Sunday, October 20, 2019

Postblogging Technology, July 1949, II: Swift is the Hunter

R_. C_.,
c/o Painter's Lodge,
Campbell River,

Dear Father:

I'm sorry to hear about the lodge. But not that sorry, since I never quite saw the point of fishing, and I know I take after my Dad in that. If you're asking me, I say, bulldoze away. If the contractor says that we can't save it, we can't save it. We can remember Grandfather plenty of other places and ways than pretending to enjoy torturing fish off Campbell River. 

Down here in San Francisco we've got the word that the Secretary doesn't want us dropping atom bombs on "strategic" targets --Fortunately, there's still "tactical" ones. You will have heard about the Constitution's latest refit. It isn't good for anything else, so we're making it a radar command post for picking up all the Communist attackers that don't exist yet, so we can trace them back and atom bomb all those Soviet light cruisers into oblivion. I was briefly worried that I was going to be put aboard, since it's my thing. I'm not. They're leaving me to fly my Neptunes. I'm not sure why, but something is up around Livermore. The Great Man was here again the other day. It doesn't necessarily have anything to do with the Navy --in fact, he was here with the AEC, FBI and once with the infamous Edward Teller. If you're wondering what makes him infamous, I don't' know, and I can't tell. Hint. What do you get when you put two hydrogen atoms together? Teller thinks he knows. I have no idea why or how, but I'm just an engineer, and what do I know about quantum physics? (That's the math of very small particles, like protons and neutrons.) I do know he had a screaming argument right on the tarmac with two of his followers. Maybe he wants to put a ray gun in a Navy ship! When you see the Air Force Aviation Medicine people talking about flying to Mars, you start to forget what's science fiction and what's not. 

If you know your son, you know that seeing Ronnie starting to get ready for first year law school has me thinking about more school. I don't think the Navy would be happy with me if I tried to stretch my education into graduate school without doing an active duty tour or two first. They're already bending over backwards to let me play the tinker up here at Livermore! At some point they're going to make me do something a bit more boring and patrol aviation-y. There's talk that we need to go see the Europeans chase fast submarines after VERITY, and the situation off China is getting very, very spicy. If Washington doesn't figure out which way the wind blows, we're eventually going to see the Koumintang shooting at the RN. And what do we do then?

Well, I'll leave it at that, as I have been dragooned to drive down to the city to fill a book list.

Your Loving Son,

Engineering, 15 December 1949

The dreaded day that could be put off but not avoided has come. There are three numbers of Engineering to cover in this letter! How will so much worthy-but-boring be dealt with? By speeding through them, naturally!

L. A. Beaufoy, "Influence Lines for Pin-Jointed Redundant Trusses" So often engineers start building things with a method that provides more-than-adequate not-falling-downness, and only much later do the academic engineers arrive on the scene to discover just how more-than-adequate it might be, and whether costs can be shaved. This exercise is often experimental, and that is all very well, but it can also be mathematical. This can require engineers to know math, a heinous proposition at the best of times that will be much more fully developed this month; but, on the other, it can involve methods of avoiding math with tricks like "influence lines." Beaufoy makes his argument for his method here by showing how to get shut of some redundant tresses. 


Monarch was the last pre-Barnaby battleship. Whatever. 
H. P. P. Purday, Streamline Flow is further on the same theme, since engineers are increasingly interested in the hydrodynamics of things like heat flow through lubricants that are themselves in viscous flow. That sounds hard, but analyses of lubricant action in journal bearings and such is hard.  The author introduces "streamline flow" as a short cut to making the mathematics bearable. Engineering approves. In a savage review, however, it does not approve of Kenneth Barnaby's Basic Naval Architecture, which, in Engineering's view, doesn't even rise to the goal of being an introduction to same. Tying into a cat-amongst-the-pigeons presentation at the annual meeting if the Institution, it is particularly savage on Barnaby's use of Froude numbers. In conclusion, if Mr. Barnaby were not the grandson of the Barnaby, he would be taken out and shot for sins against science.

F. A. Trewey, "Analysis of the Stresses in Helical Springs of Circular Sections," Meanwhile, over at the Engineering shop, the RN(E) keeps its head down and does narrowly and technical experimental work that will be invaluable for anyone using a poppet valve. 

"Underground Mining Exhibition, Earl's Court" I detect a slight tendency to be impressed by gigantic American coal-mining contraptions such as those manufactured under license in Britain by Jeffrey-Diamond and Distington Engineering of Workington, Cumberland, set against less dramatic equipment like longwall cutters, useful in the new "wall-and-room" excavation techniques. Coal mining would be ever so much easier if you could just tunnel through giant seams of pure coal, but you can't, as they're finding out in Scotland right now, if that's not too much foreshadowing of exciting things to come in Regional Notes. Also, various firms have new mine locomotives that absolutely, guaranteed, will not blow up the pit. 

"'Alkathene' Tubing and Sheet" ICL has been supplying transparent and chemically  inert 'alkathene' for a while now. It is very light and convenient for a wide range of storing-things needs, including for chemically active things. Now a circular tube of the "lay flat" type is available to make storing things even easier. Alkathene, for those who need reminding, is a wonder plastic of unusual lightness that is easily cut at one temperature and sealed at another. 

"The Royal Agricultural Show at Shrewsbury"This is a much longer feature for a much bigger even than the Underground Mining Exhibit, and continues through the end of the month with many, many pictures of tractors that I am expected to tell apart, but can't. On the other hand, some are connected with cutter bars via power takeups, which can also power "hammer mills," which sound fascinating, even if I am not sure what they are. I am probably exposing just how quickly I skimmed these articles --which I am summing at the head-- by mentioning that one cutter bar seems to be a "beet lifter" as well. On the other hand, it is not as though the reporters are giving me much to go on, as they don't explain what and why a beet lifter is, either. 

"Steam-Operated Water Refrigeration Plant" Refrigerated by not frozen water is required for many purposes in industry, in large buildings and aboard ship. Ingersoll-Rand has had a line of plant that produces it by blowing steam through regular water for a long time, and wants to remind Engineering readers about it, in case they are tempted to buy from someone else. 

"Dual Purpose Fire Apparatus" In any other language, say, for example, English, this would be an article about fire trucks. You see, during the war, the British had to fight a lot of fires, and eventually the Development Committee of the Fire Brigades Advisory Committee issued a specification for a fire truck with a pump and a ladder. The East Ham Fire Brigade recently received one built to the specification for them by Dennis Brothers, and Engineering turned out to have a look. (And borrow photos from the maker, unless the East Ham lads agreed to tear it down to the chassis for them.) It's very nice, and no doubt very important considering that the British probably know more about fighting fires than anyone else except the Germans. 

Launches and Trial Trips Seven motorships including tanker Latirus, freighters Nordpol, Cristallina and Trelyon, banana boat Fort Richepane, cargo liner Cannanore, with room for twelve passengers; and only a single steamer, Irish Oak, a cargo liner with room for twelve passengers

British Standards Specifications has two big ones out this week on Heating and Thermal Insulation and on Daylight in Dwelling and Schools, because the Association has to specify "comfort," which seems like a bigger job than specifying, say, screw threads, although we're about to find out that those can be quite complicated once the academic mechanical engineers and Not Invented Here types are dealt with. 

Regional Notes The Scots are doing gangbusters steel production in spite of the haunting fear of an American slowdown or economic crisis. Coal production is down, however, continuing through July at lower rates than in 1948 for the first time this year. An increase in fines is noted, and by the end of the month, as bank holidays allow repair crews to go in and look around, it will be clear that the coal pits have been pressed too hard. The Southwest continues to be hampered by being way down southwest. At the beginning of the month coal producers are pressed and glad to hear that everyone is over and done with "Spanish Fascists are Fascists, and Fascists are bad." By the end of the month, however, domestic coal demand is so high that exports are being cut! This is in contrast to South Yorkshire, where an effort is being made to find good coal for export, because the pits down there are doing so well. Steel production is going along well, and just as the Southwest has stainless steel as a bright spot in a questionable picture, so South Yorkshire is excited by much new plant coming in, of which an annealing facility sticks to my memory. The Northwest continues to find iron ore where it can, with East Coast hematite losing ground to imports. The other and more pressing concern is a lack of skilled labour as older workers take the new pensions and depart. 


"the Future Development of South Wales" Those long and narrow valleys have been the subject of one development scheme after another. Engineering thinks that the region needs to look to agriculture and tourism, and not industry at all. 

"Research on Safety in Mining" The Safety in Mining Board's latest report covers ongoing work, especially in sampling the mine atmosphere to detect asphyxiating and explosive gases, the former becoming the more important with the arrival of the diesel locomotive. Great success in the field of diluting coal dust with stone dust is reported. 


Conferences and sessions on Mining and Metallurgy, industrial load spreading, British and American power plant practice, and fifty years of the Petroleum industry have been held. Well, strictly, the last is the half-century of The Petroleum Journal. Some of these lead to longer and more interesting articles elsewhere that I will come to. The one on load sharing introduces the vital issue of the "edge" months of October and November. How to share load between industrial and domestic users when it is cold but not too cold, and, I don't see mentioned, but which must be a factor, the length of the night is increasing so quickly? The usual "deep insights from America" talk notes that Americans build turbo-generators a bit faster, mainly because materials aren't short, and that winter load spreading isn't as important because Americans didn't take to electric space heating the same way, but the spread of water heaters may change that. The Government's base metal purchase policy was explained in the House, but Engineering isn't fooled. It's awful. 


A perfectly idiotic letter on the metric system by K. Howard ("I like counting in threes and fours," mainly) is answered quite well by return mail by George Foldes. Then, because this sort of thing is fun, R. Sewell, who is at the Research and Development Department of United Steel in Sheffield, joins the fight over technical dictionaries recently invited in these pages by P. E. Erikson. This is the same kind of argument that us daring naval aviators will be familiar with. By the time the dictionary is long enough to be useful, it is too big and unwieldy to be useful. Ronnie loves her Larousse that separates the French-English from the English-French so much that she will spontaneously speak odes about how light and convenient it is. The same applies here. Odes for lightness and convenience, I mean. Not a beautiful girl lighting through your quarters with a book lifted over her shoulders with a spontaneous rhyme here and a curse at the unbearable lightness of Victor Sheean there. I guess I've inadvertently tumbled into the discovery that lightness is sometimes bad?

"The Institution of Naval Architects, Continued" This has been going on for a while, but not all sessions at the Edinburgh summer meeting were alike, and Professor Telfer's "Frictional Resistance and Ship Resistance"  was a highlight --so much so that even though discussants were restricted to six minutes each, Telfer quite adequately blew up his bomb, which was to the effect that existing curves of frictional resistance, and mainly the ancient and honourable Froude Numbers, are deficient and need to be done away with. Telfer says that we need to begin with a treatment of a simplified hydrodynamic analysis known as the pipe problem, but not everyone agrees with that, either. Others had objections to Telfer's method, but the criticism of the Froude numbers, and, implicitly, the old NPL tank trials that established them, seems to pass as uncontroversial. Given how many thousands of ships built to those numbers there are, it's all a bit hair-raising. Which, again, is going to come back to us! 

