"What To Invent". Science & Invention , August, 1920

pp. 411, 440

facsimile/ transcription news article

p. 411

What To Invent                                                                      
BY JAY G. HOBSON                                                                    
BOLL WEEVIL ERADICATOR  TWENTY-                                                     
EIGHT years ago in the year of 1892,                                                
some little fly-                                                                    
like bugs flew over the Rio Grande from    Some other plan or device must be        
Mexico and settled themselves down in      forthcoming soon or within a few years   
the Texas cotton fields nearest the        cotton growing will be impossible--and   
border. For several years thereafter       this means a calamity.  The peculiar     
they                                       feeding habits of the weevil makes it    
                                           difficult to reach his vital spot with   
                                           poisons. The punctures the female        
                                           weevil makes in the square               
                                          and boll of the cotton plant to eat      
                                           the tender tissues there-in and to lay   
                                           eggs, kills the plant  Because this      
                                           tender part of the plant is covered      
                                           with tougher tissues which the weevil    
                                           don't eat, it is impossible to inject    
                                           the poison into the pod, or flower,      
                                           without spoiling the cotton at           
                                           maturity.  One important thing the       
                                           Government learned was that the weevil   
                                           drinks lots of water. Dew drops and      
                                           other water on the leaves supply his     
                                           aqua pure. Working with this in mind,    
                                           scientists began to experiment with      
                                           spraying poisons in powder form over     
                                           the plants which would mix with the      
                                           moistures. When the weevil drank the     
                                           liquid the poison would kill them. But   
                                           so far this method has failed to         
                                           produce the desired result because the   
                                           poison employed is not the preparation   
                                           required to eradicate the pest. Some     
                                           other means must be found very soon to   
                                           save the cotton. The inventor who can    
                                           bring forth a reasonable preparation,    
                                           a plan, a device or process that will    
  were content in raising a few million    eliminate the weevil can soon enjoy      
  children on the valued cotton plants,    world-                                   
    but as their flock of descendants                                               
  increased faster than even they first                                             
   dared to anticipate, new and larger                                              
  fields of cotton became necessary to                                              
 maintain them, so every year thereafter                                            
  a few million children moved further                                              
    North until today they are a very                                               
   serious pest all over the Southern                                               
         cotton growing states .                                                    
 wide fame and fortune. Most any of the                                             
 cotton growing states would gladly pay                                             
     one million dollars for a sure                                                 
  eradication, because many times more                                              
than this amount is lost yearly from the                                            
ravages of the weevil. To be sure, it is                                            
   a tremendous achievement, but I am                                               
   confident before long some American                                              
   inventor will solve the problem. It                                              
appears to me the logical plan to follow                                            
   is for some proper chemical, rather                                              
 Under favorable conditions it is about                                             
    one dozen days from egg to mature                                               
   weevil. In a season, which is about                                              
three summer months, one pair of weevils                                            
can give birth over 10,000,000. They can                                            
go six months without food if necessary.                                            
 The weevil is one-fourth inch long and                                             
     has wings like familiar house-                                                 
 fly. The female weevil lays eggs in the   than mechanical, as the weevils are      
 fruit of the cotton plant. She bores a    not attracted at night by bright         
small hole in the pod or flower the plant  lights, like other insects, and they     
                                           are too small to be caught in a          
                                           mechanical device, unless it could       
                                           embrace some preparation sufficiently    
                                           enticing to draw them to it.             
  with her nose, then reverses ends and      A SUBSTITUTE FOR GASOLINE.  Quoting    
  deposits an egg in the hole. This egg     from the Washington, D. C., Post, the   
   hatches into a little worm in about       importance of a gasoline substitute    
 three days.  This worm or infant weevil        for automobiles is absolutely       
 eats the delicate cotton boll, which is    necessary if the indispensable power    
not matured, and here is where the great    wagon is to be continued. We read as    
  damage to the valuable crop is done.                    follows:                  
 Millions of dollars worth of cotton is                                             
             destroyed each                                                         
year by these parasites, and strange as    "A substitute for gasoline as a motor    
it may seem, even our greatest             fuel obviously must be found, and        
scientists have been unable to cope with   scientists should be encouraged to       
them. Numerous schemes for their           work for that end. The public should     
elimination have been offered without      not be left at the mercy of the oil      
success. This year they promise to prove   producers and speculators, nor should    
more destructive than ever. Recently the   it be compelled to pay unreasonable      
United States Department of Agriculture    prices for its fuel. Long since the      
announced years of experiments have        automobile ceased to be a luxury, and    
shown that dusting the fields with         past into the necessity class. It now    
"calcium arsenate" is the only way to      ranks with the telephone in the          
stop the weevil. The Government says       ordinary affairs of life. Within a few   
that "calcium arsenate" is the only        years, if road building continues and    
means by which to poison them.  However,   if the motor truck becomes the factor    
this preparation is not successful in      in transportation which is predicted     
preventing over ten per cent of the        for it, the automobile will pass on      
weevils' destruction of the cotton.        into a higher class and rank with the    
                                           railroads as a public utility of vital   
                                           necessity to the public.                 
      What a Fortune Awaits the Genius Who Gives Us a "Real" and Cheap Gasoline    
                  Substitute. Copyrighted by Jay G. Hobson, 1920                    
    Therefore the high price of gasoline is not merely a question affecting the     
  activities of joy riders. It is a matter of serious concern to the people." We    
all can recall several newspaper accounts of discoveries that were going to bring   
                              the price of gasoline                                 
down to a few cents per gallon, or drive it into oblivion altogether. But King      
Gasoline is still on deck, more domineering and "exclusive" than ever. No           
practical substitute has been found, which leaves us exactly where we were years    
ago, when eleven cents a gallon for gas was considered high. Comparing eleven       
cents then with thirty-                                                             
five cents now, makes a fellow feel that we did not know when we were well off.     
But the present high figure is a fact, and not a theory, which brings us face to    
face with the importance of a gasoline substitute. Undoubtedly there is a           
practical substitute for Nature's power-                                            
juice. What and Where, of course, is the question, but I am confident it will be    
found within a few years, for anything under the sun is possible except perpetual   
motion, and it wouldn't surprise me to learn that that, too, had appeared. Down     
in Texas, where they miss oil sometimes and find gas, there has been developed a    
practical process of extracting gasoline from natural gas. Known as "casing-        
head gasoline," gasoline secured from the natural gas as it flows thru the casing   
or pipe. Evidently some automatic process of liquidation takes place in the gas     
as it travels thru the metal pipes. It appears to me feasible to construct a        
device that will so compress natural and artificial gas that the hydrogen or        
gasoline liquid contents of same can be collected and stored for use in driving     
automobiles. A device in the form of a powerful compressor so constructed that it   
will take natural gas from the well, turning it into a liquid form to be used as    
gasoline is used today. There are millions of automobiles used daily, depending     
upon gasoline for fuel. This great army of consumers would gladly buy a practical   
gasoline substitute, and the inventor who succeeds in discovering one that will     
give satisfaction in power, and cost less, will be handsomely rewarded both with    
fame and with fortune.   (Continued on page 440) ----------------                   

