Sunday, August 28, 2016

Postblogging Technology, July 1946, II: Accumulated Negligence

General Delivery,
Nakusp, Canada

Dear Father:

As you can see from the news, we've come off a lot more lightly than we deserve this week. First of all, the Redin trial ended in a "Not Guilty" verdict, and the Lieutenant off to Moscow, none apparently the wiser, and especially not his wife. The last thing we want the Cheka to hear is that the Benevolent Association was interested in placing their own as cleaners of the safe room at the consulate, as it might lead them to realise . . Well, you know. 

Admittedly, the way that the Red-baiters are running amok this week (Implying that Colonel Roosevelt is a Communist? Seriously?), I feel a little guilty about abetting the Director's work. On the other hand, we've given him a tool to find actual facts, as opposed to allegations.

The other big news is that the Maritime Commission didn't keep any records for Congress to turn up. That's it, I say, case closed. Nothing to be done here, time to close that book and move on! And, speaking of money in the pocket, waiting to be spent, what do you think of this whole atomic power thing? Chances are that General Electric will dominate the field, so that we are already as invested as we can be. On the other hand, there's a possibility of another Airresearch story, where a small company becomes --I hope-- a big one on the strength of being first in the field. (There's still the matter of investing when the company isn't ready to offer stocks, but that is why there are private contacts.) 

Thank you for the reservations, by the way. I was afraid to make them myself, lest I lead Soong men to my Father, and not only are your arrangements clever, I have loved the Peninsula since the last time I stayed there. No doubt I shall have bittersweet moments after four years of occupation, but the twins will have no memories of better days to hold up against the shabbiness of the postwar city. Sadly, they will probably have no memories at all, but with the risks that Father is taking, best that he see his grandchildren when he has the chance.  

Speaking of Fatheris interest, is there any word  about Kuan's placement at Cambridge? Surely something can be done, and while the Earl is reluctant to admit defeat, I think that he has blundered into some kind of difficulty with the cousins. I know that you cannot exactly fly over to London right now, but perhaps you have your own resources, less tied to the old feud? His aunt is enormously disappointed that he was not able to get in, and Father would very much like to stand well in her eyes.


Someone might take this as an oblique criticism of the mistake that led me to think that I had the weekend off until 5PM on Thursday night. Someone else might take that sentence to be a bit passive-aggressive.

Time, 15 July 1946
The Mayor is the cover story! Our “cosmopolis” (to be fair, the paper isn’t describing Santa Cruz, or, Heaven help it, San Jose) has “fog, cable cars, and amiability.”

D. Purcell, of Los Angeles, tells the paper that people aren’t talking about the atomic bomb any more because they are so afraid. F. M. Fletcher, of New York, asks why the musclebound specimen crowned as “Mr. America” in the last number won’t be a real man and challenge Joe Louis. Ake Sandler, of Los Angeles, proposes that the United Nations needs a flag, and the paper gives us Boris Artzybasheff’s version.
Mr. Artzybasheff's proposed United Nations Rainbow flag. I am a very, very juvenile person for finding the juxtaposition of this with the letter from F, M. Fletcher, of New York, funny. 
Joe Louis vs. Billy Conn, Yankee Stadium, 19 June 1946.

 C. M. Garland, of Chicago, thinks that Russian communism is terrible. Catholic Bishop Bernard J. Sheil, of Chicago, writes that he is not “radical” at all. The paper disagrees, but points out that “radicals” can be good things, sometimes. Earl Hurlburt, of Cleveland, and Eric J. Tyler, of Newbury, New York, disagree that “men are beasts.” Walter C. McBride, DDS, of Detroit, is upset that the paper misquoted him. C. J. Durr writes to correct the paper, pointing out that he did not earn a Varsity Blue at Oxford. Peter H. Peck, Flight Lieutenant, RAF, Bray, Berkshire, writes that it is true that the current British diet is “dull, uninteresting and inadequate,” not even enough to “maintain proper fitness and resistance to disease,” and that all the shortages are “not pleasant,” but that what is really sickening is the Americans who imply that Americans have a moral obligation to feed the world’s hungry.  Americans have earned the right to eat like pigs by virtue of living in America.
On the bright side, it's pretty hard to ruin yams. 

National Affairs

“Wait and See” After a week without price controls, it is not clear whether or not the world is ending. Meanwhile, the Senate has a new bill before it, reauthorizing the OPA, eliminating “the compromise that [Taft] thought he had worked out.” In other news, the President is healthy, and is taking a vacation at Gettysburg.

“Tallyho” The Senate’s Mead Committee has begun its investigation of wartime profiteering by calling Murray W. Garrson and his brother, Dr. Henry M. Garrson, who are particularly offensive as former gangsters who suborned a Congressman, Andrew Jackson May (D, Kentucky)

“Frank Anderson’s Wheat” By next week, Kansas will have reaped 215,000 bushels of wheat, one-fifth of the nation’s crop, and four-fifths of what the United States has pledged to the world’s hungry. Frank Anderson, of Ford County, six miles out of Dodge City, is on his 37th harvest, and this time his 19-year-old son, Frank Jr., is there to help, on a twenty day harvest leave from the Navy. They have 600 acres, a “clattering” 1934 Dodge light truck to move the Andersons and their two harvest hands, two combines, one 16 and one 17 years old, a private elevator, and thirteen hours of dew-free light in which to work, with time out for lunch, and will have 8000 bushels by the end of the harvest, yielding $13,600 at $1.70/bushel. Frank does not, however, propose to sell his wheat until January, even though the WFA requires him to sell 20% to make the food aid export targets for the year. Not because he is expecting “famine prices,” as the War Food Administration says, but because if he sells it, he will go up to the next income tax bracket, and his taxes will be too high. 

“Those Ferrets” Communist activists in unions are terrible, and so are ferrets.

“Buttinsky Damnyankees” Mississippi has re-elected “the most sinister buffoons in the Congress,” Bilbo and John Rankin. The ‘Buttinsky Damnyankees," according to the Mississippi press, were the eastern press (and CIO), who tried to persuade Mississippians not to vote for these horrible men. Apparently, telling people in another state not to vote for horrible people is horrible! In related news (as the paper points out), a University of Denver national poll shows that the majority of Americans are opposed to free speech, if by free speech you mean, “Letting communists talk on the radio.”

“Fair Sampling, Fair Warning” Because the first atomic bomb test at Bikini only sank a few ships, people were inclined to say that the atomic bomb was no big deal. The paper points out that the bomb missed its aiming point, and detonated at only half the target height. Nevertheless, surviving ships were heavily adamaged by the blast, and radiation would have killed the topside crew, and smokestacks crumpled like paper. The next bomb, which wil be detonated 18ft under water, is expected to raise a wave of 50 to 100ft, and cave in the hulls of the ships which escape damage in this test.


“Shtampuyushchaya” Is the Russian word for “rubber stamp,” and it has something to do with talk at the United Nations about talking about a talking about peace conference.

“Destiny’s Men” The paper’s Brooke Atkinson, drama critic turned foreign correspondent, explains that Russian communists are awful and terrible, and think that they will run the world after the world socialist revolution.

Then Frederick Pohl put out a modern edition in 1981. What?

“The Broken Mirror” The French, being very silly people, thought that Operation Crossroads might produce a chain reaction that would be the end of the world, so they had a big end-of-the-world party/demonstration/let’s-hang-around-and-see-if-a-riot-develops. Also other people around the world had various reactions, including a Tokyo housewife who said that “Japanese women do not like to think about such things,” and the London News-Chronicle, which thought that painting the picture of a “pin-up in a low-cut gown” on the bomb lowered the tone of the end of the world.

“Out of Perspective” American Jews are very upset with the British over Palestine immigration.

“The Carrot and the Stick” The paper is so pleased with Geoff (“Fat and Stinky”) Crowther’s latest lecture to the British people about how they are lazy and not nearly scared enough at work due to not being able to be sacked, and so everything is coming undone, that it reprints it. It looks even longer and more boring in the paper’s print, if that is possible.  

The Irish and French Communists are excitable. Italians are really especially excitable. The paper doesn’t approve of their behaviour over Trieste at all. Czechoslovaks are Communistically excitable, as are Russians and Poles. 

“Embassy Binge” Averill Harriman threw a swell party at the American Embassy for the 4th of July, complete with gin, bourbon and some synthetic fruit juices, but with no ice or Scotch to be had.
Flight's "Airstrip" comments on British booze shortages. This will become relevant later. 

