A tool rigged together on the fly, made from available materials lying around. A prototype or stopgap.
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Quote: “Mr. Caffin smiled, stroking his sandy ‘gadget,’ so called by his friends as ‘a nameless, improvised thing.’ ‘You’re a machine at all the old tricks. But when it comes to modern initiative–God knows, you must jack up those men yourself. I’m close, but you’re their skin.”
Author: Saint-Gaudens, Homer
Source: The Metropolitan Magazine. v.27n6. March, 1908
Quote: “I’d like to have a ten-minute session with the bow-legged tailor that put the latest gadget stitch on those trousers.”
Author: Dermody, D.E.
Source: The Pacific Monthly [a magazine on Oregon]. v19n6. June 1908
Quote: “Further, at Cape Evans there had been running for more than three months a scientific station, which rivaled in thoroughness and exactitude any other such station in the world. I hope that later a more detailed account may be given of this continuous series of observations, some of them demanding the most complex mechanism, and all of the watched over by enthusiastic experts. It must here suffice to say that we who on our return saw for the first time the hut and its annexes completely equipped were amazed; though perhaps the gadget which appealed most to us at first was the electric apparatus by which the cook, whose invention it was, controlled the rising of his excellent bread.”
Author: Cherry-Garrard, Aspley
Source: Bremen: Salzwasser Verlag
Quote: “On the way across o he hangars discovered two R.F.C. men lying on the ground trying to look like a mole-hill, and fidgeting with a gadget resembling an intoxicated lawn-mower, the use of which I have not yet discovered.”
Author: Hutcheon, L.F.
Source: Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company. 1917
Quote: “Stick them on that shelf,’ said Jude. ‘Oh, Lord!–butter-fingers!–lemme! That’s the gadget to keep them from shiftin’ if the ship rolls. Now stick the knives in that locker. You don’t mind my tellin’ you, do you?”
Author: Stacpoole, Henry De Vere
Source: p. 47
Quote: “I’ve got the stuff wired up, Luke,’ he said, ‘and the whole gadget timed according to instructions; but hte detonators have to be fixed yet. It’s not a show that wants monkeying with until its [sic] needed. […] If the game looks in the least like being blown upon, this gadget of yours wipes out the barge and all evidence that can speak or bear witness.”
Author: Goodwin, John
Source: New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons. 1920
Quote: “Lately I have devised more sightly and lighter arrangements for protecting the nails. One useful gadget is to pull over each nail a short piece of black indiarubber tubing of suitable diameter. This affords good protection. Another contrivance I have used is a small metal clip to pinch round the nail, and this is very effective.”
Author: Livcsey, G.H.
Source: Veterinary Medicine. v16n10. October, 1921.
Quote: “But I want you to smash ‘em through the ice,’ went on Bret. ‘And I think we can rig a gadget that will do it. If the donkey-crane isn’t high enough–how about using a Jim-pole to lift the logs up and chuck them into the river, instead of hauling them out on the bank?’ […] ‘Chuck ‘em out on the ice from a Jim-pole sling, twenty feet high, and it will smash the ice up, won’t it?’ ‘I’ll say so–if we can rig the gadget.’”
Author: Perry, Clay
Source: Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill Company. 1921. p. 72-3
Quote: “A Handy Gadget for the Magazine Subscriber. How do you remove the wrappers from tightly rolled newspapers or magazines? […] The problem has been solved by a cutter devised by Arthur F. Hoffman, a rural mail carrier at Harvard, Neb., recently submitted to the Post Office Department and approved by the Postal authorities. The cutter is in the form of a knife with a curved and flattened tip. The flat point is easily inserted underneath the wrapper and a forward movement of the instrument results in clean cutting of the covering without damage to the contents.”
Source: Scientific American 130, (June 1924), p. 405-409
Quote: “On the Memphis, coming back from Paris, Slim [LIndbergh’s nickname] rigged up a gadget to work a shower bath from the outside. He tried it first on a newspaperman who, fully clothed and expecting to get a ‘human interest’ item out of the ‘invention’ Slim asked him to inspect, stepped under the shower and got literally ‘all wet’ when Lindbergh pulled the string.”
