Sunday, June 10, 2018

Postblogging Technology, April 1948, II: Accidents Will Happen Is Not An Excuse

R_. C_.

Dear Father:

I'm dashing this off before my Philosophy exam because my house sisters have told me that I'm not going to be allowed back in here after I'm done. Junior year is done! Give or take some German Romantic Idealists, and perhaps a dash of the Nietzsche and Heidegger for extra credit. So, in spite of my promises to catch you up on the gossip, all I can fit in (The screed below went on a bit, thus the cramped brushwork --why am I wasting space for apologies?), is this. You can tell that I'm excited. My digressions have digressions! So, to catch you up, I have found rooms for the  summer in the city. I will be living with Miss K., who has decided that she needs a room of her own, for reasons I will be interested in nosing out. (Cherchez l'homme!)  She won't be cutting the apron strings entirely, as her mother owns the building. It turns out that whatever you make of Ishi, he is good for the pocketbook!

This letter, as you know, is my last until October, as Reggie will be taking over for the summer. As he says, the only thing he'll be doing this summer is teaching a dog (FIDO) new tricks. Which is another way of saying, if he hasn't told you already, that he will be at Arcata, practicing ILS in a C-54. He's a bit disgruntled about flying a gooney bird, but glad there's room for extra fire extinguishers.

Far too much of this newsletter would be about politics this week, if I let it. Besides Stassen's win in Nebraska, Time and Newsweek are both at nerves' end over the Italian elections at press time. It all seems a bit distant now, although, who knows, perhaps the next Italian elections really will see the Red Menace sweep to the Channel. Stassen's "Paul Revere" riders look a lot like the GOP's version of Wallace supporters on the Democratic side, and are probably as clear a sign as any that Warren will not somehow take the Republican nomination, not that I ever expected that to happen.

Now, a little more about that. Newsweek's Moley had an interesting back page column about "dark horse" candidates in American politics, pointing out that no dark horse has ever won a second term, and that the last, Harding, was the worst of all, suggesting a downwards trend. The idea that Warren will sweep out of nowhere in July and take the Republican party in a progressive direction is actively a problem for the California progressives. (Not that the rise of men like Representative Nixon doesn't show that those days are behind it, whatever Grace thinks.) But! Warren isn't even the talk of the dark horse enthusiasts. That would be Vandenberg and, recently, Martin, especially after that recent stunt "settling" the coal strike. Polls show that both men have no base at all within the Republican party or the nation. Stassen is the progressive's best hope, and an illusory one. The Paul Revere Riders are just projecting their hopes on him, just as are Wallace's followers, although you mustn't tell Reggie I said so. The simple, boring reality is that if you want a progressive outcome in November, you have to back the President.

I know! I know! For a girl who cares not a penny for politics, I sure come off strong on this!

Of course Henry Kaiser pioneered aluminum siding. 

Yours Sincerely,

The Engineer, 16 April 1948

A Seven-Day Journal

Sir John Cockcroft has won the Ewing Medal Award. The Ministry of Transport is still working on getting Londoners to stagger their work times to reduce traffic congestion. So far, 94,000 people had changed their quitting time between the 5 and 6 pm periods, which is still a long way from the 120,000 needed to change from 5pm to 6pm. (There are more details. The ultimate scheme is for "uniform dispersal in every quarter hour between 4.30 and 6:30.") The Radioactive Substances Bill is proceeding through Parliament, as is the Development of Inventions Bill, which allows for the creation of the National Research Development Corporation, which will exploit inventions by Government and other public-financed organisations. Mr. Pascoe, speaking to the Ball and Roller Bearing Manufacturer's Association, pointed out that the industry had increased its employment from 12,000 to 18,000 in the last ten years, that it delivered 40 million bearings in 1947 and aimed for 50 million next year, and that the country imported very few bearings, and exported only 10%, for the maintenance of exported British-made products.

W. I. G. Muir, "Opencast Mining in the Rhine Brown Coalfield, No. II" The industry is very industrialised, with heavy steam shovels
running on temporary tracks,

 laid by track-laying machinery that also lay cable for electrically-powered equipment such as locomotives. I'm not sure that anything else needs to be said.

"Institution of Naval Architects, No. V, Continued" On 19 March, the Institute heard four papers that can be summarised in the space provided. Three were theoretical, and based on tank experiments, one, by Anthony Reid, discussed "The Temporary Hull Repairs to the Tanker Markay," which lost its forward bottom when it ran aground on Skye, was given temporary repairs at Swansea, and then crossed the Atlantic Ocean to America for final repairs. Most of the coverage is of the discussion, which was a bit caustic, as two commentators thought that the repairs had been wasteful, while the third thought the repairs had not really been given a serious trial.

"The Physical Society's Exhibition, No. II" Muirhead and Co. exhibited a portable acoustic strain gauge, which is very stable, free of drift, and easily operated and calibrated thanks to a need little bit of electronics. Another interesting piece was a potentiometer known as the Ipot, "developed during the war for application to computing devices for fire control and associated purposes, and  . . . now available commercially." It consists of a toroidal winding on a mumetal or permalloy ring, with a carbon roller, which produces a voltage that is the linear function of the angle of the contact arm. Two Ipots can multiply or divide any two input voltages. Foster Instrument Company exhibited a temperature control instrument that has excellent hunting control. (That's when the actual temperature "hunts" around the set temperature due to lags and whatnot. there's also a strip recorder to show actual temperatures.) Nalder and Thompson showed a "Vectormeter," which is a measuring instrument showing megawatts, megavars, power factor and current on a common dial. That's electrical power supply talk. British Thomson-Houston showed off some neat glass fabrications, including a hollow toroid suitable for a 20MeV betatron, and an exhibit of new glasses, including one that transmits ultraviolet radiation, and another that reduces it. Furzehill Laboratories showed off a stabilised power pack suitable for radio laboratory work. GEC had a neat new wattmeter, an accelerator tube for Van de Graff generators, and some colour-modified, compact source discharge lamps that can be used to shoot colour movies with less electrical preparation in terms of laying grounding cables and such. Marconi has a cathode-ray infrared spectrometer made for Anglo-Iranian, which needs it to detect hydrocarbons and exhaust gasses.

It's more elaborate than it sounds.
"District Heating: Institution of Mechanical Engineers" The title isn't very clear, but this is the discussion from an Extra General Meeting of the Institution that head "District Heating," by A. Stubbs. Stubbs described a district heating system that provided heat and hot water for a town of 250,000 people, drawn up based on figures from 1938. The discussants are skeptical, bringing up the problem of matching up with the Grid, where there is a problem of power loading, the fact that engineers tend to underestimate heating requirements, the problem of extending the scheme to new buildings and applicants; and various concrete difficulties in places where it is actually used, such as New York, where the needs of electrical generation produced considerable waste steam as far back as the 1880s. New York's public utility just sells steam, leaving it to landlords to decide whether they were heating their apartments enough.


The leaders are discussions of how the British engineering institutions serve their members, and whether the press is getting enough paper to support manufacturing exhibitions in their vital work of producing boring articles for The Engineer. Wait, I mean, selling British goods abroad.

W. B. Wrague, of Ledloy, Ltd., writes on the recent article in Metallurgical Topics that seemed to represent lead-bearing steels as something less than the answer to all life's problems. He points out that a chart was mislabelled, putting the article in doubt.  W. A. M. Allen, secretary of the Engineers' Guilds, has similar concerns, only about a critical letter about the Engineers' Guild.

"Batching Plant for Glass Manufacture" Pilkington Brothers has a new batching plant. There are many pictures  of the equipment in their new batching plant.

"Coal in France" File this under France out of the doldrums, although not entirely,as France fell short of the Monnet Plan goal of 52 million tons by almost 10 million, and had to import 18 million tons, mostly from America. This was still only 80% of 1938 production. Estimates for production in 1948 are 63 million tons, a modest increase in spite of increasing productivity and mechanisation, with total resources used to be 75 million tons, with hopefully more of that coming from the Saar and Poland, and less from America.

"Coal Face Lighting Panel" GEC has developed a very nice unit with an output of 2.5kA at 110V, designed to operate on 440V, 550V and 600V systems. It is compact, skid-mounted, as a welded-steel enclosure and flameproof seals, and weighs 114lbs.

"The Nationalised Electricity Supply Industry" Several statements in Parliament clarify the Government's approach to nationalising the industry.
"Cunard White Star Liner Parthia" The fourth postwar liner to join Cunard White Star Lines was designed by Goodwin Hamilton and Adamson, of Liverpool, carries 250 passengers, has 400,000 cubic feet of cargo capacity, 60,000 refrigerated; is a steam turbine ship (steam at 430lbs, 750 defrees F) with helical double reduction gearing and economisers; has CO2 smothering fire equipment; and is suitable for a leisurely seven day Atlantic crossing, which is a nice way to say that it is a slow ship forrich people.

"Electronic Process Timer" Electro-Methods, Ltd, has what seems to be a very accurate timer. There's a circuit diagram of the timing circuit. It is 5" by 6", which seems big for an alarm clock, but, then, I don't have to time industrial processes, so what do I know?

Continental Engineering News

The Swedes have opened the Namforsen power station and dam on the Angerman River in northern Sweden. Three others are still being built. The Dutch Ministry of Reconstruction reports on the slow process of restoring communications throughout the country. Aside from "innumerable" small bridges, 19 long highway bridges were destroyoed during the war. Seven have been permanently rebuilt, while the remainder are temporarily restored with Bailey trusses or pontoon bridges. The state road between Arnhem and Nijmegen is now restored, and others have been rehabilitated. The dykes of Walcheren have now all been rebuilt, and 1000 temporary dwellings erected on the island. A huge fleet of tugs, barges, draglines and smaller equipment were required. Reconstruction also continues in Italy, Belgium and other countries. Italy in particular has seen many new bridges built, in some cases with steel spans replaced with reinforced concrete due to the shortage of steel.

Industrial and Labour Notes

British  iron and steel production hit new records during March in spite of the holiday, reaching an annualised production of 15,117,000 tons. Wage stabilisation continues to haunt the nation. The new export target is 150% of the 1938 volume, down from 160% due to a steel shortage, although there is some variation between price and tonnage targets due to inflation. Europe's manpower shortage has been slightly eased by the continuing raw material shortage.

