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AN EYE TO THE FUTURE   --   AN EAR TO THE GROUND

General Motors Research LaboratoriesContained in this small brochure is a glimpse of what GM had on display at the 1933-34 World's Fair in Chicago. As mentioned in summaries about the Chicago World's Fair, the focus was on technology and the GM Research Laboratories had some pretty amazing stuff to show off back then.

There are 11 panels (pages) in the brochure that cover the displays but we'll only highlight a couple here -- just to give you a flavor of what was on display. Aside from mentioning the "technology" exhibits the brochure mentions exhibits where technology was used to develop more reliable engines and automobiles.

It was the popularity of this exhibit that inspired Charles F. Kettering, then Vice President of GM, to "put-the-show-on-the-road," as it were. Boss Ket, as he was refereed to, convinced GM board chairman Alfred P. Sloan, Jr. and public relations vice president Paul Garrett that depression weary Americans would eagerly attend a free hometown show. And attend they did -- in the millions!  

 

 
A FOUNTAIN OF COLOR CAN YOU BEND A RAILROAD RAIL?
A Fountain of ColorWhen the rays from Ultra-Violet lights strike these fluorescent mineral rocks there is a spectacle of glorious color which runs the full range of the rainbow. This is one of the largest and finest collections in the world.

(Just in case you're wondering, yes, it does seem odd that they would speak about color and use a black and white picture.)

Can You Bend A Railroad Rail?Bending a railroad rail is not usually a woman’s job but it isn’t such a task when it is only a matter of a few millionths of an inch. A little instrument known as a telemeter indicates the deflection caused by merely pressing the finger tips on the rail. General Motors engineers use this telemeter to determine the exact pressure on the walls of engine combustion chambers.
 
SOUND STOPS SOUND THE MAGNETIC STOVE

Sound Stops Sound

A sound emitting from an organ pipe is sent down the large tube and by turning the sound in the smaller tube to of the wave length of the 1st sound this second sound meets the one coming from the organ pipe and stops it. This is the basic principle used by General Motors engineers in silencing the noise formerly made by carburetors.

The Magnetic Stove

Water boils in a teakettle on a book. This is done by a 1600 cycle induction coil, which causes the molecules of metal to vibrate causing intense heat. General motors Research engineers use this scientific device in the experimental laboratories to make quick and pure metal melts of various formulae of steel.

 
PHOTO ELASTIC STRESS STUDY MUSIC ON A LIGHT BEAM

Photo Elastic Stress Study

By making model gears and parts of a motor car out of celluloid, then placing them in this scientific machine where their images are projected on a screen by polarized light, General Motors engineers can determine the strength or weakness of each design.

Music on a Beam of Light

Music played on a phonograph record is turned into light. This light, when projected upon a photo-electric cell receiver connected to a loud speaker, is again turned into music. General Motors engineers use this scientific device in studying combustion in automobile engines.

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