Sunday, October 22, 2017

Postblogging Technnology, September 1947: Drilling Sideways

R_. C_.,
_. Roxborough Crescent,
Vancouver, Canada

Dear Dad:

I hope that you're not too surprised to get this addressed from Hawaii, although it looks like I'll be putting a Denver postmark on it, as I'm not going to be done with Fortune much before then. 

The reason is that I was kept late to do some silly experiments with rockets on water skis that I think might be going on the Navy's answer to the Saro SR.A/1. As for why the Navy needs an answer to the Saro SR.A/1, maybe they're tired of all the "dashes" in the plane names and want to try a slanty slash? Honestly, your guess is as good as mine. Fortunately, it counts as class credit or something, and all I have to worry about now is missing the first four(!) partial differential equation lectures. I've looked at the textbook (when I'm not looking at a fascinating article about tapping the oil reserves of shalebeds by drilling into them horizontally), and it looks like I'm going to regret this b.s.

If you're wondering why I'm missing four lectures in the first week of classes, it is because I am changing trains so that I can drop off a package with V.N., who will be taking over these letters for the school year so that I can focus on mystery maths. 

Oh: And I told you not to worry. The bear-cub-in-the-president's-house is being dismissed as a prank, and even if the College Man catalogues his private papers sometime soon, he's not even going to notice that he's missing a page from the Agent's letterbook because it's not one he cares about. (Leafing through, I see that he hasn't destroyed the telegram to the school about his departure. Without something from the other side, we can't exactly prove that the College Man arrived at his uncle's school from the Colville  Reservation and not Iowa, but I don't think we care about that, do we?) With the page we do have, we can now prove that Mr. Johnston's mother was. . . 

I know what you're going to say! After we blackmailed the poor man about his father, is it really sporting to do the same over his mother? Point is, we're not. We're going to produce the letter as evidence that "A.'s" source for warmed over gossip about Hollywood Communists is from Johnston, and not Mr. Brookstein denouncing old Trotskyites. If anyone cares (because all "A.s" bosses want is to be able to discredit Hoover's boys if they get anything juicy. I mean, honestly. Actors and makeup artists who used to be communists? Yawn.) The point is, because A.'s "connection" is to Stanford, V.N. has to go back there! Wouldn't want to jeopardise the future son-in-law's career, now, would you?

I know, I know. Seems dashed clever to me, too.

Yr Loving Son,

The Economist, 6 September 1947
“Breathing Room for Essentials” The “breathing room” is that there are no major announcements on the ongoing crisis this week. The “essentials” are the things that The Economist thinks that are essential to keep in mind. 
Coming up: The Snoek Winter

The first of these is that the British are not lazy, which is a bit of a change, but never mind. They are working hard enough; production for export is being held back by shortages, more than anything else. Urging them to work harder won’t help, because it will just make the shortages worse. The key is to concentrate supplies (like coal, I guess) on key export industries. Everyone else should gear down, not up. In particular, the capital investment programme needs to be scaled back, in general, because it is causing inflation “too much money chasing too few goods,” I’m told; and also in some areas where “non-productive” investment competes with productive. So there should be more building factories, less building homes.  Finally, way down at the end of a very long article, The Economist says that there should be more unemployment to keep everyone on their toes. So much for Brits not being lazy! (Later, The Economist reports wide agreement that something has to be done about inflation. For example, the Federation of British Industries and the “Design for Freedom Committee” are in favour.)
The Uno Plan for PalestineActually, there are two plans. The Economist doesn’t like either, and that’s all I’m going to say about it, because I’m sure that it’s all in The Sun. Knowing Pacific Press, it’ll probably be just as pro-British as this article.
“Away from Potsdam” Lucius Clay and Sholto Douglas were on about final plans to demolish factories and export machinery. Come off it, The Economist says. Germany has to export to import to eat, so what it needs is for its industry to start up again, not be carted off to Russia, or wherever. Also, it needs American food, paid for by Americans; more government; and “ruthless requisition” of the food that farmers are hoarding.
Farming the Tiergarten, Berlin (1947; maybe)

“Achieving a Balance” This is the third in a series that began running late last month, so we’re coming in at the end. This article is devoted to a back-of-the-envelope calculation of the terms of trade and some unsupported generalisations about the world market. Amazingly enough, it concludes that the British have to import (i.e., eat) less, and get their costs down. I wonder which costs might be meant? I’m doing that thing where you ask a question, even though you already know the answer.

Notes of the Week
“On the Eve of a Paris Plan” The American ambassadors presented their list of things that should be in the Paris Plan. First, Europe should achieve “equilibrium” by 1951, which I guess means an even balance of payments and no more American aid dollars needed? Second, the Europeans should unify more. Third, they should have more than a “list of needs.”

“Mr. Bevin at Southport” Everyone is waiting for Bevin to unseat Atlee, and he gave a strong speech at the Trades Union Congress at Southport; but then he said something silly about all the gold in Fort Knox, so it would be a wash, as we Americans (the ones with all the gold!) would say, except that The Economist is all about “Let’s you and him fight.” Also, he went on about free trade with “the Dominions.” In another speech, Strachey didn’t say that there will be further food ration cuts, which was bad and wrong.
I have disappointing news for The Economist. . . Although there will be restrictions on cashing in clothes rations coupons, if that counts

“Anglo-Danish Trade Talks” Speaking of food, the English import lots of food from Denmark, and the Danes want to be paid more for it. I assume, anyway. Maybe they want to be paid less? I’m not reading about stupid Anglo-Danish trade talks to find out.
“Shuffle in Greece” The Americans and British have required the Greeks to remove some people from the government and put other people in, because this will help solve the whole Greek problem.
“The TUC and the Direction of Labour” The TUC is AGIN.
The literature doesn't seem to have much discussion of postwar direction of labour, perhaps because it never amounted to much, but I did find this while googling around. (pdf) I'm even going to read it at some point!

“The Canberra Talks” The Commonwealth had a Conference in Canberra, where it talked about Japan and General MacArthur. Australia doesn't like MacArthur. It doesn't seem to like Japan, either. 
“GI Joe Abroad” The Americans are eager to keep British troops in Greece because there are no American troops to replace them with. The US Army has a million men, and they are all spoken for. Which is especially alarming when the Red Army has a million divisions (“102 in Russia, 93 in Europe and 13 in the Far East”). Fortunately, the Russians have signed on to the Italian treaty, and the Americans can pull their 15,000 strong Army of Occupation from Italy. The British are hinting that 5000 of them could go to Greece to relieve some British troops.
“Colonies and the Crisis” Since England is in crisis, it is only fair that the colonies should have their imports cut, too. But since this means that there won’t be incentives (imports bought with higher colonial incomes), this might result in lower production, and recoil on Britain.
West Africa seems to have some legitimate concerns, but it doesn't matter, because they are small (I think? What's the scale of this map, anyway?), and we can bully them without any consequences whatsoever.
“How Not to Do It” The Economist thinks that the government BUNGLED  the end of the gas ration for the exact opposite reasons that Flight thinks it was BUNGLED. I am amazed to find that Flight seems to have a better idea of what is going on.
“Housing Lack of Progress” The Economist is upset that the building that it doesn’t think should be going on, is not going on. Because they are building (but not finishing) too many houses, it seems.
 There’s also a bit about Hungary getting more communist, and General Wedemeyer’s report on China, which says that both the Koumintang and the Communists are incorrigible, and need to be corrigated. (I made that character up! At least, I couldn’t find a version without a negation.) I hope his upcoming report on Korea is just as swell! And France has passed a “statute of Algeria” that makes Algeria “autonomous,” to satisfy “moderate Algerian Arab nationalism and soothe existing political tension.” Since the new Algerian constitution gives “equal” weight to the 1 million French colonists and 9 million Algerian Moslems, I can just guess how that’s going to work out. Even The Economist is skeptical.