“This Was the Enemy” Hiroshima is full of shanties, vegetable gardens, and wildflower gardens flourishing in the devastation. The people speak of “before the pika-don and after,” and the new mayor dreams of converting the centre of the city into a peace garden. The city has 17 movie theatres, up from 14 before the explosion, and are flocking to see Blast of Love, while children play the Peace Game, and fraternise with American GIs.

Canadians are boring. And, with their dollar revaluation, deflationary. Latin Americans are not as excitable as usual this week, with a peaceful election in Mexico and Ecuador celebrating the American retreat from the Galapagos, where the wartime base was practically an “Outpost on the Moon.”


“The Battle Begins” After a week of no price controls, we still have no idea what will happen.

“Sears Tries the Air” Sears has partnered with Continental Air Services to provide next-day delivery of store-ordered, in stock items. In other aviation news, the FAA has cut United Airlines into a slice of the trans-Pacific service formerly monopolised by Pan-American.

Science, Medicine, Education

“Hybrid Udders” The Department of Agriculture, at Secretary Henry Wallace’s suggestion, has been having good success in crossbreeding cows to improve milk yield. The paper notices another Chinese-writing typewriter, by Chung-Chin Kao.

“Medicos Meet” The paper attended the annual meeting of the American Medical Association in San Francisco this week. The AMA heard one doctor caution that electrocardiograms are being overly-strictly interpreted. People should not be being advised to take up an invalid’s life on the basis of an electrically-recorded irregularity, and most people can return to a regular life after a cardiac event. There is no reason that people with high blood pressure shouldn’t drink moderately, although those sensitive to nicotine should give up smoking. Admiral MacIntire told the public about progress in stimulating the optic nerves of the blind with ultra-high-frequency radar, which might lead to the blind being able to “see” with radar, reproducing radar images in their brain. On a more practical note, the Association put a lid on Morris Fishbein.

Okay, sure, he's against socialised medicine. We all are. But he's so, you know, pushy about it.

“Hardier Germs” The  Fortune story about how bacteria are developing immunities to sulfa drugs and antibiotics, again. New here is the point that bacteria lose their immunities over time. 

“Classcist” The paper profiles Sir Richard Livingstone, the Vice-Chancellor of Oxford uNiversty, who is more important than your average Vice-everything. Thomas Jones, former chancellor of Fisk, is taking a position at his alma mater, which I guess is news because it leads into all the other well-known, veteran professors who are resigning and/or retiring this August, including Albert Leon Guerard, up the road at the junior college.

Press, Radio, Art

Ilya Ehrenburg is terrible, even the leftist Nation says. A tramp freighter has just arrived in Haifa carrying 1000 illegal Jewish immigrants and PM correspondent I. F.Stone, who is therefore making news rather than reporting it. John O’Donnell, “poison pen columnist” of the New York Daily News reports that the President has asked Justices Black, Jackson, Frankfurter and Murphy to resign. The paper notes the national syndication of Twenty Questions 

and the renewal of the BBC. It even quotes The Economist to the effect that boring radio networks are “dangerous.." (Which seems strange, but much less silly than the way the quote reads, which suggests that the BBC will have a "dangerous monopoly" on public opinion. In Britain. Where they have newspapers. And The Economist.) Boston is to have a radio show in the usual children’s hour answering questions on sex education forchildren(!) In the Art section, the paper features Frederick Remington instead of the usual modernists.

Remington also illustrated the schools version of Song of Hiawatha


H. G. Wellsis old and offensive. Princess Elizabeth is a debutante who “likes dancing and housework.” Greta Garbo is pretty. Field Marshal Rundstedt wants everyone to know that Hitler made him launch the Battle of the Bulge, forget his wife's birthday that one year, and spend his entire pay packet down at the local last Friday. Norah Carpenter has arrived in Philadelphia with her three surviving quadruplets and has been re-united with William “Red” Thompson thanks to the tireless efforts of her personal escort of “Hearstlings.” Al Capp is travelling to England to research an upcoming Li’l Abner story in which the Yokums go to England. Kathleen Winsor’s “jumbo platter of sex, Forever Amber,” is finally off the bestseller lists after two years, just in time for it to be banned statewide in Massachusetts. Noah Brusso has married Nellie Vanderlip, for some reason known only to the two of them, and possibly not both. Horace Pippin has died.

Horace Pippin, John Brown Goes to His Hanging By Source, Fair use,

Howard Hughes crashed his prototype XF-11, and is in an unnamed Beverley Hills hospital with a “better than even chance.”

What makes more sense than a 58,300lb (auw) two-seater reconnaissance type? Sending it up with Howard Hughes at the controls! (I'm not even going to try to guess what this monster's stall speed was in practice.)

The New Pictures

“Till the End of Time” is “a sweetened-up psychiatric case history of four war-battered young people.” The paper thinks that it trivialises war trauma and is dubious about casting Guy Madison in a lead role, even though he is so very, very cute. 
"Hi, I'm Guy Madison. You may remember me from such films as On the Threshold of Space, Slave of Rome or LSD Flesh of the Devil, but today I'm here to talk to you about the importance of giving Silent Generation Bobby Soxers what they want. And what they want is me!"

Easy to Wed is “a blob of paste.” I think that means that the paper didn’t like it. Of Human Bondage is a Very Serious Movie. The paper liked Alexis Smith in it, but otherwise is a bit diffident. I think it didn’t like the novel? It also didn’t like Dead of Night.
Smith was born in Penticton, and Flynn died in Vancouver. British Columbia connections!


There is a book about a famous person who writes books by a person who writes books, translated from Russian by various people who are also very high-browed. You should pretend to have read it.  Helen Howe has written a satire of university faculty life called We Happy Few. And there is a nicer book about a man who wrote books, since it is Hesketh Person, Oscar Wilde: His Life and Wit, because Mr. Wilde was funny, and not Sincere, like Tolstoy. 

Flight, 18 July 1946


“For Want of a Nail” Terrible Americans are turning the fact that an Avro Tudor carrying Lord Winster had to make an emergency landing when its cabin pressurisation malfunctioned into some kind of scandal. They are also on about the ditching of Wayfarer, which, the paper reminds us, flew longer than it could have been expected to do, and floated longer, too. It was only in its predicament because of bad navigation, which, the paper admits, is terrible. In summary, people wouldn’t make so much of these things if no-one talked about them.

“Jet Bombers” America has five prototype jet bombers in development, and we have none. 
The Canberra won't fly for another three years, so this is, strictly speaking, accurate. But it's accurate in a way that's likely to produce public pressure to build more planes. Funny how that works. By Photo: SAC A K Benson/MOD, OGL,

The paper is sad, but news of the DH 106 tailless jet transport, expected to cruise at 500mph, the 90,000lb Avro transport with four gas turbines and the “projected” Armstrong-Whitworth jet-propelled flying wings makes it happy again. And then there can be bombers based on these designs, so that bombs can enjoy all the same luxuries of flight to be enjoyed by future passengers, such as going very fast, and not drowning in the south Atlantic.

“The High Speed Flight” Speaking of flying very fast, the RAF has a new High Speed Flight under Group Captain E. M. Donaldson. It will try to set the world Air Speed Record in two special Gloster Meteors, because no-one has set the record since last year, in a special Gloster Meteor. Perhaps they can even justify the expense by testing other high speed aircraft.
Air ace, world speed record holder, three divorces, Air Correspondent for the Daily Telegraph. The mustache does not lie.

“Fait Accompli” The paper actually uses the French translation of the phrase, I think because “Fait” sounds like English “fate,” and this is about the fateful, doom-laden doom of the Civil Aviation Bill being passed.

Maurice A. Smith, “Return Flight: New York to London by Air: The Crew: Some Details of BOAC Constellations and their Operation” After a week in New York, G. Geoffrey Smith’s boy hopped a plane for the trip home, Sunday lunch. The Americans are much more efficient with passport examination, and the aeronauts were off after a few minutes’ delay for tarmac congestion. At Gander, everyone changed into warm clothes before turning out for tea with strawberries, ice cream and fruit cake, the Atlantic flight commencing at dusk. Awaking in bright sunshine, the passengers had just enough time for a shave and a wash before landing in Ireland for breakfast, then off to Heathrow, which is what we’re calling it on this page. Flying, he thinks, is the best thing. Lunch on Sunday in New York, takeoff, read the paper, have tea, Gander. Take-off, snuggle in, wash and a shave, full Irish breakfast, London by car less than 24 hours after leaving the New York office. 
Probably not what was served, especially given that this is what you get when you search for "Full Irish breakifast Vancouver," but a good reminder that they don't have food rationing in Eire. 

