A shocking cure for what ails you…

February 1, 2013 by · Leave a Comment 

Here’s an interesting medical devise which never seemed to catch on, as reported in the Scientific American” issue of March 14, 1891. I wonder how many investors in this product were shocked when this one went belly-up?

Before the Jane Fonda video…

August 24, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

The “Scientific American” issue of Nov. 18, 1911 offers this interesting solution for “…reducing abdominal weight”. I don’t think this one caught on…

Presenting the case for going green militarily…

March 3, 2012 by · 1 Comment 

For those whom are conflicted over their desire to “go green”, but are not ready to pull back on the protection that a well-equipped military provides, perhaps the following invention shown in the February 8, 1896 issue of Scientific American will make a comeback and relieve your distress… as well as the distress of a similar minded buddy…

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…”.

From long before he would become famous…

June 27, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

The “SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN” issue of  November 5, 1892 includes an extremely inconspicuous item that would never be noticed for what it is. Near the back of the issue the editor would answer various questions of writers, and this issue includes response to five inquiries from a nine year old boy by the name of Walter P. Chrysler. Yes, this is the same Mr. Chrysler who would found the car company some years later. Obviously he was a bright & inquisitive young boy destined for great things in life. See the hyperlink for the reference from the book “Life Of An American Workman” which verifies the mentioned questions were from him…

Wish I had one of these…

June 4, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

This “Improved Velocipede” made its debut in the May 2, 1891 issue of “Scientific American“. It had to be as unusual a site in 1891 as it would be today. It looks like it would have been fun to ride…

A collector sells bound volumes in 1878…

December 11, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

This advertisement appeared in the “Scientific American” issue of June 22, 1878, noting a collector who has various bound volumes of the title, selling for $1 each. How prices have changed.

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