"Launch of Chusan" A passenger-and-cargo ship built at Barrow-in-Furness by Vickers-Armstrong for the P and O, the Chusan is the third to carry the name and has a high pressure steam plant  with double reduction gears, a low pressure turbine with single reduction, and an astern turbine able to take up to 65% of steam. It sounds cumbersome, but it is hard to argue with 34,000 shaft horsepower, with up to 42,000 overload, giving 24,000t a speed of 221.5 knots, perfect for getting over 500 passengers to the Orient not-too-slowly. It also has anti-roll stabilisers. 

Henry Tizard, "Presidential Address to the Fourth Empire Mining and Metallurgical Congress" This sounds like quite the conference. What do they talk about? Metallurgical Engineer: "X-ray crystallography shows dislocations due to stress developing in ways not predicted by current theory." Mining Engineer: "Me likey beer!"

Now that I've got my fashionable prejudice against the mining engineers off my chest, Tizard makes some very interesting points about mining and "scarcity." Above all, he points out that given that we can extract ore from up to about a mile beneath the Earth, we have 60 million cubic miles to explore, of which we have perhaps mined 60 cubic miles in all human history. Up to this point, the minerals we have found, have been found by accident. On the one hand, that means that geology has a great deal to offer the other mining industries, as shown by their success in oil. (I did mention that the Journal of Petroleum's retrospective article on world oil reserves is much more interesting when read with Tizard, right?) So the point is that metal shortage panics are just talking through our hats, whatever happens on the Mesabi Range. He makes a similar point when he talks about how theory is going to help the metallurgist in the future, too, but he is really talking to two audiences, and has much less to say, here. Mine (and drill) away, and don't worry about tomorrow! 

Labour Notes It is a bit of a slow month for labour news apart from the Dockers' strike, about which more to follow, so otherwise it is mostly a matter of various unions being against wage increases in this time of restraint, but . . . . 

S. W. Palmer, "The Influence of Heating Rate in Malleable Annealing" The new annealing plant mentioned above makes this especially timely. And if you know the difference between "whiteheart" and "blackheart" malleable iron bars, even useful. 

Notes on New Books We have Professor Cotton's worthy  Basic Technical Electricity, K. V. Karantha's inadvertently, darkly amusing, Electrical Accidents, which reveals the kind of terrible yet silly electrical accidents they have in India (just like Britain, only different), the latest Canning Handbook on Electro-Plating, the British Engineering Association's guide to Poland, the New York Shipbuilding Company's 50 year jubilee celebration and J. Harvey's Elementary Calculus and the Allied Geometry, yet another attempt to bridge the gap between the mastery of calculus that the bright school leaver has on the strength of their mastery of algebra, and the complete confusion they are thrown into when they are asked to recast it in terms of geometry by the  university's mathematicians, who want to make sure that no-one is getting away with dividing by zero. "The general style of the book is hardly likely to appeal to engineering students." And no wonder! If dividing by zero gives us more time to drink beer, we are all for it! 

Time, 18 December 1949

Jan Steen, Rhetoricians at a Window

John Edward Ackers of Louisiana wrote to congratulate Time about its story about "the Bread Loaf School," which is near Homer Noble Farm. This seems to be one of those examples where a foreign language sounds like English. I asked Ronnie for a translation, and it turns out that it's a Butlin's for American middlebrows, only with middlebrows you can get away with anything if you make it out to be educational, so they, for one, put it in Vermont, where there's not much competition from other holiday camps; and, for two, hire the kind of people middlebrows really like (Robert Frost!) to be camp entertainment. That may not be the fairest description, but Ronnie's eyes flashed, so I kissed her instead of doubting. Edgar Breitenbach, of the Monuments and Fine Arts Section of the US Cultural Affairs Branch of the Military Government of Germany, who seems to be in charge of hunting Nazis selling stolen art, has quite the story to tell about Jan Steen's Effects of Intemperance, a painting that recently sold at auction in Paris. 
Seems like they butchered a great story. 
Dennis McMennus catches a boo-boo in Orwell's discussion of "Newspeak," which is from 1984, which means that all us middlebrows are talking about it. Anyway, he notices that Orwell misquotes the Declaration of Independence, which Orwell dubs "Oldspeak," dubs the result "Middlespeak," and gets just so close to deflating all of 1949 in a single sentence.  Needless to say, Ronnie has been dropping "Middlespeak" into every conversation she has about psychotherapy, semiology, existentialism and "the party line" for two weeks now.

Further on the same theme, Tom Lennon of Beverly Hills makes fun of Jose Garcia Villa, "the comma poet." Some people agree with Mrs. A. Peter Emig, who wrote Time about affording "the good life" on modern wages, and some don't. The letter from the publisher is about the cancer cover story that ran last month, which is commemorated in four printed letters and, Time says, a lot more correspondence it didn't print. And no wonder!

National Affairs

"Pumps, Not Taxes" The President says that the time is right for Fair Deal spending, and not tax increases to balance the budget. Time detects opposition to wage increases right now, but the President can't say so.

"Fraternity of Peace" The Senate is debating the North Atlantic alliance Treaty, which almost everyone agrees is going to establish an organisation devoted to keeping the peace. Except Senator Taft, who thinks that it will lead to more war. 

"The General Opens His Mouth" Fresh off a banana boat from a Guatemala vacation, Presidential Military Aide Harry Vaughan had to answer questions about his relationship with Washington "five percenter" James V. Hunt, and specifically whether he paid for the $2000 vacation. It did not go well for General Vaughan. Related and following is Time's version of the story about the pay raise for generals that turned into a pay raise for everyone, "Something for the boys."

Hunt's most important client seems to be Deering-Milliken, which seems to  have been operating under the radar for a very long time. 

"Weeds, Roses and Jam" Time spends a good two pages on the Hiss trial, the theme being that since his lawyer is just so darned good, he must be guilty. Representative Nixon showed why he's Orange County's favourite by calling for an inquiry into the presiding judge. Everyone can at least agree that Whittaker Chambers is the most patriotic, loyal, honest and most morally upright man ever to be a communist spy and bon vivant who can't be bothered to brush his teeth. 

"Man and Automaton" Benjamin Davis, one of the eleven Smith act defendants, took the stand this week and explained how he became a Communist. He was treated like trash in the South all his life, and only the Communist Party stood against it, especially during the Herndon trial of 1933, when Davis was called a "darkey" and a "nigger" from the bench. Time was impressed with Davis' candour, although that didn't stop the editor from rushing off to interview presiding Judge Lee Wyatt (without naming him, maybe because he has been on the Georgia Supreme Court for the last six years) and allowing him to deny the allegations.  Then, having had to pretend to be sympathetic for a whole five paragraphs, it got back to being Time by denouncing Davis as an "automaton" spouting the party line. In other crime news, New York waterfront enforcer Andy "Squint" Sheridan was executed this week at a Sing Sing mass execution, and Iva Toguri, so-called "Tokyo Rose," went on trial for treason against the United States. 

"Freshman with a Reputation" Time really, really likes new New York Senator John Foster Dulles, although it thinks he really ought to be Secretary of State. Follows an entire Labour section about how awful two unions are. Follows stories about hearings on Perle Mesta's appointment as ambassador to Luxembourg and something about Connecticut local politics where Democrats are doing Republicans wrong.


"Dollars and Dockers" Time brings us up to date with Britain, where the dockers' strike has continued and spread. Remember that it started when the Liverpool dockers were ordered to unload Canadian ships supposedly crewed by scabs, but spread to London when the dockers were ordered to unload Canadian ships there. Now the government has asked for a declaration of emergency, the first since the General Strike, so that troops can unload the two ships and hopefully defuse the situation. Various people roundly blame Communists for trying to ruin the British economy by stopping exports just when the dollar crisis is getting worse. Unless it isn't a crisis at all. It's just a little disagreement that will be resolved with a meeting in Washington in September where no-one will even think to bring up devaluation. No-one. 

"A General Feeling" Chubb and Son's Lock and Safe is one British firm that is having no trouble with exports, as foreign demand for safe-deposit boxes has never been higher due to the "general feeling of insecurity in the world today." 

"A Semi-Permanent Thing" The Bulgarians are going to give Georgi Dimitrov the Lenin treatment, while eyes are on the living, as Stalin leads a procession of mourners through the visitation and "Lynx-eyed watchers for signs and portents" conclude that Molotov is favoured to be Stalin's successor, followed by Malenkov.

"Operation VERITY"  Time's correspondent didn't get into the backseat of a Firefly. In fact, he doesn't seem to have even gone aboard ship, but he was at dockside in Plymouth to report that Pommery champagne, Haig and Haig and Bols gin were the choice means of Western Union. 

"A Few Truths" Time reports that the Gitmo emerged from "semi-retirement" this week to share a few "truths" with Americans. They include the truth that if communism isn't checked in China, it will spread over all Asia and there will be a world war. That it is impossible for anyone to reach a settlement with the Communists. That the Communists will not break with Moscow. That the United States should "reactivate" its China policy. Also, former employees of the American legation in Shanghai protested for back pay around the new Consulate General, and there were various incidents. "A Program for Asia" explains what Time thinks America should do next. Blockade Communist China and shower non-Communist Asia with money, hugs and good wishes. 

"A Perfect Golfer" King Leopold (Leopold! Leopold!) of the Belgians is causing a crisis in Belgium by being a blue-blooded idiot.
(Released 25 June 1949: Pirated  . . . recently)
In Hungary and Yugoslavia, Communists continued to be terrible hypocrites who imprison saintly  priests and sell out the Greek Communists for Western aid, while in Germany, the US Military Government's radio station earns the praise of all right thinking people by naming accused Communist informers on air. 

"Son of Goodness" The Israeli army is in trouble for abducting and murdering a man named Meyer Tobiansky. Last week, the Israeli government "admitted to a grave miscarriage of justice" and apologised without really explaining how it came to happen, or shedding any light on whether he might have been the only one. 

"The Wave" The current Japanese austerity measures have led to the Japanese communists being pretty confident that they will ride to power in the wings of the imminent collapse of world capitalism. 

In Latin America, Uruguay is fit to be tied over Argentina nosing them out of a contract for 10.7 million pounds of beef for the occupation forces in Germany. Time examines the facts of the case and conjectures that it is all down to sharp Argentine practice with absolutely no American misbehaviour at all. In Ecuador, there wasn't a coup against President Galo Plaza, while in Mexico there was a congressional election with no violence. Puerto Rico's president visited Washington, the trial of former El Salvador President Castaneda Castro may be delayed due to bad health, and Franco is willing to sell 97 vacant Spanish-American titles of nobility for the right price.

Science, Medicine, Education

"Out Where the Click is Loudest" There is a government-guaranteed price of $3.50/lb for uranium oxide and a bonus for good finds, so no wonder the AEC's Prospecting for Uranium is selling out. The AEC says the way to do it is with a Geiger counter, and anywhere that registers more than four times the background radiation should be sampled. That doesn't mean that it is valuable, since thorium is also radioactive, but the booklet also explains how to tell uranium from thorium. As a free bonus, it also tells prospectors that uranium doesn't glow in the dark (that's fungus) or stop wristwatches.

"Smallest Measuring Sticks" Du Pont somehow made a batch of latex particles that are all the same size, 1/100,000th of an inch. Now the gallon of latex is being doled out around the world as a scale for electron microscopy. Time has a keen picture of a plant virus that you can actually see in an electron microscope, lined up against the balls to show that it is very, very small, even compared to them.

