Connolly, James Brendan, 1920.
“They call out the seconds and she begins to porpoise, and at zero out of water goes her periscope again and the Herr Kapitan has another look, and it’s a sure bet then he’s all set to blow up the works. He whistles to the guy Fred to be ready and Fred fixes his eyes on a gadget that shows red and green lights when it flashes. And the diving rudder man stands about an ninch [sic] closer to his little wheel, meaning he’s all set too.”
Wodehouse, P.G., 1920.
“Damn!’ said Freddie softly, and hurried off down the street. He wondered whether he had made a frightful ass of himself, spraying bank-notes all over the place like that to comparative strangers. Then a vision came to him of Nelly’s eyes as they had looked at him in the lamp-light, and he decided–no, absolutely not. Rummy as the gadget might appear, it had been the right thing to do. It was a binge of which he thoroughly approved. A good egg!”
Paine, Ralph Delahaye, 1920.
“I wish the guy that invented this solitaire gadget was cooped up with us,’ he grumbled to himself. ‘I’d treat him rough. This is the night for her to come through. King on a jack and I’m ditched again, by cripes.”
“And the younger duck generation / Should all be taught to use / Some muffler apparatus, / To save them from abuse. / There’s ‘gadget’ used on roosters / That will stop the ‘morning crow;’ / If Burt can adapt it to his ducks, / Hearty thanks to him will go!”
Stacpoole, Henry De Vere, 1920.
“Stick them on that shelf,’ said Jude. ‘Oh, Lord!–butter-fingers!–lemme! That’s the gadget to keep them from shiftin’ if the ship rolls. Now stick the knives in that locker. You don’t mind my tellin’ you, do you?”
Goodwin, John, 1920.
“I’ve got the stuff wired up, Luke,’ he said, ‘and the whole gadget timed according to instructions; but hte detonators have to be fixed yet. It’s not a show that wants monkeying with until its [sic] needed. […] If the game looks in the least like being blown upon, this gadget of yours wipes out the barge and all evidence that can speak or bear witness.”
Paine, Ralph Delahaye, 1920.
“You make me smile. Upon getting under way what special entry must be made in the ship’s log? Likewise and also, what is a Polyconic Projection? Snap it out, now!’ / ‘Your poor simp! I’m the man that invented that gadget. ON the level, there’s only one question on the whole list that you are sure of.”
Haslett, Elmer, 1920.
“Look for another match!’ I cried to Davis, and although he knew he had no more, he began to throw things out of his pockets right and left. Among these things there fell a smudge cigarette lighter. These instruments were devised by the French on account of their extreme shortage of matches. The gadget consists of a tiny steel wheel, which strikes a piece of flint, which in turn ignites the smudge. The only trouble with these things is that they do not always work.”
“There were several earlier types which, although they had their defects, were very effective and frequently ‘spotted’ the Kaiser’s subs at distances of several miles and aided our sub-chasers in running them down and giving them the spurlos versenkt with one of our neat little ash cans. The more modern apparatus upon which I personally worked was not perfected in time to have actual service overseas. This remarkable ‘gadget,’ which is known as the multi-unit or M.V. Type of hydrophone, consists in general of two lines of twelve equally spaced microphones. They are mounted – one on each side – below the water line and either beneath a protective ‘blister’ outside the skin of the vessel or sometimes within the forward water tank.”
Levison, Eric, 1921.
“You see, it was standin’ against one bulkhead–against a wall, I mean, about–about amidships I should say of the room. It was as big as me; a big, black, shiny safe, and there was a keyhole in the door covered by a little nickel gadget about as big as–as a dollar.”
“We will suppose that a factory is of just medium size and that it is governed by a General Manager and a Superintendent. Also, that it has a Statistical Department and the usual number of factory departments with a foreman in charge of each. The product is a small machine, which we will call a gadget, and it is composed of a few castings, which are purchased from an outside foundry, some commerical parts, and some parts which are made in the various departments. The factory has been turning out about thirty machines a day, but, it is desired to increase this output to forty.”
Livcsey, G.H., 1921.
