LARRY MICHAELS had an appointment, for lunch with his friend, Al Langley, an investment broker. As they walked into their favorite restaurant, there seemed to be an extraordinary amount of conversation, loud and otherwise, floating around the room.
An Army of Research Workers and Millions of Dollars Are Back of the Modern Tubes
F. G. PRYOR
AVAST amount of experimental and research work foreshadowed the modern radio -vacuum tube. De Forest started the ball rolling when he put the vital third electrode into the simple, two electrode Fleming valve. His invention opened the gateway to radio as we know it today, but it has taken thousands of research workers literally millions of hours to bring the tube to its present state of performance.
HAVING just gone through the worst drought in the history of Arkansas, I have been doing a lot of thinking about the possibility of the recurrence of it year after year. Here is an idea I have but I am not able to put it into practice and so I am sending it to you to turn over to someone who can do some experimenting with it.
Efforts to Dip into the Future Cost Americans $125,000,000 a Year—Tricks Used to Fool "Suckers" Explained Here
VICTIMS of a wave of superstition such as the world has not seen since the Middle Ages, the people of the United States are paying $125,000,000 a year to an army of 100,000 fortune tellers of all kinds, including crystal gazers, astrologers, numerologists, palmists, phrenologists, card manipulators, tea-leaf readers, and other charlatans, who infest the country from one end to the other.
Origin of Living Matter May Be Traced to Ultra-Violet Light Now Used In Treating Diseases
GEORGE LEE DOWD
STREAMING from the sun, ultra-violet light, of a power beyond our present conception, eons ago fell upon the lifeless earth and bathed its mixtures of water and chemicals in its benevolent rays. With a chemical magic no modern scientist could duplicate, they created reactions that brought into being proteins and protoplasm, the materials of which living cells are made.
FIRST man on land to see the Atlantic liners come in is an observer with a telescope in a Highlands, N. J., tower overlooking the sea. For thirty-three years, Samuel F. Phillips has scanned the horizon for masts and smokestacks. When he identifies an incoming vessel, he turns to a Morse key and telegraphs the news to New York.
Costly Furs Can Be Imitated from Rabbit Pelts Grown in Private Hutches—Little Cash and Space Needed to Start Business
H. H. DUNN
IF YOU want a new fur coat of any kind from ermine to seal, you may have it at one twentieth to one tenth the price you would pay for a genuine garment of the same size, color, and appearance. On any back yard space of 200 square feet or more, you may raise your own fur, prepare it yourself, and, if you are sufficiently skillful, make your own coat, cape, neckpiece, or whatever you want.
NEAR-BY ships shivered as if they had run aground, when the greatest undersea explosion in history recently rumbled beneath New York harbor. Fifty thousand pounds of dynamite dug a grave for the derelict liner Fort Victoria, which ten months before sank at the entrance of Ambrose Channel in New York Bay and had since lain there, a menace to navigation.
F♦or thirty-six years copper ore in Arizona has been burning and efforts to extinguish it have all failed—Millions of tons are taken out each year
GROVER CLEVELAND was President of the United States, the Chicago World's Fair had been closed a few months, and Duryea and Haynes were demonstrating their first horseless carriages before skeptical multitudes, when fire broke out in the United Verde mine, on the eastern slope of the Black Hills in Yavapai County, Arizona.
HERE is the last chance for you to get in on the big cash prize award! The "What's Wrong?" Contest closes this month. That gives you just one more opportunity to win a first prize of $500, second prize of $100, third prize of $50, a $10 prize, or one of the $5 prizes.
Find Five Errors in Each Photo; 63 Big Cash Prizes
George Knowitall, in each picture on this page and on page 29, is doing a job and doing it wrong. Also in each picture there are four errors that were put there deliberately by trick photography. Find the five mistakes in each picture, send us your answer, and one of the sixty-three (63) cash prizes offered in this contest may be yours.
Last Month's What's Wrong?" Contest Still Open to You
ON THIS page we are reproducing in small size the four photos that made up the third chapter in our "What's Wrong?" contest. Read the rules on page 31, find five errors in each picture, and send in your entry before December 31. The December issue, which can be examined free in public libraries or at any office of this magazine, shows the pictures in larger size.
Air Propelled Railway Car Travels 114 Miles an Hour on Rails
SUCCESS marked the first trial of an air-propelled "Zeppelin railway car," designed by Franz Kruckenberg. German engineer, to enable railroads to compete in speed with airplanes. This silvery, cigar-shaped car recently sped along a Hanover, Germany, railroad track at a speed of 114 miles an hour.
WHEN a draftsman needs to draw a number of neatly spaced, parallel lines, as in "cross-hatching" a section or marking in the symbols that represent certain kinds of structural metal, a new ruler is handy. As the ruler advances across the paper on nonskid, grooved rollers, the dial at the right of the hand in the picture above registers the distance traveled in fractions of an inch.
FIREMEN can play a stream of water on a wharf fire from below, without going under the wharf, with a new aid recently developed. This appliance, a steel buoy attached to the end of a long rod, holds a hose nozzle in a vertical position. For use it is placed in the water from a fire boat.
A RESCUE device for life guards, recently invented by J. E. Haschke, of Long Beach, Calif., resembles a toy motorboat in appearance. It is a boat-shaped buoy driven by an electric motor and tows a life-saver to a drowning person more quickly than one could swim.
THE United States Geological Survey has prepared a series of maps of the Chicago district which are so complete that even golf bunkers are shown. A series of twenty of the unusual maps, which are believed to be the ultimate in cartography and intended purely for reference, have been prepared.
A GERMAN has perfected a chair that presses trousers. It is designed with two "seats," the upper one hinging back against the back rest. When being used as a pressing machine, the trousers are laid across the lower seat, and the upper one is closed down over them.
WILL modem high-speed buses ruin public highways? Engineers of the United States Bureau of Highways recently drove a specially-equipped bus chassis at varying speeds up to fifty miles an hour over good and bad roads at the Bureau's experimental station in Arlington, Virginia, in order to find an answer to this question.
