Saturday, August 17, 2019

Postblogging Technology, May 1949, II: Wedding Bells for Lili Marlene

R_. C_.,
Shaughnessy, Vancouver,

Dear Father:

The makeup dinner with Ronnie went well. Thanks again for your advice. I just sut up and listened to stories about being a for-real junior buyer and focussed on not saying anything about being a better fit for her than law. Not that that's true, anyway. She's sharp on patents, and the first to admit that she needs to learn it like a lawyer, which is good, because it calms my fears that she'll shoot off her mouth before she's ready. The New Look is dead, baby!

I'm not sure about the stinger about thinking about my career before I open my mouth. I'll be cursing your name when Wallace doesn't make me Chief of the Naval Staff in '53!

Okay, okay, shut up, discretion, valour. Speaking of, as you know, my first appointment is as a liaison with a reserve squadron that's somehow flying Neptunes. The real story is that we're working on flying with the "physics package." It turns out to be a lot more complicated than delivering a regular bomb. First of all, the packages are very, very cranky, and that's just the ones we are practicing with now, which have been used before. (Word to the wise.) The Neptunes are too small to drop regular physics packages, and we don't want to keep using the old ones. So new packages are likely to be even more cranky. 

Wow! You probably have no idea what I'm talking about. Probably for the best. Ahem. We need bombs that produce a lot more neutrons per unit weight, and the ideas for producing it tend to involve doctoring the atom bomb in flight. We're not actually worried about that right now, because it is all moonshine, but we are worried about "drop on discretion." It's a bit much to ask patrol bombers to press their attack against a fast carrier task force, and in practice the exercises we've flown have tended to produce early drops. It's hard to beat human nature, so instead we're looking at beating bomb nature by persuading them to cooperate with being dropped from angles and elevations that aren't fixed right into the firing mechanism. "Fuze," I guess you'd say, although there I go, committing treason again. (They're not actually fuzes.) 

So, anyway, for privacy's sake, we're flying out of Livermore Naval Air Station, which would practically be in the backyard if Grace were talking to me. I've seen a furtive James a few times, and, of course, Uncle George comes and goes as he bloody well pleases. Do you know what Uncle Henry is going to give Ronnie for her birthday? Spoiled! I've brought the old Indian out of the garage, although, frankly, it runs less than a turbocompound.   And leaks oil, too. Where are those silicon rubber gaskets now! (Oops, forgot to mention that in the Engineering roundup. Oh, well, old news, anyway.) 

Your Loving Son,

Time, 16 May 1949


Time promotes Dore hard enough to damn well take
its share of  for naval architecture-related heresy. 
The cover article about Eugene Davis inspired a mix of angry letters. Some people were mad about Eugene Davis and the communist party; others are upset because Time was so nice to Eugene Davis, and there's even a  letter that seems to be upset at Time for being mean to Davis, although not Communists, because everyone who writes to Time these days (who gets published), hates Communists. Hilton Terry, of Abilene, Texas, is upset at Gustav Dore for painting the Ark wrong, because it is clear from the Bible that the Ark had its door on the side and only one window. People are crazy down in Texas. Time's story from the Harvard convocation that liked Jacques Maritain, because he was all blah-blah about God, and hated W. T. Stace because he was on about using psychology to replace old ideas of God as the basis of morality gets a lot of heat back from angry readers, including Professor Williams of Harvard, who was there, and Philip Glass, of Saskatoon. Time gets a bit huffy back. Dorothy Wilson writes from Stuttgart that the reason that the Germans have Bunkerkoller is that too many D.Ps. are still living in "bunkers" and it is a disgrace on local governments. The Publisher's Letter lets us know that lots of Canadians besides Mr. Glass read Time now, including ones in Fort Resolution and Yellowknife, where there is nothing else to do in August but look out the window at all that snow. 

National Affairs

 "Russian for Hello" Time breaks down the exciting story of the diplomacy around the Russians dropping the Blockade. At one point, someone talked to someone on the subway on the way to the General Assembly!

"End of a Chapter" Time on General Clay's relief: See, it was what Clay wanted. He kept trying to resign, and the President kept stopping him! So, all those times when Clay tried to start WWIII  by running the Blockade instead of letting us win the Airlift? Secretly Truman's fault!  That time when he tried to stop the Germans from having social welfare because it was against the American Constitution? Truman's fault! At the hearings on the Atlantic Treaty, Secretary Wallace got a bit heated, and Vandenberg and John Connally jumped down his throat. I know it sounds bad when you say that the Atlantic Treaty is backed by "the Roman Catholic hierarchy," but what about Mindszenty? And don't give me this martyr stuff! 

Unfortunately not. By The Official CTBTO Photostream -
"Ivy Mike" atmospheric nuclear test - November 1952,
CC BY 2.0,
"Pink Frosting and Champagne" The President's 65th birthday was a big shindig, and that gives everyone (Time, me) an excuse to mention that Henry deWolf Smyth and Gordon Evans Dean were named to the Atomic Energy Commission, so you'll know why lakes on Mars are named after them when the atomic rockets get there in '59.

"By a Hair" and "Lesson for the Party" Time is giddy about the way that Taft-Hartley repeal was voted down, and about Taft's education bill, which got through in spite of Henry Cabot Lodge trying to attach a poisonous anti-segregation provision. Taft keeps telling Republicans that the party is doomed if it doesn't embrace some welfare legislation, and he keeps having to roll over the Party to get it. So I guess the question is whether killing Taft-Hartley repeal is worth dropping $300 million on educating Arkansas schoolchildren. And I guess the moral of the story is that it is. 

"Formula for Landlords" and "Trouble at River Rouge" On the one hand, Tighe E. Woods just rolled out a new federal rent control formula that is likely to be kinder to landlords. On the other, the UAW is out on strike for the eight hour day (that's being eroded away again) and pensions. We'll see which works out better: hoping for kindness from some New Deal hack, or fighting for it with your union. 

"Eruption in Bourbon County" and "The Heart of the Matter" In Kentucky, the Democrats are in trouble for ballot box stuffing, with crusader Cassius M. Clay getting A. E. Funk and Edward Prichard indited. While in New York, the Communists continue to offend sensibilities and disgrace justice for trying to defend themselves against the charge of being criminal Communists by arguing that being Communist is not a crime. (Time's position, and, after all, isn't a newspaper's job to have a position?) is that since Communists believe that a proletarian revolution is inevitable, being a Communist means advocating the violent overthrow of the capitalist state, full stop. To the hanging tree!

(Treason or light popular entertainment. Your call, Judge Medina!)

"Wreckage of a Dream" The old phalanstery of the Fourierists in New Jersey was sold off to a salvager this week for $500, and Time gets as historical as your average Flight Leader.

Americana reports that the Bronx is throwing in for money and baby things for Ethel Collins, wife of a $72/week statistician, who had quadruplets last week. Time, the House Appropriations Committee, and the Hoover Commission compete to see who gets the most upset about an Army shipment of dehydrated onions that generated 288 record keeping steps. Because the country could save so much money if anyone could just jump into an airplane and fly to Berlin, none the wiser! Ogden, Utah celebrated the 80th birthday of the day that Governor Leland Stanford drove a golden spike into the ground, made a mineral claim, registered a company in California, deeded the claim to it, and sold a million shares to British investors. The LAPD had to be called out to police the crowd after two drug stores got into a price war. Phi Theta Upsilon initiates at the Northern Illinois College of Optometry got even with the man who pranked them during Hell Week by pranking him after Hell Week. Fair's fair. 


"Victory in Berlin" We won in Berlin! Everyone won! Democracy won! Berliners won! Ernie Bevin won! Really, everyone won, except the airmen who actually flew the Airlift and stopped WWIII. Because that's what Time really wanted! (That or a Fourth Reich. Although Time is pretty good at pretending that that is what the Russians want.) Unfortunately for Time, the constitution that the west Germans have adopted is actually Democratic.  Or, as Time puts it, "dubious" and "yet to prove itself." 

"High Hopes and Bitter Tea" The Dutch war against Indonesia is over, which Time illustrates by describing the hunger strike (broken by fruit juice and unsweetened tea) by the former Governor of Sumatra East Coast, Bertho van Suchtelen, who gave up, because that's what bullies do when people fight back. Maurice Maeterlink's death belongs here, maybe because Shirley Temple was in The Blue Bird, and she has publicists who can get a picture of her into the middle of Time. 

"Westward Ho for $$$" Falling British export earnings lead to Harold Wilson giving the Brits a jolt, and Time to making fun. Supposedly, the British are falling short on salesmanship, and Time smacks its lips at the British businessmen who blame the high cost of raw materials and heavy taxes before moving on to slamming American tariffs. I guess the fact that America is in a recession isn't going to get in the way of what some people would prefer to be the problem.

"For export: Morris cars and Bathing Suits." First recorded modern usage of "ho:" 1965.
By RuthAS at Wikipedia
"The Champions are Dead" Turin's champion soccer team was killed in a chartered airliner crash when it crashed into the Basilica on Superga Hill in a fog. Italy is in mourning. If you're wondering how it didn't get into Flight, well, it was a  Bristol Freighter. I'd tell you how it got covered in Aviation Week, but the Post Office seems to have trouble delivering to Livermore. On a happier note, Time records the National Assembly giving a 30% pay raise to concierges, which gives it an excuse to get all anthropological about French concierges.

Newsweek has better coverage
  Time is upset in advance that Communist feelers for peace in Greece are probably going to lead to "appeasement," and that Russia is going to produce champagne at a giant vinyard in Armenia, which probably won't be that good. The British Medical Journal reports on the experiences of six German women who went to Russia after the war as forced labour. They had a terrible time, although it is conceded that they were "in good clinical state" on their return. Time, disgruntled, speculates that there might still be 200,000 German women in Russia, "all of them presumably in equally good clinical state." The last days of Nationalist Shanghai are marked by edifying public executions of "bandits," and Mayor Chen Liang calling on residents to plant victory gardens so that the city could resist siege for . . a long time. 

A card  game called Canasta is all the rage in a little place called South America, and will probably hit the big time in Manhattan soon. Peron nationalised his buddy, Alberto Dodero, this week, which probably means that Dodero knew to get out before he was pushed. The president's left wing party won a parliamentary election in Bolivia this week. I hate to be cynical, but  the President promptly left the capital for a vacation at lower altitudes, leaving the Vice-President in charge for the duration. 