Source: Popular Science Monthly, April, 1928. p. 14
Quote: “lagging one night at a dinner party in Paris some three years ago, Mr. Alexander Calder amused his table companion by making a chicken out of a piece of bread and a hairpin. A success story has grown from that idle bit of modelling. Mr. Calder’s kangaroo is now one of the heaviest-selling gadgets in the Christmas toy lists; his bear, bull, and dog are also popular numbers. He has also had an enormous succor d’estime with a wire, felt, and heaver-hoard circus. These raw materials he took up when he abandoned bread and hairpins. The Calder circus is in town now. You can’t buy tickets to it, but people who have seen it say it is worth getting a bid to a private showing.”
Author: Coates, Robert
Source: New Yorker: 1929-12-07: p. 21-25
Quote: “Adjoining Mr. Powers’ office on the top floor (just below the putting green) is a conference room with a fireplace, and a negro butler. Mr. Powers has friends in to lunch there. Food is prepared in a kitchen elaborate with gadgets of the engraver’s own invention – built-in drawers, a special coffee-grinder, and newfangled ice-making machine. The table service, for six, is of heavy gold, modelled after one the Kaiser owned. At one end of the conference room “ Does this one say’ ma-nla’ too? “ stands a large filing cabinet. “ What do you think that is? “ Mr. Powers asks his guests. “ A filing cabinet, “ they reply.”
Author: Hellman, Gregory
Source: New Yorker: 1929-12-21: p. 17-21
Quote: “The chief products of the “Gadget Age” are, quite properly, gadgets, and in no field is a new gadget greeted with mroe jjoy than in the realm of amateur cinematography. Therefore, I wish to suggest a new device especially adapted for the use of prisms, but having other auxiliary features of real value to the amateur.”
Author: Oswald, Carl L.
Source: Movie Makers: March 1929
Quote: “But women are becoming more practical, and they have the advantage over men of knowing what is wanted in the sphere of domestic inventions. Every housewife is an inventor, because almost day of her life, she is making something new or devising some gadget.”
Source: Popular Mechanics, April 1930. p. 578
Quote: “What my wife wanted was a place to hang brooms and mops, so I made the automatic holder illustrated, tested it, and triumphantly called her to behold a gadget that really works.”
Source: Popular Science, May 1930. p. 114
Quote: “A couple of weeks later he aroused the curiosity, and the ire, of the engineer in charge of the power house when he started installing a peculiar looking gadget in the base of the huge chimney. It consisted of a selenium cell on one side of the chimney, and an electric bulb on the other. And when the next rain fell the young Cal Tech man did not have to go out and get wet, for the smoke would cut off the light and thus operate the galvanometer hooked to the cell, ringing a bell when the smoke would appear. The apparatus was so good that it is still in use in the chimney after all these years. / The young college student was Frank Capra . . . “
Author: Hall, Hal
Source: American Cinematographer: April 1931
Quote: “now Mr. Graves is in again with something else-a new telescope with an 8 1/2-inch Pyrex mirror, on a Springfield mounting and a pedestal made of 6-inch pipe fittings, and driven by a Dictophone motor. He has also constructed a dingbat for making the knife-edge test. This, he admits, is against the rules of the game (ATM page 97) but says he made it, anyway, just for fun.”
Author: Ingalls, Albert G.
