Monday, August 28, 2017

Postblogging Technology, July 1947, II: Apocalypse Real Soon Now!

R_. C_.
__ Roxburgh Crescent,

Dear Dad:

I'll be blowed if I can catch you up on everything that's happened 'round here. The ship turns out to have a cracked spar for sure, so I'm leaving for Hawaii tomorrow via Victoria, but that's the least of it. 

Because who should blow into town last week but A., with the --I know I'm not supposed to give out clues that might blow our code, but I've found a character that won't give the game away if I call V.'s parents, the "Ns." All the "C.s" were getting too gosh-darn confusing! Their story is that they got a  yen to yacht up the Alaska Passage, so naturally they borrowed a boat off of your neighbour. I didn't see anything natural about it at all, and I was a might suspicious to find "W.B." aboard as the deckhand/captain. You may recall him as the lad that Uncle George blackmailed into taking their daughter off their hands, and he really doesn't seem to be the type to swan about Fort Rupert of all places. For the most part he was civil --actually, loads of fun. But when I saw him looking at some of the Chinese and Indian boys, I couldn't help but be glad that Tommy was gone, because I was already thinking something might come up that would remind him that he was Wong Lee's son, and then would all the plans that have been made on W. B.'s head be?

So it turned out to me and Mr. Brookstein who caught W. B. in a boatshed with one of the boys. To his credit, he didn't try to brazen it out, just disintegrated. Turned out Mr. Brookstein knew just the way to put him back together --which should have made me suspicious right there-- while I just followed his line in trying to get the kid somewhere reasonable. It's pretty tough, since neither of us have Cantonese that is what it might be, but in the end I sent him home with a promise not to tell his parents, to recommend him to our local agent, and $60 in his pocket. 

Yes, yes, I do feel pretty low about that, like I've taken my first step down the road to being a brothel keeper, but I honestly couldn't see another way out of it. Then the other shoe dropped, when W. B. came to me that night and told me that Mr. Brookstein was blackmailing him to work for the Cominterm! I should have guessed from how hard the man works with the logger unions . . . 

However, I'm not completely wet behind the ears, so Mr. Brookstein doesn't know that I know A., who, it turns out, arranged the whole trip to recruit W. B. for the American intelligence services! It turns out that they're practically farming out the Mexican office to Mr. N., on the grounds that he's rich and influential and has ties to Mexico and somewhat old money, the meatpacking houses being long forgotten. I'm not sure that's the best qualification for spying on Mexico, but this would make W.B. a potential triple agent (for us!), and I'm not going to quarrel. Another step down the road. . . Well, all of that meant that I had to find a way to buck him up, with all his talk about "God this," and "God that," and I ended up telling him that he'd have to work things out as between God and man for himself.

Which, because he's an idiot, came down to a screaming match with V., after she'd politely and gently dismantled some gibberish about  the native word for cow showing that some Indian tribes were actually Welsh, and thus Caucasian. At the end of it, he was yelling about how much he could tell her about "God and Man" at --his college, can I name it? Probably not. Think "locks," though. And she yelled at him that he should write a book, and he yelled back that maybe he would, and half of bloody Fort Rupert must have been listening in. Not that that's the first drunken fight they've heard from the pub, but V. and W.B. are a great deal more genteel than most. 

You've notice that, in that long story, I've not said anything about the Ns. showing up out of nowhere --with A., yet, after I allowed in my letters that I was in the same county as V. You'll also notice that I started another page with the head of that paragraph. This time, no erasures that might be read by flipping the paper over! Yes, I'm encouraging you to read between the lines, and, no, I do not want this page sent on to Auntie Grace. I think our chances of keeping V. in Stanford are sinking pretty low by now already. 

Yr Loving Son,

The era's right, but I'm going to give a modern performer some exposure. Ha. "Exposure."

Flight, 17 July 1947
“Safety Precautions” The report on the 25 January Croydon Dakota crash is out, and Flight is beside itself that the crash is blamed on pilot error when “the number of things that were not done according to the regulations must make the attempted start of this flight almost unique.” The plane had never (I guess?) been inspected by the ARB. No certificate of airworthiness had been issued by the Department of Civil Aviation, Southern Rhodesia (now that’s some mighty fine certificatin’!), no member of the crew held a navigator’s license, no flight test had been made since the removal of the long-range ferry tanks fitted for the flight from America. Yet in spite of all of this, the plane might have become safely airborne had Captain Spenser, who had not had more than seven hours of sleep in the previous two days, which is a bit more than a third of the time he had spent in a Dakota cockpit, not lifted off before reaching the safe indicated air speed.
An aerial view of Croydon in 1945 shows the new homes Captain Spenser was trying not to hit. 

St. Peter is swole!
“In Memory of Deliverance” The Brits are celebrating Battle of Britain by putting up some nice stained-glass windows.

“Helicopter Topics: ‘Putting Them Over’ in Europe: Employment: The Controls: Problems and Limitations” “All sorts of people talk glibly about helicopters these days.” I’m throwing a “Welcome to 1943” party for Flight. Who’s with me? This fellow says that everyone talks about it, and no-one knows anything about it, just like atomic energy. Does he want me to explain atomic energy? He’s right that people don’t know as much about helicopters as they suppose. He’s right that the English lost seven years during the war. The idea behind buying the license for the Sikorsky is to skip right over the lost time. I don’t know about that –buying the Connie hasn’t let the Brits skip no seven years –they’re still trying to make do with Lancaster airliners. I don’t know why it should be so different with helicopters. The author points out that the Americans haven’t used their helicopters very much. People talk about ferry and taxi work, but the successes so far are all in odd jobs. Then, after wandering around the subject, the article jumps right into a technical explanation of helicopter controls, which are very different from those of fixed wing aircraft, followed by some reassurance that it’s not that dangerous if the engine cuts off. They are also very sensitive to c.g. changes, and the Sikorsky’s ridiculous balance bag arrangement comes in for a mention here.

Here and There
The Gas Turbine Collaboration Committee is meeting at the Lucas works, and will hear talks by Lucas men engineers about their work with fuel and combustion systems. There will be more B-29 visits to England soon. Curtiss-Wright is said to be working on a “10,000hp turbine-type aircraft engine,” by far the biggest around, so far, if true[?] R34 old boys are celebrating a 28th anniversary reunion. R. F. Durrant is organising a service at St. Ethelburga’s. He has found five of the old crew, and hopes for fifteen. Waco is curtailing the Aristocraft and is going to make a utility trailer instead. In the last two months, BOAC trans-Atlantic passengers have been 45% business, 18% Services, 10% Government, 27% other, including lawyers, doctors, schoolteachers, journalists and clergymen. Weather, the monthly magazine of the Royal Meteorological Society, recommends publishing a daily synoptic weather map in the newspapers, since a wide range of farmers, sailors, pilots and holiday makers are interested, and the British public already pays for it.

Everyone is impressed by the 2,423lb of electrical generating equipment on the Boeing Stratocruiser that generates 70 kW for 100 electrical functions. KLM is putting a chef (complete with white hat) in the electrical kitchen of their Connies. Douglas is building a cargo version of the DC-6. Plessey Corporation is pleased to announce Caslox, a pressed powder permanent magnetic material consisting of a mix of iron cobalt oxides and plastic binder, to make small magnets for radio and electrical equipment.

R. B. Elmes, “’Slick Alightings: Some Sidelights on one of the Most Difficult and Least Known of Naval Aircraft Evolutions” The subject of landings on slicks came up last week in the story about Antarctic whale spotting, and now here’s an entire article about landing in the pool of calm water created by a ship making a high-speed heel. The name comes from the old days, when ships used oil over the side, but that made the whole thing impossibly impractical. The author, who used to fly Kingfishers off Armed Merchant Cruisers, has done it, and he only thinks it is a little impractical.
Why spotting aircraft only seem like a good idea.

“’Faithful Annie’ Rejuvenated” Canadian-built moulded plywood Avro Anson Vs converted for transport work are arriving in England soon. The Canadian version is more streamlined than the old 652, which, if I recall correctly, started out as a Fokker. Gosh, that takes me back to those rainy days in Vancouver, lying on the floor in the sitting room, pouring over my old plane books, reading the entries over and over again, looking for that one, precious fact that I’d overlooked the first dozen times . . . Ahem. It also has American engines, two 450hp, supercharged Wasp Juniors driving Hamilton Standard constant speed airscrews. The undercarriage has powered, hydraulic retraction, an improvement over the hand-cranked versions, it says here. And how!
Captain R. C. Alabaster, “Rendezvous for Fuel: A Brief Account of the Second Operational Trial of Refuelling in the Air: Long-distance Non-stop Flying from the Pilot’s Point of View” When I read the last article, I had the vague idea that the planes were being refuelled a few minutes from Port Townsend in West Africa, and I guess I read too fast to get it right. Turns out that the rendezvous is over the Azores, with the planes aborting to Santa Maria if the refuelling is messed up. 

Captain Alabaster's Telegraph obit has a charming story about how he suffered a double engine failure in an Argonaut in 1950, well past the point of no return, and had to make an emergency landing on Fernando de Noronha

It’s a lot trickier than it sounds. For one thing, the cockpit crews have to steadily open and close the throttles to maintain air speed as weight is shifted from plane to plane. The tanker also takes most of the airliner’s hose, which snaps off at a weak link.  On the return flight, they rendezvoused in mid-ocean, because of weather. He claims that the straight flight was less tiring than the one with an overnight stay in West Africa, because the crew didn’t have to deal with the paperwork! I don’t like paperwork, but that’s too much.

“Internal Airlines Systems” Flight is going to do a series of features on the English hedgehopper routes and the fifty airports available to them. I’m not. I mean, it’s just too cute to know that Speke terminal is an enormous space furnished by a single couch and table sitting out in the middle, with no sense of organisation for the hardly any people who come through, but chances are it’s not going to be like that by the time anyone reading this letter has to fly into Liverpool. Except maybe the Earl. Does he even fly?

I will mention, so that Uncle George can pat himself on the back again, that Nutts Corner, a former RAF field, has SBA, MF/DF, HF R/T, VHF R/T, VHF DF, and possibly SCS 51, Cathode Ray DF, GCA and a second channel on MF/DF soon. That’s because 50 BEA flights come through there every day during the summer schedule, going to more than 60 in August when the Irish join the fun. It’s no LaGuardia, but it is a nice bit of change in the pocket of the electrical engineering business.
“Styles at Brussels” Some pictures of clever gadgets at Brussels, including the “surprisingly successful” four-rotor Lark, or KZ VII, built bySkandinavisk Aero Industri of Copenhagen.
“Spectral Development: The McDonnell Banshee, Successor to the Phantom” Flight is going all in with Aero Digest to convince us that the fighter boys have a new plane in the Banshee, when it’s just an up-engined, slightly bigger Phantom. It has the Westinghouse 24” axials instead of the old 19”s, so it has to be thicker in the fuselage, and they made it a bit longer to carry more wing to lift it all. It’s supposed to be a 600mph fighter, which would be something for the Navy when it has to land on a carrier. It’s all-electric, which Flight says “Is not popular in this country.” Is there any country it’s popular in? Even if electrics didn’t fail all the time, who wants an electric undercarriage? As with the other twins around the world, the argument for them is that jets are more economical with one engine off, than with two at half-throttle, or the jet turbine equivalent. However, that is only practical with the fuselage mounting, at least right now. They’re also safer on the deck than prop planes.

