Sunday, October 28, 2018

Postblogging Technology, August 1948, II: Fall Is Coming

R_. C_.,
Vancouver, Canada.

Dearest Father:

You will perhaps notice the lack of a 16 August Time. A funny story about that --but I don't care to tell it, because, well, Ronnie and I --I know everyone disapproves, but. . .

Your Loving Son, Reggie.

PS: Will call with details.

But before that happens, it was actually pretty spontaneous. I've been carrying a ring around since I got back from Germany, but the moment never seemed right. But this weekend, we were on about the silliest stuff --an Irish poet with a darkly pessimistic view of things that seemed right for the world, the Lone Ranger (seriously!) and, you know, other stuff, and then she put on that mask . . And I couldn't help it, it just slipped out, and one thing led to another, and some pages of this letter were damaged in the . . affray, as we say, and, well, I hope you weren't hanging on for the latest views of the Luce press. (If you were: Communism is bad. Glad to help!) 

Flight, 19 August 1948


"For All to See" In some nightmarish vision of a future from the after-dinner dreams of John Kenneth Galbraith, some civilianised B-29s broadcast live coverage of the Republican National Convention up to 500 miles from Pittsburgh. As Flight would have it, 14 Stratovision aircraft would be enough to cover the continental United States, while a single plane would be enough for the British Isles. Therefore Britain is behind America in television. Glenn Martin is talking about a 2-0-2 as more suitable for the task, which calls for "100 percent reliability, circling at 25,000--30,000ft," with engines throttled back. Flight, not to be outdone, suggests using a Tudor.

"Explosive Exodus" The rocket-launched Martin-Baker ejection seat got a show at the Gatow Display, and now Flight reminds us that a plain seat isn't much help at Mach 2+, and quotes the Skystreak, who are talking about a jettisonable cockpit or perhaps "cell unit."

"Nationalisation" Certain persons in certain political circles have been talking about nationalising the British aviation industry. Flight reminds them that it didn't work very wel in France.

"Exit in Extremis" Flight discusses the Martin Baker ejection seat at some length. I find it hard to object to something that may very well save my life some day . . . But a "total stroke" of 0.16 seconds, in which the "gun" fires the seat 80ft to get it clear of the plane, translates into an instantaneous peak of 18.75 "Gs," 1/8 seconds after firing, with a full two hundred gravities under the curve if you extend it out to a full second (which you don't, because the "gun stops firing after 1/5 of a second. That's no roller coaster! The "gun," it turns out, is two cartridges, main and auxiliary. The seat is carefully designed to make sure that the legs are in the right place for liftoff, and can be put there even if they were on the rudders, and high gs prior to ejection make it impossible to lift them. There is a head blind to keep the head firmly in the right place for ejection, and the ejection gear is arranged so that you have to pull your arms down to the right position in order to activate the seat. The seat includes an auxiliary oxygen bottle and, of course, an automatically-deployed parachute. Everything else is as nearly automatic as possible. Intercom links and so on are coupled so as to come free from their plugs as the seat pulls away, for example. 

A short note introduces the Auster A.2/45, to be shown off at the SBAC Display next month. It is the new Auster Air Observation Post, and has a 250hp Gipsy Queen engine --another sighting to show that they exist.

"Goblin Put to the Test: 234 Cycles of 65 Minutes Each: Oil Consumption Less than One Pint per Hour" "Many people will now be aware that the Ministry of Supply, through the instigation of Sir Alec Coryton, Controller of Supplies (Air), has initiated an endurance test programme for turbojets and turboprops, which seeks to substantiate claims for this type of power unit, and at the same time disprove certain criticisms. . . " This is why the Theseus was put through its 500ho test run, and why the Goblin has now followed it. Flight wants you to know that the Goblin used 81,000 gallons of kerosene in its 234 65 minute test cycles, but only 28 gallons of lubricating oil.

"Hermes Hierarchy" There are now six types of Hermes. The Type I is the civilian equivalent of the Hastings. The Mk. II has a longer fuselage, and is used for research. The III was intended as a gas-turbine powered version of the II.  The IV is a greatly improved II, with nosewheel and pressurisation, for Empire routes. The V is a IV with Theseus turboprops. The VI is a development of the IV, with a 2500lb reduction in structure weight, high efficiency flaps, larger fin and rudder, thermal de-icing for the wings and electrical de-icing or the airscrews. The 40 seat version has a payload of 12,752lbs and a range of 3,940 miles. 
A shorter note tells us that Pan-Am has asked for its Stratocruisers to be equipped with an engine analyser made by Sperry Gyroscope to reduce the rate of flight delays caused by engine defects. The analyser will allow the flight engineer, among other things. to check all 224 spark plugs in a "few minutes" by manipulating two knobs. 

Here and There

The Ethiopians are buying more Saab Safirs. Sweptback wing versions of the Hawker 1040 and N. 7/46 now exist. This machine, the E.38/46, will not appear at the SBAC Display. Someone wrote Flight to complain that it was overstating the Naiad's advantage over the Dart. (And Mamba.) The RAAF has offered 10 Dakotas for the Airlift. A "gang of four" recently attempted "air piracy," taking over a Cathay Pacific Catalina while it was flying from Hong Kong to Macao. It crashed into the sea forty miles short of Macao. A picture of W. A. Butement and C. Bayley examining an Askania rangefinder at Woomera is labelled "Rocket Rangers." Clever! Also, a reminder that Top Rocket Men are in some place called "Woomera." Serves 'em right for putting so much effort into a penny-farthing gadget like a reaction engine! Mr. Dorman, formerly of Airco, and now in charge of Sponson Developments, which is in charge of the "Tribian," dropped a note with Flight to let them know that he has been invited to Norway by the Aero Club to show models and photographs. "Conductive rubber" for heating  has been developed by . . . someone. Before I ran off to retake freshmen chemistry, I decided, just as a last resort, to read the rest of the paragraph, which revealed that the "conduction" is due to sheets of aluminum "sandwiched" in the rubber. Sounds like it would  make a toasty pair of galoshes, if you can foot the twenty pound battery and alligator clips to your boots becomes the fashion of the day.

Civil Aviation

A DC-4M Northstar of Trans-Canada crashed at Sydney this week, after landing slightly short on a night landing. The left undercarriage hit a "mound of earth 20ft short of the end of the runway." The impact split the integral fuel tank, and when the starboard wing ground looped into the tarmac, the sparks set the fuel alight, burning the plane, but fortunately not the passengers and crew, to a crisp. It has been proposed that the Bristol 170 be built in Australia by the Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation. Hunting Aerosurvey has opened up a Western Australian subsidiary which has recently discovered lead seams. Pictures of the first batch of Chislea Super Aces reveal that they actually exist, and will soon start selling like hotcakes. A little thing like court-ordered bankruptcy protection due to complete lack of interest in their dumb little plane isn't going to hold this going concern back! The Australians are still trying to conserve aviation gas, the Ministry of Civil Aviation is taking over an RAF base with the sillly name of "Nutt's Corner," as an airport for Belfast, KLM is excited about future business opportunities in the Netherlands East Indies, and Plessey is going to produce a wide variety of Bendix radio and radio navigation aid equipment under license. Pan Am is the latest company to push round-trip fares for the Atlantic route over one-way fares. From October, the round trip fare will be only one third higher than one-way. SAS' North Norway route, which flies Short Sandringhams, has carried 15,000 passengers since 19 April, mostly foreign tourists, which I mention so that now you know who likes flying boats. Wealthy fly-fishermen, that's who. Aircraft captains are on notice that radio telephony communications between planes and Northolt and London airports is now being taken down automatically by Dictaphone equipment. 

"The Percival Prince: Design and Operational Features of an 8/10 Seater Feeder-Line Transport with Leonides-style Engines"
Percival must be trying to fire up interest in the Prince again, because it is time to tell us about it some more. This time around, It's a fairly light structural article. It's a high wing plane, which keeps the main wing spar out of the way of the fuselage, which is nice. (Actually, there's no spar in the way at all, as the span is interrupted and loads taken between the wings by the fuselage frame, which is of machined "light alloy." The size of the fin has been increased on the current model, as is the fashion, and there is no dual control provision, as is also the fashion. Less fashionable is omission of an autopilot, although the manufacturer thinks that if you want to put in a Sperry or a Smith's, there's plenty of room. Flaps are also conventional, except that Percival pats itself on the back for getting past fabric covers. Fuel tanks are flexible, which increasingly seems like the right bet. There is Janitrol heating, and the survey version might get more tail to go with a larger nose area. 

"Hermes IV Interior: Layout of the 40-Seater Handley Page Transport for BOAC"
Flight manfully stands up for the dregs of the British aviation industry by pretending that a modified Halifax eked out of Cricklewood three years after the war could be the bright, shining future of British civil aviation if BOAC bureaucrats would just get out of the way. Or spring for the equipment needed to maintain sleeve valve engines, vice the good old valves on the North Star's Merlins, 

"Power-Plant Production in Sweden: Brief Survey of the Work of Svenska Flygmotor AB: Lysholm Gas-Turbine Designs: Goblin Manufacture Under License" It rurns out that A. J. R. Lysholm began inventing gas turbines before April 1936. Ever since, he has been flogging them as power, marine and aviation units, and he is very proud of his patent compressor, which he gegan testing at Bofors in 1935--7. His controllable nozzles are also interesting. Back during the war, Svenska Flygmotor made Twin Wasps and DB605s under license, and they now have a 150hp horizontally-opposed four cylinder engine, of the same kind that everyone else has, and that no-one is willing to pay for, leaving the market to Lycoming and all the wartime spare parts. The article is signed off on by Maurice Smith, but way down at the bottom, so we readers won't realise that this is yet another recycle from his visit to Sweden last winter.