Letters to the Editor
R. P. Lynton writes in praise of unemployment, but goes too far for The Economist, which doesn’t want to see “mass unemployment” back, but would be happy to see 5 or 6% unemployment instead of the current 1.25%. “H.” thinks that a planned economy will lead to an “authoritarian” government. Edgar P. Young thinks that Bulgarians are happy with their current government. F. L. Van Allen writes from Amsterdam that Dutch policy in Indonesia is not going to be made by “die-hards” committed to the colonial exploitation of Indonesia, or by the extremists who ae motived by a “universal hatred of Western men and civilisation.”
the link is weak: Lynton wrote a great deal about management theory, executive incentive, and, intriguingly, technology and the sociology of knowledge, but no-one seems to have engaged his ideas, much less bother to write a Festschrift-style biography for someone to crib on Wikipedia.

From The Economist of 1847
One thing about the great series on the Irish Potato Famine in Honolulu Magazine is that I get quite an earful about what usually isn’t in The Economist of 1847. Not this week. This week, it is pleased to report that the number of people receiving “outdoor relief” is 2,467,989 people, down from 2,920,792. The Economist of 1847 is confident that this is a hopeful sign that everything will be fine in September, when the current “gratuitous relief” ends, and “the country is thrown on its own resources.” To prove that everything will be fine once the harvest is in, it quotes an anonymous correspondent quoting one of his tenants, who is tempted to send a $10 order from his brother in America, back to him, because everything is going so well. Now, everyone should work together to make sure this never happens again.
J. Trueta is a surgeon who has turned into a historian of Catalonia, which is not quite a country, up in the corner of Spain, which should be more like a country than it is, but isn’t because of Franco. English diplomat Norman Wright has a book about Mexico that is a “short and light” “travelogue.” Bertrand Nogaro’s book about economics explains why all the other economists are stupid and wrong. “Strube” has a book of cartoons out that The Economist quite likes, and H. D. Hughes, M.P., a 17pp pamphlet, Towards a Classless Society. Sveriges Utrikeshandel efter Kriget and Les transfers internationaux de la Population, by a French research institute, which covers everything from Japanese displacement to the Czech and Polish expulsions of the Germans, are more like it. 
American Survey
“Portrait of a Plan” Another page on Secretary Marshall’s proposal, which is beginning to look less like a “proposal” and more like a “plan,” at least if Congress accepts the Paris Conference recommendation of a $30 billion price tag over four years.
“Radioactive Isotopes” Radio-isotopes are isotopes of atomic elements that are unstable, and produce radiation as they decay. We can make them with atomic science and use them in medicine to diagnose some diseases, better understand biological functions, and directly attack some cancers. There is no explanation for why this is a leading article.

American Notes
“Limits on Dollar Aid” Congress seems to want to give $15 to $20 billion over four years, and wants more progress on the United States of Europe, in return. It’s hard to tell, because, you know Congress. A committee headed by Averill Harriman (because old Averill has to have a job, you see) is looking at things, and so is the Council of Economic Affairs, and so is Jack Krug, and so is the Treasury, which figures that the country can afford $7 billion a year if it gives up on tax cuts.
“Economic Burden” America can afford Mr. Marshall’s brainstorm, but some people think that it shouldn’t. Others think that something along Marshall’s lines is necessary just to counter the way that inflation is cutting into the effective foreign aid budget. Perhaps there will be a recession soon, or Atlantic trade will falter. Perhaps, with the country being full up on capital investment by now, you have to figure, America will need the Marshall Plan to avoid a recession. Perhaps those shiftless Europeans will just keep on taking loans and never get themselves together. 
America has money, although also inflation. I dunno. Has the Dirty Thirties "output gap" been made up, yet?

“Hosting the Legion” The American Legion had a convention in New York City, where it endorsed the Marshall Plan as a good way to stop communism. It also heard a speech from Governor Dewey in favour of peacetime military training and a bilateral foreign policy. There was also plenty of fun and horseplay, in the Legion tradition, with water pistols and electrified walking canes, but no lying in the street car tracks, this time.

“To File or Not to File” Only unions registered with the National Labour Relations Board can benefit from its “protection and privileges,” but filing means that all locals have to sign an anti-Communist affidavit and disclosing union finances, and some don’t want to do that.
“Co-operatives Under Fire” Having failed to deliver on tax cuts or budget cuts, Congressional Republicans are looking into a good round of beatingup a small, annoying guy to see if it’s as much fun as it looks. Next up, Midwestern agricultural cooperatives. As if!
In shorter news, British woollen goods are “completely prohibitive” due to higher prices for raw wool imports and tariffs on finished woollens, and a 20% devaluation of sterling would be required to make United Kingdom prices competitive. Finally, the Department of Agriculture expects a 5% decline in meat supplies next year due to high demand causing a dip in livestock reserves, and more farmers being convinced that incomes will reach a “near-term peak” this year, and that rigid costs and smaller feeding crops will “bring lower net income over wide areas.” These bits kind of read like the same old Economist, in that it’s hard to guess what the writer is driving at, but it seems to me that the problem is the other way around from the summer. Now that the editor is cutting too much.
The World Overseas
Terror in the Punjab” The Sikhs are “systematically exterminating” the Muslim minority in the eastern Punjab, while in the west Punjab, Muslims are massacring Sikhs. The result is a refugee problem which “shows signs of dwarfing the migrations in Europe resulting from the last war.” People now expect a war between India and Pakistan in the near future.
The Treaty of PetropolisIs a treaty between the Western Hemisphere nations defining their obligations of mutual defence. The Americans can’t just invade everyone to “defend” them, and the Latin American countries don’t have to declare war on someone who attacks Guam. With some exceptions. Anyway, I’m sure it’ll all work out just fine. When hasn’t it?
I didn't even know that Brazil had an imperial summer capital. It looks nice.

“Canada and the Marshall Offer” Canada has opinions about the Marshall Offer. Mainly, it runs an export deficit with America, and exports to Europe aren’t helping under present circumstances. So it wants $2 billion to get it to “balanced” trade.
The Business World
“Scope for Multilateralism” The Economist talks about talking about Multilateralism. And about hard currencies and soft currencies, and sterling balances and convertability. I enclose a cutting showing which countries are in which groups.
“Export Policy Preview” The Ministry of Supply has put forward some guidelines for the auto industry that are a preview of the export policy that the Brits are still waiting for. The industry will have to “estimate” domestic demand, supply that estimate, and export the rest. It will have to standardise, reduce the number of models, focus on the cars that can be sold abroad, and concentrate supplies and labour in certain factories to do it. Some people say that this amounts to calling the industry a “luxury goods business,” in which domestic sales are to be minimised in favour of exports. I’m not sure why this is even controversial! It’s what the policy says! The Economist is still beating the drum for the idea that British exports are actually up quite a bit, and has a nice table to that effect, which I clip. The Economist is skeptical that Britain can increase exports 160% over 1938 volumes, and thinks that any attempt to force it will cause “industrial dislocation.”

