Saturday, January 2, 2016

Postblogging Technology, November, 1945, II: Two Records, Three Nobels

Shaugnessy, Vancouver,

Dearest Father:

I'm sorry to hear about your cold, endlessly amused by your ongoing feud with your neighbour. You are pulling my leg about his daughter riding around on his race horses, aren't you? I know that the stereotype of an engineer is a man more used to punching horses than riding them, but you had your cowboy days, long ago, if I remember the stories Uncle George used to tell. You must know that your roadster would never be able to edge around a thorougbred, and certainly not when climbing up the Oak Street hill. As for drinking on the back of one, and throwing the glass in the neighbour's hedge. . .
Well, at least she will be at Vassar soon, and you will have your rest from teen-aged parties. Those days are still to come for me!

And, of course, for you. We are very disappointed not to have you at Thanksgiving, but look forward to your arrival next month, from the Christmas Peace to the beginning of the Year of the Dog. I cannot bear the excitement, though I may be a less than energetic hostess, as my surgery is fixed for December 5th.  Yes, I know that I am supposed to be pessimistic about the imminent end of the world due to its being smashed into atomic smithereens, but if anyone is wanting an antidote to fashionable pessimisim, I recommend driving a twenty-year-old to the railway station for her first trip to Europe. 

In short, as we come up on the intercalary month (I looked it up. There's a technical name for the month between one year and the next. This year, we have all of January between solar and lunar new year. It seems to make sense to put it "between" the years.) we know that it marks a pausing point between the last year of war, and the first year of peace. How can it be bad? Look at the miracles ahead of us!


Time, 19 November 1945
Pvt. David Marshall of the Straits Volunteer Defence Force, a recent prisoner of war, is quite pleased with America. John Haynes Holmes, minister of the Community Church of New York, thinks that the atom bombings were a monstrous crime. Dorothy F. Colquitt shares the crest of the “Chairborne” division, those American soldiers who fought the war on swivel chairs. Two Professors Erickson of the University of North Carolina write to correct the paper. It was English professor and Socialist Party stalwart E. E., and not geographer Franklin, who was involved in the Durham Inter-Racial Dinner which inspired such controversy. An un-signed Air Corps Lieutenant thinks that the Dutch, French and British should butt out of Annam and Java. Several writers like the new “ruptured duck” discharge ribbon. Ben F. Holzman, of New York City, writes to correct the paper on the authorship of “That’s Why Darkies Were Born.” Edgar D. Smith writes to nominate Vannevar Bush as man of the year, on account of radar. Other nominees are the American GI, Franklin Roosevelt, and Hank Greenberg.  Our publisher’s letter establishes that he is a sophisticated man of wide travels.

National Affairs

G.I.s make bad ambassadors, because they are badly behaved, on account of not wanting to be in Europe, right now. Clement Atlee is in Washington, having flown over on a Skymaster. (An Anglo-American Skymaster, because interior by Rumbold).
He will stay at the White House for two days, then move to the Embassy, as by that time the President will be exasperated at never having enough hot water for a whole shower. They will settle/have settled/actually didn’t settle the whole atomic and Palestine things. (It’s a weekly, so I’m sorry to say that at first I didn’t understand that they were using some verb tense. English, she is a funny language.) The paper is upset at the President because he “drifted” through the conversation. The Pearl Harbour hearings are off to a sensational start, as ONI’s “missing” Captain Kramer shows up to testify. After a week of debate, Congress has decided to pass the May-Johnson atomic power bill, after all. Congress’ attempts to get rid of three New Deal appointees by disallowing their salaries back in 1943 has produced a tart response from the Supreme Court. It turns out that if they do the work, they get the money. Congress wouldn’t –oh, never mind, it’s such a sitting duck. The Labour-Management Conference was a flop. It is John L. Lewis’s fault.. In the Philippines, an eleven year old girl testified at General Yamashita’s war crimes trial to the effect that she lost her parents in the fire that swept the city when it fell. The paper reproves General Yamashita for sitting through the testimony in stony silence. Sounds like quite the trial. Various persons won various elections as 1900 municipal elections were held across the United States. The United Nations bill made it through Congress.
Let's set the "Yamashita Doctrine" aside. The prosecution has called a twelve year old orphan to testify that, in effect, General Yamashita was mean to her. 

“The Earls of California” Governor Warren is “suspect” in the Republican party for refusing the Vice Presidential candidacy in 1944 and for not campaigning enough for Dewey, and for supporting a compulsory health insurance bill. Or so the paper says, because for some reason, it believes that Dewey can win in ‘48. This week, it actually has a name to attach to the allegations, Earl Kelly, “[a] hearty, well-barbered Irishman with a fine baritone voice.” Don’t all American Irishman have fine, baritone voices, just on account of Americans who can’t sing the Killarney Lullaby not pretending to be Irish? I do a fair Jasmine Flower Song, if I say so myself, but I don’t, and that’s the difference. Kelly thinks that the Republican Party should be “frankly conservative, and make no bones about it.” He implies that he will run against the Governor in next year’s primary, and in the mean time just wants frankly conservative Californians to First California, Co.

In other political news, a sweet story of how Mrs. Clifford Ashton, of Salt Lake City, ran her naval officer husband for a judgeship in Salt Lake City to get him out of the Pacific and back home with her. Her story impressed people enough to elect a Republican in Salt Lake City, and now he’s discharged and home.

“Housing: Preview of ‘46” The story leads off with school superintendent John C. Goff, of Tuckahoe, (Westchester County!), New York, who is living in the high school home economics class with his wife, in way of illustrating the National Housing Agency’s preliminary report. It says that 1.2 million families are doubling up with friends and relatives, and that an additional 3 million newlyweds and veterans joining their wives will be looking for homes next year. Even the most optimistic estimate says that only one million homes will be added next year, although Newark is building 300 temporary homes to address a shortfall of 7000. Sociologist Louis Wirth, chairman of an emergency Chicago committee, has recommended converting factories, office buildings, and war plants into makeshift shelters, “[b]ut mostly the problem was just talked about.”

“Veterans: More Rights” Congress voted another 1.365 billion in funding to the 7.65 billion in the GI Bill of Rights.

