After the Titanic
, inventors tried to think of ways to preserve items during a sinking. Dutch inventor Cornelis Van Blaaderen came up with his Floating Safe, which never quite caught on.
has a brief explanation in English.
has the full story, but all in Dutch. Google translate should help. But even if you don't bother, there are great pictures and a film!
Gadget with closeup.
What is this thing intended for? Hint: even though it would have had more widespread use a century ago, it could still be useful today.
The answer is here.
What are the odds this would actually work? Maybe if you bailed out when your airplane was about twenty feet off the ground....
The Clavilux was a device that displayed a psychedelic light show on a screen. It was invented by Thomas Wilfred in 1919, who hoped that it would become so popular that one day every home would have one. That didn't quite work out. Though one of these sitting in your living room definitely would be a conversation piece. More info.
The "Clavilux Jr" of 1930 from Bright Eye Cinema on Vimeo.
What did this big monster machine do? I'll mention that it was not a one-off experimental device, but something in daily use in New York City.
The answer is here.
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No escape from the media, even in 1915, as President Wilson courts Edith Galt
Original photo here.
From the National Postal Museum
One of the oddest parcel post packages ever sent was "mailed" from Grangeville to Lewiston, Idaho on February 19, 1914. The 48 1/2 pound package was just short of the 50 pound limit. The name of the package was May Pierstorff, three months short of six years old.
May's parents decided to send their daughter for a visit with her grandparents, but were reluctant to pay the train fare. Noticing that there were no provisions in the parcel post regulations specifically concerning sending a person through the mails, they decided to "mail" their daughter. The postage, 53-cents in parcel post stamps, was attached to May's coat. This little girl traveled the entire distance to Lewiston in the train's mail compartment and was delivered to her grandmother's home by the mail clerk on duty, Leonard Mochel.
Another "human package" discussed here on WU was Johann Beck
, who in 1901 shipped himself across the Atlantic in a box.