Gadgets, gadgets! (3) – Dealing with curvatures…

But first…
Dulltown, Europe: Today’s random dictionary words are: marasmus, maquis, mopstick, manyplies, manumit, and bulse.
Please have these words looked up and placed in suitable sentences ready for Professor Mouldie first thing after breakfast tomorrow morning. Extra marks will be awarded to students who imbue their sentences with an atmosphere of menace.

Perhaps it is time to again peep into that old junk shop book The 1954 Gadgets Annual? As the book is just a very ordinary dark red hardback with a cream spine I won’t bother including a photograph of it, but here is a little one of the title page.

DSCN3900Ah 1954 – they certainly knew how to be frugal and inventive back in those days.

DSCN3902To measure the actual road distance between two points on a map, lay a length of fuze* wire exactly over the line of the road following the bends and curvatures. The wire can then be straightened out and its length referred to the map’s scale to give an accurate figure for the actual distance involved. Such a measurement does not take into account the slight increase in distances brought about by gradients, but this error is generally quite negligible.
(*I have never come across the word ‘fuse’ spelled like this before.)

‘Yes, my dear?’
‘Why have you stopped the car? We’ll be late for Beryl’s wedding!’
‘It’s alright Madge, I just want to work out exactly how far we have to go. It’s an idea I came across in my copy of Gadgets Magazine…’
‘Albert, just stop messing about! Let’s just get on!’
‘Here Madge, just hold the map flat on you knee while I untangle my fuze wire… See how the road twists and turns… Soon we’ll know exactly how much further we…’
‘That’s it dear, just press your thumb on the end of the wire at this junction by the church, is this the church here, or is it this other one?… Look, I’ll trace the outline of the… Oh…’
‘Madge, where are we now?’
‘I don’t know Albert, you are the driver!
‘Language Albert!…’
‘Sorry dear, it just slipped out…’


About Dave Whatt

Grumpy old surrealist artist, musician, postcard maker, bluesman, theatre set designer, and debonair man-about-town. My favourite tools are the plectrum and the pencil...
This entry was posted in archeology, books, conversation, expletives, Grumpiness, history, humour, information, style, Uncategorized, words and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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