‘Future Fantasy’ In 1930 Germany

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German Engineering.

Those words have traditionally conjured up thoughts of quality and creativity. During the period of the Third Reich, physicists, scientists, and engineers were encouraged to stretch their imaginations and develop things that had previously been only dreamed of in science fiction.

While most people are familiar with the works carried out at the The Peenemünde Army Research Center – the birthplace of modern rocketry and spaceflight – very few people are aware of other areas of technological research that had been in progress during that time. A very hushed bit of technological history is the part where the United States and the Soviet Union obtained a wealth of information and designs while pillaging after the fall of the Third Reich. Much of that technological information was incomplete as the scientists and engineers attempted to either hide or destroy it in order to keep it from the victors’ hands.

Because the U.S. required German know-how in order to further develop these technologies the government instituted the now well known Operation Paperclip in which more than 1,500 German scientists, engineers, and technicians were brought to the United States from Nazi Germany and other countries for employment in the aftermath of World War II. The celebrated rocket scientist, Wernher von Braun, was one alumni from this class. A number of researchers contend that the big UFO phenomenon in the late 1940s and particularly in the 1950s was the result of projects originating at a remote detachment of Edwards Air Force Base within the Nevada Test and Training Range officially referred to as Restricted Area 4808 North (R-4808N) – popularly known as ‘Area 51’ aka ‘Groom Lake’. It was here that U.S. and Operation Paperclip members worked on the research and development of the German technologies discovered post conflict – including ‘flying disc’ engineering designs. A few of the recognized aircraft developed at Groom Lake are the A-12 OXCART, SR-71 Blackbird, and the F-117A Nighthawk – aircraft so advanced that CIA documents acknowledge that they account for dozens of UFO sightings over the years.

One last point relevant to the following pictorial presentation is that while the incredible research and inventions of the great scientist Nikola Tesla were marginalized and ignored in the U.S. due to moneyed interests, the Germans were very much interested in his advanced and forward thinking works. Tesla was passionate about wireless communications and ‘free energy’ – while theoretical physicists obsessed over Newtonian science, Tesla took an electric field and plasma (aether) energy approach. German tech developers seemed to take this approach to heart. One of the most storied and controversial projects of the Third Reich – one that Adolf Hitler counted on until the end – was ‘the secret weapon’ known as ‘Die Glocke’ (‘The Bell’). Some skeptics say that this bizarre anti-gravity device never existed, but there is increasing evidence that it had indeed been at an advanced stage of development previous to the fall of the Third Reich. From the schematics it appears to be very much a Tesla inspired technology.

Now to the fun part of this post. In 1930, a company known as True Wagner Margarine produced the third of a series of books designed as a display for a collection of stickers made available separately. In this book is a section called Future Fantasy. No artist or author is credited. The illustrations are beautiful, the technology is actually quite brilliant and not so far fetched. The book is called, Echte Wagner Margarine Album Nr. 3″, Serien 12 und 13 (Genuine Wagner Margarine Album Nr. 3″, series 12 and 13). It was published by Elmshorn in Holstein, Germany. With what is now known about the developments in German technology during this period, one could imagine that a lot of the designs and ideas presented might have been considered a bit more seriously than ‘fantasy’.

Echte Wagner Album Nr. 3 - Cover Image

Echte Wagner Margarine Album Nr. 3 – Cover Image

The Artificial Island

The Artificial Island – Since there is no island located on the shortest route to America which could serve the aircraft as a port of refuge, a good idea is to anchor an artificial landing place on the ocean. Of course, located on the island are hotels, spas, restaurants and a movie theater, so that the passengers have their convenience if a storm detains for several days on the island.

The Rocket Plane

The Rocket Plane – The aircraft of the future powered by rockets. The rockets are fitted at the stern of the vessel, which propel the aircraft forward through the recoil of the escaping gases. The aircraft shown here is just going to skim past the Nankoupaß and the ancient Great Wall Of China with 10000 kilograms of mail on the way from Berlin to Tokyo. Since it has an hourly rate of 1,000 km, it takes nearly 8 hours for the Berlin-Tokyo route. A steamer today needs about 50 days!

