Sunday, May 12, 2019

Postblogging Technology, February 1949, II: A Lithium Depression

R_. C_.,

Dear Father:

You will be glad to know that I have my law school acceptances (and rejections, who shall all suffer my wrath!!!) before me. These include Stanford, frankly my first choice for family reasons, so considering that I have been deemed not to be Ivy League girl material, as see above, the choice is settled. I gather that there is even a little money set aside for worthy girls by the Women's Club, and I am both quite worthy, if I do not say so myself, and partial to money. 

But I did say that I had all my choice, and you will know, of course, that I did not apply to the University of Chicago, but there is their acceptance letter on my desk, brought to me by --oh, but I cannot say, except to express my happiness that I did not see his temper when I told him that I could not return to Chicago as long as Mom is being that way about Reggie. He, I think, vaguely, understands. Uncle Henry, of all people, had him by to chat about it! I'm not entirely sure I want Uncle Henry in my corner in personal matters, but you can't deny that he is good at getting his way!

On the subject of the senior thesis, the most mysterious aspect of the Horace Stevens case is that he actually got on the train for Portland, and yet there was no commotion when he didn't get off. The usual understanding is that he got off along the way, but if that's his body . . . Well. So there's the question of who might have dealt with him on the train, and with an athletic trunk as a clue, I looked at what we know about that train, which is a surprising amount, since it was carrying the Golden Bears ice hockey team and a number of boosters, and there are some articles in the Daily. 


Yours Sincerely,

Flight, 17 February 1949


"A 600mph 'Straw'" Flight is very impressed with the Boeing XB-47's 2290 mile, 3h 46 minute flight from Washington to Washington, giving an average speed of 607mph. Even setting aside tail winds, ten miles a minute at 30,000ft is a challenge to interceptors. A Derwent-powered Meteor 4 takes 6 minutes 28 seconds to reach 30,000ft, in wich time the bomber will cover 65 miles. This beyond the bounds of the old "Tally Ho" and at them. This interception requires a radar and a radar operator, as well, of course, as a speed well clear of 607mph. Is such a fighter even possible? Only once supersonic problems are overcome. Until that happens, the guided missile is probably the best option. Flight suggests that the "bomber" menace is so pressing that Britain will have to focus on fighters again. Or guided missiles. 

"The Petrol Tax Again" Socialists are taxing the private pilot! Flight fancies that petitions by a wide variety of toffs who belong to the Air League of the British Empire and the Aviation Section of the London Chamber of Commerce are just the thing to persuade the Government to drop the tax. 

"Off the Record" Do world records influence the development of air transport? People who like setting world records think so! So does Major R. H. Mayo, who is not a lunch order, who gave a talk to the London Institute of Transport, who theorised that it does, on account of the fact that there is roughly a relationship between the cruising speed of air transports and the speed record. This is incontrovertible, because it is Science. 

Firefly 5
"Learning the Hard Way" Flight does a bit on the deck landing trials of HMAS Sydney and prints some nice shots of "prangs" and landings. 

Here and There

Flight follows up with Frank Whittle, who is giving a talk at Hamble, Williamson Camera, which had its annual meeting last week, Aeradio, which shipped 30,000lbs of equipment for installation in twelve Burmese airports this week, and Ben Lockspeiser's appointment as Chancellor of the University of edinburgh. Hunting Aviation is officially forming a western division of its Canadian aerial photogrpahy operation at your old Vancouver office. Do they have to pay you anything? If not, do you get those wonderful aerial photographs of the Alberni valley and Campbell River back?

Civil Aviation News

A converted glider, the prototype disintegrated in mid-air during testing.
Nothing daunted, the designer added two engines, and, when that didn't
work out, another two turbojets on the wing tips. 
There has been --wait for it!-- PROGRESS in civil aviation this year. Various services have been started, or are increasing, or are more profitable! It should also be made clear that the Brabazon does not require a 3000ft runway, except for various tests, which is why hey built one that long at Filton. The new French C.M. 100 transport had its first flight this week, and the Air Registration Board is opening an office in Iceland to help the Icelanders manage airworthiness and air licensing. 

A pencil sketch of the La-9 is news! Though not as much as "Cranwell Air Training," a pictorial portraying the students at RAF Cranwell learning, or being trained, one or the other. 

William Green,"Argentina's Industry: Centre of Aviation Activity in South America" a surprisingly long feature on various Argentinian aircraft, mostly prototypes, but also some very limite dproduction. 

"Python Lanc" The Armstrong Siddeley Python is "one of the most important large powr units to commence flight development in recent months." Naturally one was slung on the wings of a Lancaster to see if it would fester and fall off in mid flight. It hasn't. Yet, though the pilot hasn't reached the point of trying to make it fall off, yet. 

D. Martin Butcher, "The Cocos Islands: An Account of the Development of a Coral Atoll in the Indian Ocean" The Cocos Islands are an archipelago of minute islands halfway between Ceylon and Australia, ruled by a white rajah and inhabited by Malays. In 1944, "after secret reconnaissance of the west coasts of  Java and Sumatra," they were lighted on as the only possible intermediate airfield between the two places for the transfer of Tiger Force, and, subsequently, as  base for the reconquest of Southeast Asia. A secret expedition (because not escorted) was sent out to build a 2500ft airfield, with an air wing to follow on completion.  Then the war ended, and the work was completely wasted. Unless you want to fly to the Cocos Islands, in which case there's quite a nice runway and even an unoccupied control tower there. 

The former Secretary of State for Air, Lord Londonderry, has died, "having never fully recovered" from a gliding accident of a few years past. That doesn't sound very good. 

A very short precis of the Second Bleriot Lecture, by Jean Brocard and M. Francois Hussenot, dealt with "French practical aerodynamic models."

"Air Survey Exhibition: Hunting Aerosurvey's Display in Famous Gallery" Aerial photographs can be good enough to put in galleries. 

The deaths of George  Jewett and (next week) Neville Stack are reported. De Havilland says that thinks that the Vampire is the best thing since sliced bread, and will be further improved with a higher rated Ghost. 

Flight is very excited to report that No. 43 Squadron has been reformed by changing the name of 266 (Rhodesian) Squadron. The Rhodesian Air Force will continue to be linked to the squadron, at least until someone at Adastral House develops a sense of shame over white supremacy.


 Correspondence about the theory of jet propulsion, discipline in the RAF, and the future of the German air force, if any, continues. A. R. Weyl writes a very nice appreciation of the lay Robert Lindsay-Neale, killed in the recent Balliol crash. Last for last, Alex Metcalf writes apropos the Women's Royal Air Force that it has been "overvalued" because the pensions of retired WRAF officers will exceed that of retired airmen. Because female officers aren't real officers, you see. I have no idea why Sandy is worrying his pretty little head over it, given that no WRAF officers will make it to pensioning age, on account of fleeing the air force to have babies with the first dashing aviator to bristle his prodigious mustache at them.

Engineering, 18 February 1949

D. Tabor, "Collisions Through Liquid Layers" A very extensive investigation of what happens when objects hit each other, with a "liquid layer" between them. That would include pretty much all actual collisions except the ones in outer space, if you want to be really accurate, wouldn't it?  I'm not going to explore it -too many equations in this article!

Literature reviews F. W. Robins, The Story of the Bridge, which advertises itself as a "social history of the bridge." Engineering's reviewer doesn't think it is up to that, and is very critical of the bibliography, but ended up enjoying the book, because, after all, it's about bridges, and engineers love bridges. E. W. Guyer and D. W. Brugges' Tables of Properties of Gases with Dissociation Theory and its Applications is more rigorous and has a mistake or two, but engine designers will find it very useful.

"The Engineering Outlook, VII: The Motor Industry" The motor industry used 4% of the country's steel production in 1938, and is only up to 6% in spite of greatly increased steel production, today, and too much of that is still being spent on improving and expanding works. It follows that the works are not operating at capacity. The Ministry of Supply would very much like to see them operating at capacity in order to achieve economies of production, and is also unhappy with progress in reducing the number of models. While the number has gone down, it is nowhere near their "one model per maker" goal, although Engineering questions whether this is a practical or desirable goal. Exports are up, actually higher than American, and 26% are to the United States, which is very good for the dollar shortage, but the White Paper  on Capital Investment's stringent restrictions on domestic sales (6000 public service vehicles, 50,000 goods vehicles, 50,000 private vehicles) have been exceeded. Various clouds on the horizon include the fact that British production factors remain more expensive than American, mainly supplies of raw materials; that there are complaints about standards of finish in British exports; that American makers may eventually imitate the British small car/low fuel consumption model, that Volkswagen is doing very well on local exports on the strength of the low exchange rate of the Deutschmark, and that Scandinavian  buyers prefer American makes with their heaters and coiled springs.

