Sir: After reading “Are Secret Balloons Flying Saucers?” in Popular Science of May, 1948, I have decided it was the work of a moron or a liar. . . . I have seen flying discs five times. I have taken and obtained two photographs of discs. . . . Do balloons travel against the wind at 10,000 to 14,000 feet?
A GREAT engineer told me this story a good many years ago. Colonel Hugh Cooper is dead, but there are many monuments to his memory. One of them was the huge Dnieprostroi Dam in Russia. When I talked to him on his return to this country, he was full of anecdotes about Russian workmen who were then beginning to catch up in mechanical ability with the rest of the world.
Behind the advanced body styling of the new Ford is this completely new chassis. On the following fourteen pages, POPULAR SCIENCE details the many mechanical innovations with exclusive photos and drawings by PS staff men, made on the spot in the closely guarded designing and engineering shops at Dearborn.
Frame in all models except station wagon and convertible is built-up, box-section ladder type with 5 cross-members. Elimination of old X member (right) reduced weight, permitted lowering body. Station wagon is of one-piece all-steel construction, for safety, with plywood veneer exterior. Sedan body is attached to frame at 22 points. Repairs and servicing are easier because of good accessibility.
This new workbench for big air liners permits mechanics to swarm all over them for a high-speed overhaul.
TEN minutes after a DC-6 enters United Airlines’ new maintenance base at San Francisco, it ceases to be a flying machine and becomes part of a sturdy, many-balconied building. The huge plane can then be taken apart as quickly as a circus tent.
A HANDLE hinge that opens out flat lets this new Singer vacuum cleaner hang against a closet wall. The fan and motor housing, only five inches thick, can go under lower furniture than most cleaners. This low profile is made possible by use of a horizontal motor with a shallow-pitch fan on each end of its shaft.
A NEW pump to load grease guns gets every last gob out of the pail. As shown, a follow plate is sucked down inside the pail as grease is pumped out, scraping the can and sealing it against dirt. Comet Equipment Co. makes the pump.
THE workmen above are installing one of the new axial-flow fans that are being tested this summer in New York subway cars. Ten blades push air through five diffusion rings that spread it uniformly over the car, instead of blasting the breeze directly down a few riders’ necks.
You can load this RCA wire recorder like a gun: just slip a cartridge into a slot, as shown above. Both bothersome threading and rewinding delays are eliminated: the cartridge holds two wires that run in opposite directions, one rewinding while the other is in use.
Sailplane pilots learn flying in its purest form by chasing up-currents to ride skyward like a soaring bird.
LATE last month several scores of men and women jounced by automobile and trailer into the hill-hedged community of Elmira, N. Y., on a strange quest. They were starting a hunt for green air. For a certainty, they would find red air too. For these were glider enthusiasts, ready for a fortnight of motorless flight at the annual National Soaring Contest in the world’s best craft for learning to fly.
WITH this compact crane, one man can raise a whole concrete wall into position. The crane’s “hook” is a plate that bolts to the edge of a concrete slab precast in a horizontal form. The mast is formed by two I-beams welded to a steel pipe that serves as a hinged base.
THIS man-made mushroom is the foghorn that booms out from the upper deck of Ambrose Lightship to guide vessels into New York Harbor in soupy weather. Its hoarse shout, formed by steam blasting under high pressure against vibrating disks, carries five miles.
IN THE steel chamber at left, the Navy now can test underwater equipment at pressures up to a ton per square inch—the same as a mile down at sea. It’s 40 ft. long, 9 ft. in diameter, and has walls 3 15/16 in. thick. The rounded end comes off to admit large pieces of equipment.
THE U. S. Forest Service is arming its rangers with two new mechanized weapons for their unending war against fire. One, shown in action at right, helps to prevent fires by clearing timberland of dead trees. The other, pictured above, speeds the setting of backfires to keep grass fires from spreading.
New British Jet Trainer. The Gloster Meteor VII, shown above, is designed to bridge the gap for student pilots between piston-engined advanced trainers and jet fighters. A modification of the British Meteor fighter, it has two seats and dual controls, and is powered by two Rolls-Royce Derwent jet engines.
MICROFILMED print as small as 36/10,000 inch high can be read easily with this projection viewer that enlarges the letters 14, 20, or 35 times their original size. Made by the American Optical Co., it has a reflection-less viewing screen and a brightness control.
THIS 35-ton “spider” will soon be spinning out more than three million watts to help increase the electric power of the Denison Dam on the Red River near Denison, Tex. The Westinghouse giant is the central skeleton of a 250-ton rotor for a new water-wheel generator.
A ONE-MINUTE shine for both shoes is provided by these coin-operated machines made by the Kinmont Manufacturing Co., of Los Angeles. Moving buffers impregnated with wax take one shoe at a time and shine and polish it simultaneously. At the end of 30 seconds, a light flashes, indicating it is time to change to the other foot.
