Saturday, August 6, 2016

Postblogging Technology, June 1946, II: Vacationing For Lost Time

General Delivery,
Nakusp, Canada.

Dear Father:

This package is a bit bulky since I am including an album of photographs of your grandchildren, and snaps from Bikini. I've added notes to the back of the photos, and now find that the well of words has run dry. So if there is to be any humanising touch ahead of my newsletter, it will have to be business --if you can call that humanising.

The first and most important business news is that there is talk of a pull-back in California real estate. Mario has chosen to  ignore this, after consulting with his father, etc. As a result, there has been a run on the bank's shares. Uncle George is undecided as to whether we want to reduce our exposure. It would be an awful insult to Paul, but since it is his son running things, and he is not a proven commodity, perhaps we should safeguard our affairs? There is, after all, increasing talk of a business depression in 1947, which sounds better grounded than the talk of the "postwar depression" usually is. For one thing, it is hard not to believe that there won't be a crash in farm prices, with the way that everyone is rushing to put everything in the ground they can right now. (You should see the orchard! I don't think that a bumper crop of oranges will save Europe's children but try telling Michael that!)

I guess the question is how well the housing boom will stand a pullback in spending. The shortage is real! We have been unable to find additional builders for the bottom corner, and are only building on two of five lots. But will people buy when they are not confident in their jobs?

Turning to the questions coming out of your visit with Chief Richards, I was up at the college last week, meeting with "Miss Ch." The Head of Special Collections is still interested in having her, but they do not have enough Chinese material to justify moving her over from the asian library. I want to be very sure that "Miss Ch." is at Special Collections before the fall, for reasons you may appreciate if  "Miss V. C." has spun out her Oregon Scandal murder mystery for you. It's one thing to turn up a bit of old-time fraud and expose the College to suits from the Governor's creditors. It is quite another to implicate living individuals in murder, even one that would have happened thirty years ago.

Since, one thing leading to another, I would rather not have "Miss Ch." exposed as an associate of mine, my pretext for visiting the campus was to meet with the Engineers' boys: not the good one, the scapegoat and the bastard. (Don't worry that I was mixing myself up in cloak-and-dagger business beyond my ken. Fat Chow was on campus, escorting his wife. She has decided not to take a full-time position at the University, as a full set of classes would get in the way of her family duties, and is looking into teaching some courses at the college which would fit her schedule better.) 

The bastard was up on account of having told the board of his meeting that he had pull with a law professor at the college who could advise them on how to proceed with the studios. He was understandably nervous, since in fact he was talking through his hat, and was depending on somone at the college to acknowledge his relationship with his father. The scapegoat? Well, I think he needed a break from thirty years of doing nothing on dirty radio money, enough to be willing to help the young man. Either way, we had a bit of a laugh at the Engineer's new bread-recipe-business, and plotted out an approach. And, hopefully, anyone who was snooping on me thinks that that was the sum of it. Because if one hair on "Miss Ch.'s head" is harmed, I will level that place flatter than the Ruins of Yin.

Ahem. I think that I had better go back to looking at holiday brochures. 

Time, 17 June 1946


C. Herbert Laub of Tampa thinks that the Allies are BUNGLING postwar diplomacy. J. A. Reichman, of Memphis, writes to deny that white men there have Coloured mistresses, while Franklin Kimblough, also of that city, is very upset that the paper published a photo of Coloured folk enjoying the city’s carnival. They’re not the worst correspondents from Memphis this week, either. Robert Cochrane, of Washington, thinks that the paper is hard on organised labour, and Buddy Shartar, of Atlanta, wants an atomic bomb dropped on the Ku Klux Klan. Ada P. McCormick telegraphs her approval of the leprosy story from Tucson. Henckl Bierberg, of Copenhagen, thinks that the press pool at Bikini is there for just so much American propaganda.  Ed Jones, of Port Clinton, Ohio, has concerns about a story about the “heart purity or Holiness” churches. H. S. Atchkinson, of Camborne, England, doesn’t like Bolsheviks. M. McRae of the Canadian army and W. K. Meredrith, of Sappho, Washington, write in defence of Frank Buchman’s Moral Rearmament movement, which is sure to be big news.
The (presumed) Sappho of Sappho, Washington, now defunct. Picture from Copyright not asserted, so let's just say "Mr. or Ms. Kaleberg, 2006 or so." I bet W. K. Meredrith knew the story. 

National Affairs

The President is BUNGLING labour strife. He has also made Fred Vinson Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and brought John Wesley Snyder into the Treasury to replace Vinson, while sending Senator Warren Austin of Vermont to the UN as the American Permanent Representative and Eugene Meyer, formerly publisher of the Washington Post, to the World Bank.

“Wrath Without Dignity” Justice Robert Jackson back from the Nuremberg Trials on leave, has made his side of his feud[!], with Justice Hugo Black public, just in time for Vinson to clean up the mess.

“Politics and Pork Chops” Joe Curran, head of the National Mariners’ Union, is this week’s cover story. Whither labour, what with the strikes and the Communists and Harry Bridges? Who knows, but Curran doesn’t like communists, who are trying to take over the American labour movement, so he might yet save the country from communism.

“The Big Winner” Governor Warren has won both the Republican and Democratic primaries in California, routing the candidate backed by the California Political Action Committee, which the paper celebrates as a defeat for the American left. But what if this is just a first step on the Governor’s path to become a Progressive Republican candidate for President?

“Something Borrowed” The Army has tracked down the officers who stole Princess Sophie of Hesse’s family jewelry while quartered on her castle. Now they will face court martial, all beause one corporal “could not be moderate in his looting.”

“One Promise Met” The United States finally reached and exceeded its food exports target in the third week of May, at 363,000 tons of grain. But to meet its targets, it must ship 1.7 million tons in June, triple its total in May.

“Going, Going” Price controls are on their way out more. Also in things that go on forever, West Virginia’s “diehard Republican Senator Chapman” is still fighting the draft law, because he does not “want to draft boys to fight a civil war in China.” National service might take 50,000 boys a year for the Army. The “Work Done” section once more reminds us that the Senate can get things done on boring stuff like servicemen’s insurance (and Congressional pay raises!), but not the FPEC bill.