“Lately I have devised more sightly and lighter arrangements for protecting the nails. One useful gadget is to pull over each nail a short piece of black indiarubber tubing of suitable diameter. This affords good protection. Another contrivance I have used is a small metal clip to pinch round the nail, and this is very effective.”
Perry, Clay, 1921.
“But I want you to smash ‘em through the ice,’ went on Bret. ‘And I think we can rig a gadget that will do it. If the donkey-crane isn’t high enough–how about using a Jim-pole to lift the logs up and chuck them into the river, instead of hauling them out on the bank?’ […] ‘Chuck ‘em out on the ice from a Jim-pole sling, twenty feet high, and it will smash the ice up, won’t it?’ ‘I’ll say so–if we can rig the gadget.’”
Benchley, Robert, 1921.
“And even then I was forced to stretch one leg out so far that I kicked a little gadget on a box arrangement on the dashboard, which apparently stopped the engine.” [george blames it on him, says he did it on purpose.] “As if I, with no mechanical instinct whatever, knew what was in that box! I don’t know even now, and I have got my driver’s license.”
Graves, Robert, 1922.
“In fact, sir, you want an apparatus combining a variety of qualities, in a word, an absolutely silent, efficient, economical, invisible, corrosive proof, unornamented, not-too-heavily-springed, easily adjusted, readily removable, British-made, right-handed, patent automatic door closer, ideally fitted in every possible respect for attaching to your pantry door which (I understand you say) contains a glass window. How is that, sir?’ ‘Splendid, splendid.’ ‘Well, sir, I regret that there has never been any article of that description put on the market, but if you care to visit our wholesale department across the road, you may perhaps be able to make your choice from a reasonably large selection of our present imperfect models. Good day, sir.”
Le Queux, William, 1922.
““Geoffrey has actually torn himself away from his horrible old wireless,” Sylvia remarked. “For nearly a fortnight we’ve hardly seen him.” / “I’ve been awfully busy on a new gadget,” the young man replied with a laugh. Then, turning to May, he added: “Sylvia is always poking fun at me because I happen to be enthusiastic over my work.””
Winters, S.R., 1922.
“The multiplied troubles of the radio operator on board ship, and persistent complaints to the superintendent, have hurried the development of the break-key. The name was a misfit for early devices with their multitude of levers, wires and contacts. The delicacy of the equipment was responsible for periodic instruction from the company engineers not to tamper with the outfit. / The ‘gadget,’ as it was disrespectfully called, sputtered and flashed at the contacts, and the noises circulating in the telephones further tried the patience of the operator. Messages were received with uncertainty and traffic was frequently congested.”
Verrill, A. Hyatt , 1922.
“Somehow or other I can’t get on to this radio a little bit. When you get that sending outfit rigged you’ll have to go down and test it. I’d probably bungle something. I didn’t even dare meddle with this gadget for tuning. I tried it once and when your voice stopped I just shoved her back and let it go at that.”
Verrill, A. Hyatt, 1922.
“Now, of course there’s no reason why a Russian should not use a German sub if he could get hold of it, but what were they doing over here in the East River is what gets me. I don’t believe they were just rum-runners, even if Murphy and his crowd did find a lot of booze over there, and what was that cigar-shaped sub-sea gadget they were pulling along with ‘em?’ ‘Why, I think that’s all simple,’ declared Tom. ‘They probably brought liquor in here with the submarine and carried it to the garage in that torpedolike thing.’”
Stiles, Commander William C.I, 1922.
“I think that many an officer, when he first studies the mooring board at the Naval Academy, or rather when he is supposed to study it, is at once impressed with its resemblance to a huge spider web, contrived by the devilish ingenuity of man for the purpose of hopelessly enmeshing the poor fly–which is himself. […] In either case, if the ship has to shift berth, the tendency is to damn the mooring board as an impracticable ‘gadget,’ and to fail to criticize the manner of its use. Thus when it comes to a consideration of the less obvious manuvering problems, he is prone to dismiss the whole matter with the assertion tha, like the Peace of God, it ‘passeth all understanding.’ […] When speaking of mooring board problems, I think not so much of the board itself as of the kind of work involved. Such problems may be worked out on the actual board, or in many cases on a chart, or perhaps on some kind of specially contrived ‘gadget.’ […] I have a gadget I use for maneuvering problems instead of the printed forms, locally known as the ‘Wegee Board,’ because it is supposed to predict the future and explain the past. It is a sheet of white celluloid with an 18”circle on it graduated in degrees. At the center is the point of a thumb tack inserted from the bottom side and filed down till it barely projects above the board.”