THESE two balls, with a spark jumping between them, are the main elements of a new laboratory yardstick to measure electrical voltage. The higher the voltage—90,000 in this photo—the farther the spark will jump. Westinghouse engineers use the yard-stick to test insulating material for radio, television, and power-line equipment.
HERE’S one of a new line of GE steam turbines that are only 1/50 to 1/6,000 the size of their well-known big brothers in ships and powerhouses. Working parts of models from 10 to 1,200 hp. are standardized for mass production. They can drive pumps, compressors, fans, auxiliary power plants, and oil-field and refinery equipment.
THIS small-boat anchor depends on its shape instead of its weight. As shown above, when it hits bottom, drag turns it so that one of two plow-shaped flukes starts digging in. Within five feet, it’s firmly buried. Its maker, the Northill Co., of Los Angeles, says 3-lb. model shown here will hold a 12-ft. boat in a strong wind or current.
More than a thousand lamps, each aimed before it's turned on, bathe the field in daytime brilliance without glare or shadows.
Lights Aimed on Paper
What to Watch For
Pro Teams Adopt Lights
Lighting Other Sports
George H. Waltz
WHEN you go out to root for your favorite ball club in its night games this summer, there’s little chance that you’ll suffer the fate of the fans who braved the first after-dark baseball game ever played. That was on the night of June 2, 1883, and it was the first attempt at any kind of outdoor sports lighting.
THIS screen can stand in front of a fire and tell you how much heat it throws out. Thermocouples on the frame register the answer on meters in background. Fuel-conscious Britons developed the tester to help get the most heat from the least coal.
A NEW pathfinder for subway travelers, shown below, operates on the principle that the quickest route is—literally—the line of least resistance. The resistance is that in strings of neon lights along alternate routes between any two stations on the map.
A LIGHT camera carriage, strapped to the male partner of a movie dance team, now keeps the actors in focus as they glide about a ballroom floor. Device was first used to film Ava Gardner and Robert Walker (above) in “One Touch of Venus.”
HERE’S how a California gardener (below) turned his strawberry patch on its side. Henry Hayward, of San Fernando, set 350 plants into the hollow sections of cement blocks that form two parallel walls 13½ feet long, 6 feet high, and 6 inches apart.
Want to know where the moon will be at midnight on July 4, 2148? That’s child’s play for the world’s smartest “electrical brain.” This 12,500-tube super-calculator, built by International Business Machines, is compiling tables that tell the moon’s position at any date and hour.
If airplane designers could “see the spray” of their products speeding through the air, a famous builder once remarked, there would be many changes for the better. By using water instead of air to test models, Boeing engineers now make “seeing the spray” a reality.
This plastic model of a raindrop effectively imitates a real one—and will hold still. It serves Westinghouse engineers as a target for ultra-short-wave radar in experiments to find out why rain upsets reception of signals.
To take home loose soil for study, University of Wisconsin geologists have devised the technique shown from left to right below. They drive angle-iron frame into exposed bank, close it with plank, lay tray of soil Hat, and apply Vinylite Ⓣ resin.
Stretched at 1,000° F. by 6,000 lb. since a month before Pearl Harbor, this much-abused rod will next be strained until it breaks. The drastic tests tell GE engineers how molybdenum-vanadium steel will stand up in turbine parts.
PAINTING anything more than a screen door has been strictly a spectator sport for me. I felt about painting a car the way I felt about working with plate glass—it was all right for the experts, but not for me. I would stick to taking pictures of somebody else taking the risk.
HIGH-SCHOOL students built these working mockups of automobile driver’s seats to practice driving without risking their necks. Sixteen of the units, complete with controls, are now being used at Bloomington, Ind., to teach driving the way aviation cadets learn flying in Link trainers.
THIS door may some day stand between you and death. How it can be used to safeguard apartment dwellers and hotel guests against flames sweeping through corridors is strikingly shown in the test above. The new door, moderately priced, has been given a one-hour fire rating by the Underwriters’ Laboratories.
Seats Save Train Space. Both diners and waiters aboard railroad dining cars would get a break with the seating arrangement patented by Francis Dittrich, of Chicago. Angled four-tables along one wall permit waiters to serve from either side instead of having to reach across diners next to the aisle.
IF COLLECTING traffic tickets is your hobby, you won’t be interested in this little cardboard wheel. Drivers who prefer to keep out of trouble may find it as handy as skid chains. Only five inches across and no thicker than three postcards, it contains the gist of all U. S. motor-traffic regulations—boiled down to 1,371 words, classified under 30 headings, and arranged for quick reference.
THESE odd-looking gadgets are designed to save time and arguments at the summer Olympic Games, which open late this month in London. A British engineer, H. Rottenburg, developed them as aids to judges and athletes in track and field events.
