Human ingenuity… not always successful…

February 25, 2012 by · 1 Comment 

The editors of the June 13, 1885 issue of Scientific American thought the following “invention” was worthy of both an image and supporting text.  Interesting to note that the preceding (lengthy) article on the same page was titled, “How the Sewage of Paris is Disposed of”.  Perhaps they should have ended this article with the words, “and with this in mind…”.  My advance apologies to the distant relatives of this inventor who may still be receiving royalties.

Perhaps the precursor to the shell game?

February 18, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

The following “invention” appeared in the Scientific American dated November 23, 1878.  Perhaps the “shell game” was developed to take advantage of the abundance of this unsold product?

And I thought we were the lazy generation…

November 26, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

See what the “Scientific American” magazine of  June 18, 1846 considered “Healthy Recreation”. The article notes that: “…it would be much more conducive to the health and happiness of the world if more encouragement as given to such modes of recreation among children & young people as are accompanied with wholesome exercise rather than the dull stagnating amusements of the nursery or parlor.” (see below)

Very early automobile…

August 27, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

This “Warrington’s Road Engine” appeared in the Jan. 1, 1881 issue of “Scientific American” magazine with a related article headed: “Novel Road Engine”. It predates the work of Karl Benz, generally accepted as the creator of the modern-day automobile, who produced some of his earlier work around 1885.

The article notes that: “…the fuel, which is at the same time the motive agent, is common illuminating gas which is mixed with a certain proportion of air & exploded in the cylinder in the manner common to well known gas engines…”.

A marvelous development in engineering (?)…

August 8, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Sometimes the simple reports we find in newspapers lead to a much more fascinating back story than was anticipated. Such was the case with an interesting report in The Cleveland Leader” of May 17, 1875, which contained a very lengthy & detailed article headed: “A Wonderful Discovery!” “A New Motor!” “The Days of Steam Probably Numbered”. Not knowing of any new motor created in the 1870’s I did some exploring and learned much about Mr. John Keely and the great hoax he perpetrated on the public.

See the hyperlink on Mr. Keely for the full story along with the following:

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