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Each week I like to read Modern Mechanix to see what Makers were up to in the 30′s/40′s/50′s – clever solutions for problems, using the modern technology of the time – always inspiring, and usually entertaining.

Med Nose Baloon
This little balloon pushes air into your nose to ease discomfort and ear popping when you fly. It’s not hair gel or an iPod, so it might be OK to bring…

Med Word Counting Pen
What did writers use before word count on computers? They may have used this pen that tells you how many words you’ve written based on ink level.

Med Phone Radio Switch
Last up, most modern cell phones that play music will pause the music when you get a phone call – back in the days of rotary phones and radio this was also a problem — this phone will turn off the radio when you pick up the receiver. I’d like to see a modern phone that has a universal remote in it, so when you pick up your phone you can mute your TV (or just install a TV-B-Gone in it)…

More:
Modern Mechanix – Yesterday’s tomorrow, today. – Link.

Phillip Torrone

Editor at large – Make magazine. Creative director – Adafruit Industries, contributing editor – Popular Science. Previously: Founded – Hack-a-Day, how-to editor – Engadget, Director of product development – Fallon Worldwide, Technology Director – Braincraft.


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Comments

  1. tuckerch says:

    Considering that the modern telephone only uses two wires, (red and green/ring and tip) to function, this can provide the maker with at least two extra leads for “radio mute” hackery. I have seen modular line cords with 6 leads. A lot of possibilites with one of those!

    So, the ideal phone for this sort of thing is the classic Western Electric 2500 desk telephone. There is a LOT of empty space inside. These phones show up quite regularly on eBay, the local thrift shops and yard sales.

    The simplest hack would be a simple mechanical switch or a magnetic reed switch, using the movement of the hook switch to open or close a circuit.

    It’s probably best not to mess too much with the actual innards of the phone, there is some SERIOUS voltages used to make the phone ring, and these voltage levels are not digital device friendly.

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