Sir: May I ask when the name of element No. 61, illinium, was changed to “prometheum,” as given on p. 143 of PS for October? Element No. 61 was discovered at the University of Illinois in 1926 and so received its name. Students of physics and chemistry who matriculated a few years ago may have to learn all over again to satisfy some screwy professor of physics.
Levels with telescoping ends. These would be fine for the home owner who does occasional repairs. By pulling the ends in or out, one level would take the place of several.—Fred J. Kost, Orlando, Fla. A rolling tool carrier for work under a car. It could be a low, slightly sloping board mounted on casters.
FOR a country so proud of its machine tools, we are pretty snobbish about our machine schools. Sure, we have some “vocational” and “technical” high schools, as distinguished from the “classical” or academic high schools set up for a theoretical public education from cradle to college.
At right above is one half of the giant “jaws,” opened for inspection, that house the air compressor for the world’s largest faster-than-sound wind tunnel at Cleveland’s Lewis Flight Propulsion Laboratory. “Teeth” of the jaws are the stator blades; those on the massive shaft at left are the rotor blades.
This superduper dream job is built to go where the deer and the antelope play—and to carry the ranch boss there in style.
THE kind of an automobile that most everybody dreams about—a luxury job built to one's personal specifications—was delivered the other day to Richard Mifflin Kleberg, boss of the almost legendary King Ranch on the Texas Gulf Coast. It may be the fanciest car in the U. S. Certainly it is one of the fanciest in the world.
TESTS of a quarter-scale model have just given the green light to plans for the world’s mightiest atom smasher, the University of California’s projected $9,000,000 “Bevatron.” Expected to be ready for first tests by midyear, the full-scale atom gun will hurl protons at a target with the colossal energy of six billion electron volts, placing controllable beams with the power of cosmic rays at the disposal of physicists (PS, July ’48, p. 270).
THE latest U. S. wind tunnel uses such high speeds that they had to think up a new name for it: hypersonic. That means quite a bit faster than supersonic. The new tunnel can test models at 10 times the speed of sound—Mach 10, as engineers say. Already, full-size missiles have reached Mach 7 (the Wac Corporal-V-2 combination did slightly better than that last year).
THIS machine takes the ladder-climbing out of fruit harvesting and tree pruning. Mechanized booms, jointed like a man’s arm, lift workers on platforms up into the branches of a tree. Hydraulically operated by a 7½-hp. gasoline engine, the trailer-mounted booms can be moved up and down in a 180-degree arc and from side to side in a 330-degree arc.
1 Bath to Simplify Plumbing. With this combination bathroom unit, only one drain line and one hot- and one cold-water pipe would be needed. Toilet, bath, and basin drain into a single pipe, while one hot-and-cold-water faucet, arranged to swivel, serves both the basin and the tub.
YOU can see whether a man more than a city block away is smiling or frowning when a TV camera uses a new long-range “eye.” Employing a concave mirror instead of a lens as its principal optical element, this telephoto objective resembles a reflecting telescope in principle.
AN ATOMIC furnace small enough to fit inside an ash can may soon be producing radioactive materials for research. Developed in England, the whole thing weighs 200 pounds, costs $4,200. The “Aspatron” has nine shallow copper trays: five containing paraffin; and four, uranium oxide.
Fed-up kitchen conscript designs low-priced, portable machine to de-scale tableware with hydraulic jets.
”Cigar Box” Copies Anywhere
Squeeze Welds Metals Cold
LET this be the story of the husband who got fed up with helping the wife do the dishes—or listening to her talk about the husbands who helped. It begins four years ago. Here he was, a consulting engineer, washing or wiping dishes for a family of six by hand, the way millions of kitchen conscripts have done it for centuries.
ATOMIC explosions can be detected at great distances by various sensitive and delicate instruments, including Geiger counters. But in the event of an atom-bomb attack, other types of equipment would be needed, rugged enough to stand up under field handling, and able to measure high amounts of radiation without becoming “saturated” and inaccurate.
PAUL M. MAZUR is one of those lucky farmers who don’t have to worry about getting out on a nasty winter day to feed their stock. Partner in a New York banking firm and director of half a dozen corporations, he employs four men to work Fiddler’s Creek Farm, his New Jersey country home.
