Sunday, January 26, 2020

Postblogging Technology, October 1949, II: Revolt of the Admirals

This where I remind everyone that Admiral Air Power here lost two carrier battles before Leyte Gulf.

Ngar Monastery,

Dear Father:

This letter finds you with a package of more important material, but will come . You'll find a briefing about the Koumintang position in northern Burma, and the current state of play in Formosa. It is too late for me to be the bearer of news of the fall of Canton and the government there. The key question is whether the weight of American support goes west or east. I can't comment, but I do forward the results of our conversation with Chan Sheng Mei. My sense is that west-side boosters are nursing something of a serpent in the bosom, as Chennault is likely to go with Chiang, and thus Formosa, in the end. The remaining question is whether there is money to be made in the interim, and there I can only tell you that as far as we can tell from here, the lamas have some pull in Washington. So far so good, if  you can win the Panchen Lama over. 

As for us, a distinct slack in the British business as devaluation goes through. I think the smart money sees it as the last for a generation, so that's definitely a blow for the silver trade. Perhaps our British partners can try making some movies for a change! 

Yours Sincerely,

Time, 17 October 1949


Chester Snyder of Roanoke, Virginia and D. E. Goodykoontz of Alhambra, California, agree that if a company pays a non-contributory pension, then because it sells things to him, he is really the one paying it, and that's wrong. You know, when it comes to paying people for their work, it's amazing the Thirteenth Amendment ever got through. W. F. Barker of the American National Bank thinks that devaluation is wrong because it steals from savers. Jules Kersten is upset that the SEC is going after the A and P for monopolistic practices but not the Agriculture Department for supporting farm prices, because that is basically the same thing. Virginia Smith thinks that Salvatore Giuliano is husband material, doesn't specify whether it is his roguish good looks or charming mass-murdering that attracts her. Leo Rockwell hates the way we talk nowadays. Our Publisher writes to tell us about Time-Life's new Better Learning Through Current Materials, issued through the Stanford University Press for use by the California Council, which is an association of California teachers that isn't some yucky union.  

National Affairs

"Revolt of the Admirals" Just when you thought the Navy brass couldn't get any more Freedonian, Gerry Bogan, Art Radford and Louis Denfeld decided to get behind John Crommelin. (After he pushed them  into it, mind you.) The Navy still hates the B-36, and now also hates high-altitude bombing, atomic war, armed forces unification, Louis Johnson, and budget cuts. Halsey, Nimitz, King, Leahy, Blandy and Connolly are also lined up. Spruance is conspicuously not. 

In news of the court, the President went to see a nice army review that included some paratroopers dropping a howitzer and a Jeep, just like they do it in England, Louis Johnson threw a public fit at the Supreme Court, and everyone in the Senate disagreed with everyone else about who was the farmer's friend. Time thinks that the Anderson plan is a pretty good one compared with how much money the Republicans in the Senate want to hand over. Other US Congressmen, travelling in Spain on their way to visit the Generalissimo (who isn't a Fascist at all!) had their pants stolen on the train, which was very embarrassing for everyone. 

Leland Olds Power Station, on-line 1966
"Shocking Words" The Administration is having trouble getting Leland Olds through committee to renewal at the Federal Power Commission, because he said bad things about capitalism once in the Great Depression, and, more importantly, because the private utilities have bought the Senate. The President is going to put some pressure on and see what happens. Speaking of pressure, after giving a speech in Washington in December, Madame Chiang asked for a ride back to Nanking, and got it thanks to MATS, which fixed her and her entourage up with the President's old DC-4. Now Time is pleased to report that she eventually paid a $9002 bill for it, so everything is fine. 

"Here it is" Harry Bridges announced a settlement of the Hawaiian dock strike this week, which was bad and wrong of him because he did it before management did. Some people in Honolulu are bitter because that probably means there will be a strike in pineapple or sugar soon, and because Bridges is a Communist. Also again speaking of, Alger Hiss has a new lawyer for his next perjury trial and has asked for a change of venue to Vermont, where he summers, because it is quiet up there. 

It is reported that Frank Costello won't give a speech to the annual dinner of the Los Angeles Press Club because he doesn't like public speaking and that Iva Toguri has been convicted. 