A late-Forties drawing office, specifically at Svenska. 

"New Compromise for the Navion: Two or Three-Control System for use at Will" No-one wants the Navion, but maybe if the controls were easier, some will sell. So here it is!

I still have no idea how to visualise this, but it is a Big Deal.
"Liquid-Spring Progress: Pioneering Work Now Bearing Fruit"  George Dowty's top-secret "oil spring alighting gear" is a landing gear main element shock absorber using oil as the only spring. With no air for inflation, and only oil for both cushioning and recoil-damping, it is revolutionary and will make Mr. Dowty millions of dollars in aviation and automobiles. It will surely replace the "drag strut" used in American undercarriages and further consolidate the success of British levered suspension undercarriages with their elimination of bending moment, thus friction from that source. It will reduce the need for tyre wheel inflations. An example is the Brabazon, which would have required an inflation of 1300 psi with the aircraft jacked up, to retain the 10" diameter tyres. With a liquid spring, the diameter of the undercarriage can be kept small, allowing closer spacing of the twin wheels, and therefore smaller openings in the wings. Long and painstaking work was required to make this possible, but now Dowty liquid-spring undercarriages are on the new Hawker fighters, the AW52, Bristol 170, Avro Tudor and Westland Wyvern. 


H. J. Wilson, chief letter-writing-person for Planet Satellite, writes to explain that the reason it lands faster than a fighter is that it was designed for fast cruising, which of course means high wing loading, which is a completely reasonable way to design a mass production plane for the private owner, and that the real point of the Satellite was to prove the superiority of magnesium construction, and now that the Satellite has proven this, maybe a later plane will land at a safe speed, for those who might want that sort of thing. P. R. Monkhouse, of Menasco, writes to carefully, patiently explain that designing and developing 150hp range aircraft engines, of the flat four (or any other configuration, he might have said), is expensive and hard, and not really justified by the market. So that even if it is a bit of a chicken-and-egg thing, you can't really expect Menasco to finish the design it is developing unless someone gives them a lot of money. David Brice writes to explain that the SR45 won't save Britain the cost of runways because it will still have to build runways for foreign planes, if it wants them. For the ten thousandth time. He goes on to say that he doesn't want to call British South American stupid for opting for the SR45, because the South American route is the best one to use flying boats on because of all the islands, but that does not compensate for the cost of developing the marine flying terminal at Southampton.

Engineering, 20 August 1948

Ellis W. Armstrong, "The Design and Construction of the Anderson Ranch Dam," Continued. Morris-Knudson led a consortium of three builders who placed a $10 million dollar bid, and got the job in 1941. The War Production Board issued a cease-work order in 1942, except for what was required for the war effort. On the argument that the Boise Valley needed the water, the builders were able to wiggle out room to continue work. There's some nice details of the construction effort. Ironically, they needed to lay high tension line to the site to power the works, and the Conway Mucker sounds like a very impressive machine. Like all great construction sites, this one has a massive tunnel, but not a secret means of escape when the barbarians overrun the site (because nowadays the barbarians' approach to Bureau of Land Reclamation work is to just defund it to pay for tax cuts), but to bring water to big giant turbines.

And since we don't really care about civil engineering around here, that's about as much as I should say about that.


The Department of Scientific and Industrial Research has The Physics of Drying with Heated Air, with Particular Reference to Fruit and Vegetables out. The title suggests a theoretical treatment, but it actually gives the specific details of thickness of layers of stacking of British-grown fruit and vegetables in drying kilns (I guess?), since the Californian tables previously used assumed produce with lower moisture contents. The late William Raymond is commemorated in the sixth edition of his Elements of Railroad Engineering, which is a 400 page survey of fundamentals, for students, although experienced engineers might benefit from  having a copy. Fuel and the Future is the proceedings of a 1946 conference that could be used as catapult ammunition, by the sound of it. 995p in one of those giant formats, forthcoming to follow another two volumes. The papers are many, short and sketchy, the index not included, because who gets promoted for producing the index to a conference proceedings? It's main value, then, is a historical treatment of the thought prevailing in those long-gone days of 1946. Plus, it kept the pulp mill working when it could have been wasting its time on newsprint.

"Counterbalance Tests on American Locomotives" Illinois Central reports on the balance of its heavy duty "Commonwealth" engines. Did you know that a heavy-duty locomotive can experience a lateral acceleration of 0.7g when the piston is swinging? I did not! No wonder dynamic out-of-balance forces are so large!

"Professional Recognition of Engineers" This turns out to be from a commencement address by Dean Crawford of some or another American university, and is reprinted from the Journal of the Western Society of Engineers, and establishes that engineers are crosses between Jesus and Michelangelo. I assume. Haven't read it, and, anyway, those guys are probably engineers too, so my analogy doesn't work.

"The Control of Maximum Demand in Steel Works" The electric melting shops of the Atlas Steel Works of Firth Brown Works writes to tell us that they are supplied from the public mains by 5 10 MA 33/6.6 kV three-phase transformers. They are separated into two separate installations, and Firth-Brown's contract is fixed supply with a specified maximum demand, which is why their supply management problem is, as the title says, keeping the plant's wintertime draw under the maximum, integrated over a half  hour. (That is, they can't just install a giant fuze.) The heaviest source of demand is a battery of 5 electric arc furnaces, which makes regulating maximum demand even harder. It is done by a master-slave transmitter system (with a sixth slave at the substation for monitoring purposes.) An automatic integrator at the substation is in the loop back from the slaves, and keeps the master's supply at a level that prevents demand from exceeding maximum. Theoretically, it's all very simple, and the integrator isn't even electrical, but it's ingenious and you can see how it could all be improved enormously with a few vacuum tubes here and there, though I wouldn't use tubes specifically for obvious reasons of reliability.

"Infra-red Paint Drying in Lock Manufacture" Using infrared to dry paint is an obvious alternative to stoving ovens. I  just had never thought that locks would need anything so elaborate, but very big companies are involved --Metrovick did the infrared heaters!

British Standards has out Domestic Electrical Refrigerators, Metal Windows, Subframes and Sills, Carburetor Jets and Instrument Jewels, so now manufacturers have standard specifications for these.

The theme in the Regional Notes this week is that new supplies of steel and iron are taken up as quickly as they become available, while the supply of coal is becoming more generous, and unemployment is appearing in the South Welsh fields.

Launches this week include motor ships Corinaldo, Cyclops,, Puriri and Cumberland, steamshipos Boca Maule and John Pine. Three of the four MS are large cargo liners, two refrigerated.


"The Peacetime Use of Royal Ordnance Factories" Parliament has a report before it, which Engineering is going to sum up for us. The factories have some nice contracts for rail cars, oil boring machinery, concrete sleepers, and fine parts for the new wind tunnel at Farnborough. There are also some miscellaneous contracts for small cookers and the like. Unfortunately, the ROFs mostly do not bid competitively with private industry due to overhead, although the Admiralty Dockyards make a profit on merchant ship repairs. It seems likely that the factories will stop bidding on civilian work now that the country has gone to a peacetime economy and the labour forces at the plants can be run down.

"The National Bureau of Standards" Engineering summarises the US Bureau of Standards report for 1947. Nothing springs out at me as interesting, at least compared with Newsweek's treatment of same, which found the load testing on human bones. We already knew that the Bureau was sticking its nose in Illinois-at-Purdue's work in  home heating, right? It is vaguely interesting that the Bureau does 150,000 test series, but that's not very useful information without knowing how big each series is. It's fun that they have involved themselves in testing the ignition temperatures of liquids, because it was a bit of a point of contention in rating nominally 100 octane fuels back in the war, with British authority disagreeing with American  industry. I don't think I've ever seen that mentioned around here, but it was.

Notes reports that electricity prices are going up, the Non-Ferrous Metals Manufacturers' Association has a book out, world shipbuilding continues at a fast pace with British yards in the lead, and the United States ahead of Denmark but behind Holland. Seven railway underbridges and 50 road bridges were washed away or collapsed by the heavy rain last week, after more than 4" of rain fell in 24 hours in parts of Scotland. The Royal Engineers are out and about with Bailey bridges, and perhaps those Baileys-for-railways that the Americans had no time for, probably with reason, back in the war. A massive impoundment behind the rail embankment threatens Eyemouth, on the London-Edinburgh line near Berwick, with imminent inundation, and a channel will have to be very carefully cut for it.