Canada, for a change, has an exciting story, as the strikers at the Canadian Asbestos mine in Quebec turn to violence to stop strikebreakers. Duplessis is calling for peace, calm, order and slavish devotion to the Pope. We'll see how that goes.


There's a recession on, but you couldn't tell it at Charles Siragusa's Admiral Television plant in Chicago, which just bought a giant 2000t hydraulic shell-casing press to make 225 10" television cabinets a day. And a stockholder's revolt at the annual US Steel meeting has led to the company deciding to move its annual meetings to New York from Semipalatinsk, Siberia.

"Prelude to Divorce?" Now that the studios have to get rid of their theatre chains, Fox's Joe Schenck is leaving Fox to run the soon-to-be-independent cinema chain, but with the final ruling yet to come down, Fox is still denying that any such thing is happening, because they don't want to admit that they'll be stuck with Zanuck running the whole show.

State of Business reports that electrical utilities have made a record first quarter profit. Not bad for being at the edge of extinction! Packard is the latest car maker to cut prices. The old Hitchcock Chair plant in Riverton, Connecticut (of course) is back in business making Hitchcock chairs. Not here, because it's too long, but should be, is a report on Harrods in London, which is making a mint off the "lower upper class."

"Literary Prodigy" reports that Random House's "Wonder Books" division is selling so fast (2 million copies in six weeks) that they don't have time for anything else, so they're selling the division to a group including Grosset and Dunlap, Curtis and Bantam, to give the Simon and Schuster "Golden Books" a run. John O'Connor of Grosset's thinks that "Wonder Books" have the potential to sell a hundred million washable-plastic covered children's stories. 

Science, Medicine, Education

"Tactics up in the Air" General McNarney, chief of Air Materiel Command, has put in a brief supporting the B-36. Time summarises the case, which, if you  haven't heard it, is that, with its enormous wings, the B-36 can successfully turn out of the way of a jet fighter lining up its interception run. Looking forward, the Air Force will soon have a fighter that can line the B-36 up, but by then the B-52 will beat out the B-36 and the fighter, but by then the homing missile will make it a whole new ballgame by turning the 400yd effective range of the fighter gun into miles. In fact, "beam-riding" missiles launched from the ground might even make interceptors --and bombers-- obsolete. Which brings us to the V-2 style rocket. General McNarney says that America has one that can fly 5000 miles and hit within 20 miles of the target, although someone else says that that is a "pipedream." A twenty mile miss is too much even for an atom bomb --and I say that as someone who was (nearly!) bombed once. If  you're wondering about the next step in the race, "a missile fast enough and clever enough to intercept [V2s] is years away." 

It's out in the middle of nowhere, and was spotted by the aerial
survey we've been hearing about. Photographs by, CC BY 2.5 au,
"Depression in Australia" Time was reading in Sky and Telescope about a hole in Australia that might be a meteor crater, although it's hard to tell. An Australian astronomer says it probably happened before the Aborigines arrived, or there'd be stories about it. If it happened.

"Streptomycin Pays" Selman Waksman, discoverer of streptomycin, has turned his patent rights over to Rutgers University, which is spending a million dollars out of the kitty for its new Institute of Microbiology, which isn't that much considering that royalties are at almost $200,000 a month at 2 1/2% of almost $1/gram, eight million grams made a month. On second thoughts, maybe we should branch out of electrical engineering?

"The Anti-Social Cells" Harvard's Harold Saxton Burr and Yale's Cecil T. Lane have been working on a microvoltmeter to detect hypothetical electrical disturbances associated with cancer cells, and report that they have had good results detecting a particular cancer, when checked against other methods. Next up is all of the other cancers. An eccentric doctor in England wrote an article that says that people get bored or something. I don't know. I got bored just reading it, because it read like all the other "eccentric Englishman says eccentric thing" stories. Except less murder and more fourteen hour days. Which are murder, so there!

"For Non-Performance" The judge has found against the school board in the ongoing NAACP versus King George and Gloucester County cases. "Separate and equal" means "separate" and "equal." Also, Harvard has hired Archibald MacLeish on the reasonable grounds that he's far too fancy not to teach at Yale. A course will be found for him that he can teach. Perhaps creative writing? Also, Goucher College is a good example of a famous college that  no-one's ever heard of, but now you've heard of Goucher College, and one of those obscure old men who die and leave lots of money to a college or school out of the blue, has died and left the money to a college or school out of the blue. It's in Connecticut. 

Press, Radio and Television, People

"Waterfront Winner" The New York Sun's Malcolm Johnson has won a Pulitzer for covering union racketeering on the New York waterfront, including the gangland slaying of Tom Collentine. 

"Angel in the Wings" The latest attempt to revive PM, or at least its press, sees Ted Thackrey launching Compass for the "non-Communist left," funded by Anita McCormick under her prim-and-proper "Mrs. Emmons Blaine" guise, and employing a number of former PM people, including I. F. Stone, who, and don't get me wrong, doesn't seem particularly non! Also, the Daily Worker is a terrible Communist rag for making its sports writers toe the party line in some scandal involving a  squabble between Leo Durocher and a Puerto Rican fan. 

"Fifty Girls and One Man" Alice Thompson is now the editor of Seventeen, the women's (Ronnie would kill me if I said "girl's," one week after! Even though . . . ) magazine whose publisher, Edwin Miller had the brilliant idea of focussing on teenagers. At a magazine called Seventeen! Who'd a-thunk? Alice is a "girl--" with a seventeen-year-old daughter.

Milton Berle is this week's cover story, and Jacques Villon gets most of Art, with a little left over for Giorgio de Chirico and Henry Moore, the welder who is somehow mistaken for a sculptor. I'm sorry, because I can see what Ronnie means about how these articles are mostly excuses to peddle the same old jokes about how regular people don't understand modern art because there's probably nothing to understand. 

Different picture, same point. 
Not actually the inventor of the throat lozenge.
By Andreas Schwarzkopf - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, h
 The King of Afghanistan is coming to America to have his eye seen to by a specialist, while the king of Jordan is going to Harrow. Emperor Hirohito led a crowd of 30,000 in a cheer for the new Japanese constitution. Princess Margaret made a plea for privacy, and Virginia Mayo dressed for the opposite. Thomas Mann, who used to criticise the German people for being too friendly to the Nazis, has shown his true colours by saying that Russians are nice people who don't want war. I shake my head, Time. I shake my head. Arnold Toynbee is in the Midwest selling "middlebrow" books. (Says Ronnie. they seem fine to me.) He likes peanut butter and Bing Crosby. Westbrook Pegler is still a horse's ass. Conchita Cintron play-acted bullfighting for a Paris crowd who seemed to be there mainly to see how she filled out her matador's uniform. Time reminds us that Garry Davis is famous, because Time wishes that we hated Garry Davis as much as Time hates Garry Davis. George Bernard Shaw likes Danny Kaye. Michele Morgan has divorced William Marshall. Henry James O'Brien Bedford-Jones has died, which is sad, although I'm a bit past him now! Apparently he made a cool million writing all those thud-and-blunder novels. Your Commander-in-Chief's ever convenient brother has died of a cerebral hemorrhage, while William Luden, inventor of the cough drop, had trouble further down the system, and more excusably, being 90, not 64. Take care of your ticker, Dad!

Rumours have Ingrid Bergman and Roberto Rossellini on the verge of divorce. It's actually a big story down in Cinema, but I thought I'd put it here. 

(Garry Davis is the guy who renounced his American citizenship to be "citizen of the world.") 

The New Pictures

Guinea Pig, Sleeping Car to Trieste and Miranda are "Three From Britain." The first is smug and self-congratulating, the second is suffocating, and the third is "a fairly poor sample of British whimsy, which, at its best, is seldom very attractive to American moviegoers." That's not going to help the sterling balance any!


This week, Ronnie's favourite middlebrow institution gives us a life of novelist Charles Dickens by Hesketh Pearson. Robert Shaplen's A Corner of the World gets the coveted "now that I've got your attention" spot. Time likes it because it has a problem with the Communists, but hates it because Shaplen thinks that "the natives" are right, and that Asia will be the worse off when "Western rascacls and mixed-up men of good will are kicked out." After the bitter, the sweet, so J. Frank Dobie's The Voice of the Coyote gets a good review. 

Flight, 19 May 1949


Faster than a Shackleton! Lots faster
"Only Thirty Years Ago" Thirty years ago, it was super hard for four Navy Curtiss machines to fly across the Atlantic, and actually only Admiral Read made it, taking 23 days to fly Newfoundland-Azores-Lisbon-Ferrol-Plymouth-London, with lots of engine trouble along the way. Now, he just jumps on Truculent Turtle and away he goes! Flight doesn't help its case by calling the P2V a :slow aircraft according to modern standards," though. Show us what you've got, buster!

"1052 and All That" The Hawker 1052 flew from London to Paris at 618mph, which is very fast, although not as fast as that Meteor in '46, but almost ten times faster than in 1911. This is a record somehow, and so is the 18 hour flight from London to Karachi in a Hawker Sea Fury. Smith is amazed at this amazing speed, which is 100% British. Although Flight does have to concede that the French are coming along. 

"Orly" The part of the Paris Show that was at Orly was very impressive. Flight especially liked the SE 1310 scale model flying boat and the swell VIP lunch it was invited to. (And you weren't.) Some Avro Lincolns put in a pretty shoddy show of formation flying, various prototypes were impressive, and so wat the Breguet 761's demonstration of short-field landing with reversing props. There was a long list of French prototypes and gadgets like the Espadon. 

"Hawker Hat-Trick" Just in case you're wondering what makes it a hat trick, Hawker is also talking up the London-Rome leg of the London-Karachi flight. They're all records!

"Change of Editorship" C. M. Poulsen is retiring at 65, after forty years at the helm of Flight. I 'm a not sure how much of his direction survived the 1934 takeover by Illife and Sons and the arrival of lien editorial director, G. Geoffrey Smith. Now, Geoff's boy, Maurice, is to be editor, with H. F. King as Assistant Editor. C. B. Watson will be "responsible" for technical descriptions, but evidently making her an editor would be a step too far. Roy Pearl is in charge of commercial aviation, R. Blackburn is King's assistant, while John Yeovil remains in charge of photography and Max Millar of technical drawing. 