"Party Line" Just in case you were getting tired of articles that weren't about how awful Communism is! Julian Huxley said in 1945 that Soviet science was very free and open. Four years later, it isn't, especially biology. It's because of Communism, Lysenko, and the way that party orthodoxy gets in the way of science.

"Polio Time" Summer is polio time, but the rate of increase in infections is dropping, so there might not be an epidemic this year.

"Welfare Island" John McPherrin, editor of the American Druggist, went to Britain to find out how National Health is working. He finds that the British like it, but that it is bad for them because it is undermining their self-reliance, or some such. Meanwhile, Sir Alexander Fleming was in Oklahoma to dedicate a medical research institute named after him. While in Boston, Dr. Claude Herman Barlow has just returned from Egypt with a great load of slugs carrying bilharzia flukes so that he can experiment with a better cure than the current one, an eight month course of injected tartar emetic.

"The NEA Takes a Stand" "What," you were asking, does Time think about the NEA saying that Communists can't be teachers? It manages not to say. Also, from Russia, the sinister news that young Russians want to be strato-navigators and Arctic explorers, and not ordinary workers. I'm a little confused about why that's sinister. The University of Alaska's second president after "leathery" Charles Bunnell will be Terris Moore, former University of California accounting instructor and world-famous author of Practical Farm Accounts. He will be in charge of protecting 698 students and 45 faculty from mosquitoes, cold and a Territorial Legislature that won't come through with the money.


"Second Wind" The stock market is up for the third consecutive week, construction is up, copper and lead prices are up. This has lead the National City Bank of Manhattan to suggest that the economy may be recovering faster than expected, unless the dreaded "fourth wave" of strikes leads to wage increases, or, alternatively, the shutdown of the entire steel industry to fight strike action and cut oversupply. Which would be good for the recovery because it is bad?

"Upset Basket" The expected wheat glut has given Time a neat new picture, an aerial of twelve mothballed Liberty ships in the Hudson River being tuned up as emergency wheat storage. Meanwhile, the predicted glut isn't materialising due to unseasonal rains and stem rust and glume blotch. One Kansas farmer says that he has fine 40 bushel straw and awful 10 bushel wheat. It is a reverse of the 1948 "miracle," when unlikely and shriveled fields yielded high returns, and the state's estimated 251 million bushel yield may be 75 million too high, just as last year's 231 million bushel yield materialised from a predicted 160 million.  while Panhandle wheat in Texas is coming in at 44lbs to the bushel, well below the 51lbs required to qualify for Government loan. Wheat futures are up 10 cents a bushel and the shorts have been cut short.

"Winner Take All" Sherman Fairchild has regained control of Fairchild aviation from his chosen general manager, Carl Ward. Let that be a lesson to anyone who tries to get a sweetheart deal like a $25,000/year pension for life out of a compliant corporate board!

"Happy Days" The domestic airlines have turned in a $11 million profit over the $16 million loss last year thanks to the biggest summer flying boom in history, and the business keeps growing, with American Overseas now offering a European "package" at $8 to $18/day and British Oversea's "round the world fare" now $1886, with total stopover time of one full year, and nonskeds either being allowed into to the best bits of the business to take the load off, or finding their own way to make money, such as the $9.95 Los Angeles-San Francisco fare that avoids the CAB by being within a single state. Now if only it could avoid the Hollywood hills.

"The Old Family Quarry" Joe Pacifico of Pennsylvania has won the first ECA overseas contract where the Agency guarantees to convert soft-currency revenues into American dollars. He will rehabilitate the old family quarry in Italy with new machinery and produce stone for both the Italian and American construction industries.

"Hot Rods" Powel Crosley is the first American manufacturer to produce a "hot rod" straight from the factory floor, the "Hotshot" Crosley roadster, supposedl a pint-sized Stutz Bearcat, although it  looks more like a speeded-up jeep to me. It comes from the factory at a 7.8-1 compression that can be souped up to 14 to 1 for racing, and is factory priced at $789.

"Videotown" Newell-Emmett company says that in one medium-sized city 40 miles from Manhattan, the number of homes with TVs has gone from one in 50 to one in nine in a year. The American market for television sets, and television advertising, is growing very quickly. Also, the latest in attacks  on "fair trade" is Goodall Company, which is cutting the price of its lightweight Palm Beach suits by 29% starting next week, but the news got out, and now dealers can't unload the old suits they bought at the old price. The suspicious minds at the National Dry Good Dealers' Association thinks that there is something suspicious about this.

Press, Art, Radio and Television, People

The Press reminds us that there's a heat wave on back East before blurbing John Lucius Astley-Cock, who is in charge of the Tribune's campaign against spelling, and Forrest Warren of the San Diego Union's "Half Minute Interview," who was buried last week after a long and worthy life. Also, the proposed WWI monument in Chicago is in trouble because it is a giant statue of a naked young man. "I don't see the problem," Ronnie says, demurely. That's the problem," I say. Then she hits me with a pillow.

"Lively Proof" Time wanders by the MoMA to see an exhibit of Fascism's favourite kind of art, "Futurism." Of course, the Futurists weren't all Fascists, and Fascism wasn't all Futurism. which Time underlines by featuring a Futurist painting by Renato Guttuso, who is a Communist. And then it's enough of that and Time goes on to point out that other Communists hate Guttuso because his work looks like Picasso and Communists currently think Picasso is decadent, unlike American conservatives, who currently think Picasso is decadent. But Communism is bad, and Fascism is a thing that happened a long time ago and is in the past now. Also, Carl Milles showed off a statue of Pegasus that is going in next to the reflecting pool of Des Moines' new Art Centre. Ronnie says that actually looks Fascist (although really just Iowan) rather than Futurist, but it is still a good illustration.

WPIX is showing some movies, because why not steal a story from Fortune? Time hopes that Abe Burrows is a success on summer radio and notices that David Garroway and Henry Morgan have summer shows, too. Prince Aly Khan and Rita Hayworth have booked suites for 22 at Del Mar, California for the racing season. Harry James and Betty Grable have given each other racehorses for their birthdays because that is how Hollywood stars live.

Grable wasn't the only Forties star to be in financial straits by the time of her death. Is this a trend, or just substance abuse and presumably mental  illness?

Ms. Marsh turned 100 this year, ouotliving her son, but not two grandsons.  
Helen Hayes, Sumner Welles and J. Vivian Truman have had accidents. Mildred Gillars wants out of jail now that Judith Coplon is out "roaming the streets unmolested." Anna Roosevelt is getting divorced. Danny Kaye was aboard the Stratocruiser that lost its engine. Flight managed to avoid reporting that it lost altitude and struggled to make it 600 miles back to Shannon before "returning to London." Or that BOAC, Boeing and Hamilton Standard nearly killed Danny Kaye. I mean, it could have been a lot worse. We might have lost Henry Morgan.Time is still making fun of "citizen of the world" Garry Davis. At least he's in good company, because Time is also making fun of Virginia Mayo and Osa Johnson. Drew Pearson had a scoop about Admiral Nimitz that wasn't true! I feel faint. Burt Lancaster has had a daughter, Errol Flynn is divorcing, as is Edwin Hoyt and Walter White. Beauford Jester, Major General Vernon Prichard, George Harrison Houston, Harold Knerr, William "Bunk" Johnson,William Gerry Morgan and Philip Danken have died. Causes unspecified in two cases, THREE heart attacks, two accidents, including a yacht explosion. But you should worry more about your ticker and less about your yacht, Dad. United Artists' new contract requires new hire starlets to make pin up pictures for five years if they have "pulchritudinous assets," with Peggy Castle first up on the strength of her leg assets.

The New Pictures

The Good Old Summertime is "deceptively substantial" and "persuasively gay," although I don't think Time quite knows what that means to some. On the other hand, it is a Judy Garland comeback vehicle, and while that won't turn out Uncle George (and Van Johnson won't, either), it will turn out his friends. 

The Great Sinner is an MGM movie that answers the question, "What if Hollywood made up its own Dostoevsky novel?" The answer is "not much." House of Strangers is "well constructed" and "intelligent." The Red Menace is too inept to be good entertainment or good propaganda, and takes the "communism is bad" thing too far for Time, at least, for the exiles in the New Pictures section. 


Nancy Mitford's Love in a Cold Climate is about rich people having affairs, including a Canadian and  a  homosexual, and is either satire or nostalgia for the days before Labour, it's hard to tell. Vincent Sheeran's Lead, Kindly Light, is about Vince and God, Marx, Freud and Einstein; from a middlebrow, to a middlebrow, with love for everyone except Gandhi's killer, for bonus middlebrow. Stephen Seley's Baxter Bernstein is a novel inspired by James Joyce, and is about worth some jokes about those sound effects in Ulysses featuring things getting thrown out in the cuspidor. Which might be a garbage can? Reginald Reynolds' Beards is a whole book about --well, come on, guess!

Engineering, 18 July 1949

T. D. Walshaw, "The Effect of Phase Errors in Time-Base Indicator Diagrams" Oh, Good Lord. I need to know about this stuff, but just can't face it. Can I get back to you when I've digested this?


Captain J. B. Crowe has Mines, Minelayers and Minesweepers out. Crowe is an expert, and so, I understand, is the reviewer. That is important, because all we officially know about mines in the late war is the "garbled" accounts that have appeared outside confidential Admiralty accounts. Magnetic, acoustic, and pressure mines all appeared during the war. The reviewer indirectly suggests that it isn't hard to figure out how they worked; the real question was making them work, and he is off on an account of the batteries that drove them and the "counters" that frustrated sweeping. The batteries, I gather, are a work in progress, while the counters were devilishly elaborate. As for minelayers, there is awed admiration for the Abdiels and their wartime exploits.
Because they were awesome, that's why. "Slowed to 33 knots."
Francis D. Monaghan's Introduction to Applied Mathematics has a somewhat misleading title that implies it is about mathematics that people apply. Not a bit of it, unless in some dark corner of graduate studies there is an engineer with a mathematical mind so keen that he uses operational calculus. And there may be! "Applied mathematics" in this sense is mathematics that can be used to deal with Fourier functions, spherical harmonics and Bessel functions.All of this would be hugely useful to the engineer with the brain power to make heads or tails of the book, the reviewer says, but their are hardly any of them, so what's the point?

Needless to say, I'm ordering my copy today!

"The Fourth International Gas Conference" The distinguished engineers of the world's town gas industry are at the end of their rope, and they must know it. There's not much point in making gas out of coal when there is so much natural gas in the world and we are getting so good at piping it around. Papers divide between desperate attempts to save the industry and stealthy capitulation by the younger set, who are working on things like burners, which can be converted to natural gas easily.

"Twin-Screw Passenger Motor Ships Hibernia and Cambria"The Holyhead-Dun Logaire service of the LMR has two new diesel motor ships built by Harland and Wolff to Lloyds' special class. They're nice, but what we care about is the diesel installations giving 4800hp, good for 21 knots. They are comparatively high speed, but promised to be very reliable nevertheless.

Launches and Trial Trips includes only three motor ships compared with 6 steamers, quite a reverse from last week. The motor ships are tanker Exploradore, cargo liner Chandpara and freighter Exmoor. Steamships are freighters Irish Plane, Tregothman, George, Valbourg Nielsen and City of Philadelphia. Rounding out the steam fleet is the trawler, Lifeguard.


