"The greatest difficulty that the human mind has to contend with is lack of concentration, mainly due to outside influences.
If, by one stroke, we can do away with these influences, we will not only be benefitted greatly thereby, but our work would be accomplished more quickly and the results would be vastly better.
It will be noted that the glass windows directly in front of the eyes are black. The construction involved the use of ordinary window glass, the outer glass being painted entirely black. Two small white lines were scratched into the paint, as shown. The idea of this is as follows:
The writer thought that shutting out the noises was not sufficient. The eye would still wander around, thereby distracting attention. By having the two white lines scratched on the glass, the field through which the eye can move is comparatively small."
Prescient satirical concept… or perhaps he was serious:
According to [Steve Silberman, author of NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity, 2015] Gernsback himself may have been “an undiagnosed Aspergian”: “His peers regarded him as an unsociable figure who remained coolly distant from the communities he created. The people he counted as friends tended to be prominent scientists, influential politicians, and other notable figures with whom he corresponded by mail; historian James Gunn observed in Alternate Worlds that he was ‘a strange mixture of personal reserve and aggressive salesmanship’.
Silberman refers to the Isolator in particular as Gernsback’s “most blatantly autistic creation”.
Read the full description of The Isolator from the July 1925 edition of Science and Invention.
According to the U.S. Patent, the machine was described as a Device For Obtaining Intimate Contact With Engaging, Or Clamping Bodies Of Any Shape, or DFOICWEOCBOAS for easy. It contained 30 nested rotating jaws.
Application filed March 21, 1912. Serial No. 685,288.
The invention purposes to effect by means of rotatable and oscillatable cheeks, an intimate contact, engagement with or clamping of bodies of any shape, the contact being effected at as many points as possible, Whereby owing to the reactions or the automatic adjustment to the position of equilibrium of all the cheeks, if the latter are symmetrically arranged, the pressure is uniformly distributed over all points of contact, while if the arrangement is unsymmetrical there is a greater pressure to one side.
Not sure how this works, but it apparently allows young Japanese girls to smell higher and make magic floating fusilli bucati lunghi at the same time. Or maybe it’s for personal hygiene: “C’mere, hon! Put this on. It’ll make you smell better.”
And then there’s that curious reset button that blows (heheh, nose pun) my theories away. Sneeze inducer? Nasal decongestant? Alternative lifestyle enhancement? This gaijin is clueless.
In 1900, evidently tired of initiating pledges by hand, Edmund and Ulysses de Moulin decided to automate the process.With their “initiating device,” the applicant is blindfolded, placed in position, and told to pull the handles to test his strength. When he does so, the paddle spanks him and an electric shock passes through his arms, “making the sensation rather unique.”