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Digital Storytelling ds106 Old Artwork

Hooker Light Ray Gun, 1942

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

10 replies on “Hooker Light Ray Gun, 1942”

Awesome post, Michael! Naturally I like the gif, but I have also enjoyed the information and pictures about arcade penny ray guns.

Fascinating idea! I like this arduino. The projects I have looked at (https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLT6rF_I5kknPf2qlVFlvH47qHvqvzkknd) are relatively easy, but I think rebuilding an arcade game may be more difficult (especially the fine tuning) It can also be time consuming and expensive. I could imagine building something that emits light with something that receives light. For a game this must be a screen. The rest can be programmed. A “light weapon” ? I would say: Try! Maybe I can help.

Again, you have always so interesting and exciting ideas, and again maybe you have some specialists around, who can help you, companies maybe, who are interested in some promotion via a creative project.

I would definitely hope to get @danielphelps involved to build something. It might be interesting to hack together a bunch of old laser tag emitters and sensors. I imagine they could prove useful and cheap!

Mechanical game hacks would be such a fun rabbit hole to go down. Oh if only the time…

Just take your time and maybe inform. I feel reminded on someone I know via facebook. He and his group starts a hand drawn animation movie and they thought they will need one year. I think they are in the third year now and the movie has grown so far to something really awesome. He has a job similar to yours (at an art university in Philadelphia). As I know he has no children, so he may have some more time, but …

I would love watching your idea is taking shape 🙂

I hadn’t seen it, but I love these kinds of projects and plans put up online. I’ll admit though, I’m more interested in mechanical games where the play will likely involve sensors as input devices. Video games are awesome and there are tons of ‘ROMs’ out there of classic games.

@danielphelps built a coffee table system using a Raspberry Pi. Here’s an overhead:
Daniel Phelps Raspberry Pi Gaming Console Coffee Table

I did understand it the mechanical way. Although mechanical is more somethings with gears or pipes or … for me. Daniel really seems to be a good partner for your idea. Looks like you are kindred spirits.

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