1968 was the year the Post-It Note was invented.

mediawebserverIt’s virtually impossible to imagine the contemporary office without at least a few sticky Post-It notes stuck on the computer monitor.
The Post-It note has injected its sunny yellow colour into the dullest office environment for over 30 years and would appear at first glance to be an item with a clear design brief.
It was, in fact, the result of a happy accident.
In 1968 a chemist called Dr Spencer Silver, working for the American 3M company, was developing adhesives that were strong enough to hold two materials together without it being a permanent adhesion.
Calling himself a ‘molecular architect’ he was looking for something called ‘peel adhesion’, which basically meant an adhesive that had mobility, the ability to be re-used.
Constituted from tiny individual spheres of glue (a word that Silver disliked due to its clumsy connotation of boiled-down animal bones), this new adhesive was reusable, maintaining its stickiness no matter how many times papers applied with it were attached and re-attached.
No one could quite see how this might be useful, although the possible notion of using it in an aerosol can as a spray-on glue seemed a likely outcome.
But Dr Silver was so taken with this new adhesive that he gave seminars about it throughout the company whenever possible—which is how Art Fry, a colleague at 3M who had worked on the development of sticky tape, came to remember it.
Read on via Design Files: The Post-It note – By Design – ABC Radio National

The Ever reliable Zippo Lighter, invented 1932.


When it comes to reliable products, they don’t come more hardy than Zippo lighters, a device so insanely well made that the company that makes them guarantee to repair it for free, forever.
Basically, if you ever break a Zippo lighter (a considerable feat in of itself) Zippo will repair and/replace it free of charge, a guarantee that the company has had in place almost since the day the company was founded.
George G. Blaisdell invented the Zippo lighter in 1932, and got his idea after discovering a large and bulky Austrian made pocket lighter. Blaisdell was an oil engineer who saw a audience for a good looking lighter that would function even in windy conditions.
He produced the first Zippo lighter in Bradford, Pennsylvania.
And yes, before anyone asks, this guarantee still applies to lighters from 70 years ago. As noted on their own website:
“Whether a lighter is five years, 25 years, or 50 years old, it will serve as a dependable source of flame for years to come. We guarantee it.”
To date there has never been a known case of Zippo ever charging for a repair, hell, this guy sent Zippo his 53 year old lighter and they sent it back repaired with money for the stamps he’d used to post it.
How many companies can you name who’d repair a product older than 70% of the population and then refuse to ask for payment for doing so?
That’s not a sarcastic question by the way, we’re genuinely curious if there’s another company out there this awesome because we want to write about them.
Check out the Video shared by EfiSoul63 in the Comments Section.
Read on via Zippo Lighters are Literally Guaranteed for Life | Fact Fiend.

The Futuro House, South Morang, Victoria.


Image: Myf Warhurst (ABC TV)
More accurately called Futuro Houses these 20th Century prefabricated homes are often referred to as “UFO Houses”.
The Futuro house was the brainchild of Matti Suuronen, one of a number of Finnish architects and designers who garnered wide recognition for futuristic, post-modern structures and consumer goods.
Along with Alvar Aalto, Eero Saarinen and Viljo Revell, visionary architects like Suuronen put Finland on the map when it came to futuristic, and, well, fantastic expressions of the post-modernist ethos.
I first came across the Futuro House around July 2011 right after I had started the architecture blog “Strange, Weird, Wonderful & Cool Buildings.”
warhurst10Location: South Morang, Victoria.
Since then I have been fascinated by the Futuro House and I have spent many an hour in front of my monitor and tapping on my keyboard researching and collecting all manner of information pertaining to Matti Suuronen’s legacy.
The “Futuro House Project” was my home for all things Futuro but it has grown far beyond what I originally envisaged and has earned its own domain.
The Futuro House.com is a continuing work in progress and my expectation and it will be regularly updated as I uncover more information about the Futuro House.
Read more via The Futuro House – USA

Transparent Canoe gives a Great View of what’s below.

invisiblecanoe2If you’ve ever wanted to cruise the ocean in a glass-bottom boat, then consider this transparent canoe/kayak as another fun, unconventional option.
Hammacher Schlemmer recently started selling the clear polymer hull that seats two people and supports up to 425 pounds of weight.
As you paddle along the water, you’re offered a full view of everything that’s beneath the surface.
Imagine seeing the fish swimming right below you.
The watercraft is meant for a fun and safe ride.
Its durable material is the same that’s found in the cockpit canopies of supersonic fighter jets, and it also includes an anodized aluminum frame that weighs 40 pounds.