“Heroes: First in Peace” Cordell Hull has been named winner of the Nobel Peace Prize for 1945, now that there is a peace to be prized.The paper notes the $800,000 honorarium that goes with the prize, so that at last the Hulls can be financially secure. I don't know. I just think that it's ironic to mention the prize in the same month's end that the British government formally abolishes the money vote for its victorious generals. 

Army and Navy

“Postwar Plans Department” The Navy currently plans for 6,084 combatant and auxiliary vessels, including 18 battleships, 17 large carriers, 558,000 officers and men, 12,000 aircraft, at a budget of $3.5 billion a year. The Army wants an “overall force: of 4.5 million men, including 500,000 in the reorganised Regular Army, 425,000 in the National Guard, the balance in  the current conscript class and the new army reserve. The total cost would be above $4 billion. Lieutenant General Doolittle again argued for a separate air force. Details are a bit vague, since it’s fight-the-navy time again, but 5000 planes, “always ready,” maintained by 400,000 men, and backed up by a 3000 plane reserve partly manned by the National Guard. The cost will surely be in the billions, too. And to anyone who suggests that this might be an astronomical number, General of the Army Arnold answers that in the not-to-distant future, war will be waged with “3000mph projectiles, launched from true space ships, capable of operating outside the earth’s atmosphere.” I sure hope those Martians know what they’re doing, crossing us.
Source. And explanation. "In 1955, NACA (later to be known as NASA) was working on a nuclear-powered spaceship for trips to near-Earth orbit up to interstellar travel to neighboring star systems like Alpha Centaur."

“The Housekeepers” The Marine’s Third Amphibious Corps of 53,000 men landed in northern China this week. Led by Major General Keller Emerick Rockey, “a veteran of World War I, Haiti and Nicaragua,” it’s task was to “stay, however long ordered.” Sometimes it seems that America is stumbling into trouble in China, and sometimes it seems as though it is rushing headlong into it.

“Over the Rock Pile” The Hump Air Route is closed, having unofficially cost 3000 Allied aircraft (and unofficially losing 33 aircraft in a single night last January), and having carried 78,000 tons.


“The Atomic Age” Winston Churchill says that it was a mistake in hindsight for Britain not to have made its own atomic bombs. Molotov, on the other hand, promises that Russia will have atomic power. On the third hand, Ernest Bevin is negotiating for a “Big Two” in atomic affairs, with Britain, if necessary, taking a junior role. In Almogordo, New Mexico, there are rumours of red cows turned white, black cats turned halfwhite, and grey streaks in beards due to the atom bomb. Various people have a range of opinions, including Dorothy Thompson, who seems to think that America needs to keep the atom secret because the scientists who gave it to the nation were acting for “the whole people of the Earth,” while H. G. Wells thinks that the atom bomb means that humanity will become extinct, I think? Harold E. Stassen thinks that “a policy of ‘secrecy and suppression’ would make the U.S. Government authoritarian, restrict science and research, stimulate a disastrous race for atomic power,” and suggests either sharing the atom secret, or, better yet, world government. U. S. Senator Joseph Ball says much the same. I gather the paper approves. (Edit: it only became obvious in the next issue, but the paper is backing Stassen for 1948.)

Beardsley Ruml, finally, actually makes some sense. “I have heard people say that the Bomb bores them. I feel certain it is not the Bomb that bores them, but what is said about the Bomb.” He doesn’t go quite as far as to suggest that we not talk about talking about the Bomb, because that would put some of his friends (not everyone can talk about civil aviation, Palestine, unification, 1948 or Bretton Woods) out of work, but he comes close.

“Crackdown” Some people who are not allowed to talk about talking about atomic bombs are atomic scientists. Churchill and Bevin have told British (and, it turns out, Australian) scientists to shut up on the subject, notably Laurence Elwin Oliphant. 

“Only Logic” “Plump, brilliant Geoffrey Crowther [And stinky! Don't forget stinky!] editor of London’s influential Economist, also edits Transatlantic on the side.” Well, that’s the problem with The Economist. The editor is moonlighting. Anyway, the point is that Crowther has a point. A vicious slur, and I am sure that Time will be hearing from The Economist’s lawyers. And not be able to make out their point . If only they had a better editor . . . 

Foreign News

“Report on China” Communist troops “entrenched along the Great Wall,” resisted the Nationalist advance into Manchuria, and Vice Admiral Barbey, in command, declined to land Nationalist troops in Communist-held ports, warning that Manchuria might be the next Outer Mongolia. “From beautiful Peiping, Time Correspondent William Gay cables:” The city is beautiful and calm, he reports, but no-one expects the peace to continue. Mr. Gay’s informant, a restaurant owner named Mr. Chang, says that the outcome depends on America sending supplies to the Nationalists, and providing military support. The Nationalists need American ammunition for their American weapons, or they will be mowed down by the Communists, with their Japanese weapons. Which do not need ammunition? Please, Mr. Luce, at least try to make an argument.

“The Sands of Time” Stalin is out of the public eye, and may be sick, leaving the stage to Molotov. I suppose that we will know if Stalin is really sick when a second soloist appears. The paper goes on to quote a speech by President Kalinin from last August in which he promised more consumer goods and better rail service, eventually. At the end of the cover article, the paper gets around to noticing Marshal Vasilevsky, General Antonov, Marshal Zhukov, Marshal Voroshilov, the General Secretary of the Party, Zhdanov; and Beria, of the Cheka.

Russia is trying to pull troops out of eastern Europe, and hopes it will go faster if it checks ambitious moves by local Communists, the paper reports. Tito is not listening. Field Marshal Carl Mannerheim, Finland’s President, has left the country for an indefinite stay on Madeira.

The paper’s report on Japan doubts that Japan will regain its old position as the most powerful economy of the Orient. The official barber of the French National Assembly refuses to cut the hair of the new female delegates, adding that “If the Chief of Protocol wants to add a hairdressing salon to my barbership, I will not oppose it. But it is foolishness!” The paper covers this as an example of French misogyny, but I can’t help feeling some sympathy for “Monsieur Jules.”

“Signs of the Times” In Britain, overworked bus conductors enforced the “No Standing rule” and inspired near-riots; the night nurses at St. Bartholomew’s staged a “lie down strike,” and it was thought that the Leader of the Opposition had coordinated his speech to the Commons with the government to present a united British position on the atom and Russia, already well covered in this letter.

