“Besides its many handsome diagrams and striking photographs, it possessed a side pocket containing a collapsible, multicolored dodecahedron (held together by rubber bands which made it self-erecting when removed from its hid ing place), a set of motion-picture ‘cards which when rapidly riffled displayed certain geometrical laws, a pair of red and green Cagliostro spectacles which conferred three dimensions on the book’s several anaglyphs, and a few other equally ingenious gadgets. Dr. Steinhaus’ introduction was so modest and amiable as to disarm all criticism. “You are right,” he said, “there is no system in this book; important things are omitted and trifles are emphasized. Many things do not deserve the name of mathematics, and the author himself does not seem to know what his aim really was in publish ing his ‘mathematical snapshots.’ They are too scientific for a child and too childish for a mathematician.” Still, this was excessively modest. For Steinhaus succeeded not only in serving up a re past of mathematical objects “as peculiar as the most exotic beast or bird,” but his book, for all its grab-bag disorder and despite the fact that his morsels rarely more than tickled the appetite for the strange and wonderful, afforded an amazing display of the richness, the variety and especially the interrelatedness of mathematical thought. His snapshots had a dual role. They were often beautiful and fascinating in themselves and from that standpoint it was unnecessary to ask what they meant. Yet they were also pictorial representations of purely abstract relations possessing universal validity. Thus they could illumine for the thoughtful reader something of the nature of intellectual process-how we are able to interpret the physical world and make coherent and useful systems describing its behavior. The very mish mash quality of the book serves to carry out this purpose.”
“The attempts through the years to get a broader, looser conception of patents than the Constitution contemplates have been persistent. The Patent Office, like most administrative agencies, has looked with favor on the opportunity which the exercise of discretion affords to expand its own jurisdiction. And so it has placed a host of gadgets under the armor of patents – gadgets that obviously have had no place in the constitutional scheme of advancing scientific knowledge. A few that have reached this Court show the pressure to extend monopoly to the simplest of devices: Hotchkiss v. Greenwood, 11 How. 248: doorknob made of clay, rather than metal or wood, where different shaped door knobs had previously been made of clay. Rubber-Tip Pencil Co. v. Howard, 20 Wall. 498: rubber caps put on wood pencils to serve as erasers. Union Paper Collar Co. v. Van Dusen, 23 Wall. 530: making collars of parchment paper where linen paper and linen had previously been used. Page 340 U. S. 157 Brown v. Piper, 91 U. S. 37: a method for preserving fish by freezing them in a container operating in the same manner as an ice cream freezer. Reckendorfer v. Faber, 92 U. S. 347: inserting a piece of rubber in a slot in the end of a wood pencil to serve as an eraser. Dalton v. Jennings, 93 U. S. 271: fine thread placed across open squares in a regular hairnet to keep hair in place more effectively. Double-Pointed Tack Co. v. Two Rivers Mfg. Co., 109 U. S. 117: putting a metal washer on a wire staple.” etc. etc. “The patent involved in the present case belongs to this list of incredible patents which the Patent Office has spawned. The fact that a patent as flimsy and as spurious as this one has to be brought all the way to this Court to be declared invalid dramatically illustrates how far our patent system frequently departs from the constitutional standards which are supposed to govern.”
“Its owners were mighty proud of their new gadgets. They were proud because their new gadgets were time-saving. Chaplin was horrified because they were also man- killing. The superiority of gadget to man, the slavery of man to gadget,…”
Ingalls, Albert G., 1950.
“Well, I do it thisaway. The glass rotates while the template slides over it, back and forth. The linkage keeps the template always vertical. Throw on the abrasive and both glass and template automatically go paraboloid, the only curve we know of that can be made that way. Starting, say, with a hemisphere, or any segment of a sphere, and a thin, circular template, you can keep going and get any focal length you want. Of course, the above is a convex paraboloid but it works equally well on a concave one. / The reason why this gadget works this way lies in the equation of the paraboloid and the fact that every section cut from a paraboloid, like a, b, c, d, e, is a parabola and all are identical.”
“In every real woodman’s kit you’ll find them–gadgets or doodads or wrinkles, or whatever you want to call them. They won’t be big, nor will there be many of them. But though experience, some camper has proved they will make life in the out-of-doors more enjoyable.” “A firebug is simple to make and about the handiest thing imaginable. With the help of one of these efficient little pyromaniacs you can’t miss with a fire, even in a downpour. The firebug will give you six minutes of hot flame. Just wrap two feet of thick string around seven matches and dip into warm paraffin.”
“Regarding the “utility of the BC-221 frequency meter,” which can be “increased considerably by the addition of a null indicator that gives positive indication of exact zero beat between the crystal and the heterodyne oscillator or the signal from a near-by transmitter. A 6E5 ‘magic eye’ tube can be added without circuit complications…” “The addition of this gadget has made a big improvement in my BC-221, and it is hoped that others will be able to derive the same benefit…” “Needing something in a hurry to replace a smashed neon bulb as an r.f. indicator, I connected a tN34 crystal diode across a 0-1 millimeter as shown at A in Fig. 2. With the addition of a six-inch length of wire as a probe, the gadget can be used for numerous application”
Moses, Robert, 1950.
“The typical real-estate subdivision brochure contains distorted maps, claims that distant places are within easy commuting range, and pictures kitchens replete with shining gadgets, living rooms which look like Hitler’s Chancellery, and gardens reminiscent of Marie Antoinette and the Tuileries. These folders, which aim to create a romantic atmosphere, are labeled Rocky Mountain View, American Venice, Marmaduke Manor, Phoenix Park, Pacific Shores, Aztec Village, Wampum City, Quahog Beach, Casabianca, or Capri. Their streets are named after fruits, Presidents, ballplayers, movie stars, Indians, Eskimos, departed local celebrities, Scotch clans, and Riviera resorts. There are usually guarded references to a magnificent community clubhouse where good old Crestfallen Manor still stands, and to murmuring hemlocks, vast expanses of sandy beach on salt or fresh water, and so forth.”
Calloway, Cab, 1950.
“Another interesting game in New York is the game of the man’s hat. The initial price of a man’s hat is nothing to the New Yorker. It’s the upkeep. Most places I’ve visited you hang onto yoru own hat wherever you go. In restaurants you hang them on hooks and watch to see that no one steals them. In theaters you hold your hat on your lap. Some places even have little who gadgets under the seats which hold the hat securely.”
Jordan, Dr. Frederick D., 1950.
“A small boy, I am told ran to the open door of a radio shop and asked, ‘How much is television?’ What a question indeed. How much is love, freedom, honor? How much is God? How much is community? The lad’s question was direct and simple; but as deep as depth; as long as forever; as high as the farthest unimagined star. What he means of course was how many dollars would it cost him to get one of those mysterious gadgets that catch pictures from the air. But television, community, life’s ultimate reallties are never purchasable in dollars and cents; yet there is real meaning in asking how much they cost.”
“You don’t have to be an engineer to cook on a NATURAL GAS stove. Mothers can even teach young daughters in a minimum of time to master the art of flame cooking. There are no gadgets and buttons to push, no restless waiting for proper cooking temperatures. A flick of the wrist brings the desired heat instantly. It’s that easy and that simple.”
McLuhan, Marshall, 1951.
“How much more Know-How is needed to make human life obsolete? Is there any known gadget for controlling a rampant Know-How? The lady in the ad has found a mechanic substitute for moral choice?” “As the ad implies, know-how is at once a technical and a moral sphere. It is a duty for a woman to love her husband and also to love that soap that will make her husband love her. It is a duty to be glamorous, cheerful, efficient, and, so far as possible, to run the home like an automatic factory. This ad also draws attention to the tendency of the modern housewife, after a premarital spell in the business world, to embrace marriage and children but not housework. Emotionally, she repudiates physical tasks with the same confection that she pursues hygiene. And so the ad promises her a means of doing physical work without hating the husband who has dragged her into household drudgery. / To purchase gadgets that relieve this drudgery and thus promote domestic affection is, therefore, a duty, too. And so it is that not only labor-saving appliances but food and nylons (‘your legs owe it to their audience’) are consumed and promoted with moral fervor. / But gadgets and gimmicks did not begin as physical objects, nor are they only to be understood as such today. Benjamin Franklin, protean prototype and professor of know-how, is equally celebrated for both his material and psychological technology. In his Autobiography, still a central feature of Yankee moral structure, he tells, for example, how he hit upon a system of moral bookkeeping which would enable any man to achieve perfection in several months. The trick is to select only one fault at a time for deletion and by concentration and persistence the moral slate will soon be clean. Related to this system was his discovery of various techniques for winning friends and influencing people which are still as serviceable as ever.”
McLuhan, Marshall, 1951.
“For, like any social object, she is not an invention or a gadget so much as a cluster image that is both nourished by, and touches the life of, industrial man at several points.”
McLuhan, Marshall, 1951.
“Society begins to take on the character of the kept woman whose role is expected to be submission and luxurious passivity. Each day brings its addition of silks, trinkets, and shiny gadgets, new pleasure techniques and new pills for pep and painlessness.”
McLuhan, Marshall, 1951.
“We are told that the audiometer in the ad is ‘installed in a radio receiver in a scientifically selected radio home. By recording every twist of the dial, every minute of the day or night, the audiometer obtains precious radio data not available through any other means.’ These meters are, of course, isntalled with the consent of the scientifically selected radio-owner.” “Don’t look now, but I hear somebody hooking this gadget to an electronic brain–for the good of mankind, of course.”
“The Boy’s Book Of Model Rail Roading, by Raymond F. Yates. Harper and Brothers ($2.50). Instructions on the repair of model trains, the making of stations, switches, signals, scenery, bridges, viaducts, remote-control gadgets; how, in other words, to pursue the small-train hobby while pretending to be doing it for your children. Mr. Yates has also taken pains to lay out simple jobs the children can do so as not to disturb you.”