Source: Scientific American 146, (May 1932). p. 296-315
Quote: “An ingenious contraption called a “Thrill- O-Meter” was used for advance publicity on “Rue Morgue” by C. E. O’Donnell, manager of the Paramount Theatre, Baton Rouge, La. This thrill-o-meter was constructed by- building a lobby cut-out and using the figure of a gorilla. The display was arranged so that its base covered the lobby scales. Then under the scales platform, a water bag was placed, filled with colored liquid. The hot water bag was attached to a glass indicator tube which ran up the center of the cut-out. At various levels on the indicator, small cards were placed with copy such as : 200-220. .. .You like to be thrilled! 160-180. .. .We advise you to be accom- panied by an escort! 120-140 Its thrills will chill you! Wear an overcoat ! 80-100. . . .You have an average heart and can stand the supreme thrills in “Murders in the Rue Morgue !” 40- 60…. Don’t enter unless accompanied by a friend ! - 20. . . .You’re too young to see this pic- ture without your parents ! We believe the above description will en- able the average person to construct a simi- lar gadget, if the spirit so prompts him, and we are indebted to O’Donnell for passing along the information.”
Source: Motion Picture Herald, April 16, 1932
Quote: “See that circular looking gadget above the stacks with part of the title “Emma” on it? That’s not part of the bally; it’s another contrivance that Jones rigged up with a bicycle wheel and a fan motor. It’s really a round banner and instead of getting a mere eight feet of banner he gets twenty-one feet as it revolves. As the occasion warrants many changes can be made in copy and other gimmicks can be hung from the bottom edges. The entire display has the additional value of animation. “
Source: Motion Picture Herald, April 9, 1932
Quote: “Pliers, a file, and a pile of wire coat hangers are the only equipment and materials required for making a variety of wire articles useful in the home. For purposes in which rustproof qualities are important, gadgets can be constructed from galvanized hangers.”
Source: Popular Science. Sept 1934
Quote: “A bit of fine copper wire can be used through the eye of the needle, in order to hold a hair, and this hair, secured by wax or glue, is adjusted to focus. The gummed paper wrapped around the objective serves as a needle holder. A needle serves to hold a hair in position below the objective’s focus. This gadget can be adjusted easily to the center of the microscope field.”
Author: Niblack, Ken G.
Source: Scientific American 151, (December 1934) p. 304-305
Quote: “Here’s how it works. Send us in tricks you have done in filming with your 8mm, 9 1/2 mm or 16mm camera . Explain them to us so that we can explain them to others in the pages of American Cinematographer. For every one we publish you will be entitled to your choice of one of the prizes listed below. By Gadgets we mean little pieces of equipment you have built, designed or devised. Equipment that works. Little gadgets you have added to your camera, projector or otherwise. For instance, we heard of one fellow who built a splicer out of a mouse-trap . . . that’s a gadget. What kind of gadgets have you made . . . what sort of tricks do you do with your camera or equipment? If necessary send us a rough sketch or a snap shot of your equipment if it will help describe it better and quicker. Here’s Your Chance to Win Equipment or Film. Frequently we have published what might be termed tricks. Such as making distorted effects by pouring sweet-cil over a glass in front of the film. Others have been published from time to time. In the way of gadgets we have reported many things from the building of a complete 16mm camera by amateurs down to making their own reels. “
Source: American Cinematographer, September 1934
Quote: “Simple, Efficient, Durable … Materials Cost One dollar … Wooden Frame … Chamois Skin Bellows … A Few Other Gadgets and an Evening or Two of Time.”
Author: Kennedy, John
Source: Scientific American 152, (February 1935). p. 76-78
Quote: “This pamphlet includes a description of a needle (smaller than the one to be described here) and an outline of the conditions under which the test shall be conducted. It does not describe any machine. That is left to the ingenuity of the inventor. The responsibility for the design of the machine shown on the present page must rest with me. The credit for making a really workmanlike gadget of it is due to Mr. Frank Wanderer, a member of our local A.T.M. association.”
Author: Ingalls, Albert G.
