Sir George Hubert Wilkins, who recently arrived at his base on Deception Island, Antarctica, announced that he had already piloted one of his Lockheed planes on a short flight in preparation for his projected air trip along the coast of Graham Land.
LAND planes can leave the deck of an airplane carrier for a shore visit when the sea is too rough to launch a seaplane. But should the land craft fall into the sea the plane may be lost and its crew drowned. So the Navy recently has adopted a unique “flotation gear” to turn a land plane into a seaplane in an emergency.
SPRAYING bullets from a machine gun, just as water is sprayed from a lawn sprinkler, is the purpose of a unique invention under consideration by the War Department for use in fighting planes. According to the inventor, Joseph F. Butler, of Pittsburgh, it makes it unnecessary to aim a machine gun accurately; no hostile (Continued on page 132) craft could escape the novel gun’s peppering.
How Two Untutored Bicycle Men Conquered the Air After Learned Experts Had Failed—The Amazing Story of Wilbur and Orville Wright, Told for the First Time in Intimate Detail
JOHN R. McMAHON
I HEAR the Wright boys are going camping this summer,” said a citizen of Dayton, Ohio, to a neighbor in the year 1900. “That so? Making money out of their bicycle business, I guess. Where are they going?” “Queer place called Kitty Hawk, down in North Carolina.”
RECENTLY thousands of the refugees, world read carrying that pitiful bundles of salvaged goods, were clogging the roads of eastern Sicily, fleeing from an eruption of Mt. Etna. For five years this 10,758-foot volcano, fringed with villages and vineyards at its base, had been quiet.
Life-Size Dre a dnaught, Painted on Sand, Blown to Bits by Shower of Missiles from the Air in Amazing War Game
WITH winning steel propellers,five" California National Guarl airplanes recetly wheeled into position over the shimmering Mohave Desert and released a series of high-explosive bombs in a new type of practice maneuver. On the bed of a dry lake below, the exact outline of the U. S. S. California, painted to scale, had been shaped by guardsmen, using black crude oil for paint, and brooms for brushes.
Here Is the Story of a Man Who Gave Away His $1,000,000 Discovery to Make Folks Healthy—How the Sun Is Being Put to Work
FRANK PARKER STOCKBRIDGE
WITHIN the last few weeks a new breakfast food has appeared on the shelves of grocery stores throughout the country. During its making, it has been bathed in artificial sunshine from high-powered electric lamps. It is the first of new “ irradiated ” health foods that you may soon expect to see upon your grocer’s shelves.
TWO combined great recently engineering in a single feats enterwere prise that may be numbered among the wonders of the world. One is the famous hanging-car aerial cableway that climbs to the top of Germany’s highest mountain peak, the Zugspitze, more than two miles above sea level.
EVERY duced expressed shade to a numerical in figures, and tint by can formula, means be reof a device known as the recording spectrophotometer, recently invented by Professor Arthur C. Hardy, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
RECLAMATION of the Sahara Desert, long discussed, is now receiving attention as a serious project by the French government. Dwight Braman, of Boston, Mass., an irrigation engineer, has worked out the plan for letting in the Mediterranean through canals and damming the rivers which flow down from the Atlas Mountains.
THE U. S. Bureau of Standards announces that its technicians have developed a substitute for goldbeaters’ skin for use in the manufacture of the gas cells which, inflated with hydrogen or helium, lift an airship. Goldbeaters’ skin is an expensive product.
TO MOST of us Commander Byrd’s expedition to the Antarctic savors more of adventure than of science; but if his researches on the south polar ice cap answer but one question they may prove of the greatest value to the world. That question is: Is the Antarctic ice cap melting?
Brief Bits of Fact and Interesting Comment from the Month’s Records of Discovery and Invention
CANCER is a disease for which no definite cure has been found except the use of the knife in its early stages. One woman in eight and one man in fourteen dies of cancer. It occurs most frequently in people whose blood is alkaline. Dr. Charles Mayo, famous surgeon of Rochester,
LIFE remains one of the unexplained phenomena of the universe. It seems improbable that scientists ever will be able to produce life from nonliving materials, but through an amazing series of laboratory experiments many things about life and death are being learned.
A SCIENTIFIC pronouncement which may start lively arguments comes from a report of the British Social Hygiene Council. This indicates a belief that redheads, instead of being natural fighters and fiery adventurers, are really victims of an inborn inferiority complex.
NATURE has slight regard for the Eighteenth Amendment, but sees to it that every human being has his or her regular daily supply of alcohol. Three thousandths of one percent of the total weight of the normal human body consists of alcohol, says the Journal of the American Medical Association.
NEAR Peekskill, N. Y., the old Mohegan granite quarry, unworked for years, has been reopened to supply stone for the building of the great Cathedral of St. John the Divine, on Morningside Heights, New York City. Amid the skyscrapers of the metropolis, the cathedral will be unique in that it will contain no steel or wood.
ONE of these days you may be sweetening your cereal, or your coffee, with an entirely new brand of sugar—scouted for by airplane, found by a searching party crashing through the brush of New Guinea wilds, and brought back to this country with 166 other varieties by Dr. E. W. Brandes, sugar plant specialist of the U. S. Department of Agriculture.
Astonishing Secrets of Engineering Behind the Latest Triumphs of Speed, Power, and Reliability in Aircraft
THE other day a Curtiss Army plane, equipped with a Wright Whirlwind motor, sped over Langley Field, Va., at 137 miles an hour. That was a pretty good clip for this type of machine, though not unusual. The unusual part of it was that the tachometer on the pilot's dashboard showed the propeller turning over at the rate of only 1,900 revolutions a minute.