“With the risks attendant on all such statements, I would like to put forward the alternative view that operations research is at the diaper stage, that its great successes are in the future. First, as to its military applications: Operations research is applied at three levels, the use of weapons or gadgets, tactics and strategy. For simplicity consider only the first of these. The notion that we have learned the optimal use of present weapons, or those in the development stage, Will not bear scrutiny.”
“The ‘Tyron’ is the result. It looks like a small grease gun, and it fixes punctures by injecting a liquid sealer into the hole. Just pull out the nail, insert the gadget, give it a few quick turns, and the tire and tube are sealed.”
Ingalls, Albert G., 1951.
““At the center of gravity of my gadget I put a nut in the baseboard to fit a standard camera tripod screw. Thus, by using a pan head on the tripod I have an equatorial mounting which facilitates pointing the gadget at the sun as the sun moves. This really helps. / “To line up the gadget, move the tar get until the diameter of the solar image is single and a minimum. It is well to cover either hole in the mask separately, examining the image with a low-power magnifier to note whether it is circular and whether it has a flare on one side caused by lack of squareness in the position of the target or the lens. Clamp the binocular hinge to its support, point the gadget at the sun, and observe the images.””
Posnack, Emanuel R., 1951.
“If a machine, apparatus, process, tool, gadget is not within the stated ‘constitutional scheme of advancing scientific knowledge’ [quoting Justice Jackson in A&P decision], it is not deserving of patent protection. It does not matter that it is new or useful–or that it has promoted the progress of the ‘useful arts’–or that it has added to human comfort or convenience–or that it has resulted in the investment of capital and the employment of labor–or in the addition of wealth. If it adds nothing ‘to the total stock of knowledge,’ its manufacture, sale or use should not be encouraged by the special inducement of a limited patent monopoly.”
Wesley, Ivie, 1951.
“Another new gadget that the children all over are raving about is the new individual pencil sharpener. A new school term increases the need for sharply pointed pencils and this little sharpener is just what children need to keep their many pencils in working order and to keep the pencil shavings off the floor. This unique opener has openings for two different size pencils and comes with 2 spare blades.”
Flowers, Harold, 1951.
“Only a few hours after his body had been deposited in the earth–his son had brought a new born baby into the world with the skill, care, and experience of the years–he was following in his father’s footsteps–I’m sure that the ‘Old Man’ would have been very happy to see him so engaged. With some malady which took away his voice so that it was necessary for him to use some mechanical instrument to talk–I can see him now with the gadget in his hand as his hcin pointed upward–and methinks I hear him say ‘Keep going, my boy!’”
“Appellee-plaintiffs sued for the infringement of three patents relating to steering gear idler arm assemblies of automobiles. Appellants-defendants,2 asserted that the patents were invalid because of lack of invention and that there was no infringement. The trial court upheld validity, found and enjoined infringement, and ordered an accounting. Later Jamco was found to be in contempt for violation of the injunction. […] [gadgetry as commonsense solution to a problem:] Jamco asserts that these devices do not constitute invention, were anticipated by the prior art, and at the most show only mechanical improvements which should have been obvious to a person having ordinary skill in the art. […] The crucial issue is whether ‘the differences between the subject matter sought to be patented and the prior art are such that the subject matter as a whole would have been obvious at the time the invention was made to a person having ordinary skill in the art to which said subject matter pertains.’ […] The dividing line between what results from mechanical ability and what displays inventive genius is ill-defined. Perhaps no hard and fast definitive rule can or should be established. We have here combination patents utilizing such well and commonly known elements as bearings, grease seals, washers, bushings, nuts and bolts. In Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. v. Supermarket Equipment Corp., 340 U.S. 147, 151, and 152, 71 S.Ct. 127, 129, 95 L.Ed. 162, it was said that ‘the concept of invention is inherently elusive when applied to combination of old elements’ and that ‘courts should scrutinize combination patent claims with a care proportioned to the difficulty and improbability of finding invention in an assembly of old elements.’ […] Recognizing that patentability is a question of law for the court,13 we cannot say that here there is a gadget as opposed to an invention. Certainly in a particular environment, the steering mechanism of motor vehicles, the peculiar and difficult problem of stabilizing that mechanism and protecting if from undue wear is solved in an expert, inexpensive and effective manner which attains an improved result. If the distinctive arrangement of the known elements would be apparent to a skilled mechanic, such fact is established neither by an examination of the devices nor by the evidence adduced at the trial. From the record presented to us the novel and distinctive combinations which make up the three patents in question require ‘greater skill and higher thought than would be expected of an ordinary mechanic trained in the art.’14 In the circumstances, Jamco has not sustained the burden of overcoming the presumption of validity by clear and convincing evidence.”
Gardner, Martin, 1952.
“Late in the 18th century Charles Stanhope, third Earl, a British statesman and inventor, built the first true logic machine, the Stanhope Demonstrator. The Demonstrator was a crude gadget for solving syllogisms. A syllogism consists of a major premise and a minor premise, the first making a statement about a “predicate term” and a “middle term,” the second about the same middle term and a “subject term.” By eliminating the middle term one arrives at the correct conclusion as to the relation of subject to predicate. In Stanhope’s Demonstrator the middle term was represented by a small wooden panel called the “holon.” It had a frame through which other panels could be slid to cover all or part of the holon. A panel of gray wood, representing the subject, was pushed in from the left, and one of red glass, representing the predicate, was pushed in over this from the right.”
Pierce, J. R., 1952.
“The waveguide is only one of many gadgets that microwaves have brought to radio. There are the cavity resonator (which is used to produce high electric fields, to filter signals, to provide circuits in vacuum tubes, and so on), the magnetron and the klystron (used to produce bursts of high power, notably as pulses for radar), and a host of others. But the story of most of them has frequently been told, and this is not the place for a detailed catalogue of microwave equipment.”
Roe, Anne, 1952.
“The early extracurricular interests of these men were varied, but here, too, there are some general patterns. More of the physicists than of the other groups showed early interests directly related to their later occupations, but this seems quite clearly to be due to the common small-boy preoccupation in this country with physical gadgets–radio, Meccano sets and so on. The theoretical physicists were omnivorous readers, the experimentalists much less so. […] From fiddling with gadgets to becoming a physicist may be no great leap, but the attractions of theoretical physics are not so obvious or well known, nor are those of the social sciences or advanced biology.”
Griffith, Maxwell, 1952.
“The Gadget Maker is a 1955 novel by Maxwell Griffith. It is notable for its vivid depiction of an otherwise-rarely-described milieu: campus life at MIT in the 1940s. It also presents a striking engineers-eye-view of guided missile development at a West Coast aerospace firm during the early days of the cold war. On its appearance, the New York Times described The Gadget Maker as “the story of a misguided zealot devoted body and soul to the advancement of knowledge” and called it “an absorbing narrative [and] a clear presentation of technological subject-matter, written with stylistic ease and fluidity by an author who is himself a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.” Just a few phrases in the novel, such as “Essentially, engineering was the skilled bending and shaping of metals into airplanes, bridges, cars, gadgets galore. Still, it required more than a skill at fabrication–an understanding, some vital spark of creativeness.”
“Your issue on automatic control is a vivid portrayal of a materialistic culture in which bright young men study engineering instead of philosophy. Only two authors (the first and last) weigh the tremendous problems that will follow the advances described by the other six. Each of these two speaks with the circumspection of one who elects to drift with the current rather than inquire too critically as to its direction. Less inhibited philosophers–say Bertrand Russell, Karl Menninger, Julian Huxley, Henry Thoreau and Philip Wylie–have been genuinely worried that so much genius is directed at producing more and better gadgets rather than improving the aims, morals and happiness of man him self, a field commonly left to opportunists and superstition-mongers. Is it not cause for alarm that Nobelists in peace unlike those in physics or medicine have often been conspicuous only by their absence? Or that such a basic human urge as pride of achievement (the family piano) is steadily giving ground to pride of ownership (the family television)?” “
Newman, James R., 1952.
“Model Jets and Rockets for Boys, by Raymond F. Yates. Harper & Brothers ($2.50). Mr. Yates gives a brief history of rockets, and then devotes several chapters to detailed instructions on how to build jet propelled aircraft, racing cars and boats, using ordinary house hold items and a few gadgets that can be purchased inexpensively. A complete jet engine that will run a model plane at 200 miles per hour costs only $1.95; fuel tanks can be made out of empty 35-milli meter film containers. […] Coggins and Pratt offer for a somewhat older age group an interesting account of the history and development of these fateful gadgets. Their book describes the tightly packed, powder-filled paper tubes used in the 13th century by the Chinese to frighten off the Mongolian invaders, the Congreve rockets the British lobbed into Baltimore in 1814.”
Carlton, Elliot, 1952.
“Do you know what an atom bomb is shaped like? I don’t either, but it would be appropriate if it were shaped like the earth. Then we could install it in some of those gadget-like imitations of the solar system that you see in planetariums, schools, museums, and other such places. / Certainly, if education is supposed to be made more realistic, that would be making imitation solar systems more realistic. After all, is not this earth of ours now just an atom bomb? / That’s why, of course, we’re surprised that there’s a 1952. That’s why we’re wondering whether there’ll be a 1953.”
“Arvey Andrew, Sumner Senior Scores 83 Points With Sound Gadget. Arvey Andrew, 17 years old senior at Sumner high school, placed third in science fair awards as was announced yesterday. His device, a home made oscilloscope, was scored 83 points out of a possible 100. … He gave several lectures and explained his gadget to many a person.”
White, Laureen, 1952.
“Here is where parents enter the picture. Dope provides the user with an escape from realities, and in this sense, parents themselves are often guilty of ‘doping’ themselves by buying cars, television sets, expensive clothes, gadgets and other things they can’t afford, giving themselves a false feeling of security.”
Herbert, Frederick Hugh, 1953.