Source: Scientific American 153, (October 1935). p. 200-216
Quote: “Alfred Grosjean of Pasadena invented a sharp-angled violin, which is tuned three musical steps higher than an ordinary violinand and which he says reproduces the “ celestial “ or “ seraphic “ tones of ancient instruments. He calls it a “ violaeol, “ a word made up from violin and aeolian. Miss Violet Sheldon was interested. # Also to be seen: a clock with a million possible settings for the alarm; an automatic chewing gum vendor in which a miniature bronco kicks out the gum; an iron mask to supplant hot towels in facial massages; a gadget for looping up trouser-legs to resemble knickerbockers; a powder-puff for removing neck wrinkles and double chins; a mechanical backscratcher. # Albert G. Burns of Oakland, Calif, was re-elected president of the Congress. It was Mr. Burns who last year revealed that a Clevelander named Antonio Longoria had invented a death-ray which killed rabbits, dogs &; cats instantly (TIME, July 23). President Burns said that Inventor Longoria would withhold his secret until invasion threatened the U. S.”
Source: Time Magazine: 1935/01/21
Quote: “The question is frequently asked whether it is not cheaper to buy one’s photographic accessories than to build them. Such a statement cannot be answered with a blanket reply of ‘yes’ or ‘no’ because several factors are involved. What, for instance, is meant by expense? Money or time? From the dollars and cents viewpoint, it may be cheaper to ‘make it yourself’ but it will, of course, involve time–in some cases, a great deal of time. It is taken for granted, of course, that the home-made article will be made so well that it will work as effectively as the purchased one. / Another point to consider is the ‘makeup’ of the builder himself. There are some self-sufficient people, sometimes known as the ‘handy-man’ type, who will never buy an article that they can possibly make themselves. With such persons, the expense of time will be offset by the satisfaction derived from making the desired gadget. / Then there is the factor of whether the accessory in question is available on the market. Certain photographic problems are so peculiar and unusual that nothing remains for the worker to do but to make the required tool himself or to go without it.”
Source: Scientific American 155, (September 1936) p. 152-181
Quote: “But that was just the beginning. Gadget upon gadget blossomed forth and went into immediate use. A kitchen rack arose, with hooks for pots and pans and space for plates and eating utensils. A ‘cup tree’ spread out its arms. Over in that corner (I am pointing SW now) we dug an underground refrigerator. And in the other direction was the covered garbage hole and the grease trap, which consisted of a small pit with a wicker cover. On the cover we piled a couple of handfulls of dry grass to absorb the grease from the messy water poured through it. The grass we renewed daily, burning the old lot. […] All this was the work of the first couple of days in camp, but the gadget idea went on. We moved forward under the battle cry, ‘Let’s have another gadget!’ and the further result was a camp broom, fire tongs, rustic broilers, a hot-plate holder, pot hooks, a serving table, shoe racks, a bulletin board, and even a primitive mail box before the ten days were up. […] How many of that type of gadget shall we be seeing in your camp this summer?”
Source: Boys’ Life. Aug 1936, p. 20
Quote: “Gadget Night at the Philadelphia Cinema Club brought out everything, from homemade double turntables, through an emery grinder made into a rewind, to a tiny model in color of Peggy’s Cove which had been used in making tiles for a film of that community.”
Source: Movie Makers, July 1936
Quote: “This book is the work of many authors. No one person could ever think up half the things it contains. It came out of the sweat and toil and practical experience of hundreds of enthusiastic photographers whose nimble wits have devised thse clever mechanical means for overcoming some of their many difficulties that stand between them and the attainment of their goal. … Photography is a many-sided hobby. Among other diversions, it provides those of its devotees who like to tinker with tools a never ending incentive to make devices for which they have immediate and very practical use. They ahve the fun of making things whose utility amply justifies the time and inexpensive materials required. … It is not the purpose of most of these ingenious gadgets to take trade away from the photographic manufacturer. Commercial products cannot usually be duplicated in the home workshop at anything like the cost of the manufactured article. But here are many items not regularly marketed. They would probably not have sufficient sale to warrant their manufacture, although many of them will prove invaluable to workers faced with problems similar to those of the writers. We are confident that no one seriously engaged in photography, especially under makeshift conditions in the home where so much enthusiastic work is done, can fail to find in this book many hints which will save him not only an appreciable amount of time and money, but also much vexation of spirit.”
Author: Fraprie, Frank R. and Franklin I. Jordan
Source: Photographic Hints & Gadgets. Boston: American Photographic Publishing Co. 1937.