Zimmer, George Frederick, 1922.
“Finally, there is the ‘gadget,’ which is employed when insufficient fall [gravitational momentum] is available, in order to push the packages along.” (209) “The ‘Gadget.’ – A ‘gadget’ is illustrated in Figs. 302 to 304 (Rownson, Drew, & Clydesdale’s patent). This device comes into play principally when a sufficient gradient for a gravity runway is unobtainable, and where, therefore, a very slight incline or even a level path, has to be chosen. A ‘gadget’ may likewise be used for an uphill gradient for stacking purposes (see Fig. 305), or it may take the place of a ‘humper’; generally speaking, a ‘gadget’ will push a steady stream of cases for about 200 ft. on a level path. This device is made 8 ft. long in order that it may replace an 8-ft. section of a runway without necessitiating any rearrangement of the rest of the lay-out. The machine consists of an angle frame which may stand on a level floor in case of a stationary installation, or may be mounted on wheels for a portable lay-out; it totally elcloses the elctro-motor and the propelling device. […] It would not be practicable for the ‘gadget’ to push cases round the corner; the path must always be in a straight line. If angles have to be negotiated, this must be done on a gravity run after the cases leave, independently of the pushing influence of the ‘gadget.’”
Bunker, Major Paul D, 1922.
“Now here is a little gadget which should be in every home–I mean plotting room. It is small and inexpensive, if your [sic] don’t have to make or buy it yourself, and helps out the plotter like a brother should–but doesn’t”
Leroy, Oliver, 1922.
“AFFUTIAU, sb. m. 1. trinket, article of adornment. Les jeunes filles aiment les affutiaux, girls are fond of titivating. Des affutiaux comme en aiment les jeunes paysannes, just the sort of fal-lals peasent girls like. 2. Thing, gadget. Je ne sais plus le nom de cet affutiau, I don’t remember the name of that gadget.”
“The addition of a fifteenth instrument without doubt gives the car that possesses it a modicum of greater luxury than is enjoyed by the driver with but 14 assorted gadgets at his disposal. But we would rather have the presence of a large variety of non-essentials on the dash regarded as a matter of minor interest–of interest undoubtedly, but not of such paramount importance as to be worth a whole page of ecstasy at current advertising rates.”
Acres, F.A. Stepney, 1923.
“It would be more than folly to think that it is necessary to produce a freak design, or to plaster the chassis with gadgets, just because an attempt is being made to reach a market in which the conditions are so very different from those at home.”
“Somebody has suggested that the installation of thermostats, shutters, etc., is a confession of weakness; that a properly designed cooling plant ought to cool the car without the necessity for tinkering with it to meet the vagaries of the weather. The fact is, of course, that overcooling is just as objectionable as constant boiling; and that the only way in which a proper mean can be maintained is by a system that modifies its cooling capacity according to the weather. At the same time, the thing can be carried to an unnecessary degree of fineness. During the season when thermostats are busy and shutters working overtime, while those who do not possess these gadgets fall back mainly upon the use of newspaper and cardboard shields over the lower part of their radiators, the driver whose front-end design makes it possible for him to slip off his fan belt will be able to achieve much the same result in this way, and with a saving of power.”
“It is inexcusable folly to have something go wrong 50 miles from nowhere, and then wish vainly that you had purchased some badly needed gadget before you started. A collapsible bucket, for example, is almost indispensable if the engine overheats and the water boils away. An extra gallon or so of oil and five gallons of gasoline are other factors of safety.”
