MAXIM - Once people poked at them with their fingers and camera lenses with delight and admiration, and now - with irony and derision.

The things these photos will show you now were considered amazing at the time of their birth. However, years of progress had a bad effect on them, and now their appearance evokes opposite feelings - from ridicule to warm affection.

In a hundred years, a new article on this topic will appear, only it will talk about some iPhones, electric vehicles and smart speakers. It is possible that we will write it too, because by that time they will have invented a vaccine of immortality, or at least longevity. It is possible that you, reader, will do it! We promise not to laugh if the first version of your miracle cure will prolong the life of only a thousand for five years.

1. Rail Zeppelin

Shinenzeppelin (in German Schienenzeppelin - rail zeppelin) is a railroad car driven by a propeller at the rear. A 1929 notion by German aircraft engineer Franz Krukenberg.

Briefly about the performance characteristics: two axles, wheelbase 19.6 m, length 25.85 m, height 2.8 m, weight 20.3 t (not much by railway standards), 12-cylinder gasoline aircraft engine BMW VI with a capacity of 600 hp, wooden propeller - initially four-, and then two-bladed, capacity of 40 passengers. Zeppelin - because the structure is from the airship: an aluminum base, covered with canvas.

On May 10, 1931, he first jumped over 200 km / h, and on June 21 he set a world record for driving by rail - 230.2 km / h (held until 1954). Was built in a single copy and did not receive distribution. There were enough reasons: the danger of a huge open propeller in crowded stations, the difficulty of attaching additional cars, the lack of reverse gear, the lack of traction for climbing steep slopes. In 1939, the shinenzeppelin was dismantled, and the parts were used for the needs of the military industry.

2. Antarctic cruiser

It all started with the fact that in 1934, American Thomas Poulter, scientific director of the Illinois Institute of Technology Research Foundation in Chicago, took part in an Arctic expedition. Only on the third attempt did he manage to break through on tracked tractors to the head of the expedition, Admiral Byrd, and save him. After that, Poulter caught fire with the idea of ​​creating a special transport for Antarctica.

He managed to convince the management of the foundation of the effectiveness of his project - the Snow Cruiser all-terrain vehicle, or, as he called it, the Antarctic snow cruiser. It took Poulter and his colleagues two years to create the colossus. In particular, he undertook to solve the problem of walking along treacherous Arctic cracks, invisible under the snow.

The all-terrain vehicle was a diesel-electric hybrid. The equipment included: four wheels, shifted to the center of the body, with Goodyear tires with a diameter of more than 3 m and a width of about 80 cm made of frost-resistant 12-layer rubber, two six-cylinder Cummins diesel engines with a volume of 11 liters and a capacity of 150 "horses" each, driving two electric generators for powering four General Electric motors with a capacity of 75 "horses".

And also a suspension with adjustable clearance: thanks to this, the wheels could be drawn into the arches by 1.2 meters, it was possible to warm up the tires and clean off the adhering snow and ice (hot exhaust from diesel engines were fed into the niches) - this time. And two - so the car had to get over the cracks: reach the opposite end of the gap with the front overhang, then pull the front wheels into the body and, “raking” only with the rear wheels, push the front axle to the shore. Then the front wheels were lowered, and the rear ones were pulled into the body. The front axle was now supposed to pull out the cruiser. It was supposed to carry out the entire operation in 20 receptions, and it took an hour and a half.

Also, a ski-like bottom should have contributed to the successful crawling through the cracks.

The "snow cruiser" contained a three-man control room, an engine room, fuel tanks for almost 9500 liters of diesel fuel, a wardroom, a five-bed bedroom, a kitchen with a sink and a stove, a workshop with welding equipment, a special room for developing photographs, a warehouse with equipment and food and two spare wheels. In addition, a compact biplane aircraft with 4000 liters of fuel for itself was supposed to be on the roof. For its descent and ascent, as well as for replacing its own wheels, the all-terrain vehicle had winches that extended from the roof.

In 1939, Poulter presented his brainchild to the US Congress and persuaded senators to fund an expedition to deliver an all-terrain vehicle to Antarctica. The construction cost 150 thousand dollars - a significant amount then! The inventor managed to fork out private investors.

The northern campaign was scheduled for November 15, 1939. Poulter managed to build his cruiser in just a month and a half. On October 24, he was brought in for the first time, and he set off on his own from Chicago to the military port of Boston, from where he was supposed to sail on the North Star ship. Not very visible in the photo, but the giant was bright red in order to be visible from a distance in the continuous Antarctic snow.

On the whole, the "snow cruiser" successfully and with minimal destruction reached the port by the appointed day, and that was where its successes ended. On January 11, 1940, the North Star landed on the coast of Antarctica in Whale Bay. On the route that Poulter drew for a demonstration in Congress, his snow child had to cross Antarctica twice crosswise, while traveling around almost the entire coastline and visiting the pole twice, that is, a total of 1,700 kilometers.