Civil Aviation News
There are three accident reports this week. The first is the KLM Dakota that crashed in Surrey flying in on the Croydon M/F beacon in zero visibility (Q.B.1) conditions. The lane hit the ground when the cockpit crew thought they were at 1200ft, not the actual 637ft, due to a miscalibrated altimeter and the pilot stretching the truth about his decision to continue descending towards the reported 1000ft cloud base. The second crash report is a private plane, an Aeronca flown by Mr. W. S. S. Henry, who was killed in the crash, which was probably caused by a stall coming out of a low pass. He was showing off, in other words. Page over, there is an insert naming the airports being taken over by the British government, before we come to the much more serious “Spencer Crash,” the Dakota that crashed on takeoff from Croydon on 25 January, killing the pilot, Captain Spenser, and eleven passengers, while crashing into and destroying another, parked Dakota. The plane had just been flown from America. The long range fuel tanks were removed at Croydon, but Captain Spenser decided to press on for South Africa without a flight test. The Chief Inspector of Accidents couldn’t find an airworthiness certificate, because none had been issued. It was probably Southern Rhodesia’s job to do it, but whatever. None of the crew had navigation training, their licenses were dodgy, and Spenser had hardly any Dakota time, which is probably why he took off below indicated air speed, as the plane wasn’t overloaded.

In America, the Emergency Air Safety Board has asked American airlines to work out safe all up weights for four-engined airliners under varying wind conditions, and is considering banning four engined types from all runways less than 4000ft. The runway the Skymaster failed to take off from at LaGuardia is 3530ft, and the Board calculates that the plane was about 20% over the safe all up weight. Mr. Landis, of the CAB, thinks that the Emergency Board is a bunch of sissies.
Roy Fedden writes to thank Flight for the free publicity and the National Gas Turbine Experimental Establishment, Pyestock for their help. R. Daniels is upset that there aren’t more jet bombers for Bomber Command sooner. Peter Welch offers another “S” name for the Attacker, and Leslie W. Crawford, Lieutenant (A.) RNVR, thinks that someone is BUNGLING the ATC.

A blast nozzle in engine test cell 3 at the abandoned Pyestock facility. The picture is from a Daily Mail series on abandoned British industrial sites, and was taken by Matt Emmett, a graphic designer from Reading. Link. I'd make a snarky comment about Daily Mail readers, abandoned factories and the Brexit vote, but what's the point, right?

The Engineer, 18 July 1947
Seven-Day Journal
British Scientific Instrument Research Association” The Association had a luncheon to celebrate its new laboratories on 10 July, for which see Flight. (I feel like a professor when I write “see”!) Sir Edward Appleton spoke about various things that scientific instruments do, including, since he was in on the joke, a “carbon dioxide recorder to control the breathing of apples during their long journey from the Dominions to the Mother Country.”
“New Flotilla Leader HMS AgincourtAgincourt, built and engined by R. W. Hawthorn, Leslie and Co., Ltd, on the Tyne, commissioned 11 June, completed sea trials on 17 June, and was handed over to the Admiralty on 25 June. From the 1943 programme, she has a displacement of “about 2200 tons,” carries twin 4.5” quick fire guns, twin Bofors and 21” torpedo tubes. I guess it’s still a secret just how many of each, but it is not a secret that it has a twin-shaft layout and 50,000hp to her name. the new ship is under the command of “Lieutenant Commander D. T. McBarnett, D.Sc., R.N.” Since when do Ph.Ds. command destroyers?
HMAS Tobruk, A Google search for McBarnett turns up a plethora of senior RN officers of that ilk, from an admiral in 1869 down to a high-flying captain of 2011. Three cheers for meritocrcacy!

“International Congress for Pure and Applied Chemistry” On 27 June, The Engineer printed the congress agenda and summarised the papers to be given. In this issue, it gets on with the more important matter of telling us where the luncheons and dinners are being held.
“Economic Planning and the Direction of Labour” The annual conference of the Transport and General Workers’ Union heard a speech on the subject of the need to return to wartime labour direction, or perhaps even a harsher system. The speaker had the good sense to call for a vote on the resolution supporting the government before he got into any details; but most of them involved “directing” other people, who were not doing “useful work,” so that’s all right, then.  
“Special Surveys and Load-Line Certificates” The General Committee of Lloyd’s Register is going to get back to the special survey system of class maintenance, suspended during the war, as quickly as possible. Since a good part of the rest of the bit was on about how limited steel production might delay progress, I’m going to take it that Lloyds’ expects to fail many, many ships.

"Special survey" appears to be code for Lloyd's surveyors with blood in their eyes. They haven't been seen since 1945, and now they're coming for you. I was looking for "You burked the ship!" but this is funnier.
“Anglo-Iranian Oil Production Progress” Sir William Fraser’s annual report says that production throughput at Abadan was 17.67 million tons, higher than ever before. The tanker fleet, which, last hear, he had hoped would reach the prewar size of one million tons, is at 1.1 million tons, although this is still inadequate, and the supply of new tanker tonnage will barely keep pace with replacement for a while yet. The new pipeline will help Abadan ship more crude oil in a shorter time. I hope that Sir William talks like this, and it is not The Engineer being so marble-mouthed.
“New Power Stations” The Ministry of Works says that £75 million in new electric power stations will be built over the next two years, as demand is increasing at a rate of 700,000kW a year and the rate is still increasing. The new plant will house 5,260,000kW of generating capacity, and provision for another 1,205,000 is in planning. Some 8000 people will be employed.
K. C. Sutton-Jones, “Lighthouse Engineering, No. 2”
This installment is devoted to the “lights” in lighthouses. They’re hugely powerful, with one being mentioned, the P.V. Burner, having a beam intensity of 600,000 candles. The best current practice is paraffin-burners like the P.V. with an annual consumption of 700 gallons of oil. However, electrical is starting to supersede combustion. Or, perhaps, has been for a while, since even in electrics there is a new generation, with filament electric lights replacing carbon arcs. Acetylene is also used, mainly in buoys and beacons. The article is very short on the details of the optics that direct the beam, and the “lantern” that contains it, but carries on at great length about the standby lamps that can be switched in when the main lamp fails. The lamp table rotates, anyway, (except in cheap and low-class lighthouses with a nondirectional beacon), and Sutton-Jones goes on at length about the automatic features that can switch these “lampchangers” in, turn them on, and, if the lampchanger fails in turn, replace it with another, preferably an acetylene burner, I guess since two failures in a row means that there’s probably something wrong with the oil. Rotating giant lenses and powerful lamps is hard, and the modern lamp tables rotate on a mercury floating pool, replacing wear-prone rollers of earlier days, although ball bearings are coming in. The rotation rate is controlled by “weight-driven clocks,” which I think is English English for clockwork mechanisms, although electric motors are coming in, sometimes working by electrifying weight-driven equipment.  (Uncle George is right again, etc., etc.)
The Engineer's graphics department is not world-class, and we're stuck with PDFs for the next four years at least

“The Royal Show at Lincoln, No. III” The Engineer went to see some agricultural machinery. It describes a new “barn” thresher (thresher separate from a combine harvester) from William Foster. It weighs 54 tons, which I assume is a very big number for barn threshers, and is quite ingenious (which is engineer English for “Trust me, this is a good trick”) in the way that it turns seed-on-a-stick into grain. Ford showed off the Fordson Major, with the new three-point mounting, and since this is boring old news (the 50,000th Fordson Major recently rolled off the assembly lines), a new three-furrow plough to go with it. Ransomes, Sims and Jefferies (Ransomes being one of those companies with a different name for every division) had some lawnmowers, while the “big” Ransomes division just showed off their version of a Fordson plough and cultivator. Dening and Co. (1937) has a new potato spinner, which . . . spins potatoes. Aldersley had a grain dryer, and British Associated Oil Engines showed off a big stationary diesel.
Fordson tractor with Ransomes digging thing.

“Mechanised Coal Loaders in Canada” Dominion Steel and Coal Company is bringing in mechanised loaders in its underground mines in Cape Breton, hoping to push costs down so that they can continue to compete with cheap American coal in the central Canadian market. Output per man in the United States is 7 tons a man-day, while the 1939 level in Nova Scotia was 2.4 tons, and has fallen to 1.5 tons per shift. I have no idea what going from “man-day” to “man-shift” does to the numbers, because the article doesn’t explain. With The Economist, I’d smell a rat, but this might just be a question of space and research time.

“Powder Metallurgy, No. 1” The Iron and Steel Institute met recently to discuss “Special Report to the Iron and Steel Institute Number 38: A Symposium on Powder Metallurgy.” So a discussion of a symposium, which makes me wish I hadn’t used my one normally-can’t-be-bothered dive in to a dictionary on “symposium,” which just is a discussion, even if the translating character is all nice and archaic. (I think it has to do with Plato?) A discussion of a discussion! Your son is complaining, but also artfully showing that he wasn’t asleep all the time we discussed the Five Classics. This probably is the symposium, and someone just fell asleep typing. For some reason.
Onwards! Dr. W. D. Jones prefaced the first paper with one of those historical sections that is as reliable as any old man talking about years ago, before the war. Powder metallurgy is old news. Bessemer made brass powder for gold and bronze paints, starting in 1843, and had a monopoly until he ceased production in 1880. No-one is sure how he did it, or even why or exactly when he stopped, but he did establish the basics of the business, such as using lubricants to stop welding, the basics of burnishing, air classification, whatever that is; bag filters, and “the employment of the microscope.” Johnson, Matthey,and Co. made platinum powder under the direction of W. H. Wollaston as early as 1800, although he is just stealing even earlier work. Flake powders started with the British Aluminum Company in 1907. Their subsidiary, Metal Powders, Ltd., was the first to make powdered magnesium in Britain, during the war.
Dr. L. Northcott, of the Armaments Research Division at Woolwich, discussed the first section, on preparation, properties and testing of metal powders. Powders can be made by milling, machining, atomising, granulation and graining, the reduction of oxides, or of salts, electrolysis, two chemical process, and all the other processes. Before that, he discussed the problem of preventing rust from ruining iron powders. Dr. Meyersberg discussed the next section, on flake powders, which are important for colouring paint and ink. The industry often uses stamp mills, despite the explosive potential of aluminum flakes.
Once the discussants had finished, it was time for a general discussion of the discussants discussing the symposium. The leadoff talker had a correction about years ago, before the war, before asking Dr. Gardam, “What about milling iron powder, hunh? You missed that one. Boy, you sure are dumb.” I think that the moral of the story is that if you want to know about powder metallurgy, get the special report, not the summary of the discussion, because there'll probably be some show off asking "got you" questions. It’s not that there’s not a lot of detail in this article. It’s just that it’s hard to understand what it means.
A Swashplate Hydraulic Motor” Mr. Beacham, who has been making hydraulic motors for a good hundred years now, it seems, has come with one (another one?) on the swashplate principle. It is being manufactured by Oswalds and Ridgeway, Ltd, develops between 1500lb and 6000lb/sq. in, and is very ingenious (see my translation, above).