““PATTY They have a fascinating new gadget. Whenever it starts to rain, you press a little button and it squirts water onto your windshield so that the wiper won’t get it all smeared. I think of it every time it starts to rain. … But the boy Vicki goes with does, and he lets me work it. Not drive it. Work the gadget. (31)”
“Problem––Gadget––Solution!” “We hope you enjoy this display of gadgets. They were developed by workers who wanted to attain better efficiency or greater safety on their jobs. Perhaps you have a gadget that would be interesting to your own company. If so, your management may be willing to consider its possible inclusion in this show so others may share its benefits.” “Mechanical ingenuity is typical of the American worker. From the cotton gin to the can opener he has used his inventiveness to create devices that do things more efficiently, more easily, more safely or at lower cost. / In an effort to further simulate such ingenuity, and also to assist in the exchange of ideas of this type, we are presenting this collection of ‘gadgets.’ / For the most part, they are not commercially available but have been made up by the machine shops of the plants involved. A few however have been in such demand that independent manufacturers were requested to produce and market them. / The Du Pont Chambers Works Safety Section and the Du Pont Wilmington Safety and Fire Protection Division were instrumental in making this collection possible.” “
McCulloch, Warren S., 1953.
“Galton’s curiosity led him to study the peculiarities of identical twins, the sterility of heiresses, the proportion of pretty girls in different British towns, hypnosis and autosuggestion. He also built a number of mechanical and electrical gadgets, some of which were as useful as they were ingenious. Galton was an enthusiastic sponsor of new causes, but he was equally hospitable to new evidence by which these causes might be overturned.”
“What it will be like to live and work in a space ship: the gadgets, the clothing, the new experiences in a gravitationless region where the happy voyager will have a magnet sewed into the seat of his pants to keep him from drifting away from his dinner. Miss Bendick makes it all moderately clear and faintly horrifying. For 10-to-14s.”
“Auto-supply dealers may not list a jack as scientific apparatus, but this and many other ordinary gadget [sic] often save the day for research workers studying highbrow problems. At right, a jack tests the strength of a heated plastic sample. In the same GE laboratory, a windshield-wiper motor powers a stirring rod to keep a fluid in a freezing bath at an even temperature. The rattrap hep Dr. A. Harry Sharbaugh measure electric pulses.”
Winterton, M.G., 1953.
“A practical kink for use with a camera gadget bag is to insert plastic panels inside the bag and outside pocket to protect photographic accessories and help maintain the bag’s proper shape. Another idea, which eliminates penning the bag repeatedly, is to attach small zipper-type camera cases to the carrying-strap rings of the bag for filters, shades and other small accessories.”
“Lie Gadgets: The technological methods of lie detection appear to be losing favor among the experts. The Atomic Energy Commission has just issued a new policy directive on the use of the lie detector at Oak Ridge. It will no longer be used for periodic mass examinations of the several thousand employees assigned there to ‘sensitive’ jobs. Future lie detector examinations anywhere in the AEC will be confined to specific cases and will be undertaken on a ‘voluntary’ basis and only when authorized by the general manager.” “
Mazia, Daniel, 1953.
“But neither through microscopic ob servation nor ingenious physical models can we achieve a feeling of intimate con tact with the realities of cell division. The formulation has lacked substance, which in the biology of 1953 means a treatment in terms of identifiable molecules undergoing reactions translatable into the language of chemistry. What is the stuff of the mitotic apparatus and how are its constituents assembled into this beautiful little gadget? Answers to these questions solve no problems of mitosis, but put flesh between the bones of physical speculation and the clothing of microscopic appearance.”
Gerard, Ralph W., 1953.
“When the impulses are few and the cortex is comparatively inactive, the brain wave slow down and normal sleep results. One is tempted by the picture of an electron beam scanning the tube face of a television camera, picking up impressions left by the outside world from one tiny region after another. But whether such beams of nerve impulses, playing upon the cortex, do actually control attention, whether they are responsible for the evocation of specific memory traces, only the future can decide. / We are beginning to have some reasonable guesses as to the ‘gadgets’ that would serve as a memory mechanism–guesses sufficiently concrete to permit testing by rigorous experimentation. I think it is realistic to hope for an understanding of memory precise enough to permit experimental modification of it in men.”
Spalding, Jack, 1953.
““…he has been able to learn something–some mechanical device, some ingenious method of overcoming a difficulty, some mining practice which while common in one country is unknown in others. The tips and gadgets described in this book area selection of these practices…”
Rabinowitch, Eugene, 1953.
“The Soviet thermonuclear explosion of August 12 may have been ‘weak,’ i.e., compared the first ‘thermonuclear experiment’ at Eniwetok in 1951, rather than to th full-fledged explosion achieved on November 1, 1952; and the latter itself may have been the try-out of an earth-bound ‘gadget’ rather than of a deliverable thermonuclear bomb. It needs, however, little optimism–if optimism be the right word–to predict that the ‘gadget’ will soon be converted into an H-bomb capable of delivery by a bomber, and that a Soviet H-bomb will follow the American without much delay.”
Shere, Louis, 1953.
“The reserve suggested is a partial application of a plan that I first developed some twenty years ago for the implementation of budgetary policies of jurisdictions below the federal level. I have espoused this controversial fiscal gadget ever since 1932, but it has made little headway against a double-barreled attack. On the one hand, it is maintained that under perfect budgeting procedures and perfect political communication between the electors and the elected, the gadget would be superfluous - indeed, worse, it would almost certainly thwart the public will and jam the social utility calculator. On the other hand, it is contended that under imperfect arrangements, leaving pork barrels aside, the building of tax reserves against enormous pressures to expand public expenditures during periods of prosperity is a political impossibility.”
White, Laureen, 1953.
“It is the willingness to sacrifice that forces itself on our attention at this time. Like all Americans, we seem too anxious to buy gadgets and conveniences that we should do without. All too many of the oppressed of the earth use such conveniences as opiates. A group of people that are always the last hired, the first fired, and are always relegated to the least desirable jobs, should be careful how they spend their money when they get it.”
““No Pushbutton Gadgets for Us–We Had REAL Stoves!” “ But who chopped the wood and emptied the ashes?” … In contrast, her modern granddaughter uses electrical “servants” to do tedious household chores. She pushes a button or turns a dial to cool or heat the house, cook a meal, wash the laundry and grind the garbage.”
Adams, Olive A., 1953.
“Just a little thought will convince anybody who wants to be fair, that industry actually hasn’t simply grown fat without sharing its wealth. The fiscal reports show profit, but what they don’t show is the amount of money that has gone into vast research to improve goods and materials, to give better service to the consumer. As a result of research and constant testing and improvement, for instance, automobiles are safer than ever before, buildings are constructed with as near fireproof as it is possible to make them, and household gadgets in profusion take the drudgery out of the home.”
“Of all the magic gadgets in the past, including the famed lamp of the Aladdin, there are none that compare with blood . . . the “Magic Fluid.” Despite the wonderful gifts that these magic-makers were reported to bestow, none could boast of giving life, for only the wonder-maker blood can restore ebbing life.”
Adams, Olive A., 1953.
“Recent news reports tell us that labor unions will begin soon to press for a 30-hour week and more than likely they will win it. But not necessarily because of the aggressiveness of the unions, but rather becaue man’s skill and inventive genius have produced machines and gadgets that have multiplied many times the productive power of man. … For, if the modern worker, using these modern tools, spent twelve hours a day at his job, we would be faced with the problem of over-production, a situation in which there would be surplus goods, and ruinous inflation.”
““Note the new things: Sound movies, color movies, radio and TV, refrigerators, freezers, washers, cleaners, and other household gadgets, air conditioners, airplanes big and fast, tough metals, new chemicals, plastics, man-made fabrics, electronics, radar, new drugs, psychiatry, new farm machines, modern architecture, 3-D movies, and the atom at work.”
Henderson, Freddye S., 1953.
“With all the emphasis on modern design and functionalism, it is significant that fashion is the only area of art where decoration often takes precedence over function. In an era where we insist that our automobiles have power and performance as well as beauty; that our electrical gadgets have smoothly running motors, and that even our teacups have the handle placed just right for the greatest comfort and ease of sipping, it is significant that we mortals (presumably of sound mind) continue to let our clothes wear us rather than wear them.”
Pollard, Fritz, 1953.
“Joe Black may have had a tough sophomore year, but he has some good equipment. Although a lot of people said Joe didn’t have a good fast ball, a machine called the Dumont Oscillograph measured his pitches at a speed of 93.2 miles per hour. Some of his other teammates tried the gadget, and Podres’ pitch registers 88.5 miles per hour, and Bob Milliken’s, 83.5.”
Lane, Carol, 1953.
“If you’ve had a flat tire recently, you’ll love the new “save-a-tire” gadget. It’s a rubber tube which attaches to the flat tire and a second tire, thus transferring air from one tire to another. In case of a slow leak, this useful gadget eliminates the necessity of changing a tire.”
Henderson, Freddye S., 1953.
“At some time or another most women show some concern about their Figure Type or their personality Type. Now there is another source of worry–What is your Perfume Type? / It seems that there are at least two ventures in the direction of making the next few weeks. These constitute a type of gadget to help women find the type of fragrance most “compatible with their personality type.” In each case the testing is done by sampling. [samples and questionnaire]”
Crouch, Logan R., 1954.