“Platonic Divorce” Madeline (‘Mirabehn’)Slade has left Gandhi’s retreat, to found her own ashram at a higher elevation. The paper is snide, but James points out that her father was Director of Naval Intelligence in 1907—09. So if the eugenicists are right, the woman must be “as dumb as a sack of hammers.” Because less than a month back in America, and James is starting to talk like Mickey Spillane.

“Arrows and Sugar” The fighting in Surabaya continues. The arrows are alleged poisoned arrows being used in the fighting, the sugar is the 2 million tons still sitting on the wharfs. U. S. Secretary of Agriculture Clinton Anderson now says that “trying to get it out would not tend to promote peace.” Peace first, then sugar. In other words, peace now. People are starving.

“Armour and Bamboo” The French have been given American tanks to make headway in Annam, because the Annamese do not have all the starving  children for hostages.  

Latins and Canadians are excitable.

Press, Literature, Art, etc

Moscow might be lightening up on foreign correspondents. The Hearst Press is a bit of a laughing stock over its allegation “Key Pearl Harbor Witness Vanishes.” Earl Wilson, the man who got “stink” into print, has a book, I Am Gazing into My 8-Ball, out. The paper, which knows a cad when it sees one, doesn’t like him. The paper is amazed that “cluttered, satirical Soda Jerker, by Paul Burlin, won the Pepsi-Cola Portrait of America art award. In books, the paper needs to prove that its eyebrows rise to the highest heavens, and so has a big section on a dead poet named Percy Shelley, whose wife (sister?) wrote Frankenstein, but she’s only a girl, so who cares? Also famous this week is a novelist named Elizabeth Janeway. I wonder if she is Mr. Janeway’s sister, and turns in long, unsourced bits about how the Republican convention is going to be brokered, instead of the novel chapters her publishers demand?

Science, Medicine, Etc

“Visible Speech” Bell Telephone has come up with what it describes as a visual way of representing speech, so that the profoundly deaf can understand it. The idea is that the deaf can record their own voices, compare the results with their instructor’s, and improve that way.

“Faster, Faster” The paper covers the Meteor speed record with a picture, possibly even the same one that was lost with the first two pages of my copy of Flight. As the paper explains, “Near sea level, sound weaves travel through air at about 760mph. But long before a plane reaches this speed, the layer of air crowding over the wing and other surfaces begins moving as fast as sound in relation to the plane. Thus, a “shock wave” (really a standing sound wave) may form above the wing.”  So far, so accurate. However, the paper goes on to describe a death dive, in which the “standing wave” causes a loss of lift, causing the wing to stall, causing the plane to go into an uncontrollable high speed stall.

Time to break the Sound Barrier!

“Scientist Goering” In this week’s testimony at the Nuremberg Trials, the world heard about how the Germans froze political prisoners to near death to test methods for reviving them. The paper is very interested in one approach, which uses “two clean-looking, naked Gyspy girls” under a blanket with the frozen political prisoner. Very interested.

The New Movies

Confidential Agent is the new Lauren Bacall flick. The reviewer thinks that the “Bacall machine has gone too far,” and that Bacall, “neither a great beauty nor a good actress” just about sinks the movie. On the other hand, he likes the supporting actors. Good. Maybe they’ll hide him beneath their bed when the reviewer is being chased by an irate mob of servicemen. There’s also a farce and a comedy of manners out, but I can’t remember either, and have put the paper aside.


Winston Churchill described Atlee this week as a “sheep in sheep’s clothing.” Joan Bennett was in court getting her daughter, Diana’s last name changed for the third time, now that she has married Walter Wanger. Simone Simon is being evicted from her $240/month sublet apartment to make room for his wife, who is about to deliver a baby. Senator Leverett Saltonstall made a public statement in favour of Indian pudding becoming the national dish of the United States. Woodrow Wilson is finally to be recognised with a bust at Princeton.

"Indian Pudding," by Elise, at

Flight, 22 November 1945


“Future of the Forces” Lord Trenchard started a debate about the future of the air force in the Lords last week. The paper has concerns.

“A Memorable ‘First’” Mr. Hudson Fysh gave the inaugural “Empire and Commonwealth Lecture” at the Royal Aeronautical Society last week. The paper was enthralled. It was about Empire, and Commonwealth, and probably dirigidoos.

“Celebrating the Record” Representatives of British aviation met at lunch to celebrate the speed record. There was much back patting.

Roger Tennant, “To-morrow’s Light Aircraft: Conflicting Claims: Wood or Metal: High Wing or Low: Comfort and Safety versus Performance” There have not been nearly enough articles about this. Perhaps there should be a debate in the House of Lords? About the lack of articles, I mean. I don’t think anyone needs to hear more about the cheapness of welded steel tubes, strength issues of twin booms, weight of extension shafts, or the advisability of floats versus retracting wheels. Model aeroplane fanciers can once again fly their model aeroplanes as high as they want, because of peace.

Here and There

The municipality of Sapporo on the island of Hokkaido has built a 4000x300ft runway of wood which can take a B-17, although not well. The Swedish, Danish and Norwegian missionary societies have combined to fly some of their isolated “sky pilots” home.  The paper cites, “without comment,” Vice-Admiral Charles M. Cooke to the effect that “we all know that the British Navy entered the war almost fatally defective in its air arm. It had to come to the U.S. Navy to get aircraft with which it could defend its ships from air attack and contend on even terms with a modern navy such as the Japanese.” Therefore, the naval air arm should not be united with the land air force. James prepares himself to deny any confusion with “the Admiral Cooke who gets everything wrong.”

News in Brief

RAAF courier flights to Tokyo have begun. The Postmaster General announces that the more expensive airmail for Australia, New Zealand, and the West Pacific will be carried by air the whole way. Christmas packages will go by air about the same time we land on the Moon, if not later.