ACROSS the top of this page a Navy jet pilot is shown receiving the world’s swiftest kick in the pants. Boosted by a special 37-mm. cartridge, he hits almost a mile-a-minute clip in a fraction of a second as he soars 45 to 50 feet up the steel tower.
MEET the Liftmaster, freight-hauling big brother of the DC-6 luxury air liner. Douglas Aircraft engineers designed the new ship around cargo—its weight, bulk, loading problems. Result: the first postwar commercial transport tailor-made for high-speed, long-range, low-cost carrying of air freight.
IN A BID for more business in a lower-priced field, Hudson has introduced a shorter automobile costing about $250 less than the cheapest of its bigger cars. It’s still around $400 more than the Big Three makes. Called the Pacemaker, the new Hudson has a 119-inch wheelbase compared with 124 inches in the company’s standard series.
U. S. Navy’s undersea sailors learn attack maneuvers and get torpedo practice on indoor target range.
Air Force Gets New Giant
Jeep Adds Power Trailer
Tiny Cells Run Ear Aids
Alden P. Armagnac
"SURFACE ship sighted, sir! Bearing 250 degrees. Range seven miles." The scream of the klaxon summons all hands to battle stations. Submerging, the submarine closes upon its prey. “Up periscope!” Briefly the slender tube breaks water, every few minutes, just long enough to get a new bearing and range.
ENGINES in the 1950 line of Ford cars have been made quieter, company engineers say, by a new camshaft timing gear, a camshaft that eliminates tappet noises, and a piston that prevents slap. They also claim increased oil economy for both 6- and 8-cylinder engines from better lubrication.
SECRECY wraps have been taken off an air-to-air guided missile described by its maker as the first developed for the U. S. Air Force. Rocket-propelled and designed to carry its own radar brain, the Firebird is an experimental model that will not be put into actual production.
WHENEVER Frank Lloyd Wright designs a building, you can be sure it’ll be different. Usually it is also good looking and functional. This, one of his newest, is no exception. A 15-story research laboratory for S. C. Johnson & Son, the wax-making firm, it looks something like an oversized chimney, but actually is more closely related to a tree.
Stemware Made of Plastic. Priced from 15 to 25 cents each, these glasses and goblets of polystyrene plastic will add an economical sparkle to your table. The bases and spiraled stems are ruby-colored. The bowls are clear with a faint green-yellow tint to aid the illusion of glass. The maker is the Universal Veilcote Co., Leominster, Mass.
Universal Veilcote Co.
Baby Dish Clips On
Baby Dish Clips On. Here s a dish that baby can’t dump on the floor. Three clamps—one with spring tension—hold it securely in place. It’s adjustable for high-chair trays of different sizes. The Hold-Titeⓣ is sold for about $4 by Walter Drake, of Colorado Springs, Colo. The dish is plastic; the holder is rubber, aluminum, and steel.
Universal Veilcote Co.
Phone Shelf Has Drawer
Phone Shelf Has Drawer. This plastic phone shelf that screws to the wall has a drawer for paper and pencil. The maker, Fulton Plastic Products, of Houston, Tex., prices it at about $4. The shelf is a space saver, taking up far less room than a table. It will also keep the phone up out of the reach of a baby’s inquisitive hands.
Universal Veilcote Co.
Magnetic Case Grips Pins
Magnetic Case Grips Pins. Built around a magnet, this plastic case holds hairpins, needles, pins, and even fishhooks. Shown above turned upside down, it holds them upright so you can grab them without fumbling. Howard Industries, Buffalo, offers the. cases in four colors for about $1. Wedge on top of the cap spreads open bobby pins.
Universal Veilcote Co.
Ash Tray Fits on Tumbler
Ash Tray Fits on Tumbler. If you like gadgets for your home bar, here’s a new one—an 11-oz. glass that fits snugly into an aluminum coaster. There’s a small ash tray built into the bottom of the coaster. Press a button and out pops the ash tray. They’re available from the Mail Order Record Co., of Baltimore, Md., for $18 for a dozen.
Universal Veilcote Co.
