An individual piece, cog, or component within a larger tool or system.
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Quote: “So we gaily essayed the passage, which Jim accomplished safely; but just as the Skipper was stepping off his bridge on to the bank the treacherous bark gave way (this is the worst danger in walking on fallen trees), and with a mighty splash he and his rifle went into the deepest hole in the creek. He thought it best to get out at once, but too late to save his watch, which he opened, and found that the escapement had floated round to the back of the mainspring and jammed the gadget that the chunkerblock would not work. But we were equal to the emergency, and in two minutes had frizzled all the water out of the works by unscrewing the large lens of the binocular and using it as a burning glass. It had a wonderful effect, and with a little coaxing the watch began to go; then we hung it on a tree with the mechanism still exposed to the rays of the sun, and went on our way rejoicing.”
Author: Lees, J.A. and Clutterbuck, W.J.
Source: London: Longmans, Green and Co, 87
Quote: “If your engine has a linking in gadget on the I.P. valve gear, it would be well to link it in a little, giving the I.P. a shorter cut off, and an increase of power in the I.P. cylinder would result and the H.P. would be decreased a corresponding amount, and the respective powers would even up to about 88 I.H.P. each.”
Source: Marine Engineering, vol. 5. July, 1900. p. 316
Quote: “Directly under the car he lay and looked upward into pipes–petrol, steam, and water–with a keen and searching eye. / I telegraphed Mr. Pyecroft a question. / ‘Not–in–the–least,’ was the answer. ‘Steam gadgets always take him that way. We had a bit of a riot at Parsley Green through his tryin’ to show a traction-engine haulin’ gipsy-wagons how to turn corners.” […] “‘But, after all, it’s your steamin’ gadgets he’s usin’ for his libretto, as you might put it.” Pyecroft to narrator about Hinch, who was formerly terrified, driving around the car. […] “‘But I will say for you, Hinch, you’ve certainly got the hang of her steamin’ gadgets in quick time.’ / He was driving very sweetly, but with a worried look in his eye and a tremor in his arm.”
Author: Kipling, Rudyard
Source: orig. 1902, first published in book form with Traffics and Discoveries, 1904
Quote: “The erector arm was attached to the tunnel segments by a gadget (Fig. 15).”
Author: Japp, Henry
Source: Proceedings of the American Society of Civil Engineers. vol. 35, no. 9. (November 1909)
Quote: “In order to unite these plates by close-fitting joints, the contact surfaces were machined. At the centre of an ordinary segment a hole was tapped to receive a 1.25 inch pipe. This was the grout hole. […] The lug which, with the Hudson Companies, formed an integral part of the ordinary segment, was here omitted. A gadget was employed instead, in connection with a corresponding pair of bolt holes near the centre. The device furnished a means by which the mechanical erector controlled the plate. However, a great deal of placing was done by hand, in spite of the fact that all pieces except the key weighed a ton each.”
Author: Springer, J.F.
Source: Cassier’s Magazine: An Engineering Monthly. vol. 37 no. 5. March, 1910.
Quote: “No lug was cast on the segments for attachment to the erector, but in its place the gadget shown on Fig. 4, Plate LXX, was inserted in one of the pairs of bolt holes near the center of the plate, and was held in position by the running nut at one end.”
Author: Brace, James H. and Mason, Francis
Source: Transactions of the American Society of Civil Engineers. vol. 68, Paper no. 1158. 1910. p. 460
Quote: “Fig. 14 shows method of erecting the segments on the upper quarter. The segments were attached to the erector bar by a gadget with a large nut on one plain screwed end, and a flanged spigot on the other; the nut was run back far enough to insert the gadget, and the nut was spun by hand very quickly to lock it in place. This is a very effective way of lifting the segments and saved the expense of casting iron lugs on each segment. The cast iron in the four tunnels represents about 100,000 tons; each segment weight about one ton, so about 100,000 lugs were saved.”
Author: Japp, Henry
Source: The Engineer’s Club of Philadelphia vol 29 1912
Quote: “It [the bell punch] will clip tickets only having the proper thickness of paper. As it clips it registers the number of the operations and rings a bell. The clippings fall into a receptacle in the punch so that their numbers and their various colors can be audited with the waybill. The punch cannot be opened, for it is sealed with a paper gadget that has to be broken to open the receptacle.”