He's got Benedict  XVI eyes
"I Expect to Sleep" Enrico Fermi reminds everyone that just because the Russians have an atom bomb doesn't meant that they have a fearsome arsenal ready to drop on all and sundry at a moment's notice. America has more bombs, and will have more bombs 200 years from now if everyone works hard. The UN's Social and Humanitarian Committee is having difficulty getting its Draft Convention on the Suppression of Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others through, because no-one wants to talk about THAT. Also, Yugoslavia wants to be free to choose its own way, instead of having Mr. Stalin choose it, which reminds Time that communism is bad, even in Yugoslavia, but possibly not that bad if they let Archbishop Stepinac out of the hoosegow. .

"The Hair of the Dog" The Russians are showing anti-capitalist movies that were made in Germany in the war, which just goes to show. Something.  [remake]

"The Easy Stage" A floating encampment of Baltic refugees in Cork harbour is hoping to find refuge in the United States by sailing across the Atlantic in a motley assortment of drifters, lifeboats and landing craft. They don't want to go to Sweden  because "there are too many spies in Sweden."

Anchor for Asia" Prime Minister Nehru gets the cover story this week. He dresses well, likes Socialism and factories, isn't making much headway reforming the Congress Party, has a pretty daughter, doesn't like Communism (but doesn't not like it enough) or Bao Dai, supports Indonesian independence and Burmese democracy.

In Japan, there has been an outbreak of peace. Sleeping pills and mattresses are popular with everyone, whereas rightists and communists disagree about whether peace goes with anti-communism. An Ainu troupe in Tokyo combines peace with the traditional bear festival (except that for Tokyo audiences they don't really kill the bear and drink its blood). Then a bebop band and a "nicely undressed chorus" comes on. At Horyzuki Temple, Abbot Join Saeki will allow scientists to test relics of the Buddha, a baseball game between SCAP and the Ministry of Trade was embarrassingly one sided for the Japanese. The Japanese seem to be a strange people. 

(And this is already a thing in Japan.)

In Austria's national election, the Christian Democrat/Socialist coalition won roundly, but the pro-Nazi League of Independent Voters made ominous gains to 12% of the popular vote, while no-one likes the Communists. Which makes you wonder why the big parties have to form a coalition to keep them out, but I guess us foreigners just don't understand. In France, the Queuille government is out over pensions and perhaps Jules Moch will form the next government

"Long Distance Call" Time thinks that an argument between the Swiss and French railways over who is responsible for fleas being found in Swiss border stations recently is laugh-out-loud funny. Because the French are dirty and the Swiss are thin-skinned! Also funny is Winston Churchill's horse recently losing a race by "swinging too far to the right." 

"The Shape of Nothingness" Time's correspondent went to Berlin and found it awful these days with no Airlift to give it purpose and also jobs for Yankee dollars. Meanwhile, the Russians are getting nicer. Also, the Communists are making a comeback by being nice and putting Pablo Picasso's "Dove of Peace" design up everywhere. Boo, peace! Boo, Picasso! (He's a Communist!) Also incidentally now that there's a democratic government in West Germany the Russians have formed the People's Republic of East Germany which is completely different because they claim jurisdiction in West Berlin. 

In the Americas, Chile got a big loan from the Export-Import Bank because of how stable they are. Haiti is building a fairground to attract tourists. Mexico has fashion now. In Canada, a Catholic priest in Montreal has been charged with dope dealing, and it is very shocking.[!]


"Cash for K-F" The Recovery Financing Corporation has come through with a $34.4 million dollar loan to Kaiser-Frazer. Uncle Henry now owes the Feds $149.8 million.

"No Cause for Alarm" Although Commonwealth and Southern was wound up this week, the Dow Jones is up, and so is business. The steel and coal strikes are no cause for alarm. Also, Hilton has another hotel, Lever Brothers is finishing up their move from Cambridge to New York, various department stores are promoting sales, including one that sells suits. Seriously, there's a lot of retail and real estate in this week's issue.

"Comeback for National" National Airlines is roaring back, promising a DC-6 service to compete with Eastern. Eastern's Constellations run with extra seating up to three-wide, to stuff 60 in the cabin. National's "Star" service will have 56 aboard with better meals, a lounge and standard fares. George Baker of National hopes that the fact that he is going head to  head with Eastern will encourage he CAB to give up on breaking the airline up.