“Don’t Jump!” The paper does a two page spread on the fire at the La Salle Hotel in Chicago that killed 61 people over the weekend, which was followed four days later by the Canfield Hotel fire in Dubuque, which killed fifteen. The paper prints gruesome photographs of burned corpses. The fire was caused by a short circuit behind a false ceiling.

La Salle fire. My photos turne out even blurrier than this one, which is a print pinned from ebay. The contorted, charred corpses are on the Internet, too. Thanks, Time!

“100 Indians” Congress is debating a bill which will, generously, allow 100 Indians to immigrate in the United States each year, joining the 4000 already there, not counting resident aliens.


The entire first page is dedicated to the hope fear that we can get World War III going soon. The Communists will have started it!

“Mouse in the House” Meanwhile, it is agreed that if Franco’s Spain is not a “threat to world peace,” the United Nations shouldn’t do things about it that are not the things that it isn’t doing. Also, a mouse chewed through the wirings at one pont. Further bulletins as events warrant.
The mouse nibbling the wire leads UN news at Time and Newsweek. 

“Fission Fever” The Russian press suggests that the atomic bomb is driving Americans mad.

Azerbaijanis are excitable.

“The Bases of Peace” America needs to keep all of its wartime bases in case World War II happens again, and get new ones, in case World War III happens. (If it is any consolation to the less enthusiastic peoples of the Azores, Iceland and the South Seas, the new bases will be in Greenland and such.)

“After 1,995 Years” Is how long it has been since the Roman Republic. And now there is an Italian republic! Italians seem happier with a republic governed by Christian Democrats than monarchy ruled by a hereditary imbecile.

See, this is why hereditary monarchs should go in for sports. Or at least make it to the gym. 

“One Word” Carlton J. Hayes’ book about his wartime ambassadorship to Spain has been released in Spain, in a Spanish translation, just to show that Franco’s government is not a “gangster regime.” Except that the places where Hayes describes it as such (but still better than the alternative!) have not been translated, supposedly because there is no word for “gangster” in Spanish. Similarly, but vice versa, Poles are excitable.

Corinne Luchaire was sentenced to ten years of “national disgrace” this week for consorting with the Germans during the Occupation, although if her tuberculosis is as bad as it sounds, she will be lucky to live that long. (And spare a prayer for the less famous French consumptives eating their current diet. . . )

We'll be hearing more about tuberculosis.

“Surplus Liquidators” The French are complaining that, because of a lack of GIs, German P.W.s are practically running the American army’s organisation in France. The Americans are complaining that unsupervised P.W.s are liquidating everything they can get their hands on.

“The Ham” Mohammed Ali Jinnah hammed up the recent meeting of the Muslim League. It no longer looks like there will be a civil war in India.

“A Man From Palo Alto” Oliver J. Todd, an “engineer and humanitarian from Palo Alto, California,” is leading the effort to rebuild the dykes of the Yellow River. Also in Chinese news, General Marshall is still negotiating with Chou En-Lai.

“News from Never-Never Land” The American occupation authorities in Korea think that the Russians are stripping all the factories in their sector and sending the machinery back to Russia, but the President’s special envoy, Ed Pauley, saw no evidence of that. Seoul is trying to figure out how he came to be so badly mistaken. The North Korean people, meanwhile, long to be (re)liberated by the Americans, it is reported.

“The  King is Dead” King Ananda Mahidol of Siam, whose erratic behaviour made the paper in April, has died, perhaps of intrigue, or accident, or even suicide.

“As Ye Sow . . . “ Japanese primary school students go on strike against their teachers over the distribution of the harvest of their school vegetable gardens, resulting in their teachers going around to the children’s’ homes to apologies. The Japanese are an odd people.
Newsweek shows Donald Trump how it's done, old school.

Latin Americans are excitable, and it turns out that the Russians are perfectly willing to be pro-Peron if there’s enough edible oil in it for them. The paper points out that Peron is not a bad person because he is a Nazi, as was once supposed; but because he is a communist, as is now realised. The State Department, meanwhile, has dropped trade restrictions on Argentina because of the not-Nazi thing.

“The Hungry” The Engineer has been touring the west coast of South America drumming up food for Europe. It has not gone well, except for Argentina offering 150,000 tons of wheat, to show how not-Nazi (or possibly not-Communist) it is. 

Canadians are on about atomic control, their growing surplus of U.S. dollars, which might lead to a relaxation of currency export controls, and the work of Evan Hardy of the University of Saskatchewan in promoting shallow plowing.

“$12,000,000 More” Uncle Henry has just floated a stock issue of that size to buy Wheeling Steel, of Portsmouth, Ohio, to provide the steel for Willow Run. My eyes are rolling.

"Hercules" is what they're currently calling the Spruce Goose. Words fail, etc.

“Confusion in the Pit” The OPA’s sudden increase in grain price ceilings severely disrupted the Chicago Commodities Exchange, and Robert W. Buckley is taking the Exchange to court. He has obtained a restraining order, but it was promptly quashed by the federal bench.

“Grey Market” The British auto market is using outrageous tricks to evade price controls.

“Straw in the Wind?” Real estate prices on the West Coast are showing signs of moderating, and people are suggesting that Bank of America should rein in. I am not sure that I agree, but Uncle George will have to make the call about whether we embarrass Paul or ride the flaming wreckage, etc. 

“The Ax Falls” The CAB this week introduced regulations in the non-scheduled airline business, and up to 95% of the new operations may be grounded.

“Up Wages, Up Rates” Western Union has secured permission to raise rates and wages.

Science, Medicine, Education

“Piles for Peace” General Electric’s Vice-President, Harry A. Wynne, thinks that atomic-powered ships, which might sail a million miles on a single fuel charge, are eminently practical, but has his doubts about atomic power for electrical utilities, because of the low price of coal. Despite that, GE is building a 300 acre research centre to look into nuclear prospects, with a special focus on the meson, “a mysterious, sub-atomic particle which may hold the key to a revolutionary course of atomic power.” GE is also taking over Hanford from the government.