Letters is taken up with a very long screed from Edgar Smith, a retired Captain (E), who claims the distinction of the first dynamometer car for Charles Babbage, who fiddled with one back in 1839. Dr. William Cullen, formerly of the University of the Witwatersrand, the Ministry of Munitions, and private consulting, has died. So has W. M. Ratcliffe, of Heenan and Froude of Bolton, before becoming one of those men who is on every board everywhere. As has J. S. Dow, consulting engineer in the illuminating field. As has A. F. C. Pollard, the autopilot guru and master of the maths of control functions, suddenly, at 71.

"The Third Congress on Large Dams," Continued. This week, a summary of Maurice Mary's summary of 19 papers given in the second of four topics, "Research Methods and Instruments for Determining Stresses and Deformations in Earth and Concrete Dams." Surveying instruments of great precision are good enough for deformations, but stresses require all sorts of exciting apparatus including membrane pressure meters, acoustic gauges and a sort of earth-trumpet that I assume is dug into a coffer. I assume that we are less interested in the results, contenting ourselves with the fact that the dams don't burst and that the electricity flows.

"The Aeronautical Conference, London, 1947" The RAeS has belatedly published a 700p conference proceedings. Important as the conference was, the field is so fast moving that I think we're as up to date as we can be on the problems of high speed (sweepback!) and low speed (flaps and flaps on flaps and flaps on flaps on flaps, little fleas on littler fleas and so on.)

"The Measurement of Railway Sleeper Resistance" No offence to the worthy researchers, but. . .

Labour Notes is mainly concerned with their being more strikes in Britain than last year, with more days lost, mainly because of the ports action, which introduces the second subject, which is the Transport and General Workers' Union report rejecting the members' criticism.

R. W. Urie and A. Wylie, "Rare-Earth Oxides for Glass Polishing" Australian workers have found that a mix of cerium oxide and other rare earth oxides can be used to polish optical glass, which mainly means that manufacturers can use less care in purifying their cerium oxide polishing powder formulations.

"Polamadie Locomotive Depot" The Scottish region locomotive depot of British Railways is a very fine depot.
Virgin West Coast? As in, Virgin Atlantic? You sold your rail network to Virgin Atlantic? Is there something in the water in the the UK, now?

New Books receives several titles on railway history, a textbook on vectors for electrical engineers, books on diamond cutting tools and sheet metal for aircraft, and the late Walter Pollock's book on building small ships.

Newsweek, 23 August 1948


Still around.
Several correspondents think communism is bad, including Farrell Dobbs, the Socialist Workers Party candidate for President in 1948, who points out that the American Communist Party didn't come to the aid of his party when several union members  were imprisoned for violating the Smith Act during the war. He's a Trotskyite, though, so kind of a communist. David Goodyear points out that because baby food is prescribed for ulcers, the entire increase in baby food sales can't be written off to the increase in babies.  Mrs. L. M. Robinson, of Hamilton, Ohio, thinks that Boston is dirty and untidy.

The Periscope reports that there's an election on, that the delayed release of the Gray Report (about giving the Secretary of Defence more control of state National Guard units, you'll recall) might have been political, and that the Secretary might get other new powers soon. The AEC explains wartime uranium exports to Russia as being authorised to protect the secrecy of the Manhattan Project. Denying them uranium would have revealed that America was working on the atom bomb. Attorney General Clark is being blamed for the spy scandal, on the grounds that if he had released a report similar to the one released by the New York grand jury, that said that there would be no charges for national security reasons, the whole thing would have blown over. (I guess everyone, including the Russians but excepting the public, now knows that the spies were all given up by the wartime one-time pad breach.

Republicans think that they'll do better in Georgia than ever before. There are indications in the Soviet press that there might be a purge beginning there. The British are bristling over the Nationalists' anti-native policy, the latest offence being a South African push to have Italian control of Ethiopia restored, lest there be even a single independent country in Africa. The US Army is leaving much of its arsenal in the hands of the South Korean army when they leave. Pilots are making up to $300/hour flying weapons to Israel from Czechoslovakia. Farm incomes might be down as much as 12% this year because of soft grain prices due to the bumper crop. The railways are asking for a 5% rate increase. The skilled labour shortage is said to be as bad as during the war. The FCC will not crack down on quiz shows before the new year, and Knut Hamsun and Marghanita Laski have books out.

Washington Trends reports that Dewey's election is now deemed certain, and it is thought that the Democrats cannot retake the House, although they will make gains, which leaves the Senate in play. Improved morale at the grass roots level suggests that the Democrats can take some state houses, though. The President remains confident, however, and fundraising is solid. The President thinks that his "bipartisan foreign policy is a winner, and no-one is going to come up with  an better Berlin policy. Newsweek supposes that the Russians are backing Wallace because they hope that a GOP win will revive American isolationism. Newsweek suggests that getting tough on Korea might be a way forward in the Berlin impasse. ECA aid might be withheld from any European country that trades military goods with Russia, which is the upshot of the Nene affair.

National Affairs

Actually, Kosenkina again. 

The first six pages are the spy story, and crowded in a "box" explaining that low grain prices will lead to low meat prices next year. T
As a change from that, a story is devoted to H. L. Mencken saying that he doesn't like communists, and thinks that if Dewey gets in, those "anti-humanist" Marxists will get it even worse from Dewey, a "hard and harsh man."

From there it is off to cover the important news. Which is, of course, the election! Representative Lyndon Johnson, of Texas, campaigns in a helicopter! His opponent is noticeably paler! (That's for Uncle George.)
"West Branch Revisited" Newsweek shares the news that Herbert Hoover has been rehabilitated and everyone likes him now. Especially West Branch, his "hometown," where he had a nice party and where speeches were given to him, and by him. To keep things light, he denounced the evils of satanic Marxism. Some garrulous old folk were produced who remembered horsing around with a Herbert Hoover, long ago.

Ernest K. Lindley's column is about what is going to be in the January report of the ERA. By then, he says, the European economic recovery will be well on, thanks to bumper crops and German production, but it might be a bad report if the British get all shirty about their productivity advice, or ship jet engines to Russia, or France and Italy go communist causing anarchy to be unleashed on the world in a blood-rimmed tide, because that would be bad. This is also what Phillips' Foreign Tides column is about, this week, to save you some time. (That is: nothing. His specific subject is the propaganda war over Berlin.)

Foreign Affairs

The lead story suggests that WWIII might be around the corner. The next story leads off with a joke about a financial expert in Berlin saying, "You know, we are in a very difficult position," and the reporter answering that, "I sympathise with you. I don't understand currency reform, either." The Deutschemark is very important, no-one understands why. This is important, because the Russians are blockading Berlin because the Allies want to circulate the D-mark there, and since no-one understands, or cares to try to understand, no-one understands why. So when Stalin is nice to visitors and Molotov is mean, it's because at some point, someone said something about money that someone else objects to, and everyone gets sniffy. It's no way to run a planet.

On the other end of the world, MacArthur is fighting with the Japanese unions again. (They're Communist.) Newsweek takes the Time line: The Greeks didn't push up into the mountains to finish off Markos' communists until they were pushed and prodded into it by their American military advisors, because those silly Europeans can't do war right. However, push they did, and now the Communists on the frontier are almost done, but new raids in Thessaly and the Peloponnese show that things may go on for months yet.

The big tourism story features another of the year's bumper crops: hosts of tourists "from all over," but mostly the hard currency areas, visiting Britain and France. In Britain, they find terrible food and awful food, and also bad food. They also find dingy trains, a lack of everything, and ridiculous restrictions on currency. Their luggage is carefully searched for British pound notes on arrival, since they can be bought for $2.80 in New York, and sell for $4 in London. The coupons they need to make off-ration purchases are hard to understand, the shops all close at 6, and did I mention that the food is awful? Also, the weather is very British.
France seems to be another matter.

Hot take!
It's enough to make you forget that there blood rimmed tide of anarchy. Also, Paul Reynaud's brilliant plan to make France economically self-reliant by the end of "Marshall-plan aid" passed the Assembly, because everyone liked it. That leaves a page and a half to take up with story, so Newsweek reminds us that Reynaud used to be France's Churchill.

There are also dog-day bits about trouble at a girl's reform school, ooh-la-la, a Parisian who was locked out of his apartment while trying to draw a bath, now charged with public nudity and flooding his building, and a French law forbidding first page crime news coverage, showing that in certain ways the French are bluestockings, too.

In Latin American news, the  usual lot of coups, rumoured coups and el Presidentes acting like they're trying to start one, is broken by news of a tram-ticket crackdown in Buenos Aires.


"Behind the Interest-Rate Headlines" Newsweek does a terrible job of explaining what's behind the headlines. Apparently, the effect of raising interest rates is strictly psychological, because businessmen might just think differently about taking out a loan when it costs more because they are wacky that way. It's a little bit better on the story of how the increase came to be, since it has to explain how Snyder (worried about the rate the Government pays on Treasury bonds) and the Federal Reserve came to be on the same page. But they are, so there's not that much to say.

"Mr. Teterboro" Fred Wehras, the barnstormer who put Teterboro Airport on the map twenty-four years ago, has sold it to the New York Port Authority for a cool $2 million profit. Teterboro has always been a good alternative airport for New York due to the lack of a gas tax in New Jersey. That's the main tidbit I got out of a fairly interesting, extended story about his 24 years in the business.

On the other hand, the same story about the airlines being in trouble went rolling right by my eyes, in spite of having some actual concrete things to say about how they might improve things by doing a better job of selling tickets down at the end.

