IN SELECTING the first hammer, primitive man searched carefully for a smooth, oval stone that would fit comfortably in the palm of his hand. Later, he found that this crude implement could be improved by roughing out shallow depressions for his fingers.
I WAS looking over the January, 1927, issue of POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY last evening and was struck by the many things prophesied for 1927, that came to pass, if not then, at a later date. The editorial is unique in that practically everything suggested in it has been invented and is as common today as shoes. . . . and only five years!
RADIUM LIFE-GIVING ELEMENT . . . deals DEATH in Hands of Quacks
Startling Facts Disclosed in This Article Will Help You Escape the Dangers You Run When Ignorance Handles Nature’s Strangest Element
WAR has been declared on all patent medicines containing radium. The Federal Trade Commission, the U. S. Food and Drug Administration, state and municipal health agencies, and medical associations are fighting to drive from the market nostrums whose supposed healing properties are credited to radium.
A BATTLE is raging. What seems to be a fleet of attacking airplanes is sighted. Suddenly terror descends out of the sky. Swooping low, the machines are revealed to be armored tanks with wings. They land. The wings drop off, and into action roars a squadron of four-ton tanks, spitting death from three-inch guns.
WELLS Long Believed Dead Are Turning in Their Graves, and Their Ghosts Offer Some Strange Problems to the Experts
IN THE graveyard of the oil industry, strange sounds are heard. Deep rumblings, dismal groans. Dead oil wells are turning over in their graves. Geologists, holding autopsies, have pronounced some of them not yet officially dead. Many oil fields today are haunted by these restless ghosts that rise from their tombs to create new puzzles for oil men.
Heat and Pressure in Laboratory Imitate Nature in Producing Carbon Crystals
DIAMONDS, one twentieth of a karat in size, have been made in the laboratory. Dr. Ralph H. McKee, Columbia University professor of chemical engineering and his assistant, L. H. Barnett, developed the process that made possible this scientific marvel.
AN ADAPTATION of the motor-driven hoop that recently amazed England (P.S.M., May ’32, p. 63) has made its appearance in Germany. It is the “hoop-barrow,” a wheelbarrow propelled within one huge wheel. The barrow proper, remaining stationary, is attached by means of rollers to the large hoop which is easily pushed by hand.
BY PUTTING a nickel in the slot you may get your clothes brushed, if an “automatic brush boy,” recently exhibited at the National Inventors’ Congress in San Francisco, Calif., is installed in hotels and stations. The drop of the coin in the box causes an electrical contact to start a motor that operates a small vacuum cleaner brush.
PREDICTING the sex and mental and physical traits of unborn children may follow successful experiments made by Dr. John Belling, expert on heredity of the Carnegie Institution of Washington. Dr. Belling has photographed the “genes,” the hitherto unseen particles that carry hereditary characteristics.
DAMAGE done on farm lands by water pouring off hillsides is graphically shown by a new device recently placed in operation at the soil-erosion experiment station of the U. S. Department of Agriculture at Bethany, Mo. A concrete trough catches drainage water from near-by fields.
LOOKING like some queer comic paper freak, a car remodeled by Ted Castle rolls through the streets of Los Angeles. It is fitted with huge truck tires, size 44 by 10, held in place by rows of carriage bolts passed through the gigantic shoes and the regular tires inside them.
PULLING the trigger on the electric pistol shown at the right releases solder instead of bullets. The carbon tip is cored and wire solder is forced through this hole. The clip on the wire connected to the iron is snapped onto the ungrounded terminal of the starter battery.
A CIGAR humidor with a built-in hygrometer has been introduced in Germany. At the side is the hygrometer which indicates the humidity of the air inside the humidor. The movement of the hand toward the “too dry” end of the dial serves to warn the smoker that water should be added to the moisture pad.
EVIDENCE that monotonous noises induce sleep has been produced by Professor John B. Morgan of Northwestern University. He placed a young woman student in a chair and attached various recording instruments to keep track of her pulse, respiration, and other body functions that change during slumber.
A TABLE for use in automobiles has been invented by C. R. Richardson of England. Utilizing the principle of the lazy tongs, he has designed the table to collapse against the roof of the car when not in use. It can be pulled down to any elevation desired and the backward-forward position also may be adjusted.
To MAKE life more comfortable in his little cottage beside the Thames River, near Marlow, England, a British war hero, Brig. Gen. J. B. Wroughton, has fitted his home with a multitude of labor-saving devices of his own invention. By pressing a button or closing a switch, the majority of his household tasks are performed.
CALCULATING a contract bridge score is made easy by a pencil recently placed on the market. When its movable barrel is turned, figures appear in three windows. The user sets the barrel to the number in the central window, showing the number of tricks over or under the contract and reads the score under “not vulnerable” or “vulnerable” in side windows.
EVEN the task of holding the pole is now spared the fisherman, since the invention of a “lazy man’s holder” recently shown at San Francisco, Calif. It is provided with a clamp for attachment to the side of a boat or a limb of a tree, and may be set at any angle.
WHAT is called the crookedest river in America has just been mapped by the U. S. Geological Survey. The map shows that the Nolin River, which crosses Hardin County, Kentucky, travels a twenty-mile course to advance a total distance of six miles.
NOT only does a new mechanical man talk and sing, but he dances to radio music. This man-sized robot, designed by a German engineer, has a loudspeaker mechanism for a brain, and the vibration of the speaker closes relays that operate his arms and legs.