Meanwhile, thanks to a forced landing at the beginning of a transatlantic flight with twowell-known film stars as passengers,

Now that's casting!

 the Constellation is in for some unwelcome publicity. A fault in an auxiliary drive led to a fire in the starboard outer engine, which ultimately fell out of the plane, still burning. It is the drive that runs the compressor for the cabin pressurisation, and, according to the engineer responsible, has proven very lubrication sensitive. A failed bearing fractured a nearby hydraulic pump. Since the Wright (oh, I see the problem!) Cyclone 18 GR-3350 is mounted on a five-point rubber block mounting intended for quick removal, and, apparently, quick falling-out-during-a-fire, the result was a “successful belly landing beside the runway of a convenient airfield (Willimantic, Conn.), and no-one was hurt.” Some patching and straightening later, the plane was good to go –although to Burbank for repairs, and not across the Atlantic. A modification kit for the blower shafts is almost ready, and, when distributed, the Constellations will be able to run their cabin pressurisation without setting their wings on fire.

In spite of all the excitement, Lockheed is bringing out the first Constellations built as civil airliners from the keel up next year, and BOAC likes the ones they have, although no word on whether it is buying the later marks. Mr. Smith is pleased by the cabin arrangements, with reclining chairs and removable arm rests leaving plenty of room to sleep if you have an empty seat beside you. He is also pleased by the efficient cockpit layout and the crisp electrohydraulic “trimmers” on the autopilot and rudder controls. (As my dearest never fails to remind the air next to him in moments like this, these are to damp down the sloshing about the “right” setting, which can be very annoying, since it takes the aircraft with them. Overall, the plane’s performance, if not size, is very similar to that of the old P-38, and with more powerful engines and thermal de-icers in place of the old rubber boots, the 649 should be even faster. Special navigation equipment incudes Loran, radio altimeter and gyro drift sight, with talk of re-installing Gee for short range use in Europe, while in America the old radio ranges are still in use.

“1000 Km.P.H. . . . Or More: RAF High-Speed Flight Re-formed to Attack Record” Various persons are confident that the modified Meteors, which have Machmeters and faired-over gun ports, will reach and exceed 622mph with Derwent Vs specially modified to deliver 4000lb, plus cockpit hoods made of duralumin with 6” side panels of Perspex, because the existing hoods are softened and distorted by heat. Meanwhile, Glosters thinks that it could set the record without RAF involvement if they were just allowed to keep some planes.

“Indicator,” “In the Air, XVI: Battle, Defiant and Henly: Improvement of a Standard ‘Light Bomber’ of Early War Days: Two Maids of All Work” In the Battle, the “driver” was seated well forward of the leding edge, with a view of the vast, riveted expanse of the wings, “and the whole affair felt most extraordinarily solid and safe.” Landing gear retraction was by a lever on the floor, and required “quite a contortionist performance,” even though the plane was once flown by a “well-known one-armed pilot.” Except, that is, when the two-speed airscrew control was turned to “flight,” and, to all appearances, the engine failed. In 1945, “Indicator” had a chance to fly another Battle to the same airfield for breaking-up (so, I suppose, the one serving the Fairey works), and he notes that what seemed like a big airfield for a big plane in 1939 now seemed a tiny one for a still-too large plane in 1945. Of the mysterious Henley, hasn’t much to say. (Aircraft that aren't produced are always better than ones that are.) 

All he can remember is that it “required the use of more hands than were naturally present,” which was how Hawker did things back in those days. The Defiant, on the other hand, “was without remarkable curiosities” apart from a swing to the right on takeoff, although aileron and shroud settings occupied service pilots to excess in the air, trying to prevent “excessive upfloat.” The turret made “surprisingly little difference” to handling, except when, say, the cowling sheared off all down the left side in one flight.

In shorter news, the paper has finally met a Parliamentary critique of the Ministry that it doesn’t like, as one member persists in comparing the petrol ration for taxicabs and charter airlines, with the suggestion that there should be fewer taxicabs and more charter air services.

Here and There

The paper notices the Chance-Vought V-173 and the elaborate gearing of the Cierva W. 9 rotors. Mutt Summers, recently grounded in an accident involving a Warwick, has been put in charge of Vickers-Armstrong’s publicity department.
Speaking of publicity departments.

The Ministry of Civil Aviation is to have a contest to choose the designs of the buildings to replace the tents at London Airport (Heathrow), which is its name on this page. A 485mph Hawker Fury has been shown. Reykjavik airfield, constructed during the war by the British Army at a cost of £5 million, has been turned over to the Icelanders, free of charge. Sir G. P. Thomson, a physicist and scientific advisor to the British Air Ministry with the same name as Lord Kelvin for some reason, is to be the member of a new committee which will scientifically advise the British delegation to the United Nations on things atomical. Admiral Sir Lionel Preston has resigned as chairman and managing director of Titanine.

“Deauville Rally: Fifty British Aircraft Visit France: First Big International Meeting” This happened. Also, a Hythe-class flying boat is off from Poole (it's another name for the Sunderland) for the survey flight to the Far East, and will arrive Hong Kong 22 July. This is the “first indication” that BOAC is reopening an eastern route. About time! Also, Lord Mountbatten allowed that aircraft were involved in World War II in a nice speech to the City of London.

H. F. King, M.B.E., “Jet Bombers: A Discussion of Current and Projected Designs: Army-Support Aircraft ‘Mediums’ and ‘Heavies’” Various American jet bombers exist. IN the future, there will be others. Some might have rockets. Others might have a “turbine-cum-athodyd.” 
It turns out that a "turbine-cum-athodyd" is perfectly practical, but we're not going to pursue the technology, because making it economical would be hard work. If there's one thing I've learned about postwar technology, when things get hard and expensive, we should just give up and move on to something earlier in the hype stage.
Some might be carried into the air on the back of other planes. Special munitions might be required, such as the rocket bomb designed for the Me-262, because even larger jets might not have enough internal volume to store munitions, and semi-internal or exposed carriers might be required. Pulse-jets might best be used in army-support jets, of which the Germans designed one, and the Americans are developing one, the XP-81. Since the Germans drew designs of jet bombers with swept-back wings, reverse swept-back wings, all wings, and w-shaped wings, it is likely that any future bomber will look like one or the other German sketch, and then we can all agree that the Nazis were very advanced, and so they probably had a point about other things, too.
Speaking of giving up when things get hard. Source: 

Civil Aviation

The Constellation fleet was grounded after a crash in Pennsylvania on 11 July.  

This has paralysed the Transatlantic service of KLM, Trans-Canada and BOAC, although Pan-Am is keeping up a skeleton service with DC-4s. The Royal Mail Line's chairman, in his annual address to the membership, took credit for all the successes of British South American Airways from now on. Several more Latin American airlines have ordered Martin 303s, while another is still waiting for the DC-4s and -6s it ordered. 
I've got something a lot more on the nose lined up below, but this'll hold us.

Lord Winster’s experience with a smoky cabin due to scorching in the air blowers is described in more detail. His flight had to abort back to Heathrow (what we are calling it on this page). All the charter airlines are overflowing Croydon, and some are moving to Kenley. PICAO is having an assembly to talk about things. Royal Dutch Airlines (which is what we are calling it on this page) will be flying a twice-weekly service Amsterdam-Glasgow starting 22 July.  De Havilland Canada will be producing one Dove a week starting next spring. The Santa Fe is starting an airline with a terminal centre at Wichita, Kansas, and will be flying two Dakotas.

American Newsletter

“Kibitzer” catches us up with the fact that there has been a bitter argument over the proposed merger of the American Services. The Army likes the idea, the Navy doesn’t, the Army Air Force wants to be a just-plain air force, and there will be one Department of Defence. Much more interesting and important, all three services are arguing about who should have rockets. “Kibitizer” supposes that once this story hits the press, the newspapers will be terrible about it, and publish lots of “pseudo-technological nonsense.” “Kibitizer’s” opinion is that all the Services should buy planes and rockets. It’s only fair to the American people, or aviation industry, if there’s a difference. Peter Masefield is resigning as British Civil Air Attaché, and “Kibitzer” is sad. “Kibitzer” proceeds to make comments about Constellations, aircraft servicing records, and the trans-Atlantic that made sense before the 11th. In a separate short note, the paper summarises an article that Captain Frank T. Courtney wrote for Air Trails, in which he argues that the flying boat does so have a future, and supposes that a figure-eight fuselage with no keel might be he way to go.