In shorter news, the Chemical Society is having its centenary, and someone is building bus bodies in South Africa.

Leaders [Actually middle, due to the charmingly old-fashioned "broadsheet" layout, and that’s the last time I’m making this joke.]
“Mechanisation of the Iron and Steel Industry, No. 3” This article looks at the reconstructed Richard Johnson and Nephew's continuous rod mill; describes the Dorman, Long and Co., works; the new Steel, Peech and Tozer cogging mill, which will replace steam power with hydro-electric. The focus of the article is on the new equipment going into the plants, everything from mobile gantries to waste heat boilers. There are a lot of complications and heavy capital equipment going into getting iron and steel to full technical efficiency!
Cogging, it says.

“The Practical Training of Electrical Engineers” Oh, I know the answer to this: First, fire extinguishers. Second, grease pencil eyebrows are not a replacement for the real thing. Third, of course it doesn’t work. There's a wire wrong in there somewhere. Or a fuse. How should I know? It's his fault. No, sorry, they’re not asking my opinion about practical training, they're on about apprenticeships, where you learn about practical engineering by working for an employer, doing important things like staying way, way out of sight while a rich lady from Chicago rampages around a small town.
“Thames Floods” a report on the March flooding in the Thames Valley is now out. The committee looked at various flood control measures that might prevent it from happening again. Reservoirs are right out, as requiring 17,000 acres of scarce land.  Embanking is equally impractical due to the length of stream to be covered. That leaves diversionary channels and river widening, but as the excess flow in this year’s flood was 15,000 million gallons per day over the safe maximum flow of 5000, it too is out of the question, leaving flood plain management as the only option.

E. F. R. Towshend continues an ongoing argument with John Alcock over “direct drive” locomotives. Alcock’s proposed diesel isn’t true direct drive, as it has a mechanical torque convertor, and how is that any different from diesel-electric? Townshend’s direct-drive gas (that is, compressed coal-gas) locomotive really is direct-drive, and it is the bomb!
Apart from two electrical engineering handbooks, The Engineer reviews Allan Gomme’s Patents of Invention, which sounds interesting. Gomme was the librarian of the Patent Office until he retired in 1944, and can tell you that the fourth patent ever issued in England was to John of Utynam in 1449, but that no other patent was issued until Henry Smyth received one in 1552, and, after that, it has been all quite regular.
Not one of the Eton College windows made by John of Utynam, but quite nice. 

Not actually Olive Zorian, it turns out. Source.
“The Institution of Civil Engineers Conversazione” The ICE calls their discussions/symposiums “conversaziones.” This one featured a talk about Roman engineering, a violin recital by Miss Olive Zorian, and a showing of some nice models, including a Portland Cement plant designed for an annual output of 250,000 tons, amongst other things. If that seems brief, most of the demonstrations featured road-builders’ techniques for testing and improving roadmaking materials, automatic sluices, sea walls, and a mechanical differentiator developed at the City and Guilds College and shown by Mr. J. G. Thom. although there was a demonstration of atomic bombing effects on buildings at Hiroshima and a Braille transcribing machine.

Less important papers followed on the NPL’s work standardising the measurement of illumination and the British Non-Ferrous Metals Association’s research,
Canada. Boring.
The Berkeley Cyclotron
A recent three-day conference at Canada’s McMaster University on atomic chemistry. There or shortly after, C. J. McKenzie, President of the National Research Council, accounted for the money being spend on cyclotrons here and betatrons there, and said with great satisfaction that “more than 10,000 young men were being trained in applied science in Canadian universities” at his very moment –well, not very moment, summer vacation being on, but still. The British Columbia Power Corporation is installing a 62,000hp generating unit on its Bridge River power project. A Vancouver shop will build and assemble “most” of the turbine to the design of the Pelton Waterwheel Company, while CanadianWestinghouse builds the 50,000-kVA generator. It will be one of ten installed at the Bridge River, and the biggest of its type ever in North America.
The Bridge River plant in the 1950s. 

There is also a summary of a paper given to the IEE on a new electronic speed control for an AC motor. I’ve seen this paper before, since James has a thick pile of pre-censorship Gestetner prints of the manuscripts given at the IEE special session on automatic control. Ask him, and he’ll show you. A lot! It’s interesting (and I say that non-ironically), to compare what is printed here with what was discussed at the actual sessions. That’s because this equipment was used in, amongst other things, AA gun directors, and is still secret, so that the Russians don’t know how we are shooting down their B-29skis. The article discusses the simple feedback loop without mentioning stability at all, except in a very brief comment about how “limitation of backlash in the gearbox and in the brush gear itself is of prime importance.” Thanks to this perfidious English cunning, the Russian atomic bombing raid against Milton Keynes will end in disaster as they will knock themselves out of the sky with self-amplifying hunting, the moment that they turn Georgeoff on.
I'd throw in a bibliographic ref, but this is running way late. 
“Two Swiss Machine Tools” Swiss hydraulic broachers and a milling cutter milling machine are shown.
Industrial and Labour Notes
Coal output is still down, and Mr. Shinwell floated the possibility of closing the most intransigent pits. Progress continues in un-distressing Scotland’s special development areas. The Ministry of Supply has imposed controls on non-ferrous metals. Iron and steel production in the United Kingdom continues to increase, with the annual rate for June at 13,206,000 tons.
French Notes
The Loire and Gard thermal generating stations, now under construction, will use poor quality pulverised fuel in specially adapted boilers. French orders for rolling stock are now at 72 steam locomotives, 80 tenders, 35 electric locomotives, 350 main line carriages, 3900 tipping wagons and 320 semi-trailers for road or rail. Orders have been placed abroad for 70 diesel-electric 600hp locomotives, 26,570 converted wagons, 16,000 tipping wagons, one snow plough locomotive. French automobile production s at 50% of prewar production, and only 6000 new cars were sold in France in 1946 due to a shortage of coal and ferrous metals. The industry is upset that its quota is so small. The French are also being held back by poor quality coal that is up to 50% stone, largely because of bad weather that hampered washing machines, but also the cessation of American imports. A national association is urging the use of the 30,000 small waterfalls in to generate additional electricity, often from already-existing dams that lack only a turbine and generating equipment.
Notes and Memoranda
Brompton Road is to be widened. The Road Research Laboratory has a nice programme of lecture courses coming up in the autumn and winter. Shipbuilding is increasing in India. A new “Seascan” radar for merchant ships was described recently in leaflets published by Metrovick. It has been selected for the Queen Mary. There’s also a little feature on the various reports on German and Japanese industry issued recently by the Intelligence Objectives Sub-Committees. You can learn about the German mica industry, cigarette-making, “improvements in armaments production,” and so on, at least until HMSO runs out of copies.  

Time, 21 July 1947
Several people write to point out that Gandhi didn’t invent non-violence, even if he was he first to patent it, several writers question stories about the first painting of Henry VIII and the age of Princeton University, but Dr. James Johnson, of Newark, Ohio, who was the attending physician at Tojo’s arrest, seems to have a serious point when he says that he was misquoted. Keith B. McClutcheon, Lieutenant Colonel, USMC, writes to thank Time for covering his work on missiles in an article, and scold it for titling it, “Push-Button War.” Also, he points out that there are numerous ongoing guided missile projects, so Time shouldn’t claim that the only ones publicised are the “first.”
The publisher writes to us about “flying discs,” recently reported in the United States, and then goes on to a story about ridiculous Chinese chasing “Flying Thudwunks,” which look like crossed chopsticks wrapped with noodles. I suppose this is the way that Time says that “flying discs” are ridiculous. I’m just a little shell-shocked by its China coverage.
They're making beef pho! C. Dale O'Dell, 2005

National Affairs
“The Other Side of the Hump” Speaking of, Time reports on General Wedemeyer’s mission to China, with perhaps the suggestion that more aid should go to the Koumintang, and then moves on to contrast China with Japan, where Secretary Marshall has now backed General MacArthur’s recommendation of an early peace treaty. Japan will probably need foreign aid, too, but seems like a worthier recipient to some.
I'm still waiting for the "eccentric Japan" stereotype to blossom. 
“Warming Up” The President is getting ready for 1948. Honestly. It’s always election time. When do Americans ever get any work done?
“Congress’ Week” A fired Capitol policeman named William L. Kaiser tried to assassinate Senator Bricker, but the story is funny because Kaiser is small and bald, and used a small-calibre, single-shot target pistol. Glenn Davis of Wisconsin won a washing machine by hitting the longest home run in the annual Congressional baseball game, Francis Biddle’s nomination was withdrawn after five months, and someone Vandenberg-approved promptly flew through the committee. The income-tax reduction bill failed to get a veto-proof majority, and the President’s veto has firmed his popularity, especially among Democrats. Says Time, which still hates the idea of a Wallace candidacy with a passion. Meanwhile, the holdup in appropriations went a step further as Congress also failed to pass an emergency payment for the 1600 congressional employees who have now missed payday. They got a nice card, instead. What? Though at least the 16% rent increase Congress voted for the nation won’t apply to Washington. Again, what?

An assassination attempt against a US Senator played as a human interest story; someone donates a brand-new washing machine as a prize to be given out at the Congressional baseball game; and the 1948 nominee campaigning more than a year before the election. At least some things haven't changed in the time it took these kids to become great-grandparents.

“Calculated Risk” Speaking of 1948 and my opinion of Time, we seem to differ slightly on the subject of Tom Dewey. Time is warming to him, and I want to set him on fire.
Tom Dewey is your kind of people, say no more.

“A Peculiar People” Peculiarity makes beach reading, so this week’s cover story is Mormons.
“Busted Dish” Many people have seen flying dishes this summer. Psychologists think that it is mass hysteria, and scientists say that there is “no evidence to substantiate the existence of heavenly disks.” Even Andrei Gromyko made a joke.
“I’ll Come Out Dead” A tragic affair, no-one’s fault, really, two sides to consider: Guards at a Georgia prison work camp opened fire on a crowd of peacefully assembled convicts (allegedly, one grabbed for Warden W. G. Worthy’s revolver) and killed five.
I can't find evidence that Warden Worthy was ever prosecuted. Not that a Georgia jury would have convicted.
Inadvertent comment courtesy of Newsweek, which has its own "gallant South" story to push this month.
“Atomic Souvenirs”
Two former employees at Los Alamos have been put on trial for stealing atomic secrets, but they are the sons of wealthy businessmen, and in no way communists, and they are being charged with larceny, as opposed to, say, treason.

