A LETTER received by the Financial Department the day before this was written seems so well timed in the light of present conditions, that we are publishing our answer in the form of this article, which we believe will be of interest to all our readers as well as the one who wrote this letter: Financial Editor, Popular Science Monthly, 381 Fourth Avenue, N. Y. C.
NO LONGER are the comforts and convenience of oil heat confined to the main heating system of an expensive home. Small, economical oil burning units now available from a number of manufacturers make it possible for the owner of a small home, the summer cottager, and the rural resident to enjoy the benefits and ease of control of this modern fuel.
Anyway the Training Won't Hurt the Adventurers, Will It?
Square Roots, This and That Clear Up Apple Problem
Here’s a Plea for Thirty Nights of Reading in Each Magazine
Another Plan to End the Depression Bites the Dust
Anyway, Einstein Has One Stalwart Defender
Science Butts Its Head Against Ghosts and the Occult
Visiting Fireman's Car a Familiar Sight to Him
These New Sun Lamps Have Got Him Worried
But How Will You Get the Tape Line Around the World?
Science Is Wonderful but Taxes His Faith
Here Are a Lot of Things You Probably Never Knew Before
Your Moon, Old or New, Couldn't Change Spuds He Grew
Attention, “Kickers" : Read and Then Watch Your Step
You're Doubtless Right, Old Man but What, Where Is Machin Shan?
Put Red for Green and Stop Auto Accidents
Objections All Noted, but Do You Other Readers Agree?
He Couldn't, by Chance, Be a Bit Sarcastic?
AT THE hide shop, someone bored a hole in the wall just outside the door, and stuck a calf’s tail in it. The old Professor came along, and stopped to study out how they had got the calf through the hole. Dr. Poffenberger states that only children, and grown people with an inferiority complex, daydream and draw on their imagination.
Outlaw Radio Stations Run to Earth by Uncle Sam's Secret Machines
CHARLES W. PERSON
IN LONELY shacks among deserted sand dunes, hidden in tenement attics, concealed in old trunks, underworld broadcasting stations flash out directions to rum runners at sea. Tracking down these hidden transmitters is the work of special radio sleuths of the United States Department of Justice.
Mechanical Monsters Play Thrilling Parts at Chicago World’s Fair
EDWIN W. TEALE
A MAMMOTH metal globe, as high as an eight-story building, will represent the earth and house one of the most spectacular exhibits at the Chicago World’s Fair, in the summer of 1933. Within it, mechanical monsters in a strange prehistoric zoo will reproduce scenes that took place millions of years before man appeared on earth.
Plant Wizards with MAGIC LIGHT Grow GREEN Apples RED
Experiments now being made at Boyce Thompson Institute are expected to revolutionize work in orchard and garden
GREEN apples are now grown a bright red at the Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research, Yonkers, N. Y. This amazing feat is accomplished by means of the ultra-violet lamp, in the rays of which the green apple is transformed. The process, originated by Dr. John M. Arthur, has far-reaching commercial possibilities and is expected to prove of enormous value to American fruit growers.
WILL “skyscraper windmills” open the way to a new era of cheap electric power? This is the suggestion made by Hermann Honnef, German structural engineer. To tap the power of high winds that blow at great heights above the earth, he has designed a type of windmill the dimensions of which all but stagger the imagination.
CRASHES PLANE IN 400-FOOT DROP TO TEST SAFETY CABIN
A YOUNG French engineer eluded police the other day and had himself pushed over a precipice in a spectacular demonstration of a crashproof plane that he had invented. He called the experiment a success, for though the machine was demolished, the daring inventor clambered without a scratch from the wreckage.
PHOTOGRAPHING a warm flatiron in the dark, with the aid of new plates sensitive to heat rays as well as to light, was a feat recently accomplished by a Carnegie Institution physicist. The special plates must be kept packed in ice until ready for use.
VITAMIN “C,” the health-giving substance in citrus fruit, has been isolated. Announcement that he had concentrated it from lemon juice, after five years of labor, was made recently by Dr. C. C. King, young University of Pittsburgh chemist.
WHEN the fifty-five-ton rudder of the S.S. Berengaria had to be shipped for repairs from Southampton to Darlington, England, the other day, it was found too big to be carried by rail. The world’s largest motor lorry was pressed into service to transport the monster load.
PROGRESS made to date virtually assures the success of one of America’s boldest engineering projects—turning the Colorado River from its course and bottling it up in four mighty tunnels through rock cliffs, at the point where Hoover Dam soon will rise.
A MOVIE camera that bobs up and down in the motions of a dance has been introduced for realistic close-ups in ballroom scenes. Cams in the automaton’s rubber-tired wheels may be adjusted for a waltz, foxtrot, or tango, and the actress goes through the steps in the robot’s wooden arms.
CUSTOMERS of a British dealer in phonograph records now choose their purchases by telephone. The enterprising merchant fitted a talking machine with an electric pick-up and amplifier, and plays over the selections before a telephone fitted with a hornlike transmitter.
WHEN America’s biggest blast was set off a few weeks ago in a quarry at Manistique, Mich., to shake down a whole year’s supply of limestone at once, scientists took advantage of the opportunity to study the speed at which earthquake waves travel through the earth’s crust.
A STRANGE car nicknamed the “meteor automobile,” because of the long flames that spout from exhaust ports at its rear, has been built in France for an attempt upon the world’s speed record. The three 800horsepower motors that drive it have been transformed into motor turbines, according to reports, and calculations give the car a potential speed of 360 miles an hour, more than 100 miles an hour faster than the 253-mile mark set at Florida last February by Sir Malcolm Campbell, British racer.