"The Education and Training of Technologists" The Federation of British Industries has a report out. It takes a stance against single-industry or subject schools, which means,so much for the Aeronautical College, for one. It prefers more schools like the Imperial College of Science and Technology, spread around the county, which sounds expensive. It is particularly upset that so many graduating "technologists" can't explain themselves in English, or, at least in my experience, be explained to in English. It wants a unified Masters of Technology, but is dubious that a widespread part-time Master's programme like this will produce well-rounded graduates. Perhaps more of the job could be thrown on existing colleges?

This has me wondering what the Navy would think of me going to graduate school?

"Railway Accidents in 1948" Summary of the latest Inspector of Accidents' report. Colonel Mount thinks that improvements due to safety education have gone about as far as they can, and that it is more important to improve 'devices" so that human error can't lead to accidents. However, track maintenance is also a problem. 91 train accidents were due to signal errors, and in fifteen, automatic train control would have helped. A trial with a  magnetic-induction system is going to be made on the New Barnett-Huntingdon line.

Notes This is the fiftieth anniversary of the death of John Hopkinson, along with three of his children, in an avalanche while hiking in the Swiss alps. Two of his other sons died in the war, leaving only one son to survive his mother, who was very well known in the electrical engineering community, to which Mr. Hopkinson, himself the son and brother of electrical engineers, belonged. As to why this article is here, I would guess it is to show that British electrical engineering is a close community. The Institute of Welding showed the first increase in its membership since 1946, and heard worthy papers at its recent annual congress, as did a recent meeting of the association of engineering industries of South East England, mainly consisting of ever more heroic achievements in the field of exporting everything in sight from bicycles to diesels.


Apart from a letter from the principal of Loughborough College on the subject of the good work of Loughborough College, it is all technical dictionaries this week.  Didn't I say? Cats and pigeons!

"The Institution of Naval Architects" A boring article about calculation of beams is followed by C. V. Manley, "A Fifty Years' Survey of Casualties Reported Abandoned, Foundered or Missing" As Uncle George never fails to remind us, the world loses two ships a month, and even today an alarming number of them are never heard from again. It is hard to pull any deep explanation from fifty  years of statistics, but some things stand out, such as the fact that safety has improved much less for smaller ships than larger, and the very high rate of loss in 1919--23 that is even harder to explain now that the same thing has not happened after this war. A discussant suggests scuttling due to depressed ship prices, reminding me of the low American grain harvest and Scottish coal, while Admiral Cunningham sticks up for the ordinary sailorman and suggests that it is due to floating mines. Another discussant drops another cat amongst other pigeons by claiming to pick out a trend indicating that current freeboard requirements are inadequate. Since more freeboard equals less cargo, I don't expect that one to go over easily!

"500hp Diesel-Electric Shunting Locomotive" and "The Protection of Steel Structures at Abbey Works, Margam" are worthy articles. Worthy. Well, the locomotive one is an ad for English Electric, but worthy. Worthy.

Labour Notes tackles explaining the dockers's strike, which I'll leave for the moment.

C. W. Smith, "Effect of Fit and Truncation on the Strength of Whitworth Threads" Well, this is what I get for dosing off around mechanical engineers talking about international standardisation of threads. Apparently when this was being talked up during the war, some American engineers objected to the way in which the Whitworth system trails off the section, suggesting that the threads weren't strong enough. Experimental work was done. They were wrong.

"Travelling X-Ray and Dark Room" Haven't we heard about mobile x-ray machines for doing mass tuberculosis surveys? Well, here is a detailed description of one built on a British Leyland chassis by Watson and Sons (Electromedical).

"The Detection of Small Leakages in Power-Station Condensers" And the British say that American English is ambiguous! This is about leakage of cooling water into condensate. The steam that runs through steam engines has to be mineral free, while cooling water isn't. To measure the extend ot contamination, some fluorescine was introduced into the cooling water. It is invisible to the naked eye, but flouresces bright green under ultraviolet light, provided by a mercury vapour light. Trials by C.Wood at the Ealy generating plant of the British Electricity Authority proves that this works very well and is very economical.

Flight, 21 June 1949


"Air Rallies" Are something that many readers care about.

"Reliability of Light Aircraft" The recent rally around Spain didn't just help whitewash the Nationalists. Since it also involved 97 light aircraft that hardly fell out of the sky at all over a 1200 mile route, they showed that light aircraft are just as reliable as people with the money to own light aircraft and rally in them, creeping back to lick the Generalissimo's boots. 

"Rallying Around Spain: Seven-day Air Tour" More to be outraged about.

"Northern Navy Day" HMS Nuthatch is Royal Naval Air Station Anthorn, and is near Carlisle. It was cold and cloudy and windy, as the north should be, and featured Sea Hornets from 801 Squadron, recently disembarked from HMS Implacable and VERITY, not that we heard a peep about Sea Hornets in VERITY, followed by Seafires of 833 Squadron of the RNVR of the air. A Sea Fury or two was also seen.

"Handley Page's Marathon: The Second Prototype Shows Demonstrates that Manoevrability is not Lacking in Britain's Promising Four-Engined Feederliner" I didn't know that manoevrability was something that an 18,000lb airliner needed. It certainly doesn't have speed, which tops out for weak-mixture cruising at 209mph for the four 345hp Gipsy Queens, "well below the corresponding speed of modern inter-continental liners." It does, however, compare with the DC-3, so hurrah for that, and can carry up to 22 passengers. The "inter-continental" comparison isn't completely silly. Because this is a tiny, economical, four-engined plane, it has a natural role flying over long stretches of water to islands that don't really warrant service by a real airliner. All those islands around Scotland are an example, and so are the Channel Islands. There's a small BEA order that must take up practically every Gipsy Queen de Havilland is willing to spare from the Dove. The issue here, if the Marathon wins export sales, is persuading de Havilland to build more of them. So far, the only British light engine maker who has proved willing to treat light engines as a business is Alvis, and I can't see the Marathon taking the Leonides. The talk of a turboprop powered version is just fantastic. All the claimed economic advantages of the turboprop go away if the residual thrust is not effective, and you have to scoop up high speed air to get  residual thrust left over from the friction losses. Slow, draggy planes need not apply, and while the Marathon has "clean lines," it is not built for speed. 

Here and There

Fokker is going to build 300 Meteors for the Dutch and Belgian air forces, to be engined with Derwent 5s to be built at the Belgian F.N. factory, Herstall. Captain T. M. Bulloch, a former Coastal Command anti-submarine ace, is the latest BOAC pilot to have a million commercial hours. Hurrah for patrol aviation! AVM Mellersh and Major General Dunlop "took part" in "an attack on rebel strongholds in the foothills of Mount Ophir." Which is in Malaya, in spite of having a Bible name. "It is hoped" that "every type of British helicopter" will "take part" in the Battle of Britain Day air show at RAF Beaulieu. There will also be a Flight Refuelling demonstration and a Martin-Baker ejection seat. A lightened B-29 recently reached 49,600ft in an investigation of lightning for the MATS. The former HMS Pegasus, which has been rusting at Antwerp for two years under a Panamanian flag, has been bought for scrap by a Dutch firm for £9,000. The average Flight reader will remember how the tramp steamer was bought in 1913, outfitted as a seaplane carrier, and  named first Ark Royal and later Pegasus. Sikorsky claims a new altitude record for helicopters, 21,000ft. 

Civil Aviation News

The ARB ban on Tudor IIs and Vs carrying passengers has been lifted subject to some modifications. The IV is still banned. Skyways has fired 400 employees and laid up all but one of their eight Yorks and Lancastrians due to the perfidious Communists ruining their business by lifting the Berlin Blockade. Skyways is not going out of business, as some have reported, but it is warning that the charter business is soft. The CAA promises a nationwide network of omnirange beacons serving airfields with ILS and GCA. There will be 400 omnirange centres, of which 300 are already operating, with DME (distance measuring equipment), which is the two transmitters that allow an "electronic computing" device on the plane to turn a rebroadcast transmission into an automatic mileage indication. There are only two DMEs operational in the United States, and the omniranges also need a new device that allows aircraft tracks to be offset from the centreline of the radio range by up to two miles so that multiple aircraft can use it. There is nothing in the body of the blurb about landing aids. 

Flight says that Farnborough will feature the Theseus-powered Hermes V version of the Hermes IV. The "very promising" Theseus has a weight-to-power ratio of 0.863 lb/hp compared with 1.12 for the Hercules V in the Hermes IV, giving a 2000lb increase in all up weight to 84,000lbs. The IVs are expected to have a higher speed than the Vs (uh-oh!) but the cruising speed of the V is expected to be 349mph compared with 300mph for the IV due to turboprops being able to operate economically at higher proportion of total power. Figures of merit for fuel economy for the V are pretty impressive, but not particularly persuasive given the Theseus-powered version's failure to even claim a superior speed performance to the IV. Thrust through the screws being comparable, it sounds as though the residual jet component is failing to materialise again. Also, the Marathon will be at Farnborough. 

The air charter business has suffered a setback from the failure of last year's fruit traffic to materialise. Spanish growers in Valencia must not be having any trouble finding bottoms. French Liberators are now in the market for Middle Eastern, West African and East Asian fares, but day excursions to the Channel Islands are still being booked, and some Haltons released from the Airlift have found business flying live eels and ice-packed fish from the Continent to London. Tourism remains the most important air-related business, as it is Britain's top single dollar earner. 

Stanton-Jones'SR. N1
"Cranfield Ceremony: Presentation of Diplomas at the College of Aeronautics" Lord Tedder turned out to award 41 diplomas to students graduating from the College. Alfred Neil Byron received the Governor's Prize, and Richard Stanton Jones, the President's. Roxbee Cox and Air Chief Marshal Ludlow were on hand to give speeches, and the Principal explained that the College was no longer offering four year general programmes, as they were too hard, and is now offering two year specialised courses The student body was increasing slightly, from 49 in third year to 58 in first, and the proportion of rejected applicants was falling, which wasn't the obvious bad news it seemed to be. Rather, it means that people without proper qualifications weren't applying any more. 

Next Saturday's Daily Express Aero-Pageo-Display-Show will have B-29s and P-80s. Flight regrets to report that Lady de Havilland has died. For all though she "accepted as the price" of flying the loss of two of her three sons in air accidents, she had never recovered from them, and "had been ailing for some time." 

Harry Harper, "Where is Dover?" The average Flight reader will well remember where he was on the day Louis Bleriot flew across the Channel in 1911. Harry Harper helps them be nostalgic for those good old days. The rest of us can marvel that he did it in a 23hp(!) plane with wing-warping. 

"Miniature Pulse Jet: A 16-oz Model with Over 4.25lb Static Thrust" An American hobbyist's home-made pulse jet has won the world speed record for model airplanes. Britain should be ashamed, Flight implies.

Further on the same theme, an article on the National Air Races, which will be very exciting even though the "Vickers-Armstrong 510" won't compete. That's your Supermarine Swift, even if you can't call it that or Farnborough would have to scratch the official flight testing for lack of terminological rectitude.

