Sir: As a rural mail carrier, I have a boner to pick with your mostly excellent magazine. That’s your suggestion under “Keeping the Home Shipshape” in November, page 170, for making a mailbox flag automatic. Your scheme is against Post Office Dept. regulations, under which the signal flag is supposed to be in lowered position except when the patron has placed mail in the box for the carrier to collect.
These Are War’s Dirty Tricks: And here’s one being played on a South Korean mine sweeper by a Russian-type contact mine. Page 107 Ever See a Television Camera Smoke a Cigar? One TV show really has such a talented camera —it eats pie and drinks coffee, too.
PS's self-styled Doubting Thomas gets a surprise when he tries out a new type of shock absorber at his big Speedway.
Facts on ’51 Plymouth
Double Whammy in the Ditch
This Month’s Shaw-ism
EVERY so often an automobile manufacturer puts something in a car that makes people say, “Why didn’t they think of that before?” Plymouth for 1951 has done just that. This car has a new kind of shock absorbers that take most of the jounce out of bad roads.
1 Seat to Replace Sidecar. Instead of being tossed around in a conventional sidecar, the passenger on a motorcycle fitted with this side frame would ride on a seat that is astride a third wheel. This new arrangement, it is said, provides the passenger with a handhold as well as a seat and allows him to brace himself against the bumps and jolts on a rough road just as well as the driver does.
THERE'S a camera that smokes cigars on one television show. It also drinks coffee, eats pie, stands up, and walks through doorways. For the camera plays the title role of the detective in the weekly whodunit, Dumont’s “The Plainclothesman.”
The sitting torpedoes are nasty, cheap, and deadly. Korea was a school for our sweepers, and a warning.
Hitler Missed a Chance
Silent Sentries of the Sea
Mines that Count Ships
Where to Strike Red Threat
World’s Coldest “Deep Freeze”
Probe Measures Moisture Underground
Tiny, Prop-Driven Model Plane Actually Flies
John F. Loosbrock
AN UNDERWATER mine that costs about as much as a secondhand car can sink a million-dollar ship. And mines are made to order for a Russian-style war. They are cheap, efficient, and can be planted freely by a land-based nation with little shipping of its own to worry about.
By taking over duties of heart and lungs, a life-saving mechanical marvel makes a doctors’ dream come true.
How Iron Heart Is Used
Biggest Indoor Movie Screen Made Entirely of Plastic
Paul F. Ellis
THE "Iron Heart" has joined the "iron lung" and other mechanical substitutes for flesh-and-blood organs. The doctors have called in the plumbers to make a pipe dream come true. The result is a machine that takes over the heart’s duty of pumping blood through the body.
THE gadgetry and gimmickery that produce the true-to-life illusions you see on movie screens have gone on an economy budget. To cut costs while creating even more realistic make-believe worlds, eight Hollywood studios have formed the Motion Picture Research Council.
AN X-RAY trailer, devised by the Army Quartermaster Corps, periodically inspects canned food in storage. Bulging or corroded cans and deteriorated contents are detected without opening a carton. Formerly, cartons selected at random were opened, and only the outsides of cans inspected.
ALUMINUM lifeboats, the largest carried by any liner, are being installed on the S.S. Independence, a new ship scheduled to set out from New York this month on a 53-day maiden voyage to Mediterranean countries. Weighing 6,100 lb., each of the 12 lifeboats aboard the liner has stadium-type seats.
Robot Automatically Takes Refrigerator’s Temperature
George H. Waltz
COMPLEX problems can now be reduced to three-dimensional, easy-to-understand answers by “Typhoon,” the latest thing in electronic brains. Built by the RCA Laboratories for the Navy Bureau of Aeronautics, the new computer is showing naval experts just how theoretical guided missiles will react in actual flight.
YOU can't buy this beauty, but you can expect to see many of its features turning up on cars in the years to come. Now being completed by General Motors, the hand-built, super-styled car will serve as a rolling laboratory for engineers to test out new ideas in design and equipment.
NOW you can see what an atomic furnace really looks like. The pictures on this and the following pages are the first ever to show the works of an atomic pile. Many long-secret details are now revealed on six Anglo-American piles. One (above) is only a foot across and contains less than 14 pounds of uranium.
HITLER'S Volkswagen (People's Car) has turned up in new dress. More noted for its efficiency than beauty (PS, Oct. ’50, p. 162), the rugged utility car now comes in a slicked-up version that looks like a luxury sports car and doubles as a pretty fair racer—good enough to win the 1949 International Austrian Alpine race.
PICTURED here are three spanking new cars with fresh styling and mechanical improvements to entice the buyer. In addition to minor changes in appearance, the Cadillac, above, has something new in the instrument group. Automatic signal lights indicate low oil pressure and generator discharge.