What's the difference between being the son of a C-suite executive at Cynamid and being a New York Jew? Bet you can guess.
“$50 A Head” Is what the 35 Puerto Rican passengers paid to fly home for a visit on a Burke Airlines Dakota. Fourteen were pulled alive from the swamps near Melbourne, Florida, after both engines failed in flight.
“If Your Wind is Right” That Paris peace conference that everyone has been talking about for months? It is happening. I’m trying to imagine the conversation. “How do we achieve peace?” “Actually, we are at peace?” “I mean, even more peace!” But I don’t have to imagine it, because there’s a full page of talking about the talking, and since that isn’t enough talking, page over there is a two-page opinion article. It seems that “Senator Style Bridges, Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee,” went in to buy a train ticket the other day, and the agent was confused the Marshall plan, so Senator Bridges explained it. Now Time explains the explanation. I’m not sure how Bridges comes in at this point. I think because he is a Republican senator from New England, and the publisher of Time is a rich Republican from New England? Anyway, point is, America has to give the world $15 billion, or else drop atom bombs on Russia, as otherwise the world will go communist from not having any food to feed the miners to get the coal to make the things to sell to the Americans to buy the food. Farmers. 1948. (I added the last bit myself.)
Irrrelevant to the discussion, but quite the story. You see, in 1947, they thought that torturing concentration camp inmates was a bad thing to do.

Princess Elizabeth is marrying a bald guy from Greece. Girls are excited. The Battle of the Boyne Day celebrations in northern Ireland were less violent than usual, due to the whiskey shortage.

“The Bad News” In Time’s take on the English situation, there’s even room for a few facts, as opposed to off hand references to facts that I’ve surely already heard, so that it’s not necessary to mention them before moving on to telling little stories that relate to things that the English might do, if it were only possible, but it’s not, and we’re doomed. Bermudans are so racist that the newspaper won’t even refer to Coloured men as “Mr.,” so opposition leader Edgar Fitzgerald has officially changed his name to Mazumbo. Greek communists are planning to take over the world. (Starting with Greece.) Time correspondent Charles Christian Wertenbaker went to Spain to see bullfights and not talk about Franco, because that would be rude. Somewhere in Latin America, a president is being tyrannical, an opposition leader is being belligerent, and Peron is being ridiculous. The last bit isn’t really “somewhere,” but rather Argentina, because it is a ridiculous country. Let us all now laugh at Argentina. Ha ha, we say, then we look worried, as signs are it is turning Fascist, communist, or both. If only another country in Latin America were about to turn Fascist or communist or both, then we wouldn’t have to cover Peron all the time!
Newsweek manages to tear its eyes away from Argentina to cover this fiasco.

You'll have noticed that the librarians have got it through to me that I can still get hold of physical copies of Newsweek. I'd apologise for casting aspersions, but internet outrage doesn't work like that. Also, I still can't get at old numbers of Time, probably because the automatic retrieval system is down for those aisles. Robots are taking our jobs!
"England, Crisis, etc."
Ahem. Instead of writing an Economist article, maybe I should stop editorialising and just sum up. Herbert Morison says that in the next year, Britain must import $6.8 billion in goods to maintain their current (austere) standard of living. In that period, the Brits can’t hope to export more than $5 billion, and the balance would more than use up the American loan. At the first anniversary of the loan, the Brits have already spent 60% of the $3.75 billion. But they can’t cut imports too far, either. It’s also not fair, because the biggest single reason is that US wholesale prices have gone up 30%, and far too much of the money has gone for consumer goods, and not capital goods to re-equip industry, simply because there are no American capital goods to buy. For example, Britain has been trying to buy 100 heavy-duty tractors for over a year. Similar searches for strip-mining excavating equipment and woodworking machinery have also drawn a blank. This week, it gets worse when convertibility arrives and the Brits have to begin to convert some sterling credits into dollars. The English are already importing the minimum amount of food, and while the prospects for the world harvest are good, the surplus is mainly in dollar areas and requires dollars to purchase it. That makes starvation next winter, a real concern.
Business and Finance
“Crop of Trouble” Prices have started going up, due to worrying news on commodities. Even though the wheat crop will be a record again this year, corn is not looking good due to floods and cold weather. The crop will be down 21% over last year, and even though that is almost up to the average for 1936—45, it counts as a shortage by modern standards, even though good weather might still improve things substantially. Corn users, not wanting to take a chance, have been buying futures at high prices, driving up prices, with beef, for example, now at its highest price since January. The Department of Agriculture has responded by cutting export allocations of corn and substituting wheat, barley and grain sorghums. Cotton, although up, is not up as much as needed, and this is driving prices, too.

“Papa Knows Best” The Teamsters are in trouble for strong-arming New York merchants into signing union contracts.
In shorter business news, the most prolific Hereford stud bull in history died last week, millionaires named Clint Murchison and Gaetano Anthony Lucchese are questionable and colourful, the stock market is up, Northwestern has a new Pacific service on the “Great Circle” route from New York to Tokyo, Shanghai and Manila. Clarence Francis, chairman of General Foods, predicts a 15% fall in prices by harvest time next year, and Ford and Ferguson have ended their tractor-making arrangement in a very acrimonious way.
Science, Medicine
“Smithereens” The new University of California 184-inch cyclotron can acceleratedeuterons and alpha particles to between 200 and 400 MeV, ten times more than any cyclotron before. In a recent experiment, an arsenic atom had “21 particles” knocked from it, and was reduced to cobalt. I’m less impressed, because cobalt is one of the iron group of elements, which are down at the most stable point in the table of elements. (If you imagine the “stability” measure of atoms as being like a well, they’re at the bottom, making it easier to “get” there.) If you’re wondering about the emphasis on the number of particles produced, there’s a picture of a cloud chamber in the article. Count the tracks in the cloud chamber, and you know how many particles are produced.  The tricky question is what the particles are, which the article doesn’t go into.
“Rockets to the Moon” Dr. Fritz Zwicky, of Caltech, said in Ordnance magazine last week that he and his colleagues are hoping to send rockets to “bombard” the Moon, Jupiter, and other planets. The rockets will, hopefully, be launched from larger rockets like the V-2, which will go high enough and fast enough to enable the experimental rocket to exceed the speed of Earth’s gravity, which is seven miles a second. They will carry various recording instruments (there’s a seminar paper in Engineer this month about remote recording instruments for use in test planes that gives you some idea of what might be possible.) “Just when the experiments will be conducted is a military secret.” Although you can work out the math and figure it won’t be soon. 
More immediately practically, Princeton researchers recently sent 28 helium balloons to a height of 28 miles with instruments to measure cosmic rays. I wonder if they’re still looking mesons, or is that last year’s news?
“By Short Wave” A C-46 crashed taking off from Palmyra Atoll last week. Radioman Buster Bailey lost a hand and a leg, was kept alive for five hours with the help of advice by surgeons over shortwave radio. (Also, there was a nurse there, but she’s just a girl, so she doesn’t count.)
Not the same Buster Bailey. Let's swing, anyway

Radio, Art, Press
“Da Moan” Vic Damone is the latest big thing, and is now starring on CBS’ coast-to-coast Saturday Night Serenade. I’m not sure how a late-night Saturday summer replacement series counts as “starring,” but his promoter will make him famous, no matter how many people he has to “rub out.” That last bit is mine. Officially, Lou Capone is an olive-oil importer.
In art, the surrealists are having a show in Paris, the first since 1938. It’s very silly and nonsensical, because that is what Surrealists do. (To give them more credit, the “sur” part supposedly means that the realm of dream and symbols is “over” reality, somehow. It was explained to me as, “When your waking life is a dream, that’s a good thing.” Then I Walter Greaves is a dead, famous artist. He even died in a flophouse, for bonus great artist credits marks.
According to image search, Reggie has a better chance with blondes. Shipping news.

“Left Hand, Right Hand” Time is pleased to report that it was condemned by Pravda and a newspaper in Madrid, which officially makes it centrist. (Boo Wallace, yay Dewey.) Also, Sheldon Sackett, the Coos Bay-based publisher, who has been expanding like mad, imploded last week, unloading his mostly new acquisitions, including the Seattle Star, for what he could get, which brings us to a very brief biography of Tommy Stern, the new publisher of the money-losing Star. (His Dad bought him a paper to keep him out of trouble.) In England, Yorkshire Post reporter Peter Fryer was fired for not stopping being a communist, even though his editor told him to stop thinking that stuff. Time writes that this is a good thing, because communists are bad. Tex O’Reilly [not] has come back to New York to write domestic stories after years as a foreign correspondent, including a classic stint in the Free French Camel Corps.
“Walter, Walter, Sometimes Right” Walter Winchell says that the flying saucers are actually flying wings. He has the inside scoop, including details of a Montana crash. “. . . [I]n 1943, an American firm . . . pioneering in jet-propulsion planes, sent an experimental test ship through the so-called supersonic wall. In other words . . . it was travelling in space ahead of itself . . . The plane was not heard of again for more than three weeks, when it was found crashed somewhere in lower Montana. The pilot was dead. He was 38, but his teeth and body were those of a man of 25.” I was going to make a crack about John Campbell sending it back to Winchell for changes until I read the last part of the article, which mentioned that this had already been a science fiction story, but in a slick.

“The Battle of Waterloo” Oklahoma has ordered the shutting down of Oklahoma’s 1500 one-room schoolhouses, and the people of Waterloo are upset, because they will have to bus their children two hours to Edmond.
Both Time and Newsweek specifically mention
the suicide. It's very strange. 
Field-Marshal Montgomery is very egotistical. Marshal Petain is very old and very naughty, although he was nice in WWI. General of the Army Eisenhower is going to run for President. Sir Hartley Shawcross saved a little girl from drowning and had to give a speech in borrowed clothes. The Pope is impressed with television. The Aga Khan is sick, and so is Princess Ibrahim Hassan, born Ola Jane Humphries; and the premier of Japan.  Laurence Olivier has been knighted, Eddie Cantor is a goofball, Dolores Costello is looking after her niece. Jimmy Stewart says something strange.  Jo Stafford and the Glenn Miller Orchestra are big. Walter Reuther has had a daughter, JamesLunceford has died of heart disease, as has Robert H. Tyndall, while Joseph Mansfield and Brigadier General Marlborough Churchill have died of being old. HerbertSatterlee, a very, very famous old person, died “by his own hand


It’s summer, time for beach reading, and in that spirit, two “Cloak and sworders,” which is when a book is set in Renaissance Italy and has cloaks, swords and some ooh la la. Samuel Shellabarger has Prince of Foxes, and Thomas B. Costain, The Money Man. What you don’t want to read at the beach is Jean Paul Sartre’s Age of Reason, which Time hated, perhaps because it tried to read it on the beach. Take a lesson, me: when you hate something is no time to be trying to summarise it, especially if it has difficult ideas, like “existentialism.” W. H. Auden is on about a different age, specifically, The Age of Anxiety, otherwise known as “When that lady is in town, and it’s a very small town.” No, I’m wrong again.  it’s a very long poem about how a lady shouldn’t invite gentlemen up to her apartment, because Jesus. Only the poetry is very advanced, and it is a sophisticated way of being worried about making baby Jesus cry.

The New Pictures
It’s summer, so there aren’t many movies, but The Huckster is Clark Gable’s first good movie since the war, Time says, and also has Deborah Kerr in it. It’s a comedy about radio advertising.   Also showing is a British plummy, “affable, mediocre murder mystery” called Green for Danger that Time only liked for Alastair Simm, a bungling Scotland Yard detective.

