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First invented in 1885 for use by the daring ladies of the Cloud Frontier, the Discreet Companion has been a staple of purses and garter belts ever since.

The interns at the MAKE Labs had a good old time building Molly “Porkshanks” Friedrich’s “Discreet Companion” Ladies Raygun from the Lost Knowledge section of MAKE Volume 17. Using materials you can gather from your local hardware and home stores, along with a cigar torch lighter, you can make this fine accessory that no discriminating lady should be without. When you pull the trigger, an inch-long flame shoots out of the end.

Here’s one version the interns are building (sans cigar torch insert):


Molly is an incredibly talented and imaginative costume and prop designer, as well as a self-proclaimed “pan-dimensional smuggler.” I love this last line from the how-to: ” Don’t smoke, kids! Use your raygun to light devotional incense, airship lanterns, or cartoon dynamite only!”

MAKE 17 hits newsstands on March 10th. Look for it at a fine bookstore near you or subscribe now, kick back, and get it in your mailbox.

Goli Mohammadi

I’m senior editor at MAKE and have worked on MAKE magazine since the first issue. I’m a word nerd who particularly loves to geek out on how emerging technology affects the lexicon as a whole. When not fawning over perfect word choices, I can be found on the nearest mountain, looking for the ideal alpine lake or hunting for snow to feed my inner snowboard addict.

The maker movement provides me with endless inspiration, and I love shining light on the incredible makers in our community. The specific beat I cover is art, and I’m a huge proponent of STEAM (as opposed to STEM). After all, the first thing most of us ever made was art.

Contact me at goli (at) makermedia (dot) com.


In the Maker Shed