Cool Technology

Wooden Maiden, British Torture Device: 1910s

Wooden Maiden, British Torture Device: 1910s

Torture device known as the wooden maiden aboard the prison convict ship Success. The Success was used in the 1850s to transport British convicts to Australia. Similar to the iron jacket, or the iron maiden, a prisoner was placed inside and long nails were sometimes pounded in. On the deck of a ship as shown, it would also become extremely hot inside the device on warm days.

Secret Service Uniformed Force Alarm System: 1938

Secret Service Uniformed Force Alarm System: 1938

Alarm system of the Treasury Department, United States Secret Service, Uniformed Force, 1938. Harris & Ewing, photographer. LOC original medium: glass negative.

Geodetic Survey Instrument: 1937

Geodetic Survey Instrument: 1937

Description from LOC: "New fathometer used at full speed. Washington, D.C., May 7. Dr. Herbert Grove Dorsey of the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey has invented an instrument to secure the precise measurement. The machine sends a sound, pitched so high that it is above audibility, traveling thru the water a known speed, the sound hits the bottom and returns as an echo at 20 times per second.

Flying Bicycle Contest: 1912

Flying Bicycle Contest: 1912

Aviette (flying bicycle) Contest - a public competition for a motorless flying machine. Photo taken at Issy les Moulineaux near Paris, France, June 7, 1912. (Source: Flickr Commons project, 2008). Bain News Service, publisher. LOC original medium: glass negative.

Marion Post Wolcott at Stinking Creek: 1935

Marion Post Wolcott at Stinking Creek: 1935

FSA photographer Marion Post Wolcott with camera. Photo taken between 1935 and 1942 near Stinking Creek, Pine Mountain, Kentucky. Photographer unknown. LOC original medium: nitrate negative, 2 1/4 x 2 1/4 inches or smaller.

Tummy Peek: 1937

Tummy Peek: 1937

Caption with photo: "How's your stomach? Washington, D.C., Sept. 8. Dr. Fred A. J. Geier, member of the faculty of Georgetown University Medical School, looks thru the gastroscope, a newly designed instrument by which the medicos can explore your tummy as easily as though it were laid under his eyes on a table. Establishing a clinic at Emergency Hospital here, Dr.

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