"Plot and plan, scheme and engineer as he may, the crooked ward-heeler cannot discover a way of cheating the machine," PopSci wrote in 1920, urging the widespread adoption of mechanized voting as an antidote to Tammany Hallstyle election fraud. The gear-and-lever voting machine seemed to ensure a fair and scientific tally. Although it had debuted two decades before we featured it on our
Other stories from the November 1920 issue:
Live Forever—Why Not?
Doctors reportedly rejuvenated an old goat by giving it a transplant of glands from a spry donor. Ever cautious, we nevertheless predicted that our readers wouldn't "see the next century."
Four years before Felix Wankel conceived his famous rotary engine, we featured a similar design by Eugene Bournonville, the man who brought oxyacetylene welding to American shores. Bournonville's engine didn't have staying power—the new Mazda RX-8 sports a Wankel engine—but his welding torch is still used today.
Ladies and Gentlemen: Next Stop, 42nd Street—Times Square
Telephone engineer E.E. Trafton invented an early public address system for underground trains. Loudspeakers equipped with special amplifiers informed riders on the Brooklyn Rapid Transit subway of upcoming station stops.
The Soft-Drink Fountain That Takes Care of Itself
A large oak barrel equipped with spigots and filled with a cool beverage was the latest example of an increasingly popular novelty: