The Swing Shift Shuffle is a radio program of swing, big band, jazz, boogie woogie and other popular music from the 1930's and 40's that airs every Wednesday from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. (US Central Time) on WEVL 89.9 FM in Memphis, Tennessee, with a live webcast at In addition to the radio show, this blog is dedicated to all aspects of the Swing Era, including art, automobiles, cartoons, comics, history, movies, music, news, science, technology, and anything else that happened during that time. It also includes announcements about events in the Memphis/Mid-South area related to the Swing Era, such as classic movies, concerts, dances, lectures, etc. If you see something that fits the description, send it to me at If you would like more information about the radio show, just go to the Radio Show FAQ page.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Retrotechnology For Daily Life

Posted on Modern Mechanix, this feature about the "Newest Devices for General Use" in the June 1935 issue of Science and Mechanics reveals several interesting points.  With the U.S. still climbing out of the Great Depression, some of these items emphasized economy, like the ink bottle that could be recycled into a lamp with accessories sold by the manufacturer.  That product, along with the door chimes, also relied on the do-it-yourself spirit of the time.  Finally, other than the materials and technology used, items such as the one cup coffee maker and pocket flashlight would not be out of place in today's market.

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