U.S.A. . . . . PHOTO PICTURES
Here is a form of photographic reflection through special magnifying lens that could be used in many businesses as a "crowd Attractor".
Recently I visited possibly one of the few Camera Obscura set-ups in the country. The idea isn't new, far from it. It's been around for a hundred years or so. More information could be obtained, I'm sure, from photographic experts or from books in the library that cover this odd subject.
The contrivance is located in the second floor of a small wooden tower in a California public park. A hole in the roof allows special magnifying lens to pass down the light reflection of the surrounding territory to a specially prepared cloth covered circular turn table. I imagine that the cloth surface that mirrors the reflection is something like the motion picture screens. By turning the large circular turntable, one can get a living picture of everything that is going on outside, on all four sides, or the complete circumference around the tower, perhaps for two blocks. One can see the bright shiny automobiles passing by on the nearby streets, scenes in the park, people walking by, streetcars, the sparkling ocean, palm trees, beach, buildings, etc. A living picture, so to speak, everything moving and unaware that it is being watched. True colors are reflected to the table screen, natural colors of the surrounding scene! Makes an extraordinary moving, living, colorful natural picture.
The operator assured me that such apparatus could be set up in places of business, or in the home, if a hole were made in the roof for the lens, and the room were fairly dark. In this manner, it might even be possible to focus these living pictures right on the wall, or on framed areas, thus giving the effect of living framed pictures hanging from the wall! Naturally the roof aperture could be so arranged that it could be closed when not in use, or protected against rain, etc., even when in use. Only a very small opening is necessary, and this is practically filled with the lens, etc. By having movable circular pictures on the wall, the outside scene could be changed on your framed picture by simply turning the circular picture. Everything is magnified many times and all natural colors, brought out in vivid quality.
I can well imagine the drawing power of such an attraction if placed in a store or other place of business where the public patronizes in person. Attract the crowds of curiosity seekers and you are bound to sell merchandise to a good percentage of them.
It was Leonardo da Vinci who described the principal upon which the camera obscura operates today in one of his papers: "When the images of illuminated objects enter into a very dark chamber by a small round aperture, and you receive these images on a piece of white paper, you will see on the paper all the objects in their proper size. If the images came from a place lit by the sun, they will appear as it painted on paper."
The explanation today, 300 years later, follows. Light enters the building through the revolving turret, which can be rotated by the operator, and strikes a mirror tilted at a 45 degree angle in the turret. It is then reflected through a 100-inch lens to the circular screen below. No film is used, and no pictures are developed but the results are more startling as the panorama of the countryside is reproduced in natural color, as the circular table is turned so as to scan the nearby streets, parks, ocean, buildings and people! #247
Such signs reading "The Wise man makes hay with the grass that grows under the other fellow's feet", and…"It is never unlucky to turn back if you are on the wrong road", or…"One of the advantages of telling the truth is that you don't have to remember what you said"…all add up to giving this shop a real business personality!
Folks remember the interesting and humorous phrases appearing in the windows, over the doorway and even inside the store; and they remember the store along with the "sayings". That is the most important thing. Can you think of some little human touch that will make your enterprise more than just a cold and rather dull business?
There are other shops in England that use similar interesting signs as business boosters. In fact, one mail-order dealer sells a variety of ready made showcards. Here are a few examples:
This dealer will even create special slogan signs for the business owner or print any signs the customer may have in mind. Cards are printed in one or two colors and sell for a shilling for a set of three. These signs probably wouldn't fit into our American business life, but I believe many human signs, signs with a personal touch, could be used to advantage over here. They'll give the enterprise that precious asset "Personality".
One firm in Birmingham, England has produced a pleasant change from the customary sign that reads "Smith & Sons" and the like. This firm has a big sign atop their shop that reads "Jones & Daughters". As the shop is a beauty shop, the name is probably most appropriate. The same idea could be used by other business houses if a daughter or daughters actually were stockholders or silent partners in the business! It's one way of getting your company name remembered! #251
Quitandinha is located in South America just outside the beautiful city of Rio de Janeiro, some 2,700 feet above the sea. The most interesting part of this hotel that makes it "different" from other hotels is that a part of it was planned especially for the children!
The children have their own dining room with all the trimmings such as tiny menus, midget waiters trained to cater to children, motion pictures (shown at one end of the dining room), etc. The kids are encouraged to pay for their own meals and vote for their choice in moving pictures.
Other features of this odd hotel are the well-equipped playrooms, playgrounds and swimming pool (shaped like a huge seahorse). All strictly for the use of the boys and girls only!
Here is an example of one more enterprise that is cashing in by appealing to the wants of the children. Practically any enterprise, large or small, can direct their appeal along similar lines. #252
U.S.A. . . . . MAIL ORDER
This year the odd project took in some $100,000 and that is big money for a small mail-order business. It's really a prayer-by-mail business in which thousands of form letters are sent out each week. The answers take the form of hundreds of replies containing coins and all requesting the mimeographed prayers that are offered.
The business is non-sectarian and has no affiliations with any religious group. The prayers only cost about ten cents apiece and sell from 25¢ to a dollar or whatever the sender can "donate".
Operated by a couple of men and employing about 25 employees, the service sends out thousands of circular letters asking the recipient to send in a dollar contribution and a request for a prayer. Those that order receive a mimeographed prayer that fits their particular problem. These customers are then followed up with an offer to subscribe to a 16 page quarterly bulletin. The subscription fee is anything one cares to contribute.
These two men made their start when they tested 100,000 names rented from a broker. The response was good and some 6,000 replies came pouring in so the business was off to a profitable start. Selling prayers by mail proved to be a bonanza!
One of the men writes the prayers, which are mimeographed on pink, blue, green or red sheets of paper, according to the type of prayer. The prayers are written to cover such subjects as Success, Health, Money Worries, Marriage and Happiness. Prayers dealing with success are requested the most often.
One of the reasons why these two partners decided to pick this particular type of mail-order business was because they believed it could be started on the least amount of capital and they were right. They work the business in the home of one of the partners, his wife acting as secretary.
A follow-up is also sent all members asking them if they would like to have their friends, or FOES, share in the benefit of receiving such prayers. If so, you simply send them a donation and they'll send copies of the prayers to anyone you designate. The active partner (one is silent) is far from religious, has two children, likes to hunt and fish, draws around $6,000 a year from the business, while his wife gets $3,500. The balance of the profits stay in the treasury in case a lean year or two enters into the picture. So far the coins and dollars are still rolling in.
Sounds all right, doesn't it? The service certainly does aid religion…it is making a certain class of people religious-minded. It isn't doing any harm and might be doing a lot of good. True, a good deal of money is being made, but if good value is offered, if the people are satisfied with the "information" they are purchasing, I can see no harm in operating such a business…in others operating similar services, providing they know how to create the kind of prayers that people want. Remember too, that no one is requested to pay anything for the prayers, all incoming money has been donated. Printed material is still sent upon request even though nothing may be contributed. #253
U.S.A. . . . . ODD RESTAURANT
It isn't a beautiful place as restaurants go. In fact, it is very crude. It's been located over a warehouse for years. The dining room is said to be most ugly and the facilities almost the same as when it first started some hundred years ago.
Yet over 300,000 people find their way to the restaurant each year. The food is what attracts them. It certainly isn't the yellow painted walls or the red-checked tablecloths or the ancient crockery or the "community" tables that you share with 20 others. The noise of the dishes, the shouting between customer and waitress is terrific, especially during the rush hours, but the food again makes up for everything.
Note: To account for inflation, multiply prices by 8 to 10.