None of the above categories, an idiosyncratic usage.
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Quote: “This is a political tract, set in a boiler-room (similar to those in coal-burning vessels of the time) in Hell where various souls are being punished for their sins. “‘Harnessed up the tide–the cool, big, wet, deep, blue, sparkling sea. I believe they did it on the pneumatic principle, not on the hydraulic, if you’re interested in those things.’ ‘I ain’t,’ Mr. Sugden retorted. ‘I’m only concerned with outstanding social facts. We leave machinery to the intellectuals.’ ‘That’s very kind of you. The inventor of this particular gadget was the son of a woman who committed suicide somewhere in the Potteries, I’m told.”
Author: Kipling, Rudyard
Source: The American Magazine v74n3 July
Quote: “When I was a boy, I sailed over the ocean for six months without finding a single night, nothing but days all the time, until you forgot what darkness was like. Well, one night at twelve o’clock, though ‘twas broad daylight, mind you, one of our crew, Martin O’Farrell, was playing ‘The Boys of Wexford’ on a gadget, when lo and behold! a sea serpent puts his head out of the waters and ses: ‘Bravo, Martin, ses he.”
Author: O’Brien, Seumas
Source: The Whale and the Grasshopper: And Other Fables. Boston: Little, Brown, and Company. 1916
Quote: “He also saw a bird–a great bird–on the way up, which he took to be a British eagle because it had ‘large white circles on the under sides of its wings’! Sounds as though it were the now almost extinct Gadget.”
Source: Scottish Mountaineering Club Journal. v15n85. April 1918
Quote: “There she was. And there he was. In fact, putting it another way, there they both were. And now jolly well what? Archie rested his left ear against the forearm of a long, strongly built young man in a gray suit who had followed him into the car and was sharing his strap, and pondered. / Of course, in a way, the gadget was simple. The wheeze was, in a sense, straightforward and uncomplicated. What he wanted to do was to point out to the injured girl all that hung on her. He wished to touch her heart, to plead with her, to desire her to restate her war-aims, and to persuade her–before three o’clock, when that stricken gentleman would be stepping into the pitcher’s box to loose off the first ball against the Pirates–to let bygones be bygones and forgive Augustus Biddle.”
Author: Wodehouse, P.G.
Source: Cosmopolitan. v69n6. December, 1920
Quote: “Damn!’ said Freddie softly, and hurried off down the street. He wondered whether he had made a frightful ass of himself, spraying bank-notes all over the place like that to comparative strangers. Then a vision came to him of Nelly’s eyes as they had looked at him in the lamp-light, and he decided–no, absolutely not. Rummy as the gadget might appear, it had been the right thing to do. It was a binge of which he thoroughly approved. A good egg!”
Author: Wodehouse, P.G.
Source: p. 117
Quote: “I wish the guy that invented this solitaire gadget was cooped up with us,’ he grumbled to himself. ‘I’d treat him rough. This is the night for her to come through. King on a jack and I’m ditched again, by cripes.”
Author: Paine, Ralph Delahaye
Quote: “And the younger duck generation / Should all be taught to use / Some muffler apparatus, / To save them from abuse. / There’s ‘gadget’ used on roosters / That will stop the ‘morning crow;’ / If Burt can adapt it to his ducks, / Hearty thanks to him will go!”
Source: The Mentor: Massachusetts State Prison. v21n2. December 1920
Quote: “…and Joe Squibb, alias Paul, own the right to his designation of Sea-going Gadget”
Author: Loomis, Alfred Fullerton
Quote: “Here’s the handiest, best-looking toilet case you ever saw. A simple solid-leather box, minus the tricky loops and gadgets and cubby holes which waste time and patience. You just toss toilet articles in. No packing at all … everything fits.”