French Engineering News 

France has increased its oil refining capacity from 3.2 million tons in 1946 to 7 million in 1947, and, because of underutilisation, doubled its actual output of refined oil. Steel production is up somewhat. Le Havre now has the most powerful radar on the continent, capable of detecting a trawler at 60 miles distance. SNCF continues to increase its locomotive force and rolling stock, although there was a fuss in the Assembly over there being too many locomotives vis a vis cars.

Notes and Memoranda

Various things are up, Charles Bolton, late of the Great Western, has retired. The Royal New Zealand Navy is going to keep a cruiser and six destroyers in active service. British coal reserves are estimated at 42 billion tons, enough to last two centuries at current rates. The Government is going to introduce a scheme to control glass and cement in the summer, in consultation with industry, to release some for export.

Time,  19 April 1948


Matisse had a feature in the Art pages while we were away. Fiske Kimball (which is a real name), the Director of the Philadelphia Museum of Art loved it. Plain-spoken Laurence E. Shapiro of Waterbury, Connecticut, hated it. The picture of HUAC in their fedoras reminded both readers who wrote in of gangsters. Several writers with an inside view of Avon Old Farms school have a very low opinion of the fabulistic Mrs. Riddle, who drove staff to nervous breakdowns and never once bought a cow worth $60,000. In fact, she was offered a record cow (19,741 milk, 1,212 fat) for $20,000 in 1926, and turned it down, says Louis McL. Merryman. Sam Young, of San Francisco, relates a gruesome story his son, Mike, made up, and asks just how certain Dr. Wertham is that comics are the source of all of this gore. Earle Browder forwards a letter from Eugen Tarle, who is upset about being misrepresented by Time. The editor sticks to his guns, because Tarle is a Communist, talking through "his Astrakhan hat." Communists are Russians, you see. The Publisher's Letter talks up Times' newsreel series. Documentary newsreels heal the sick, raise the dead, etc. (Almost literally, in the case of one pastor, who shows them to his congregation and to increase donations to help the needy in faraway places.)

"The Nation" It is May, and time for one of those Time essays again.

The land is strong!
Dewey's complexion is quite
noticeable in contrast with
Taft and Stassen. 
Peach trees bloom in Oklahoma, Bermuda grass turns green, sunbathers head for the long Pacific beaches, the circus plays Madison Square Gardens. Warm sun, cool winds, winter wheat showing emerald, black earth turned for next month's cotton planting, national income running $215 billion. People are getting used to the postwar dream world of televisions and home laundries. The ERP is about to add $5.3 billion to $15 billion in aid sent abroad since the war. Americans have no truck with communism. "The American public is rapidly qualifying for the title of the least isolationist and self-absorbed of peoples."

In recent news, there's an election on.

"The People's Strategists" Congress has been hearing about defence this week. UMT and an increase in army strength find few friends, but Stuart Symington's direct appeal to Congress for a 70 group air force, over the President's head, has appeal.

"Who's Who in the GOP Taft" Senator Taft is the son of a President and the heir of the House of Taft. He looks more like a college professor than a politician, "lives quietly in a 26 room house in Georgetown," plays golf, opposes the Nuremberg trials, the New Deal, taxes, David Lilienthal, price controls, the UN, UMT and politeness. "It is dishonest to be tactful," he says.

"Man in a Hurry" Paul Hoffman, President of Studebaker, came tearing back from Japan, where he was doing a Far Eastern economic survey, to be head of the Economic Cooperation Administration after a quick nomination hearing shepherded through by Senator Vandenberg.

"Top Secret" A tiny corner was lifted off the atomic security curtain when the AEC invited Congressional members to see an atom bomb test on Eniwetok Atoll. Hawaiians, who watched Atomic Task Force Seven steam west a month ago, think that the initial phases of the test might already be under way. As Newsweek points out, the announced Eniwetok blast will mark the sixth atomic bomb known to exist. The question that the Russians want answered is, presumably, how many more of them are there. In Presidential news, the President received the Regent of Belgium, Charles-Theodore-Henri-Antoine, Meinrad, Count of Flanders, and the prime minister, Paul-Henri Spaak.

Not really news is restiveness about Truman's nomination, and, related, enthusiasm for Wallace. Who is a Communist, we're reminded. Which is why "Communist-line radio commentator William Gailmor," Rexford Tugwell (which is a real name) and Paul Robeson like him,.and why he raised almost $60,000 in Chicago. In Tulsa, voters elected Roy Lundy to be mayor, because he is loud and old; while in Milwaukee they elected Frank Ziedler, because he is young and Socialist.

"The Wobblies March Again" After The New Republic printed a story by Wallace Stegner saying that Joe Hill really was guilty of murder, the Wobblies picketed their editorial offices, leading editor Michael Straight to make fun of the fact that the Wobblies still existed, I don't get it. I thought that The New Republic was a progressive magazine.

Americana reports that the AEC has offered a bonus of $10,000 to anyone who finds a new US deposit of high grade uranium, on the delivery of 20 short tons. The star attraction at the Ringling Bros. and Barnum circus is Unus of Vienna, a "gravity defying equilibristic wonder."


"How to Hang On" I don't know if you've heard, but there's an election on in Italy.

It's important.

No, no, history repeats as farce, not parody. 

In a roundup of Communist-trouble making elsewhere in Europe, Time covers the Gatow accident, which the Russians first apologised for, and then reversed themselves on. Now the British-Russian inquiry into its causes has gone a bit off the rails. After the roadblocks earlier, now taken down, the latest Russian demand is that Allied cable maintenance teams withdraw from the Russian zone, cutting off landline communications with Berlin. Pravda says that Russian oysters are better than British oysters, which is silly Communist talk, and an excellent story to come before the recent collapse of the "Protocol M" story, which was about an alleged Cominform blueprint for a Communist-led general strike in the Ruhr. Now the New York Time's chief European correspondent, Cyrus Sulzberger, reports that, according to a completely reliable source, it has proven to be a complete forgery. The British government is embarrassed, and you would think that anti-communists would be embarrassed. However, Time reports, this illustrates that this is the era of the Big Lie (due to Communism), which is why a network of forgers and falsifiers are feeding these supposedly secret documents to embassies, intelligence offices, ministries and newspaper correspondents, on both sides of the Iron Curtain.

"Cripps and Soda" The nice thing about Time is that it takes a moment to explain what's going on. The fuss in The Economist was over the Chancellor's two-and-a-quarter hour Statement on the Budget. Time finds if funny that he refreshed himself with orangeade spiked with honey rather than the customary alcoholic fortifier. There is grim satisfaction in the $1.2 billion he is taking out of the economy (the surplus, remember the surplus?) to counter inflation. He did not increase the business tax or put a ceiling on dividends, or tax capital gains, but  he did levy his special tax on rents, dividend and interest that has The Economist livid. Time uses the example of Lady Mountbatten to show that she is going to have to dip into her funds to pay the special levy, which is why it is, in effect, a capital levy, even though he says it isn't. (It isn't if you also have an earned income to pay it.)

"War for the Jerusalem Road" Time's correspondents report on the ongoing battle for strong points along the road from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem that allow the Arab militia to attack Jewish food convoys on their way to the city. The Arabs even have a "105mm Schneider howitzer," while the Jews have been using a biplane to bomb Arab positions. There are British deserters on both sides, and, elsewhere, a combination of Irgun and Stern Gang fighters massacred more than 200 Arabs at Deir Yesin, blowing up huts with demolition charges, besides the already-reported arms raid on that British army camp where Irgun fighters murdered four British troops. In Jerusalem, Sheikh Yassin el Bakri, "leader of some of the Old City's Arab forces," expects the Jews to surrender in three months, "solving the Palestine problem."  The UN is trying to arrange a truce, which will allow it to implement its current, trusteeship plan.

"Red Flowers for China" The Ching Ming Festival is on, as the Communists advance, taking the temple of the tomb of the Yellow Emperor in Chungpu, Shensi Province this week. In the National Assembly, Generalissimo Chiang reluctantly accepted the Koumintang nomination for President, even though he would prefer to be at the front, fighting, where, he had to admit, recently seven of the best Koumintang divisions were recently destroyed in Manchuria. However, with his new strategy of "big eat little," the Gitmo guarantees taht within six months he will annihilate the Communists. Time finds that completely credible, given the way that men are flocking to the Komintang's banners, and the $463 million in US aid on the way. His audience, however, "erupted in pandemonium." They think that just because the Communists are sweeping all before them, and with wealthy citizens of Tientsin selling their belongings for wads of paper money in hopes of earning enough to flee south, that the picture is "dark and doubtful."

"The Gensui Has Sokojikara" The Japanese are enthusiastically backing MacArthur for President. If I were Japanese, I would encourage the General to go try being a living god somewhere else, like Wisconsin.

In Latin America, the Ninth International Congress of American States blew up after "Jorge Eliecer Gaitan, rabble-rousing leader of Colombia's Liberal Party," was shot in the street. Riots followed, buildings were burned, stores looted; soldiers hunted snipers. Colombia's premier thinks that the assassination was a Communist provocation, and Time seems to agree, without quite saying so. The Communists were too well prepared to take advantage of the disorder, you see. Newsweek, with the advantage of another week, perhaps, points out that Gaitan was killed in a personal quarrel. Time, which says that the assassin's battered body was unrecognisable, may or may not be aware of that. Also in Latin violence, Costa Rica is having a revolution.


Time is hopeful that the bull market will return soon. At the Department of Agriculture, Clinton Anderson tells the press that the sixth bumper, billion bushel wheat crop in American history is in sight, with 860 million bushels of winter wheat expected, after the drought-afflicted fall planting recovered under a  heavy snow blanket, plus 272 million bushels of spring wheat. While still 232 million bushels under last year's record crop, it is only a few million bushels below 1946's second-highest historic crop. There is, however, some stirring of bad news due to a shortage of feed grain held by farmers, with corn at 849 million bushels, down 427 million from last year, and oats down 23%. Futures on feed grain edged up next day on the news, and traders hope that the shortage of deef grains puts a floor on prices. The Administration is also allowing the wheat export to go up by 16 million bushels to 466 million, 66 million more than the target from last fall, when the world was ending. 