Claude D. Gibb, "Britain's Energy: A New Conception" Dr. Gibb gave the Watt Anniversary talk to the Greenock Society, and had some interesting things to say. First, he is a great fan of gas energy. Even, he says, and he doesn't think it's true, a national grid of gas lines is impractical, Britain still has seven great coalfields that could crack coal locally. Yes, cracking coal for chemical feed products and natural gas isn't very thermally efficient, but all that fuel is sitting around as coal if it can only be got out of the ground. And it should be, he thinks, because Britain can't afford to import all the oil that it will need for the bright future of more energy and also more chemical processing. And with the world's population increasing, notably in Britain (so it is now official that Britain's population is growing, not shrinking, sorry, Geoff Crowther, you lost!), the country needs more food, and Gibb discerns signs that food production is not keeping track with population increase, which will no doubt continue apace as long as the "white race" is continuing its paternalistic control over assorted Hottentotts and Fuzzie Wuzzies. Therefore, the world will need more coal, although it could definitely stand having fewer senior statesmen scientists who can't be trusted with a podium for more than thirty minutes without descending into arrant white supremacy.

"Self-Cleaning Tail End for Belt Conveyors" British Jeffrey-Diamond, Ltd, has an interesting bit that goes on the end of a belt conveyor and gets the leftover coal off of it.

"Bailey Bridge over the Whiteadder Water" The Whiteadder Water bridge was wiped out in the recent spring flooding, and has been replaced with a Bailey Bridge. Because the bridge has to be quite long, and has to carry a heavy decking, which apparently doesn't count against the load limit but does contribute to flexing, it must have five spans, and accordingly many pilings, which have now been driven, allowing the spans to be launched just now.

"'Catarole' Cracking for Petroleum" A 'caterole' cracker is being built at Partington, near Manchester, which is a good opportunity to very briefly explain the catalytic cracking of raw petroleum, with an additional note about how this produces many chemical feedstocks which have been imported from dollar countries previously. I'll say this for Dr. Gibb, everyone is talking about his ideas!

Launches and Trial Trips notes the steamships Irish Cedar and Tauri, both single screw cargo vessels, and the motor ships British Fame, Latirus, Auk, and Aethelcrow, three tankers, and a single-screw cargo vessel. British Standards Specifications have now been issued for reels for electrical wiring, and British-made plywood (I have no idea why there would be BSS for non British-made plywood that would be different from British, but I am not a plywood queen.)

The Whiteadder Water.

Regional Notes The North is busy this week explaining that figures for reduced steel production are somewhat deceptive, although coal supply is short, and that Scottish steelmakers are eager to penetrate new markets while concerned that the American downturn portends cheap American steel on the European market. Wales is happy about increased demand for hard, dry steam coal, but concerned about unemployment benefits for miners at closed collieries. Yorkshire is also short of coal, specifically steam coal, but this also has an an impact on gas availability. The quality steel mills for edges and such are now getting enough slabs and billets, but there is concern that new business isn't coming along fast enough, and about German competition. Cleveland and the North is producing steel at record levels but can't keep up with customer demand.


"World Power" Dr. Gibb's idea that we need a new look at world power is taken on by Engineering with glee, including the last bit with the white supremacy. But whereas Dr. Gibb is interested in coal, oil and chemical engineering, Engineering has before it a pamphlet about world hydroelectric power potential that seems to it very pessimistic. The reason that India has only one twenty-fifth as much hydroelectric power as America is less because of lack of potential than because of lack of surveying and investment. This, Engineering ends up saying, probably applies just as much to world coal resources, and is a good argument for getting cracking with the white race dominance.

"The Pollution of the Potomac" Britain has River Boards to take care of river pollution, but America is a big place and cities can mostly get away with discharging untreated waste. The Potomac is an exception, since many people live on a small river basin, and especially because the Washington Suburban Water Authority discharges into the Anacostia, and it is awful. Fortunately, the Potomac is now getting an organised board, but, unfortunately, due to all the cities and states involved, it will have no power. Engineering expects great things.

Notes covers Noel Ashbridge's and H. Bishop's talk about "Television" to the Institution of Electrical Engineers, which is a survey of existing and proposed broadcasting equipment; Professor Willis Woolrich's talk to the London Regional Meeting of the Engineering Industries, which is a talk from the head of the scientific office of the American Embassy about how superannuated American worthies like to embarrass Americans by giving silly talks to obscure British trade groups; Engineering's summary of Mayo's talk, which still sounds silly; a bit about economics of welding and another about the winner of this year's James Clayton Prize, Karl Bauman, chief engineer of Metrovick, for outstanding achievements in being the boss; a summary of the American Bureau of Apprenticeship at the Department of Labour, sent along in response to a December article in Engineering about apprenticeship in America that confirms that there isn't enough apprenticeship in America, that the Labour Department isn't doing much about it, but, importantly, that it is going to start doing something about it just as soon as it has all of its ducks in a row; that the Gauge and Tool Makers' Association is giving out certificates now; and that the Electrical Research Association had an annual meeting in which it heard about all the progress being made in Britain from Hugh Gaitskill.

"End-Form Grinding Machine" Arthur Scrivener, Ltd., of Tyburn-road, Birmingham, has same. It is an improvement on the regular centre-form grinder.

"New Trunk Road in South Wales" A road between Brighton ferry and Swansea is being planned by the Ministry of Transport.

"Linseed Cultivation in Australia" Australia used to import its linseed from Latin America and India, but supply has become inadequate in the last few years, and it is now growing linseed on several thousands of acres of land in various states, which doesn't sound like that much to me, honestly. If you're still pondering, as I'm pondering, the mystery of how Argentina came to have a near monopoly on world supply, keep right on pondering. The note, which is from the Australian ministry in charge of these things, whose name I forget, just says that linseed can be cultivated with the same equipment that is used for wheat, which is obviously efficient, and that it is good in rotation with other crops. 

"The British Engineering Commission to Canada" Britain wants to export more to Canada, so it sent some engineers, who have important thoughts to share about persuading Canadians to buy more British engineering, and also suggest that it wouldn't hurt if Britain bought more Canadian stuff, such as lumber, rather than finding it in Russia.

Labour Notes has already been mostly covered off elsewhere. Wage increases continue to be at a rate that will be alarming if they show signs of accelerating, which they are always showing signs of; there is still too much labour in construction and too little in coal mining and textiles; Unemployment continues to be very low; and the Anglo-American Productivity Council has been established as  a public company, no doubt to increase its productivity.

A. J. Linden, "Cyclone Dust Collectors" Several Dutch colleges and labs have been working very hard on these devices, which remove dust from industrial processes by swirling it around, as in a cyclone.

Your correspondent piles them up in tottering
piles next to The Guardian. Sigh. Even on a four-
day a week schedule. 

Several correspondents think that Cole Porter is a great artist and are appalled by his hedonistic lifestyle, while June Bochan of Chicago prefers Jule Styne and thinks that Porter and Irving Berlin are"buffoons." Some people in northwestern Indiana are to embarrassed about it to sign their address, but don't know why they should be embarrassed. Elizabeth Pacini, of Owego, New York, writes in with her own endorsement of the Read "natural childbirth" method. Ralph Grundlach writes to criticise Time's coverage of his firing by the University of Washington, but Time stands its ground. Constance Gurd Rykert[*] of the Foster Parents' Plan for War, writes to thank Time readers for their generosity in the case of Italo Renzetti, the Italian boy blinded and left armless by the war. E. L. Brown, of Melbourne, Australia, has fond memories of the whipping block at Eton. (Seeing it on a tour, that is.) The Publisher's Letter summarises writers writing letters about how they read Time. Some of them start by reading the Letters.

Dr. Grantly Dick-Read(!)'s work was taken up by Prunela Briance(!!) a year after Ronnie's eldest was born. He died in 1959, in a riverside home in Wroxham, Norfolk, "previously owned by the UK ukele entertainer, George Formby. 

