What Were They Thinking? #1

Hi there! I'm Salamander Sam, and you may remember me from such comment sections as Follies of the Mad Men #33 and Follies of the Mad Men #31. As you may know from my comments, I like vintage technology, and so you can imagine my excitement when I found out that Google Books obtained the rights to every issue of Popular Science ever made. The good news for you is that you don't need to waste countless hours searching through the archives for hilarious articles, because I was already doing that anyways! This will be the first entry in my "What Were They Thinking" series, which will probably be the first of many series devoted to the weirdness that once was. And, like the Top Ten List, I will start out with the best example:

One of Popular Science's longest running segment was called "I'd Like To See Them Make...", in which readers suggested ideas for new products. Many were quite brilliant, but there were some which can only be enjoyed with the benefit of hindsight...

(from the January 1956 issue of Popular Science)

Special Bonus Product:

(from the April 1953 issue of Popular Science)
     Posted By: Salamander Sam - Wed May 06, 2009
     Category: Products | 1950s | Goofs and Screw-ups | Yesterday’s Tomorrows

What? No goggles? No respirator? No haz-mat suit?
What ~were~ they thinking.

Today they'd mask the toxic chemicals with a fresh lemon scent.
Posted by Paul in Athens GA on 05/06/09 at 03:13 PM
Please dispose of asbestos gloves by beating them until a fine mist appears in the air. Breathe deeply.
Posted by kingmonkey in Athens, Ontario on 05/06/09 at 03:44 PM
@ D F Stuckey -

I don't know anything about what kinds of asbestos are safe or how dangerous they can be, but I'm pretty sure the heat lining in the hood of my car is asbestos and I'm not dead yet. Either way, it would be a good idea to refrain from eating the gloves or drinking the liquified asbestos.
Posted by Salamander Sam in Chicago on 05/06/09 at 04:04 PM
i love the smell of asbestos in the morning! can you say mesothelioma? great job sam, i look forward to many more in the series! :coolsmile:
Posted by Patty in Ohio, USA on 05/06/09 at 05:31 PM
@ D F Stuckey -
You may be right about the heat lining in my car, but the vehicle in question is from 1984 and from what I have heard asbestos wasn't banned from automobile manufacture until the late 1980s. Whatever it is, it is dark, ratty, and dusty, and parts of it are hanging down from the hood so it should probably be replaced either way.

@ patty -
Thanks for the support. I have many more ads and articles to post, so stay tuned.
Posted by Salamander Sam in Chicago on 05/06/09 at 05:47 PM
Nice Sam, I've always loved laughing at the idiots of days gone by. You've saved me the trouble of hunting down the best ones.
Posted by Nethie on 05/06/09 at 07:48 PM

Thanks for the link, I will have to look through the Google Popular Mechanics archive, it will give me even more to post.
Posted by Salamander Sam in Chicago on 05/07/09 at 03:56 PM
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