So TALL is a rescue ladder recently put into service by firemen of London, England, that a telephone is used to maintain communication between those at the top and bottom. Fully extended, it is 104 feet, and is said to reach twenty feet higher than the types now in use.
CALLED the “mono-dirigible,” a mystery airplane was recently completed in France for Frank Bolger, American aviator. Its secret construction is reported to make it a hybrid between an airplane and a dirigible. Propellers are mounted fore and aft on the all-metal body.
EIGHT-INCH columns of solid steel are snapped off like match sticks in a giant testing machine just installed at the University of California. The massive jaws, that can exert a 4,000,000-pound push or pull, were carried on an eight-wheel trailer through the streets of Oakland and Berkeley, Calif.
This Article Tells How Many Farmers Find Cash Market for Their Partridge, Pheasants, Grouse, and Quail Hatched and Grown in Pens
Walter E. Burton
RAISING game birds for the market is rapidly becoming a big business in the United States, and one that is bringing real profit to those engaged in it. Though some of the largest game bird farms in the world are in this country, the market readily absorbs the entire output.
Electric Eye Sets Type Rapidly Without Aid of Human Hands
HIGH-SPEED typesetting without the intervention of a human hand is forecast by the recent demonstration of an automatic linotype machine. Controlled by an electric eye, it transforms typewritten “copy” directly into lead type. The only limit to its speed is said by its Charlotte, N. C., inventor to be that of standard linotype machinery.
BRITISH firemen were called out recently to fight one of the strangest fires in their experience—a conflagration in a royal doll house. As a birthday present for Princess Elizabeth, daughter of the Duke and Duchess of York, Welsh craftsmen constructed a miniature dwelling complete with furniture and fittings of a full-sized home.
WHENEVER you eat, your moving jaws generate a minute electric current. This was demonstrated when the engineers in a New York broadcasting studio detected and measured the electricity produced by eating cake. A page boy gladly volunteered for the experiment.
ARCTIC EXPLORER DESIGNS NEW SUB FOR UNDER-ICE TRAVEL
A NEW submarine dash to the Arctic is projected for 1933 by Sir Hubert Wilkins, British explorer, who was dogged by misfortune when he attempted last year to cruise beneath polar ice in a condemned U. S. Navy submarine. He has designed for the venture a remarkable craft that he calls a Squid submarine, and has just revealed the details shown in the accompanying diagram.
THOUGH its lines suggest the modernistic style of architecture, an unusual structure at Tuco, Texas, is designed for strict utility. It is the largest water-cooling tower in the world, and its function is to recool water that condenses the exhaust steam of the turbines in a Texas power plant.
GLASS blowers who manufacture apparatus of pipes and tubing have hitherto been hampered by the yellow glare of the incandescent glass. Now goggles have been introduced that eliminate this difficulty. The special glass of which they are made absorbs only the yellow rays.
EXPLOSIVE bombs were used recently by ocean surveyors of the U. S. Coast and Geodetic Survey to find their position. Two other vessels anchored some distance away at predetermined points picked up the sound of the explosion and instantly relayed it back by radio.
SKINS of silk, felt, and even fur may now be grafted permanently upon sheets of steel. This amazing process, just announced by the Mellon Institute of Industrial Research, uses alloys of low melting points to cement together the dissimilar materials.
FROM the Mexican plant “broom root,” or zacaton, come tough fibers that are widely used in the manufacture of brushes. Until recently they were harvested by hand, but now, with the use of American air compressors and pneumatic diggers, the harvest has been speeded up seven-fold.
PRACTICAL use of an old mechanical principle is made for the first time in a new pump. Already used upon an oil burner, it may also have important applications in pumping water, milk, and gasoline. The new pump has two moving parts—a revolving disk with an eleven-sided aperture at the center, and a ten-sided rotor turning within it.
BULLET-NOSED trolley cars of a new design, streamlined to reduce wind resistance, now travel at a mile-a-minute clip between Schenectady and Gloversville, N. Y. Built of aluminum, they seat forty-eight passengers. Magnetic brakes, designed by General Electric engineers, clamp down on the rails, supplementing the regular brakes and stopping the cars in three fourths of the distance that would be required without them.
HERE is the first group of winners in our Heroes of Science Picture Puzzle Cut-Out Contest — the twenty-nine skillful ones who struck gold in March! We almost called them the “lucky” winners; but that would not have done them justice. Luck played no part whatever in their good fortune.
ANNOUNCEMENT of the first prize winners in the Heroes of Science Picture Puzzle Cut-Out Contest will be found on page 31. To these twenty-nine clever and diligent persons, POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY is sending $1,000 in cash. An evening’s pleasant entertainment playing this new and fascinating scissors game brought them rewards of from $500 to $10 apiece.
Temperature and Acidity of Summer Seas Give Accurate Line on Amount of Winter Rainfall
ANDREW R. BOONE
SECRETS of the weather are being revealed by the waters of the Pacific Ocean. At the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, a department of the University of California, scientists are achieving remarkable success in long-range forecasting through study of the fluctuating temperature and chemical content of sea water.
Pictures on Rocks 4,000 Years Ago Taught MAN his A B C's
ONE thousand million years ago, there appeared a microscopic life germ in the mud that covered the earth. This tiny speck of living jelly, biologists say, was Man's first ancestor. In the early chapters of our series, Dr. William K. Gregory, famous scientist of the American Museum of Natural History, traced Man's mysterious development through various life forms up to the human stage.
NEW whales for old! Modern equipment not only has revolutionized the whaling industry, but enables whalers to capture species of the ocean giant against which the old methods were ineffective. The Svend Foyn harpoon cannon, firing a heavy projectile with line and explosive bomb attached, has replaced the hand-thrown harpoon, and great factory ships with large, steam-powered hunting boats take the place of the sailing vessels that plied the Arctic waters in the nineteenth century.