"New Tool" Advertisers are still trying to sort out the best way of using television, which ihs growing rapidly, and which can shoulder radio aside, even with its bad shows.

Ronnie wants. 

"First of Three" Ford showed the first of its 1949 models, the fabulous 1949 Lincoln Continental. I clipped the picture from the proof and took it down to show it to Old Unreliable, let it know that it was due for the knackers once my ship comes in, if it doesn't stop knocking around. Mercury and a 1949 Ford will follow next week, while in New York Renault made its bid for the American market with a four-cylinder, 19hp engined small car that gets 55 miles to the gallon. Speaking of possible war criminals, the Krupp brothers were acquitted by a military tribunal in Nuremberg this week, unlike an assortment of SS officers.

State of Business reports that the CAB has granted a 25% mail-rate boost tot he domestic airlines, that the RFC's reauthorisation cut its lending power doen from $2 billion to $1 billion, that employment is up, although still down 2.75 million from last July's peak, that Macy's just had its first million dollar day in a spring season, although the retail trade had a post-Easter drop of 3% to 7% over last year. General Mills, which shut down its plant in Buffalo because of low demand, will start up again at 50% capacity next week. It blames high prices and government red tape holding up export licenses. Lee Rubber and Tire has cut prices by about 15% to compete with the big three, and has announced a new line of "second-grade quality tires." There ought to be a law!

"Icy Waves" Time sent someone down to the national cosmetics show at the Grand Central Palace. Massage machines are big this year, with vibrating cushions and foot rests. Home permanent wave kits are the coming thing, with Recall Drugs now introducing its own line to compete with Montgomery Ward and Gillette, which bought out Toni.

Science, Medicine, Education

"The Shape of Man" Physical anthropologists used to use skulls to explore humanity through physical characteristics. This week, the American Association of Physical Anthropologists heard a paper by Dr. Victor E. Levine, of Creighton University (which is a real university), who used blood tests, instead. Specifically, he discovered that Eskimos have the same blood type as neighbouring Indians, showing that they are not, as has been supposed, descendants of Europe's ice age population or recent immigrants from Siberia. C. Wesley Dupertuis, of Presbyterian Hospital, New York City, has found that people who have lots of muscle, have lots of blood. Dr. R. E. G. Armattoe, of Londonderry, Northern Ireland, has discovered that bald men tend to be more intellectual, and that therefore the smartest nation in the world is the baldest, meaning Swedish men, 70% of whom go bald before 40. Dr. Armattoe also investigated female mustaches, and discovered that they are far too common and That Something Should Be Done that doesn't involve tearing them out with tape. Yes, I made the last part up. I don't care. It's what it's in my head now, and I am cheering boisterously. Hear! Hear!

"New Jobs for Radioactivity" Arthur D. Little, Inc., of Cambridge, Massachusetts, recently did a study of the sulphur in steel for the steel industry. The industry wants to keep sulphur out, but also wants to know whether using low-sulphur coal is worth the cost, given that sulphur can enter steel from other sources. Using radioactive isotopes, the study found that the sulphur in steel does get into it from all sorts of sources, and not just coal. Other applications of isotope studies to steel are possible.

Leaving aside the people who can't wait to be radioactive
"Feel Better Now?" The Army Medical Corps thinks that people are getting too jittery about the atomic bomb. For example, they think that, due to the effects that radiation has on the genes, the carriers of heredity, an atomic war will produce a race of monsters. In reality, there's nothing to worry about, as all of the mutants will be stillborn. Yes, radiation will cause your hair to fall out, but it will grow back, if you live; and you probably won't, if you're too close to the bomb, and you will, if  you're far enough away, although more blood banks and possibly a drug called rutin may help. The only real medical problem will be getting rid of all the bodies!

"The Hiding Place" Medicine has been trying to understand where malaria hides in the body between the points where the plasmodium parasite is introduced by mosquito bite, and the active infection that follows, days later. Now, British doctor, Henry Edward Shortt, may have found the answer by dissecting rats and surgically excising part of the liver of a mental patient about to receive an intentional infection, which is apparently good for crazy people. It's in the liver. I bet you guessed where that was going.

"Little Black Box" By measuring electrical activity in the brain, Dr. Robert G. Grennell of Yale believes he  hs found a way of diagnosing schizophrenia, although he still needs to find out how age, sex and pregnancy affect the readings.

"Sure Way to Immortality" Time very briefly profiles Henry Edwards Huntington, who inherited a fortune, made another, and married a third, and who was still working eighteen hours a day in 1910, when he donated vast amounts of money to the new Huntington Library, which is the real subject of an article about its new director, John Ewart Wallace Sterling.

"We Accept . . . " Various disruptions of recent birthday celebrations at Charles University in Prague showed that people were resisting Communist rule.

The Press, Art, Radio, People

"The Price of Freedom? William Raphael McCabe, editor of the Illinois Spectator was beaten by unknown assailants the other night, while the three Georgia newsmen who crossed the Klan in Columbus have been beaten, as the authorities have decided that they cannot win a case against the Klan for attacking them. Stories follow True magazine's bid for respectability, in spite of being published by Fawcett, the publishing house behind Captain Billy's Whiz Bang, Erik Reger of the Berlin Tagesspiegel, a good German reporter, and Bill Benton, who, like any good reporter, gave a blistering anti-communist speech to the Anglo-American Press Association, accusing the Russians of being liars. Tass and Pravda accused him of being biased. 

The art section has a brief story about Lawrence Kupferman, best known for painting Victorian mansions, and another on a showing of Vincent Van Gogh's late paintings at the Metropolitan

CBS Television premiered Lucky Strike's Tonight on Broadway on Tuesday. The idea is that television will show Broadway hits in a new way, since it can do interviews and go backstage. Viewers found that part a bit boring. Next week they will try The Heiress, and hopefully do a bit better.

Edgar Rice Burroughs, Sacha Guitry, and C. E. M. Joad have all been in traffic court over one thing or another. The Times Literary Supplement has a bad review of Eugene O'Neill in its latest issue. Walter Winchell's daughter has divorced. Danny Kaye and Gene Tierney have both ended their trial separations and returned to their spouses. Princess Margaret is not engaged to either Prince George of Denmark or the Earl of Derby. Maria Jeritza has married for the third time, Roland Young for the second, both at 60. Frances Dodge Johnson, the Dodge heiress, has divorced her husband, who was also her stable manager, after ten years of marriage and one child. John Bain Sutherland has died at 59 after a brain tumour operation, as has another old sporting hero, Perry Titus Wells Hale, a Salvation Army general, Morgan partner Thomas Sovereign Gates, and Robert Lee Williams of Oklahoma's supreme court.

The New Pictures

Time's opinion of Paisan seems to be an
Paramount has a thriller that sounds a bit broader than the noir fashion, The Big Clock. Reggie and I have set a date. No, not that date, you silly. To see the movie! With so much studio money stranded in Europe, it is not surprising that Rosselini's Paisan and "To the Victor" (Warner) are making it over here. Time didn't like Paisan, as it was too "sycophantic" to Americans, although it thought the part with the amateur Negro actor capering around was good, and if Maria Michi is prettier than Carmela Sazio, the boys might find something to like. Delmer Daves' attempt to direct a Hollywood-style movie in Paris doesn't come off well, either.


Time reviews a book by Virgil Jones about America's best known family feud. (No, not the Cooks against the Sungs, silly boy, the Hatfields and McCoys.) Sounds tragic. Then Time lines up its favourite subject (no peaking, yes, anti-communism, how did you guess), with Jerzy Gliksman's Tell the West, which is about that time he was in a Soviet prison camp because he was a Polish socialist, and how it was awful, and how the prisoners who didn't get out died horrible deaths, because of Communism. (I didn't even bother bringing it up with Reggie, because I already knew that he would counter with that prison yard fusillade in Georgia, with Sherriff's men gunning down an unarmed chain gang. I try not to get him worked up about that sort of thing, for fear that he'll flip his lid around his superiors. Yes, that is meant to qualify as me apologising for that row we had about me "encouraging him" and endangering his career. I repeat. I'm sorry.) And since that isn't nearly enough anti-communism for one page, Time goes on to review a spy thriller by Humphrey Slater, Conspirator, and a book by Max Eastman, who used to be a socialist, but who now works for Readers Digest, which Time didn't like, because Eastman is so involved. Also, the personal papers of Anton Chekhov have been published in an edition by Mathew Johnson, which is interesting for those who find these things interesting.  

Flight, 22 April 1948


"A Good Beginning" and "The Fate of the Flying Boat" Flight is at the bedside, holding the flying boat's hand and arguing with the doctor, which is awkward, because the funeral parlour closes at six.

"The Miles Tragedy" Flight hopes that the Miles family will remain in aviation, and is glad that the Marathon will be produced by Handley Page, instead.

"Meteor's Stable-mate: An Expose of the Nene-Powered Gloster E.1/44" It is now permissible to describe the single-engined, Nene-powered Gloster fighter prototype, nick-named "the Ace." A pretty plane with some interesting features, such as dive-recovery flaps, served by a Dowty Live-Line hydraulic pump powered from the gear box. Another gear box compressor fills the pneumatic air bottle, which supplies the wheel brakes, and yet another gearbox auxiliary drives a 1500W HX2 generator that provides 24v power for all electrical services, including "two-way radio."

"Gyrodynes and Fireflies" More pictures from Flight's visit to White Waltham include pictures of the Gyrodyne and the Firefly V, which has been developed for fighter-reconnaissance, night-flying and anti-submarine duties, which brought Uncle George to a mood and how! The fighter reconnaissance variant has the same radar as the Mk IV. It is equipped for beam approach. The night fighter variant has a radio altimeter and a tail-warning radar. The ASV version has the same radio and radar installation, and "special submarine detection apparatus in the form of 'sono' buoys beneath the wings and fuselage." Uncle George says he has a hard time imagining how the vacuum tubes in the sonobuoy could possible be tough enough to survive water impact when dropped from a fighter, and tells a long story about the old Skuas blowing themselves up with their own anti-submarine bombs in the early days of the war.