Floating Edge on Wings Keeps Plane Out of Tail Spin
AN AIRPLANE designed by G. W. Cornelius, California aviator and inventor, has wings hinged at the front so that the trailing edges can move up and down in response to variations in wind pressure and “bumps” in the air. He claims that a tail spin is impossible with this construction and that the plane will fly virtually without manual control.
CHILDREN may now patronize soda fountains as easily as the grown-ups. A tray brings the glass down to a convenient level. Made of aluminum, the tray folds for compact storage. A long bar clamps it to the inner side of the counter as shown.
A HUGE steel hand that will lift and at the same time weigh a full sized locomotive is the latest thing on a gigantic floating crane in England. The scale that registers the weight picked up is set into a crosspiece between the five-sheave block and the tackle.
THE PRACTICE of painting dangerous road obstructions with a black and white checkerboard pattern makes the motorist careful when he sees the familiar design. The newest idea to protect the street worker against the hazards of auto traffic is to clothe him in a jumper patterned with white and black squares.
New Process Adds Long-Sought Third Dimension to Pictures on Screen
ONE of the long-standing dreams of photographers—to be able to produce a picture with lifelike, three-dimensional depth—now seems on the verge of realization. How it has been accomplished on an experimental scale was demonstrated recently by Dr. Herbert E. Ives, of the Bell Telephone Laboratories, noted for his pioneer researches in electrical picture transmission and in television.
NEW evidence that growing plants may have "brains" and display reasoning power has been announced by the Smithsonian Institution at Washington, D. C. The discovery was made by Dr. Earl S. Johnston, who, it is reported, has found in plants a striking similarity to the intelligence of human beings.
It Never Rains Cats and Dogs BUT. . . It Does Rain FISH!
LIVING Creatures Actually Fall with Rain from the Clouds, and This Article Tells When and Why Such Strange Things Can Happen
ROBERT E. MARTIN
UNTIL three o'clock in the afternoon, the eighteenth of May had been like any other spring day on the farm of W. L. Doughtie, Edgecombe County, N. C. Then strange things began to happen. Dark clouds swiftly gathered overhead. Suddenly, there was a heavy downpour.
How the Illusion of a Crash in an Airplane Is Created in a Movie Thriller
Do You Need Some CASH?
ANDREW R. BOONE
FIFTY-FOUR trim young men in military uniforms gathered around the blackboard. “We will fly across the sun this morning,” the leader told them. “The black ships will fly in from the south, the whites from the north. I don't care where you meet, but stay above the clouds.
Save Air-Tight Globe for Second Flight into Stratosphere
ONE of the strangest of vehicles—the air-tight aluminum ball in which Prof. Auguste Piccard and a companion sealed themselves and, swung from an enormous balloon, soared from Augsberg, Germany, to a new height record of ten miles above the earth—has been removed from its resting place on a glacier at Ober-Gurgl, Austria.
CRIMINALS and cranks who send bombs through the mails, as described in an article on another page of this issue, may be frustrated one of these days by a new application of the X-ray. A Boston inventor has perfected an apparatus that could be installed in a post office and that reveals whether a package contains a bomb without opening it.
ENGINEERS solved an unusual problem recently when resistance devices of exceptional magnitude were required for studies of photo-electric cells. Dr. Harvey C. Rentschler, director of research of the Westinghouse Lamp Company, has produced reliable resistors of 235,000,000,000 ohms by sputtering a thin film of carbon on a glass helix in a bulb.
IMPROVEMENTS in methods of packing apples have been discovered at the Arlington, Va., experimental farm of the United States Department of Agriculture. An imitation truck driven backward and forward by machinery simulated the shaking the fruit would receive on a long truck or car journey.
ULTRA-VIOLET rays in recent years have proved their value to detect forgeries in paintings, and a new portable apparatus developed in England makes their application to a suspected work of art an easy matter. This instrument, resembling a camera in appearance, is the invention of Prof. A. P. Laurie of the Royal Academy of Arts.
WITHOUT the aid of previous experience to guide him, a Morganton, N. C., blacksmith has fulfilled a lifetime dream by designing and building himself a seagoing motorboat. Startlingly unconventional in appearance, the cigar-shaped craft is especially suited for rough water, and its builder, John Fox, contends that it could even roll over like a barrel without sinking.
ALL that happens at business conferences may now be permanently recorded by a recently developed electrical system. Upon the table in front of each one present is placed a microphone. The chairman, pressing the proper buttons, switches on the “mike” before the speaker, whose voice is recorded by a dictating machine upon a length of steel wire which may be played back at any time.
A DATE stamp devised by a California inventor requires no ink pad, because it reinks itself. The ink is carried in a narrow pad on a hinged arm, which protects the characters and swings out of way when in use.
Twenty-nine Who Proved Successful Showed Surprising Skill in Presenting Their Entries in Our
CHECKS to a total of $1,000 have been sent by POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY to the twenty-nine winners in our April Heroes of Science Picture CutOut Contest, whose names appear on this page. The winners in the March contest were announced last month (P.S.M., June `32, p. 31).
ARE you dreaming about a trip to Europe, a new car, or an important renovation or addition to your house? The sum of $500 could make any of these or many another dream come true. You may earn that amount in one evening, and at the same time thoroughly enjoy your-self, by participating in our fascinating Heroes of Science Contest.
