In spite of best intentions, I'm dashing this one off before handing it to George. I'm still in Fort Rupert. Chief is right to the extent that my ship's problem isn't in the engine, but there's definitely a problem, and I'm very glad to be on the ground again.
Well, I'd be on the ground even if my engine fell off. Just not, you know, in one piece. We can't get in there to check, but either there's an engine bracket broken, or the problem is inboard of that. In the spar? Bad news for the bird, if it is, because it'll be retiring in old Fort Rupert.
Not that that's so bad. Fishing's good; the strait is crowded with loggers waiting out the fire season on the water, handlining the biggest salmon you ever saw, on their way to run up the Nimpkish or the streams out of the Coastal range that look close enough to touch whenever the weather opens up. (Which it actually does here, in the summer.) Unfortunately, I can't tell the CO that I've gone fishing, and we've been down to the RCAF station at Coal Harbour and bummed an old --you'd never guess-- Stranraer out of care and maintenance. Tommy's been a wonder at getting one of the RDFs out of the Lib and into the old bird, which we've repurposed to check atmospherics. Common sense is that the best place for an intercept station is out at the Cape, but no-one's going to buy that as a navigational aid, so we have to find a good place for a radar station, too. (Also, someone has to persuade Ottawa to pay for it. Need more communist menace!)
CO's made it very clear that I'm here until the ship is ready to fly. If he's serious, I think I need to look for a retirement place. If he's not, well, funny enough, there hasn't been an anthropologist around here since the Twenties, and Professor K. has told the Regents that he's got just the student to send up here.
Your Loving Son,
PS: Please just get the dam business settled and come back to Vancouver unventilated.
|The Flamingo, 1947. Everyone's read Tim Powers' Last Call, right? It's his dry book, and probably his best.|
Time, 16 June 1947
|The "hilly flanks of the Fertile Crescent" guy|
who excavated Jarmo. The letter is not
showing him in his best light.
Lunatics and comedians! So, to start, with it’s funny that the English think they invented “Hink Pink,” and that Janis Paige is the cat’s meow. There’s also important letters, such as Robert Braidwood’s one putting the Arab case in Palestine, which mainly seems to be proving that since there is no such thing as a Jewish race, they shouldn’t have a homeland. James McDowell, an old Boeing 314 man, thinks that flush toilets in airplanes is funny –not as funny as the “ships, preferably enemy” they flew over, I’ll bet! Carter Stevens, of New Orleans, thinks that Lucien Freud should shut his trap about England, since he is a refugee there (since 1933, says Time!) and shouldn’t be so critical. Emerson P. Schmidt, of the Chamber of Commerce, is afraid that Marshal Chiang will introduce collectivism, leading to the end of prosperity, freedom and progress in China. J. Arthur Rank, (currently) of Universal City, California, is upset about the implication that his brother Rowland died from drink or was disinherited. Time is not aware that it implied any such implications, but it must be true, because this is an extra-serious telegraph reply.
The Letter from the Publisher is neat, though. It’s about how, when Time expanded its publishing to three different plants, it couldn’t get typesetting square, so they decided to have a typesetter department in the main building, and use “the newly developed teletypesetter” to transmit to the plants. They use the teletypesetter perforator for this. It’s a device similar to others I’ve seen (can’t say where, big wink!), in which you type on a keyboard, and produce a perforated paper tape. Read back through a reverse machine, the perforations tell not only the letters and punctuation, but also the spacing, so that every line comes out right. Then you put this tape through the transmitter, and out comes a correctly-spaced, typewritten copy for the proof readers, make-up men, and copy tapes the Los Angeles, Chicago and Philadelphia printing plants. In those plants, the copied tape is fed into an especially equipped Linotype machine, whose keys are controlled by the tape in the same way that the pianola roll controls a player piano. There are, James Linen says, fewer than 500 teletypesetter perforators in the world, and only Time’s seven machines (and the nine men who operate them), use them in this way. (One of them is always on call in a nearby hotel on Tuesday in case of late news breaks.) If you’re wondering why only Time does this, the page I’m reading from is a good explanation, in that it has an illustration in the middle. The perforators are not designed to set type around illustrations, and it takes “ingenuity, experience and patience” to do the job.
|Creed and Company Teleprinter No. 7, 1930. By Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-2008-0516-500 / CC-BY-SA 3.0, CC BY-SA 3.0 de, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=5348801. There's enough here for a technical appendix, although I need to do the one on turbojets, first.|
See this is what I’ve been saying about autopilots and robot planes!
“The Presidency: Busy Week” The President has appointed Dwight Griswold to administer the $300 million Greek aid, and Richard Allen to run the $350 million foreign relief aid package. He also read a blast at Taft, who has been going around saying that the President has given up on talking prices down, in favour of using foreign spending to keep prices high. The President says that Taft is preaching the “defeatist economic philosophy” of “boom and bust.” Then he went to Kansas, then he went to Canada. The vetoes on the tax and labour bills, if they’re coming, will just have to wait until the President is done spontaneously leading parades and whatnot. He also invited Spruille Braden and George Messersmith to resign, one for being too nice to South American fascists, the other for being too mean. (The third ambassador, who was just right, gets to be eaten by bears!)
|Spruille Braden received a medal from Anastasio Somoza for organising the Guatemalan coup of 1954, while Messersmith was "best known in his day" for the "controversial decision" to grant a visa to Albert Einstein in 1932, which led to widespread criticism from American conservative groups(!) But they both have to resign, so they're basically the same.|
“Challenge and Response” The Hungarian communists have taken over more, and that means that American politicians have to line up to say how much they hate communism. Because they hate it, and how!
Secretary Marshall isn’t allowed to say he hates communism, but in his Harvard speech he dropped some hints that the Russians and their allies won’t get any dollars if they don’t play along.
“Henry!” Henry Wallace was cornered by some reporters in Raleigh, and had to admit that he wouldn’t back Truman for re-election. And no wonder, considering what’s coming out of Kansas City about the Roger Slaughter scandal! Meanwhile, bad news for Auntie Grace, as Dewey holds talks with Governor Warren and Harold Stassen, presumably about the Vice-Presidential nomination, Boss Hague is retiring, and Professor CharlesTansill made an ass of himself by ruining the regular celebration of Jefferson Davis’s birthday that the Daughters of the Confederacy, Sons of Confederate Veterans, Children of the Confederacy and assorted Jim Crow-hugging Congressmen like to hold in Washington. He was rude enough to be on about the “lost cause,” etc. He even seemed to be warming up to the part where Patton should have just raised the “glorious Confederate flag” and continued rolling east on 8 May before he was shushed.
“Path of Progress” McGraw-Hill said, somewhere, in some magazine, that while in 1929, a man earning $5,267 a year could figure on clearing enough to retire on $3000/year after 25 years, now the number is $13,221, and only one in a hundred families is that well fixed.
“Promised Land” This week’s cover is Governor Gruening, but the story is actually about Alaska. It is getting an immigration of 20 families a day, “All their earthly goods were strapped to their cars.” In other words, they were driving up the Alaska Highway, instead of taking the ferry from Seattle, so I’m not sure how much good they’ll do Alaska! What they found was the Alaskan wilderness (insert lots of Time scenery-poetry-talk here). Also, the salmon industry, gold mining, and aviation to hold it all together. Plus, military construction, thanks to the air buildup for WWIII. Anchorage (which is the terminus of the Alaska Railroad) has grown from 3500 people in 1940 to 14000 today. Fairbanks is up to 7500 from 3500. (Out of a total of 90,000 people in Alaska, not counting seasonal workers.) And now there is talk of two pulp mills and oil from Navy Petroleum Reserve Number 4, 180 miles from Point Barrow. Alaska has lots of salons, liquor stores and brothels, but also a college, two golf courses, electric stoves, housewives and grocery clerks. In conclusion, Alaska is a land of contrasts.
|Aerial shot of Anchorage, 1947|
Also, there are tornadoes and floods all over this June, and the Mississippi might flood.
“Class of ‘47” Older, married college students have kids. Who’d have thought? (They’re also not nearly worried enough about the future perils of the Atomic Age.) As usual, some regular students and university presidents were dug up to say that it’s all awful these days, but with students in the top half of the class getting as many as 15 job offers at starting salaries running up to $300/month, it’s a funny kind of awful!
|Are they supposed to be kissing?|
Eastern European communists and fellow travellers are terrible, including the French communists who might be encouraging the rail strike that might bring Ramadier’s ministry down. Finnish socialists aren’t, because they don’t like Russia, because of the war and the 450,000 refugees they must house, which has entailed tremendous privations, with housing “ruthlessly requisitioned,” and every person over 10 allowed precisely one room, and farmland even more ruthlessly redistributed, which is said to be the reason that agricultural output has fallen to 60% of prewar, compared to industrial output at 86%. [pdf]
“Umbrella into Cutlass” An ad in this week’s New York Herald Tribune encouraged “the Terrorists of Palestine” and promised that American money was on its way. The British government protested, and President Truman urged an end to “inflammatory Palestine talk” “in the interests of the country, of world peace and of humanity.” Ben Hecht, whose American League for a Free Palestine, ran the ad, is not impressed, and neither is whoever mailed letter bombs to Ernie Bevin, Anthony Eden, and other prominent Brits.