Here and There

An RAF Hastings has flown in 2 million seedlings to reforest Berlin's Gruenewald in perhaps the last news from before the Blockade, Flight being a bit slow off the mark. (It also notices the arrival of a Stratofreighter for experimental Blockade service. The ban on skywriting is to be relaxed for the Church of England's "Mission to London." Talk about your sky pilots! The RAF is going to put microphones into their ground attack targets to make scoring easier. For his next stunt, Milton Reynolds will fly around the world pole-to-pole. The Under-Secretary for Air answered questions in the House about Canada's decision to license the F-86, explaining that Canada is in charge of Canada. Airtech is showing off an assortment of panniers and tanks that give the Halifax and Lincoln more cargo room. 

"Televiewed Traffic-Control: American Television-Radar System Giving the Pilot Pictorial Situation Display" The idea of a television view of a fog-clear outside beamed to a cockpit is an old one, but very attractive to people who make televisions, so it's not surprising that the ATA, Airborne Instruments Laboratory and Radio Corporation of America have come up with another one. "Teleran" is another attempt at a map projection of radar and ground beacon data. As usual, it is claimed as an easily-grasped way of communicating this information to the pilot. As usual, show me, I say. On the ground side, since "computers" are the coming thing, the idea is that there will be a "computer" fed by radar that displays every aircraft in their traffic bloc in the pilot's screen as well as all ILS and GCA information. 
Add caption

"Tribute from the Turtle" More like tribute to the Turtle. Flight expands on its Leader by telling us that the P2V is a good plane. I knew that!

"Marathons on the Way: Development and Production Regain Impetus at Handley Page (Reading) Litd: Mamba-Marathon Progresses" When Miles shut down, 5000 employees were let go and 200 remained. That kind of thing leads to a "serious interruption" in "production." But now, employment is back up to 2000, Handley Page is in charge, and the first production Marathon will fly at the end of June. The initial forty aircraft production order of Marathons will be completed at the rate of four a month, starting next year, depending on supply of engines and propellers.  Handley Page is happy with 40 orders, but hoping for more, and wants the critics to know that they've found a way to put an additional 60 gallons of fuel on board and increase all up weight from 16,500 to 18,000lbs. The Marathon is mostly pneumatically-operated and very snappy, and the very light Miles construction has been modified, Handley-Page style, for ease of production. Uh-oh! A Marathon 2 with two Mambas replacing the inboard Gipsy Queens is proposed, which seems like retreating from the "Four engines safer" design philosophy, while giving the Marathon quite a boost. It's probably a good idea from the point of view that anyone who believes in Gipsy Queens probably believes in ghosts and goblins, too(!) 

Flight's photographers went to the Royal Aeronautical Society Garden Party and took pictures of rich people pretending to be old time aeronauts with old-time airplanes. 

Civil Aviation News

Flight was at the official christening of the Solent on the Thames in London. "Important ICAO" discussions are happening. Denmark still wants ICAO to cough up money for navigation services in Greenland and the Faroes, in particular LORAN stations. Someone points out that the Brabazon will be able to fly from somewhere besides Filton. Or, more precisely, the Brabazon II, which is the first mark actually offered for airline service, which will have a multiwheel bogie. South Africa is buying the Constellation, and the Indian government is upgrading Santa Cruz Airport in Bombay with lighting and a radio range, because it is receiving more direct long-range flights that are avoiding Karachi. Canadian Pacific is receiving its first Canadair Fours, while BOAC is opening up its flying boat base in Sicily.

"Canadair Northrops" Flight reports that Canadair has its Northrop Pioneer license. The full-span flaps are deemed particularly suited for Arctic rescue. 


I assume that this is the notorious H. R. Allen,
but I'm left at a loss as to what "Last word for an
ex-C.O." is supposed to mean. He's the right
rank for an early commander of 1 Squadron, but
wasn't born until 1919, and doesn't appear on the
list of squadron commanders, not surprisingly. 
Squadron Leader H. R. Allen, ex C.O of 1 Squadron RAF, writes to point out that it is,in fact, the premiere squadron of the RAF. I would ignore the letter except to point out that an ex-CO of the squadron retired as a Squadron Leader and is living in the Hague. What's the story? Barried Aldbury writes to point out that flying boats shouldn't be allowed to use adverse currents as an excuse for poor takeoff performance, because it reduces the length of time required to get up on the step. J/ H. Stevenson, General Secretary of the Aeronautical Engineers' Association, writes that unless aeronautical engineers get a raise, they'll all quit and go make ice-cream making equipment and such, and civil aviation will be doomed.

Engineering, 20 May 1949

The British engineering press has been full of the Easter holiday this month. The Ministry if Civil Aviation muffed the weather forecast; there were record numbers of flights; the coal miners all went missing. It looks as though "absenteeism" hit the offices of Engineering, too, because this is a slim, slim month for the rag.

"Portable Hangar for Aeroplane Engine Maintenance" The Navy's new nose-in, steel-framed tent (it has a canvas covering) is described. It's nothing like the huge hangars that you can still see at your average Naval Air Station in some remote corner of the Bay. The clearance is only twenty feet. What's impressive is that the steel frame is meant to be erected at forward locations where no crane is available. It is all erected on the ground, and then pushed into the sky with telescopic rams. Design is by the Wisconsin Bridge and Iron Company, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Technically, Bay-area naval reserve Neptunes were flying out of Oakland, not Livermore, which has been described as being abandoned in 1949.  

C. A. Mason, "Noise Reduction in Power-Station Offices" Power station offices are often quite loud, because they are near the turbines. This is because turbines are loud. They are not noisy if there is a very thick brick wall between them and the turbine, but sometimes there is also vibration, which can be retransmitted by those walls. Sometimes, you can't mount the turbines on vibration-absorbing materials, and instead you should look into "acoustic" materials for the walls, instead. The math for determining just how much acoustic material is needed in a given case is remarkably similar to that for electric resistance, once the Rayleigh equation is taken into account. Here it is.


A Century of Book Publishing, 1848--1948. American scientific publisher Van Nostrand looks back at a century of books. David Van Nostrand's early success was in reprinting French and British books, especially ones of interest to military engineers and naval officers. The book is not for sale; Engineering got one in the mail because it is in with Van Nostrand, and you are not.

Some short Notes fill out the page. No device for securing the privacy of party line telephones is yet available from the Post Office.

"The British Industries Fair, Birmingham, IV" This is the concluding part of a very earnest exhibit. So earnest that it starts out with a small diesel generator on a wagon for dragging into hard-to-reach locations. Engineering manfully struggles to explain that the mechanical engineering behind setting the axles low and wide, so that it doesn't tip over easily. A little less silly is the description of a Ferranti Servodyne display. It's not very good on error control, but I'm fascinated by an arrangement for taking error control from an electric eye that picks up the colour of a piece being sprayed by dye, or paint, or however it is that you get nice clothes. Too green? The servo controls and puts less green in. Amazing!

Weak content means lots of articles that read like catalogue entries. For example, Alfred Herbert, Ltd., of Coventry, have made a name for themselves with their Herbert Auto Junior automatic lathe. (Is there a Herbert Senior? Inquiring minds want to know!) It occurs to Herbert that some customers who operate great banks of lathes may not be interested in all the automaticity that is built in to a Herber Junior, so here is an "automatic lathe with a platen slide," which is evidently a way of getting the most out of an automatic lathe with less automation. Meanwhile, Davison and Company of Belfast has a fine line of centrifugal flue-gas dust collectors.

Launches and Trial Trips Steamships Flyndersborg, Laforey and Puck (trawler and two freighters) are joined by motor ships Antilochus, Andulo, Chindwara, Borre and Rio Belen, two cargo liners, three tramps and a refrigerated passenger/cargo liner (twelve cabins). And, in a novel departure, two turbo-electrics, Princess Margueritte and Princess Patricia, both passenger ferries equipped for 2000 day and 98 cabin-class passengers and 60 cars.

Now imagine that you're holding a pair of vice grips and
pulling as hard as you can in the most awkward position
you can find. 
British Standards pronounces on sampling non-ferrous metals, washers for the aircraft industry, and split cotter pins. Oh, happy memories. 

Regional Notes This months' theme is "We could sell more steel if the miners weren't so lazy." Scottish and Northeastern steelmakers, in particular are having to turn away orders, and some Australian buyer must have been very nasty to Scottish Notes. The miners are making a particular stink about the shutting of some uneconomical collieries in Scotland and Wales, where "fantastically" low rates of production are being seen. The Welsh colliery got a reprieve after they promised to stop working to rule.


"Opencast Coal" Engineering reviews the opencast coal effort that began in 1941. Opencast coal is a project for increasing coal production, not economy, and it has been marred by accusations of inferior grade coal. This has been a problem for the end user more than the contractor, however, as there is plenty of market for off-the-ration coal, be it ever so bad. It might seem as though opencast coal is going to get more and more efficient due to giant excavating machines, but it seems like it takes longer to put them up and take them down than it does to just dig out the coal. Farmers complain, although, to put in perspective, 41,000 of 24 million acres of British farm land has been affected so far. It's fairer to say that it has proven hard to put the used land back into production, but the basic problems were solved for ironstone opencast mining many years ago, and there is no reason to think that topsoil and drainage can't be restored with care and effort.

"Electrical Engineering in Germany" A final BIOS report on the state of the electrical engineering industry in Germany finds no particular advantage in the way Germans do much of anything. The industries were in full communication before the war, and variations that were once deemed to reflect superior German practice turn out to be just national tics.

Notes is full up with announcements of summer meetings of the chemical, illumination, mining, metallurgical and mechanical engineers.

Letters to the Editor receives a series of blasts against the metric system and a tepid reply. Some people like being able to figure in thirds and quarters, and some like decimalisation. Everyone thinks that the multiplication of illogical special measurement systems in the Imperial system is silly, so the defenders avoid that. A. J. K. Honeyman, a steel man, replies to A. C. Vivian, who proposed that teh fact that British structural steel is better than American because Britain doesn't specify minimum yield points, allowing British steel to achieve higher "effective ductility" is wrong. British steel is better because it has more manganese. No-one knows how to measure effective ductility. W. A. H. Parker writes to correct Engineering's incorrect statistics about the number of British farms connected to electrical supply in the last year, which is higher than Engineering supposes, and so reflects better on the authorities.