Note that this GE work, if it is investigating muon-catalyzed fusion, is eight years ahead of the phenomena's supposed "discovery." I suspect that, due to security considerations, we don't know half the crazy stuff that physicists were working on in the postwar era. The tragedy is that it is the Teller-Ulam bomb that worked out, and not cheap fusion. Photo scraped from Laurie M. Brown, et al, eds. Birth of Particle Physics (CUP, 1983).

“Isotopes for Research” Radioactive isotopes of various elements have all sorts of applications in medicine (the thyroid cancer story), chemistry (as “tracers”) and in physics, where they are convenient sources of radioactivity. The exciting part is that isotopes produced in atomic piles are cheap.

“Split Starlight” Otto Struve, of Chicago’s Yerkes Observatory, has perfected a new method of taking infrared photographs of stars, which will produce more information about the chemical makeup of stars, and also of the atmospheres of the planets.

“Birds Did It First” Lytle S. Adams is back in the news with his air-sowing technique. Someone needs to sit this man down and take his publicist away.

“Speed and Security” Supersonic speeds may be “further around the flying corner than many people think,” the paper concludes after viewing various closed-course record flights by B-29s and P-80s.
North American XB-70. No, you can't fly hypersonic to Hong Kong, but you can play Candy Crush on your lunch break, so I guess it's a wash.

“Bogomolets and the Longer Life” Professor Alexander Bogolomets of Kiev, discoverer of “anti-reticular cytotoxic serum,” continues to believe that, with regular injections of ACS made from the bone marrow of “young, healthy people who have died by accident,” that he can preserver human life to the age of 150, by virtue of its effect on diseases such as cancer and high blood pressure.

“Gesundheit” Also in miracle cures, it is claimed that either one, two, or all three of the new drugs Anthallan or Benadryl and Pyribenzamine may be able to provide full relief from hay fever, much like ephedrine, already well known as a treatment.

The paper also has a graphic but no story about the use of those magnetometers previously featured as U-boat hunters, now pressed into service to look for oil.
Also a plot point in M. A. Foster's remarkable Gameplayers of Zan. 

“. . . And Not Enough of Labour” The paper, for some reason, covers Byron Price’s Commencement Speech at Harvard. He scolds Americans for not being enough of this, but on the other hand too much of that. Out of which the paper seizes on something about labour? Over in Connecticut there is now yet another prep school, this one, Romford, will have regular visits from a special board of very important people such as Edward Stettinus. If you are wondering how he was roped into it, William Ziff is the main backer. In other prep news, the Exeter-Andover game was interrupted by rain, leading the paper to do a long profile of William Saltonstall.
Only accepts absolutely the brightest children whose parents can afford to send them to prep school. 

Press, Art, Radio

“Assignment A-Bomb” No fewer than 112 American correspondents are in the Bikini pool, but only 13 foreign. Vogue, Harpers and Superman Enterprises were all refused accreditation, but Air Aces and Charm were accepted.
Because I needed an excuse to put in this glam shot of a Valvoline customer. Only available at the better sort of dealers! 

“Too Many Magazines?” The wartime magazine boom is over. Comic sales are down from 40 million monthly to 27, and the pulps are also thinning out, although there are still 1200 titles to choose from. Pockets and digests are also hurting, and while Reader’s Digest can easily weather the storm, many of its competitors cannot. Women’s and glamour magazines, by contrast, are doing well, while Life, Ladies Home Journal, New Republic and The Nation have had to raise newsstand or subscription prices.

The paper reminds us that Herbert Lionel Matthews and Robert C. Ruark exist, and, in art news, that these days, modern painters like abstract art.  
If you can't say anything useful, just blather on about politics.

Marshall Field III has just purchased his fourth West Coast radio statin, KJR in Seattle.


Martha Taft, at a recent meeting for Republican women in Philadelphia, described the Democratic party as “a freak of nature . . . with a Communist front, a reactionary rear, and a know-nothing middle.” But this is “people” news because a woman said it. Henry L. Mencken is old. Mr. America 1946, Alan Stephen, is pictured. 
1946 was a strange place.

Admiral Ernest King has been received into the Shriners. Grace Moore is back in America and over her laryngitis. James M. Cain, the “cold blood and thunder novelist” has been divorced by his third wife on charges of cruelty. Jay Gould III’s wife has been refused a divorce on the grounds that her grounds were frivolous.

Pat O’Brien and his wife, Eloise Taylor O’Brien, have had a daughter. John Arthur (“Jack”)Johnson, former Coloured heavyweight world boxing champion, has died at 68 in an automobile accident. Louis Kroh Liggett has died at 71, Frank Case at 73, and George Albert Hormel, at 85.

The New Pictures

The Stranger is a new movie in which Orson Welles plays a Nazi, instead of Randolph Hearst. The paper doesn’t have anything profound to say about it (although it is contemporary, and the Nazi is trying to start WWIII, as opposed to winning WWII, which is a fresh take); but it really, really like the paper, especially Edward G. Robinson and Loretta Young’s parts. To Each His Own is a movie in which Olivia de Havilland has a baby out of wedlock, and then suffers for it. Two Sisters from Boston is a costume drama that the paper didn’t like; it doesn’t say much about the costumes, though! Bad Bascomb is a horrible comedy from Wallace Beery and Margaret O’Brien, and So Goes My Love is ragged and sentimental.
I don't think the 1890s worked this way?


“It has been 80-odd years since Nathanial Hawthorne died, but the mystery of his life has never been completely explained.” Whatever that means. A new collection of his short stories, edited by Newton Arvin, is out. I didn’t even know that people wrote short stories back then! Also, Nancy Mitford has a new novel out, ThePursuit of Love, also out are Manuel Quezon’s memoirs, The Good Fight. Finally, Richard Aldington has made up a story about Casanova.

Flight, 20 Jun 1946


“Short Shrift” Short Brothers announces that its Rochester works are being moved to Belfast. Two or three hundred craftsmen will be moved to Belfast at company expense. The paper is sad for Rochester, and then toddles off down memory lane.

“Pointers to the Future” Variable incidence wings, tricycle undercarriages, slotted and flapped wings, two-control systems and such might be on future private planes. Or not!