Vegetables Now Quick-Frozen on Farm as Soon as Picked
SO THAT garden vegetables may reach the consumer as fresh as the moment they were picked, a new application has been made of “quick freezing.” In this process, perishable food is harmlessly frozen and packaged for refrigerated shipment.
AN AUTOGIRO airplane proved its effectiveness as a fire-fighting aid during a forest fire in southern New Jersey not long ago. State Fire Warden Col. Leonidas Coyle rode in the plane, holding a two-way conversation by short wave radio with other wardens in a moving automobile below him.
AMERICA will soon try to win back from England the world’s speed crown for automobiles. Barney Oldfield, famous racing driver, recently exhibited a model of the three-and-a-half-ton car to be built for this attempt. The twenty-six-foot racer will be driven by a 300-horsepower motor equipped with six magnetos, and Oldfield hopes with it to exceed the 253-mile-an-hour record of Sir Malcolm Campbell, British sportsman, who made that unparalleled speed a few months ago when he drove his car over Florida’s sands.
HUNTING Clues in Dynamite Attacks Is Extra-Hazardous Business and This Article Tells of Tragedies with Deadly Machines
EDWIN W. TEALE
IT WAS rush hour at the post office. Clerks in shirt sleeves worked at top speed. Loaded hand trucks clattered over the cement floor. Rubber stamps thumped on parcels. Coins clicked. Feet scuffed along the floor as lines of customers fed a steady stream of letters and parcels in at the windows.
AIMING an airplane at a gunnery target is made easier by new equipment designed by Major Gerald E. Brower, U. S. Army Air Corps. A hinged flap immediately behind the pilot’s head is raised when the guns are about to be fired and holds the pilot’s head central with the ship.
ABLAZE with light from a ring of lamps strapped around his waist, a parachute jumper recently dropped at a Burbank, Calif., airport. The human firefly was Royce Stetson, veteran transport pilot, who sought to test his idea that objects fall faster at night than in the day-time.
A HIGH-FLYING speedster is the U. S. Army's newest type of observation airplane, whose wings suggest those of a butterfly. Its 650-horsepower motor drives it at a speed of 190 miles an hour at an elevation of 5,000 feet.
A CLUSTER of pipes resembling the branching spikes of a flowering shrub occupies the interior of a novel muffler for airplanes, designed by a Ware, Mass., inventor. So effectively does it operate that all but seven percent of the original engine noise is said to be removed.
CLOSE-UPS or far shots of the land beneath an airplane can now be made with the same camera, regardless of the plane's altitude, by use of a new device called a “zoom lens.” An interconnected series of lens elements permits changing the magnifying power of the lens while in flight without making the pictures fuzzy.
ONE of the biggest model airplanes ever built made a successful test flight recently at Pasadena, Calif. Powered by a two-cylinder gasoline motor, the plane took off with preset controls and flew for several hundred yards. Its wing spread measures ten feet, and the model carries a one-pint tank for gasoline.
SKIMMING above a mile-long hillside, near Los Angeles, Calif., glider pilots recently jockeyed their motorless planes in a spectacular balloon-bursting contest. Armed with pin-pointed lances, they were shot into the air at the top of the slope, while balloons were held high in the air at the bottom of the hill.
LIKE a mosquito ready to use its sting, Britain’s newest war plane prepares to launch a death-dealing weapon in the striking picture at the right, snapped from below by an alert cameraman. The new machine is the first adopted by the Royal Air Corps in which are combined the functions of dropping bombs and torpedoes.
A WESTERN pilot recently became the first to make a parachute leap from an aviation training machine —but the stunt was not done intentionally. Wearing regulation flying equipment, Louis Babbs stepped into the cockpit to be whirled around and pitched up and down in the usual realistic tests for balance provided by the device.
SCENES of the gold rush of the Forty-niners are being revived near Camanche, Calif., where historic old river beds are once again yielding pay dirt. The new gold rush occurred when modern machinery for extracting the glittering metal made it profitable to rework the beds.
STRANGEST of aquatic vehicles is a motorized surf board, invented by a Sydney, Australia, mechanic and built during his spare hours. He proposes its use for life-saving, since the speedy device would quickly reach a swimmer not too far from shore.
POLICE officers of St. Louis, Mo., now get realistic target practice by shooting at moving figures on a motion picture screen. A projector runs off a reel depicting gunmen and burglars in action, while the marksmen try their aim. The impact of a bullet automatically stops the projector, and a hole in the replaceable screen shows whether the bullet hit its mark.
SO THAT motorcycle racers will get off to an even start, a new releasing apparatus is being tried out in England. The cycles are attached by ropes to a bar on the front of a motor car, and start down the track in leash at a signal from the starter.
ATTACHED to the garden hose, a new device makes an easy task of spraying the home garden with insecticide. Its tank and nozzle are attached to the hose, and the water turned on full force. With the hose turned so tank is down only water is sprayed.
BECAUSE it contains no moving parts, a radically new type of flasher for animated electric signs is declared to reduce current consumption, as well as costly wear and maintenance. Through a circuit of rectifiers and transformers, part of the alternating current supply is transformed into direct current and intermittently opposes the regular electric supply so that each light blinks.
A NOVEL type of lamp bulb has been devised by General Electric engineers to reveal the temperature within a furnace by sighting through the door. The pear-shaped bulb is coated black except for two transparent patches. The user looks through these at the fire, comparing its brightness with that of the bulb’s filament.