“See Day” American tourists have applied for almost as many passports as the record 203,174 issued in 1930. The Paris Herald has published a special issue on all the things they should see, and Time has followed up by finding some Europeans who aren’t happy with all those American tourists, this includes Italians but also some English. It’s a little hard to figure out where Time is going until a few pages later, where it talks about how Moscow is softening on England, which is apparently some scheme to divide America and Britain, before it moves on to talk about dollars, and, for some reason, Henry Wallace.
|I, uhm, okay.|
The one story that isn’t mentioned is the Britain-Russia trade deal. You’d think that Russia’s ability to supply American-style goods like wheat and cotton would be happy news all around, since it spares dollar expenditure and American credit. But if it means being nice to communists, Time is against it! And some rich English people who work full time at making eyes roll. Also, besides being so hot in London that the Evening Standard could fry an egg on the sidewalk and the Daily Telegraph could complain about the waste of an egg, it was hot enough for three trainloads of milk to spoil on the way to London, and for water consumption to go up to 428 million gallons a day, 30 million more than last year’s consumption, and, as a result, taps are running dry and some Londoners are having to line up for water, and dogs are going mad.
“Malraux’s Hope” Andre Malraux is supporting de Gaulle, which is very important news because he is a Famous Author and because he is Not The Sort to Support de Gaulle.
“No Mikado, Much Regret” Sixty-two years after the London premiere, The Mikado was finally supposed to play Tokyo, it being formerly banned for beingdisrespectful to the Emperor, but then General MacArthur banned it again. The jokes write themselves!
|Life magazine runs General MacArthur's July 4th, 1947 message to the American people. Yes, I am planning to figure out how to recall the right volume of Life from the stacks!|
“Germany” This is actually one of those page headers with a whole series of articles under them, but I can’t bear to waste my time summarising them individually. The heads of the German zonal governments are fighting, for example, and of course Time has it down to the communists toeing the Moscow line, but you don’t get much of a sense of what the Russian zone thinks of the new bizonal government in the west, which surely is a big deal. The German Social Democrats sound like they have concerns, but the paper just makes their leader to be a typical, German loudmouth –and then leads on to the news that Heinrich Himmler’s widow has goneinto the hospital, which is a good excuse to talk about how awful he was, right after it talks about how awful Kurt Schumacher is.
|The Reichsfuehrer married out of his league. By Bundesarchiv, Bild 146-1990-080-04 / CC-BY-SA 3.0, CC BY-SA 3.0 de, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=5419524|
Once again, there is nothing important in the Latin America and Canada sections. Does Time choose stories about colourful South American potentates and boring Canadians deliberately?
Since I’ve already read about it in The Economist, I am already bored about Japan opening up to foreign trade and stupid Senator Taft’s stupid opinions about the economy. (Actually, it might not be Taft, It might be Marriner Eccles. The point is, there is definitely a business recession on, and we can expect employment, profits, production prices and sales to fall in the last half of 1947. That’s admittedly just facts; the stupid opinion is where Eccles has the usual argle-bargle about how a recession is secretly good for the economy because the sooner deflation, the better. Recessions reduce costs and prices until the economy can function, increase labour productivity and managerial efficiency, and lay the foundations of future prosperity. In other words, the “boom and bust” theory. Being unemployed for six months is good for you! Starve to death now, so that you can have steak in a year!
“Out of Gas” Ralph Kenneth Davies, former Deputy Petroleum Administrator, told the Senate this week that we are in the middle of an oil shortage. The Federal Government has only been able to buy 19 of the 24 million barrels it will need to heat Government buildings this year. The Army and Navy are short, and the big brands are racing to get their hands on what’s left. The US is buying 5,335,000 barrels a day, producing only 5,264.000, and storage reserves are dropping. Fuel-oil dealers are being rationed, and some say that the oil companies are putting on quiet pressure for approval of the Anglo-American oil agreement, because for some reason carving up the Middle East’s oil is done by an agreement between American and England, though the French, and Calousie Gulbenkian are still holding out.
“Pattern for Success” Time does that thing that Auntie Grace calls “sidling” into a story, which ends up being about how Simplicity Patterns is doing well in the dress patterns business, and also perhaps that dress pattern sales are up. In shorter news, Waco is out of the aircraft business for now; for the second month in a row, more Series E savings bonds were sold than bought; Minneapolis’s Maico company is selling a hearing aid disguised as an earring, with a matching piece for the other ear. Weyerhauser, which has already marketed a firelog substitute made out of pressed sawdust, is now turning to using its waste sawdust as sawmill boiler fuel, which seems clever, if obvious. It is also looking for an outlet for bark, perhaps as a soil mulch product or as a chemical industry feedstock. (This last is a profile article of John Weyerhauser.)
Science, Medicine, Education
“The Deadly Kiss” The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is worried about the spread of lampreys in the Great Lakes. After learning what lampreys are, so am I!
“The Disappearing Cold” Dr. Hans Ahlmann, of Stockholm University, says that all of the cold lands around the northernmost Atlantic are “entering a balmier climatological era.” Greenland is getting greener, Iceland is getting less icy, etc. The difference so far is only a degree or so, but things like glaciers can be very sensitive to small changes over longer periods, and Iceland’s glaciers have been retreating from farmland that they overran 600 years ago. Scientists aren’t sure whether this is a natural cycle or because the sun is warming up, or because it has moved out of a belt of cosmic dust, or some other reason, but at least we can agree that it is good news for Vikings!
|Per Google, as of April 1949, the two children had been relocated to a colony for war-disfigured children (because there were such things) and were waiting for surgery. Although I suspect that the idea behind the colony was so that the victims would marry each other. BTW, there is no way that the retreating Icelandic glaciers were exposing old farmland, because the subglacial valleys are below sea level and flood.|
“Angry Voice” The AMA has been trying to soft-pedal Dr. Morris Fishbein for a while, but he’s back with his History of the American Medical Association: 1947 to 1947. Fishbein is the longtime editor of the Journal of the AMA, where he has fought against socialised medicine and the quacks and cranks of the world since 1912.
|Time for a shout-out to Dr. John Brinkley, who use to implant goat glands in wealthy patients to "revive their vigour." And you thought that the old comic book writers were making this stuff up! By Source, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=27399990|
“Man of Aran” “Doctors have always had a well-founded suspicion that some mysterious property in the air affects people’s health.” For example, some surgeons avoid operations on days when the south winds blow. Alpine sanatoriums say that patients do worse on days when a moist wind is blowing. Allergists think that hay fever is airborne. But now Dr. William F. Petersen, famed Chicago pathologist, and Dr. Manfred Curry of Boston, are saying that there is some fraction in the air, a mysterious gas he calls “aran,” speaking of cranks.
“Culture COD” The Chicago Great Books, which V. hates almost as much as she hates the Durants, and that’s a lot, is the biggest sell out in the history of things that people buy but never read. It’s a bit of a headscratcher as to why she thinks cheap editions of the best books ever is a bad thing. Near as I can make out, if they’re published by the University of Chicago and sold to normal people, they’re not great books any more? I just shut my mouth when it comes up. Articles on St. Paul’s Episcopalian and Eton establishes that private schools are the bee's knees. I’ve heard it put otherwise when I meet with my Democrats for Wallace buddies, but what can I say about it? That my private school was so exclusive that you’ve never heard of it?
Press, Radio, Art
“Down Adela’s Alley” L.A. is all agog over the Overell trial, but this is Press, not National Affairs, so the story is the way that old hand Adela St.Johns is covering it.
“The Hansard Men” Tom O’Donoghue is the new head of Hansard’s. I had no idea what this is, but it turns out to be the official record of parliamentary debates in England (except secret sessions). Because it’s official, you wouldn’t think that it belongs here, but it used to be a magazine before Parliament took it over, years ago, before the war.
“Look Who’s Talking” CBS’s Views of the Press is the talk of radio, because Don Hollenbeck “rags the rags,” such as the Sun and the Journal-American, before turning on PM and The Daily Worker for filching an item from the Daily News. Another summer replacement show has Georgia Gibbs anchoring a show by herself, even though she’s said herself that you can’t build a radio show around a female singer.