NOW being delivered to the Air Force, Boeing’s B-50 is more than an improved B-29—it’s a new and more powerful weapon for long-range bombardment. The four 3,500-hp. Pratt & Whitney Wasp Major Ⓣ engines drink a lot of gasoline. To get maximum miles out of them, the fuel system must run at top efficiency.
Everybody has his own pet idea of some gadget he would like to see in general use. What is YOURS? Popular Science will pay $5.00 for each one published. Use government postcards only. Contributions cannot be acknowledged or returned. Right-Side-Up Matches.
EVEN the flame of a blowtorch won’t burn through this new paper, as the test above proves. Called Terratex Ⓣ, it’s made of asbestos mixed with clay and pressed into sheets as thin as paper. General Electric, which developed the paper as insulation for high-temperature electrical equipment, predicts many other uses for it.
THE lamp held by this Westinghouse scientist is lighted by current from the rod in his other hand. He is showing that high-frequency electricity skims across the surface of a conductor — his body — without penetrating more than a fraction of an inch.
SCIENTISTS of the International Telephone and Telegraph Corp. work in no ivory tower, but in one of steel sheathed with aluminum. The 300-foot structure, pictured above, is the latest addition to I. T. & T.’s Federal Telecommunications Laboratories at Nutley, N. J. Designed for research in the high-frequency radio waves used by radar and television, it has workrooms on three enclosed landings near the top, antennas on the roof, and platforms below the main floors for other equipment.
A design harnessing a 300.000-volt beam of protons heads current projects for instruments of unprecedented power.
First View of a Molecule
Alden P. Armagnac
A NEW type of microscope is being designed at the College of France, in Paris. It is to be built around a 300,000-volt tube of a type hitherto used only in atom-smashing experiments. And its inventor, Claude Magnan, expects this “proton microscope” to give three to four times the magnification of today’s finest in instruments.
SCIENCE has simplified the job of spotting new oil beds to feed a petroleum-hungry world, but the oil explorer’s life is still no cinch. Before he can use the sensitive instruments that give him a picture of what lies below the earth’s surface, he may have to lug them across a desert, up a mountain, or —as pictured here—through the heat-ridden tangle of a Louisiana swamp.
YOU’RE still risking your life every minute you stay home—in a year 33,500 people are killed, 5,000,000 injured at home, more than in automobile accidents—but applied science promises to reduce this danger. Shown here are some of the newest gadgets to eliminate common home accidents.
Vocal cords of this new loudspeaker vibrate a stream of air to produce a shout that can be heard 10 miles.
William P. Vogel
THE loudest loudspeaker ever built works the same way your voice does—but it makes more noise than a champion hog caller locked in a telephone booth. The Dilks Vocal-Aire Ⓣ loudspeaker, now being manufactured by two young engineers in a small factory in the little town of Seymour, Conn., talks by modulating a moving stream of air, just as your larynx modulates currents of air from your lungs.
WITH this Cradle System Ⓣ you can be king of the rug cutters—literally. One man using its combination crane and cutting table can handle rolls of carpeting up to 30 inches thick. In storage, each roll rests in its own cradle: three strips of heavy duck webbing on a steel frame.
Now you can listen to the radio without having to listen to the commercials. The button switch at right, called Commercial ControlⓉ, plugs into the power circuit between wall outlet and radio. When either button is pushed, a suction cup holds the switch open until enough air leaks through the slit to close the gap.
A RETIRED auto racer has turned his old love into a parlor game that takes the same kind of skill as the real thing—and provides the same kind of spills and thrills. He’s Lou J. Fageol, of Detroit, who, with his brother Robeley, has patented the Jr.
UNLIKE oysters, which have been cultivated commercially since the Romans planted the first beds in 100 B.C., clams have avoided domestication by hardihood and quick footwork. Relatively quick, that is; for they can burrow but a few inches into mud or sand in the 12½ hours between low tides.
NO OBJECT can move as fast as light. So there’s literally nothing worth photographing that cannot be stopped by a camera almost as fast as light. The U. S. Navy now has such a camera. In the time it takes to snap one picture—1/100,000,000 of a second—light travels only about 10 feet.
ELECTROMAGNETS in the handle of this new British pen, made to label steel parts, vibrate a spring tipped with an etching needle. Touching the point to the metal surface closes the circuit and sets pen going.
CONNECTICUT is the first state to cover its license plates with a new plastic film, called ScotchliteⓉ, for better visibility at night. You can see the difference in this photo of the tag issued to the editor of POPULAR SCIENCE alongside an old-style marker.
AN ELECTRIC clock (inset) in the door of the new Norge refrigerator turns it off for three hours every night. This saves electricity, as well as time and muss, since ice melts off the freezer before it can build up into an insulating coat. Water drains into a deep tray that fills up only once a week and is easy to empty without spilling.