“Napier Sabre VII: Over 300bhp for Take-off; Lowest Specific Weight of Any Piston Engine” A Mark II Sabre appeared in the 23 March 1944 number of the paper. As the II progressed from the II to the IIA to the IIB, the boost pressure was increased and power outputs stepped up from 2090 to 2220 and then to 2420bhp. In spite of weight increase, specific weight went from 1.12 to 1.06 until, with the IIB, it reached 0.98 lb/bhp. From there, Napier went to a more exhaustive testing regime, making use of fully regenerative dynamometers (to feed power back into the grid from the running engine), which is a thing which is done nowadays. A single Sabre running in a test rig on a Sunday provides enough power for the whole Willesden area, with some left over for the national grid. The earlier marks had problems with grit entering the sleeve valves and with supercharger clutches slipping. The Sabre IIA was installed in the Tempest V, while the Mk III, which followed, was to go into the Blacbkburn Firebrand, but only 25 were installed, owing to the priority give to the Sabre V. (Note that this is a later Sabre V, and the first Sabre V became the Sabre IV.) The V, and now VA, were strengthened to take a higher boost pressure, and used Vandervell strip-type thin-wall bearings, while spark plugs were relocated and the ignition harness altered for high altitude operations. The double supercharger impeller entry was replaced by a single one of more capacity, and the two-speed hydraulic clutch redesigned, and Hobson fuel-injection replaced the earlier carburettors. It is now being installed in the Tempest VI, and develops 2600hp for 2,460lb, giving  aspecific weight of 0.94. Maximum rpm is up to 3,860, and maximum boost pressure to 15lb, giving a unit output of 71bhp/litre, plus another fine entry into the school of British engines which are so powerful that they shake themselves apart. It has water/methanol injection in the Mark VII, which must be further strengthened (and tightened), and has “micro-switches” to prevent the engine overrunning when the methanol-water tank runs out. The Sabre VII achieves 3,055bhp, at an amazing unit output of 83 bhp/litre, albeit with no mention of engine speed at that output.

“Spiteful with Griffon 59” The paper, and Rolls-Royce, want to remind us that the Spiteful is equipped with the two-stage Griffon 59, which is even better than the Griffon 61.

“A Record Party: Meteor Pilots Toasted at Great Gathering” Not that it is a big deal or anything.

Major F. A. de V. Robertson, V.D. “The School of Air Support” The “School of Army Cooperation” has been renamed, for fear that someone might mistake it for not being supportive enough It has helicopters, and gliders, and Dakotas now.

This week’s VC goes to Flt Lt. David Samuel Anthony Lord

“Jettisoning by Intent” The cockpit hood of the Martin Baker M.B. 5 demonstrated at Farnborough did not come off on its own, but was jettisoned because the cockpit filled with smoke. It was a problem with the engine that is being built, not the plane that won’t be, in other words. Very reassuring.

C. H. Latimer-Needham, “Refuelling in Flight: Further Examination of the Possibilities of Sir Alan Cobhams’s System in Application to Trans-Atlantic Airlines” Mr. Latimer-Needham continues to argue, at great length, that the fuss and additional equipment required for in-air refuelling is worth the gain achieved by taking off underloaded.

Civil Aviation News

“The Capetown service starts some more. The Swedes have trialled a Stockholm-U.S. flight, and are ramping up European services. Argentina gets its Sunderlands more. The CAO talks about talking about civil aviation.

“From the Australian Viewpoint: Mr. Hudson Fysh Delivers the First Commonwealth and Empire Liecture to the R.Ae.S.: Need for World Co-operation in Air Transport: The History of the Australian Services” It used to take 70-90 days to sail from London to Melbourne on a clipper ship; then it became 30 days with steamships, and then 62 hours with the Avro Lancastrian service. In the future, we will lob people there by rocket in no time flat. (Seriously! "Ballistic" flight is coming.) Mr. Fysh tells us about the Indian Ocean route, about which “relatively little has been written.” Well, less than about rockets on fighter planes, I suppose! I guess it is one of those things that you just can't get people to understand was remarkable, and so you repeat the story, over and over again, until you get through.

Or they avoid you, because you are an old bore.


A. C. Loraine comments that the polar route from Victoria to Singapore is much shorter than it appears on a Mercator map; but so is the New York-Singapore route, which would probably have more traffic than a service via Okhotsk and Markovo

"Airport Markovo" by AlGaman - Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons -
Patricia Parker writes that both pre-and wartime-trained ground engineers have their points, but that the prewar engineers probably are better from a safety point of view. The paper seems to disagree. Several writers have opinions about “Tyro’s” view that headwind has less impact on a jet-type aircraft than a propeller one. I. G. Henry is glad to finally have authentic details of the V-2 in print, but finds Mr. Perring optimistic about winged rockets. Booster engines, on the other hand, show real promise, and he does a back-of-the-envelope calculation showing that a V-2  with a booster engine might propel a 400lb atom bomb 1,450 miles. G. A.Chamberlain, a flying club enthusiast, notices that people are getting quite concerned about the disposal of surplus government property and suggests that surplus parachutes be donated to flying clubs. But, clearly, they should be handed over to the hosiery trade!

Time, 27 November 1945


Wilma C. Ludlow, of Williamsburg, Virginia, thinks that World War III should not happen, and especially not with atomic bombs, and that politicians are awfully foolish for letting it going to happen. Clara Alden Pickergill, of Los Angeles, will have none of these half measures, and wants atomic scientists silenced, a “bomb dropped” on the Manhattan Project, and all atomic research banned on penalty of death. I guess researchers should just be grateful that they aren’t going to be sealed into President Truman’s tomb. 
Long Tomorrow, Leigh Brackett. Image from James Renner. I haven't been able to find the artist credit.

Norman McKenzie, of Boston, thinks that the only way forward from all of this atomic stuff is to quote (another) dead poet. John L.LaMonte, who doesn’t want anyone to forget that he is an Associate Professor of History at the University of Pennsylvania, thinks that Europe’s Jews should be allowed to emigrate to America, to prevent the situation in Palestine from deteriorating. To clinch his argument, he makes a bizarrely pedantic point. 

Once we can settle whether or not the Canaanites were Arabs, we should have this thing sorted out in jig time!
With which the paper disagrees. J. E. Miller thinks that the Navy looks a bit silly right now, and that in the next war, battleships will be about as useful as “a wooden leg in a forest fire.” Nell Abernathy, having read one too many Hornblower novels, detects that Professor LaMonte will have the silliest letter this week, does him one better. Business Week writes to complain that Time called it Hitler. It replies that Time is more like Hitler. Time replies that Business Week is more like Hitler, to infinity! Radiomate 1/C Jack Haizlip writes that “Autumn Story,” on the hardships of Europe, was far more informative than “incoherent explanations by some of the world statesmen and experts. . .” My hero!