“Gadgets (cxlvii. 427).–In J. Manchon’s ‘Le Slang’ (Paris, 1923) I find: Gadget, s. lo N[autique] toute pièce de machine; 2º F[amilier] employé à la place d’un mot qu’on ne trouve pas: chose, machin, truc; M[ilitaire] une chose quelconque [an unspecified thing], le système, l’affaire (à faire, à avoir, à réussir): the gadget is to barge in on the Chief fright away, at the double. La chose à faire c’est de rentrer tout de suite dans le patron et au pas d’gym [d’oum?]. See also 12 S. iv. 187, 281. –John B. Wainewright. / Professor Ernest Weekley, in ‘A Concise Etymological Dictionary of Modern English,’ deals with this word thus: ‘Gadget [neol.]..? From gadge, early Scottish form of gauge. –H. ASkew. / Spennymoor. I am told that this word has a naval origin and was, and is, used to signify any piece of loose tackle.””
“A Handy Gadget for the Magazine Subscriber. How do you remove the wrappers from tightly rolled newspapers or magazines? […] The problem has been solved by a cutter devised by Arthur F. Hoffman, a rural mail carrier at Harvard, Neb., recently submitted to the Post Office Department and approved by the Postal authorities. The cutter is in the form of a knife with a curved and flattened tip. The flat point is easily inserted underneath the wrapper and a forward movement of the instrument results in clean cutting of the covering without damage to the contents.”
“The painter of houses has always been puzzled for a way to plant his ladder against the side of the house without making a mark on the freshly laid paint. A way to accomplish this is now offered him in the ingenious ladder-support illustrated. On each upright of the ladder, near the tip, is clamped a curved brace, the other end of which is pointed. These two points, one on either side of the ladder, furnish the bearing points for the ladder. […] and they offer an extraordinarily convenient place from which to suspend the paint pot.”
“Handy Gadgets for the Amateur Gardener. All those who have gardens know the fatigue pursuant to kneeling when any operation is required near the surface of the ground. From England we have a kneeling mat which seems to solve the problem very effectually. It is made of rush or straw and the bottom is water-proofed so that the damp and dew will not strike through. These pads are very extensively used in England.”
Bourbon, Diana, 1924.
“His remarkable youth at 93 is only a fitting crown to an absorbing Use. Lord Mayo, one of India’s Viceroys, was for years his closest friend. He knew Charles Dickens Intimately as a young man, and among his acquaintances were Thackeray. Landseer and almost every one of note in the artistic world of the period. It is a. period he has outlived but still has hardly time to regret, for in addition to keeping abreast of the engineering world today, attending to his business as Chairman of the Southern Punjab Railway, Inventing new “ gadgets “ from time to time and interesting himself in the pure food problem. Sir Bradford has at last started to write his reminiscences.”
Klemin, Alexander, 1925.
“The famous Handley Page slotted wing, shown diagrammatically in our sketch, when open actually increases the maximum lift between fifty and seventy percent! Its incorporation involves many mechanical difficulties, and aeronautical engineers always like to leave their wings free of all ‘gadgets’ or complications. Nevertheless, this tremendous increase in lift may very well be utilized one day either to diminish landing speeds or to increase the carrying capacity of our planes.”
Ingalls, Albert G., 1926.
“Trucks Make Their Own Fuel. The accompanying photographs, showing a method of generating fuel gas for motor vehicles from charcoal, which has been rather extensively tried out in France, illustrates, to our mind, a tendency which has been apparent in Europe since the World War–a tendency to attempt to accomplish by complicated methods what is already being accomplished through simple means. […] The apparatus consists of a generating chamber having a grate, firebox and boiler for producing the necessary steam for making the gas. It appears to be an amazing complication of internal ‘gadgets.’ The gas must be scrubbed, filtered to remove particles of charcoal, and further purified in a centrifugal purifier. There are a number of other details which it seems unnecessary to mention here.”
“Well, gimme the works, and I’ll show you how it’s done [wiring a “spotlight” to the car], and then when you buy a cigar lighter or some other gadget in another town, where they haven’t a good-natured garageman to wire it for you, you can do the job yourself.”