This week’s famous dead artist is David French, who did that statue of Abraham Lincoln sitting. The getting-to-be-famous living artist is Charles Ross Greening. Harry Truman says he doesn’t like modern art. Of course he doesn’t.
Eric Johnston, fresh off putting his thumbs on the scales to help the College Man’s boy become president of SAG per request, has hired James F. Byrnes as counsel. I wonder who he is doing favours for now, and whether there was any blackmail involved? If you’re wondering, Auntie Grace decided not to take your advice, and handed the originals over to him. Well, except for the register with all of the other names on it; but we can hardly turn that over. The very next line down (or somewhere on the page, because I'm probably remembering with advantage) it says, “Ben Chew, aka Ben Stilwell”! Charles Kettering is retiring. Governor Warren has been named “Father of the Year,” and Francisco Franco’s sister, Pilar, has been in a car accident. Bert Acosta is living in a monastery, and Lincoln Ellsworth has gone to Kenya.
|Bert, in better days, because I'm pretty sure that "living in a monastery" is a euphemism for Skid Row.|
Rebecca West says that she can’t sleep in New York due to all the tension, what with everyone either hating Russia, or loving Russia. Frank Sinatra and George Raft have both settled civil assault charges, although not before Sinatra was hauled into court –understandably, considering how he was provoked. (It’s a damn shame that he had to settle, I think.) Joe Louis has had his second child with the wife he used to be divorced from; Arthur William Wermuth, the One-man Army of Bataan, has married a white woman; Sergeant Hannah has died, of tuberculosis; Mavis Tate is the latest female English politician to die of “gas poisoning”; James Agate and Jesse Wilford Reno, inventor of the “inclined elevator,” have died of being old; and Julio Tello of the Inca’s Curse.
|It looks as though Reno mainly struck it rich by having patents that the Otis Elevator Company wanted to buy. Elevators have a very rich early history.|
The New Pictures
Possessed, the new movie in which Joan Crawford is crazy, is “not quite top grade,” but Time liked the way that the story was told with “unusual imagination and force.” DearRuth, which is based on a 1943 Broadway play, is a “neat, machine-turned farce” that makes it sound like we’re nostalgic for war days already! It Happened on Fifth Avenue doesn’t get a handy explanation at the beginning. Instead, the reviewer launches right into the plot summary, and long about the time I read about the rich owner of a mansion that has been closed for the winter, sneaking into in the disguise of a tramp, I wold be left to guess that it is supposed to be funny if I hadn’t seen it already. (You should, too. It’s good!) Turns out that there's method here, because the reviewer hated it and everybody who likes it. Copacabana is the latest Marx Brothers movie, so what can you say?
Imagine an age so deprived that clever undergraduates had to quote Marx brothers movies instead of Monty Python or The Simpsons. Shudder.
Russia is increasing its book publishing quota this year, so that Russians can read more books, including various American authors like Sinclair, Steinbeck, Ingersoll and Caldwell. The very important book that I shall have to read to keep up with V. this week is Thomas Mann, Magic Mountain [Actually]. That guy with the two roads in the woods has another book, and so does Vladimir Nabokov, who doesn’t belong with Thomas Mann, because I’m lookingforward to reading his.
Time’s Current Affairs Quiz is a new educational (or amusement) feature.
Flight, 19 June 1947
“Helicopter Progress” Westland Aircraft, best known for that weird plane no-one used, and that other weird plane that no-one used, has bought the license to produce the Sikorsky S. 51 in Britain, and the right to sell them everywhere but America and Canada. Hopefully, that isn’t a bad sign for the S-51.
“Cross-wind Landing Gear” If I read this right, Flight is talking about castering landing gear again because it has had so many letters about it.
“Power for Bombers” The B-50 is going to have a 3000hp engine, and maybe planes like the B-36 will need 5000hp engines, in case WWIII happens in the next six months. Which might be why people are talking about the LycomingXR-7755 right now. Or it might not be, because no-one’s saying. But America will be better off, if WWIII happens, because it might or might not have a 5000hp engine to put on the plane that needs 5000hp engines (but only has 3000hp) engines to bomb Moscow. Except that the Centaurus and Eagle are very powerful (no mention of the Sabre!) and the actual problem is that there’s no British B-36-sized bomber. Which is the opposite from what it started out saying?
“Helicoptering in London: convincing Demonstration of the Westland-Sikorsky S. 61: Greatly Improved Comfort” I don’t think I need to tell you much about the S-51, except that the Westland version has a new and improved rotor head that cuts vibration and noise. Westland thinks that it might sell for £15,000. How does using a Wasp engine squares with dollarrestrictions if Westland can’t sell into dollar countries? Either everyone overthere has gone nuts, or there’s a Westland machine with an English enginecoming along soon.
|I have no idea what the improvement is. The important point is that detailed helicopter engineering is hard.|
Here and There
The American Aircraft Show is combining its East and West Coast events into a single show, probably in Chicago. There will be a Mechanical Handling show at the National Hall next month, sponsored by Mechanical Handling, which is, surprise surprise, an Illife magazine. It will feature new developments in . . . mechanical handling. The USAAF is ordering 100 XB-36s, which I guess is the point of that leading article. Aer Linga is sending fifteen men to America to be trained on Constellations, since the deal for letting Americans land in Ireland is that Ireland gets to have an airline that takes some of the traffic. The Ministry of Town and Country (planning) is going to build a rail-line out to Heathrow, which is what London Airport is called in the title. (It turns into London Airport in the article, though.) Flight called the Minister for a word, but he was too busy wearing fashionable tweeds and drinking imported Scotch in a photo-friendly way at his elegant spread. The US Army ATC recently grounded all of its Skymasters for two days to check the stabiliser bolts and fittings, which were shearing loose(!) Victorians and Interstate Airways ofAustralia is sending food parcels to the employees of Percival Aircraft. Messrs.Henry Wiggin and Co., manufacturers of Nimonic, are cutting prices “substantially.”
“B-29s Over Britain” It’s summer and there’s no way to book a trip to Europe, but if you’re one of the 150 men of 340th Squadron, up to, and including two lieutenant colonels, you can hop on one of Uncle Sam’s birds and have an English vacation. (They went to see the changing of the guard and the Tower of London together.) And what the Hell’s this: “The Wright Cyclone 18 R-3350 turbo-supercharged radials, which seem smooth and have a great reputation for reliability, emitted a vast amount of smoke before we taxied out at take-off. . . “? Meanwhile, 35 Squadron RAF is over in America, fattening itself up like up like a bear in September. (Says my buddy who hosted them at Wright Field.)
|The more spending money you bring, the less likely you are to have to fight WWIII! I'm not sure how much of a consolation that is when you're being buzzed by MiG-15s over the Yalu in two-and-a-half years, but it's something.|
‘Kibitzer,’ “New Jet-Propelled Fighters and Medium-Heavy Bombers: Reactions to Constellation Decision” So we’re up to the Douglas XS-3 and Northrop XS-4 and the Douglas D-558 and D-558-II in X-ships, all currently listed with the TG-180 until the actual engine is off the secret list; for fighters we have the North American XP-86, which is swept-wing, the Northrop XP-89, which Kibitzer thinks will be the latest tailless type, the Lockheed XP-90, Republic XP-91, Consolidated XP-92, McDonnell Banshee, and the Grumman F9F. For fighter engines there is now talk that Pratt and Whitney will produce the Nene in Connecticut. The “medium-heavy” bombers are the same ones that we keep hearing about, the XB-45, XB-46, XB-47 and XB-48. Of them, only the Boeing XB-47 represents much of an aerodynamic advance, having swept wings; the Glenn Martin is known to be very advanced weight-wise, though, at 100,000lbs all up. Kibitzer thinks that all of this is very much interim. The bombers are too heavy for the range that present engines will give them, and while the X-ships are “700mph fighters,” they will be useless in subsonic flight. Then he ends by talking all discouraged about how these performances would have seemed “Wellsian,” in 1940, which is English English for science fiction, and how the advance of science dooms us all, and then he's on about WWIII, world government, etc. Kibitzer also seems to think that the decision that BOAC would not buy any more Constellations was a mistake, because BOAC could have driven the Americans off of every route with more of them, because they’re the best and the Constellation can’t be beat. So he knows his planes, in other words, but not his basic arithmetic. this many dollars, and you take away this many, how many dollars do you have left, L’il Kibitzer?”)
|I can't fairly put in just one of the many new x-planes that have just been name-dropped, so let's look at a goofy Northrop ad, instead.|
“Enterprise in Danger: Sir Roy Fedden’s Organisation Threatened with Closure: Promising Projects to be Scrapped” Reading Auntie Grace’s old letters, I get the feeling her opinion of Fedden is lower than dirt. I have no idea why, and she can’t tell me by return post when she reads this, because I’m so far out in the boonies that the Post comes by dogsled. (Which are damn slow in these parts!) The story is that the Government has cancelled his contract for a turboprop, while Erco’s “recession” has scuttled the flat six. The contract for six experimental turboprops was negotiated through Power Jets. The company has moved into, and equipped a new factory, and the Cotswold is lovely, and the Government was awful mean to cancel it, Flight thinks.