Business Notes
“De Profundis” The Financial Times stock index is down. The Economist explains that this is because The Market thinks that everything is doomed. Several later bits where the money went when the funds were cashed in during the convertability weeks. It thinks that it was “largely” overseas demands for dollars -which is what everyone said would happen.
 “The Bank and Fund Meetings” Whoever was complaining to The Economist about how the World Bank couldn’t find a director, last year, is back at it. Now he is complaining that it didn’t take account of the dollar famine, and now must go on “care and maintenance” for the indefinite future.
There are also several bits about oil. Mexico has settled with the Mexican Eagle Petroleum Company out of the blue, and gas prices are up in England, which things are probably related, and good news for Middle Easterners sitting on giant oil fields. In banking news, people continue to cash out their savings while the banks continue to “keep their gilts,” which is probably a way of saying something about their stocks and bonds.
Moving from stuff that the Earl takes care of for us to stuff that matters a lot to you, rayon prices are up in England by 4d/lb, and Viscose by 2 1/2d. This is the first price rise since October of 1941, when it stood at 55d/lb for continuous filament weft, although it has fallen since, to as low as 46 1/2d/lb when the Excise Duty was removed last May. This is due largely to increases in the price of wood pulp (yeah!) and is unlikely to affect sales, as the market is “capable of absorbing all supplies,” in spite of output being at a record high of 18.2 million lb in June.  
“Sharp Rise in Import Prices” The American inflation is a very important factor in Britain’s trade deficit, it is now even more clear.

“World Rubber Consumption” Is up, but isn’t up as high as it needs to be. Malayan plantations are replanting with higher-yielding varieties, and the Malayan government is resisiting Indian pressure to equalise wages for Chinese and Indian labourers, as Chinese labourers are more productive.
“Gas Turbines for Ship Propulsion” The Economist is impressed by the MGB 2009 trials, and notes that a BTH gas turbine unit will be installed in Shell’s diesel-electric tanker, Auris, currently under construction. It points out that Lusitania was crossing the Atlantic only a few years after Turbinia, so this may be the coming thing. 

Auris had a BTH gas turbine that seems to be a neglected side of the history of the technology. Which is interesting, because BTH was Whittle's first industrial collaborator. It's not a Power Jet knock-on, because it is a 24-stage axial turbine. Details in pdf, here.
 Flight, 11 September 1947
“Remembering the Living” Everyone should donate to the RAF Benevolent Fund.
“Shop Window 1947” The Radlett Exhibition will be such an exhibition. Later, we hear that the Hawker N.7/46 will not be at Radlett, and that the Fairey Stooge, an unmanned plane intended for anti-kamikaze work, will be.

“Petrol” Flight wanders into politics with a criticism of the cancellation of the private gas ration, even though private plane owners have been spared more than a 10% cut. It is pleased that the Petroleum Board will be dissolved effective 1 January, allowing the sale of private brands of higher grade gas.
“British Power Units: Pure Jet and Airscrew Turbine Designs: Piston Engines of All Sizes” This article continues from last week with a few designs that were missed, and a few that are new for Radlett.  The new types are the Rolls-Royce Dart, Clyde and Trent. The rest of them are either jet engines we’ve already heard about, new makes of old piston engines, from the Sabre down to the Cirrus; and still-mostly imaginary engines like the Jameson, Menasco and Nuffield.
Here and There
Further details of the marine gas turbine work at the Admiralty have been released. It is a Metrovick engine, installed in MGB 2009,and replaces one of the three 1250hp gas engines. The Butlin holiday camp at Pwlheli, North Wales, will have a flying base beside it for flying clubs. India’s cricket club will fly to Australia instead of going by ship. The navy is going to launch a V2 rocket from the Midway. The Russians have announced that a lady parachutist has done a delayed drop from 18,000ft without oxygen, presumably showing that anyone can do it. So much for Soviet Russia, land of sexual equality!
I question the choice of a picture of wind-whipped flags to advertise a holiday camp.

“The Anglo American Conference: Icing of Gas Turbines: Large and Small Aircraft” Turbine icing is the big issue of the day, and many people care about personal aircraft, even if I don’t. The Wright paper on private planes also had a neat bit about a Firestone rubber-block wheel mounting to take care of shimmering. I can also see it developing into a semi-castering wheel, although not steerable, obviously. As for dealing with icing, the problem is that while you have an engine producing a lot of heat, the icing is in the inlets, and it is hard to get the heat back to the inlets. Rolls Royce is looking at electrical heating and gas diversion.
“British Aircraft” New for Radlett: The Airspeed Consul, and Ambassador; AV Roe Tudor II and XIX; Avro Lancastrian, Tudor II, Tudor I, York, Athena, Lincoln; Auster Mark VI; Chrislea Ace; Bristol 170, Brigand, Buckmaster; De Havilland Dove, Vampire, Sea Vampire, Hornet, Sea Hornet, Mosquito, Sea Mosquito; Handley Page Hermes IV and Halton; Miles Gemini, Messenger, Aerovan, Marathon, Merchantman; Elliots Newberry Eon; Cunliffe-Owen Concordia; Portsmouth Aerocar; Percival Merganser; Scottish Aviation Prestwick Pioneer; Percival Proctor V, Prentice; Short Sandringham, Solent, Seaford, Sturgeon; Vickers-Armstrong Sea Otter, Viking, Valetta, Seafire, Spitfire; Armstrong-Whitworth Apollo; Blackburn Firebrand, S.28/43; Boulton-Paul Balliol; Fairey Firefly, Spearfish; Gloster Meteor; Hawker Fury; Saunders-Roe S.R./A1; Heston AOP; Reid and Sigrist Desford.
The Scottish Aviation Pioneer has a solid, Lysander-like feel. At least once they got rid of the Gipsy Queen and replaced it with a Leonides. By RuthAS - Own work, CC BY 3.0,