THE fought next with war, if any, may be fought with parachutes! Battalions of armed soldiers dropped from the air may play a decisive part in tomorrow's combats. Several recent developments presage this astounding innovation. From three planes speeding over Brooks Field, San Antonio, Texas, a machine gun and its crew of three men were dropped to earth, where they set up their weapon and got it into action in three minutes.
A TURTLE tells you the time in a unique timepiece produced in Switzerland. At first glance, the clock appears to be a sundial with a circular tray, filled with water, set in the face. In this tray a small imitation turtle floats, carrying a piece of steel in its beak.
HERE are ten questions selected from hundreds asked by our readers. See how many of them you can answer. Correct answers are on page 166. You'll find this an entertaining way to test your knowledge in one of the most fascinating fields of science.
WITH its twin hulls sinking only nine inches into the water, a unique air-driven catamaran carried nine passengers and attained a speed of nine miles an hour with full load when put through its paces recently at Dudley, England, by its inventor, W. F. Davies.
SEVERAL million acres, comprising forty-two separate tracts in the Rocky Mountain Forest District, have been set aside by the U. S. Department of Agriculture as “wilderness areas" to be used for science and recreation. Thirteen small areas in the national forests of Colorado, Wyoming, and South Dakota have been set aside for scientific observation and research, and all commercial and recreational activity in that territory is prohibited. A 100,000-acre wild, inaccessible area on the Washakie National Forest in Wyoming is closed to commercial use and open for recreation.
DR. LLOYD R. WATSON, of Cornell University, a scientist wrho apparently doesn't care what happens to our pet illusions, has just announced the results of fifteen years of research work among the bees, which showed him that these insects, accepted as symbols of industry, are really work-shirkers.
IN RESEARCH work tending to show that the human nervous system is an intricate electrical network with the brain as its semiautomatic switchboard, two scientists in Munich, Germany, claim to have photographed electric current issuing from a man's body.
WALKING on air" is more than a figure of speech for users of a new arch support wdiich is pumped up with a small hand pump. The air cushion, attached to a thin inner sole, is made of a rubber composition said to possess great strength. One of the supports is reported to have withstood a pressure equivalent to the weight of twelve heavy men.
ALTHOUGH a popular superstition persists to the effect that opals are harbingers of death and sorrow, Australia, the chief source of the world’s supply of these gems, derives revenue estimated at millions of dollars from them. An opal valued at $5,000 was found recently near Walgett, New South Wales.
DUST-COVERED and with the paint peeled from its ancient body, what is thought to be one of the earliest ancestors of the 23,000,000 motor vehicles now in the United States was uncovered recently in an unused portion of a laboratory at the University of Maryland.
ICE cream cones that wear caps, invented by C. K. Gummerson, of Pittsburgh, Pa., are said to keep the ice cream in shape from five to ten minutes longer than in ordinary cones and to protect it from dirt 1 and street dust. The cap also may be used separately as an ice cream container. A flat baked cake wafer is supplied as a lid to protect the contents of this small ice cream “plate.” The cap, which is made of the same material as the cone, can also be eaten.
CENTENARIANS may be the rule instead of the exception in 1950, according to Arthur D. Rees, formerly of the University of Pennsylvania faculty, who sees no reason why a 100-year average life span should not be the usual thing. Increased knowledge of disease and dietetics will shortly extend old age far beyond the Biblical “three score and ten,” he believes.
ONLY eight inches long and six inches wide, a portable electric furnace has been devised for heating soldering irons for small jobs. The temperature of the heat» ing chamber is said to rise quickly to morf than 900 degrees F., but an automatic control prevents it from mounting high enough to burn the point of the soldering copper.
HARD starting is a winter motoring trouble that is avoidable. Cold weather affects the functioning of the car's mechanism in several ways, and all of these are cumulative in causing hard starting. Much more current is consumed by the starter motor to start a very cold engine, due to the friction of the congealed oil.
FLOODLIGHTING has become a part of fire fighting in Chicago. A new “light wagon,” recently added to the equipment of the city’s fire department, will respond to all important calls, furnishing light by which the firemen can work more effectively.
PARROTS, tested at the municipal zoo in Dallas, Texas, demonstrated that they could learn Spanish easier than either English or German. One parrot speaks Spanish words picked up from countless Mexican visitors and has never spoken a word in English.
TELEVISION pictures which give the impression of depth as well as width are said to have been produced by John L. Baird, pioneer Scotch television experimenter, by using a stereoscopic receiving set. Behind the spinning disk, with its spiral perforations, two pictures appear simultaneously.
LIKE a succession of huge flying fish skimming over the water and dropping into the waves, a series of torpedoes sped from the deck of one of the latest destroyers during recent tests in the English Channel. A photographer aboard the warship snapped one of the giant missiles as it plunged through the air, obtaining the remarkable photograph that is reproduced below.
MAKING land thirsty is the work of a new apparatus developed by the U. S. Department of Agriculture. In the western states some irrigated fields, known as hard spots, or hard land, do not absorb water readily. Experiments have shown that irrigation water containing more sodium than calcium increases the hardness of such soil.
WHEN their prayers are not granted, Moroccan tribesmen bind their religious images with ropes and leave these fetters on until the desired happening occurs or their displeasure abates, according to Edward A. Westermarck, noted English sociologist, who has just concluded a study of their ceremonies.
AT LEAST nine tenths of the lead in air containing paint mist is removed by the use of respirators with cotton, paper, or fabric filters, Surgeon General H. S. Cummings announces as the result of experiments by the Public Health Service, in Washington, D.C.
ARE there diamond fields in Canada? Not long ago, some diamonds of commercial size were found in Indiana by tourists who examined debris around the rock mounds left in parts of that state at the end of ancient glacier drifts. Discovery of this treasure has revived interest among scientists in the possibility that there may be diamond-bearing rock in the James Bay region in Canada.