"The Baskad Business" Story F. Chappell has gotten into the business of grocery carts in upstate New York, buying advertising space on the cart panels from ten supermarkets.

Trends and Changes reports that Emerson is raising the price of radios  due to higher wages and materials cost, surprising the rest of the industry, which has seen price cutting.  Pan-American will sell excursion (round trip) tickets at a discount rate this October. It is reported that nearly 16 million people, or one out of every six adults, is receiving some kind of Federal government benefit, including veterans, the elderly, farmers and civil service workers. Americans will smoke an average of 110 packs of cigarettes a person this year. The country's pay is up about 2%, I eyeball the "national income" figures as saying, while fewer goods are being shipped to Russia, the Humble Oil and Refining Company has hit a strike 4000 feet below its million dollar drilling rig off Louisiana, and the Post Office will start accepting packages from 8oz to 70lb for airmail delivery in the United States. The New Haven Rail control fight is over. Howard Palmer is out, Harry Dumaine is in.

"Strike One on Eaton" Cyrus Eaton has been charged by the SEC. This is important, since this is the long-rolling story about the withdrawn Kaiser-Frasier stock offering. I know that around here we just assume that Uncle Henry was pulling a fast one and that the only thing stinky about Eaton's behaviour is that it took him so long to ditch the deal. It looks as though the SEC doesn't agree, so maybe Uncle Henry was the one done wrong for a change.

Hmm. No. That doesn't make any sense.

What's New Tri-Wheel is flogging a tricycle passenger car "designed for household errands and light city deliveries." Janice Adams claims that its new mild soap cream won't sting baby's eyes, thanks to being made from the skin of young lambs and not lanolin. Ambrose B. Everts of Seattle is marketing an elaborate rig for fighting prairie fires that can be towed by trucks at 15mph. Car-Skin Products of New York has a "dry cleaning fluid" for car bodies. Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company has a lead-free house paint that will not darken in industrial areas subject to sulpher from coal. The Universal Bidicator Company has a revolving disc chart to tell contract bridge players how to bid their hands.

Business Tides with Henry Hazlitt says that there is "Hypocrisy about Inflation" Specifically, Congress should make the FRB increase its reserve requirements and stop spending so much money, instead of telling the FRB to do things that won't stop inflation. Also, the President is terrible, because his wage and price controls won't work. No mention of the excess profits tax, which definitely would work, but which Henry's Wall Street buddies hate.

Science, Medicine

"Sir Isaac Babson" This is the story briefly alluded to in Time last week, but we won't get into that, as mentioned, because of the distraction. Roger Babson is a well-known stock tout --"financial analyst"-- and is now rich enough to pursue his real dream of finding a "gravity insulator," which will . . . stop gravity, with all that implies. He is also rich enough to own a giant ranch in Florida, and founded Utopia College in Emporia, Kansas, in 1946. I vaguely recall  him as the man who wanted to move to Kansas because it was a longer fly for enemy planes with atom bombs. That is, it is the safest place in America in the event of atomic war, and not Colorado, like those other kooks with the atom-bomb proof town thought. He's going to build his Gravity Research Foundation in a suburb of Boston (Time mentions which one, but Newsweek doesn't).

Utopia College. By Braniffair - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

"Busier Bee" Bees have been dying off at a high rate in recent years, in part because of DDT, in part because of the diseases that bees naturally get, such as dysentery. The Department of Agriculture, which has been working to breed a more resistant and harder-working bee, thinks that it has found one, and is now sending out super-bee queens to improve the nation's general bee breeding stock. No word on whether they are blond, blue-eyed bees, but I assume . . .

"Survival of the Fittest" Dr. Edward Graham tells a story about how a farmer once tried to get rid of obnoxious skunks by trapping and removing them, only to find that his ducklings were disappearing, too. It turned out that the skunks ate the eggs of the snapping turtles that ate the ducklings. The moral is that nature is complicated. Except gravity, which is dead easy.

"Rolling Bones" At the request of the Navy and Air Force, the National Bureau of Standards is doing failure tests on human bones to find out just how badly their  planes will be allowed to abuse them. It turns out that a thigh bone can support 1560lb without breaking, compact by 1 1/2", about what happens when landing a high jump, a 10% twist, and that a cross section can withstand 23,000lb/sq in pressure. Not bad! Canadians are seeing a new anti-VD film that will make all the difference, although not as much as putting them in the hot box for three hours. A story you won't hear about because of the Distraction.

"Streptomycin and TB" As a side note of the Berlin story (and, come to think of it, the "curing VD with hotboxes and penicillin" story), an American airline has offered to fly streptomycin over to Berlin to treat 10 German children hospitalised with tuberculosis there. This launches into a general story on TB treatment with streptomycin, one of the main new "antibiotics." I vaguely recall last year that there was talk that it wasn't going to be effective against TB, after all, but that seems to be wrong. Doctors can't yet say that it is curing people, especially because TB lesions on the lungs don't clear up entirely; but other symptoms do. Doctors have also found that the treatment quantities can be reduced, which is good, because streptomycin is toxic and has undesirable side effects. They also worry about acquired immunity. As streptomycin treatments continue, TB microbes develop a resistance to it, and that is one reason that treatment dosages have to increase. The real fear, though, is of a public-health hazard, if people end up carrying these drug-resistant microbes into the world.

Press, Radio, People

"Packaged Papers" Harold Sherwood's American Newspaper Advertising Network puts together packages of ad space in assorted American newspapers and sells them to advertisers as "units."

The ITU strike is moving towards settlement. Maybe.

There are two stories about press freedom in the south. In Miami, Florida, the city commissioners have levied a 1% tax on all publications in the city, which may be un-constitutional due to the Stamp Act, although a similar law in Tampa passed the Supreme Court. In Alabama,  a judge has ordered that photographs taken in court during Folsom's paternity case cannot be published, because court is special.

The big story in radio is the summer replacement series, which are as terrible as ever. Newsweek thinks that the networks should just rebroadcast material from Fred Allen, Bob Hope, Edgar Bergen and Amos 'n Andy, because most people haven't heard it all, anyway. Also, some of the big names should try doing summer series, when there's no competition.

The actual big story is that Kosenkina's leap from the window of the Soviet Consulate is the first major news story caught live on camera. 
Not Rupert Murdoch
Jane Froman appeared on stage without her crutches this week, showing that she was finally recovered from her 1943 crash. Say what you will about flying boats, at least when they crash in the water, it's too wet for them to catch fire and you can drown in peace. Governor Folsom is retiring in 1951. Terrence Horsley, editor of the London Sunday Empire News, flew over to America to trout fish in Tennessee over the weekend, because hard currency restrictions are for the little people. Mr. and Mrs. Ray Richter, of Fresno, California, are up on child neglect charges for tying their son up and leaving him in the car while they went shopping on a hot, summer afternoon. Former Supreme Court Justice, Owen Roberts, has come out of retirement to be chancellor of the UPenn law school at the age of 78. A New Yorker survived a nine story fall in a broken elevator by grabbing on to cables, while a stunt aviator at a show in Monticello, N. Y., had to cling to the streamer hanging from the rear of his plane until the pilot scraped him off in a swamp, surviving at the cost of assorted broken limbs and ribs. Tyrone Power is marrying Linda Christian. Jinx Falkenberg has had a baby, Babe Ruth is sick, May de Sousa has died of starvation, after growing too weak to support herself as a charwoman, while Lord Harmsworth has died of old age, and Elaine Hammerstein in a car crash. Ann Straw's body has been recovered.


The big story is the new version of "Carmen," starring Rita Hayworth, but that's not a review, to which wet try to limit this section. Enough Hollywood gossip around here already! "Snoopopathic" is a review, of the new Powell/Lizabeth Scott vehicle, Pitfall. The reviewer has some kind of personal objection to the plot, which isn't risque enough for him, I think. Murderers Among Us is a German feature about a war-damaged veteran, Dr. Hans Merten (Ernest Borchert), now a hopeless alcoholic living in a bombed-out Berlin apartment, who is intent on murdering his former commander, Captain Bruckner, who "made a fetish of the kind of duty that involved the wanton slaughter of women and children, yet has come out of the war as a prosperous small factory owner." He falls in love (with Hildegard Knef), rediscovers his calling, and finds enough faith in humanity to turn Bruckner over to the authorities instead of shooting them, so happy ending in the midst of the ruins of the Soviet sector of Berlin.


From middlebrow to . . . less middlebrow? Lindbergh has a book out. Yes, that Lindbergh. It turns out that he has a philosophy. It's not all just petty resentment (sounds better when Ronnie says it in French). His philosophy is that we should blow up Communists and atheists more, Fascists less. Surprise! Also, Betty Smith's first book since A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is such a huge disappointment that it gets a full half page of explanation of just what is so disappointing. It's like taking pictures of a car crash. Erskine Caldwell's This Very Earth is what happens when "a writer persists after his inspiration is gone." Poor, southern white trash lead indecent lives and abuse each other. Tragedy ensues, etc.