BALANCED on a vertical jet of air. a huge ball of flame supplied heat for a 500-horsepower boiler in recent tests to find the best method of using powdered coal. Fuel and air were shot upward into the center of the fire box, where the light particles burned in mid-air.
INSIDE-frosted electric light bulbs, designed to eliminate shadows of hangers and fixtures on walls and ceilings, are now available in sizes up to 500 watts. Formerly they were on the market only in smaller sizes. The inside frosting of bulbs was discovered by accident and is accomplished by etching the inside of the bulb with acid.
THE elusive collar button, which falls out of shirts and rolls under furniture and into inaccessible corners, has been trapped by a device recently perfected in London. It consists of a button having a hinged clip that lifts up against the vertical part of the stud so it can be inserted in a shirt.
EXCAVATING on the wind-swept fog-shrouded slopes of San Nicholas Island, one of the Channel Islands sixty miles off Ventura, Calif., scientists of the San Diego Museum recently discovered traces of a vanished race of snail-eating people.
ALMOST everyone knows that the bright star we often see in the West near the new moon is Venus, but few know that this planet goes through all the phases from "new" to "full," just as the moon does. Still fewer know that, unlike the moon, Venus is many times brighter when she is a thin crescent than when we see her full face!
FRAMELESS, six-wheeled, four-wheel-drive automobiles may soon be seen on the roads of the United States, for such a car, the first ever brought to this country, is now undergoing tests in Detroit. These cars were developed by a Czecho-Slovakian motor car firm during the World War for the use of German army officers in crossing shell-torn ground at high speeds.
JUST as a botanist identifies a rare flower by the shape of its petals and its stem, so a French aeronautical engineer, E. Pitois, classifies the nature of a piece of steel. He can tell how well it has been hardened by watching the shape of the flowerlike sparks that fly from it when held against a grinding wheel that is being whirled rapidly.
A CONTORTIONIST among tractors is a new vehicle that works on any slope or angle of ground that can be traveled by a horse. The machine can do the work of a fouror six-horse team, either with farm implements for horses or with equipment designed for tractor use only.
CONSTRUCTED of wood from seventeen different countries, this "international" table was made by George L. Hathaway, disabled World War veteran, at the Maybury Sanitarium, Michigan. Seven years of labor were required to finish it. The Michigan branch of the American Legion sent the builder to the Legion convention at Boston to exhibit this example of his painstaking work.
BRITISH hens may soon find that they must lay eggs up to a certain standard of weight, as an electric egg recorder keeps track of their performances. It can be set so that if an underweight egg is laid, a device will automatically trap the hen in her nest.
PEOPLE who are inclined toward deafness have no difficulty in hearing telephone conversations if they use a high-power amplifying set recently developed. The new instrument can be used in connection with a telephone, without being attached to it, or it may be employed in listening to ordinary conversations.
SECURING an automatic picture record of persons turning in fire alarms is the object of a new style fire box recently invented by John C. Burnett, of Fresno, Calif. When the lever is pulled a flashlight charge explodes and a camera in the box takes a picture of the one sounding the alarm, either in the daytime or at night.
FROM the decks of the U. S. S. Saratoga, Lexington, and Langley fly bombing planes which, with their potentially destructive loads, will travel 175 miles, drop their heavy explosives, and then return to their floating home. A fourth carrier, as yet unnamed, will join the fleet in the spring of 1934.
WORLD Famous Expert on Skis Tells You Here How to Use These Seven-League Shoes for Level Trdvel or Breath-Taking Leaps
IF ALL the people in New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Detroit, Chicago, St. Louis, and San Francisco went skiing at once, their number would be no greater than the huge army of enthusiasts who actually indulge in the sport. Throughout the world, more than 16,000,000 persons last winter strapped on skis and ran, slid, and leaped from hills on these seven-league wooden shoes.
Thrilling Events in the Air Are Told in This Second Part of the Unusual Story of Years of Flying"
CAPTAIN HORACE B. WILD
BY HOPPING a ride on a hay-rack, I took part in a pioneer experiment that led to the airplane. One morning in 1896, I was standing in front of a Chicago fire station when an old-fashioned hayrack clattered past with a white glider stretched out lengthwise on it.
A BLAST of air, equal every minute to the volume displaced by a ten-car train, cooled a set of motors under test recently at the East Pittsburgh, Pa., works of the Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing Company. The test was made on the most powerful motors ever to be applied to a single pair of rolls in a steel mill.
THE extent to which science is taking part in the simple tasks of everyday life is shown in this weird looking photograph of an ultra-violet ray lamp attached to a large mechanical dough mixer. The lamp was exhibited at a recent display of baking machinery that was held in Agricultural Hall, in London, England.
AN AUTOMATIC attachment on the latest unit cooler for home or factory enables it to deliver the amount of chill that is needed at all times without supervision. Radiator fins in the new unit give a cooling surface as effective. as three tons of pipe.
DOUBLY useful is a new golf club that contains a device for picking up balls. To retrieve a ball from the ground or cup it is unnecessary to stoop. When the user sets the club on the ball, the sphere is forced into the circular opening. A ring of elastic material keeps the ball from falling out.
TUBERCULAR Frenchmen no longer have to go to the mountains for treatment of their lungs. Doctor Arnold, a French physician who has made a twenty-year study of tuberculosis, has recently completed the first "inhalatorium" for treatment of consumptives near Paris.
AN INNOCENT looking electric light bulb, which outwardly resembles any modern lamp, behaves very differently when the switch is turned. Instead of a steady glow, there is a sharp, dazzling flash of light so powerful that an excellent photograph may be taken—then darkness.
NYSTAGMUS, a new occupational disease, has been discovered by the Industrial Health Conservancy Laboratories, of Cincinnati, Ohio. This organization recently examined five hundred train dispatchers, two thirds of whom were found to be afflicted with involuntary shifting of the eyeballs, first symptoms of the new disease.
Now you can carry your telephone from room to room and plug it into wall sockets like a bridge lamp. This new system, broadening the telephone service until it reaches every room in a house, has recently been introduced by the Bell System for domestic use.
