Tom Swift

Tom Swift, Jr.

No one seemed to realize that any of several Swift inventions would have changed the shape of human history. In Tom Swift and the Cosmic Astronauts, Tom casually invents a gravity concentrator after repairing a kite for some younger kids in an empty lot, and in Tom Swift and His Space Solartron, he implements a gadget that converts solar energy directly to matter in the form of any chosen element or simple compound. . . . The Repelatron alone would have changed the shape of technological society, as hinted but never fully explored in Tom Swift and His Repelatron Skyway.

The author or authors seemed incapable of grasping the implications of what they wrote. In that title, Tom Swift lays "down" a floating superhighway in mid-air, to be supported on Repelatron beams, with a helicopter. Tom's creators didn't seem to hit upon the truth (as we all did, and discussed endlessly on Boy Scout campouts) that Repelatrons made all other forms of flying obsolete. We also realized that if the Space Solartron could convert solar energy to oxygen for breathing, to water for drinking, and even to sugar for eating, it could make gold as well. But Tom never hit on that. I guess he was rich already and wasn't ruled by crass financial motives.

The Unofficial Tom Swift Home Page

The Complete Tom Swift, Jr. Home Page


Classic Rendezvous: “lightweight vintage bicycles.” Work bikes:, Xtracycle (and Xtracycle weblog, The Pleasant Revolution). Mail-order bicycle: Bicycle Classics, Bicycle Revolution,, Sportsbay, Global Bikes, BikePartsUSA. Amazon’s Cycling and Wheel Sports category. Nycewheels: electronic bicycles. Schizoblog: Italian bike weblog. Roma Pedala: “Ovvero un punto di incontro virtuale per i ciclisti della capitale per promuovere l’uso della bicicletta sia come salutare pratica sportiva sia come efficace strumento per una diversa mobilità urbana, svincolata dalle automobili inquinanti e rumorose.” The New England Musclebike Museum. Enigmatic small-wheeled bicycles. Martino’s Bike Lane Diary. Collects unused bicycles in Britain and donates them to people who need them in Africa. Recycle-a-Bicycle collects unused bikes and helps kids fix them up for themselves. Velorution. collects North American ride descriptions and turn sheets. Moulton bicycles.

Colored Vehicles

Blue bus. White bike. Brown car. Red auto. Black bicycle. Yellow scooter. Orange truck. Yellow bus: “Managing and Promotion Celebrities Mannequins since 1986.” Green airplane. Gray ship. Rose cart. Black helicopter. Blue motorcycle: “Focuses on integrating customized off-the-shelf solutions often using the best-of-breed technologies to create ‘hybrid’ systems, that in many cases meet and exceed the capabilities of high-end proprietary technologies for small to mid-sized businesses.”

Collections and Exhibits

MoCA: Museum of Chinese in the Americas. Bad Beijing architecture. Drawings by second graders of the human body. A huge collection of Photoshop tutorials. The British Library’s Database of Bookbindings. Stephen Downes’s Index of Logical Fallacies. Kevin Sherry’s Sweater Project. Jason Patient’s cycling images. Edward Tufte’s argument against PowerPoint presented as a PowerPoint presentation.


Bicycles. A great deal of information about school buses. Mr. Sharkey’s compendium of information relating to house buses and house trucks. Truck painting in Pakistan. A gallery of Japanese Winnebagos and their owners. Fan pages for the AMC Pacer: Pacermania and The Washington Grove Pacer Farm. A fan page for the AMC Gremlin. The Web homes of The Catboat Association and the Beetle Cat. The Floating Neutrinos. Quite a lot about the Columbia space shuttle’s demise.