Saturday, October 1, 2016

Postblogging Technology, August 1946, II: A Prolegomena To Any Possible Teeny-Weeny Yellow Poka-dot Bikini

Vancouver, Canada.

Dear Father:

I hope that you are not surprised to hear from me so quickly, for you are not the only one to make a faster-than-expected change of residence! After your warnings about letting work get in the way of life, you will be glad to hear that James and I did not have to cut our vacation short, after all. He was able to arrange an Army flight out of Tokyo for us, and he was back in California in time to attend the. . . 

 I get ahead of myself, especially since you do not follow the entertainment news. Uncle George's friend has found a new sponsor, and also a partner to take on the matter of magnetic-tape-recording. Uncle George hasn't mentioned it, but he was invited to showed your work with direct-film recording of radio signals to the board at Philco this summer. "Mrs. Ch." while she was in Virginia, talked with the industry side as well as the code-breakers. Besides being attached to the one-time-pad burglaries, she has an established expertise in intercepted Far Eastern signals, especially the ones sent as facsimile, a very interesting new code-breaking problem. 

It turns out that, since then, one of the directors has heard an impassioned talk from that madman in Boston that James is always on about. In the question-and-answer afterwards, ideographs came up, and the madman launched into a talk about "direct bio-electronically steeering of" the brain. At some point, someone (if I were talking to you in person, this is when I would roll my eyes at Uncle George), seems to have played up the family's notoriety, there. Of course the Devil Doctor has found a way of using  Chinese ideographs to hypnotise people, etc, etc. It turns out that there are people in Washington who are very receptive to this, as an alternative to the psycho-reactive drugs used by the Germans and, apparently, the Russians. I try to ease my conscience with the thought that a bigot and his money aren't just soon parted, but deserve to be parted. 

Whatever casual contact Uncle George might have had with the board of Philco before, he went to the meeting armed with a precis of your unit's work. Unlike your photographic records, he pointed out that magnetic tape recordings of the signals could be played back, irrespective of whethey they were recordings of the friend and the Andrews Sisters, hostile radar, or direct electronic-feedback-steering of the brain, or however this lunacy is supposed to work. The Philco board, it turns could not resist the combination of Uncle George's friend and the possibility of Navy work, or who knows, mind-control. Mainly, I think, the friend. So, in the end, they got the work, Uncle George's friend got a company willing to break his network's informal embargo, and we got some "stock options."

So, hopefully, Philco makes money on the deal. Uncle Georg'e friend is a huge radio draw, after all. The problem is that he is returning to the radio on his own terms. We have no idea yet how America will take to pre-recorded shows. It is also unclear that Philco will make much money with magnetic-recording. It's too bad we couldn't think of a way to patent the German work! 

Since  Uncle George  feels more comfortable around ships' cabling than electronic valves at their ends, he will still making his trip to Japan. (He pretty much has to, as otherwise we have some ships sitting idle, pumping money out into the river to let more water in).  James is headed back east next month to talk to the company's engineers about electronic valves. It is just too bad that he is too strait-laced to keep up the patter about electronic mind-control! 


P.S. The twins are well, but Vickie came down with a fever while we were away.
Time, 19 August 1946


Ex-Technical Sergeant Stanley H. Firstenberg, of New York City, is upset that the jelly-spined spirit of American diplomats has allowed the Russians to seize one advantage after another. He volunteers to return to duty in WWIII. On the other hand, also responding to the original letter of the ex-Lieutenant Hawkins, Eli Schwarz, ex-private first class, offers to take up a collection to equip him for battle with his white charger, shining armour and lance. Emily Post(!) writes to defend old-fashioned tea cups. John D. Boatright writes to make a joke about the paper’s joke about the “googol,” about which, do not ask. Elaine Denman writes to support the campaign against heart disease started by Helen Taussig and Francis Schwentker of Johns Hopkins. She points out that not only is heart disease potentially crippling, but that the blue tinge of cyanosis is impossible to completely conceal with cosmetics, and is fatal “of equal opportunities in employment, education and most every form of everyday living.” G. Paul Lockwood of New York City thinks that Salazar’s favourite churchman, Cardinal Hlond, is probably promoting communism by opposing it with so much fervour. W. O. Murrah wites to defend the contested election to replace Governor Talmadge in Georgia. Certainly, the way the elections are organised in Georgia is blatantly undemocractic, but his opponents were long-haired four-eyes with no regard for the concerns of the common people such as the farmers who live in lightly populated rural counties. Arthur G. Powell writes to agree, and Robert Hull Inglesby and Eugene Morgan to not.

In his publisher’s letter, Mr. Luce salutes all the young, female, unmarried researchers who check the paper’s facts. They couldn’t get the paper out without the young ladies, and most of them want to be reporters some day!

National Affairs

“The Good News” The paper is happy (and not at all disappointed) to report that 1946 will be a bumper crop year. National employment is above 60 million and still rising, and it is very hard, although not impossible, to see storm clouds on the horizon.

“Machine Triumph” The Democratic candidates the President supported have won the primaries in Missouri. Back in Washington, the President pointed out that the terminal-leave pay bill passed by Congress has wrecked his budget, but there’s nothing that he can do about it. He also signed a bill tightening regulation of on-the-job training for veterans (which is paid for by the Government.)

“K.K..” Theodore Bilbo went on Meet the Press this week, was awful. The paper focussed on his admitting membership in the Klan, but Newsweek also noticed a sly defence of lynching.

“Life for Lew” Everyone thinks that Lewis Schwellenbach was crazy to take the position of Secretry of Labour. Nothing that has happened recently would change anyone’smind.

“A Little Boost Here. . . “The OPA is BUNGLING price deregulation.

“Uneasy” The current tax amnesty has brought in 170 million from 111,000 delinquents. The Treasury Department is not impressed, and warns that it will come after the rest of the tax cheats after the amnesty expires.  In shorter notes, the GOP now thinks that the President is beatable in ’48, and is staffing accordingly, and Tom Dewey is touring the country to remind everyone that he exists. Meanwhile in New York, the parties are lining up their gubernatorial candidates for 1946, and some incumbents are winning party primaries in some places, notably Harry Byrd and Harley M. Kilgore. In Rhode Island, Central Falls’ police department is out on strike, and off Los Angeles, an offshore gambling ship, captained by Anthony Cornera Stralla, has been operating for only a week and is already in trouble as police arrest his water taxi opeators. Jimmy O’Neilll, New York moving company magnate, is moving the United Nations to its new home for free. The Jehovah Witnesses are having a national revival meeting in Cleveland, and the Navy has published an account of its defeat at Savo Island.