"Fratricidal Follies" The School of Naval Air Warfare laid on a field trip for No. 14 Carrier Air Group, with some Vampires and Meteors of 11 Group Fighter Command invited along. 14 CAG consists of 44 Hornets, Firebrands and Seafires. They were not intercepted by the Meteors, due to control errors, although some Vampires made a pass a little later. The navy lads went on to beat up the naval air base at Ford, then landed, had lunch, and did it again. The weather was very nice, and Flight had a fine time.

Pretty, but vicious.

Civil Aviation News

The ABA strike is over. Sir Frank Spencer Spriggs, Managing Director of Hawker Siddeley and Sir Roy Dobson, have chartered BSAA Tudor Star Panther for a flight to South America to show that they still have full confidence in the plane. BOAC, BEA and BSAA have decided to form an Airlines' Committee to have opinions about new planes. Runway extensions are continuing at Prestwick. The Star Tiger Inquiry is being organised. Keflavik Airfield has handled 928 movements and 16,000 passengers in the last nine months, of whom only 4500 were flying into Iceland, and 2600 flying out. A Pan American Constellation has crashed at Shannon on a routine flight from Karachi to New York. Visibility was 2 to 3 miles, although fog reduced that to about 250ft in patches. The cloud base was given as 400ft. The Constellation overshot, then attempted to make a first landing by ILS, but struck  a 3ft stone wall with its extended undercarriage. "At a point further on, the port engine was torn out and the petrol tanks were punctured. After skidding along the ground for a further 250 yards, the aircraft came to rest and almost immediately the petrol tanks exploded and the aircraft was burnt out." Of the 26 passengers and six crew, there was only one survivor, who slipped out through a hole in the floor. The plane was in normal contact with the tower within a minute of the accident, and no mechanical trouble was reported. Also in Ireland, a Lancastrian[!] chartered to fly milk(!) from Belfast to Speke, swung off the runway at Nutts Corner while taking off and struck the south bank of the River Cromlin. Although it caught fire, none of the five crew were killed, although the injured first officer had to crawl away smartly. At the time of takeoff, visibility was between 50 and 100 yards, and the pilot was assisted by instruments, and his compass may have deviated due to proximity to the milk canisters, although a contributing factor was loss of control in the switch from instrument to visual flying. Air Commodore Primrose has left his position as director of helicopters at the Ministry of Civil Aviation. He remains interested in helicopters, and denies all rumours that he left the Ministry on bad terms.

Roy Pearl, "Trans Canada with TCA" Trans Canada flies 85 daily services, and Pearl decided that a flight from Montreal to Vancouver via Winnipeg in bitter winter weather would be the best way to see the way that TCA sees Canada. Lunch at Dorval Airport was ham and eggs, and was delicious. The first step on the flight from Montreal was, as you know so well, Ottawa, then Toronto, where Malton Airport is growing rapidly out into the flat country around, perhaps even reaching Toronto, a mere 17 miles away, some day. Toronto actually has more movements than London Airport, although passenger traffic is the same. Passenger handling is currently done in a temporary wooden building, although permanent buildings are planned, and ILS is being installed. From Toronto, the route goes northwest to Sault Ste. Marie, which is in the United States, but, just as you relate, a Customs official and an American policeman button up the plane with stern glares and no patience with prospective international incidents due to ham-and-egg enthusiasts hoofing off for the bright lights of the (American) Sault. What might be happening to the cargo, we leave to you, sir, and your friends at TCA. TCA avoids long overwater flights with its Dakotas, which fly on radio range corridors, and this means a dog leg to Fort William-Port Arthur, another 2 --2 1/2 hour stage. The airfield is located in the shelter of a 1000ft hill, and is a challenging landing under Radio Range conditions. From the Lakehead field to Winnipeg was a bumpy ride through blizzards, climbing to 12,000ft to avoid blizzards, landing early in spite of a 2h 40 min stage after making time earlier, and finding Winnipeg at 11pm and 24 below zero, fondly Farenheit. Twenty minutes later, the Dakota took off for Vancouver via Regina, Swift Current, Medicine Hat and Lethbridge. Winnipeg handles 5000 passengers a month, and has permanent buildings similar to Ottawa, as well as TCA's headquarters and maintenance base. On 1 June, the North Star will begin transcontinental services, two pressurised daily services, although the Dakotas will continue to fly the route through the intermediate airports. TCA handled 400,000 passengers last year, and may triple its capacity in the coming year. TCA does not feel there is enough traffic for a trans-Pacific route to Australia yet, but it has a (temporary) Japan service, and may start flying to the Aleutian islands soon. TCA technicians are very polite about their Merlins.

This picture of snowbound Winnipeg city busses is from 1966 rather than 1948, but it's what pops up. TCA seems pretty hair-raisingly backward, even by 1948 aviation standards. On the other hand, it looks like the only way to avoid winsomely ill-considered design errors is to fly the oldest airliner you can find, so there's that.

After snow-clearance teams cleared the runways, Pearl resumed his Vancouver-bound journey at a ground temperature of -42 degrees Fahrenheit. Eight thousand tons of coal are needed to heat the terminal buildings each winter, and the Dorval snow clearance force numbers 280 men, with one enormous "Walter Snowfighter" costing $51,000. The Dakotas are flown by two pilots, and a stewardess completes the crew. Since no navigation is required thanks to the Radio Ranges, no W/T is carried, and a HF and two VHF frequencies suffice to keep it in radio contact. Range is 100 miles, and "reception is normally clear and distinct."

Casual Commentary

Robert Carling, "Why Build Non-competitive Civil Aircraft? We Must Produce World-beaters or Nothing: The Problem of the Orphans: Dr. Pangloss Versus the Cold Fact" Carling has no idea where the civil aviation business in Britain is going. The latest specifications for 1950-plus piston-powered transports, "shows no appreciable advance in performance on that of the larger American civil aircraft which are already in service." While he is not in favour of buying American, it would be less wasteful than to use productive capacity to build aircraft without export prospects. If the country cannot make things that are competitively priced and effective, it might as well "turn its face to the wall." Various committees are too many committees, various authorities are not authoritative, and it is a miracle that two good medium-range airliners have already emerged from this process. Which, at least, gives one hope looking towards the 1950s.

Eventually the backwards prop-plane specification emerged as the ultra-modern Britannia, and the problem was solved! Picture by RuthAS, but you guessed that. 
Here and There

Copenhagen and the Swiss are to have air shows, the XC-99 is in for some testing. TCA is to issue a standard uniform to its ground personnel so that they won't have to spend ration coupons dressing to company standards. J. W. Truran is to be the Ministry of Supply's new West Coast representative, which is something to pass on to James tomorrow, provided the Tokyo flight isn't so late that it is the day after! BSAA is pleased with the Tudor V, because it is BSAA. Air Marshal Curtis, of the RCAF, is visiting England, trading ham and eggs for not-minus-42. (Is it still -42 in Winnipeg? It can't be!)

Maurice Smith, "Ace in the Air: First Impressions of the Series II Super Ace: Novel Wheel Control and Accelerator Pedal" It is a very neat, nice little plane. Too bad that flying it is like riding a bicycle with no handlebars. I paraphrase. Smith doesn't really do scorching reviews, but this was not a good one.

"The New Marine Air Terminal" As previewed in the leading article, BOAC has either been kicked out of Poole Harbour or gone voluntarily, and is now taking off from Southampton Water for as long they continue to be forced to fly flying boats. If the government makes them buy the Saro Princess, they will buy the cheapest possible "mobile base" and go find a river somewhere. 
Send the bill to G. Geoffrey Smith, c/o Flight. 

"Visibility Aids for Low Visibility Conditions: Precis of a Paper Given to the RAeS by E. S. Calvert, Head of the Illumination Sections, Electrical Engineering Department, Royal Aircraft Establishment" Mr. Calvert explained at length about the sodium flarepaths developed by the RAF, originally for training airfields, and now accepted as standard for Britain. With the right lenses, they experience no wavelength or image blur in fog, and he can't wait for backwards foreigners in America and Australia to accept standard British flares and distancing, that is, the paths themselves. In the near future, the combination of radio approach aids, proper lights, perhaps FIDO, and a training device such as the RAE Cyclorama will make flying in bad weather as safe as houses.

A new make of the Anson, with a new make of the Cheetah, is now in service as a navigational and radio trainer. Some Chipmunks have been bought for the VR, and de Havilland Vampires will be procured to replace Hawker Tempests in the ground attack role.


J. Gould,  "an engineer with both railway and flying experience," thinks that aircraft diesels are the coming thing. (Says Reggie: "No, they are not.") Basil Clarke points out that G. D. Hart's letter about how passengers prefer speed to safety and American to British, is completely wrong and idiotic. Taking up the cudgels, R. H. Stanhope lays into J. B. Matheson, who thinks that, since commercial flying is expensive, Britain should cut it out until it can afford food and there are houses for everyone. Stanhope points out that flying is good for business, and so is as important as houses and food.

The Engineer, 23 April 1948

A Seven-Days Journal

A rail accident at Winford involving a mail train running into the back of the Glasgow to Crewe express passenger train has killed 25 and severely injured others. Although the accident would not have occurred had someone not pulled the cord on the express train, the cause was a technical one. Mr. H. A. Lingard of British Thomson Houston is retiring due to ill-health. Dr. W. Wanger has given an interesting talk on the technical and economic aspects of the transmission of electric power over long distances. He seems to be conceding the superiority of current AC transmission, but thinks that DC could come back, if someone would bankroll the necessary experiments. Various conferences are to be  held.

W. I. G. Muir's paper on "Opencast Mining in the Rhine brown Coalfield" continues. This installment is mostly concerned with the details of draining the coal and overburden as it is worked. For opencast mining, there is certainly a lot of talk of tunnels!

"LMS Mobile Locomotive Testing Plant: Institution of Mechanical Engineers" I suppose that this is the new way of signifying a paper (or discussion of a  paper) given at an Institution. Can you hear my long-suffering sigh? Oh, no wait, I am not long suffering, because I hand this job over to Reggie for the summer, next week.The discussants are interested in the equipment that the mobile laboratory has to carry, but provide no details that would be interesting to someone who might want to make them, which is us. I wonder if there's even a market? It's all so special purpose that it might be made by the railways, in house.