That list incorporates two articles. I thought about throwing the one on “Rotating-Wing Aircraft” in, as well, but most of those don’t really exist, yet. Bristol is doing up a helicopter, as is Westland, and so is Bell, you might have heard. Aside from that, it’s Cierva’s twin-rotor design and Fairey’s Gyrodyne, both with engineering that I can’t see them getting right any time soon. So it’s copies of American machines, visions of a bright and shining future, and the Bristol ship, really.
“Air Display –Navy Way: HMS Heron, Training Station for Air Mechanics, At Home in the West” The Navy held a surprise Air Day? I think? In Yeovilton? Admiral Somerville is now the Lord Lieutenant of Somerset, and Yeovil is way out there, too, and is now named HMS Heron, and has the school for air mechanics. If that sounds like an awkward way of summarising the article, it is awkward article that backs into the facts. “Who, where, why, what.” It's not hard.
Civil Aviation News
The Hermes II has had its first flight. The Ministry of Civil Aviation still can’t put its air traffic control scheme for Britain in effect, because it can’t get the manpower. So it has a new preliminary scheme out, which at least restricts the areas of the country where non-radar-equipped aircraft can fly under low visibility conditions. South Africa now has had an Air Transport Council meeting to lay out its air traffic control scheme.  BOAC will start flying a trans-Saharan route Halton to Accra next week. An Indian company has been formed to build the Aerocar. It has been decided again some more also again that America will have no “chosen instrument.” Australia doesn’t think that Japan should be allowed to have civil aircraft.
"Chosen instrument" hearings were like Obamacare Repeal for the Forties. Now, it's true that there were a lot of "Obamacare Repeals for the Forties," but that just might lead you to a theory about the ineffectuality of American government.
The Economist,  13 September 1947
“More Controls” The House of Lords decided to convene itself and hear what the Government had to say about the economic crisis. The Government declined to say anything, and suggested that the Lords were having a snit. The Economist says that it wasn’t, and to illustrate the point, has a two-age snit.
“Priorities for Western Europe” The crisis is deepening, and “dollar reserves are almost exhausted,” and the French harvest is the worst since Napoleonic times, and strikes in northern Italy are threatening the rice harvest, and there won’t be more British coal, and there won’t be that much more Ruhr coal, even if things are improving there, and France can’t even get a $250 million loan from the World Bank, and there will surely be more negotiations and delays before American wheat aid starts moving, and the transportation system might not be up to handling it, and “A blood transfusion is of little use if the patient is already dead.” Some Americans are trying to cut back on the Paris programme. But the State Department is trying to speed it up, and perhaps Congress will move quickly in a special session. The Sixteen Nations need to band together, but everyone expects the Italians to put over a fast one, on account of the Italian vote in America. Most people think that the Sixteen Nations shouldn’t have a Purchasing Mission and a Priorities Board, but some people think that they should, and that the exporting nations should have Combined Boards, like in the war, and others think that the International Emergency Food Council and European Coal Community should be transferred to the United Nations. Others think that if the European nations can’t coordinate in the face of starvation and mass unemployment, they don’t deserve to survive.

“Before the General Assembly” General Assembly delegates like being on committees, and some of those committees might do something about Palestine, South African racism, British troops in Greece, Dutch troops in Java. Others think they oughtn’t, as this would be interference in the internal affairs of one country or another, except for Palestine, which isn’t a country. So, the moral of the story is, don’t be a country if you want the General Assembly to fix your problems. Although not being a country doesn’t mean that it will.
Good thing they're swarthy!

“Finding the Nurses” There is a shortage of nurses, as usual, and there is a working party investigating it, as usual. As usual, the results are that the shortage is due to increased demand for nurses, combined with the fact that, while recruitment is adequate to meet that demand, there is too much wastage. Nurses often leave the profession after only a few years. Many students fail, up to 37% of student nurses leaving in a year, and up to 56% in infectious disease hospitals, 65% in sanitoriums, and 85% in mental hospitals, most in the first year, and before final examinations. The student nurses say that the most important factors in causing them to leave were hospital discipline and the attitude of the senior staff. Further surveys show that many students ought never to have been accepted, being temperamentally unfit or lacking in intelligence. Of working nurses who leave the profession, about a third leave to get married, 2 to 3 percent retire, 5 to 15% leave for health reasons, and the remainder “resign.” It seems that the most important cause for this is bad working conditions, and a shortage of nurses makes those bad working conditions, worse. The working party was also struck that, twenty years after a previous party found discipline to be a problem, hospitals are still rigid and authoritarian, and the hospital matron and ward sister are still mean and cruel. Improving conditions will be difficult. The most important step would be to introduce three-shift working, but this would require 22—24,000 additional nurses at a time when the new health service will also increase demand. It is “possible” that 20,000 additional recruits will be found in the next few years, which will help, but given that the nation’s womanpower will fall by 53,000 by 1951, not enough.

Notes of the Week
“Bevinania” Ernest Bevin’s speech about bringing American gold back to Europe and an Empire Customs Union was so dumb that The Economist wants to talk about how dumb it was some more.
“Settlement at Grimethorpe” The strike at the Grimethorpe colliery is being settled, instead of spreading through the Yorkshire fields. Last year, The Economist would have done one of it’s “disappointed by the good news” stories. This year, it thinks that the moral of the story is that there is something wrong at Grimethorpe, and that the Coal Board should look into its management.

“New Policies for the Ruhr” The British and Americans have agreed on “satisfactory conclusions?” This really is a new Economist! It’s mainly satisfactory because the Americans are paying for it, but that’s the only way, so there you go. In other happy news featuring American money, the Greek Liberals and Monarchists have somehow formed a coalition to govern the country. Whether the American aid will be enough to stop the black market is another question. In less happy news, the Jews arrested at Haifa are now back in their refugee camps in Germany, and The Economist says that it was “casual thoughtlessness” to send them there, and that with 700,000 other Jews still rotting in German DP camps, Britain really should take a larger share of them, just to show willing. I wonder if there are any nurses?
“Counsels of Despair” The Economist thinks that the Zionists were taken aback by Britain’s refusal to continue to be the enforcing power in Palestine. Meanwhile, the “majority plan” for Palestinian partition is so extreme that Arabs are pleased to see that their case for a war over partition is strengthened. Apparently, they have hired Polish officers to train their own underground militias. If war is to be avoided in Palestine, it's up to America.

Then I lost a page to a blurred photo, although for the look of it, it is about British politics. Hopefully, it was all about as pointless as the “Statistics Without Food” note that explains that the World Food Council shouldn’t replace the International Committee on the Food Emergency just yet, because there is still Emergency, and no Food. Does “Southport,” and making wearing black shirts as a uniform a crime mean anything to you? (The last bit, at least, seems to be about Communists. Maybe they’re wearing Southport-coloured shirts to show that they’re like the old Blackshirts[?] Okay, I admit it. I should have double-checked, and telexed for another copy. Or wangled permission to go down to Honolulu to find my own copy.)
“Turks and Foreigners” America is very popular in Turkey, but the Turkish government is in trouble, with ministers resigning and junior coalition parties threatening to leave. This has a great deal to do with the fact that the proposed American aid package hinges on the Turks not allowing the “extreme expression of socialism,” per the ambassador, by which he means the state-controlled industries that employ so many Turks.
“Korean Deadlock” the Economist checks in to find that Korea is still divided between a communist, Russian-controlled North, and an American-controlled, capitalistic (sort of) South, and the Russians and Americans are still squabbling over what to do about it, and have no intention of asking anyone else to step in, as, for example, Britain and China, the co-signers of the original, Four Power agreement. The Americans are eager to be out, before the Koreans have a revolution and try to kick them out.
“Gambling with Grain” England has decided not to accept the American October grain delivery, to save on dollars, on the gamble that the English harvest will have enough to cover the country’s needs for now, and that grain prices will fall because, long breath here, American livestock slaughters are up this fall, leading perhaps to lower meat prices next year, leading to it being uneconomical to feed high-priced grain to livestock, leading to less livestock, leading to lower grain prices next spring.  If only all of that had been explained last week! Also, Britain might be getting a 55-million-bushelallocation from Australia, the first since before the war, due to Australia’swheat export being allocated to the Indian Ocean area under the wartime foodplan.
Apparently, another way of looking at it is a British guarantee of taking at least 28 million bushels a year at a good price, to maintain Australian markets and counterbalance Asian trade and give Australia leverage in the Japanese peace talks.