A bad idea is gathering speed. Sigh. Source.

“Action” The paper is pleased that the King’s Flight is being reformed.

“British Jets for U.S.A.” People upset about the BOAC Constellation buy should be happy that Rolls-Royce has licensed jet engines to America.

John W. R. Taylor, “P-51F Lightweight Mustang: Ingenious Redesign Saves 1500lb Weight: New Undercarriage, Oil Cooler and Airscrew” Taylor points out that aircraft keep getting heavier. The Sopwith Pup weighed 1225lb fully loaded, but carried one machine gun and flew at 106mph. By 1929, Furies and Bulldogs weighed three times as much, the Spitfire was above 6000, and the P-47” “weighed around ten tons.” I think that that is fully loaded, and that the number for the Spitfire, even the early Spitfire, isn’t. Anyway, the point is that the P-51F keeps the armament of the P-51D, is faster, but also lighter. This is because of extensive redesign. The undercarriage, for example, is newer, simpler and smaller. The engine mounting and cover is also simpler and better put together, although he has doubts about the Dzus fasteners used on the cowling. The airscrew is by General Motors’Unimatic, and the oil cooler is replaced by a heat exchanger. More plastics are used, and two guns are deleted. My understanding is that some American load limits were also relaxed, but that’s just my understanding, and I may be wrong.

So Unimatic is a trademark associated with General Motor's Frigidaire line. We already knew that Frigidaire ran an airscrew plant during the war, but now we have  a little more context about the relationship between making airscrews and making washing machines. Also, here's a Frigidaire dealer/Esso station in Little Rock, Arkansas in the 1930s.  By Boston Public Library - Curtis Finch, Inc.Uploaded by oaktree_b, Public Domain,

Here and There

The Bristol Proteus gas turbine airscrew engine is announced, and there is a picture of the Northrop XP-79 twin-jet fighter. Captain Short has died. Sir Malcolm Campbell will attempt to set a new world water speed record with a jet-engined speed boat. Mrs. Morrow-Tait and Mrs. Taylor-Young are disputing the title to be the first English mothers to go to flying school postwar, and now there is news that Joyce Tildesley makes three. Now that Hives is Managing Director at Rolls-Royce, his people are coming in, and T. S. Haldenby is to be General Director.

"One of the few world's speed record holders to die of  natural causes," says Wikipedia. The notion of putting jet engines on boats will prevent his son from suffering the same ignominious fate. Also, check out the Haldenby link, above. The Rolls-Royce satellite plants are being held up becase Crewe and Glasgow city councils are reluctant to build more housing near the plant, so the Air Ministry steps in and makes them. As I ride by one Vancouver park (and golf course! Seriously!) after another, it occurs to me that maybe war is the health of the state. after all.

“The Birthday Honours” Are not interesting, because my husband is not in them.

The D.H. Chipmunk exists more.

“Netherlands Terminal: Amsterdam’s Famous Airport at Schiphol, Wrecked During the War, returns to Life”
In 1946, an international air port could look like this. Nowadays, Kelowna would be embarrassed.

“More About the P-92” Last week, we heard about the Boulton Paul P-92. Now we hear more, mainly that the model was flawless and flew beautifully, and that it is tragic that a giant, twin-engined fighter with quadruple 20mm cannons was not built for the RAF because “the Air Staff decided, on tactical grounds,” to give the writers of the specification a long rest cure instead of ordering it. (Seriously! The paper says that! It would have been a good day bomber escort, it says. The Americans tried that! Remember?)
A simple guide to aviation journalism: every plane that wasn't built, should have been.  Whereas it is actually only the TRS-2.

American Newsletter

“Kibitzer” is back to tell us all the same facts we could have learned about the boom in air freight in Fortune, only with no nice pictures. (Though, on the other hand, no Fairchild C-82 ads rank with desperation, either.) “Kibitzer” is also upset that “British policy” means that he can never be cranky and say undiplomatic things to Americans, even when they are criticising Trans Canadian or BOAC for being anti-free-enterprise.  He has also heard complaints about the sale of British jets to Sweden, in case the Allies have to fight the dastardly Vikings. (I hear they like to invade Normandy, too!) Also, America has all the new airliners right now, and that will soon include the Republic Rainbow and maybe a version of the Northrop flying wing. Up to now, flying wings have been unstable at low speed and dangerous in stall, “Kibitzer” points out, but no doubt all the publicity about how the XB-35 is  able to carry sixty tons of bombs or fly 10,000 miles with “a substantial load of bombs” shows that Northrop has solved all those problems.
I'm not seeing where there's room to stash the loot and slaves after they burn the monastery, though.

“Britain’s Test Pilots” does Captain R. T. Shepherd of Rolls-Royce this week. He test flies engines, but they have to be put in planes, first. For example, the first Merlin flew in a modified Hawker Horsley. He has apparently been flying since forever, though, because there are lots of pictures of much older planes on the second page, which I respectfully decline to read closely.

Sqdn Ldr Harold J. Payn, “Superlift: Some Reminiscences of Stages Which Prepared the Way for the Supermarine 322” The 322 was the plane that could pivot its wings, giving variable incidence, so that it could adjust them one way to take off of aircraft carriers better, and another way to fly faster. He traced the origins of the gadget back to the first Handley Page slotted flap. The problem with the slotted flap was that it forced the fuselage up to a large incidence, so the obvious(!) next step was to hinge the fuselage. This scheme was tested in the 1924 Vickers Vagabond. Adding seven pounds and making it much nicer to fly, although not fixing all the problems. The better solution was to adjust the wings, and the writer tested this in a modified Supermarine Southampton in 1933, but I think it could only be adjusted on the ground? From there, the next step, clearly, was a wing that could be rotated to any incidence you please at the turn of a knob in the cabin.  I want to be the one who tells the engineer who has to design it!  

Supermarine 322. The question is weight, guys. Weight. 