Governor Warren: "It's an outrage that lumber should be used for such a gambling ship, when veterans can't get lumber with which to build their homes."


“Old Rock Bottom” Secretary Molotov is this week’s cover story. He is now General Secretary of the Communist Party, and in charge of very important things. He is awful.

“We Get Better” Speaking of very important things, the Paris Conference continues to be happening. In Tokyo, speaking of irrelevancies (don’t tell Uncle George I said so!) Puyi has been produced to testify at the Japanese war crimes trials.

“The Roofless House” Fiorella LaGuardia caused a stir in Switzerland by calling from the podium for the UNRRA to be disbanded in October, when its money ran out. Many people find this upsetting, since there are still so many DPs in the camps, and no clear place to put them, although Brazil did just offer to take 100,000 next year. (Preferably skilled industrial workers.) The world turns its eyes to the United States. Will it relax its immigration laws and let some DPs in?

“Melodies for Miners” The Welsh apparently like music as well as coal mining, and have something called, as near as I can render it, an “Eisteddfod” to celebrate the music, but not the mining, which is just as well considering the costumes they get up into for the music part. (They’d get grimy with coal dust, you see.)
Druids+ costumes=great music.

“Black Looks and Curses” An attempt by the Liverpool tug Elizabetes to salvage the damaged American Farmer led to an international incident when American crew from American Ranger came aboard and cast off the English ship’s tow in a deck-side brawl.

“Hilltop’s Tale” The Chateau de Mercues is a historic French castle long owned by high-toned people, but this summer a butcher’s daughter was married there by a bishop because she was the richest woman in town. Because of the black market, you see. The paper saved that bit for the end, because it’s the punchline.

Latins are not so excitable that they will tolerate people paying attention to risqué bathing wear on the beaches this summer, but not so boring that they will do anything about the clothes, as opposed to people trying to photograph them. Except in Portugal, where they are.

A Paris scene, so not directly relevant. Proto-bikinis and ghost rockets means that it's the silly season! 

Speaking of boring, a page of Canadian news. Canadians are mining silver and cobalt; a record summer log drive has stocked Canada’s 108 pulp and paper mills to the point where they can accommodate as much demand for newsprint to put between the ads as publishers can scour up. In Latin America, it is hard to make a colourful story out of an earthquake in the Dominican Republic, but fortunately in Mexico, the son of the Mexican consul in Chicago has a bad reputation as a wolf and has been arrested for passing some grenades on to assassins-for-hire. However, Mario Padilla denies the charges through his father, Equiel. Chile is having inflation.

Business and Finance

“Prettier Picture” Corporate earnings results this week have been quite good, notwithstanding strikes and reconversion, but none of the companies in Uncle George’s “new frontiers of engineering” portfolio have reported in this week, either. In other earnings-related news, stockholders of Republic Steel has voted down a too-generous $51,000 boost to chairman Tom Girdler’s $175,000 salary as too rich, although they had to go to court to force the directors to comply. The paper also makes fun of Uncle Henry on the one-year anniversary of Frazier-Nash, pointing out that its six-cars-an-hour pace is nothing like what was promised, and that various other promises had not come true, and that the company had almost spent the $53 million raised in the initial stock offering.

“Something Ventured” A very unusual new kind of firm was approved by the SEC this week, the paper reports. American Research and Development will exist entirely to invest in the capital needs of industry. General Georges F. Doriot, MIT President Karl Compton, Ralph Flanders, Edwin R. Gililand, and Jerome R. Hunsacker are among the board members.
"American mechanical engineer, industrialist and Republican senator from the state of Vermont." 

Congress is holding hearings to find out what the RFC did with all its money, and Westinghouse has signed a twenty-year contract to electrify China. Prices are up.

Science, Medicine, Education

“Problem of the Age” The services are still sorting out the results of Bikini, but Admiral William F. Blandy sums up initial impressions: “It’s a poison weapon.” Nuclear chain reactions produce four types of destructive radiation: alpha rays, beta rays and gamma rays; and neutrons. Alpha and beta rays are relatively easily stopped, while gamma rays can penetrate fairly hard and thick materials; and if enough reach the body, they will disintegrate blood cells and cause a horrible death. However, neutrons are stealthy, and more dangerous still. They wander where they will, and when captured by an atomic nucleus, emit a dangerous burst of radiation. Often, the arrangement of “capture” is unstable, and the neutron can break free at any time, producing more radiation, perhaps even thousands of years(!) later. Even nuclear reactors operated for power generation will produce neutrons, and the waste they produce will continue to do so. There needs to be research into protective shielding to make atomic power truly convenient.  (You will see elsewhere here discussions of atomic reactor-powered aircraft, for example.) Strict inspection and regulation will be needed, because the initial experience of trying to clean the radioactive contamination from the warships at Bikini failed entirely. The Geiger counter will have to be the constant and friendly companion of the soldier, scientist and worker of the atomic age.

“Calling All Fish” A French inventor, M. Le Gall, has re-invented the fish finder sonar.

“Operation Upward” The Army’s V-2 experiments continue, with high-altitude shots researching cosmic rays. The V2 is a chemical rocket, and the Army is wondering if atomic rockets might be more efficient. This might be an atomic reactor providing electrical power to some kind of motor, or even a direct atomic exhaust of some kind.
Bite the Fifties, Elon Musk!

“Psychic Crapshooters” Dr. Joseph Rhine’s theory that the human mind can influence the fall of dice is now being investigated in Britain and the United States with encouraging results.

“For Burns” Dr. Robert Elman, of Washington University of St. Louis, reports that the best salve for burns is –nothing. The main dangers to burn victims are starvation, infection and shock. Ointments can lead to infections, and debridement can exacerbate shock. Wounds should be washed, dressed with sterile gauze, and kept well fed and hydrated.

“Kilroy Was Here” The VA hospital in New York has emerged as a world centre in the treatment of battlefield psychoneurosis, which often strikes with some delay after soldiers have returned home, often because of peacetime stresses, and mainly the housing shortage.

“Biography of a Crippler” With a polio epidemic in full swing, it is time to look at the $60 million spent fighting the disease last year and ask what progress has been made.