"The Institute of Naval Architects, Continued" The Royal Inst. Nav. Arch. is on about worthy but boring subjects this week, including the effect of hull form on steering  under power and the most methodical way of testing propeller shafts. Things get exciting next week!

"The Newcomen Society in Holland" The swell old fellows who make up the Newcomen Society for the History of Science were off to Holland to look at old steam engines and be served tea by girls in traditional regional dress. 

The most interesting old steam engine was the Cruquis machine, set up in 1848 by some Cornish builders, with a low-pressure  cylinder twelve feet in diameter, which, with two others,kept the Harlemmermeer dry, one gigantic  stroke at a time, from 1849 to1933. At Koog aan der Zaan they saw a preserved oilseed crushing windmill that was once one of the ten thousand that made this the industrial heart of Europe, and later they went to see an exhibit of old maps, some dating back to 1619, of the gradual draining of the Beemster polder, which is now Holland's principal fruit growing area. (No oranges, only Orange.)

Those are the engine beams. The Spaarne River is just behind the railing --a 9 meter difference in water level. 

"Annual Meeting of the Iron and Steel Institute, Cont." Papers on the thermodynamics of metal pieces that emphasise that you don't really need exact solutions, so graphical methods will do; and several on grain size in silicon steel and carbide structures. The way you cook steel affects the results in curious ways. Let's look at some x-rays.

"A Policy for Industry" The National Association of Manufacturers has a pamphlet out. About the usual.

"200mW Generating Station at Poole" The new generating station at Poole is being built on 80 acres of reclaimed tidal mudflats. It will draw water through some very impressive tunnels, receive Northeastern coal from a fleet of dedicated colliers, and generate steam from some Metrovick turbines served by an impressive condensate-recycling effort thanks to some big cooling towers.

Labour Notes Pressure is building for wage increases, unions want more nationalisation, more money for waged labour, less for salaried, the Times of London wants full technical efficiency, all blah blah blah so far. But! The Ministry of Labour reports that the unemployment rate has fallen again, to 324,000, representing 1.6% of insured workers. This might have something to do with the rapid shrinking of the British labour force, which would seem to have lost 50,000 workers in two months, 40,000 men and 10,000 women. With employment very slightly up in textiles and in engineering and construction, no wonder that it is down in mining.

C. C. Pounder, "Some Current Types of Marine Diesel Engines: Precis of a Paper Given to the Institute of Mechanical Engineers, 18 March 1949" In spite of the general title, Pounder is concerned with scavenging blowers, crankcase explosions and fatigue failures. Knowing the engine crowd, I suspect that the first two are related in some minds. I'm not convinced. There is just so much room for improvement in thermodynamic efficiency by way of putting gadgets in the exhaust flow. I am not the biggest fan of doing it on aircraft, since complexity and lightness are hard to mix, but surely ships? I'm not sure about Pounder's attitude to crankcase explosions, either. He takes the position that there is no way to make sure that the exhaust gas reaching the crankcase is not explosive, which is a bit stronger than "overpressure isn't blowing out the crankcases." On the other hand, his solutions, monitoring hot spots and safety blow out doors, seem worthy. As for the stress failures, they probably have as much to do with poor wartime oil as anything.

One more catalogue entry makes the issue before we close out with some Notes and a long article about measuring the torque in shafts by Hugh Ford and Alan Douglas. Arthur Scrivener and sons have a centreless grinding machine for twist drills.

The Notes consist of a summary of Dr. Townend's view-from-ten-thousand-feet of research on fuels, given to the Institute of Fuels, and cranky reviews of Dr. P. E. Steelman, Road Making and Administration, Highway Administration, by B. G. Manton and Fine Surface Finish, by S. F. Paul. They are all worthy books, as the books Engineering reviews always are. The crankiness comes from a sustained objection to excessive and sometimes out-of-date details, and errors and redundancies, in which Paul comes off as much the worst.It seems like we've heard a lot about surface finishes, between this book, the no-slip foor polish, and silicon rubbers, which show up next week. (Well, they're mainly for gaskets, not coatings, but they are used in coatings. I stand by my reckless generalisation!)

Here are some diagrams of devices that you might attach to rotating shafts to measure their torque.

J. Jonah Jameson!

An article about du Pont has William H. Scott of Buffalo disagreeing with Albert E. Flamand of Cambridge, Mass., about whether big business is good or bad. George Armour of American Aniline is upset about being associated with General Aniline, the Nazi-loving traitors. (I wonder if he wrote the same letter to Time?) Ralph Nickelson of the New Orleans Item has similar concerns.  Henry Jones of Cloyne, Ontario, writes to rake Senator Bridges over the coals for making out Federally-published books about pigeons, muskrats, watermelons and so on as wastes of Federal government money. He's dumb enough, say s this Canadian (suspicious!) to think that the filibuster is a good idea. The publisher wants you to know that Communist Judith Coplon is terrible, and that Newsweek predicted the Western Allies' proposal to withdraw their occupation troops in Germany back to cantonments (I'm not sure what the character has to do with Switzerland, but that's the translation) in the far northwest. National Affairs correspondent, Ralph de Toledano, thinks that the picture of Judge Medina on the cover is a good illustration of just how amazing he is.

The perfect pizza is made of pure, unadulterated
Guatemalan tears. Thanks, John Peurifoy.
The Periscope reports that the President is fighting with Speaker Rayburn, that there is talk of a "loyalty case" against a "high Administration official," that Truman's feud with the Byrds is deepening, that Russell Smith may replace Edwin Nourse if, and when, he retires. Some Senate Republicans want Newsweek to know that they're not supporting Taft because they want him as the nominee in '52. John Peurifoy[!] is Congress' favourite for Army Secretary. Charles La Follette's many friends have let Newsweek know that he is up for a very important Federal job. Lebanon might make peace with Israel and the communists are losing in Greece. Tito is making nice to Stalin ahead of his trade talks with America. Various forms of censorship and near-censorship involving the Soviets. Burma might get some anti-Communist aid, Congress is going to investigate gas prices, Harry Bridges is in trouble with his own union, there might be another Hoover commission, Audry Murphy is going to play himself in To Hell and Back, Dorothy Lamour's show has been dropped b Sealtest, Jack Benny and Bob Hope are among the last holdouts on tape recorded shows, Jimmy Stewart has a western coming out and William Bendix is replacing Wallace Beery in Johnny Holiday.

Washington Trends reports that with deflation developing, the Administration is switching to balancing the budget with small spending cuts instead of tax increases. Altough Keyserling and Clark disagree with Nourse's emphasis on a balanced budget, and want a return to deficit financing. The ECA and defence are the most likely places to find economies, since Congress can't find agreement on tax increases or domestic spending cuts. The budget will probably be in the red for 1949--50, but the country won't, because Taft-Hartley repeal won't go through, and the Atlantic Pact is being rushed through Congress before members notice that the Russians have given up on the Airlift. Slyly, Newsweek mentions that Secretary Brannan is touring the South and Midwest promoting his subsidy plan, which "has no hope of passing in this session, except for pork." They pulled the same trick in the Periscope, but in a much nastier way I won't repeat.

National Affairs

Various Truman-is-in-trouble stories, so same old, same old. (Counting a story about how Taft-Hartley repeal doesn't beat out no repeal by nearly enough in a Gallup poll of a union town, and a melt-in-your-mouth story about how Tigh Wood's rent control reforms aren't actually that tough on tenants [pdf].  Followed by an inside-politics story about how four Arkansas Democrats were persuaded to switch sides on repeal by a pork barrel deal for Corps of Engineers money for dams, flood control and reclamation here and there. For those who want to dream of 1952, there's a full page story about Boss Hague's nephew getting the boot in Jersey City. Follows a profile of Judge Medina, who is presiding over the Smith Act trials.

But no-one died!
"Man with a Rowboat" So Louis Johnson forced John Sullivan out over the United States, or, to hear Sullivan tell it, the Marines. Then Johnson protested the President's proposed replacement, Jonathan Daniels. son of Josephus Daniels. Johnson wanted his own man, but Truman said no, and sent him to Congress for advice. McGrath offered Johnson a selection of Irish Catholics, from which Johnson picked Truman loyalist Francis Patrick Matthews, who admits that apart from a rowboat at his lodge on a lake in Minnesota, he's never been in a boat. But he knows Oklahoma politics! Frankly, if he can get the Navy to understand that its future is in naval air, and not naval airfields, all the better. Finally, a short bit gets on Congress' tail about all the ways that it is contributing to next year's deficit by not raising taxes or cutting spending.

Ernest K. Lindley's Washington Tides column  explains that Truman can't get things through Congress because he doesn't control it.

Foreign Affairs

"Two Melodramas in Two Cities"  In Berlin, street lamps flicker into life as electricity flows from the Soviet side and British flags are lowered at the Charlottenburger Chaussee while the Berliners rename the square in front of Tempelhoff the "Platz der Luftbruecke." In Shanghai, foreigners blockade themselves in hotels and apartments patrolled by vigilantes with riding crops and lead pipes, while Koumintang flying squads race around the city executing suspected black marketeers and Communists on the spot. Hong Kong remains calm and is ever more prosperous, but there is an uneasiness beneath. While in Japan, Washington has given up on reparations, on the grounds that the Japanese will never become self-sufficient at a reasonable standard of living if the plants currently earmarked for dismantling under reparations, go.

Britain gets yet another "The Export Gap" story. Various people may blame "backward design, inept salesmanship and, in some cases shoddy workmanship," but the basic problem is prices. Either there must be devaluation, or cuts in wages and unemployment. Victoria and Albert has been condemned without a replacement, Princess Margaret called on the Pope, outraging the National Union of Protestants, teetotalling MPs are outraged that London bars and restaurants might be allowed to stay open until 2:30, and Berlin, in case you missed the last story saying exactly the same thing, is getting back to normal. Newsweek celebrated by getting a correspondent into the first convoy to drive through to Berlin. He reports being waved through the Russian checkpoint with a broad smile, as at that point the Russians didn't realise that they'd "lost" the Blockade. That came later in the week when Moscow radio stopped talking about it. Everyone is expecting the shoe to drop over that somewhere, sometime soon. I know I've been betting on a Russian A-bomb this summer for over a year, and I see it ever more clearly now. I guess that's "confirmation bias?" Also, there is a new Prince of Monaco.