Source: Electric Railway Journal. v52n26. December 28, 1918. p. 1138
Quote: “If the conning tower is the brain of the ship, the engine-room is its heart. When Jellicoe was speeding up to join Beatty and Evan-Thomas his whole fleet maintained a speed in excess of the trial speeds of some older vessels. Think what skilful [sic] devotion this simple fact reveals, what minute attention day in day out for months and years, so that in the hour of need no mechanical gadget may fail of its duty. And as with Jellicoe’s Fleet so all through the war. Whenever the engine-rooms have been tested up to breaking strain they have always, always, stood up to the test. I think less of the splendid work done by destroyer flotillas, by combatant officers and men in th ebig ships, by all those who have manned and directed within the light cruisers. Their work was done within sight; that of the engine-rooms was hidden.”
Author: Copplestone, Bennet
Source: New York: E.P. Dutton & Company. 1918. p. 319
Quote: “He was an engineer, in fact, – a man who knew every nut, bolt, and gadget of his submarine, and he had a mind infinitely fertile as a resource.”
Author: Paine, Ralph Delahaye
Source: Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin Company. 1918
Quote: “As an addition to a set of mathematical instruments the gadget shown in Fig. 2 forms a useful adjunct. The pin Z is arranged to fit into leg of the compass such that the center point of the compass and points X and Y all lie in the same straight line.”
Author: Lind, Wallace L.
Source: United States Naval Institute Proceedings. v45n9. September, 1919
Quote: “The distortion of the ‘field section’ or ‘field sheet’ due to changes of humidity and temperature, has been a thorn in the side of the topographer for many years, neither does there appear to be any means of eliminating it as long as the field sheet is of paper, or Bristol board, mounted upon a wooden board. […] Indeed the feeling of many topographers is averse to the introduction of anything in the nature of a ‘gadget.’ In those countries where most of our plant table work is done breakdowns may be fatal. Experiment has proved, however, that a simple but ingenious arrangement can be fitted to the existing pattern of legs which provides a slow motion, thrown in or out of action by a cam, and detachable at will. It was tried in 1914 and unanimously approved of.”
Author: Winterbotham, H. St. J. L.
Source: Engineering and Contracting. vol. 64, issue 4. December 31, 1919
Quote: “To-day, when she was wanted worst, the dory was perversely more out of kilter than usual and lay sprawled on the mid-deck, opposite the engine-room hatch, with Kennedy inside and tinkering inquisitively, unscrewing nuts, looking at carburetors, examining spark plugs, and testing aim-pump valves or any other gadget that might possibly have been the seat of such cantankerous misbehavior.”
Author: Macfarlane, Peter Clark
Source: Boston: Little, Brown, and Company. 1919
Quote: “You see, it was standin’ against one bulkhead–against a wall, I mean, about–about amidships I should say of the room. It was as big as me; a big, black, shiny safe, and there was a keyhole in the door covered by a little nickel gadget about as big as–as a dollar.”
Author: Levison, Eric
Source: Indianapolis: The Bobbs-Merrill Company. 1921. p. 329
Quote: “The multiplied troubles of the radio operator on board ship, and persistent complaints to the superintendent, have hurried the development of the break-key. The name was a misfit for early devices with their multitude of levers, wires and contacts. The delicacy of the equipment was responsible for periodic instruction from the company engineers not to tamper with the outfit. / The ‘gadget,’ as it was disrespectfully called, sputtered and flashed at the contacts, and the noises circulating in the telephones further tried the patience of the operator. Messages were received with uncertainty and traffic was frequently congested.”
Author: Winters, S.R.
Source: Popular Radio. September, 1922. v2n1
Quote: “Trucks Make Their Own Fuel. The accompanying photographs, showing a method of generating fuel gas for motor vehicles from charcoal, which has been rather extensively tried out in France, illustrates, to our mind, a tendency which has been apparent in Europe since the World War–a tendency to attempt to accomplish by complicated methods what is already being accomplished through simple means. […] The apparatus consists of a generating chamber having a grate, firebox and boiler for producing the necessary steam for making the gas. It appears to be an amazing complication of internal ‘gadgets.’ The gas must be scrubbed, filtered to remove particles of charcoal, and further purified in a centrifugal purifier. There are a number of other details which it seems unnecessary to mention here.”