“Three Ex-Brats” contribute the conversation about what Halton graduates deserve, or not, in the service or, for them on “Civvy Street.”D. G. Duval, of Duval Aviation Services, has opinions about laws and charter air services. J. R. Lawson writes the paper about the incredibly high efficient, blowerless aircraft piston engine he has invented, because he lives alone, and there is no-one to tell him not to. A. R. Forrest is upset with the way that the argument about why birds fly in “v” formations is going. Three writers reply on the subject of measuring the effective thrust of jet engines, and J. R. Anderson suggests that German technicians be “attached” to the Ministry of Supply, because they seem much smarter than the actual Air Ministry officials, who are all awful. J. V. Arden complains that drivers won’t pick up disabled RAF veterans who are hitchhiking home from the rehabilitation centre.

Time, 22 July 1946

Morris Cohen, of Los Angeles, agrees with our British Flight Lieutenant. The Europeans have no-one to blame for themselves that they don’t have food, and Americans shouldn’t be ashamed to have so much. Anna Christie, of Washington, disagrees. Everyone should save and skimp so that there will be enough food for Europe. John Carmody, of New York, thought that the article about Einstein and the atomic bomb was very good, and would promote students’ interest in physics. Reverend William Hunter of Tunkhannock, Pennsylvania, writes in to scold Americans for not caring enough about the starving people of the world. Reverend Jack L. Schlapper, of Grove City, Penn., is very upset with Reverend John Safran’s dismissal, as is J. T. Walker of Amherst, Mass. B. K. James, of Shanghai, thinks that American policy in China is going wrong in not being arrogant and condescending enough. Rene J. Dubos, of the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research, writes to correct the many misstatements in the 24 June article on tuberculosis. Miss Edna McDavitt, of Paris, Illinois, is very upset with the tone the paper took in reporting on the General Federation of Women’s Clubs convention. She is tired of men ridiculing women.

National Affairs

“In Suspense” Still no resolution on the OPA, and it is all the President’s fault.

“Out of Control” The Senate’s new OPA authorisation bill is just like the last one, except for retaining rent control. Just to show that some things do happen in Washington, the British Loan finally passed, the isolationists being finally moved by the thought that otherwise  the Russians would win.

“So Happy” The paper is very pleased with the appointment of Leighton Stuart as American ambassador to China. It points out that this doesn’t undermine Gerneral Marshall at all, and that he is the best candidate due to being a missionary and a Koumintang crony. (Also, he “flies above Chinese politics.”)

“Cut and Uncut” President Truman presented a budget plan calling for a surplus to begin paying down the national debt, but the paper expects that by the time November rolls around, Congress will be less enamoured of a surplus and will be looking for a tax cut, instead.

“Promise Kept” This is my finest brush so that I can report that America has made all of its food aid targets in the same spirit as the press. Don’t worry, though. The famine is coming next year! The Engineer says so!

Another year, another crop too big to store. Tell me again why we can't afford biofuels?

“Paul Revere’s Ride” Harold Stassen has won the Minnesota primary by riding around the country yelling, “The Redcoats are coming.” Or something. The paper also notes that “Communist-line” Representative Hugh de Lacy has been nominated in Washington.

“Call Me Jack” The paper is very ironic about Jake Avery being elected Chairman of the Cook County Democratic Party. It’s like it’s trying to imply something.
Okay, yes, this is a  honey shot. But it is on the same page as the Jake Avery story, and Times' sudden willingness to put dead bodies on the page is an interesting cultural shift. 

“Still Climbing” The American population has reached 140,386,509, up 8.7 million since 1940. No details on how this expert-defying gain was registered, but unless a lot of Canadians or Mexicans slipped in (we won’t talk about Chinese. . . ) it’s all down to births.

“End of Strife” The paper writes quite a nice bit about the death of Sidney Hillman bringing an end to a life of strife. Or “struggle,” if you like unions a bit more than the paper does.

“Spare the Rod. . . “The Army apparently has a “cream-puff, progressive school” system of discipline due to all the citizen soldiers, and is trying to back track because of all the terrible things that are happening. For example, drunken GIS are abusing Japanese civilians and “endangering the mission.” In other news, the 442nd Regimental Combat Team, “all Nisei except for a sprinkling of officers,” received a parade in Washington and a Presidential Citation. Now the veterans head home, hoping for “something to call our own.”

“Cleveland’s Plan” The cover story for this week is General Salazar, but this is the second “profile” type story I’ve read already in this number. Cleveland is a town in Ohio. It has lots of industries, and a high minded citizenry that loves urban plans and “civic functions.” It has a mosquito problem, and the Cuyahoga River is “rat grey” with industrial waste.
This educational film comes up when I search for "cuyhoga fire 1950." There's plenty of footage of the 1960s fire. I'm hoping that there's one deep in this, although I was too bored to confirm it.

“Star of Lisbon” The paper’s coverage of the Star of Lisbon crash is based on an interview with farmer George Boeshoe, in whose wheat field the plane initially set down before being carried another 1000ft into another field. Boeshoe found Captain Norman A. Nilsen, thrown clear but mortally wounded, Captain Richard Brown, standing dazed by the side of the road. The other four ”TWAmen” died in the wreckage. The CAA immediately grounded the Constellations, are reported elsewhere. The paper has to go back all the way to the Ford Trimotor grounding after the crash that killed Knute Rockne for a parallel. 
Crash Landing Bar, New Orleans. 
The “flashy, popular ‘Connies’” haul 2500 passengers a week in overseas flights, 4000 a week in domestic. It is the third Constellation to catch fire and crash-land in ten months, the first two being due to the blower failure described by Flight. Star of Lisbon presumably caught fire for another reason, since the planes are not cleared above 10,000ft. A member of the Airline Pilots Association thinks that the Constellation is unsafe to fly, while the paper thinks that it was rushed into service too quickly.



“The Circles” Talking about talking about peace! In Luxembourg!

“Watch on the Rhine” Also in Paris, with side order of the future of Germany? The point is that communists are awful and terrible.

“Our Feathered Friends” Heligoland and Pantellaria are small islands that were bombed a lot in the war. The United Nations think that they should be made bird sanctuaries.

“In McRompers’ Steps” United Nations delegates like sane people. Further bulletins as events warrant.
Senator McRompers is a L'il Abner character, so this is a hilariously relevant joke in 1946. Not the cartoon. It's just dumb. Senator McRompers making sanity tests mandatory for politicians. And, yes, everything I know about this is because Time explains it. 

News in the making. The first UFO hysteria?

“Brooks, the Bandit” The paper is pleased to report that Brook Atkinsons’ explanation of the awfulness of Russian communists has provoked an awful Russian communist response. Although the Greek “rightists” are also awful, so both sides do it.

The paper is reacting to Premier Tsaldaris' rant against the Greek left-wing press, and not his response to the "Ghost ships," although that was a hoot, too. 

“Thunder” There is starvation in Hunan and Kwangsi Provinces, while the UNRRA has cut off all but emergency shipments to China, having noticed that the $132 million so far sent has not ended up in the proper hands.
Who could have anticipated. . . . 

“How Bad is the Best?” General Salazar is pretty awful, but the Portuguese are lazy, and deserve him.
Yugoslavs are excitable. (Mihailovich sentenced to death.) The paper’s correspondents, who are travelling in Russian Germany and northern Russia, are also excitable. Russians are huge Deanna Durbin fans. Hungary is having inflation, and Belgium is thinking about having a political crisis, because the last one was so much fun.
Because she made movies with Joe Pasternak? I got nothing.

“Never Before” Covering English financial news in a language related to English, the paper reports what The Economist keeps trying to tell me: the new English 2 ½%, 21-year, £415 million domestic loan has been oversubscribed. “Never before have His Majesty’s Government borrowed so much for so little for so long.”

Canadians are boring. Also, the paper covers a story about 700 Canadians of Russian origin accepting Soviet citizenship and preparing to migrate there as some kind of joke. Not the kind that is funny, though. 

