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Med Lightning Camera
Cameras spin on bicycle wheel to film lightning streak, Popular Mechanics – 1936 – Link.

Med Death Ray
Inventor hides secret of “Death Ray” – “Pigeons on the wing instantly killed by death rays from a machine four miles away–that is the feat reputedly accomplished by a deadly apparatus developed by Dr. Antonio Longoria, of Cleveland, Ohio, who recently announced that he had deliberately destroyed the lethal machine for the good of humanity.” Popular Science – 1940 – Link.

Med Robot Checkers
Robot checker player is undefeated, Mechanix Illustrated – 1938. Trickery! Likely a person in there… – Link.

Make 694
Thinking in glass, Popular Science – 1947. A look back at some master glass constructionists from the Kellogg Company plant in the 40′s – Link.

This and more from the past’s future @ Modern Mechanix -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.



  1. tms10000 says:

    re: death ray. too bad the machine was destroyed, it seemed to spread my undonditional love for pigeons quite fittingly. I guess I’ll have to go back to …

  2. paulsw says:

    Ah yes, the old “changing the blood into a useless substance” trick.

  3. conspiracymania says:

    Deathrays? HA HA I have a deathray It also doubles as a light sabre at night :)