"Flourescent Lamp Manufacture" Flourescent, as opposed to incadescent, are those long, white tubes. The Engineer was invited to see GEC's Cape Mill work, originally built as a cotton mill, but used for the manufacture of a variety of electronic equipment  during the war. It built 7 million vacuum tubes and cathode ray tubes during the war, and under the Government's diversification scheme, now makes lamps way out in Lancashire, so that the county doesn't have to rely on cotton and coal alone.

It currently has a single floor in operation, and seems to have a ways to go before being a proper "assembly line" operation.

"Aluminum-Sheathed Power Cables, No. 1" Traditionally, power cables have been sheathed with lead. While not the ideal material, it is easy to work with. Aluminum is also easy to work with, but used to be ruled out by cost. Now that aluminum is cheap, it is interesting to see whether it can be substituted for lead. This is Part I, with the conclusion delayed, but it reports "extensive trials" of things like the flexibility of cable, and the appropriate thicknesses of two, three and four core cables. So my guess is that the answer is going to turn out to be "yes."

Two technical reports, one on the relationship of strength to length in steel wire, and the other on the effect of size on the breaking stress of rods, have been published by the Ministry of Supply.

"The 'Shervick' Industrial Tractor" The Overseas Food Company showed off this massive tractor, built at the Chertsey Works of Vickers-Armstrong for use in the Groundnuts Scheme. It was put through its paces in a patch of Crown-owned woodland near Camberly, and a fine, ground-ripping, peanut-planting-preparing time

was had by all.

Various details in aid of painting it as a diesel-powered land juggernaut are given. Unfortunately, just because it is Africa doesn't meant that farming with a Sherman tank is a good idea. (That's an actual Sherman tank diesel engine and radiator giving the front its slightly militant look.)

You'll have to ask the editors how the letter pages migrated above the leading articles, but E. C. Poulteney writes to correct E.C. Livesay's account of the locomotives that the Canadian Pacific runs over the Crowsnest Pass, while C. Turnbull complains that he was unable to licence American-style locomotive boilers for production in Britain, and that this shows that the patent laws need reform. (He also explains at length why they are better than British Scotch boilers.)


"The LMS Mobile Testing Plant" Also back to front, as The Engineer gets around to explaining the star-studded instrument gala that is Dr. H. L. Andrews' mobile testing plant. The Engineer had a jolly good time, which is why it is talking about it like a twelve-year-old talking about the matinee. "As one speaker emphasised, its success has Great Britain substantially in the lead in the art and science of railway rolling stock science." Huzzah! The second leader, which is very, very long, "The Government and Invention," is about problems with the Development of Inventions Bill. Government interference in the business of patents is unnecessary, because  industry is doing a fine job.


Percival Marshall, of The Model Engineer, which he has edited since founding it fifty years ago, has died. Born in 1870, he worked in industry briefly before joining his uncle, who headed a group of papers, and was made sub-editor of The Hardwareman, then editor of The Photographic News, before, at the ripe old age of 28, coming into possession of the red pencil at The Model Engineer and Amateur Electrician. Harry Alexander Dormer, chairman of the Sheffield Twist Drill and Steel Company, has died at his home, Chyngton Way, Seaford, Sussex, at the age of 67.

"The Physical Society's Exhibition, Part III" Everett Edgcumbe showed its "Vampire" ac test set, which is small and portable, and its Synclock self-starting synchronous motor.

Electro-Methods showed off a range of magnetic amplifiers, which are dc amplifiers. which have properties that make them very useful in servo-motors. Crompton Parkinson showed off a "magnet system and movement for 6" by 8" moving coil instruments." I have no idea what that means, and defy the reader to guess from the description. H. Tinsley and Company showed off a precision potentiometer with ac stabiliser. Or the other way around? They also have a dc stabiliser. Both produce a stable output from a variable input, so I guess the potentiometer is just a component.

"Injection Moulding Machinery" R. H. Windsor, of Chessington, Surrey, has an automatic cycle control injection moulding equipment. It can do 180 cycles an hour, has alternative fully automatic or manual control, uses a Vickers double pump at a working pressure of 1000lb/sq in for hydraulic power, and takes less than an hour to be set up for a new job.

"BOAC Flying-Boat Terminal" Unlike Flight, which has a picture of the artist's rendition of what the terminal will look like, The Engineer shows what it actually looks like.

At least BOAC is trying to control its losses.
Lhasa river in 1938. By Bundesarchiv, Bild 135-S-16-03-11 /
Schäfer, Ernst / CC-BY-SA 3.0, CC BY-SA 3.0 de,
 "Hydro-electric Plant for Lhasa, Tibet" Gilbert, Gilkes and Gordon, of Kendal, have received the contract for a plant for Lhasa. It will consist of six 125kW low-fall, vertical shaft turbines, totally enclosed, with oil-lubricated David Brown bevel gears, and alternators by Laurence Scott. Components are weight limited to 1 ton each for ease of portage. Gilbert, which has been in continuous operation at its Kendal works since 1856, claims to be the oldest water turbine manufacturer in the United Kingdom.

M. I. Andrews, "The Mobile Locomotive Testing Plant of the London, Midlands and Scottish Railway" A small car, with wires and masts poking out in all directions, is connected to the front of the locomotive in question, which is then set off on a course around a track while a dynanometer brakes the locomotive and a variety of instruments measure everything from speed to drawbar pull.

Industrial and Labour Notes

Sir Stafford Cripps gave a progress report on production, explaining that steel is up, coal is up, and manufacturing output is up. The unemployment fund, which received £92 million in contributions last year, paid out £31.6 million, and now has a net balance of £492 million, and would have been higher save for the fuel crisis. Sir Frederick Bain's address to the Federation of British Industries on his re-election as President stressed that industry could conserve scarce inputs voluntarily, so less planning, please. Employment remains above 18 million, unemployment falling to 299,000 from 315,000 the previous month. 

French Engineering Notes

The strike at the St. Nazaire naval works is over. Monthly coal and coke allocation to industry from April is to be one million tons, up 40%, allowing monthly production of 1.7 million tons per quarter, which is more than in 1938. Unfortunately, too much of this depends on foreign imports. 

Notes and Memoranda

LMR has let a contract to replace the main line bridge at Ivy House Lane, Berkhamstead, Hampshire, destroyed by bombing in November 1940. The Ministry of Supply reports that the Saunders-Roe flying boats will be delivered in about 3-and-a-half years. Group Captain Finch Noyes has died in Salisbury, Rhodesia, and Frederick Gudgeon, of Internal Combustion, Ltd. . 

Flight, 29 April 1948


"A Highly Successful Service" TCA took over the Government of Canada's Atlantic service effective 1 May 1947, and its DC-4Ms have flown 61,772 engine hours in the course of 957 crossings, and the service record of the Merlin has been excellent. The problem is that no-one (sensible) is arguing that the Merlin is unreliable. They're arguing that it takes too long to overhaul because of the jacket and close fittings.

"That 9d. per Gallon" Flight hopes that the petrol tax is coming off aviation spirit, because mentioning the return of the basic ration would mean saying something nice about the Government.

"Helicopter Progress" There is now a Helicopter Association of Great Britain, and it had a nice dinner the other day. The Gyrodyne has flown, the Bristol has flown more, and the Cierva Air Horse will fly soon, powered by the Jameson engine, which recently passed type tests.

"Leading Lights: Demonstration of New Approach Lighting Systems Installed at Farnborough"

The Americans at Arcanta are working on an "integrated landing system that combines radio aids, lighting aids, and FIDO. The objective is to bring an aircraft down to 200ft, within 1000 to 1500 hards from the touch-down point with a radio aid such as GCA, from which point the lights are a transitional aid until final approach and landing with the aid of FIDO, at least in the extreme cases where FIDO is required, when there is less than 100 yd visibility at night. The Americans spent 42 million on research last year, but still cannot decide between US Army and airline systems. The Calvert system, which gives a horizontal datum as well as a guiding path, is superior, since lining up on the lights tells the pilot immediately if he is banked. Flight also tried the Cyclorama simulator, which is not a synthetic landing trainer, but rather a "dynamic demonstration" of the appearance of the approach lights moving towards one." It blinks lights at you. I think, and you  have a handlebar to make them go the right way, and if you do, you land! Unless you hit a stone fence.

The extent of the apparent taper tells you how high you are, I think? Maybe I should read Glide Path some day.

Here and There

General Aircraft's Universal transport may begin production in the Southampton area later this year.

 An Attacker was sent to France, where it impressed the French. Lord Trenchard opened a 26 home development at Morden for disabled airmen and their families. AOA has a nice little booklet that it gives out to passengers. Lufthansa has been flying gold from Basel to Northholt. The last Percival Mew Gull, flown to South Africa by Alex Henshaw, is derelict in France. It is sad, and the landowner wants someone who cares about it to get it off his field. Star Panther flew all the way to South America without crashing, and everyone is impressed. United Airlines is experimenting with a food trolley to move food from kitchens to planes. Captain Masefield has indefinitely postponed his planned circumnavigation, because his plane's engine is having troubles. (Proctor, Gipsy Queen, you might recall.) BOAC now has specially built busses to carry passengers around Castel Benito, Alexandria and Jerusalem. Australian National Airways will be putting on special emigration flights from Italy, starting next month.

"Dragon's Descendant: The Drover: An Australian Light Transport with Attractive Commercial Possibilities" This is like the Pioneer/Raider --a trimotor, for some reason. Who wants a trimotor? It's the most possible noise for the least possible efficiency! It might cost £14,500, and if that is cheap, I guess that's the answer. 