The Rocket Airships

The Rocket Airships – The rocket planes have assumed huge proportions and consist only of a pair of wings in the shape of a parabola. The lavishly decorated cabins are built into the wings and take 400 passengers. Because there is no hull, the control fins are located at the ends of the wings. The driver’s cab, from which the missiles are made to fire, is located in the middle of the air cruiser deck.

Private Aircraft With Nuclear Propulsion

Private Aircraft With Nuclear Propulsion – Here we have the opportunity to meet a plane nearby. Yes, where is the propeller? That was once! The aircraft rises vertically and settles down vertically. The motor is a small capsule, in which the atom fragmentation takes place. On the right is an aircraft and an aircraft parking garage.

A New Driving Force

A New Driving Force – To move loads forwards, one exploits the tremendous power that is released during the disintegration of atoms. All cars drive with only a tiny motor which is driven by nuclear power. The speed of cars has grown accordingly. In the divided road, take 200 to 300 kilometers through the city, on the major highways the speed of 1000 km speed per hour is not uncommon!

Wireless Home Phone and Television

Wireless Home Phone and Television – Each person now has their own transmitter and receiver and can converse on a certain wave with acquaintances and relatives. But the television technology has become so perfected that one can look the friends in the face at the same time. Transmitter and receiver are no longer bound to the location, but is carried in a box the size of a photo apparatus.

Landing Of A Spaceship On The Moon

Landing Of A Spaceship On The Moon – Is this not wrong? Shouldn’t the rockets ignite at the stern of the vessel and spew their fire back? No, it’s for accuracy! The ship is landing, and therefore it has brought the Retropackage to deploy and quickly reduce the frenzied speed. Now you can easily make the landing on the Moon.

Spaceship Post

Spaceship Post – Because there are rare minerals on the Moon, capital was formed in America with $20 billion by the MoMA-A.G. (Moon minerals yield A.G.), which maintains a busy space ship traffic. At the stopover, the ships renew their rocket fuel on the ports floating freely in space.

The images above are via Retro-Futurismus – to see more click here.

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When Selling Miraculous Breathing Pellets You Can’t Go Wrong By Using An Acrobatic Automaton

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Advertising sign for a pharmacy storefront with two moving figures of a clown and acrobat

Pastilles Valda, Advertising Automaton ‘Clown & Acrobat’, 1930s

This neat advertising display was intended for pharmacy storefronts selling VALDA Pellets – ‘to prevent and treat cough, colds, sore throats, laryngitis, bronchitis, emphysema, and asthma.’ For healthier ‘air, breath, lungs, muscles.’

If it’s good enough to keep this athletic acrobat going it’s gotta be good for those just taking in air.

The acrobat gets into his swing. The clown's in position to spot.

The acrobat gets into his swing. The clown’s in position to spot.

The acrobat comes over the bar backwards and releases for a one-hand grip. His clown buddy enthuses for the viewers.

The acrobat comes over the bar backwards and releases for a one-hand grip. His clown buddy enthuses for the viewers.

A view from the top.

A view from the top.

This display is an electric sheet-iron lithographed piece. One can really appreciate the thought and craftsmanship put into these automaton displays. Apparently someone did in a real way – this particular item sold on auction for €1,298.00 ($1,458.17).

The Health Rage Of The Early 20th Century – Radium!

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THO-RADIA:  The radio-active creme

THO-RADIA: The radio-active creme (1933)

THO-RADIA cream, sold according to the formula of Dr. Alfred Curie (not related to the pair of researchers), was prepared with thorium and radium, two elements supposed to erase wrinkles. ‘Science has created THO-RADIA to beautify women. For them to enjoy it. Who wants to remain ugly!‘ Says the slogan of an advertisement extolling the benefits of the product.