Joseph K. Phillips' Foreign Tides column visits China, where the Communists are "making plans." Specifically, a plan for a Fifteen Year Plan that will expand the role of manufacturing in the Chinese economy from a 10% share to a 30--40% share, creating a machine-tool industry that can produce machines, cars and vessels suitable for factories, mines and communications. "Foreign help . . . [will] not be excluded from the industrialisation." The industries already nationalised by the Koumintang, including railways, mines and banks, would remain in state hands, but private enterprises are "beneficial to the national economy."

"Genopurge" A Western diplomat recently returned from Moscow reports that the "drive against homeless cosmopolitans," that is, the Soviet anti-Jewish campaign, has been suspended due to negative reactions around the world, but is still going on, as evidenced by the Stalin Prize awards, which show that Jewish artistic and literary activities are being "eliminated." Because Jews didn't win enough awards, Newsweek believes that there is a subtle campaign to drive them out of technology and literature, just like the one that drove them out of government and diplomacy.

In Canada, the asbestos strike continues, the election campaign is on, and the international trade convention in Toronto is quite something.


The big story is the International Lady Garment Workers' fight to organise the New York garment workers union. Oh, no, it's about William Lurve being trapped in a phone booth and agonisingly stabbed to death by three unidentified assailants, which probably had something to do with the drive. So when it fails and they can't find Lurve's killers, it's going to be a big old shrug of the shoulders, "What are you going to do?" I guess it beats being gunned down in the street by a flying squad of the last Shanghai policemen who can't round up the Hong Kong silver to make it out of the country. Speaking of assassinated or nearly assassinated union leaders, /Walter Reuther  is optimistic that his River Rouge strike will break the Big Three's anti-pension strike.

At the companies, Eversharp is trying to get rid of President Martin Straus for leading it to a huge loss on ballpoint pens, and Sewell Avery's latest manoeuvrings to stay on top of Montgomery Ward are too byzantine to explain. Speaking of businessmen who won't get my money, George Keller, formerly of Studebaker, has just displayed eighteen hand-built station wagons, bigger than a Crossley but smaller than a Ford Four, powered by a four-cylinder, 49 hp Hercules engine, with a novel wheel mounting as a gimmick to persuade the SEC to let it sell five million dollar shares, now that it has already raked in $700,000 selling 1500 dealerships. At least the guy down on the corner selling maps to the Lost Dutchman's Mine doesn't have a sideline in franchises! And speaking of old time Westen businesses, the mutton and lamb-packing business continues its steady decline.

Trends and Changes reports that the Bureau of Mines is very impressed with "skyhooks," which are steel rods bored into the ceilings above faces to keep the layered rock above from caving in. Sir John Hay of the United Sua Betong Rubber Estates, Ltd, suggested in London that American subsidies for artificial rubber aren't actually "strategic," but are meant to keep natural rubber prices down. Well, that's a strategy, I say! (On the one hand, bad for rubber planters, so hurrah. on the other hand, bad for plantation workers, so boo.)   Kresge's is celebrating its fiftieth anniversary. Lockheed has discovered that most of its 15,000 employees have never flown, so is going in with a nonsked to get them up in the air. Not an airline ticket --that would be expensive!

What's New reports on the Jones and Laughlin rust-proof steel tube finish, GE kiddy recorder for children with magnetic memory; Borden's latest synthetic egg white that whips up faster than egg and can replace it in all kinds of candy; a Steger Products "TV turntable" with the TV on a turntable so that it can be rotated to face any corner of the room, and Helio Corporation's low gear plane that can fly as slow as 27mph, designed by one of the Institute's finest crackpots, Otto Koppen.

"The Flourishing Coaches" Coach airline fares are paying off big for the airlines that have gone in for them. Rickenbacker thinks they're stupid.

Henry Hazlitt's Business Tides is on about "Our Irresponsible Budget."  This isn't Ronnie's Hazlitt. He actually has a point, which his that budget-making in Washington is hopelessly diffused and disorganised. He is the old Henry in that he's particularly upset about how big the budget is, but at least he has the excuse that he's never been a Keynesian.

Science, Medicine, Education

"New Moon?" Dr. Gerald Kuiper of the McDonald Observatory in Fort Davis, Texas, believes that he has detected a second moon of Neptune. Triton has been known for a century, because it is huge by comparison with other moons (about the same size as the Moon, Earth being lucky, or possibly just such a swell planet that it deserves a big Moon). Ahem. Kuiper is the guy who proved that there are plants on Mars, and the talk is that he's been looking for moons of Neptune and Uranus because he thinks they might be small planets swept up from transuranic space. They might even be a clue to the location of "Planet X."

"Yukawa to Columbia" Hideki Yukawa, the co-discoverer of the meson, will have a visiting professorship at Columbia next year.

"Quiet, Please" Dr. G. L. Bonvallet, of the Armour Research Foundation, gave a talk to the Acoustical Society of America in which he said that noise was very loud and annoying and that there should be more quiet. Also at the conference, Dr. Horace Dudley of the Bell Telephone Labs predicted voice-controlled machines based on the Laboratory's Vocoder and Voder devices, although some work has to be done first. Dr. Joseph Black of Kenyon College did a study and found that people talk louder when people can't hear them. Or something like that. It's about room size and reverberation, technically. Dr. Robert Young of San Diego says that piano tunings last longer when they are done on low humidity days.

"Food Makes College Man" Some doctors studied what college boys ate and discovered that it wasn't a crisis, so forget those stories about scurvy at the frat. Though science does show that we hate liver and prefer spinach to asparagus and broccoli, if we have to eat one of them. Newsweek is a bit behind on the electrical cancer testing story, which has no new details on Time. Another "doctors study" story proves that Chicagoans are dying left, right and centre from air pollution, which causes asthma, emphysema, tuberculosis, pneumonia and cancer. Well, it doesn't actually cause tuberculosis and pneumonia, but it makes consumptives die even more than they already die. Which is all very well until you consider that you need "deaths in excess," and it turns out that the "controls" the doctors use are Southern cities, which fails to take into account climate. (Or yellow fever.) And when not shocking us with how unscientific their science is, doctors like to shock us with insulin, which seems to be good for paranoid schizophrenics according to one case study of one girl that a hospital handed over to Newman Cohen of Boston State Hospital for a good round of torture. Improvement is marked,but marred by a slight tendency on the part of recovered patients to commit suicide the moment they are left unsupervised.

"Primer for Freshman"Ronnie stabs her finger at the page. "See?" A story about freshmen's diet is under Science, and a story about freshwomen is under Education. Elisabeth Ann Hudnut and Marjorie Bauernschmidt give "sensible advice without being prissy or girly-girly." (My Commander Cody Decoder Ring says, "Ask Uncle George what this means.")

"The Vanishing Veterans" The good news for this year's Juniors is that us veterans are clearing out the door, and now they can get a job. Speaking of unfair advantages, Indiana University's survey of 1046 incoming students showed that farm children had a B- average, while the "children of professional men, businessmen, skilled workers, clerks and labourers" had a C+ average. Also, from a St. Lawrence University study, women get better averages than men. Which, even without Ronnie at my shoulder, shows that this stuff is blarney. It's not that I doubt it for a second, but the thing is, women don't get nearly as good job offers. We all know why that is, so how do you figure that sort of thing into the first set of numbers? Well, for one thing, what kind of professional man sends his son to Indiana University instead of Purdue at least? Doesn't that leave your study with labourers competing with farmers? So the question then is the high school they come from, right? That's what the lecturers at MIT told the class. "If you don't get vectors or PDEs, don't blame yourself, blame your high school."

Radio-Television, Press, People

Martin Block is going to have an international music show on Voice of America, Make Believe Ballroom. Morton Downey's show on television, where he just sings, will be successful, unlike all the other just-singing shows, because he is just so gosh darn swell. Horace Schwerin, of the Radio Management Club of Chicago, gave a speech to the Club about how bad commercials are, pointing out that bad commercials are bad business, with audience surveys to prove it.

Howard Stark>Tony Stark; Morton Downey>Morton Downey, Jr. Hmm. 

  Rebecca Franklin is Bulloch, Georgia's favourite newsgal. The United Nations is in favour of news freedom. New York press people just can't stop talking about the Thackreys. So shocking! Also, good to see PM going again, under a new name.

Playing with Justice Vinson as a partner, General Eisenhower recently beat bridge champion Ely Cuthbertson, because he is a Military Genius. (And the best player in the army.) Levi Jackson was allowed into a fraternity at Yale because he is a football star (even though he is a Negro.) Sterling Cole is upset that Hans Freistadt won a $1600 fellowship from the AEC, even though he is Communist. Mrs. Lou Gehrig wishes that there was a national multiple-sclerosis institute, because no-one knows anything about it. Kyra Shirk says that America is a paradise compared to Russia. Sara Churchill was in Toronto this week to do famous-person stuff. Dr. Ralph Bunche got a bunch of municipal awards, like "outstanding Catholic layman of the New York Archdiocese for bringing peace to the Middle East, which is obviously, technically The White Man's Burden, but all the White Men were busy with more important things.


 Edward, My Son gets a full page review, because Newsweek really liked it. It's dramatic and suspenseful, and Spencer Tracy plays a bad guy! The Stratton Story is a better baseball movie than most baseball movies, The Judge Steps Out is a comedy that's not very funny, and The Window is "unpretentious" and "persuasive." (Also suspenseful and dramatic, but I already used those words up.)

Books leads off with the latest "Nicholas Blake mystery," which I put in quotation marks because the reason this review gets into the middlebrow slot is that "Nicholas Blake" is actually the brilliant critical essay writer Cecil Day Lewis, who pays the bills with whodunnits. Who would have known? But there must be some guilt at Middlebrow Manor, because a second book sneaks into the category, with a book about Ralph Waldo Emerson, who isn't the one with the pond, he's the other one. I'd tell you who it's by, and the publisher and all that, but Newsweek doesn't put it in the first paragraph, and damn me if I'm going read two about a "New England Transcendentalist." Paul Murray's The Heart is a Stranger is about a failing marriage during times of political intrigue int he form of the ever-topical Franco-Prussian War, which was when a French coin fought a colour, as near as I can recall high school. Albert Maltz's The Journey of Simon McKeever is a well-done short novel that is "entertaining and sometimes moving."  Arthur Meeker's Prairie Avenue is "blandly entertaining," and Hervey Allen's life of Edgar Allan Poe is stuck way down at the bottom because it came out in 1926 and is being re-released to mark the centennary of his death.