VERSATILE enough to delve into medical as well as aeronautical science, Col. Charles A. Lindbergh, famous flyer, recently attained new distinction as inventor of an improved type of centrifuge for preparing blood corpuscles in research tests.
SUDDENLY-released steam hissed as John Gross, metallurgist of the U. S. Bureau of Mines, struck with a hammer the trip of a strange-looking valve. Finely-shattered ore rattled like a discharge of buckshot against the sides of a sheet-iron hood placed in front of the valve.
WHEN Israel Evans of San Bernardino, Calif., became weary of cutting the hedge about his home, he invented a mowing machine to do the work. Operated by a gasoline motor, it will cut one hundred feet of hedge in thirty minutes. Its cutter may be raised or lowered to heights from one to four feet.
ROCHELLE salt crystals have just been put to work at an entirely new job. A long series of experiments have led to the discovery that they can be used with excellent results in a radio loud-speaker. As the crystals change shape with the passage of an electric current the tone is reproduced with great fidelity.
AN ELECTRICAL railway has been built by students of John Muir Technical High School, Pasadena, Calif., for $40, under the supervision of George Henck, director of industrial arts for the Pasadena public schools. The items for the road, which can be duplicated by any mechanically inclined boy, were: quarter-horsepower electric motor, $7; wheels, axles, and trucks, $8; track, $9; ties, $3; body, $4; wires and movable boom, $9.
BY TWISTING a small handle, one man can now shatter ponderous blocks of concrete. The feat is made possible by a new tool that works upon the principle of the hydraulic jack. The screw handle forces home a piston, driving water into a “hydraulic cartridge” placed in a drill hole.
BUILT like a pneumatic riveting hammer, a new grease gun shoots lubricant successfully into joints that are tightly clogged with hardened grease. Compressed air is used to drive its piston, which delivers a series of hammer blows upon a stream of grease and forces it into the joint under a pressure of as much as 10,000 pounds, if necessary.
AN AMATEUR photographer may now carry in his pocket and exhibit with little inconvenience a brief selection from one of his own home movies. This is made possible by an ingenious application of an old principle in a new pocket movie outfit.
WHEN mosquitoes plagued a crew drilling oil wells in a Louisiana swamp, the men mounted an automobile engine on an iron frame and attached an airplane propeller. The “skeeter chaser” worked, and its strong air current now keeps the insects away, while the men work in peace while also cooled by the blast.
MODERN methods of “shooting” oil wells demand ample time for the shooters to finish their tamping and retire to a safe place. To meet this need, ingenious time bombs are now in use. Loaded with dynamite and accurately set to explode after a predetermined interval of from one to eleven hours, they are carefully lowered into the drill shaft.
CROP DESTROYING PESTS Are Killed by Parasites Captured in Remote Lands and Released in This Country
CLAYTON R. SLAWTER
AN INTERCONTINENTAL airline plane. settled to earth the other day at the Miami, Fla., airport after a long flight from South America. Part of its cargo consisted of infinitesimally small winged creatures, thousands of wasps that were being rushed here to aid in the war against the sugar-cane borer that was ravaging cane crops in Louisiana.
WILL South America's recent volcanic eruption change our weather? Experts anticipate that possibility since a 400-mile string of volcanoes along the Andes roared into action like a salvo of big guns a few weeks ago, shaking Chile and Argentina for two days and nights with their cannonading.
University of California, with New Method, Restores Normal Sight When One Eye Fails
HUNDREDS of residents of Los Angeles, blind in one eye, have recently had perfect vision restored. The success is a tribute to a remarkable new method of treating partial blindness developed at the University of California using two new instruments—the “manuductor” and “telebinocular.”
ELEPHANTS have long served as lumber-jacks in India, where the brute power of a single beast replaces the efforts of a crew of men. The striking photographs reproduced here, just received from Ceylon, give an unusually clear idea of the spectacular operation.
APPLES, pears, and peaches as fine as the market offers may now be grown on three-foot shrubs in flowerpots. The entertaining hobby of raising an “indoor orchard” is made possible, for anyone with the time and patience to try it, by the discovery in France of a way to stunt fruit trees of many kinds, without impairing the quality of their fruit.
STREET sweepers who work until late hours in Leipzig, Germany, no longer fear being run down by motorists as dusk approaches. They now wear “ankle lights.” These miniature red reflectors are attached to the ankles by encircling straps.
New Compressed Air Auto Powered with Vertical Engine
ROY J. MEYERS, California inventor who a few months ago exhibited a car driven by compressed air instead of gasoline (P.S.M., Jan. ’32, p. 60), has now perfected an improved model of his unusual vehicle using a vertical instead of a rotary engine.
SMALL wounds may now be dressed with a new kind of bandage that does not become loose when wet. A pad of gauze is held in the center of a strip of adhesive tape that has a moisture-proof backing. Strips of crinoline cover the sticky surface and the gauze, and are removed before the bandage is applied.
SHORT work is made of the thickest timber by a speedy new motor-driven chain saw. In a recent demonstration it cut through the twenty-eight-inch water-soaked log shown in the photograph in fourteen seconds. Either fallen logs or standing trees may be cut with the new tool.
FREE from chipping or peeling is a new “elastic porcelain” of smooth surface and lustrous snow-white appearance. Striking it with a hammer or mallet will not crack the material, but will produce a slight dent. Because of its flexible properties, the material’s metal base may contract or expand with changes in temperature without damaging it.