“people expected a big novel from burly young Author Hemingway. His short work (In Ou Time, 1925) bit deeply into life. He said things naturally, calmly tersely, accurately. He wrote only; about things he had experienced mostly outdoors, as a doctor’s son in northern Michigan and as a self-possessed young tramp in Europe. Philosophically his implication was: “ Life’s great. Don’t let it rattle you. “ 141029 The gadget in a railroad official’s office car which is most likely to get out of order is the speedometer, whose clock face is usually perched just above and in front of the official as he sits in his accustomed chair before the starboard rear observation window. Nevertheless, last week the Boston &; Maine joined the current race to lure passengers with gimcracks when it installed a speedometer in the solarium of its crack, streamlined Flying Yankee. Developed by Waltham Watch Co., the instrument is actuated by a small electric”
“All I’ve got to do,’ he would explain, ‘is to figure out a way to shift this ‘dooflapper.’ When I get this ‘dooflapper’ so it will topple this little lever and let it drop this gadget into this groove here, this wheel will turn over and release this other lever, and I’ll be all right. Then this other cog will flop up and catch this other gadget, and I’ll have perpetual motion, you bet!’”
Wright, Milton, 1927.
“A College Professor Solves a Mathematical Problem and Becomes a Wealthy Inventor. Most of us are likely to think of an inventor as eagerly seeking some idea upon which to exercise his genius, and then bending over a work bench surrounded with wheels, wires and miscellaneous gadgets trying first this combination and then that until he works out his invention. / He gets his patent and makes the rounds of manufacturers, all save one of whom laugh at his radical ideas, but that one sees something in it and makes a fortune. / The other day we were talking with an inventor who is not like that at all. He never thought of himself as an inventor, never looked for anything to invent, never had any intention of making a lot of money, believes he is weak in imagination-that quality so often considered necessary to successful invention-has put in far more time writing a book than he has done in inventing, has done his in venting only as a sort of side line and never bothered peddling an invention around among manufacturers. All the inventing he does is with a pen and a note book. And yet Louis Alan Hazeltine has made a fortune out of his inventions. The best known of them, of course, is the Neutrodyne radio receiver.”
Wright, Milton, 1927.
“An Industrial Expert Tells Why Manufacturers Must Seek New Inventions to Keep Their Wheels Turning. […] “‘Our experience with inventors and with manufacturers indicates that there is a tremendous amount of inventive effort going to waste. A great deal of free-lance inventing means that the poor inventor spends a vast amount of time and thought and often hard-earned savings working up some useless gadget that nobody will have. “The inventor must realize that the first requisite of any new invention is that there be a possibility of broad human need underlying it, and ma chinery for its distribution that can be made to turn without spending a small fortune. Let him remember the really outstanding inventions and think of them not as mechanical creations but as things that made it possible for humanity to ride where it had walked; to bridge space with conversation where it formerly required days to transmit messages. / Let him remember Gillette’s safety razor. The money on this invention has been made not through the razor but the blades. / Gillette’s fundamental idea from which that invention sprung was that he wanted to get something for which there would be un limited repeat business. His hitting upon a blade that could be used and thrown away was a real stroke of genius. / This element of need is the thing that has been fundamental in inventions which have won commercial success. Before he spends a lot of time, therefore, let the inventor check up on the potential market.”
Beard, Charles Austin and Marry Ritter Beard, 1927.
“After the long and toilsome rise, American civilization had reached, at the summer solstice of Normalcy, the high plateau of permanent peace and prosperity. […] Notes of jubilee drowned the plaintive cries of farmers and the queasy doubts of querulous critics. According to the golden appearance of things, intensity would create novelty upon novelty, gadget upon gadget, to keep the nation’s machine whirling; inevitably outlets would be found for the accumulations of capital and the torrents of commodities; and employment would be afforded for laborers befitting their merits and diligence. Articles for comfort and convenience, devices for diversion and amusement were multiplying with sensational rapidity, giving promise of a satisfaction even more gratifying. Corporations were swelling in size, holding companies were rising to dizzy heights, the tide of liquid claims to wealth were flooding in.”
“The old Ford was almost austerely a utility. For long it made no compromise with fashion or esthetic demand. Everything was sacrificed to continuous mass production; the one reliance for sales was cheapness and more cheapness. It adopted no mechanical improvements or refinements. It was always black. It was not advertised. It had no gadgets or gewgaws. Its lineS were high and awkward. In short, it was a flivver.”