LUNCH counters with steward service (right) in buses now save stops for snacks between meals on cross-country runs. American Buslines has put the new motor coaches on express routes out of New York, Chicago and St. Louis. Another feature to speed schedules is an airplane-type washroom in the rear of the bus, with toilet facilities and outlets for electric razors.
So let’s take an imaginary flight and meet more of these tiny bullets that constantly rain down on us.
Bombardment Increases Near Earth
How Mesons Are Born
Mass into Energy—and Back
More Puzzles to Solve
Chew a Slick of Penicillin
YOU are sitting in the rain right now— a rain of atomic particles. You cannot see, smell, or feel them. But they are showering you and everyone else day and night, winter and summer. They are cosmic rays. Although they were discovered about 35 years ago, scientists have only recently learned just what they are and a little about what they do.
WHEN wood for building was scarce during the war, a Swiss chemist got a bright idea for stretching the supply: soak waste chips and shavings in chemicals, mix the shredded fibers with Portland cement, and press the mixture into slabs, panels, and blocks.
IF THIS three-place motor scooter catches on, the boys who pull rickshaws will push throttles instead. The first model of the RikMobile Ⓣ has been shipped to China for demonstration before the rickshaw associations. Developed by the China Engineering Corporation, of San Francisco, the machine is steered by motorcycle-type handlebars.
ONE wiping with this new chemically treated cloth is said to keep the windshield and windows of a car fog-free for several hours. The cloth lasts indefinitely. Developed by the Dupont company, the antifogging agent is a solution of tannic acid, glycerine, water, and dye.
A FILTER that clamps over a rear-view mirror eliminates the glare of headlights from behind. The Edro Corporation, New Britain, Conn., makes the device of neutral-color plastic. It fastens to the mirror by four adjustable hooks. When not needed, it’s easily swung up out of the way.
A FEATURE of the 1948 Cadillac is the gas cap, taillight, and directional signal—all built into one unit in the left rear fender, matching one of similar appearance on the right. The tank inlet is concealed beneath the light. To get to the tank opening, you push a button as shown in the photo.
Washing Job Speeded Up. You can do a better job of washing a car if a sponge is attached to the nozzle of the hose. Cut a blind hole just large enough for insertion of the nozzle. Run heavy cord through with a needle and tie to the hose. Brush Off the Fitting.
At a tough, hard-fought motorcycle run, he plays a fast hunch for a winner.
“HEY!” Stan Hicks yelped. “What’s that?” “It sounds like the Battle of the Bulge,” Gus told him unexcitedly. “But it’s just a ham motorcyclist who thinks he’s going fast because he’s making noise.” The ear splitting ceased. Through the shop door a tall young man pushed a motorcycle.
Here’s what to think about if you’re planning to put them on your old car.
R. P. Stevenson
IF YOU remember putting 60 lb. of air into the tires of an old Model T, it may seem surprising that a .pressure of 24 lb. can support a modern car. But it does in the new soft tires. The result is the smoothest ride you’ve ever had. First announced less than two years ago, low-pressure tires are now original equipment on many new cars.
INSTALLED on the side of your car, this new rear-view mirror serves also as a parking and rear warning light. The mirror is mounted in a circle of red plastic. When a bulb inside is switched on, the plastic rim becomes visible to drivers approaching from behind.
MADE of aluminum, these visors may be installed in about ten minutes. You mount them directly on the windshield with rubber suction cups, cement being applied to the edges of the cups. The visors are ribbed for strength and coated green underneath.
THESE steel wire clamps, designed to increase the safety factor of a steering gear, keep a tie rod or drag link from dropping off even if the ball-and-socket joint is dangerously worn. Priced at $1.50 a set, they are made by J. S. Snider, Clarksdale, Miss.
CAR coolers that work by evaporation have been popular for some time in the Southwest for desert driving. This one is a new design announced by Star Distributing & Manufacturing Co., Los Angeles. A different type of filter pad, treated with a chemical inhibitor, is said to assure clean fresh air at all times.
EVEN when you’re at work under a car, you can easily adjust the cushioned head lift of this creeper to any of four positions. The cushion has an oilproof plastic cover. Priced at about $10, it’s made by the Moto Parts Company, of Inglewood, Calif.
Auto Radio Goes on Picnics PAGE 194 Want to Try Glass Modeling? PAGE 160 Bicycle Boat for Two PAGE 164 Shoot Late for Good Photos PAGE 188 Take the Heat off Your House PAGE 204 Music for driving, music for picnicking. This auto radio lifts out, behaves like a portable. Page 194.
Aluminum, copper, or brass bindings add color, contrast, and sparkle to three fine wood turnings.
METAL can add luster and sparkle to the dull gleam of fine wood. As instances, these three lathe projects are strikingly enhanced by simple wire windings. Since wire is obtainable in a variety of metals and gauges, you’ll find it easy to select types which contrast pleasingly with the wood.