I’m going to combine two bits and a Shorter Note that I see as being about the same thing, give or take being entirely different. First, the Musicians Union has filed a protest at the ViennaPhilharmonic Orchestra coming to town to play an opera, because the CoventGarden Orchestra should get the job. It’s strictly a “formal” protest to maintain the right to grievance, but The Economist thinks that it’s terrible. Also terrible, according to scientists at the meeting of the British Association, is the training of modern scientists, who are all narrow-minded due to all that scholarship at the expense of taking classes in other fields to broaden their minds and whatnot. I don’t see it. “Five years ago, I couldn’t even spell ‘engineer,’ and now I are one!” The shorter note says that the unemployment rage in Britain is down to 1.5%, and impressive gains In the Depressed Areas show that the Board of Trade’s plan to provide alternate employment is finally paying off. Although the unemployment rates in Scotland, South Wales, and the north-east coast are still higher than in the London area.
Not the Vienna Philharmonic doing Mahler's Liede van der Erde at the Edinburgh Festival in 1947, but close enough.
 I missed a leader on “An Expanded Agriculture,” and several people write back. H.D. Walston, of Thriplow Farm, Cambridge, has an unlikely plan for using a new tax system to promote agricultural productivity. Henry Harrison thinks that it is necessary, because British industrial exports will never again pay for all the food the country used to import, since industry is starting up all over the world, cutting into British export markets. Jorian E. F. Jenks, of Walnut Tree Manor, Haughley, Suffolk, has an extended criticism of the editorial. He seems to agree with Harrison, that British industrial exports won’t do the job, and for the same reason: it is not the fault of the “British industrial consumer.” He goes on to criticise the leading article’s criticism of the Agricultural Bill. The only thing that seems interesting to us, as opposed to British farmers and the consumers who may or may not experience a falling standard of living due to higher prices of domestic food, is when Jenks points out that it is not certain at all that world food prices will fall in the near future. (If you’re still paying attention, the idea is that higher food prices will be balanced by greater income from a larger agricultural industry.) Eric Dodson writes that he has been to the former Italian East African colonies, and thinks that the Italians should be given a United Nations mandate for Somalia, because it is so backwards, and no-one there wants a union with Ethiopia, which was the other idea. Marjorie Nash, of 43 Hillfield, Monkseaton, Northumberland, has opinions about “premium days,” which are related to Bank Holidays, which are something they have in England.
So it turns out that, as annoying as Tolkien's politics might be ("Bilbo?" Srsly?), he's catching the rising tide. Not something you ordinarily think of conservatives doing. That being said, I'm sorry. The Aragorn of my childhood doesn't wear a permanent smirk.

From The Economist of 1847
Persons named Clapier, Reybaud, Bastiat and Lamartine spoke to a pro-Free Trade rally in Marseilles, France, and everyone had a grand time, because they are so wonderful, and Free Trade is so wonderful, and everything was wonderful. There was animated applause!

Professor Morris Ginsberg has rounded up some newspaper columns and essays he has done and entitled them Reason and Unreason in Society: Essays in Sociology and Philosophy, some of which are supposed to be good. A. M. Hourani has a book about minorities in the Arab world, which exist, and which complicate things, especially in Palestine (Christians) and Iraq (Sunni versus Shi’ah.) J. D. Ress, a doctor, has a book out in which he diagnoses Rudolf Hess as mad. Louis Marlio has a book about the aluminum cartel, while Ervin Hexner has one about international cartels. Cartels can be good when they promote trade, but are bad when they restrict it, and most end up restricting it, so that might mean that they are, on balance, bad. Or it might not. The Economist wishes that Hexner and Marlio didn’t repeat each others arguments so much, so that we could sort it all out.  
Fortunately, when we pretend to have no idea what was about to happen in 2004, no-one is going to call us on warnings like this.

American Survey
“Military Republic?” The coincidence of the Eisenhower-for-President boom with the American Legion convention “offers an opportunity to speculate on the extent to which the United States is becoming a military republic.” Then we're off on a long meander that stops at whether or not Eisenhower is a Republican, as he is from Kansas; the Navy ruling Guam; General MacArthur; too many classified documents; not enough Presidential press conferences; something called the Isaac Walton League; the size of the military budget; contracts with industry; the idea of spending 1% of the national income on training scientific manpower; and the fact that the country is “uneasy.” It concludes by asking whether Congress will Do Something, because it's time to end the article and start the next one.
“Power on the High Plains” The Rural Electrification Administration” is the best thing since electrically-toasted sliced bread. With less than 20% of farms electrified, the High Plains have a long way to go, but the new dams in the Rockies will provide “big power from the mountains.”
“Interim Aid” and “Exports Down Again” and a shorter note about the price of grains rising on the Chicago exchange in response to Marshall’s warning of “intolerable cold and hunger in Europe,” cover three aspects of the way that the European crisis is impacting America. Interim aid is good but bad in comparison to planned aid, and the slump has something to do with Europe’s failure to realise its own production goals, which might lead to rethinking current tariffs, but doesn’t; anyways, it might lead to “untoward developments before 1947 is through,” if it causes a general slump.
“Gathering up Steam for 1948” Campaigning for the Presidency is in full blast, because 1947 is more than half over. Also, Senator Bilbo has died. ‘One of the most hated senators,” he “exploited, consciously, to perfection, the ignorance and prejudice of the poor whites of one of the Union’s poorest states.” But, like Huey Long, he provided “bread and circuses.” Apart from the race issue, he supported the New Deal, and his likely successor, Rankin, is said to, unlike Bilbo, believe the rubbish he talks, sharpening the white supremacy issue in Mississippi.
John Stennis won the special election; Rankin came in fifth of five candidates, with 13% of the vote. Does anyone know if Geoff Crowther was in the States in the fall of '47?