National Affairs 

"The Doctor's Dilemma" Not actual doctors, economist doctors. The patient is the US economy, and no-one can agree if it is really sick. Dr. Keyserling says that prices are going up, while GOP Congressman Robert Rich says that they are going down. Alan Nourse is so upset at the idea of an anti-inflation bill when there might be disinflation, that he has fled town. Everyone agrees that if prices are falling, it's a good thing. In completely unrelated news, unless you are some kind of Godless, atheistical Keynesian, unemployment is up to 3 million, and one town in Michigan (Jackson) has more than 10% of its 40,000 workers off, with the recent layoffs at the New York Central "the last straw," and old timers talking about a "real depression." Meanwhile some more, the President has called in General Eisenhower to sort out the service chiefs, who are still arguing about who gets how much money for what, until such time Congress (and the Navy) will concede to the creation of a single Chief of Staff. On the same theme, Time covers the recent demonstration flights by the B-47 and YB-49, perhaps not having caught up with the axing of the flying wing programme in favour of the B-36, which, in more recent news not covered in this issue, also put on a demonstration flight. 

Under the Foreign Affairs heading, we get Paul Hoffman bickering with Congress over the second year of the European Recovery Programme, and plaudits for State Department man Philip Jessup's performance in Berlin, and Dean Acheson for unleashing him. I'd say more about the ERA if this story weren't going on and on. I think the amount of money to be spent in 1949/50 is set, God willing and the creek don't rise, but as I said at the head, it's pretty hard not to look at the defence budget news  this month and not come away with the impression that a Russian nuclear test is around the corner, perhaps right around the time the Koumintang falls, and who knows what comes after that!

"Losses and Gains" The Fair Deal is in trouble in Congress over the tax increase, which will be scotched if there is a slump on, and the attempt to get a modified Wagner Act on the books in place of Taft-Hartley before contract negotiations begin in earnest in the spring. On the other hand, the President's powers to extend tariff cuts to countries that make reciprocal cuts, control exports of scarce materials, and implement the findings of the Hoover Committee have been acknowledged or extended. 

The Veterans Administration has announced that one in five American adults are war veterans, and Time finds a letter to the liberal Republican  Herald-Tribune defining "liberal" to be so hilarious that it gives it half a column. Also, it turns out that the man responsible for the President's come-from-behind victory in November was little-known Missouri party organiser Bill Boyle. Says . . . someone? Bill? Is that you?

As usual, it turns out that GOP defeat was due to being too
squishy on economics, and not, as the polls might suggest,
the opposite. 
"High Roads and Dead Pigeons" Tom Dewey was all smiles as he circulated, cocktail in hand, at the Lincoln Day Dinner at the Mayflower, as the rumoured boycott failed to materialise. (Hazlitt showed up to take notes for a fulminating column about how the election defeat was all Dewey's fault for being too liberal. On economics, that is.) Dewey, on the other hand, called himself an elder statesman, defined the term as "a politician who is no longer a candidate for office," and said that the Republican Party is "split right open," and needs, Time suggests, a good purge. Hardly anyone applauded, so Senator Vandenberg gave the best speech ever and then posed for a picture with Dewey and not-so-subtly proposed purgee, Bob Taft. 

"A Timely Reminder" MacArthur's headquarters reminds us of a story that Plain Talk covered in 1943. German Tokyo  war correspondent. Richard Sorge, was a Russian spy and broke advancd word of the German invasion of Russia to Moscow; and American journalists Agnes Smedley (which is a real name) and Guenther Stein were members of his ring. What does it matter? Well, SHEAF says, if Communists can spy against the Axis for Moscow, they can spy against America for Moscow. If I were MacArthur (or, in this case, Charles Willoughby), I'd be careful with that kind of "logic." On other anti-communist fronts, the CIO is continuing its campaign against communist-led unions, while, on the other front, has struck the Philadelphia Transportation Company again. 

Americana reports that The US spent $184 million on chewing gum last year, that Bethlehem Pacific Steel is importing scrap from Japan, that William Walter Remington has beaten back Elizabeth Bentley's testimony and won his State Department job back, that Reverend Willis P. Miller of the Christ First Christian Church at Lynn, Massachusetts, gives sermons with a ventriloquist's dummy at his side, that the Smithsonian is making room for the B-17 "Swoose," and that Western Union has developed a rock and pellet-proof rubber insulator for telegraph poles.


"War on Faith" Time has a good four pages on the current anti-clerical push in eastern Europe and the Vatican's response. After a relief from awful eastern Europeans long enough to discuss Norway's place in the Atlantic alliance, it is back behind the Iron Curtain to discuss the Hungarian ping-pong team, which was in Sweden when someone back in Budapest with a name I don't want to translate and transcribe said something awful. Then the team also did something awful (shopping!!!), and the police got involved, and the champion got into trouble, and it was all a terrible mess, and the important thing you should take away from it is that communism is awful. 

"But Don't Go Near the Water"Norway understandably won't join the western defence union until it is an actual treaty and they are guaranteed American support. The Senate has obligingly put together a kind of alliance treaty, and questions about whether the language is strong enough are now ping-ponging across the Atlantic. Norway is at least happy enough that it has turned down Sweden's offer of a neutral, Scandinavian union, although the American refusal to arm the union has something to do with that. The title refers to the French position that the Americans are alternately pouring hot and cold water on the union.

Foreign News

"Exile in Canton" Speaking of complicated stories involving communists and anti-communists, here's one about the Koumintang cabinet fleeing to Canton and refusing to return to Nanking and the President. Time's correspondent, in tow, went down on the streets where he watched inflation ratchet up prices three times daily, and Han refugees fight with Yue locals (our correspondent doesn't understand about Hakka) over whether Kwantung Provincce is in the Hundred Kingdoms of the South or not, someone having told Our Correspondent that the crocodiles and elephants left the province when the Duke of Zhou was proclaimed. (Although I am not sure that Our Correspondent understands that that is why "1122BC" is important; I suspect that he's making that joke about ancient Chinese wisdom, because he doesn't seem to have been listening very closely when the difference between Mandarin and Yue was explained.)

It turns out that Guangdong was Hong Kong for a few months before Hong Kong resumed being Hong Kong. 
"Uncle John" Greek Communists have elected a replacement for the vanished Commandant Markos, Ioannis Ioannidies, whom Time is burnishing as a seasoned and sinister old Communist and Stalinist, since if  he weren't the Greek Civil War would be very boring, and maybe the military aid would be cancelled. 

"In Rural Japan" Time's correspondent in Tokyo went up the road to celebrate the blooming of the plums. No American has been to town since VJ Day, and he got to see women harvesting dandelions as spring greens for nanny goats, the bamboo shoot harvest, the honey pot collectors who make sure that Japan's scarce nitrogen doesn't go to waste, and a rising harvest that will not suffice to feed a growing population. The people appreciate the land reform, want peace, but are afraid of Russia, Sam Welles reports. 

"At the Drop of a Hat" The elections in Northern Ireland were won with a 63% majority by Protestant parties, but a 3-to-1 majority of seats, thanks to extensive gerrymandering. Somehow this is due to politicians in the Republic saying mean things about Ulster Protestants. 

"For the Kill" Church of England Vicar Colin Craven-Sands (which is a real name, in spite of the Reverend being Australian), wrote a letter to the Daily Herald about the nasty behaviour of his local fox hunt (if they actually tossed a captured fox to the hounds, as he says), leading to quite the controversy, and a libel suit in which a jury awarded £1500, when the vicat's salary is only £400. Others have made the same charge, and at least some fox hunters don't really seem like they're that upset at the idea. 

Since all of this seems horrid and at least vaguely Communistical, we end with a story about the Empress Eugenie's tortoise, which ended up in a Cairo zoo after wandering away from the Empress' entourage during her tour of Egypt. This week, at the age of 90, the tortoise died. Drat. That's not light hearted at all!

Latin Americans are excitable enough to strike against Peron and have nice vacation places. Meanwhile, in Haiti, "coffee-coloured" Colonel Astrel Roland has called for a revolution against President Dumarsais Estime on Dominican radio, leading to a Haiti-Dominican war scare and a national defence bill reviving conscription and voting $300,000 for defence. Whilst in Canada, Prime Minister St. Laurent visits Washington and loses a byelection, which might show that the Tories will win the 1950 election. 


A story about the du Pont share split leads off. 

"Second Wave" Commodities have hit their legal lower price limits on the Chicago Exchange. The Administration is blaming speculators. Everyone else is blaming a general glut as the fourth consecutive bumper crop hits the market. Congress is looking into more storage space, while cattlemen unload their stock. Businessmen worry glumly about a repeat of the 1920 crash. 

