The Cool Vintage Radio Kluge California Kilowatt.

1310357535068775086If you were a radio nerd in the 1940s, this was your dream set. Built by Kluge Electronics in Los Angeles, the “California Kilowatt” could not only send and receive messages, but it came with all the bells and whistles — including built-in speakers and an illuminated map of the world, all housed in a sleek fold-down desk.
The term California Kilowatt was slang in the ham radio community for a transmitter with a power input that exceeded the legal limit. The slightly misleading part? This radio only transmitted at the legal limit. I guess even the coolest radio ever can’t have it all.
From the ad in the March 1946 issue of Radio-Craft:
Kluge Electronics, Inc., is the first to conceive, design and produce this remarkable contribution to modern radio. Among the special Kluge features designed into the CALIFORNIA KILOWATT are:
A California Kilowatt transmitter with an amazing new tube development — 5 band operation with variable frequency control in each band — phone or CW at the throw of a switch — 110 or 220 volt operation;
Provisions for your choice make of receiver;
Built-in speaker — (high-fidelity remote speaker also available);
Built-in world time clock;
Illuminated world map with cork backing;
Price — the complete CALIFORNIA KILOWATT Station costs far less than you would expect to pay for a transmitter alone.
Sadly, the ad doesn’t mention how much this thing was going for exactly. But I can’t imagine it was cheap.
Image: Scanned from the March 1946 issue of Radio-Craft magazine
via This Is The Coolest Vintage Radio Ever .

70 years of Edwin Land’s Polaroid camera.

It’s been 70 years of instant photography, thanks to Edwin Land, on the left. AP Photo
It probably happens every minute of the day: A little girl demands to see the photo her parent has just taken of her.
Today, thanks to smartphones and other digital cameras, we can see snapshots immediately, whether we want to or not.
But in 1944 when 3-year-old Jennifer Land asked to see the family vacation photo that her dad had just taken, the technology didn’t exist.
So her dad, Edwin Land, invented it.The original Polaroid camera freed users from needing to trek to a darkroom to develop their images.
Three years later, after plenty of scientific development, Land and his Polaroid Corporation realized the miracle of nearly instant imaging.
The film exposure and processing hardware are contained within the camera; there’s no muss or fuss for the photographer who just points and shoots and then watches the image materialize on the photo once it spools out of the camera.
Land is probably best known for the “instant photo” – or the spiritual progenitor of today’s ubiquitous selfie. His Polaroid camera was first released commercially in 1948 at retail locations and prices aimed at the postwar middle class.
But this is just one of a host of technological breakthroughs Land invented and commercialized, most of which centered around light and how it interacts with materials.
The technology used to show a 3D movie and the goggles we wear in the theater were made possible by Land and his colleagues. The camera aboard the U-2 spy plane, as featured in the movie “Bridge of Spies,” was a Land product, as were even some aspects of the plane’s mechanics.
He also worked on theoretical problems, drawing on a deep understanding of both chemistry and physics.
Source: 70 years of instant photos, thanks to inventor Edwin Land’s Polaroid camera

Niels Bohr, Science Geek & Smart Ass.

Niels Bohr was one of the finest scientific minds the world has ever known, even from a young age he showed his aptitude for science by routinely correcting any wrong information he’d find in his textbooks.
But he was also a world-class smart-ass, as we’re about to explain.
When questioned about what he’d do if his teachers or peers ever quizzed him on the wrong information he’d found in the textbooks, Bohr rather awesomely responded that he’d just school them on how things (meaning the universe and possibly his balls) really worked.
However, an even cooler story is the the time he reportedly trolled his university on his final paper for no other reason than screw you, I’m Niels Bohr.
However, like all the best stories, we’re not sure if it’s true, but we’ll tell the story first and let you decide for yourself.
The story goes that while studying in university, Bohr was asked a reasonably simple question, “How would you measure the height of a building using only a barometer?”.
Bohr reportedly answered with something along the lines of “I’d knock on the door and ask how tall the building was in return for a shiny new barometer” how outstretched Bohr’s middle finger was during this answer, along with the exact wording varies from source to source but what happened next is fairly well established.
Bohr received a flat zero for his answer, which he contested on the grounds that he was technically correct (the best kind of correct), his university, in light of his previous flawless record of punching physics in the dick gave him a chance to improve his grade in a verbal exam asking the same question.
The story then goes that during the course of the verbal exam Bohr gave several correct answers for how one would use a barometer to measure the height of a building, stunning the collection of professors present.
Read more via Niels Bohr Used To Correct School Textbooks | Fact Fiend.

How the Ferris Wheel became the ultimate must-have city accessory.

Newcastle is the latest city to unveil plans for a giant ferris wheel, dubbed the ‘Whey Aye’.
An artists impression of the Whey Aye, which developers want to build on the banks of the Tyne, Newcastle. Photograph: World Wheel Company/PA
When the young engineer George Washington Gale Ferris Jr erected a giant rotating observation wheel in Chicago 1893, as the centrepiece of the World’s Fair, little did he know what he would unleash.
It was planned as the United States’ answer to the Eiffel Tower, and received due acclaim, but the wheel left Ferris mired in debts, lawsuits and ill health.
Bankrupt and suffering from typhoid fever, he died three years later, aged 37. His wheel was resurrected for another fair in Missouri, before being dynamited into scrap.

The world’s first ferris wheel, Chigaco, 1893. Photograph: Alamy Stock Photo
A hundred and twenty five years on, his vision for a great circular ride into the sky continues to enrapture tourists and seduce mayors the world over. The ferris wheel has a timeless joy about it, combining the quaint charm of the seaside funfair with the stately drama of a hot-air balloon flight, the horizon gradually revealed as you ascend towards the clouds.
Since the supposedly temporary London Eye was opened in 2000, swiftly joining Big Ben on mugs and tea towels, the big wheel has become the ultimate accessory for cities seeking an extra bauble to decorate the skyline, or a diverting garnish for a waterfront property development.
Newcastle is the latest city bidding to join the club, with plans for a 140 metre (459ft) wheel (crucially, five metres taller than the London Eye), already known as the “Whey Aye”, as part of a £100m redevelopment of its quayside.
It is the brainchild of the World Wheel Company, which has so far brought its “unique concepts” to the Georgian capital, Tbilisi, and the Chinese city of Suzhou. The Tyneside iteration will transform into an advertising billboard by night, and will come complete with a golf simulator and the “Geordie Giant”, a big steel man whose arms will move to tell the time.
Source: Star turns: how the big wheel became the ultimate must-have city accessory | Art and design | The Guardian

The Early Hair Dryers from Hell, c.1930s.

Before the invention of hair dryers, women would often attach hoses to the exhaust ends of vacuum cleaners to blow-dry their hair.
vintage hair dryers (1)A woman sits under a chrome-plated hair dryer, 1928. (Keystone-France/Getty Images)c. vintage hair dryers (2)
1928 (Corbis)
vintage hair dryers (3)
A stylist uses a freestanding dryer to blow dry a client’s hair with controlled precision at the Hairdressing Fair of Fashion in London, 1929. (Puttnam /Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

The girl using a heat lamp and hairdrier made of hot glass. (Photo by Ralph Royle/Pix Inc./The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images)

See more Images vintage everyday: Vintage Beauty Salons – Hilarious Photos of the Early Hair Dryers from between the 1920s and 1940s