“London Airport,” which is what Heathrow is called in the title, but not in literally the first word of the article, is an airport! The first phase of its runway arrangement is done! It is landing many, many planes and an average of 650 passengers a day. But enough with words when you can have pictures, instead!
|From ultra-modern to nostalgia takes seventy years.|
“Aircraft Power Plants: Authoritative Lectures Before the Institution of Mechanical Engineers: Precis of talks given by numerous people” H. R. Ricardo thinks that the policy of “Developing small, high-pressure, high-speed engines had been vindicated during the Battle of Britain.”
|Oh, I'm sorry, Harry. What were we talking about, again? CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=206480|
“Sodium-cooled valves, stellite valve facings and seatings, copper-lead and cadmium-nickel bearings, and, so far as the piston is concerned, the Napier wedge-shaped ring” are among the improvements that increased limiting operational temperature by 50 decrees C.” He still likes sleeve valves, perhaps aircraft diesels, and a free-piston motor-jet. Professor King and W. R. Hawthorne summarise American developments by saying that Americans now realise that long-range turbine engines are years away, which is why Americans are working on the giant Lycoming as well as the Wright R-3350 and that 28 cylinder Pratt and Whitney monster. Americans like water-alcohol injection (it cools the charge), turbochargers, exhaust efflux propulstion, don’t like diesels, free pistons. J. D. Cockcroft,who idles about the Atomic Energy Research Establishment doing pure research, nothing up his sleeve whatsoever, showed his head to explain that atomic planes would have to weigh hundreds of tons in order to carry all of the radiation shielding needed, and that atomic reactors are out of the question for road vehicles, but possible for ships. Hayne Constant says that rocket planes and ramjets are for research only, at least for now. Aerodynamics are the problem in reaching supersonic flight, not engines.
“Sonic Speed Warnings: Details of Two New Airspeed indicating instruments” The Kelvin, Bottomley and Baird instrument is neat, with a dial airspeed indicator showing current speed in knots and Mach speed, and an advancing needle ahead (hopefully!) showing the maximum safe speed at that altitude. The clockworks inside are pretty complicated, as you’d expect. It’s complete with error compensation for three variables! For example, a beryllium copper spring impinging on a series of screws corrects for the approximation to speed from calculated pressure. For the rest I'm pretty much stuck with repeating clockmaker mumbo-jumbo about cams and layshafts and rocking levers.
Civil Aviation News
“Round the World by P.A.W.A.” Pan-Am is launching a round-the-world service, though you have to change planes in Calcutta if you want to go New York-San Francisco this way, as they don’t have permission to fly in the United States yet. Airspeed now has a pressurised version of the Ambassador, it is announced (announced more, because this is a follow-up of the original, 1945 announcement.) Peruvian Airways is negotiating for a service to Montreal. Portugal is buying six Skymasters.
“Super Cruiser in the Air: Description and Flying Characteristics of Piper’s Three-Seater with 100 h.p. Lycoming Engine” Flight went up in a Super Cruiser PA-12, courtesy of Piper’s British agent, who is currently in America buying three more, plus spare parts. Flight thinks that it is a gentle and viceless plane to fly, but with overly heavy controls, and above average power for its size.
Bored crank D. Kew, ex-RAC, points out that the tank identified as a Tiger in a recent picture was actually a Panther. Actually, that’s not very cranky, because all of the crankiness is saved up for a special letter column on castering undercarriages, featuring S. Helmy reminiscing about the the “Aerogypt IV,” R. G. J. Nash remembering how Bleriot tried this trick, fifty years ago (roughly), and H. J. Penrose, of Westland, recalling flying a Lysander modified with castering wheels. Didn’t Auntie Grace have some adventures in the regular kind of Lysander? I heard that it was just the plane for dropping in on people unexpectedly, due to its sprung undercarriage wheels. It would have some connections that would let a tinkerer put in the caster bearings.
Time, 23 June 1947
Leading off, various people are upset at Billy Rose and Philip Wasserman, or upset at the way Time covers them, or upset that Time is covering them. There’s lots of things to get upset about! For example, Taylor Caldwell didn’t like her latest review! I wouldn’t either, if I were Taylor Caldwell, but if I were Taylor Caldwell, I wouldn’t have time to write a full column letter to every magazine that gave me a bad review [you're thinking it]. Because I would be Taylor Caldwell, and not a very good, although very rich, writer. Premier Drew continues to be in a bit of hot water over the big Savoy Hotel reception thrown for him (by him?) during his London visit, in spite of a letter from his press secretary that tries to smooth it all over with Time.
This week’s Letter from the Publisher is about getting the news from Moscow. My instant impression is that communism might be bad? Does that sound likely?
“The Presidency: Barrel No. 1” It's a joke about going over Niagara Falls in a barrel, which is like what the President did when he vetoed the tax cut bill. He thinks that a tax cut now would be inflationary, and that there is no sign of a recession, (a tax cut is good in a recession, because it stimulates sales). Also, more of the tax cut goes to the rich than the poor. Even the fact that the Government needs money gets in there at some point. “Barrel No. 2” is the labour bill. I’m not sure how it’s an actual barrel, since it sailed through Congress with veto-proof majorities, so the President can veto it, knowing that it will still become law. Unless people who like the bill have long memories and hold it against him, that’s pretty much like having your cake and eating it, too.
“You Are Crooked, Sirs” It’s warm, it’s June, Congress can’t wait to get away on summer recess. The committees are still meeting, but the Senate usually has only fifteen members at most, sometimes as few as three, showing up. Which is why one old blowhard livened up hearings about the Bulwinkle-ReedBill by telling a story about the time that he told some railway lobbyists that they were crooks. (Charles W. Tobey). It’s not even vaguely related, but I can’t bear to waste the paper that I’d need to give J. Russell Sprague licking Dewey’s boots, Time bashing Wallace, separate headers.
“To Save Civilisation” This bit about how Marshal’s plan is intended to save Western Civilisation is at least as pointless a supposed Wallace flub, but it goes on for a lot longer. And then there’s a whole extra story in a sidebar that basically quotes Dean Acheson saying the same thing at Wesleyan.
“In the Balance” Ike is this week’s cover story, so the story is about how he won WWII and how he’ll win WWIII next. (I’m sorry if I ruined the ending for you.) He won’t win it with the Army, which is down to 14 divisions, compared with 102 Russian, but he does have atom bombs, a supersonic, target-seeking, antiaircraft missile (by 1949), 18 new warships, including Kentucky, which is to be completed as a missile ship. Most of all, in spite of the decline of the aviation industry from 2.1 million workers to 160,000, he has planes. all of the XS ships, the new XFJ-1 carrier fighter, the B-36 some more, the XB-46, and the XB-35. Against that, Russia will have the capability to launch one-way raids by 1000 planes against us by 1949, and probably guided missiles with one-ton warheads, perfect to launch disease-tipped bacterial weapons by 1952. By 1957, Russia “will have the military edge.” How can this be prevented? By an air force of 70 groups, some 8000 planes; by an army of 11 divisions; by a 500,000 man Navy and Marine Corps, to absorb the first shock of war. This will have to rise to 131 air groups and 56 divisions in the first twelve month sof war, 180 air groups and 74 divisions within two years. To keep the aviation industry ready for such an expansion, we need to buy 5700 planes a year, says Eisenhower’s brain trust.
“Flight 410” Capital Airlines’ Flight 410, a DC-4 with 50 people aboard, including a baby and a honeymooning couple, crashed into the Blue Ridge this week. All were lost, including pilot Captain Horace Stark, inventor of theStark Direction Finder.
“Big Jim Explains” Jim Farley is doing interviews about his days with Roosevelt.
The first page features Russians being bad, notably about international atomic control, and the Pope saying that communism is bad. You know, I think I’m beginning to sense a pattern, here.