OUT OF the sky, a blazing meteor came hurtling toward an Indiana motorist, a few nights ago. It missed his head by two feet and smashed through the car's hood and radiator. Then it struck the road and rebounded into a cornfield. Lawrence, Swank, seventeen-year-old filling station attendant of Crawfordsville, Ind., was the survivor of this amazing experience.
LIKE a rural mail box, that shows a flag if a postman leaves mail, is a new electric device that works when lightning hits a transmission line tower. Ordinarily its face is dark. A bolt of lightning, however, operates an electric release that allows a white disk to swing into view.
A NOVEL device, recently perfected by L. A. Lux, of Cleveland, Ohio, shuffles a pack of cards and deals four hands of bridge in twenty-seven seconds. The cards are placed in the little machine between a spring and pair of rollers. Turning a crank, the dealer shuffles the cards, and the hands are dealt into four separate compartments, as shown in the picture.
ENGINEERS of the Bell Telephone Laboratories recently hit upon a method of testing specimens of floor coverings that were being considered for use in telephone booths. Samples of the materials were laid side by side on the floor of a corridor for passers-by to walk over them. Kept under observation, the wearing qualities of the different materials, all of some rubber composition, were noted.
A SUBMERGED speed of eighty knots is predicted by Henry Fleur, of San Francisco, for a novel submarine which he has planned. The inventor is shown standing beside a six-foot model of the craft with which he hopes to revolutionize subsurface navigation. Compressed air furnishes the motive power for this boat and drives it ahead by drawing water through the bow and ejecting it at the stern. Diving is accomplished by jets of water and air from vents in fins shown on the sides of the model in the illustration above.
THE gigantic new elevator on the Berlin-Stettin canal in Germany was opened recently. This elevator will raise 1,000-ton barges 118 feet in the air. Barges are towed into a huge tank which is, closed after them and the tank is then moved to the desired level, being counterbalanced so perfectly that but three hundred horsepower are required to lift it with a barge inside.
DISGUSTED with the number of punctures he was having, Ted Miller, of Portland, Oregon, rigged an apparatus on his car that picked up nails and sharp bits of metal before they damaged his rubber. Electromagnets were attached on either side of the front bumper and connected with the car's generator.
A BRAZILIAN official recently closed a switch in an electric substation in the town of Juiz de Fora, Brazil, and put the first automatic hydroelectric plant in South America in operation. Five miles away, in a power house in which there were no human attendants, turbines began to spin.
DRIVING screws in inaccessible locations is easy with a new tool that holds the screw on its own point. This screw driver has a slot down the length of its shank. A lever moves in or out of the slot in response to pressure on a ring below the handle.
IN THE constant search for a means of flight straight up or down, a California inventor has turned to a queer type of helicopter, by means of which the machine can fly upward as ordinary machines fly horizontally. This helicopter has an umbrella-shaped propeller about ten feet in diameter, its sixty blades having a total area of 135 square feet.
ROARING under wide-open throttle, the powerful note of this transport plane's motor never missed a beat during a twenty-eight-minute water test recently held in Chicago to demonstrate the value of its new waterproofing devices. Special coverings were placed over spark plugs, wires of the ignition system, and magnetos.
DESIGNED as an aid in teaching flying, this little machine, shown below, known as the Sunbeam Pup, was built at Los Angeles, Calif. It is so constructed that, with motor and fuselage removed, it can be flown as a glider. Students are taught motorless flight in it as soon as their ground courses have been completed.
WEARING some of the equipment usually carried only by seekers after altitude records, William Crosswell, famous test pilot, is testing the oxygen equipment on a plane for the only air line whose ships must be so fitted. The plane was built for the line that carries mail over the Andes Mountains in South America between Santiago, Chile, and Mendoza, Argentina, a distance of one hundred and fifty miles as the crow flies, but including a 23,000-foot climb over the mountains.
FLYING on rubber wings is the vision of Taylor McDaniel, Washington inventor, who is constructing a glider with which he hopes to demonstrate the practicability of his idea. It is built entirely of air-inflated rubber tubing, there being no steel or wooden members in its framework.
THE GIANT wheel seen below was built for a mystery plane now under construction in an eastern plant. Nearly five feet in diameter, it supports a load of 77,640 pounds. Its 144 spokes are laced in four rows to withstand radial and side loads. The wheel weighs 240 pounds.
THIS scene at a British flying field shows an airplane about to take off from a catapult mounted in a test pit. The Royal Air Force is experimenting with different types of catapults for use on war vessels. Before being placed on ships, these devices are tried out on shore, where the plane has but a few feet to fall if the launching proves unsuccessful.
MISS ELDORADO JONES, of Moline, Ill., recently had her new airplane muffler tried out at Roosevelt Field, N. Y. It "chews up" motor noises by a series of small propellers spun around in an ordinary looking muffler casing by the flow of exhaust gases.
A 220-FOOT flying laboratory for testing various gases as motor fuels is under construction for the United States Navy. With a capacity of 320.000 cubic feet of lifting gas, the new blimp, the K-1, will be the largest nonrigid dirigible ever built in America, Navy officials state.
STRICTLY speaking, there are now only five "world's records" in aviation. To reduce the confusing number of such marks claimed for all unusual flying, the Federation Aeronautique Internationale recently decided to confine the use of the term "world record" to the following:
My ster y plane, secretly built in Berlin, expected to fly 700 miles an hour at height of 35,000 feet. Double-walled cabin with air space shuts out cold. SCREAMING through the thin air 35,000 feet above the earth, at a speed of eleven miles a minute, a new German mystery plane now being built by the famous Junkers Company may soon cross from Berlin to New York in less than six hours.
Assen Jordanoff Tells How He Exchanged Thrills with a Navy Hero
"SEVEN LEAGUE BOOTS" MAY HAVE BEEN STILTS
I ONCE saw a cartoon showing a deep-sea diver looking up at an airplane and the airplane pilot looking down at the diver. Each was saying: "Gee, it must take nerve to do that!" How much nerve it takes to go down in a diving suit I discovered the other day when I "traded sensations" with Chief Gunner William F. Loughman, famous Navy diver, at New London, Conn.