"Deal for Farnsworth" Farnsworth Television, its Fort Wayne employment down from 2500 to a skeleton crew of a few hundred due to  heavy losses, with a steadily declining share price, has received a lifeline from ITT in the form of an offer of a share of stock, one ITT for 12 Farnsworth, with ITT at $9.25, compared with $2.95 for a Farnsworth, at a time when no-one was buying Farnsworth shares except people who already held it. (A little birdie told me, and certainly not Daddy on a visit on the sly about which Mother must never know.) Anyway, the point is that from the perspective of whoever was propping up the price, the ITT offer was as welcome as the wolf in the fold, touching off a selling wave that took the share price to 77 cents, fancy that. This has led to the suggestion that perhaps those who were propping up the stock also knew that the ITT offer was coming, and sold short, cleaning up. The SEC has promised to look into it. Newsweek will mention the Capehart connection next week. It is no business for Time

"Turnabout" Amedeo Giannini is in trouble with the Federal Reserve, which is fixing to use its anti-trust powers for the first time in 34 years to break up his Transamerica trust. Giannini has responded by making Eccles' family ownership position in First Security of Ogen, Utah, "the largest banking institution in the intermountain states." 

Ruth Kerr, of Kerr canning jar fame, wants everyone to know that she is an upright Christian who tithes ten percent of corporate profits. Ralph Budd wants everyone to know that the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad is a hundred years old and good for another hundred; it will be introducing its "Vista Dome" double deckers on the New York-San Francisco run shortly, along with six new streamliners costing $15 million altogether. Budd reminds everyone that he pioneered diesel, and will retire at 70, just as the company policy he wrote, dictates. 

Science, Medicine

"Bologna" "T. Royal Rupert 99," son of a pedigree stud of Herefords, was a fine Oklahoma breeding bull, worth $38,000, who turned out to be sterile. Ordinarily, that means he would be sent to the stockyard to be turned into bologna, but because $38,000 is so much money, his owners paid for a seven month course of vitamins, penicillin and hormones, which did no good; followed by a strenuous diet to bring him down to fighting trim, which also didn't help; and, lastly, a pituitary gland transplant, which also didn't work, at which point he did become bologna, which is some kind of lesson about something. Men. 

"The Anatomy of a Flower" Pineapple gets its flavour in part from hydroxyvaleric acid. The current Engineering and Science Monthly tells us about Caltech flavour chemist Dr. Arie J. Haagen-Smith, who has been trying to reproduce pineapple scent and flavour for Hawaiian pineapple growers, who want to know what it is so that they can breed for it. He, on the other hand, is just motivated by pure science, but, along the way, has come up with a theory of how smell works, and thinks that if the "essence" of various flavours can just be discovered, all sorts of dehydrated foods can be revitalised. 

"Which Weapon?" Last fall, Federal Security Administrator Oscar Ewing recommended a compulsory health insurance plan for America, which sent the AMA into a tizzy. They recommend voluntary insurance through Blue Cross and Blue Shield, and have levied a $25 assessment on their 140,000 members to fight this thin end of the socialised medicine wedge. Clem Whitaker has been hired to lead their campaign, on the strength of his wife Leone Baxter's campaign against Governor Warren's compulsory state plan. However, the membership wasn't entirely satisfied, and demanded action from the Board, which announced its own twelve point plan this week, calling for a Federal Department of Health, a national science foundation, federal aid for medical education and hospitals, and more voluntary health insurance. 

"Hope for 75%" The 75% in question are the 75% of sufferers from cerebral palsy, which is almost as common as infantile paralysis, who are of normal or better intelligence and who can be rehabilitated, if not cured.  

"Another Slat Gone" Benjamin Youngdahl, younger brother of the Governor of Minnesota and Dean of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis, has been working for five years to get rid of the Negro ban. He hasn't accomplished anything as ambitious as that, but he has managed to get them enrolled in the School of Social Work, and at St. Louis University. In somewhat related news, Barnard College is fighting hard to overcome its operating deficit with donations rather than tuition increases, as the current $700 is at best competitive with similar schools. Also, in schools in Britain and in Connecticut, sex education is controversial because mothers get upset. 

People, Art, Radio and Television, Press

Mae West said an outrageous thing! The Archbishop of Canterbury has called for larger families! Gertrude Lawrence said a nice thing! Jean-Paul Sartre said a (somewhat) profoound thing! Sam Goldwyn is optimistic about the coming of radio, George Gallup and Archie Crossley showed up at a forum in Iowa to talk about polling. Have you heard that there's a midterm election coming up in 1950? Robert Mitchum is going to serve his 60 day sentence for possession of marijuana. Eugene O'Neill leads a poll of American writers most likely to "achieve imortality," ahead of Sinclair Lewis and then a bunch of also-rans like whatsisname Hemingway and that Bob Frost fellow. Josephine Medill Patterson Reeve Albright has had a baby with Ivan Le Lorraine Albright. Major General Chennault, at the tender age of 58, has had a daughter with the Dragon Lady --I'm sorry, that came out wrong. With Anna Chan Chennault. Christian Berard and the Battlin' Levinsky have died, as has Lord Londonderry, who has been mad for years. Dr. Axel Martin Fredrik Munthe has died at Stockholm's Royal Palace, where he has been a house guest for six years. (He must have been very slow to take a hint!)

Speaking of the immortal fame of the great artist, Georges Braque is so good that he deserves a piece in Time while he's still alive! In a relentless celebration of artists who are still alive, the section ends with a feature about Henry Koerner. I briefly wondered what was up, but Braque has a big show in Cleveland. Cleveland. You read that right. More importantly, Pravda is on about modernist art being anti-socialist again, practically giving Time a license to inch up from middle- to highbrow. Hopefully we won't be back to "my five year old can draw better than that" next month, but I wouldn't count on it. 

Ecuador has a radio station, and Maurice Chargo of Wilmar, Minnesota's KWLM is in trouble for an on-air prank, while Bill Paley's talent raid continues with the signing of Frank Sinatra and Edgar Bergen to CBS. 

Henry Kauffman of the Washington Star is old. Cleveland is having a newspaper war that is seeing reporters accused of criminal fraud to get stories. Time's story on the new page limits for British papers just quotes The Economist, saving me some writing. Pittsburgh is getting a second Sunday afternoon paper. Die Neue Zeitung, the Army's official paper in Germany, has been slapped down for excessive editorial independence, and twelve reporters have walked out.

The New Pictures

Quartet is an anthology of four Somerset Maugham stories by Eagle Lion. The Fighting O'Flynn features Douglas Fairbanks swinging through windows, fighting whole squads at a time, and, in general,  having a fine time. Whispering Smith is a horse opera with Alan Ladd (who makes an uncomfortable cowboy) and Brenda Marshall. Technicolor train crashes and a good turn by Frank Faylen as the villain do not save the movie.


Now comes time to  lay a marker on Time's claim to the middlebrow, and what better way than to lead off with a review of an edition of Proust's letters by Mina Curtiss. If you don't know who Marcel Proust trust me when I say that he is someone you are supposed to know. Evelyn Waugh is in almost the same elevated plane of people who write books that you need to be able to talk about even if you havent' read them, except his books are usually funny, but not so much with Scot-King's Modern Europe, which was bought for serialisation by Cosmopolitan, of all magazines.  Jerome Weidman has a novel, and Graham Greene a collection of short stories that are out more or less because someone wants to buy them, whatever their quality. R. C. Hutchinson's Elephant and Castle gets another review, because book critics are also allowed a hobby horse, and they want you to read this book, and it really is good if you've the time for it. 

 Flight, 24 February 1949


"Our Defence Programme" Flight supposes that the complete abandonment of references to bombers in our White Paper, and the American cancellation of "modern aircraft types in favour of existing ones" "combine to point to the inescapable conclusion that there is now in the highest quarters a much greater sense of urgency." There are rumouors in the RAF that it will soon have some American bombers, and that "examples of the huge Convair B-36 may visit this country." Flight takes the opportunity to make a victory lap over its prediction that Britain would need another interim propeller-driven bomber before the jet bomber force came on, then takes another I-told-you-so to complain that the Air Ministry's "second thoughts" on performance held up the first jet bombers. So, all told, Britain has only itself to blame for having to take on an American bomber soon. 

"A Phraseological Hint" Parsing the Defence Statement closely, Flight construes a hint that Britain will be buying an American fighter, also. It is also "impressed by the gravity of the situation disclosed" in the Statement when it refers to "plans for the transition from peace to war  . . . being prepared." 

 "The Man-Power Problem" The RAF needs more manpower before it can have more aeroplanes. Flight continues to believe that the right kind of "discipline" will conjure up more regulars, and quotes various superannuated generals to this effect. 

