Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Browse by Decade
Amazonian
More Ads?

Ads

Search
Ads

Amazon Fun

Navigation

Entries in westinghouse (9)

Saturday
Aug202011

Smoking Robots of the Future (1931)

This picture of the bucket-headed Willie Vocalite appeared in the September 6, 1931 San Antonio Light. Designed by Westinghouse engineer Joseph Barnett, Willie appears to have been programmed with a fondness for nictoine. Early 20th century inventors sure loved to make robots smoke, (when they weren't shooting apples off their heads). So much so, that I'm surprised they didn't give Sparko his own robo-doggie cigs.

The mechanical man has been "humanized" in some respects and taught some of the manners of polite society. The Westinghouse robot shown in this photograph smokes cigarettes and obligingly "gives a light" to his companion. Another robot in Pennsylvania State College with a glass throat and water lungs puffs cigars all day long and reports scientific facts about tobacco which the most expert human smokers could not find out.

 

Tuesday
Jul132010

Electronic Home Library (1959)

Remember 1959? You were just 9 years old, with not a care in the world (except maybe nuclear winter). You spread the Sunday paper out across the living room floor of your suburban Chicago home, and excitedly flipped to the funny pages. Closer Than We Think! Your favorite!

What fantastical promise from the future did Mr. Radebaugh have for you this week? Cars that run on sunshine? Tomatoes as big as Verne Gagne's head? Underseas highways to the land of godless commies? No, something even more ridiculous! A home library of electronic media! What a weird futuristic world that would be! Gosh golly, what will they think of next!

Some unusual inventions for home entertainment and education will be yours in the future, such as the "television recorder" that RCA's David Sarnoff described recently.

With this device, when a worthwhile program comes over the air while you are away from home, or even while you're watching it, you'll be able to preserve both the picture and sound on tape for replaying at any time. Westinghouse's Gwilym Price expects such tapes to reproduce shows in three dimensions and color on screens as shallow as a picture.

Another pushbutton development will be projection of microfilm books on the ceiling or wall in large type. To increase their impact on students, an electronic voice may accompany the visual passages.

Eternal thanks to my Closer Than We Think pusher Tom Z., without whom I would be living in a cold, dark world of black and white comic strips.

 

Previously on Paleo-Future:

 

Wednesday
May052010

Televox Entertains High School Students (1930)

The November 20, 1930 Muscatine Journal and News-Tribune (Muscatine, IA) ran a short blurb announcing that Televox -- a robot you might remember as the husband of one Mrs. Katrina Van Televox -- would be making an appearance at a local Iowa high school.

"Televox," the mechanical man, one of the outstanding miracles of modern science, will perform for the students of the Muscatine high school at the high school auditorium Friday at 8:40 a. m., Henry Van Hettinga, principal, announced today. This will be the high school's first taste of the High School Assembly association talent this year.

This is a treat that is always in demand in the schools which are members of the assembly association. This mechanical human, often called the "servant of the future," was built in the East Pittsburg laboratories of the Westinghouse Electric company. It will be demonstrated Friday morning by W.A. Wheeler, an expert electrician.

One of his special tricks is that of using the telephone in much the same manner as a human being. He will perform many other interesting tasks. An admission of 10 cents will be charged.

 

Previously on Paleo-Future:

 

Sunday
Feb142010

Rastus Robot, the Mechanical Negro (1931)

 

I love humanoid robots from the 1920s and 30s. They were going to fight our wars, drive our cars, and be gigolos for lonely women. In the early 1930s Westinghouse created a robot named Rastus, the "mechanical Negro." And what was Rastus going to do? Nearly take an arrow to the eye, it would seem.

The photo above appeared in the September 6, 1931 San Antonio Light (San Antonio, TX) and shows Samuel Montgomery Kintner playing William Tell with the robot. The photo below is from the blog Dull Tool Dim Bulb, though I'm not sure who is pictured with Rastus.

Mr. S. M. Kintner, of the Westinghouse Research Laboratories, creates a mechanical Negro known as "Rastus Robot." Mr. Kintner is here enacting a modern scientific version of the famous episode of William Tell, who shot the apple from his son's head. In this demonstration a flash of light is sent out from a tiny bulb concealed in the arrow, the light is picked up by an "electric eye" on "Rastus," which ignites a charge of powder that blows the apple from the robot's head. The arrow does not leave the bow.

 

Previously on Paleo-Future:

 

Saturday
Jan232010

Mechanical Wonder Maiden (1930)

Much like her robotic brother Herbert Televox, robot Miss Katrina Van Televox toured the country demonstrating Westinghouse products. According to this ad in the October 3, 1930 Altoona Mirror (Altoona, PA) Miss Van Televox talks, answers the phone, runs a vacuum cleaner and makes coffee.

Adding the supposed cost of this robot to the ad, $22,000, was yet another way to give that feeling of inevitability which pops up repeatedly in 1930's discussions of robots.

Katrina talks... answers the phone... runs a vacuum cleaner... makes coffee and toast... turns the lights on and off and does it all willingly at command from Mr. T. Barnard the Westinghouse Electric & Manufacturing Expert who is accompanying her on her tour. The audience will also assist Mr. Barnard in making Katrina work. Her appearance here at The American Legion Home is her first in Altoona and women of this city are cordially invited by the Penn Central Light & Power Co., sponsors of her visit, to attend her personal appearance.

Katrina is chief demonstrator of the famous Westinghouse Flavor Zone range and is the sister of Herbert Televox famous metal man who has shown before many scientific gatherings. As Katrina's stay in Altoona is limited, The Penn Central Company ask all who wish to view these amazing demonstrations to plan their visit early. The admission is Free.

 

Previously on Paleo-Future:

 

Thursday
Jun142007

Elektro and Sparko Ad (1956)


After Elektro and his dog Sparko were done showing off their skills at the 1939 New York World's Fair they toured Westinghouse retailers helping sell refrigerators. This ad ran in the July 2, 1956 San Mateo Times.


See also:
Metal Man Comes to Life (1939)
All's Fair at the Fair (1938)
The Mechanical Man of the Future (1928)

Wednesday
Jun132007

Metal Man Comes to Life (1939)


The May 1, 1939 Hammond Times (Hammond, Indiana) ran these images of Elektro, a robot featured at the 1939 New York World's Fair.

Elektro could supposedly "speak," distinguish between colors, smoke a cigar and direct an orchestra.

See also:
All's Fair at the Fair (1938)
Robots Will Be Kings (1949)
"I Can Whip Any Mechanical Robot" by Jack Dempsey (1930s)
Gigantic Robots to Fight Our Battles (Fresno Bee, 1934)
The Mechanical Man of the Future (1928)
The Robot is a Terrible Creature (1922)
Mammy vs Robot (Charleston Gazette, 1937)
Donald Duck's "Modern Inventions" (1937)