Raymond Moley's Perspectives column announces the first in a multi-part series comparing Roosevelt to Dewey. i) Both men were Governors of New York. ii) Roosevelt did stuff. If Dewey is elected, he will do stuff, too. No doubt his GOP dominance will last as long as the New Deal. Moley doesn't explain how he knows this, but I assume a crystal ball and a horoscope were involved.

Flight, 26 August 1948


"The Helicopter Picture" There are lots of helicopter designs, and no-one has a clear idea as to which is best. The next Leader is actually a continuation of this one, "The Source of the Headaches." Which is that lifting and propelling an aircraft with a single rotor required an elaborate mechanism in the rotor head that is just bound to go wrong. So they are all bolted up and attached in all sorts of ways to give either a tilting head, as in the Gyrodyne, or cyclic pitch control, as in everyone else's designs. Eventually, there will probably be a standard, and reliable design. 

"The New Generation" Everyone is very sad that the Apollo won't be at the SBAC Display. The Brabazon won't be either, even though its picture graces the bottom of the page. Did you know that it can carry 13,500 gallons. And that's the tare for London-New York nonstop.

"Percivals on Parade: The Prince Comes Out: First Demonstation of the Prentice T. Mk. 2" It is official. Percival needs some publicity, and, thanks to being owned by Hunting, can get it.

"Kaman K-190: An American Helicopter with Servo-control of Intermeshing See-Saw Rotors" Uncle George says that the only thing crazier than a helicopter with intermeshing rotors is one that relies on active control of the pitch cycle to prevent them from interfering with each other; and that the only thing crazier than that is expecting a company as small as Kaman to deliver on the engineering. "They're going to bend," he says, with a bit more force and spittle than you expect from the old fox. 

"Farnborough Lineup" The planes to be shown at the SBAC Exhibition at Farnborough have been announced. Various planes will be seen, unless they crash in the next month or so as their designers try to get them ready, or have to go to the poorhouse. (Satellite and Super Ace.)

Uncle George is wrong this time. Also, look at this picture I can't use otherwise.

Civil Aviation News

Airways Training, the BOAC/BEA initiative to turn their Aldermaston training school into a private school for foreigners and such, has been closed down, as no-one wanted to go. Pilots are reminded that flashing emergency lights should be flashed in an irregular war, lest they be confused with navigation lights. The story about recording conversations between control and pilots is repeated with a bit more detail and a small, inset picture of the Dictaphone Belt recorder/reproducer, which is capable of recording up to 30 minutes of conversation on a plastic belt, with an automatic changeover device to ensure 20 to 30 seconds of overlap, and another to ensure that there is no recording when there is no conversation. "Recorded material may be filed by time, date and frequency," which sounds more like useful advice than a new feature. The Apollo doesn't exist yet, and certainly hasn't got to the point where its cabin can be laid out, but that hasn't stopped Armstrong Whitworth from commissioning a cabin mockup. It is very nice. 
 The Short Solent's wing floats have been moved 7ft outboard and given a "Vee" strut bracing to replace the original. The wing spar is being reinforced to take the additional load. It is hoped that the first aircraft will be ready for service by the end of the month. I can't describe how mad this makes me. The Solent isn't even a new design. The Empire Boats started flying thirteen years ago, and the Solent is basically just a tinkered-up version! I appreciate that flying boat design is one fine mess after another, but still . . . . We're reminded that BSAA is flying Tudor IVs again, and "two other weekly services." They've also moved their maintenance base from Kingston to Nassau. The South African Minister of Transport, P. O. Sauer, recently spoke at the christening ceremony of the Mercury Airways Skyliner City of Capetown, saying that there was room for both public and private airlines in South Africa. "The City of Capetown recently landed in England despite the Ministry of Civil Aviation's ban on certain passenger-carrying flights over South Africa-U.K. routes." Maybe I could find a newspaper that covers aviation news, and find out what this means? The Ministry of Food is still flying milk from Northern Ireland to England, now with 13 aircraft, including a motly lot of Halifaxes, Dakotas and Liberators. London Airport now has an experimental system of low-intensity approach lighting on runway 280 degrees, consisting of two parallel lines of red lights 150ft apart, extending 4000ft from the runway end and diverging by 2 degrees. There is a 1500ft marking bar of eight red and four sodium lights. The lights will not be in general use, but will be turned on at the discretion of Air Traffic Control at pilot request. 

"First Jet Transport" The Nene-Viking flew to Paris! It set a transport aircraft record! It only took 37 minutes! The Nenes would have torn the Viking apart at full power! The Viking climbed to 10,000ft in 3 minutes! Passengers are not going to be treated like this, so it is all pointless! But exciting! You can tell from all the exclamation marks! (Though a careful reading might make you think that I'm not actually impressed by this silly stunt.)

"Apollo: First Post-War Civil Aircraft by Sir W. G. Armstrong Whitworth, Ltd." Maybe I'm completely out to lunch when I suggest that the Apollo is in trouble; but nothing says "trouble" like a long, company-written feature in Flight. The Apollo is a low-wing design with turboprops and a thin wing, with Fowler flaps, which is nice, but somehow this all froced A.W. to use a sideways retracting undercarriage. That's fine with a fighter but not the thing to do with a transport plane, what with cutting the structure so far, spanwise, never mind the way it messes up take off and landing to have the drag load of the undercarriage changing. A. W. puts its best face on it by talking about how they were forced to introduce swinging links to control the Fowler flaps, which shows ingenuity. The fuselage was built in three separate pieces,and the wing spar is carried across the undercarriage cut out by "massive extruded longerons at floor level." Pressurisation reinforcement at the windows and doors also sounds sturdy. The control tabs on the rudder are activated when the power jack that operates the rudder is jostled, which acts automatically to counterbalance pitching moments. I put that in to remind myself if I ever end up flying one!

Aside from all of this, I don't really see much to concern myself with the rest of the structural details, except to notice that A.W. is still employing John Lloyd and his team, and their record is getting awful sparse on wins. There's more to be said about the pressurising details. Cabin blowers, heaters,  and a refrigeration turbine are all required, and the air h as to flow through humidifiers and intercoolers. That is a lot to take off an engine, and while the Mamba doesn't care what is done with the horsepower once it leaves the auxiliary drive, people never care to bring up what happens when the auxiliary drive shaft pushes back. We'll see. The Mamba is Armstrong Siddelely's ticket back to respectability. The RAF will take anything that pushes a fighter or bomber fast enough; selling an airliner attached to your engine shows that you've hit the target. 

"Swedish Visitor: Scandia Seen for the First Time in England" After several days in Dublin showing off to Aer Lingus, the Scandia has swung by London to see if anyone wants yet another DC-3 replacement that can't hit its promised cruising altitude for lack of engines.

"London Airport Construction" Ronnie bought a "feminised" version of a Lone Ranger outfit at a showing last week, which she intends to wear at Halloween, which I mention because she hauled out the mask this weekend after I mentioned that, sure enough, the article varies between "London Airport" and "Heathrow." With the mask on, she says, she is "Heathrow." Then she makes some literary reference to a novel about someone named Brontey. When the mask comes off, she is plain old "London." Then I couldn't stop myself, and you know the rest.

Look, the important point is that Ronnie is a very cute number in a mask and will be cuter in white. Shut up. Okay, enough of that. There are serious, taxpayer-money related things to consider. Heathrow (it's easier to write because there's only one word) is going to have temporary buildings, which will be erected starting this year, and finished by 1950. They have a planned ten year lifespan, by which time hopefully we'll know what airports are "supposed" to look like. The last three runways, which are the controversial ones due to being on the far side of the Bath road and requiring the expropriation of some homes, will not be built for " a number of years," by which time hopefully a home will be found for the current residents. Since the Ministry has previously been accused of overestimating likely traffic, there is talk that the six runways of Stage II will be re-estimated at 72 movements an hour, instead of 90. This would lead to some airlines being refused space at Heathrow. Total cost is now estimated at £60 million, of which £6.6 million has already been spent. £1.6 million is to be spent this year. Another £15 million will be required to complete Stage II south of Bath road, including the Maintenance Area and terminal buildings. Stage III will require another £3 million. Building has, in general, been slowed down in line with the policy to cut capital investments. The government is very pleased with the way things are going.

Here and There

The Norway Aero Club's Oslo Air Week has gone very well, so far. A Flying Fortress dropped by, an RAF squadron promised to do some formation flying, and Captain Spikes put on a show with his Piper Cub. The Shooting Stars that have been in Britain showing off the American jet age will be returning to America via Iceland and Greenland, just like the Meteors, which may see them on their return leg, considering that it is taking forever due to the weather and the need to pick the moment carefully. 

Engineering, 27 August 1948

"The Machine Tool and Engineering Exhibition at Olympia" Another of Engineering's backward articles, as we finally arrive at the beginning after several months of "To be continued." Or, as anyone else would do it, "the end." The honour of feature piece goes to a fine lathe built by George Swift and Sons, with the rest of the installment taken up with additional lathes for chucking, tool room precision lathing, centre lathing, automatic lathing and horizontal lathing, the latter leading into the related but different field of cylinder boring. which leads insensibly on to planing, and from there to sloping, before reaching thread-milling, moulding, sawing, double edge tenoning and shaping.


