Over the course of 224 pages, author Maurice Collins challenges the reader to guess the purpose of 100 mysterious gadgets from the past. A brief description on page accompanies a large color photograph of the strange, silly, and clever contraptions on the adjoining page. Chapters cover gadgets for:
- The Working Day
- Domestic Economy
- The Stuff of Life
- Out and About
- Body and Soul
From the book description:
Marvel at the ingenuity of the cuff holder which, as legend has it, was used by cardsharps at the poker table to hide the ace up their sleeves; find out how to make the perfect camping cuppa 1920s style; and decide whether the 1920s electric comb really could prevent hair loss. If you thought that phone cameras were a great invention find out more about the watch camera of the 1900s; if you've always found shaving too taxing, there is an automatic shaving cream filler and brush in the collection which allowed you to save time in that early morning rush to work - who knows why this never took off?
One of my favorite weekend pastimes is hunting around antique stores searching for old tools and other items. Trying to figure out the purpose of mysterious items is also a big part of the fun. It's interesting to see the huge number of ideas that have been brought to market over the years, as well as which ones never really took off. This book is like wandering through one of those antique stores, but you can do it from the comfort of your living room or nearest coffee shop. This book makes a nice gift for the gadget lover and history buff.
Here is where you can get Ingenious Gadgets: Guess the Obscure Purpose of Over 100 Eccentric Contraptions
Here is Maurice Collins's associated web site: Victorian Gadgets.com
[ Thanks Falk! ]
Labels: antiques, appliances, artifacts, contraptions, engineering, gadgets, history, home, ingenious, inventions, mystery mechanism, obscure