Latin Americans aren’t funny this week, as the news breaks that the 18,000 Brazilians sent to the Amazon in 1941 to gather rubber have mostly “disappeared” into the “silence of the jungle.” Also, the "Pan-American Highway" from Mexico down to the Panama Canal Zone won't be completed until at least 1949. 

Business and Finance

"A Step Towards War?" Due to the death of the OPA, various governments are revaluing their currencies against the US dollar. There is a lot of money, and little to buy, so by re-valuing up, countries can afford more American imports. Canada's re-valuation, like Sweden's, amounts to "exporting inflation," and is potentially the first step in a currency war, the kind of thing that Bretton Woods was supposed to prevent --but only in depressions. 

"Sweet Toothache" The US has bought 9 million tons of sugar from Cuba, the crop for the next two years.

"The Pressure Rises" Food prices are increasing, raising pressure for a revived OPA. GE, on the other hand, is pledging to maintain prewar prices, given capacity production. 

"Peace Between Capitalists" Because airline pilots make a lot of money, the airline strike is closer to a "row between capitalists." Chances are that the airlines will negotiate on an industry-wide basis. 

"Ban on Exports" The Civilian Production Administration is banning the export of "hundreds more scarce articles." The Commerce Department's Office of International Trade Operations thinks that the CPA is "turning on the hose before there's a fire," since there isn't actually a shortage of the articles in question. 

The Henry Lustig tax-avoidance trial has ended in sentencing of $40,000 in fines. 

Science, Medicine, Education

"Proton-Busters" The American Physical Society gathered at the University of California last week to hear the latest word on splitting the atom. Which is that splitting the atom is old news. Everyone's done it. You have your neutrons, your electrons, your protons. Unfortunately, as Robert Oppenheimer pointed out to the meeting, you also have your positrons, your mesotrons, and a "hypothetical particle called the neutrino." No-one knows how they all fit together, so, boys being boys, they're going to smash what they have until they find what they're looking for. Presumably, they will smash protons for that, although it only says so in the title, not the story. For that they need far more smashing power than the 100 million electron volts of the General Electric betatron. Physicists are now aiming for one billion volts, and Berkeley is getting warm, developing a frequency modulator that will allow the university's cyclotron to run at between 200 and 400 million electron volts. (Allowing the acccelerating electromagnetic field to be increased in frequency as the relativistic mass of the  particles increases.) Beyond that, there is the prospect of a "linear accelertor," proposed by MIT's Julius Halpern and California's Luis W. Alvarez. Alvarez's design produces protons acccelerated to 280 million electron volts, while Halpern is hoping for a billion. 

Source: I'm going to say it again. I don't think that the received history gives nearly enough emphasis to the potential significance of this research.  As it  happens, we've achieved fusion to date via brute force rather than cute particle physics tricks, but wouldn't it be nice if there were a way?
"Painless Expansion" In an idiotic article, the paper notes that Russian geographers have established that the Earth is not a "bourgeois ball," but rather a more complex ellipse than has hitherto been realised; and that this means that Russia is 2000 square miles larger than was previously supposed (and the United States is 650), and this is further proof that Russian Communists are terrible. 

"Crippled Hearts" Dr. Francis Schwentker, new head of Hopkins pediatric staff, and Dr. Helen Taussig, head ot its Heart Clinic,  have joined to launch a major research investigation of rheumatic fever, which is the number one killed of American children far ahead of polio. They believe it may be caused by the antibodies that fight disease going tragically awry and attacking the heart, although Dr. Taussig is also interested in the "sociological factors" that spread the disease. 

"Should it Hurt?" Dr. Grantly Read, an obstetrician of London, is the stupidest man in Britain. (Natural childbirth doesn't hurt if women are not afraid of it.)

Oh, Good Lord. By Edwardx - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

"Furry Dangers" Typhus and the Black Death, both traditional Old World diseases, are spreading in America --at least amongst rodent carriers, which might go on to infect humans, or, worse in some ways, city rats, which will then infect lots of humans. The Black Death even reached Kansas in 1945! 

Mary McLeod Bethune is a credit to her people, and Bethune-Cookman College, which educates 450 co-eds on its $80,000 Daytona Beach campus. It focusses on technical training, mainly of teachers. Make that three profile-style stories besides the cover story. 

Press,  Radio, Art

"Needless to Say" The New Republic is a liberal paper, not a Communist one, even if it did try to "balance on the party line" for a wile. That is why it is so shocking that it is running a series of articles by Earl Browder.

"Fish Story" Radio station KSTP is latching on to Minnesota's historic vacation fishing season by releasing tagged fish into the lakes. People who catch them, win  prizes in merchandise donated by advertisers.

Remember how, two years ago, automatic dishwashers were barely on the horizon of new kitchen conveniences? That's what it was like living in an era with actual technological progress. 

French artist Georges Rouault is suing the heirs of French art dealer Ambroise Vollard. 


Sir Thomas Beecham doesn't like Hollywood any more. The paper was invited to the Duke of Windsor's latest party. Ganna Walska and Lady Sylvia Stanley are both divorcing, the latter from Lord Stanley, the former from Yogi Theos Bernard, the White Lama. 

If you have time, click through to the Wikipedia biographies of four of her six husbands. (1, 2, 34). OMG. 

Mrs. Wales Latham is getting a CBE. Louis Bromfield has saved his dog from drowning. 

Bromfield has previously appeared in these pages as a typical example of an old-fashioned kind of American thinkfluencer, the kind who lives a self-sufficient life on  farm with a picturesque name, who is constantly being besieged by journalists who knock on his door and ask him his opinion about things. For some reason. One of Bromfield's things was the idea that global famine was imminent due to unnatural modern farming practices, Indians and Chinese having too many babies, soil exhaustion, too much meat in the diet, etc. At what point did the early spring "There'll be a famine this year for sure!" story stop being a news perennial?

Howard Hughes has a collasped lung, nine broken ribs, chest burns, shock, and incipient pneumonia. Jane Russell, Lana Turner and Linda Darnell were all apparently waiting at the hospital for the first news of his condition. Also, Walter Davenport has just become the 11th editor of Collier's, after 21 years as associate editor, while ex-Socialist Frank Owen has joind the Daily Mail with an article about the "degeneration of behaviour in postwar Britain." Not at all related is the New York Society for the Suppression of Vice's raid on bookstores selling Edmund Wilson's Memoirs of Hecate County. Gladys George is getting married, as is Frances Anderson and Colonel Anthony Joseph Drexel Biddle. Ray Stannard Baker, "last of the muckrakers," has died, and so has Alfred Stieglitz, founder of the "photo-secession" movement. 

Alfred Stieglitz, Winter --Fifth Avenue (1893).

The New Movies

The better part of this column is actually devoted to the way that Audience Research, Inc., helps Hollywood develop new movies; leaving no time for new movies.


"Connecticut Yankee" The feature review is a memoir of the Civil War, edited by someone named James H. Croushore. It has even more pictures of dead people, although since it is the Gettysburg battlefield, they are historic dead people, and that might make a difference. Carl J. Weber has a book out about a man who wrote Important Books. High brow! The man in question is a novelist of the last century, and the focus of the book is how much Americans liked him, even though Mr. Hardy only ever heard about America when his solicitors told him about the reaction to the latest pirate edition of his books. Oh, America. . . William C.  Bullitt has a quick one out, The Great Globe Itself.  It is about how awful Russian communists are. Even the paper thinks that his plans for "halting Russia" are "militaristic and extreme." He thinks that the U.S. and Britain need to combine with the "remaining democratic nations of Europe" into an anti-Russian alliance; similar alliances should be formed in other parts of the world, and there should be a vigorous anti-Communist propaganda in the Russian sphere. And then there is a book summarising what living writers think about writing. Hey! "Writing about writing about writing" is my joke! (Robert van Gelder, Writers and Writing, if you care. It has quotes from Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings.)

Flight, 25 July 1946


“Technical Training” The paper is very pleased with the way that the Cranfield College of Aeronautics has developed. It thinks that an annual class of 50 is likely to be as many as industry can absorb, even though the American industry has “ten times as many people in their technical departments,” and that the Germans were all academically-trained eggheads.
Correlli has a sad.

“. . . And Research” Sir Ben Lockspeiser gave a nice talk to the Royal Aeronautical Society about how important research is.