"The British Machine Tool Industry" The issue that catches Engineering's attention, out of everything discussed by Mr. W. J. Morgan, the Secretary of the British Machine Tools Industry, is, "How large should the British machine tool industry be?" Given the supply of steel, the Minister of Production, the redoubtable Mr. Cripps, settled on £23 million back in 1945, rising to a princely 25 million with allowances by 1948. Of this, he has ruled that 60% must be exported, leaving the bulk of the reequipping of British industry to the government-owned pool of 150,000 surplus, second-hand tools. Morgan doubts the wisdom of this, proposing that the value of £15 million in machine tools retained in Britain to re-equip industry would be vastly greater than the export value of the machine tools themselves. The prime purpose of the Exhibition is to promote exports, and demonstrate just how much progress has been made in the field of machining with tools, but it is exactly this productivity-increasing progress of which British industry has been deprived! (Fortunately, the industry can lead an export drive to push them willy-nilly on the Lower Paraguays, and when these sensibly reply that what they'd really like is three squares and a machete that will cut through the mate vine, the exporter can report that it has been "frustrated," and sell it to the marmalade-maker down the road. Or, maker of marmalade-making equipment. Same same. 

"Dust Suppression in Mines" Engineering reports on new draft regulations for prevention of health problems, rather than explosions.

Notes reports on the next session of the National Foundry College, to be held over a year at Wolverhampton starting in July of 1949. Bailey bridges have replaced all damaged road bridges from the great flood. Trains are still going by diversionary routes, and the War Office is talking with British Railways about  using military sets, with caution and reserve being shown. I think someone needs to go back to the drawing board and design modular temporary rail bridging that actually works --the need is real enough, and the existing equipment is obviously not much appreciated. Engineering gets in its bit about the Hawker N7/46 (Engineering does not believe in extra periods). Zoom! Southend Pier is to get a radar to  help ships not run into it.

It seems no-one has written Engineering this week, so it is on to obituaries. It is a far less lethal week than last, with only Launcelot Smith,  struck dead while trying to think of something useful to say about an avalanche of lathes. The former manager of Smith's Dock, I hope, given that he was 80, although the obit says, "until recently" the managing director. (Edit: "Recently" means 1945, so he was a spry 77 when he gave up active duties, and had a full three years to enjoy his retirement.) Smith, third son of Thomas Eustace Smith, M. P., was reserved from the moment of his graduation from Rugby(!) to the family shipyard.

"The Second International Conference on Soil Mechanics" Someone told me that this would be a very dirty issue of Engineering, which is why I spent so much time pouring over the pictures of machine tools. 

Dr. W. C. Newell and A. J. Lagner, "New Methods of Ladle De-Sulphuring Pig Iron" Add sodium carbonate. The chemistry is laid out in detail after a preliminary discussion of the importance of this preliminary report. The country needs more low-sulphur steel. 

Launches lists motor ships Clifford, Warla, Clytoneus and Palaudina, and steamships Riggleto, Enugu and Mabella, all relatively small and humdrum ships, many of them for collier work. I wonder if things tail off in August in shipyards, too? It's certainly not a season I'd pick if I had a choice of when my ship was built! The theme of Regional Notes is still brisk demand for steel and adequate although not exceptional supplies of coal. Labour Notes covers the Austin strike that we'll hear about again in Newsweek. The shop stewards present it as an issue of violation of the collective agreement. New machine tools were introduced, an operator was timed, and a new, higher piece rate established for the same pay, which is not how the collective agreement says that it is supposed to happen. If the company is making money at 280 pieces a day, and the rate increases to 330, the operator gets more money, too. I am shocked that Newsweek would distort the issues so. Shocked! I guess  you'll have to wait to the end of the Newsweek summary to see if you are shocked, too. Also in Labour, aircraft industry employees are worried that, unless "fly British" provisions are maintained, employment prospects in the industry will dwindle. They can all emigrate to the Lower Paraguays, they remind the Government. Well, not here, they don't. But I hear that they've got more machine tools than they can handle down there!

Dr. R. G. West, "Aluminum-Alloy Casting Developments" I try to use the castings I have, rather than consuming more, as in my job, most casting-consuming involves heavy soil mechanics. That said, it is nice to hear that progress is being made in the field of making castings that don't fail unexpectedly due to bubbles and hot-shortness, which is something to look out for in your midget flyers. But enough about test pilots!

Notes on New Books has a book about Derby, the town, and especially its industries, and H. F. Livesay's book about the locomotives of the LNEWR, which would probably deserve a longer note if this were The Engineer, which it is not, because for some reason the public library let someone  have those issues out, and mine haven't come --and probably won't, at this point. 

People seem to be reading Mr. Miller's  magazines for a change. The Canadian News pages are tattered. 


Several correspondents are upset because Stalin is on all the Newsweek covers. Newsweek gently points out that they are hallucinating. Marriner Eccles doesn't like being identified as a Democrat, even though he is. Correspondents disagree about whether Henry Hazlitt is an idiot. "Evil" is what I'd choose. Harry McGrath thinks that short people shouldn't be allowed to compete in Olympic weight lifting, because they have it easy, and C. G. Austin is convinced that lightning strikes on aircraft flying in the Airlift are actually victims of a Russian secret weapon. 

The publisher's letter is a bit of sanity in this Commie-chasing world, revealing that the most-requested Newsweek reprint of late is the 9 August baby story that we missed while following The Economist's latest campaign to be named the next common enemy of humanity. Newsweek reminds us that children overseas aren't doing so well, and that we can contribute; and that the BErlin Airlift is great. 

The Periscope reports that Charles Bohlen is Marshall's new advisor, that the Mundt-Nixon Bill is sure to pass next session, and that various people are resigning their "sub-Cabinet" posts to find real work ahead of the election, including Tom Clark, who isn't sub-Cabinet at all. The Bureau of Reclamation is being accused of getting very close to politics by highlighting Republican candidates who want to stop various Interior Department efforts and halt ones like the Grand Coulee Dam and Missouri Valley projects. Congress is worried that it might be recalled from summer vacation over that whole Berlin thing, and hopes that the Communists will have the good taste to wait to have their world revolution in the fall, when things happen. GI Insurance payments are an election story. Howard Hughes will take the Hercules up on a real test flight in the next few weeks. The Koumintang thinks that the Administration is dragging its feet over the $125 million Congressional appropriation for military aid. 

The European military alliance that is a foregone conclusion is being discussed again. It is suggested that the real reason that the Russians want the Allies out of Berlin is that it is such a good "listening post" for intelligence. Yugoslavia is in difficult economic straits, and the wire services are preparing to go over air if the Russians cut landlines to Berlin. Cattle in 26 states are being struck by a mysterious disease similar to brucellosis. The Administration will campaign on the GOP-opposed minimum wage hike. Detroit thinks that with tooling costs up three times over prewar, new car models will last 3 to 5 years in the future. Good labour relations will boost industrial production by 3%, the most possible with all the shortages. "Nature Boy" is becoming a movie, a comedy to star Danny Kaye. James Nasser's next movie will be an adventure set in Iceland, Disney's next movie will have only fifteen minutes of animation, Bogart and Mae West have movies planned. Robert G. Lewis and a show called "News in a Nutshell" are hot in radio, while Mickey Rooney is not. Sam Spewack's The Busy, Busy People is due in March, and Sprigle's adventures south of the "Smith and Wesson Line" will be a hard-hitting book, soon that I was short on in my first draft of this, because the story came up in Time, now not to be seen. Robert Service has a new volume out, and Harnett Kane's biography of Jefferson Davis' wife is coming out in the fall. 

Washington Trends reports that the Communist spy scandal is impacting the election! Really! Everyone is surprised! Wallace is sunk! The Dewey campaign is worried that HUAC will go off the rails eventually(!) Atomic secrets are the next phase of inquiry. Farm price supports may be an issue in this campaign, because people love to talk about exciting stuff like that. The Dewey campaign will give Vice-President Warren a real job in 1949. It promises! Congress will fight over the ERP and the education bill in the new year. I'd punctuate that, but I've run out of ironic exclamation marks. 

National Affairs

I don't know if you've heard, but there's a spy scandal on.
Curiously, even though the GOP is vulnerable on the inflation front, the press is talking about spies, and not the recent interest rate hikes, and wage and price controls, much less the excess profits tax. At least we can count on the Hearst Press to keep Congress honest!

After the spies, the next installment of the Kosenkina story! And so we move on yet another page to . . . the Dewey Campaign! (He's sure to win, you know. Honestly, it's getting to the point where I might almost campaign for Truman just out of sheer muleishness.)

Unbelievably, it is the Italian mandate story again, being spun as desperately important to Italian-Americans. I'm starting to understand the Rastas a bit better. 

Finally, on p. 18, we get to non-manufactured news. Babe Ruth is dead.

"Gene's Boy" The fight over the governorship of Georgia just keeps getting weirder. You'll remember that Governor Gene Talmudge's 35-year-old son, Herman, virtually inherited the office when the Legislature elected him to fill the vacancy left by his father's death. Since the Legislature can't actually do that, the State Supreme Court deposed him in favour of the Lt. Governor, M. E. Thomson. Now, Talmudge is fighting for the nomination on an anti-civil rights platform He has the KKK endorsement, and is strong in the "wool hat" counties of rural Georgia.