"Sureseaters" I skip the Cinema section, and I'm not changing that, but this week it runs an article about "sureseat" theatres, the kind of single-showing theatre with nice seats and no popcorn that shows "important, high-quality pictures from Britain, Italy, France and sometimes even Hollywood." The interesting part is that there are 70 of them in the United States, with new ones opening in four cities in the Northwest, while five have opened in LA this year so far. The Rank Organisation is storming in, having made more money from a 40 week engagement of The Red Shoes at Philadelphia's Tans-Lux than all of its other pictures in Philadelphia combined. Now the sureseaters are hoping for more Hollywood pictures aimed at the sureseaters.

Science, Medicine Education

"Out Across Immensity" Time went to the same meeting of the British Interplanetary Society as Flight, came back with a slightly different story that notes that there were 650 people in attendance, including George Bernard Shaw. It mentions the space suit presentation and adds that the authors, Harry Ross and R. A. Smith, are the production superintendent of Electronic Tubes and a scientist at Westcott, respectively. L. R. Shepherd, a technician at Harwell, described an atomic rocket shooting ammonia gas through a uranium pile. Everyone agrees that it is not too early to be talking about space flight across those great immensities, and that a Martian invasion is nothing to worry about, since if they arrive, they will be made honorary members of the BIS.

"Take it Easy" The American Medical Association reports no progress fighting the common cold. It is not impressed with recent claims for antihistamines, and while it concedes that aspirin soothes aches and pains and that alcohol "in reasonable doses" expands blood vessels and restores circulation to chilled skin and mucous membranes, bed rest is the sovereign cure.

"The Missing Million" That's how many Americans have diabetes without knowing it. The American Diabetes Association reminds everyone that the new Selftester lets anyone do their own urinanalysis.

"Electric Lung" Dr. Stanley Sarnoff''s discovery two years ago that electrical stimulation of the phrenic nerve causes diaphragm contraction has led to the Harvard School of Public Health to a treatment for bulbar polio, which attacks the brain stem and renders the patient unable to breathe properly. An iron lung is no help in that case, while Dr. Sarnoff's method bypasses the bulbar inflammation. Six electrophrenic respirators are now available at $275 each, and are expected to be useful in cases of electrocution, drowning, sleepign pill overdoses and brain tumours as well as bulbar polio.

Also, the National Research Council reminds everyone that brucellosis is serious business, that milk should be pasteurised and dairies kept clean.
Architectural Forum has opinions about schools, which should be built with large, multipurpose rooms with movable partitions for easy conversion; and, if necessary, designed from the first as temporary structures, perhaps using the same methods as prefab homes. Schools should be small and informal if possible, colourful, well-ventilated, cheery and sunlit, single-story, and easily expanded. Martha Lucas, president of Sweetbriar College, is Time's most favourite schoolmarm and the US delegate to the UNESCO conference in Paris.

"The Bac and the Trac" Time covers the current controversy in France over the bachot exam system in which secondary education ends with a gruelling oral general knowledge exam. It has a more personal touch than the Le Monde series (I just have to show off that I read it!), but doesn't really do a very good job of explaining the pedagogical issues.  

Press, Radio and Television, Art, People

"With a Labor Slant"Time is pleased as punch to report that there's now an anti-communist labour news syndicate, the Labour Press Association, to compete with the "pink-hued Federated Press."

"Galloping Garlic" Reader's Digest is running Billy Rose's column in its foreign editions, which is a bit of a challenge, since he doesn't write in English, which makes it hard to translate it into French. So they got Maurice Chevalier to do it. Not-English to Not-French. Problem solved, and funny as Frenchmen and garlic!

"Girl for the Gazette" Harold Roswell is bringing Jeane Hoffman in to from Hearst to revitalise the Police Gazette.

It's funny that Westbrook Pegler didn't say anything mean about anyone in a column last week, and the State Department calls the Communists' decision to ban all Western papers a "crude effort . . . to force recognition."

"No Hiding Place" It seems as though the sound can't be turned off anywhere in America these days, Time says, complaining that the busses and streetcars are being wired for sound, even though one random bus rider observes that Hitler once tried to drive the Chancellor of Austria insane by playing music at him. If Hitler did it, well! Grocery stores are bringing it in through Storecast Corporation, and now Grand Central is getting it through Terminal Broadcasting. The Herald Tribune is concerned that 25 ads an hour will render Americans incapable of not buying. Also, the Lux Radio Theatre is 15 today, which makes it a teenager. At least it  hasn't broken out in Ed Wynn, like CBS.
Ed Wynn is the guy in the boat. 

