Tina Lewis Rowe

Insights, Information & Inspiration

What’s New With You?

I love to read old books and magazines–and both Popular Mechanics and Popular Science are favorites of mine. My Dad, Ernest Lewis, read them from the time he was a teenager in the 1920s and he and my mom discussed the ideas for the future that were featured every month. He often pointed out how many of the things we were using had been predicted decades earlier. The Drive-In Bank in the article above, in 1937, is one of those. (The idea is described twice as being novel–although now it seems that such a concept just makes sense.)

This article about a new idea for taking photos before all the teeth are removed and dentures are made is also described as novel.  I prefer the novel idea of finding a way to prevent the decay, disease or accidents that make dentures necessary. (My dentist commented not long ago that, thankfully, dental students nowadays are limited in opportunities for working with dentures.)

The first novel idea–a drive-in bank–takes a successful concept and improves it. The second merely makes a miserable situation a bit less terrible. It was better than before but still not a good thing. Life is sometimes like that, have you noticed?

 In the same issue is an article about a novel new game in which players guess who committed a murder and with what weapon. (I’m certain it was Professor Plum in the Library with a Rope.) That game, eventually called Clue, wasn’t patented until 1944 so it surprises me it was mentioned in a widely read magazine–unless the person patenting it got the idea from the magazine.  

Wander around your office and see what items are likely one day to be considered quaint instead of cutting edge. When new technology is purchased, take photos and scan the ads, instruction book and invoice. Develop your own record of how things have changed.  Do the same thing at home.

Someday you, your coworkers and your children will be fascinated to be reminded of the once novel items that became routine or were replaced with new, improved products. There may also be a few reminders that no matter how improved some things become, we still don’t want to be required to use them–like dentures.

May 7th, 2012 Posted by | Life and Work | 5 comments


  1. We have an old newspaper from the late 1930s that talks about a way to show pictures on a small screen in people’s living rooms. The article said it would be a long time before it could be developed because of the cost. Wonder what our grandchildren will save and laugh about!

    Comment by RocknRoll | May 17, 2012

  2. I like reading the old articles you include. You should make that a regular (once a month, maybe) feature. Don’t you like it when people tell you what to put on your website?? Seriously, this was very interesting, but I cringed about the false teeth.

    Comment by Notadonutfan | May 18, 2012

  3. Hello, I like the idea of having drive-in banking be underground.

    Comment by Bob G. | May 18, 2012

  4. I haven’t written in a long time but I read your articles. When you don’t have a new one I read the old ones. This one interested me because my Dad told me about Popular Mechanics magazines he read when he was a teenager. He said he would read it and think it was far-fetched, then a few years later they would start selling it. He said he read about DVDs in the early 70s and said it would never happen because he thoughts tapes would be better.

    Comment by Mike | May 18, 2012

  5. This is so interesting! My granddad had a bunch of these magazines and we sold them last year to a book store. I wish now I would have kept them. I love your classes and I love your website! Jan

    Comment by Jan C. | May 22, 2012

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