“In the A&P case, Justice Douglas writes a concurring opinion in which he speaks scornfully of simple ‘gadgets,’ not worthy of patents, and implies that the atomic bomb was a great invention. Perhaps courts, so far as possible, should leave mechanical theories to mechanics and engineers and theories on science to scientists. There is always the chance that what may appear a subtle mechanical theory to a jurist may be obvious to even an apprentice, or what may appear to be sound science to him may be foolish to even a freshman in science.” “parable of the raft of two logs” “When the raft of two logs rested on the surface of the water, two natural forces were at work upon each log. The force of gravity acting upon each log held it down upon the water and its buoyancy, responding to the law of displaced liquids, held it up. When some force acted to overturn the raft, these two natural forces were brought into conflict, because either one log would have to rise against the law of gravity, or one would have to sink against the law of displaced liquids, before the raft could overturn. To the extent that the two forces acted against each other, an entire new force, stability, wasp resent in the raft. / For good or evil, great as the invention of the atomic bomb may have been, the general invention produced no new force; it only released forces already present in nature. / The chieftain may only have produced a ‘gadget’ in the raft, but it still embodied a force which did not have even an incorporeal former existence. / Countless such forces are embodied in the mechanical devices that surround us. Such forces are more fantastic than the fairies and genii who served favored mortals in the tales of the Arabian Nights. Yet they are real. They serve by the dozen in every American home, but, to legal sophisticates, the devices which embody them are only ‘gadgets.’” Cites Reckendorfer v. Faber 1975 decision about pencil with eraser tip, and the simple, logical language used in that decision to decide whether or not a combination of two existing elements constitutes a new “force,” and ultimately a patentable invention. Admires the simple language, written for a general public, of Justice Hunt’s decision, wishes Douglas had consulted it. Hunt: “The combination to be patentable must produce a different force or effect, or result in the combined forces or process, from that given by the separate parts. There must be a new result produced by their union: if not, it is only an aggregation of old elements.” Ends up arguing that lead pencil and attached rubber that “Not only is there no new result, but there is no joint operation.” “
“Claude E. Shannon, Hagelbarger’s colleague at Bell Labs, built a second penny matcher along the same lines, but using a different criterion for deciding when the opponent’s play pattern justifies a departure from random choices. In an article in the Proceedings of the Institute of Radio Engineers, Shannon describes how the designers tried to figure out mathematically which machine could beat the other. They finally had to give up and leave the experiment. They built a third machine to act as umpire and go-between, plugged all three together and let them run, ‘to the accompaniment of small side bets and loud cheering.’ Although he does not specify the owner of the winning gadget, Shannon reports that the ‘more precipitate of the who consistently beat the larger, more deliberate one in a ratio of about 55 to 45.”
“The men have been crowded nearly off the ship by electronic gadgets. Radar sets and automatic control devices take up so much room that the crew must sling its hammocks in odd corners and queue up for an hour to get a meal. Water is rationed because machines have replaced some of the storage tanks. So the sailors begin to extract a vacuum tube here, drop a quiet monkey wrench there. The press, as over-hasty in taking reassurance as it had been in taking alarm, was naively relieved to learn that the trouble was not foreign sabotage but just a revolt of the crew.”
Walter, W. Grey, 1954.
“Among other discoveries, it was found possible to make the brain stimulate itself by positive feedback. The electric impulses from the brain were connected through the recording machine to the electronic gadget that produced the flashes of light. In this way a brain response to a flash triggered a new flash and so on. This method of self-excitement is particularly effective for revealing a hidden tendency to epileptic seizures. It resembles very closely the way an engineer may test the stability of a transmission system: he applies positive feedback to disturb the system and observes how effectively the system’s inherent negative feedback operates to damp the disturbance and restore equilibrium.”
Cooper, William W., and Charnes, Abraham, 1954.
“Like the theory of games, it is a method of pure mathematics that can be applied to human affairs. It is used to calculate the best possible solution to a problem that involves a number of variables. […] To illustrate the method let us take a highly simplified hypothetical case. We have a factory that can make two products, which for simplicity’s sake we shall name ‘widgets’ and ‘gadgets.’”
“New homes and houses not only mean employment for building workers and the sale of materials for construction, but they mean more electric power, more stoves, refrigerators, furniture, and hundreds of other gadgets that go to make a house a home.”
Saunders, Joseph S. Jr., 1954.
“Those pictures that appeared on the front page of last week’s issue were definitely not an experiment in surrealism. Although we seem to have dfinitely attained the subconscious or at least the fifth or sixth dimension, it was not our intention. / As we spend a small fortune in flash bulbs and little plaroid film we discover new little gadgets on our camera each day that evidently have a bearing on the end product. Also we aer now aware of that all important element–contrast. We apologize to last week’s subjects, all of whom are handsome men, and promise to do better when we take your picture.”
Cha…?, Mary Lou, 1954.
“Women request mechanical gadgets that they can operate with a minimum of effort. And today’s car has been so tailored to the woman’s tastes that the automobile has taken on a whole new group of functions that men alone would not have dared to demand for themselves with such conveniences as power steering, power brakes, seating adjustments and electric window lifts.”
Howard, Lucille Troy, 1954.
“New acquaintances: Mattie McDonald, who weekended with Lillian (Butler) Allen, is a beauty operator who hails from St. Louis where she wields hair gadgets at La Belle Beauty Salon.”
Weaver, Warren, 1955.
“I do have some familiarity with modern high speed computing devices and other optical-electronic-mechanical techniques for handling information; and I have had some contacts with–and surely a lively interest in–the recent developments of communication theory” (613). The “patent office problem” is, to Weaver, “a fascinating instance of a rather common modern dilemma, namely, the essential collapse of a communication network due to over-complication; or somewhat more precisely, due to the use of an outmoded procedure which is not capable of coping with the presently existing degree of complication. This is, in fact, a dramatic instance of the situation not uncommon in the general world of scholarship, in which a vast and intricate tangle of documents gets jammed into an unusable pile between two minds” (613). “There are slightly less than three million U.S. Patents. If we add the foreign patents and the items of technical literature available in the Patent Office, the total swells to about seven million. The corresponding figure was only 1.2 million in 1900; and the patents of today average about one-third longer, and are certainly much more complex in their technical and scientific detail. In the terminology of modern communications theory, in which a ‘bit’ of information is the basic unit (essentially the answer to a single ‘Yes-No’ question), the total amount of information which must today be dealt with in the Patent office has been estimated to be of the order of fifty billion bits [CONVERT 50 BILLION BITS TO GB? 1 million GB? = 1,000 TB?] (614). Goes on to survey different kinds of “mechanical aids to data handling.” / A question of classification – beginning to work out the dimensions of a relational database: “When does a Document A exhibit inhibitory relevance to another Document B?” (619). * * * Is it unreasonable to think that, if one just looks deep enough with trained and observant eyes, he might see an inner logical simplicity behind all the confusing proliferation of things and ideas that turn up in the Patent Office? Just because of its emphasis on inner logical simplicity, and on generality to encompass multiplicity, the point of view of mathematics would seem to be the promising one here. How, for example, does one ever define ‘containers’ in the everyday nouns and adjectives of commerce in a way which is at once simple enough, general enough, and critical enough so that can possibly cope with the gadgets someone will think of tomorrow? But what object can anyone ever think up that will not be subject to the basic inner concepts of connectivity as they are developed in topology?” (621-2) Biological metaphor for an “organic sort” of classification system, “For it must be able to grow and to adjust itself to an ever changing environment.” (622). “I realize that I have succeeded in defining, in impersonal terms, Professor John von Neumann; and I also realize that the Atomic Energy Commission has him all booked up at the moment. But at least he proves that such leadership is not unthinkable.” (623)”
Smith, Bradley, 1955.
“One section titled: “Mechanization of gadgets and guns.” “This was a period when inventors multiplied U.S. manpower–and womanpower–many times with devices which mechanized routine tasks. The Gatling gun was a crank-turned cluster of barrels which fired 350 shots per minute. The cherry pitter was a crank-turned kitchen gadget which cleaned a cupful of fruit in about the same time.” on the sewing machine: “Any of these household gadgets could have been made in 1500, insofar as their mechanical principles were concerned. But they did not come into being until the American housewife demanded them and convinced her husband she could afford them.””
** Goerger, Orville, 1955.**
“Orville Goerger is Copy Director of Commerical Letter, Inc., a St. Louis mail-advertising agency. But in addition to carrying on his regular work, he plays an important part in many ‘extracurricular activities’ that manifest his deep interest in direct mail. He is also guest lecturer on direct-mail copy at Washington University and St. Louis University; contributor of direct-mail articles to various trade publications; creator of award-winning gadget campaigns in the Direct-mail Advertising Association’s annual competition; member of the Board of Governors, Advertising Club of St. Louis; and Chairman of the Skit-Writing Committee for the Advertising Club’s annual Gridiron Dinner” (210). “All too often the direct-mail user planning a gadget mailing spends most of his planning time looking for a gadget that is new, different, and unusual. / Yet mere newness is not always a guarantee of resultfulness. Nor is the complexity or elaborate nature of the gadget any measure of the success it will achieve. Indeed, in many cases, best results are obtained when a relatively old idea is dug out and re-used. / “This may be a bit hard to believe in these days when many of the new letter gadgets rival the atom bomb in their complexity. There are rubber-band-powered butterflies that spring out of a letter when it is opened, secret chemical processes that do magical things to a mailing piece when water is applied, Rube Goldberg mechanisms that build elaborate pop-ups when the mailing is unfolded–and literally hundreds of others. All are ingenious and do attract a large degree of attention. / Yet, surprisingly enough, their effectiveness is sometimes less than that of a relatively simple gadget like, for example, a burnt match. Both in the cost of the gadget and in the result it secures, the simple gadget frequently outscores its more expensive and elaborate brother. / Perhaps the reason for this is that the idea behind the gadget’s use is more important than the gadget itself [ital. in original]. In fact, a too elaborate gadget will usually overpower the copy; the reader remembers the gadget, but the message of the mailing piece may never register with him. / One cardinal rule for using a gadget is to keep the gadget secondary in importance to the theme of the mailing piece. It is obviously difficult to do this when the gadget you are using is deliberately designed to dominate the mailing. / Another good rule for gadget usage is to keep the gadget merely a stepping stone into the copy. A good gadget is one that provides an interesting introduction to your message; it is a master of ceremonies whose duty it is to build up the real star of the show – your copy. A good gadget never steals the show from the star or makes that star seem insignificant by comparison. The more sensational you make your gadget, the more difficult you make it for your copy message to hold its own. / Usually both of these objectives can be achieved by using a gadget or novelty effect of a simple sort. When a simple gadget is used, you are literarily forced into developing a powerful idea for tying in your message. In most cases a powerful idea plus the appeal of a good gadget is almost certain to click.” The seven gadget ideas are: “a penny gadget,” literally a penny in the envelope; A piece of string, “One reason for its appeal is that it permits motion in the mailing; by fastening only one end of the string, the other end swings freely and catches the eye”; a feather; the “burnt-edge letter,” “while not strictly a gadget, the burnt-edge letter is so dramatic and so simple that it should not be overlooked when it fits your scheme”; cotton; postage stamp, so that “people are getting something for nothing”; miniature photograph”
“Whether assuming the shape of a comical mobile or a sturdy book rack, wire–with its pliability and lack of bulk–is taking top honors as the basic material for modern gadgets and household accessories.”