“E Pluribus Unum” Something about Americans and English and Empire delegates all going to the PICAO get-together, and all the Empire delegates needing to hang together in case one of the colonies accidentally buys American planes instead of English.

“Britain’s Test Pilots, No. 12: Harald James Penrose, OBE, DRAeS, AMINA: Chief Test Pilot of Westland Aircraft, Ltd” Mr. Penrose graduated from the London University’s course in general engineering and aeronautics in 1926, joined Westland as a fitter at £3/week, became a design draftsman after six months while doing flight training on a “Lucifer-engined Bristol P.T.M., which had more built-in vibration than any other aircraft before or since.” Then he was appointed manager of the Civil Aircraft side, a ten-man office, and “from there it was a short step to testing them,” and so on and so forth until he became the firm’s chief test pilot, flying Hill’s Pterodactyl in the process, making him the country’s expert on tailless aircraft.

I think we've heard enough about Hill's Westland Pterodactyl around here, so let's look at this monstrosity, instead. By ADL, CC BY-SA 3.0,

“The College of Aeronautics” A very short article repeats what was said in the Leader. It all seems a bit disappointing after the grand vision of the original proposal, but since most people thought that the original proposal was silly, I guess it’s either a smaller scale of silly, or less silly because it is smaller.

“Power-Folding Problems: Latest Requirements for Wing folding: Lockheed Hydraulic System Employed” The Naval Air Arm of to-day has enormous planes (by weight: the Firebrand is very nearly the same dimensions as the old Skua, but twice the weight) with huge wings, which need power folding, especially since more and more equipment, such as guns, are in the wings outboard of the fold. The unauthored article tells us that hydraulic power is much better for this than electrical, and that is why Lockheed Hydraulic Brake Company, of Leamington Spa, makes the best power-folding equipment, which has numerous features which will be of the greatest interest to the designers of future naval aircraft that need power folding wings.

Here and There

E. G. B. Stevens, Avro’s technical representative in Australia, returned to London recently. At a talk, he told the press that right now the Lancastrian was the only aircraft which could satisfy the requirements of the service, but that when the Tudor II came into service in about eight months’ time, all records would be broken. In Canada, a Bell helicopter equipped with a magnetic anomaly detector became the first helicopter used in mineral surveying. Its ability to hover over suitable terrain while the technician kicks, curses, prods and wiggles wires to get the detector to work, is a selling point. 
Benson Lake Mine, deep in the impenetrable hills behind Port Alice somewhere. Never mind, I'm being nostalgic.

Several Englishmen who didn’t want to wait for boats, have bought planes and emigrated with their families in them. “The latest is a 28-year-old ex-RAF pilot who has b ought a Proctor and set out with his wife and two small children for their new home in South Africa.” Air Marshal Cochrane is setting out for the Far East in a York to do a survey of conditions during the monsoon season. The USAAF is staging a 10,000 mile Honolulu-Cairo B-29 record flight. The aircraft will avoid Russian territory, and, if successful, will be in the air for 43 hours. After six years in the aircraft repair business, the Biggleswade firm of Shrager Brosis producing a trailer caravan called the “Berkeley Carapartment,” which will “embody features of aircraft design and manufacturing principles. “
And no-one will care about them, because the company will dump its profits into a mid-cost British sports car, and what else could anyone ever be interested in than an obscure line of mid-century British sports cars? You'd think that the company could have  used some of that money when "the caravan market crashed in 1960."

“All Stations East: A 30,000 Mile Flight on a D.H. Mosquito 32: The Director of Accident Prevention Visits Sixty Stations” Air Commodore A. C. H. Sharp is the new Director of Accident Prevention, and celebrated the fact by flying from London to Karachi and back via Nairobi in the interest of studying accident prevention at many, many foreign stations. He discovered that poorly-laid-out, underequipped, understaffed foreign stations have accident prevention problems.

And that food and liquor isn't being rationed overseas. There's a lot of survey flights leaving Britain these days, is all I'm saying.

“’Indicator’ Discusses Topics of the Day: Too Much Planning: Theory vs Practice: Faults of Over-organisation: Importance of Exceptions: Necessary Flexibility” Bureaucracy can be cumbersome, illustrated with some stories that might be amusing if ‘Indicator’ had a wife to prod him on to the punchline instead of wandering on the next one halfway through.

“Sir Ben Predicts: DGSR(A) Discusses Future Aircraft Developments: A.W. and D.H. Projects” The Director-General of Scientific Research (Air) has opinions. He points out that the Royal Aircraft Establishment employs 4,300 people, of whom 900 are scientists and engineers. He points out that the Spitfire represented the completion of a revolutionary period of design, and that ther war years were a period of consolidating those advances. In his view, the next period of consolidation will not be coming for another ten to fifteen years. Extensive wind tunnel testing will allow very great reductions in drag, which will be important for civil aviation in particular. Laminar flow, suction, boundary layer control, accurate manufacture and high finish will contribute further. 

And then development will start to get expensive, and we'll give up!

Unfortunately, the same kind of treatment will not be applicable to fuselages, and this has led to the conclusion that we need to get rid of bodies and tails by going to flying wings. Sweep-back will help break the sound barrier, but not everything will be smooth sailing afterwards, and it is in the region around the sound barrier that we presently know least. This is why the Miles M. 52 was abandoned: no-one had the heart to ask a pilot to fly such a machine on the basis of our present knowledge. “The type, incidentally, was to have a special W.2/700 with ducted fan and after-burning.” In the future, airscrew turbines will lead the field up to about 550mph, turbine jets up to 1600mph, and athodyds above 1600mph. Rockets may be useful in many applications.

“Napier Flight Development” Napier has a flight development centre at Luton Airport, which has its own drawing and modelling offices. The shop shows off its last production job, a “momentum air cleaner” produced for the Hawker Typhoons flying from forward bases in Normandy, which were grounded due to excessive sleeve wear from airborne dust from their dirt landing fields. It also shows off the annular radiator installation which will now never be used, and produces data to show that with the annular radiator, the Sabre installed on a test Warwick bettered the installed Pratt and Whitney Double Wasp R-2800 by 0.11 lb/bhp at 1.81lb/bhp. It will also make a tailless Sabre fighter if only someone would ask for it.

Luton. Comedy gold!

Civil Aviation News

Railway Air Services will start a twice-daily Belfast-Manchester-London service 29 July. British South American is flying another survey mission to South America. The first Merlin-powered Trans-Canada Douglas/Canadair Skymaster flew in Montreal last week and will be available for Trans-Atlantic service soon. It now appears that the Constellation fleet will be grounded for awhile, and there are rumours that BOAC may obtain Lancastrians or Skymasters. BOAC is about to receive its first Handley Page Halton. It has been named Falkirk. It has ten “very comfortable” seats, and the bomb bay has been converted into a luggage compartment. Many Dakotas, the paper notices, are still in service. Lord Winster wishes charter air services “every success.” Blackburn is getting into the business with a charter subsidiary.

“British European Plans” British European Airways will fly many European services, mostly with Dakotas (which is what C-47s/DC-3s are called on this page), but with Vikings in the fall.

“Leicestershire Display” There was an air show in that place no-one can pronounce. In shorter news, the Antarctic whaling fleet will take along three Supermarine Walrusses, re-conditioned by Saunders-Roe. They will look for whales but also for fog banks and open leads in the ice.

“Contenders for the Record” The paper profiles three future English heroes of the air, Sqdn LdrW. A. Waterton, Group Captain E. M. Donaldson, and Flt. Lt. H. F. Duke, of the High-Speed flight.

There is now a Danish-built two-seat cabin plane, the KZ-III.

“Two New Power Unites: 3000hp Napier Sabre VII; Rolls-Royce Merlin for Airlines” The Mark VII is the most powerful and efficient Napier yet, and the new civil Merlin is much in demand, especially with all the Constellations grounded.


“Corporal” thinks that all the other ranks are leaving the air force because they are overworked in petty and irritating ways. Several regular correspondents are upset about nationalisation and the treatment of charter airlines, while John C. Proctor has a tribute for the “’erk,” and L. V. Armandias contributes to the ongoing discussion of why birds fly in “vees.”  