During the descent of the all-terrain vehicle from the ship, the wheel broke through the wooden flooring, but Poulter managed to press the gas, and the car safely slid ashore. However, further disaster struck, which buried the project: it turned out that the Snow Cruiser was not capable of driving on a snowy surface! The perfectly smooth wheels fell a meter into the snow and turned in vain, unable to move the 34-ton colossus - the all-terrain vehicle sat down on the bottom.

The crew attached the spare wheels to the front wheels, expanding them in half, and put the rear wheels in chains. Only then could the colossus at least move. Looking ahead, let us summarize: the "Snow Cruiser" managed to cover only 148 kilometers across Antarctica. And they all passed in terrible torment for him: wheels without protectors were always skidding, giant overhangs turned out to be only a hindrance, the engines overheated all the way, despite the low outboard temperature. Having suffered this way for two weeks, the creator of the "Snow Cruiser" abandoned it and flew back to the United States.

The rest of the team remained in the supercar, turning it into a polar station: it turned out that there was no all-terrain vehicle from it, but everything was thought out perfectly for living. The supplies of food and fuel were enough for a year of autonomous work, the newly minted polar explorers covered their nest with wooden shields and focused on scientific research in Antarctica. A few months later, without waiting for the onset of the local winter, they left the "Snow Cruiser" too.

At the end of 1940, people came to him again and found that he was completely efficient: lubricate, pump up the wheels - and off you go! However, World War II flared up, it was not before the development of Antarctica.

On another occasion, the cruiser was stumbled upon only in 1958. The International Expedition was given its location by a pole sticking out of the snow. They say that since then, the Snow Cruiser has never been seen again. According to one version, he was forever buried under the snow, according to another - he became part of a huge iceberg, sailed with him from the ice shelf of Antarctica and sank somewhere in the northern waters of the World Ocean ...

3. Camera Kodak K-24

American work of technical progress and Eastman Kodak. Created in 1942 on the basis of the British F24 camera, which was developed in the 1920s specifically for military aerial photography and made it possible to obtain images of quite high definition from a great height.

The K-24 is the largest handheld camera. It was mainly installed in reconnaissance aircraft; few people used it in manual mode. There is a version that the guy in the photo was simply unlucky - the task was to shoot something to the side of the flight path, and the object was far away, and a good picture was required.

The entire F24 was 20 pounds, or about nine kilos. K-24 is half as light. More than 9,000 K-24 cameras were manufactured for WWII filming in tactical reconnaissance aircraft, including the Supermarine Spitfire, F-6 and De Havilland F-8 (modified "Komar").

4. Police narrow-gauge electric car for tunnels

The toy in the photo is called a train or an electric car. She rode on the electric podium built in 1955 in the Holland Tunnel. This is one of the first underwater car tunnels, laid under the American Hudson River in New York.

A Packard typewriter with a width of about 60 cm could go back and forth. Equipped with two speed buttons - 6 and 12 mph and a 240-volt 3 hp engine. This is the perfect way for cops to get through the tunnel without traffic jams. Surprisingly, this baby was retired quite recently - in the spring of 2011!

5. Wake up candle

The candle clock is not a myth, but a reality! Such, for example, were used in China. If you know how much a candle of a certain diameter from a certain material burns, you can mark it in divisions in accordance with the intervals of time and drive in carnations. When the candle burned out to the set mark, the carnation fell on the metal surface and made a disgusting ringing. And you can't even change the melody!

6. Motorized rollers

In 1905, an inventor named Constantini presented self-propelled roller skates of his own production at an exhibition in Paris. They were equipped with one-and-a-half power motors, and there was a battery and a switch on the skater's belt.

And a few years later, his colleague Mercier improved the motorized skates somewhat (see photo).

Mercier's skates had a two-stroke motor located only on one leg, and it was less powerful - up to 1.25 "horses".

The creator assured that his creation could accelerate to 30 km - a dashing speed for those times! And the fuel supply should have been enough for 50 km.

7. Book wheel

Ancient ancestor of browsers with windows! This thing is 300 years old, it stands in the famous Palafoxiana Library in the Mexican city of Puebla (some experts consider it the first public reading room in America). It can open seven books at the same time! And nothing freezes.

8. "Morrison's Hideout"

The lattice box in the photo is the so-called Morrison's hideout. Or "Morrison's table", the descendants of the British still remember that the grandfathers and grandmothers preserved one, and they told how they had dinner at it. It was invented to protect civilians during enemy bombing during World War II. The picture is dated March 1941, it is, so to speak, a demonstration sample.

Designed by engineer John Baker and named after UK Secretary of Homeland Security Herbert Morrison. It is a box made of metal plates with metal bars. Dimensions 2 meters by twenty meters, 75 centimeters high. It was assumed that during the German bombing, residents of typical British two-story houses, where there are no cellars and basements, would seek rescue in it.

Life-saving appliances were given free of charge to families whose annual income was less than £ 400. By the end of 1941, half a million Morrison Shelters had been distributed, and in 1943, when German V-1 attacks were expected, another 100,000.

After the war, Baker received a government award for his invention of £ 5,000. Quite a lot of money then.

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