caption contest, contraption from 1911


Now that the busyness of the holiday season is over, we can get back to normal around here.   And part of normal is a weekly caption contest.   (Thanks to those of you who noticed we missed the last two weeks — it’s nice that someone actually noticed!   I knew there were people who actually read this!)

This week’s photo is an old black-and-white / sepia-tone picture from 1911.  It’s a man holding some type of contraption — I don’t know what it is, so you get to make it up.  You can also explain who he is and what he’s up to.  Is that his invention?  Is it to make life better?  Is it for a prank?  Is it part of some world domination scheme?  You get to decide.  So think up something funny to explain this picture.  Remember, you can create your own context to fit the story.  You can even set the scenario in modern times (or include a time machine, which has a lot of potential).

(To see our other caption contests, click on the “Say What?” category in the sidebar.)


9 responses »

  1. This is the “Important Evil Genius (E.D)”, back in his younger days. Even as a young adult, nearly a century ago, he was trying to become an evil mad scientist and to conquer the world. I suppose his continued ineptitude is our good fortune…

    • I bet the “Important Evil Genius” doesn’t even know what that is… he probably found it in the trash and claimed he invented it…

  2. This reminds me of that time when I was chased by an angry old man with some broke-down out-dated contraption after disturbing a herd of cattle near a volcano in the mid ’90s, but the out-of-court settlement won’t allow me to divulge any further details about that.

  3. My technical expertise doesn’t extend that far back, but I suspect it might be some sort of solar camera. It has an altitude-azimuth mounting. The watch would be needed to time an exposure. The shutter could be a simple metal plate that I think I see there sort of hanging down on the larger round metal plate at the open end of the main tube.

    (Where’s the Important Evil Genius? He might know, since he was around back then… this is the rare time he might actually know something, and he’s probably sleeping through it… or maybe he forgot how to operate computers…)

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