Quote: “Twin Pocket Trouble Shooter Gadgets, devised by Alfred A. Ghirardi, are two novel compilations of data for the radio trouble shooter, covering both home and automobile radio sets. These gadgets are fully described in a circular which many be had by writing for Bulletin G35, Radio & Technical Publishing Co., 45 Astor Place, New York City.–Gratis.”
Source: Scientific American 157, (October 1937). p. 251
Quote: “How to Make Electric Toys. By Raymond F. Yates. Presents the fundamentals of electricity and how to make a wide variety of toys and gadgets run by electricity.”
Author: Rhine, J.B.
Source: Scientific American 157, (December 1937). p. 382-383
Quote: “In one of Teorey’s shoregoing films he used quick whirls of the camera for rapid transitions. When asked how he did that he brought out a most amazing gadget and confessed it cost him exactly nothing. But it does the trick! Two strips of wood, joined in L shape, carry the camera, which is held in place by an ordinary wing bolt screwing into the tripod socket. Attached to the upright of the L, and in line with the axis of the lens, is a length of metal rod.”
Author: Stull, William
Source: American Cinematographer, April 1937
Quote: “Some firebugs go in for complicated gadgets involving wires, springs, and time fuses. But such ingenuity usually brings the gadgeteer to grief; nine out of ten times these infernal machines do not quite work. […] The simplest of all gadgets is the common candle which burns at the rate of an inch an hour.”
Author: Robinson, Henry Morton
Source: The Rotarian. Mar 1938.
Quote: “How to Make Electric Toys, by Raymond F. Yates. Youngsters old and young will find in this 200-page book a wealth of information about how to make simple little electrical gadgets that will afford hours of pleasure. Secret magnetic locks, experiments with coils, an electric alarm, an electric chair for bugs, magic magnetic boats, a shocking coil, and a dozen or so other equally interesting gadgets are described.”
Source: Scientific American 158, (February 1938). p. 126-127
Quote: “Odds and ends of cardboard for mounts and other purposes are conveniently stored in the illustrated gadget. Its construction is simplicity itself and is evident from the illustration; two strips of wood at the back and one at the front, although more may be used if required. The device is suspended from the molding with two ordinary picture hooks. Another use for the device is the storage of large photographic blotters.”
Author: Deschin, Jacob
Source: Scientific American 159, (December 1938). p. 322-331
Quote: “By inventing tricky gadgets and offering novel, needed services, thousands of plucky youth now are job makers–not job seekers.”
Author: Davis, Maxine
Source: The Rotarian. Oct 1939.
Quote: “He then introduced Vannevar Bush ‘15, President of the carnegie Institution and a former Vice-President of the Institute. / Dr. Bush talked on gadgets and gadgeteers, stating that they dated from Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin. He described the telephone as one of the gadgets now fully developed. ‘For a long time,’ he said,’ we all thought that…”
Source: Technology Review. vol. 41. 1939. 130, 171 (and photo), 221, 385, 397, 410
Quote: “When closed, this household gadget holds a regular slice of bread so it may be sliced in two with a sharp knife for Melba toast.”
Source: Popular Science. July 1940. p. 154
Quote: “I find that the time can be relied on well within one minute. The glass flask was resorted to in order to protect all essential parts from the birds, who seemed to feel that I had made a gadget for their special benefit. The neck of the flask and a part of the sphere were removed with a ‘biscuit cutter’ (simply a cylinder of sheet metal) and abrasive. The plate of the clock, having nearly twice the radius of the sphere, was spun to its required curvature. All the machining was done on a wood-working lathe and drill press in the pattern shop here at The California Institute of Technology. Figure 5 is a photograph of an other spherical globe sun-clock made earlier and partly similar. […] The clock to be described is about my tenth design and its performance has been so satisfactory that I have decided to call it quits and turn the information over to those who may wish to have a gadget in their gardens demonstrating an interesting problem in celestial mechanics.”