“To beat the torrid summer heat and utilize every available short-cut to better homemaking, the up-to-date housewife is keeping the simple, inexpensive gadgets shown on these pages high on the ‘buying list.’ “
“Walter H. Munk is professor of geophysics at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, Calif. He was born in Austria–‘a country which boasts of several oceanographers but of no oceans.’ He took an M.S. in geophysics at the California Institute of Technology and, in 1947, a Ph.D. in oceanography at the Scripps Institution. He writes: ‘Ever since I first took up science I have resented the need of having to specialize, of having to decide whether to push a pencil, to play with gadgets or to do field work. I have ended up in a field where I can do a bit of each.”
Cohen, I. Bernard, 1955.
“As I returned to the study MIss Dukas explained to me that Eric Rogers, who teaches physics at Princeton, had made a gadget for Einstein as a present for his 76th birthday, and that Professor Einstein had been delighted with it. Back in the study, I saw Einstein take from the corner of the room what looked like a curtain rod five feet tall, at the top of which was a plastic sphere about four inches in diameter. Coming up from the rod into the sphere was a small plastic tube about two inches long, terminating in the center of the sphere. Out of this tube there came a string with a little ball at the end. “You see,” said Einstein, “this is designed as a model to illustrate the equivalence principle. The little ball is attached to a string, which goes into the little tube in the center and is attached to a spring. The spring pulls on the ball, but it cannot pull the ball up and into the little tube because the spring is not strong enough to overcome the gravitational force which pulls down on the ball.” A big grin spread across his face and his eyes twinkled with delight as he said: “And now the equivalence principle.” Grasping the gadget in the middle of the long brass curtain rod, he thrust it upward until the sphere touched the ceiling. “Now I will let it drop,” he said, “and according to the equivalence principle there will be no gravitational force. So the spring will now be strong enough to bring the little ball into the plastic tube.” With that he suddenly let the gadget fall freely and vertically, guiding it with his hand, until the bottom reached the floor. The plastic sphere at the top was now at eye level. Sure enough, the ball nestled in the tube.”
“With an estimated 21,000,000 Americans taking to the water this year, it’s not surprising that there’s a growing crop of gadgets on the market. Here are some of the new ones. The speed wand is an inexpensive plastic tube that you just stick in the water as you go cruising along and then pull out to read like a thermometer.”
Gray, George W., 1955.
“Our visit to Viki was on March 26 of last year. She was the picture of robust health, and in fact had grown so strong that a small cottage had been fitted up for her. There were a refrigerator, a dining table, can openers, electric fans-all her beloved gadgets. The plan was to install her there in May, supervising and observing her during the day and leaving her to sleep alone at night. But Viki never got there-and the cottage stands vacant and idle.”
Newman, James R., 1955.
“Crabs, crayfish, and mussels are the octopus’ favorite foods, and it wants them alive. IT is much better at opening a mussel than the most experienced human shucker armed with the latest Abercrombie and Fitch gadget.”
“Subscription TV will add to present programs. It will not replace or interfere with the programs that you now enjoy. The cost of Subscription TV is up to you. You pay a small sum for only those programs that you want. There are no gadgets to buy, either. As a TV subscriber the Phonevision attachment is part of the service.”
“A new type of television set that uses a flash beam from a small pistol-shpaed gadget with no connecting wires to turn the set on or off, to change channels, and to tune out or eliminate long commercials, has been developed by Zenith Radio Corporation.”
Scripto, Arnold, 1955.
“Are we ready for the moon? … Would these moon people represent a more enlightened humanity than ours, where the curse of hate, bigotry, greed, poverty, ignorance and war is unknown? / Would they look upon we earth people as barbaric termintes, mentally and morally incapable of producing a civilization worthy of God’s blessings? And would they consider our great cities, mere ant hills, our miracle gadgets, especially our atomic discoveries, wasted and dangerous toys in the hands of irresponsible creatures?”
“In speaking from the subject “Keepers of the Flame,” Rev. Gibson made the observation that “. . . We are overwhelmed by the things we have learned to do in our modern world. It is an exciting age of trinkets and gadgets, but there is a danger in it all - - the danger that we might come to the point where we say to God ‘Look, God, see what we have done, what we can do without You.’ We must not however lose a sense of direction and miss the deeper meaning of life.””
“So, we introduced him to one of the little accessory items that can add so much pleasure to your photographic efforts–the [illegible] viewer. Now he carries this handy little gadget, with a box of his newest slides. So when his friends start comparing the snapshots they carry in their wallets…”
Byington, Spring, 1955.
“Consider his hobbies. Is his camera his most precious possession? Or his car? Is he happiest at “do-it-yourself” projects? Or is pipe-smoking his greatest joy? The latest gadgets that help him enjoy his pastime more will be received with greatest pleasure.”
Nelson, Kay Sharp, 1956.
Blasingame, Ralph Jr., 1956.
“Just where the first use in libraries of mechanical trivia was made is no doubt, thoroughly documented in the literature. Quite possibly, the first ‘gadget’ to gain general acceptance was some device as simple but as effective as the rubber date stamp. Clipped to the end of a pencil, this little gem has has saved thousands of man-hours, and assisted in relegating ‘library script’ to the category of interesting leftovers in the card catalogs of university libraries. […] the machines and devices which are to be discussed here are those which may be regarded as simple extensions of the hander mind and which are designed to speed some operation or to relieve muscular strain, but not those intended to alter substantially the methods commonly used in libraries. / The common aim in introducing tools or machines into almost any process is to reduce the time or energy required to perform some operation or to produce a more uniformly satisfactory result. To stick to this rule in the application of what may be referred to as ‘gadgets’ is sometimes difficult; many of these devices have a kind of fascination for some librarians which occasionally obscures the true economics of their application” (239). “The popularity of gadgets is attested to by the space allotted to them in such professional journals as the A.L.A. Bulletin [the “Gadgets, Gismos, and Gimmicks” column], the Library Journal and PNLA Quarterly in the form of regular columns or departments and of articles proclaiming the success of their various applications. A few examples of the types of items escrowed briefly in the PNLA Quarterly for January 1956 are: visible files, copying machines, paper cutter, copy follower, and routing forms. Often these are already in use in libraries, but the wide range of materials listed shows the extent to which librarians search for things which may speed up their work.” * * * See the “review of the gadgets used in one library” broken down by genre, as well as discussion of how they are arranged at work stations “so that the work in which they are used may be performed in a consistent and logical flow,” on p. 242.”
“My new pipe is not a new model, not a new style, not a new gadget, not an improvement on old style pipes. It is the first pipe in the world to use an ENTIRELY NEW PRINCIPLE for giving unadulterated pleasure to pipe smokers. … all the disappointing gadgets… You might expect all this to require a complicated mechanical gadget…”
Onorato, Jimmy, 1956.
“Safety is one park aspect which can never be overdone, for the fight against accident causes is a continuing one. Steeplechase, being quite an old operation, got started on its safety campaign many years ago. … Many operators have come up with gadgets to prevent ride mishaps and I will outline some of ours, first telling a Class A example of one which paid for itself nicely. … The gadget used here is the same in principal that we use on other rides. That is, a three-inch pipe protrudes next to each wheel, so that if an axle breaks or a wheel is thrown, the car body merely settles a couple of inches onto the pipe, instead of falling thru to the ground.”
McCafferty, Phil, 1956.
“Farmers who have turned inventors to concoct ingenious machines get a chance to exhibit their creations at the annual Farm Gadget Show of the Iowa State Fair. … Sixteen-year-old Marvin Negley copped a prize for his drill press made from the rear-axle assembly of a junked car he found on his father’s farm.”
“I’ve always maintained that one of the most useful gadgets you can have around the house is a husband. Husbands can oil locks, change light bulbs and repair all sorts of things that go out of whack. The only trouble is they’re so smug about their “superior” technical knowledge. They have a habit of smoothly explaining the working of any machine or device in high sounding technical terms. “
Reynolds, Jan, 1956.
“Discourage prowlers with a lighted window in your absence from home overnight. There’s a tricky little gadget – a night lighter – that keeps one of your windows aglow while you’re away. It works like magic. All you do is place th esmall, box-like mechanism on a table in front of the window, and plug it into the lamp you want lighted at night. An electronic eye points directly toward the window, and when it gets dark, the electronic eye automatically turns the lightbulb on, and keeps the lamp burning ‘til dawn.”
“John had been fortunate in employment, he had a good job, and recently had been promoted to supervising manager of the department in which he worked. This was the type of work he had always wanted, and now he was set. The modest home which they were buying was almost paid for. He had been able to surround his family with every normal comfort and gadget which the above-average wage earner could afford. Yet John was unhappy.”
Saunders, Joe, 1956.
“Standard cooking equipment for the bride today is a can opener and a pack of safety matches. / Our legs grow weak and our bottoms big with riding. Only the small children still walk and run in their play and have the imagination to invent fun without a multitude of gadgets, instruction and supervision. / Formulas and pre-fabrication are robbing us of the inventiveness that have made Americans famous the world over. Soft foods, television, and movies are almost making false teeth and eye glasses standard equipment. The ever-continuing quest for more and more money with which to buy more and more time and labor-saving gadgets is creating an age of dissatisfied neurotics.”
Hamlett, James A. Jr., 1956.