While there are several images of hyperbaric chambers in this month's press, there's something weird going on with them and the forced-air furnace systems ads (of which one below). So I am settling for this image of a "baby [iron] lung" to illustrate the developing cultural object.

In Roland H. Berg, The Challengesof Polio, the author explains that while polio has been around since Egyptian times, it did not emerge as an epidemic disease until the Nineteenth Century. The tiny virus that causes it is one of the smallest known, and attacks only nerve cells, being rarely found in the blood. Ten of eleven of the people found to be carrying polio viruses are immune to its effects, although they can infect others. Many of those attacked recover completely, even without treatment. Pregnant women and the vitamin deficient seem particularly resistant, but no-one knows exactly how it spreads, and 15—20% of polio victims suffer permanent paralysis, and about 6% die.
Sister Elizabeth Kenny

Ed Stettinus is to be rector of the University of Virginia, and the tiny new College of St. John in Annapolisi continues to get an unreasonable amount of publicity, with the departure of President Stringfellow Barr, who is off to found another small college somewhere.

Father Divine has married again, to 21-year-old Edna Rose Ritchings. Holland Smith has retired at 64. The paper prints some gossip about stars’ personal measurements. (Lana Turner has a thick waist, and Katherine Hepburn has a boyish figure, if you must know; the paper, however, prints a picture of Linda Christian in  a barely-there swimwear outfit to celebrate(?) the fact that she is in jail for doing 58 in a 25mph zone. If that’s a school zone, and it probably is, serves her right! Count von Haugwitz-Reventlow and Sam Rossoff are in the paper for being outrageous. Zita Miller is writing a novel. King Phumiphon Aduldet of Siam has no sooner succeeded his brother than he is off to Switzerland for a rest cure. Leon Gaumont has died, as have Mrs. George (Blanche Bingley) Hillyard and Dr.Wilhelm Marx.  

Art , Press, Radio

A showing in Mexico City celebrates various Mexican artists such as David AlfaroSiqueiros and Avila Camacho. Also, Anders Zorn is getting a Chicago exhibit.

“Answer” The New York Times is struggling with the problem of reporting the race of story subjects. On the one hand, the race of Coloured criminals is reported disproportionately often, but if it stops reporting race, how will it give credit to Coloured artists, etc. In other press news, Austine Cassini now has a permeant gossip column in the Washington News-Herald, and Esquire has contracted with a rotating staff of artists to replace their old Vargas girl with the “Esquire Girl.” A sample is printed in the paper, because there are not enough near-naked women in this number already. (At least it steers clear of sinking to the level of Newsweek, which printed a picture of a Japanese nude modelling for GIs taking drawing class.) The Tribune is in trouble over its coverage of that recent murder spree. In Japan MacArthur’s headquarters has decreed that Japanese newspapers must break up their Reporters’ Clubs, which are too exclusive and hurt news coverage.

For police work only!

Fall radio shows include a new Diana Shore show, positioned as “dignified” comedy, with the cancellation of gag shows like Danny Kay’s and Cass Daley’s. Victor Borges will share billing with Benny Goodman, and Bing Crosby is back, and Philco has him. Probably.

Philco "Cathedral" radio, for the star of Bells of St. Marys. By Gregory F. Maxwell PGP:0xB0413BFA - Photo by uploader, taken at The History of Audio: The Engineering of Sound, an exhibition of the San Francisco Airport Museums[1] in SFO Airport, Terminal 3 from 2006-09 to 2007-05., GFDL 1.2,

If the details can be hammered out (I’ve mentioned this obliquely above, but it has to do with the recording schedule mostly), he will probably be carried on ABC or Mutual. Kitty Fischman’s son, Harve Bennett, the greatest Quiz Kid of them all, is entertaining Hollywood offers.
It's not cheesecake, it's art! (Out of focus art, but art.)

The New Pictures

Caesar and Cleopatra is the big English import of the season. Will it save the dollar balance and restore world trade? The paper hopes so, because it quite liked it. It also liked Notorious, although it was shocked at how incompetent the American secret services were presented as being, and hopes that this was only poetic license.
Hitchcock, Ingrid Bergman and Cary Grant?

A shelf-full of books about President Roosevelt are out. So is There Were Two Pirates, by James Branch Cabell. the paper is very disappointed in Cabell, themselves, and time, as the fact that the book reads poorly just shows how much times have changed since back when the paper liked Cabell. Jan Valtin, the controversial Franco-German, has a history of the 24th Infantry Division’s Philippines campaign out, and Joseph Mills Hanson tells the story of Captain Grant Marsh, and, in effect, of steam navigation on the Missouri in The Conquest of the Missouri. Marsh was also the captain of the Far West when it ascended the Yellowstone in support of Custer’s campaign, and was one of the first on the fatal battlefield. And speaking of swashbuckling old days, John Jennings has Salem Frigate out.

Flight, 22 August 1946


“The New Research Establishment” The plans for the new National Aeronautical Establishment near Bedford have been published, and the paper has a completely unexpected reaction. It likes it, but believes that the allegedly gigantic construction cost of £20 million is, “if anything, too small.” The new wind tunnel needs to be enormous, or England will no longer have “a leading position in the air (and unless it does it is finished as a world factor).”

“Research in a Bath Tub” a fellow named Ehburt does flight simulations in water tanks. The paper thinks that he is clever.

“The Flying Clubs” Flying clubs are good. Subsidising them is good. Not subsidising them is also good.

“Amateur Construction” Amateur construction is not good. (Unless it is good.) Amateur construction will get people killed if the amateurs build and fly tailless aircraft. If they fly Pou en Ciels, instead, it will be fine, unless they fly the kind of Pou en Ciels that get people killed.

“Showing the Flag: Commendable British Enterprise: The Bristol Freighter’s Tour of North and South America” A Bristol Freighter is going on tour in the Americas to drum up sales. Again. More? They're going to do that trick where they load a small car on board, if they can find one north of the Rio Grande. 

“Preparing at Tangmere” The world speed record flight attempt will occur shortly. In the meantime, the High Speed Flight Meteors are logging a lot of high speed flying time.