“Rail Rates Plea” Ford’s 4% price increase is the latest evidence of the strength of inflationary forces, and the railroad wage concessions will be “one more turn of the screw.” Rail freight traffic is still at, or near, peak levels, and 1947 gross income is expected to top $8 billion, more than double 1939, but net income will not be much above $450 million, before the new wage concessions. This is why it is likely that the ICC will grant an emergency plea for higher rail rates, bringing rates to one-third higher than 1939, and maintaining operating revenue. The railroads are worried that a slump will led to a decline in car loadings and a loss of profitable long-haul traffic. Before we panic about another depression, though, the Economist reminds us that they have money in the bank. Under shorter notes, we hear about Representative McCann grabbing a witness by the throat at the House Committee on Education and Labour hearings, and that a large proportion of ex-servicemen will cash their Armed Forces Leave Bonds when they become negotiable on September 2nd. This is expected to stimulate the economy and add a further wrinkle to the inflation and “will there be a slump?” angles.
The World Overseas
“First Aid for France” France needs urgent aid before it falls apart due to the usual causes.
“Federation for the West Indies” Might be a good thing. Federation for the British West Indies would be a good thing. Coverage of the Latin American conferences going on right now establishes that there will be no Marshall Plan for Latin America, and that Latin Americans are nervous about American economic domination.
“Debunking the West” A conference of Soviet philosophers has produced a proceedings book (I’m told that’s what you call it when all the participants at a conference put their talks into articles and publish them under one cover) called Problems of Philosophy. At least as The Economist reads it, it is all about how the idea of “western philosophy” is rubbish, or that too much of western philosophy is rubbish, or, anyway, that Soviet philosophers should stop their “slavish devotion” to it. The implication seems to be that Stalin is just going to plain kill everybody. But doesn’t he always, at least according to The Economist?

The Business World
“Retreat from Convertabililty” I don’t know how to break this late-breaking news scoop to you, because it’s just so new and unexpected, but the Brits are retreating from convertability. (There is new news here, about an Anglo-Belgian agreement that might be a prototype for bilateral agreements in the soft currency zones, but I think the headline deserves a big old raspberry.)
“Overhauling the TUC” I’m sure this news about an AEU motion to the TUC about Grimethorpe will turn out to be the gravest and most momentous news I haven’t read, this year.
Business Notes
Stocks are down because all the aid flying here and there is “interim.” Coal and steel production is up, but the amount of coal actually raised is down, due to the Yorkshire troubles. The IMF and World Bank are concerned about world “disequilibrium,” but it’s not their job to do anything about it. Food prices are going up in America, and that may be due to the Marshall Plan. Meat supplies are short due to production in Western Europe being only two-thirds of the prewar total, and the Western European harvest is on track to be 35 million tons, 10 million tons short of the prewar level, and requiring 30 million tons of imports. Even the three-year projection is looking bad. (Compared to what I’ve been prepared for, two-thirds of pre-war production looks pretty good! But 30 million tons of grain is a lot of grain.) The Board of Trade is looking into whether “non-utility” prices need to be controlled. London is on tenterhooks over the plan to nationalise the Australian banks that it doesn't know anything about. The Swiss are curtailing their gold sale due to a declining positive trade balance due to declining tourist traffic. The world supply of edible fats and oils continues to be disappointing due to slow recovery of Far Eastern copra and palm oil, and the decline of the former Manchurian soy bean export, and of Western European butter and lard production. Only the Philippines copra industry is up, and it is expanding very quickly. It has been suggested that limits on whaling be temporarily removed.  British retail sales are up. Burmah Oil is still “admirably” struggling to increase Burmese production. Since there is the minor difficulty that the Burmese seem to want Burmah Oil gone as soon as possible, their “representations” in Rangoon are being watched by investors, who are counting up the money to be expected if Burmah Oil were liquidated, by reason of not having anything to have shares of, any more.
Aero Digest, September, 1947
Frank Tichenor thinks that we should be more airminded, spend more on the National Guard and Air Force Reserve, and that it was awful that General Chennault’s recorded address for Air Force Day was canned, when all he was saying was that Hitler was right. (Okay, I exaggerate, but you get the picture!)
“This is Our Birthday” Air Force Day means that there is an Air Force. Here is its table of organisation, in case you were wondering what the Deputy Chief of the Air Staff does.
Colonel Edwin E. Aldrin, Aviation Manager, Atlas Supply Corporation, “’Sky Merchant in Latin America” The “Sky Merchant” is a converted C-54 that flew down to Rio to sell air-related things.
Guest Editorial
George E. Scragg, “What of the Aviation Pioneers?” Years ago, before the war . . . If you were going to write a history of the early days of American aviation, you could do worse than round up this article and follow up on all the people that George Scragg used to know.
Just for the Record
Major Carl has still set a new world speed record. Ryan will start producing Navions soon. Sweden is subsidising its airline. The Poles are going to rebuild Warsaw Airport. Boeing is going to hold a high-altitude symposium. S. Paul Johnston is going to be executive director of the President’s Air Policy Commission. Frank Tichenor might have been either upset or happy to hear this. It’s hard to tell. Gander is to remain open as an international air port. Peru is opening an international airport, at Lima. Various new freight services have been started. Kodak has a new high speed film suitable for studying “swift, transient or blurred” motions. The CAA wants to hire 200 “qualified single men” as “aircraft communicators” in Alaska, starting at $3306/year.
Washington Information, with Richard Saunders
Congress has passed the Unification Bill and gone into recess. Various Congressmen are flying off on junkets that will take them to air-significant places such as Europe, Alaska and the South Seas. The moral of the Senate War Investigation Committee’s probe in to the Hughes F-11 is that waste is the natural result of waiting for wartime to buy weapons. As opposed to the thrifty practice of buying weapons for wars that won’t happen. . . Saunders thinks that the airport programme will eventually come around to focussing on the larger airports, just as the Federal highways programme came around to focussing on larger centres, and welcomes the appointment of John R.Allison to the position of Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Aeronautics
National Air Races Preview

Reaction-Powered Plans and Missiles
Aero Digest just can’t get a scoop. It’s sad, really. The top stories are the Boeing “500” and “502” turbines; and the Russian jets recently shown in Moscow. At least there’s a bit of new news. I didn’t know that Boeing is working on ramjets, too; and the talk is that the new Russian jet fighter has a top speed of 665mph and uses two axial engines based on the Jumo 004H, which is not very impressive compared with current American (J-35) and British (Metrovick F.5) practice. They might pursue the superior Jumo-012 or BMW-018 designs in the future, however.
In late British news, Aero Digest covers the Nene-equipped Tudor and Viking, and predicts that the first British turboprops will come next year, with a Miles Marathon with two Mambas, and a Hermes V with two Bristol Theseus units. It is also impressed with the Saunders-Roe flying boat jet fighter, and reports that Consolidated is working on a similar twin-jet flying boat fighter for the US Navy, which will have two Westinghouse 24C axial-flow engines, giving a design thrust of 3000lb, although current thrust is at 3500 and still going up, which is much better than the Metrovick F.2/4, taking into account the smaller weight and diameter. Bifuel rockets will appear in the next few years, for experimental purposes, at their New Mexico test range.
Actually, when the Convair Sea Dart finally does appear, it's going to be even dumber than the Saro SR A1.

