Dulltown, UK: Today’s unusual pencil sharpener is the one shaped like Clint Eastwood’s 357 Magnum revolver.
Please note: This sharpener cannot be used for short pencils.
It’s a rather boring looking book really, a drab red fabric cover and a dirty cream coloured spine. It probably once had a nice dust jacket printed in full colour, which unfortunately is now long gone. Yes, another cheap old junk shop book from my modest collection – The 1954 Gadgets Annual – Specially compiled by W. N. Shaw from features published in the Gadgets Magazine.
It was produced by POSTLIB Publications of Kingsbury, London. N. W. 9.
Ah, Britain in the 1950s, when the madness and style of the 1960s was just a tiny bright coloured light on the horizon. A world of tweed jackets, slacks, smart polished brown brogues, nice flowery full frocks, ladies’ hair in ‘pageboy’ and bobs, and men smoking pipes as they lurked and pottered in garden sheds – and someone called Elvis Presley with a guitar and glint in his eye was waiting in the wings…
Let’s have a look through these smelly pages and see what sort of things were available to make, or tinker with, to improve one’s life in 1954:
A Gadget For Drying Films, An Easy-Fix For rubber Bands, A Modified Coat Hanger, Use Double Crayons – Long Seam Soldering Simplified, A Dustproof Storage Jar, A Festive Use For Burnt-Out Electric Bulbs, A Splendid Moth-Ball Storer… etc.
Let’s examine this item on page 29:
‘This tea – is it the one we usually get?’
‘Of course dear.’
‘Well, to me, it tastes a bit, er…’
‘You’ve just eaten an Extra Strong Mint.’
‘Ah… that’ll be it then… Madge…’
‘There’s a marvellous thing, here in my magazine.’
‘Your silly Gadgets Magazine?’
‘Yes… I mean no, it’s not silly at all, it’s very interesting… Look at this – it would be a boon in the kitchen!’
‘Yes, for reaching for things high up, without bothering to go out and get the steps out from the garage.’
‘You can store things in it too! What a very novel idea!’
‘What sort of things?’
‘Things… anything, just to get them out-of-the-way – we always need storage space.’
‘I wonder if we have any of that rubber sheet left in the shed?’
‘Suppose it was full of things…’
‘…and we wanted to take it into the hall to stand on, to change a light bulb.’
‘Now think, if it was full of things, how heavy it would be – and, how would you get hold of it… to carry it?’
‘Perhaps we could slide it into the hall?…’
‘Are you serious Albert?’
‘No, not really dear…’