There’s life in the piston engine yet. New turbosuperchargers and fuel injection are making spectacular gains.
Fuel Injection Replaces Carburetor
Internal ’Chargers Hog Power
Higher Compression Possible
THEY took an airplane engine apart the other day in a Connecticut factory, and when they put it back together again it was a whole 1,000 horsepower stronger. Yet essentially it was the same piston engine. The 1,000 horses had been gained merely by changing some of its insides.
Streamlined Scooter Speeds Along at More than 83 M.P.H.
Car Lights Flash Warning Signals
FIXING a flat tire on the highway at night is a dangerous business. Here’s a device that will flash your parking lights and rear stop-lights intermittently as a warning to approaching vehicles. Attached to the steering wheel as shown at right, Sigflare also can serve as a conventional directional turn signal.
THE automobiles you see pictured here will never be built. They are dream cars from the Advanced Styling Studio of the Ford Motor Co. The studio’s artists drew them as a free exercise in imagination. A dozen artists and four clay modelers dream up cars like this day in and day out.
“Death sand“ and “radioactive clouds“ are novel atomic weapons that may be introduced in radiological warfare.
Atomic Artillery a Possibility
Spray Comb Rids Pets of Fleas
New Crosley Has Roll-Down Windows
Land “Tug” Runs on Tracks or Road
Humidity Gauge Is Pocket-Sized
Alden P. Armagnac
UNITED STATES ARMY commanders have been alerted against an eerie new kind of atomic warfare. At any moment it may emerge from the laboratory, and make its debut in combat. It’s called “RW”—short for radiological warfare. It uses atomic weapons other than the A-bomb, such as “death sand” and “radioactive clouds.”
NEXT time you set out on an all-day hike, toss a sack of flour across your back and fill your side pockets with rocks. By nightfall your aching bones will tell you how a foot soldier feels at the end of a day’s march. What he packs to work is shown in these pictures, posed for PS by the Marines.
11-ton prime mover drives like a streetcar, turns like a fire engine, and can tow 16 times its weight in airplanes.
BY CROSSBREEDING Gramp's batterydriven automobile with today's Dieselelectric locomotive, engineers have hatched a husky rubber-tired tractor that has no clutch, transmission, drive shaft, or differential. Two generators hooked directly to a 186-hp.
Navy Develops First Automatic Pilot for Helicopters
Cows get everything but a shave and a haircut in an automatic milking assembly line at Delano, Calif., shown above. First they get a cool bath to wash them, then a warm one to stimulate milk flow. Next, as they ride down a 100-foot moving conveyer, they munch a meal from feed troughs while vacuum pumps remove their milk.
proving that Water Can Be Dynamite ..... But not if you do this
Even a 30-gal. storage tank can let go like a TNT blast unless protected against excess heat as well as pressure.
Tanks Are Urged to Explode
Best Protection Is Good Equipment
What Is It—Plane or Truck?
Oversize Bandage Covers Big Burns
THAT harmless-looking hot-water tank down in the basement can become a live bomb quicker than you may think. Its job is to furnish household water at around 150° F.—safely below the boiling point, yet plenty hot enough to handle dirty clothes and greasy dishes.
TWO opposite extremes in manufacturing —meticulous handwork by skilled craftsmen and high-speed mass production performed by automatic machines—provide the wide variety of household glassware we use each day. Up until 1903, all types of table glassware, ranging from tumblers to vases, were either hand-pressed or hand-blown by master artisans.
Everyone 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.
New Two-in-One Foot Control Stops Car or Speeds It Up
Navy Flying Boat Makes Tight Turn
Light Proved Even Faster than Previously Determined
Tiny Magnetrons Made for UHF TV
Jet Noises Tried Out on Guinea Pigs
Now you can step on the gas or put on the brakes with the same foot pedal. Press forward with your toe, and the car speeds up; press backward with your heel, and it slows down. Called Accela-Brake, it is controlled by a pedal that bolts to the car floor over the conventional accelerator and is pivoted so it can rock forward and back.
THAT canoe in the picture above is made of paper. Its hull is plain, ordinary, brown wrapping paper, the kind the hardware merchant packs your nails in. Yet it is as sturdy and seaworthy as a commercial job. If you can operate a hammer, saw, scissors, and glue brush, you can make one like it in a couple of weeks’ spare time.
Electric Hamper Dries Clothes. A fan in the bottom of this aluminum hamper sends a blast of air warmed by a heating element upward to hasten the drying of lingerie, towels, or diapers hung inside it. In summer the appliance can be used as a bathroom air conditioner simply by hanging damp towels inside and switching on the fan to circulate cool air.