Author: Deschlin, Jacob
Source: Scientific American 163, (July 1940). p. 36-40
Quote: “Woodcraft. By Bernard S. Mason. A comprehensive book on woodcraft. Trail shelters, teepees, bark shelters, beds, duffel, fire-craft, campfire gadgets, axmanship, caches, barkcraft, woodcraft rope and cordage, woodcraft knick-knacks, woodsy furniture and camp fixings, calumets, rawhide, buckskin, horn, feathers, gourds, tin-can-craft, totem poles–these indicate the scope, which is braider than in similar books. The emphasis is heavily on Indian lore and on the practical: how to do and make.”
Source: Scientific American 163, (October 1940). p. 231-233
Quote: “William Buchele, 2832 Sagamore Road, Toledo, 0., sends us the photo graphs shown in Figure 4 and says: “This is a gadget for testing at the focus with a fiat. Light source is a lOO-watt projection lamp. Its housing has cooling flanges to prevent the lamp from overheating. A thin silvered diagonal reflects light through a hole in the fiat, it returns from the glass under test, and passes through the diagonal, thus permitting the light source and the eye to be in the same train simultaneously. The gadget has a micrometer screw feed. The dark upright strip in the center is a graduated system of fine and coarse pinholes and slits. There is also an eyepiece, knife-edge and Ronchi grating holder, with lateral rack and pinion feed.””
Author: Ingalls, Albert G.
Source: Scientific American 165, (August 1941). p. 106-108
Quote: “It’s a lot of fun, as any amateur telescope maker will tell you, to invent, design, and then build gadgets to save labor, even if the actual labor saving is minus quantity. You get your pay when you can step aside and watch them function automatically, with a self-satisfied grin on your face. Who cares about time, anyway. / Top-flight position as Public Gadgeteer No. 1 undoubtedly has now been won by Kenneth Richter, 33 Clarence Ave., Bridgewater, Mass, whose star camera works while he sleeps. It is in storage just now, as Richter is away at Harvard and in summer is running a “Chromocinemataudiographic Expedition, Ltd.’ (possibly ‘limited’ refers to the funds) somewhere between hudson Bay and the N. Pole. Nevertheless we invited him to remove the bushel from off its light, so the rest of us could see its glimmer. / “The desire for the instrument was born of the fact that we have but two seasons in Bridgewater-the cold sea son and the mosquito season, and both are too uncomfortable for visual guiding of an astronomical camera. Therefore, about a year’s work was spent overcoming the discomfort of attend ing the camera throughout the night the exposure is made automatically. / At about dark, I go out, lift the cover off the instrument, and pull out the plate holder slide against a stop. Next, I go in and set a clock by my bedside for the time I want the exposure to start, also for the length of time it is to run. Then I work on a mirror, take the girl friend to a movie (though building the thing kept me so broke that this is just wishful thinking) or I go to bed. / At, say, 2 A.M., the clock turns on the power. Outside, the camera springs to life. A small motor swings the flap shutter open, and an electro magnet holds it thereafter when the small motor has shut itself off by breaking its own circuit just as the shutter strikes the magnet. The latter is energized by a radio ‘A’ eliminator, to avoid the vibration of the camera that would result from the use of an A.C. magnet. This is a satis factory source of 6-v., D.C., well filtered. Meanwhile a synchronous motor drive, using one of the hen’s-teeth 4-watt Warren motors, has started to apply the diurnal motion. […] While almost all the gadgets are simple enough to be foolproof in operation, the drive frequently messes up the work. Other than that, one might say that it saves me probably 2 hours’ work a week. The number of hours required to build the machine would, of course, swallow up this saving for several years. However, I don’t even try to justify it as a net, over-all time saver. It isn’t.”
Author: Ingalls, Albert G.
Source: Scientific American 165, (September 1941). p. 170-172
Quote: “Today’s high and fast flying pilots will take up stamp collecting, gadget making, or the study of foreign languages if they listen to the advice of May Clinic’s Dr. M.N. Walsh.”