“It is safe to say that few of us Americans fully realize the progress this country has made in a handful of years. The editor of the Port Gibson, Mississippi, Reveille touches on this in relating how that town has improved its community life. In 1928, he said, “Port Gibson was struggling along with flickering lights, and a few small motors, which seemed they might burn out any minute, until the town finally voted to sell its worn out municipal plant to the Mississippi Power & Light Company. “Had there been television in 1928,” he said, “we think it would have been useless in Port Gibson, to say nothing of home freezers, electric refrigerators, washers, dryers, garbage disposals, industrial motors, air conditioning, and a host of other gadgets run by that wonderful force which no one can adequately define, but everyone calls electric power.””
“One exhibit displayed ceramics, leather craft, crayola stencils, felt stenciling, gadget printing, spatter prints, sawdust modeling, woodwork, puppet show, finger painting and other miscellaneous articles.”
Smith, Jeanae, 1956.
“The best answer is a course in driver education at their high school, completed just before they become eligible for a license. Here they’ll learn “how to drive”–not just manipulate gadgets, levers and pedals. They’ll develop attitudes toward safety and an understanding of the right and privileges of other drivers.”
Miller, Henry, 1957.
“One night, about two in the morning, the door of our shack was thrown open with a bang and, before I knew what was happening, I felt a hand gripping my throat, squeezing it viciously. I knew damned well I wasn’t dreaming. Then a voice, a boozy voice which I recognized instantly, and which sounded maudlin and terrifying, shouted in my ear: ‘Where’s that damned gadget?’ / ‘What gadget?’ I gurgled, struggling to release the grip around my throat. / ‘The radio! Where are you hiding it?”
West, Wallace, 1957.
“Oh, but they’re Mighty Mouses,’ Jenkins chuckled. ‘They’re as full of electronic measuring gadgets as these wonderful muffins are of blueberries. … And those gadgets will tell us all about conditions in outer space. They’ll make it possible to get a man-carrying satellite up within a few years. We’ll fasten a number of such satellites together and make us a space station. After that it should be easy to get to the Moon, or even to Mars and Venus.”
Collins, Ted, 1957.
“Turning out clean and accurate work is the aim of every craftsman. In addition to hand skills, the average fellow rigs up all kinds of gimmicks and gadgets to help him with his work. Sometimes it’s how you do a job that makes the difference between the craftsman and the sloppy workman. Here are seven different gimmicks, gadgets, and ‘how-to’s’ that will give you suggestions for doing a few jobs easier and better.” “Use a block of wood when you want to line up two pieces accurately for gluing or nailing. Block holds surfaces [sic] absolutely flush and even.” “Sanding small pieces is easiest if you move the work to the sandpaper. Fasten a sheet of fine garnet paper to a piece of wood with tacks.”
Rensch, B., 1957.
“If the sound presented was the “wrong” one, she was supposed to remain in this position. If it was the right one, she was to knock on the lid of a switch box in front of her cage with her trunk: this caused an electrical gadget to bring a food reward within reach of her trunk. The experimenter sat behind a screen watching the animal by means of a mirror system.”
Rossman, George, 1957.
“Hush-A-Phone is a cup-like gadget, on the market since 1921, which fits over the mouthpiece of a telephone. Its purpose is to confine the user’s voice in the gadget, thus rendering his conversation private and to keep extraneous noise out of the telephone line, making the circuit quieter. … Telephone companies claimed that the use of Hush-A-Phone violated their tariffs, which forbid the attachment to a telephone of any device ‘not furnished by the telephone company.’”
Oppenheimer, Jane, 1957.
“But it may also be due to the style of the book. This is more journalistic than literary, and sometimes the choice of words is not too particular. For example, it quotes Samuel Butler to the effect that the “hen is the egg’s device for laying another egg.” Now what Samuel Butler actually said, at least in his Life and Habit, was something different, namely, that “a hen is only an egg’s way of making another egg.” He was worrying about hens not as gadgets, but as individuals. The lapse is an interesting one, an intimation that in the authors’ minds problems of individuality belong to the 19th century of the old-fashioned nature rather than to the 20th century of population genetics. Yet the paradox remains that the fascination of biology to the novice as well as to the specialist depends even now on the relationship of the individual to his group, and not on considerations of the group alone.”
Gordy, Walter, 1957.
“A group at Stanford University is reported to have generated infrared rays by directing million-volt electrons through a bumpy magnetic field. It remains to be seen whether these methods will prove feasible for spectroscopy or for gadgets such as radar. Whenever a practical method is developed for generating high-power radio waves in the region between one half millimeter and five millimeters-a source which is tunable and produces highly monochromatic waves-it will be of great value to science and to industry.”
“He drinks little and smokes not at all. He plays a little golf, is an enthusiastic photographer, seizes any chance to travel, particularly by car, and is a gadget devotee, whether the gadget be a dictating machine or a domestic labour-saver. His interests all lie in the field of science, and the arts mean little to him.”
“Every time you go in there’s some gadget you never heard of . . . and can’t live without after you see it—housewares and giftwares, guns and fishing gear, toys and games, lawn and garden goods, lamps and leisure time trinkets.”
Wright, Gloria, 1957.
“Perhaps the most versatile of all presents for your home cache are those for the home. You’ll see clever gadgets wherever you go. Those of stainless steel are your best bet. Not only do they promise long and satisfying service for the receiver, but being non-tarnishable, you can be sure that they’ll emerge with the same brand-new lustre no matter how long they’ve been wrapped up in the closet. Aside from gadgets, other thoughtful gift items available in stainless steel include salt and pepper shakers, ashtrays, small holloware and serving pieces.”
Kirby, Irwin, 1958.
“The wonderfully imaginative and often fantastic world of gadgetry was unfolded last week in the New York Trade Show Building, with more than 140 exhibitors taking part. This was the second such effort promoted by a group of businessmen and managed by Hal Sommers, and the number of inventions aimed at simplifying everyday tasks came within a shade of doubling the total exhibited last year. Gadgets have always held a fascination for the man on the street and his better half. Among the items which have been surefire crowd stoppers in the past are the little gimmicks–the better mousetrap, so to speak–which show at a glance how to do something quicker and cleaner. Some of those shown in New York, however, are a bit obscure as far as practical purpose is concerned, but they still are interesting enough to win attention. … The Gadget Show was initiated last year as a showplace for thousands of unknown innovations that flow from the American inventive mind. To facilitate the marketing of practical gadgets the show management formed a Gadget Manufacturers’ Institute to counsel exhibitors in this year’s show. It is staffed to conduct market research studies on bot consumer and trade levels, to define the potential markets for inventors and manufacturers. The show was open to both consumers and trade.”
“Since considerable heat (ill-wind) can be created thru poor presentations, sloppy work and phony items, it was editable that a gadget workers’ protective organization make an appearance. The new non-profit Exhibitors Association of America, headquartered in California, has been incorporated with the avowed aim of stopping unfair practices bothy by and against demonstrators. It would improve the level of the demonstration industry and protect it from space rent and percentage gouging. / The person working gadgets is all things to all viewers, wherever the public congregates. If they want humor he has it; the same goes for the many other qualities necessary to successful entertainment on a personnel level. It is so personal, in fact, that unlike high paid public performers, the gadget worker’s immediate audience rarely numbers more than three dozen people and is no more than 12 feet from him. If he is a top-notcher, however, he could get 75 per cent of his tip (audience) to vote him into Congress as easily as spring (spend) for a sale. / Basically speaking, the new and novel item is a traffic-stopper, enabling the demonstrator to build his tip. He presents it in a [sic] appealing way through humor, stories, etc., hooding his tip’s attention while presenting the item. Then comes his close (windup) and the request for sales. Then comes a rehash of his spiel to convince additional viewers who have not sprung and also to hold the tip, which in itself is a good way to stop more traffic as passers-by gather to see what’s going on. / The business is a small one and far from the usual housewares salesmanship. It has workers (commission agents) who act for the leaders, those pace-setters in the field. There are independents, who do their own buying and renting of space, and who work alone except for an occasional partner or member of the family. / The field’s code of ethics is not one that a banker would follow. It is generally a cash-on-the-line business, but it is not improper to owe money for merchandise when one is tapped out (broke), but eventual payment is a must if a worker expects to last in the industry. Demonstrators playing a red one (successful fair date or celebration) are prone to help out another clansman by lending money or merchandise. Credit information is entirely word of mouth, however, and reputations are soon established for honesty and reliability. / Altho most demonstrators work on limited capital a great deal of money can be made quickly and lost just as fast, in the trade. Experience brings with it the ability to judge the quality and potential earnings of a location, and the knack of securing an occasional ex for gadgetry at certain fairs, on traveling shows, and at stores. Sometimes a respected worker can control all gadget locations on a fairground by proving his competence to the fair secretary. / There is considerable disillusionment in the business,w which is constantly having its personnel weeded out as johnny-come-latelys fold up at the first sign of hardship. Old-timers know, tho that rainy days soon pass, and when they do, the clan is busy at work building more tips and pocketing the profits.”
“the world of kitchen gadgets is never in finer fettle than during the fair season, when gadget workers have already been pulling in cash at boardwalk stands, department stores and farmers markets. This peculiar form of gadgetry is aimed right at the women, and in the hands of capable workers, it hardly ever misses its mark. / During good times and bad there has always been a call for gadgets. They make their mark, last in popularity for a cycle of three years, more or less, then seemingly die as quickly as they were born. But this is more a hibernation than death, since in kitchen gadgetry as in many other merchandising fields, old objects are frequently born over again and ride high on a new wave of popularity. / For example: 20 years ago a big item on boardwalks was the combination peeler-slicer, which both peeled and cored fruit such as apples, as well as scoring corn and being useful as a slicer. That was 20 years ago, and it’s on the scene again. / For example: Three years ago, choppers became a hot item, starting with a Swiss import retailing at $1.98. American versions, like Rotomatic and Chopomatic, competed with the Swiss Blitzhacker. Price was $2.98. Mass production overtook the price and stamped it down to $1.98 and even lower in some cases, causing some perplexity by price-conscious demonstrators. Rotomatic was replaced by the Imperial Food Chopper during this period. But this price confusion was followed by a waning popularity and it was decided to produce a super model with a bigger bowl, capable of holding more and bigger vegetables and eliminating the need to slice some of them down to chopper size. Now we have the Grown Imperial. / From 1952-‘54 the handy little Mouli Grater ($1 retail) nurtured a company which has taken on a wider line of kitchen gadgets. There is a $2.98 Julienne and $4.98 Salad-Maker (retail). / Others among the wide assortment of plastic and metal gizmos directed at the American housewife–and so artfully demonstrated thruout the land–include a handy radish cutter which creates a radish flowered…” / * * * “Gadgets used to be set out on counters in cartons, but lately the poly bag has become a common display method. One philosophy for this is that the American housewife wants to see what she’s buying. Some French basket suppliers provide baskets in bulk, without any covering whatever. The basket has come up so strongly that one manufacturer, fearful of rapid over-saturation, is offering a combination package. This contains the French basket, a pastry maker, and pastryman’s cloth. / But there is virtually no end to the number of handy little gadgets offered as time-savers for the American kitchen. The target is the womenfolk and, praise be, they have responded in admirable fashion for generations, always pushovers for kitchen aids.” Later, kinds of objects: “inexpensive tools, ‘unbreakable combs,’ radio station clearing coils, and other inexpensive pieces of merchandise.”
