TEN MILLION PASSENGERS A DAY are said to travel on elevators in New York City alone. The accident rate for the whole country is almost unbelievably low. Good news—but why? This illuminating article gives the answers and tells a whale of an interesting story of the elevator’s development during the last 20 centuries.
Jitterbug Mice Are Now Admitted to Scientific Consideration
How to Save Face (and Hands) in Soldering Gasoline Tanks
Here Are Some Uses for Milk-Bottle Wire
Gap in Red Line Means Lost or Borrowed Copy
"Horsepower" Defender Kicks Back at Critic
Be It Ever So Quonset, There's No Place Like Home
How Can You Ease a Young Boy into Mechanical Problems?
Fluorescent Tubes May Be Down but They're Never Out
Idea for Speeding Service at Soda Fountains
Might Be Used for Loading Pugilists' BX-ing Gloves
She Advises Feminine Touch in Table of Contents
How to Signal Mail for Special Attention
MORE than a year ago you ran a story on helicopters by Devon Francis. The statement was made that Mr. Francis had written a book on the subject. Please tell me if the book has been published, and where I can get it.—E. B. B., Austin, Tex. Staff writer Francis tells us that, owing to the recent paper shortage, he has had to deal off the bottom of the deck on the helicopter book.
"WELL, I guess I’m the fellow to see, for I’ve repaired thousands of refrigerators (home and commercial both), vacuum cleaners, radios, washing machines, irons, fans, lamps, mangles, motors, etc. In fact, many of my customers call me their “electrical appliance doctor.”
You will soon see mobile engines running on U-235, and cities heated by steam from stationary graphite piles.
DR. W. L. DAVIDSON
THE consensus among experts now is that engines to harness the same kind of atomic power that was used against Japan can be developed within 10 years. Whether such engines will replace those we already have is another matter; too many “ifs” stand in the way of intelligent forecasting.
Popular Science announces $3,300 Servicemen's Handicraft Contest— All men and women now in service AND veterans eligible—Details on page 150—Judges from wide fields.
HERE are the judges of Popular Science’s Servicemen’s Handicraft Contest. These five men and two women have made outstanding contributions to America’s successful war effort, and particularly to the welfare of the fighting forces.
New York's $200,000,000 airport will be equipped to handle 600,000 landings and take-offs per year.
Bedridden People Can Read Books Flashed on Ceiling
Built-in Stand Makes Firm Support for Book
NEW YORK CITY is taking an enormous gamble on the future of intercontinental airplane travel—a hundred-million-dollar gamble. It is sinking that sizable sum in the swamplands of Jamaica Bay, building what is confidently expected to be the world’s greatest airport.
Something new has been added to the jet engine: propeller drive that gives top efficiency at any speed or altitude.
LT. COL. N. F. SILSBEE
ENGINES that deliver both jet and propeller power have been developed behind the veil of wartime secrecy. While the atom smashers were tapping a new source of heat, the aviation engineers were seeking new, more efficient means of using heat to fly airplanes—and their discoveries can be used immediately.
Two types of turbo-jet engines contend for supremacy: the fat, short centrifugal-flow (left) and the long, cigarlike axial-flow. The axial-flow job shown is the General Electric TG-l00 with propeller drive. such a jet will thrust an airplane forward.
GUNSIGHTS, gyrocompasses, and other intricate instruments of war, together with the people at the Sperry Gyroscope Company who developed them and who helped to assemble them, are the subjects of a group of drawings and paintings by Alfred D. Crimi.
Combining grit and git-up with some tricks they learned in the service, these disabled veterans started a successful motor-maintenance business.
CUSTOMARY METHOD LAYS UP TRUCK DURING MOTOR REPAIRS . . .
Former Lt. Burl D. Harrison (left) and ex-Maj. Edgar D. Yule, founders of Yule Industries, Inc., were both wounded in battle. The African campaign cost Harrison a leg; Yule wears a metal cap where a bullet shattered his skull.
YULE SYSTEM KEEPS TRUCK ON ROAD WITH MOTOR REPLACEMENT
Super X-Ray Machine Develops 100,000,000 Volts
Navy Bearcat Fighter Has Range of 1,500 Miles
ROBERT K. LEAVITT
ONE year ago a couple of cracked-up veterans in the Army’s Percy Jones General Hospital spent much time projecting the kind of business they would start, when, as, and if they ever got to be operational again. Today that business is running, brisk as you please, in Quincy, Mass.
EARLY last December, every man on a certain sector facing the Von Rundstedt “bulge” in the Ardennes suddenly was thrust into combat. Cooks, waiters, and truck drivers were called on to participate in a counterattack. The Germans had speared into the American lines, and in doing so had overrun an ammunition dump containing thousands of shells.