Page over, and it’s one of those “Time reports” things. People in Butte have gone fishing; people in Des Moines think that the flooding will prevent a full corn crop, etc. Then it is on to the “way stations” of Spain, Poland and Nanking. Spain is putting on a show for American tourists, and although things are no worse than last year, both political persecution and the underground guerrilla war against Franco are increasing. More effectively, industrial workers are striking in Bilbao. People are hoping for $300 million at least, under Marshal’s plan; his opponents would be very disappointed if that happened. In Poland, the government is communistic, if not communist, and no-one likes it. They do like havingSilesia, though, and the chance of getting land or whatever now that the Germans are being kicked out. In China, even Time seems to think that the civil war is terrible.
|Probably put you in a better mood than stories of tit-for-tat Nationalist and Communist atrocities in northern China.|
“Reprieve” The Italian and French governments have survived kicking out their communist members.
“The Cats of Carrick” An ad in the paper in the Irish town of Carrick offering money for cats, led to widespread rumours that the English across the border were skinning and eating cats; in fact it was only for veterinary research in London, so that’s all right, then.
“Proudhon Spelled Backwards” The trial of the French collaborationist, Jacques Bourin, is much more entertaining than they usually are, because he is bonkers.
“Miracle Man” Mirin Dajo is putting on miracle shows in Zurich. Time says that it is all because we live in stressful times.
|Dajo died two years later after surgery. I have no idea what happened to Polvogt. These pictures are popular poster subjects, but he disappears from Google after 1947.|
“I Don’t Want to Be a Soldier” is what Germans say, only now the Russians have begun drafting “recruitmen” in the eastern zone for various duties, possibly including helping the Russian Navy operate some former German vessels. (Probably minesweepers, but if Time said that, it would all get complicated, considering that the Brits have been running a German mine clearing not-navy for two years now.)
“Sociable Call” Smoky Schroeder, an Iowa railway fireman, likes to tryto call up foreign leaders, just to see if he can. He says that this week, hemanaged to get through to Molotov in the Kremlin, and talked to him for fiveminutes, at a cost of $18.25. In slightly more serious news, Lidiya Gromyko gavean interview to ABC’s United Nations broadcast.
“Happy Birthday” Sudan celebrated the birthday of the Mahdi this week. (The one who beheaded Kitchener.) It’s a big deal over there. Says Time, because it's making a big deal of it. They give out camel and "ox" meat to the poor and hold a mass wedding for lucky couples who’ve arranged to be wed on the big day. Which is weird, but who am I to judge? At this rate, I'll never get married.
“On Ceasing to Be” “Ceasing to Be” is what the rulers of India’s princely states will have to do after independence, says Gandhi.
Eva Peron went to Madrid this week and played the crowd. She’s either a Fascist or a socialist, one or the other. Harry Truman went to Ottawa, where he was boring. Ottawans were charmed by the way he fit right in.
“A Change of View” The stock market has turned around and started to rise, perhaps showing that there will not be a recession after all.
“Cash or Credit” There is talk that Regulation W will be scrapped soon, although Marriner Eccles thinks that it should be kept indefinitely.
“Torpedo Torpedoed” Preston Tucker, the man who got that super-sweet deal on the Chicago Aircraft Engine Plant,
has been told by the SEC that he can’t sell twenty million in stock to finance his Tucker Torpedo, because his filing was a tissue of lies. But aside from that. . .
|By Rex Gray - Flickr: 1948 Tucker Torpedo, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=28682926|
“So Little Cash” The World Bank is being besieged by requests for loans going well beyond what it has to lend. With foreign reserves of dollars, gold, etc, running dry, something must be done, etc.
“Boffo Sensational” Studio stocks are going down, because while ticket sales are up, the cost of making movies is up even further.
Science, Medicine, Education
“Push-Button War” It’s been months since Time ran that headline, and then it was about robot bombers, and we can all agree now that that was silly. Not silly is marine Colonel Kelly McCutcheon telling the Marine Corps Gazette that guided missiles will be all the rage in WWIII. (Unless it happens soon.) Turbojets, ramjets, rockets and so on will power guided missiles at thousands of miles an hour. Since guidance is hard, perhaps some won’t be guided at all, but pre-set, as the V-weapons were. This works best for aiming at cities, though, as they can’t move very fast. Other missiles might have atomic warheads, which will allow them to miss by a mile. But best of all would be an interceptor missile, accurately guided, that could prevent another Pearl Harbour.
|Operation Bumblebee is ten years from deployment.|
“Andean Man” You know those Andean Indians with the broad chests and resistance to high altitudes? It turns out that they have resistance to high altitude! (Their blood has more red blood cells.) there follows some history of the Spanish not living at high altitudes, and a ridiculous bit about naked sex romps in avocado orchards that promoted natural selection of a "climatological race."
“The Doctors Look Ahead” The main story is that the AMA is having a good time at its annual convention in Atlantic City, but that is not a very serious story, so eventually Time gets around to telling us about the AMA’s proposed National Emergency Medical Service Administration, which would prepare the nation for a national mobilisation of medical services to address mass attacks with atom bombs, radioactive poisons, viruses and bacteria. Time did go to some medical papers while it was there, including one on the rapid increase in stomach problems since the beginning of the war, including stomach cancer, which kills 38,000 US citizens a year and ulcers, up 4%. Two new ulcer palliatives, asymatrine and Amberlite IR have been tested, and seem less disagreeable than alkalis or gels. Convention delegates were taken with vagotomy, the surgery where Dr. Lester Dragstadt severs the biggest nerve he can find in the middle of the body, so that it will stop making the stomach make acid. Dr. Russell Boles, of Philadelphia General, however, thinks that Dagstedt should stop doing this experimental surgery on masses of people until we have an idea if it works. He thinks that if patients would just stick to their doctors’ dietary prescriptions, most ulcer trouble would be avoided. There isn’t any such hope for stomach cancer, but Dr. Gilson Colby Engel of the University of Pennsylvania thinks that there could be, if more people were examined by X-rays and gastroscopes at early stages in the disease. Heart specialists report that one of the most dreaded of heart ailments, coronary thrombosis, is yielding to modern anti-clotting drugs such as heparin and dicumarol. Robert Levy and a group of colleagues at Columbia’s College of Physicians and Surgeons disputed the common notion that smoking is bad for diseased hearts. Moderate smoking, they conclude, is fine for many heart patients, and helps promote “emotional stability” in many smokers. The AMA’s gold medal went to two young Tulane doctors, George E. Burch and Paul Reasor, who investigated why a normal diet was bad for people with heart attacks. It was well known that these diets raised blood pressure, and it seemed to be due to water retention, leading to treatment with diuretics. They demonstrated that the actual cause was the sodium in the diet. So, on the one hand, patients can be treated with a low-salt diet.(Which is sodium chloride.) On the other, they were able to narrow the needed diuretics down to mercurial, which carry away sodium. Dr. Burch was also involved, with Clarence T. Ray, in developing the plethysmograph, which diagnoses emotional stress by finger tip palpitation.
“Literate but Ignorant” There hasn’t been a bit in the paper where a University president has complained about things these days, so Time called up Carter Davidson, ofShenectady’s Union College for some complaints, which might have been about reading, I don't know, I didn't read it.
Short bits feature several retiring professors: Henry Norris Russell, an astronomer at Princeton, Thomas Jefferson Wertenbaker, historian, same, Dallas B. Phemister, surgeon, Chicago and architect Everett Victor Meeks, Yale. Nine girls at Royal Oak (Mich) High School got blank diplomas at their graduation ceremonies because they had joined sororities, which I am sure will be easy to explain to their parents. And Forrest Long, of The Clearing House, is so tired of people complaining that the kids these days aren’t learning the fundamentals, that he published a ninth grade examination of 1846 to prove it. And a roulette table girl in Reno, Nevada, has just graduated from the journalism school there, before going back to the casino to wait for her newspapering job.
Radio, Press, Art
Robert Q. Lewis is the latest thing.
“Honesty (Plus Crime)” Pierre Lazareff, the new editor of Paris’ France-Soir, has turned that peaper around by applying what he’d learned in America: If it bleeds, it leads.
This week we have two famous dead artists, Luke Fildes and Alfred Stieglitz (barely). They are definitely not “Ham and Eggs” artists of the modern style. Thanks, President Truman. Some people were starting to think that Kansas City was uncultured!
|Fildes, The Widower. Fildes' son died of tuberculosis the year after this canvas was finished. So then he painted The Doctor, which was used by the AMA in its 1949 campaign against "socialised health care." I can't even|
“Green Priest” Carnegie Institute archaeologists discovered an extraordinary, six-inch Mayan breastplate of green jade, probably dating to the 9th Century.
Walter Hampden is retiring. Laurence Olivier was knighted in the Birthday Honours. Audie Murphy has announced his engagement to actress Wanda Hendrix. William Clay Ford is marrying a Firestone.