AN “OUTBOARD motor” for bicycles, suggesting those used on water craft in its design and mounted on the rear, has recently been placed on the market. Power is transmitted by a friction drive to the tire of the rear wheel. A handlebar thumb button controls the speed of the one-cylinder motor, while a hand lever just ahead of the saddle raises the whole motor to disengage it from the wheel when desired.
ARTIFICIAL wool that defies detection as a substitute for Nature’s produce may be made from ordinary jute fibers, now used for gunny sacks, through a new chemical process. Coloring matter in the jute is removed by treatment with a weak alkali.
FOR those who guard their money carefully, an “unlosable” bill-fold has been invented. When a sliding clasp is locked to the edge of the hip pocket, the wallet cannot slide out accidentally. The clasp’s bulldog grip also discourages the fingers of pickpockets.
DRIPPING faucets are banished, according to the maker of a new “floating valve” that replaces the ordinary washer. This diminutive device, a brass button with a face of tough, elastic material, pivots freely upon a metal pin when the faucet is closed.
ON A big panel in the Census Bureau at Washington, D.C., colored lamps and flashing figures keep tabs on the ever-changing population of the United States. When this picture was taken, the “population clock” recorded a total of 124,765,651 men, women, and children.
SINCE a strong wind may alter an athlete’s running speed by a fraction of a second, Stanford University officials have set up a wind recorder to verify the record-breaking performances of Ben Eastman, middle-distance ace. A four-mile-an-hour breeze is the maximum allowed during the setting of a record.
SUN baths in transparent envelopes designed especially for the purpose are a new fad among California beach-goers. The novel wrappers, made of cellophane, are said to keep the sun’s heat from warming the skin uncomfortably and protect the wearer from cold winds, as well.
BIG brother of the diminutive fuses that guard your household wiring is a foot-long monster recently designed by Westinghouse engineers. With little flame or noise, it interrupted a current of 20,000 amperes at 13,200 volts—a hitherto impossible feat—in a test made at the Westinghouse laboratories.
CONTRACT bridge partners that never criticize the bid or the play are the invention of a Los Angeles man. The “partner” consists of a wired rack in which thirteen cards can be placed. This support is set at an angle so that only the player sitting directly across from dummy can see the cards.
Big Floating Hotels to Be Moored off American Shores
FLOATING hotels or “oceandromes,” 1,000 feet long and anchored forty miles or more at sea, may soon appear off the Atlantic coast. Plans to construct two such super-vessels have been announced by a Cuban syndicate, and their design has been completed by B. Poyntz Young, naval architect and marine surveyor of Brooklyn, N. Y. Each vessel will be managed as a clubhouse, open only to members, with tennis courts, shooting galleries, putting greens, and gymnasiums.
ANY home owner may easily replace a broken window pane with the aid of a new lead-filled strip that takes the place of putty. Secured with brads around the edge of the new pane, it makes an airtight and permanent joint. The nails pierce the lead inside the strip to hold it securely in place.
A MUSIC composer may study the effect of blending different rhythms by using a remarkable electrical instrument that operates like a multiple metronome. When one of the pianolike keys is pressed and released, a low-pitched tone is heard in a loudspeaker at regular intervals.
TELLING the time is easy with a new clock that has no dial. Devised by a Pittsburgh, Pa., inventor, it shows the hour and minute by means of large figures like those of an automobile speedometer. Electricity drives the timepiece, turning drums on which the numbers are exposed one by one in the clock’s window.
FOLLOWING the example of the United States Patent Office, eighteen countries have issued patents to an Argentinian inventor upon an amazing pump that seems to violate natural laws. By creating waves in a pipeful of water, it makes-the liquid run uphill.
Two BIG trailers are required to transport one of the most ambitious models ever built. The exhibit, thirty-two feet long, depicts an American farm scene, a blacksmith shop, and an oil field, electrically illuminated and with animated figures driven by electricity.
ONE of the world's most mysterious substances, chlorophyll, the life-giving green pigment in the leaves of plants, is now available to sci ence and industry. Dr. Frank M. Schertz of the United States Department of Agriculture has found a way to extract it at low cost from blue grass, spinach, and other plants, and has obtained the largest batch of the pure compound ever isolated.
HERE is a situation in which the man in the boat must become an inventor in order to save his life! He was rowing across a river only a couple of miles above a high waterfall when one of his oars slipped out of his hand and went overboard. In the boat he has an anchor and over two hundred feet of rope, but the river is too wide for him to throw the anchor to the bank.
MATERIALS at hand in almost every home, though not to be found in the average tool kit, will simplify many a household task. The photographs on this page suggest eight handy kinks that may save time or labor in everyday life. They illustrate how familiar utensils often may be well adapted to uses that the manufacturer, or the householder who has used them for years, never thought of, and that wait for some ingenious tinkerer to discover.
WILL the cotton pickers of the South give way to more efficient, if less romantic, harvesting machinery? An improved cotton harvester, exhibited recently in Chicago, supplies the most recent threat to the continued use of hand pickers.
TWENTY fine specimens of the brown Goliath beetle of equatorial Africa, largest of the 100,000 known species of beetles in the world, have just been received by the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago. The body of this insect is nearly four inches long.
HEAT, massage, and vapor treatment are combined in a new electric instrument designed for external use in treating local congestion and irritation due to colds and other ailments. When it is plugged into a wall socket, a circular heating element vaporizes any preparation with which its gauze applicator is saturated.