"New Blood" The annual Salon d'Automne saw same. Roger Chapelain-Midy's The Month of September was a hit, as was Francois Desnoyer, Bernard Lorjou, Pierre Tal-Coat, Andre Marchand, Francis Tailleux, Eduoard Pignon and Oscar Dominguez. Another new show is Barbara Hepworth's 20 studies of operating theatres and other paintings, opening at "a Manhattan gallery" this week.

Gertrude Lawrence is excited to play the mother in the movie version of The Glass Menagerie because Southern women are so polite, Erle Stanley Gardner thinks that the British crime rate is so low because the British respect the law more. On the other, he writes 62 Perry Mason novels a year, so I'm not sure he has much of a chance to get out! George Petty thinks that the French aren't really chic after all because they don't wear enough clothes, Perle Meseta is doing a good job of being ambassador to Luxembourg. Ebony magazine says Lena Horne, Marion Anderson and someone who was probably not christened "Mrs. Ralph Bunche" are the three most beautiful and famous Negro women in America this year. Consider this an open challenge to Time to name a fourth Negro woman, and Time's cook doesn't count. King Gustav has recovered enough from the loss of his son to go golfing. Boss Crump is 75 and Pope Pius XII got a scooter. Gloria Swanson is working on her comeback movie, Sunset Boulevard. Audie Murphy is separating from his wife, while Doris Duke is reconciling with her husband.  Ava Gardner has become a longhair who likes orchestral music. Ernie Bevin was impressed by the picketing of the pickets from the Irish-American Minutemen of 1949 who picketed his ship when it docked in New York.

Rachele Mussolini, the widow of the Duce, wishes people would leave her alone, and so does Greta Garbo. Robert Hannegan, George Bertram Parker, Bert Henry Miller, Williami Larimer Mellon and Matt Joseph Winn have died.

New Pictures

I Married a Communist is about Larraine Day, who moves on from her sturdy union boyfriend, marrying Robert Ryan, a rich man who "was once a Communist Party strong-arm boy," as so many rich men are. It turns out that the Communists murder pretty much everyone. Henry Luce doesn't ordinarily see a B movie, but he'll make an exception for this slice-of-life.

Ichabod and Mr. Toad is a pretty weak effort from Disney, with the Ichabod part a dead loss in spite of Bing Crosby's song and narration, although the Mr. Toad half is okay.


A. B. Guthrie's The Way West is another novel of the west and the Oregon Trail, although made a bit more middlebrow bey not having Indian attacks. Robert Lewis Taylor's life of W. C. Fields is an entertaining life of a great entertainer. (The details make him sound a bit crazy to me, but perhaps that's just the booze.) Hermann Hesse's Magister Ludi is for some reason buried in the third place, but the review is long to make up for it, and is appropriately middlebrow about the featured middlebrow book. It's a little hard to summarise (trust me, I've read it, and don't think that!), but Time tries. One thing is for sure: it isn't science fiction, because of course no-one like Hesse would ever write science fiction. If I were to summarise it, it would be that it's pretty much Hesse's study bound up and called a "novel." Robert Molloy's The Best of Intentions is a novel about an Irish New Yorker who gets into trouble, while Alfred Toombs' Raising a Riot is an attempt to scratch the same itch as Cheaper by the Dozen, but not nearly as funny.

Flight, 20 October 1949


"Commercial Prudence" The British airlines are congratulating themselves for reducing their deficits, but they are still over Lord Pakenham's £5.5 million target, with a cumulative deficit of more than £31 million. BOAC, in particular, increased route miles by 4.5% and usable capacity by a third, but without the revenue you would expect, although since Flight uses fancy airlines jargon ("usable capacity" and "revenue producing usable capacity," I am taking a bit of a flyer that that is what they're saying. BOAC says that the main reason for their deficit is that their service frequencies are set by the government, and they are forced to use uneconomical aircraft. BEA is in something of the same boat. The solution is to expand on the basis of the fleets and staff they have, but this will be a tough sell to the taxpayer. The corporations hope that turbine aircraft will save the day, but that will only happen if competitors do not buy the same planes.