Civil Aviation

Air France is resuming its Atlantic service, for which there are no priority reservations. Pan American is now flying direct New York Vienna via London. A summer Iceland charter service Reykjavik-Copenhagen via Prestwick is fully booked, fare £29, fishing permit extra. PICAO has a monthly journal! A Hermes Hastings prototype made a 300mph+ flight to Paris recently, “paced by a Spitfire.” The first BOAC Constellation made yet another Atlantic record, 11hr 24min New York-London. Captain W. S. May was the pilot. Internal routes continue to be added in England on a regular basis –eight next month alone, if I am reading it right.
All air routes lead to London.

“Fire Suppression: Survey of the Graviner Fire-fighting System for Aircraft: Manual and Automatic Actuation: Crash and Flight Fire Requirements” The Graviner system is a set of methyl bromide tanks actuated by either a “Fire” button in the cockpit or by a flame detector in the engine compartment. Another injector on the engine side of the throttle adds flame suppressant to the air entering the engine, which “kills” it immediately. There is also an accelerometer switch for crashes, which sets the system off when it experiences 6gs or more. The Graviner system is in use in England, and has now been approved in the United States, so that it can replace existing carbon dioxide systems. Graviner is working on a single emergency switch that will cut off oil and fuel supply at the fire wall and at the tanks, which will further improve safety in crashes, where tanks and engines are apt to be torn free.

“Sokol” If articles about new American private planes aren’t exciting enough, here is the Czechoslovak Mraz M-1 Sokol.


Joseph Hutton writes to defend the Halifax. B. E. J. Garmeson writes that ultra-light aircraft would sell like hotcakes if the Government would only stop worrying about “airworthiness,” as socialists do. Donald H. Smith writes to correct correspondent “MIAEE’s” comments about the Jameson aircraft engine, specifically that its flat four configuration with two-throw crankshaft is at all normal. It is, in fact, not normal at all, and no-one has made it work well yet, with existing flat fours all being three-throw.

“Operation Fly Past” The paper took many pictures during the Victory Day flypast. Here they are! (Not pictured: Geoffrey Crowther feeling unexpected stirrings of joy and sternly repressing them with thoughts of sacking operatives and castigating Labourites.)

Time, 24 June 1946


Strong opinions are held about Boss Crump and proposed labour legislation in various parts of America. Naomi-Margret Sevetson, of Cheyenne, thinks that the UN Women’s Committee is wrong. Women are not human beings as well, they are human beings, only, because men are beasts. (Not wrong, but perhaps overdoing it. .  . ) John Abraham of New York thinks that Ambassador Vishinski’s speech to the UN was untruthful. Major General F. L.Parks replies to a story about “thousands” of army cars rusting in a yard in Atlanta while the country goes carless. He points out that the yard in question is for non-operational cars, and that its collection has grown over the years, since the Army only procured 20,000 civilian cars, mostly in the early years of the war, and that they were all pre-war.

Our publisher writes that a special episode of March of Time will be broadcast this week, discussing the famine conditions in Europe.
It's this, or I track down General Park's picture of the Bagana eruption, and I have to leave something for 1948!

National Affairs

“Price of Eggs,” and “Breathing Spell” Price controls are on their way out some more. This means that the price of groceries are up, and now the talk is that, with one thing and another, there will be a “short depression” in 1947 and then a “continuing boom and full employment” through 1950. The President, meanwhile, with labour legislation stalled before the Senate, and his wife and daughter off in Missouri to be embarassed by the national press digging up Mrs. Truman's high school shot put record, can just hang about with his buddies in Washington. In crony news, John Steelman has spent so much time on the telephone trying to settle labour disputes that he has had a special cradle made to comfort his aching ear and shoulder. (More frivolous than the appointment of a board to study Palestine, the recall of the envoy to the Vatican before he can be seduced by Jesuits, and the appointment of an ambassador to the Philippines, but probably more interesting.) By the way, Congress is allowing 100 Filipinos to immigrate into America every year. It’s a flood!

“Closing the Ranks” No, not a story about the Lichfield trials, which is above. This one is about how armed forces unification is happening more. I note with alarm talk of giving the Air Force the land based reconnaissance and antisubmarine patrol wings, which will greatly complicate my cunning plans for your son’s career. The Marines may also lose their air force, which they have for very goodreasons that I cannot for the life of me think of right now.

“New Target: September 30th” Labour legislation on strikes currently has to be ready by then.

“Feud, Continued” For some reason, Supreme Court Justices denouncing each other in public has turned into news. The paper continues to be sympathetic to Jackson, while the President continues to be “mad as hell” at him.

“Best Foot Forward” Ambassador Novikov and his wife visited Detroit, where he had the pleasure of being denounced as a communist by random hecklers and after dinner speakers. Although at least he wasn’t pelted with eggs, like Lord Halifax.

“Swing to the Right” The paper discerns a conservative swing in American politics. Communists are behind it!

“Power to Burn”  Something something Indiana politics

“What Hit Him” The paper is disillusioned by Harold Stassen’s’ failure to win the Nebraska primary.

“The Word of a Pro” Republican National Chairman B. Carroll Reece confidently counted out expected Republican pickups in the House this week.

“Citizens First” The new American Veterans Committee wants to be very different from the American Legion. Their convention in Des Moines was chaotically entertaining, and the Communists were defeated.

“Red Angel” Earl Browder is still in Moscow, and has now been joined by long-time financial angel Abraham A. Heller. The paper doesn’ like Heller, and also doesn’t like Communists who don’t like him.

“Everybody’s Doing It” Getting married, that is. Also, honeymoons are back in style.

Is the sceptre too much, do  you think?

“Beyond the Bomb” The UN is talking about international control of the atom bomb. Further bulletins as events warrant.

“And Now Pistachios” The Russians have signed a treaty with Afghanistan giving them control of the Kushk District, which has vast pistachio groves, and also and perhaps even more importantly, is a good place to dam the Oxus River toirrigate Turkmenistan. The paper believes that the fact that the India Office has no opinion just shows how anti-communist Labour is.

“Out of the Storm?” The upcoming Paris Foreign Ministers Conference may stop WWIII, or bring it on. Either way, it should be fun. (I don’t think that the paper is for WWIII, but it is ambivalent, in that it would sell a lot of papers.)

”An American Abroad” This week’s cover story is on General Mark Clark, who is in charge of the occupation in Austria, which is scarred by war, stalked by hunger and badly dressed.