Amateur chemist makes food for vegetables and has striking success with seeds planted in Lake Michigan dunesGot his idea from October, 1929, number of this magazine.
CURE OF DISEASE ADDS TEN YEARS TO LIFE
ROBERT E: MARTIN
TOMATO vines, three and a half feet high, growing in barren, yellow sand! That was only one of the amazing results obtained last summer by Harold K. Patterson, a Chicago traveling salesman and garden enthusiast, by the use of homemade "plant pills."
Secret Tricks of Picture World Used to Put Dumb Actors into Talkies Disclosed in This Article
ANDREW R. BOONE
ON A tiny platform at the top of a twenty-five-foot ladder sat a chattering monkey. In rehearsal, a property man had led it. up there and tried to coax the creature to jump into the water below. The monkey refused flatly to move, however, and finally the scene was faked.
Women Force Men to Trade for Trinkets and Seri Killing Lust Dies Out
NON-SKID ASPHALT IS FOUND IN EAST INDIES
WITH the aid of colored glass beads, the automobile, the motorboat, the telephone, and radio, the last cannibal tribe of North America is being civilized. For more than four centuries these Indians have withstood the "civilizing influence" of the war clubs of surrounding Indian tribes and the rifles of white men.
THIS novel fifty-four-foot craft supplies yachts, seaplanes, and motorboats with fuel and lubricating oil at Chicago. The marine service station carries a total of 5,000 gallons of fuel, including high-compression and ordinary gasoline and Diesel oil in its tanks.
AN UNUSUAL fish story comes from Port Townsend, Wash., with photographs to back it up. A resident of that city, who had placed a trout in a public fountain, trained it to jump through a hoop when it was hungry. Then it would flop up on the edge of the pool for its reward, as shown in the photograph above.
TAILOR-MADE kitchens, fitted to the housewife's stature, will be a feature of model homes soon, if plans made at the Women's Art and Industries exhibition recently are accepted by manufacturers of kitchen appliances. Dr. Lillian G. Gilbreth measured 5,000 women, the measurements being taken to show height from elbows to floor, height of the worker, and arm reach.
PARISIAN animals, pets and those that live in the zoo, now receive expert medical attention at a completely-equipped veterinary hospital. The physician in attendance at this institution has performed many delicate operations on animals at the zoo.
MOTION pictures from unusual angles may now be taken easily by an apparatus recently perfected in Hollywood, Calif. Microphones, cameras, and directors mounted on platforms can be raised, lowered, or swung from side to side in a few seconds by its hydraulic lift, taking shots from any desired angle.
New Fishing Boat Sucks in Catch through Huge Pipes
THE fish you serve at your dinner table may some day be pumped out of the sea by a new type of fishing boat owned by a firm in New York. The new fish dredge secures its catch by taking them in through openings in its bow, its principle of operation being almost the same as that of a suction dredge.
CROSSING the Pacific alone from California to Honolulu at forty miles an hour, with a mechanical pilot taking the helm while the owner sleeps, is the object for which the unusual craft shown below is intended. William Burgess, California aviator, who designed and built the boat, estimates that it will take him three and one half days to make the voyage in this little boat, which is built entirely of airplane plywood.
A GLOVE compartment at each end of the instrument board is an unusual refinement of a luxurious new motor car. In these compartments driving gloves can be kept so that they are always handy and their loss, when not in use, is unlikely. The compartments also may be used to hold any small personal articles, such as cigarettes or vanity case, while driving.
RESEMBLING some strange monster, this odd-looking balloon was used in recent maneuvers of the British army at Wiltshire, England. It is a captive, or "kite," balloon, so called from the fact that, while it is allowed to rise, it is never free, remaining moored to the ground at all times.
NEARLY every child has placed a lighted flashlight in his mouth, and watched the glow shine through his cheek. The other day, a scientist did the same thing in order to learn new facts about lamps. As a result, he was able to tell medical men that an ordinary household electric bulb gives off invisible, curative rays that penetrate human flesh.
GIANT checkers, recently demonstrated in New York City, may rival midget golf in popularity. The game is played on a board that measures twelve feet by twelve feet, each space being a foot square. The men, about eight or ten inches in diameter and weighing several pounds, are fitted with a loop on their tops.
How well men rival Nature at producing light is shown in a recent comparison by Dr. Samuel G. Hibben, of the Westinghouse Lamp Company. If all the electric lamps in use throughout the United States could be brought together, he declares, they would illuminate an area of about one square mile as brightly as sunshine.
A CONVEYOR belt, the largest of its kind ever made, was recently shipped to the plant of a Michigan limestone and chemical company. It is fifty-four inches wide and one and three quarters of an inch thick. Because of its great size it was shipped in three sections, each of which weighed 21,000 pounds, making a total weight about equal to the capacity of the average freight car.
THE man who probably has made more inventions than anyone else in the world, Ethan I. Dodds, Central Valley, N. Y., has a new one to his credit. This time it is a new type of portable electric saw, with a narrow blade that shuttles back and forth in a one-inch stroke.
STANDARD shades fitted with a screw thread for bridge lamps will not fit over the bulb of a standard table lamp, as many a householder has discovered to his sorrow. Consequently, an eastern inventor devised this ingenious adapter, which converts a threaded lamp shade into one of the clip type.
A STRANGE-LOOKING train of machinery was used by a telephone company in Missouri the other day for speeding up its cable-laying operations by excavating a trench and laying cable in it at one operation. A truck towed a framework that carried a large cable reel at one end, and this in turn drew an excavator behind it.
A NEW stocking protector resembles a soft bedroom slipper. Fitting over the foot, it provides a covering at heels and toes. Since it is soft and flexible, the wearer experiences no discomfort from its use. In winter it gives added protection against cold.
THE asteroid Eros, which next to the moon is earth's nearest neighbor in the heavens, is now closer to us than it has been for the last thirty years. But this asteroid, or tiny planet, is still about 13,500,000 miles away and cannot be seen by the unaided eye.