Source: Scientific American 141, (September 1929). p. 246-247
Quote: “on her dress. JOE (A command) I’m having this dance. YOUNG MANHey – cutting in don’t go here! JOE (emphatically) Screw – son! The young man sees that Joe means what he says and slinks away. JOE (to Kitty) I got a little job for you. KITTY (fearfully) What is it, Joe? JOE (pointing to pom-pom) We’re going to dance by Scar Sherman – and when we do, I want you to rub that scar with that gadget you’ve got there. KITTY (looks up at him, wondering if she can beg out) But, Joe – (The hard expression in his face tells her there is no chance to back out) Sure – I’ll do it. – 94 – JOERight. He puts his arm around her and whirls her off to the dance floor. 276. FULL SHOT DANCE FLOOR The six gorillas are now on the floor dancing with girls. They are forming a circle about Dan and”
Author: Turner, George Kibbe
Quote: “There are several unneccesary complications in our income tax rates, which might well be dropped out, so that the ordinary man might have a chance to udnerstand what the rates really are” (125). “All these taxes should be as simple as possible. Gadgets such as the earned income credit are more nuisance than they are worth.” (146) “We make too much of the search for small bits of justice. Justice is a noble ideal, but far away. When a tax bill is before hte Ways and Means Committee, one interest and another come up to plead for some minor point of justice. One little gadget is added to meet one objection and another little gadget to overcome the disadvantages of the first, until the sum of a lot of little attempts to do the right is the great wrong of tying government and taxpayers in a mass of red tape”
Author: Coyle, David Cushman
Source: Why Pay Taxes? 1937. p165
Quote: “When the President pushes an ivory button on his desk to open the sluices of Hoover Dam or light up the symbolic Tower of Something or Other at a world’s fair, reporters, newsreel cameras and microphones are always there to trumpet abroad the drama of the occasion. When John Smith registers at a metropolitan hotel in the modern tradition, that is another simple act which sets in motion a machine as impressive as any 10,000-ton gadget in a powerhouse. But this huge, part-human, part-mechanical organization is out of sight and silent, all the more so the better it works. If he realized the amount of smoothly oiled routine called for by the mere fact of his arrival, John Smith might get a swelled head. Which would be unfortunate, because, as the above parable indicates, this machine has a double function: It is tooled and synchronized to supply the guest whatever he wants with so much speed and so little inconvenience”
Author: Furnas, J.C.
Source: Saturday Evening Post: 1/23/1937, Vol. 209 Issue 30, p10-60,
Quote: “In other words, I should not be surprised if the youngest generation were taking a realistic view of politics. They are probably looking at government simply as a gadget, and deciding that the trouble with it is nothing but the old notorious trouble with gadgets–which is that they mostly don’t work. The scout’s young men may be taking the practical, hard-boiled view that government is a gadget which is meant to work for the good of society while you sleep, and is not doing it. This is a good sound view. Looking at government as a gadget, here are a few questions which come up. … First, then, since the governmental gadget is supposed to work for the rest of society, how can it best do that?”
Author: Nock, Albert Jay
Source: The American Mercury. v47n186, p. 229
Quote: “This strange way of speaking can best be explained if we know what was going on in their minds during that time. Suppose, they said, that one could bombard the nuclei of atoms with charged particles. To obtain these, the experimenter would take simple atoms such as hydrogen, or helium, and knock off the outer electrons by throwing them violently around in an electrical discharge or in some other way. The gadget in which this “knocking off” process occurred would be connected to a large, highly evacuated glass or porcelain “accelerating tube.” The particles could be led into this tube and, by the application of high voltage, could be accelerated or shot against a target covered with the atoms of the element to be investigated.”
Author: Sheppard, C.W.
Source: Scientific American 164, (May 1941). p. 282-285
Quote: “AMAZING new Moto-Vator injects water vapor into motor just like newest fighter planes. Burns 15% water; saves 20% to 30% gas; Prevents Carbon; Increases power! … Not a gadget.”
Source: Popular Science, Jan 1945.
Quote: “Still in their infancy–in an experimental stage according to Gallup and other poll leaders–these polls have been variously described. The Pulse of Democracy was the title of Gallup’s book in 1940. ‘The saviors of democracy’ was the appraisal of one University of Chicago professor; ‘a social gadget’ was the epithet of another professor of the same university. ‘A measure of our social illiteracy is the appropriate phrase, according to a leader in adult education. Other descriptors include ‘seismograph of public opinion’; ‘an extra-legal anticipation of election verdicts’; periodical and persistent auditor of public opinion.”
Author: Waldrop, Arther Gayle
Source: Editor and Editorial Writer. Rinehart. 1948. p. 352
Quote: “In his laboratory rink Rawson demonstrated the proper functioning of the roller skate. The sake is attached to one of his gadgets which shows the flexible action of the skate when the weight of the body is shifted to the outside and then to the inside. You are then taken to another gadget with a platform just big enough to accommodate one person. Once on this gadget there are two arms that clamp firmly about your hips so that they are held firm. However, your limbs from the hips down are free, as is the upper part of your body. Your hands then grasp the handles about waist high. You are instructed to stand straight and close to the upright part of the gadget but to avoid stiffness. Once these instructions are carried out Rawson snaps an electric switch and you swing like the pendulum of a clock. This gadget conveys the action of the lean, and the beginner readily learns the feel and the meaning of the lean which he will apply later when the skates have been attached to his feet.”
Author: Carpenter, W.H.
Source: The Billboard. Mar 27, 1948. p. 108-110
Quote: “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.”
Author: Jordan, Dr. Frederick D.
Source: The Plain Dealer (Kansas City, Kansas) • 04-07-1950 • Page 
Quote: “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.”
