Y2K Inventions

greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Are there things waiting to be invented to help us through Y2K?

How about a steam powered electric generator?

Are there inventions we need to be pulling out of mothballs that would make our lives tolerable, potentially without electricity.

I know Leo is probably going to tell us that one invention that needs to be put back into service is the Gatling gun, but I was thinking more along the lines of:

Eli Whitney's cotton gin The things I see in books that turn cotton into yarn Pedal powered sewing machine (we actually have one of these in our house) Steam powered vehicles (cars, trucks) Scapped cars from the pre-electronic era (circa 1980) assuming we can get fuel, perhaps modified to burn alcohol?

Home brew kits?

I'm sure there are a few more more that I've forgotten.

Glen Austin

-- Glen Austin (gdaustin@aol.com), December 10, 1998


Home brew kits are a good idea. I've got one, and plan to include ingredients for it in my food storage.

Typewriter and carbon paper? Hand cranked mimeograph machine? (freedom of the press is for those who own one) Bow and Arrows? (still popular in some circles) Victrola?

-- pshannon (pshannon@inch.com), December 10, 1998.


Now that is an idea! A home brew kit - I love it! I've seen some infomercials about brewing beer at home, might have to break out the Visa while I still can! Which brings me to another point... maybe I should start planting my own garden, so I can have a continuing supply of green herb. If post-Y2K is as bad as I think it's going to be, it would be nice to kick back after a hard day of surviving and drink a glass of beer and smoke a big fat one!

Cheers, The Hempman Northern Nevada

-- The Hempman (thehempman@yahoo.com), December 10, 1998.

A home distillation kit is good for creating aromatherapy essential oils from the home-grown herbs and medicinal plants. Plant lavender bushes. So-o-o-o-o many wonderful healing properties!

In a couple weeks, I'll investigate alternative energy. There's a book by Dr Brian O'Leary, ex-astronaut, "Miracle in the Void" where he lists new energy inventions by current day pioneers. Alternatives work.


-- Diane J. Squire (sacredspaces@yahoo.com), December 10, 1998.

Glen, Funny you should mention the cotton gin as I had tried to find if there was a non-industrial version of one for home use. I grow green and brown cotton (they are beautiful plants) and my basket is overflowing with boles of cotton waiting to be unseeded. I even have someone to teach me how to use my spinning wheel when I get the cotton ready. It was originally all just for fun but who knows?!? Second thought is finding someone who buys organic cotton. Original question is where to find the cotton gin? Anyone? Diana

-- Diana (count@386.day), December 10, 1998.

An over-unity device would be nice.......

-- s.e.c. (ciattis@eathlink.net), December 10, 1998.

A food replicator like the ones we have on Zeta-Reticula 2 would be most helpful.

-- Zork...just Zork (zork@zetareticula2.com), December 10, 1998.


You should be able to use the same sort of hand cards used to card wool to get your cotton ready for spinning once you get the seeds pulled out. Don't have any idea if they are still available anywhere- I still have my grandmother's set. Maybe Lehman's has them too?? Any knitters or spinners here who can help?? Make sure there are plenty of needles, a spare belt or two etc. for that treadle Singer while you're at it- thread too.

-- nemo... (nemo@deepsix.com), December 10, 1998.

How do you distill fuel from alcohol?

Any machine that can do that would be VERY useful...


-- Leo (leo_champion@hotmail.com), December 10, 1998.

Alcohol IS the fuel!

Problem is the purity. I doubt many cars will run on 151 or Everclear. You would have to get it very pure.

Also, you can make varieties of alcohol that are poisonous to humans, but safe for vehicles (methanol and ethanol?). One is wood alcohol, I think.

In fact, when alcohol was being considered as an "alternative" fuel, I think I remember that the government was planning to add something to the fuel to make it poisonous to humans. (Maybe methanol and ethanol were mixed? It's been too long, and too many beers ago.)

-- Glen Austin (gdaustin@aol.com), December 10, 1998.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