SPECIAL heat resisting glass has been designed to stand up under the extreme temperature of a giant rotating aerial beacon. The dome-shaped cover of this huge light of 1,075,000 candlepower is so large that a woman can easily get her head and shoulders inside it.
LOADING and unloading freight cars and carrying material around factories and warehouses has been simplified by a one-man truck with an elevating platform. A power hoist raises it to a height of ten feet from the floor so that it can be loaded directly from high places such as railway cars or stockroom racks.
A RAINSTORM may arrive soon after a house is painted, yet it will not harm the surface of a paint recently placed on the market by an Eastern firm. This finish dries with the rapidity of household lacquer. A special oil, developed by laboratory research, is the base of the new paint.
HERE is a new type of "alarm post" now being tried out in the streets of London. When headquarters wants to get in touch with the policeman on the beat, a blue light flashes and a bell rings continuously until the officer gets in touch by phone. The use of a bell signal in addition to a flashing light is a novel improvement on the system in use in New York and other American cities where only the flashing light is employed to attract the attention of a near-by patrolman.
GOVERNMENT inspectors recently solved the problem of hunting for insect pests in the top of California and Arizona date trees by building a unique motorized tower. Mounted on the chassis of an auto truck, its adjustable platform can be raised to any height from fifteen to thirty feet.
A CROSS-OVER table between two freight platforms—a bridge in the "raised" position and part of two railway tracks when lowered—was recently designed by an Illinois engineering firm. It is elevated by four electrically-driven screws. The picture shows a train of trucks being operated over the bridge when it was raised.
AT AVONMOUTH, England, where the tide rises and falls thirty feet, a British inventor recently built a strange power plant to harness the sea. When the tide rises, it captures sea water in tanks and holds it until the tide falls. Before the water can get back to the sea it must drop through a shaft and run a turbine connected to an electric generator.
WATCHING the growth of microscopic body cells on a living animal is the feat of Dr. Eliot R. Clark, University of Pennsylvania anatomist. He recently provided a rabbit with a transparent, double-walled window in its ear so that he might study the cells that grew in a space only two thousandths of an inch thick between a wall of glass on one side and a thin sheet of mica on the other.
WHEN a physician races to the scene of a road accident where facilities for a thorough medical examination are not available near by, a new portable X-ray outfit enables him to learn at once the extent of a patient's injuries. A rear wheel of his car, jacked up, furnishes power, when the engine is going, to run its electric generator.
LATEST of the inventions which miniature golf has brought with it is this handy scorer, which ends disputes about the number of strokes a player has taken and saves the trouble of keeping a penciled score card. The device is attached to the handle of the golf club and after each stroke the player presses a small button on the scorer.
CANARY birds now have cages equipped with oxygen tanks for use in British mines. Miners keep one or more canaries near them while at work to detect poisonous gases. The birds succumb at the first hint of gas and then an alarm is given by a man who watches the birds.
STRANGEST of sights in the German navy is a group of apprentice divers clad in their grotesque helmets on review before a dive. This unusual picture shows them receiving final instructions before going underwater. Since a policy of the new German navy requires one qualified diver in each torpedo boat, a large class of deep-sea divers is undergoing training at the naval base in Kiel.
INSECTS, imported by the thousands, now devour the prickly pear cactus in Australia. This novel step was taken after the weed had turned sixty million acres into a jungle, and was spreading at the rate of a million acres a year. Longicorn beetles and other insect enemies of the cactus released in the fields are expected to wipe out the pest.
EITHER glass or porcelain, instead of slate, may be the future material preferred for school blackboards. A new method of making glass blackboards overcomes previous objections to this material. The glass is hardened by addition of a mineral called black chromite, which prevents it from wearing smooth and gives it a sufficiently rough surface to facilitate writing with chalk.
A STEAM crane without a fire under its boiler was used on a construction job in an Oklahoma refinery the other day. Gasoline fumes about the plant made the use of fire impossible, so the crane's engines were run with steam supplied by a line from the refinery's boiler house.
BABY golf may be played on "steel greens" soon, as the result of an invention by Marvin Smith, amateur golfer, of Canton, Ohio. He has invented a new kind of "grass" for indoor golf courses, made up of about eighty percent steel shavings and other material, cut up fine in imitation of natural grass.
EXPERIMENTS made by Chinese goldfish breeders during the last nine centuries have paralleled the work of modern biologists, according to a report of the Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago. Goldfish were first introduced into Europe about two centuries after the discovery of America.
GENERATING plants in the United States producing electricity commercially now work under pressures as high as 3,200 pounds per square inch. Such pressures have been developed in the search for efficiency. The average steam locomotive today operates under pressures of from two to three hundred pounds to the square inch.
A NEW German light cruiser, the Karlsruhe, has attracted much attention in naval circles because of the unusual features of her design. Her steering gear is of electrical type, no wheel being used to keep the vessel on her course. The helmsman guides her by two push buttons, one to work the rudder to port and the other to work it to starboard, or left and right as steering orders are given in the German navy.
ONE of the latest military developments of radio, according to British engineers, is the installation of transmitting and receiving sets in army tanks. Portable sets are used, working on a wave length of seven to eight meters. The aerial, which is twelve feet high, is so thin that it is invisible from a short distance.
CAMERA men recently made the world's first aerial color photographs. They snapped the National Capitol at Washington, D. C.; the Statue of Liberty, in New York harbor; and scenes along the Atlantic coast in their natural colors. The pictures were taken from the U. S. Navy's all-metal blimp ZMC-2 and the Goodyear-Zeppelin dirigible Mayflower.
COAL-BURNING rivet forges may soon give way to electric rivet heaters recently developed in Chicago. The new furnace is said to bring rivets to an even, uniform heat more quickly; and economically than is possible with coal furnaces, where the heating of rivets depends on the judgment of the men working them.
BY WORKING the saddle up and down, the tires on a bicycle can be inflated with a new built-in pump just developed in England. The cylinder of the pump is part of the wheel's frame, being placed just forward of the post that supports the saddle, as shown in the photo above.
