Looking Back

Aug. 7, 2008
Tough plastics make combo screwdriver better: Four-in-one screwdrivers have a reputation for being heavy, difficult to grip, and expensive to make.

10 YEARS AGO —
AUGUST 6, 1998

Allway Tools, Bronx, N.Y., has designed a screwdriver that remedies these shortcomings. Black Celanese 1503 from Ticona, Summit, N.J., is used for the one-piece handle shank. The 33% glass-reinforced plastic resists creep, has a service temperature of 250°F, and gives the handle a comfortable friction element for a sure grip, even when wet. The yellow cap and finger shank are 14% glass-fiber-reinforced Celanese nylon 6420, which provides impact resistance and spring resilience. The plastic fingers in the bit-storage pockets are designed so they are relaxed when the bit is in place, and deflect only when bits are inserted or removed.

30 YEARS AGO —
AUGUST 10, 1978

Wind turbine extracts 30% more energy: A unique horizontal windturbine concept is said to extract 30% more energy from the wind than conventional types. Developed in their free time by Leo A. Hein and W. Neill Myers, engineers at Marshall Space Flight Center, the system could be located on top of a chimney to accept not only wind from any direction but also chimney updraft, which could be then fed to solar collectors. The turbine would also be less susceptible to wind damage. The sketch depicts the concept being used in a solar farm.

50 YEARS AGO —
AUGUST 17, 1958

Pocket-sized record player has no turntable and its tone arm is part of the lid. It plays any size 331/3 and 45-rpm record, is battery powered, and selfcontained with low-drain motor, transistorized amplifier, and loudspeaker. In spite of eventual battery rundown, a governor maintains constant record speed. Two rubbertipped shafts replace the usual turntable. The unit was developed by Camp Bird Ltd., London, England.3

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