Gadgetry v1.3

A functional and fictional device.

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1880s 1890s 1900s 1910s 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s 2010s

, 1900. “If your engine has a linking in gadget on the I.P. valve gear, it would be well to link it in a little, giving the I.P. a shorter cut off, and an increase of power in the I.P. cylinder would result and the H.P. would be decreased a corresponding amount, and the respective powers would even up to about 88 I.H.P. each.”

Kipling, Rudyard, 1902. “Directly under the car he lay and looked upward into pipes–petrol, steam, and water–with a keen and searching eye. / I telegraphed Mr. Pyecroft a question. / ‘Not–in–the–least,’ was the answer. ‘Steam gadgets always take him that way. We had a bit of a riot at Parsley Green through his tryin’ to show a traction-engine haulin’ gipsy-wagons how to turn corners.” […] “‘But, after all, it’s your steamin’ gadgets he’s usin’ for his libretto, as you might put it.” Pyecroft to narrator about Hinch, who was formerly terrified, driving around the car. […] “‘But I will say for you, Hinch, you’ve certainly got the hang of her steamin’ gadgets in quick time.’ / He was driving very sweetly, but with a worried look in his eye and a tremor in his arm.”

Bullen, Frank T., 1902. “Before I had time to question him as to his meaning, the old man emerged from the cabin loaded with sundry strange-looking machines, and followed by the steward bearing more. For a few minutes he was mighty busy placing his menagerie in order, and then he turned to me and said briskly, ‘Now, Mr. Roper, I’m all ready, go forrard and invite the hands aft to the lecture.’ […] The skipper was as busy as two people about his wheels and things, and the unhappy steward like an image of fear obeyed mechanically the various commands of his dread master. At last a whirring sound was heard like the humming of some huge imprisoned bee, and to this accompaniment the skipper took up his parable and preceded to talk. […] Indeed, from what I could see of their faces, I believe every other sense was merged in the full expectation of an explosion, and they couldn’t have taken their strained eyes off the buzzing gadget in their midst for any consideration whatever.” a monkey rushes the apparatus, something explodes, then: “‘Mr. Roper, I shan’t give any more scientific exhibitions this trip; I think they’re immoral.’ With that he hobbled into his cabin, and we saw no more of him for a week. When we did, you couldn’t have got a grain of science out of him with a small-tooth comb…”

Kipling, Rudyard, 1903. “Thus we’ave the starboard side completely blocked an’ the general traffic tricklin’ over’ead along the fore-an’-aft bridge. Then Chips gets into her an’ begins balin’ out a mess o’ small reckonin’s on the deck. Simultaneous there come up three o’ those dirty engine-room objects which we call ‘tiffies,’ an’ a stoker or two with orders to repair her steamin’ gadgets. They get into her an’ bale out another young Christmas-treeful of small reckonin’s–brass mostly.”

Kipling, Rudyard, 1903. “Two Six Seven’s steam-gadgets was paralytic. Our Mr. Moorshed done his painstakin’ best–it’s his first command of a war-canoe, matoor age nineteen…”

Kipling, Rudyard, 1904. “He stood up and steadied himself by a stanchion, in the middle of the front seat, which carried the big acetylene lamp. / ‘This is like the gyroscope gadget on the Portsmouth submarines. Does she dive?’ said he.”

Parker, G.R., 1904. “Why, I’m blest, if it ain’t old Bobby first this time,’ ejaculated the Flag-Captain, ‘that’s her boat, with the curly gadget on the bows, right enough. ‘Strordinary!”

, 1905. “But, as above stated, the methods of tying the cotton while under this extreme pressure as usually practiced are such that when the pressure is removed the bales expand until their density is only about 22.5 or 23 pounds to the cubic foot. Various methods have been used to prevent this expansion, at least in part, and so produce a bale of greater density. These methods seem to be practicable, though of varying utility, but they all involve increased expense. Among them is the Gadget process, so called, an attachment by which wires are drawn tightly around the bale and twisted while the cotton is held between the jaws of the compress. By this method a density of perhaps 30 to 35 pounds is retained, and bales of that density and consequently smaller size would apparently permit car loadings of 40,000 pounds and upwards. To what extent the Gadget attachment is in actual use is not disclosed by the testimony. […] By the use of the Gadget attachment and similar devices a bale of still greater density is produced which loads readily 35,000 to 40,000 pounds.”

Beyer, Thomas, 1906.Gadget’–a make-shift name for any object.”

, 1907. “an appliance to clean the bottom of the ship, without the necessity of dry-docking or employment of drivers. It consists of an oblong structure armed with wire brushes, and looks very much like a door-mat. This is pulled forwards and backwards by stout hawsers, made fast to the ship’s steam capstans. It can be made to traverse any path the operator requires. The bristles of the brushes are magnetised, so that they both attract themselves to the iron of the ship’s side and scrape as well.” / “It was wonderful to see how quickly the news spread round the ship that the electric scrubbing gadget was worried satisfactorily.”

Saint-Gaudens, Homer, 1908. “Mr. Caffin smiled, stroking his sandy ‘gadget,’ so called by his friends as ‘a nameless, improvised thing.’ ‘You’re a machine at all the old tricks. But when it comes to modern initiative–God knows, you must jack up those men yourself. I’m close, but you’re their skin.”

Dermody, D.E., 1908. “I’d like to have a ten-minute session with the bow-legged tailor that put the latest gadget stitch on those trousers.”

, 1908. “The chief, with an eye to curbing the speeding proclivities of the automobile set, purchased a motorcycle that was guaranteed to run like the dickens. And it did, too, the first time the chief took the road. Accidentally pressing the wrong gadget or something, the thing bounded away like a stung deer.”

Japp, Henry, 1909. “The erector arm was attached to the tunnel segments by a gadget (Fig. 15).”

, 1909. “The smooth patch, together with paper or tin bags properly marked, I am quite sure would preserve the identity of each bale of cotton from the time it leaves the compress until it reaches the factory; and in the case of the tin tag this would be true though every particle of the covering should be torn from the bale in transit. The tin tag in its present shape can not be used successfully on cotton banded with Churchill patented wire-tying machine, the ‘Gadget,’ but it would no doubt be made to conform to the new system. When the ‘Gadget’ comes into general use cotton would be so much more mercifully handled by stevedores in breaking out at destination port that the smooth patch and the paper bag will likely be found to accomplish the end aimed at.”

Hospitalier, E. , 1909. “”