The Tho-Radia powder

THO-RADIA Powder

Dr. Curie does not stop there he also launched THO-RADIA Powder, which contains titanium in addition to radium and thorium. ‘A choice of insulating material, titanium in particular, salts the bottom of the THO-RADIA Powder with a real covering tissue impervious to weather, to devastating radiation, and advantageously replaces the veil of Circassians‘ says Medical Dictionary and Practical Beauty Care published by Tho-Radia.

Tho-Radia: soap and toothpaste

THO-RADIA: soap and toothpaste

‘Logically’ THO-RADIA applies the principle to all kinds of products. Appearing as well as soap, recommended for removing makeup and grooming babies (sic) or THO-RADIA toothpaste. These products were supposed to meet pharmaceutical standards of the time. The mutagenic effects of radiation, in particular the risk of cancer, were discovered in 1927 by Hermann Joseph Muller (1890-1967).

Press Clippings

Press Clippings

The pharmaceutical industry is not far behind. There was a plethora of drugs to treat various ailments: Tubéradine (against tuberculosis), Digéraldine (stomach problems), Vigoradine (fight against fatigue), among many other names. Evidenced by the advertisements that appeared in the press of the time.

Radioactive Water

Radioactive Water

Radioactive water at home was also a success. There were many companies in the sector to rush into this new market. Some homes were even kitted out with radium coffee pots and fountains. It was a simple operation: a capsule of radium salts is housed inside the coffee pots and fountains. On contact with water, the salt released the radioactive fumes.

Revigator

Revigator

In the same vein, Revigator was a popular brand from 1920 to 1930. Produced by the company Revigator Radium Ore (San Francisco), it was sold to hundreds of thousands of customers in American homes.

Radio Activity For Animals

Radioactivity For Animals

The animals were also entitled to their radium treatment. Offered for sale in this advertisement is a radioactive food supplement for cattle, cows, horses, pigs and sheep. The farmer could also buy fertilizer…radioactive of course.

Radium Clothing

Radium Clothing

Wool Oradium was recommended for baby clothes because of ‘the extraordinary effect of organic cell stimulation‘ produced by the radium. In another taste, Iradia proposed underwear, apparently recommended for skiing, as shown in the above advert.

Radium In Chocolate

Radium In Chocolate

Burk & Braun asserted that adding radium bromide to chocolate has a ‘rejuvenating effect.’

Radium Fights Grey Hair

Radium Fights Grey Hair

Frederick Godfrey, British hair specialist, boasted the merits of a tonic and radioactive treatment for hair. According to this advertisement, Caradium allowed the recovery of the original hair color, while ‘making you look 10 to 20 years younger.’

Radium Is Health - This book published in 1929 extolls the charms of radioactive treatments.

Radium Is Health – This book published in 1929 extolls the charms of radioactive treatments.

Extract: ‘the miracles produced by radium in the treatment of cancerous tumors have led many scholars to experiment with the action of low doses of radium for the treatment of various skin conditions.’

Original Article Source: Premiere France

The Wonderful and Weird World of Wind-Ups

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Late 1800s Ives Wind-Up Bear With Real Fur

Late 1800s Ives Wind-Up Bear With Real Fur (probably dyed rabbit fur) – A mechanical walker with key. Walks, makes mild growling noise. Head turns side-to-side. Jaw moves up and down.

Mechanical automatons have fascinated the curious for a very long time. In the 20th century toy wind-ups became a mainstay in popular culture. Most weren’t as elaborate as the Ives bear pictured above, but a lot of them were pretty neat. Below are a selection of some stand-out examples.

A Scarce Lehmann Captain of Kopenick Wind-Up

A Scarce 1903 Lehmann Captain of Kopenick Wind-Up – Depicts the true story of an infamous cobbler who stole the town of Kopenick, Germany’s money while dressed as an army officer. When wound the Captain rocks back and forth.

German Early 1900s Snookums Wind-Up

German Early 1900s Snookums Wind-Up – A character toy from early George McManus newspaper comic strips Their Only Child. Snookums is very hyperactive, when she’s wound she shakes about frantically.

Foxy Grandpa Wind-Up, c. 1910

Foxy Grandpa Wind-Up, c. 1910 – This is a scarce early version of the Foxy Grandpa wind-up. His weighted feet have a clockwork-like mechanism enabling him to walk.