“It contains full particulars of the unique Gramophone Service for Records by Post, Records on Approval, the Exchange of Gramophones and Records. Motors, Tone Arms, Soundboxes, and every possible Gadget and Accessory connected with the Gramophone free and post free.”
“Where did you put that gadget, thingamabob or whatsit that you saved for just such an occasion as this? Closets will have to be searched, the basement looked into, ad you may even desperately ransack the attic. Use a good flashlight.”
“Their transport was a weird six-wheeled automobile that traveled on a roadbed of wire netting. While one roll was stretched in front of the car, another was being picked up behind it. […] The wheels of their homemade six-wheeled car, which they named a ‘gadget,’ were equipped with flat wooden tires, thirty inches wide. Steering was done by braking on first one wheel and then the other.”
Klemin, Alexander, 1928.
“The Handley Page or Lachmann slot has been applied to actual airplanes with success. Its wider adoption is a matter of the mechanical complexities its use involves, of the objections that constructors and pilots have to the use of ‘gadgets,’ and of doubts as to its mechanical reliability in rough service.”
Rowland, John T., 1928.
“Doubtless there are devices which might in some cases assist a trapped crew to escape. But the device which may save life in one contingency will be useless in another and all submaries would be handicapped and their buoyancy seriously curtailed for the one problematical case when such apparatus would be useful. […] So the gain would be worse than doubtful. considered purely from the viewpoint of personal safety, all naval officers prefer a ship which can fight to one cluttered up with ‘safety’ gadgets; witness for instance the fact that a battleship carries no life boats. It is an old saying that ‘a bright look-out is the best lifeboat,’ and that principle applies to every sort of ship.”
“On the Memphis, coming back from Paris, Slim [LIndbergh’s nickname] rigged up a gadget to work a shower bath from the outside. He tried it first on a newspaperman who, fully clothed and expecting to get a ‘human interest’ item out of the ‘invention’ Slim asked him to inspect, stepped under the shower and got literally ‘all wet’ when Lindbergh pulled the string.”
Wilstach, Paul, 1928.
“one of Jefferson’s most ingenious devices, for the rungs are all hinged, the uprights are grooved, and the whole thing folds up into the appearance of a single, solid, slender piece of mahogany (see page 484). Above the same portico is a weather vane, but its mechanism extends down to the out-of-door ceiling, where he installed a dial and indicator, so that he could inform himself of the direction of the wind without leaving the protection of his own roof (see Color Plate XVIII). THE OWNER OF MONTICELLO LOVED A GADGET Jefferson designed and built several curious tables. One of these had a revolving top, so that sitting by it he could, without |p488 rising, bring to his hand objects on the opposite side of it? a sort of first cousin to “ Lazy Susan. “ Another of his tables had hollow legs, in which were rods supporting the writing surface; but these rods were so hinged to the top that he could not only raise and secure the top at a height which made it convenient for him to write or read or draw at it when standing up or sitting down, but he could also tilt the top at any angle he found convenient. Obviously he belonged to that large brotherhood which loves a gadget. Quick to appreciate ingenious novelties, he picked them up wherever he found them, and not only brought them home, but he improved them. One such contrivance was an attachment which he found in Milan, for the hub of his carriage wheel to tell the nummer of revolutions made obviously the granddaddy of the modern speedometer. Another was a polygraph, a writing machine, which made two copies with only one writing (see Color Plate XXIV). Jefferson improved on this, so that his polygraph”
White, E.B., 1928.
“man who probably was thinking the thing out, sitting quietly at a desk. THE headquarters of the Hoover state organization in Forty-first Street are even rougher-looking. The brick walls show through the plaster in two places. Nothing here equals the national committee’s farm, but the place is busier. Phones ring a lot, earnest ladies come in and offer to Do Something, wan salesmen appear with little things to sell – ashtrays with elephants on them, collapsible drinking cups bearing the likeness of Hoover, all sorts of bibelots. They say this is the biggest gadget and gewgaw campaign since Harrison and Tyler. Campaign songs are offered in greatest abundance. An excited composer phoned the offices at nine one night (they are open till after midnight) and wanted to sing his song over the wire. Someone had to listen. People with mottoes and slogans arc next in number to songwriters. One man offered to sell for thirty-five dollars the line, “ H, the beginning of Hoover and the end of Smith. “ Some phrase-coiners send their slogans along by wire.”