Mobile Radio Land Target Tests Bomber Marksmanship
Multi-Row Radiais Pack Power of Steam Engines
"X Ray" Shows Cyclone Insides
'Chute Blossoms Automatically
THE inside story of how America won mastery of the skies was recently revealed by the Army Air Forces at Wright Field, Dayton, Ohio, the $150,000,000 laboratory of aeronautical science. On these three pages POPULAR SCIENCE shows some of the newer developments.
He's a robot pilot that flies a plane like a veteran, under radio orders from the ground or a mother craft.
JAMES L. H. PECK
A WAR-WEARY Flying Fortress staggered off an Eighth Air Force airdrome with the heaviest war load ever lifted by this type of bomber. It carried only enough fuel for a one-way trip, a pilot, a copilot, and a device they called “Yehudi.” This was the take-off of the top-secret, joint ArmyNavy “Anvil Project,” and the beginning of one of the war’s weirdest air missions.
A MOBILE unit for extracting quinine and other drugs from the bark of fresh, green cinchona trees right where they grow in the dense forests of Latin America is the newest weapon in the fight against malaria. Although the military requirements for antimalarials have been met satisfactorily by other means, the new process has important peacetime possibilities for providing low-cost drugs for the 300,000,000 malaria sufferers in the world each year.
COUNTLESS tiny pieces of differently colored wood, inlaid in patterns to give the illusion of perspective and shadow, create the definite impression of a wide variety of furnishings in a small, bare room now on display at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.
Everybody has his own pet idea of some gadget be would like to see in general use. What is YOURS? Popular Science Monthly will pay five dollars for every such suggestion published
NONCLOGGING SALT SHAKER. The dry-rice treatment offers temporary relief, but there must be some way to “make it pour” always—especially when you’re sitting behind a luscious steak and don’t want to have your digestive system upset by a balky salt shaker before tackling the meat.
ONE DAY in 1933, Jesse Dimmick, a Vir ginia farmer, while tramping through a densely wooded portion of his land a little more than a mile from Jamestown, stumbled upon an ancient glass furnace. It proved to be the furnace in which the first glass made in North America was produced.
PAINTBRUSH CLEANER has teeth in it to comb out dirt and hardened paint. Embedded in a cylinder of wood or plastic material are wire teeth set at an incline toward the direction in which the cylinder revolves. The brush is fastened on a support so that the spirally arranged teeth will , travel across it with a back-and-forth motion when the cylinder is turned by the handle.
WHENEVER I am asked why I prefer color to black-and-white photography, I invariably reply: “Not until you copy a painting with your camera can you understand.” In taking color pictures, you paint on film with light. You copy the visible colors of the spectrum in their many combinations and variations as reflected by the objects within range of the camera lens.
PLANNED LIGHTING IS THE SOLUTION TO YOUR PORTRAIT PROBLEM
ONE of the most important factors in the production of a good portrait is the photographer’s ability to see high lights and shadows. Every light that is used has a specific purpose and does a certain job in creating an effect in the portrait. What the four lights most often used by professionals will do for a portrait is shown, dramatically in the five photos below.
LITTLE time remains to complete that gift list. Shown on this page are four of the many projects designed especially for this postwar Christmas by POPULAR SCIENCE contributors. To make them, see the listed Home and Workshop pages. WHEN BIG BROTHER comes home from the wars he will go in for colorfulties, and what could be more appropriate than an equally colorful tie rack?
PLANE IRONS AND CHISELS can be kept sharp as new with this adjustale grinding attachment. It can be used with grinding wheels of any size or shape and will take plane blades and chisels up to 3⅜ inches wide and ⅜ inch thick, holding them firmly at the critical sharpening angle.
THIRTY-SIX working scale-model engines, made with the precision of fine jewelry and representing practically every form of power installation used in industry, make up one of the finest collections of its kind in the world. The models, some of which are shown on these pages, are owned by Charles B. King, and are on display in his home at Larchmont, N. Y. The machines in miniature include electric-light plants, steam-operated mill machinery, ferryboat and steamboat engines, locomotives, automobile and airplane engines, steam hammers, locomotive air pumps, and powergenerating plants.
Christmas Trees Are Now Lighted by Fluorescent Bulbs
Conning Tower for Railroad Cars Will Give Panoramic View
A MERE spoonful of little screws as a day’s work for a man and a complicated machine would seem to be a poor output, but when the tiny screws are worth more than their weight in gold it’s a different story. Though they are made of brass or steel, these little screws cost around $100 an ounce.
IN RUBBERIZED diving suits fitted with helmets and breathing apparatus, Britain’s web-footed “frog men” performed one of the most hazardous operations of the war. Shortly after dawn on D Day, they slipped unobserved from rubber dinghies and swam like fish to neutralize underwater mines and booby traps.
