Clearly visible in a darkened room…

But first…
Dulltown, Europe: Today’s item of fruit is the single green grape, detached from its family bunch which is draped languidly over the rim of the highly polished mahogany bowl in the centre of the circular white marble side table.

I’m really in the mood for gadgets today…
Yes, let’s take my tattered copy of that old junk shop book The 1954 Gadgets Annual down from the bookshelf and find something of interest.
I’m sure this book once had a nicely illustrated dust cover, but I’m afraid that has long gone; never mind, here is a picture of the title page; I wonder who W. N. Shaw was? I really must Google him:

DSCN3900Gadgets: You see back in 1954, only a few years after a bloody awful war, times were hard and money was short. Instead of chucking household items out when they developed a fault or got a bit worn, as we do today, things were repaired and carefully looked after; tools and handy kitchen utensils could be made at home instead of being bought. People had the skills to manipulate materials and invent things to be of use in their daily lives.
This book is, as you see, an annual collection of interesting ideas from that very popular Gadgets Magazine. There are two or three items per page; let’s pick a few titles at random: A Mounted Cork Pin-Cushion, First Aid for Electrical Plugs, A Non-Spill Ashtray – Easily Emptied, How to Round Off Glass Edges, Make a Water Clock…
How about this one on page 100?

‘Yes dear?’
‘Do you happen to know if we have any oil of bergamot?’
‘Bergamot Albert?’
‘I don’t even know what that is! Why would we have any?’
‘How about a small knob of sodium hydroxide?’
‘I don’t think so…’
‘Hydrogen peroxide?’
‘Certainly not! What are you up to Albert? Is it that silly Gadgets Magazine again?’
‘It’s not a silly magazine Madge. How about a smidgen of sodium hypochlorite?’
‘Not a remote chance dear. What are all these things for anyway?’
‘It’s an interesting scientific novelty Madge.’
‘Let me have a look… It says here, will not be of much practical use.
‘Well no, but…’
‘Have you stopped the drip from the cold bath tap yet Albert?’
‘Ah yes, I get right on it… Are you thinking of making a pot of tea?’
‘Kettle’s on already… Slice of fruit cake?’
‘Oh yes…’

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, conversation, history, humour, information, instruction, learning, science, surrealism and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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