p. 440

                            (Continued from page 411)                               
                               LIQUID BEARD REMOVER                                 
Many have been the attempts to compound preparations to successfully remove the     
beard from the face without injuring the skin. None that I know of, has succeeded   
and right here please let me record the importance of such a discovery. How         
wonderful the banishment of razor slavery will be when the liquid shave is          
perfected. Just imagine the joy of shaving with the ease of washing the face.       
Some day this great preparation will be invented which will see millions of men     
gladly switch from the old hoe-                                                     
method of today.  A special preparation that would quickly dissolve the hair and    
not the skin, seems to me as being the practical goal to work for. One that will    
be both cleansing and antiseptic will make many masculine converts shout with joy.  
 GRAPE FRUIT GUARD.  A few mornings ago I was piloted across the hotel dining       
room by the head waiter, and sat me down to a table where the garcon was already    
serving three grape fruit enthusiasts. Unfortunately I joined them as all three     
started to operate on their "nature squirt guns," and as I sat there patiently      
waiting for my half, the bombardment began! All three companions had their juice    
artillery pointing away from their eyes and directly toward mine. They were very    
harmonious with the eating tools it seemed, for each plunged after the              
"aquacitrus," with the same vim which sent a triple stream over my way inundating   
me almost entirely. Had it not been for my "specks"--my eyes surely would have      
been blinded  After the deluge (necessity being the mother of invention), I         
imagined what I believe to be a practical device for every dining room; a grape     
fruit guard  like the one shown in the illustration--a device made of glass and     
metal. The bottom or holder part is deprest in the center to hold the grape fruit   
securely.  The glass is crescent shape and supported above by three metal rods.     
The grape fruit is placed in the metal holder and under the glass. The glass is     
high enough to allow a spoon to be manipulated underneath.  In operation the user   
holds the fruit with one hand, places the spoon in the fruit under the glass,       
which acts as guard in preventing the juice from getting into the eyes. The grape   
fruit habit is a popular one.  Every eating place serves them.  A practical and     
attractive device for this purpose certainly would sell big and make lots of        
money for the inventor if properly handled.