Answer: Because there are no lock fasteners on the back doors. That's just unsafe! 
Time, 29 July 1946


Eunice M. Johnson, of Hanover, Illinois, thinks that Americans should forgive, various other people and nations they know only through prejudice, such as Negroes, George III, capital, labour, Russia, etc, as it takes energy and intelligence away from our real problems. Several authors have opinions about Catholicism. Paul C. Hawkins, 1st Lieutenant, O.R.C., Air Corps, hates war and combar so much that he thinks we should have WWIII now, before it can get out of hand and lead to even more war and combat. The Reverend David Noel Freeman, of Baltimore, thinks that Amereica is trying to use its temporary advantage of the atomic bomb to gain the permanent advantage of the abolition of the Russian veto, which is why the Baruch Proposal is bad. Hi Sibley, of Neuvo, California, has stayed in the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed Imperial Hotel in Tokyo, and thinks that anyone who would buy a Wright-designed house is an idiot. Melvin F. Schoonover, of Monon, Indiana, is appalled that Senator Bilbo will be re-elected, but sees various bright spots in the future, mainly in terms of Christianity spreading "the only ultimate source of sanity, hope and peace." Although I think he is misreading one of his hopeful signs (that the Church of England has more applicants for the priesthood than positions for them. That could easily be read as a bad sign.)

Fallingwater.  "Rising Mildew."

Miscellany reports that the National Institute of Diaper Services has postponed its annual convention in Miami Beach because "diapermen were too busy with a 'bumper crop of babies.'"

National Affairs

“If He’s Right, I’m Wrong” The President has endorsed Representative Roger Slaughter's opponent in the upcoming Missouri Fifth District Democratic Primary. The paper thinks that it was a bad decision, and that the President is stupid.

“Dog-Tired Compromise” A compromise bill extending the OPA for another year has been introduced into the Senate. It puts rent controls back on, puts ceilings on meat, poultry, butter, eggs, milk and grains until at least 20 August, and puts a Decontrol Board in charge of raising them then, as well as making sure that ceilings on manufactured goods guarantee “reasonable profits.” What might seem like the President getting his way is, in fact, all to the credit of AlbenBarkley, because the President is stupid.

“Still Calling Yankel” The Mead Committee cooked Representative May’s goose this week by calling his secretaries to describe the usual phone calls over money, deliveries of money to the office in brown envelopes, and their Yiddish nickname for him, which is meant to imply that they didn’t think he was that bright.

Time's online archival format has improved hugely over the last two years, but it still has issues with image capture. Okay, I know that's a "The food is terrible and there's not enough of it" complaint, but I wanted to register the point when you see that big back arrow in the picture. 

“Final Report” The Final Report on Pearl Harbour concludes that that the President had nothing to do with it, on a party line vote. Senator Brewster promised to re-open the inquiry in a future, Republican-controlled Congress.

American politics has changed less than is sometimes assumed. Also: creepy.

“In the Crow’s Nest” The National Maritime Union elections saw the Communists retain their control of the governing board. Also, Charles Murray and Jacob S. Potofsky have succeeded Sidney Hillman within he CIO, and polling shows that the Republicans would win if the 1948 election were held today, with Dewey holding a clear lead, and Burton K. Wheeler has lost in the Montana Democratic primary to one Leif Erickson, making him the fifth US senator denied renomination this year.

“Comfortable Again” Exploiting Geogia’s county unit system of counting votes, Georgia has elected the same old men on the same old platform of being nice to the farmers.

“Jimmy on the Sawdust Trail” Jimmy Roosevelt and Will Roger, Jr., have been fighting over Jimmy being a secret commie pinko. Now Jimmy has given the international revolution up, and Will has arranged for him to be nominated to run for the Assembly. In the paper’s interpretation.

The Pick-Sloan Plan called for eighteen dams, 1700 miles of levees, 4.8 million acres of irrigated land, 1.6 milion kilowatts of electrical power, and a complete river navigation system. Fortunately, this rampant socialism was defeated, although 7 of the dams were built. 

“Bill and George” Crime wave in Chicago!  in other horrible crime news, Lieutenant Redin’s trial received the verdict from the jury in Seattle this week. “What would those quiet-eyed men and those neatly dressed Amerian housewives elieve of a Russian these days? Would lthey, as folks did in Russia, believe that any man accused by the Government was automatically guilty? Nikolai Redin waited.” Surprise! “Not guilty” was returned, and Lieutenant Redin and his “attractive wife, Galena,” returned to Moscow. I remember Galena  coming up in conversation when we talked about the police picking him up behind the Black Cat, and the hiring of new cleaners at the Consulate, too. It almost made feel guilty, before we learned that the current cleaner had a marriageable niece in Canton. 


“Piecemeal Peace” Peace talks in Paris talk about peace, which is what we have, only more peace, because if we don’t have even more peace, we’ll have war over Germany, Besarabia, Translyvania, Southern Dobruja, Carpathian Ruthenia, the Russo-Polish border, Lagosta or Pelagosa Islands, the Dodecanese, the Trenta, Brega, or somewhere else entirely, like Finland, the Danubian basin or the Ruhr. At least Senator Vandenberg is on the case, the paper says, apparently not with its tongue in cheek at all.

“Coos and Moos” It’s the return of the “scene setting” story! The paper’s grand tour starts at first postwar international pigeon races, held by the National Club for Pigeon Races of London, moves on to Valais, holding its first postwar “cow war” in the high meadows, which is depressing given that there was an actual war. To remind us, Toshiko Yamaguchi performed “Star Dust” for a bombed-out Tokyo to celebrate her return from internment in Shanghai,

Given that it's Japan, it's amazing how little Japanese popular culture of the 1940s is on the Internet.

 and Edith Morell is the toast of Berlin for singing happy songs of Vienna, when the cabaret bands are not being force to play the  Horst Wesel song by drunken American servicemen, and Czechs ignore communism while actual Russian communists in Moscow thrill to “Chattanooga Choo-Choo,” the “Marine Corps Hymn,” (the paper sighs wistfully for the day to come when the Marines teach the Russians not to enjoy their hymn. Only not. Because WWIII would be horrible. So forget that the paper implied that! Only don’t, because communism is horrible.) Also, the Russians are gloomy, French sing of love, and the English are “sunk in sentimentality and longing for the good old days that never were.”

Strangely, a few stories down, when it talks about French crowds on their Bastille Day holiday, buying candy and ice cream at the beach, the paper’s grand narrator doesn't stop to apologise for last spring’s “the famine is coming” scene-set. I mean, no doubt that it is –next winter, but, well . . . No, never mind, it is enough that the Engineer said so!

True, it isn't always good food

“A Matter of Discipline” Several great artists of the Latin persuasion make fools of themselves for being communists, even though their lack of discipline means that the Party won’t readmit them.

United Nation delegates like Coke, peace and quoting famous people on peace, but not Coke, because famous people don’t talk about Coke. Further bulletins as events warrant.

“Dull Year of Hope” Herbert Morrison is this week’s cover story. He is a Labour minister. He is for nationalisation. Nationalisation is bad. When the English realise this, they will re-elect the Conservatives, and purge the rot, not only of longing for socialism, but the bad old days of cartelization, so that a golden age of free enterprise will bloom. In the meantime, Mr. Morison is nice, for a socialist, and the English are silly, what with their habit of queueing up in the shops, even when they don’t have to queue.

“On to Odessa” Marshal Zhukov has been rusticated in the Odessa Military District. The paper runs down the rumoured explanations and comes down on the idea that he is being punished for being too friendly with American and British generals.

“Toward Democracy” After all the mad stories Fat Chow likes to tell about his Pan-Turanian “friends,” it is a little surprising to hear that Turkey is “moving towards democracy.” But they must, because a party named the “Democrats” are doing well in the polls, and their leadership is supported by various generals and field-marshals, as in any good democracy.

“Austria Has It Good” American GIs in Austria drink and eat well, including 60,000 scoops of ice cream a day, and even have enough Coca-Cola.

“Crisis” Chiang has left Nanking for Kuling, because it is summer, and it is always nice to be up in the mountains in the cool breeze when you are getting ready to lose a civil war. Or as the paper says, push the Communists away from the railroads and out of economically important areas” while avoiding an “all-out, knockdown-dragout civil war.” So if there is a civil war, and it ruins the Marshall mission, it will be the Communists’ fault, for fighting back? I think? The paper doesn’t really address the issue, although it does take a swing at Madame Sun for suggesting that the Communists should be invited into a coalition government.

Iconic scenery around Mount Lushan

“Fall of the House of Mitsui” The Mitsui family is liquidating its holdings and planning not to exist any more, in deference to General MacArthur’s plan to make Japan democratic.
This should work out well.