Author: Ingalls, Albert G.
Source: Scientific American 134, (January 1926) p. 42-46
Quote: “All I’ve got to do,’ he would explain, ‘is to figure out a way to shift this ‘dooflapper.’ When I get this ‘dooflapper’ so it will topple this little lever and let it drop this gadget into this groove here, this wheel will turn over and release this other lever, and I’ll be all right. Then this other cog will flop up and catch this other gadget, and I’ll have perpetual motion, you bet!’”
Source: Rotary International. September 1927
Quote: “But let’s just forget about ignition switches and other fancy business and see what we actually do with the six-volt battery current. This little square thing I’m drawing now is supposed to be the spark coil, and this funny gadget right next to it is the contact breaker or timer. One terminal of the battery is wired to the frame of the car and there’s a wire from the other pole of the battery to the spark coil. Then there’s a wire from the spark coil to the insulated, stationary contact point in the timer.”
Source: Popular Science, March 1929. p. 89
Quote: “You know, of course, that the weak radio impulse that reaches your set by way of the antenna is amplified or strengthened many times before it is converted into the electrical equivalent of sound that you can hear. This strengthening of the radio signal is accomplished by passing it through several circuits, each of which consists, essentially, of a vacuum tube, a coil of wire, and a queer-looking metal gadget with two sets of metal fins, called a condenser. You have noticed how some of these fins slide in between others without actually coming into contact, when you turn the knob that tunes the stations. Moving these fins, or condenser plates, governs the tuning of the individual stage of amplification. The same result could be obtained by changing the number of turns in the coil of wire, but it is mechanically more convenient to do the tuning by moving the condenser plates.”
Source: Popular Science, Feb 1929, p. 64
Quote: “In addition to the 5,400 stars down to the 6.2 magnitude the planetarium projects the Milky Way. This is projected separately from little gadgets on the side of the apparatus.”
Author: Ingalls, Albert G.
Source: Scientific American 141, (September 1929). p. 201-204
Quote: “The Old Man was at dinner. When about to work on a plate of salad, he jabbed his fork against something that clinked. He growled and fished out a brass disk about the size of an English shilling. He slammed the thing on the tablecloth and stare at it until his eyeballs almost popped out. Then he roared: ‘Boy! Boy!’ Cato came on the lope from the pantry. ‘What,’ demanded the Admiral, ‘is this gadget?’ Cato lenas over and spells out the words on the tag carefully. He’s a Filipino, just getting educated. ‘Hum,’ he finally said. ‘Look lak a dog-license, yessa!”
Author: MacDowell, Syl
Source: Boy’s Life, June 1930. p. 30.
Quote: “engineer came strolling along the deck. He paused at Charlie’s chair. “ About time for our tour of the engine room, Mr. Chan, “ he remarked. “ Ah, yes, “ returned the Chinese. “ You were kind enough to promise me that pleasure when we talked together last night. Captain Keane, I am sure, would enjoy to come along. “ He looked inquiringly at Keane. |p259The captain stared back, amazed. “ Me? Oh, no, thanks. I’ve no interest in engines. Wouldn’t know a gadget from a gasket. And care less. “ Charlie glanced up at the engineer. “ Thank you so much, “ he said. “ If you do not object, I will postponemy own tour. I desire short talk with Captain Keane. “ “ All right, “ nodded the engineer, and moved away. Chan was regarding Keane grimly. “ You know nothing about engines? “ he suggested. “ Certainly not. What are you getting at, anyhow? “ “ Some months ago”
Author: Biggers, Earl Derr
Quote: “RKO as it stands today is the result, or rather one of the several results of an engineering gadget, the photo-electric cell wedded to another gadget called the radio tube, superimposed on the prior mechanisms of the motion picture.”