W. Andrews, "Gas Turbine Fuel Systems: A Survey of the Primary Factors in Control System Design"  Modern aircraft are flown by regulating rpm, which is achieved by regulating fuel input. This can be done either with a speed selector device that detects variations in engine speed and changes fuel supply to match, or by a fuel system that meters the appropriate amount of fuel as set by the pilot's control of rpm. The former are "sensor," the latter "scheduling" systems. Americans have used sensor systems, British makers, "schedulers." The Derwent, Ghost and Goblin all use this kind of system, which is descended from the hydraulic servo-systems used in the last generation of piston engine carburetors. Either system works fine over the long term; it is the managing of transient responses that is the problem. The fuel consumption function is Fuel Flow/(Nacelle Pressure multiplied by the square root of the nacelle temperature) equals the sum of functions of the first, second, and so on, derivative of engine rpm divided by the square root of the nacelle temperature. Actually measuring conditions in the nacelle is a bit tricky due to back pressure; and hydraulic servoes don't multiply very well. So some math tricks follow, which are implemented in mechanical terms in various ways by Rolls Royce and de Havilland. Once we have a system that works for given atmospheric conditions (temperature, altitude), we move on to varying conditions, and once those are accommodated, changing speeds. At this point it emerges that engine efficiency begins to drop off quickly at altitudes and we need to start thinking about variable air intakes and some kind of idling control, such as the Lucas capsule-control used by Rolls Royce. At this point everything is very complicated, so this would be a good time for the article to just peter out. (In fairness to the author, there is probably a super top secret version that goes on twice as long to discuss the Avon and no doubt even more secret follow-ons.)

"America's 'VR': Correspondence Courses: Opportunities to Fly Operational Types" The newly announced Air Reserve will give part-time training to 135,000 Air Force reservists at an expected cost of $82 million. There will be 26 reserve wings, five in A-26s, the rest in C-46s and C-47s, while some reservists will be attached to regular bases and allowed to fly exciting new planes, which makes Flight super, super jealous, because the RAFVR has Tiger Moths And terrible hats.

"The Versatile Auster" It's been just weeks since Flight published advertising for Auster disguised as an article, so here's one!

Here and There

Because some airmen will miss sleeping four to a room?
 The Cierva Air Horse wrapped up its most recent series of flight trials last week, flying at 2.6 tons per rotor. Bristol is too cheap to spring for an article-length advertisement for the Wayfarer/Freighter/etc., settles for a paragraph, instead. RAF Little Rissington invited the press in to see just how nice the new barracks block is. The latest B-47 has six GE J-47 jets in lieu of the 4000lb J-35s in the original, giving it 30,000lbs boost. Convair is very excited to announce a trainer version of the 240. Sales not going as hoped, because it turns out that the best replacement for a Dakota is a Dakota. Some USAF F-80s in Germany are flying and everything!

Admiral King reminded Congress this week that the country that loses control of the seas is a "defeated nation," which means no B-36s, for some reason. A P2V rocketed off the deck of Midway flew a 25 hour duration mission of 4,863 miles last week, but no word on payload. The Italians are negotiating a purchase of 50 Vampires followed by licensed construction. The many friends of S/L  J. L. N. Bennett-Bragg will be pleased to hear that he has made a good recovery from his recent illness and will be undergoing convalescence at home in Yorkshire.

Civil Aviation News

 L:ord Pakenham turned out at Prestwick to take credit for the money being spent on improving it and to remind everyone that if the Government is spending gobs of dough on Prestwick, it can't be said to be "neglecting" it in favour of London Airport, especially when we're talking about London versus Glasgow. Air India's annual accounts show that it is not going to go broke any time soon, putting it one up on most Indian airlines. The Sealand that Short Brothers sent to Norway had an "unfortunate accident" when it flew full on into the side of a mountain with four people on board. See? This is why insurance premiums keep going up! The Super Ace is making further leaps and bounds of forward progress in the field of planes-not-being-built-any-more-by-bankrupt-companies.  Essentially, all the half-baked novelties have been stripped out in a desperate bid to sell the six planes actually made to the Services as an air ambulance. Aerradio is another company that will settle for a paragraph long advertising-article. Pending further investigation, owners of the Percival Proctor are instructed by the Air Registration Board to for God's sake check to see if their tail is about to fall off.