Pierce, John R., 1958.
“Technological innovations have been as important as language, art and science in distinguishing man from beast. And although technological innovation antedates our species, it has never before occupied so great a share of man’s energies. / Our works are built on old foundations––on obsolete inventions such as the hand-ax and the bow no less than on inventions that have survived, such as agriculture and the wheel. But during most of human history technological art accumulated gradually. Up to a few hundred years ago, the techniques of civilized life had scarcely advanced beyond the best achievements of the ancients. Then our control over the forces of nature began to increase at an explosive rate. […] In this article we shall examine some recent advances to see what light they throw on the creative process in the complex of technology today. What do we mean by technological innovation? Surely not the tail fins on this year’s automobile, nor a new catch on a refrigerator door. A true innovation must perform some important function. It may do a wholly new job or do an old job far better or far more cheaply than it was done before. […] …I will discuss some reasonably noncontroversial innovations made at the Bell Telephone Laboratories, where I am employed, under circumstances which I believe I understand. […] As our final example of innovation in technology let us consider briefly the microwave-relay system which carries telephone conversations and television programs across the country without the use of cables. The key word here is ‘system.’ The problem was not to make a particular device, but to weld a great number of devices into a complex whole. Some of the deices were available at the start; others had to be developed. But the chief innovation was the choice, among the many alternative methods and devices, of the best combination of methods and devices–the system as a whole, and not merely its adequate parts. […] [Harold T.] Friis’s main problem, then, was not to invent this gadget or that, but to choose the best course, technically and economically, among a bewildering array of possibilities. The art of making such a choice is usually called systems engineering when the alternative means and the required knowledge are all at hand. When they are not, I suppose it should be called systems research. By 1948 the results of the research of Friis and his colleagues had been embodied in an experimental system which was installed between New York and Boston. This was the prototype of the transcontinental microwave system, which was put into service in 1951.”
Dore, Ronald Philip, 1958.
“The process of technical development and the impact of a Wester scale of values in which the mere quality of novelty in itself has a high place, provide new objects of ambition; electric fans, refrigerators and washing machines, vacuum cleaners and gramophones. The new gadgets may be highly valued in themselves for the increased comfort or convenience which they bring, or for their effect in reducing household drudgery and saving time.”
“This article by Walter C. Michaels in your April issue will delight the hearts of many physics teachers who in the past quarter-century have been caught between the muddleheaded educationists, with their emphasis on adjustment, and the functional boys who saw in high school physics nothing more than a parade of gadgets. […] The sad part of Dr. Michels’s article is his implication that our economy cannot afford enough qualified physics teachers to maintain an adequate classroom program, and therefore must resort to money-saving gadgets such as canned and televised lectures.”
Halmos, Paul R., 1958.
“The late John von Neumann liked to cite this example of the relation between technological development and pure mathematics: A hundred and fifty years ago one of the most important problems of applied science––on which development in industry, commerce and government depended––was the problem of saving lives at sea The statistics of the loses were frightful. The money and effort expanded to solve the problem were frightful too––and sometimes ludicrous. No gadget, however complicated, was too ridiculous to consider––ocean-going passenger vessels fitted out like outrigger canoes may have looked funny, but they were worth a try.”
Wilson, Robert R., 1958.
“In this connection I do remember calling in 1944 a meeting of my cyclotron group at Los Alamos. The subject of the meeting was rather pretentiously announced as ‘The Impact of the Gadget [the bomb] on Civilization.’ The meeting was advertised to other groups at Los Alamos, and between 50 and 100 scientists attended. We discussed what the world might be like as a result of our endeavors.”
Gamow, George, 1958.
“In such an exercise the experimenter is allowed an “ideal workshop” in which he can make any kind of instrument or gadget—provided that its design and functioning do not contradict basic laws of physics. For example, he can have a rocket that moves with almost the speed of light, but not more than the speed of light; or he may use a light source which emits just a single photon, but not half a photon.”
Furth, Harold P., Morton A. Levine, Ralph W. Waniek, 1958.
“With high electrical power one can generate extremely strong magnetic fields, but the difficulty is that such fields place severe strains on the coil, or solenoid, as it is called. A magnetic field can produce both mechanical and heating effects. The mechanical effects are illustrated by a clever gadget known as Roguet’s spiral. It is a suspended coil with its lower end dipping into a bowl of mercury. When a current passes through the coil, the magnetic field around the loops causes the adjacent turns of the coil to be attracted to each other while the opposite sides of each loop repel each other.”
Willkens, Dudley, 1958.
“You hear a lot about automation these days—electric eyes that spot bad parts, magnetic tapes that control giant “brains,” push-buttons that guide machines, but the backbone of this country is still manpower. It takes 67 million of us to keep industry and commerce spinning. / This thought was brought home to me a few weekends ago when I took my car to Joe’s garage. I’ve been doing business with Joe for 15 years. In that time, his garage has changed considerably. At the beginning, Joe had only a grease pit and a hydraulic lift. Today, he has a battery of machines and meters he uses in diagnosing my car’s ills. / On this business of automation I asked Joe if servicing my car hadn’t become a lot easier with the “gadgets” he now had. / Of course, Joe said. These new devices helped since automobile machinery has become so highly complex. But he told me that there wasn’t one thing any machine could do for my car if he didn’t stay abreast of automotive servicing techniques. … I also realize that all the automation in the world can’t do the job without him. It made me realize that no electronic brain could ever replace my mechanic’s horsepower horse sense.”
Lomax, Almena, 1958.
“But not enough has been done with me, and I am hopelessly caught in the treadmill and cannot do as much as ought to be done with my children to make them better people. And so all of the rich iron-ore of human experiences goes for naught, and we do not make the better people we ought to make, without which the “better things for better living” are just gadgets, no more capable of making better lives than better can openers are of affecting the state of mind of the average housewife. / In my case, I have an apparent inability to learn from previous depressions. / “Pre-menstrual tension,” the doctor calls what may be one aspect of it. But although experience has proved him right, I am always, in the midst of one, convinced that he doesn’t know what he is talking about. And I am absolutely certain that this is absolutely the end.”
Mann, Martin, 1959.
“a leather-covered, transistor-packed shoebox that does tricks with mirrors (honest!) to make a respectably sized picture even in seashore sunshine. / The Safari portable weights 15 pounds, measures about 8 1/2 by 16 1/2 by 5 1/2 inches. The picture area is 80 square inches–same as an ordinary 14-inch screen. It runs on batteries (which can be recharged at home) or on house current. The price is not outrageous for such a seductive adult toy: $255” (65). “Americans like to move around. And they insist on taking their entertainment with them–the magazine rolled into a pocket, the portable radio held at ear level” (65-6). “But the manufacturer’s motive for gambling a million or so on such a new product can be considerably more complex. He may hope that (a) people will buy the gadget because it is a Practical and Useful Convenicence; pr (b) people may not need the gadget but will buy anyway because it is The Thing to Do, like dancing the cha-cha-cha; or © people will come into the store to see the Amazing New Invention and end up buying something else he wants to sell, as they look at convertibles and buy sedans” (65). Other manufacturers working on their own models, including the Japanese. * * * “Two printed-circuit boards clearly marked–like a road map–simplify trouble shooting. They form two sides of the chassis, with the picture tube and battery filling up most of the space in between. It makes a neat, compact and efficient assembly that pays off in convenience and performance”
Giovacchini, Peter L., 1959.