Deborah Kerr is expecting her first child. J. Edgar Hoover was on the “Fathers of the Year” award list until the American Mothers Commission was told that he was a bachelor, which disqualifies him. Christopher Robin won honours in English at Cambridge. Winston Churchill and Westbrook Pegler drink too much, and Ben Hecht is up and active after kidney operation, while Gloria Jean is in trouble in England over . . . something. Captain Eisenhower is getting married. The Maharaja of Jodhpur, EmilyHickman, J. Warren Kerrigan, David Ignatius Walsh. I'm also sad to say that Sir Reginald Bacon has died, as I know what he meant to you.
|Turbinia as it must have looked, winding her way through the destroyers in the 1897 Spithead Review. It turns out that Bacon wasn't there to see it, however, as he was off on a punitive expedition to Benin, "City of Blood."|
The New Pictures
The Ghost and Mrs. Muir is a bit of ectoplasm left over from Blithe Spirit, but does pretty well on that, perhaps because everyone likes Gene Tierney, Rex Harrison. They Won’t Believe Me is “a skillful telling of a pretty nasty story.” Time doesn’t like its “shabby realism.” The Web is a “tight, bright melodrama.”
Australian correspondent Alan Moorehead has a book out about Montgomery, "The Victorian Warrior," who comes across here as a real jerk. They must have been odd people, those Victorians! Harry Sylvester (Moon Gaffney) and Herbert Read (theInnocent Eye) have the best kinds of books out -serious enough that people will talk about them, simple enough that I can pretend to have read them, and unimportant enough that I won’t be made to read them. Vance Randolph’s Ozark Superstition is about what the title says. The people who make hillbilly music sure are backwards! There is a new edition of Emily Eden’s The Semi-Attached Couple, which came outin 1860. It is funny, and, more importantly, Anthony Eden is her great-nephew,and remembers her fondly.
Flight, 26 June 1947
“Jets and Records” After months and months of disappointment, the Army has finally captured the speed record for the Lockheed P-80. Flight hopes that the English will takethe record back soon, perhaps with an improved Meteor, or a DH 108, or afighter “still on the secret list.”
|Not for six years, it turns out.|
“No. 1 Priority –Safety” Flight is upset that airliners continue to fly into mountains, wonders if lack of manpower is the cause, and implies that someone needs to take a hand, like Lloyd’s did with buoys and lightships and such, years ago, before the war.
|I'm guessing that if you get deep in the weeds, there was an old-timey relationship between Trinity House and Lloyd's?|
“Derby’s Day” There was an air show in Derby.
G. Geoffrey Smith, “The World Speed Record: Britain Temporarily Robbed by American Shooting Star” We don’t know precisely how the record P-80 was modified, but Smith “thinks” that its nose intakes were extended, and it definitely had a 300 gallon tank of water-methanol to spray into the compressor screen.
“Philadelphia’s Show” There was an air show in Philadelphia.
Here and There
Aer Lingus has ordered two more Vikings. The Americans have ordered the XP-85, an experimental “parasite” fighter to be carried along with the B-36 so that it can escort itself. There will be a demonstration of H2S at Blackpool.
“Gold Plate Constellation: First of New Model 749 to Visit England: Inaugural Round-World Service Flight” Pan Americans new Model 749 Gold Plate Constellation is visiting London 18 June. It will be carrying as passengers 18 editors of leading American magazines, the mayor of San Francisco for some reason, and Juan Trippe. The new 749s have Wright Cyclones of 2500hp with reversible pitch airscrews for extra braking, fuel injection, and 1000 extra gallons of fuel in the wings. They might carry Speedpaks eventually.
“Turbine Fuels and Oils: Precis of a Lecture to the Royal Aeronautical Society by Dr. C. G. Williams, Director of Research at ‘Shell’ Aero Engine Laboratory, Thornton” Contrary to the normal impression that any fuel will go into a turbine, Shell has found that they can carry significant amounts of water, which will corrode the works. Heavy gas oils have less water, gasoline the most, while kerosene falls in the middle. Some water may be taken out by filtering, but antifreeze should be added for low temperature operations. For safety reasons as well as water content, the heavier fuels are preferred.
“Fedden Power: Design Details of the Cotswold Airscrew Turbine and the Flat-Six Light Aircraft Engine” They are both interesting designs, and I will certainly write a review of them if they ever actually exist.
F/L.T. Townson, “Towards Happier Landings: Automatic Approach Control with Sperry Instruments: BOAC Trials in a Liberator” Trials in April and May show that automatic approach control on commercially available equipment is practical. Specifically, this is the Sperry A-12 electrically operated autopilot, combined with SCS-51 Instrument Landing System. In the USA, the A-12 has also been coupled with the Sperry Microwave ILS, but only for automatic approaches, not landings. A complete ILS will have a directional and height references, with two radio beams, the Localiser and the Glide Path. Townson goes on to explain how the needles point in the cockpit indicator in the same number of words that he uses to describe how the A-12 manages to maintain stability at every speed within the range, which is effectively the same problem as having an infinitely variable gear ratio. The A-12 is displacement-controlled with rate error, which means that it can control an aircraft at any speed, since correctly banked turns are automatically within operating limits. (George, idiot genius that he is, doesn’t set the plane to turn at an angle that topples his gyros.) He goes on to explain how the “Localiser” beam works, which is easy to explain –the old, dashes if you’re on one side, dots of you’re on the other is easy to pull out of a pair of Yagis—and the “Glide Path” height indicator, which definitely is not easy, with the dreaded sinusoidal curves that send shivers down the spine of every Institute man at the thought of Segal’s Mystery Math. I especially like the part where the plane has to turn obligingly into the wind to discover that there is wind from the deviation of the signal! The plane then turns back onto the heading, and there is absolutely no overcorrection and hunting at all, no sir, and not with a minute to spare to touchdown, because who ever heard of Sperry junk hunting? Airspeed is then manually controlled through the descent, although the Sperry Airspeed Constant Control is coming soon, which will automatically adjust all throttles to the airspeed set when it was activated. So first you set the throttles to the correct air speed, then you activate the Sperry Airspeed Constant Control, and now you sit back and let George land you, hand on sticks to control the descent as George does everything –else. Hmm.
|A damped oscillation is frustrating when you're waiting for an instrument to stabilise. I have trouble imagining sitting in a plane that's doing it on a blind runway approach.|
Civil Aviation News
“The Chosen Instrument Case” For anyone not tired of an argument that’s older than me, Juan Trippe’s appearance before Congress to explain why his company should have a monopoly must have been as exciting as Jennifer Jones in a bathing suit. James Landis, of the CAB, showed up to explain why Trippe is full of moonshine –now that was probably fun to watch! On the other hand, it would be sad for your average Englishman if what Landis has to say about the English simply not being able to compete on first class service internationally were to turn out to be true.
|The idea that the Brits are going to have a jet airliner by 1950 is science fiction.|
“Avoiding Passenger Fatigue” Flight reads KLM’s report on passenger fatigue as proving that passengers really do prefer comfort over speed, which is why its South American services will go in 9 ½ stages, with a night over in Lisbon.
In shorter news, the Mamba-powered Marathon is at least two years away, and President Truman’s Air Co-ordinating Committee wants to bring back passenger airships, because surely they must be safe by now. Trans-Canada wants more landing rights in Bermuda, and GAPAN has won concessions on the subject of reducing the number of flying hours to be required for a senior commercial pilot’s license, which were originally to be reduced from 7000 hours to 4000. BOAC services to New York are fully booked through July, and to Montreal through the end of October. The Stratocruiser is to have a flat surfaced window in place of the traditional astrodome.
|Airships are always about to be revived.|
“Congestion in America” Senator Brewster’s Aviation Sub-Committee thinks that American civil aviation is seriously congested due to lack of airfields, control towers and navigational aids. The CAA estimates that the cost of installing the necessary new equipment would be $54 million.
“Canadair Four: Rolls-Royce Engined DC-4M Stepped Up in Weight and Accommodation: Impressions in the Air” The first DC4M-4 will be flying in July of this year, so it is time to have an extremely misleading article that actually tells the tale of a flight aboard a DC-4M-1. It was nice, and, with the new exhaust manifolds, no noisier than a DC-3. (Eyes rolled, Dad. Eyes rolled.)
