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Most of the photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs, 20 to 200 megabytes in size) from the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) Many were digitized by LOC contractors using a Sinar studio back. They are adjusted by your webmaster for contrast and color in Photoshop before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here.

 
 
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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • STAY ONE JUMP AHEAD OF TROUBLE, 1945

Just One of Those Things: 1926

Just One of Those Things: 1926

May 1926. "NO CAPTION." We can guess what you're thinking -- "Boy, been awhile since I saw one of those," or "They don't make 'em like that any more!" And you'd probably be right. Harris & Ewing glass negative. View full size.

 

Flue Gas Recirculator

Mark P's guess of gas burner of heat exchanger sounded good to me so I searched the Post archives for May 1926 using similar keywords and found the following article. No photo was included so it's not a positive match but it sure seems like a plausible explanation.


Washington Post, May 23, 1926.

Apparatus Stops Noise Made in Oil Burning Heaters

New Invention May Supplant Other methods.
Says Frank Harbin.

A development, which experts think, will supplant other methods of home-heating, was announced here yesterday by Frank P. Harbin, of the Automatic Heating Corporation, 1719 Connecticut avenue, northwest. By this development, operating noise of automatic oil heat is cut to the vanishing point. It was perfected by engineers of the American NoKol Co., who nine years ago made automatic oil heating of homes a practical, modern comfort, Mr. Harbin said. …

Demonstrating the new equipment yesterday before a crowd of interested home owners, Mr. Harbin showed how a closely-confined flame, loses every trace of customary, low-blowing sound within two minutes after starting. This he explained, is accomplished by bringing back from the chimney some of the inert gas that results from complete combustion of any fuel. It is piped through a small tube, mixed with fresh air, and fed back into the flames.

“No one but chemists and combustion engineers have ever thought about this gas,” Mr. Harbin stated. “It is colorless, oderless, inert. But when the right amount, accurately measured, is fed back into a flame along with the fresh air which every one knows any flame must have, it dilates the flame. When I say dilate, I mean it causes a given anount flame flame to occupy more cubic inches of space than before.” …

Yes Sir,

That there is definitely a wigwam for a goose's bridle.

Furshlugginer manifold

It's a sad day indeed when 20 Shorpy experts in a row fail to identify the flagship product of the North American Veeblefetzer Corporation. In fact, it almost makes me MAD.

Scientific Theorizing

This appears to be an early version of a Kindle or Nook. My other thought is that it is able to translate 2 or 3 books at a time and then the device is hooked up to a Mergenthaler Linotype machine and printed in the language chosen. My final thought is that it is a snake safe that opens from the top, the reptile is then inserted and the books placed atop the unit to prevent the Ophidian from escaping. I shall do further research before continuing to comment.

Mr. Lux

Ahhh, the long lost photo of Mr. Lux trying to determine where to put the electrical cord on his prototype vacuum cleaner, later to be named the Electrolux.

The Latest

offering from the R&D team galvanized Smith's decision to fire the whole darn lot of them.

At Last

I never, in my lifetime, expected to see a real life doohickey. Shorpy has done it again. Thank you so much.

I'm guessing

That this is a "swamp cooler" for a car window.

Poultry

It has something to do with grading eggs, but I don't have a clue as just how!

Not quite

And it's kind of guaranteed to sometimes reverse male pattern baldness.

It's a mouse

1926 model.

Binford Model 1

First in a long line of high-quality products.

They were very expensive so few were sold

But those early anti-grav units really did a good job of keeping your desk from flying off.

"I wonder what would happen"

If I put my thumb in here?

It's an automatic finger nail clipper.

The chains

The chains on the wall seem to permit opening and shutting a couple of somethings...

But wait!

Order in the next ten minutes and you get a second Clank-O-Matic absolutely free!

Wait for the service pack

This was an early model. Later models had many improvements in usability and comfort, and the decorative badge depicting a ruffled grouse in flight was moved to the front for easier access.

ex. post facto - Mad #44 "Veeble People" Jan 1959 issue.

It sucks

The large hose almost says to me that it has vacuum pulling on it. But the valve seems more like a natural gas fitting. Looking at the top, is that a flue connection? My guess is it's some sort of gas burner, heat exchanger.

Looks like a gas line

So I will guess: some kind of space heater.

With all the clues in this picture

it should be an open and shut case.

He did it

Not only did he build a better mousetrap, it's only slightly bigger than a bread box.

Ain't it a gas

That looks remarkably like the gas tank on my 1967 Land Rover Series IIa.

Granted, this picture was taken a full 18 years before Land Rovers came to exist, and the pipe is too large to head to the engine. I wonder if it is a tank of some sort?

Plus, you get to choose

And remember, it comes in your choice of brushed brown, cherry red or sunshine yellow.

 
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Shorpy.com | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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