WHAT the center of the earth is like may soon be revealed by duplicating in miniature the tremendous heat and pressure of the earth’s core. Using apparatus developed by Dr. P. W. Bridgman, noted physicist, Harvard University is planning a study to last for five years.
INCREASING popularity of cameras that take miniature pictures has lead to the introduction of a compact magnifier that makes inspection of small prints easy, and lends much to their appearance by making them appear almost stereoscopic. A magnifying lens of four-inch focus is hinged to the end of a shallow metal box having a sliding lid.
You can now lose your switch key and yet get the car going in less than a minute if you have in your tool kit a new emergency ignition coil fitted with a continuously operating vibrator. The high tension lead is connected to the center terminal, replacing the wire from the car’s ignition coil.
WHAT is declared to be a new focusing principle is incorporated in an electric lantern recently placed upon the market. A touch of a lever on its base shifts forward a small auxiliary reflector that provides a broad, diffused floodlight.
A THREE-STORY bus that carries eighty-eight passengers, more than three times the number accommodated by a standard Pullman car, has just been introduced in Italy for service between Rome and Tivoli. By using light duralumin, the metal widely employed in airplane construction, in the design of the huge machine, the makers have kept down the weight.
FOR the first time blind persons may actually “see pictures and read newsprint and typewritten letters, through the medium of their finger tips, with a device that was demonstrated the other day in New York City. Termed the “automatic visagraph” by its inventor, Robert E. Naumburg, it scans a printed page with an electric eye.
SINCE substances expand with heat and contract with cold, builders of instruments and bridges, who would prefer their work to be unchanging in size, recently hailed with delight the discovery of a new material less susceptible to the caprices of temperature than those now in use.
SHAPED like a mushroom, an odd electric transformer of great size was recently completed at Pitts-field, Mass. Its size may be gaged by the man standing beside it. It and another like it will supply the 1,400,000-volt current needed to operate the giant X-ray tube recently completed for cancer research at the California Institute of Technology at Pasadena.
HIDDEN River Cave in Kentucky has perhaps the most unique setting for pumping machinery of any place in the world. Two hundred feet below solid limestone is a river with a source believed to be 360 miles away. Here a twenty-seven-foot dam has been constructed.
ICE CREAM is frozen and served to order for the customer, direct from cream can to serving dish, by a new machine patented and placed on the market by an inventor of Portland, Ore. It is intended for use in restaurants, soft drink stands, and all places serving ice cream direct to customers.
A ROAD-TESTING merry-go-round, constructed of huge steel girders, with eight heavy motor truck wheels forming four two-wheel chassis at the outer edge, is being operated daily in Germany in gathering data on the durability of highway materials.
ENGINEERS of the United States Navy, at the Norfolk Navy Yard, Portsmouth, Va., deliberately broke the backs of two condemned destroyers recently to find out how strong these vessels were. It is possible to calculate on paper the strength of a ship, but this was the first time an attempt was made to find out how near paper calculations came to the actual strength of a full sized ship.
LIKE the mechanical rabbit that leads the whippets in a dog race, a robot athlete is being used to set the pace for the track men at Oxford University, England. The figure of a runner, mounted on a mechanically operated rubber-tired wheel, moves around the outside of the track at different speeds.
FLYERS of the U. S. Army at Patterson Field, Dayton, Ohio, soon will be able to practice blind landings on a magnetized field. Cables are being laid in concentric rings just below the field’s surface. These will be energized by low-frequency electric current, establishing a magnetic field extending around the airdrome for a radius of about five miles from its center.
THE USUAL struggle in setting up a beach parasol at the seaside is obviated by a new auger attachment for the end of the pole. Cast of aluminum, the screw tip makes it possible to twist the pole into hard sand with the hands, so firmly that it will not tip over or blow down.
TOURNIQUETS, drawn taut about a limb to stop bleeding, were condemned as obsolete and unsafe by speakers before a recent international congress of medicine. By stopping the circulation, one Belgian physician declared, they promoted infection.
AN INGENIOUS shoo-fly attachment for screen doors, designed to keep insects from entering when the door is opened, has recently been placed on the market. Its spring serves the double purpose of closing the door and actuating a whirligig rimmed with streamers of cloth ribbon.
WHILE other methods used in the United States Mint at Philadelphia have kept pace with progress, the high grade of charcoal necessary in making the dies for coining gold and silver money is still burned from selected oak in the most primitive way, and ground and pulverized in an old water mill.
AUSTRIAN engineers recently obtained their first glimpse of the air-tight gondola in which Count Theodor Zichy and Hans von Braun, of Vienna, plan an ascent to a world’s record height of more than twelve miles above the earth. The odd cabin, with its passengers sealed in, is to be swung beneath a huge balloon on its upward journey, and the descent is planned by cutting loose the gondola and letting it fall at the end of a large parachute.
DEPRIVED of fighting airplanes by the treaty that ended the World War, Germany’s sole air defense now consists of signal bombs. This new method of signaling to alien planes was put into effect after the frequent maneuvering of Polish aircraft over German soil had irked the frontier population.
A NEW variation of a favorite project of inventors—a detachable cabin that would lower air passengers to safety if an airplane should meet with disaster—is shortly to be tested by B. Ayad, French inventor. In his device, the cabin is mounted on rollers.
INSCRIPTIONS may be written on steel, glass, and lead-coated surfaces with a whirling “pencil” recently placed on the market. A tiny cutting tool at the head of the instrument is whirled by compressed air. It rotates at the rate of 40,000 revolutions a minute.