RAISING oil from wells too deep for the operation of existing pumping machinery may soon be accomplished by a new deep-well rotary oil pump recently developed in San Francisco. It is driven by a series of one-half-horsepower motors mounted on a vertical spindle let down into the well.
A NOVEL dress for water sports resembles a huge wine glass in shape. It is secured about the wearer's waist and flares upward around the body. When the wearer gets into water that is over her depth she has only to turn upward the flexible hoop-braced skirt as shown in the illustration above keeping her arms inside it, in order to float.
THE California State Automobile Association recently made sound films of a specially-staged railroad crossing accident in a "safety first" campaign. The film shows a locomotive crashing into a car stalled on tracks in front of it. No one was injured, for camera and engine were stopped while the driver escaped before the automobile was struck.
A TWO-HUNDRED-FOOT chimney was recently destroyed by dynamite in Washington, D. C., as part of a program for beautifying the surroundings of the United States Capitol. This project involves the expenditure of millions of dollars for the destruction of old buildings, the construction of new ones, the laying out of parks, and the improvement of Government property in the vicinity.
A TENNIS racket that can be taken apart and packed in a suitcase has been invented in England and has proved a great convenience for vacationists and others who carry tennis equipment with them when they travel. The head of the new racket screws into the handle at the throat.
AT THE National Physical Laboratories in Teddington, England, British naval architects are preparing designs for super-liners with which they hope to wrest the speed record of the Atlantic from Germany's express steamers Europa and Bremen.
A NEW device supports trousers and keeps shirts in place without belts or ordinary suspenders. Two small fastenings, known as "hip suspenders," are attached inside the waistband of the trousers on either side. They may be snapped or sewed in place.
AMERICAN infantry is, equipped with eleven different weapons. The picture below shows each of these in action. The figure on the left of the front line is firing a rifle, the man in the center is ready with the bayonet, and the man on the right is firing an automatic rifle.
A TIMESAVING method of making coal gas, or illuminating gas, has been developed by Professor Alfred White, of the University of Michigan. Pulverized coal is fed into retorts which have first been brought to a red heat. Gas and coke, a by-product of gas making, are almost instantaneously produced by this system.
A BUOY large enough to contain one man was recently demonstrated as a submarine escape device by Captain Torruella, of the Spanish navy, at Cartagena, Spain. In the event of accident, a member of the crew climbs into it and it is ejected from the submarine by compressed air.
WHEN a mechanic is adjusting bearings from beneath a car, it is a nuisance for him to crawl out and turn the motor over. An electrical device now does it for him. The mechanic slides under the car, taking with him a control switch on an extension wire.
A STONE carving representing Professor Albert. Einstein, world-famous scientist and mathematician, forms part of the decoration over the main entrance to the new "Rockefeller Skyscraper" Church i n New York City. Professor Einstein is the only man now living who has been honored by having his statue placed in the church, although there are so many figures of famous men of arts and sciences of past ages that eighty-five stone carvers worked three years to finish them.
HERE is a doormat, for the running board of your car, that lifts for cleaning. When a quantity of dirt has accumulated in its base, the hinged grate swings upward out of the way to allow its removal with a small broom. In ordinary use, stiff bristles remove the dust from the user's shoes.
KNOCKING an apple from a boy's head with bow and arrow, as in the famous William Tell scene, was a feat recently duplicated before Pacific Coast electrical men. S. M. Kintner, Westinghouse official, aimed an arrow containing a flashlight at the head of a dummy figure.
A SOUNDPROOFED room recently installed in the St. John's Evangelical Church in Los Angeles, Calif., makes it possible for parents to bring small children to divine services without disturbing the congregation. The room, shown in the upper photograph, is built in the rear wall of the church above the congregation and facing the pulpit.
LOOKING like members of some strange religious cult at their rites, the members of this German gas mask squad are being taught to breathe with their antigas contrivances in place. The class is run by a large German gas works. The course, lasting two days, is taken advantage of by gas workers and firemen. Students are given instructions so they can recognize the scent of deadly fumes, and are shown how to detect those that have no odor.
INK blots on checks and stubs are avoided by a new blotter that is permanently attached to the binding of a pocket sized check book. When a check is written, the hinged blotter is folded beneath the last stub, and pressing it down blots the new one.
NEW YORK subway travelers and "cliff dwellers" may find it difficult to agree with the result of a recent survey of their city which was made by a regional planning commission. This body found that America's largest city is not the congested center of population it is supposed to be and that the average height of buildings on Manhattan Island, in spite of towering skyscrapers, is but five stories.
WHEN the hinged clip of a new style pencil is turned backward, it serves as a letter opener. At other times it holds the pencil securely in the pocket. The combination pencil is standard pocket size, with eraser, compartment for extra leads, and adjustable lead.
A Long Island Expert Tells of the Dwelling He Built and Offers Useful Hints to Home Makers
GOLDFISH SKIN SHOES
H. T. ASPINWALL
EVER since the first cave man got a firm grip on the flowing locks of his stubborn bride and dragged her into a near-by cave, people have been arguing about what constitutes an ideal home. As an architect specializing in homes, I have had a ringside seat at many of these arguments.
JUST when everyone was beginning to believe that radio sets had about reached perfection and no major improvements or changes might be expected, along came a new idea. This time it was the so-called mantelpiece or clock type radio. Hundreds of thousands of these midget sets will be made and sold this season.
Carbon electrode pores, absorbing oxygen and transferring it to surface in solution so water is formed, lengthens the life of the cell and gives it uniform strength.
DUST, CARRIED HIGH BY WIND, FALLS AS MUD
ALFRED P. LANE
A BATTERY that has carbon lungs capable of breathing air like the lungs of a human being is the most sensational development which has taken place in battery construction since the development of the first dry cell. This new battery, when used to operate sets fitted with the new tubes types 230, 231, and 232 (P. S. M., Oct. '30, p. 72), completes the solution of the farm radio problem.