Civil Aviation News

TCA's annual report didn't just say that the Merlin was fine. It also said that it is getting ever so much bigger in every way, and it is a real, grown-up airline, and never mind the Dakotas radio-ranging into "Medicine Hat" and (American) Sault Ste. Marie, because (Canadian) Sault Ste. Marie doesn't have an airfield yet. The GPO is pleased with the experimental helicopter service, and hopes to  have useful information about helicopters carrying the mail when it is done. Aer Lingus is definitely abandoning Atlantic service, and may also take its Constellations off the London-Dublin service, as the short runs are too much for the engines. BOAC will replace its South African Yorks service with Solents on the Lakes route. The Tudor IV has been cleared for passenger service, except over the Atlantic pending range trials. Nothing is yet known about the fortunately not -fatal BEA Viking crash on the London-Glasgow service, in which the captain, following SBA guidance, for some reason passed over the airfield and crashed on Irish Law hill. Various services and engines had impressive years in which they racked up impressive statistics. Joseph O'Connell is the new head of the CAB. The Bristol Freighter which crashed on 11 April near Gibraltar took off 1000lbs under load, and crashed into mountains some minutes later because the pilot didn't see them. General Phoenix Corporation of Baltimore has bought the remaining Boeing 314s from BOAC. The US Coast Guard has recently taken ownership of five 20kW, MF, R/T transmitters on the 350--500 kHz band, with 15kW transmission power. If they can't get through on the radio, they can make the crews' fillings buzz in Morse code. 

"Brigand Bomber" Long-range Attack Aircraft for the RAF: Heavy Offensive Armament" Brigands will not serve as torpedo bombers after all, but as general purpose bombers capable of dive bombing, minelaying, and as day and night fighters. Their Bristol Centaurus 57s have methanol-water injection and have 2810hp at sea level for takeoff power and 2600hp at 14,000ft. Total tankage with auxiliary tanks is 1,4438 gallons, and they carry bombs, rockets and guns. 

"Round the Sticks: Britain Progressively Raises the Closed-Circuit Record by Over 100mph in Eight Months" Britain has repeated broken the record that no-one cares about when foreigners break it. Assorted Vampires, Meteors, Attackers and DH108s have been involved.

"Polar Met. Stations: filling the Information Gaps for the Common Good" The Russians, Canadians, Europeans and Americans are all rushing to build meteorological stations in the furthest reaches of the Arctic, such as Melville Island in Canada, Clovering Island, north Greenland, Spitzbergen, and assorted Russian islands I can't spell, all for the common good of mankind, and certainly not having anything to do with atomic bombers in this article, as we'll leave that for other articles that are about being scared of the Russian atom bombers that don't exist yet, and hopefully won't until I've finished digging this here hole. 

This weather station is at Mould Island, which is next to Melville Island, and is probably the one referred to. A staff of between 10 and 40 ran it until budget cuts closed it in 1997.

"Airborne Magnetometer Survey: Advances in Geological Exploration: Need for British Development" This turns out to be precis of a paper given by Wing Commander D. N. Kendall, of Photographic Survey Company, of Canada, to the Royal Geographical Society. It is more technical than the Time article, but makes the same mistake of attributing development of MAD to the US Naval Ordnance Laboratory. As we've both heard Reggie's exciting stories of streaming the detector and setting the onboard receiver on fire by inadvertently exposing it to ambient magnetism, I probably don't need to add much. There's ten or so in Canada. 

A short piece lets us know that the RAF and Navy will be having joint exercises in the North Sea in May, involving two battleships, one fleet carrier, one cruiser, eleven destroyers, four frigates, ten submarines, 10  naval air squadrons and 50 assorted RAF aircraft from three commands, including Lincolns, Lancasters, Hornets, and Sunderlands.

"Wright Developments" The Wright Cyclone is very nice, the Turbo-Compound Wright 18 is ready for service, and the XJ-37 is still exciting, although Flight makes a fool of itself for doubting that the XJ really dates back to 1941. Silly American cousins hadn't thought of jet propulsion at that time! In unrelated news on the same page, the Airworks Dakota conversion is very nice. If you're wondering why there's a story about Wright, see Newsweek.

"Seats to Suit: A New Power-operated Bed Seat: Lightweight Folding Designs" This is basically an advertising insert, but unless the company behind it is called Bed Seat, it forgets to mention the name!

"Manchester Display: Lord Tedder Attends 613 Squadron Recruiting Drive" Lord Tedder is out and about doing his Richard III imitation.  

From All Quarters

SAAB has sold some Safirs to India. Titanine does the protective coating for the Athena. 88 Squadron, RAF, which does the courier service from Iwakanni, Japan to Hong Kong, was recognised by Lieutenant-General H. H. Robertson, who commands the British Commonwealth Occupying Forces. Goodyear is testing a DC-3 with the Maclaren-type castering undercarriage. (Again, see Newsweek for some actual reporting.) 


"Broke" is appalled by the low pay in the RAFVR. L. M. McBride, Chief Information Officer, RAFVR, rounds up the recent correspondence about the RAFVR and assures us that Something is Being Done. (It's a very long letter. I haven't perused it carefully enough to know whether it has anything about hats.) E. F. Hiatt writes that Mr. Matheson needn't worry about civil aviation, as current problems are but a passing phase. A growing pain, as it were. Flying is fun! I don't know about burning to death, though. "Navigator" replies to Flight's criticisms of the way that the airlines have opened up their college at Aldermaston to paying students, in competition with AST. Flight is very short with him. Given the number of silly things said on the letter pages, I'm not sure why he deserves the scolding. If this were The Economist,  I would take it for granted that it was sticking up for AST's right to make a lot of money, but Flight didn't use to be like that.

Newsweek, 26 April 1948


The letters column leads off with two women, Mrs. Harold Laskey and  Adelaide P. Trulin, praising an article about an American feminist on tour, and several "Mencken fans" with opinions about Mencken that I didn't parse, as I loathe the man, and prefer my commentary poison-penned. J. E Baubaker, of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, has a poor opinion of John L. Lewis. A story about possible Negro Army call-ups refusing to report to the draft boards in civil disobedience  of Army segregation provoked a heated response from a number of readers who think that the country already coddles Negroes and other minorities. Barbara Horder, of San Francisco, writes to say that she doesn't like war, and would prefer it not happen, which is so mad and contrary an opinion that it practically demands publication. 

The publisher's letter reports that Harold Stassen is campaigning in Florida and starting to feel tired. Admiral Pratt is back in Newsweek pages with sage advice, and Newsweek has been in correspondence with Leo J. Murphy of Ontario, California, who is wondering if he might be the "sole remaining paraplegic coming out of the first world war . . . who is alive today," as reported in Newsweek on 22 March. It turns out that he is. He works for the California State Veterans Commission in San Bernardino, California, and is a paraplegic as medically defined, completely paralysed from the waist down. 

The Periscope reports that various straws are in the wind, including Representative Nixon having a low opinion of the way that HUAC is being run. Truman will run on peace and prices, and thinks that Taft would be the easiest Republican to beat, Stassen the hardest, due to his youth appeal, although he, like everybody else, expects Taft and Dewey to take Stassen out and drown him in the rain barrel. Stuart Symington has definitely made enemies by going over the President's head and contradicting the other service chiefs to call for a 70 group air force. News! American troops will stay in Trieste, Berlin and Vienna, contrary to talk of withdrawals. Norwegian immigration authorities have received a surge of applications from Finland, the Middle East, and Germany. There is little chance of a "silver loan" to China, as urged by the silver interests (of course!) and "old China hands (even more of course!). The Russians are expected to purge their scientists as they recently have their literati, and the Polish minister in Mexico, Jan Drohojowski, has been identified as the master Red manipulator behind everything that is going wrong in Latin America, what with Reds protesting things. M. Bidault thinks that the Reds will not take over the world, unless there is a depression in America, as the Russians keep hoping. Russians are also sinister in Germany and Turkey, and France and Italy will have a customs union after the election, France promises. There might be another coal strike in June. Oil is short right now and will be shorter in the future as Europe switches over to petroleum from coal, and the price of oil is going to go up, soon. Veteran defaults on home purchases are rising to disturbing levels. Sonja Henie and Al Jolson are headed back to the studio, Robert Taylor and Ava Gardner are MGM's new romantic pair-up, Dorothy Kirsten will join Nelson Eddy at the Kraft Music Hall when Al Jolson takes his mid-season break, four studios are negotiating for the flim rights to My Friend Irma, the Micky Roony show and possibly the Philip Morris shows will be recast to improve Hooperatings, with Frankie Laine possibly joining the latter. Bob Hope's broadcast from the Hollywood High School will have network censors on edge. The Defence Department may reactivate the USO if selective service or UMT are approved, juke box operator revenue is down due to TVs in bars, Harold Ickes' memoirs have been optioned by the Saturday Evening Post, Dr. William Menninger has a book coming out, while Joe Dimaggio's is doing well. 

Washington Trends reports that Truman will be the Democratic nominee, Eisenhower won't (news!), that the isolationist bloc in Congress has "completely collapsed," that the Republicans will emphasise "strict economy in domestic affairs," which puts a target on Taft's housing, health and education bills. Republicans will also try to use the annual anti-lynching bill to divide the Democrats over civil rights. Congress will not restore old income tax rates. It will increase taxes next year, but will restore the excess-profits tax and raise excises before increasing income tax rates. Republicans are still interested in forced-savings options. Legislation returning the tidelands and their oil deposits back to the states, Supreme Court decision to the contrary, will pass both houses next session, although it is not certain it will command a sufficient majority to overcome the Presidential veto. 

National Affairs

Admiral Hillenkoetter spent a lot of time explaining himself
to Congress.
Newsweek leads with a story about how Joe Martin's intervention in the coal strike was motivated by his Presidential ambitions. Congress still wants to make rearmament about a 70 group air force, on the grounds that the Russians have the biggest air force, and are producing twelve times as many planes as the Americans. Seventy groups would entail 12,000 planes, plus 8100 in storag, fewer than now, but much more modern and with 8 more heavy bomber groups, at 21. Reggie read this for me, and singles out a requirement for three groups of all-weather fighters, since "That's where the rubber hits the road, electronically speaking." The Eniwetok bombing proves that America is making more atom bombs. Representative Donald Jackson, who must be jealous of Nixon, found a way to make the Gaitan assassination story all-American. Admiral Hillenkoeter was called to a hastily convened House committee chaired by Clarence Brown to explain why the CIA didn't see it coming, and the Admiral, in his manly way, blamed the State Department's agent in Bogota, O. J. Libert, for suppressing a CIA report on galloping Communistic subversion, and George Marshall for suppressing it more, "with salty language." The CIA is not only off the hook, but the committee is thinking of freeing it from State Department control so that this can't happen again.

(A. says that the CIA is chock full of "foreign service" men who only speak Spanish, which is why they want to spy on Latin America so much. He also says that there's no point in fighting it, which is why he's pushing B.)