Short notices mention Simmons Aerocessories' new Nylon nut, a further improvement on its Elastic Stop Nut. Thomas De La Rue and Co., Ltd (Plastics Division) has Traffolyte, a laminated plastic ideal for translucent engraved material, which is ideal for illuminated dials and signs. D. and K. Bartlett's Signpost to the Weather is a layman's introduction to weather forecasting that is pretty good. Although before it does its The Economist-style "It was good" review, it wanders off on a misleading tangent that could be taken to imply on careless reading that this is something like the Old Farmer's Almanac. 

Follows an article about two new French light aircraft. 

Robert Russell, "Mass Production Maintenance: Spectacular Equipment used by the United Air Lines at New San Francisco Base" United has 11,000 employees, flies 147 aircraft, and has 10,700 route miles. It has consolidated all maintenance in San Francisco, including the DC-3 maintenance that used to be done in Cheyenne. Which is sad, in a way, as there aren't that many good jobs at Cheyenne. If I had to guess, United was having trouble hiring mechanics who wanted to move to Cheyenne when this article was written, more than a year ago; but now they have to afford San Francisco's higher cost of living. The new operating base services DC-6s and DC-4s as well as DC-3s. Engines are the Pratt and Whitney R-1830, R-2000 and R-2800. The 3500hp TSB-3 Wasp Major will arrive "towards the end of 1948" along with the Stratocruiser. Other reporters are impressed by its "push button" operation, which means that the 51,400lb, 35ft high hangar door is pushbutton operated, as is the staging that allows three levels of catwalk working. All trestles and catwalks are raised and lowered by electrical motors, and all are suspended from the rafters, so that the ground level is free of obstructions. Conveyor belts and elevators service shops, drainage tanks and other facilities. Maintenance revolves around 80, 150 and 1000 hour checks. Air blast is used to clean parts like nuts and screws, which Russell incorrectly thought  to be unique practice in the industry. 

The bottom of the page is made up with short articles about the recent death of Flight Lieutenant Robert Dryland, acting chief test pilot at Gloster. He was testing a Meteor 4 at the time, and leaves a wife and young daughter. The other article is just the shortest little bit about a silly little thing called the Armstrong Siddeley AS Sa I, originally developed at Metrovick, but developed and to be built at Armstrong Siddeley along with another engine, the Python ASP-1. "[I]n this connection, the firm's rapidly mounting experience with axial-flow gas turbines may be significant."
F/L Robert Dryland, 1922--1949

So in other words, the reason that Flight had to run a year-old article from its files about UAL's pushbutton hangar is that the Air Ministry says that they can report the Sapphire's existence, but can't tell anyone that it is Britain's second axial turbojet, much less give any operational details. The same short piece mentions the Goblin DGn, a 3600lb thrust version of the Goblin that differs from the previous ones in having turbine blades of Nimonic 80A in place of old-fashioned, obsolete Nimonic 80; and in having better wheel cooling, new flame tubes, a single unit fuel pump and a smaller tailpipe nozzle. The 2970shp Napier Coupled Naiad still hasn't run as such, but Napier has built up experience with single Naiads and the gearbox. 

"For Sweden's Air Defence" Flight sent a photographic team to the Swedish winter exercises for the usual set of pictures of planes and snow. It's hot out this month, except around Carlisle, so here's some pictures to cool you off and make up for all the pictures Flight can't show you. 

A. E. G. Rumbelow, "Donkey to Dakota: What Air Travel Means to the People of Greece" There are three airlines operating in Greece, one government-owned, flying ancient planes from terrible fields. The Greeks don't care, at least those rich enough to fly instead of taking a donkey, if even only in DC-3s, Ansons and Junker 52s. 

Flight notices W. R. Thomson, Fundamentals of Gas Turbine Technology, because the Thomson clan is tired of all that money going to G. Geoffrey Smith and Illife. Also looking for their share of the royalties are D. G. Shepherd, with An Introduction to Gas Turbines and George P. Salton, Rocket Propulsion Elements. I think it likes Shepherd best.


F. B. Adler thinks that if there should be less news coverage of accidents like the Stratocruiser return. Usually people save these letters until after there's been a death. AVM Cordingley writes to remind everyone that Rooks Hill House, the residential nursery school for fatherless children, still has openings for the children of RAF  aircrew. A. Jackson writes to complain about people who write to complain about noise from airfields and, in particular, RAFVR air bases, where there has to be night and weekend flying to keep up training hours. C. M. B. Stalkartt and the long-absent-from-these-pages B. J. Hurren write concerning model airplane shows and National Air Races. Hurren seems to be sensitive to the implication that he is not doing a very good job as Press Marshal of the National Air Races. Anyone who hires B. J. Hurren to do anything should know what they're getting by now.

He can't be President because he's bald.


S. S. Sears, of Nanton, Alberta, fowards a photostat of a page of the 1844  account books of the New York Phalangery mentioned in a previous issue. He inherited them from his grandfather, the secretary of the institution. History! Several writers roll with "Mr. Mangan" of Chicago's joke about claiming "all space." Correspondents argue with Newsweek about which anniversary is the diamond anniversary. (It used to be 75th or 60th, but the diamond industry lobbied for 30.) Miss Katherine Hooper of Quebec suggests using flamethrowers to eradicate locusts. The publisher reports that plenty of people who tried the Waldorf Astoria's recipe for cake didn't like it, and that the fact that it took "General Vassily Stalin" eight years to reach the top, versus Charles Kettering's 40, is an obvious tribute to the superiority of the American way of life. Newsweek's news show on NBC continues in spite of the heatwave back East. Secretary Johnson looks especially mean in his Karsh portrait because he knocked the Air Force, Navy and Marine's heads together, and now he's stuck in a party with just a Marine.
Not an atomic flying boat

The Periscope reports that the Air Force's strategic warfare doctrine is on the carpet at the hush-hush Weapon Systems Evaluation Group, and that the National Research Council will refuse to recommend young scientists for atomic energy fellowships if the FBI goes through with its plan to investigate their backgrounds even for nonsecret work. Daniel Cleary will head a War Claims Board that will divide $50 million in seized German and Japanese assets between mistreated former war prisoners and establish a general war claims policy. Senator Byrd's Virginia political machine may be trouble in the state's Democratic governor's primary. The President has legislation improving treason trials in the works. The House and Senate are fighting over an "anti-public power" bill before the Senate that would give private utilities the right to string up transmission lines for public power. Three months after Russia suspended shipments of manganese and chrome to the United States, it is offering it to France in return for steel tubing, one of the most important war production goods that America is refusing to sell to the Russians. Red Army occupation troops are confined to barracks when not on duty until further notice, and Soviet-zone refugees are arriving in western Germany at a rate of 45,000 a month. Germans who paid for Volkswagen cars back in 1938 are suing for their cars, now that the Volkswagen plant is turning them out at 60,000 a month.  The Communists may only win 6% of the vote in the  upcoming German elections according to polls, and the ECA is stepping up visits to American plants by foreign technicians, as they work better than sending American "know-how-to" missions abroad. The Russians are saying that the ERP isn't a European recovery programme, but rather a plan to dump American farm surplus on Europe, and since they don't have any point whatsoever, the Administration is trying to push back the McClellan plan that forces the ECA to earmark funds for the purchase of surplus farm products for export to Europe, which would also cut funds available for other, more vital goods. The defence establishment thinks that there should be some more top aviation company mergers to improve industry health, while Convair, Lockheed and Boeing are all designing planes  to carry a third more passengers to capture surging "coach" traffic. Republicans have pretty much given up on the B-36 inquiry, but the board fight at Fairchilds has the Air Force's atomic plane plan on hold. The auto business thinks that the British could sell 25,000 small cars in the American market a year if they cut prices by 25%. The price of natural rubber and hogs are both down.

In show business and related, Churchill's daughter, Sarah, may get a long term movie contract soon. Alan Ladd, Lizabeth Scott and Diana Lynn will all be cast against type in 1950 movies to stir up the box office. Virginia Mayo is starring opposite Milton Berle in his comeback picture, Always Leave Them Laughing. Gertrude Lawrence will have a network television revue next year, the Li'l Abner TV show is  expecting to have trouble casting some of the sillier characters. The Hearst chain is trying to buy back The Washington Times and Herald, Father Fulton Sheen  will have an inspirational column in newspaper syndication in the fall, Marie Beyon Ray will have a book on the psychological problems of retirement out next year. Thomas Mann's Doctor Faustus is the literary sensation of the year in western Germany.

(L'il Abner didn't make it on air, but Fearless Fosdick did. It's a funny old world.)
Washington Trends

Two things: First, sometimes the rumours are wrong.
Guy Gabrielson will be the next RNC chair. Second,
Stassen's pick is credited with inventing the illustrated
lunch box. Wrong, but so what? It's the Fifties!
Congress' response to the President's economic address was favourable, but only his increase in the minimum wage, extension of reciprocal trade and an extension of the time limit on RFC loans will go through this session. Congress won't act on Point Four legislation or Federal aid to local public works. The repeal on the transportation tax, Brannan plan, increased unemployment insurance, some veterans' benefits, and expansion of social security will not go through. The Council of Economic Advisors is still divided between optimist Nourse and pessimists Keyserling and Clark. The council is likely to recommend tax cuts over pump-priming, but agrees that a heavy deficit is inevitable. Labour and liberal groups have pushed through a government survey of underemployment, to be directed by John R. Steelman. It is expected to boost the Murray economic-expansion bill. The "economy" lobby continues to be upset about the deficit but disagrees on whether there should be an across-the-board 5% to 10% cut in spending or a big recession bill. Senator Vandenberg is still pushing his "Make the President do it and reap the rewards in '50" approach. Reduced British buying in America is estimated at a cut of $33 million a month, and the main solution to the dollar problem continues to be more "salesmanship" to sell more English goods in various places like the South and West where they'll buy what they're told and like it. Everyone is fighting everyone over the best way to stop a steel strike, but so far Cyrus Ching is the winner, maintaining his place as ace trouble-shooter after bringing US Steel and Phil Murray together last week. Taft has withdrawn his support for Hugh Scott, and now the contest is between Victor Johnson, Stassen's candidate for chairman of the RNC and Senator Danaher, Taft's. 

National Affairs

"Muted Bell for the Fourth Round" Further updates (almost two years after we started talking about it) about how the "fourth round" of strike action for wage increases isn't going to happen, this time mainly featuring Ching's success in heading off a management-provoked strike.

"Peanuts, Yes, Peanuts" The President's speech taking on the "economy lobby" presents their cuts as "peanuts." But in a time of deflation, he says, they might be enough to create the depression that no-one wants. Except, apparently, the economy lobby, including notably Taft, who made the usual argle-bargle speech about too much spending, too much debt, government waste, what about tax cuts.

"Operation Union Station" President Truman's answer to the journalists who stopped General Vaughan at Union Station to ask about his connection with various "5%er" lobbyists was to award him the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

"Blair House Hush Hush" President Truman's recent hush-hush meeting with Eisenhower, Johnson, Acheson, and AEC Chairman David Lilienthal can only mean one thing, Washington insiders say: Russia has the bomb. The President will not confirm or deny, but he will say that he disapproves of the $50 million foreign aid loan to Franco and that he wants the housing bill put into operation fast.