Flight, 24 July 1947
“Balpanic” The British Air Line Pilots’ Association wants the Ministry of Civil Aviation to look into the safety of mid-air refuelling. Flight thinks that they’re being a bunch of old hens.
“Flying Boats Again” The Latecoere 631 is gigantic, and Flight is in love. It also points out that Mexico has ordered three, which means that Short Brothers should go ahead and build the civilian Shetland, because surely there are orders, because flying boats are fantastic.

“Accident Investigation” The GAPAN (Guild of Air Pilots and Navigators, remember) are upset that accident investigations are so free in attributing pilot error, and wants the Air Investigation Board taken away from the Ministry of Civil Aviation.
“Airspeed Ambassador: Unique Control Transmission” If you haven’t already heard enough about the new Airspeed feeder airliner, here’s an article, with drawings.  The Ambassador has Centaurus 631 engines giving 2600bhp at takeoff. It is expected that this will increase, and the Ambassador has been designed so that its all up weight can be increased to more than 50,000lbs when the higher powers are available, putting it into a class of its own between feeder and Atlantic airliners. A cruising speed of between 180mph and 270 at 15,000ft is achieved without exceeding 60% of maximum takeoff power on weak mixture; and the plane has a climb of 190ft/minute with one engine out and the undercarriage down, as long as the airscrew feathering works. The single engine service ceiling of 10,000ft is achieved with weak mixture power. (It can fly over mountains with an engine out, if the feathering works.) The “unique control transmission” are padded thigh pads, cross coupled to the rudder pedals, so that the pilot and co-pilot can really get their backs into it. Flight thinks this is an idea that should be copied in planes where it is more likely to be useful. The cockpit is very nice, which would impress me more if Flight didn’t always say that.

Short bits cover the speech to the stockholders by the Rolls Royce chairman, and plans to test the Hermes II. The chairman is someone I’ve never heard of (Captain E. C. Eric Smith), who thinks everything is dandy and that exports are growing by leaps and bounds, although shareholders shouldn’t underestimate competition in the gas turbine field.
“’Know-How’ From the Trent” The Trent was Rolls-Royce’s first turboprop, converted from a Welland by putting a prop in front. It flew two years ago on a modified Meteor. Gearing a gas turbine down to airscrew speed is awful hard, and they seem to have had their problems. Just to give you the idea, the  overall reduction ratio is 0.141: 1. Early Trents had serious vibration problems that led to failures of the tab washers on the gear locks, followed by gear failure, but that problem seems to have been licked by adding more weight and care, as opposed to replacing the simple spur reduction gear design. Control problems that meant that the airscrew was often running at such a low speed that it had negative thrust, led to the early Trent-Meteor testbeds being grounded. Those problems were soon sidelined by a design modification that allowed the Trent-Meteor to fly on pure jet power; and eventually as an actual turboprop. So that’s reassuring for anyone who  has to get behind these contraptions! The Chief Test Pilot, Eric Greenwood, says that the Trent will not be produced, but useful experience was had, and that the next Rolls-Royce turboprop will work.

“Air Accident Investigation: The Views of the Guild of Air Pilots and Navigators” GAPAN’s position statement. GAPAN wants to make it clear that it is not just BALPA that is fighting the tendency to blame pilots. It also hopes that fuller reports on accident inquiries will be made available by someone.
Here and There
The Ontario scheme for cramming a bunch of Brits in an old York and flying them out to Canada was so exciting that Australia is now hoping to take its own deliveries. A San Francisco company is offering to fly one thousand immigrants a month in ten DC-4s. Westminster Airways wants everyone to know that it is practically parliament’s private airline, by reason of all the MPs it flew to Paris last week. Photographic Survey, Ltd. of Toronto, has won a contract for some timber cruising in Labrador for the government of Newfoundland, which hopefully won’t have to pay in seal pelts this time. (Though I still think you were exaggerating when you told that story.) Turk Hava Kurumu, the Ankara company that will be producing de Havilland Gipsy motors under license, has ordered heat treatment plant from Wild-BarfieldElectric Furnaces, Ltd, of the heavy hairpin type with forced vertical air circulation controlled by the patented charge progress recorder. KLM’s transatlantic freighter service has been contracted to move nine private American planes to Europe. The Kellet KR-10 is the United States Army’s largest helicopter yet, and the first two-rotor machine in service in the world. Fairey has patented an electric airscrew blade heater for de-icing. Lockheed engineers will show the smallest all-metal aircraft ever at the National Air Races. It is an 800lb monoplane nicknamed the “Cosmic Wind.” The British Scientific Instrument Research Association has opened new laboratories at “Sira,” Southill, Elmstead Woods, Chislehurst, Kent.

What is the one thing you should have licked before you proceed to flight testing with a design like this? The one thing?

The Bristol 167 will be a very large airplane.
“Lincolns Westward Bound: sixteen Aircraft of 617 Squadron prepare for Transatlantic Trip” This is a return visit to 340 Squadron’s recent call. The squadrons are the only full-strength bomber squadrons in either air force, so it’s nice that the full sixteen are going. Flight is sad that they are fitted with Packard Merlins, as this is bad for national prestige, but salvages some bad feelings by pointing out various British modifications to the Packard modifications that make the engines more reliable. The squadron will spend a full three months in North America, fattening up the crews, who will be slaughtered, salted and put up for the winter when they return to England, at least according to The Economist.
“Massive Elegance: Six-Engine, 70-ton Latecoere 631 Demonstrates from Hythe” Have I mentioned that the Latecoere 631 is enormous? It’s enormous. It also has an amazingly shallow-looking hull compared with Short, Boeing and Martin boats, perhaps because the six-engine configuration lets it use smaller airscrew blades. It can carry 46 passengers across the Atlantic in sleeper configuration, and even has a gas cooker in the galley.

. . . And half the hulls built, will be lost in accidents. 

Civil Aviation News
“ARB Report” The Air Registration Board has done ever so much about air licenses in the last year. The IATA also has an annual report, at the end of which, Sir William Hildred said that it is setting up a medical standing committee. Anything that might help pilots living in fear of being taken off flying duties on the basis of some doctor’s brainstorm. Pyrene has produced a mechanical foam/CO2 firefighting tender. In reply to a question in Parliament, Lord Nathan said that of the six hundred or so airfields in use in the United Kingdom at D-Day, 250 have been retained for Service use, 25 were being held on care-and-maintenance, seventy have been reserved for civil flying, seven returned to local authorities, 200 were being used for storage by Government departments other than the Air Ministry, and over 300 had been turned over to agriculture. Fifty RAF fields will be open to civil flying, and some RAF airfields were in restricted agricultural use.
Just to be complete, I’m going to mention that H. Redman thinks that the RAF should revert to pre-war colours. Or, wait, no I won’t. Forget I wrote that. B. D. Innocenti is pleased to hear about the Wasp Major, since he invented the “helicoidal engine” back in 1939 and even patented it, and thinks that someone should build one of his 36 cylinder engines and pay him lots of money. “Dutch” pours cold water on the idea that foreigners come to write the British air licensing tests because they are the highest standard in the world.  C.R. Humphries (Sqdn. Ldr., RAF; Late Commanding Officer, ATC Officers’ Courses) has opinions about how the ATC is being BUNGLED.
The Engineer, 25 July 1947
Seven-Day Journal
“Staggering Working Hours” to safeguard British production next winter, the government is introducing staggered working hours in some industries by agreement of all concerned. The government will also be taking a more direct role in the use of British shipping, and the first meeting of the Economic Planning Board seems to have “talked about talking about” economic planning. A serious derailment of an LMS express train took place on Monday near Tamworth, with five deaths and thirty injuries.  

K. C. Sutton, “Lighthouse Engineering, Part 3” This article covers lightships, which are an unsatisfactory replacement for lighthouses, used where you cannot build a lighthouse, for example, a shoal “many miles off shore.” They are specially designed for the service, as they have to be able to take very rough weather, but do not have to move very much, and the main job of the hull is to hold up the light. A crew of 11 is usually carried, and comfortable and warm accommodations are essential. The optical equipment is similar to that used in lighthouses, but all electrical, and designed for switching, in case the light vessel is sent to a new station and needs to send, say, three “Bs” instead of three “As.”
“Powder Metallurgy, 2” I complained last week that this series is a bit overwhelming in detail. Worse, it has all gone to discussants’ comments, and so jumps around all over the place, not to mention all the questioners who are just showing off. About a third of the discussion focussed on difficulties with powdered-metal magnets, so it’s not completely irrelevant to the electronics industry, which uses so many of them.
“The Public Works, Roads and Transport Congress and Exhibition, No. 1” I’m not sure how many readers of this care about roadbuilding equipment and such. There’s a garbage truck in here! But then there is this very cool “submarine bolt driving gun-under-water,” part of the display exhibit of Under-Water Cutters and Under-Water Welders and Repairers, Ltd.

“Traffic Signals at the ‘Bank Complex,’ City of London” The “Bank Complex” is the junction of Threadneedle Street, Cornhill, Lombard Street, King William Street, Princess Street, Queen Victoria Street, Poultry and Mansion House Street! This sounds completely crazy, but there are pictures, so I can’t argue with the facts. An “Electro-matic” signal development known as “biased linking” coordinates the Complex with adjacent intersections to “form one complete scheme.” So, thanks to some Romans or knights or ladies who didn’t walk in mud puddles, London offers this great opportunity for an elaborate electronic control system.

British ‘Austerity’ Locomotive Repaired in Belgium” The Brits sent 935 “Austerities” to Europe during the war. They are now being recalled home to handle coal haulage, and the fact that the Belgians now have a repair shop running means that the difficulties encountered in repairing the 460 recalled last year won’t be repeated. 689 will eventually be recalled.
“Magnetic Alloys of High Permeability” O. L. Boothby and R. M. Bozorth, of Bell Telephone Laboratories, have announced the same in the Journal of Applied Physics, and I don’ t understand, because this article is based on Bozorth’s article on “Magnetism” for the Encyclopedia Britannica? It is about an improvement on Permalloy, Supermalloy, which improves on existing iron-nickel-cobalt alloys by adding some molybdenum. It is heat treated in a pure hydrogen atmosphere, and is being sold to the U.S. Navy.
“Metallurgy at the International Congress of Pure and Applied Chemistry” The conference heard papers on metallic chemicals, corrosion, electrochemical deposition, stress-corrosion cracking and zinc plating.
“The Output of the Mines” Miners are lazy; the five-day week and high wages are just coddling them; the country is doomed.
“The Technique of Atomic Energy Control” The Russians seem to be coming around to international control.
J. F. Pownall was pleased at the long review that his book, The Scottish Railway Network received from The Engineer, but doesn’t think that the review spent enough time on his very exciting ideas for coordinating trains to increase speed. H. G. P. Taylor disagrees with Mr. Felton about Mr. Huxley. [Huxley, Ends and Means]
E. C. Poultney, “F. W. Webb’s First Four-Cylinder Compound Engine” Years ago, before the war, in 1897, to be precise, when even my Dad wasn’t an engineer yet, there was a locomotive called The Black Prince. It was the cat’s meow.