Phone List for Your Poeket
Phone List for Your Poeket. The Listikⓣ, made of jeweler’s brass, is slightly larger than a lipstick case. A plastic strip, with enough room for 130 numbers, rolls out of the case. Pressing a button winds it back up again. The pull bar holds a handy pencil. The Zephyr American Corporation, of New York City, prices the Listik at about $2.
Universal Veilcote Co.
Cookie Cutter Rolls to Cut
Cookie Cutter Rolls to Cut. Instead of stamping out cookies, this aluminum cutter is rolled across the dough like a lawn mower, cutting a whole row of cookies with one stroke. Each revolution cuts out two. cookies. The diameter of the cut is 2½ in. The length of the utensil is 6¾ in. The cutters are sold by Paul Douglas & Co., Minneapolis.
Universal Veilcote Co.
Exeess Cord Stored in Plug
Exeess Cord Stored in Plug. Up to six feet of lamp or appliance cord can be coiled inside this Wyre-Safeⓣ plug. The new plastic plugs can be used anywhere that a standard plug is normally used, in either single or double outlets. They’re available in ivory or brown at about $1 each from Page Industries, Los Angeles.
High-speed jet planes have a tendency to roll and sway in flight like a Dutchman ice skating. Here's the cure.
Magnet Holds Fishing Flies
Gone Without the Wind
Spring Flips Up Fishing Flag
Popcorn Scooped Faster
WHEN the “Dutch-roll” gremlins threatened the designs of certain high-performance jet aircraft, especially the swept-wing type, Boeing engineers got to work. Dutch roll is the airman’s name for a combined roll and yaw, usually caused by side gusts of wind.
Familiar drugstore bleach wins new importance in peacetime industry and as a spectacular military fuel.
Germans Learned the Hard Way
Peroxide Stretches Wood Supply
First Made in Europe
MENTION hydrogen peroxide and most people think of blondes—the ones who get their light tresses out of a brown bottle. Today this watery chemical has far more important jobs than bleaching hair. It still bleaches—everything from wood pulp to feathers.
A LITTLE box, no bigger than a bedside radio (below, right), is helping to save victims of the dread “bulbar” polio. A feature of this disease is erratic, tortured breathing that regular iron lungs frequently can’t help. The new “electric lung,” developed at the Harvard School of Public Health, sends impulses to electrodes placed on or near the phrenic nerve in the neck, which governs breathing-control muscles.
MOUNTAIN scenery or village greenery—seascapes, landscapes, big-city sky lines—now they come to Hollywood instead of Hollywood going to them. A new combination of huge, blown-up still photographs with color painting produces transparencies that can act as stand-ins for backgrounds in any part of the world.
A ROBOT delivery line at this new Richmond, Calif., grease plant handles 250 varieties of packaged petroleum products at a rate of one container every three seconds. As drums and barrels speed along to trucks and freight cars, they are weighed, stenciled, counted, and routed by electronic controls.
DUNK this jeep like a doughnut and it comes up for more. Waterproof electrical and carburetion systems keep it from conking out. You can even stop and start the engine under water. Wartime combat vehicles were laboriously waterproofed with asbestos grease that had to be stripped off as soon as they hit dry ground.
Was the Professor right? Does everything in the universe always go by threes? Well, let’s consider the case of those wheel jobs
New Filter Cleans Valve Oil
Was It a Careless Mechanic?
Leverage Breaks Beads Loose
The Second Case Is Solved
How Did It Get Inside?
Deaf Motorists Can Drive Well
This Piston Aids Ring Job
PULLING into the Model Garage after an errand downtown, Gus Wilson grinned with recognition when he saw a battered ’35 sedan on the shop floor. “Gabriella, the car that thinks for herself,” he mused. He well remembered the day a year ago when the car, through a temporary and still unexplained refusal to start, had kept him from jerking loose the air hose that Greg Jones had draped around the rear bumper.
Finding High-Voltage Leaks. If you suspect there are shorts in an engine’s high-voltage system, suggests John Vincenti, of Kennett Square, Pa., start it up in total darkness and take a look. You may find sparks flying from many unexpected places—wires with worn insulation, dirty plugs, or cracked distributor caps.
A robot doorman you can build without vacuum tubes or a radio technician's diploma.