GIVEN enough rope—about 12' of it— you can make a pair of rope-soled sandals that are fine for beach wear. Here’s what you need: Manila rope, strong thread, a 3" curved upholstery needle, ¼ yd. of canvas, shoestrings, and a board drilled to take 2" pegs.
Ice cream for eight was a muscle-bending chore until I was electrified by an idea. Now I let the electric drill supply elbow grease for turning our big freezer. Unscrewing the crank, I tighten the drill chuck on the shaft. When the drill slows down, the cream is made and is left to set hard.
Craftsmen mold fanciful birds and beasts in a blowpipe jet. You can try it yourself with a Bunsen burner.
Kenneth M. Swezey
IN A LITTLE shop in Brooklyn, N. Y., the di Renzo brothers, Guy and Angelo, carry on one of the most unusual crafts in the United States. They create whimsical miniature animals, tipsy humans, merry-gorounds, ships, angels, and devils—all from white-hot Pyrex Ⓣ rods.
WHILE this lamp appears to have been carved from a single block of wood, it actually was cut from scrap stock with a jigsaw. The only materials cost was for electrical parts. From any kind of ¾" wood, saw, turn, or cut with a circle cutter 12 disks 4" in diameter.
An interesting project to make, this sturdy pontoon craft is fine for fun or fishing
L. W. Schaper
FOR these long, lazy Summer afternoons, here's an ideal boat for loafing. You have your choice of power for it—pedals driving a paddle wheel or propeller, or an electric or outboard motor. The pontoons, most important part of the craft, may be covered with .020" or .032" aluminum or with plywood.
New Refrigerator Saves Space. In the new Frigidaire Ⓣ, nearly two cubic feet of refrigerated space has been added without materially increasing the overall size. At the left above is last year’s seven-cubic-foot model, at the right the new nine-cubic-footer.
BESIDES being decorative, this little water can is useful. It’s just the thing for watering potted plants indoors. But if you don’t want to devote it to such a utilitarian purpose, you can plant it with ivy or simply keep it as a shelf ornament.
SMALL repairs to shingle roofs and sidings usually require you to buy much more material than is needed. With this difficulty in mind, the Portland Shingle Company, of Portland, Ore., now offers a package containing everything you need for small jobs.
A METAL drying reel manufactured by Bonnie Products Co., of Los Angeles, accommodates 1,000 yards of fishing line. The steel cross members that compose the drying unit are treated to prevent rust. A simple seat for the fishing reel is provided.
WHEN you have finished a job and have some paint or enamel left, it is a good idea to paint a line on the outside of the can before sealing—at the level of the remaining paint. This will enable you to tell quickly how much is left and what color it is.
SEPARATE bags of onions, potatoes, oranges, and apples clutter up the cupboard shelves in many kitchens. A portable bin to accommodate all of them neatly will win you a big vote of thanks. All parts except the two ¼" by 17" by 22/½" pieces for middle and upper shelves can be cut from a 3' by 6' panel of ¾" plywood.
THERE’S little chancer that rain will damage luggage in this carrier. Wind can’t drive rain in, for the curved top panel rests below the ends. Drainage gutters in the ends carry off any seepage. Make the ends and sides first, using white pine.
THIS little scoop finally ended a long family feud. With it, I can now fill my tobacco pouch from a humidor or 1-lb. can—and get none on the floor. Cut the body to shape with tin snips, notching one edge as indicated. Bend in these projections, and sweat-solder the semicircular end to them.
THESE two tin-can working models afford a simple introduction to turbine principles. One, shown at left above and top right, has a horizontal rotor; the other has a vertical one in a shoe-polish can. Use paint pails with pry-off lids, and press them on lightly so they’ll dislodge if pressure gets too high.
THOSE clear plastic containers in which powder puffs and other cosmetic supplies are sold will come in handy around your workbench. Used as containers for small screws, nuts, rivets, brads, and tacks, they are convenient because you can identify contents at a quick glance.
How to use your home-workshop machines to touch up and ornament work with recesses, chamfers, and bevels.
Edwin M. Love
BEVELS and chamfers are meant to attract the eye—and they do. Look at any piece of furniture and note how your glance just naturally focuses on an edge that is out of square. But if the edges aren’t uniform, the flatteringly light effect that chamfers can give will be more than offset.
Foundry for Home Casting. An inexpensive furnace, complete with all equipment necessary for producing nonferrous castings, has been announced by the Sawyer Bailey Corp., of Buffalo, N. Y. Designed to burn cooking gas at the normal pressures supplied to the home, the furnace will withstand temperatures up to 2400 deg. F. Air may be supplied by a motor-driven blower or a household vacuum cleaner.
MOUNT this gadget on the drill press, and you can not only lay out holes or angles, but spot-drill right on the nose. Small spoked wheels, gears, locomotive boiler heads, and the like can be made with realistic precision. Cut a 5/¼" circle of ⅜" brass or steel, tap ½"-20 at the center, and screw in a threaded stud.