New Discoveries Prove The WORLD IS Alive with WORMS
Clayton R. Slawter
THE world, and almost all that is in it, literally is alive with worms ! That is the startling discovery of scientists who are studying the habits and characteristics of a huge family of mysterious wormlike creatures called “nemas.” So all-pervasive are these strange crawling things that, if everything except nemas suddenly became transparent, you still would be able to recognize the outline of many of the trees, plants, and animals around you, for all of them are virtually swarming with these queer worm forms.
WITH the aid of ingenuity and a few materials to be found in every household, any home may be converted into a temporary hospital. Ten aids to home nurses, illustrated on this page, were suggested by a Chicago trained nurse. They will suggest, in turn, other ways to make invalids more comfortable, and to supplement the limited contents of the average medicine chest.
Radio Squeals turned to MUSIC FOR ENTIRE ORCHESTRA
ONE of the world’s strangest orchestras recently gave its first public recital at Carnegie Hall, New York City. Music came not from the varied instruments in the hands of the performers, but from a row of loudspeakers. The electrified instruments were the inventions of Prof. Leon Theremin, Russian physicist now living in New York.
BY TRACING a vanishing radio station to a bootlegger’s automobile, Federal agents recently achieved one of their most brilliant exploits. Hitherto rum runners of the Atlantic seaboard have used permanent land stations to keep in touch with liquor ships offshore.
TITLES, dates, and other useful information may be printed permanently on the edge of a photographic film negative just before development, with the aid of a new device called a margin printer. Data are written on the edge of a standard three-by-five-inch index card, which is slipped into a slot in the machine.
SKIMMING over the water on three barrel-shaped rollers that act as revolving pontoons, a remarkable air-driven boat is expected by its inventor to attain a speed of nearly ninety miles an hour. A nine-horsepower motor drives the airplane propeller mounted at the rear.
Automatic Machines Lay Concrete in New York’s Biggest Building
ENGINEERS have built one of the most modern cement-handling plants in the world to speed the construction of New York City’s largest building, the 37,600,000-cubic-foot Union Inland Terminal Building for incoming and outgoing freight.
IMPATIENT sun bathers who yearn for facial coats of tan may now speed up the process, it is said, with the aid of a new German mirror of odd design. This polished metal reflector, worn about the face, concentrates sunlight by the use of multiple mirror surfaces.
SO LIGHT that three men can carry it, a new portable trench mortar, developed by the United States Army, is considered an unusually deadly weapon because of its destructive power and ease of operation. Despite its light weight, the gun is extremely accurate up to the limit of its two-mile range.
How sunken treasure ships may be raised from depths beyond a diver’s reach was demonstrated in a New York laboratory recently by Giuseppe Bontempi, inventor of “grappling pontoons.” Miniatures of these new devices successfully raised a four-foot ship model from the bottom of a tank of water.
GASOLINE will drive piles, as well as automobiles, according to reports from Leipzig, Germany, where a pile driver of unusual construction was demonstrated the other day. Taps from the piston of this new machine’s one-cylinder, air-cooled motor speedily force a heavy timber home, it is said.
FOGHORNS may soon give way to the radio as a means of preventing collisions at sea. A portable radio transmitter has been developed especially for this purpose at the Detroit, Mich., shops of the U. S. Lighthouse Service. Should a ship carrying such an apparatus run into fog the set, put into operation, sends out wireless signals in a distinctive code.
VIBRATION or bending of the material in which it is sunk cannot cause a wood screw of a new type to work loose, according to the manufacturer. Near the base of the thread on opposite sides, two sets of sharp-pointed wings flare from the shank. They offer no resistance as the screw is driven home, but any reverse motion causes them to dig in so the screw cannot work out.
A RETIRED watchmaker of Geneva, Switzerland, has just fulfilled his twelve-year ambition to perfect an electric watch. Driven by a fly-power motor, it needs no connection with outside wires. The case itself contains a storage battery no larger than the winding mechanism of most timepieces, which is declared to hold its charge for a year and which may be recharged when necessary.
FIRES that start in the night automatically set off a new type of alarm, which consists of a short section of copper tubing, divided into two chambers and sealed at the ends. The chambers are filled with a mildly explosive composition. Heat from a fire explodes the mixture, blowing out each end of the tubing in succession with a loud report that will awaken a sleeper anywhere in the house.
DOTTED with depressions that act as vacuum cups, a metal pulley recently placed on the market uses the powerful force of suction to prevent a belt from slipping. As the belt rides around the pulley, it presses the air from each vacuum cup and the resulting air pressure gives it a firm grip.
To GUARD a reference book from workshop stains or from possible damage by home laboratory chemicals, a convenient holder has been introduced. The book is opened to the desired place and slipped into a metal frame, where it is held out of harm’s way and at such an angle that the worker may read it easily while he is standing.
To SOLVE the problem of building a pipe line for a huge new hydroelectric plant at the bottom of Monte Piottino, near Lavargo, Switzerland, engineers constructed one of the steepest railways in the world. Up this precipitous track, with a maximum grade of 165 percent, cables hauled the sections of a high-pressure pipe to bring water down from the mountain top.
A SCOOTER capable of running at more than a mile-a-minute clip has been built by John W. Greenwood, Oakland, Calif. The young inventor used a motorcycle engine, scooter wheels, a bike frame, and two fly sprayers as gas and oil tanks, in building it.
WHEN a fourteen-inch steel curb was found inadequate to restrain skidding cars at a bend in a New York City motor viaduct, and several plunged over the edge to the street seventy-five feet below with fatal results, an unusual type of barrier was erected to prevent future accidents.
A CLEVELAND, Ohio, company recently drilled a 525-foot well to augment its water supply. When the turbine pump was placed in service, water came forth freely. Then someone carelessly tossed a lighted match in the direction of the supply nozzle.