J. Raymond Schneider
DOES your motoring day start like this? Open the garage doors. Get in the car and back it out. Climb out, make a detour around the front fender, and close and latch the doors. Dodge the fender again and get in. On returning, reverse the whole routine.
A COMPLETE layout tool is built into this handsaw, made by the Geometric Saw Co., Inc., Auburn, N. Y. It’s priced at about $10. You can use it as an outside square, a level, an inside square or plumb, a protractor, and a floor saw or other surface cutter.
EASIER to handle than a pair of snips, this power shear does everything you’d expect from the snips—and more. On inside cuts—for instance cutting an opening in a furnace duct—you simply drill a starting hole, insert the blade tip, and make the cut.
More than twenty-five years of experience are behind these helpful hints.
Tape Antenna Slides Out
New-Style Germanium Diodes
Switch Joins Co-ax Feed Lines
Plug Connects Standard Phone Tips to Two-Way Jack
The Height of Ingenuity
LIKE almost any craft, ship-model building has its own special skills and methods—and masters who developed them. Winthrop Pratt, Jr., of Dorchester, Mass., for example, has devoted over a quarter century to building and restoring models of sailing ships.
BEHIND all the complicated mechanisms under the hood, in the chassis, and on the dashboard of your car lie simple and fundamental principles of physics, mechanics, chemistry, and electricity. Some of these were discovered hundreds or even thousands of years ago by such pioneers as Aristotle, Archimedes, Newton, Faraday, and Bernoulli.
WITH the kitchen table as my workbench, I put together dime-store parts to turn out this convenient lamp table. The shade is adjustable from 44 to 69 inches and can be swung around for better lighting. There’s room to park a radio, sewing basket, or books on the base.
HERE’S modern design in oak and glass—a sleek coffee table that you can build with hand tools. It’s stout and expensive looking, but the materials cost me only $18. One of its features is the double-life top. The glass bricks are tough, but even if one is broken, you can just turn it over and you have another perfect top.
DOES your youngster hang his towel on the bathroom floor? This little trainer will make it easy for him to remember where the towel belongs. Draw a grid of ½" squares and copy off the pattern above line for line. Next trace the outlines onto a ¼" by 7" by 17" piece of plywood or hard composition board.
• Check snow and ice in gutters and on roof. Remove before load gets dangerously heavy. • Cut poles and posts for fences or rustic furniture. At this time of year, seasoning is gentle and doesn’t cause checking as much as summer drying does. • Fix up rumpus room.
TURNING a window inside out to clean the outside inside may sound like double talk. But that’s exactly what you can do with this kit invented by Fred Roth, of Brooklyn, N. Y. The bottom halves of the inside stop and parting strip on each side of the casing are cut out, joined by metal strips, and screwed back in place.
When a closet and bed share the same wall, this type of combination fixture can light up two dark spots with one bulb. To install a unit of this kind, it is necessary to break into the wall. Most of the damage, however, can be limited to the closet side; so if a seam shows in the patched plaster, it won’t make much difference.
DO YOU have any fine hardwood scraps that are too good to waste and too small to use? You can put them to work by making this expensive-looking tray. It’s built up in sections from small pieces. It isn’t even necessary for all the wood to be of the same kind, because you can get many interesting arrangements by putting dissimilar pieces side by side.
THREE flashlight batteries will spin this “two-cylinder” reversible engine at a merry clip. Fed 10 or 12 volts, its unusual “rocking-beam” action will develop enough power to drive toys or window displays. The crankshaft is a brass rod, pointed at both ends, that runs in pivot bearings.
SMALL pieces of linoleum left over from a job can be used crazy-quilt fashion for covering closet floors, shelves, basement steps, and other areas where the pattern and number of seams aren’t important. Mottled linoleum is particularly good for such jobs because there’s no pattern to match up.
STYLED after a Pennsylvania Dutch design, this outsize sewing tub can be built with only a couple of hand tools. The tub started as an ordinary unpainted wooden pail from a hardware store. The lid is a chopping block with two wooden drawer knobs screwed to the top.
Garage, Too. Young Tommy Marotta, of Boonton, N. J., has not only a speedy little roadster (above), but a miniature garage (right) in which to keep it. His father, Patrick, built both. The 174-lb. car is powered by a ¾-hp. engine. This One’s for Grownups.