“Iron and Steel Institute, No. 1” The Summer meeting of the Institute was held in Zurich, Switzerland, because it is nice there this time of year. It heard papers on oxygen-enriched blast and electric smelting. Everyone agrees that oxygen-enrichment yields high-quality low-carbon steel without unacceptable additives allowed by the various Bessemer processes now falling by the wayside. The question is how to get the oxygen cheaply, and experiments with a gas producer at the Trail smelter are leading the way!
“Electronic Measuring Equipment for Aeronautical Research” The RAE had a nice showing of same, including pick-ups, four-way cathode ray equipment, a 600-way static strai recording device, an electronic torquemeter, a transmitting accelerometer and a statistical accelerometer. More instruments to put aboard planes to keep the test pilots honest! I knew those guys were worth the trouble.
“Southern Railway Cross-Channel Steamer Falaise” The Falaise is brand new, but not precisely the world of tomorrow new, although it does have radar.
“Rolls-Royce Trent Gas Turbine Propeller Engine” Pretty much the same article as in Flight.
“Technical Knowledge and Engineering Progress: Precis of a Lecture by Dr. R. W. Bailey at the Jubilee Celebrations of Leicester College, July 1947” Dr. Bailey had to talk for a while before he could go off for drinks with senior faculty, so he said something.
Industrial and Labour Notes
British overseas exports reached £93 million in June, the highest monthly figure since the war, 107% by volume that of June 1938. Unemployment is down, unofficial strikes are a bother, and coal production is down. The secretary of the National Union of Mineworkers defended his members, saying that the industry needed more labour, and that absenteeism was three-quarters what it had been before the five-day week. There is also a concern that there will be a shortage of goods wagons this winter. Viscount Davidson gave a talk on education in industry in which he said nothing much in particular. The Ministry of Labour released a pamphlet explaining its Technical and Scientific Register (of technicians and scientists).
French Engineering Notes
The Paris Metropolitan Railway is being extended from Gare St. Lazare to Port de St. Ouen and Carrefour Pleyel at St. Denis, which will involved building three stations and 3km of track. Steel production is expected to be down due to the miners’ strike. Tungsten ore is also short. Morocco is exploiting Atlas waters and Djerada coal to generate electrical power. Hydroelectric gives 61,900kW, thermal plant gives 35,208. Demand has risen from 11m kw/h in 1923 to 245 million in 1946, and it is hard to keep up, as consumption is expected to reach 800 million kW in 1953. Morocco is also digging phosphate, copper and manganese mines.
Notes and Memoranda
The minister wants us to know that railway wagons are being built everywhere they can be built. Railway electrification continues in Sweden. Another version of the Severn Barrage scheme has been proposed to by the Government. Wire rope is now short. The Ministry of Supply is issuing licenses for pig iron and scrap, which will affect companies planning on entering the iron founding business, which should first inquire with the Ministry to be sure that they will be able to get material. The reports on German Industry include one on telephones and electric tachometers, another on photovoltaic surfaces.

Newsweek, 28 July 1947
Congressman Poulson reminds Newsweek not to plagiarise from him (or anyone else). Philip Wyman of Princeton, thinks that every American should pay some income tax, because it will remind them that there are taxes, and that the national debt is huge. Mary Leonard scolds Newsweek for making fun of the President’s voice.  C. J. Narry (Editor, Press Syndicate) writes in to remind everyone that Eugene A. Burdick has the best 49-star flag design of all. Rick Van Trees thinks that Los Angeles is so big, they should just make California part of the city. Mrs. Sally Shafer of Portland, Oregon and Ethel Martin have opinions about fashion (office skirts should be comfortably shorter; fashion is too expensive). The Publisher’s Letter explains how Newsweek’s international editions are distributed. The domestic edition closes in Dayton, Ohio. Special proof is flown to New York, where it is photographed. The films are flown to Paris “within 24 hours out of LaGuardia,” where they are checked, retouched, pasted on glass plate, and exposed to sensitized zinc plates. This copy is etched for printing, and is on the presses within 8 hours of arrival. “It would seem, then, that the International Editions staff publishes four magazines almost independently from the one of news significance.” I haven’t a clue what that means, and I challenge some smarter reader (because my favourite smarter reader –oh why I am even writing this) to figure it out, either. If I had to guess, I’d say that there are three other places besides Paris that receive film from New York, and that the “checking and retouching” produces what is, effectively, a new magazine. After this sentence, the publisher notices that three extra pages of Latin American news are inserted into Newsweek-Pan America, so perhaps there are extra pages in Newsweek-Paris and Newsweek-Undisclosed Locations 1 and 2.

The Periscope
Congress has voted to unify the armed forces and then broken up into committees for some real fun. Senator Brewster’s investigation of the National Defence Programme and Parnell Thomas’ House Un-American Activities Committee are leading the charge. Senator Taft is making a very solid and deliberate run at the Republican nomination. Democrats are having a hard time finding a new chairman (person) for the DNC. Democratic strategists think that Truman has a good chance of taking some Midwestern states from the Republicans, especially after the House voted to cut appropriations for reclamation and soil-conservation. The United States and Canada have officially agreed to “establish three big aircraft radar-navigation stations, two in Northern Canada and one at Point Barrow, Alaska.” Some Republicans would prefer to run Eisenhower against Truman. Taft may have lost the Maine delegation by crossing Senator White. Only 8% of CIO and AFL national leaders want a third party now, but many hope that there will be a Labour party eventually. Five of the eleven State Department employees recently fired for disloyalty have asked the law firm of Thurman Arnold, Abe Fortas and Paul Porter to fight for their reinstatement. Marshall’s new loyalty board will be headed by Maynard Barnes, “. . . expert on Communist tactics.” Greek Cypriots are agitating for union with Greece and French industrialists are upset with the government’s substitution of “production bonusses” for raises, because it might lead to profit sharing. A catastrophic food shortage is feared in Germany next winter, because while peasants have planted the acreage predicted, and harvests look to be close to forecast, the peasants re refusing to deliver the crops for payment in Occupation Marks. The Soviets have set up a top secret spy school to train foreign spies in top secret conditions at Zeesen, near Berlin. Newsweek has the top-secret course schedule, and the latest top-secret news about who is going to be valedictorian, and who will be prom spy-queen. United States “prestige” in the Philippines is declining because economic help has not been forthcoming. Egypt is interested in Russian help to get British troops out of Egypt and Sudan. President Truman is going to Brazil, Peron is building a truckplant, the French are taking action to stop the illegal import of American cars, the United Nations is having trouble getting its Palestine report together, the American farm-support programme will require such a large appropriation that it will be political “dynamite,” the Treasury is going to expedite action to clear up nearly $2 billion in frozen Axis private assets, including a billion in securities in U.S. firms and  800 million in deposits and other property. Some foreign beneficiaries are happy with the freeze, as, once lifted, they might find their assets seized by dollar-hungry governments. Recession forecasters “suffered another setback” as the latest figures show that industrial production is coming along fine. Hervey Allen and Ogden Nash have books coming out, and the Patton family is bringing out a little memoir of his last days.
Washington Trends reports that the Marshall Plan will pass, but with some friction, of which the current fight over Greek and Turkish aid is a preview. (It’s good, but should be more efficient, etc.) Republican threats to hold the Plan hostage to tax relief are not taken seriously. Even Senator Taft’s Economic Policy Committee doesn’t expect a severe recession, soon. Prices are too high, but not high enough to produce a bust, but a lag in construction does show a soft spot in the national economy, the Committee thinks. There might also be sharp rises in meat prices next year. Both Republicans and Democrats now think that the budget will come in at 35 to 37 billion, national revenues at 40, and that if the Marshall Plan only costs 2 billion in its first year, it can be paid for out of revenue and still leave some money to pay down the national debt. The Russians may refuse to attend the conference of foreign ministers scheduled in November to deal with the German and Austrian peace treaties, which case a separate Western peace is being considered.
National Affairs
“It’s Later Than You Think” Marshall gave a talk to the governor’s annual convention in Salt Lake City (Whee! Fun!) in which he gave the distinct impression that the fate of the world is as grey as the Mormon capital. The political and economic crisis in Europe is “staggering.” “It is the clear intention of the Soviet Union to take over Europe.” Even England might succumb, if not sustained economically. Russia might form International Brigades to fight for communism abroad. Even if it does not seek war deliberately, it might underestimate American reaction and precipitate one. (In other business, the governors are upset at Federal intervention in education, because all the extra money the Feds are offering is “embarrassing” to the states that don’t want to participate; and they’re excited to have Thomas Dewey hanging around, because he’s running for President!)

Let the record show that Reggie is bashing Salt Lake City without ever having been there, or even having met a Mormon. (That he knows of; as ne of his fellow aircrew on Enterprise was a Mormon.)

“State of the Armed Forces” The Army and Navy are, at last, combined in one super-department, with the separate Departments of Army and Navy surviving. Since Eisenhower and Nimitz are retiring at the beginning of the year, the armed forces will be under entirely new and fresh leadership in the new year. Also, there will be an Air Force, equal to, and independent of, the Army and Navy, unlike the Marines, who are still under the Navy Department. Our new boss, Forrestal, gets a very long introduction in the next article, followed by one about WWIII.
A little more detail on the world war that is about to break out any moment now. First of all, atom bombs are old news. The “new, horrendous methods of death” that scientists are talking about are still ten, twelve years away. I am not sure whether that means germ bombs or more powerful nuclear bombs using light-metal fusion instead of uranium or plutonium fission. Until the  new-fangled fun starts, we can have old-fashioned fun, with men, planes and guns. In WWII, America had lots of these, but it has let the force melt away, and now if the war begins, the American Army of Occupation in Germany could do very little but run for the coast, evacuate to Britain, and prepare for a new D-Day. Meanwhile, America might be attacked itself via Greenland and Alaska, also the best route for a counterattack. The Air Force claims not to be convinced that it is inferior to the Red Air Force, at which I do not even quite know what to say, as I find it hard to understand how anyone could think differently. The army is, obviously, inferior to the Red Army, while the Navy is superior to all other navies in the world combined. Also, America hasn’t really let its armies melt away. It can call up 15 million men if it needs to, and has the largest industrial machine in the world. Hanson Baldwin says that we are not weak, but rather the greatest military power in the world, “far superior to Russia.” The key lines here are the last, which say that military men are afraid that America will let things continue to slip until there is a new Pearl Harbour, which is why they “frequently paint the military picture blacker than it really is.”
Rumours of war and flying saucers. It's hard to believe that they're not related. 