“Nabetari’s Voyage” Robert Sherrod reports the story of a Gilbert Islander who was drafted to Ocean Island as a Japanese labourer and fled 2000 miles by canoe to the Solomon Islands. This was apparently an unequaled feat in the “lore of oceanic survival.”

Canadians are boring.

Latins are very exciting this week, as the body of President Gualberto Villarroel is “hung from a lamppost” at the end of 96 hours of bloody fighting.  Several schemes to promote “selective immigration” to Latin America are booted, including one to take 20,000 of General Anders’ 160,000 man II Polish Corps.
Better a dead martyr than a live labour reformer, it seems

Business and Finance

“Leveling Off?” The rise of commodity prices seems to be levelling off, led by meat.

“Those Men Are Here Again” The Silver Bloc won an increase in the price of silver for their votes on the OPA. Even the paper notices the catastrophic result this will have in silver-standard countries like China, India and Mexico. I am sure that this will be mentioned when the time comes to debate the causes of the Communist victory in China, Grace said with tongue in cheek.

“Revolt Tripped” Several men have resigned from the board of Pan-Am after the latest revolt against his “one man rule.”

“End of a Legend” Mrs. Mollie Netcher Newbury has resigned as head of Chicago’s seventh-largest department store, the Boston Store at 79. She sold for $14 million, never having done very much with her money, because there was no time. 

Uncle Henry’s latest brainstorm is pictured.

Source (Paul Niedermayer's Curbside Classic);  British Pathe newsreel footage, via Curbside Classic.  Worth watching just to see the monster overtaking on an old-fashioned three-lane highway.

“Heavy Weather Ahead” The U.S. Maritime Commission spent $15 billion in four years, which is a lot of money, even for the number of ships it got, and the House Merchant Marine Congressional Committee is curious to find out what, exactly, the country bought. It turns out that there is no evidence of fraud, or of anything else, because hardly any records were kept. Although, shockingly, inflated fees were often paid to ships of preferred lines, like the Mayor’s own Hawaiian American, and, well, I do need to talk to Uncle George about this, because I would be shocked, just shocked, if some money reached our hands illegitimately!

“Noble Experiment” Since there is to be television and all, the American Broadcasting Corporation is to float a public stock issue, and since this is the idea of owner Edward John Noble, the paper saw a chance for a pun title. He is also the man who had to pay out $350,000 to Donald Flamm for using the threat of FCC intervention to force him to part with a New York radio station.

Science, Medicine, Education

“Let It Ring” Ernst Keller’s Ipsophone was shown to the world this week, although some 80 have already been sold in Switzerland by the Oerlikon engineer. The Ipsophone is a miracle of human freedom, by the sounds of things: it records your incoming telephone calls, far longer than the 30 seconds of existing machines. More importantly, you can call it, and get playbacks of the messages. There is a special code to enter so that other people can’t get at your messages, which is a remarkable use of the acoustically-initiated electronic logic circuits used in the war in itself. But there’s more, because it actually responds to spoken commands to “erase”!
The Ipsophone. Not actually all that, unfortunately.

You might remember that my birthday is coming up in November.

“An Atomic Navy?” The Navy signed a huge, $103,000 research contract with the Washington University of St. Louis to develop atomic engines for warships. This was a clever choice, both because Changellor Arthur H. Compton is a physicist, and because Russian spies won’t even be able to find the city this confusingly-named university is in! The thought is that it would probably take the form of a uranium or plutonium “pile” heating the water in boilers. Since a pound of pure natural uranium (U-238) can produce 20,400 kilowatt-hours of electricity, could cruise just about forever. And engineers “guesstimate that uranium as a fuel would be no more costly than coal or oil.” The Navy is not, however, investing all of its atomic money into uranium. As research continues into the interactions of protons, neutrons and electrons, it hopes to uncover better ways of releasing nuclear energy.  

“God’s Own Narcotic” Doctors hate Paul de Kruif, of the Reader’s Digest, and the paper hates Reader’s Digest, so De Kruif’s latest discovery, “Demerol,” comes as a mixed blessing. On the one hand, de Kruif’s promotion of it is likely to cause a wave of Demerol addictions. On the other, we can all enjoy making fun of the fact that “Dr.” de Kruif’s doctorate is in bacteriology, not medicine!

 “The Vanport Idea” Vanport, Oregon, is  half-abandoned now that the shipyard has closed, and Stephen E. Epler, inventor of six-man football, is opening a junior college in an empty housing centre.


Dwight Eisenhower and his four brothers joined the fish rush to the north woods. Cathy and Maude Byrnes showed up at the community canning centre in Washington to promote national Home Food Preservation Week. Even Ilya Ehrenburg thinks Esperanto is silly. A. P. Herbert’s apartment was burgled at the same time that Big Ben was being a big hit. Irony! Drew Pearson is fighting the Ku Klux Klan, and both are horrible. Sometimes, I prefer it when the paper takes sides. Gloria Vanderbilt is terrible. Clare Boothe Luce, who is fighting for “civilian control of atomic energy,” gave one of her fellow committee members a chance to talk, at which point Walter H. Judd suggested that “radioactive elements might be used to transmute the human species.” Mrs. Luce responded by suggesting that we should transmute all women into Lana Turners. Hmm. No. That would make fashion very boring. Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., has had a son with Hazel Scott. Carl Mydans and wife, Shelley, have also had a son. Princess Laetitia Murat, great-great-grandniece of Napoleon, has married Lieutenant Charles R. Codman, Jr., assistant military attached of the US Embassy in Paris, while George Vanderbilt has married some socialite. General Milhailovich and Arthur Greiser have been excecuted. Dr. Bogomolets did not live to 150, after all.  

George, fooling around in boats in the Solomons, 1943. The Howard marriage is omitted from the wikipedia article, curiously enough. 

Press, Radio, Art

“Wuxtry, Read All About It!” That’s how they say “Extra,” in Chicago, which has newspapers, which compete with each other with sensational stories, often involving crime! Actually, the real crime is namedropping the paper’s friends in a “man bites dog” story like this one. Also, Agness Underwood is an “uninhibited” Los Angeles crime reporter, because she is showing Phoebe Hearst the ropes.

“Tass” Russia’s Tass news agency has a Manhattan bureau and 18 U.S.-based reporters, 13 of them American, including Larry ToddWilliam E. DoddJr., was their stringer in the Redin case. Some Tassmen are spies. Also, they file very long stories which are tariffed at the press rate, which are actually reports to Russian intelligence!

“Moderns in Maize” The University of Iowa has held a modern art exhibition, including some pieces by Max Beckmann. Most Iowans were not impressed.

Fair use,

“The Shape of Things to Come” The Everyday Art Galley at Minneapolis’s Walker Art Centre has shown Russel Wright’s new chinaware collection, along with similar lines. It is ugly, but, it is hoped, immune to clumsy dishwashers. (I wonder if that includes the automatic kind?)

So this kind of chinaware is new in 1946. Talk about your unappreciated revolution in everyday life! Unless Time is exaggerating?

Earl Browder was on the new show, Mutual of Omaha’s Meet the Press. This is because producer Martha Rountree is “blonde, bouncy,” and “Men say yes,” and not because he has a book to promote. Worried that too many women are still reading the paper, it then doubles down with an awful comment about sweaters.

 The New Pictures

The Strange Love of Martha Ivers is a good movie for adult moviegoers, with its plot of murder, false witness, assault, lust, perfidy, tender love, sadism, juvenile delilngquency, blackmail, civi corruption, adultery and dipsomania (whew!), but might not be suitable for Junior and Sister, who might be packed off to Centennial Summer, instead. Especially since the all-star technicolour production is going to need big box office to hit its million-dollar budget. Perhaps. My little Junior and Sister prefer their music bright, cheery, and full of nonsense words, but perhaps there’s some of that in the score.


Edith Sitwell has a book out about Queen Elizabeth (No, not my little "Sister," the Queen of England). Or her girlhood, anyway, when her father was awful. Howard Fast has something called a “fictionalised biography” of John Peter Altgeld. I gather that this the kind of biography where you take a semi-famous public figure and invent various plausible details to make their stories more interesting. One Cyril Connolly has written one of those English books that are full of bitterly elegant essays on things, and Doubleday has brought out The Best Stories of Wilbur Daniel SteeleThe listing says that it is 469 pages. How many not-best stories were there??

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