THE high-quality steel in good files makes them too valuable to throw away when they’ve reached the end of their useful life. Here are some things you can do with them. When you have to bend the stock or drill a hole in it, heat it to a cherry red and allow to cool slowly.
To SPEED up his wood-splitting chores, Paul W. Walk, of Kundletown, Pa., built a fast-acting, powerful wedge by mounting an old solid-tire truck wheel on a reinforced oak frame. The rubber was removed from the wheel and a seven-pound steel wedge welded and bolted on the rim.
ANYONE who can slice a roast can carve it wood. It’s that easy. Take the cabinet pictured below. Uncarved, it’d be just another spice cupboard. But add the carving and you’ve got a piece of furniture that looks like the fine work of an old-time cabinetmaker.
UNTIL you’ve used an oscillating sander, you won’t realize how good drum sanding can be. With this rig, the drum not only rotates but moves up and down across the work. The result is that it forms no ridge marks and produces a much smoother finish.
HOW much work is it for your wife to prepare your breakfast? If your kitchen is as inefficiently arranged as most, she probably makes at least twice as many motions as necessary. And, since that proportion holds for most of her daily kitchen operations, she ends the day about twice as tired as she should be.
Lathe Subs as Sander. If you lack a regular sander, a substitute can be assembled from a sanding belt, a flat pulley, a length of plank or two-by-four, and a couple of clamps to hold the rig to the bed of the lathe. A large chuck serves as the drive pulley.
SOME mechanics say an ordinary guy should keep his mitts off a fuel pump. An overhaul, they argue, is a specialist’s job. But I’ve done it, very successfully, and I’m no specialist. Although mechanical fuel pumps come in various shapes and sizes, they all work on the same principle.
YOUR old record player may not be as out-dated as you think it is. If your record collecting has been slowed down because your phonograph can’t handle the new slow-speed records, here’s a way to bring that platter-turner up to date: an all-electronic system that turns any 78r.p.m. synchronous motor at 33 1/3 and 45 r.p.m.
Shoot Through It. If you’re missing pictures by forgetting to take off the lens cap before shooting, why not try this? A window of good, clear acrylic plastic, held in a filter holder, as shown above, or fitted into a hole cut in your lens cap, will protect the lens without obstructing it.
WORKING up at the top of my extension ladder is pretty slippery business with only the paint-spattered uprights to grasp. Adding on door handles has made me feel more secure. I now have a firm handhold when I lean over to the side. One caution, though —don’t get overconfident and lean too far.
IF YOU’VE ever tried repairing radios you know what a headache an “intermittent” can be. Some sets have elusive troubles that come and go by themselves. They almost always seem to happen when you’re listening to a good program but disappear as soon as you drag out your voltmeter.
Every owner of a lathe can enjoy the fascination of producing plates as well as spindles.
How to Turn a Simple Round Cutting Board
Tips on Turning Wooden Bowls
How To Turn a Simple Bowl to Shape
To Make a Picture Frame
To Turn a Box With Lid
White Lacquer Boosts Stair-Tread Visibility
Edwin M. Love
IF ALL lathe work had to be turned between centers, it would be hard to make bowls and trays, since the tailstock center would be constantly in the way. For work like this the faceplate is ideal. It’s a metal disk, driven by the headstock spindle, to which work can be directly screwed, eliminating the need for tailstock support.
Hot Air Runs It. A tiny alcohol flame spins the hot-air engine shown at right and inset. Built by an engineer whose hobby is unusual engines, it copies an old Bavarian toy. The displacer cylinder consists of two halves, joined at a dural plate that serves as a heat bafflle.
Sander Has Split Drum. Made by the American Diamond Saw Co., Portland, Ore., this sander has a split drum that’s cushioned with rubber. The halves of the drum are locked together by a cone-type washer. Standard abrasive strips in roll form are used.
ODORLESS PAINT.—something many home decorators have wanted—has been put on market by Keystone Paint Co., Brooklyn. It contains a highly refined petroleum thinner instead of turpentine. Oily binder also has been deodorized. YOUR BLOOD can be tested for diabetes, anemia, syphilis, RH factor, and type in a trailer built for the U.S. Public Health Service.