AN AIR FORCE mechanic (we'll get to the legs in a minute) was spraying a protective dope on fabric airplane wings when he got an idea: Maybe a similar coating would protect women’s fragile stockings. As a result, you can get a clear-plastic coating, called Nylonger, that you can spray on silk and nylon stockings in a few minutes.
How a young couple converted an empty attic into three extra bedrooms, and showed a cash profit on their spare-time work.
Kitchen Detergents Clean Brushes
Mary Ellen Goodman
WHEN my husband and I decided we would like to expand our "expansion attic” into three rooms and bath, we called in a contractor for an estimate. Then we looked at our bank account, and it didn’t take a certified accountant to see that we’d have to do the work ourselves.
RAINWATER rushing from roofs will damage many lawns and dampen many basements this spring—because no place has been provided for it to go. One way to dispose of it is to put in a dry well like this as soon as the ground thaws. If there’s a storm sewer in front of your house, you can of course run drain tiles to it and your problem’s over.
Fast acting removers—based on powerful chemical solvents—are especially designed for their jobs.
Kinds of Removers
Removing Waxy Residue
Special Removers for Floors
Applying Paint Remover
Heat Removes Old Paint
Corrosive Removers Harm Wood
Radio Parts Fit Model Motors
W. W. MORRIS
TAKING the old finish off furniture or woodwork needn't be a messy job—if you go about it right with the right remover. Before the manufacture of solvent-base removers, the only kinds available were the alkaline types. These still are used in industry, but the commercially prepared removers are better for the handyman.
LAZY Susans are recovering some of the popularity they enjoyed a hundred years ago. Here’s one you can make quickly. For the rollers, remove the wheels from four or six awning pulleys. These wheels are turned true, have a diameter of about ½", and have a center hole a little larger than ⅛".
GUS Wilson, sitting at his desk in the Model Garage office, glanced at the local newspaper Stan Hicks had brought, and stopped sipping his midmorning coffee. A bold, black headline streamered across the top of the front page: FARM COUPLE FOUND MURDERED.
Garages have these to give away. Take home a handful, and you’ll find plenty of uses for them.
YOU'D find it hard to buy steel as good as you can get free in old auto valves. Most garages will give them to you. Test the stem and the head with a fine file. Valves vary in hardness. You may get some the file will cut, but most are glass hard. Unless you plan to shape them entirely by grinding, these have to be annealed.
White Paint Shows Brace Slot. In the dark it’s often difficult to prop up your hood with a swinging brace because you can’t see the slot. Applying a little white paint around the slot will make it stand out prominently even in poor light. Altered Pliers Clean Battery Post.
What happens when you press the button? You’ll see quickly if you make these simple working models.
Kenneth M. Swezey
THE makers of auto horns have come as far from their early baa-DOO-gah! days as have their brother engine designers. So if the horn on your new car both sounds better and carries farther, it’s no accident. Some horn developments have been purely technical, but others have turned upon the physics of sound.
Why struggle with them any longer? They will swing freely and last longer if you mend them now.
GARAGE doors fall roughly into three categories: those you can open easily, those you can drag open with a small tractor, and those you have to blast. If you have type two or three, you won’t need to be convinced that repairs are in order. Were they just beginning to drag last fall?
Wheelbarrow Planter. Brass is the ideal material, but if you paint the piece even tin plate will serve. Bessemer rod is a fair substitute for the ⅛" rod, and radio bus bar for the decorative twist. Bend a 20" length of ⅛" rod into a V, and a 10" length into a pair of legs joined by a crosspiece.
Canvas webbing and hardwood framing make it strong and durable—and it's light enough to move around easily.
INDOORS or out, this webbed chair fills a definite need. During the winter, it's just the thing beside a TV set. When warm weather comes, you can take it out to the lawn or terrace, for weather won’t harm it if you apply a protective finish. Materials to build it cost less than $12.
This piece of furniture is easy to build but big and solid enough to be used in many ways.
Shoe Bag Holds Toys on Auto Trips
Tool Unscrews Ceiling Lamp Bulbs
THERE'S plenty of space on this mansized table. You can lay out a fourhanded card game without crowding and still have room for drinks and ash trays. It’s 36¾" square—about 400 sq. in. more top area than the average card table provides. The handsome top is built of scrap strips of hardwood flooring.
You have to try one to tell. But that can be done easily, and the results are sometimes really worth the effort.
Color Need a Boost?
IF YOU are somewhat beyond the "normal" TV range and your pictures are weak... If one station that you especially want comes in poorly... If you are near a transmitter but can’t have a roof-top antenna... ...You should try a television booster.
Inner-Tube Strips Keep Boat Cushions From Slipping
Tinning Paint Speeds Soldering
Rolling Out the Screen Wire
Rubber on Hammer Saves Woodwork
Magnet Replaces Spring in Valve
LOW-COST tinning of metal surfaces is a simple matter with this tinning paint. After old paint or other coats are removed from the metal, a coat of the tinning paint is brushed on. Heat is applied—usually with a torch—until the paint bubbles and turns brown.