UNUSUALLY large work is handled by a new type of band saw for school use, light manufacturing and for advanced home workshop enthusiasts. Three wheels, used instead of the usual two, carry the flexible blade around a triangular circuit and permit clearances of twenty-four and thirty inches respectively in the two models manufactured.
SO OPEN trunk lids will not fall down, and doors will remain open without swinging, a friction hinge has been devised. Its bearing is a double cone, held closely by springs in contact with the two leaves. A door or other object fitted with the hinge will stay open until sufficient pressure is applied to overcome the friction of the bearing.
A REVOLVING-DRUM device now being installed in department stores and elsewhere as a mechanical novelty displays a brief animated movie that constantly repeats itself. It is designed to explain to the layman how the intriguing animals and human figures of cartoon strips in the motion pictures are given the illusion of motion, by superimposing in quick succession a number of drawings differing slightly in detail.
A MODEL of one of the world’s first skyscrapers, the Tower of Babel, famed in Biblical story, has just been completed by a German sculptor for the Oriental Institute at Chicago, Ill. It depicts in faithful detail the tower at Babylon on which the legend is believed to have been founded.
ALL-METAL “blimps” sustained by hydrogen or helium and propelled by giant magnets along a predetermined route are suggested by a group of German inventors, who are studying the feasibility of such a plan for a line across the European Alps.
VACUUM DRY CLEANER. A miniature dry cleaning outfit for the home that removes grease spots from clothes. Its applicator pad draws cleaning fluid from small reservoir, returning it by valve system that uses suction UMBRELLA OR CLOTHES DRYER.
INDUSTRY today, in virtually all of its most important and profitable branches, leans heavily upon chemistry. So numerous are the chemical processes now used by manufacturers that only a few of them can be touched upon in this department.
IF YOU were served at a single meal all the average person eats in a lifetime, you would sit down to a beefsteak weighing as much as six dressed steers, confront a giant potato too big for a two-ton truck to haul, cut slices from a loaf of bread higher than your head, and pour milk from a bottle as tall as a bungalow!
SIX-VOLT, heater type radio tubes, types 236, 237, and 238, solved the problem of a current supply for automobile radio sets. These durable, vibration-proof tubes can be connected directly to the regular six-volt lighting circuit of the car.
HERE is a transmitter that will appeal to the beginner or expert. It is simple and inexpensive to construct and easy to operate efficiently
HERE is an amateur continuous wave radio transmitter that is simple to build, easy to adjust, and efficient in operation. It Will appeal both to the beginner and the more advanced amateur. When properly installed and adjusted, it will meet the Government requirements for purity and sharpness of wave in the amateur bands, a point often overlooked in the designing of low power amateur transmitters.
"STOP the car, Clem," Mrs. Ferrers commanded. "I can't stand that awful drumming sound another moment. My head aches like fury. It’s driving me crazy. Can’t you do something about it?” Clem Ferrers smiled placatingly. “Sure, Aggie, we’ll stop and I’ll see what I can do. It didn’t seem so bad to me.”
. . . A Trim, Smart Looking Runabout with the Conveniences of a Cruiser
Complete List of Materials
FINE performance, smart appearance, and general utility are combined in the new POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY "sportboat." It has the style speed, and convenience of a runabout together with the comforts and roominess of a small, light cruiser. The overall length of the hull is 15 ft. 6 in.; the extreme beam, 5 ft. 3½ in.; and the weight without the motor, 600 lb.
ANYONE possessing a small lathe can turn from wood an authentic copy of an ancient Egyptian urn. When used either as an ornament or as a holder for flowers, it harmonizes with any decorative scheme. Mahogany, walnut, and cherry all work up well, but any wood with an attractive figure can be used.
BY FAR the handiest tool rack the writer has ever used is that pictured in the accompanying photograph. Supported by the bench top, it affords 6 lineal feet of inclined shelves within convenient reach of the workman at the vise—sufficient to hold all the small tools anyone ordinarily uses in the general round of work.
Unusual Child's Dresser Built to Look Like a Doll House
KATHLEEN EAMES LITTLE
THIS unique and colorful piece of nursery furniture resembles a doll house but is actually a dresser. It even has a mirror to reflect a clean little face and well-brushed hair. Smooth ¾ in. thick white pine or other soft wood is used for practically all the construction except the doors, which are of 5-ply veneer, and the back, which may be any thin material—wood, wall board, pressed wood composition, or plywood.
ANY amateur wood turner who has calipered tenons to size on a lathe knows how easy it is to get a tenon a little too small or too large, with the result that the joints are difficult to assemble properly. The accompanying illustrations show a tool that will not only insure correctly sized tenons but will do it in a fraction of the time needed to caliper them.
THE handle of a putty knife is often used to tap panes of glass which are being fitted into a sash or which have to be removed for some reason, but there is always considerable danger that the glass will be cracked or broken, especially if it is a tight fit in the rabbet.
UNTIL you've returned spray-drenched from a speedy ride on a pair of easily constructed water skis, you've missed one of the most thrilling of water sports. Water skiing offers all the speed, excitement, and white water of aquaplaning with plenty of thrills and spills to spare.
WHEN an electric soldering iron is continually heated and used for long periods, the copper tip requires frequent dressing with a file. To remedy this, a holder may be made that allows the copper point to be kept immersed in a small pool of molten solder.