Marvels of Shallow Seas Can Be Viewed from Windows of Craft
YOU step through a hatchway and down a ladder, into the interior of a strange automobile. Other passengers file in and take their places in the comfortable seats beside you. The ladder is removed, and the hatchway door slammed shut and locked.
SEVEN hundred fishermen cast their lines, a few weeks ago, through holes chopped in the ice far off the shore of the Gulf of Finland. A storm arose. The ice cracked ominously. Deserting their temporary shelters, the panic-stricken fishermen dashed for the shore.
FOR THOSE who have partially lost the sight of one eye by excessive strain, a new aid has been successfully tested in the optical research laboratory of the University of Southern California. Termed the “manuductor,” this instrument outwardly resembles the old-fashioned stereoscope used for viewing pictures.
So THAT a city apartment dweller may easily take his piano with him wherever he moves, a well-known manufacturer has introduced a radically new type of instrument. The keyboard and foot pedals fold into the case, and thus folded, the piano will pass through any door or narrow stairway, obviating the need of hoisting it through a dismantled window.
A NEW style of garden hose needs no attachment to sprinkle the lawn. It carries its own tiny sprinklers, set into the side of the hose like tire valves at eight to ten-foot intervals. A separate metal support slips over the head of each one to hold it upright.
MORE effective than the antitoxin now in general use is a new way to immunize children against scarlet fever, announced by the U. S. Public Health Service. It employs a mixture made of antitoxin and scarlet fever germs.
U. S. BUILDS FIRST PORTABLE METER TO MEASURE GRAVITY
BECAUSE the force of gravity varies slightly from place to place, a given weight does not weigh exactly the same in all parts of the United States. Exact determination of gravity’s force is important in certain precise scientific work. For this research, experts of the U. S. Coast and Geodetic Survey announce that they have just perfected the first portable “gravity meter” ever built.
No TOOLS but a knife to remove the insulation from the ends of the wires are needed to connect a new electric attachment plug to the end of a cord, for the device dispenses with the usual pair of brass screws that grasp the wire ends. Instead, the bare wire ends are inserted in slots at the heads of the sliding prongs.
AMONG the strangest beehives in the world are the painted, wooden figures found in a small village in Silesia. The oldest is said to date back to the early years of the seventeenth century, when the property on which they stand belonged to a monastery.
So DIMINUTIVE that it may easily be carried in the pocket or in a woman’s handbag is a clothes brush devised by a clever inventor who wanted one always at hand. When not in use, the bristles are protected within a composition case. They are brought into position for use by sliding out a pair of tabs at the ends of the brush, which run along slots in the case.
LITTLE gray “pills” of plant food resembling grains of smokeless powder, four times as powerful as ordinary commercial fertilizer, are science’s newest contribution to farm relief. The new product, perfected by Theodore Swann, Anniston, Ala., chemist, has been tried out successfully for several months by colleges and experiment stations in this country.
POWER from a truck's engine operates a new “loading end gate,” saving time and labor in stowing heavy objects aboard the vehicle. The entire movement of the gate is under the driver’s control by means of two levers. Power is transmitted from the truck engine through a standard transmission take-off and a hydraulic pump.
You can write your name in gold on paper, cardboard, or leather with a novel “electric pencil” that has been placed upon the market. Personal belongings such as hats, books, and gloves may thus be marked for identification. Among the many other uses suggested by the maker are the decorating of lamp shades and stationery, and the preparation of distinctively individual greeting cards.
THE mechanical members upon which the motion of the reciprocating steam engine depends are shown in the sketch at A, B, C, and D. B is a steel block sliding in the slot of A, actuated by the piston, and connected to C. A is the fixed member, while the three others are movable. By selecting C as the fixed member, with A, B, and D movable—or by making D fixed, with A, C, and B movable—entirely different mechanisms can be produced.
A LONG snout housing engine and radiator gives an odd appearance to a new style of front-wheel-drive truck for carrying gasoline and other liquids. This unusual vehicle has no chassis, the tank itself serving as a frame. Because of the width and depth thus gained, it holds 1,000 gallons, more than twice the usual quantity for a tank of this apparent size.
AN ORIGINAL decorative effect for his lawn was conceived not long ago by a resident of Wauwatosa, Wis., who devised imitation toadstools illuminated by concealed electric light bulbs. At night the foot-high toadstools cast a pleasing radiance over the grounds.
CEMENT, flour, and other nonliquids may be transported in a newly invented type of railroad tank car, and poured like water from an outlet when it arrives at its destination. The secret of its operation is a pair of electrically driven conveyor belts within the tank, which force the powdery contents toward the opening in the manner shown in the diagram at bottom of this page.
How Amateurs Can Produce LifeSustaining Gas and Use It in Thrilling and Fascinating Demonstrations
Cigarette Lighter Furnishes Heat
Raymond B. Wailes
EXPERIMENTS with oxygen will give you more pleasure than any other operation in your chemical laboratory. It is surprising what exciting moments you can have with a few cents worth of potassium chlorate, the cheapest substance with which oxygen can be made.
Signals Steer Seven-Foot Craft on First Voyage and Dock It Safely
A TRIM brigantine rigged model yacht recently tacked back and forth across a lake at Pomona, Calif., and finally swung smartly into the wind for a clean landing at a model dock. The helmsman of this seven-and-one-half-foot miniature sailing craft was some distance away on the shore of the lake.
TUBELESS, batteryless, crystal radio receivers still have a sphere of usefulness. Judged by modern standards, the most satisfactory type of crystal radio circuit, shown in Fig. 1, is extremely insensitive and tunes as broad as a barn door.