Toonerville Trolley The Powerful Katrinka German Wind-Up, 1923

Toonerville Trolley The Powerful Katrinka German Wind-Up, 1923 (Fontaine Fox) – When wound, Katrinka pushes the wheelbarrow carrying little Jimmy forward, stopping every so often to lift up the wheelbarrow before continuing on.

Happy Hooligan/Buster Brown-Like Mechanical Toy, c. 1920

Happy Hooligan/Buster Brown-Like Mechanical Toy, c. 1920 (German) – This is a spring loaded toy. The main figure bears a resemblance to Happy Hooligan. When he is cocked and released, the hammer hits the anvil, yellow slide shoots up column to hit character at top who bears a strong resemblance to Buster Brown. When this character is hit, the ring in his hand flips to opposite side.

Marx New York Wind-Up Box

Marx New York Wind-Up Box

1928 Marx New York Tin Litho Wind-Up

1928 Marx New York Tin Litho Wind-Up – The plane circles around the skyline in the center. The train circles the outer ring of the base, going through three tunnels in buildings, one w/ a clock tower at top. The train is headed by a steam locomotive and moves in conjunction w/ plane.

When wound, Bonzo's separate tin litho eyes and jaw move up and down, giving the toy the illusion of blinking and speaking.

When wound, Bonzo’s separate tin litho eyes and jaw move up and down, giving the toy the illusion of blinking and speaking.

Bonzo Animated Wind-Up Toy, 1930s

Bonzo Animated Wind-Up Toy, 1930s (Germany) – When wound, Bonzo wobbles around.

Jitter-Bug Wind-Up Dancing Toy

Jitter-Bug Wind-Up Dancing Toy, 1930s (Chime Toy Products) – When wound these stylish figures move up and down as if dancing the 1930s classic.

Clown Marionette Playing GuitarGal Marionette Playing Tambourine

Bestmade Mechanical Marionette Theater Wind-Up

Bestmade Mechanical Marionette Theater Wind-Up, 1930s by Kuramochi, Japan – When wound the base rocks back and forth as figures move about.

Pango-Pango African Dance Wind-Up,

Pango-Pango African Dance Wind-Up, 1950s (T.P.S. Japan) – When wound Pango-Pango dances and his head bobs up and down.

Comical Clara Wind-Up, 1960s

Comical Clara Wind-Up, 1960s (T.P.S., Japan) – Clara is all 60s and weird. When she’s wound up her entire body shakes side to side as it moves around and her separate tin eyes move in and out of the eye socket openings so when eyes are fully extended, Clara has quite an unusual appearance.

The last wind-up for this post doesn’t do much – he just looks cool. He’s a clown manufactured by J. Chein & Co. (USA) (n.d.) – He just walks and wobbles.

Chein & Co. Clown Wind-Up

(All images via Hake’s Americana and Collectables)

The Spook Machine Enigma – A Box Of Secrets

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TOP SECRET ENIGMA FILE

[Enigma is] the legendary World War II ciphering machine developed by Berlin engineer Dr. Arthur Scherbius and first manufactured there commercially by the Chiffriermaschinen Aktiengesellschaft [Cipher Machines Corporation] Berlin in 1923. So complex was the Enigma, it was considered capable of producing over 22 billion code combinations without a single repetition. According to an early prospectus, ‘if someone worked continuously day and night and tried a different cipher-key every minute, it would take 42,000 years to exhaust all combination possibilities.

Enigma in action on the Russian front.

Enigma in action on the Russian front.

In operation, each keystroke illuminated a different character and caused one or more rotors to shift fractionally, so that a different combination was created every time. Decryption required codebooks and a list of daily key settings.

