Mar 14


Feb. 24, 1960: At the Art Model Studios in Mount Vernon, N.Y., where men would spend their days “‘just sittin’ around’ whittling — and get paid for it.” An article went on to describe a merry band of obsessive perfectionists who made model boats, mostly ocean liners, for ship companies and museums, spending hundreds of hours and using tools like tweezers to build “a precise fractional scale of the actual ship,” down to the “life preservers that would be tight on an ant.” Photo: Robert Walker/The New York Times

Nov 27


June 27, 1935: Just 16 months after a tiny car made its London debut, the United States trotted out its own unorthodox transport gizmo: a motorized unicycle. The news alert mentions its inventor’s “flaunting laws of balance and engineering,” although perhaps the author meant to say “flouting.” The rider steers “by a secret device that causes the wheel to lean and thereby turn while at the same time allowing the rider to keep an upright balance.” Walter Nilsson, the inventor, also believes that “with the addition of a pneumatic tire, the wheel can make 100 miles an hour.” Photo: The New York Times