Cutting-Out Gear and Whaleboats COMPLETE OUR MODEL OF THE Wanderer
Capt. E. Armitage McCann
EXCEPT for some additional rigging and the making of the whale-boats and cutting-out gear, little work remains to be done on our model of the famous old American whaling bark Wanderer. For the benefit of those who have not read the previous articles in this series (P. S. M., Apr. ’32, p. 75; May p. 83; June p. 83), it should be pointed out at once that complete full size drawings of the model can be obtained by sending one dollar for POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY Blueprints Nos. 151, 152, 153, and 154 (see page 100).
A NEW AND BETTER FLYING MODEL OF THE Nieuport XVII
Famous World War Pursuit Ship Flown by Guynemer, Nungesser, Lufberry, Hall, and Other Aces
J. DANNER BUNCH
A FAST and nimble fighter was the Nieuport. It was the first outstanding pursuit ship used by the Allies during the World War. Guynemer, Nungesser, Lufberry, Fonck, Hall. Chapman, Prince, and others flew it with amazing success. This new model of the Nieuport XVII, which has a wing span of 29 in., is a beautiful little ship in the air and very stable.
A SIMPLE, easily made range finder that will enable the photographer to snap properly focused negatives can be made of the following: one piece ¼ in. thick and 2½ in. square and another ½ in. square and 1 in. long, preferably hardwood; one piece of sheet brass 1/16 by ¼ by 2 in.; three roundhead (or fillister head) wood screws ½ in. long; one flat-head wood screw ½ in. long; and one small brass or iron washer.
WHEN furniture legs are made from solid stock and fastened to the other members of the frame-work with doweled or mortised joints, they often prove a source of trouble and vexation to amateur woodworkers. Any lumberyard, however, can provide ¼ by 1¼ by 1¼ in. corner molding, and also suitable square stock, which will just fit inside the molding, and the accompanying sketch and photograph make plain how these are used.
THIS swinging rack, made of pieces salvaged from packing cases, has simplified the handling and storing of engine oil in one family’s garage. Assuming that the rack is to hold a 5-gal. can of the size and type illustrated, the inside should be 12 in. square and about 9 in. deep.
PHOTOGRAPHS and any other square-cornered cards or papers can quickly be given clean-cut round corners with a wood gouge and the equipment shown. The gage consists of a flat baseboard to which are screwed two pieces of wood at right angles.
Mahogany and Silk Enrich This Dainty Sewing Cabinet
DESIGNED IN THE GRACEFUL STYLE OF 1812
Donald A. Price
THIS sewing cabinet, patterned after one built about the year 1812, is an unusual project for the home craftsman, and when completed it will be a welcome gift because of its beauty and capacious storage space. Women appreciate the daintiness of the pleated silk which covers the lower portion of the sides and ends.
From a Few Remnants of Leather You Can Make This Distinctive Cigarette Case
F. CLARKE HUGHES
THE decorative leather case illustrated is intended to hold a standard sized package of cigarettes. With only a slight increase in size, the case may be used for a single pack of playing cards. Although a case of the dimensions given will fit any ordinary package of cigarettes, the reader should take the precaution to prepare a paper pattern of his own around an unopened package of his favorite brand.
REFINISHING highly polished furniture by sanding and varnishing is comparatively easy for most home mechanics except for one thing. There often are small dents, especially on table tops, that extend right down into the wood, sometimes as much as 1/16 in. deep.
MY HOME shop is only 10 by 12 ft., but in it I handle conveniently boards up to 18 ft. long, either for crosscutting or ripping. The illustration above shows how this is done. The circular saw is opposite the door from which the photograph was taken, and through that door long boards may extend while being ripped.
FLOORS and other surfaces made of such open grained woods as oak, walnut, and mahogany are usually filled with paste wood filler after being stained and before the final finish of varnish or wax is applied. The handling of paste wood filler is easy if the right method is used, but the wrong procedure produces a cloudy, unsatisfactory finish.
WITH an ordinary bent-wire paper clip of the type shown in the photograph at the right, together with a pin and a pencil, you can draw circles as accurately as with a compass in those emergencies when there is no compass at hand. Drive the pin into the paper far enough to hold firmly, and use it as a center.
A MUDDY road would have to be unusually bad to stall a motor car if it had four-wheel drive. You can take advantage of this fact the next time you get stuck. Figure 1 shows a way to obtain traction with all four wheels. Tie a rope to the front side of the rear wheel in line with the bottom of the running board.
HINTS ON HOW HARD-PRESSED MACHINE SHOPS CAN KEEP DOWN THEIR TOOLING COSTS
Hector J. Chamberland
BECAUSE of the economical methods introduced in the average shop during the last two years, the tool box, to use a common shop expression, is traveling in all directions. The specialist and set-up man in many cases have made a forced exit. Only men familiar with several operations are to be found on the floor; yet the average all-round machinist and toolmaker, clever as he may be in every sense of the word, still lacks the special training his less fortunate buddy has obtained by doing the same kind of work for a number of years.
THE expense of snap gages is always high in any machine shop making a line of interchangeable parts. Their cost, however, may be cut materially by making them double-ended as illustrated in the drawing at the right. It is obvious that the double-end type will give twice the service before it becomes necessary to re-grind them.
ONE of the most troublesome details about brazing, or soft soldering for that matter, is holding the parts. When they are wired together, the heat often expands the wires enough to make them loose, or the brass flows over the wires so it is difficult to get a smooth job.