What do the bored cranks say this week? K. E. F. Pope also thinks that the E10/44 should have a different name, because Attacker doesn’t start with “S.” “Vertigo” explains why radar “flare paths” won’t work –ground clutter--. I’m glad he understood what that writer was on about! H. O. Short remembers years ago, before the war, when the music was better and the fashions were fashionable, before complaining about his taxes. M. LaGouge, the Director of Aeronautical Services at Leopoldville, writes with a scolding for that young scamp, Lt. Weaver. P. S. Foss describes his flight abroad in the Proctor, which was much more exciting than Weaver’s. Leslie Gilbert remembers years ago, during the war. Sgt. Sec., A.T.C. is upset about the way that the Air Training Corps is being ignored and underfunded these days, and actually manages to be interesting, as he describes an ATC detachment using a German transmitter out of a VI for radio instruction.
Time, 30 June 1947
The proposed Universal Military Training Act is not popular with readers, because it is expensive and pointless. Response to the cover story about Colonel McCormick varies from people who enjoyed Time making fun of him to people who think that he is wonderful, and that only “Mr. Bigs,” out of touch with the American people, don’t see that. And James R. Klonoski, of Virginia, Minnesota, who managed to read the article as supporting a “Hitlerian bedfellow.” The heirs of David Freedman write that he invented Baby Snooks, and not Fanny Brice, but Fanny disagrees, and that’s that.
One Irish author with a “Do” name (Jim Dougherty of Philadelphia) reminisces about a time during the war when he arrested a drunken boater. Another (John B. McDonough of Long Beach, NY) might have had some torpedo juice to write a letter “defending” the Catholic church in Austria. (Because with friends like these, who needs enemies?) Chester Hill, of Brookhaven, Mississippi, writes to defend the name of “Marse Robert,” the “greatest and grandest officer the United States Army ever produced, and I don’t even know where to start.
Just a suggestion.
. For a solid dose of crazy from the other side of Mason-Dixon, Time now goes to Hiram C. Najarian, who would like to dissolve Mel Johnson in lye for inventing a pellet gun, a “wonderful gangster indoctrination . . .[for] . . . American youth.” The Publisher’s Letter is about Time’s motorcycle courier, Bill Dailey. [Daily, Bill, Timeman, People]; Ad: [Freezer, Philco, Non-aviation Gadgets]
“The 48 Line is Drawn” The President has taken enough notice of the steady pressure from the left to issue an immediately-overridden veto of the Taft-Hartley Bill.
|Our young Wallacebro is seriously understating the commotion in the Senate, although I don't think that the override was really in doubt|
Or as Time interprets it, taken the “left” side of “the line” for 1948, which he has apparently signalled by borrowing the analysis of “Lee Pressman, the CIO’s able counsel, a Communist-line leftist.” Time is not impressed, at great length. I think that the length is justified in political terms, but that’s not what I’m supposed to be writing about, so I will now proceed to skip four pages.
“Spreading Itch” The “itch to tell all” is spreading among old White House hands, says Time. There follows some stories about Roosevelt and Truman veterans and friends who are publishing memoirs, giving long interviews to magazines, and so on. George Allen is the most interesting, because he talks about Ed Pauley falling afoul of a certain crony. Time being Time, it is more interested in that one time with Henry Wallace. Speaking of itches in uncomfortable places, there’s a bit about Dewey.
“A Shadow is Seen” In 1945, Army Talk 53 helped soldiers for the inevitable, stupid argument about how “We’re going to have to fight Russia next.” In 1947, Army Talk 180 is . . . well, a 180. [Army Talk 180, Ads and Cartoons].
“Murder in Beverley Hills” Wong Lee’s shooting, I stand corrected. Fat Chow was lookout. Not that that’s going to stop him from trying on an eyepatch the next time Auntie Grace goes to see the College Man.
|Life, more discretely, ran a picture shot from the other side of the body.|
“Stars Through Flames” This week’s air accident is Pan American’s Constellation [Clipper] Eclipse. Stewardess Jane Bray recalls the number 2 bursting into flames and then dropping off the wing, by which time the crew had the ship down for a belly landing in the desert near Meyadine, Syria, although only 21 of 35 escaped the flames. She praised the local Arabs for helping the survivors.
In army news, General Eisenhower has been invited to be President of Columbia until it’s time for him to run against Wallace in ’52, and Lieutenant Commander Edward Neal Little was acquitted in court martial last week for cooperating with the Japanese too much in his POW camp.
Logging town Shevlin, Oregon, population 600, is being moved by rail for the fifth time in forty years.
Hobo king Jeff Davis arrived in Alabama as a paying passenger, and told reporters that there was no need for hoboes now, as there were jobs for all, and “all of us are needed,” and that riding the rails would just be a bad example for the kids. The 1946 Census estimates say that the number of US families in which both husband and wife are employed has increased 66% since 1940 and is now nearly one-fifth of all US families. The White House staff have wiped out a wild onion infestation in the lawn.
“With Bread and Freedom” Europe is a lot more enthusiastic about Marshall’s offers of bread than of various people offering “freedom.” [Nawaf, Prince, People]. Also in Europe, specifically Germany and Italy, rumours of war flew, as people claimed that Russian tanks were massing on the Oder and that there were 2 million British and American troops in Italy.
“Like Mother Used To Make” Greeks are sending up to 16,000 food parcels to America a week. Communist/anti-communist plot? Time plays with both ideas before pointing out that the parcels contained olive oil, salami, cheese and figs, which Greek immigrants can’t get in America.
“End of Forever” Gandhi is this week’s cover, and the story is about Indian independence.
“A Scout is Militant” Time correspondent, Carl Mydans, visits Suwon, a “tidy, grass-roofed village set on a gentle slope south of Seoul, Korea’s capital, where he saw the Korean National Youth Movement marching. See, they’re recruited like Boy Scouts, but treated like soldiers, and Mydans was able to turn up a Korean, Sze Hyoung Kang, to explain how it was just when he was studying in Germany in 1930—34. General Li Bum Suk [?], the head Scoutmaster (or something), helpfully explained that it is being paid for by the US Military Government.
|Cool, if staged.|
“Gloom” The Ever-Victorious Genmo is no longer quite so ever-victorious, over either the Communists or inflation, so Nanking is gloomy. Some blame the withdrawal of US aid, others “increasing, but still limited” Russian aid to the Communists. Time lays the blame where it belongs: “Potomac mandarins,” who seem to be unnamed “American leftists and liberals.” Also, in Hungary, the communists are taking over some more; while in Spain, Time says that Emmett John Hughes says that the Fascists are taking over more. If that little two-step has you scratching your head, just wait to the end of the article, where Hughes says that it’s all a plot to keep Franco in power until the Spanish are so upset that they go communist.
Latins etc., Canadians to boring to support a page this week. Perhaps the Presidential visit hit the quota?
|Oh, those wacky Latins, always shooting each other, in their light-hearted way.|
“A Smell to Heaven” More details on the Reed-Bullwinkle Bill that Alben Barkley hates and Clyde Reed likes. It looks like it will pass Congress, notwithstanding those worried about giving railroads exemptions from anti-trust legislation. But what’s the worst that could happen, people ask? A little more regulation?
“Funny Money” It turns out that the invasion currency issued to US troops in Italy and Germany, which was supposed to be the same old requisition scrip –“Confederate money—“ has boomerang£ed back on America, as the Russians used borrowed plates to run off a billion dollars of it to pay off their troops, which they used to buy American goods, which they then sold for hard currency. America has already ended up redeeming $205 million in Occupation Lira in Italy, and the total in Germany might be six times more.
Facts and Figures
Corn futures are at record highs in Chicago as people panic over the wet, cold spring. The Department of Agriculture says that it is all speculation and that the crop will be big. Corporate profits are at an all time high, $12.5 billion in 1946, after taxes, although “profits before taxes set no record,” $21.1 billion, were $3.5 billion below 1943. Newpacott Corporation’s C. Y. Wang has found a different angle from us, selling £67,500 in blocked sterling at a 10% discount on the official exchange of $4.03 to England-bound tourists, who can only take £20 with them. Foreign silver has dropped to 59 ¼ cents in New York, the lowest since September 1945. Oh, well, it was nice while it lasted. Shorts are up on Wall Street, and soap manufacturers, who cut prices 10% two months ago, are cutting them again by between 5 and 8% due to declines in the price of oils and fats. Britain has dropped its horsepower-based car tax in favour of a flat annual £10 tax, regardless of horsepower, to promote big models for export.
“Beauty at Work” Charles Crouch, of Lucky Stores, Inc., has hired New York’s Raymond Loewy Associates to beautify his grocery stores and make them less depressing, in hopes of luring in housewives.
“Price for Conservatism” Chance Vought, a branch of United AircraftCorporation, held an air show to celebrate the fact that it is doing fine in the postwar, because it was conservative in its wartime expansion, preferring to subcontract rather than to build new plant. It now has a $315,000,000 backlog for Pratt and Whitney engines, Corsaid planes, Sikorsky helicopters, Hamilton Standard propellers and XF6U-1 fighter jets. It also has a license to produce Rolls-Royce Nenes, and its own jet engine designs underway.