It would be just rude to mention the three aircraft losses in the last twelve months
The latest statistics show that one third of all North American visitors to the British Isles in the last year travelled by air. Aircraft hardstands at London Airport will be connected by tunnel to the terminals.

Maurice Smith, "Ambassador in the Air: Riding in and Piloting BEA's Next Medium-range Airliner: Airspeed's Docile Twin: No 33 in This Series" In the ceaseless campaign to ruin the lives of the bibliographers of tomorrow, Flight will not to be outdone by Engineering. This one is bylined "by the Editor." Do we mention him by name? Use the "unsigned editorial convention?" Include "By the Editor" as a subtitle? And for the Ambassador, yet another dead-on-arrival Dakota replacement! Even Flight calls it "this country's last large passenger aircraft to be powered by piston engines."

The Ambassador is a very nice aircraft, and Flight stoutly reminds everyone that it is a high wing plane with lots of downward visibility, once again ignoring all those nerve-ridden flyers who don't want to look down!!! I'm not one of them, but agoraphobia is a real thing that people have! People who might want to fly!   Smith thinks that it is very nice to fly and that noise, but not vibration, is well taken care of. Airscrew braking is quite unpleasant due to noise and would be best reserved for emergencies. If any safety board ever lets passenger planes use reversible props! Talk about the Ambassador's ailerons is somewhat justified, as they are a bit spongey and heavy at high speeds, but ground handling is excellent and it seems very economical.

American Notebook

"Favonius" is mainly on about small planes this week, but takes a moment to deal with the "coach" phenomenon in America. If you'r having trouble grasping the concept of "second-class" air tickets with smaller seats, here's an explanation!

CAB is trying to limit this on international routes for fear that low-cost competition will hit airmail revenues. Tongue-in-cheek, "Favonius" predicts future "strap hanger" fares on the Atlantic routes, although in practice coach (or "trooping") still looks a lot more comfy than a city train! If this doesn't seem like a lot of material, have no fear, because "Favonius" visits the ongoing campaign to evacuate the West Coast out of range of atom-bombing B-29skis.

Being "Favonius," he moves on from the effort to transfer B-47 production to Wichita to discuss an apocalyptic future in which the Los Angeles industry is evacuated. I'm not a hundred percent sure of this, but isn't LA just as far from Moscow as Wichita? Actually, I can't think of an excuse for not looking this up in my World Air Factbook, where I find that LA is farther from Moscow by air than Wichita.

Back to "Favonius." It is already settled that the B-52 will be built in Seattle, and they can't move LA's flying weather, labour force, or the Hanford nuclear reservation. So what was the point of all of this? "Favonius" doesn't actually have anything to write about this week, but that's not going to stop him! On to the Northrop C-12 and the purported legal action between Canadair and Douglas. These are good stories for "Favonius," because no-one else covers them.  Ever.

"Corporations' Accounts" Flight goes into the airline's financial statements in a bit more detail.  This takes a page and a  half, and leaves a half page for short articles about the new Mavitta Draughting Machines adjustable set square and the largest Coles Mobile Crane ever, with a 12.5 ton capacity. It is produced by Steels Engineering Products.

I'm going to give Flight the benefit of the doubt and assume that the next page replaces a brilliant article about the new jet bombers that got lost at the censor, because it tackles a "promising new American light plane," "Latafoam" packing material by J. Butten, Evan Cook's Packers' excellent work packing things, and a helicopter that rescued a boy in Yosemite Park. And by "rescued" I mean that it flew him to hospital.

"Los Angeles Helicopter Mail Service" A bit more detail about LA Airway's persistent effort to make money off flying the mail by helicopter around Los Angeles, and a pocket review of Meteorological Office Professional Notes No. 100, which explains how the Met. predicts fog. I learn a new word. "Hydrolapse"! And I try my hand at freehand translation. Unless I've got my characters very, very wrong, and have spelled "mule pee" instead.