DISTANCE HUNTERS now aim at radio messages coming from the other side of the earth. Sets on the market are designed to pick up programs on bands below the regular commercial wave lengths and so open a new field of world-wide interest
ALFRED P. LANE
EXPLORING new waves is the latest craze in radio. There is a strong demand for sets that will take their listeners off the beaten paths of broadcasting with special emphasis on short wave programs sent out by faraway stations. So strong has this demand become that radio manufacturers are making plans to supply it.
EVERY radio amateur’s first ambition is to get “on the air.” Before this ambition can be realized, however, he must pass the United States Government examination for amateur radio operators and also obtain a Government license for his proposed station.
"GUS,” asked Jeff Harmby, “when your motor stops suddenly on the road, what’s most likely to be the trouble?” Gus Wilson, half owner of the Model Garage, smiled at the two young automobile enthusiasts who had dropped in during his lunch hour.
THE famous Scouting Experimental No. 5a—or S. E. 5a for short—was the Sopwith plane that finally gave the Allies supremacy in the air during the World War. It was flown by some of the greatest aces—Ball, Bishop, Barker, Mannock, Hawker. Although it is a small ship with a wing spread of little more than 26 ft., the S. E. is every inch an airplane.
A MINIATURE fence makes a decorative novelty for any garden. It can be used to keep flowers in their place, protect a water-lily pool, or serve as a polite warning to intruders to keep off the grass. Such a fence should be built in separate sections so that it can be set up in any form desired.
WHEN many photographs are to be made indoors with a camera mounted on a tripod, it will be found that much time may be saved and better pictures made by using this three-cornered wheeled truck. It keeps the camera level at all times, is easily moved, and cannot be upset.
A SMALL camp chair can be made to hold tobacco, books, papers, and other things for which it is hard to find a convenient place while in camp. Simply trim off part of a heavy cardboard box, preferably one side and the bottom, until it forms a troughlike rack or shelf which will fit in the angle of the legs under the canvas seat.
IF A TWIST drill is tempered in mercury, it will become so hard that it can be used for making holes in glass, tempered clock springs, and other substances which cannot be drilled with ordinary drills. The process consists simply of heating the drill to redness and then plunging it into mercury.
Built for Twenty Dollars, Weighs Only Seventy Pounds; Can Be Paddled, Rowed, or Sailed
MATERIALS for the Duck Boat
WITH the coming of vacation days and all the joys of camping, fishing, and hunting, there are many thousands of readers who will miss a good deal of pleasure because they do not own a boat that can be transported quickly and easily from place to place.
HERE is an unusual and decorative folding muffin stand or double-deck serving table, the construction of which will delight the heart of any home woodworker and add another new and useful piece of furniture to the household. The hinge joint at the top is of unique design.
Prize Winning Plans Show How to Construct Folding Canvas Camps
FOR the auto camper who desires maximum comfort at minimum cost, the so-called “tent trailer” offers many advantages. It is in reality an inexpensive portable camp, which can be quickly expanded by setting up a canvas roof and walls. Two ingenious designs for this class of trailer were awarded prizes in our recent camping car contest, the winners of which were announced in a previous issue (P.S. M., May ’32, p. 73).
SCRAPING the carbon from the shell that surrounds the center electrode of a spark plug is difficult. However, it can be removed easily with a small quantity of potassium chlorate crystals. Get an ounce or two of this chemical from the drug store, then heat the plug over the gas stove (firing side down) till potassium chlorate, sprinkled over the electrodes and insulator, melts and sticks.
WINDOWS and their accessories play an important part in a child’s room. Dainty ruffled curtains, for example, are more attractive if gracefully draped and held back by colorful little figures like those illustrated. Such figures may be sawed from 34-in. wood and should, of course, be made in pairs, each about 9 in. high.
A CHINAMAN of ancient times is supposed to have invented this dicebox mystery for the entertainment of his twelve wives. Essentially it consists of a celluloid box and a die that fits the box exactly. No matter who places the die in the box or what number is uppermost, the performer can name the number merely by holding the box to his forehead.
You will find many uses for a tiny hack saw that can be carried in your pocket as part of a key holder or knife. It will come in handy when you are making some minor repair on your automobile, working with camp equipment, or doing a bit of home tinkering.
A LIGHT platform mounted on four large malted milk cans makes a safe and inexpensive raft for pond or swimming pool. These cans generally can be had for the asking from your neighborhood druggist. It is quite possible, too. that other types of cans could be obtained which would serve the purpose equally well.
AT VARIOUS times I have been called upon to make posters with considerable lettering. This work has been greatly simplified by the use of homemade lettering pens. To make these, I split a 6-in. length of bamboo into widths suitable for the lettering, and then whittle the ends flat.
WHEN a professional glazer skillfully guides his hissing tool free-hand around a line and produces a flawless piece of work, it appears quite simple—until one tries to do the same. Circular, oval, and odd-shaped glasses for picture frames, clock faces, and the like can be cut easily, however, by the method illustrated above.
AMATEUR mechanics and electricians will find the portable receptacle shown above a convenience where long extension cords are brought into use. This “carryall” was made from a flat board 6 by 18 in., with a 3 in. deep notch cut in each end so that the cord could be wound on.
HOW TO SET UP THE MASTS, YARDS, BOWSPRIT, AND JIB BOOM OF OUR WHALER MODEL
Capt. E. Armitage McCann
IN THE April and May issues we described the hull and deck fittings of our 1/6 in. scale model of the whaling bark Wanderer. This has been done in considerable detail because I was able to take a number of snapshots and measurements aboard her before she started on her last voyage.
