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Why would you buy a horrible plastic fan this summer, when Ebay is full of better alternatives at reasonable prices? Vintage fans are a perfect piece of machine age Americana with streamlined Moderne or Art Deco styling. Here are some of our favorite picks, available on Ebay at the time of writing.

vintage fans for sale

Airstream was neither the first nor the only manufacturer of streamlined trailers with examples shown here, by Spartan, Silver Streak, Westcraft and Bowlus, among others, yet they are deservedly the best known and continue to thrive. Because of their futuristic design they have a unique place in the history of technology. An Airstream was used for quarantine after the first men returned from the moon and today takes astronauts to the Space Shuttle. Their iconic silver bullet shape still looks modern, yet it dates from the 30s and is based upon a prior streamline designed trailer, called the Bowlus. Here is a list of some of the most beautiful things to have ever been on the roads.

28 stunning streamlined trailers

From the ground, these inflatable tanks, missile launchers and planes look like children’s toys. Yet from the air, these objects are almost indistinguishable from the real thing, complete with accurate thermal signatures over areas such as windows. Think what fun you could have playing havoc with Google Maps and some of these.

8 inflatable military decoys

The legendary fleet of BBC spy vehicles. The BBC has a cosy reputation, but to people outside the UK the fact that TV owners have to pay a compulsory license fee to fund the BBC (even if they only watch other channels) seems absurd. Coupled with this, the BBC actively police whether people pay for their license and to do so they have a mythical fleet of hilariously creepy ‘TV detector vans’ that supposedly can spy on you and pinpoint exactly which room you might be watching a TV in. Whether they work, or whether they even exist or not, is open to question, these few images are the only ones we could find of them. Nevertheless, their very concept is an Orwellian nightmare.

sinister bbc spy vehicles

Our top burglar alarms include an array of guns with trip wires or trigger mechanisms, designed to scare off thieves, including the hellish looking device from a London dock warehouse, a clockwork 19th century doorstop burglar alarm, and a device from the 1930′s which dialed an emergency number and played back an alert message from a gramophone record. Vote for your faves.

top 10 unusual burglar alarms

The history of photography starts at the human scale, with the first picture of a face in 1838 and moves in both directions, culminating in the WMAP cosmic background radiation image in 2003 and the first complete image of a molecule in 2009.

First images from atoms to the universe

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WTF is that? #21

July 19th, 2010 #link

wtf

What is this machine – or far more interestingly, what does it make?



5 Responses to “WTF is that? #21”

  1. brian ehni Says:

    Heart lung machine? Makes oxygenated blood…

  2. caspar Says:

    the location it is standing in means it is probably art. so the thing it is monst likely to produce is shit…

  3. Rich White Says:

    Casper is right. It’s a work by Vim Delvoye. It accurately replicates the human digestive system – producing shit.

  4. Rich White Says:

    Casper is right. It’s a work by Wim Delvoye. It accurately replicates the human digestive system – producing shit.

  5. David Galbraith Says:

    @caspar and @rich, yes you insert food and it produces shit by replicating the human digestive system. It is designed for cafeteria left overs but for its first ingestion was cooked a 5 course meal. More here: http://technabob.com/blog/2009/02/04/art-cloaca-no5-machine/