Getting Kinky at Home

Rolling Harvey Down the Hill
Christmas Cross-Stitch

popular mechanics home kinks

Popular Mechanics
Home Kinks
Popular Mechanics, Inc
1946

Every now and then I will run across something interesting that just needs to be shared. In this case, it is a periodical that says Home Kinks on the cover. Inquiring minds absolutely need to know what kind of popular kinks are used at home.

I enjoyed this little gem from cover to cover. Does it belong in a public library? Nope. It does belong in an archive and hopefully digitized for future consumption. For now, enjoy this and don’t miss some of the pamphlets and books available for only a couple of dollars.

Mary

repairs around the home

repairing electrical appliances

how to lay linoleum

sewing machine tips

money making ideas and pamphlets

18 comments

  1. One online dictionary:
    Definition of kink
    1 : a short tight twist or curl caused by a doubling or winding of something upon itself
    2 a : a mental or physical peculiarity : eccentricity, quirk
    b : whim
    3 : a clever unusual way of doing something
    4 : a cramp in some part of the body
    5 : an imperfection likely to cause difficulties in the operation of something
    6 : unconventional sexual taste or behavior

    I have quite a few books with “kink” in the title, all from the first half of the 20th century describing various handy hints like the ones depicted here for the metal shop, construction trades, electrical wiring, etc. Of course, a title like “The Second Power Kink Book” would look suspicious today……

    1. Yes, I think it’s pretty much how we’d use “hack” now. Wonder what implications that will have in 100 years.

  2. My Dad had a “Popular Mechanics” do-it-yourself book published in the 1950s (and based on articles from as early as the 1930s); I would have read it when I was a boy in the early 1960s. The illustrations looked much like these ones, so I suspect the same artist was involved. About the only projects I can remember were “Navy frogman flippers” (made using scrap plywood and hinges) and a “dog auto travel carrier” (again, made of plywood) that you could strap onto your car. What struck me at the time was that most of these items could be readily purchased and it seemed weird to try to make them yourself. I suspect that the target audience, having grown up in the Great Depression, would have had a different point of view.

    I agree that this sort of stuff definitely needs to be digitized. I took a quick look at the Internet Archive and it appears that a small sample of Popular Mechanics magazines from the 1900s to the 2010s are already there (https://archive.org/details/popularmechanics?). I glanced through a issue from 1954 describing early color TV systems, which also contained articles on the first videotape machine and a breath-controlled television for people in “iron lungs” (predating widespread vaccination for polio). (Nowadays, how many people even know what an “iron lung” is?)

    1. Oh my goodness. When I was a kid growing up in the 1960s, I had no idea the family medical book on the shelf was from the late 1940s. it was filled with pix of poor children in iron lungs. I was terrified. Every time I got an ache (a kink 🙂 in my neck I was sure that I was doomed. When you are 7 you have no idea about copyright pages, the passage of time, and Alexander Fleming…

        1. I’ve worked in a medical research center for many years: my first boss once had a chance to work with Alexander Fleming, but turned it down b/c his interest lay elsewhere. And one time he asked me to call Albert Sabin, but he was out of the office when Sabin returned the call. I told Sabin where he could be reached but don’t know if they made contact

      1. We were totally fascinated by the color plates of rashes, etc., in my mom’s “childhood illnesses” book! Creeped us out! And we always came back for another peek!

  3. l love these old books like “Make and Mend for Victory.” i’m at the age i’m getting like my parents, complaining about things that don’t last like they used to (in the 80s). In fact, i want one of those old multi-colored fuzzy wool dustmops.

  4. We used to joust with clothesline props! And get frisbees off the garage roof, wayward Barbies out of trees, etc.

  5. When I was a kid a kink was what we called a physical pain in one of our joints, especially the neck. People today have such dirty minds.

  6. I have a book of this genre, called “Hundreds of Things A Boy Can Make.” It’s full of things that would strike us today as useless and possibly dangerous. Honestly, when was the last time you needed a penwiper?

    But the DIY spirit is alive and well — only now it’s coding its own apps.

  7. How interesting that one meaning of ‘kinks’ is what are now called hacks. Something I had never heard.

    I’m of the in-between generation that is too young for the word ‘kinks’ (in this usage) but old enough to curmudgeonly think “Why do they have to call everything ‘hacks’ when they’re just tips?’ To me, to qualify for the term ‘hack’, it has to be McGyver-level.

  8. Just recently (within the last month or so) I was reading some online article about the last surviving U.S. polio sufferers who had to live most of their lives in an iron
    lung- the next time one of today’s spoiled kids whines and cries about NOT getting a Christmas or birthday gift, their parents should show them these pics of polio victims in iron lungs! In addition, I think its a crying shame that so many people consider overpaid, rehab-bound entertainers and athletes to be heroic figures instead of someone like Dr. Jonas Salk!

  9. On the sewing page they use paperclips instead of pins for hemming. Many sewists use alligator clips, like the kind you put in your hair, or little plastic clips like the Wonder Clips made by Clover. Good idea slightly tweaked!

    I do really like the idea of the pillowcase tacked to the back of the sewing machine desk, that’s from someone who’s had their stuff fall on the floor a lot!

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