Author: McLuhan, Marshall
Source: The Mechanical Bride: Folklore of Industrial Man. New York: The Vanguard Press, Inc. p. 122
Quote: “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.”
Author: Mazia, Daniel
Source: Scientific American 189, (August 1953). p. 53-63
Quote: “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.”
Author: Oppenheimer, Jane
Source: Scientific American 197, (August 1957). p. 139-147
Quote: “SOME MAN SAID IT / What is the most complicated gadget in any home? / A wife.”
Source: Los Angeles Tribune (Los Angeles, California) • 11-21-1958 • Page 22
Quote: “This is Friendship Seven. Turned around, yawed 180 [degrees] to see the sunrise here, and also to see these little, these little gadgets here that I don’t know what they are. … They do not seen, to be coming from the capsule at all. There are too many of them. They’re all spread out all over the place; it looks like they’re some of them might be miles away.”
Author: Glenn, John
Source: From Mercury 6, Spoken on Feb. 20, 1962, 7:01 p.m. UTC
Quote: “” You knew he would try to kill you? “ she asked shakily. “ Suspected he had it in mind – he gave in too quick. But I thought I’d have a chance to take any gadget he was hiding away from him first. I was wrong about that. Now we’d better move fast… “”
Author: Schmitz, James H.
Source: [Short story] In: Analog
Quote: “thinking he would break her frail body, but when he had finished she would come to him with great eyes wide, scrape his neck with her nails, and ask him to “ be a man again. “ One night, after finding the very middle of her in a new way, he called her later, trembling, and said, “ I shouldn’t have done that to you. Let’s not do it again. “ But they did it again the next night in his room and the fiddler opened the door, his elasticized old-man gadgets dangling, and caught them at it. Stern, in an action he could not explain, carried her, without a word to the old man, out the window and to the garden below, and they never did that thing again. They parted for a year. She stayed in Oregon, and Stern, heavy with guilt as he stole a final bite, flew to New York in search of girls who knew Turgenev. A great singingfreedom came over him, but the closest he came to”
Author: Calisher, Hortense
Quote: “[…] high-powered missile acquisition radar, used in tracking intercontinental ballistic missiles fired from Vandenberg, emanated lethal radiation throughout the area; needless to say, elaborate safety precautions for Navy personnel were not extended to the luckless Marshall Islanders. Today the Nike-Zeus system has been made obsolete by a more sophisticated nuclear gadget – the Nike-X defensive missile system (ABM). Kwajalein, now the site of a $165 million Missile Site Radar system (MSR) that serves as a seeing eye for ABM’s Spartan and Sprint defense missiles, participates in more than 15,000 operations a year.”
Author: Connolly, Stephen and Peter Shapiro
Source: The Nation. 11 October 1971. pp. 330-334.
Quote: “When he woke up – or regained consciousness, that was more like it – dawn was just breaking and the hospital was as quiet as Morris supposed it ever got. He felt very calm… almost serene. He had no pain; his body felt swaddled and weightless. His bed had been surrounded by some sort of contraption like a squirrel cage – a thing of stainless steel bars, guy wires, and pulleys. His legs were being held up by cables attached to this gadget. His back seemed to be bowed by something beneath, but it was hard to tell – he had only the angle of his vision to judge by. Others have it worse, he thought. All over the world, others have it worse. In Israel, the Palestinians kill busloads of farmers who were committing the political crime of going into town to see a movie.”
Author: King, Stephen
Source: New York: The Viking Press
Quote: “That double-agent discussion yesterday had frightened Camacho, coming as it did from a man who owned an assassin’s pistol and had enough gadgets in his attic to blow up half the cops in Washington. To assess just how likely it was that good of Harlan Albright had decided to eliminate a possible threat, one would need to know just what it was that was being threatened.”
Author: Coonts, Stephen
Author: Christ, Rainer, et. al.
Source: Kuratorium fur Verkehrssicherheit (KfV). Austrian Road Safety Board. Vienna: 1999.
Quote: “Widgets and gadgets (the terms are basically interchangeable) are small programs that you can add to your computer desktop, if you are running a newer version of Windows or Mac OS, or to a personalized Web portal such as iGoogle or Netvibes. These handy little applications can remind you about appointments, tell you the time or let you check your e-mail. They can also feed you the latest news headlines – the perfect way for you to stay in the loop.”
Quote: “The idea that Tebow would solve the Jets’ locker room issues is ridiculous. As a gadget player? Or third string QB? Come on. Can not see how this doesn’t turn into a mess. Few bad games by Sanchez and won’t people be calling for Tebow?” Gadget play or gadget player as something quirky, unusual, probably can only be used a small number of times to throw off a defense before they adapt.”
Source: http://www.quickish.com/tip/13688 March 20, 2012