National Affairs

“The Presidency: New Blueprint” America, Britain and Canada have agreed that only America, Britain and Canada should have the bomb. Russia will be assured that it won’t be bombed as long as it cooperates with the UN (I don’t think the paper realises that this is how it frames the agreement), and everyone should work together to ban the bomb and other “mass-destruction weapons” such as gas and bacteriological warfare. Clearly, these are men who do not see their grandchildren when they are sick, or they would not dream of a world without bacteriological weapons.

“Vanishing American” Someone named Samuel Irving Rosenman is leaving the Administration, and this is worth almost as much column space as the nuclear agreement. You might point out that the next story, about how the President gets up at 6, or the one after, about how the President won’t receive an honorary degree from Baylor University, after all, because thte Baptists’ Civic Righteousness Committee thinks he drinks too much, are each also credibly long. But they’re meant to be silly!

 “Foreign Affairs: It’s the People” The Congress should get on with voting funding for Unrra, because people are starving.

“Food: Land of Plenty” The only remaining food shortages in the United States this year are in pork, high-grade beef, butter, sugar and canned fish, but even these shortages will be “more apparent than real.” For example, the average consumption of meat next year will be 145-155lbs, compared with a 30 year record of 150lbs.

“Labour: D-Day in Detroit” An auto strike is likely.

“Veterans: The First Punch” General Bradley announced this week that the siting of future veterans’ hospitals would no longer be decided by Congress, but by scientific and rational means. Congress gently let him know that this was not on.

“The Congress: In History” The Pearl Harbour hearings are on! It is interesting, and should be alarming, to the Russians, that America apparently had all the Japanese signal codes. It should be some consolation that, even with all this information, it was not at all clear that Hawaii would be a target.

“Political Notes: Man to Watch” The man to watch is Harold Stassen, the paper’s new crush. So much for Dewey! 

Both the Admiral and “archconservative columnist” Frank R. Kent came out for him this week. Under the same title, but with a question mark, a few paragraphs about FranklinDelano Roosevelt, Jr. Charles Gossett, a conservative but Democratic Idaho governor has resigned so that he can be appointed senator in place of the late John Thomas, restoring the Senate to its 56 D, 38 R division of November 1944.

“The Philippines” Caulking Job” The Philippines are a leaking boat, and new Commissioner Paul V. McNutt has to fix it before the “Communist-led Hukbalahaps” take over. This is particularly threatening, in that the “U.S. left-wing press” deems the Hukbalahap-aligned Democratic Alliancce as the “hope of the Philippines.” American occupation authorities, meanwhile, had to clamp down on the black market, deal with the money shortage, and, in general, fix the country, see “caulking.”
“New York: Shrine in the Bronx” A boy named Joe Vitolo, who claims to have nightly visitations from the Virgin Mary, is drawing thousands to a rock-strewn lot in the Bronx to see him work miracles of healing.

Army and Navy

“Merger: One Yard Line” The Army and Navy are still fighting about how to be separate and still united, and since there is an army proposal with which the Navy does not agree, and the Army-Navy Game is coming, it’s all football analogies. The Navy has now sent Forrest to the Hill in place of the Admiral, so perhaps something will be achieved.

“They Want to Get Out” Generals Eisenhower and Spaatz, and Admiral King think that demobilisation is being BUNGLED. Spaatz has the reasonable point that the sped of demobilisation has had its effect on the recent “rising curve of flying accidents due to loss of experienced ground personnel.”  

International (which is completely different from “Foreign Affairs”)

“War Crimes: West of the Pecos” Gustav Krupp is too old and sick for the war crime trials, so the prosecution has decided to try his son, Alfred. More generally, it is feared that the “Nurnberg trials would turn into chaotic farce, set international law back by decades.”  Hence the title, which refers, in U.S. Attorney General Tom Clark’s words, to “Law west of the Pecos –fast justice, particularly fast.’” Yes, indeed, America’s experience in lynching Chinese and Indians will serve it well in punishing Germans for their crimes on the Eastern Front. Perhaps Colonel Dyer could be brought back from retirement (resurrected, it turns out, poo!) to head the firing squads. In firing squad news, Joseph Kramer, the “beast of Belsen,” his assistant, 22-year-old Irma Grese, and nine others were sentenced to death.

“The Atomic Age: Russian Cosmos” “General Electric’s tuough-minded, soft-spoken Nobelman, Dr. Irving Langsmuir, said last week that the Russians might win an atomic race if the world let itself in for one.” He named two specific Russian scientists, Peter Kapitza and AbramFedorovitch Joffe, neither of whom actually seem to have much to do with atomic bombs right now, but one of whom is working on ‘cosmic rays.’

“The Nations: Points for the Future” Atlee and Truman talked about atom bombs! Stalin tells Averill Harriman that good great power relations hang on atomic policy. Atlee tries to convince Truman that a socialist Great Britain would be a useful friend against Communist Russia, if you know . . . Atlee also issued an “apologia for the left,” in the paper’s words, to Congress. For example, Labour isn’t anti-religion, it turns out. Congress isn’t convinced.

“Germany: Tasty Tip” A recipe for Belin housewives features ‘Herring-flavoured bread:” herring head (eyes removed), boiled with bones; then strain off liquid, mix with flour, and serve with onion nrings “to get the full effect.” At a meeting with Russian Zone officials, Marshal Zhukov could take some credit for getting production there up to 20% of the 1938 level, compared with 5-10% in the American zone. Brown coal output is at 50% of the 1937 level, and the first new-model automobiles were in production, as were stockings, underwear, gloves and roof tiles.   Russia will end industrial equipment transfers at the end of the year. In the American zone, two German powder factories have been demolished. In Italy, prisoners of war returning from Soviet Russia attacked a Communist Party welcome party, “killed three, injured 50.”

France: The Issue” The issue is that General de Gaulle looks awful in his new suit. No, wait, actually the issue is something about French Communists, bad or worse?