“Lights for London Airport: New Unit Control System to be Installed at Heathrow: Telephone Relays Provide Infinite Flexibility” Heathrow? London Airport? Why can’t it be both? Anyway, the lights at the new airport are to be controlled by systems using telephone relays made by Standard Telephone andn Cables, Ltd. This is because the system has to be “completely flexible and capable of being extended whenever necessary without interfering with the lighting already installed.” Also, there are a lot of lights, and they are spread out over 16 square miles. When complete, the airport will use as much electricity as a “fair-sized town,” so the main power supply is an 11,000v ring main fed from two separate routes. Twelve sub-station transformers will provide for 200 lighting circuits using 2000 fittings and 555 relay units. Forty more systems can be added to each substation, and extra substations can be added as necessary. An interesting control unit allows the controller to set the lights to illuminate the chosen landing path, and the lights are turned off and on by the relays.

“Turbine-Airscrew Trainer: Boulton-Paul P.108 with Rolls-Royce Dart or Armstrong-Siddeley Mamba” Boulton Paul thinks that this is the right time for a turboprop trainer. The paper talks about what a nice plane it is, but it is hard to understand how anyone goes wrong with a trainer.
By RuthAS - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

The XB-45, XB-46, XB-47, XB-48, XB-49, XB-35, XP-87, XP-86, XP-79B and Bell XS-1 exist more.

Here and There

Mr. Leslie Irvin, who left Britain for America in his twin-engine type last number, arrived in tie for this one. The BMW works are for sale, says the Ministry of Supply. A London-Berlin service has just been started by British European Airways.  Another Bristol Wayfarer (because that’s what we are calling the Bristol Freighter on this page) has been on tour, this one going to Greece, coming back with 60lb of grapes as a gift to the Mayor of Bristol. Lord Tedder and Admiral Cunningham (John, not the old lecher) have been invited to give a talk at Camberley, thereby showing that the Army, Navy and Air Force really do get along, not like in the old days. Various persons and planes are on their way abroad on tours and such, while John Lennard-Jones, who does not know how to play the game, is going from Director General of Scientific Research (Defence) at the Minstry of Defence back to Cambridge.
John Lennard-Jones.  Computer Laboratory, University of Cambridge -, CC BY 2.0,

“Round the Clubs” Some swells of the Royal Aero Club flew around to seventeen airfields with Flying Clubs and had summer garden parties.
Scones, strawberries, avgas. 

“Research: First Details of the New National Aeronautical Establishment: Stress onSupersonic Tunnels”

N. D. Ryder, “Built-In Cabin Comfort” Quite a good article on cabin layouts. The author stresses the importance of a good galley, especially on transatlantic types, and points out that overhead luggage racks save space but must be placed so that even smaller passengers can reach the, safety bars. Folding seats provide ample space for older, larger passengers, and flying boats, due to their need for a hydrodynamic hull shape, have more internal volume to devote to individual berths.

C. G. W. Ebbutt, “Water Gliders: An Ingenious Means for Preliminary Research at High Incidence” This is an author-as-advocate kind of article. The paper, in the leading article summarising this article, pointed out that these methods have illuminated the performance of certain types near the stall. But unless the stall speed is very high, the governing approximation for air is that it is perfectly compressible; for water, perfectly incompressible. Honestly! T. G. John, long the managing director of Alvis, has died after a long illness.

Civil Aviation News
The Admiralty hydrographic department has produced a new series of azimuthal equidistant projections for air navigation.

“Practical Recommendations” The IATA had a recent technical conference in Stockholm that concluded with many practical recommendations for the future of safer and more economical air travel, such as “Crash less,” and “Use less gas.”  (Actually, governments and PICAO are going to have to negotiate air lanes to keep air traffic separated. Larger airfields will be needed, and work should begin on them soon. There should be a standard language for meteorology.)

“Fundamentally Sound” Is what the Constellation is. It should be back in service on 1 September. Also, “Designed for Gas Turbines” tells us that there is “considerable satisfaction” in Britain at the news that Armstrong-Whitworth is designing a “Brabazon IIB,” which will be a gas-turbine airliner powered byfour Mamba engines. In unrelated news, Croydon is very busy and the charter companies are getting concerned about congestion. Swissair had a 100% reliability record in the latest quarter, KLM is flying an test flight London-South America with a DC-6, Pan-American is extending its Asian service to India; the existing Bermuda-New York flying boat service may replace its Boeing clippers with Sunderlands, which will be named “Plymouths” for the route. I hope that the Bermuda airport will get to have at least two names. It’s only fair.
A fitting successor to the Ensign. By RuthAS - Own work, CC BY 3.0,


“Rigger Erk” writes to say that he appreciated aircrews, too. “Test Pilot” writes to defend Christopher Clarkson, former senior RAF test pilot in Washington, and says that the Douglas XB-42 and ZB-43 really were sister ships from the beginning. A. S. Munday replies to “Stressman’s” letter about the “lightweight” P-51, explaining that only careful design by a specialist can hold weight down, since a draughtsman may not be in a position to know the “best way to make a fitting,” for example. Even using fractional measurements instead of decimal can increase weight by up to 5%, he says.

Time, 26 August 1946


Several readers respond bitterly to the story about German convalescents at Tegernsee.
Founded in 746 to anchor the Agilolfing Dukes around the translated relics of St. Quirinus, victimised in the 9th Century by those dastardly Magyars, who made sure to burn all the charters in the archives, as barbarians will do, Tegernsee Abbey was secularised by the Ottonoians in 921, then refounded for their family in 975. Truly, the Magyars were the Vikings of central Europe. 

Donald French takes issue with Professor Leo Crespi’s notion that college professors deserve to make more money than $50,000/year businessmen, on the grounds that being a $50,000/year businessman is hard, and most college professors are not nearly so up for it as they might think. Don Patinkin, of Chicago, says that Jewish terrorism in Palestine is the result of world anti-Semitism, and not its cause, and that if only might can save the Jewish people, then might will have to do. Eli Razkowitzky, of Brooklyn, agrees. George D. Sheehan, of Yonkers, is upset that the FCC is allowing atheist Robert Harold Scott onto the radio. “Atheists should have no more freedom in the sale of their wares than dope peddlers, and for the same reason.” Hollis B. Tulley, of Boise, Idaho, writes to defend airline reservation desks Malcom Mosesson of Stamford, Connecticut, is upset that General Eichelberger is dredging up the “I wanna go home” movement again.