This doesn't illustrate the Sanders story, but the
Saunders story does wrap around it, which seems
illustrative of something. 
"Miracle in Milwaukee" Albert Sanders, the Negro veteran accepted into the Milwaukee School of Engineering to study to be a radio-television technician who ended up paying $500 down for a $1500 trailer to house his wife, two children and widowed mother, only to be forced out by white residents, has been forced back. No-one thinks is a good idea, but now Father Franklyn Kennedy has got everyone to shake hands, so maybe it'll all work out. Follows the story about Secretary Johnson and his war on the Navy (no United States), Air Force (48 groups for now) and the 5%ers (more public information about procurement contracts, suspensions for Generals Harry Waitt and Herman Feldman). Will he run for President? Maybe.

"Storm Over Kaufman" The hall of shame of men trying to condemn Judge Kaufman for not railroading Hiss expands from Dick Nixon to Eugene Cox, Charles Potter, W. Kingsland Macy and some publicity hound named Harold Velde. Also, organised labour is gunning for Senator Taft in 1950, pointing out that he barely won in '44. The Democrats don't think they can beat him, but they do think he can beat himself.

Ernest K. Lindley's Washington Tides column this week is "Britain, Canada and the Bomb" He reminds Americans, again, that if it weren't for British and some Canadian know-how, they wouldn't have the bomb, and without Canadian and Congo uranium, they wouldn't be able to make any more. Cutting them out of the American atomic secret made sense in '46 because the world was supposed to be moving to international control of the atomic weapon, anyway. I've never heard that one before, but Lindley goes on to point out that if the British keep on being kept on the outside, they are going to dig deep and build their own atomic weapon and make "atomic liaisons," perhaps with France.

"Women Scorned" The "Six Housewives of Passiac" were beaten in the city election this week, frustrating their effort o go from city-commission to city-manager government.

Foreign Affairs

"The Leaky Ship Seeks Any Port" Newsweek's interpretation of the strikebound ships at London (not Liverpool, like I said above and am not going to bother erasing) is a bit more generous than Timei's, although it is still a Communist plot and all of that. So since it is a Communist plot, clearly the Army (and scabs) will have to work the Port of London until further notice.

"Coolness to Cripps" Sir Stafford wants to cut British hard currency purchases by $400 million through year's end including $20 million in tobacco, $17 million in sugar, nonferrous metals by a quarter, paper and pulp by a third, timber and steel in "amounts not yet announced;" but the bacon ration will go up by a third to 3 oz per week, the meat ration from 21 to 26 oz, and the butter ration from 3 to 4 oz. Meanwhile, the Dominions are taking nearly as tough a stance as the States. Canada says that the Western Hemisphere is funding socialism (what you get for ditching the CCF), and that Britain must cut wages and be more competitive. South Africa wants an increase in the price of gold. India and Pakistan want machinery and raw materials that they can only get for dollars. The British press say that either Cripps is completely economically illiterate,or that he is concealing the full extent and nature of the crisis until he can get relief at the IMF meeting in September. At that point, either the sterling area will be put in a position of near self-sufficiency by some unspecified means (devaluation), or the complacency of the British worker will reach some unsustainable maximum and everything will come crashing down in  wage demands as the British worker selfishly refused to work harder, longer and for less.

Colitis does not appear to be responsive to dietary management, except for Crohn's. 
In related news, Sir Stafford will be off work for six weeks as he seeks a rest cure for his colitis at Dr. Bircher's "Lively Strength" clinic in Zurich. His colitis, contracted in the Red Cross in France in 1915, has persisted in spite of his vegetarianism, teetotalling and "brain body" discipline, and he just can't keep on in the trenches any longer. Clement Atlee will cover his shifts  until he gets better, or until Clement Atlee has to go to Zurich for a rest cure, too.

"Anti-American Talk" Americans are very upset that the British are saying that the American recession is America's fault, that American tariffs against British imports will affect British imports, and that they should listen when Americans tell them that they need to stop being socialist or the tariffs will go higher. After all, if the British can't make their economy work on the back of $6 billion in aid, it must be "organically unsound." Which it is! The price of sterling  is too high! Trust The Economist to be The Economist, as Newsweek reminds us that it is not in a recession, since the level of economic activity in America is still well above "normal."

. "Strike Freeze in Australia" The coal strike in Australia has coincided with its bitterest winter in a century, with gas on for only 90 minutes, morn and night and the streets of Sydney darker than during the wartime brownout. 700,000 are out of work for lack of coal, and a million out of 8 million Australians will be in the streets by the end of the month. The Communists say that it is their doing, while the workers say that they're out over low pay and antiquated conditions all on their own. The Government has responded by arresting the Communists in the union leadership, and the workers have responded by suspending negotiations. Isn't this going to ruin Australian Reverse Christmas?

Does Australia have Reverse Christmas? I don't know! I didn't even know they had winter! I'm not surprised they have an international communist conspiracy, though. Everyone's got one of those.

"Trouble for Nehru" A Calcutta mob threw shoes at the Prime Minister, which is apparently a gesture of extreme  disrespect, when he turned up on a fact-finding mission to learn about the food shortages, economic difficulties and Communist(!) and right-wing opposition to the Congress Party.

"Otto Abetz in the Dock" Abetz is an alleged prewar Fifth Columnist who used to run the Comite de France-Allemagne before showing up as Hitler's ambassador to Vichy in 1940.He is charged with war crimes and can be sentenced to death if convicted.

Also, the Western Allies are negotiating to clear Russia's claims to German reparations again, and Vassily Stalin just been made commander of "Day of the Air Fleet" at Moscow on 17 July. A Major-General of the Red Air Force since 1946, all I can say is that if B. J. Hurren can handle an air show's publicity, any random 29 year-old off the street is qualified to  run one.

"Tito is Still Tito" Several diplomatic incidents marred the week when Tito was supposed to cap his defection from the Cominform by taking American money. They include a speech reiterating Yugoslavia's claim on Carinthia, delays in closing the Greek border, and the shooting of a British officer on the Trieste demarcation line.

"Red Snowball" So the Pacific anti-Communist pact is dead. Newsweek blames Acheson. Madam Sun Yat Sen is about to join the Communists. The Canton government is falling apart. The State Department is "kowtowing" to the Communists by closing the reading rooms at the Shanghai and Hangchow legations. The proposed oil embargo is falling apart.

In Canada, acting Prime Minister C. D. Howe (St. Laurent is on vacation) is warning of further austerity measures to reduce Canadian dollar purchases and cutting sterling purchases even as the British cut Canadian buying, which will impact the Canadian industrial expansion. And it looks like the Canadian shipping strike is going to  end in the collapse of the CSU.


"Signs of a New Buying Spurt" Newsweek is the latest paper to detect the end of the recession, while in the next story we're told that Walter Reuther is a "ringmaster" of a labour boss because the twelfth annual congress of the UAW was so smooth.

"Right with Eversharp" The reverse of the Fairchild story, as Martin Straus II, former chairman, was turfed by the stockholders' committee for the red ink he spilled all over the company's books with his entry into the ball-pen market. Even the Schick Injector razor couldn't save the company, and it sure didn't save Strauss.

Trends and Changes reports that C. C. Pearson is out at Curtiss-Wright over that company's bad --well, year, it says here, "forever," says I--; Standard Oil is issuing stock to cover its new refineries; the wheat forecast is down 11%, which is still too much, says Secretary Brannan, who has ordered next year's planting acreage down to 69 million. The stock market is up to its first profit since 1947, the railways are still whining,  and there's going to be a trial of the Brannan scheme to let grain prices find their own level and then provide support up to the floor, even though many farm lobbies are against it.

What's New reports that the Sheaffer Diamond Reflector Company has a shadowless flashlight that uses a multiple-faceted reflector to eliminate the shadows and distortions of regular flashlights. Dietz press is issuing an eight piece table mat set, each with a different grace, because 82% of those questioned didn't know a table grace by heart, and that cannot be allowed to stand. Progressive Enterprises of Los Angeles has an all-in-one table gadget combining a paper town dispenser, napkin and sandwich-bag holder, available in five colours. Carbonneau Industries of Grand Rapids has a record player attachment that allows a standard 78rpm record player to play 33 1/3 and 45rpm long play records. The Navy has  a ship stabiliser just like the one everyone else has.

Business Tides "More Inflation to the Rscue" Ronnie's most hated columnist hardly needs an introduction. Remember how the Council of Economic Advisors and J. M. Keynes and lots of  other people think that a bit of pump priming and spending will get the economy going again based on the theory that demand drives production and production drives wages, which drives demand via the "money illusion" that doesn't notice that inflation is happening? Well, Henry thinks that there should always be a budget surplus, and that it is just silly to think that you can't have a surplus in a declining economy, which is why the President abandoning his demands for more taxes is a not-good-enough thing because the only thing is to cut taxes and spending, but instead the President wants to spend money and cause inflation, which only helps when inflation is accelerating.

I can't believe that this man is the celebrated author of Economics in One Easy Lesson. The only thing I know about economics is what I read in the paper, and I can see the holes! What's more amazing is that he's firmly in the "Hoover was right" camp. And he's met Herbert!

Science, Medicine

"Breathing Wings" I continue to be impressed as all heck by Northrop's publicity boys. This week they're pretending to have invented boundary layer suction, and to have it in such an advanced form that they can put it on the YB-49, which will be able to "circle the Earth at the equator without refuelling" with "breathing wings."

"Monkey Wrench Scientist" Newsweek goes gaga over Charles Kettering, who, forty years ago, took a gang of co-workers from National Cash Register to found Dayton Engineering Laboratories. He invented electrical ignition after a friend of Henry Leland was killed by crank kickback, as happened in the day (the backlash of the starting crank only broke his jaw, but complications set in). Running on a steady diet of black coffee spiked with Jamaica rum, the Delco lads invented electrical ignition all by themselves in a week and "women thereby became automobile drivers."  Next he pretty much single-handedly invented high compression, which will bring us 12-1 ratios just as soon as the oil industry gets on with rebuilding all of its refineries.

Truly, Charles Kettering is an everything-inventing scientific genius of the kind that only capitalism can bring forth. In other news, the Russians are rejecting Einstein because of their silly devotion to ideology over truth. Wanted: materialistic explanation of the red shift; which, Western scientists say, means that the universe is expanding. (Or was expanding. It might not be any  more.)

"Missing Links" Scientists think that the Peripatus could be the missing link between the worm and the lobster that they've been looking for for so long, so hard. Unfortunately, they won't know for sure, because four peripati sent to Chicago from New Zealand died of the heat, and now they can't do science on them to be sure.

"In the Wild Space Yonder" The United States Air Force School of Aviation Medicine is studying the "probably human elements involved in flight through space." Brigadier General Harry G. Armstrong of the School scoffed at the scoffers. "Space flight is already here," he said, and it was past time to study how to adapt spacecraft to the crews that will man them." Space medicine must determine the conditions that men will meet, and also the ones that the little miss will complain about. Because men will put up with the vacuum of space for as long as they can (about three minutes), while women will go to their doctor andcomplain that there is no air out there, and that absolute zero and cosmic radiation are bad for their complexion and other living things.

Saving you the trouble of looking up the link
Okay, I probably better stop that before someone asks who wears the pants around my place (Ronnie does, because she looks better in them). In all seriousness, the doctors aren't worried about oxygen, but they are worried about gravity. "Muscular, strength and sensomotor nervous systems" are all adapted to Earth gravity, and a spaceship will have next to no gravity at all. Humans control their muscles with things called the "power sense" and the "posture sense," which answers the question, "What is the sixth sense," and also seventh.