“Europe: Common Men” A groundswell of popular support for Guglielmo Giannini, the Italian prophet of “individualism,” is a sign that Italian politics is turning Fascist-wards, as well as also communist-wards. Also something about Norwegians, Bulgarians, Palestinians (both kinds), Indians and Iranians being excitable. Also Latins, although that’s in the separate, “entertainment” section on Latin American news. The Canadian section isn’t usually entertainment or news, but this week is an exception.

The Canadian Army is going on a skidoo trip to the north this winter. Because of bombers, obviously. Note that they could come from Germany, as weldl as Russia. We're not prejudging!

“Java: New Man, Old Demands” “Britons and Indonesians still killed each other in the Netherlands East Indies last week. They did not know quite how to stop.” Since the Dutch won’t talk with Soekarno, the Indonesians have produced a new premier, Sjahrir, to do the talking in Batavia, where he is standing on a demand for “eventual independence,” which the Dutch would not give. This is ridiculous! Not only do they not have the troops to rule Indonesia, they don’t even have the ships to get them there! Meanwhile, Sjahrir “grew pineapples” during the Japanese occupation. There is food there. I’m sure that men like Sjahrir and Soekarno are eager to export it to Japan and perhaps even the Netherlands. Does someone think that Javanese will only grow sugar, oil and rice if they’re being governed by the Dutch? Because, if so, they are wrong!

“China: It’s Wonderful” Correspondent John Walker is in Shanghai now, and thinks it is quite some place. He is pleased to see it being run by Koumintang toadies, rather than the taipans, and that the nightlife is lively, if you can pay in American dollars. The Chinese currency continues to inflate, and the paper continues to press for American involvement to save Manchuria for the Koumintang. The paper blames the Russians for letting in the Communists instead of the Nationalists. A war in Manchuria might follow. “In the long run, the Central Government armies, especially the crack U.S.-trained divisions, looked like more than a match for the Red guerillas.” Also, the Marines have ordered a strafing mission against a Chinese village harbouring Communist guerillas.

Business and Finance

“At Last: Prices” Price ceilings on automobiles have finally been announced.

“Who Gets the Sleepers?” Pullman is trying to sell its sleeping-car business to the railroads. Twenty-two rail companies have joined to offer $75 million, leading Allegheny to tender its own offer, as the current deal wouldn’t break up the monopoly.

“Reconversion: Where are the Goods?” BUNGLING!

“The Old Order Changeth” At a meeting in the swank Waldorf-Astoria hotel, 2000 foreign traders were told that the old China trade was changing. China was free of foreign domination, and there would be . . . I cannot even finish, because while I usually try to believe in Mr. Luce as a misguided idealist, can he really be this na├»ve? Of course the Koumintang is making a squeeze play. Why not admit it?

“Shipping: Anchors Aweigh” U.S. shipping men have not exactly rushed to the yards with new orders, to the U.S. Maritime Commission has placed an order for eleven large, modern passenger liners.
"SS-United States" by Lowlova - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons -

“Rebound: Rubber” US stockpiles of natural rubber are down, and US Rubber Co stocks are up. It turns out that the plantations are ready to go, as somehow the natives failed to ruin them while not being supervised by white people.

In shorter news, GE as an electric blanket, promised as an end to marital squabbles over blankets. Westinghouse will employ 10,00 in its new jet turbine plant. Lionel Corporation will make the first electric train set in the US since 1941. The FCC has approved in-train radio communication systems.

Press, Radio, Music, Art, Literature, etc.

“Average Man” “Caspar Milquetoast,” the creation of cartoonist Harold Tucker Webster, is this week’s cover person. That puts the story into “Press," and, if anything, makes it even longer than the usual cover story. Oklahoma Governor Robert Kerr appeared on the Bergen, McCarthy show, which is going on the road to all fifty states, and hopes to broadcast from the Governor’s Mansion in each.

John and Alan Lomax’s collection of “blues, ‘hollers,’ Appalachian ballads and sacred songs” is out on a seven album set. Southern country folk are very picturesque. 

Elmer Davis has a new contract.

Exeter Academy is out of the red thanks to a new headmaster. UCLA is offering a new four-year course in fashion design and merchandising.

The paper accidentally has to talk about Salvador Dali, so to save its eyebrows, leads off with one who is more respectably dead..

In books, higher brow, ever higher! This week’s big book is a life of Queen Elizabeth and one of her favourites, the Dudley Earl of Leicester. There’s a bit of room below for Robert Payne’s Forever China. The paper wants us to know that it is a “non-partisan” book, which is probably a bit of a surprise to Payne.

Wen Yiduo

Science, Medicine, Education

This weeks Nobel Prize winners are chemist Ilmari Arturi Virtanen, for medicine, and the two already noted Germans, Pauli for physics, and Hahn, for chemistry. Hahn, “who is believed to be in the United States at the present time,” receives it for chemistry, in the discovery of the new, unstable, trans-uranium element, plutonium.

“Never Mind the Birdie” The Army Signals Corps has developed a “parent-proof camera with built-in sunlight.” The new gadget is an electrically-fired light, which flashes for 1/25,000thof a second, in the same instant that the camera shutter is lifted. It was developed for the Surgeon-General’s Office, which wanted a way of taking rapid, fool-proof pictures of operations. The apparatus is expensive and heavy, with a 25lb power pack, but the Army hopes that “by spring,” it will be streamlined for the civilian market.

. . And we have our patent trolling for the month. Photo: Atomic explosion seen strobscopically, by Harold Eugene Edgerton

“Look Out for Rikki” U.S. port officials were notified this week of a new threat to our national well-eing: Rikki-Tikki-Tavi. Apparently, mongooses are on the loose, and will overrun the United States if some returning serviceman is allowed to bring his pet home with him.  
“All in Your Mind” Columbia Professor of psychiatry Dr. Leland Hinsie has a book out about people who have psychosomatic diseases, The Person in the Head. It turns out that various difficult patients with hard-to-diagnose conditions were just sick in the head.

“Drug Notes” Penicillin is back on the priority list as production falls further and further behind demand. Tridione, a new, synthetic drug with a good track record with petit mal epilepsy, also has a mild effect on pain. Paludrine, newly synthesised from coal tar, is said to be better against malaria than atabrine. The US Office of Scientific Research and Development has hinted dramatically that it will soon have something new for malaria.

