Retro Technology

THERAMIN -Solid-state version of an electronic musical instrument developed in the 1920s that is played by the movement of the hands in space. Commonly used to make the weird music in “Monster Movies” of the 1930s -1950s.

JACOB’S LADDER – A “climbing spark” generator commonly seen in the laboratories of “mad scientists” in movies of the 1930s – 1950s.

WIMSHURST MACHINE – An electrostatic generator designed by an English engineer (Wimshurst) in 1883. Mine is a close copy of the modern version designed and constructed by fellow maker Jake Von Slate, as seen in an earlier issue of Make Magazine. No present practical applications, but was once used by early x-ray experimenters to power their equipment.


Stan McGrew
(with acknowledgement to Jake Von Slate for the design of my Wimshurst Machine)