Raymond Moley's Perspective column points out that the old Weimar Republic had its capital at Weimar instead of Berlin for what seemed like very good reasons, but was soon overthrown by the Nazis because of its unfashionable address, and now the new German republic is going to have its capital at Bonn, which is quite close to Weimar by American standards, so, hmm. HMM. On the other hand, not-hmm. Dewey '52!

Flight, 26 May 1949


"Test Piece" Flight hopes that some B-36s turn out for the upcoming Air Exercises. 

"Interception Challenge" Congress has ordered the "Army Air Force" to accept the Navy's challenge that it can intercept B-36s, which would prove that B-36s are useless, which would prove that the United States is a good idea. Flight's case is that just because "Army Air Force" fighters can't intercept B-36s, doesn't mean that Vampires can't, with their superior high altitude performance, and maybe Navy fighters, with their low wing loadings for deck operations, can, too. All of which we already knew, but "Congress says Air Force has to Play with Navy" would be an awfully short Leader.

"Sywell Anniversary: Well-supported Aerial Display at Northampton: Lord Pakenham Declares Ministry's Policy on Club Subsidies" Ten thousand people turned out at Sywell, which is an airportrtin Northampton, to see planes and here the Minister say that it was "difficult to make a case" for subsidising rich toffs flying. That's only Civil Aviation, so some still have hopes for the Air Ministry, but it says that club flying is no preparation for service flying, and there is no mad money in the till. If you want to fly on the Ministry's dime, you have to join the Auxiliary Air Force. 

"Jet Bomber Background" People were surprised to hear that the English Electric Company had been awarded the light (/medium) jet bomber contract last week. That is because they had never heard of the English Electric Company in spite of its being 38 years old, and in spite if making planes in 1918 including some flying boats and the Wren. The company closed its aircraft department in 1928, but re-opened it during rearmament, and made aircraft under contract. But now it has hired E. W. Petter away from Westland and he will ensure that the A1 bomber is even more successful than the Westland Whirlwind. 

Here and There

Now starring on Tales of Tomorrow!
Beaufighters recently made their 100th strike against Malayan insurgents. The photographic survey of Australia will take six or seven years and engage an RAAF squadron of Mosquitos. Western Flying reports that the Air Force is buying the Martin XB-51, which features a variable-incidence wing and a triple turbojet installation. The Convair XB-53 and Boeing XB-55 are also in the news, as is the XB-52, which seems like it is in another category from these more experimental ships. The School of Air Warfare promises some new British prototypes along with boring old B-29s, Vampires and Meteors in its next demonstration of the "air weapon and transport support." The Double Mamba is reported to weigh 2000lbs. A Martin Mars recently carried 301 Navy passengers on a flight from San Francisco to San Diego. Breda has announced plans to build a floatplane version of the B. Z. 308. The Lockheed XF-90 "penetrator" fighter is announced. It's very pretty, but I'm told it was designed for the Lockheed axial turbojet, then the GE J35, and more recently the Westinghouse J34, and needs RATOs to even get off the ground. The aerial campaign in Normandy against the Colorado Beetle is adding helicopters to the effort, while the Royal Australian navy is adding the Sydney, and an effort to find and exploit the pearl fisheries of northwest Australia previously monopolised by the Japanese is getting Walrus spotters and a complete income tax remission in 1950.
That's depressing. Samsudin bin Kattab.

Civil Aviation News

George Lindgren warns that the "associate contracts" that BEA is making with chartered airlines is resulting in underpaid and undertrained workers being involved with scheduled air travel. Lympne Airport costs the Ministry of Civil Aviation £17,000/year, which is ridiculous, so it is selling it off. Various special services are being proposed for the summer travel season, which might explain those "associate contracts." IATA is holding a conference on public relations techniques, Standard Telephones and Cables has a new VHF transmitter, Mr. Bevin was very nice about the Civil Airlift in Parliament, various services are getting better and more frequent.
Typical of the supersonic wind tunnels built by the "math is hard"
crowd, North American's had a relatively brief history.
The building has been gentrified

"North American Supersonics" Aircraft Production's correspondent went to see the new North American Mach 5.25 supersonic tunnel, which is very impressive. According to the article, it has a 22,500 cubic foot air storage tank, and a 36,000 square foot vacuum chamber that can be evacuated to 99.8%. The summary doesn't say how much current it takes to run the tunnel, but it must be a lot. 

Handley Page is excited to announce that its jet turbine Hermes V will debut at the Farnborough show. Why are they building these???

"Climax to the Paris Salon" The air show at the end of the Salon was very exciting. Flight liked the HD10, and scolded French fighter designers for going with high wing loading, and so poor high altitude performance.

"For Search and Rescue" A nice picture of the Shackleton.

"Balliol Progress: Pre-production Order for Merlin-powered Mark IIs for Service Testing at Home and Overseas" The Balliol I having been given up on, the prototype II, with Merlins instead of Mambas, is now out at Khartoum for overseas testing, and Boulton Paul has almost finished a pre-production series of 17 that will provide test aircraft for Rhodesia. Boulton Paul hopes that its performance will beat out the Athena, and reminds everyone that the undercarriage is by B.P, which is getting back into the undercarriage business,which is probably safer and more secure than airplanes.

"Technical Evidence: An Appraisal of French Design Trends" The Sud-Ouest Bretagne 30P has lots of power, a neat undercarriage, and very elaborate "semi-Fowler-cum-slotted-flaps." The Breguet Mercure is another high wing freighter, which Flight likes. The Sud-Ouest 101, a "pressurised aerial photography laboratory," has Mercier flaps.

"Rotating Wing Problems: American Helicopter Society Holds its Fifth Annual Forum: A Paper on Flight-testing" Flight's article consists entirely of a summary of one presentation, a Marine Corps general talking about helicopter flight testting at Pawtuxet. It's two-and-a-half pages which allows it to be a pretty comprehensive treatment of a pretty comprehensive paper. There's all sorts of things you have to do to flight test helicopters, and Pawtuxet does them.

"America's Official History" Flight reviews the first volume of the official history of  of the United States Army Air Force in WWII. Flight likes it, and draws attention to the near-fatal consequences of neglect and unpreparedness due to American sympathy for the rise of Fascism abroad.


A. P. C. Hannay thinks there should be a memorial to the inventor of the Gosport Method, Colonel Smith-Barney. L. A. Jackson shares details of the historic planes at the Royal Aeronautical Society Garden Party. Peter du Cane writes to explain why "Favonius" is full of pig manure. The point is not to build the perfect airplane that might exist in the future; it is to build a squadron of bombers that can "lay the egg" next month. Hugo Fuentes Fuentes has the first copy of G. Geoffrey Smith's Cas Turbines and Jet Propulsion for Aircraft to arrive around the Horn from Britain, and is very impressed. Jack Rice tried to bring a raw steak back from the Paris Salon ran afoul of British quarantine restrictions, and he wants to warn everyone else. N. Heap read the article on the Russian aircraft industry with interest, but cautions against believing claims that this or that aircraft designer had been "liquidated." The rumours were mostly untrue in the Thirties, and aren't likely to be true now. P. H. T. Green says that a complete history of the British aircraft industry, with all prototypes included, would be huge.


Most of the letter pages is devoted to readers making fools of themselves in print by not understanding how neon signs can have different colours, how the Blue Riband is awarded, and so on, although just to even things out, Newsweek apologises for quoting the wrong newspaper. Way down at the bottom, Patrick Waters  of Baileyville, Kansas, asks how Gerald Sullivan, the boy imprisoned by his mother for nine years, has been making out since the 28 March story came out. The answer is that he is in isolation with diptheria, but will go to a Catholic home for boys when he gets out, for at least two years, and maybe will be adopted from there. Jean Johnson asks about the contradiction between General LeMay's confidence that his bombers will penetrate enemy radar, while we are building up our own radar net. Newsweek waffles, because explaining about altitude would give away State Secrets that the Commies can't possibly figure out on their own. "Serviceman's Name Withheld by Requiest, Offutt Air Force Base," writes to say that SAC's morale is awful. Well, sure. Nebraska. Newsweek points out that official statistics don't bear this out. Well, sure. Statistics. Another Withheld by Request, this one at McGuire, in New Jersey, asks who this airman is who  "lies" when he says that airmen aren't afraid of flak at 25,000ft, and Newsweek says that it is LeMay, who led the Schweinfurt raid, when 60 B-17s were lost. And that just makes me want to throw up. Credit where credit is due; I hear that LeMay is doing a good job of juicing up SAC morale, which was terrible from too much flying and too much open field maintenance, but this, this, this bullshit about how no normal pilot feels fear on a mission where 60 bombers got shot down? He can take that stogie and stick it in a place that Uncle George can show him! Our editor tells us that Newsweek is now producing a microcard edition, plus a semi-annual microfilm on 100ft rolls, that everyone wants to shake General Spaatz's hand at Civilian Air Patrol meetings, that Mary McBride is more famous than ever, and that John McCloy is sacrificing a $30,000 tax-free salary to serve his country in Germany at only $25,000 partly tax-free.

The Periscope reports that the President may seek relection, that there will be a new Postmaster General someday, and that the Senate is thinking if firing up its Committee on Expenditures to look into waste and stuff like that. Another take on the B-36 flap has Air Force officers leaking that it doesn't matter if fighters can intercept a B-36 in a controlled interception, because there's hardly any chance of a radar interception, which is the story that letter writer Jean Johnson was on about. Once again, the story avoids talking about the altitude issue. (Radars have limited altitude as well as limited geographical coverage, but also the higher the plane, the broader the geographical range has to be, because of the time needed to climb to intercept.) People are arguing about whether Franklin D. Roosevelt, Jr., being allowed to run for President, as he was born in Canada. Democrats are gearing up for the 1950 midterm elections. Now that Norway is part of the western alliance, it is preparing for war mobilisation by, among other things, building underground "hydroelectric power stations." The Russians are complaining about sabotage in eastern Germany, while the US ambassador to Poland was detained at a traffic stop. Turkey is trying to fill in for the lack of "France in crisis" stories by having its own crisis. Japan is business-as-usual after the crossing of the Yangtze, while the State Department is moving to "protect US capital abroad under the Point Four program." I thought Point Four was about developing poor countries? I guess it is, as long as they don't muck with American capital! Speaking of, the International Bank is stepping up loans, and the Alien Property Office is trying to get permission to sell General Aniline for a cool hundred million, over and above protests by Swiss firm, Interhandel, which claims to be the 100% Nazi-free real owner. The Maritime Commission has roughed up a sketch of an 18kn emergency freighter for a war emergency, so we don't have to wait for one to be designed in the next war. You know, the one with atom bombs? Really! Danny Thomas is going to TV.