ONE of the reasons for the amazingly long life of the California Big Free, the forest giant which reaches an age of 4,000 and sometimes even 6,000 years, was discovered a few weeks ago. Experiments with its bark showed that it has a resistance to fire surpassed only by that of asbestos!
THE world’s longest highway bridge, a five-and-a-half-mile span crossing the James River in Virginia, and connecting Newport News, Norfolk, and Portsmouth, was opened to traffic recently. Built at a cost of $7,000,000, the new bridge closes a large gap in the Atlantic Coastal highway and forms a direct road down the historic Virginia Peninsula.
THE pneumatic drill, familiar to engineering, is the newest of aids to surgeons in the operating room. Dr. W. H. Ogilvie, an assistant surgeon at Guy's Hospital, London, England, is the inventor of the new surgical instrument, pictured below.
THE adult heart—the only organ in the body whose muscles never rest nor sleep during life—makes an average total of 108,000 beats every twenty-four hours! How does this busy organ find time to “eat” and fortify itself for its arduous labors?
THE largest aircraft manufacturing plant in the world is soon to be built in California, according to a recent announcement by interests that have purchased control of the Fokker Aircraft Corporation. Anthony H. G. Fokker, creator of the ships that bear his name, remains in charge of design.
YOU can play tennis with yourself by means of a simple, one-man tennis outfit, recently introduced into this country. Smashing lobs and speedy backhand strokes can be practiced in your own back yard without fear of smashing windows or losing balls, the makers of the device point out.
ICE skating in a bathing suit under a broiling summer sun has been made possible by the recent discovery, in Germany, of a chemical substitute for ice. When sprinkled over a smooth floor, the chemical immediately hardens into a solid polished surface over which the sharp runners of the skates glide without cutting through.
CHROME yellow, white, and dead black are the three best colors for markings to guide aviators, such as towers of transmission lines along an airway and field boundary markers, according to Woody Hockaday, Aeronautics Division, U. S. Department of Commerce.
CLEARING telephone and telegraph wires of kites and other entanglements has been made easier by the invention of Albert Hightower, a Fresno, Calif., lineman. The mechanism consists of a trolley truck carrying a pair of strong shears operated by a rope and so designed that it cannot jump the wire once it is properly mounted.
TOYS are now being used to teach traffic cops of Berlin, Germany, to do their work more efficiently. Tiny horses and wagons, automobiles, and street cars move along the streets of a miniature model town, part of which is shown in the photograph at the left, while the policemen, under the direction of an expert traffic officer, determine how the little control station at the street intersection should be operated to control the traffic meeting from five separate streets.
A SELF-DUMPING scow that flops over on its back and receives its next load upside-down, is being operated in the Puget Sound by a Seattle, Wash., company. Both the top and the bottom of the scow are identical, so it can be loaded whichever surface is on top.
WHEN, in 1908, Dr. Hugh Mackay Dawbarn, the famous American surgeon, saved his son’s life by grafting a large piece of his own skin onto that of the boy’s, the operation astonished surgeons and physicians as well as laymen throughout the world.
PROBABLY the stupidest winged creature is the auk, a small, web-footed, penguinlike bird whose haunts are the Arctic regions. A Canadian zoologist, recently returned from the Far North, described the catching of droves of auks by Eskimos who were armed only with fish nets!
ANOTHER attempt to apply the power of an automobile motor to the front wheels instead of the rear has been made recently by a French automobile engineer, M. Sensaud. In the picture above, the casing of the main driving gear may be seen in the center of the complicated front axle, just below the radiator of the automobile. Power is applied to the wheels through a system of gears. The close proximity of the driving wheels to the motor is expected to give greater efficiency by reducing loss of power in transmission.
In A stream of yellow ingots, more than half the gold produced in the world passes through the weighing rooms of a refinery at Germiston, near Johannesburg, South Africa. Unrefined blocks of gold representing a fortune! are piled before the weighing official, who places them in the pans of sensitive scales, operating within dust-proof glass cases.
BY PICKING up two stacks of boxes at a time, a new hand truck, invented in England, saves time by doing away with the necessity of loading eat l box on the truck separately. After the truck has been run into position, the wheels are held from rolling by application of a footbrake.
THE principle of the range finder, used in war time to determine the distance of ships and airplanes, can be applied to a special form of microscope and employed in the laboratory for minute and accurate depth measurements. This was demonstrated recently by Dr. I. C. Gardner, of the United States Bureau of Standards, before the American Optical Society.
A “SOUND searchlight,” described as throwing out a concentrated “beam” of sound that penetrates high into the air, as a shaft of light cuts into the darkness, was tested recently at Camden. N. J. The device is expected to prove valuable in directing aircraft to landing fields during fog, when they have approached so close that the radio beacon has become ineffective.
A PSYCHOLOGIST connected with a Pennsylvania college not long ago conducted an experiment in which typists with their typewriters, kettledrums, saxophones, and plain, everyday pots and pans were used to prove his contention that human beings work better and faster amid the din produced by modern industrial centers than in solitude and quiet surroundings, as generally believed.
OUR neighbor planet Jupiter took the leading rôle, the other night, in a remarkable motion picture thrown on the screen in Washington, D. C. By an ingenious process, similar to that used in photographing budding flowers, its motions were so sped up that spectators saw Jupiter actually revolving, and one of its satellites or moons produce an eclipse before their eyes.
FRST photographs of the electric field arounda conductor, made at Purdue University, promise to simplify enormously the problem of designing good high-voltage insulators and to aid in the study of what happens around a wire carrying electric current.
PLODDING along like the tortoise in the fable, a tractor, pulling a disk harrow over a thousand-acre field in California, set what is believed to be a world’s record recently when it kept going for seventeen nights and days. The test was made by engineers of the University of California.