Johnston, Alva, 1928.
“A student we interviewed said that when he applied for enrollment he did very well with the bars, and was told to go out to the line of planes waiting for flights. It was all quite casual. He was given the name of an instructor and told to report to him. He had to hunt for this man, whom he finally found off at one side of the field eating a hot dog. This teacher of fledglings, with but the preliminary of a perfunctory handshake, began his work immediate-ly by pointing out a few of the main gadgets. After a little of this he told the novice to get in the plane, and off they went aloft. The student was in the air half an hour after his enrollment, not counting out the time he spent hunting up the instructor. The planes have dual controls; the student sits behind the pilot. Some instructors give advice and orders through tubes connected with earphones in the student’s helmet. Others use hand and arm signals.”
Livermore, George G., 1929.
“It must be wonderful,’ babbled Gladys, ‘ to be a big, business man and sell people things.’ ‘It is,’ agreed Saleratus. ‘Only I’m not.’ ‘Oh, yes, you are,’ Gladys rattled on. ‘You sell people heaps and heaps of things, whether they want them or not.’ ‘I do?’ asked Saleratus. ‘Yes, you do. You see I know all about you. I’ve been just crazy to meet you, and I was thrilled when Jessica told me you were coming to-night.’ ‘You were,’ said Saleratus. ‘I certainly was. I wish you’d try to sell me something.’ ‘Hey,’ muttered Saleratus. ‘Yes, I do. Won’t you sell me something?’ ‘I’ll sell you a gag,’ Saleratus rejoined, as the car hit a particularly wicked bump in the road down which they were flying. ‘A what?’ asked Gladys, righting herself. ‘A gadget,’ said Saleratus. ‘What’s that?’ ‘A do funny you put on a machine.’ ‘Why would I want a gadget?’ ‘You wouldn’t,’ said Saleratus. ‘Then why try to sell me one,’ said Gladys. ‘I won’t,’ replied Saleratus. ‘Don’t you just love nature?’ asked Gladys.”
“To those of us who, by choice or otherwise, spend the winter in the cooler climates where winter golf is the exception rather than the rule, the slowly passing days of late winter bring with them wistful visions of rolling fairways and smooth velvety greens. Then out come the clubs for cleaning and polishing and the time is at hand to take stock of the accessories. What have the past few months contributed to the art of golf? you ask yourself. And at least part of the answer is presented on this page where we show a few of the “gadgets” that are now available for the golf enthusiast. May’ they help you to improve your game this season.”
“But let’s just forget about ignition switches and other fancy business and see what we actually do with the six-volt battery current. This little square thing I’m drawing now is supposed to be the spark coil, and this funny gadget right next to it is the contact breaker or timer. One terminal of the battery is wired to the frame of the car and there’s a wire from the other pole of the battery to the spark coil. Then there’s a wire from the spark coil to the insulated, stationary contact point in the timer.”
“You know, of course, that the weak radio impulse that reaches your set by way of the antenna is amplified or strengthened many times before it is converted into the electrical equivalent of sound that you can hear. This strengthening of the radio signal is accomplished by passing it through several circuits, each of which consists, essentially, of a vacuum tube, a coil of wire, and a queer-looking metal gadget with two sets of metal fins, called a condenser. You have noticed how some of these fins slide in between others without actually coming into contact, when you turn the knob that tunes the stations. Moving these fins, or condenser plates, governs the tuning of the individual stage of amplification. The same result could be obtained by changing the number of turns in the coil of wire, but it is mechanically more convenient to do the tuning by moving the condenser plates.”
“A ‘Gadget’ for Focussing: [sic] A small negative of smoked glass, with a clear cross scratched on it, fixed at another part of this holder in the same plane as the one to be enlarged from at times very useful for focussing purposes.”
Ingalls, Albert G., 1929.
“In addition to the 5,400 stars down to the 6.2 magnitude the planetarium projects the Milky Way. This is projected separately from little gadgets on the side of the apparatus.”