"Peace Without Vetoes"  A group in the Senate wants to make the UN give up the Security Council veto . . . somehow. Or pull out of the UN, because who needs foreigners, anyway. Next and possibly related, Robert Best, the pathetic American Nazi traitor, is finally having his trial. He thinks that America is run by "Judocrats," where it ought to be ruled by "Christocrats."

"The Movie That Hurts" Skipping over another retrospective of Nebraska, Newsweek talks about The Iron Curtain, a movie about the Gouzenko affair that American communists and fellow travellers are very upset about, are boycotting, and tried to stop. This was a bad move on their part, as it allows Newsweek to go for almost as long as it went on about Nebraska. Hypocrisy!

Washington Tides with Ernest K. Lindley talks about "Military Guarantees." Lindley's point is that Europe already has an effective American guarantee to the limits of American power, and that any further guarantee shouldn't involve replacing European troops with our own, when America needs to strengthen its other-than-"defensive" power.  No more soldiers, but lots more super-heavy bombers and atom bombs, in other words.

And, then, Italy!

Just to be clear, Ronnie did used to buy into this stuff before My Lai. She's just not that interested.
"By the Sword" The Palestine situation continues to play out in two or more theatres. In New York, the UN tries to negotiate a trusteeship agreement over Russia's push for partition. In Jerusalem, the British are burning their records and preparing to get out. Fourteen hundred civilians sailed from Haifa this week, and by 15 May there will only be a handful of British left for the handover of power, if there is anyone for power to be handed over to. Newsweek quotes The Economist: Since the Irgun murder of those two British sergeants last summer, the British have been determined to get out of Palestine as quickly as possible, and nothing is going to change their minds, so if the rest of the world wants to prevent a bloody civil war between Jew and Arab, the rest of the world had better get cracking. It is, of course, all about humanity and outrages to basic decency, and not at all about the dollar and sterling balances. In not-unrelated not-really news, the ERP was signed in Brussels more.
 Youtube is too cluttered with heat (and some light, I guess) on Deir Yassin for me to find a contemporary British Pathe clip; but I did find this, which looks interesting if you have eight minutes.

"Bevin Backs Away" Newsweek deems the British response to Gatow to be weak, but acknowledges that the British are building a power plant to make its sector of Berlin less dependent on the surrounding eastern zone, while the Americans are reducing the number of dependents in their zone. The Americans continue to push for a three-stage reform of Bizonia, beginning with currency reform in June, an "occupation statute" to replace rule-by-conquest in the summer, and a constituent assembly by the fall. The Russians want a plebiscite, but the Allies think that that would just surrender to Communist organising power. The British are dragging their feet because they are weak and watery. (At least Time had the good grace to bring up the Anglo-Russian trade agreement: machinery for small grains!) 

In silly news, in Paris, fans of rival night club beauty queens rioted in the streets, with a death, even, while an Englishman attacked a woman in the streets of Manchester for smoking too much, since he couldnt' afford cigarettes, and there was an episode in which a Coloured person was refused service at a restaurant in Britain, which shows that they have a colour bar, too. (The difference being that there is a law in Britain requiring places of hospitality to receive all customers as a condition of licensing.) Russia is reducing the theatre ticket subsidy, having a dust-up over whether or not Tolstoy was a reactionary, and getting into a tiff with Iran. 

"War within War" In Newsweek's interpretation of the Chinese situation, the Communist army has expanded from 350,000 on VJ Day to 1.4 million now, and may cross the Yangtze river into south China this year, leading to more pandemonium in the National Assembly as delegates demand action. More peaceful Japan received a visit from Earl Carroll, bearing happy prospects of Japanese bathing beauties soak Japanese rubes of Japanese dollars. 

Admiral Suzuki, who took Japan out of the war, will not live to see it, because he died this week, as did the President of the Philippines, Manuel A. Roxas, who went out in the mid-day sun. And if you are interested in what Admiral Pratt had to tell Newsweek, it is that he looked at a map and concluded that Petropavlovsk in Kamchatka and Norway are the strategic keys to a future naval war between Russia and America.  

Source: Earl Carroll Girls. Earl has a fatal appointment with a DC-6 on his return flight.

"Pressures, Highs and Lows" Mixed messages reached the markets this week, as the SEC released information showing that industry is budgeting $18.7 billion for expansion this year, up $2.5 billion from 1947, which suggests continuing boom, while Dun and Bradstreet finds business failures at the highest ever postwar rate. 

"Kaiser-Frazer vs. Otis" The SEC is having hearings into Uncle Henry's little contretemps with the brokers who backed his last, failed stock offering. Otis and Company and First California Company are of the opinion that a two-bit Californian flim-flam man who married above his station stabbed them in the back in a dark alley. Uncle Henry's position is that he doesn't deserve to be caught, because he is so lovable. In news that I'm jamming in with that news because it's about the uncanny business success of the third generation of a wealthy family, James H. Rand III has developed a radical new home laundry machine and optioned it to Bendix Home Appliances, freeing him to invent a mattress that can be warmed or cooled, and shift pressure spots to prevent bed sores. 

"The Curtiss-Wright Fight" If you're wondering why there's so much old Wright news in the aviation press, it might be because a knockdown fight is going on over at Wright's boardroom between President Guy W. Vaughan and the board. Vaughan wants to hold on to a large cash reserve because he doesn't know how Wright can invest it more profitably than in a bank, while the Board wants to distribute $50 million to shareholders and get on with making planes. 

Trends and Changes reports that home construction is up 25% ahead of last year. Pan American is going in with Intercontinental Hotels to build a 400 room hotel in Caracas, so that passengers using that city as a Latin American air transport hub will have somewhere to stay. F. L. Jacobs is going to make automatic washing machines for the home market with coin boxes, so that buyers can use it as a means of making their down payments. Ford has a backlog of 1.7 million cars, up from 1.575 million on 1 April, thanks to announcements of its new models. The CAA is very enthusiastic about the castered undercarriage, as it might eliminate many multiple-direction runways and stretch its seven-year, half-billion dollar budget twice as far. 

"Brain for Presses" Four-colour printing presses are notorious for producing colouring errors due to alignment problems. Two New York ex-servicemen, Ludwig and Frank G. Burke, have developed an electric-eye based "brain" that detects alignment problems (paper feeding into the rollers too early or too late), and have formed Electronic Control Corporation to market it from a walk-up workshop in Brooklyn. They invested $70,000 in capital have delivered ten machines for $25,000 each,with various national magazines and newspapers "dickering" over several dozen more. They think that they  have only scratched the surface of a market that might include aluminum, steel and textile rollers. 

What's New reports that United Steel Corporation has begun making high-tensile steel strings for banjos and guitars, that Reynolds Cigarettes has come up with aluminum foil wrappers for cigarette packages that promote freshness and prevent crushing, that Transparent Shade Company of Los Angeles has developed an ultraviolet-proof glass for display cases that will cut down on sun-bleaching, and that Walter Wright Company has a device that will automatically start a car motor when the ignition key is turned on, and also crank it automatically when it stalls on a hill or crossing. 

eden abhez is interesting. I'm not sure
what else to say. 
Business Tides with Henry Hazlitt talks about "An Anti-Inflation Program" Hazlitt talks about Federal Reserve, banks, lending and reserve requirements. We'll know his ideas are sensible, when Hoover and Senator Taft tell him to change them. 

Science, Medicine

"Romance at the South Pole" Norwegian-born American explorer H. C. Peterson led an expedition to Antarctica, and brought his new wife, Edith Ronne, along. He even named a newly-discovered region after her. The point of his privately-financed trip was to prove, once and for all, that Antarctica is a single continent under all of that ice. Perhaps also down there, "dawn redwoods," the ancient ancestors of the Californian sequoia tree that flourished more than a hundred million years ago, and can still be found in an isolated stand in China, recently. 

"Linguistic Curtain" Russian science journals used to have English-language abstracts, now don't. Brookhaven National Laboratory therefore enlisted Dr. Ludmilla Turkevich of Princeton's Modern Language department to review the journals and find out what the Russians are doing, and hiding. It turns out that they are actively working on everything from cosmic rays to quantum mechanics, but that there is no mention in the papers of nuclear fission, so if the Soviets are building an "Atomgrad," they aren't sharing the details. See! When France goes communist, I think I have a shot at Dr. Turkevich's job. (No mention of having to translate the results into terrible Chinese, though.) In news that doesn't deserve a paragraph break, Dr. Robert Cushman Murphy of the American Museum of Natural History is off to New Zealand to look at a cache of moa bones to learn all about huge, flightless birds, which were exterminated by the Maoris.

No mention of the "moa hunters," a staple of popular New Zealand
prehistory when I was a kid. Interesting.
"Vitamin B12 From Liver" It has been known since 1912 that liver fights the previously fatal disease of pernicious anemia. Last week, a group at Merck and Company, led by Karl Folkers and assisted by Mary S. Shorb of the University of Maryland, isolated crystals of the effective agent, dubbed B12, which, it is hoped, will alleviate the costs and side-effects of the previous treatment of liver extract injections. There's also a story about the VA's arrangements with dentists, and a pictorial of the new Sloan-Kettering Institute at Memorial Hospital, New York. 

"Hope for Leukemia" Dr. Sidney Farber, of Boston's Children's Hospital, has announced a new drug that extends the life of young leukemia victims by as mucha s 75%, aminopterin. It is not a cure, Dr. Farber points out, but "[I]t is the most wonderful hope we have, and we know now that with this drug, and with other chemical agents, we are working in the right direction." 

"Wanted: Doctors" An AMA investigation into conditions on Puerto Rico reported to the Secretary of the Interior last week. Puerto Ricans are underfed, and even given the food available, which is becoming increasingly short, are not getting enough fresh fruit and vegetables. More doctors are needed, both in Puerto Rico and the American Virgin Islands, which suffer from many of the same problems. 

Normally I try to fit in the Education stories here, but do you really want to hear that Washington and Lee is a fine university? Well, you just did! (Ditto a feature on a display of Wedgwood china that could go below. 