The RCAF has set up a training school to instruct ground technicians on jet engines, as has the Air Force, at Chanute Field, Illinois. There’s a feature on new service jet planes that reports the XF3D-1, XP-85, XP-86 and XP-87 again, but also the XP-88, XP-89, XP-91 and XP-92 which are new on the Air Force side, and the Grumman XF9F-2 on the Navy side. It is using an imported Nene right now, which will be replaced in due course by the Allison J-40.
J. D. Miner, Mgr, Aviation Engineering Department, Westinghouse Electric Corporation, “A-C Systems for Large Aircraft” AC has advantages where current supply is drawn at large distances, as it may be supplied at high voltages, and stepped down by a transformer. These “long” distances are small enough that this advantage comes into play with “large” aircraft. Miner notes that Westinghouse used to supply an AC alternator and built-in-radio powered by a windmill generator, and that thousands of them were sold to the American services from WWI to 1939, when they were pretty much eliminated by parasitic drag considerations. These were the basis for the company’s experiments with AC generators on aircraft. However, before these could be successful, there needed to be a constant-speed drive from the engine to the alternator, and slip-clutches weren’t good enough. The Sundstrandhydraulic, constant speed drive, solves this problem. It has a free-wheel device to prevent back emf, and an accurate governor to maintain proper load division between paralleled alternators (presumably driven by separate engines?) Synchronising is done by hand, by the flight engineer. Various arrangements for driving dc motors at the auxiliaries from an ac supply are discussed, although Westinghouse would like to supply ac motors

“Marketing Bell’s Model 47” This is important to someone, just not to us, I think.
David H. Moore, Jr., “Aircraft Fire Extinguishers” This is a long and interesting article delving into the technical details and explaining why all the fire extinguishers are located where they are, and why they differ in design, from flood to jet configurations. Moore finally gives a cogent explanation for why, in an engine fire, the gasoline flow is cut off, but not the oil. He also puts the final nail in the coffin of the carbon dioxide versus carbon tetrabromide debate. Very interesting, at least to a worrywart like me.
It's good that aircraft engineers didn't ask grocery people where to locate the fire extinguishers, because I don't think they'd be able to fit cargo pallets of random dunnage..

Arthur A. Bursch, Sales Manager, Federal Aircraft Works, “Skis Broaden Aircraft Utility” I’m sure they do, although it is hardly accidental that Federal Aircraft Works makes ski undercarriages suitable for all types.
Aero Digest’s “New Products” feature(s) continue to be quite sad.

George H. Tweney, Department of Aeronautical Engineering, Wayne University, “Fuel Injection for Lightplanes: Precis of a Paper Given to the SAE War Material Meeting by N. N. Tilly of Studebaker” This is an interesting article that helps illuminate questions of interest for us largeplane operators, too. Fuel injectors have their advantages and disadvantages, with the former coming to dominate the latter, so we can expect more injectors in the coming years, at least up until the point where the internal combustion engine goes away. (Which obviously won’t happen with lightplanes.) The most interesting point to me is how Tweney explains the solutions to problems that fuel injector engines tend to have with cylinder wear, and related anti-knock and mixture distribution problems. 
In shorter news, General Eaker is stepping down, and the paper points out that the Great Circile route to the Orient means that you can effective fly northwest from Vancouver to the Orient. (Although Aero Digest cares more about Alaska.) 

“Ryan Rounds Out 25 Years” Ryan Aircraft, the long-established aircraft company that somehow didn’t get a single combat aircraft contact in the whole of the war, is now 25 years old, and isn’t desperate for business at all.
By Alan Wilson - Ryan XV-5B Vertifan 'N705NA'Uploaded by AVIA BavARia, CC BY-SA 2.0,

Helicopter Engineering with Alexander Klemin
Years ago, before the war. . . Specifically, the old Chance Vought V-173 “Flying Pancake” is the proof of concept that shows that the XF5U-1 will be the best thing ever. I’m not clear what it has to do with helicopters, but Klemin works cheap, and you get what you pay for. 
But even the Korean War can't save this magazine. It will prolong the agony, but we won't be visiting it.

The Brantly Helicopter” It looks like the 1945 Wild West days, when everyone had a helicopter in the back yard, are back. N. O. Brantley, a “weaving machinery expert,” has this coaxial type, with two counter-rotating props driven by a Franklin 6 giving 150hp. I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m positively eager to take to the sky in a helicopter with a single engine supplying power to two counter-rotating props through a transmission designed by a “weaving machinery” expert!
“GCA in the Control Tower” A brief explanation of the GCA installation for control towers, with a discussion of the role of the approach controller, which includes a microwave radar, a VHF Direction-Finding unit, and a 5’ CRT that displays the distance to every detected aircraft out to 30 miles on a screen with an azimuthal display. 
Look at this gleaming, high tech palace. What kind of Twentieth Cetntury superman could work here?

There is also a separate height-finding radar, just like the ones on the picket ships that used to drive Uncle George crazy.
What’s Up, And What’s Going Up?
A new feature reports the Bauman “Brigadier Two-Fifty” light transport, the proposed DC-9, a twin-engined DC-3 upgrade, the Mooney M-18 light plane, the new Taylorcraft Model 47, the Handley Page Hermes, Percival Mergansar, Cunliffe-Owen Concordia, and “Hafner-Bristol” helicopter. Also new in light planes is a Luscombe four-seater. Ryan is excited that its XF2R-1 “Dark Shark” made it to 39,160ft in less than 23 minutes during a routine test flight. Boeing’s XL-15 is doing well in early test flying, and the Consolidated 240 is a fine plane.
Next, Colonel Martin F. Scanlon explains Air Force Reserve Training
Takeoffs and Turns
For those who don’t like their plugs looking like they were ripped out of catalogues, Aero Digest promotes the AAF’s new facsimile equipment for aircraft in flight, the “semi-automatic vending machine” that issues tickets for American Airlines, the radar that now allows Capital Airlines DC-4s to clear the Blue Ridge, the AC Spark Plug Division of General Motors contract to supply starting plugs for the Allison Model 400 jet, the Army’s(!) Minneapolis Honeywell E-6 electronic control system for B-50 and B-36 bombers, the Thermoflex[?] blanket material developed by Johns-Manvill to insulate plane parts against exhaust cone heat in jets, the National Bureau of Standard’s wind velocity and direction indicator, Kollsman’s Synchrotel[?] remote-actuating system for aircraft and industrial instrumentation, the million dollar British in-flight refuelling trials, the exciting story of Plexiglas, as described in the new educational film, The Story of Plexiglas [24 minutes, if you  have time], by Rohm and Haas, and Lockheed’s new Air Cargo course. 

Paul Kollsman sold his instrument company in 1939, probably a good idea for a German immigrant with a growing stake in the military-industrial complex, bought a pioneering ski resort in Vermont, made even more money, got into the celebrity thing ( celebrities like skiing), and moved to Hollywood in 1945. The point of all of this is that he bought Frances Marion and Fred Thomson's fabulous "Enchanted Hill" mansion in 1945, and that the Wiki biographer really, really wants you to know that Paul Allen bought it in 1997, razed it, and has yet to redevelop the overgrown site. Shame!

Short separate features mention the Canadair DC-4M and Breguet 761.
And just to show that Aero Digest will feature just about any book in any catalogue that comes across its desk, this week’s “New Books” feature will order the Science Digest Reader, Fundamentalsof Naval Warfare and The Federal Labour Law: A Manual for you.
Harry W. Brown, “Design for Flash Welding” The point of this article is that the Bureau of Standards currently requires stress relieving or heat treatment after flash welding, which makes it an uneconomical way of welding joints in steel tubes and other parts. Brown believes that recent studies show that flash welding does not cause a reduction of fatigue and tensile strength, and that the requirement can be omitted. At least, if done properly. He explains how it is done properly in great detail. 
Link, if you want to follow up

Fortune, September 1947
There's a big story on motor racing. I think it's the postwar beginnings of the F1 circuit? I didn't follow up, but I do like the image of the big old Forties engine.