“At the Barrier” Colonel Albert Boyd takes the speed record for America. And with a ship as old as the P-80, that’s something! Flight is promising that England will take it back, but they better have something more impressive than the DH 108 up their sleeve. Time is willing to point out how stupid and dangerous the old-fashioned speed record rules are, even if no-one else will. (The plane has to stay below 246 ft on the measured course, and not exceed 1,312ft on the turns. Look up how many of the old speed record contenders of the Schneider Cup are still alive and how the ones who aren’t, died –it’s pretty hair-raising stuff.) Clarence Johnson says that we’ll break Mach 1 within three years, but not with any existing fighter.
“Grass Killer” Farmers want a chemical that can kill unwanted plantsin their fields; the problem is that there are so many unwanted plants that are crops to another farmer. 2,4-D has been known for a few years: it kills broadleafs, leaves grasses like rice and wheat alone. Now the US Department of Agriculture has announced N-phenyl carbamate (IPC), which kills grasses, leaves broadleaf crops like spinach and sugar beets alone. That is, (James), they have announced that the British discovered it a year ago. 10lbs per acre will even kill the roots!
“Losing Nerves” The new fashion for cutting nerves to relieve ulcers, hand sweating, high blood pressure, hiccups, drug addiction and schizophrenia has some people asking whether all this nerve-cutting has gone too far. Two thousand of Dragstedt’s vagotomies have now been performed in the US, and 3000 of the tension-relieving lobotomy brain operation. Psychiatrists recommend that you only do lobotomies on incurable psychotics, but lobotomy surgeons are being swamped by demands from “alcoholics, criminals, frustrated businesspeople, unhappy housewives and people who are just nervous.” Sympathectomy is even more controversial.
“Too Much Oxygen” British deep-sea divers are finding that pure oxygen at more than two atmospheres of pressure is poisonous. They have been using a mix of oxygen and helium at up to four atmospheres of pressure, but even under much less pressure, divers are sometimes affected by oxygen poisoning, although investigations are difficult, because resistance to oxygen poisoning differs so much from person to person, and even over time in an individual.
“T.B.” Tuberculosis is a modern white plague in Europe, killing 302 of every 100,000 people in Berlin every year, 500 in Warsaw; but in America, we are winning. The death rate is now 34.9 per 100,000 in holders of industrial medical insurance, down 11% in a year, and the lowest mortality on record. It is still the costliest disease, with treatment at $100,000 a year, and widespread, with 500,000 active cases in America. It is the No. 1 killer in the age group 15 to 40. The most important reason for the fall in TB cases is the Public Health Service’s mass X-ray campaign for early detection; this year, a vaccination campaign with the BCG vaccine may take it further. US specialists, skeptical of the BCG vaccine in spite of its prewar success in Scandinavia, are now more enthusiastic, although I can’t help noticing that the national campaign will start in the San Francisco Chinatown. Let’s see if it works, on, well, them, first. Unfortunately, the first tests ofthe promised wonder drug, streptomycin, have been disappointing, as manypatients found their infections developing resistance. Still, it is the first drug to make any impression at all, and an absolute weapon may be only a few million dollars off, says Dr. J. Van Slyke, head of the PHS, who hopes for $6 million a year for research against the current $500,000.
“Against Polio” It just broke my heart seeing little Vickie in her iron lung, and it is a wonder what Misses M. and J. have done to bring her towards being a normal baby. Anyway, doctors are much more gun-shy about claimed cures or preventives for polio, although the latest vaccine stuff from Drs. Isabel Morgan, Howard Howe and David Bodian of Johns Hopkins are promising.
Princeton is celebrating its bicentennial, and a school in North College Hill, outside Cincinnati, is in trouble because it keeps changing back and forth from St. Margaret-Mary Catholic School to Grace Avenue (Public) School, and people have doubts about whether you can do that, never mind what it says about the school board. (It says a lot.)
Radio, Press, Art
“The Personality” Florence Pritchett is “the latest of radio’s women’s home companions.” She is 27 and very glamorous, which Manhattan’s WOR thinks will be just the ticket. She is giving her fans “love and philosophy,” recipes, and “reviews of all the proper books.” I think that’s my new slogan for the Books section!
|Florence Pritchett in the early '60s. The photo is from Spartacus-educational. Didn't that used to be a Trotskyite outfit?|
“Story Teller” hs been given an NBC summer show, Plays by Ear to do plays. Time really liked the first one.
“Moon Up, Moon Down” John Alden Knight is a very popular fishing columnist for the Des Moines Register and Tribune syndicate because he uses some kind of astrology to figure out the best times for fishing and hunting.
“City Editor” the Los Angeles Herald and Express has a lady city editor! Aggie Underwood can even swear like a man!
|Ellizabeth Short, the Black Dahlia --according to Underwood. check out Underwood's childhood, as reported in the Wiki link above, and you'll get a sense of where her empathy for Short comes from, and why she was hard enough to manage the case the way she did.|
“Two Plus Two Equals Red” Eighteen years ago, Philosophy Instructor Frederick Woltman was kicked out of the University of Philadelphia faculty on suspicion of being a Communist, because he had written an article about police brutality to coal strikers in American Mercury. Eighteen years later, he is a reporter at the New York World-Telegram, where he employs a “carefully cultivated arm of tipsters, many of them disgruntled ex-Communists” to dig up the Reds under every bed.
“Angel with a Red Beard” Real estate millionaire Allen Dowling issupporting Partisan Review, which isa reddish sort of paper, but not nearly as red as some, which, since literary types tend to be very Red, makes it a-okay.
This week we don’t have a dead famous artist in the lead, because Mexican artists are squabbling or possibly making up, it’s hard to tell with artists/Mexicans, seems to be the drift. You can’t get away from dead famous artists for long, though, and it turns out that a New York housewife had a Winslow Homer hanging on her wall, and now she’s going to be rich. Ish.
|This is completely irrelevant to the content. I'm just running out of space to put it in.|
Hamilton Fish says that he might start a magazine to counter the influence of Henry Wallace’s New Republic. Norman Thomas won’t run again in ’48. Jon Hall tells fibs. June Haver is getting divorced again. “Mr. America of 1946 is marrying “Miss Quick Freeze.” [Pomazal, Grace and husband, People] (Alan Stephan, if anyone asks.) H. L. Mencken is old. Sinclair Lewis is a Yalie. Mary Roberts Rinehart’sFilipino chef “of 25 years” tried to murder her. Does a chef count as a butler? . Matthew Phipps Shiel was an odd man. Ty Cobb has divorced his wife of 39 years. Literary types Maxwell Evarts Perkins, and Albert Ellsworth Thomas have all died in their season, as well as Colonel John Henry Patterson.
|Lots of weird and creepy stuff. It's also sad that an author of "West Indian extraction" was so big on Yellow Peril themes.|
The New Pictures
Fiesta is a Technicolor extravaganza with music, dancing, bullfighting and Esther Williams in a bathing suit (of course). Who could ask for anything more? Maybe a review that says that “Esther Williams is about as Mexican as Harry Truman, but a lot more fun to look at.”
Cheyenne has Jane Wyman (and Dennis Morgan) instead, and no bathing suits, because they don’t have bathing suits in Westerns. The Unfaithful has Ann Sheridan and Zachary Scott, and together they “battl[e] their way through the excess plot like machete-swinging explorers of the Matto Grosso.” The strangest thing, Time thinks, is that the most important virtue in the movie is bread-winning. Basically, Scott is a good husband when he’s attending to The Office, and a bad husband when he doesn’t. Whereas I guess Ann is a bad wife when she’s being unfaithful, and a good wife when she guns her ex-lover down in her parlour. Sounds like fun! Maybe I’ll go see it if I ever get out of this mud puddle again.
This week, proper books are in short supply, because you don’t read those at the cottage! You do read Natalie Anderson Scott’s the Story of Mrs. Murphy, because it is scandalous, and Adrian Seligman’s The Voyage of the Cap Pilar, because it is adventurous, and Allen R. Matthews, The Assault, because the war is far enough behind us for war books to sell again. Matthews is an Iwo Jima veteran, so don’t be expecting G. A. Henty! And, then, finally, we can have a proper book, Arthemise Goertz, Give Us Our Dream, which is “well intentioned but singularly sterile.” Time really didn’t like it. A Manhattan trial lawyer’s For the Defence is a biography of President Andrew Johnson, who needs some defending, it says here, but perhaps not like this. Friends, enemies again.