SMALL hot water pipes, buried in walls, ceilings, and floors of the new British Embassy, under construction in Washington, D. C., will furnish a novel heating system that eliminates the use of visible radiators. This is believed to be the first time the system has been installed in a building in this country, although frequently used in England.
CONCRETE is being forced under the foundation of the leaning tower of Pisa in Italy, in an effort to save the famous medieval structure. The tipping of the tower has increased steadily, and fear was felt for its safety. When measured a hundred years ago, the tower was fifteen and one half feet out of the perpendicular.
THE United States Bureau of Mines, after experimenting with chickens, rabbits, dogs, mice, and other animals, has reached the conclusion that the canary is the best detector of poisonous gas in mines. In this connection, it will be remembered that Dr. Hugo Eckener, builder and commander of the Graf Zeppelin, had his pet canary aboard for this purpose when the world’s largest dirigible made its recent trip from Germany to America and back.
Why Two Sets May Look Alike, But Behave Differently
THE two men in the seat behind me were having a hot argument. “You sure gave me a bum steer when you recommended that lemon,” one of them growled disgustedly. “About all that alleged radio set has is a swell cabinet. The rest of it’s a bunch of junk !”
Here You Can Learn When It Pays to Discard Batteries, and How to Change the Old Radio Set into an “Electric”
ALFRED P. LANE
THOUSANDS of radio fans now are trying to decide what to do about their battery operated radio receivers. They ask: “Shall I get new batteries and keep on using my set as it is? Had I better scrap it and get a new electric model? Isn’t there some way to make it over so it will be an electric? ”
Headphones Aid in Fixing Position of Instruments to Avoid Coupling Trouble—Measuring the Life of a Storage Battery
THE audio transformer, as every radio experimenter knows, consists of a metal core made up of many layers of thin transformer steel on which are wound the primary and secondary windings. And there is no difference in principle between an audio transformer and the power transformer used in the modern electric radio receiver.
WHILE alternating current operation, as compared with battery operation, affords no better results in the radio-frequency detector, and first audio stages of a receiver, it is a big help in the last audio stage. Working from an alternating current source, you can easily obtain the necessary high Bvoltages required for best results when you use modern power tubes.
AN OUTSTANDING characteristic of the lead-acid type storage battery as used in all automobiles for starting and lighting, and as the A-battery to supply filament current for a radio receiver, is the remarkable service it gives while it is reasonably new.
WHY cut a tree to pieces and then pay a carpenter money to put it together again?” That is the pertinent question put by Ross Houston, veteran lumberman of Tacoma, Wash., who recently developed and patented a unique labor-saving plan for sawing logs.
IF EXPERIMENTS made recently by German manufacturers prove practicable and popular, women soon may go to dances and theopera in stunning evening gowns of metal, while their escorts will be clad in a modern adaptation of the suits of armor worn by knights of old.
JAGGED forks of miniature lightning flash in the cylinders of your automobile every time an explosion takes place. This was revealed by recent experiments conducted in the Aeronautic Research Laboratory of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Mass.
A PRIVATE little castle, complete with towers and battlements, as well as a conservatory for raising flowers during winter months, has been constructed by T. Martin, a chauffeur in Hookwood, Surrey, England. During a period of unemployment, he planned and built the unique dwelling, making with his own hands all of the concrete blocks which went into its walls.
PROF. A. A. MICHELSON, University of Chicago physicist, has just repeated his memorable experiment of forty years ago, which later served as the basis of the much-discussed Einstein theory of relativity. The results, recently announced, completely confirm the test he then made with the aid of the late Prof. Edward W. Morley.
AN ALMOST complete “automatic office force” was included in exhibitions at the National Business Show, held recently in Chicago. One electric typewriter can be set copying an original letter and will keep on turning out duplicates until stopped.
HOUSES have been carried down streets and across bridges in odd moving jobs, but it remained for a Dutch contractor to accomplish the amazing feat of carrying one bodily across river. He succeeded in lifting a Rotterdam bungalow with a huge floating crane and ferrying it across the River Maas to its new location without injury.
EXPERIMENTS by the Bureau of Dairy Industry of the U. S. Department of Agriculture show milk must be kept in a dark place to retain its flavor and freshness. When exposed to -sunlight, milk quickly develops “ a [linseed oil odor and a cardboard taste, ” the chemists found.
DESIGNED to clamp on chimneys, around gutters and eaves, on apartment house parapets, or on window sills, a new radio aerial support has been put upon the market. Instead of nailing sticks to the roof or fastening them to the chimney to hold up serials, radio owners can save time and trouble, says the inventor, by use of the new clamp, which supports an upright metal rod surmounted by an insulator.
A “FOUNTAIN PEN” that spurts thirty-eight-caliber bullets was picked up near a street corner in New York City recently and turned over to the police. The tiny weapon, little longer than the width of a man's hand, is shaped to appear merely a harmless writing instrument.
THE ancient Assyrians stored huge quantities of iron in times of peace to have a plentiful supply for the manufacture of arms to be used in their frequent wars. A similar method is advocated by U. S. Army officials for present-day America. There are nine minerals, they say, of which this country would not possess sufficient stores in case of sudden hostilities. These are manganese, which forms an alloy with steel and hardens it ; antimony, which hardens lead; chromium, another steel alloy; platinum, used in chemical processes; nickel, needed for armor plate and bullet jackets; quicksilver, used in explosives, thermometers, and for several other purposes; tungsten, needed in the manufacture of electric lamps and machine tools; tin, principally used by the Army and Navy as a coating for cans; and nitrates, required in the making of artificial fertilizer.
IN 1385 two English barons, meeting casually during the invasion of Scotland, discovered to their discomfiture that they bore the identical family colors. Each hotly disputed the other’s right to them, and a long drawn out battle followed before a court of chivalry.
