Mystery Gadget 98

What function is the large and complicated box performing?

Answer is here.

Or after the jump.

     Posted By: Paul - Thu Dec 23, 2021
     Category: Technology | 1940s

There is still a time number you can dial.

"The U.S. Naval Observatory's time-by-phone line received more than three million calls in 2015. Dial 202-762-1401"
Posted by crc on 12/23/21 at 08:15 AM
The time announcement was a local call for a number of years. I haven't used it in years because modern phones use a system clock on the service. It's too bad that there is no need hear that voice of the girl reading off the time - she's probably dead by this time anyway.
Posted by KDP on 12/23/21 at 10:22 AM
They had one of these on BBC Antiques Roadshow (a model without a case) and described its operation. I love gadgets like that -- no one part of it is all that complex, but there are a lot of things working at the same time.
Posted by Phideaux on 12/23/21 at 11:52 AM
The shape seemed right, so I went with one of those old shoe store machines that would show you an x-ray of your feet. She's calling her friends to come in and get near-lethal doses of radiation.
Posted by Virtual in Carnate on 12/24/21 at 07:56 AM
I was not even close on this one. But I do remember looking at my feet in one of those store x-ray machines. My mother had to tell us kids to stop, we must have thought it was so neat-o. Long time ago 😊
Posted by Steve E. on 12/24/21 at 01:37 PM
Quite a Rube Goldberg device to provide a service that could be done with a tiny chip today. I believe that 555-1212 was the local number you could call for a time check. Just for fun I just now tried it; it no longer works. :(
Posted by Brian on 01/06/22 at 02:25 PM

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