How Enigma was finally figured out – and its messages decoded by the Allies – is a storied affair. It began in 1938 with Polish Cipher Bureau cryptologist Marian Rejewski developing his bomba kryptologiczna (Polish for cryptologic bomb). Due to the ‘deteriorating political situation,’ Rejewski and the Poles shared the Enigma-breaking techniques and equipment with the French and British in July 1939. Alan Turing then produced the initial design of the bombe at the UK Government Code and Cypher School (GC&CS) at Bletchley Park. Turing’s original design, while brilliant in theory, presented a major impracticality in the physical realm. This was solved in 1940 when Gordon Welchman devised an important design refinement, the ‘diagonal board’, that rendered the device substantially more efficient in the attack on ciphers generated by the German Enigma machine. The engineering design and construction was the work of Harold Keen of the British Tabulating Machine Company. If you are interested in the details of The Turing Bombe you’ll find a wealth of info here.

The Bombe Front and Back. Designed by Alan Turing. Bombe took the form of emulating several hundred Enigma rotors, as well as functioning as a logical electrical circuit to automate the deductions needed to rule out flawed possible attempts.

The Bombe Front and Back. Designed by Alan Turing. Bombe took the form of emulating several hundred Enigma rotors, as well as functioning as a logical electrical circuit to automate the deductions needed to rule out flawed possible attempts. (Photo by Peter Oram)

That’s a lot of computing power and a lot of machine. It emphasizes the incredible cryptologic power of Enigma itself. Wikipedia’s entry on this fascinating machine is quite thorough, click here to learn more about its design and operation, as well as a host of other interesting info. A point well made at Wikipedia is this:

Though Enigma had some cryptographic weaknesses, in practice it was German procedural flaws, operator mistakes, failure to systematically introduce changes in encipherment procedures, and Allied capture of key tables and hardware that, during the war, enabled Allied cryptologists to succeed.

There is beauty in simplicity. Below are some pics of an Enigma K-Model machine, manufactured by Chiffriermaschinen-Ges. Heimsoeth und Rinke, Berlin, c. 1939. Looking at it one would not expect it to be such a robust mystery machine.

4-Rotor Ciphering Machine Enigma K-Model set, with an external lamp panel and a separate power supply in an oak case.

4-Rotor Ciphering Machine Enigma K-Model set, with an external lamp panel and a separate power supply in an oak case.

4-Rotor Ciphering Machine Enigma K-Model set, with an external lamp panel and a separate power supply in an oak case.

Enigma K-Model set, with uplifted covers showing the minimal rotor, key, and external lamp panel design.

The Compact Internal Lamp Panel Fits Between The Key Board and The Rotors.

The Compact Internal Lamp Panel Fits Between The Keyboard and The Rotors.

Expertly Machined Removable Rotors

Expertly Machined Removable Rotors

A Separate Power Supply In An Oak Case

A Separate Power Supply In An Oak Case

A four-rotor German Enigma cypher machine with a second operator display (a 'remote lampboard'), made during World War II. This type of machine, devised by the German Navy in 1939, was used to encode wartime messages requiring a particularly high degree of security. The cracking of German cypher codes by Allied intelligence was a major achievement in cryptanalysis and played a key role in the outcome of the North Atlantic U-boat engagements. The search to crack the the Enigma codes also resulted in 'Colossus', the first all-electronic digital computer. This rare machine is thought to have been used in the post-war years for coding diplomatic traffic in Switzerland.  (Photo by SSPL/Getty Images)

This type of machine, devised by the German Navy in 1939, was used to encode wartime messages requiring a particularly high degree of security. The capture of German U-boat U-110 on May 9, 1941 in the North Atlantic by the Royal Navy played a key role in the outcome of the North Atlantic U-boat engagements. The Royal Navy had recovered an Enigma machine, its cipher keys, and code books. The recovered materials were taken to Bletchley Park in England, where cryptographers, including computer pioneer Alan Turing, succeeded in breaking the naval code. The codes allowed the U-boat traffic to be read for several weeks, until the keys ran out. (Photo by SSPL/Getty Images)

As can be imagined, history and tech buffs would probably love to get their hands on one of these extraordinary and significant machines. On May 30, 2015, at 10:00 AM CET, someone has an opportunity to do so. Auction Team Breker, in Köln, (Godorf), Germany, have two Enigma machines that will be up for auction on that day. An Enigma M4 Cypher Machine, c. 1942, and an Enigma K-Model, c. 1939. Both are in pristine museum-quality condition. The starting bid for the M4 is €26,000. The starting bid for the K-Model (shown above) is €10,000. Although it is a live auction, bids are being taken now at the Invaluable on-line auction site.