“Let’s Have Ourselves a Housing Industry” Both the builders and the unions think that Fortune is wrong about the construction industry. That means that Fortune is right about the industry being hopelessly backwards. Various builders are trying to fix that by being heroic captains of industry and applying Fordist practices of mass production. Senator Taft’s Taft-Ellender-Wagner Bill might also fix everything. [pdf] One thing is for sure; the only way to stop the socialisation of construction is to revive it, because even socialists don’t want to socialise up-and-coming industries.
When the housing start numbers were revised, Fortune's apology competed for space with The Economist's apology for hyping coal shortages.

George P. Hunt, “Honorable Discharge; Upon Twenty-One Survivors of Company K, U. S. Marines, It Bestowed Twenty-One ‘Veteran’s Problems’” Captain George P. Hunt sought out twenty-one survivors of his company, as of September 1944, and “brought back the stories of a score of men who are still not entirely lost to history.” It’s an interesting read, but until I’m convinced that Hunt chose the 21 men “scientifically,” it ain’t science.
“Eagle-Picher: The Lead and Zinc House Presents a Case Study in Industrial Transition” This month’s big company study covers a mining interest, which is definitely not part of Uncle George’s plan of covering  the American engineering industry and showing that investing in electronics is better than sinking our money into Uncle Henry’s zany schemes. So, if we’re still doing that, we don’t care about lead and zinc. Except, obviously, we do, because of our Trail interests. Eagle-Picher’s a bigger deal than Trail, though, because they don’t just mine. They make “downstream” products like paint, lead-in-oil, insulation and pigments.

John Jewkes, “Crisis According to Plan: The Advocates of Government Planning Promise Security: In Britain They Have Thus Far Delivered Endless Confusion” You know Jewkes’ letters to The Economist about how planning doesn’t work and the market is better, and Labour is awful? Because everything is bigger and better in America, in Fortune he gets a multi-page article to say the same thing.

Are you tired of John Jewkes? I'm tired of John Jewkes. Let's look at a pretty picture of lead-based paints, instead. 
The other big company profile is CIT Financial Corporation.
Grace has straight hair, not curly, and doesn't usually cook in heels,
but she does love the apron.
“Freezer Lockers: Four Million Frozen Food Lockers Hold a Better Diet for U.S. Farm Families and Home Gardening” Remember that article from ’43 about refrigerators and freezers and refrigerator freezers? I do, because it was one of the twenty-five articles Auntie Grace (Hi, Auntie!) made me read when I offered to take this project on. It suggested that the community freezer lockers were the main competition for home freezers. My impression is that home deep freezers are winning out, and that the lockers are going to be  a historical oddity, like chatauqua shows, before you know it;  That’s my excuse for not doing anything more with this article, and not the fact that I’m going out with the boys to Waikiki in an hour!

But I'll still make you look at this. Remember side-of-beef clubs?

“Horizontal Drilling: Leo Ranney Has a Bold New Strategy for Working underground: The Media Are Oil, Water, Shale, Coal, and City Pavements”
So it turns out that Ranney is just another inventor/promoter/patent troll putting one over on Imperial Oil and Fortune. On the other hand, one of the many coat-tails he tried to ride was the "tsunami bomb," to which I now have an excuse to link. This scenic beach in New Zealand is near where Thomas Leech of the University of Auckland tested his "seismic bomb" for destroying coastal cities and defences. Leo Ranney seems to have convinced himself that a conventional bomb could be big enough to produce a Japan-destroying tsunami. Leech ended up calling for two thousand tons of explosives in a "line," eight miles off the coast. I suppose that as an alternative to DOWNFALL, it is not without its attractions. . . 

Leo Ranney, a former Standard Oil engineer, has come up with a way of drilling underground, horizontally
Actually, he hasn't, because he hasn't even thought about how he's going to make that drilling chamber work.

Fortune is big on his schemes for underground gasification, but that’s not his only scheme. He also thinks he can provide cities with a bombproof water supply by building a web of pipes deep under busy streets, and that he can access the oil trapped in the vast shale beds of North America. His oil well has been held back, but demands for crude exceeding even wartime peaks may soon bring it out on a commercial scale. For example, Sarnia’s Imperial Oil refinery runs 45,000 barrels of imported American oil through the reactors every day, and also feeds the British Empire’s only synthetic rubber factory. It is situation on top of an old and exhausted oil play –and a shale bed that might yield 15 billion barrels of oil. That’s what you call striking it rich!

The surveying is important, but the problem
is going to be solved by Sperry gyro-
compasses, not Ranney's b.s.
As usual with American inventors, un-named European investors are lining up to buy his patent techniques over there, so Americans had better get into the action while they can. Maybe he can use it to tap tar sands in California or Alberta? Maybe he can use it to get at salt and potash in New Mexico and Saskatchewan. The possibilities are limitless! (But mainly oil.) Which is weird considering how much commotion digging up a street to lay water mains causes. If he has a solution to that, he’s rich, and that’s that. Makes you wonder. 

Didn't the Jetsons stay here once?

“That Hotel Boom” Hotels are doing big business, and expanding every which way. But, again, they’re not electrical engineering!
“What Road to Zion: In the U.N. Showdown, the U.S. Must Define its Attitude Toward a Historic Jewish Movement” Jews can’t agree on how to create Israel, so America should!
Shorts and Faces
Way back in 1946, American car makers made 120,000 more cars than they did bumpers, because of the sheet steel shortage. So, they shipped the cars out with wooden bumpers and promises of real, steel bumpers when they had them. The story of Nash, which had a 35,000 deficiency (more than a quarter of the total; Good work, Uncle Henry!)

is particularly “painful.” Nash ordered two successive substitute sets of rough, forged dies, but while heat treating them at its Kenosha plant, broke them. Another set came through heat treatment, was sent to a supplier in Milwaukee, which sent stampings to Detroit for finishing, then to Nash’s central parts depot in Milwaukee for installation on unsold cars or shipping to dealers, by which time all the cars with wooden bumpers had departed for the four winds, and the bumpers “began their pathetic wanderings in pursuit.”
“Airport Honky-Tonk” One upon a time, airports were where planes landed and took off, “more or less on schedule.” (Tell it like it is, Fortune!) Now, they are planning hotels and nightclubs and swimming pools and skeet ranges and midget-auto racetracks and branch banks. I think there might be some exaggeration there, but the point is that concessionaires furnish a third of gross revenues to major air terminals. “The second hundred million lets you pay for the first.” The bits about a finance company and the Los Angeles race track aren’t nearly as interesting. 
But there’s a great bit by a team of psychologist-business consultants demolishing the idea of the “natural salesman.” “Extroversion, aggressiveness, dominance and durable optimism are ‘characteristic of some of the worst salesmen I know,” says Dr. George K. Bennett of the Psychological Corporation. 

Then there’s a bit about gas station credit cards, which are taking off like anything, and the United States Testing Company, which . . . tests things.


No comments:

Post a Comment