Modern Mechanix Round-Up

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Today on Modern Mechanix we look at some outlaw radio pirate’s plan to operate from giant offshore broadcasting platforms. Why would they go through all the trouble? Freedom of speech? Nah, they just wanted to play ads for gambling, quack medical cures and liquor (this was during prohibition). It’s a pity they didn’t have an v1agra to pitch. This machine solved one of 1936′s biggest mechanical problems; the automatic bending of pretzels.  We also looked at a home movie camera that is also a projector, an odd method of launching airplanes by flinging them from a giant merry-go-round and the popular new sport of sand skiing.

This weekend we learned about all of the tricks employed by FBI agents in an article written (or at least written with) J. Edgar Hoover. We also looked at a machine that is supposed to help the deaf by blasting their ears with loud noises and project ICARUS, a plan for delivering troops to the battlefield via giant rocket troopships. Every once in a while these old magazines have a bit of ASCII art (of course it wasn’t called ASCII art then), here is another example; an ad for International Correspondence Schools.  In 1935 Science and Mechanics asked the question “Can Cities be Annihilated from the Air?” alas, they can.

We learned what every good smoker of the 1930′s already knew: More doctors smoke Camels than any other cigarette brand. If you’re worried about buying contaminated food at the market this checkout device is supposed to render your food germ-free using “condensed sunlight” (UV).  This kid made some pretty amazing models of a ferris wheel and the Eiffel tower entirely out of toothpicks.  Also check out this crazy, homemade bubble-topped car, a whole radio set built into pair of headphones a cool looking electric bicycle and an army device that lays communications cables by shooting them into the air at 30 MPH.

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2 Responses to Modern Mechanix Round-Up

  1. dan winckler says:

    The cameras of the Lumiere brothers were also projectors. They designed them so that their itinerant cameramen/projectionists could shoot a movie of the townspeople during the day then project it for them that night. The novelty factor of seeing yourself on film was huge.

  2. Doomstalk says:

    That radio transmitter looks suspiciously like the Fruit Fucker from Penny Arcade.

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