“Here’s the handiest, best-looking toilet case you ever saw. A simple solid-leather box, minus the tricky loops and gadgets and cubby holes which waste time and patience. You just toss toilet articles in. No packing at all … everything fits.”
Reed, Johnston, 1929.
“With the holiday season three weeks past Mr. Edgell had about gone through his presents; all that remained was an odd-looking gadget of nickel, which bore the cryptic stamp, ‘Griffo-W128. Pat. 1927.’ Mr. Edgell didn’t know what it was meant for. He had been bafled by it ever since Christmas morning, when it had arrived from the Dillards, along with some handkerchiefs of a sort of bleached burlap, and a tie.” Don’t you know what it is? “It’s a–a–puzzle.’ There was a long pause, and finally Mr. Edgell elaned forward in his chair. ‘Yes, Alberta,’ he said, sweetly, ‘and it’s a damn good one.”
“The pocket lighter, that little gadget which replaces matches and supplies a light for the cigar by a simple flip of the thumb–sometimes–has become so popular in this country that many varieties of cigar-stand filling stations have been devised.”
Behrman, Samuel Nathaniel, 1929.
“less. DR. AVERY You know this doesn’t surprise me, my boy. – Doesn’t surprise me at all. RAPHAEL LORD It doesn’t surprise you because you don’t believe it. DR. AVERY It doesn’t surprise me because I’ve been expecting something of the sort. p. 17 RAPHAEL LORD How do you mean? DR. AVERY You know I’ve been very interested in you ever since you came here. I don’t mind admitting that I’ve rather studied you. I felt pretty certain that you’d produce some little gadget out of your mind to demonstrate your superiority to yourself and to the rest of the world. So it’s prophecy! Well! Well! I have in mind a book: “ Varieties of Egomania. “ You shall have a footnote in it. RAPHAEL LORD Only a footnote? DR. AVERY Maybe a chapter! RAPHAEL LORD You think I’m a case, don’t you? DR. AVERY In a sense everyone’s a case. RAPHAEL LORD In a short time, in two years”
“…pathologist and dentist, took the body apart. They found that its jawbones were decayed, also parts of the skull, a bone in the right thigh, and four teeth. The heart and lungs were sound, but other internal organs yellow with rot. # The death of Mrs. Cardow, onetime dial painter for the Waterbury Clock Co., like the deaths and protracted illnesses of U.S. Radium Corp. scientists and minor employes (TIME, June 4, Nov. 26) is a social penalty for the public’s demand to have night-luminous watches, clocks, gadgets.”
Coates, Robert, 1929.
“lagging one night at a dinner party in Paris some three years ago, Mr. Alexander Calder amused his table companion by making a chicken out of a piece of bread and a hairpin. A success story has grown from that idle bit of modelling. Mr. Calder’s kangaroo is now one of the heaviest-selling gadgets in the Christmas toy lists; his bear, bull, and dog are also popular numbers. He has also had an enormous succor d’estime with a wire, felt, and heaver-hoard circus. These raw materials he took up when he abandoned bread and hairpins. The Calder circus is in town now. You can’t buy tickets to it, but people who have seen it say it is worth getting a bid to a private showing.”
Hellman, Gregory, 1929.
“Adjoining Mr. Powers’ office on the top floor (just below the putting green) is a conference room with a fireplace, and a negro butler. Mr. Powers has friends in to lunch there. Food is prepared in a kitchen elaborate with gadgets of the engraver’s own invention – built-in drawers, a special coffee-grinder, and newfangled ice-making machine. The table service, for six, is of heavy gold, modelled after one the Kaiser owned. At one end of the conference room “ Does this one say’ ma-nla’ too? “ stands a large filing cabinet. “ What do you think that is? “ Mr. Powers asks his guests. “ A filing cabinet, “ they reply.”
Oswald, Carl L., 1929.
“The chief products of the “Gadget Age” are, quite properly, gadgets, and in no field is a new gadget greeted with mroe jjoy than in the realm of amateur cinematography. Therefore, I wish to suggest a new device especially adapted for the use of prisms, but having other auxiliary features of real value to the amateur.”