"Bother Over Brothels" Reno, Nevada, is fighting over its brothels again. I'm not going to say any more, because Ronnie has Opinions that are very different from yours, and I don't want to be in the middle.

"A Case Against Rose" Speaking of people exploiting mentally ill women, "Tokyo Rose," otherwise known as Iva Toguri d'Aquino, is going to be tried for treason in San Francisco after Harry Brundrige, an ex-"Hearstling" who was tired of trying to dig up dirt on Boss Crump, because that was hard, found some eyewitnesses to testify against her, as the treason law requires. 

Wiki  has one entry under "notable persons
for Perryopolis, saying that Demi Moore spent
six days there in her childhood. 
"Cinderella Town" Perryopolis is a small coal-mining town near Pittsburgh that is very small and neglected. It gave birth to a family fortune, and the family that went with it, which, in the person of Mary Fuller Frazier, died at 63 in New York recently. It turns out that she left the family money to the town, which will buy streetlights and maybe some other fripperies with the $10 million.

"Inching Upward" Various prices are going up, suggesting that inflation might be getting under way again. That makes a bit of sense, if the "fundamentals" are still there, and the effects of the grain price crash have about worked themselves out. I think. What do I know? The President warns of economic collapse, the Agriculture Department needs a hundred million to buy eggs and potatoes to keep the price from crashing, the GOP are doing exactly nothing, and the election is about --Alger Hiss. To hear the press tell it. (Not even Berlin! I guess because the President is doing a good job there.)

"March of the Drys" Prohibition is going to be on the ballot in Kansas again. Time for jokes about another reason not to live in Kansas.

Washington Tides with Ernest K. Lindley, "Our Vital Interest in Oil" Ernest is very excited to be able to dateline his column "Over the Arabian Sea." He is there, flying with Admiral Richard Connolly, Commander-in-Chief, Mediterranean, and he is there to remind the Arabians that America loves them. Or their oil. No-one knows, Lindley points out, just how much oil has been formed in the great basin of the Tigris and Euphrates, but it's a lot. Current production is about 850,000 barrels a day, and will continue to rise, perhaps to a million barrels a day next year. Arabian American Oil Company employs 4500 Americans in Saudi Arabia, and they are on their best behaviour. Royalties flow through Ibn Saud's court to raise the people of Saudi Arabia from poverty, so this is not "imperialism" at all, and although the Saudi regime is despotic, it is an enlightened despotism, so that's okay. We all stand to benefit from this. And by "we," Ernest means "Western civilisation." (He says that!)

Dominoes everywhere
Foreign Affairs

"From Kipling to Communist Chaos" Burma is going Communist, because it doesn't listen to Kipling. I hadn't even heard about the Communist uprising in Burma, and apparently Moscow hadn't, either, but it is bad.


In other World March of Communism news, the British have sent reinforcements to Malaya in spite of Communist-inspired strikes on the docks. The former commissioner of the Palestine Police has arrived in Singapore, and so have Dyack "trackers" from Borneo, which has Radio Moscow being all girly. There's a "Rebellion to crush!" This is no time to worry about a little light headhunting and cannibalism! In Berlin, the Soviet-sector police keep trying to suppress black marketers, leading to riots, leading to confrontations between Allied-sector police and Soviet-sector, leading to barricades being thrown up between the Zones, dividing Berlin on the streets as it is on the administrative maps.

I have a hunch that the Russians were more worried about the Group of Soviet Forces Germany being drawn into the black market-hard cash nexus. Just a hunch.

"Field-Marshal's Bitter Tea" Captain Liddell Hart, the noted military commentator and author of a recent book based on conversations with German generals, has raised a stink in the Daily Telegraph about the alleged mistreatment of assorted Nazi field marshals, who are hard done by because their tea is rationed and their movements restricted.

A long and pointless story about "Cutting the Cake" explains that allocating Marshall-plan aid is hard, but the Europeans have made a start at doing it, and the experience might help them with other things, later. Frankly, it seems as though Newsweek needs some words to put round pictures of Elizabeth looking beautiful and Margaret smoking at the Ascot with the Marquess of Blandford, who might be her fiance soon. Also in England, everyone is queuing up, which is funny, and there is a cigarette shortage that is so desperate that some people are trying Bulgarian, Greek and Turkish cigarettes. This is not funny at all.

Fiancee. I like that word.

"Jim Crow in Africa" The Malan government denies that it is introducing segregation, although the Afrikaner University Student Association isn't afraid to use it. It is introducing "apartheid," which is much nicer. Smuts will have nothing to do with it. Separate entrances and separate cars is segregation. I'm also a bit befuddled by the idea that "reducing coloured representation in Parliament" and "improving native reserves" is better than Jim Crow.

In eastern Europe, there is murky talk of Tito foiling a Russian attempt to set up a "Free Yugoslav Army" over the border, under Yovanovich; the Danube talks have come to an end, the Western delegates still fuming and sulking; and the talks over Berlin continue in an unpleasantly  hot and dusty Moscow, as the summer heat finally arrives to take vengeance for a cool and rainy July.  Everything would be better, however, if the French weren't suddenly getting cold feet about administrative unity in the western zones, seen by Russia, and apparently Paris, as the prelude to a West German government. (Although this is like "seeing" the daylight.)

"The Arab Disaster" Count Folke Bernadotte's Washington telegram of last week, which stated that peace in the Middle East was only possible if the 530,000 Palestinian Arab refugees were allowed to return home, has met with a cold reply. The refugees might threaten the Middle East with a political, economic and hygienic disaster, but the Israelis believe that since they left the country voluntarily to clear the way for Arab invasion, they don't deserve to come back. And since the Arab armies lost, they aren't coming back. The refugees' explanation, that they fled  terrorism, beginning with the Deir Yasin massacre, warrants no reply. On the contrary, the Israelis are hoping that the UN would secure them recognition from the Arab states. If not, they are openly questioning how long they should be "shackled" to Bernadotte's truce.

Inflation is the big story in Canada and Mexico.

Science, Medicine

"Mental Health Versus World" The big World Mental Health Congress in London is against war. It has some hope that better mental health will prevent it, but European delegates are much more interested in the mental health of war-conditioned children, since the next generation is what's important.  American delegates thought that more attention to all generations was more important. Big sessions covered "aggressive children," who might benefit from "parental counter-aggression," and "Guilty Adults," which seems to be linked to the war theme, inasmuch as European specialists are concerned about patients who seem disabled by guilt over things they did in the war.

"Dumb but Happy" Dr. Bobbi Jo Reeves Kennedy, of the sociology department of the University of Connecticut, has studied morons, the category that receives between 60 and 73 on their IQ tests, compared with the normalised 100. Most of them left school before the eighth grade, often after repeating a grade. They were self-supporting jobholders, usually in semiskilled occupations, got married at, on average, 21 to 22, to a slightly better educated girl, were rated as steady and satisfactory workers, earned between $35 and $50/week. They read a good deal, preferring newspapers to magazines to books, listen to the radio, and enjoy movies. Most importantly, they are  happy.

"Golden Wonder" When Dr. Benjamin Minge Duggar retired from the University of Wisconsin at 70 as professor of physiology and economic botany in 1943, he went off to become a researcher at the Lederle Laboratories, where his work has now paid off in the form of aureomycin (Duomycin), a drug thought to be equal to penicillin and streptomycin, treating Q fever, lymphogranula venereum, and perhaps Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. I didn't know half these diseases existed!

"In a Pig's Eye" Dr. Harry S. N. Greene has discovered a new way to see if tumours are cancer. He transplants material from them into a pig's eye. Normally, tissue transplanted from one species to another won't grow, but cancers are an exception, so if it grows, it is cancer. He has also demonstrated that fetal tissue can be turned into cancerous tissue by exposure to a small amount of methylcholanthrene, proving something or other.  Also, there's a new edition of Gray's Anatomy out.

Newsweek has an "Education" page this week. Just like Time, it starts out with a fawning profile of a private school educator, but this time it is Father Flanagan of Boy's Town, so that's alright. (Some of my friends in the campaign think that he's awful, because of religion, even the ones who went to Catholic schools, like me. But, then, I am a traitor to the cause, too, on account of my girlfriend putting her foot down on the subject of Naval officers campaigning for presidential candidates. Which they don't understand, either.) Point is, I would have skipped the page except that I need to mention the inspiring story of Fred Ludwig, a boy who worked his way through school, became a policeman in 1939, and then decided to go to law school part-time, a scheme that did not fly with Columbia's law school until the dean stepped in to admit him personally. He worked and studied 21 hours a day, seven days a week, as people do(!)

and is now a professor at the Nebraska College of Law, although he is only taking leave from the police and will make lieutenant this fall.


"Feast or Famine?" It looks as though there will not be a heating oil shortage next winter, but that does not mean that the petroleum shortage is over, and some doubt the industry forecast.