“The ‘gadget’, which is defined by Webster as slang meaning a ‘mechanical contrivance, a device, or any ingenious article’ has become a fundamental part of the American scene.” “One cannot generalize from the study of these two cases. The psychological mechanisms described need not be characteristic of typical cultural attitudes, although there seems generally to be something derogatory in the use of the term, gadget” (339). “The machine deals with the external world directly and, although there are many exceptions, strives to create order from disorder. One can say that it is similar to a secondary process operation which takes the unorganized and gives it organization. In most cases a human being is required to operate machines. The gadget differs from the complex machine in that it minimizes the importance of the human being whereas the ordinary machine augments a person’s capacity to do work which requires secondary process operations. For example, typewriting is the use of a machine to record ideas which are refined and organized in the process of transmitting them to the machine. The typewriter is thus a mechanical aid to the secondary process operation. The gadget, on the other hand, requires a minimum of human intervention and gives the illusion of operating independently. / One cannot conceive of a machine performing secondary process operations independently, because in order to accomplish such a function there must also be a primary process. There are, however, a variety of electronic computers that seem almost to be able to think. Cybernetics, as we all know, has viewed the psychic apparatus in terms analogous to those of an electronic circuit and has caused machines to be built that function in a manner that is analogous to human logic. / Both patients stressed that the function of a gadget is secondary in importance to its operation, which obscured its purpose to them. Whether it worked or not, in terms of accomplishing what it is supposed to do, was a minor consideration. This does not mean that the gadget did not have to work perfectly in a mechanical sense, because if it did not the gadgeteer would be frustrated. What it did mean, to both the patients, was that the human appreciation of what the gadget accomplishes, for example, reproduction of music in such a way as to provide a gratifying and moving experience, tended to take second place in their minds to a pleasure in the operation of the gadget itself.” (336). “Common among all the patients in this group was anger toward the gadget and the ‘gadgeteer’. To define these terms for the purpose of this paper is not easy. Any technological device, especially when first introduced, can be considered a gadget. These patients for the most part objected to two aspects of these devices which may be classified as follows. First, the regulation of time as in switches with either an automatic control or a feed-back mechanism to interrupt a circuit and turn something off or on. Included were such items as furnace controls, coffee makers, and radio switches that turn other mechanisms on and off. Second, enhancement of passivity. In this class can be included practically all objects that do work, and consequently permit more leisure. Automatic dishwashers, automatic transmissions in automobiles, and, especially, remote control of television without getting up from one’s armchair are a threat because of the enhancement of passivity. Television itself was scorned by one patient who nevertheless succumbed to its lure and then watched it for hours every night. One patient was particularly chagrined to learn there was a switch that automatically controls a fan for ventilating a house, depending on the amount of heat in the attic. That it required a minimum of human intervention for its operation was what this patient found most disturbing. / This classification is sketchy and not technologically precise. As it is manifestly impossible to state definitely where invention ends and gadgeteering begins, it is striking that these patients frequently made such arbitrary distinctions. Patients pointed out that function was of little importance; the operation of the gadget was the primary feature. One patient spoke with anger of persons who were more interested in the tonal qualities of complex high fidelity sets than in the music. He referred to a recent joke of a person who contented himself with studying the wave patterns produced by an oscillograph hooked into the system.” (330) Catalogues patients who can only appreciate photographs and not painting for instance, appreciating technical perfection over beauty. “In these instances, it is the person who is ingenious, not the machine; and such a person strives to be capable of accomplishing almost anything. The omnipotent qualities of such fantasies are extremely valuable in enhancing narcissism. Such a fantasy, especially when it is as compulsive as it was in both these patients, serves as a narcissistic, omnipotent, magical defense against the inner awareness of a weak and constricted ego” (339). “To this artist, as it was to the scientist, the gadget served as an intensive means of communicating with reality.” “In both these patients, the gadget was not only a factor that represented the operation of the secondary process, which is in opposition to instinctual forces, but, more specifically, it was a factor in preserving identity. In the first case, there was a direct correlation between the patient’s interest in gadgets and security in his identity. In the second case, there seemed to be an inverse correlation; greater preoccupation with the gadget threatened the patient’s ego ideal, and made him feel less secure of his identity.”
McGinley, Phyllis and Nathaniel Benchley, 1959.
“I fling that statement into the teeth of the sociologists who insist we have never had it so good. We own machines, they say, to wash our dishes and to blend the hollandaise sauce. We have gadgets to burn our toast, grind up our garbage and dry the laundry on rainy days. … Gadgets solve only mechanical problems. They do not spice stew or mend the linen napkins. They do not shop for groceries, plan menus, clean the car, entertain, administer, take temperatures or roll bandages for the Ladies of Charity.” New section: “The need for a radical gadget.” “For while machines multiply, so do our responsibilities. And no gadget can teach us how to best split–perhaps I should say, splinter–our personalities in order to live up to current standards. Grandmother owned no vacuum cleaner but she also had fewer demands on her skills. … She was not expected, as we are, to combine in her one ladylike person the functions of wife, mother, interior decorator, registered nurse, child psychologist, landscape gardener, participator in public affairs, scintillating hostess, director of budgets and general good sport.”
** McEntee, Howard G., 1959.**
“New jobs for flashlight cells include everything from polishing shoes to playing records. Coming soon–truly portable TV sets.” “A lot has happened since the days when flashlight batteries were used for flashlights. Today’s big boom in battery power has been made possible by an amazing new assortment of pint-sized power plants, all of which look like flashlight batteries but do remarkably different jobs. / Today, you can shave by battery, listen to records by battery, mix cocktails by battery. You can power radios, movie cameras, dictating machines, Geiger counters, fire and burglar alarms, tape recorders, clocks, kitchen food mixers–all without plugging in an electric cord. / In the wonderful world of the future are such bright promises as battery-run power tools, truly portable TV sets and a variety of cordless home appliances.”
Kelly, Dale, 1959.
“To some of us, a new car is to drive, to enjoy and, less pleasantly, to pay for. But to others, it’s a challenge to invest in gadgets that claim to banish wear, eliminate friction, reduce gas consumption and boost performance.”
Fromm, Erich, 1959.
“…the intellectual climate of our time. We tend to think in terms of mass production and of gadgets. As far as production of commodities is concerned this has proven exceedingly fruitful. But if the idea of mass production and gadget worship is transferred to the problem of man and into the field of psychiatry it destroys the very basis which makes producing more and better things worth while.”
Bettelheim, Bruno, 1959.
“A case history of a schizophrenic child who converted himself into a “machine” because he did not dare be human. His story sheds light on emotional development in a mechanized society. […] To counteract this fear we gave him a metal wastebasket in lieu of a toilet. Eventually, when eliminating into the wastebasket, he no longer needed to take off all his clothes, nor to hold on to the wall. He still needed the tubes and motors which, he believed, moved his bowels for him. But here again the all-important machinery was itself a source of new terrors. In Joey’s world the gadgets had to move their bowels, too. He was terribly concerned that they should, but since they were so much more powerful than men, he was also terrified that if his tubes moved their bowels, their feces would fill all of space and leave no room to live. He was thus always caught in some fearful contradiction.”
Stann, Francis, 1959.
“Pascual now is claiming for himself a new attitude. ‘I’m really ready,’ he says. ‘My arm feels better because of that machine.’ / The ‘machine,’ according to Herb Heft, chief publicist of the Senators, isn’t quite ‘new.’ ‘It’s a gadget that our trainer, George Lentz, used on only two pitchers–Sid Hudson and Rae Scarborough,’ he explains. ‘He’d put it away because nobody else had much confidence in it, but now Pascual thinks it’s the greatest invention since atomic energy.’ / It’s merely a dusted-off gadget that vibrates with a rubber tip, Heft says, but it makes Pascual feel that the only-tired arm of a starting pitcher isn’t his own private hell the next day.”
Razaf, Andy, 1959.
“A poem, “A Mixed Up World”, by Andy Razaf, famous composer and lyricist who lives in Los Angeles, was included in the Appendix of the Congressional Record last week at the request of Razaf’s former congressman, Frank C. Osmers, Jr., of New Jersey. … Too Long have we worshipped material things, / With our eyes on worthless goals, / Improving our Gadgets and Machines; / But not improving our Souls.”
Nelson, George, 1959.
“The common, traditional tools of Japan are handsome, easy-to-use and often more logical than our ‘do-it-yourself’ gadgets. This saw, for example, cuts on the pull—utilizing the scientific principle that steel in tension cuts more easily!”
“The other thing we want to tell Khrushchev is that if, as the Los Angeles Times says, he is just coming to the United States to be “properly guided and illuminated” so that he will learn that his country does not have anywhere near as much “consumer goods” as the United States has, he should have ‘stood in bed.’ / “Consumer goods”, Nikita, are not all they are cracked up to be, and your people are better off with only half as much as the United States has, especially if they work. / Now, take the American can opener . . . or maybe it has a “made in Jjapan” label, we don’t know. We only know that we buy it at the super market for $1.29 and it has a life expectancy at peak performance of about six weeks. / After that, it takes a Hercules to get the thing to sink its teeth in a can, and then to cling while we laboriously turn the handle, hoping the teeth don’t get tired and ease their bite until the circle is completed. . . . And then, what happens? The top sinks down into the peach or pineapple juice to come to rest right on top of the fruit. . . . whereupon we have to perform an engineering feat with a knife or a fork to get it up out of the can, again. […] For it will become undoubtedly crystal clear to Nikita after he has toured the United States that American consumption of twice as much meat as the Russians has turned them into a lot of meatheads. . . . And then he will go home and release the necessary number of farm hands to build better moons and rockets, also can openers, and other gadgets, and thus, move the date for outstripping the U. S. up from the Times’ optimistic “1970s” to the 1960s. / Really, aside from the “h’s”, our only word of advice for Nikita is about the can openers. . . . They better work, or comes the revolution, his head will be the first to roll.”
“Faculty and students of Hampton Institute were warned last week that “our society, with its love of gadgets, its worship of bigness, its curious fear of novelty and its demands for conformity, is in danger of destroying the individual and thus of destroying itself in the end. / Dr. J. Harry Cotton, chairman, Division of Humanities, Wabash college, Crawfordsville, Indiana, was the speaker, addressing the formal opening of the college’s 92nd academic year.”
Lomax, Almena, 1959.
“[review of John Osborne’s “Look Back in Anger”] I did not know what its message was until suddenly, in the midst of a discussion, I saw a woman who had gotten “pleasantly tiddly” as John Osborne’s main character, Jimmy, says, looking “tenderly and lecherously” into her husband’s eyes . . . and he, poor sucker, rise to the bait, thinking, in spite of himself and in spite of years of such bait that this will be the night when, as Jimmy says, “I’ll make such love to you, you’ll not care about anything else at all,” and she will give herself to him in love at last . . . (for, while women are turning rapidly into den mothers, men remain, for a while longer at least, the hopeful ones; only they “hope”, but they don’t heave to) . . . and then I knew what John Osborne’s play was about. / It was about the fact that we give our bodies—no holds barred . . . that we give materially . . . scuffling and driving ourselves, knifing our neighbors even, to pile riches at the feet of “loved ones.” We give fine cars, trips to Europe, gadgets, gimmicks. / But we do not give ourselves, so that we have all but lost the power of communicating with each other, and exist side by side like cold blooded polar bears, staring unblinkingly at each other until even the most venturesome is frozen into silence.”