Tips on how to save time and materials in the everyday work of a small shop
Hector J. Chamberland
IN THOSE emergencies which are continually arising in every machine shop— difficult repair jobs, work with rush tickets attached, and parts which have to be made in small lots with limited equipment— welding will often save the day. Welding can be relied upon to duplicate perhaps as many as seven out of every ten requirements that otherwise would call for a forging or a casting.
WHEN drilling and tapping holes horizontally inside the circle of a large collar or cylinder, this light drill frame makes the work easier as well as faster. The main supporting members are made of 2-in. angles, cut and welded near one end in such a way that they flare out sideways when assembled.
MOIST ROLLERS REMOVE ABRASIVE FROM USED POLISHING WHEELS
S. E. P.
THE abrasive strips used on polishing wheels are easily removed with the device illustrated. Mounted in the lower part of the framework are two wooden rollers, each of which has a small pulley on the end of its metal spindle. A short belt passes over the two pulleys.
WHILE a gravity conveyor like that illustrated was being used to convey dirt incrusted blocks, it became necessary from time to time to clean the rolls. This was done quickly and easily by the following method. The chuck of a small electric drill was wrapped with friction tape until it had been built up about ½ in. thick.
BECAUSE of the expense of buying a tapping machine or a tapping head for the drill press, the writer designed and made the one illustrated above. It has proved highly efficient and to date has threaded more than two million holes in a variety of work passing through a large western manufacturing plant.
DRILLING washers with larger holes is a slow and tiresome job if they are drilled individually, and it usually results in a rough or burred job. Where there are many washers to be drilled, a simple fixture that helps to do the work quickly can be made as shown.
THE lathe droplight illustrated moves along with the carriage and therefore insures adequate illumination at all times without any attention on the part of the machinist. It is supported by a bar ⅛ by 1 ½ by 30 in. with a small fork at the upper end and a larger fork at the lower.
AT THE welder's bench a number of V-supports made by welding together short sections of angle stock will be found useful in lining up shafts and numerous kinds of small work. Each of the supports is made by welding two of the sections at the corners as shown, thus forming four V’s.
EVERYONE who uses an electric drill knows the importance of having the chuck key handy and ready for instant use. One of the most convenient ways to attach the key to the drill is to use an ordinary pull chain from an old electric light socket or a similar chain found on drain plugs.
HERE is a new type of sidewalk vehicle, built almost entirely from scrap parts, which will delight the youngster and amuse the adult. The action of the connecting rods suggests a locomotive. Although the construction is obvious, a few notes in regard to the materials may help.
IN REPAIRING broken china, crockery, or glassware, ordinary adhesive tape will often aid in clamping the parts together until the cement is hard. In the case illustrated, the teapot spout was broken about halfway down. Household cement suitable for use on china was applied to the parts.
TICKET takers, especially at school games, bazaars, and amateur entertainments, often have moments when they would welcome an opportunity to sit down and rest. This is particularly true where the main box office and field entrance happen to be some distance away and the ticket taker on duty is not kept continually busy.
. . . AND WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT OPERATING THEM
Frederick D. Ryder
JOHN H. FORTHOFFER
"I WISH I could sell a chunk of photographic knowledge with every camera,” a photo dealer sighed as I drifted up to the counter. “Did you notice that man going out as you came in? He’s just bought an elaborate camera with all the fixings, supplementary lenses, and so on, and I'll give you almost any odds he’ll be back inside a week blaming the camera for all the poor pictures he takes.”
EVERY amateur wood turner will enjoy making this distinctive, modern looking cigarette box, either for his own use or as a gift. It would be difficult to find a neater and more satisfactory container for forty cigarettes. Its beauty, which lies mainly in its simple lines and fine proportions, can be enhanced by using mahogany, walnut, satinwood, ebony, or other wood of excellent color and grain.
A COMFORTABLE swing for either children or “grown-ups” can be made as illustrated. This is often called a “Norwegian swing.” Obtain five pieces of reasonably straight tree limbs, preferably birch, and trim off all small branches, leaving the bark intact.
IN MAKING the imitation antique furniture that is so popular today, wormholes or the surface scars that resemble the little tunnels made by borers are often considered desirable. A simple and quick way of producing such marks is to lay a bent nail on the surface to be antiqued, and strike it a sharp blow with the ball end of a machinist’s hammer.
THE distinctly novel letter opener of copper shown below at the right illustrates how knots can be used for decorative purposes. The blade, which is 5 in. long, is made from copper or, better still, sheet brass, and its surface is given a hand-wrought appearance by beating it with a ball-peen hammer.
AN ACCURATE paper cutter may be attached to the underside of a drawing board, out of the way except when needed. Near one of the long sides of the board, two cheap rulers are fastened with brads end to end as shown. These form the paper stop and give the measurement from either end of the paper—an advantage over the guillotine type of cutter.
CHIP nailing, a trick known to many old-time cabinetmakers but apparently overlooked by most present-day workers, enables you to nail two pieces of wood together securely, yet conceal the nail-heads. With a very sharp chisel raise a small chip at the point where the nail-head is to be hidden.
SMALL glass vials or bottles such as those in which photographic chemicals are sold can be used as a cover for plant labels and to protect them from the weather. The name of the plant is cut from the seed package and inserted in the bottle as shown in the photograph in the oval above.
PEA VINES GET SUPPORT ON BRUSHWOOD HUNG FROM LONG WIRE
TO PROVIDE a trellis for peas, many gardeners cut short lengths of brush and stick them into the ground, but a better way is to set a solid post at each end of the row of peas, stretch wire from one to the other about 4 ft. above the ground, and hang the brush, tips downward, on this wire.
ANY angler who ties his own fan wing flies can make an excellent case for carrying them from one of the flat tin boxes in which cigarettes are sold, a small piece of insulating board such as that made from sugar cane, and a stick of fishing rod ferrule cement.