“Beauty and Order” Lisbon’s press actually said uncomplimentary things about Salazar this week. Can democracy be far behind?

“Pharao Superbus” Umberto threw a temper tantrum in Rome before finally departing this week.

“A Copper Ladle” Some gruesome crime news from Italy

“L’Affaire Mufti” The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem disappeared while on a visit to Cairo from his villa near Paris this week. The next day, he was reported in Damascus, addressing the Arab League, which has Zionists upset at the French and British for not keeping him under wraps. Ernest Bevins, caught telling people at Bournemouth that the reason that the Americans want 100,000 Jews to go to Palestine is “that they don’t want them in New York,” is under particular pressure.
On the Palestine question, I prescribe silence and happy thoughts. Also, check out the clothes and the road in the window. That's what people drove on in 1946, young 'uns.

“Too Tired” The Yugoslavs are trying the royalists for losing the civil war.

“Skeleton’s Exit” The paper went to Bournemouth, but all the news it could find went under different headers, so this one ends up celebrating the fact that Harold Laski is no longer Party Chairman. Because Harold Laski is awful, don't you know.

“Pattern in Cotton” The paper went to stay with Cuthbert Clegg, third-generation owner of a red-brick cotton mill in Littleboro, Lancashire. Clegg only has 500 workers, down from 1500 before the war, and is hoping to install new, highspeed weaving looms by the end of the year. Clegg is one of the industry members of the working committee appointed to modernise, rationalise, full technical efficiency, etc., the industry. He thinks that the government is BUNGLING full technical efficiency, because “private enterprise” would be enough motivation for other owners to modernise, as he has. Not government planning or cartelization.

“Elder Sister” ”Scar-faced Giichi Masuda,” the new head of the 2000 open-stall shopkeepers (tekiyas) of the Matsuzakaya “street gang,” tried to modernise his syndicate’s operation, and was assassinated by his accountant, Tomiji Nodera, this week. And as though the story couldn’t get pulp noir enough, it was with a Mauser pistol. So now his wife has taken over as “Elder Sister.”
"The Rocketeer" by sdowner, but via Robowork's Deviant Art page.  Pulp as nostalgia. 

A Pistol for Panchito” Now that the war is over, there are lots of guns for military aid for South America, which apparently really needs guns. Should Argentina get some, being as how it is not fully de-Nazified. (Pretend you haven't read those articles about Peron being some kind of Communist so that you don't have to be puzzled by this.) The answer is probably yes, although some dissenters think that new hydroelectric dams might be more useful aid than tanks. Also, in Paraguay there has been a coup, and with that story between the previous one and this one, there is insulation against confusion, so that we can have a story about how Peron is so left wing that he’s practically a communist.

Canadians are boring.

Science, Medicine and Education

“Diggers” The war has kept archaeologists out of the field, or at least quiet. Now the paper remedies this with a quick survey of sites from caves in France to forgotten cities in Peru.

“Deadlier Insecticide” A Cambridge chemist claims to have improved on DDT by “activating” it with paraffin. With various DDT formulations coming on the market, the paper follows on tnis story with a list of things that you should and shouldn’t use DDT on. It does add that the dangers of handling DDT have been much exaggerated, though.

“Progress Report” Progress is continuing in the fight against tuberculosis. Rene Jules Dubos has discovered a new way to cultivate the tuberculosis bacteria, presumably to make diagnosis faster. Dr. Horton Corwin Hinshaw of the Mayo Institute confirms that streptomycin definitely arrests tuberculosis, and Dr. Richard Overholt’s surgical method of cracking open the rib cage and sectioning out the entire part of the lung that is tubercular is reported to cure “56.2%” of the consumptives so far operated on. The US Public Health Service also reports success in immunising public health workers against TB, with a vaccine which hasbeen in use in Denmark since 1930.
There's a million of these ads, but this one is particularly outrageous. The connection with lung cancer might not have been proven epidemiologically, but it was obvious that smoking caused bronchitis. 

AntimetabolitesMIT’s new Technology Review has news that the average neurotic dieter can use! Various foods “neutralise” the vitamins in other foods, or in other words, prevent metabolism.  For example, the body cannot take up the iron in whole wheat flour because of the phytic acid in it, and clams have a “powerful enzyme” which destroys the B-1 vitamin in other foods. Coffee is a mild antimetabolite to the vitamins biotin and inositol, and aspirin depletes the body’s Vitamin K.

“Drug Deficiency” Various drugs, such as adrenalin and insulin, are extracted from the organs of slaughtered animals, but with so much of the slaughtering being done by “behind the barn” operations, the organs are being thrown out, and a dangerous shortage is emerging.

“Dewey Unchanged” John Dewey, the 87-year-old philosopher and educational reformer, has a book out. (The paper helpfully notes that he is a “distant cousin” of Governor Dewey and Admiral Dewey. Less helpfully, it spends a full page explaining the philosophy of “Pragmatism.”) The paper follows this with yet another story about the principal of a prep school in Connecticut.

Press, Radio

“Rural Press Lord” One John Holiday Perry, head of the Western News Syndicate[¯\_(ツ)_/¯], just moved into Florida and bought “the cream” of the state’s 140 local dailies. This is terrible, because he just syndicates content to produce low cost content, and steers writers away from politically controversial congtent. The syndicate even supplies editorials on presumably anodyne subjects.

Not at all anodyne is PM, the “adless” New York daily, which is looking for more money to keep on running, since people are sure to start liking it real soon now.

“Busy Air” NBC radio commentator John McVane is in charge of making the United Nations sound interesting. FCC Commissioner In other news, Clifford Durr is not making friends in the radio business by insisting that radio stations have regular reviews before the FCC before their channels are renewed every three years, in the interest of making sure that they “serve the public interest,” as the Engineer said.

“The Red and the Black” Some companies are doing badly, others are doing well. Strikes are an important reason for doing badly, while retailers that have filled their shelves are now worried that “pent-up demand” can’t last much longer.

“Enough is Enough” The Chicago Commodities Exchange shut down again this week, because no-one can figure out what is going on in the wheat, rye and oats business, and corn and barley aren’t doing much better.