INSTEAD of discarding screwdrivers with broken handles, you can give them a new grip with rubber from an old bike pedal. Force a pedal tread over the shank and drill two holes through both the rubber and shank. Fit steel pins into the holes to prevent the handle from turning.
WITH this holder you can hit a chisel without worrying about your fingers. To make it, you need scrap steel and a foot of small wire rope such as ⅛" airplane cable. Turn and knurl the barrel. Then drill and bore it and face both ends. Cut the thread with a hand tap.
A MILLING attachment on your lathe opens up a whole new field for this versatile machine. Jobs that previously had to be done by hand can be turned out far more accurately and in less time. Accurate milling, however, calls for precision mounting of the cutters.
Punch Becomes Riveter. An ordinary automatic centerpunch—the kind that delivers a spring-actuated blow when the handle is depressed—makes a good riveter for use on models, instruments, and other fine work. Several strokes of the handle will mushroom an excellent head, for example, on a No. 18 escutcheon pin.
Don’t fold up your camera when the sun dips toward the horizon. Late afternoon gives many good photos.
Robert F. Smith
AS LONG as any daylight remains, it’s never too late for successful outdoor photos. All too often shutters stop clicking when the sun reaches an angle of about 30 deg. Actually, that’s a good time to be starting. In the late afternoon the sun gives more warmth and texture to a photo than at any other time of the day.
WOULD you like to see your vacation photos before returning home? This suitcase holds everything needed to develop roll film and make contact prints. Adjust the size of the compartments to suit your equipment. The partitions are ¼" plywood.
Arrow Overcomes Parallax. For twin-lens close-ups, center the subject in the finder, rest the square end of a cardboard arrow against the taking lens, and readjust the camera so the arrow points to the center of the subject.—Ken Murray, Colon, Mich. Film Washed in Can.
Powered either by the car battery or its own rechargeable storage cells, this set offers real versatility.
LIST OF PARTS
A RADIO can be as important a part of a day in the country as hot dogs and soda pop. It fills in that tired hour of the drive home, keeps you posted on news or ball scores, or brings your favorite music and comedy right out to the picnic grounds. For all this you’d ordinarily need two sets —a portable plus one in the car.
Battery Cells Interlock. A new type of dry-cell battery has been developed for portable radio and hearing-aid use by Olin Industries, Inc., New Haven, Conn. The electrolyte is packed into molded plastic cells which are shaped with interlocking flanges so that they can be assembled in stacks.
RUBBER-COVERED idler wheels used between the driver and turntable rim on rim-driven phono motors may develop a flat if left standing in one position. Flats cause an audible bump at every revolution of the turntable; they are most likely to develop during the hot summer months.
TIRED of running to reduce radio volume every time the phone rang, we mounted a toggle switch near the telephone. By connecting it in series with the radio line cord, we can now turn the set off right at the phone. The wire leading from switch to radio is stapled to the baseboard.
DISTORTION, loss of volume, and squealing in a radio can often be traced to a faulty electrolytic condenser in the cathode of the power output tube. A typical value of this condenser is 25 mfd., 50 volts. When a set suddenly loses volume but can be brought back by banging the cabinet or flicking a light switch in the room, the electrolytic in the cathode of the second detector (57, 6C6, 6J7, etc.) may be leaky.
THE tiny zeroing screw on the face of a 0-300-ma. plate meter on a transmitter proved to be loaded with high voltage. An accidental touch produced a painful and unexpected shock. To prevent recurrence, I covered the head with adhesive tape.
HERE’S a method of reconditioning the miter-gauge bar of an old circular saw. If the bar is worn to a slack fit in the table groove, it’s hard to cut accurate angles. Heaviest wear on the bar usually occurs at the ends. The groove wears away at the center.
MANY handy men hesitate to tackle the job of installing roof flashing. But Revere Copper and Brass, Inc., has just introduced a package of materials, complete with illustrated instructions, to show the ordinary home owner how to do this work at all vital points.
VACUUM-CLEANER, toaster, and other frequently handled electric plugs are less subject to damage if the plug is filled with plaster of Paris. A bit of cloth stuffed around the cord opening will hold the plaster in the plug until it has set.—R. F. Donovan, Jersey City.
A CLOCK gear may be used in a drill press as a small saw. It's useful for cutting fine slots or kerfs in model work. The teeth can be filed sharp. Feed the work easily, making several light cuts to the required depth, against rotation.
Two ready-made conveniences for handling flat and triangular rulers are a small suction cup and a spring-type paper clip. Press a suction cup in the center of a flat ruler, and you can pick it up easily. Architects, engineers, and others using a triangular scale will find that the clip facilitates manipulation of the ruler and keeps the scale. on the side being used.