H. F. King, "A Call on Canadair: Part I: BOAC Fleet on the Stocks at Montreal" H. F. King flew over to Montreal the other day on BOAC Constellation Bedford to see what was up at Canadair's works in Montreal. The flight was scheduled to leave Prestwick at 9 in the morning, but was grounded until 10:15 by trouble with a constant speed propeller unit. It was then diverted to Iceland for refuelling by a 100kn headwind, landing in a snowstorm at Keflavik. The passengers debarked in "snow, darkness and ferocious wind," and were fed bacon and eggs and "coffee and tinned milk from its original container" during the three hour wait, while "Mr. 'Tim' Sims" of Canadair provided entertainment. Takeoff was again delayed after the Bedford had already been loaded, but after a shivering wait on the runway while the wind subsided, the plane was in the air in clear sunshine, mostly above thick cloud, while headwinds at one point reduced forward speed to 167mph, ,which is why it took 8 1/2 hours to make Goose Bay at 19:01 GMT, -8 degrees fondly Fahrenheit. From there it was on to Montreal, clattering into Montreal lightened of the Atlantic fuel load at 270mph to land in the darkest hours before the dawn, 10 hours overdue from Prestwick. After all of that, the assembled press corps was able to tour four of the firsrt five of 26 Canadairs on order for BOAC and Canadian Pacific on the final assembly line, well ahead of schedule. Various rearrangements of cabin furniture and cockpit controls have been made; more importantly, the current exhaust arrangements consist of Canadian Lincoln-type manifolds on the inner engine bank, and Rolls-Royce style ejector stubs on the outer, so that the ear-battering effect of the additional jet propulsion is that much further away from our shell-like feminine etcs. At some point soon, the Rolls-Royce cross-over system, promising the best of both worlds, will be installed on later makes on the production line. The Merlin 626s have now been equipped with a full-intercooler system with two matrices, one to cool the takeoff and climb charge, otherwise being used for pre-heating, allowing for 14.5lb continuous and  20.5lbs takeoff boost. The engine is now rated 800 hours between major overhauls.

Nation building, C. D. Howe-style. .
 BEA has implemented a new and more streamlined servicing schedule. 

Here and There

The British Post Office's experiments with mail-by-helicopter continue. Now they're doing night mail between Peterborough and Norwich, which are two English towns on that big bump on the bottom, just past Atlantis, first left turn after the bog but before the next bog. (I'm told. Ronnie wouldn't be caught dead anywhere in England that unfashionable except her darling Prestwick.) Douglas has a DC-3 modernisation, if your DC-3 needs sprucing up.  The Dorothy Spicer Memorial Fund is putting on a movie night. The blimp that Goodyear is making for the Navy is very, very big and swank. So is the F-88. 
By © Raimond Spekking / CC BY-SA 4.0 (via Wikimedia Commons),
 CC BY-SA 4.0,

Maurice Smith, "Fokker S. 11 Instructor in the Air: Principal Features Described: Performance Assessment of Holland's New Basic Trainer" The S 11 wasn't able to make the RAF's requirements, having weak rudder controls and draggy landing wheels, but will otherwise be a "most acceptable" basic trainer once a few details,like being impossible to bail out of, are dealt with. Smith also found the side loads caused by wind acting on the landing wheels to be excessive, and has some cautious words about handling, but liked it, overall. 

Since Flight visited the RAF officer's college at Cranwell last week, this week it must be the turn of the apprentice's school at Halton. The result is the kind of pictures that the Northcliffe press used to mock as the "Royal Ground Force," but there you go. 

W. A. Johnson, "Static Discharges from Aircraft:" Multi-point 'Dischargers' can be Designed to Suppress Radio Interference"Lightning strikes on aircraft are a nuisance that can lead to structural damage due to pitting, and, some say, to engine bearings. Also, aircraft can get static snaps from clouds. Johnson's research hasn't anything to do with the alleged engine damage, although he recommends avoiding clouds to escape static shock. Moving right along, those dischargers that Johnson and his group designed work a treat! If you want to know how they work, pick up his article in the April-May 1947 number of Proceedings of the Institution of Radio Engineers. as for what they are, they are cotton brushes impregnated with metallic filaments that need to be glued to the aircraft near the aerials. Caution: They do not do anything for lightning strikes, just sparks. 

First flight is in five months, Farnborough in seven.
"The de Havilland Comet: American Journal's Conjecture" Aviation Week says that the DH106 'Comet' will be a 40 seat, swept-wing transport powered by four turbojets, able to cross the Atlantic in 6 hours. The information is supposed to come from Frank Whittle, while de Havilland is eager to keep the details under wraps, as the plane isn't expected to enter service until the 1950s. Flight says that it "respects the understandeable desire of de Havilland" to keep the details confidential this far ahead of the "appearance of such a progressive and unorthodox aircraft."
A long special article by Jacques Cochrane on gliding weather in Britain follows, then a pictorial on "Jet Initiation," describing how Americans become "firecan jockies."

Lord Howe Island

Civil Aviation News

Another charter airline is in trouble for flying disguised regular services. There was a mid-air collision in cloudless conditions between a BEA Dakota and an RAF Anson near Exhall, north of Coventry last week, with fourteen dead including six passengers, no survivors.  ICAO has new standards for non-scheduled flights. Various services are expanding and improving; other services don't exist yet. 

"Records and Transports: Some Interesting Facts and Views Disclosed in Brancker Memorial Lecture; Precis of Lecture by Major R. H. Mayo" Major Mayo told an assortment of war stories to introduce the idea that the world speed record is getting down to twice the cruising speed of the fastest transport of the day, so clearly increasing the world speed record will lead to faster transports. 

Reggie's 1956 adventures with Green Garlic can wait for
another day. The ROTOR upgrade is going ahead with
existing technology
, well ahead of the first Soviet atom test. 
"Statement on Defence" I've already summarised what Flight thinks, and included some clippings from The Economist, so I don't think I need to add very much more. The Statement has a bit about the British radar warning system that Reggie thinks means that they're bringing in a new early warning system, which has him very excited for reasons I have some difficulty understanding.


Robert Needham tells a story about meeting two Met service trainees doing the overnight metereological watch at Prestwick who didn't know what the Northern Lights were, which shows why accidents happen. Jet theory being temporarily exhausted, A. J. Plowman contributes to the debate over altimeter reference settings. Lewis Cooper, "Ex -'Brown Job'" and "Ex-Flight(?) Lt." contribute to the debate over RAF discipline. G. S. Orchard, "Late Radar Sec., 1349 A.S.U." thinks that the recent Tudor accidents demonstrate the value of an automatic transmitter on aircraft, similar to the ones on radiosondes. Instead of relying on the W/O to send a signal in an emergency, the transponder will signal a problem by activating, much like the "Walter" radar distress beacons on RAF dinghies.

Engineering, 25 February 1949

C. F. Bruce, "Frictional Forces in Dial Gauges" Dial gauges measure . . . things by having a plunger or such at one end that turns a needle on a gauge when the plunger is plunged. It is important to know just how much friction there is, and this investigation finds out just how much.

Literature reviews E. Lonsdale's Crystals and X-Rays, which explains how x-rays explicate the solid states of materials at a bit greater length. Hamilton Ellis' Nineteenth Century Railway Carriages is for those interested in such things.

"The Engineering Outlook, VIII: The Aircraft Industry" This stuff we've heard all about. It is occasionally interesting to have an outsider's view, but since this seems to have been written right out of Flight, there's precious little to say. Engineering takes a dimmer view of the cost overruns of the Brabazon and the SR45 than Flight, but, then, I don't think Flight is exactly rushing to those planes' defence, either. Engineering seems a bit perplexed by the relegation of the Viscount to an experimental type, but everyone else does, too. Perhaps it is significant that there is no mention of the Apollo? It also gives an interpretation of Miles Aircraft's fate that emphasises that it was done in by cost overruns in producing its new planes, and that it got out of trouble by selling the aircraft side to Handley Page and retaining the "gizmo" side. So I guess you can't say "fraud" unless you really, really mean it.

"Aerodynamical Balance for High Speed Wind Tunnel" is an unsigned article, so probably was prepared by the staff at Farnborough, where the equipment designed by Howard Grubbs, Parsons, is installed. Again, pretty technical stuff.