From the linked 1947 Popular Mechanics article, which also shows some of the more attractive competitors that never went anywhere.

“The Peckerwoods” Are temporary, portable sawmills, which are popping up by the thousands in the southern pinelands of Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and Arkansas to produce vast amounts of wood; but with the intention of stockpiling it until the OPA ceilings came off. 400 to 500 million board feet are estimated to be in the stockpiles even as lumber shortages are bringing construction to a halt in many northern markets.

“Bigger and Bigger” In a report on “Economic Concentration and World War II” Senator James Murray concluded that this week that one led to the other. (Probably war leading to economic concentration, although check back in a few years in case it goes the other way.)

“Eagles Among Chicks” Latest developments in the CAB’s attempt to regulate non-scheduled airlines.

The New Pictures
The paper really liked The King of Siam. I agree! Although having to stop and explain what is going on to Fanny made me wonder if it was too good. (And thanks to Judith for the babysitting!) Specter of the Rose tried hard.


Even the paper is doing the Birthday List! It is impressed that Lord Beveridge is now a Lord. Not included in the Birthday Honours is Marjorie Morgenstierne’s award as “Miss United Nations” by a beauty contest in Washington.

Not strictly an honour is being on the top of the Treasury Department’s list of top earners; a title which goes to William S. Hart this year, at $1,113,035, at a tax rate of 89%, which, if applied to his whole income, would leave him with a take-home of little more than $120,000(!) Alvin York is said to have found oil near his home in Cumberland Mountains of Tennessee. Robert Donat, Martha Scott, and Richard Joshua Reynolds are getting divorced.

Ralph Ingersoll, active elsewhere in the paper cadging for money for his paper, PM, has had a son with Elaine Keiffer Cobb Ingersoll. The paper is all romantic about the Duke of Northumberland getting married. Charles Butterworth has died after his roadster hit a lamppost, leaving 126 feet of skid marks behind it. John Logie Baird has died at 58, of influenza, while Major Edward Bowes, of the Original Amateur Hour, died at 71 of a long illness, John Hollis Bankhead of cerebral thrombosis,

Flight, 27 June 1946


“Helicopter Configuration” How many blades should a helicopter have, and what should they stick out of? The paper has opinions, reflecting on the Paisecki PV-3, the Cierva Air Horse, and the Cierva W. 9.
"the flying banana." 

“Heads I Win” The Government (may be) BUNGLING charter aviation.

“Eisenhower and the Air” Eisenhower’s report on the Normandy campaign, published this week, reveals that aircraft were involved.

“Southampton Air Show” There was a “static” air show at Southampton. Various people and the W.9 prototype were there.  Mr. D. H. Emby, lately of James Taylor (Chertsey), has died. He was an aviation pioneer, because he was the engineer brought in to salvage J. D. Mooney’s new-born Steel WingCompany, which eventually merged with Gloster.

“Fixed Pitch and Constant Speed Airscrews” Things are a bit slow around the office, so the paper sent out for someone at Rotol to explain their catalogue.

In shorter news, Hall Hibbaard, of Lockheed, writes to explain that Constellations in fact make the American load limits in all flying states. Prince Birabongse of Siam has taken up flying. 
Prince Birabongse. Grandson of Mongkut

The Illife Press (the paper’s syndicate) had a nice shindig for returning veterans. Lord Camrose also gave a nice speech about managing director, Claude Wallis.

“Californian Air Display” The paper reports on the Burbank Air Show, for some reason, and below it reports Squadron Leader Arthur Stewart King Scarf’s Victoria Cross.

Civil Aviation

The Danish airline has ordered five Vickers Vikings. The Italian Air Agreement needs to be discussed more. The CAB has suspended operation of the Constellation’s pressurisation and cabin heating system due to a recent accident. Francis Chichester has joined the board of Straight Aviation at Bush House to further develop civil “synthetic” flight training. Juan Trippe, in town on his way to Vienna, said that Pan American would replace its Constellations with Boeing Stratocruisers “in due course.” The Bristol 170 has just received the first unrestricted certificate of airworthiness for a postwar civil aircraft. Aer Lingus will be buying 3 Constellations next year. Four Conservative MPs, Air Commodore A. V. Harvey, Croup Captain Max Aitken, Lt. Colonel W. H. Bromley, and Captain M. Astor, are founding a charger airline. Priority restrictions on air services continue to relax. British South American will be able to accept non-priority passengers for Buenos Aires as from 1 July, while BOAC’s service to America will be 50% free bookings as from the same date.

“Messier Hydraulics: Survey of the High-pressure Hydraulic System Installed in the Handley Page Hermes/Hastings” Things are a bit quite around the office right now, so they sent away to Messier for someone to explain their catalogue to us. It turns out that the hydraulics are perfect, that they adjust to altitude perfectly, and that if they don’t, there is a pneumatic emergency service, and the undercarriage twists and folds in ingenious ways that are the best ever. The electrohydraulic control system is even more ingenious than the undercarriage.

In shorter news, the NPL gave a nice exhibition recently.

“Birthday Honours” Still not interesting. (Well, perhaps I could use the names of all the businessmen, scientists and engineers who received honours in an argument with the kind of American who thinks that Britain is some kind of pastoral backwater of Milords and sheep; but that kind of opinion is more prejudice than anything, and scarcely rewards arguing with facts.)


An insurance executive writes to correct “Indicator” about insurance.  J. L. Jameson writes to defend the company’s remarkable claims that they have built a “ventilated” engine. Correspondents Y. Labye and H. M. Yeatman keep up the barmy discussion on bird flight. C. G. G. Knight, an RAFTC operator stationed last year in San Diego, writes to tell us that he doesn’t understand the difference between ground and air waves. (Actually, he points out that he was in regular contact with his ground station in Auckland all the way to Honolulu, which he thinks proves that he was achieving a greater distance for C.W. communications than was claimed in last week’s paper was a record. M. C. Quist thinks that rockets accelerate too fast for human crews. “Two Ex-Brat Sergeants” think that wartime Halton graduates are hard done by. 

Radio News, July 1946

The good news is that the nice people at Ziff-Davis have added me to their advanced copy list. The bad news is that they have inaugurated the service by sending me the July number instead of the June! I blame their new Cardex system.