PROPELLED by a 1½-hp. gasoline engine, this caterpillar garden tractor has good traction on any type ground. Since it travels between the rows, instead of straddling them, the tractor can be used even after plants reach shoulder height.
AN EFFICIENT carpenter’s chalking line may be made from a shoe-polish can. Drill the holes in the top and base of the can for the dowel and the wood screw. Cut a piece of sheet metal for the crank and use a pot-lid knob for a handle. Fasten an end of the string to the dowel with a small tack.
A PIG’S life is a tough one. The grass always looks greener in another field—but what are pigs going to do when up against a contraption like this? They can walk between the boards, but there just isn’t room to turn and head toward the places they’re not supposed to be.
CHICKENS frequently overturn their water pans or scratch dirt into them. A simple guard for the water pans can be made from regular tomato hampers. Remove every other stave, sawing through the center hoop which is stapled to each stave. It is a good idea to place a weight, such as a rock, on top of the hamper to keep it from being overturned.
Whether you need just a little window ventilator or a husky attic fan, this article will give you plans and tips.
COOLING achieved by an exhaust fan is generally more satisfactory than cooling obtained with a table or floor fan. Instead of being a mere air stirrer, an exhaust fan works by replacing heated or contaminated air with cooler or fresher air.
HERE is an action toy, operated by dripping water, to keep your baby contented in the bath. The duck can be made of light sheet metal, acetate film, or 1/16" plastic. It’s mounted on a wire attached to a vacuum cup. Cut the figure as shown, making certain that the rear of the duck slightly overbalances the front part.
IF YOU’VE wasted time and patience retrieving live minnows from a jar, you may want to try this arrangement to bring the small fish within reach. Pass a stiff piece of wire through a perforated can lid and through the top of the jar. Bend the wire beneath the lid as shown and just pull it up for fresh bait as and when you need it.
THE line snaps into retaining eyes on each end of this bobber and runs through a deep center groove. This allows the bobber to slide between the sinker and a knot of thread wound around the line, keeping the bait at the proper depth. If the bait hits bottom, the bobber lies on its side.
THIS rotary sprinkler is adjustable to cover circles from 15' to 90' in diameter. Pressing a reverse gear and setting the stop also causes it to swing back and forth through any part of a circle. In addition, it may be set to water a long narrow strip.
EVERYONE who uses those small bottles of India ink probably has seen excess air in the bottle push the cork out as soon as it was put in place. A small notch cut in the side of the cork, as shown in the drawing, permits excess air to escape. Thus the cork stays in—Raymond E. Haven, Monroe, Ohio.
FOR a living, Chiropodist Walter J. Teskey, of Pittsburgh, treats ailing feet. For relaxation, he produces working models of various machines, all to exact scale. Two of his products are seen here. At the left is a model of a Baltimore & Ohio “President” locomotive.
THIS junior-size tractor, driven by five-year-old Robert Scattini, is of all-welded construction. It was built by the boy’s grandfather, J. J. King, of Salinas, Calif. Powered by a small air-cooled engine, it is equipped with a master clutch through which two belts drive a pair of flat sprockets.
A JUNIOR version of Tyrannosaurus, largest of the flesh-eating dinosaurs, will guard your desk pen. You’ll enjoy whittling this prehistoric nightmare down to pipe-dream size. Lay out the figure on ⅜" squares, using 2" stock. Although any softwood will serve, I find redwood carves easily.
AN ELECTRIC vibrator that has outlived its original usefulness may be converted to a carving and engraving tool. Remove the rubber vibrator head and replace it with a screw or with a piece of drill rod. Cut the screw as shown at A for a woodcarving tool.
SENSITIVE to ½ grain and direct reading to .1 gram, this chemical balance is entirely adequate for a home laboratory. Two sets of weights are used—one consisting of 1, 2, 5, 10, and 20 grams; and another of 1/16, ⅛, ¼, ½, and 1 oz. The beam frame, scale, stand, pans, pointer, poise, and pan pivots were all shaped from 1/32" brass.
GLASS and rubber tubing and a suitable cork are all you need to produce a useful laboratory dropper. Heat the glass over a wing top on a Bunsen burner, draw it out, and break off. For a fine jet, draw it almost to a thread.—Jo Ro Jung, New Orleans.
Two funnels are better than one when you are filtering a solution in the laboratory. They’ll let you save your attention for some other job. Mount a separatory funnel above the regular filtering funnel, as illustrated in the sketch. Fill both funnels with the solution and adjust the stopcock so that the liquid drops from the top one at the same rate as it leaves the bottom one.
SATISFACTORY application of paint to galvanized iron has long been a problem. If the surface isn’t prepared first, a reaction is set up that causes the paint to peel. Various treatments have been used from time to time, among them a vinegar wash.
