Category:
Technology

Miss Formula

Miss Formula, who made her debut in 1964, was said to be "a computer's idea of how the perfect female should look." Though she was actually what the engineers at California Computer Products, Inc. thought the perfect female should look like. They designed her and the computer printed her out.

California Computer Products (CalComp) was eventually acquired by the Lockheed Corporation. I wonder if Miss Formula still resides somewhere in their computer systems.

Tampa Tribune - July 31, 1964



Pittsburgh Press - July 29, 1964



Pomona Progress-Bulletin - July 29, 1964

Posted By: Alex - Fri Nov 25, 2022 - Comments (4)
Category: Awards, Prizes, Competitions and Contests, Technology, Computers, 1960s

The house of 2020

Back in 1989, the BBC show 'Tomorrow's World' predicted what kind of technology people would have in their homes in 2020. They weren't that far off.

They got music on voice command right. But we don't yet have walls that turn into windows.

Posted By: Alex - Sun Nov 20, 2022 - Comments (4)
Category: Technology, Yesterday’s Tomorrows

Hot Meal Vending Machines

In 1968 (perhaps even earlier), an inventor had the notion of serving hot meals from a vending machine.





Lo and behold, today his dream is a reality. Would you sample such fare?









Posted By: Paul - Mon Nov 07, 2022 - Comments (3)
Category: Food, Technology, 1960s, Asia

Alternative Flight Simulator

Gadget-maker Alex Shakespeare has built an "alternative flight simulator, from a passenger's perspective." This allows him to pretend he's flying on a plane, without actually being on one.

He needs to put a row of seats a few inches in front of him to create the full, no-legroom effect.

More info: Alex Shakespeare's website

Posted By: Alex - Wed Nov 02, 2022 - Comments (2)
Category: Technology, Air Travel and Airlines

EMAG-3

I did a science fair project in high school, but I put so little effort into it that I'm now embarrassed thinking back on it. The topic I chose was "The Electrolysis of Water." I basically just had some electrodes splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen.

David Ecklein, however, had an extraordinary high school science fair project. Back in 1959, he built a computer, which he named EMAG-3, that was capable of playing "an interesting and reasonable game" of checkers. It was made from 3200 vacuum tubes and three miles of wiring. It stood 15 feet tall.

On his website, he notes that he designed it to fit the science fair floor space requirements, knowing that the regulations had omitted to mention anything about how high a project could be. Height restrictions were introduced the following year.

More info: MIT Museum



Great Falls Tribune - Apr 17, 1959

Posted By: Alex - Tue Sep 13, 2022 - Comments (6)
Category: School, Technology, Computers, 1950s

Mystery Gadget 102

Automatic fingernail painter? What's your guess?

The answer is here.

Or after the jump.



More in extended >>

Posted By: Paul - Mon Aug 15, 2022 - Comments ()
Category: Technology, 1950s

Mystery Illustration 108

What's extra-special about this submarine?

The answer is here.

Or after the jump.



More in extended >>

Posted By: Paul - Mon Jul 18, 2022 - Comments (2)
Category: Oceans and Maritime Pursuits, Technology, 1950s, Weapons

The Teppaz Transistradio

Besides having an unpronounceable name and being ugly, this French radio-turntable looks like very kludgy tech.


The entry at the Radio Museum.







Posted By: Paul - Fri Jul 08, 2022 - Comments (4)
Category: Music, Radio, Technology, 1960s, Europe

The Prayer

A concept by Diemut Strebe. “The Prayer” is probably the first robot that speaks and sings to God, all Gods. A rough design (inspired to a machine produced by Japanese scientists that replicates the human vocal tract) is combined with a cutting edge neural language model, fine tuned on thousands of prayers and religious books from all over the world. The prayer generates original prayers vocally articulated by Amazon Polly's Kendra voice, and sings religious lyrics to the Divine.

Text by Enrico Santus. More info: Diemut Strebe



Diemut Strebe has made a previous appearance on WU:

Artist Diemut Strebe offered his 3-D-printed re-creation of the famous ear of Vincent van Gogh for display in June and July in a museum in Karlsruhe, Germany--having built it partially with genes from a great-great-grandson/nephew of van Gogh--and in the same shape, based on computer imaging technology. (Van Gogh reputedly cut off the ear, himself, in 1888 during a psychotic episode.) Visitors can also speak into the ear and listen to sounds it receives. [Wall Street Journal, 6-4-2014]

Posted By: Alex - Wed May 25, 2022 - Comments (5)
Category: Music, Religion, Technology, AI, Robots and Other Automatons

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Alex Boese
Alex is the creator and curator of the Museum of Hoaxes. He's also the author of various weird, non-fiction, science-themed books such as Elephants on Acid and Psychedelic Apes.

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