This weekend on Modern Mechanix we looked at a giant fire breathing tank envisioned by Hugo Gernsback, the man the Science Fiction Hugo awards are named after. Hugo was cool, but he could hardly compare to this studly fellow modeling a salt-water powered radio. Long before the taser, a Cuban inventor created the stun glove. We looked at a teardrop shaped car, an early paper shredder and a very odd airplane modification used to keep citrus groves from icing. We learned about Hollywood special effects from the 30′s, a ballot counting machine, a mysterious death ray that was “suppressed” by the government as well as the oddities of time zones. Also we learned how to visualize the impact of car accidents by comparing them falls of various heights.
Today we feature an odd piece about the Remarkable Roach, a plan to blast spherical habitats in the lunar surface and a rather freaky looking face mask meant for arctic warriors. In 1924 buildings that were illuminated by flood lights at night were enough of a novelty that Popular Mechanics did a whole feature about them. Lastly, be sure to check out this page of “New Ingenuities” from a 1936 issue of Science and Mechanics.