Launches and Trial Trips notes steam ships Boynton Wells, Vindora and Tregenna, two trawlers and a cargo vessel; and motorships Christallina and Exploradina, a cargo vessel with twelve passenger suites and a tanker. British Standards Specifications have been imposed by the great and all powerful BSS on pain of painful death, for --The Automobile Industry. Sometimes, BSS publications are more substantial than at other times. This is a 15s handbook, so probably a "handbook" in the sense that Wong Lee can hold it in one hand.

Leaders "Pre-Stressed Concrete" Pre-stressed concrete is concrete pieces which are cast in moulds either with steel wire wrapped around them, or encased within the piece. In either case, the steel wire is then given a good tightening, and the concrete is thus under stress while it cures, which helps it come out in consistent and also stronger pieces, thus larger pieces. There are all kinds of applications in building and railroading, but right now it is limited by the shortage of suitable steel wire rope.

"The Organisation of Conferences" Engineering recently received a pamphlet on same from the worthies at the Royal Society, and after throwing a preliminary temper tantrum, sat down to read it and agrees that it has many useful ideas about improving professional conferences. Just to show the the temper tantrum wasn't wasted, it also provides its own.

A letter from the organisers of the Festival of Britain thanks Engineering for not making fun of it.

Notes discusses the Institution of Mechanical Engineers' annual meeting at very brief length, the report of the British Shipbuilding Research Association, which has little to say, because the ten papers it circulated among its members haven't come back yet(!), a conference about the Architect in Industry that is being organised and will be very exciting, the lifting of restrictions on timber boat building in the United Kingdom and the report of the Chamber of Shipping of the United Kingdom which is long enough and interesting enough that this run-on sentence needs a period! Ahem! The Chamber is worried about the downturn in ship building in certain categories, namely tramps, and about rising costs. Hitherto, these have been covered by war insurance payouts, but that is not a solution to peacetime replacement. Steel supplies are an issue, as is the growing complexity of auxiliary machinery, and the turnaround time for repairs in British ports.

"Canadian Power Potential" A long article on hydroelectric power potential in Canada is somewhat hampered by the fact that it is all retrospective coverage of projects begun and completed since the war, which means that they are tiny little things. It notes the load shedding in Ontario as a cautionary tale about hydroelectric --that power fluctuates with the weather, and very briefly notes the big project in northern British Columbia.

J. Foster Petres, "Trends in Engineering" Yet another example of why you don't give old engineers the podium for an hour unsupervised. He blathers on about how there is not enough engineering being done in Britain because there are not enough people willing to do the work, not enough money, and then he somehow wanders into power generation. British power generation is increasing, but not fast enough. A blizzard of numbers are thrown out, before he concludes that the real problem is site selection before saying that it is labour, because the new high-tension lines have relieved the site selection problem.

"Radio Distance-Measuring Equipment for Aerial Navigation" H. Busignies [also], in Electrical Communications for 1948, explains at length a system for aerial navigation consisting of a ground beacon that repeats  a transmission from an aircraft. A transponder than compares them and gives air-to-ground distance. The novel system is thus the radar beacon system already in wide use, but he goes on to specify American requirements before noting a new system from Federal Telecommunications Laboratories in New Jersey that meets them. Now, I am no electrical engineer, and this is no technical paper, and between them all the progress made by the Bell group may be lost on me or the reader; but this seems like an advertisement.

John Kingcome, "Marine Engineering in the Royal Navy" This is a summary of Engineer Vice Admiral of the Fleet Sir John Kingcome's 21st Thomas Gray Lecture to the IME, given 21 January of 1949. This is the same material that Admiral Kingcome recently gave to the RINA, but much expanded, appropriately enough, given the audience. He has a huge amount of material to cover, given that it is twenty years of progress that is the subject. I know that James has given a copy of the preprint to Uncle George, and I think I recall Uncle saying that you'd also got one, so I am not sure what I can add, and so I will end with that.

An annotated copy of the pre-print survives in Reggie's papers, and perhaps invites further discussion. 


The Letters column this week breaks down into two categories: retractions of errors and corrections, only some of which are libelous; and a letter from the Reverend Joseph Schyrnen asking what came of the jujitsu demonstration for British policewomen. The Publisher's Letter is excited about Newsweek Looks at the News, running weekend evenings on the Du Mont network; and stories about the formal signing of the Atlantic Pact, the Red Cross donations drive, and the "Kremlin crusade" against religion and Cardinal Mindszenty in particular. 

The Periscope

The President's health insurance proposal is in difficulties as the Administration wrangles the details; The Undersecretary of the Army is covering for Secretary Forrestal while he is off taking a rest cure whether he wants to or not; The general counsel of the NLRB, Robert Denham, says he isn't quitting, and they can't make him; Ambassador Douglas wants to resign his post; The President continues to clean out the Navy Department;  Germans are fleeing the Soviet zone at a rate of 20,000 a month; The US has begun fighter deliveries to Iran; Israel is reviving the Biblical shekel for its currency; Moscow is said to be divided over German policy; The Dutch are upset with General Montgomery's plan for Atlantic defence, while Belgium is looking at it as a way of curing rising unemployment; The Turks are upset that they aren't in the Atlantic pact and think that there should be a Mediterranean pact to go with it; With oil prices down, American producers are worried about foreign production; An MIT study says that atomic powered planes are just around the corner, while the Hoover Commission wants all first class mail carried by air; This winter's blizzards came at the right time to boost this year's harvest by adding to available moisture; business economists are worried about falling commodity prices; Joan Davis, Cass Daley and Vera Vague aren't on the radio because they won't accept "man-chasing roles"; Elmer Rice is working on  a novel, Maurice Chevalier has a three volume memoir out, Nicol Smith's book about Kashmir, Golden Doorway to Tibet, is very topical, while Hector Chevigny and Kent Cooper's books are also relevant. 

Washington Trends spends the first column summarising what The Periscope has to say about the Atlantic security pact. There is a bit that's new here. The Senate will must fifteen votes against it, showing the strength of the "isolationist" bloc, which has also limited the scope of the treaty. Senator Vandenberg leads the opposite trend, and is speaking up for "bipartisanship," which in this case means Republicans voting with the Democrats for a Democratic President's policies. So that brings up the split in the GOP, and it is implied that Taft is looking for his chance to break with Vandenberg and align with the isolationists. The Air Force's decision to scrap the 70 group target in favour of a 57, sacrifice tactical to bomber groups, and buy the B-36 (with jet assist added to the wings) as a cost-cutting measure, gets mentioned.  The President's rent-control bill is in trouble, but his social-security legislation is likely to go through, and so also the payroll tax increases, but not other tax increases, unless deflationary trends relent. His material and price-, and wage-control bills won't go through, nor his legislation to force plant expansion. The increase in the minimum wage bill will, as long as the "flexible floor, tied to cost-of-living" is accepted. Southern senators believe that they can stop any civil rights legislation, as well as the filibuster reform that would have to pass for it to have a chance.

Rankin and Rayburn are a striking contrast to this
caricaturist's pen. 
National Affairs leads with yet another story asking whether deflation is real and whether it means that there is a business slump on, with various wise people saying that we should wait for April. (Which is, Nancy says, a clever ploy, since people always start tipping again in April.)  Then there's a bit about Tom Connally of Texas is playing coy on isolationism, and another about Congressman Rankin's "pension grab" bill which he forced through the veterans committee. People who oppose the bill can't seem to agree on whether they're opposing it because it's too big or too small. Speaking of too big, the President went to review B-36s and a YB-49 at Andrews Air Force Base but would not relent on his latest, 48 group USAF plan, on grounds of cost. Then it is back to the dark continent of the committee rooms to hear about the debate over Taft Hartley, with, as always, rabble-rousing secret communists clashing with the corrupt tools of big business and international finance. Drenched in tobacco, Newsweek seeks sweet relief on K Street, where the "Ohio Gang" is looking for its biggest payoff since the Teapot Dome, apparently by funneling their money through James Roosevelt and James Moffett of the New Deal, who must have pull in Truman's Washington because they were so close to FDR. It seems as though the client list at least tells you who Washington's most gullible money men are.