GLUING kernels of wheat upon a board for the equivalent of seventy working days, twenty-two-year-old Theophile Casaubon, of Los Angeles, produced this reproduction of the American flag. He used 33,000 kernels of selected hard wheat in the process.
A CAGE for bank tellers and cashiers, constructed with shutters which could be closed instantly by bank officials by a push button on the approach of a holdup man, was proposed recently to prevent bank robberies. The idea was advanced by an expert in such matters-— a holdup man serving a life sentence in the Iowa State Penitentiary !
INSTEAD of snipping along a line with scissors, tailors can cut out clothes in a fraction of the time, it is claimed, by use of the new mechanical cloth cutter pictured above. The machine is housed in a small box, above which a guarded blade protruaes.
AN AMATEUR astronomer living at Rosebank, a small community near Cape Town, South Africa, distinguished himself recently by the discovery of a new comet. His “find” was confirmed immediately by officials of the Union Observatory in Cape Town.
WHEN tradesmen finish making deliveries with a unique pushcart, recently exhibited at the Leipzig Technical Fair in Germany, they can fold it up and tuck it under their arms. When the bottom is lifted the cart folds together in the manner shown in the photograph, and may be stored in a narrow space.
COUNTRIES now “wet” may soon go “dry” or partly so, but not as a result of international prohibition. The taking of “beverage” alcohol in solid form—in other words, the “eating” of “drinks”—has been made possible through a new German invention, which was demonstrated at one of the principal laboratories in Berlin a few weeks ago.
WHEN the “talking movies” first made their appearance, some leaders in motion picture affairs asked, “Won’t this innovation seriously curtail the export of American-made films to foreign, non-English-speaking countries ?" Edwin Hopkins, a New York playwright, has supplied the potential answer with an invention which he calls “vivigraphic films,” which makes it possible to connect a voice record of an actor speaking in a foreign language with an American moving picture film.
A MOTORCYCLE in which two small, doughnutlike wheels replace the single large rear wheel has been designed in England for use in rough country and on unimproved roads. An endless tread is placed over the two rear wheels to furnish traction over especially difficult trails.
IN THE Antarctic regions now being explored by the Byrd expedition live billions of microscopic plants which build transparent houses for themselves of materials so rare and difficult to manufacture that King Croesus himself would have been too poor to fashion even a small palace from them.
WITH the assistance of Dr. Irwin G. Priest and other scientists of the U. S. Bureau of Standards, Charles Bittinger, a noted artist of Boston, Mass., has painted what is considered the first scientifically accurate “portrait” of the spectrum of the sun.
CONTRARY to accepted belief, bees, carrier pigeons, and other “homing” animals have no innate sense of direction, according to Armand Rio, a French naturalist. They find their way back to their hives or lofts by familiar landmarks which they memorize by short excursions within eyerange of their starting point before they set out on their flights, he says.
THE Neanderthal man, pictured by scientists as a flat-skulled, somewhat apelike individual who wooed his bride with a stone club, was a craftsman of no mean ability. Equipp ;d with flint tools of the roughest and most primitive description, he nevertheless turned out articles for his daily use so delicately wrought as to challenge the skill of the most accomplished modern artisan.
A CARD party can be changed into a movie show merely by lifting the top of a new card table, switching out the lights and turning on the home projector. The table is designed to serve as a motion picture screen when it is not in use in its ordinary capacity.
FUSES, for blasting, are supplanted by a new device which resembles an ordinary flashlight and furnishes electric current from three dry cells to discharge the explosive. According to the makers, it eliminates the danger of misfires and delayed fires caused by fuse trouble.
BUMPS and jolts on rough roads rock the baby to sleep instead of disturbing him, when he is riding in a new automobile crib, according to the inventor. The crib hangs, hammock fashion, in the rear of the car, supported by two hooks screwed into the crossbeams of the car top.
IN ONE out of five grade crossing accidents, the automobile crashes into the train instead of the train hitting the machine, announces the American Railway Association, summarizing the annual toll of such accidents. In many cases the drivers first crashed through the crossing gate before hitting the train. During 1927, says the report, there was an increase of sixtysix grade crossing accidents over the twelve months preceding.
SIGNS placed along the highways near Ardmore, Oklahoma, call attention to interesting geological formations along the road, giving the kind of rock and the age it represents. One signboard contains a diagrammatic cross section of the Arbuckle Mountains, over which a main highway climbs.
A CLOSED car with a top that can be folded back to admit, through glass windows, the beneficial rays from the sun, was one of the exhibits of a recent automobile show in London, England. By moving a handle at the right of his seat, the driver can push back the canvas cover of the car like a curtain, exposing a roof of health glass.
EIGHT and a half million automobiles, carrying 42,000,000 passengers, passed through the Holland Tunnel, under the Hudson between New York and Jersey City, during the first year of its operation, officials report. Some of the elaborate tests made before the tunnel was built to insure against carbon monoxide poisoning have been revealed by A. C. Fieldner, of the U. S. Bureau of Mines.
A WIRE automobile wheel without the usual central shell that fits over the axle hub is one of the latest innovations in motordom. The wheel is said to weigh only eleven pounds. A similar wheel, with the usual hub, weighs eighteen. Seven small metal rings, or eyelets, securing the inner spokes, and one large one, holding the outer spokes, take the place of the ordinary wheel hub. The small eyelets fit over the studs of the brake drums, where they bolt in place, tightening the inner spokes.
ONE of the most paradoxical developments of modern science is found in the fact that aviation is proving itself a useful aid to archeology! There are many archeological “clues,” such as ancient roads, ditches, and the like, which are invisible to the passer-by on the ground, but which can be discovered from a height in the air because the aviator’s bird’s-eye view of the territory gives him an opportunity to observe conditions which form a scientifically unmistakable pattern.