A LAWN mower is like a razor—it either cuts or pulls. Even a low priced machine should cut satisfactorily for at least ten years with just a little attention. On a basis of one hour’s use weekly, it is usually not operated more than 300 hours during this period.
THE space under an open workbench is usually crowded with a jumble of materials or tools, which are difficult to get when needed. A much neater and more convenient way to use this space is to construct deep drawers or boxes with handles on the front and equip each of them with a set of casters.
THE amateur photographer who makes enlargements requires at least three large trays for developer, hypo, and wash water. Enameled or composition trays are expensive and glass trays are heavy and easily broken, but a satisfactory substitute can be made in an emergency by lacquering inexpensive cake tins.
TIGHTENING up the last few threads of a screw in hardwood often requires considerable effort. It is not good practice as a rule to use a wrench or other tool to gain additional leverage, but the claw of a hammer may be slipped over the flattened end of the blade as shown to aid in turning the screw driver provided care is taken not to apply so much force as to damage the blade or screw head.
MANY handy men who can do a good job of hanging wall paper in their homes hesitate to apply wall canvas, muslin, or other fabrics used either for reënforcing cracked plaster or for giving a permanent decorative treatment. They do not know how to make perfect seams or joints between the strips of wall cloth, although they realize that in all other respects the cloth covering is pasted to the wall the same as wall paper.
A SIMPLE way to make realistic windows for a house model, doll’s house, or toy garage is shown below. When the side walls have been prepared, the window openings are marked and cut out. Then these openings are rabbeted around the outside to a depth equal to the thickness of the glass and to a width of about ⅛ in. except at the bottom, where the rabbet should be somewhat wider.
BEAUTIFUL finishes in turned work are possible if colored sealing wax is used. It is not applied in solution or by heating it until liquid, but merely by pressing the stick against the whirling spindle. The heat of friction melts the color, causing it to adhere in rough circles that cool instantly and give a variegated and distinctive texture to the surface.
THOSE boys who have asked how to make safe and serviceable stilts will find three suggestions in the accompanying drawings. The dimensions are only approximate and may be varied to a considerable degree. The most important thing is to fasten the steps securely.
AN ORDINARY loose-leaf notebook of the type commonly used in schools and in colleges can be made into a portable drafting board, which will prove useful to students, estimators, architects, machinists, and those who find it necessary to make sketches on repair jobs.
HOLDING the stop watch on rain is a feat recently accomplished by Government scientists. Raindrops during a drizzle fall at a rate of only two and a half feet per second, Dr. W. J. Humphreys of the United States Weather Bureau reports. The bigger drops of a typical “shower” fall at a speed of ten feet per second or more.
NEAT, practical aquariums may be made at trifling cost and without any special skill with tools by using 1-, 2-, or 5-gal. oil or varnish cans of the square-cornered type. Rinse the can with gasoline and cut out what are to be the top and four sides of the aquarium as shown.
GALVANIZED roof gutters and down-spouts are never certain of long life unless kept well painted. Even a pinhole through the zinc coating gives ample opportunity for rust to start. New galvanized iron, however, has such a smooth surface that it is difficult for even good paint to gain an anchorage on it.
Our Construction Kits Enable You to Assemble Beautiful Furniture AT LOW COST
YOU probably have in your home some especially prized piece of high-grade custom-built furniture. If so, you know how superior it is in appearance to ordinary “store” furniture. What you perhaps do not realize, however, is that you can assemble equally fine furniture yourself by making use of the new Popular Science Homecraft Guild construction kits, which are now made in four designs.
ONE of the simplest types of window for use in summer cottages, play houses, and other small frame buildings, is shown in the accompanying sketch. It is weather-tight, neat in appearance, and easy and inexpensive to install. The sash, which slides upward into a pocket at the head, needs no special frame.
WHEN a gas engine is used to fill a stock watering tank, the problem of preventing an overflow can be solved in a very simple way. Obtain two strands of insulated wire long enough to reach from tank to engine. Uncover about 1 in. at one end of each wire.
TO ASSIST you in your home workshop, POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY offers large blueprints containing working drawings of a number of well-tested projects. The blueprints are 15 by 22 in. and are sold for 25 cents a single sheet (except in a few special cases).
HOW to build the Sportboat, a 15 -ft. runabout designed and built especially for POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY readers. PLANS for a flying model of another famous war plane, the Nieuport, by J. Danner Bunch.
IF YOU have ever tried to buy the materials for building a ship model, you know how much “shopping around” is required before you can get just what you want and how the cost runs up out of all proportion to what it should be. You have to buy far more of each item than you can use, and frequently you have to be content with more or less unsatisfactory substitutes for the proper materials.
MANY an amateur woodworker has constructed an elaborate piece of furniture in a none-too-dry basement shop and then been surprised at the way in which the joints opened and cracks developed after his handiwork had been exposed for a time to the dry artificial heat of the living rooms.
MOST machine screw tap and die set boxes are made of two boards, the cover being solid or cut out very little. By drilling several ⅜-in. holes into the end of the cover, a convenient container is made for a special set of tap-size drills. The holes should be fitted with corks.
IT IS difficult to color photographic prints with water colors because of the high gloss, but this can be remedied with a little magnesium carbonate—purchased at any drug store for a few cents. Dust it on the print and then wipe it off with a piece of clean cloth or cotton, and the water colors will go on readily.
A THIRTY-FIVE-FOOT python, largest ever captured, was recently caught by Japanese farmers in the Philippine Islands and shipped to a Tokio museum. The monster serpent is one of the most formidable in captivity. A blow from its head or tail would inflict a serious injury.