Editorial: For the Record

Our editor is concerned with difference between radio servicemen and dealers.

Spot Radio News

Fred Hamlin predicts an all-out sales blitz of FM equipment by the end of summer. This may answer Commissioner Durr’s concerns that radio manufacturers are not producing enough sets with FM capability, perhaps to handicap the new sector. Pioneering FM broadcasters are confident that this problem will be overcome soon, even though a shortage of copper wire has emerged as a result of the coal strike, work stoppages in the copper industry and emergency exports of copper.

Also short is wood for radio cabinets. 

Nothing says cozy like stainless steel!

 ON other fronts, CBS President Frank Stratton believes that the last handicap in the way of colour television has been overcome thanks to the successful relay of uhf transmissions over a 450 mile coaxial cable between New York and Washington. The FCC has also approved the first rural radiotelephone system, in Colorado. The FCC reminds hams that these must be authorised, to keep frequencies clear in the “public interest.”

Paul Wender contributes an exciting article on “Patterns in Selling: Radio Service,” and Robert Lewis describes a “Compact 75 Watt Transmitter” for the hams, and Carl V. Hays describes a “Super Sensitive Amateur Receiver.”  
Yes, this is plastic, probably Bakelite, and not wood; but I couldn't wait a minute longer to explain why I was making fun of U.S. Steels' sad effort to domesticate steel as the material of choice for "Home, Sweet Home." 

“Radio News to /cover Operation Crossroads.” That’s right, Radio News joins Charm, not poor Superman, and is off to Bikini.

Andrew R. Boone, “Highway in the Sky: Skyroads which Criss-Cross the United States are Masterpieces of Scientific Development” Ads being a bit too close together in this number, Mr. Boone supplies a one page precis of the radio range system that’s been in service for over ten years now. At least it is shorter than the last article the paper ran on the subject.

I could insert the terrible graphic from this one page, intelligence-insulting article. Or, I could scrape a picture from the linked 1931 Popular Science story by Mr. Boone. That's Andrew Douglas vandalising a 600 year old pueblo so that he can count the tree rings and produce a somewhat circular argument about a great drought in the thirteenth century Midwest. 

Rollin E. Campbell and Lyman Greenler, “Photo-Electric Organ” A device for converting broadcast music into pretty pictures Ii described. “It does not use much actual electronics,” the writers say, and they are still “experimenting” with finding a use for it, but, ads too close together, etc.

Colonel J. J. McDuffie, Commanding Officer, 18th Base Unit, AAF, “Ground Control Approach System” Colonel McDuffie explains how radar works. No, that’s unfair. There are some interesting devices here, including automatic trackers that keep the radar centred on the airplane, and so give continuing azimuth readings. Elevation is trickier, but can be achieved with two radars. (I’m told that that is a trick with estimating the size of the signal lobe, if I remember correctly.)

George and A. L. Boles, “Combination Noise Limiter and Pre-Selector” A device for improving the reception of existing receivers at higher frequencies.

Alfred A. Ghirardi, “Practical Radio Course” opens with a picture of that Philco automatic table-radio-phonograph, where the ladies just have to insert the record into the slot, because putting them on turntables is as unladylike as going out for varsity shot put.
We've already seen that picturel so here's a Victrola set, instead. Victrola: almost as glamorous as Valvoline!

Howard R. Bard, Radio Engineering Aide, U.S. Immigration Service “C.W. Break-In Monitor” This particular employee of the Great Enemy believes that “the traffic man and ‘brass pounder’” needs a good device to produce an audio version of his Morse code sending. 

Edward M. Noll, Reading Television Labs, Inc., “Operation and Adjustment of Television Receivers” Your television will have a station selector, brightness control, contrast, vertical and horizontal hold, brightness, contrast and focus control and possibly a width control. Any time a television show comes on that your wife, children, or guests want to watch, stand in front of the television fiddling with these interminably before complaining that you can’t follow the show, and invite James out for a smoke, and get upset when James tells you that he has quit. (I wish I had half the will power, but at least I get to quit more often! In Uncle Henry's defence, he is under a lot of pressure. Most of it brought on by his own ridiculous behaviour, but that's another story.)
He brought a football to the dealer's? Notice that the vents are larger than the screens. 

Lt (j.g.) N. M. Smith, USNR, “Home-Built Vacuum-Tube Voltmeter”

Lyle C. Taylor, “Designing a Stable V.F.O: Important Facts to Remember when Designing Your Own Variable Frequency Oscillator” A very long article, since apparently many factors can make the output frequency unstable.

What’s New in Radio

Triplett has a new signal generator. 

Webster-Chicago has a compact record changer. GE has a three-electrode transmitting tube for FM service. It is forced-air cooled and can handle 500 watts of heat, with an output of 600 watts. Electric Laboratory of New York, has a pipe locator. 
"Serves for centuries." But what about EBIDTA next quarter?

Delco, of GM, announces the first of its line of home radios. Ellinwood Industries, of Los Angeles, is pleased to announce its Radiotone line of professional recording devices. Sound quality is assured by filters and inverters, and recording is onto acetate, while the driving mechanism is a professional quality overhead lathe. Premier Crystal also has a new radio, and so does Hallicrafters of Chicago. Panoramic Radio Corporation of New York offers a new concept in “panoramic reception.” The Amplifier Corporation of America offers a new amplifier, the ACA-100DC direct-coupled amplifier, with a wide pass-band and low inherent amplitude and cross-modulation distortion. Simpson Electric Company offers a wide range signal generator for both AM and FM. Hammerlund Corporation offers a midget capacitor, for when you need a very small capacitor.
“Improvements in Portable Generator Design” The Signals Corps has created many new and improved portable generators.

ay M. Bartels, “’For the Defence:’ The People vs. Servicemen” IN this hard-hitting expose for the paper, Jay M. Bartels discovers that most servicemen are as honest as the day is long, if not heroes of the arduous work of radio repair.
The Letters page reappears to print all the letters praising the paper for its new Circuit Diagrams Page.
At this point I should probably wind up before the postman brings the August number! 


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