Source: Science Service. Scientific American 166, (March 1942). p. 146-148
Quote: ““These are the preliminary adjustments. When these are complete, I should start collimating from both ends, and meet in the middle. Insert the main mirror and line up so that the optical axis coincides with the cross-wires. Insert accurate cross-wires at the inner end of the declination axis (c, Figure 1). A cap should be provided for the eyepiece adapter tube, with a small hole in the exact center. Such a cap can easily be made of tin, and is a very useful gadget.” […] Again, all this is largely of general interest, alone, to the average amateur, because the necessary furnace is seldom available. Gemmill states that homemade blower could be rigged up with an oil burner and some sort of retort. Again we have the intangible factor of fun pottering with gadgets, and when some too practical-minded critic comes along to remark, ‘Does it pay?’ you say ‘No,’–and go on pottering, leaving him shaking his head. He will never understand the mainsprings of the experimental urge.””
Author: Ingalls, Albert G.
Source: Scientific American 168, (June 1943) p. 284-286
Quote: “It’s too bad though, that so many Scouts never realize that this same roll of adhesive tape can play an important part in repairing almost any piece of equipment or in rigging up gadgets to make outdoor life more comfortable.”
Source: Boys’ Life. Apr 1944
Quote: ““And that’s where this gadget business comes in.” “Maybe you have a number of your own pet gadget ideas which may be converted into checks this week. There are several pointers I can give you as to the nature of what the publications are accepting now. Of course all gadgets calling for…” “However, the dime stores, hardware stores and notion stores are literally filled with gadget items which had their origin in quarter page write-ups with pen and ink illustrations, later ot be seen by some manufacturer and adopted in his regular line or put on the market as a new item.” “Another lock stunt was included in the lot – (7) a bar of wood which fits over the cooking stove gas knobs so that junior could not turn on the gas when dad was in the front room buried in Dick Tracy. The final gadget idea of the group was (8) a rubber ball impinged over the valve of the radiator so that spouting steam would not ruin the wallpaper…” (21)”
Source: The Writer. vol. 58
Quote: “What makes you think all the intricate gadgets and ingenious devices in your home are something new? Though he didn’t have electricity, great-grandfather outfitted his house with the same kind of labor savers. Those shown here are from the collection of Bartlett Hayes, displayed at the Phillips Addison Gallery in Andover, Mass., and at the museum of the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence.”
Source: Popular Science, Jan 1945.
Quote: “America’s thousands of backyard- and basement-workshop gadgeteers have now had a full two years out from under wartime restrictions. They have made good use of their time, as the pictures on this and the following page show. The nation is being deluged with a profusion of gadgets the like of which has never before been seen. To the most mechanically minded country on earth this gadget deluge is good, clean and long-overdue fun.”
Source: LIFE. Dec 15, 1947.
Quote: “I can model a gadget in clay and call in a draftsman and explain to him just what I need.’” “When he has a gadget–his own word for the machines and tools he invents–worked out in his mind, he calls in a draftsman and his thin, half-paralyzed hands pick up the modeling clay.”
Source: The Rotarian. Feb 1948.
Quote: “His construction accomplishments since then read like the listing of equipment for a Buck Rodgers laboratory. Walk into his private sanctum and you’ll spy weird, impressive-looking gadgets. Among other things, he has built a photo voltaic electric eye, a large solenoid, monometric flame, code recorder, stroboscope, cathode ray oscilloscope, a two-inch refracting telescope, a Tesla coil, and many motors. … His skill and imagination devised such things as his cathode ray oscilloscope, an intricate gadget ordinarily found only in the laboratories of professional scientists and engineers. … When Nick began to show interest in the workings of mechanical gadgets by taking them apart, then miraculously putting them together without having a piece or two left over, the neighborhood friends and relatives began to help out. Nick was delighted, although his mother probably had some mental reservations when these friends began to unload worn-out gadgets, machinery, mechanical relics, and the dusty burden of attics, cellars and garages. The creative ability of Nick turned most of this ‘junk’ into something useful to himself.”
