Mystery Gadget 36


What was stored in this tank?

The answer is here.
     Posted By: Paul - Mon Apr 18, 2016
     Category: Technology | 1930s

My first reaction was going to be "was it ever actually built, though", since I'm interested in physics and have never seen this thing before. A bit of searching turned up that it was, and also the unfortunate reason why you don't see much of it anymore:
Posted by Richard Bos on 04/18/16 at 07:38 AM
So, how'd they do it? Just drop a weight on one? That'd be a hell of a targeting nightmare wouldn't in?

BTW, storage tank for elephant pharts wasn't right.
Posted by Expat47 in Athens, Greece on 04/18/16 at 09:52 AM
Ah, yes, Westinghouse. A once proud name in the electronics industry laid low by extremely poor business decisions and mismanagement. In the late 1990's I worked at one of the last remnants of the company, the nuclear power division near Pittsburgh. The division developed command and control systems for nuclear power plants, built from scratch. Literally one-off handcrafted computer systems using outdated microprocessors two generations behind what I had in my desktop computer. Halfway through my stint there the business was sold to British Nuclear Fuels and Westinghouse was pretty much on top of the scrap heap of history.
Posted by KDP on 04/18/16 at 09:55 AM
My guess was an inflatable radome. At least it does have something to do with electronics.
Posted by Phideaux on 04/18/16 at 01:30 PM
It doesn't look right for anti-matter, dark energy, or even di-lithium crystals, since there's no place for the starships to dock. Must be something lighter than air with that shape, so I'm going with hydrogen; it's always a safe bet.
Posted by Virtual on 04/18/16 at 01:31 PM
After reading the histerical marker at the site, I see it was a storage tank for mis-information.
Posted by Virtual on 04/18/16 at 01:44 PM
Never did I ever think it was a storage tank. I thought it was the world's biggest lightbulb. And it proved how many New Yorkers it takes to change one.

Posted by Greg on 04/18/16 at 07:12 PM
What I'd like to know is who annotated the old magazine, and why. I've seen this a lot before and never could fathom why someone went to the trouble. My assumption has always been it was a librarian somewhere. But it seems to be so disorganized as to be useless.
Posted by Robb of Warren on 04/19/16 at 12:16 AM
Am I the only one who thought it looks like storm troopers on the balcony thing?
Posted by Miles on 04/19/16 at 01:14 AM
I also guessed hydrogen, because that is probably the stupidest thing you could put in a place likely to be struck by lightning.

I love these stories found in the pages of old magazines and newspapers, and spend/waste time at Google books and the newspaper archive sites more than I care to admit. What's nice is my local library gives me free access to the newspaper archive site, as long as I click the link to it from the library's research webpage, which is accessible by anyone with internet access.
Posted by Fritz G on 04/19/16 at 08:12 AM
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