Monday, October 19, 2009

A Mysterious Device


Let's start the week off with a very bad idea from the November 1940 issue of Popular Mechanics: the Electro-Torch, also known as "Mysterious Device." Yes, we all need one of these around the house. Never know when you might need to weld a few iron bars together.

If it really is that mysterious, why would they say that anyone can operate it? And is it really a good idea to make something this powerful - and mysterious - easy to just plug into the nearest light socket?

It comes with  a "power unit," goggles and "supplies" - whatever they might be. This is all very vague and - to be honest - worrying.

The First Aid kit and insurance are not included.

[Note: the Electro-Torch Company is based in Chicago, along with so many other odd-product companies, I had to make a special tag for Retro Chicago.]

10 comments:

Tori Lennox said...

What's so mysterious about a soldering iron? *scratching head*

FreshHell said...

Do you ever wish you could go back in time and order one? Just to see what it was? At the originally stated price, of course.

Lidian said...

Tori - Good question. Maybe the name was supposed to lend it an air of mystery!

FreshHell - Well, I'd love to order some of the things I write about (like that electric bow tie) but maybe not this one. I am not very good at soldering! ;)

The Crazy Suburban Mom said...

You're right! LOL tons of these things are from chicago - which kind of makes me wonder what kind of regulations they didn't have!

Lidian said...

Tracy - I guess they didn't have too many regulations!

Eric said...

I have one of these. If you go to a place in a house where the electricity comes in from the outside (circuit breaker box), remove the panel, then put something metal across the main connection jumpers, it will weld all kinds of metals. But, lots of angry guys from the electric company will stop by and the police and fire department, so on second thought, don't use this technique for mysterious welding.

Lidian said...

Eric - The last thing anyone wants is a lot of angry guys from the electric company dropping in for a visit! And that's no mystery :)

vanilla said...

When I was a kid-- yes,in the 40s, I avidly devoured Popular Mechanics, including all the little ads of the kind you show here. Man, I would think, I wish I had one of THOSE! probably including the welding/soldering device. Have zero recollection as to what I thought I might do with "it," whatever it was.

Thanks for the memories.

Lidian said...

vanilla - I really love the old Popular Mechanics and own about 5, and they are also on Google Books. In order to make fun of the ads, one has to really have a soft spot for them, too. And I do :)

Marcheline said...

10 Day Home Trial! Why not longer? Because it takes most customers only 3 days to burn their house down!