THE efficiency of a grinding wheel is governed by its surface speed; 6,000 surface feet per minute is considered normal. An ordinary bearing or similar surface can be lapped in about one third the time it would take to scrape it. In changing the location of a bored hole, a dial indicator.
WHEN work is at hand which requires the use of thread calipers, a pair of ordinary calipers can be made to serve the purpose, if necessary, by the method shown above. Cut two pieces of steel 1/16 by ⅝ by 2 in., and round one corner of each slightly.
THOUGH tiny, this watch-pocket camera designed by Ellsworth Craft, of Los Angeles, Calif., makes clear pictures, holds film for 100 exposures, and can be built at little or no expense. Its construction should appeal particularly to those photographers who enjoy experimenting, and some of them probably can make the camera even more compact.
THE most serviceable floor obtainable is none too good for the bathroom. Artificial stone mosaic is the first choice of many home builders, but this is expensive and requires considerable experience to lay. Some may also object to the fact that it is cold.
Three Baseball Bats and a Chopping Bowl Make Novel Stand
WALTER E. BURTON
BASEBALL fans will find particular enjoyment in making this novel stand. A wooden chopping bowl forms the top, and each of its three legs is a small base-ball bat. A stand of this kind can be built in an hour or two at a cost not much over $1.25. It is unusually sturdy, making it especially useful in a boy’s room, recreation room, or den.
THE owner of a small combination woodworking outfit, which usually has a 6 or 8 in. swing lathe as one of its units, occasionally wants to turn a lamp base or some similar piece of work with a diameter greater than his lathe will accommodate. If the bed and tailstock are not permanently attached to the headstock, the oversize turning may be accomplished by making a tool rest of 1 by 3 in. stock, preferably oak, as shown in the illustration.
A 2¼-IN. GLASS cup or shoe of the type used under furniture legs and a bit of modeling clay or plaster of Paris will form an ink bottle stand heavy enough to prevent the bottle from tipping even when used on an inclined drawing board. Simply place the bottle in the center of the cup and press modeling clay around it, or pour in a mixture of plaster of Paris and water.
Homemade Fixtures for HOLDING WORK TO BE MILLED IN A Small Lathe
IN A PREVIOUS article in this series (P. S. M., May `32, p. 104) certain homemade milling tools for use on the lathe were described. With these it is necessary to have various attachments for holding the work rigidly and furnishing the means of feeding the work to the cutter.
JOINTS in wooden trays or tanks can be made water-tight through the use of battery sealing compound. When building the tray or tank simply spread the melted compound evenly along the joints and then fasten with screws or nails as desired. After the piece has been completed, a little additional heat will partially remelt the compound and cause it to flow into every crack and opening, making the joints absolutely water-tight.
ONE day last summer an acquaintance of mine thrust a fistful of prints in my hand and dangled a camera before my eyes. “Look at ’em!” he said. “Every one so fuzzy you can’t even recognize their faces. What’s the matter with my camera?” This man is the proud father of a boy who is making quite a reputation for himself in school athletic circles.
TURNING small toys and novelties on the lathe is an absorbing line of work for home craftsmen. Where the parts are not especially small or fragile and when the finish is to be paint or lacquer, soft and smooth grained woods may be used, such as white pine, gum, or red cedar.
AFTER long enduring the vexation of having to soak sandpaper off a roll and glue on another piece, I devised the simple roll illustrated below, upon which it is easy to replace worn-out sandpaper or change to a different grade. The roll is turned to a circumference in. shorter than the width of a piece of sandpaper.
EDGING a lawn about sidewalks becomes an easy task with the tool illustrated. This not only cuts the sod accurately at a given distance from the sidewalk. but also keeps a constant angle at the edge, throws the cut sod up on the sidewalk. wears only very slowly, and can be operated at least two or three times as fast as an ordinary edger.
AFTER seeing a machinist get cast-iron borings in his eyes while blowing out a drilled hole with an ordinary blowpipe. I made the device illustrated in the sketch above. It is connected with an air line near the drill press by means of a rubber hose and pressed down over the hole to be cleaned out.
MANY old style vacuum cleaners need comparatively frequent oiling. This is not so likely to be neglected if a ten-cent oil can is kept in a socket attached to the handle as illustrated in the photograph and drawing above.
TO INSURE strong glued joints it is essential to apply firm pressure during the drying period. It is often impossible, however, to use clamps because of the number or shape of the surfaces requiring pressure. In many such cases, winding with thin strip rubber will often give the desired pressure.
THE amateur photographer finds it is impossible to color glossy finished prints with water colors because of the wax left on the surface by the ferrotype plate. If the print is wiped off with carbon tetrachloride on a cotton swab, it is possible to use water colors and get equally as good results as are obtained on a waxless, smooth finish print.
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).
HUNTING OYSTERS from the air is a recent innovation over Chesapeake Bay along the Maryland coast. An aviator demonstrated that oyster beds which cannot be seen from the surface of the bay are visible from a plane.
DESIGNED to devour grasshoppers and turn them into chicken-feed and fertilizer, an invention by Walter S. Jardine, a Nebraska State Representative, is expected to prove of value in combating insect plagues. The apparatus, attached to an automobile or tractor, will move across the fields sucking the insects into a huge metal hopper where they will be ground up and then expelled in long “windrows” to fertilize the ground or to be collected and fed to poultry.