"Experiments at Randolph Field," which basically consist of taking a C-47 up and diving it like crazy, have established that people can "swim" through the air and maybe orient themselves visually. Respiration and circulation will probably remain normal, although crew members will probably have to force themselves to exercise against tension springs to prevent their muscles from atrophying. Dining might require an apparatus of clamps and pumps rather than cups, straws, knives and forks. Beds will be "semicircular troughs" rather than flat bunks, with strong netting and straps to keep him from floating away. Liftoff "gees" of four times gravity or so will not be a problem, but the sudden transition to weightlessness might be. And the mind might not be able to keep up with the speed of the spaceship. 

On Mars, space travellers will be confronted with gravity about a third of the Earth's, and will be capable of vast feats of strength, just like good old John Carter. The atmosphere, only a minute fraction of the Earth's, has no oxygen, which is a bit of a problem, and temperatures are cold, cold, cold. The explorer will need a spacesuit with heater and oxygen tanks and will be confined to distances of a few hundred yards from the ship. Still, a trip to Mars would be very worthwhile both for what it will tell the earth scientists about the world, and because along the way, we can stop in orbit and check out the weather, or just cancel the trip to Mars and pop in to Paris, which will be about an hour from New York on your Mars ship, so, actually, who needs Mars?

"Rim Black for Glasses" Doctors say that rimless glasses can cause cancer. Actually, a report by four Philadelphia dermatologists to the Archives of Dermatology and Syphilology says, by my reading, that all glasses can cause cancer, and also chronic actinic dermatitis, which doesn't sound exactly nice, even if it's not cancer. Round and elliptic glasses are just worse, which is why they recommend that glasses be treated with a lacquer called rim black that cuts off the "dangerous rays."

This seems like pretty irresponsible journalism, to me. If you're going to say that something as common as windows (because, let's face it, that's what we're talking about) can cause cancer, it needs to be from the stage of the AMA, and backed up by a study of the billions of people affected.

Press, Radio-Television, Art, People

The press page leads off with the New York Newspaper Guild demanding a week-long paid paternity leave for new fathers in its new contract with the National Guardian, and the Stern family of Philadelphia, which owns a bunch of newspapers. That allows it to have almost a full page of boring news between the top of the page and the KLM crash at Bombay that killed, amongst twelve or possibly fourteen other American journalists, Elsie Dick of the Mutual Network. Newsweek is understandably upset about the biggest single tragedy to hit American journalism since the 1920 Los Angeles Times bombing, even if it buries the story for advertising sake. What bothers me is that this is the third  KLM Connie accident since October. It was a tricky accident, since the landing was made in monsoon rain, and the KLM pilot would have been a bit rusty for Indian conditions after the boycott, but monsoon flying is the company's bread and butter. The San Juan and LA crashes, you kind of expect, because, come on, non-scheduleds. But KLM? Either there's something wrong at the top, which is hard to believe of KLM, or those predictions about what would happen when the airlines ran out of wartime pilots are coming true. (Not that we're so hot, either.)

Then, just in case you're in danger of running into the crash story scanning back up the page, we finish up with a long article about the editor of the New York Daily Mirror, whose name is French for "milk," which is so funny that the lait came out of my nose.

And that is how Uncle Reggie came to spend the rest of his life
hiding from hit squads of CBC Radio anmouncers --Beth. 
"Canadians in Boston" A group of seven Canadian painters, known, with that imaginative flaire we Canadians are known for, as the Group of Seven, is having a collective showing  at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston this week. There will also be several who aren't in the Group of Seven, because if they were included, we would have to say, "the Group of Seven Plus Two and Also Some More." They are all very famous in Canada, which absolutely is just like being the tallest person in the dollhouse.

"Selznick was an amphetamine user, and would often dictate long, rambling memos to his directors,
writers, investors, staff and stars.
[9] The documentary Shadowing The Third Man
relates that Selznick introduced 
The Third Man director Carol Reed to the
use of amphetamines, which allowed Reed to bring the picture in below budget
and on schedule by filming nearly 22 hours at a time."
"The Big Backtack" NBC's new Hollywood Calling is NBC's capitulation to the giveaway show trend, as the only thing that can fill the early evening hours when children are listening that isn't Jack Benny. I'm not sure that it is that important to protect children from detective and mystery shows, but I'm not a radio executive with a million letters from the Gold Star Mothers to deal with.

 Princess Margaret is causing gossip in Paris, General Clay has retired to his summer home on Cape Cod to write his memoirs, Linda Christian, bride of Tyrone Power, has spent $2400 on maternity costumes, Governor Luis Munoz Marin of Puerto Rico has a pretty wife, Douglas Fairbanks has a KBE, Czechoslovakia's two top tennis stars have defected in Gstaad, Switzerland, and Rose La Rose is sueing Universal for using her name as a punchline. Jennifer Jones (30), has married her boss, David O. Selznick (47). The bride wore white. The ex-bride wore a granny dress. Greer Garson has married a Texas oilman. General Clay and David Lillienthal have won the coveted Freedom House Freedom Medal of Freedom for this Year of Freedom 1949. Kenesaw Landis II, 39, lawyer and political columnist for The Chicago Times, has died after a long illness.

The New Pictures 

The revival of Harry Lloyd's 1932 Movie Crazy gets the head in Newsweek as well as last week's Time. It isn't a "new picture," but, then, the Newsweek department is actually Movies, and I thought I should just mention this as a masterpiece of the PR art, even if it is a hidden one, since it isn't like the weeklies are going to tell us just how a re-release of a seventeen-year-old movie lands the top billing in two papers.

An actual new picture is The Fountainhead, which is a dramatisation of Ayn Rand's novel of the same name. It's an "undisciplined preachment,"  "illogical," and sometimes "ludicrous." Psst! I have a feeling Newsweek didn't like it! The Big Steal is some hugger mugger set in Vera Cruz with Patric Knowles, Jane Greer, and William Bendix that goes to show how much better Hollywood is at dealing with realistic stories of multiple screwballs chasing each other over a stolen thirty grand of US Army payroll money down Mexico way than with crazy, far-out stories about architects dealing with difficult customers. The Great Dan Patch is about a champion harness racing horse  and some humans who drop into the stable once and a while and pretend to have human problems for as long as there is no racing to be done.


Upton Sinclair's tenth Lanny Budd book is out, inspiring critics across the land to ask, "What, aren't you done yet?"  Like all middlebrow readers, Newsweek prefers the "Men of Good Will" series, but is willing to admit that it learned something about matters atomical while following Lanny's historical adventures from Yalta to Moscow to New Mexico. Inserting fictional characters into real history is an entertaining but ephemeral exercise, Newsweek thinks, with the risk that the hero (and his family) turn out to be central to everything that ever  happened. Pff. Did Budd get to Nagasaki? I don't think so!

And speaking of middlebrow, next up is Vincent Sheean's latest, already reviewed at Time and "reviewed" here. Ben Ann Williams' Fraternity Village is a short story collection following the ninth novel he has written since giving up journalism for fiction. Hobert Skidmore's O Careless Love s a "fresh comedy" involving a big city girl stopping over in a West Virginia town between busses and being mistaken for a prostitute, which doesn't sound "fresh" to me so much as "very, very sour." Ward Thomas' Stranger in the Land is the same, only the double-reverse, if you know what I mean. But since it is about a man who has too much sex with men, it is "Dostoevskian," and not "fresh."  Are you done yet, you ask, and you are disappointed, because there are still novels to go, by Winston  Clowes, James Street and Rosemary Taylor, which are about --. Oh, never mind, that was a hint. Yes, I'm done.

Infrastructure equals Communism
Raymond Moley's Perspective column for this week is about how he caught up with his back issues of Fortune while way out mid west somewhere, which is something you can do once you pull your  head out of Tom Dewey's ass. He needs to report to us the fresh news that six months ago Fortune thought that the reason that inland boosters of places like Cleveland are suddenly warm on the St. Lawrence Seaway is that the Mesabi range iron might run out, ("the most profoundly important physical question in North America centres upon the length of life that remains for Mesabi") in which case they'll have to bring their ore upriver from Labrador. Unless the industry starts using lower grade ore, which will require new "plant" (Moley not having read up to the one that explains blast furnaces, yet) that will cost a lot of money, which will probably lead to socialism, unless the Seaway leads to socialism. Really, once you find yourself agreeing with Senator Murray and his "full employment" and "taconite"nonsense, socialism is everywhere. EVERYWHERE! Which I think means that since Dewey is onboard with the Seaway, it's time to mark it down from its old place as the thin edge of the Communist takeover wedge.

Flight, 28 July 1949

"Comet-Year" Well, there you go,another of the stories Flight has been sitting on. The DH106 Comet jet airliner had its hangar rollout this week, although "the makers have requested that comment shall be guarded and details remain confidential until the aircraft makes its first flight in the near future." 

"Lecturing as an Art" S. Paul Johnson said something nice about British technical lectures in the Journal of the Institute of the Aeronautical Sciences, which is naturally headline news considering that people used to care about what Johnson thought.

"The Comet Emerges" The Comet is already four years in the making, have begun as a proposal for a jet-powered Atlantic mailplane back in the war. Perhaps it is partially that ancestry that explains why it falls short of the Brabazon requirement for an Empire-route jet airliner with an all-up weight of 90,000lbs carrying 24 to 32 passengers. The Comet has an all up weight in the range of 75,000lbs, and although it is rated for 36 passengers, there is no mention of Empire routes. Because the 108 was built to provide flying experience for the 106, it was expected that the 106 would be some kind of flying wing with sweepback and no tail. It turns out to be quite conventional, with fairly generous wing area, an expected cruising speed of 500mph, and, for this to work, a cruising altitude of 40,000ft. This will require extraordinary pressurisation and air conditioning. Extensive use of Redux metal-to-metal bonding, replacing rivets, makes the pressurisation easier to achieve. De Havilland proposes a 4 1/2 hour Atlantic crossing. Reasonable takeoff from any "good airport" is promised thanks to the low wing loading and RATO assistance, which still doesn't seem practical for civil use, to me. The plane is deemed to be "rugged" rather than "precious," in spite of the extremes of strucutre weight economy required to achieve the purported Atlantic range with four Ghosts. Slots, ailerons and flaps are all large, with significant movement. The main wheels are giant 66-inchers, although a four-wheel bogey is promised. The forward pitot, extended ahead of the nose on a mast, is a prominent feature of the go-fast-go-fast variety. Unless De Havilland is very worried about navigation, they're for something else. I'm guessing that it samples air flow as a datum for the power controls.