National Affairs

“Week of Decision” The Price Decontrol Board is holding hearings on decontrolling meat prices. No decision yet, and they’re probably not eager to make one, either. The President, meanwhile, finally got out of town, not on his long-hoped Alaskan vacation, but on a boat cruise. At least he was out of town when the State Department explained that it had already scrutinised 3000 employees for a “tint of red” and fired 40, all small fry. (Another 39 were let go for having irregular nationalisation status, and 200 former employees marked down as unsuitable for government employment.) To help them, not be communists, the Foreign Service pay scale is finally being adjusted upwards for the “first time since the Presidency of Franklin Pierce.” (I think that means that this is the first general upward adjustment, and not that this is the first pay raise in 90 years.) Also worried about Communists is Colonel McCormick, who could be heard at the Illinois State Fair being excited abut Taft. Warren is “too far west” for him.

52-20 Or Work” General Bradley is upset at the swelling number of veterans who are staying in the 52 weeks-at-$20 rather than going out and taking low-paying jobs. The current roll is 1.7 million and is growing. Exactly how this could be with a record 60 million Americans employed, the General does not explain.  He thinks that the “public” will soon force action to correct things.

"The public" enforcing "correction," Anacostia Flats, 1932.

In political news, Robert Hannigan is calling on the Democratic Party to hold the line against reaction, while Ralph Flanders has won a nomination in Massachusetts in the most remarkable political comeback by a close friend of Henry Luce’s in the last few weeks at least. Another somewhat unexpected primary winner is former Marine Captain Joseph McCarthy, who won the Wisconsin senatorial primary against Robert LaFollette. LaFollette is seen to have damaged his own cause in a number of ways, for eample by coming out against the Governor, and by alienating his own Progressive supporters.

"Tailgunner" Joe McCarthy, as his fellow veterans call him, is one of those amusing Black Irishmen who inherit their Irishness over three generations or so.  (The family history has been revised subsequent to the Time article to establish that his mother was also born in Ireland.) "Tailgunner." "Black Irish." People sure were innocent about how their comments might be misconstrued as double entrendres back then! For example: "Be a hero—join the Marines." [Said friend Urban Van Susteren.] When McCarthy seemed hesitant, [he]  asked, "You got shit in your blood? (That's not in the Time profile, either.)

“Good Governor and Fighting Lady” In the most spectacular primary news about a personal friend of Henry Luce in two paragraphs, Ray Baldwin is to run for the Senate as the Republican candidate in Connecticut. As opposed to, say, Clare Boothe Luce, who never gets press in the paper, because her husband is too modest. Now, though, he can remind us that she was the first “womankeynoter of a Republican National Convention,” a strong critic of the New Deal, friend to labour, India, China, and the Coloured (at least as far as Mr. Luce understands the interest of coloured Americans –and, yes, I am a Republican, too, even though I am a coloured American underneath my feminine art. And not to get too introspective, I have occasionally wondered whether I would be if the Governor were not a Republican and men like Byrnes, Democrats.)

“Male Call” The CIO’s NMU is trying to strike the Great Lakes shipping fleet, against the resistance of the AFL’s Seamen’s International Union. Sympathy strikes are spreading, and closing down the 24 non-union operators as well. The paper thinks that it’s not right for the Great Lakes seamen to strike, as their wages are already just fine, and that it is all just a membership drive, since 8000 of them are still ununionised, and this would be a great addition to CIO dues.

“Everybody’s in the Act” Caesar Petrillo is pushing to raise musicians’ wages on Broadway. Nightclub owners have responded by threatening to fire all the chorus girls. The paper responds in a reasonable way.
It's not cheesecake, it's union-bashing! Also, good to see that the Times online archives has its problems with Dutch tilt, too.

“Small Shadows” The paper is pleased to report on two strikes that turned out poorly for labour; one was at one of Uncle George’s firms, Hamilton Standard.[?]

“101 Years of Yodelling” New Glarus, Wisconsin, formed as a Swiss colony in 1845, holds an annual yodelling contest, because they are more Swiss than the Swiss. The paper finds this enormously amusing.


“Exasperation” An entire page devoted to the way that nothing is happening in Paris. Everyone is upset at various other people (but mainly Molotov) because nothing is happening. The Russians suggest that the real problem is that Jim Byrnes’ problem is that he’s forgotten that he can’t push Russians around like he can Latins.

“Tonic Tantrum” The paper covers Fiorello LaGuardia’s rampage around Switzerland in more detail. Many of UNRRA’s problems turn out to be Russia’s fault. (Seriously.) It is suggested that when the UNRRA folds next year, its responsibilities will be thrown over to other authorities, which provoked a tantrum from LaGuardia to the effect that if the UNRRA council thought that the US Army would take over responsibility for the DP camps, it was out of its collective mind.

“New Titan” The paper suggests that Russian Communists believe that “cartels are the ultimate and inevitable form of modern economic development, and that trustbusting laws like the U.S. Sherman Act are in fact reactionary.” This helpful explanation prefaces the news that the “Red Army has quietly organised the biggest cartel in history, prepared to do big business with western Europe.” By which it means that it has organised eastern German industry as the “Soviet Industrial Corporation.” It suggests that Hermann Goering would have opinions about this if he knew, which he doesn’t. This probably implies that it is a bad idea (because Goering is bad), but I think the reason for writing this is that the paper has a new picture of Goering picking his nose at Nuremberg, needs to get it into print somehow, and the Reichsminister is not wearing a low-cut gown.

“Speak Softly” The Americans screened newsfilm of the Bikini tests in Paris. Russian Professor Simon Peter Alexandrov responded by announcing that Russia was going to test its own atom bomb “in the measurable future,” and then the world would see who was actually “speaking softly and carrying a big stick.”

“Celestial Phenomena” The latest on the Russian “ghost” rocket tests over Sweden is that a Swedish astronomer has seen one in his telescope, and that another has collided with an Army plane, killing three Swedish aviators.

“The Promised Land” The City of Jerusalem is the subject of this week’s cover story, and so here is the long profile of the holy city. It also notes that the British have built a concentration camp near Haifa to hold Jewish immigrants intercepted on their way to Palestine. That’s right, a wired concentration camp. For Jews. In Palestine. I’ve heard worse ideas this week, but that’s just because the week has seen a radio network drive Bing Crosby away.

Newsweek's point is that British editorial cartoonists are being mean, but still an interesting "How Others see us" bit.

The paper has a whole “Latin America” style page this week devoted to the idea that the English are eccentric. A talking dog leads, followed by H. G. Wells'obituary. It could be worse, though. It could show him in beach wear.

