Iron will produce a golden cascade…

But first…
Dulltown, UK: Today’s ancient Egyptian deity, appearing as a bull, is the god Buchis – his main cult centre is Armant and his associations are the manifestations of Ra and Osiris. (Buchis)

We all love our clever gadgets don’t we? They are now an essential part of life in the 21st century. I have a tatty old junk shop book called The 1954 Gadgets Annual – it is  ‘Specially compiled by W. N. Shaw from features published in the Gadgets Magazine‘. The gadgets in it are nothing like the shiny smooth impressive things that we have in our pockets, that we now know and love, they are generally things made using bits of wood, tin, plastic, wire, string, and anything else that is kicking around in the average suburban garden shed, they are decorative items, handy tools, kitchen utensils, novelty table lamps, amusing things for the kids, etc.
Here is an interesting item from page 58 – great for children’s parties and an essential effect if you fancy yourself as an amateur magician:

‘Albert… Albert!…’
‘Oh, hello Madge dear, I…’
‘What in heaven’s name are you doing?’
‘Oh, just doing a bit of filing dear.’
‘Filing? On my kitchen table!…’
‘Well it’s a bit cold out there in the shed, it is November now dear – and look, I’ve put a page or two from yesterday’s Daily Express under it so that I don’t…’
‘What’s that, that you are messing with?’
‘Eh? Oh, it’s one of the coat hooks, from the coat rack under the stairs.’
‘You are filing one of our coat hooks?’
‘No, yes – you see Madge, it’s made of aluminium…’
‘No Albert, I don’t see! We don’t have enough coat hooks anyway, without loosing another!’
‘I will screw it back up, I just need to file a bit of the metal off this bottom part, it won’t affect the hanging characteristics of the hook at all.’
‘The hanging characteristics?’
‘Yes dear, I just need a tiny tiny amount of aluminium dust.’
‘Is this something to do with that silly magazine of yours?’
‘It’s not a silly magazine dear, it’s very interesting – there are some fascinating projects in it…’
‘Such as?…’
‘Well, silver and gold cascades – apparently they are really great fun at parties – anyway, when I next do my disappearing balloons trick, I’ll be able to…’
‘Yes dear?’
‘I’m just going to pop out to the chemist, I’ll only be a few minutes, and when I come back…’
‘You’ll want the filings swept up off the floor, the newspaper gone and the hook screwed back in place under the stairs?’
‘Yes. And, if I see any visible sign of all this nonsense, you’ll be missing your night-time treat, do you understand?’
‘Er, yes… dear…’

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...
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14 Responses to Iron will produce a golden cascade…

  1. Sharon Mann says:

    Weird gadgets, I hope Albert doesn’t blow up anything. haha!

  2. David Manley says:

    and there’s Albert looking forward to his Horlicks & Vicks!

  3. Jheron Bash says:

    What? A hot water bottle?

  4. David Manley says:

    Ah…more an Ovaltine & Olbas Oil fella eh…or perhaps a traditionalist cocoa & embrocation chap…otherwise I can’t imagine what Madge has in mind…

  5. junkmonkey says:

    Try mixing them together and shoving a lit sparkler in it. It’s called thermite (the sparkler is the ignition source) and they use it in hand grenades and to weld railway lines together. (Except you really need the iron filings to have gone rusty but how difficult is that?)

    • Dave Whatt says:

      How could one possibly know all that?!… Gosh!…

      • junkmonkey says:

        I suspect because I have a huge jar of powdered aluminium in my workshop that I have been meaning to play with for years but never got round to doing anything with. It’s one of the less dangerous things I inherited from my dad’s workshop – and this was from my parent’s house cellar.. Men in hazmat clothing had to take a lot of it away The jar of potassium cyanide was a particular concern for them. – I wish I’d managed to hang onto the jar of mercury though. That was fun to play with. Big jar too.

      • Dave Whatt says:

        Sounds like a Badger plot to me – was the place haunted?
        Were Val Stearman and La Noir neighbours?…

      • junkmonkey says:

        Not haunted, My dad was a watchmaker for many years. He needed this stuff for his work. By rights he aught to have had all sorts of paperwork and certification and all that rigmarole. But he just had a way of acquiring stuff that he needed and sod the legal niceties. He knew old retired watchmakers who plied their trade before the words ‘health and safety’ were invented and had shitloads of interesting stuff in their sheds. That and he sometimes found that stuff that was underappreciated and gave it a new home before the owners decided they didn’t need it any more… Not stealing exactly… more like premature recycling.

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