"Pyramiding Pyramids" If you remember the old chain letter racket, this is a new version, the "Pyramid Friendship Club," in which everyone pays $2 to the person who invites you to  join the club, and you get rich by sending out more letters, speaking of gullible people. It's in the news because Justice Stanley Moffatt of Los Angeles has acquitted a defendant for being a member of the club. Meanwhile, Anna Louise Strong is also in trouble with the law, in Moscow, where the Cominterm is unimpressed with her position that Mao owes Stalin nothing, and should assert Communist China's independence. This has her hometown Seattle press transported with glee, because, as you might have heard, communism is bad. Newsweek's position on the Army's Smedley-Sorge press release is that it was "frank propaganda" and a case of "foot-in-mouth" disease. And speaking of the army, Audie Murphy is getting married, and has memoirs out, and the Army continues to deliver feed to herds and food to people in the "winter-locked West." It wasn't as cold in Palo Alto as it is in Vancouver, but it was cold, and now that it is warming up, people are starting to worry about floods, instead!
Foreign Affairs

The cover story is the formation of the GHQ West for the Atlantic Pact, a big step in the direction of a unified Atlantic alliance against Communist aggression. I'd have to read the whole thing to know whether it talks about the rumours that Montgomery has been "kicked upstairs" due to disagreements with the government, but I did skip through to the end, where, as usual, an army source says that the Western Union army is inoperative because, due to a shortage of recruits, the British can barely field a single division. That seems like it might be exaggeration, and so does the talk of 250 to 300 Russian divisions. On the other hand, prewar Fascist J. F. C. Fuller has emerged from hiding to suggest that the Russians can't maintain more than 25 to 30 divisions in Europe due to the inefficiency of their communications, are likely to go on the defensive in Europe, and will attack in the Near East, instead. Which I would take as the expert's opinion if he didn't use to pull the same trick with Hitler, suggesting the exact opposite.

Oh, not, wait, my guilt led my eyes on a few more paragraphs, and Newsweek does, in fact, get to thtat. "As CIGS, he was a complete failure," says one anonymous source, who is quoted right after some praise directed at his successor, Field-Marshal Slim of Burma, who is especially credited with cleaning "Monty's Boys" out of Whitehall and shutting his secret tank workshop  down.

Newsweek then wanders off to do the Time thing where their purple prose roams free across a spring-tossed land, in this case, England, which is pink and crocus-y and full of aristocrats for fox hunting and colonial governors against white supremacy, in this case Oliver Baldwin, son of the Prime Minister, who is in trouble with the Leeward Islands' governing council for being too nice to coloured people. Wait! That's not blooming flowers and gentle, misted green! Newsweek also gently suggests that the disappearance of Commandante Markos, appointment of Ioannis Ioannides, and complete collapse of the Communist insurgency in the wake of the Moscow-Yugoslavia split means that the Greek Civil War is coming to an end.

In shorter pieces, Newsweek is entertained by the British fuss over sex education, the United Nations dunning Costa Rica and Guatemala over unpaid dues,  the Pope's defence of Cardinal Mindszenty, and various signs that the Iron Curtain is "hardening," including the sentencing of a waiter on the Orient Express to twenty  years for spying by an American military court. Also, the price of living is down in France. Housewives are happy, farmers and middlemen devastated. Chaim Weizmann has been sworn in as President of Israel, and SHEAF is in big trouble for leaking word that Secretary of the Army Kenneth Royall said that he doubted Japan's value in the event of a third world war and thought that American occupation forces should be withdrawn in the event of a conflict. Under Secretary Draper had to deny American intentions of withdrawing from all his valuable new Japanese holdings ---I mean, from Japan-- and everyone agreed that it was all actually the fault of the journalists invited to Royal's off-the-record talk. Under-Secretary Draper is resining effective 28 February to spend more time with his money. (Yes, I'm mean, but I've dealt with that Dirty Old Man, and I do not mean it as a compliment!)

Joseph Phillips' Foreign Tides column is devoted to the question of whether or not Mao Tse-Tung will turn out to be another Tito. Are we hoping, or telling?

In Canada, Conservatives and the Globe and Mail pillory St. Laurent for turning to the socialists of the CCF for support in bringing Newfoundland into Confederation, fruit of a poisoned tree and all of that.  British Columbia makes the news because one factory has opened every day for the last two years there, pleasing British Columbians who don't want to be hewers of water and drawers of wood. Also, the Pacific Great Eastern Railway is getting an 83 mile extension so that it will actually connect with something, and a $5 million hydroelectric scheme is drawing Alcan and Reynolds Metal, with the hope that, with a 50-50 loan from the Federal government, there might also be a steel mill near the dam, the first on the Canadian Pacific coast. However, if the CCF wins the election, you might as well go be cannibals in the street. Also in Canadian hydroelectric, "load shedding" is temporarily over in Ontario as the water shortage in the Niagara abates. That's a lot of news for Canada, and I will balance it by not reporting on the current shaky economy in Argentina that spells bad news for Colonel Peron, who, in the lastest word, cannot sell 30,000 tons of linseed oil, because the asking price is too high.


"Managers Multiplied" McCormick and CompanyFlight, the Baltimore tea and spice house, was badly managed in the late years of Willoughby McCormick. When Charles McCormick took over, he introduced "multiple management," which is a new approach that has spread to other companies. The article explains what it is, but I don't really "get" it. I think someone needs to spend more time explaining.

"Cleveland Compromise" Remember that Uncle Henry and poor old Joe leased (I thought, bought?) that government-built blast furnace on the Republic Steel grounds that Republic thought it pretty much owned? After six months of arguing, they settled. Kaiser-Frazer lets Republic operate the furnace, but gets a guaranteed 12,000t of pig iron a month at market prices.

"The Pay-Cut Formula" The idea that the CIO's UAW cost-of-living adjustment might lead to pay cuts for members is not sitting well with them.

Trends and Changes reports that the Chamber of Commerce is opposed to the current round of wage increases, that GE is resisting its union's wage demands, that the Justice Department is fighting with the CAB over the latest set of rules for nonscheduled airlines, that more people are taking the plane since ticket prices went down, that the Agriculture Department is looking for ways to arrange a 20% cut in cotton production. Layoffs in the railroads industry get their own story, mainly because orders for locomotives and railcars have dropped so sharply that builders are worried. It's all the ICC's fault for regulating rates.

What's New reports that Kee Zipper Company has a jamless zipper, GE has a new radiant heat system with registers and grills on the outer walls the room that create a blanket of warm air along the walls, that Carry-Cab of New York has a lightweight baby carriage/stroller that can be converted into a bassinet by removing it from the chassis, or inserted into a different one to convert carriage into stroller. The Trailer Coach Manufacturers' Association trade show featured trailers with collapsible sun-deck balconies, a pop-up Plexiglas dome in the living room, and a two-story movable home with three bedrooms upstairs and a living room, kitchen and bath down, made of aluminum, weighting 7500lbs and selling for $7500.

Henry Hazlitt continues his campaign against the ERA in this week's Business Tides, asking, "What Are We Trying to Do?" Henry has now discovered that the famine in Europe was due to weather and not Planning, and that Planning and price supports haven't prevented the largest crop in history, which means that Europeans aren't starving, and don't need to be fed. He has noticed the new effort to raise "European living standards," and thinks that this is ridiculous mollycoddling, since Europeans deserve to have lower living standards; and, anyway, industrial production is up in the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and Denmark, so there. Perhaps the ERP is about helping poorer countries? No, Belgium is a poorer country and isn't getting enough. (This "poor Belgium" push is getting downright distracting!) No! It's all about exchange rate controls and "false currency values."

Science, Medicine, Education

"Darius' Billboard" A long time ago, the Emperor Darius carved a huge inscription on a cliff in Persia. It is important for various reasons, and, this week, George G. Cameron of the School of Near Eastern Studies of the University of Michigan published the best translation of it yet. He also told the journalists who attended his press conference that he found a staircase that had been cut into the cliff and then chiseled away, which is how it was made, and that the end of the inscription blesses him with a large family for preserving it. Professor Cameron doesn't want a large family, but he says "Thanks for the thought" to Darius the King and the great god Ahura Mazda. Newsweek points out that the inscription is sort of like an advertisement, which we still (news!) have.

"Buck Rodgers Baedeker" Latins are excitable! (Because, after a dramatisation of Orson Welles' War of the Worlds on Ecuadorian radio, enraged Ecuadorians attacked the station in a riot in which 20 people were killed.) This fact reminds us that Latins are excitable, and that Mars is important. Somehow. Now that engineers are talking seriously about "sending missiles outside the gravitational domain of the Earth," the question is whether we'll be visiting Mars soon, and, if so, whether we will get good coverage on Mars radio without paying for it. The answer is in two books just out from the University of Chicago, Gerard P. Kuiper's The Atmospheres of the Earth and Planets, and Ralph Baldwin's The Face of the Moon. Dr. Kuiper says that Martian deserts seem to be composed of a mineral called felsite, and that its polar caps are almost certainly water ice. The celebrated green areas are not the same shade as chlorophyll, so they are not earthly plants, which isn't surprising when the temperature there gets down to  minus 76 on the average night, but they might be lichen. Jupiter and Saturn, which also have atmospheres, are far less likely to have Earthly life, since much of that atmosphere consists of methane and ammonia, which are the kind of thing you want to sprinkle on your corn-on-the-cob (see below), not breathe. Neptune and Uranus are probably the same, but who knows, because they're even further away.  The Moon is much, much closer, so maybe we'll go t here, even though it doesn't have an atmosphere at all, much less lichen. Baldwin's pictures do show that it is covered with craters due to meteorites, so it is at least picturesque.