LOOKING like a coil spring set on its small end, a strange building will be added next year to New York City’s skyline. Frank Lloyd Wright, “modern” Wisconsin architect, designed it to house the Solomon R. Guggenheim collection of “non-objective” painting.
RESEARCHERS HAVE BARELY ENTERED THE CHEMICAL WONDERLAND THAT HOLDS A STORE OF NEW PRODUCTS
DDT in Paint May Protect Ships from Barnacles
That Push-Button Convertible Top
Bench Shield Made of Safety Glass
Mucilage Dispenser Used as Marker
J. D. RATCLIFF
MENTION natural gas and people think of the flame in the cookstove. They never think of the chemist. But to the chemist natural gas is a fabulous raw material with dazzling possibilities. It is a source of desirable atoms that can be restrung to make molecules worth millions.
Chemists produce synthetic crystals that are larger and purer than those found in nature.
HOW OPTICAL CRYSTALS ARE "GROWN" FROM SALT
HOW SALT CRYSTAL IS CUT INTO PRISM AND LENS BLANKS
A SHEET OF MICA IS THE MATRIX USED IN GROWING
LARGE OPTICAL CRYSTALS FROM SODIUM NITRATE
What's New in Modern Living
CRAFTSMEN RIDE THEIR HOBBIES
THROUGH a new kind of gunsight, a Navy gunner sees projected in space a series of concentric rings like a bull’s-eye in the sky. It moves wherever the gun is aimed, an optical finger of death pointing out the spot where the shell will strike. Its heart is a thin, transparent optical element—a chemical crystal that could be “grown” in a kitchen oven.
WITH a wide grin, Gus Wilson reached up to the wall calendar that hangs over his workbench. He tore off a leaf and indicated the big red “25” he had disclosed. “Knock off, kid,” he told Stan Hicks, the Model Garage’s grease monkey and slowly developing mechanic.
LOADING A TRUCK equipped with the automatic hydraulic unit below requires only a few minutes, and the driver can accomplish the job alone without leaving his seat. The shovel, which has a one-yard capacity, will handle earth, gravel, sand, fertilizer, snow, and other loose material.
THE TREND IS TOWARD AUTOMATIC OPERATION. HERE'S AN EXPLANATION OF HOW THE NEWER GEARBOXES WORK
THE HOME AND WORKSHOP
CASTER SERVES AS FRONT WHEEL OF TOY TRACTOR
AMUSING SEAL JOGS DOWNHILL BY ITSELF
MORGAN C. KENT
TIME was when an autoist’s dexterity with a gearshift lever was a tip-off on his driving skill. The duffer produced harsh gnashings of teeth, while the fellow who could deftly doubleshift from high to second at 25 m.p.h. proclaimed himself a hot shot.
COLORFUL and practical, this cigarette box displays a fisherman-smoker’s favorite flies. It has a glass-topped lid that houses a shallow tray in which the flies are attached with bits of cellulose tape holding the hooks at the eye and point.
SPINNERS FOR MODEL AIRPLANES FROM GELATIN CAPSULES
WRISTWATCH BAND OF SCRAP ALUMINUM WEATHERS PACIFIC DAMPNESS
1. The contest is open to (1) men and women now serving in any branch of the armed forces of the United States, (2) men and women who have been honorably discharged from any of these services since December 7,1941. and (3) men who served in the United States merchant marine during the wartime months.
A MID the ruins left by war the rhythmic whir seemed strangely out of place in that Saipan village. It was a familiar sound, one somehow remindful of home, and the strolling soldiers and marines, now shaved and clean after days of fighting, shrugged their carbines to new positions and turned aside from the debris-littered street.
WALLBOARD-AND-WALLPAPER SCREEN IS DECORATIVE HOME PROJECT
HABITS of orderliness taught in childhood, we are told, help to build character. They also pay a quicker dividend by freeing parents from the chore of following behind a child to pick up toys. The cabinet shown here helps give a little one a sense of order.
SALVAGED EARRINGS TRANSFORMED INTO MODEL RAILROAD LAMPS
PRACTICAL GATE LATCH REQUIRES ONLY WASTE BITS OF STOCK
OLD CLOTHESTREE FORMS STANDARD FOR ARTIST'S UTILITY TABLE
WALL PLANTS HARMONIZE WITH MUSICAL BRACKET
WEDGE-SHAPED SNOWPLOW EASES WINTER PATHMAKING
BENT PAPER CLIPS HOLD GIFTS ON CHRISTMAS TREE
BOILING WILL ADD THICKNESS TO THIN PLASTIC PIECES
EITHER of the two pedal-powered jeeps described in this article would make some boy or girl the envy of every other child in the neighborhood. Of the two, that shown in the photograph at the right is the simpler, although it has two features that the other does not—a windshield that pivots forward on the hood, and coil springs under the kingpins to provide a degree of “knee action.”
