Friday, February 25, 2011

Magazines Asimov Might Have Seen, pt 1

My grandfather on my father's side had subscriptions to a couple of magazines - Modern Mechanix and Inventions (later Mechanix Illustrated), and Science and Mechanics. Published by Fawcett, they are 9 X 6 in size, with a color cover (at least, they had color covers. Only a couple of the ones I've inherited still have their covers) and averaged between 130 and 160 pages [I'm sure page count dropped once we entered the war in 1942], and cost 15 cents (20 cents in Canada).

I have no doubt that these are the kinds of magazines Asimov's father would sell in his candy shop (in addition to candy they also sold magazines and at one point had a soda fountain).

I have a Modern Mechanix and Inventions from April 1934. It's Volume XI, Number 6, with an NRA (National Rifle Association) symbol in the upper right hand corner of the Contents page. Asimov would have been 13...and not being "deft" with his hands, may not have paid attention to such magazines that were all about building things.

Contents
Special Features

1) Narrow Escapes with the Blind Fliers (US Postal planes, using radio to guide their way)
2) P. K. Wrigley - Millionaire Mechanic
3) Yachtsmen Risk Fortunes for Lipton Race Honors
4) Undersea Sledge Hunts Sunken Gold
5) What Makes Mickey Move? (Mickey Mouse cartoons)
6) "I Can Whip Any Mechanical Robot," by Jack Dempsey
7) Making the "Invisible Man" Invisible
8) Oddities of Science
9) Foreign Villages to Dominate 1934 World's Fair
10) Plan World's Largest Canal for Florida
11) 2,000 Inch Telescope May Reveal the End of the Universe
12) Robot Clock Latest Home Aid
13) Bailing Out with the Navy's Parachute Ace
14) Protect Yourself From Your Automobile

Shorter Features
1) Problem Letters from Readers
2) Society Explorers Brave Jungle For Diamonds
3) Scalp Massager Features Novel Inventions
4) Revive Interest in Art of Tattooing
5) $25 in Prizes for Solving 3 Problems
6) Winners of Great Problem Contest
7) Bizarre Eat Shops Built to Lure Trade
8) Radio Brings Famous Teachers to Classes
9) Swaying Aerial Railroad Climbs Mountain
10) Fortunes Await Inventors
11) Amuse Friends with Chemical Stunts
12) Easy Amateur Magic Tricks
13) With the Collectors

How - To - Build Features
1) Build this model of the Champion "Outdoor Girl" (a Curtis Robin plane)
2) A Film Pack Adapter for your Camera
3) Tying "Sure Catch" Flies for Bass and Trout
4) A Floor Waxer for $5
5) Build Selenium "Electric Eye" to Open Garage Doors
6) Old Motors Make Garden Tractors
7) New Ideas for Keeping the Dog
8) Plans for a Handy Tea Table
9) A "Dynamic Diadem" for Store Windows

You think that's all? You'rewrong. Page 2 of the table of Contents has New Mechanical Inventions (38 of them I'm not going to list right now), 26 Interesting Scientific Items, including Scotland Stirred by Loch Ness Monster, 11 articles For Radio Fans, 12 Handikinks For Everybody, 3 under Auto Ideas to Prevent Trouble, 3 under Timesavers for the Housewife, 3 under Ideas for the Home Electrician, and 3 Handy Suggestions for Farm Homes. Then, there's 6 articles Foe the Workshop Fan, and Chips from the Editor's Workbench - a letter column.


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