For the rest of us who don’t have thousands to spend on rarities such as this, there are a number of Enigma computer simulations to play with. A few of them are listed below.

Something You Won’t See Often – An Excellent Condition Gendron Pioneer Line Bicycle w/ Side Car

Gendron Pioneer Line Bicycle with Side Car
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Gendron Wheel Company was founded in 1872 by Peter Gendron (born Pierre Gendron 1844-1910) in Toledo, Ohio. While originally only producing wire wheels for baby carriages, by WWII Gendron had expanded its manufacturing to include doll carriages, coaster wagons, pedal cars, bicycles, tricycles, playground equipment, and other ‘juvenile conveniences of every kind.’

After becoming a subsidiary of the American National holding company in 1927, Gendron produced part of their bicycle line under the trade name, Pioneer. Which brings us to this super item on auction by Chupp Auctions & Real Estate at Invaluable online.

It’s a c. early-1930s Gendron Wheel Company children’s Pioneer Line bicycle with Side Car, complete with saddle bag, gloves, tools, water jug & bell! The condition of this bicycle and side car is amazing – probably the best that it can be found almost anywhere.

Gendron Pioneer Line Bicycle with Side Car, and Accessories

Gendron Pioneer Line Bicycle with Side Car, and Accessories

Rear View With Saddlebag, Springy Leather Seat, Bell, and Side Car Wind Screen

Rear View With Saddlebag, Springy Leather Seat, Bell, and Side Car Wind Screen

The Bendron Wheel Co. Pioneer Emblem

The Bendron Wheel Co. Pioneer Emblem

One Pint Knapp-Monarch Co. Baby Therm-a-Jug

One Pint Knapp-Monarch Co. Baby Therm-a-Jug

Bicycle Toolkit in Leather Pouch - In well-used vintage condition

Bicycle Toolkit in Leather Pouch – In well-used vintage condition

A Cool Pair of Junior Leather Riding Gloves

A Cool Pair of Junior Leather Riding Gloves

A Junior Jack - Loads of Fun, Operates Just Like A Big Jack

A Junior Jack – Loads of Fun, Operates Just Like A Big Jack

The current bid on this swell collectable is $900.00. A recent eBay auction of another Gendron Wheel Co. Pioneer Line bicycle with Side Car in far less win-some condition sold for $1,200. The auction goes live on April 22, 2015 at 2 PM EST, so if you’re interested in placing a bid you’ll find the listing by clicking here.

The 1936 Morgan Sports MX2 ‘Cyclecar’ – The Original Triker Bike

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The Morgan Sports MX2 1936 (8754)

The Morgan Sports MX2 1936 (8754)

Manufacturer: Morgan Motor Company, Malvern (Worcestershire) – UK
Type: Sports (MX2)
Engine: 990cc V-Twin air-cooled
Power: 22 bhp / 4.500 rpm
Speed: 117 km/h
Production time: 1933 – 1936

Points Of Interest:

– The three-wheeled Morgan or ‘trike,’ as it is also known, was built in response to the British tax on four-wheeled automobiles (considered to be cyclecars).

– Until 1933 Morgan used John Alfred Prestwich (J.A.P.) engines, later the Matchless MX, MX2 and MX4 engines.

– This “Sports Model” has a Matchless MX2 V-Twin air-cooled engine, a three-speed manual gearbox (+ reverse), an electric starter, front and rear separated/independent drum brakes (cable controlled), a AMAL carburettor, a 18 liters fuel tank and rear wheel drive (chain drive train).

– It has independent front suspension with shock absorbers and a rigid rear axle.

– It could be ordered with either none, one or two doors.

– This Sports model (built between 1932 and 1939) replaced the Aero.

(Photo and Descriptions via Le Photiste)