Author: Ramsaye, Terry
Source: Motion Picture Herald, April 30, 1932
Quote: “The modern American prose in this volume has as its distinguishing mark a certain tone. This tone is a compound of freshness, vigor, sprightliness, and a kind of good-natured sophistication. Its style is easy, almost nonchalant; but under its smooth surface lies genuine techncial competence and sound writing craftsmanship. / The increasing popularity of this kind of writing is a tribute to its extraordinary effectivenes. Whether used for a narrative summary of a news event, or for the intricate analysis of a biographical study, its charm attracts and holds the reader. If we may predict, a command of its technique will become more an more necessary for the student who aspires to the pages of our better magazines or even to the columns of his college publications.” … Elsie Gregory Macgill, “What to Call an Airplane”: “There are flying field terms galore for the airplane’s structural parts. Gadget is the panacea of all errors. You can never go wrong with gadget, as it covers everything from the wings to the pilot’s toothbrush. Other terms are more specific.” (37) “
Author: Galbraith, Robert Earle ed.
Source: New York: Thomas Nelson & Sons. 1933.
Quote: “. It was dull, and bare of anything more than a pale flecking of dust. When it was time for the little boys’ suppers Clay took them upstairs and gave them their baths in the same water. “ Why do I always have to have a bath with Johnnie? “ said the bigger boy furiously as the small boy dug strong toes into his bare back. “ Because, “ Clay patiently explained, “ we don’t want to use more hot water than we must. Every time we turn on the hot water it makes the gadget in the cellar go, and every time that goes it costs money. We must spend as little as possible. “ “’ Cause you’re home with us all the time? “ the bigger boy asked, looking wisely into his father’s serious face. “ That’s it, “ Clay said shortly. “ Shame, Martie, “ Lucia said when they came downstairs in their clean pajamas. “ Shame for what? “ “ Shame for pestering Daddy, “ she said indignantly. “”
Author: Owen, Janet Curren
Source: Harpers Magazine (193303) pages: 397-401
Quote: “Centering comes next. When the lenses are polished, the dish is removed, clamping nut H (Figure 4) unscrewed and the spindle brought horizontal. For centering I use an attachment (Figure 4) that slips over the seat formerly occupied by the dish. This gadget comprises the rod K carrying the edging plate L and a screw M acting against an arm of K, and the guard N. The right adapter (A in c, Figure 6) is pressed on the tapered spindle end and a little hot pitch daubed on the flange at B.”
Author: Ingalls, Albert G.
Source: Scientific American 152, (April 1935). p. 202-221
Quote: “Rumor said that Mussolini might visit Avigliani, and an old fogy in the tavern on Piedmont Lane swore that he had seen him in the village, his heavy chin covered with a dense growth of beard so as to escape recognition. Giovanni followed the call of higher wages and set out for Torino, promising his mother an easier life. The automobile factory hired him, and he served the machine all day, adjusting to the cars a gadget which looked like a pair of skates. At first he thought his back would break in two. Once or twice he collapsed with fatigue and the foreman swore at him in the choice dialect of Calabria, which he did not understand. But after a few weeks Giovanni became used to his servitude and even began to find comfort in the quiet irresponsibility of his work. He earned far more than he could have made in his native village, and part of his money went to his mother.”
Author: Lengyel, Emil
Source: Funk & Wagnalls Company, New York
Quote: “There was talk of a mechanical gadget to delay announcers words after they had entered the microphone long enough for a copy-desk of ‘editors’ to delete objectionable phrases. Most of the editorial comment was in a similar jocular vein, and did Ted no real harm.”
Source: Radio Mirror
Quote: “Let’s now pass down under the camera, to finish our new inspection. Here, we find the tripod socket. What more prosaic and uninspired gadget than this? Yet, this unobtrusive little threaded recess is one of the most important aids to good pictures. What a pity it is so little used!”
Source: Movie Makers, August 1936
Quote: “The “Stuka’s” deflector fork is the bomb rack gadget which lowers the 1100- or 550-pound bomb so that it will clear the arc of the propeller blades when released. The bomb is carried snuggled up against the center section of the wing to diminish air resistance. When the pilot makes ready to dive, the rack is extended.”
Author: Peck, James L.H.
Source: Scientific American 163, (October 1940). p. 186-188
Quote: “Neat little gadget for mounting a diagonal in a Newtonian reflector is shown in Figure 5, which is self explanatory (“Hua-i neng ta ch’ien yen,” or, picture’s meaning can ex press a thousand words, in case your Chinese has become rusty). Developed by Max Burgdorf, Natchitoches, Louisiana, and made by Lorane Brittain and Sherwood Burgdorf, it takes the place of the more customary spider support for diagonals and would cause a less complicated diffraction pattern than the latter.”