The New Pictures

The paper really, really liked Saratoga Trunk. It was especially pleased with Ingrid Bergman, Gary Cooper’s tight pants, and the fact that it manages not to be Technicolor. It also liked The Last Chance,  a Swiss production about international refugees fleeing across the Alps from Italy to Switzerland,


Governor Dewey took a helicopter ride and mused that it would be a good way to commute from his home in Pawling to Albany. Senator Claude Pepper got an award from Baby Talk magazine for promoting maternal and child welfare legislation. A living poet, arriving in Washington to be tried for treason forliking Mussolini in public, said stuff. Several rooms of Mrs. Cornelius Vanderbilt’s mansion were bought by Paramount as props. An admirer broke into Carole Landis’ dressing room and assaulted her before being removed by George Sanders. Ty Cobbs, who invested his baseball earnings in Coca-Cola stock, donated $250,000 to a hospital in his home town in Georgia. Charles Lindbergh thinks that a world organisation for the atomic age is the only way forward. He still thinks that “World War II could have been avoided.” Edward R. Murrow has had a son, an Aldrich (Chase National) and a Gimbel have married. Major Putnam Bradlee (“Putty”) Strong has died, and Eldridge Reeves Johnson, who founded Victrola and sold out for a reputed $40 million in 1926.

Actually seems restrained, for the era. "Breidenhart (5)" by Apc106 - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons -

Flight, 29 November 1945


“It Won’t Do” This week, the paper reminds us that it won’t do to blame the newspapers for over-publicising air disasters, or to print misleading safety statistics. While, next week, it can go back to doing just that, this week it has to admit that the Service air transport record of the last few months has been terrible, with a hundred passenger deaths in ten days of peacetime flying. This is because Service personnel have too much “dash,” the paper suggests, and goes on to imply that some of the crews are not “the best.” It closes by insisting that the situation must improve, and asking for a volunteer to answer the mail for the next few months. The last part is just my suggestion.

“Long-distance Record” Last week, while Britain won the high speed record, it lost the long distance record to a B-29 which flew direct from Guam to Washington. The paper grudgingly admits that long range performance might be important for some applications in the future.

“German Research” Sir Roy Fedden is back from Germany, where he looked for all the advanced German workers and equipment, and couldn’t find nearly as many as he thought there were. It turns out that this is because the Americans and Russians got to them, first. (Since this will be news to the Americans, I suppose that means the Russians have them, and it, all.) Those workers, and equipment, he did find, ought to be put to work under British direction in Germany,

“Red Herrings for Luftwaffe: Another War Secret Disclosed: How Airfields, Factories and Even Cities Were Protected by a Country-wide System of Decoys” The country was dotted by decoy sites marked out by lights in open fields. Cardiff’s “Starfish” site drew 150 bombs on one night. Efficient work by the NFS in putting out fires in the actual targets was a crucial factor in their success, though. It’s not a cheap alternative to air raid precautions, in other words.

Here and There

Mr. Arthur Woodburn, Parliamentary Secretary to the Ministry of Aircraft, was at the Blackburn factory, celebrating the first production model of their aluminum house. British factories are producing the world’s finest pre-fabs, said the Labour MP. There’s an awful, snobbish joke in there somewhere. 
Unity Structures, not Blackburn, but still illustrative of something or other. 

Avro has bought the Malton, Ontario, Canada works of Victory Aircraft. There will be an exchange of designers, so the Canadians can learn to make Tudor IIs, and the firm will also develop gas turbines. Air Vice Marshal John H. Boret said today that there were only 100 British aircraft left in Norway, and that the radar station in Stavanger, “one of the finest in the world,” will be handed over to the Norwegians.  The British were in Norway? They built a radar station there? Glowing steel slag can be seen from the air by night bombers, so United Steel Companies built “mobile buildings, with wheels on parallel sets of lines,” which were moved to different pits to dump up to 7000 tons of slag a night.  

News in Brief covers the American distance record, Sir John Anderson rejoining Vickers, the Department of Overseas Trade moving from Dolphin Square to Old Queen Street, a denial that any RAAF personnel had been asked to volunteer for Dutch service in the East Indies, the first automatic Arctic radio meterological station, set up in the Kara Sea, Sqn Lder H. Clements’ new position with Silentbloc, Air Allan Gordon-Smith’s with Smith and Sons, H. M. Samuelson with Smiths Aircraft Instruments and a new RCAF “winterisation” trials in Edmonton, amongst other news of less import. Not to underline it or anything, but the American long range record goes in the same bit with the Department of Overseas Trade moving offices.

Roy Fedden, “An Inquest on Chaos: What Shall Be Done with Germany’s Research Equipment: Some Afterthoughts on a Technical Mission” Fedden and his team were looking for equipment for the new College of Aeronautics. They were in Germany two days after the occupation zones were allocated, and managed to visit 33 locations. They were well provided with transport, having brought their own Jeeps in Dakotas. Fedden met various old friends, and found them mostly “unrepentant.” So what is to be done with them? Well, Fedden reports that he was told by one engineer at Bosch that the Russians had sent the firm’s whole research headquarters at Spandau back to Russia, with all of its technicians. So the Russians are already exploiting German research, and we should do the same. Various Allied interests have taken off all the interesting stuff in truckloads, particularly the Americans, who after all have all the trucks. Fedden was very impressed by the big new wind tunnels. He does not, however, think that this equipment should be moved, pointing to the heaps of rusting Italian research equipment found at the German stations. In summary, in the next installment, he promises us actual information.

“Flapjack,” “Empire Requirements: With Particular Reference to the Australian Civil Aircraft Market: Why America ‘Gets Away with It’” America sells too many planes to Australia because Australia is big, and so is America, and Britain is small. Fortunately, Australians are just waiting for an opportunity to patriotically buy British, as happened once, before the war. A history lesson follows, then the observations that Australians would really like the Dove, Miles Aerovan, Bristol Freighter and Vickers Viking, if they were only given a chance. He then complains about how slow spare part delivery was before the war.