This makes it easy to transport or store. Seating is adjustable and has paddlers sitting lower to the deck for improved balance.
In addition, the vessel displaces a greater amount of water for added surface stability.
via Transparent Canoe Offers Incredible Views of the Ocean Below – My Modern Met.

Hobbs and the Great Lock Controversy of 1851.

130307_CRIME_Chubb_detectorIn April 1851, Alfred C. Hobbs boarded the steamship Washington bound for Southampton, England.
His official duty was to sell the New York City-based company Day and Newell’s newest product – the parautopic lock – at a trade show – London’s Great Exhibition.
But Hobbs had something a bit more nefarious up his sleeve, or rather in the small trunk that accompanied him on the ship. In it sat a large assortment of picks, wrenches, rakes, and other slender tools.
You see, Hobbs wasn’t just trying to sell his locks. He was trying to prove that his competitors’ locks were, quite simply, not good enough. He had the tools, skills, and charisma to do just that.
Alfred Hobbs was about to launch the Great Lock Controversy of 1851.
Of all the locks at the Great Exhibition in July of 1851, the “Detector” was thought of as top of the class.
Patented in 1818 by Jeremiah Chubb, it had become the most widely used and prestigious lock throughout England.
In fact, in 1823 Chubb was given the distinguished honor of being the sole supplier of locks for England’s post offices and “Her Majesty’s Prison Service.”
By 1851, Chubb & Son and their “Detector” lock was so highly respected that they were given the assignment of creating a special security display cage that housed the great Koh-i-Noor diamond, a 186 carat diamond that currently sits in the Crown of Queen Elizabeth which is locked in the Tower of London.
Numerous picklocks in London had made attempts at getting past the Detector with no success. In one instance, a picklock who had been imprisoned was offered his freedom if he could figure out a way to pick the Detector lock. He couldn’t do it.
What made the Detector so difficult was that the lock had a built in anti-lock picking mechanism which, if triggered, would render the lock inoperable, even if you had the key.
This trap worked such that if you lifted one of the pins beyond what the key would have done, it triggered the lockdown mechanism.
By this, you could also tell if someone had tried to pick the lock, if your key suddenly stopped working.
To get the lock to work again, a special regulating key was needed, which would reset the lock such that it could be opened once again with the normal key.
The “Detector” was thought to be in a lock class all to itself. That is, until Hobbs got to it.
According to a report filed by Benji Johnson, “an agent of the state of New York appointed to attend” the Great Exhibition, Hobbs wasted very little time in proving that Chubb’s locks were not impenetrable.
As the report read, “Soon after the exhibition opened, Mr. A.C. Hobbs, of New York, who had charge of Day and Newell’s locks, obtained one of Chubb’s locks and opened it in a space of 10 or 15 minutes, in the presence of several gentlemen.”
As one would imagine, this did not sit well with many an Englishmen who were using the Detector to lock away their homes and valuables; most of all, it did not sit well with Chubb & Son.
They challenged Hobbs to try something a tad more difficult, a Chubb’s lock attached to an iron door of a vault in Westminster that was a “depository of valuable papers.” Hobbs sent out an invitation for them to come watch him pick, “Gentlemen- An attempt will made to open a lock of your manufactured on the door of a strong room… You are respectfully invited to be present and witness the operation.”
At approximately 11:35 am, in front of the iron door in Westminster, Hobbs met his skeptical onlookers.
He took out from his “waistcoat two or three small and simple-looking tools – a description of which, for obvious reasons, we fear to give” and went to work.
Within twenty five minutes, he had the lock open with a “sharp click.”
He had once again successfully picked a supposedly impenetrable Chubb lock.
Read on via Hobbs and His Lock Picks: The Great Lock Controversy of 1851.

The Anatomy of Metal Type.

A term not labelled on this diagram is the kern, the part of the face which extends over the side of the type body and rests on the shoulder of the type next to it, or on a special, high piece of spacing material.
Kerns are often found on the letters f and j, among others.
The pin mark was an indentation originally made by a feature of the mold used on the earliest type casting machines.
With improved casters the indentation wasn’t functionally needed, but the mark was sometimes kept to identify the foundry that made the letters.
One point is about 1/72 of an inch. (.0138″)
A pica is 12 points. (.1660″)
Type high = .918”
via Setting Type By Hand – Letterpress Commons.