“Shadow Army” Demobilisation is over, the Army is at 800,000 men out of an authorised strength of 1.07 million. Nine of its twelve divisions are in occupation duties, 6 in Europe, three in the Far East. Three divisions are in the United States, compared with 4.5 million in the Red Army, organised into 208 divisions. At this strength, the Army has about ten tanks per man,  although these will go to recalled reservists, and some of the latest weapons are in short supply. What the War Department is really worried about is loss of air superiority, because the Air Force has only 400,000 men and 25,000 planes, and are lumbered with jets and intercontinental bombers, while the Russians have the latest plywood fighters. (I think that this just goes to show that now that there’s an Air Force Department to snipe at as well as the Navy, the War Department is getting a bit trigger happy.) Also, everyone is worried that the aviation industry will dry up and blow away, as it is down to 160,000 workers making 100 planes a month. Then Newsweek uses words on the naval comparison, which is that the Navy will have to dig a canal to Lake Baikal to find Russians to fight.
Yakovlev Yak-9. By Kogo - Own work (FAA Registration Database), CC BY-SA 2.5,

But! There is a “Scientist Shortage.” The Society for The Promotion ofEngineering Education, which sounds like a straight shooting, neutral party, says that the country will be short 37,805 engineers by 1949, “after which the situation may be expected to improve gradually.” This is because, during Selective Service, the United States, “unlike Britain, dragged students from college and universities with little regard to how much promise they showed in scientific fields.” Now they are up to five years behind on their studies, and since during the war, basic scientific research was neglected in favour of making secret-not-secret-secret weapons like radar and jets, the country will need thousands of scientists to catch up with –the Russians? Yes, the Russians. You see, they stole all the German scientists. (That we didn’t.) “10,000 to 20,000” of them. Also, they are going to train 1,200,000 technicians and 780,000 degree-holding laboratory workers in the next five years.
Thus, obviously, America is far behind in the scientist race. What is needed is . . . a policy! And more money for scientists, since the top pay ($9,973) is too low. And the Russians will have an atom bomb any day now. It is expected that the Russians will rapidly build a pilot atom bomb plant and produce one bomb for a demonstration blast within a year, with large-scale production following on in 1953 and ’54. (The Russians are short of the kind of free hydroelectric power that made the Manhattan Project possible. I guess we should look to Russian dam building projects, then?) The Russians are certainly known to be digging European uranium ores like mad. It is thought that American research has focussed on making bombs more efficiently, and that there are scores, if not hundreds of American bombs available now. People talk about bombs a thousand times more powerful than the Nagasaki bomb, but there is no point in producing them, as the Nagasaki bomb was quite powerful enough, and it is the vehicle, not the bomb, that is decisive. Air raids are less and less likely to get through, and it is hard to put atom bombs on missiles. The Army is also worried that the Russians will get atom bomb-tipped missiles first, as the Ordnance rocket effort is too small. 
Added because this is where it comes.
“Prosperity” The President says that the country is doing just fine, and that there is no possibility of prices declining to prewar levels. He nominated members for the National Labour Relations Board and asked Congress for a $4 billion flood-control programme in the Mississippi River basin. He also vetoed the latest income tax-reduction bill, pointing out that the armed services need more money. The House voted to override the veto, but the Senate could not muster the two-thirds majority needed.
Newsweek's contribution to the month's Tales of the Gallant South is the saga of Harvey Jones, of Ashokie, North Carolina
“Win or Lose with Wallace” Newsweek gets in on the Wallace-bashing. (On the bright side, chinks are showing in Dewey’s armour, as he comes in behind MacArthur in a Wisconsin straw poll.)

 Washington Tides with Ernst K. Lindsey
“Patterson and Forrestal” Robert Paterson is wonderful, and selfless, and kind. The Army and Air Force are not as impressed with Forrestal, whom they see as a Navy man.
“The Time to Rebuild the Enemies” We are reminded that there are good Germans as well as bad Germans. Good Germans like poetry; bad Germans like war. We should help the good Germans, in case of war. Newsweek quotes The Economist, which is sad about how hopeless the Chinese and the French and the coal miners (British) are, and says that maybe America should give all its money to hardworking “Germans and the Italians (and the Japanese),” instead.
I’m sure that this is all vastly important, but I’ve already written a million times more about the Marshall plan, and it isn’t even official yet, then I have about the Russian atom bomb, which apparently is going all out for leather, and no-one could even be bothered to say. So, what I’m saying is, I’m not going to summarise at least the next three or four pages about the plan that is definitely going to happen very soon now.
Internationally, Spanish citizens apparently don’t like Eva Peron. Seven convicted Nazi leaders were delivered to Spandau Prison to serve their sentences, and the Russian-organised International Brigade said to be about to intervene in the Greek Civil War fighting on the Albanian border –hasn’t. But just you wait!
The English are a funny people, who drink dry Martinis (also called “gins and French”) lukewarm, marry bigamously, at least in the case of the Reverend Charles Lamb, and have so much mineral in their coal these days that Princess Elizabeth came down with cinder-eye on her train ride to Scotland.
Opening Fire” The Dutch are quite amusing, too, especially when they fight wars against the Indonesians for not being satisfied with as much independence as the Dutch are willing to give them. (I’m not sure that this is how independence works?)
The Fairey Firefly, off to its first war. 

On the other hand, in Burma, five men stormed the offices of the Burmese Executive Council in Rangoon on the morning of the 19th and sprayed the room with Sten gun bullets, killing all eight, including AungSan, popular war hero and strong man of Burmese politics. U Shaw is suspected of being behind the mass assassination. And in London, the Indian independence bill passed the House of Lords the day before, while in Japan the weak government of Tetsu Katayama is tottering. (This is Newsweek’s interpretation of Time’s medical difficulties, which Mr. Brookstein immediately told me was likely to be a face-saving excuse.)

“Tiger Under Sun” General Sun Li-jen has been made commander of the Koumintang forces in Manchuria, to try to recoup the situation there.
“The Witch of Buchenwald” Ilse Koch, wife of the commandant of Buchenwald, is a terrible person, although not so bad as Irma Grese, terror of Belsen.
Foreign Tides with Joseph B. Phillips
“Stalin Courts the Socialists” He is, you know. In Mr. Phillips’ defence, while he doesn’t say much, he manages not to say too much. (Nothing about Wallace, no socialism bad, etc.)
“Dust Bowl TVA” Under Canadian affairs, a discussion of irrigationschemes in southern Alberta to alleviate its dry conditions and make farming there more predictable, while supplying reliable water to Moose Jaw and Reginaand generate hydroelectric power. There is also to be $6.5 million to reforest the eastern slopes of the Rockies to reduce washouts and erosion.

In Latin America, exciting news as Chileans “turn strongly against Communism,” as if there is enough anti-communism, perhaps we can have stories about Chile as well as Argentina.
Science, Medicine, Education
“Photosynthetic Tracer” Dr. Melvin Calvin, a botanist at the University of California, is operating a “radioactive farm” in the same building as Ernest Lawrence’s cyclotron. The idea is that radioactive elements made in the cyclotron are introduced into plant diets, taken up, and used in the mysterious process of photosynthesis, still not fully understood at a chemical level. The lab has already established that photosynthesis is only 15 to 20% efficient in converting solar energy into plant energy, and thinks that this might be improved, once plant breeders fully understand the process. This improvement in agriculture would alleviate Margaret Sanger’s concern that we are making more people than we can feed, to quote Dr. Calvin. AAt one point, for just ten seconds, chlorophyll changes shape to be a luminescent molecule so that it can hold the solar energy as a light charge!
“Inside a Gene” Speaking of peering into the fundamentals of life, Dr. Kurt G. Stern, of Brooklyn Polytechnic, is using old-fashioned chemical methods to look into “genes,” the part of a living cell that regulates its division, and, so, reproduction itself. Taking the thymus, or sweetbreads, of calves, he has extracted a mass of genetic material, the so called “genoprotein.” Centrifugally fractionated, it is found to be made of a molecule with a weight of about 1,000,000 (where hydrogen is “2”), which makes the “gene” a class size smaller than the virus. I’m surprised that it is not the other way, when viruses famously reproduce without genes. Stein thinks that the gene molecule may take a coil shape, with backbones and numerous rib-like side chains, and that inherited traits may be determined by the details of spacing rather than the chemical composition of these side chains.

Deep-fried sweetbreads are better with cauliflower puree. In other news, it appears that Dr. Stein has been written out of the history of DNA, no great surprise

“That the Child May Live” Newsweek sends its best reporters to the Fifth International Congress of Pediatrics at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York.  Some 2000 of the world’s leading specialists attended. There were papers about the effects of pediatric malnutrition in Europe. IN general, there was not much, because children were favoured in the rations, but a deficiency in fats and animal protein, especially milk, is thought to have caused an increase in celiac disease, colitis and dyspepsia, while average heights and weight fell, even though dental cavities were fewer. In Britain, the “utmost seriousness” of the falling birth rate was “vividly described” by Dr. Alan Moncrieff, professor of child health at the University of London. This, I’m quoting at length because I’m not following the argument. The British infantry mortality rate has fallen, which is important; but the neonatal death rate has not kept pace. Of 600,000 births a year, there are 25,600 stillbirths, 35,000 deaths in the first year, of which 18,000 occur in the first four weeks. While the excess of births over deaths is still 119,000 per year, “the loss of 60,000 is obviously of the utmost seriousness.” Since the quote repeats, I guess that that was the point at the beginning. But wasn’t it supposed to be due to the falling birth rate that these babies were dying? My head is swimming. (What Newsweek says is that the most frequent causes of neonatal death are undernutrition and overcrowding, followed by birth injury and asphyxia. Are those caused by the falling birth rate?)
Meanwhile, in Sweden, where neonatal deaths are also on the upswing, “fetal debility” is the main cause, followed by overcrowding, infection, and poor medical care for various reasons. Russian doctors, meanwhile, are quite pleased by their low neonatal death rate, which compares favourably with the American.
In more medical-scientific news, a Finnish team is quite pleased with a histamine-related drug, hapamine, for treating asthmatic children. Dr. Robert Ward, of New York University, has shown that filth flies, often linked to infantile paralysis in the past, do carry the polio virus. “Opinions differ” on infantile Vitamin D supplements, which may either be a necessary precaution against rickets, or at risk of being over-prescribed. Testosterone is emphasised in the treatment of premature babies by Dr. E. Kost Shelton and associates at Los Angeles General Hospital. Dr. Rudolf Degkwitz, of the University Children’s Clinic, Hamburg, Germany, talked about the “aimed shot” method of giving drugs so that they target specific organs, while Dr. Hilde Bruch of the Babies Hospital of New York talked about infantile dietary derangement, in which some children just stop eating for some reason, perhaps psychiatric and due to bad parenting.
“Lift to the Depressed” In trials in London, Dr. G. Tayleur Stockings(!) has used synhexl, also known as pyrahexyl or parahexyl, first synthesised by Professor Roger Adams of the University of Illinois, and later Professor A. R. Todd of Cambridge, as a euphoriant, or spirits-lifter. It is related to the active ingredients in hashish, but is more powerful, synthetic, and does not cause addiction or physical dependence.

Under education, Newsweek notices a whole bunch of the new-fangled ways of these young folks today. Scholarships offered under Senator Fulbright’s programme are sending another lot of American students abroad. Meanwhile, some 2500 foreign students are studying in America under the GI Bill after being enlisted in the United States forces under one or another initiative. Not under the GI Bill at all are a group of “international interns,” students in various branches of international studies who are interning as assistants at the United Nations to further its worthy goals.
A very classy unpaid UN intern who is probably not named "Tayleur Stockings," which is a real name. (I checked.)