“Evil Ghost” Learned people used to call France the “Third Republic,” to show off that they know what the first two were. (Even though I bet they don't.) They also think that the “Third Republic” was pretty terrible in the 1930s, for various reasons, and one of them was the “affaire Stavisky.” He was a financier who was murdered in 19332, leading to the revelation that he was a swindler, leading to some riots in which 50 Parisians were killed, leading to a half-dozen “bureaucrats” fleeing or being “found dead,” leading to two cabinets falling, leading to Adolph Hitler realising that he could invade France and win. Anyway, the point is that the city of Bayonne is going to honour the majority of the fraudulent bonds. Ther paper throws in dark suspicions that his wife, Arlette, got away with some jewelry and helpfully publishes her address. (Almost: she has married a U.S. Army officer and is living in Puerto Rico.)

The jewels in question were paste emerals, the former Mrs. Stavisky was an eighteen year-old model at the time. What makes Henry Luce's coverage particularly awful is that Stavisky's Jewishness was a major point of Nazi-era Vichy propaganda. 

“Advancing Light” The paper waxes sarcastic about the little country of Tannu Tuva joining the Soviet Union, the idea being that the advancing light of Soviet communism isn’t actually just the thing.

“Ritual Blood” The paper covers an alleged human sacrifice case in Gold Coast. The convicted murderers have just lost their last appeal. The paper points out another murder in Basutoland to prove that Africans do this sort of thing.

“Rules for an Ex-God” Speaking of colourful foreigners, the Japanese have issued new rules to govern the Imperial Household.

“Direct Action” The paper covers the murderous riots in Calcutta under the banner of “Direct Action.”

“Imperialist Pimple” Britain isn’t the only imperial power in India. There is also Portugal, which still owns Goa. Ram Manohar Lohia, an Indian National Congress activist, organised a mass march into the colony, was jailed and then deported. The Goan leader of the Congress was hailed, tried, and last week sentenced to eight years of imprisonment in Mozambique.

Latins are excitable, not eccentric; in this case, including Haitians, who have gone on from January’s spontaneous general strike to following a would-be populist leader named Daniel Fignole.  “Elite Assemblymen denounced the movement as fascist. The military junta met it with armoured cars and mounted machine guns. The night before the election, voodoo drums beat feverishly in the lower town and there were rifle shots. The Garde killed two, wounded 30.” In an unsurprisingly development, the elections were won by “old-line elite politician” Dumarsis Estime. Somewhat less feverish are stories about the continuing advance of Juan Peron’s wife, Evita, and the appearance of a Japanese domestic terrorist movement in Brazil.

Canadians remain boring, although the Globe and Mail did its best to make it seem interesting by denouncing the Government’s decision to pardon draft dodgers as “irreparably damaging the moral fabric of this country.” 
To be a true Torontonian, you have to not get this at all, but pretend to like it because, you know, those wacky Quebecois and like that.


“The Importance of How Much” The Los Angeles Merchants and Manufacturers Association did a survey recently to establish how much of a company’s income went to the capital share (here expressed as “the proprietors’, managers’ and shareholders’ share”). People tend to think that it is about half, whereas the national average is actually 9 ½ cents out of every dollar. The Association concludes that if people were properly educated in this matter, strikes would stop immediately as people realised just how poor and hard done by $50,000/year businessmen are.

“Jerry-Built” Many of the houses so hastily built in the last few month shave turned out to be substandard. Also, many weren’t built at all. The Government, and specifically Wilson Watkins Wyatt, are BUNGLING housing.

“All Dressed Up” The Government is BUNGLING aviation, by giving away too much at Chicago for the “Fifth Freedom.”
As usual, the cited range turns out to be a bit optimistic.

“Connie’s Sister” With the B-36 in the news, and also the Constellation, less happily, it is time to notice the gigantic Lockheed Constitution, the Navy’s new transport, which might attract any civilian operator interested in 180 passengers carried in ‘two spacious decks.”   

“Under the Hat” Stetson Corporation took over Mallory Hat Company, the 129-year-old, family-owned, second-largest hatmaker in America. This allows the paper to tell the story of the Stetson Company at length. Colourful!

“Bolivia’s Bit” Bolivia and America have signed a tin agreement under which America takes up to 170,000 tons of tin ore a year through 1949 at 62 ½ cents/lb, with a retroactive bonus. Bolivia will not be able to exceed this output because ofrising labour costs, so tin will be short through 1949 as the Malaysian mines come back.

“Old Man on a Mountain” Los Angeles is trying to drum up business for the Mount Wilson Observatory.
 She's so cosy!

Science, Medicine, Education

The Science column comes forward many pages in this number. Unfortunately, it is mainly to celebrate the anniversary of the Smithsonian museum in Washington, which is like “the nation’s attic.”

“Chemical Frost” Dow Chemical has developed a chemical called dinitro-ortho-secondarybutyl-phenol, also known as Dowspray 66 Improved, which artificially stimulates the effect of frost on growing potatoes –which is, and this is news to me, to kill and shrivel the vine and cause the potato to stop growing, thicken its skin, and, in general, become diggable.

“Radio Test Pilot” The Navy last week announced its latest version of the remote radio monitor used in some test flying. The suggestion is that the same rig that allows pilotless B-29s to fly from Hawaii to California can also replace test pilots. It consists mainly of a television camera trained on the instruments on the dashboard, although strain gauges on the skin can also be set up to report by radio.
Dr. Lester Reynold Dragstedt, of Chicago’s Billings Hospital, has severed the vagus nerve of 97 patients in an attempt to cure their stomach and intestinal ulcers. He believes that the 20% of untreatable ulcers are caused by overstimulation due to stress, leading to excess gastric acid, hence the nerve surgery.

“Hospital Boom” Hospitals around the country are overcrowded, perhaps because people are going to the hospital for silly reasons such as colds, ingrown toenails, and simply needing a good night’s sleep. (Doctors say that it is because the U.S. population has increased by 8 million since 1939, that more people have hospital insurance, and that more babies are being delivered in hospitals instead of at home.) Anyway, President Truman this week signed a bill committing the Federal Government to spend $75 million a year over the next five years to build hospitals.