Washington Trends reports that the Treasury is planning on the basis of a fall in tax receipts due to a decline in national income from $212 billion to $198 billion. The President continues to talk about balancing the budget by raising the maximum corporate income tax rate from 43% to 45%, combined with budget economies. This wasn't on last week, and it sure as heck isn't on this week! Some kind of pump priming is likely, on the contrary, especially if seasonal unemployment hits 4 million in June. The government is also worried about a wave of strikes, and Russian peace proposals, which they deem to be attempts to undermine the western alliance. The Senate is pushing harder for recognition of 100% not-Nazi Spain.

National Affairs

"Rediscovering the Virtues of Thrift" Rediscovering the virtues of ignoring Keynes is more like it. With a heaping portion of Herbert Hoover scolding you in the bargain. Now there's a man who knew how to fight a business downturn! Next up, two pages about Franklin Roosevelt Jr.'s run for Congress.

Is it just me?
"Things to Explain" The AEC is in trouble trying to defend its billion dollar budget after it gave some money to a Communist and lost an ounce of U-235, allowing Congress to jump all over the AEC for its "muzzy-mindedness." Hans Freistadt was invited to the Hill to tell Congress how it felt to be a Communist. ("Pretty damn good" wasn't what he said, but could have been.) Congress threw a fit, and David Lilienthal decided that Freistadt ought not get a fellowship, after all. The missing ounce of U-235, since reduced to one-seventh of an ounce, is generally agreed to be not a big deal in the first place, and also not stolen by spies in the second. Which doesn't stop Congress from throwing an even bigger fit. Tired of fits, Newsweek moves on to the life and times of Commissioner McCloy.

"How Free Free Speech" The Reverend Arthur W. Terminiello[!], "the self-described Father Coughlin of the South," addressed a rally of Gerald Smith's Christian Veterans of America, way back in February  of 1946, at which he also handed out anti-Jewish literature. "A Communist-led crowd of 1000 to 1500, including hoodlums recruited for the event" tried to crash the rally, and a fine time was had by all. A trial ensured, in which Father Terminiello was eventually fined $100 for inciting a riot. This week, in a 5-4 verdict, the Supreme Court struck the Chicago law under which Father Terminiello was fined, as unconstitutional. The majority tired to trame the decision narrowly enough that raving anti-Semitic lunatics can still be collared by the Chicago riot squad, if not the lads with the butterfly nets, but it's going to take a whole heap of constitutional lawyering before everyone agrees where the line is drawn.

Ernest K. Lindley's Washington Tides column this week is about "The Communists and Atomic Energy." From now on, all AEC fellowship winners will have to sign a loyalty oath. Lindley thinks that this is going too far. One of the senators who oversees the AEC was a member of a Communist front organisation way back in the Thirties, for Heaven's sake!

Foreign Affairs

"To Russia, 4,000,000 Times Nein" Berliners of the Russian-occupied zone voted very heavily against Communist candidates int he recent election. Embarrassing! The Russians are in so much danger of losing control of the situation in their part of Germany that they may agree on an independent, unified and centralised German government just to be rid of the burden of running the country.

"Four Men in a Palace" The world, and the Palais Rose, prepares for the latest foreign minister's meeting. The French can be silly, as witness the decision to annul the public indecency verdict against Baudelaire's "Fleurs de Mal" after a mere 92 years and the president of the French Communist Party excommunicating his own wife for leaving the Party.

"Uproar over Eisler" Two weeks ago, Scotland Yard recently removed "Eisler" from a Polish ship docked at Southampton on an American extradition warrant. This is a violation of international law in its own right, and his lawyer, Dudley Collard, who is a Communist, argued that the American case amounted to "Eisler" being a Communist on the loose without an FBI stoolpigeoning license. which has the whole of Britain upset about "American methods," and the country being reduced to an "American colony." Newsweek regrets that the United States Information Service lost precious time in presenting the American case that "Eisler" had actually done something wrong. Looking at other papers that actually do research, it turns out that "Eisler" has a first name, which  is Gerhart, that he was removed from Batory on 12 May, that he was guilty of avoiding a summons from HUAC and lying about it on his "application for permission to depart from the United States," and that this is not an extraditable offence under the Treaty.  In sillier English news, an American-style drugstore in London Airport was cleaned out of everything worth buying in a single day, an ad for a "carefree inclusive" seaside holiday with "good food and tuck shops" concedes that there is no "joint accommodation for married couples," and Thomas Dewey's visit to London was a wonder of American hustle, with a schedule allotting him 25 minutes to unpack and change, and one hour to see Winchester Cathedral.
The photographer was subsequently
sent to the Eastern Front.

"Bread and Bluster" General Franco was so upset that the UN won't recognise him on suspicion of being somewhat Fascist-like that he gave a 90 minute harangue at the opening of the Cortes denouncing the way that the decadent, fellow-travelling democracies of Europe had stabbed Spain in the back.

Then, for some reason, this is the week to take a long and loving tour around the foreign concession in Shanghai, while Dean Acheson denies any intention of forming a Pacific Pact like the Atlantic Pact, in spite of hopeful comments from Korea's Syngman Rhee and Australia's Joseph Chifley. Some think that the Americans are holding off until the Chinese Nationalists are gone. Others think that the Japanese are the obvious anchors to any such scheme, and that actual Pacific powers are dead set against that. In Japan, the Russians have announced that they are releasing 95,000 prisoners of war this year, leaving the Japanese to conclude that the other 303,743 have perished in the camps.

Joseph Phillips' Foreign Tides column discusses the "United Nations: A Story with Two Morals" The scheme to settle the Italian colony trusteeships, under which Italy got Tripolitania and Somaliland back for ten years subject to their meeting "very stringent" conditions of self-government, went down to defeat in the General Assembly, in spite of American, British Commonwealth, and French support, to a vote by Haiti. One could therefore draw the conclusion that the Assembly is useless, and that the Atlantic Charter was the future of international relations. Or, one could accept that Haiti was objecting to a moral crime on part with the Hoare-Laval Pact. "These points of view spring from opposing philosophies which are basic." Yeah. The racist one and the "racism is bad" one.

Oh, boy! Another signed column, this one Carl Spaatz, talking about "Europe in Late Spring." It's nice. Spring is nice. Airpower is nice. Giving money to Europe to buy American planes is nice. I mean, military aid. To stop Communism. Of course the air force is for it. It's not like any of the European powers who are building up a naval air arm are going to take the trouble to do that and still buy American planes. Okay, maybe the Dutch, but we've blown that one. Spain? Now that's a possibility.

"South Asia: Where and How America Loses Friends" Newsweek goes to Indonesia and finds that Indonesians have a serious mad on about American support for the Dutch. Most people seem to think that it is about "protecting American capital." In the Philippines, Jose Laurel, the most anti-American candidate, is in the lead to be the next President in spite of being a wartime Japanese puppet, because the islands are just that sick of America.

Canadians are worried about British imports being too expensive and too dowdy, and about amending their constitution. Latin Americans are worried about attracting American capital and having politics without coups.


Another story about how the recession is going about as expected. Crucible Steel's new $18 million plant gets a story that also updates the history of a famously ill-run firm. The plant is a continuous hot-rolling operation with a reversible single-stand hot rolling mill instead of the common continuous strip. The steel is on drums, from which it is fed back-and-forth through the rollers, until the strip is the right thickness, the whole assembly being contained in an enormous oven to keep the metal hot.

"The Hook for the Left" Phil Murray continues his purge of party-line unions to make room for the non-Communist left.

What's New reports that Stan Manufacturing of King of Prussia has a suntan lotion vaporiser vending machine, that Passing Eye of Kenosha has a car periscope that lets drivers see around the car in front of them, that Walter C. Legge of New York has a nonslip floor polish for hardwood and gymnasium floors, and that Bendix Home Appliances is offering an automatic washing machine with a collapsing rubber tub that strains out wash water better.

Trends and Changes reports that Borg-Warner has a contract to produce a fully automatic transmission for Studebaker, that Willys-Overland's James D. Mooney has resigned to take responsibility for the drop in profits, while GM is pushing ahead with wage cuts under the cost-of-living formula, and that former US Army captain William N. Deramus III is the youngest railway president in the country because of his experience running meter-gauge railways for the Army in the CBI and also because his Dad and his Grand-Dad were presidents of the Kansas City Southern before him.

"The Hard Road to Ruin" Modern Industry magazine's editors were so tired of the stereotyped article about how businesses succeed that they ran a story about how to fail lin business.

Hazlitt's column is "Arms and the Money," which, Ronnie tells me, is a poetic reference. His argument is that if we give Europe money to buy guns, they will spend the money on guns, alright, but then spend the money they would have spent on guns on their own hook, on socialistic handouts. If we must spend on European guns, he says, let the money come out of American guns. I'm not sure I see Ronnie's monster, here. The swipe at European socialists is a bit mean-spirited, but he's right about the problem being that European currencies are overvalued, although the other way to look at it is that the American dollar is undervalued, to promote exports, mainly. Anyway, I am a convert to Keynesianism especially when the holes we are digging for others to fill in involve buying keen new planes. Whether they go to Europe or to us is of no moment. Unless my squadron is disbanded!


"War by Disease" It's time for that story about how the atom bomb was the weapon of the last war, and that disease bombs will be the weapon of the next war. But I just got used to the "physics package" and all! I'm not sure that everyone understands just how hot-and-cold the package gets. Doesn't that affect microbes? It sure affects the bits in the package! Also, everyone agrees that germ warfare, however the germs are spread, is inherently an inhumane and impractical idea, since the diseases hit everyone. But still, we need to press on, lest an anthrax/botulism/plague/tularemia/ dengue/ undulant fever gap emerge to replace the current atom bomb gap, but on the wrong side. As far as I can tell, th point of the story is that the Army lab at Fort Detrick in Maryland is a very scary place.