“The Auto Workers and the Reds” Walter Reuther has defeated an attempt to merge the UAW with the Communist-dominated United Farm Equipment and Metal Workers, strengthening his shaky hold on the union.
“New Deal Homecoming” You wouldn’t think that it would be much of a match, but Robert Taft’s Joint Committee on the Economic Report heard from Leon Henderson and Paul Porter, old New Deal hands who think that because of the premature removal of price controls, the country is in a wild boom that will end in tears unless various things are done along the lines of cutting prices and raising wages.
“In the New York Manner” A fashion show in New York is a shot across the bows of Paris’ fashion industry as to which city leads the world in fashion, says Elsa Schiaparelli.
Newsweek ain't buying it. 
“Surplus or Shortage” Walter Reuther was in Washington this week to blame the steel industry for Detroit’s summer shutdown. He has a report from Louis H. Bean, a Department of Agriculture economist which shows that the country’s need for steel per worker has risen from a half ton each per year in 1900 to 1.8 today, and that this means that by 1950 the country will need 122 million tons of steel per year, compared with current maximum capacity of 91million. The steel industry says that this is crazy, that it is far beyond thecapacity needed, and that the real problem is that the steel is not gettingwhere it is needed, and, anyway, the price of coal is too high and going higher. The World Bank, which had an enormous success with its first American bond issue, had no problems with the price of coal. (How’s that for changing topics?)
“Trends and Changes” The Railway Passenger Interterritorial Committee has extended its “credit card” arrangement, under which, if you extend the card, you get billed monthly for any train tickets you buy over the year, have extended this “ride now, pay later” to the full Pullman service, all fees included. Perhaps related is the first DC-6 service to Europe, already mentioned, and the fact that the median family income is up to $2,500 year, up from $2020 in 1945. Ten percent of families have incomes above $5000, forty percent under $2000.
What’s New
Permanote, Inc., is bringing out a British-designed memo desk pad with a roll of replenishing note paper; Lin-X of Cleveland is bringing out a ball-point floor wax applicator; the XP-85 is noticed; William J. Higgins, Co., of Ocala, Florida, thinks that it has done away with typesetting machines, matrixes and stereotype plates with a new typsetting typewriter that prints directly on a thin, magnesium plate.
Business Tides, with Henry Hazlitt
Hazlitt seems to think that coal miners make too much money, and that it is the UMW’s fault, but he doesn’t come out and say so. What he does say is that the rising coal miners’ wage is hitting the profit of coal mines, and that means that the price of coal must go up, so when President Truman says that it shouldn’t go up, he is BUNGLING. Soon all the coal mines and the steel plants and the whole economy will shut down, and it will be all his fault.  

Press, Radio
Under press, Newsweek profiles Barbara Holmes, the Washington Time-Herald’s agony aunt, who is very pungent.   
Newsweek does features on singer Peggy Lee and news executive Edward R. Murrow, who is going back to broadcasting, before noting that with the hot weather, no-one’s listening to the radio right now, anyway. If they are listening, it is to questionable shows like Rooftops of the City, Mysteries without Murder, and Scarlet Queen.
John G. Winant, Jr., has married Janine Perret of Geneva, Switzerland. Dr. Edward K. Barsky, of the Joint Anti-Fascist Committee, has been sentenced to six months in jail and fined $500 for contempt of Congress for failing to produce his organisation’s records for the HUAC. Several other members, including novelist Howard Faust, got fined and imprisoned, as well. James P. Warburg, Martha O’Driscoll and Hedy Lamarr are getting divorced. Pop Carter, “America’s oldest and best-known roller skater,” is still doing shows. Iris Mountbatten, cousin of King George, has been arrested and ordered deported for kiting cheques. Walter Donaldson, Samuel G. Blythe, Robert L. Owen and Rene Kraus have died. {How are you going to keep them down on the farm?]

MGM’s attempt to punish an English movie critic, Miss E. Arnot Robertson, in a London court, has blown up in its face. The Detroit police feel that Brute Force is too brutal to be shown in Detroit, as there is no prison violence there. Newsweek liked Crossfire, a “forthright attack on anti-Semitism” disguised as “a cream puff.” It also liked the American remake of the English dog movie, Bob, Son of Battle.
Newsweek takes on Sartre’s Age of Reason and does no better with it than Time. It also liked Richer by Asia, though I think Auntie Grace would flip her wig over it.
Then I got water all over the page with the capsule reviews of the “beach” books, so you won’t hear about it.
Perspective, with Raymond Moley
“The Dewey Bandwagon” Bleeach! Not only is it about Dewey, it is that awful column that Uncle George warned me about, in which the insider gives me a blow-by-blow of the Republican Convention as it will happen after Governor Dewey fails to win an early victory. It will all depend on Nebraska. Or the South. Or the Northeast. One of those big states.
Flight, 31 July 1947
“More Committees” The Ministry of Civil Aviation is to have two more committees. On the one hand, they are good committees to do with important things such as civil aviation and light aircraft. On the other hand, committees are bad.
“Personnel” Taking a leaf from The Economist’s page, Flight doesn’t get around to mentioning the point of the leader until halfway through. The Wilcock Committee has ideas about how personnel are selected and licensed for civil aviation, and so does Flight.
“Material” The striking of the Helmore Committee “appears to indicate dissatisfaction with the Air Registration Board.”
“Flying Boat Fighters” Flight remembers how single-seat flying boats existed, back in the old days, and that the Supermarine Sea Lion was actually classified as a “fighting scout.” Which means that Saunders-Roe’s new flying boat jet fighter isn’t a stupid new idea. It’s a stupid old idea. I mean, don’t get me wrong; flying boat bombers and fighters are worth a try, given how the new carrier designs have ballooned. The Navy won’t be able to afford anything but carriers if it goes ahead with the idea of building ships that can fly off atomic bombers! (Whereas if the Navy tries to build up a land atomic bomber force, it will show the Army what for, but I can daydream about being CNO!) But, first, the builder has to demonstrate that they can build a flying boat jet fighter that performs like a land fighter, and the Saunders-Roe effort looks like a beached whale (seal?), and probably flies like one, too.

“Carriers in the Clyde” Some British royals came to see Illustrious and Vengeance in the Clyde. There was a nice Marine honour guard, and no-one suggested that the reason both ships seemed so silly is that to build a decent carrier you need to build it bigger than the Hood.

“Miles at Home” Or some such. Miles Aircraft invited the public to come see Marathons being tested.
“Boeing Turbines: Two Very Small Research Units Produced in the New Propulsion Laboratory” Everyone is building turbines now. Boeing built these units mainly for fun, but thinks that they might be used to start much larger turbines, or as a power source for small aircraft or missiles.
“For Research and Development” Flight was invited around to Hatfield to see the DH108 and the Ghost-Lancastrian. (That’s the Lancastrian with outboard Ghost motors to give de Havilland an opportunity to test fly them safely.)
Here and There
Bristol has test flown its four-seat 171, a conventional helicopter with a top and rear rotor. Irvin-Bell Helicopter Sales has been set up as the British agency for Bell Helicopters. Scottish Aviation will hold a large interest, as will Irvin Air Chutes.  Manchester Guardian is going to fly its weekly edition to Canada in the Trans-Canada express freight service. The Aircraft Owners and Pilots’ Association in America has recommended that stall warning indicators be installed in all cockpits. Flight is upset at the implication that they have just been invented, when an English make has been available for twenty years. E. L. Baddeley is the new Ministry of Civil Aviation press officer. A group of former RAF servicemen have formed a private telephone exchange service, Finders, Incorporated, which will serve people who are not in the telephone directory, for one reason or another. In shorter news, Flight gets around to telling us that there was a Mathis G-7 engine powering an SO1100 gyrodyne, which will have its first flight tests soon. The first Miles Merchantman will be ready soon, and although Roy Fedden Limited is mostly shutdown, it has done some “very satisfactory test runs” of its flat-six engine.
“Internal Systems” The series continues with a look at Scottish airports.
“Tipsy Junior: Advanced Performance of Diminutive Single-Seater on 60 hp.” This Belgian mini-plane is very advanced, whatever that means.
“Britain’s Test Pilots, No. 23” Geoffrey Arthur Virley Tyson is the chief test pilot of Saunders-Roe. He is a WWI veteran, was an Auxiliary Air Force training officer for a few years, went into Alan Cobham’s Air Circus in 1933, then the Avro test-flying team when the Air Circus went bust at the end of the year. (“Was it something I said?”) He got on with Flight Refuelling in 1937 for their Atlantic trials, which allowed him to get on with Short brothers in a real job, until in late 1946 he left Short for Saunders-Roe to fly the SR/A1 and pass out Sea Otters. Flight ends with some personal stories: the time he knocked the tail off a Gloster Grebe coming in for a landing, and went on the mat in front of Brooke-Popham; landing a burning Siskin and bailing out of it while it was still rolling at 40mph, and the obligatory story about stunt flying on the deck when his harness pin came out, leaving him hanging from the controls in an inverted loop that, miraculously, righted itself without hitting the ground.
I'm going to stop and look at a Supermarine Sea Lion here, just because I can't get over its old-time goofiness. By The Flight magazine archive from Flightglobal, CC BY-SA 4.0,
Sabena’s DC-6: A Flight to Copenhagen in the Latest Douglas Transport” Sabena’s DC-6 is the 51st off the production line, and the first in Europe. It is the “big brother” of the DC-6, larger and with a more powerful engine. It carries 52 passengers in seats, or 26 as a sleeper, has a maximum auw at takeoff of 93,000lbs, has air conditioning and pressurisation, thermostat-controlled heating, thermal de-icing, a cruising speed of 232mph at 15,000ft, with engines delivering less than half of maximum power. The automatic pilot is an A. 12 Sperry with automatic approach control. It has a gyrosyn compass and a direction finder, and the wheel is interlocked with the gust locks so that it cannot be turned until they are removed.
Civil Aviation News
Flight covers the committee on the licensing, recruitment and training of civil aviation personnel, and the one on aircraft and equipment certification in more detail. The latter will be under Air Commodore W. Helmore. A Far East agreement allows British and Chinese airlines to fly regular services between British and Chinese territories. The British will be allowed to fly from London or Singapore to Canton, Shanghai and Tientsin, and from Hong Kong or Singapore to Shanghai or Canton. Hong Kong Airways will operate the scheduled services from Hong Kong, and will link up with BOAC trunk routes. BEA is forming a helicopter unit. Swissair is ordering the Convair 240. AOA’s Atlantic services are at 97% capacity. Scandinavian Airlines have flown 245 services to the United States from Europe so far this year. The terminal facilities at Manchester are proving inadequate, and several airlines have moved out of it and into nearby hotels. Pan American’s GCA equipment at Gander will remain operational under contract ntil 30 July 1948. Pan-Am operates them, and other airlines pay service charges.

W. A. Summers, managing director of Percival Aircraft, is upset that Americans are saying that the new Mergansar and Prince are being given up because they lack operational payload. It’s all vicious slander based on mistaking tropical condition limits for general ones. E. Colleyhurst thinks that representation of British commercial aircraft sales in Africa is “not all it might be.” P. Joubert writes to say that RAFVR applicants do not have to fill out the same form twice, after all. David F. Ogilvy, Ex-Sgt., ATC, has opinions about how the ATC is being BUNGLED.

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