“Indicator,” “Conventional and Unconventional: Another of ‘Indicator’s Handling Impression Series: The Bell Airacobra and Two Early Curtiss Fighters Remembered” Speaking of ancient history. It is interesting to hear that the P-39’s drive shaft would “whip about in a noisy frenzy from time to time,” because the impression you get is that such an unconventional installation would never have been approved before that kind of thing was fixed. He then goes on to say that he didn’t actually fly the Tomahawk and Kittyhawk very much, and so has hardly anything to say except that the cockpit controls weren’t well arranged.

“Anglo-American Skymaster” The Prime Minister’s personal C-54 was a luxury machine, fitted by Mr. Rumbold himself. The usual pictures of light-but-nice looking furniture and suites follow. This is sadder than Geoffrey Crowther inadvertently admitting that he has B.O.

Group Captain Sidney Albert Dismore has died at the age of 45. A WWI veteran who went into Handley-Page Transport and then Imperial Airways, eventually as assistant General Manager, he is best known for the prewar scheme to carry all first-class Empire mail byair in 1938, although the paper is careful to point out that a lot of other people had to pass on the idea before Short flying boats could fall out of the sky into African lakes, and Ensigns could proceed to not take off at all.

Civil Aviation News

Many aircraft now flying no longer have spare parts being made for them. This is especially true of the many prewar de Havillands. (News!) American airlines will soon have a Washington-Bombay service. An overnight service to Glasgow will soon fly. Some Sandringhams were launched in Rochester  yesterday. There are services in the Western Pacific Area. Australia-Manila; Australia-U.S.; China National Aviation resumes flying.

Lockheed announces its “P-38 Swordfish,” a P-38 modified with special wings for high speed flying.

Enterprise Honoured: Famous American Aircraft Carrier Receives Board of Admiralty Flag”
“The Martin-Baker M-B V” This airplane which will never be built hasn’t received enough publicity. Here is more!


J. M. Sleight believes that high-wings are just the thing for passenger transports, as many passengers love the view. D. Haynes thinks that nationalised airlines ought to have lower operating costs; “Ayeone” agrees with “Indicator” about twin-engined trainers

Radio News, November 1945

Short Radio News

The FCC has just announced the preliminary allocation of FM radio broadcast licenses. Sixty licenses might be available in the New York City area, with the exact allocation still in some respects forthcoming. Just to be on the safe side, consumers should buy combined AM/FM receivers, when they become available. Which might be a while, as there is a shortage of tubes.

Tony Wayne, “Radio Jobs for G.I.Joe” “Thousands” of jobs will be available. For example, television will soon be a billion dollar business, employing four or five million. (Thousands, millions, details!) The “ten to fifteen thousand” home television receivers now existing will be dwarfed by the millions to come off the assembly lines just as soon as manufacturers get the ‘green light.’ 398 TV stations, 45 FM stations, and 935 standard broadcast stations are foreseen around the United States soon. Also, those microwave relay networks. Other prospective employers include the airlines and the government.

Joseph Gavin, W9YES, and Sol Heytow, W9FAL, “Home Constructed 12mc. Receiver”

Robert Stone, Chief Engineer, Soundscriber Corp, “Business Recording Equipment,” Soundscribers record on seven inch plastic discs, which the company also sells. That sounds like a good way of creating continuing revenues.

Two decades of "uhms" and "Ahs."

Stuart Reiner, “A Geiger Counter X-Ray Spectrometer” X-rays can be used to probe the structure of matter, but only if diffracted for imaging. Reiner covers the history of the industry before leisurely getting on with the question of how incorporating a Geiger counter tube assists the process.

Henry L. Metz, Chief, CAA Experimental Station, Indianopolis, “Radio Glide Path for Aircraft” The glide path in question is a new 330 mHz frequency equipment, used in the war, and now being installed in airports. A discussion of the beam arrangements (antennae, etc) which make this one stable, follows.

Salvatore Patremio, Chief Engineer, WARD, “Movies for Television” The frame rate of movies is 24 per second, whereas TV runs at 30. Adapting conventional movies for television to give TV lots of popular material to fill the hours when the local opera company isn’t available (As if!) requires some gadgets. Coincidentally, WARD has a gadget.

N. F. Smith, Philco Corporation, “Washington to Philadelphia Relay Network, Part II”

“Radar: Radar, One of the Most Miraculous Developments of World War 2 –Surpassed Only by the Atomic Bomb, Was Made Possible Through the Combined Efforts of American Production and Engineering Skill” A three page pictorial that keeps the advertising apart.
More MIT "long hairs."

Leo. G. Sands, “Vacuum Tube Analyzer” An article describing how to build one of your own.

Jordan McQuay, “Practical Radar, Part 6: Technical Details of Methods of Indicating or Displaying Target Information Obtained by Radar Sets” In other words, a short primer on cathode ray tubes.

Four short articles for short wave enthusiasts follow.

Gerald F. J. Tyne, Research Engineer, N.Y., “Saga of the Vacuum Tube” More on the vacuum tube and its role in WWI, with lots of pictures of ridiculous old time vacuum tubes, available in any size you can get a mason jar in, and about as sophisticated-looking.

Edward Burgess, “A Simple Co-Axial Switch” Again, for amateurs, but it is interesting that we’re already telling amateurs how to switch co-axial cable feeds.

M. Snitzer, of Boston Harbour, Massaschusetts, writes to say how much he enjoyed the paper’s sizzling dismantling of a recent Pegler editorial. All very well, but fish, barrel, right? A. G. Brown, in England, writes that he likes the paper, and wants more about American radio servicing. Good news, because the paper’s own Rufus Turner has a book in the press. E2/C Malcolm E. Hess writes to say that he and the boys would like to see a small radio in a compact, rugged metal case. Never mind Malcolm and the boys,  I want one of those. Or, more likely, five or six. Pfc Harold Phillips wants a column of hints and tips, just like the one the paper is about to launch. Franklin Munro, of Marshfield, Massachusetts, thinks that the amateur is getting a raw deal. Josef A. Plaschkes, of Tel Aviv, Palestine, has suggestions. T. Powell thinks that amateurs have exaggerated ideas about what manufacturers can provide in terms of part interoperability. Connections are soldered for a reason, guys!

No industry shorts in this issue. Instead, what seems to me to be an awfully padded review of radio station frequencies and reception quality around the world. On the other hand, I'm not a radio enthusiast who has legally changed my name to my ham radio call-sign, so what do I know? 

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