"Around the Milky Way" Starlight from around the Milky Way (which is our galaxy, which is a big cluster of stars sitting in space a long way from other clusters that seems to be gravitationally bound), is polarised. Other explanations for this not being very practical, Princeton astronomers Lyman Spitzer and John W. Tukey propose the existence of magnetic dipoles in space, which either Newsweek butchers into "tiny magnetic needles of intensely magnetic iron," or else they sure aren't educating astronomers like they used to! Nope, we're going with "not educated." Spitzer is seriously proposing space clouds of tiny iron, as opposed to any other kind of more likely free electron source.

All the Education stories this week are about private schools in New England. That's Time territory!

Press, Radio-Television, Art, People

Jerusalem has an English language newspaper, The Post, and Look has a stablemate, Quick, McCall's is selling like hotcakes, and Walt Kelly's Pogo is the latest hit cartoon.

 "The McBride Phenomenon" Mary Margaret McBride is more than just famous. She's a phenomenon, and her TV show will be the biggest hit ever.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art is showing an international sculpture exhibit, with mostly British and Latin American exhibitors making it international.

"Case of the Nine Heroes" A fragmented tapestry showing the remaining five of nine heroes of antiquity that is "one of the greatest art treasures surviving from the fourteenth century" was exhibited in the Cloisters, which is what the Metropolitan Museum of Art's uptown branch is called.

Kelly died relatively young of diabetes, which is your
anti-smoking message of the month. James Forrestal's suicide
is enormous news this week. Reggie manages to avoid
even mentioning it, so progress on that front. 
Rita Hayworth is going to have a quiet wedding! James Landis passed the New York State bar examination at 65, because this is actually a normal thing that lawyers do, but is news somehow. A Frenchman named Mario Favre somehow wrangled permission to ascend to the top of Cleopatra's Needle in the Place de Concorde, and then sat up there for hours dangling advertising.  Humphrey Bogart was photographed changing his, and Lauren Bacall's baby, Stephen. Grandma Moses visited with the President at the National Press Club. Several people in various places are in jail on vagrancy charges, which Newsweek treats as something halfway between a miscarriage of justice and an amusing story. Franklin Roosevelt, Jr.'s wife, Ethel du Pont, divorced him four days after he won the election. James Truslow Adams has died at 70.


Streets of Laredo should "rate among the more satisfactory of the pure-bred Westerns." Faint praise! Britannia Mews and One Woman's Story  are yet more British imports to get a middling review, although Dame Sybil Thorndyke is fun as the "Hogarthian hag" in the first, which is otherwise "hollow" and "clumsy," while the Story is pure soap opera. On the other hand, Diable du Corps is a fine French import.


William Beebe's High Jungle is his latest zoological investigation, this time crossed with a comment on the last days of Juan Vicente Gomez. It must be extra middlebrow, because it clears the hurdle and allows for a review of a Frank Yerby with extra sex! Cold shower, and it's on to Harriette Arnow's Hunter's Horn. That's all the space for today, because Newsweek went to the annual ABA convention and heard publishers and retailers fret about falling sales. Maybe more books should be childproof! Definitely not childproof is Norman Mailer's Quick and the Dead, which has censors around the world fuming, not to worry, because controversy has boosted American sales to 170,000 and placed a 12,000 word installment in a Sydney paper.

Raymond Moley's Perspective column poses the "Grim Alternatives" of deficit versus tax increase. It is because the country is run by incompetents, you see. If only they'd been smart enough to predict Dewey's glorious victory!

Engineering, 27 May 1949

Admiral Sir Baldwin Wake-Walker
The great thing about historical articles is that you can look back across the vast gulf of time and mock the people who made the big mistakes at the time. Tom Dewey didn't run for President in 1849, but as Capt (E) Edgar Smith points out in the first article this month, "Steam Officers," there were those who thought that steam wasn't ready to replace sails in the fleet as yet. A class of steam-minded naval officers thought differently, and were proving their case from the anti-slavery patrols off West Africa to the manoeuvres of the Channel Fleet. This was also the first year in which the engineer officers of the Navy appear on the List, which you would think would signal the beginning of a hundred year fight between technically minded line officers and tactically minded engineers. But, no, all was serene cooperation and good will. Maybe because they weren't recruiting dumb engineer officers yet? I'm sure there was no shortage of dumb line officers, but whether they were hiding in the engine rooms yet, I've no idea.

Notes from South America In spite of high prices, British exports continue to do well in Latin America. BECAUSE IT'S THE DOLLAR! Business is especially booming in Argentina, Brazil and Chile. The first comes in for a lecture on the importance of getting inflation under control, and increasing exports (while continuing to buy British imports). As a compromise, can't we all just agree to dump our exports in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean? Then we can have booming exports and no imports! Brazil is building giant resource-extracting industries in distant places, which means lots of pipes and trains and such. Chile has mines and "good fiscal policy."

Monel wants you to know that it is making pickling crates out of corrosion-resisting alloys. For metal! Pickling metal! I think. . .

"Testing Station for Transmission-Line Towers" Sir Charles Darwin, of the NPL, swung down by Painter Brothers, Ltd., Hereford, to open their new testing station. I thought for a moment that this was where they would hook them up to hundreds of thousands of amps running at even more hundreds of thousands of volts, and then shoot lightning bolts at them to see what happens. Sorry to say, it's not. They load them up with weights and pulleys and cables and see how hard they are to knock down.

Launches and Trial Trips After last week's excitement with the addition of some turboelectric vessels to the mundane run of diesels and steam, it is back to earth with three motor ships, Grebe, Vindal and Dartmoor; and five steamships, Mary, Nethe, Senne, Prince Charles and Gemma. Three tramps, two trawlers, one tanker and two tugs.

Hayward-Tyler of Luton have some electrically driven submersible pumps, and L. R. Farrell, of Skinningrove Iron Company died this week at the tragically premature age of 49.


"Government Information Services" Brendan Bracken took after the government in the House this week about all those books and periodicals and pamphlets the Government publishes, which is competing with private enterprise, excessive, and the thin edge of the socialistic propaganda wedge. Engineering agrees on the general grounds that it hates the government too, and disagrees on the grounds that if the Government didn't put it all out in handy publications, it would have to hire more researchers. Cartel! Monopoly! Inner Circle!

"The Fire Research Board" Agrees that fire is so warm and bright and fascinating and that most things would be improved by being put on fire. No, seriously, the Blitz taught many lessons that need to be fully understood, so it has a very impressive research agenda that will keep it going for years. Unless it is caught on the scene with a match book, oily rags and a can of gasoline.

Notes branches out from impending meetings to talk about water power development in Scotland, in the form of the newly authorised Gaur Project and Lochan-na-Leirige enlargement, and the problem of recruiting for the RAF, which is hard. Lord Tedder concedes that it needs to do better with engineering apprentices and college students called up for National Service, especially when industry needs them, too. I resemble this remark!

Letters to the Editor tries, and fails, to wind down the metric debate. H. S. Howell will not be moved in his resistance to new fangled decimal systems.

Obituary Either people aren't dying, or the staff is out of the office (see my comments at the head of the 20 May issue). Either way, William Nithsdale died even younger than Mr. Farrell, last week. at 48. Mr. Nithsdale claimed descent from the Earls of Nithsdale. "Claimed" seems reasonable to me, as, at 48, he had been the director of two major engineering companies, joining Yarrow's board at 33, basically straight out of a fancy private school, allowing for the initial obligatory wartime RFC service, two years as an engineering apprentice, and ten years to make it look like he was rising through the ranks at Yarrow. Nice to get  a job like that in 1933! Anyway, he was bombed during the Blitz and suffered some kind of unspecified long term health effects that led to his death by congestive heart failure in his London home, several years after he left paid employment to seek his fortune as a consulting engineer. Hmm!

"The Institute of Naval Architects, Cont." This is a hot one, as it is a look at a rash of propeller shaft failures on Liberty ships and Canadian Liberties, but not British "Oceans." This is important, because it looks as though the problem is due to insufficient propeller immersion. Given the Liberties' well known stiffness in ballast, you would think that you would need to look at the hull, but the absence of any problem with the "Oceans" scotches that. So it is probably something to do with the engine-shaft match, which is hauling the propeller out of the water when the hull flexes. Although not everyone agrees, since it is also not clear just now much immersion is needed to prevent the problem. Anyway, the upshot is that it is probably down to British builders doing a better job of matching engines and shafts, although it might also be down to governors. If the former, it is a polite way of saying that North American built Liberties are sloppy trash. If the latter, we can have an argument about the minor details of governor design.

"The Iron and Steel Institute" Continued. Last week I gave pretty short shrift to some efforts to look at the microstructure of steel. I feel bad about that, but not bad enough to talk in any detail about papers on work practice such as charging open hearth furnaces and the layout of the yard of an integrated mill.

"The British Electrical and Allied Manufacturers' Association" The lads had their annual meeting, and a satisfying bitching and moaning session was had by all, as they complained about the way that the Dominions are obstructing electrical appliance exports with licenses and controls. Perhaps there should be more attention to the home market, which its unmet demand for electrical generating plant.

Labour Notes is more of the same.

W. C. Devereaux, "The Structural Use of Aluminium in Building" Colonel Devereaux surveyed the field of erecting and using aluminum buildings. There is a great deal to learn about aluminium's properties as a building material; but unless someone decides that giant hangars and barns of aluminum were a bad idea after all, I am not sure it concerns us. I mean, sure, they'll fall down. But it's pretty clear that they won't fall down and crush something valuable without fair warning. So we can leave it to the civil engineers.

Notes on New Books With last week's nastiness out of the way, we can sit back and enjoy G. R. Banforth, Iron and Steel Production, Volume 1, Iron Production. Edgar McNaughton's Elementary Steam Engineering is another matter. Not because it is not a good book, although a bit light on math, but because it is American, and shows that American steam engineers are falling a bit behind, clinging to phosphor bronze turbine blades and old-fashioned cooling towers. William Severen and Howard Degles' Steam, Air and Gas Practice is also American, and could afford to sharpen up its formal practice, as relying on graphical methods in some of its calculations is just asking for trouble.

G. W. Harris, Clerk of Works Manual is a handy introduction to being a clerk of works.

The war is over. 

No comments:

Post a Comment