Here and There

Six Lancasters of 130 Squadron are flying to RCAF Greenwood to exercise with the RCN this summer. The National Air Races are using Sperry equipment. Captain John Wright, the BSAA pilot who got 16(!) paying passengers to the ground alive when his York(!!) ran into trouble over Lima, has received a Peruvian "gong." BOAC has commissioned Elizabeth Arden to refit the powder rooms aboard BOAC airliners. Triplex Glass wants everyone to know that it has curved safety glass now. Wing Commander Gatward is to get a French gong and a commemorative flag his week for his 1942 feat of dropping the Tricolour on the Arc de Triomphe that time in 1942. As the Wing Commander is the president of the Southgate RAF Association, the flag will go to the Mayor of Southgate for safekeeping at the town hall. A branch of the RAF Benevolent Fund has been opened in Eire. The Wakefield Cup will resume this year. RCAF Vampires are touring American air shows. Lockheed is working on a bigger version of the Constellation that will seat 90 passengers and have an all up weight of 130,000lbs. The Canadian Pacific Canadian Pacific service from Canada to Australia on Canadair Fours still hasn't started, and is still generating news as a survey plane lands at Essenden this week. GET ON WITH IT! (Except, of course, that this story wandered in from an earlier issue, and services really did start two weeks ago. GET WITH IT, FLIGHT! That's better. 

"The Gatwick Gala" Flight was a bit bored (and sticky and sweaty), as there just wasn't enough emphasis on speed. Yes, there was aerobatics and airborne manoeuvres, but Flight wanted RATOs, low(er) passes by giant airliners, masses of low level fighters, even piston-engined, and speed. Three Sunderlands of 19 Group and Five Hastings of 38 Group did make low passes, so that was nice. Coastal Command is still flying Sunderlands? Miss Betty Skelton put on a fine display in the beautiful Pitt Special, with its 95hp Continental. Transport Command dropped a parachute assault including 30 Territorials, a jeep, gun, contianers, and a parachute medical team including a nursing sister and some WRAF nursing orderlies for her to order around (take that, America!). A glider was snatched, a Hoverfly picked up a distressed sailor from a dinghy, and a simulated radar station went up admirably under sustained pretend 20mm fire. 

Flight is pleased to report that BOAC has taken delivery of a Solent, and that the JT-6 Turbo Wasp, the Pratt and Whitney version of the Nene, is now available for civilian use. A long article about the history of the King's Cup Air Races follows to get us excited for this year's event..

"Academy of Accuracy" Flight sent a photographer to take pictures of teaching bombardiers to be accurate. They mainly consist of eager young men taking notes in front of equipment or blackboards, depending, although there's a nice shot of the Lincoln Thor III dropping its stick from an angle that makes it clear just how slim and trim the Lincoln is, compared with an airliner. It's not something you can easily imagine when you look at them from the ground, and a good reminder that it's a bit crazy to task the same plane for patrol and (atom) bombing duties, although needs must, I know. 

"Vickers-Supermarine 510" More pictures! Yes, it still may not be called the "Swift" operationally, but the Ministry will let us call it the "Supermarine 510," so half the way there. All I can say is that it is a very pretty plane that photographs as well as the F-86. 

Maurice Smith, "Introduction to Spain: Seven-Day Air Tour by Light Aircraft of Eight Nations" The younger Smith hasn't had many bylined articles lately, so it is nice that he is out and about having fun and not spending all his time fighting galley proofs. (That's magazine talk, my sources say.) It's just too bad that Spain is turning into a slightly exotic country in the south of Europe where people stay up late and lose track of time, instead of, oh, say, a Fascist dictatorship! 

Civil Aviation News

BOAC is ordering 25 Bristol 175s, the airliner to the Medium Empire specification to be powered by either four Centaurus or four Proteus engines. Deliveries are expected in 1953/4, so it will probably replace the Constellation and Solent. If suitable, it may be stretched into Atlantic services. The Lords heard debate over the bill to merge BOAC and BSAA. Lord Pakenham says that the "element of competition" isn't needed after all, and promised that BOAC would use the flying boats that BSAA ordered. The charter tanker fleet has been withdrawn from the Airlift on account of the Airlift being over. The Ministry of Labour is under friendly fire in the Commons for letting the Ministry of Civil Aviation contract out work to chartered airlines that pay less than BOAC. He promised an investigation, and stiff action if warranted. Aer Lingus pilots are striking. Crop inspections are being done from the air now. Flight regrets reporting that the de Havilland Beaver could be had for £5500, as, like all North American products, it can only be had for dollars, none of your European funny money thank you very much. Trans Australian is showing a greater loss than expected, in spite of everyone flying to avoid the coal strike. KLM is allowed to fly through Indian and Pakistani territory now that the Dutch have given up in Indonesia.

Amateur photographers were also over at Armstrong Siddeley to take photos of the new Python-Wyvern posed on the ground. It looks very streamlined without the radiators that marred the Eagle-Wyvern's lines, and the photographer even captures the eight-blade contra-rotating Rotol prop that seems like an engineering nightmare to me, in spite of inept posing.


W. J. Smith wonders if slipstreams can turn into "miniature whirlwinds." Christopher Blackburn explains that when he said that the Sandringham was the first double-decker airliner, he meant that it was the first with a double deck passenger cabin in regular service. "Adastral" has concerns about RAFVR hats. Louis Cassera read W. J. Smith's letter and is absolutely a little help to him as he recalls a plane he saw somewhere in 1908 or then abouts that might have been Smith's plane, and also perhaps Grahame-White's.  Was it at the Coronation Arms on Coronation Road near Hangar Hill? Mr. Cassera can't really remember. It was a long time ago.

Engineering, 29 July 1949

J. Lamore, "Tides and Current Velocities in a Sea-Level Canal" Interesting but irrelevant to us.


P. J. Bouma's Physical Aspects of Colour: An Introduction to the Scientific Study of Colour Stimuli and Colour Perceptions is a good summary. J. Crowther, Science in Liberated Europe is the story of Mr. Crowther's trip to laboratories in France, Denmark, Holland and Czechoslovakia. It mostly reprints statistics and short summaries of research that he was given. J. B. Davy, An Interpretive History of Flight. An illustrated history of flight from HMSO, but using pictures from the Science Museum. It sounds like an illustrated version of a Flight Correspondence column. The most recent plane featured  being a B-17C of 1934. Tables of the Bessel Functions of the First Kind of Orders Forty Through Fifty-One is the ninth of fourteen planned volumes to be produced by Harvard on a BuOrd contract. It is very well put together and presumably quite accurate, who knows. The values were calculated by the Harvard automatic sequence-controlled calculator. I think we are very, very close to the point where it is more economical and more efficient to have a Harvard calculator than the fourteen volume series! Yes, yes, that's an exaggeration, but it probably won't be in a few years.

T. Y. B. Edds, "Experiences with Ethyl Silicate in the Foundry" Ethyl silicate is one of the so-called organic silicates that mimics the well-known chemistry of the "organic" carbon molecules that are the base of human life. Silicon organics differ from carbon in that they are at home at high temperatures, and because their oxidation produces sand and not carbon dioxide, which would be a problem for science fiction's "silicon-based life." In the foundry, ethyl silicate is extremely promising as a binding agent for refractories. Furnace walls and the cores in precision castings are two promising fields of application. The former might mean higher temperatures for reducing new metals, while the latter promises more accurate castings.

"High Speed Capstan Lathe" Since it has been several pages since Engineering gave anyone a free ad, here is the said lathe from Alfred Herbert. Like all the other modern industrial lathes, it has all sorts of features that will make your capstan lathing more labour efficient, faster and cheaper.

"Electrical Accidents in the Home" Remember my comments on the dark but inadvertent humour of electrical accidents in India? Here is the British sequel. I got into trouble with Ronnie about being flippant, because at the end there are short descriptions of the deaths of a three year-old and a five-year old due to gross negligence by manufacturers and parents. It is tragic, but also most of the accidents are  just a bit ridiculous. The invisibility of electrical current makes the dangers all too easy to ignore.

"Construction of Welded-Steel Barges" This article is what you get when you cross Worthy with Advertising. I have no idea why it is here.

Launches and Trial Trips Three motor ships and two steamers this week. The MS include tankers Bjorn Stand and British Loyalty, and freighter Lockwood. Steamers are freighters Elixabeth Nielsen and Strathdore. 

British Standards are published for ignition cables for airplane engines, waterproof building papers and condensor tube plates. Quite the come down from defining what "comfort" means!


"The Dock Strike in Retrospect" So here's the story. The Canadian shipping strike pits two unions against each other. Thus, the crews and unions can cordially disagree about whether a given ship is "black," that is, crewed by scabs, or "white," that is, not, and free to be unloaded. British dockers have been chewing this over for months, which is why some are blaming international Communists (who, in Canada, back one of the Canadian unions against the other). To hear the dockers tell it, all they wanted was to declare the two ships "black," and get on with it, but that would, in itself, be an intervention in the Canadian strike and also was too uppity to be born, and the dockers were invited to unload the Canadian ships, or no ships. The dockers in general didn't like this very much, but there disagreements within the union, and strikes spread to other ships. Because they carried perishable cargoes, the emergency order was secured, and the Army moved in to unload the ships, which briefly seemed as though it would cause a general strike. There isn't enough Army to unload all the merchant ships in British ports, and this led the Dock Labour Board to suggest that decasualisation be reversed, at which point the Government stepped in to remove the head of the Board and say no such thing would happen, which led to a vote that ended the strike, although some say it was irregular.

I think I've got it now. No guarantees.

"Electricity Supply in Scotland" The North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Board continues to expand its hydroelectric power offerings, although right now it is mostly a steam business due to nationalisation. Hopefully, hydro-electric will be the bulk of their offerings again eventually, and their experimental wind-power offering in the Orkneys is promising.


The Nuffield Foundation's annual report is out.  Although founded to  help medical science, the Foundation has given money to the Glasgow cyclotron; a huge x-ray machine to Birckbeck, albeit for biomedical research under Bernal, along with an electron-computing machine; general support of Cherwell's Clarendon Lab's work with liquid helium for low temperature research that might be useful in nuclear physics, and to Blackett at Manchester, who is using meson scatter to discover the fundamental building blocks of the universe, whatever they might be. (Not atoms, and not even electrons and protons.) The British Electricity Supply Board has set up a Research Council.  London Transport has begun work on the Camberwell extension of the Bakerloo tube line. The latest Lloyds' report on world shipbuilding shows Britain still doing most of it, but the rest of the world catching up. Statistics for Germany and Russia remain unavailable, and the Japanese ones are incomplete.


The discussion of technical dictionaries continues, and a very brave Kenneth Barnaby writes to correct just one of the scathing points made in the memorably negative 15 July review of Basic Naval Architecture. 

At the Institute of Transport Conference, Professor Raymond Birch gave a keynote address that, unless the next bit is better than the first, was a complete waste of time. Marx was a bad philosopher because he was bitter. In the Middle Ages, agriculture was king. Transportation needs a "philosophy." Timber and silk were yesterday, iron and steel are today. I think perhaps the brandy flowed before dinner.

Oscar Parkes, "German and British Battleships" Parkes, the noted naval architect and historian, gave a paper on same at the Edinburgh meeting that was a gentle pallet cleanser after "the crews scuttled the excess shipping fleet after WWI" and "Everything you know about ship lines is wrong." He gives a very interesting summary of the design of Bismarck and Tirpitz in this extract, comparing them extensively on the Scharnhorst battlecruisers that came before, which is a bit of a problem in that, if he has anything to say about the Scharnhorsts, it is not included in this extract. Anyway, while, as I say, it is interesting, it isn't terribly relevant, and we can all wait for it to come out in print.

"Grinding Attachment for Centre Lathing" is an ad for G. Wolf and Company, and G. A. Mellor, "Creep Strength of Some Magnesium Alloys" is worthy.


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

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