ASPARE tire becomes a service station that travels along with you to supply free air for soft tires, through the use of a new “tire balancer,” devised by Tom LeNay, of Los Angeles, Calif. The device is extremely simple. It consists of a twelve-foot rubber hose with a cap at each end.
ALTHOUGH more than twenty million pleasure automobiles were on the roads of the United States last year, the village of Agness, Ore., had never seen one until a roadster was sent there the other day. This community, on the Rogue River in the southwestern part of the state, contains only a handful of people and uses the river as its main highway.
WITH a dashboard containing as many instruments as are carried by a trans-Atlantic airplane, a small runabout made its appearance at Southport, England, recently. The woman motorist who drives the car has the assistance—or hindrance!—of thirty dials, clocks, and buttons, not to mention a strange assortment of mirrors, and other “gadgets.”
BRIGHTENING up the landscape with colored telephone poles is a suggestion recently made before engineers attending a telephone association conference in Chicago. One expert reported that his company had perfected a new wood preservative which triples the life of the poles and can be made in a variety of colors.
A DOCTOR, 7,000 miles from a patient, diagnosed the case over the radio recently. A woman suffering from a dangerous malady in Buenos Aires, Argentina, was put in communication with a specialist in Berlin, Germany, over a test short-wave apparatus.
FROM an empty tin can, you can make a filling station for vest pocket cigarette lighters by screwing on a newly devised combination metal tube, cap, and rubber bulb in place of the regular cap on the can. The can holds sufficient gasoline to fill many lighters and, the makers say, forms a handy and economical means of keeping a vest pocket lighter replenished. The bulb is designed to have a capacity just sufficient for the ordinary lighter. Thus one squeeze fills the tank to the top without making it overflow.
FREDERICK HOELZEL, of the University of Chicago, announces a theory, backed up by experiment, that susceptibility to colds is largely a matter of diet. Persons who eat too much sugar and starch, as most people do, and vegetarians and others who live on a lowprotein diet, are far more likely to “take cold,” he says, than those whose food is high in protein content.
THE tin foil wrapped around chocolate, tobacco, or cigarettes is thick compared to the foil used in radio condensers, which measures 4,350 sheets to the inch ! The thinnest foil provides 14,500 square inches from one pound of metal. Tin and lead foil are said to have been invented by the Chinese centuries ago, by hammering bars of metal. Today they are made by automatic machinery.
AN EXHAUSTIVE study recently completed by Dr. Wilhelm Gieseler, of the University of Munich, Germany, tends to show that the pedal extremities of man’s remotest ancestor developed into human legs sooner than his skull evolved into a human head.
THE latest radio dial is designed to flash the identification letters of each broadcasting station when its wave length is tuned in. Contact points are fitted in the dial at positions where the various stations are tuned in perfectly. Thereafter, each time one of the contacts is made a light flashes at the top of the dial and the letters of the station appear behind a lighted window.
A TWIST of the wrist supplies power for a new flashlight. Turning the handle winds a spring that operates a tiny dynamo and produces current for a two-and-a-half-volt light. This Lilliputian electric light plant is said to furnish light as long as the spring is kept wound.
A NEW sugar has been discovered in the juice of dahlia tubers by the U. S. Bureau of Standards, it was announced the other day. In experiments to find out the structure of inulin, a starchlike substance found in dahlia juice, the sugar was discovered.
THE sunward side of Mercury, nearest the sun of all planets in our solar system, may reach a temperature of nearly 800 degrees Fahrenheit, a heat sufficient to melt lead, zinc, or tin and to keep all water on the planet’s surface permanently in gas form, like the air on earth, according to Dr. William F. Meyer, of the University of California.
ELDERLY people who say they can feel the approach of a storm or bad weather because their rheumatic pains increase, have been laughed at a good deal by the younger generation, but now physicians declare the oldsters are right. At a recent convention of the Central Society for Clinical Research, in Chicago, a trio of distinguished doctors announced that observations over a number of years had shown that there exists, indeed, a close relation between storms, rain, and rheumatism.
THE smoker is provided with a new accessory in a holder for pipe cleaners which enables him to keep them within arm’s reach on a table and prevents them from becoming dirty or bent out of shape. To lend attractiveness, designs are painted on the sides of the holders.
A CURIOUS animal of the Southwest, the blue-bellied lizard, has been proved susceptible to hypnotism. Edwin D. McKee, of the educational staff of the Grand Canyon National Park, has discovered that by keeping his eyes focused on those of the lizard as he approaches the elusive animal, it will remain tense and still and can be pinned to the ground with a quick dart of the hand.
PROTECTION for the dress sleeves and arms of women motorists, when they have to signal stops and turns on a rainy day, is afforded by a gauntlet of rubberized fabric just devised. The guantlet slips on the left arm, reaching above the elbow. It buckles snugly about the wrist to keep raindrops from running down the arm. When not in use, the fabric can be folded into a tight roll that occupies little space.
NEW substantiation of the theory that intelligence does not depend on the apparent size or weight of the brain, but rather upon its convolutions, was offered recently by a German scientist who, after years of investigation, announced that the whale, never distinguished for its brain power, possesses the largest brain of any mammal.
AN ELECTRIC lamp cord suspending a heating element from which the smoker can light his cigar or cigarette is the latest novelty for the living room. The lighter comes in a variety of colors to match the twisted silk-covered wire cord and so has the appearance of a tassel at the end of the cord.
ANYONE who, in sultry summer nights, has had his patience tried by a twenty-five-minute hunt for a mosquito, will admire the persistence of C. H. Bath, sanitary inspector at the Panama Canal, who has captured a new species of this pestiferous family that had eluded experts during a chase lasting twenty-five years!