IF YOU travel by automobile with a baby, here’s a method of eliminating roadside stops to heat bottles. Use engine heat. The photo shows a bottle slipped under the ignition wires of my car. There’s enough tension to keep it there while driving.
BENT to an L-shape, a piece of wire provides an excellent means of suspending a brush in a tall bottle. It keeps the bristles from resting on the bottom and spreading. No. 9 wire is a good size. Slip the short end into a hole bored in the brush handle.
I HAD to drive a number of nails and screws into hardwood and, in some places, into knots. More often than not, the nails would bend, and it was almost impossible to drive the screws. Beeswax rubbed on the points helped. A convenient carrier for the wax is a ⅜" hole drilled 2" into the hammer handle.
THIS tractor seat has an airplane-type, hydraulic shock absorber inside the spring to control the action and prevent rebound pitch. The seat is quickly changed to accommodate a 75-lb. boy or a 300-lb. man, simply by shifting the spring assembly into different notches. This varies the leverage. Easily mounted on any tractor, the seat is produced by Knoedler Manufacturers, of Streator, Ill.
WHILE painting a flower pot, you can keep paint off your fingers by pressing the pot down over an ordinary tin can as in the photo at right. Leave the pot on the can to dry. Thus the surface will not be marred by premature handling.
HERE’S something to keep your cow from kicking over the milk bucket—a combination stool and pail-holder. It was put together with a few boards and a piece of heavy wire. The pail rests on a horizontal member that projects from the solid front leg.
WHEN you’re assembling material with clinched nails, a sheet of soft insulating board at least ½" thick will make the job easier and prevent damage to your workbench. Place the work on the board and drive the nails into it. You can then pry the work from the board, turn it over, and quickly clinch the protruding nails on a metal plate, anvil, or upended flatiron.
ROADSIDE campers who favor at least a few home comforts will appreciate this compact, all-plywood camp kitchen. It’s easily carried in most luggage compartments. All of the outer faces and the main vertical partition are ½" stock. Other parts are of ¼" plywood.
Old Candle Stubs Cast to Make Long-Lasting Big Candle
SAVE those burned-down pieces of candles. By remelting them you can make one big, stubby candle for lights-out emergencies or for use in the summer cottage. Tie a big nail to a piece of thick, soft cord, which will serve for the wick. Drop the nail into an empty can, securing the cord with a stick laid across the top.
A SPECIALLY designed motor now gives greater efficiency to this small-parts cleaning machine. Metal parts and instruments that are too delicate to be handled manually are placed in a work basket, shown above, and dunked in each of the jars for cleaning, rinsing, and drying.
PRESS a remote-control button and the doors of Lionel’s new milk car fly open; then a toy milkman emerges to push eight miniature milk cans onto the platform one by one. The cans are loaded into the top of the car, which can be operated on 0- and 0-27-gauge track.
You can store a hot iron in this aluminum, FiberglasⓉ-insulated holder, which attaches to a kitchen wall or door, without danger of scorching the surface on which it is mounted. The iron rests against flanges, which bend so that any type can fit inside.
THE rocketlike object above is the largest transformer bushing ever built by General Electric. Shown being lowered onto an experimental transformer in the company’s Apparatus Works at Pittsfield, Mass., the 26-foot-long bushing and transformer have a rating of 360,000 volts.
WEIGHING 300,000 pounds and capable of exerting a force of 2,000.000 pounds, the giant press shown above is considered the most advanced hydraulic testing machine ever built. Made by the Baldwin Locomotive Works, it is in operation at the University of Washington’s structural research laboratory.
SHOP workers get a better look with this microscope when performing minute industrial operations. Images are seen right side up, in three dimensions, through separate eyepieces that are adjustable and designed to accommodate workers wearing safety goggles.
A NEW cable sheathing has been developed by the Bell System to help end the phone shortage. Lead, the usual cable sheathing, is scarce, so the new sheathing is made of aluminum and polyethylene plastic. It is to be used in local exchange areas on pole lines and in underground conduits.
RESEMBLING the fiery hoop through which circus acrobats leap, this is the shell of a ball mill being subjected to a special preheating treatment before welding. The spectacular firing, necessary because the cylinder is made of both armor plate and mild steel, is done by a circular gas line with continuous pinhole outlets.
A SINGLE coat of this self-sealing, ready-mixed paint gives a fire-resistant surface to plaster, concrete, steel, or wood. A washable product, it comes in an assortment of pastel shades. The manufacturer of the paint—called Fire Stop Ⓣ—is Plicote, Inc., of Pittsburgh, Pa.
BECAUSE a dream of theirs is coming true, some of the country’s leading physicists are walking on air. One of them is Prof. E. O. Lawrence of the University of California, inventor of the cyclotron and America’s No. 1 atom smasher. Another is his former co-worker, Dr. M. Stanley Livingston, who now heads the Accelerator Project at Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, N. Y. Last January, POPULAR SCIENCE told of their dream.