If you're wondering what this is all about, Time did a feature earlier in the week about the recently declassified Navy work on guided missiles, which is very topical thanks to the B-47 high speed run to Washington that demonstrates that current interceptors really aren't up to the job of catching atom bombers. The Air Force's line is that it really isn't a big deal, because never mind bombers, we're in reach of "uninhabited" aircraft, probably rockets, that "arch from continent to continent under remote control." Nothing even close to that actually exists, but Karl Compton of MIT is working on some kind of "seeing eye" that could provide a "mid-course correction" to guide the rocket on its mission, whatever that might be. (It would be giving away the ending to say, "atom bomb to Moscow.") One way to do this is to home the missile in on the target's heat, light or magnetism. Another, already tried in the war, is a television bomb; but this is very short ranged, because short-wave radio signals don't follow the curve of the Earth.

Which brings us to the idea of "seeing round the Earth" with an "eye in the sky" that is so high up that it never comes down. That is, it just goes round and round, much like the Moon. (Reggie assures me, with a somewhat disappointed tone, because apparently if I'd paid more attention to high school science, I would know all of this, and it really is very interesting and "elegant," he said. I said, "I know 'elegant' when I see it, and math isn't it," and he said, "We engineers say 'elegant' to mean something different, because most of us never get to meet actual elegant people." And that's why I love him.)

Anyway, here's the clipping from Time, included in spite of breaking all the rules around here, because Reggie says it is kind of important.

Dr. Perez forgot to hire a patent lawyer, and is therefore not
remembered as the inventor of anything in particular, although
in fairness he could have selected a less toxic dye. 
"Tracing a Tumor" It says here that one of the biggest problems with treating a brain tumor is tracing its location so that you can cut through the skull in the right places to remove it. It would be keen to use an X-ray, but cancer cells are soft tissue, and don't show up on X-rays. However, Dr. Sanchez Perez, a doctor at the University of California Medical School, has been working on an "x-ray like": machine that picks up a special dye called "diodrast." An intravenous injection of this "diodrast" moves through the tumor over about four-and-a-half seconds, allowing the machine that Dr. Perez has sold to Bethesda Naval Hospital to take six photographs, map the tumor, and operate. The Navy's best doctors are using it about twice a week, and also use it to find varicose veins. If you're wondering why it is news now, after fifteen years, it is because the Navy has published an article about it, but Newsweek doesn't say where.

"Drug for Motion Sickness" The Army and Navy did their best to find a motion/seasickness pill during the war, but couldn't. Most of their work concentrated on sedatives related to belladonna, which really doesn't sound like a good idea, but two doctors at Johns Hopkins, Leslie Gray and Paul E. Carliner, have found that the anti-allergy drug, Dramamine, works, and have done some tests, including drugging up thousands of US troops in a recent trooping move across the Atlantic. Somewhat related, some Canadian doctors have done a study of snoring and found that it is, one, hilarious; two, a problem; three, caused in part by sleeping on one's back; four, sometimes helped by a tonsilectomy. Really? Next up, Canadian scientistst discover that Canada is boring!

"Lethal Lithium" So salt can cause hypertension, which is bad for heart sufferers. No problem, says some food manufacturers. Lithium chloride tastes salty, too! So assorted manufacturers started marketing it as Westsal, Foodsal and Saltisol. Not so fast, the FDA says this week, on account of lithium chloride being a deadly poison that kills by depressing the heart beat, if a depressed appetite, numbing of the extremities, blurring of vision and coma aren't warning enough. On the bright side, the FDA theorises that this means that an intravenous injection of sodium chloride might turn out to be a treatment for same. We should definitely rush out and start injecting everyone in sight without doing any safety trials, first! (If you're wondering, I checked, and lithium chloride is used as a brazing flux for aluminum, which, I assume, is why there was a bunch of it sitting around ready to be put in salt shakers and used to, as it turns out, kill people. "Here, but this brazing flux on your food! What's the worst that can happen?" 

Under the Education heading, we're treated to the Chicago Great Books programme going to jail to turn convicts into good citizens with the power of reading Shakespeare, and Aristotle and (someone French? Pascal, I suppose, given these people) in translation. 

People, Radio-Television, Press

From Time. 
Ezra Pound got a poetry award this year, because madmen are eligible, unlike traitors. Beryl Dickinson Dash was elected Winter Carnival Queen at McGill University in Canada even though she is a Negro, while Hazel Scott has to sue to get served in a restaurant in Pascoe, Washington. Joe Dimaggio went dancing while on vacation in Mexico, former Powers model land Columbia graduate Inez Horton Gay is suing her parents for $5000, Miss America is in trouble for some reasonPerle Mesta is the new hostess-with-"It" in Washington, whilst the GOP congressional delegation have been told to scour their closets for "It," or go out and buy some, because they're not making friends the way they are. Gerard Graham Dennis is a very handsome jewel thief, just like in the novels

"Big Joe's Exchange" Joe Rosenfeld's Happiness Exchange on New Orleans WNOE is a radio morning show in New Orleans that Newsweek likes because Rosenfeld is a very nice person, even though he is Jewish. In other important news, Philco has a quality testing lab in the basement where they make sure that their televisions won't fall apart, before they ship.

"Color TV for the Does" Smith, Kline and French have been distributing Columbia-made coloour televisions to various people as a publicity stunt. Newsweek thinks that CBS is trying to prod the FCC to get on with introducing colour television.

In press news, Ken Purdy is the new publisher of Fawcett's True, the hairy-chested magazine for manly men, while Dorothy Schiff Thackeray is fighting with her husband, Ken, over the New York Post's losses. The background of the story is that they separated over politics. The former New Dealers have divided, with Ken moving to the left to support Wallace and Dorothy to the right to support Dewey. The Post has solid revenue, but is drowning in debt and overstaffed. Thackerary is cutting payroll, leading the paper's "bitterly anti-communist CIO" union to call for a strike, which led to a $100,000 severance offer, which satisfied those he fired, except that he can't afford to fire them, and is going to issue them a weekly cheque until he scrounges up the money. Also, Theodore Links of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch is in trouble for hoaxing a city official by dressing up as a mobster and making someone an offer. He also got a Special Guilds Award for it, so he has the last laugh, unless he goes to jail.


Newsweek liked Alan Ladd in Whispering Smith a lot more than Time did, and was also impressed with Frank Faylen.

 It did not like It Always Rains on Sundays, and thinks that Caught is a "car-hop flop." The James Mason debut vehicle features Barbara Del Geddes as a former car hop who marries a rich man, and so on from there. Thinks Newsweek, anyway. There's also a documentary movie about the early years of the Red Cross out, (Man to Men, really!), and a four-story anthology from Britain (another one!), this featuring people who win the lottery. It has Greta Glynt to try to salvage the worst story.


Newsweek also covers the "Book Derby" of future immortal authors in exactly the same language. Someone is being lazy! Then it is off to talk to Arthur M. Schlesinger, great historian, not to be confused with his son, Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. There was a poll recently to name the six best presidents, and he was inspired to write an entire book about America, in which, among other things, he named the usual suspects plus Wilson and Jackson. And then is off to the races to share his opinions about many things at great length. He's against the Gilded Age and the "gospel of work" that gave rise to it. (Americans value hard work, but somehow only the wealthiest benefit from it.) He is upset at Sinclair Lewis and H. L. Mencken making fun of the "Babbits, of Main Street, the Elks and their ilk" since they are actually the springs of collective action and "the taproots of the nation's well-being." This is one of those paragraphs where I start out to be brief and dismissive, and then get hooked by the ideas. I could spend some time rewriting, but I think I'll just let it stand. I'm not sure what I think about his ideas, but they are certainly refreshingly contrarian, and anyone who lets some air out of Mencken is alright in my book! Under Other Books, Newsweek mostly hits books Time has already covered, but also mentions, and likes, Edwin Corle's Winter Light. 

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