ACROSS rivers and through mountain canyons, from Amarillo, Texas, to Denver, Colorado, what is said to be the largest high-pressure gas line in the world was completed recently at the record rate of almost two miles a day. This 375-mile line, carrying natural gas from the Amarillo fields to consumers in Denver and Pueblo, Colo., was in operation just 193 days after work was begun.
You Can Master the Use of Jeweler's Saw Blades While Making an Attractive Brass Teapot Stand
SAWING is one of the most important operation to master in decorative metal work. While the heavier and larger pieces, such as hinges and hardware, may be cut out more readily with chisels as explained last month, the smaller pieces and intricate pierced openings in large pieces are usually cut with a jeweler’s saw blade.
Although of Tournament Size, It Can Be Stored in Small Space
CHARLES A. KING
IN THE present popular revival of interest in ping-pong, many of those who have fallen under the spell of its furious fun have asked themselves the question: “How can I build myself a good, firm, large table which will not be cumbersome or unsightly when folded up?”
A Simple Way to Install a Central Switchboard from Which to Govern All Train Movements—Changing Voltage on Grades
FREDERICK D. RYDER
JUST as it is necessary to plan the track layout of a model electric railway before you start building, so it is wise to make a preliminary study of the type of electrical control system you wish to install. The ideal control system would be one that would permit you to sit in front of the control panel and perform all the operations of running the trains without leaving that position.
How to Make Napkin, Tie, and Towel Holders, and Round Picture Frames
NOW that motorized home workshop machines and small wood turning lathes are in use in so many homes and wood turning is becoming so popular a hobby, there is a demand for designs and projects that are a step in advance of candlesticks and other elementary articles with which beginners are at first content.
Magical New Comforts and Labor-Saving Inventions to Help Bring the Old-Fashioned Dwelling Up-to-Date
MILTON G. STURGISS
HELEN, I saw a wonderful house today.” I lit my pipe, hitched up a chair to a comfortable place near the fire, and started on a “selling talk” I had prepared for my wife. “Went out to look at that ‘model house’ in Meadow ville today. Talk about your 1929 styles!
RECENTLY published reports of the latest and largest locomotive in the world, built for the Northern Pacific Railroad, stress the fact that engine and tender are half the length of a city block, weigh a million pounds, can pull a loaded train two miles long on a level track, and consume twenty tons of coal and 14,400 gallons of water an hour.
A Haughty Woman Driver Learns from Gus Why It Pays to Know How Fuel Supply Systems Work
YOU the mechanic here, my man?" A harsh, feminine voice rattled Gus Wilson’s eardrums and brought his head around with a jerk. “Yes’m,” he mildly replied to the bossy female whose car had coasted up behind the veteran auto mechanic. “Well,” she snapped, “I hope you’re not as dumb as most auto mechanics.
Handy Kinks That May Save You Trouble or Get You Out of It—in Ingenious Opener for Garage Doors
THE “neck of the bottle” in an automobile radiator is at the top of the cooling fins or tubes. Any foreign matter that floats around with the water always gets stuck at this point and the result is retarded circulation and a tendency for the motor to overheat.
A COMMON location for the tool compartment in the sedan or coach is under the front seat. Usually it is necessary to raise the front of the seat cushion and pull it forward in order to lift it out to get at the tools. You can fit a lock, as shown in Fig. 2, that will prevent lifting the front edge of the seat cushion and thus prevent the theft or unauthorized use of your tools when the car is stored in a public garage.
G. Solomon, of Puerto Plata, Santo Domingo, wins this month’s ten-dollar prize for his suggestion of a garage door opening device (Fig. 3). Each month Popular Science Monthly awards $10, in addition to regular space rates, for the best idea sent in for motorists.
FIGURE 3 shows a novel fitting for any double garage doors. It is designed so that when you open or shut the door at the left in the illustration, the other door will open or shut automatically. The material you need consists of a board of sufficient length, three bolts, a strong iron hinge, and wood screws.
AN INGENIOUS way to siphon gas from the tank of your car is illustrated in Fig. 4. Insert one end of a rubber tube deep into the gas tank; the other into a container. Then, wrapping your fingers around the tube where it enters the tank so as to make as air-tight a connection as possible, blow into the tank.
IF THE battery is so low that the car won’t start, even with the hand crank, a couple of flashlight batteries will do the trick. Fig. 5 shows how to connect them. Remove the ignition coil wire leading to the ignition switch, and replace it with a wire from one end of the two flashlight batteries connected in series (you must have at least four cells).
If you would like to construct a model of this famous old Mississippi River steamboat, you can begin now simply by sending for POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY Blueprints Nos. 94, 95, and 96, which contain complete full size drawings. Use the coupon on page 103. This is the fourth article of the series.
E. ARMITAGE MCCANN
THOSE model of readers the stern-wheel who are building Missisa sippi steamboat Buckeye State now have the hull complete with two decks and the cabin house on it. Whether one is especially interested in the Mississippi River or not, this model is an attractive one to make because the Buckeye State is typical of the only completely American craft with the exception of the Indian canoe.
WITH monds the in increasing machine shops, use of many diamen have become very familiar with their care and setting. Diamonds can be purchased either set or unset. If they are bought set, they usually have to be reset after a time, depending upon the quality of the diamonds and the service to which they are put.
WHEN you are forming a radius on the corners of an end mill or a side mill, use a fine grain wheel to get a smooth finish. The average small shop generally has poor equipment for testing a lathe taper set-up; it is safest to take figures at both ends of the work. But don’t use a file to get results!
How to Prevent Sagging—Saving Strain by Use of a Faceplate in Place of a Chuck—Steady-Rests
LYTHE work, as a rule, is balanced statically. In large and ponderous castings revolving at slow speed, this is all that is required to counteract the gravitational pull which might otherwise cause uneven running of the spindle under the changing eccentric load.