How to Locate with Pencil and Paper the Dial Setting That Will Bring in Program You Want
IF YOU are like most radio fans, you spend a lot of time, after you get a new receiver, trying to find the dial settings for the various local and distant stations you want to hear. The scrap of paper on which you have noted these magic numbers really is a most important part of your radio receiving equipment.
Gus Tells You Exactly How Free-Wheeling, Silent Second, and Synchro-mesh Work in Car
"AARRK! Go slower! Go slower!" the big green parrot croaked. Professor Donaldson, who knew a lot about literature but very little about cars, glanced angrily at the bird as it sat solemnly swaying in its cage in the back of his automobile. "You've said that so often even the bird is imitating you, Matilda," he protested to his wife.
BETTER SHOP METHODS NEW IDEAS FOR THE HANDY MAN HOME WORKSHOP CHEMISTRY BLUEPRINTS MODEL MAKING SHIPSHAPE HOME
WALTER E. BURTON
IF YOU are planning a dinner party or wish to do something particularly novel to decorate the Christmas table, why not try the electric light plant? No, the plants in this case are not power stations—and no pun is intended. They consist of crêpe paper flowers which have their own lighting equipment.
Realistic and easily constructed equipment for use with a fully automatic block system
FREDERICK D. RYDER
THE problems to be met in building an automatic block signal system on a model railroad were discussed last month (P. S. M., Dec. '30, p. 94), and the construction of the special switch needed to control each block was described in detail. Now we shall show how to build simple yet realistic block signal lights and how to make the special track contacts.
THIS novelty smoker with its four separate ash tray stands will give the wood turning enthusiast an unusual amount of practice, for it embodies twenty-one separate turnings and covers all the common forms of lathe work. Once it is made, too, it will continue to give pleasure, both because of its graceful appearance and its utility.
"Let's have an Army or Navy plane," is the request we have received from many a reader who has constructed the simplified airplane models designed by Mr. Clark. Well, to start with, here is the Curtiss "Hawk," the speedy little pursuit plane used by the Army; and others will follow, all as easy to build as the preceding nine models in this unusual series.
DONALD W. CLARK
WITH its fuselage and wings whittled from wood and the metal parts cut from thin aluminum, this model of a United States Army pursuit plane, the Curtiss "Hawk," is especially easy to build, yet it makes a trim, racy-looking ship—one that any model maker would like to have in his collection.
Making the superstructure for either a working or a display model of the U. S. S. Preston
CAPT. E. ARMITAGE McCANN
WITH the trim little hull of our destroyer model finished—and fitted with a suitable engine if it is to be used as a working model —we are ready to make and arrange the deck fittings that will transform the hull into a miniature fighting ship patterned after the most modern type of these speedy, ferocious looking little battle craft.
MANY amateur craftsmen who make and repair articles for home use know the advantages of modern brushing lacquers. The writer has found lacquer an excellent finish for serving trays, breakfast sets, bedroom suites, and even wall finishings.
Novel method of mounting—Hints on the proper care of the blades
DONALD A. PRICE
BESIDES producing a surface of smoothness and accuracy that can be equalled only by extraordinarily careful handwork, the small jointer or planing machine is a genuine timesaver. To do accurate work quickly and smoothly, however, the jointer must be kept in first-class running order, the blades must be sharp and correctly adjusted, and the machine must be mounted with a thought for operating ease and efficiency.
IN STIPPLING flat wall paint, better A results often can be obtained by the addition of a small amount of dry whiting to the ready-mixed paint. Any desired texture can be obtained through the use of either more or less whiting. Half a bar of laundry soap dissolved in each pail of glue wall size that you use will improve its covering qualities and reduce the tendency of the size to crack because of brittleness after it is allowed to dry.
Novel way of charging wholly dead battery—How wedge closes a rim
WEDGE CLOSES RIM
RUBBER MAP POCKET
WHEN the battery has accidentally become discharged, the hand crank will fail to start the motor. If this happens to you when you can't borrow a battery or get a tow there still is one last resort. Take off the fan belt and rotate the generator many times by the aid of a cord wound around the pulley.
Two small lamps hooked into the doorbell circuit provide the illumination
IF SOMEONE told you that, for less than a dollar a year, you can illuminate your house number and the front-door keyhole, would you believe it? Nevertheless, it is true, according to engineers of one of the largest manufacturers of electrical supplies.
BY FOLLOWING the design shown in the accompanying drawings and by taking special pains with the finishing process, any reasonably competent home worker can build a library table of unusual beauty. Mahogany was the wood chosen by the writer, but walnut, gumwood, or any other first-class cabinet hardwood may be used.
The effect of finishes on hardening—Preparing the work—What bath to use for a specific job
We Pay for Good Shop Kinks
BOTH heating and quenching have a marked effect upon the quality of finished steel parts—either may "make it or break it." While it is true that with some work the manner in which it is quenched makes little difference, there is a rising scale of penalties for errors in quenching as steels get finer and the parts more intricate.
A SIMPLE jig for holding several rods of stock in a hack saw vise can be made from ½-in. strap iron as illustrated. The strap iron is bent at each end so as to fit the movable jaw of the vise, and a hole is drilled at the back of each bent-over portion as shown.
IN EVERY small machine shop an occasional job is encountered which is beyond the capacity of the available lathes. The work often can be done satisfactorily, however, by using a horizontal milling machine. Equipped with a faceplate, the miller can swing a larger piece of work than the average lathe because the knee can be lowered and in most cases the table can be moved out far enough to clear the work.
ON ACCURATE work, use an expansion reamer to fit dowel pins after the holes have been machine reamed a few thousandths under size. A good method of drawing the temper of a tap or reamer evenly all around after it has been hardened is to heat a heavy metal cylinder and insert the tool into its very center.
BY MOUNTING a jobbers' drill gage plate on a block of hardwood, you can supply yourself with a convenient and timesaving rack for the storage of drills. A piece of hardwood just as wide as the gage is recessed as shown to such a depth that the plate will just fit flush with the top surface of the block.
