What's Ahead For 1946 and Thereafter by Col. Stoopnagle

            I have just invented an ENSMALLER; it's a thing to make little pictures out of big ones, the opposite, of course, of an enLARGEr.  It's known as the Reader's Digest of the camera world.  You simply take a large picture and....you focus the ensmaller carefully on....well, the easiest way to do it is to keep trimming the edges off on all sides until you reach the desired dimensions.  I recently snapped a shot of my Uncle Fatso, who tips the scales, and the picture was naturally so big I couldn't get it into my album.  So I took my ensmaller and kept cutting the photograph down until now it fits nicely.  True, the result is just a picture of Uncle Fatso's belt buckle, but you'd be surprised how much better-looking the buncle is than my Uckle...I mean, how much bunker-looking the bult beckle is than my Ankle.  I guess I don't know what I mean; if I did I'd be Walter Lippmann or somebody and he'd be expensive.

Everyone Should Have a Mubla

            I have also invented what I call a MUBLA, which, obviously, is a backward ALBUM.  It's for several purposes.  For example, amateurs often develop a film upside down, and it might show Mother standing in the garden eating raw cabbage with her left hand, when everyone knows that Mother is right-handed and likes her cabbage cooked to a fare-thee-well.  It's too much trouble to reverse the film, though, so you simply print it as it is and place it in your mubla.  The mubla looks like an album, except that you start at the back and go forward.  There are also amateurs who take every picture with the action heading to the left.  I happen to be one of these.  I had one such mubla all filled up with pictures of race-horses running to the left, planes flying to the left, swimmers swimming to the left and politicians leaning to the left.  When I finally got to the first page, there had been so much unanimity of action in that direction that all the characters had deserted the book and when last seen were headed East at a terrific clip.  I had been sitting facing South, you see.  This may all sound fantastic to you, but you may take my word that it's aabsolutely false.

Snapshots with Sound

            Do you realize that we are soon to be taking Kodak pictures with sound?  Yessir, if Stoopnagle's theory works out; and I am happy to report that everyone seems highly doubtful that it will.  Wouldn't it be nice if we could catch Lulubelle's scream as she is pushed into the swimming pool?  Well, this is going to be an actuality when my new YELLCHRONIZER is perfected.  Attached to your Brownie will be an apparatus shaped something like a hexagonal pentagon.  It's about three inches high, two inches wide, four inches thick, five inches long and two inches lower at the tall end than at the short.  In this will be a wire which records sound.  (No need to go into details about the excess weight of this thing [150 pounds] and how it is carried by a "photo-caddy.")  Anyway, as Lulubelle is standing at the edge of the pool, the Brownie is faced toward her, the photo-caddy prepares the YELLCHRONIZER and at a given signal a former Marine sergeant grabs her and tosses her into the water.  As she screams, the sound is recorded and by an intricate operation known only as the Moopnagle Stethod, each time a phinished foto is lifted, the subject yelps.  This, you may say, will be pretty disconcerting to someone who doesn't realize that sound snapshots are really here.  That is true; I tried it out on my Aunt Wham and when she took up Lulubelle's photo to look it over carefully, the scream which resulted scared Aunt Wham so badly that she recovered -- she's now out of the mental institution and quite subnormal again.

S h h h -----!

            My laboratory is just like a bee-hive these days, what with lots of bees and my new experiment.  In spite of this activity, there must be absolute quiet, as I am working on a world-shattering plan for making...SH!...STILL MOTION PICTURES WITH SILENT SOUND!  So please tiptoe when you come in, and leave your talking Kodak pictures in your mubla at the door.

[From the Kodak Salesman, circa 1945]


Page created November 14, 2006.  Copyright 1998-2006 by Richard D. Squires.