Author: Ingalls, Albert G.
Source: Scientific American 164, (May 1941). p. 316-319
Author: Bachman, Charles Herbert
Source: Techniques in Experimental Electronics. J. Wiley. 1948. 252pp. Chapter 7
Quote: “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.”
Author: Rensch, B.
Source: Scientific American 196, (February 1957). p. 44-49
Quote: “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.”
Author: Bettelheim, Bruno
Source: Scientific American 200, (March 1959). p. 116-127
Quote: “Creators of intelligent artificial brains, said Williams, should strive for machines that are designed and built specially for abstract thinking. The necessary hardware will soon be available: electronic units, analogous to brain cells, that can be produced by the billion, be made too small to see with a microscope, send 100 million signals per second, never make mistakes and last indefinitely. Computers made of these wonderful gadgets and geared for abstract thought should be able to outthink the brightest human brain.”
Source: Time Magazine: 1961/01/20
Quote: “” We work by remote control, just like they do at the AEC. See those handlers? “ He pointed to the control console set into a small stainless steel table standing beside the sheet of glass at the far end of the cubicle. “ They’re connected to those gadgets up there. “ He indicated the jointed arms hanging over the autopsy table in the room beyond. “ I could perform a major operation from here and never touch the patient. Using these I can do anything I could in person with the difference that there’s a quarter inch of glass between me and my work. I have controls that let me use magnifiers, and even do microdissection, if necessary. “”
Author: Bone, Jesse F.
Source: [Short story] In: Analog Science Fact and Science Fiction
Quote: “Titan II is considerably bigger (102 ft. high) than Titan I or Atlas, has greater thrust (430,000 Ibs. v. the Atlas’ 360,000 Ibs.) and has far fewer gadgets that can go wrong. Says Aerojet-General’s A. L. Feldman, technical program manager: “ We got rid of all the garbage. Titan II is the simplest, most elegant and most advanced missile we’ve got today. “”
Source: Time Magazine: 1962/03/30
Quote: “The electronic gadgets so vital to vehicles in far-out space suffer from some far-out troubles. Cosmic radiation sickens their semiconductors. Vibrations and swift temperature changes cause fractures in all-important wires. Lubricants evaporate into the vacuum of space. But scientists are already working on some far-out cures. The latest: a tin-magnesium-aluminum alloy that can be made into wires that grow gap-bridging “ whiskers “ when broken and soon heal their own wounds.”
Source: Time Magazine: 1964/01/03
Quote: “An oscillator is an essential element of apparatus as diverse as pendulum clocks, jackhammers, radios, lasers, hydraulic rams and electronic heart pacemakers. For every kind of oscillator that has been put to work at least a dozen other kinds repose on laboratory shelves as interesting but useless gadgets. Three new examples of such gadgetry recently came to the attention of this department. The first of the three, which is known as a salt oscillator, is the creation of Seelye Martin of the University of Washington.”
Author: Strong, C.L.
Source: Scientific American 223, (September 1970). p. 221-234
Quote: “Beale engines perform in any orientation-vertical, horizontal, inclined or upside down. They are amazingly simple in construction and do not depend on springs, valves or any kind of mechanical gadget.”
Author: Walker, Graham
Source: Scientific American 229, (August 1973). p. 80-87
Quote: “First I thought I was going to be sick, and then I thought I was going to die. Then I thought I was sick and dead both. Along the side of big roads you sometimes find a billboardpainted on something like a Venetian blind so that when the slats are tilted one way, there is one picture, and then, when by some inner gadgetry the slats are tilted the other way, there gradually appears another picture, and that is how it happened there in Brownie’s kitchen. First I was looking at one thing, then I was looking at another.”
Author: Buechner, Frederick
Source: Love Feast. Scribner, 1974.
Quote: “CARLOS FAVA (He can’t resist opening box.) Hey! What’s this? JOSE The best fucking knife you ever saw. CARLOS FAVA I ain’t a goddamn Boy Scout. JOSE Open it up. It’s got everything: can opener, scissors CARLOS FAVA (Opens knife, can’t help admiring all the gadgets.) Not bad. JOSE And y’know what? I got my own place now.”
Author: Spector, Donna
Source: Manhattan Transits [play]