Mechanical Matchmaking: The Science of Love in the 1920s

People have been looking for a formula for romantic love for a long time -whether it's a fantasy love potion, or a scientific equation that will gauge the feasibility of a match between two people. In 1924, the magazine Science and Invention published a scientific test to determine the probability of marital happiness for couples. There were four tests, including the Nervous Disorder Test:
According to Gernsback it’s important that at least one partner can be calm under pressure. The nervous disorder test is perhaps the most amusing in that it imagines a man (let’s call him Professor Sixshooter) delivering a surprise gunshot in the air. The “nervous reaction” of both people is recorded on tape and if they both are too startled “marriage should not take place.” I don’t know about you, but I’d be a little uneasy if my partner wasn’t startled at the sound of a gunshot.

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