YOU can ring out the joyful tidings in true Yuletide style with this animated display, which is sure to delight young hearts on Christmas morning. A bell rirger in colorful garb, standing in a Gothic bell tower, tugs lustily away to the chiming of a bell.
COMMON carpenter’s and machinist’s hammers can usually be purchased at the nearest hardware store. But what if your hobby is making silver bowls or building elaborate scale-model locomotives, fashioning jewelry or turning out hand-carved furniture, tooling leather or tinkering with gasoline engines?
Drops of water splashing from a glass coaster under a wide-open faucet are caught in a l/l0,000-second photo flash. Right, water bounces out of a tumbler rebounding from felt on which it has been dropped.
A high-speed flash comes from the gas-filled tube, left. The electronic control for it is in the box.
SHOEHORN HELPS MEASURE OUT DRY PHOTO CHEMICALS
COMBINATION CABINET HOUSES BOTH A RADIO CHASSIS AND CLOCK
GLOW OF RADIO "CANDLE" KEEPS TIME TO MUSIC
SHOP ANTENNA FOR AUTO RADIOS MADE OF COPPER TUBING
SEALING WAX FILLS SCRATCHES IN PLASTIC CABINETS
CAN YOU IDENTIFY THESE RADIO PARTS?
CARL W. BERTSCH
STEREOTYPED holiday greetings may be avoided if you use the photographic method to make your own individualized cards. The three shown on this page suggest how large is the scope for your imagination. For the skating card, the angels were built up with wooden bodies, wire legs, tinplate skates, and costumes snipped from gift wrapping paper.
MULTIPURPOSE TEST INSTRUMENT DOUBLES AS AUDIO AMPLIFIER
ELECTRICAL EFFECTS SHOWN BY HOME EXPERIMENTS
John W. Campbell
TRACING receiver troubles is a routine job with this multipurpose tester, for it has the “know how” to pick out even carefully hidden sore spots in most sets. Turning the selector switch converts the gadget from a cathodefollower type vacuum-tube voltmeter with two voltage ranges to a very tricky and equally useful sort of detector-and-audio system; another flick and it becomes a simple audio amplifier with speaker.
PORTABLE POWER SUPPLY FOR 110-VOLT ELECTRIC SHAVERS
COMPACT SICK-ROOM CALL BELL SUMMONS HELP TO BEDSIDE
FIXED SWITCH ON POWER TOOLS MAKES BORROWED MOTOR SAFER
CABINET IN WALL WILL KEEP FIRE EXTINGUISHER OUT OF THE WAY
REDUCER CUT FROM RAZOR HANDLE SAVES SCROLL-SAW HOSE FROM WEAR
TEMPORARY PAPER GUARD GIVES PERFECT PAINT JOB ON NEW MOLDING
ELEVATED CABLE TRANSPORTS SPRING WATER UP TO A FARMHOUSE ON A HILLSIDE
MOBILE SERVICE UNIT SAVES TIME IN CARING FOR FARM EQUIPMENT
ELECTRIC lanterns aren’t usually appreciated until a flashlight peters out at an awkward time. Before that happens to you, convert a few pieces of plywood and metal scrap into one of these durable lanterns that, with its series-parallel circuit, will give long service on a set of cells.
EXPERIMENTS IN YOUR HOME LAB DETECT RADIANT ENERGY
THROWN OFF BY ELEMENTS AS THEIR ATOMS DISINTEGRATE
HOW TO MAKE AN ELECTROSCOPE TO TEST FOR RADIATION
CELLAR DRAINAGE SYSTEM USES OLD AUTO WATER PUMP
COWLINGS FOR MODEL PLANES MADE OF POWDER-BOX LIDS
C-CLAMP PUTS CRYSTAL IN WATCH
CATWALK GIVES KITTY A SAFE HAVEN
WHEN two atomic bombs hastened the end of our greatest war, the world suddenly became uranium conscious. And much of the discussion, when the first awe had subsided, was over the possible effect of radioactivity set loose by the splitting of uranium or plutonium atoms.
When neatness is easy, children will co-operate by not leaving coats, snow suits, and overshoes on the floor and chairs. Use I" lumber for a strong top rack and sides and for adequate nailing surface on the V-notch of the base. A plywood trough will hold the overshoes.
THIS TRICK LAYS AN EGG, but not in one sense. You take the egg and more like it from the mouth of an assistant! Pat his head with your right hand and remove the egg with your left. Walk to his other side, pat with the left hand, and remove a second egg with the right.