Weird Universe


Conception Days Indicator


It's the Swiss engineering that sold me!

Original ad here. (Page 55.)
Posted By: Paul | Date: Mon Feb 01, 2016 | Comments (5)
Category: Technology, 1960's, Pregnancy

Opel Rocket Vehicles


Original pic here.

Opel-RAK were a series of rocket vehicles produced by Fritz von Opel, of the Opel car company, in association with others, including Max Valier and Friedrich Wilhelm Sander largely as publicity stunts.

The Lippisch Ente a rocket-powered glider was produced on June 11, 1928, piloted by Fritz Stamer, but is not usually considered part of the series.

Opel RAK.1 - a rocket car that achieved 75 km/h (47 mph) on March 15, 1928[2]
Opel RAK.2 - rocket car May 23, 1928 reached a speed of 230 km/h (143 mph) driven by 24 solid-fuel rockets[2]
Opel RAK.3 rocket train (quoted speed is variously 254 or 290 km/h. See: [3], [4], [5], [6], [7]) On the second run the train jumps the track and is destroyed.
Opel Rak IV rocket train, destroyed when a solid rocket explodes on the track, exploding all the other rockets. Railway authorities prohibit further runs.[3]
Opel RAK.1 rocket glider September 30, 1929

Some stock footage of some of the rocket vehicles was incorporated into this early SF film.

Posted By: Paul | Date: Mon Jan 25, 2016 | Comments (4)
Category: Flight, Movies, Spaceflight, Astronautics, and Astronomy, Technology, Science Fiction, 1920's, Europe, Cars

The Electric Shopper Car


Full story here.
Posted By: Paul | Date: Thu Jan 21, 2016 | Comments (12)
Category: Inventions, Technology, 1960's, Cars, Yesterday's Tomorrows

Desk Riders


I sure would like to know more about this system/device/technology, but I can't google up anything else. Maybe WU-vies can help!

Original article here.
Posted By: Paul | Date: Thu Jan 07, 2016 | Comments (10)
Category: Business, Technology, 1930's

The Incredible Shrinking Radio

Despite the technological trend being obvious in 1954, I don't think anyone--SF writers or scientists or futurists--really anticipated something like an iPod.
Posted By: Paul | Date: Tue Dec 29, 2015 | Comments (6)
Category: Radio, Technology, 1950's

Follies of the Madmen #268


This was one of a series of postwar ads for magnesium, which illustrated how the miracle metal would allow consumers to do things nobody would ever want to do, like carry a baby carriage on your shoulder.

Original ad here.
Posted By: Paul | Date: Mon Dec 21, 2015 | Comments (8)
Category: Business, Advertising, Products, Technology, Babies and Toddlers, 1940's

The Duoscopic TV

In 1954, DuMont came out with a "Duoscopic" TV set that allowed two people to watch different programs on the same set, simultaneously. From Newsweek (Jan 11, 1954):

"When a husband wants to look at the fights and his wife prefers a situation comedy, the Duoscopic provides both at the same time. The set contains two screens and a special mirror that throws one picture onto the other, creating a double image. Polaroid windows filter out the unwanted image, and special earphones carry the separate sound tracks."

It was priced at $600. So in 2015 money, that would be approximately $5304 (according to the US Inflation Calculator). At that price tag, it made more sense for couples with different viewing preferences to just buy 2 TV sets and sit in separate rooms.

There's more info about the Duoscopic TV at the Early Television Museum. On that site, there's also speculation that DuMont originally developed the Duoscopic TV as a 3D TV, but decided they couldn't get that to work fully, so they repackaged it as a "watch 2 channels simultaneously" TV.

Posted By: Alex | Date: Fri Dec 11, 2015 | Comments (11)
Category: Technology, Television, 1950's

Big Role for Rock

Here's my question: who the hell ever first thunk up this elaborate, non-intuitive processing of gypsum, a rock out of the ground? The ingenuity of mankind and our genius ancestors is awesome and baffling.
Posted By: Paul | Date: Fri Dec 11, 2015 | Comments (4)
Category: Technology, Industry, Factories and Manufacturing, 1950's, Natural Resources

Parachute Hat


Original article here.
Posted By: Paul | Date: Mon Dec 07, 2015 | Comments (4)
Category: Technology, Air Travel and Airlines, 1910's

The All New Ford Informer

A woman who left the scene after she rear ended someone got turned in by her Ford vehicle via the automated emergency assistance system. When contacted by the dispatcher she tried to deny the accident but when police came out the car gave her away, again, due to all the damage.
Posted By: patty | Date: Sat Dec 05, 2015 | Comments (9)
Category: Accidents, Goofs and Screw-ups, Technology
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All original content in posts is Copyright © 2008 by the author of the post, either Alex Boese ("Alex"), Paul Di Filippo ("Paul"), or Chuck Shepherd ("Chuck"). All rights reserved. The banner illustration at the top of this page is Copyright © 2008 by Rick Altergott.