Author: Pashko, Stanley
Source: Boys’ Life. July 1949. p. 8.
Quote: “Haufe built his gadget from odds and ends of telephone and radio equipment and war-surplus materials. The game is played on the conventional field of nine squares formed by two…” [And yet, two pages earlier] “X-Rays help only a little in spotting gallstones, since most are transparent to X-rays. But a new electronic gadget has come to the rescue of anxious surgeons. The instrument, called a cholelithophone, has a thin, flexible probe which the surgeon inserts in narrow ducts.”
Source: Newsweek vol. 34. Issues 1-13. p. 52
Quote: “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.”
Source: Changing Times: The Kiplinger Magazine. Oct 1951. p. 14.
Quote: ““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.””
Author: Ingalls, Albert G.
Source: Scientific American 185, (October 1951). p. 81-83
Quote: “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.”
Author: Posnack, Emanuel R.
Source: American Bar Association Journal. May 1951. p. 357
Author: Warring, Ronald Horace
Source: Postlib Publications. 1952. 122pp
Quote: “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.” “
Source: Wilmington, Delaware: Petroleum Chemicals Division, E.I. Du Pont De Nemours & Company. 1953
Quote: “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.”
Author: Cohen, I. Bernard
Source: Scientific American 193, (July 1955). p. 68-73
Quote: “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.”
Author: Onorato, Jimmy
Source: Billboard. May 26, 1956.
Quote: “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.”
Author: McCafferty, Phil
Source: Popular Mechanics. Aug 1956.
Quote: “Some months ago I added a gadget to the tunnel which considerably broadens its utility as a scientific tool. This consists simply of an electric door bell (with the gong removed) and a chamber with a diaphragm inserted in the smoke circuit just ahead of the ‘rake.’ When properly adjusted, the door-bell-and-diaphragm assembly acts as a chopper to send the smoke out into the tunnel in small puffs or pulses instead of in a continuous stream”
Author: Strong, C.L.
Source: Scientific American 203, (November 1960). p. 202-212
Quote: “KENNETH D. ROEDER (“Moths and Ultrasound”) is professor of physiology at Tufts University, where he has served since 1931. He was born in England, was graduated from the University of Cambridge and did graduate work there and at the University of Toronto. “My lifelong interest in insects,” he writes, “probably stems from a childhood enthusiasm for butterfly collecting.” Roeder’s research deals mainly with the biological aspects of insect behavior. In addition he is “an incurable tinkerer with mechanical and electronic gadgets,” an activity that “led at one time to the construction of an electromechanical analogue of certain phases of cockroach behavior and has played a part in the work on moth hearing.” He says he has “always felt that if one can make a subject clear and interesting to a nonspecialist, it becomes clearer and more interesting to oneself.”
Source: Scientific American 212, (April 1965). p. 18-23
Quote: “He functioned at one time or another, and often simultaneously, as political theorist, diplomat, engineer, inventor of gadgets and house historian for German princely families”
Author: Kreiling, Frederick C.
Source: Scientific American 218, (May 1968). p. 94-100
Quote: “However, the third Alexander Calder demonstrated from his childhood an adventuresomeness and ingenuity that clearly marked him as no mere follower, even of his talented forebears. Growing up in Arizona, California and New York, young ‘‘Sandy’ Calder tirelessly crafted playthings and other gadgets out of wire, wood and nails. In 1919 he graduated as an engineer from the Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, N.J., then set out on an eccentric progression of technical jobs. As a boilerman on a passenger liner, he devised a contraption to direct sea breezes into the stifling engine room.”
Source: Time Magazine. 22 November 1976
Quote: “We made a wooden platform for the tents to keep their floors dry and hold the tents straight – the stakes had not held in the wet ground. Down at the river we made a trap that funneled fish into a wire cage, and from a simple roof and frame and some of the mosquito netting we built a mosquito-proof gazebo where we could congregate. These were gadgets, not inventions, but they made life more comfortable, and within very few days I could see the skeleton of a settlement in Jeronimo.”
Author: Theroux, Paul