“No Hobos” Contrary to the expectation of University of Chicago Chancellor Robert M.Hutchins, the GI Bill has not led to a flood of “educational hobos” living in university campus  hobo jungles while taking classes just to pass the time in idleness. Instead, they seem to be studying hard and living off savings and part time jobs. Shocking!
He may look like a smirking asshole, but, actually, he was the visionary behind Great Books education and the Hutchins Commission.  My only regret is that I've already used my sarcasm gif once this post. Although because the Lockheed Constitution and the Stetson Company occur in the same paragraph, I do not regret my decision.

Also, Lieutenant General Barton Kyll Yount, former head of Army Air Forces Training Command, has formed a company called the American Institute for Foreign Traded, which is a non-taxable, non-profit educational corporation running a “Thunderbird College” in Phoenix Arizona, which will charge a thousand dollars a month to train young businessmen and diplomats for a Latin-American career. By which is meant that it will teach them Spanish and Portuguese. It helps that it got its campus, a former army technical school, at a “100% discount,” which, at the very, tiny bottom of the article, turns out to be the story: Congress is investigating how the former head of Army Technical Training ended up in possession of 180 acres of building, especially considering that the other 60 schools were given to real universities.


Eleanor Roosevelt has had false front teeth put in after her auto accident this summer, caused by dozing off at the wheel of her Lincoln. Cecil B. De Mille, Anita Loos and Ernest Thompson Seton all showed up in the news this week, in an “Old Home Week” from my girlhood. (Not that I remember any of them except Seton.) Congressman Stockman of Idaho is conducting tourist tours of Washington (incognito), while Senator Glen Taylor of Idaho substituted for columnist Leonard Lyons last week. Guy Lombardo is going up-tempo by competing in motorboat racing. John Carradine is trying to get out of alimony payments to his ex-wife. Princess Sukhodhaya of Siam is in New York, shopping, while Howard Hughes wants us to know that his hospital bed is super-adjustable, with six sections and six cranks. Walter J. Candler Jr.,, grandson of the former president of Coca-Cola, got a summer job, just like a regular person.

Wilmoth Houdini is the new King of Calypso, and Quentin Huang has been ordained Episcopalian bishop of Kunming in Santa Barbara, California for some reason.

Groucho Marx has had a daughter named Melinda by Catherine Marvis at 55! Group CaptainMax Aitken has marred the grand-daughter of the Duke of Abercorn. Two different Rothschilds have married, and Channing Pollock has died.

Art, Press, Radio

This week’s featured artist is Georgio de Chirico. The paper doesn't like him.


“The Colonel’s Answer” Ever since Joseph Patterson’s death, newspapermen have speculated that Colonel McCormick would move on the New York Daily News to bring it further in line with his own views. A long editorial in the Tribune denouncing the New York press for being awful, except for the Hearst and McCormick papers, which reflect the wholesome Midwestern views of their owners. So I guess that’s the answer? In less consequential press stories that get press, a young man named William DeWeese Pardridge has started a quarterly called Air Affairs, most of whose staff are working for free. The Hearst papers enjoy a good crusade, for example against vivisection. This week, they’re going off on salacious books.

“Trouble at PreWi” Few people have head of Press Wireless, Inc, the highly mechanised common carrier that “calls itself the ‘copy boy for the press of the world,’” and which also carries radio-photos and voice broadcasts. But having recently laid off 46 employees at its New York office, a sixth of its staff, as a postwar retrenchment measure, it is now being struck by its union. The ACA even embargoed it until the matter was sent to arbitration.

“Appetiser” Last week, various papers (including the paper) ran an outrageous picture of a barmaid carrying drinks over the body of a man killed in a brawl. The Los Angeles Times editorialised that running the picture was in awful taste. This week, the paper runs a picture of a Timesman eating a burger, explaining why this is outrageous, too. (something about a hunger strike.) Weak, Mr. Luce, weak.  In other petulant-paper themed news, the paper notes that it has been barred from the Warner Brothers lot for something it said.

Speaking of 1946 getting increasingly . . . 

“Queen Soaper” The paper very briefly profiles Elaine Carrington as evidence that “soap operas” can do some good.

The New Pictures

The paper couldn’t make head or tail of the plot of The Big Sleep, but loved it anyway. A Scandal in Paris, telling, more-or-less, the story of Francois Vidocq, is a “suave and tinkling entertainment.”


Robert Penn Warren’s book about a fictional version of Huey Long, All the King’s Men, is the talk of the town. Leland Stowe’s While Time Remains, which argues that America is in danger of exporting White Supremacy while it thinks it is exporting democracy, is not. He also points out that while America started the atomic rivalry with Russia, it is much more vulnerable to atomic warfare due to the concentration of its population along the Eastern seaboard, so it was all a bit dumb, and America had better find something to counteract the appeal of Soviet communism, especially amongst the coloured races. 

Flight, 29 August 1946


“Efficient Simplicity” The paper remembers how, so very long ago, Major Halford took the brand-new Airdisco air-cooled V-8 based on the Renault and “halved it” into the four-cylinder, 60hp Cirrus, getting it into production in only nine weeks. The point of this reminiscence is that a writer in this number is proposing renewed research effort into piston engines to get high thermal efficiencies in the low-power range, and since we have “high power” piston engines, these should be “halved” to form the basis of the new designs. The ridiculous part of this is that the research and development effort will take years at a time when turbine engines are advancing rapidly –and so are existing piston engines! But if it could be done in nine weeks, then anything is possible! (And this is true. If men could go to the Moon in nine weeks of preparation time, then anything would be possible.)

“Licensed Indifference” Various people and organisations are BUNGLING private flying. Truly, the fellow who wants to fly his private plane from airfield to airfield around England is the most put-upon Englishman of his age.

“Records” You may not have heard, but there is to be a high speed record attempt in England. Meanwhile, the Lancaster Aries has put in new records for the distance flight to Australia.

“Offensive Support” The RAF School of Air Support put on a fine show of air supporting in the four day RAF School of Air Support, which is a special service school for senior officers of the air force and other services. There was much BANGing, and RATTATTing, and ZOOMing, and, in general, it was demonstrated that aircraft will be heavily involved in future wars. At one point, twenty Lincolns flew overhead and dropped “showers of 500-pounders and a sprinkling of 4000lb ‘cookies’” on a target 2500 yards from the grandstand, previously marked by pathfinder Mosquitoes.