Radio, Press, People

"James of the Tele-waves"Dennis James, the New York televised wrestling match commentator, has become the best-known sports broadcaster in the city, and is now doing baseball games. He makes $700 a week, and has a large and strange fan base. In other sports broadcasting news, the Paramount Theatre in Madison Square recently gave attendees a "sneak peek" of the "first glimpse" of the Navy Inter-District Boxing Trials. It's an experiment in figuring out who pays what in the new world of television.

"Lorimer of the Post" George Lorimer has made the Saturday Evening Post over and relaunched it. And while that isn't big enough news for a paragraph, I have to put something in to lead off a story about the Russians expelling McGraw-Hill man  Robert Magidoff, because his American-born, Russian secretary, Helen Cecilia Nelson, had denounced him as a spy to Izvestia. In America, the Society of Newspaper Editors had a meeting where they agreed that American journalism let too many of the wrong sort (poorly dressed people, journalism school graduates, communists) in the door. 

Patrice Munsel is going on tour in Europe. Adolphe Menjou, speaking in Atlanta, says that it is hard to wear shirtsleeves in the summer, and that seersucker suits are fine, down there.
I liked that. "Lorimer of the Post" seems to be the son and the successor of an earlier publisher. 

Taxi dancers in LA are offended that the AFL wants to make physical examinations part of their Building Services Employees Union organising drive. "What do they think we are?" asks dancer Mabel Martin. The senior women's parole officer for the state of California, Mrs. Wave Walker (which is a real name), says that women are just as criminal as men, and the reason that there are more men in jail is that judges are gallant. Frances Carnegie is suing for divorce from her husband, Thomas, on the grounds that he is insane. Kay Polchikoff, "first white survivor of Hiroshima to reach the United States," is honeymooning in San Diego.  She was married last week on the "Bride and Groom" radio show. Christopher Robin has married, and Dr. Rupert Blue, the former Surgeon General of the United States, who stopped two bubonic plague epidemics in San Francisco, pioneered medical examinations of immigrants, and stopped public drinking cups, has died. So has Chronicle editor emeritus Chester Harvey Rowell and a Danish politician.  



Newsweek didn't like Arch of Triumph, notwithstanding being based on a Remarque bestseller, and having fine actors and beautiful Paris scenery (stranded money again). "Inexplicable and inarticulate romantics get in the way of all of Triumph's good intentions."

Seriously? A romantic plotline in a location-filmed American 1948 movie set in Paris and starring Ingrid Bergmann is inexplicable
Cocteau's Dreams that Money Can Buy is too self-conscious to present surrealism as a valid cinematic trend. Louis Jouvet is the best part of the excellent French comedy, Confessions of a Rogue. 


Like Time, Newsweek is astonished at just how shallow Goebbels was, based on his diaries. "This kind of man ran a country?" George Household's Arabesque is a spy novel set in the wartime Middle east. "Fairly slow as spy stuff goes," it is an "eye opener" on the complexities of the Middle East problem. John Steinbeck's Roman Journal is smoothly written, easy to read and appealing, even if it sets out to offend both the ecclesiastical set and the "Lumpen Right." Manuel Buaken's I Have Lived with the American exposes the difficulties of Filipinos living in America, and seeks to promote "better understanding."

Raymond Moley's column ends the issue, as it always does, but I've already talked about it, so I'll spare your patience.  

The Engineer,  30 April 1948

A Seven-Day Journal

The British Council has appointed Mr. E. Boulton King, formerly of the Ministry of Supply Rocket Team, to be its new Science Director. Lloyd's Register  reports that there are more than two million tons of shipping under construction in the United Kingdom, which was more than March, but less than December. The total under construction around the world, omitting Russia, Japan and Germany, was 3.9 million tons. 

"The British Industries Fair, No. I" Marconi showed off an electronic pH meter and an electronic counter, GEC a plastic preheating oven, Varatio-Strateline Gears, Ltd, a variable-speed gearbox, and F. W. McConnell a mobile circular saw. 

This is what that looks like. A mobile circular saw looks like a mobile circular saw. 

Eric G. Yarrow, "Boilers at Clyde's Mill Power Station" Pictures of the new boilers, and information about their test curves are provided. 

"Horizon Bar Approach Lighting System" This is the Farnborough system, already discussed by Flight, complete with the same diagrams. 

"100-kV Electron Microscope" Metropolitan Vickers Electrical Company built this electron microscope three years ago, and has been improving it based on experience ever since. It consists of an electron gun that shoots high energy electrons at the targets and then returns them through a magnetic field that acts as a lens to magnify the image by anywhere from 1000 to 100,000 times. Details of the magnetic "lens" system increase accuracy, and Metrovick is working on increasing the voltage. 

"Aluminum-Sheathed Power Cables, No. II" It turns out that there is no more waste heat than with lead sheathing, that corrosion is not a problem, and that the joints can withstand an indefinite pressure of 400lb/sq in. 

A short piece reports on the Standard Oil asphalt plant in Vancouver, which you've heard about. 

Metallurgical Topics

"The Sigma Phase in Alloys Containing Iron and Chromium" The sigma phase in iron-chromium alloys is a desireable thing which can be achieved through heat treatment, with the right alloying materials, it is now known, two papers to the Steel Institute by H. W. Kirkby and J. I. Morley; and L. Smith and K. W. J. Bowen report. 


"British Institute of Management" The Government is funding the Institute at the University of London. It will study management. The other leader notices the new British altitude record and explains that it was a worthwhile effort, since fighters and reconnaissance planes will have to operate at these altitudes, even if passenger planes won't. 


T. H. Carr has been going through is back issues, and has found a 1910 Leader discussing the potential of a gas turbine, which he thought was interesting enough to share. M. I. Mech E. has concerns about the recent leading article about the Institutions. It looks like I might have missed something by skipping it (as I did, shame on me!) The General Meeting of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers was "packed" with members who tried to  pass a controversial amendment to the Institution's constitution. The Engineer suggested abolishing general meetings. The writer suggests a less drastic alternative. I had no idea that British engineers could be so rowdy!


The facial furniture is another matter entirely.
Sir William Reavell, founder, managing director and chairman of Reavell and Company, has died at 82. Leaving Peter Brotherhood in 1897, Reavell set up his own works to biuld the Scott engine, which no-one wanted, and, at the same time, a quadruplex air compressor, which was, mainly as a diesel engine accessory. Later, it led to all sorts of applications, and by 1917 he was well enough established to join the Council of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers and from there to serve on the Standards Association, British Engineers Association, and the Ipswich town council. Uncle George says that he was a very nice man, although probably mostly forgotten these days, as he was not a very forceful personality. 

"IEE Kelvin Lecture" The Thirty-Ninth Lecture was dismissed by Uncle George as bumpff at a look at the title, "The Nervous System as an Electrical Instrument," and who am I to argue, even if the author, Dr. B. H. C. Matthews, is a distinguished flight surgeon. 

"London Transport Developments" In the latest in a continuing series, Lord Latham's recent comments on bus transmission systems and garages are reported.  Also, the Board is investigating speed-control signalling to speed up service by reducing in-station wait times. 

"Packaging Naval Aircraft" The Admiralty has received its first shipment of "cocooned" naval aircraft aboard HMS Vengeance, and thinks that the method has potential to solve the serious problem of corrosion of stored and transported aircraft. 

"The 'Shervick Industrial Tractor, No. II" The tractor that is build on a Sherman tank chassis gets another write up, because it is just so much fun to watch it digging ditches and rooting up stumps. Africa will never know what hit it!

Yes, it will. 

"Lighting at King's Cross Goods Yard" New electrical soft lamps give better coverage than the ones erected on 250ft masts,used before the war. 

"Developments in Cold Welding" Aluminum is hard to weld, and GEC has been working on cold welding. The trials have been very successful, and cold welding may now be preferable to hot welding, and not just a resort where hot welding is impossible. Also, GEC has been able to weld copper to aluminum. 

"The British Electrical and Allied Manufacturers' Association" Had its 37th annual general meeting. The Engineer reports at some length. The heavy plant manufacturers are fighting with the light plant firms; the industry is responding to nationalisation; it is exporting a great deal. It is concerned with raw material shortages.

"A Fishplate Drilling Machine" Kitchen and Wadde, Ltd, of Gibbet Street, Halifax, have same. Using jigs supplied to the machine, it can make fishplates to a very high level of accuracy, very quickly. 

The Ministry of Supply has published a technical report on heat flow measurement.

H. I. Andrews' paper on the mobile locomotive testing plant continues, and I still cannot muster up anything to say about it, notwithstanding all of those electronic measuring instruments. 

Industrial and Labour Notes

British overseas trade in March was £121 million, the highest total since July, 1920. The auto industry strike is over. The National Foundry College is holding its first postwar session. The Committee on Industrial Productivity is meeting, and the International Tin Study Group reports that world tin production was slightly under target due to slow work rehabilitating works in the Far East. 

French Engineering News

The Aceries de Longwy have started a third blast furnace, iron and steel production is up, the Vincennes line is almost complete, cement production is up; really, everything is up. 

Notes and Memoranda

A new 70ft turntable has been installed at Crewe. The Engineering Experiment Station at the University of Illinois has a nice paper about concrete expansion joints out. The Ministry is doing an inner London traffic survey. Swedish floating lumber production was low this year due to low water levels. The Glasgow Water Department has placed a contract to lay a 48" pipe from a new straining well to the Craigmaddie reservoir to the 36" East Main, about 1335 yards. Moorabbin, Melbourne's second airport, will be ready to take aircraft in July, when a 3000ft grass runway is ready. 

I suspect that if I read the text, I would find that this is another Glasgow water district reservoir. I don't care. It's a lovely picture. Source. 


  1. Gilbert, Gilkes and Gordon, of Kendal, have received the contract for a plant for Lhasa. It will consist of six 125kW low-fall, vertical shaft turbines, totally enclosed, with oil-lubricated David Brown bevel gears, and alternators by Laurence Scott.

    This is The Nine Billion Names of God isn't it?

  2. We're a little closer to Seven Years in Tibet, since Peter Aufschnaiter is involved, if perhaps not being quite the White Saviour in all of this that he is made out to be. Improving the Lhasa River seems to have been a big thing for the Gelugspas.

    Push forward a few years to the Ferranti marketing campaigns of the late '50s, and we've reached the End of Time. (Immanentisation of the Maitreya?).

  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.