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May 10, 2014, 12:10 AM
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Notes from 1935

There was an interesting story about a solar powered refrigerator that used direct solar heating instead of a photovoltaic. Daytime heating & night time cooling powered 1 cycle of a vapor absorption cycle every day. The cycle was at 1 pressure. The vapor absorption cycle was the dominant method, in those days. It was far less efficient than a photovoltaic turning a compressor, but much simpler.

That was actually a pretty depressing magazine, not in how obsolete the technology was, but how they were trying to solve the same problems that we're still trying to solve today & how their means during the great depression were not unlike modern times. There were miracle tools which promised to revolutionize manufacturing & put every man in business for himself.

The dominant DIY project involved resourceful use of very low cost junk, without any money or tools. Despite so many decades of new tools & the economy supposedly being a step above the great depression, most of today's DIY projects are still made by resourceful application of the cheapest junk from China & no money or tools.

Gender roles were the same as today. Gadgets, inventing, science, & tools were all aimed at the men. Cooking, cleaning, & home making was all aimed at the women. They were a lot more transparent about it, but comparing to reveals the same separation behind the modern politically correct language.

Cigarettes abounded. The modern equivalent would be the abundance of e-cigarettes. It's strange to now have lived in a time when cigarettes abounded, through a time when smoking was banned, & to now live in a time when e-cigarettes have restored smoking to its former levels.

Finding a better form of human locomotion was the biggest deal, just as it is today. That was followed by home improvement, just like today. There was a new theory that Jupiter's orbit caused tidal forces on the sun in 11 year cycles, causing sunspot cycles & the 11 year cycle in Earth's weather. According to The Goog, it's still just a theory.

"queer" was a popular word applied to everything except marriage entitlements, in those days.

Some amusing headlines:

"diesel engines usher in new age of power"

"helicopter makes 100-mile speed"

"lifelike robot speaks, smokes, & drinks" because more smoking makes it more lifelike.

"the latest thing in radio parts -- all-metal tubes."

The tube abounded & it was promoted by the dozen, the same way the modern LED is. The ages old laminated steel transformer is still alive & well, though usually smaller, & the wall outlets still emit 120V 60Hz.

There were the usual typewriters for sale & low low prices for most items. A small number of things where the same in unadjusted dollars as today, while incomes are hundreds of times higher today. Advertizements for educational programs & working from home abounded then, as now.

Noticeably absent were advertizements for lawyers, medicare payments, obamacare payments, social security payments, or refinancing deals. You had to make money on your own & there was no credit. Then as now, the government was the ultimate employer.

All the new stuff in those days was in US. There were some stories from Europe, but the rest of the world was totally dark. Nothing came from China. There were no skyscrapers in Saudi Arabia, let alone common knowledge that Saudi Arabia even existed. Men built models of ocean freighters of the time, but never mentioned where they went. US was a lone lighthouse in the darkness.
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