Like a ringside cameraman, you must anticipate the action. For best results, shoot at 1/50 sec.—and overdevelop.
How images are produced on your television set.
What happens when you shoot at different speeds.
Home Incinerator Is Easily Assembled from Kit
Easy Way to Store Lamp Bulbs
Sheet Glass Is Stored Safely Between Pages of Book
R. P. Stevenson
NEXT time you watch a prize fight on TV, keep one eye on the edge of the ring, and you’ll occasionally see a newspaper photographer push his camera under the ropes to snap a picture. What these men do at ringside, you now can try at home—on TV. The pictures you get may not have all the zing of ringside shots but they’ll be surprisingly good.
You have to know the “combination” to open a drawer or door bolted this way.
Metal Strips Copy Contours
Nylon Used to Strain Paint
Walter E. Burton
FIVE cents worth of hardware is enough to make a pickproof magnetic lock for any wooden door or drawer. It will baffle anyone unless he has a magnet and knows just what to do with it. The latch is locked when two metal balls wedge metal vanes connected to its pivot, keeping the latch from rotating.
IS SPACE precious in your house? Here's an amplifier for a record player or radio tuner that matches or surpasses the performance of most full-sized sound reproducers, but takes up less space than a cup of coffee. With it, you can tuck a radio-phonograph into a bookcase or end table.
MY SHOP is small. Space is always at a premium. Here was my problem: I had to mount a jigsaw and a woodworking lathe. One solution was to build separate stands for them. But stands would take up floor space. Another solution was to mount them on top of my workbench.
Few sports give you the sheer thrill of speed that outboard racing does. Even a motor with low horsepower will send this hull skimming across the water.
Accessories You’ll I\eed
Painting the Hull
Lumber You’ll Need
Support Keeps Framing Square Steady
Detachable Car Sign Tells Business
Two Circles Square End of Board
New Flash Reflector Folds Up
Inner Tube Protects Level Bubble
Homemade Trailer Makes Handling a Sailboat Easier
Here's a Handy Farm Cart
Wear Her Photo on Your Wrist
HOW can I get started in outboard racing? How much will it cost? What kind of a hull do I need? What kind of a motor do I need? Put these questions to any 10 drivers of racing outboards and you’ll probably get 10 different answers. But here’s one answer—one that you can do something about without laying out your life’s savings for a racing outfit.
Two-Speed Chuck. You can lock work in place faster with this chuck. Insert the wrench in one of the six holes on the outside diameter of the scroll and rotate the scroll by lever action—by pulling on the wrench. That rapidly closes the jaws on the work.
By building this treasure chest for growing plants indoors, you can have a head start on your neighbors.
Leader for Wire Recorders
Tray for the Draftsman
Individual Salt and Pepper Shakers Are Easily Made
This Scrap Pad Won’t Get Lost
Bookrest Boat from Wire Hanger
IN THE darkest, coldest room in our city home stands a box 16" high and 25" square, shaped somewhat like a pirate’s treasure chest. Inside it, many seedlings and cuttings are receiving their nourishment from chemical nutrients and their life-giving light and heat from a 20-watt fluorescent "sun."
File and Electric Drill Are Used to Cut Shoulder on Bolt
Simple Wall Rack Holds Scissors
My Most Ingenious Solution
Bags Protect Tools from Rusting
Drilling Radial Holes. Your lathe can be used to index holes on a circumference and drill them on a true radius. Just mount a hand or breast drill on the compound rest as shown. With a different mounting you could also use an electric drill. Disassemble the drill and mount frame between centers on the hole through which the spindle fits.
Within the past year there have been many conflicting recommendations on how often to change oil. One magazine article suggested that every 4000 miles is often enough under normal conditions. The point most often missed is that the average car owner does most of his driving between home and work.
Grassland farming means better pasture grasses and legumes, more forage production, utilization of grass silage. But animal droppings on pastures have caused headaches. Plant life under the droppings tends to grow rapidly and form clumps, making an uneven surface that breaks implements.
Torque Hazard Eliminated. This new drill-press attachment uses an ingenious system of moving arms to hold work steady. Although you can move the floating plate by hand anywhere on the drill-press table, the torque of the drill can’t budge it.
DEADLIEST DRIVING in the world is done in Bombay, India, according to a world traffic survey made by the Danish Government. The annual fatality rate there is 769.66 per 100.000 cars and trucks. In Los Angeles (which has more cars per family than any other city in the world), the annual death rate in traffic accidents is only 27.86 per 100.000 cars; and in Milwaukee (the safest city in this respect) it is only 22.06 per 100,000 cars.