F. N. V ANDERWALKER Describes the Various Types of “Guns” Available for Home Decorating
Types of Spray Guns and Their Uses
I HAVE just been looking at two or three paint spray guns,” a friend of mine remarked to me not long ago. “They sell at less than $40 and look excellent. I would like your opinion as to which one it would be best to buy for painting the three large barns on my farm.”
AS THE winter campaign in the War of the Vacant Lots becomes more furious, defenders of the fort will need more powerful artillery. By constructing a snowball howitzer as shown, they can hold off a strong enemy force. The power is obtained from ½ in.
DISCARDED chairs, whether modern or antique, can be salvaged in many cases by replacing the upholstery or by substituting upholstery for rush, splint, or other types of seats. It is surprising what can be done with an apparently hopeless-looking chair.
Methods Used by Prize Winners in Miniature A ircraft Contests—Bending Bamboo—Other Hints
A. L. JACKSON
BEGINNERS in airplane model making always wish to know how experts like my little friend Aram Abgarian, who won the Stout Indoor Trophy with a flight of 353.6 seconds, carve the propellers for their record-breaking models. The first requirement is a good sharp pocketknife.
THE man who varnishes a piece of furniture or some apparatus which he has just made, or the woman who touches up a chair, is apt to discover certain pertinent facts about varnishes from annoying experience. Some brands dry too quickly for general use and fail to form a smooth surface.
NAILS will hold in plaster walls only when driven right through the plaster into one of the wall studs, or uprights, to which the lath is fastened. To find one of these uprights, tap the wall very gently with a hammer and listen to the sound. The sound is hollow in tone except where the studs are located, and there is a perceptible difference in the rebound of the hammer.
SHOES can be made waterproof or at least highly resistant to moisture by the use of one of the following formulas recommended by chemists of the U. S. Department of Agriculture: Formula 1: Neutral wool grease, 8 oz.; dark petrolatum, 4 oz.; paraffin wax, 2 oz. Formula 2: Petrolatum, 16 oz.; beeswax, 2 oz. Formula 3: Petrolatum, 8 oz.; paraffin wax, 4 oz.; wool grease, 4 oz.; crude turpentine gum (gum thus), 2 oz. Formula 4: Tallow, 12 oz.; cod oil, 4 oz. Which formula to use depends upon the ease with which the materials can be obtained.
EVERY boy at some time or other has held a block of wood in his hand and asked himself: “Now what can I make out of this old chunk of wood?” Why, hundreds of things! For example, a whole miniature village can be cut easily from blocks of white pine.
IN THE latest moving picture technique, the camera is used much in the same manner as the human eye, seemingly wandering up and down and to the left and right at will. This new technique is responsible for the life-like quality of such scenes as, for example, a per formance of a trapeze artist in the top of a circus tent, followed by a closeup of a section of the staring.
WHAT is said to be the only automatic fire extinguisher for planes has recently been introduced by an American plane-building firm. The device, a European invention, consists of a central chemical tank from which seven pipes terminate in nozzles at strategic points particularly subject to fire.
SOLID propeller blades may go out of style if six new experimental models recently ordered by the Navy prove successful. The new blades, of chrome vanadium steel, are hollow. They are said to be the first of this type that can withstand the strains of a highspeed airplane.
A CHICAGO pilot tried to take off, in his plane, from the roof of a speeding railroad train the other day. His plane was wrecked but the flyer escaped unhurt. Eddie Ballough, the commercial pilot who made the try, was seeking to show the possibility of dispatching air mail from a moving train. His diminutive Monocoupe machine was secured to the top of an Illinois Central train outbound from Chicago.
AN INTERNATIONAL “aerial fish express” is soon to be established between Mexico and the United States, according to a Mexican government official. Refrigerator airplanes are to rush cargoes of perishable sea food between Laguna Madre, Mexico, and Houston, Texas.
RECOGNITION by the U. S. branch of the “F. A. L,” world aero governing body, makes official the new American duration record of fifty-nine hours in the air, set not long ago by the round-the-world aviators William Brock and Edward Schlee. The world's record is held by Germans.
TWO quarts of ice cream recently traveled from Utica, N. Y., to Texas via air mail, to be eaten there next day. With the container, the bundle weighed twelve pounds and bore $18.50 in air mail stamps. Hundred-mile-an-hour mail delivery has sped other odd items on their way; everything from bread to pawn tickets and jewelry.
ONE of the next great inventions will be a way -of taking snapshots in color. Already “still” color photographs have been made, seemingly on paper, althoiigh actually consisting of transparent overlaid films. The most recent modification of this process has just been announced by F. J. Tritton, a British photographer.
PARSLEY nine feet tall and Scotch heather fifty feet high are among the vegetable curiosities growing on the slopes of the Mountains of the Moon, in Central Africa, according to Carvaeth Wells, British explorer. Every kind of fruit known in North America grows at different altitudes on the slopes of these mysterious mountains which, because of fog and cloud screens, are visible only a few hours every three or four months.
COLOR and duration of light have a decided effect upon plant growth, Dr. John M. Arthur, of the Boyce Thompson Institute, recently reported to the American Optical Society. The tomato is killed by continuous illumination; buckwheat thrives when lighted twenty-four hours a day.
COLOR preferences are determined by an instrument called the “chromopathometer,” invented by William E. Walton, a graduate student of psychology in the University of Kansas. Tests of 800 men and women were made with the invention. The men showed a decided preference for blue, with green second; women preferred green, with red second.
TNSECT traps attached to airplanes have found the pink boll weevil moths and other injurious insects, at altitudes and distances previously unsuspected, investigators of the U. S. Department of Agriculture working with Mexican officials, report.