The Sound of Intoxication

The microfauna was an instrument to collect microorganisms from the air, invented by Nikola Tesla in 1879. It worked much like a mass spectrometer. When connected to a microfauna data recorder, it enabled scientists to determine the exact composition of the air. Unlike the mass spectrometer, it did so in terms of microorganisms, rather than molecules. The microfauna was, and …

Like a Lion in Zion

When iron was first discovered, back in the Bronze Age, it didn’t seem much of an improvement over the then-traditional copper-tin alloy. Iron was twice as hard, but this benefit quickly vanished once it started to corrode -which it did a lot faster than bronze. Iron has a not-so-secret boner for oxygen, and that feeling is mutual, so the two …

Mercury Mania

When the US entered the space race in 1958 and started Project Mercury, many companies in the West were quick to jump on the bandwagon and use the public’s enthusiasm for all things space-related for marketing purposes. Philips, being a Dutch company, went for maximum effect with minimal effort and decided to re-market one of their existing products. Their 752x …

Radio Gaga

The Philips L3X91T Transistor Radio I’m currently deconstructing is driving me slightly more gaga than usual. Sure, the parts will set you free. But when there’s close to five hundred of them, freedom comes at an awfully high price. Still, better to live free than die a slave. When finished, this will be the third largest deconstruction ever, partswise. The …

Read My Slides: Books Are Dead

The Romanslide was a so-called slide-reader: an e-reader avant la lettre, from the pre-digital era. In the 1950s it was considered the pinnacle of modern technology and early adopters were quite keen on burning their paper books and replacing them with slides. These could be projected on any wall or a white screen –not included. A single slide was about …

Fat Boys Unite

Just like me, the Agfa Clack is lovely and chubby. Also a bit like me, it’s a camera, a device recording the world around it without taking part in most of its activities. There’s also a few obvious differences. Its focus is better than mine, it’s from Germany and it was born in 1954, fifteen years before me. The Clack …

Bronze medalist: <BR>Agfa Synchro Box

As the Quartz 5 film camera is still Under Deconstruction -at a steady pace of two steps forward, one step back- I’d like to present one I did earlier, in order to keep myself mo- and my audience captivated. I proudly present: The Agfa Synchro Box. Though the rust would suggest otherwise, the Synchro Box isn’t all that old. This …