light-ray-gun2

I caught on to this daily create a few days ago which asks you to search Google’s database of U.S. patents, find an interesting image and turn it into a vintage blueprint. Love it!

giphy-GUNI’ve been working on an old piece of work (—->) so I had ray guns on my mind. Searching for the specific phrase ‘ray gun’ I found this 1942 patent # 2,294,558 for a light ray gun. It’s basically an improvement on a the penny arcade mechanical gun games that use light sensors. The “ray gun” is basically an enclosure around a light bulb and the trigger acts as an on-off switch. Hooker’s particular improvement was to add a shutter that would block the light between trigger pulls preventing the afterglow of the bulb from causing accidental activations of the light sensor. I posted my blueprint, but also decided to make animated version heavily manipulating these light bulbs.

I also discovered this really cool archive of penny arcade and amusement park games. They have lots of photos and even include some images of the guts of games. Check out this 1970s FBI shoot-out gun which basically operated on the same principals of Hooker’s 1942 invention. You can see the sensors and the electronics all stacked up.

Hooker Light Ray Gun, 1942
Hooker Light Ray Gun, 1942
Hooker Light Ray Gun, 1942