"Eliminating Ingots" Babcock and Wilcox and Republic Steel recently announced a successful experiment in pouring billets of steel directly. This might seem, to a layman, to have been going on forever, but in fact the industry has had to pour ingots first, then reheat them and pass them through blooming mills to work them into "semifinished shapes," sheet, wire, rods, and the famous sangles and bars of the regional English steel trade. Nonferrous metals have long since been worked into billets by "continuous casting," but with steel, temperatures, slag, safety hazards and other factors have made this impractical. So far, the new method only works for lighter billets of carbon or alloy steel. It will make small steel mills servicing population areas of 2 million practical, which is becoming all the more important with fob pricing. It still remains to be seen if it can replace ingot pouring with heavy castings.

"Girdler vs the WAA" Tom Girdler of Republic has been making trouble for the War Assets Administration over some blast furnaces and coke ovens, part of Republic's integrated steel plant along the Cuyahoga in Cleveland, but financed by the Government and owned by the WAA. When the WAA tried to raise the rent, Republic replied that iwas gong to close it down. The WAA withdrew its offer and called for counter-proposals. Now, it has one, from Kaiser-Frazer. Republic is "flabbergasted" at this outrageous attempt to run govenrment like a business, but there's not much it can do about K-F stripping away "their" assets and letting their customers go  hang, except whine to the press. Sometimes, you have to admire Uncle Henry's nose for the shady deal!

"Go-Ahead Signal" American shipbuilders have been on a "starvation diet" since the wartime boom, working mainly conversion and repair contracts, but the United States Maritime Commission's recent order for two liners from Bethlehem Steel Fore River, call for tender on a "super-liner" for United States Lines, and for eighteen tankers from Bethlehem-Sparrow in Baltimore, has the industry hungry for more.  Congress has authorised 30% subsidies so as to compete with low-cost shipyards abroad, but that wasn't enough, and it was 45% subsidies that finally broke the logjam and allowed the Commission to meet its 1951 targets. The President says that shipbuilding is back in America. We'll see when the 1952 targets are announced.

"Piggy-Wiggly to Keedoozle" Clarence Saunders, the founder of Piggly-Wiggly and then the "Charles Saunders" chain, both of which he lost, one way or another, is back for a third try at the supermarket business under the "Keedoozle" banner. He is operating from a modified Quonset hut, and advertises it as an auto-mechanical grocery. Shoppers are issued with a key, and all merchandise is displayed in cases. Each item is selected with a key, and a transcript is recorded. When the shopper goes to check out, an elaborate system selects the items from the cases and speeds them to the checkout on conveyor belts. 

The elaborate system is more clerks feeding items into tubes than you'd need to run an actual grocery store. 

The result is a 13% saving on all items compared with conventional grocery stores, and Saunders has already sold franchises in twenty cities.

The Fifties are coming!
Trends and Changes reports that Packard President Packard President George Christoper foresees a 4.5 million car shortage until steel capacity catches  up with demand. The Austin plant in Birmingham is on strike, as workers refuse the American-inspired "productivity" speed-up that would have them performing 330 "operations" a day instead of 280. The Matson Line has ended the only direct US-Australia ocean liner service by pulling Marine Phoenix from the sea. Matson blames currency restrictions. Goodrich is using isotopes to test tyres, The Federal Reserve has found that 31 million Americans saved a total of $25 billion dollars last year, while 14 million Americans lived beyond their means. Tracerlabs, already covered around here, has had a good year and is expanding.

What's New reports that Westinghouse is marketing an ultraviolet light to detect bad eggs. Iron Fireman Manufacturing, of Portland, Oregon, has a string of Christmas tree lights that allows the lights to be moved anywhere along the string. Leckie Electrical Utensil, of Rome, New York, is marketing a set of light-weight aluminum utensils with heating units sealed into the base. Westinghouse's new 5ft flourescent lights use 17% less electricity.

"The Zoom at Burroughs" As should be apparent from the press, the business machine indsutry is doing very well, and Burroughs' latest financials are eye-popping. Newsweek says it is all due to the inspiring leadership of John Coleman, which seems even more like a god-king nonsense than the usual business press tongue-bath considering that the industry tide is lifting all boats. I know it's nothing to do with electrics, but perhaps we should get into this business?

Today in reading the man I hate, Henry Hazlitt is on about having "A Bear by the Tail." Do you think for a second that this foretells a bear market in the upcoming year! Not a bit of it! Hazlitt is convinced that the inflationary effect of maintaining the bond yield at 2 1/2% is so much greater than the counter-inflationary effect of the increase in interest rates that the government has a "bear" of future runaway inflation "by the tail." In later columns, he will explain that the only way to deal with this is with people starving in the street. I assume. We'll have to wait and see that I was right.

How to get a lifetime sinecure at a major newsmagazine: Be wrong all the time, but in a way that flatters the business class.

Press, Radio, People

Theatre Arts is a new magazine everybody will love, the ITU strike in defiance of Taft-Hartley goes on, the Miami press tax is off, the Detroit News is seventy, the last session of the "Town Meeting of the Air" was on cartoonists, and was really something, and people think that "hush-hush" campaigns are bad. "Hush-hush" is why people didn't know that Babe Ruth had been suffering from cancer for months before he died, and Carlton K. Matson, the 57-year-old editor of the Cleveland Press, who recently discovered that he had cancer, is fighting these "whispering campaigns" by coming out and saying it.  

"Via Video" Newsweek describes how DuMont's Washington station, WTTG, broadcasts baseball games in some detail. Given that people enjoy listening to baseball games, I'm just going to have to agnostically say that baseball on television will be a big hit, no matter how it is broadcast, but WTTG is determined to make it the best experience they can. And while my personal impression that that is like the dentist putting up cheerful pictures and playing music for the wisdom-tooth removal, more power to 'em if it means selling tape recorders and other sound equipment, and whatever else Uncle George buys into. 

In shorter news, the National Association of Broadcasters has found that Congress repealed the section under which the FCC was going to regulate quiz shows, effective 1 February, although not the law itself, leaving the ball in the Justice Department's court. The NAB then asked the FCC what was up with that, and the FCC said it didn't know, which is embarrassing. And the Waldorf-Astoria is ordering televisions that will be set inside the wall of the nicer suites, with just the controls and the screen portruding. Unfortunately, given that the tube is 21" deep, it'll take some wall to do it! Meanwhile, at the St. Moritz, not only do they have walls that are deep enough to do that, they are also ordering the largest televisions ever, with 520 square inches of screen with a mirror finish, so that when the television is off, it is, well, a mirror. And "Stop the Music" has finally fallen from first place in the Hooperatings, being beat out by "Take it or Leave It" in July. 

Higgins is said to have been the heir of
a carpet-making business, but the source
of his fortune is obscure, so I am going
to assume it was some grand Gilded Age
grift, not scandal that exiled him,
 so as to have an excuse to post this.
George Bernard Shaw says that he is a Marxist now, and thinks everyone should stop fussing about it. Mrs. Simon van Haven Miller, who is apparently a famous person because she married Rossevelt's bodyguard, says that her upcoming divorce court will be very salacious. A B-17 with a conked out engine was greeted by a very high level delegation at Washington National Airport due to its being loaded up with Hoyt Vandenberg and the Secretary of the Air Force. The Swedish Foreign Office has demanded that the press leave Lydia Makarova alone. The 19-year-old Russian violin protege is said to be the Swedish Kasenkina.  Sam Keener, who travels the world in his own DC-3, wears a self-designed uniform to get more attention. Speaking of which, Dorothy Lamour, everybody. The Air Force recently sent some investigators to a farm near Macomb, Idaho, to determine if a series of spontaneous fires were the result of "atomic energy getting spilled on the farm."  Ernest Aldrich Simpson, first husband of the Duchess of Windsor, has remarried. Harry Dexter White, Walter E. Hope, and Mrs. John Nance Gardner have all died. So has Felix Winternitz, but he was not a New Dealer. Eugene Higgins, of whom no-one has ever heard, died at 88 in Torquay, Britain on 28 July. A Columbia graduate who "spent most of his life abroad," he left $40 million(!) to scientific research at the Ivy League universities, excepting the ones that no-one cares about. 


The section leads off with a long review of a novel by a female writer again. This time it is Anne Crone, and the novel isl Bridie Stern, and once again, it is not an entirely positive review, although not nearly as harsh as last week. It may be "uneven," but it is "promising" and "rewarding." Oh? What's it about? Religion. Religion and family life and stuff like that. William Irish's I Married a Dead Man is "sure fire suspense." Vacation read! The "latest product to roll from the long-overworked historical fiction press is Bellamy Partridge's Big Freeze. It's about beating cholera in the 1840s with the Croton reservoir and aqueduct. The hero is the engineer who built it (yay!), and the book is "light and engaging." Upton Sinclair's latest Lanny Budd novel has him in Italy doing agent-extraordinary stuff, and is about as good, or better, than the last five or six. The Office of War Information's official history points out that it was hard work to establish the wartime information-gathering and disseminating network, and sheer laziness that threw it aside. It proposes that America actually do the work of putting it back together. Ha!

Raymond Moley is on about Roosevelt and Dewey some more. Moley likes Dewey, likes him a lot, which makes it even more suspicious that he uses words like "devastating," "sharp," and "supiciousness." He "renders it as he sees it," which reminds me of Taft's excuse for being tactless and insulting.

Even setting his party affiliation aside, I do not think that our next president is coming across as a nice man.

Either I missed the movies section, or Newsweek is giving it a rest this week. 

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