Here and There

Belgium is to have an air rally. De Havilland is to have an Australian factory. Major Mayo has been elected chairman of the Air League of the British Empire, in succession to Air Chief Marshal Sir Philip Joubert, who has gone on to be Director of Public Relations at the Air Ministry. The paper apologises to A. H. Wilson for inadvertently implying that he had plagiarised an aircraft design. A.V. Roe is putting on an air show. Effective October, no more synthetic rubber will be imported into England, with natural rubber taking its place. Rubber growers will press for a “return to free trade” as soon as the current agreement with the United States runs out. “To relieve an acute shortage of ice-cream in Tasmania,” ANA is flying in an emergency lift of three airplane loads. Twenty-seven Indian Moslems from South Africa recently chartered a BOAC flying boat to take them to Mecca on the Haj.

"Ice cream for everybody" is a goal, to be achieved

“Model Makers’ Mecca” The Model Engineer Exhibition opened on 22 August at the New Royal Horticultural Hall at Westminster. Model makers exhibited various novel and interesting designs, the paper’s own correspondent reports.

“Rolls-Royce Mobile Jet School: Instructional Unit on Jet Propulsion for Fighter Command” Rolls-Royce has run up one of those demonstration exhibits-in-a-truck-trailer affairs that are so popular with the service education lot, and publishers trying to put more paper between the ads in a thin month.

The KZ-III: Impressions of Flying a Danish Two-seater with Cirrus Minor Engine”

“Indicator,” “In the Air, XIX: The Perennial Swordfish: Simplification Rest-cure: Two Other Little Known Types” ‘Indicator” thought of ferry flying the Swordfish around as a rest-cure simply because you did not have to study special flying notes before taking off in it. It was easy and safe to fly, although he never ceased to be amazed at the odd aileron droop control intended to “provide something in the way of mildly flapped characteristics,” and which the ferry pilots left strictly alone. He also flew a few Rocs, before the mysteriously disappeared. Unlike the Skua, kept around for training radio operators and gunners, the Rocs just vanished, even though it was no worse to fly. His only comment on another little-seen type, the Wellesley, is that its “spectacle” type controls were rather large for the small cockpit, and it required “considerable sleight-of-hand movements” to re-set the directional gyro.
Blackburn reps went around the airfields setting them on fire. 

“Gander Airport: Notes on the Newfoundland Stage for North Atlantic Airlines” Gander, in the old days, was either Paradise or Purgatory, depending on whether it was the end of the Atlantic flight or its beginning. It has now been turned over to the Newfoundland government, and its wartime population has shrunk from 7000 to 800, but it is still an airport.

“Civil Air Licence School: A Visit to an Aircrew Ground Training Establishment” Now that the air force has demobilised so many of its ground crew, it needs new ones. Pictures show trainees calibrating gyroscopes with instruments and books of tables, which tells you where the old ground crew went –into industry. Most of the rest of the article is a biography of Group Captain Cumming, the principal of the school.

“Rocket Power in America” A new Reaction Motors design shows 6000lb static thrust.

The "Belching Black Bastard."

“The Folkestone Races” There are to be air races around Folkestone.

“Cloud Warning by Radar: A British Scheme to Reduce Flying Hazards” I gather thatmicrowave-frequency radars will be reflected by clouds, so that these radars can give a weather warning. Aircraft radars will also detect the “stone clouds” that lurk in the middle of them.

“Le Zoute Rally” The paper even sent a photographer to document the Belgian air rally.

Civil Aviation News

PICAO has requested British and American airlines to get on with aircraft radar. The US is to use Ascension Island for Pan American’s South African service. PICAO is organising navigational aids for the Caribbean area. New Zealand is to nationalise its airlines. BOAC’s England-to-Hong Kong service is finally starting next month.
Hong Kong 1946, c. Hedda Morrison. I think. Is that how Pinterest works? Plenty more here.

Hong Kong is to have an airport, and various airplanes are being sent overseas for tropical testing. An upgrade to the Constellation with the new Wright Cyclone engines will give it longer range[?]. Further details on the future of civil air control have been published in Notices to Airmen No. 120. They are very similar to the existing ones; intermittent green lights give permission to taxi; steady green light to take off; intermittent red light to move clear of the runway and aircraft in the air not to land; stead red light or red Very light indicating prohibition on all movements and landings. There are now twenty-three air traffic control stations “available for the assistance of civil aircraft.” “Indicator’s” suggestion that a “hire and drive” system might be organised at all major airfields seems to be coming true. Seven Boeing Stratocruisers have been ordered by United Airlines. Four other airlines, including Swedish Inter-Continental, have ordered the Stratocruiser. Air Vice-Marshal Wilcock is to be the new Director of Long Range Planning at the Air Ministry.


M. H. Dunn thinks that the Coanda effect is just the thing for a scavenging two-stroke aircraft engine. Cooling air (in an air-cooled, or pumped air, in a liquid-cooled engine) would be diverted into the exhaust pipe, creating a Venturi effect in line with the Coanda effect which would vacuum out the exhaust gasses from the cylinders. L. Andrews (“Hon. Organiser”) points out that aircraft disposal sale to flying clubs is being BUNGLED. A. W. writes to disagree with Christopher Clarkson about the XB-43 having been designed as a jet bomber from the first. E. D. Ayre writes, at length, on the cost of operating a light aircraft, and suggests that it is on the order of £350/year. No wonder that subsidies for flying clubs, airfields for flying clubs, relaxed gas rationing for civil fliers, etc., has emerged as one of the great social issues of modern England!

C. D. Soltz, “The Piston Engine: Some Suggestions for its Further Development Within a Limited Power Range: ‘Halving’ Existing Radial and In-line Types” Again, the idea of beginning work on a new piston aircraft engine design in this year of our Lord 1946 has exactly one thing to recommend it; it gives would-be piston engine designers jobs when they get canned down at the car factory for whatever reason. (Bottoms up!)

Russia has had an air day, showing off the Ilyushin XII, “a transport, a jet-propelled aircraft, and two rocket planes.” A new four-engined bomber was shown, and a flying-wing dubbed “the Duck.” A show of aerobatics and aerial fighting was given by older Yak fighters and Stormoviks, and, finally, a dirigible bearing huge portraits of Lenin and Stalin flew by.  

Like the creator of this Pinterest page, or possibly Google Search, I quickly concluded that actual images of the Airship Pobeda were a heckuva lot less interesting than this particular laudanum fantasy. 

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