A SIMPLE depth gage attachment for a hack saw for use in slotting stock and in cutting metal electrical conduit so as not to injure the inclosed insulation can be made from four No. 6 roundheaded machine screws with nuts and two pieces of 1/16 in. thick soft metal.
MANY houses—perhaps yours is one—have unsuspected cracks and openings at the joints where the door and window frames meet the exterior wall, whether it is frame, brick, or stucco. The importance of plugging these openings is not generally realized, yet it should be quite obvious that weatherstripping the doors and window's themselves as described in two previous articles (P.S.M., Nov. '30, p. 108; Dec. '30, p. 114) will never be entirely satisfactory if air can leak around the frames by another route.
With the right rightly cared for, You Can Your Painting
Easier Quicker Better
G. H. VAN WALTHER
BUYING brushes presents to the amateur painter a problem somewhat similar to the proverbial "cat in the bag." Indeed, even experienced workmen encounter difficulty in judging the wearing and finish-applying qualities of new brushes.
ANYONE who does his skating on a pond or lake where there is no clubhouse or other shelter will appreciate the wooden "skate shoes" illustrated. These make it possible to put on one's skating shoes in the basement of his house and then walk or drive to the ice.
SHIP model builders often hesitate to begin a new model because the making of blocks and deadeyes from wood is such slow and delicate work. After trying all the methods and materials I could think of, I now make the blocks and dead-eyes for my models out of sheet lead.
How to hammer out whatever you need from copper, brass, and bronze
A LITTLE ingenuity and dexterity in decorative metal work is often of practical value to the amateur mechanic. He can then make whatever special hardware and metal ornaments he needs for the work he has under way—handies, braces, bands, and miscellaneous fittings for furniture, brackets for lighting fixtures, hinges and latches for doors, and a variety of parts which cannot be found in the stock of even well-supplied hardware stores.
WITH the aid of a steel ball of the proper size, it is possible to make excellent rivet sets with very little labor and at practically no expense. Take a piece of stock of the desired dimensions, drill a small hole in the end for the set, then heat in a forge and while hot strike the ball into the end with a hammer.
TO MAKE chain power drives last longer, there are five simple things to do. First, be sure the sprocket wheels are in line on the shafts. Second, the chain should be run a little slacker than a belt; too much tension causes undue wear on the chain and wasteful friction on the bearings.
A LTHOUGH the speed, power, and vibrationless operation of the modern automobile is mainly due to lighter moving parts, larger valves, higher compression, and so on, these features are made effective only through careful attention to the balance of every running part.
COACH models, now so popular, may be used in simple silhouette form for many decorative purposes. The accompanying photograph, for example, is of an unusually attractive mail box standing outside the country estate of George Brandeis of Omaha.
SERVICE station or garage attendants are constantly called upon to use an air pressure gage, a screw driver, and a pair of pliers. Time can be saved if these three items are carried about the person ready for constant use in a holster like that illustrated.
WHILE one can purchase almost any size and type of crucible from chemical supply houses, it is not always possible, especially in the home workshop, to keep a supply on hand. Excellent substitutes, however, can be made by the amateur chemist.
BUILDING model aircraft has become such a universal hobby that model makers today often find it impossible to keep pace with the many new ideas developed by its multitude of enthusiasts. It would be impossible for one man to collect and catalogue all of these ideas, but here are a few that should benefit every builder of model planes.
AREAL indoor garden on a small scale can be grown during the winter in a window box or fernery filled with soil. Make a pool in the center of the box by forming a circular depression in the soil, about 6 in. in diameter and 6 in. deep, and applying a layer of cement.
EVERY home craftsman often needs thin boards or a small piece of veneer. As the thinner sizes of material are seldom stocked by the average lumber mill, it is necessary to resaw the thicker sizes or send to a lumber specialty firm for them. Resawing can be done on a small circular saw to a depth of about 4 in. by ripping one face, reversing the piece, and ripping from the opposite edge.
TO MAKE it easier to dress a small baby, I built the canvas folding table illustrated. It is 38 in. high and has a 25-in. spread when open. Seven ordinary wooden dowels are used in its construction. Four of these are 1 in. in diameter; they form the cross legs.
THE telephone cabinet illustrated not only has a closed compartment for concealing the telephone and two easily-accessible pigeonholes for the directories, but, unlike so many commercial cabinets intended for the same purpose, it is a genuinely attractive piece of furniture.
MANY a "home crafter" who tries, with indifferent success, to turn a long, slender baluster or table leg is left with a feeling of keen admiration for the craftsmen who made the slenderly tapering turnings so often found in old houses. It is, however, a simple matter to duplicate this type of delicate work on any small bench wood turning lathe, if a back rest is made as illustrated.
BY MAKING use of turnbuckles, the amateur craftsman can easily improvise clamps for drawing together parts that are of irregular form or that require the use of some device of greater capacity or flexibility than ordinary hand screws. For example, a pair of clamps made as illustrated were used in building the Spanish leather screen described in a recent issue (P.S.M., Nov. '30, p. 88), but they would be equally valuable for holding together the legs of a chair or table while the glue was drying on rungs or rails that had been reset (see illustration above).
THREE pieces of scrap wood, two hinges, and a hook and eye are all that are needed to construct the convenient oilstone and oil can rack illustrated. The rack is mounted so that its top surface is about bench high. When not in use, it can be swung back against the wall, out of the WAY.
SUPPORTED on a stand made of pipe as shown, a garbage pail is held so high that no hungry dog can get at the contents, and the wind cannot blow the cover off because it is weighted down with a heavy cap from an automobile wheel, attached to a chain anchored to the brick wall.
WINTER feeders for our small feathered friends can be quickly and easily made from scrap or packing-case lumber. The particular feeder illustrated is designed to hold bread or suet and is so constructed that cats or large birds cannot carry all the food away.
THERE is one neighborhood in Marshalltown, Iowa, where you would have a hard time finding any broken toys, and that is where L. L. Keyser lives. Every child within walking distance is familiar with his home workshop, and not a few men are always tempted to drop in to visit him whenever they pass his home and see the basement lighted up.