David Ogilvie has opinions about sportsmanship, handicaps and the Cleveland Air Races. Peter Masefield thinks that Flight misrepresented his relationship with the Aircraft Recognition Society, which is a very important matter indeed. EVP has related opinions about private pilots licenses. (That is, they're related in being "hat" problems.) "Ornithopterist" remembers the old days, before the war. A. V. Roe and Company writes to object to Flight's use of the word "failure" to describe the Tudor, pointing out that it is the best airplane ever and is now in regular service flying vast numbers of passengers all over the world for various charters because it is so good.

RAFO thinks that there should be a British light plane in the range between big planes and small planes. On an unrelated but similar topic, "Designer" thinks that the Government should give more credit to the "in between" designers. Geoffrey Dorman, missing from these pages for long weeks, returns to explain that the Government is wrong about there only needing to be one London Airport. N. Heap thinks that the Wyvern should be replaced by a plane with an open or ducted-fan turbine of the kind that Metropolitan Vickers was developing before it stopped. He then goes on to explore the drawbacks of the kind of plane he imagines.

Engineering, 21 October 1949

C. J. Stairmand, "Pressure Drop in Cyclone Separators" "In designing cyclone separators, it is important to know the pressure drop which will be experienced in various conditions of working." So Dr. Stairmand worked it all out in 1938--40 and reproduces his work here.

A note following describes the tiny, perfect Boeing gas turbine we've heard so much about in the aviation literature.


Frances Owen Rice and Edward Teller, The Structure of Matter is a complete description of the quantum theory of matter. The review says that it is quite a chew, but valuable reading.

Tables of Generalised Sine and Cosine-Integral Functions, Parts I and II. By the Staff of the Computation Laboratory of Harvard University. These are volumes XVIII and XIX of the Annals of the Harvard Computation Laboratory. It is the latest production of the Automatic Sequence Calculator supplied to Harvard by IBM in 1944, carried out under contract from the Bureau of Ordnance. The theory allowing the exact calculation of the functions is due to R. W. P. King, and the computations were coded and supervised by J. Orten Gadd and Theodore Singer. The theory behind the calculations and the elaborate checks makes up the bulk of the review, which closes by congratulating the publisher and printer on the quality of the work --a very important point, since printer's errors are likely to be more important than checkers'! I'm told, anyway.

F. G. Spreadbury's Permanent Magnets is a welcome addition to the literature, since, in recent years, new magnetic materials have been discovered, and their properties have become more important, as we saw last time with recent work with ferrite powder.

"The Institution of Naval Architects, Cont." When last we left the Royal Institution, they were enjoying the best of Denmark over in Copenhagen --Smorgasbord and papers on high speed marine diesel engines! Not in that order, because aquavit and the future of exhaust turbine supercharging do not mix on a full stomach. (They should try California wine and cheese at a first year law school mixer, instead. Yuck!)  

The Diesel boys have a bunch of concerns. They're worried about modern tricks like supercharging and intercooling, the first up to the point where the exhaust turbine produces all the power, and the Diesel effectively becomes a jet engine with the piston bits working just to produce hot, high pressure gas. They're worried about four-stroke versus two-stroke. Right now, the two-strokes are in the ascendancy, but will four-strokes come back, because they're better with high pressures and high speeds, such as you get when you are supercharging and intercooling the gas. They're divided over whether diesel-electric, direct-diesel or geared diesel is the future. One commentator dismisses geared diesel as being only kept in the mix by certain passenger liner designs that require "peculia" engine room layouts. Another is convinced that they're the coming thing as diesels get bigger. Speaking of which, one commentator notes that diesel isn't getting "its share" of installations over 7000hp. Another scolds diesel designers, because you find steam turbines feeding 15,000hp into a single shaft, which no diesel builder seems to want to do. Another commentator is worried about how steam turbines hold on with long-distance passenger liners and reefers, and demands that the industry investigate steam's no doubt illusionary advantages. After all, those ships still need auxiliary diesels, which means that they have to have diesel technicians aboard, and not steam! Perhaps the thing holding big and fast diesels back is reliability? One commentator points out that crankshaft failures have become less common as torsional balance is treated more carefully. Another asks whether high supercharging and engine speeds increases wear in the cylinder liners and valves. Word to the wise!

A lot to chew on, here.

Dr. R. Seligman, "Suggested International Metallurgical Association" Dr. Seligman has put a lot of thought into what an international metallurgical association should do, and how it should be organised. Two pages worth!

"'Dakota' Air Liner with 'Mamba' Engines" Just to review here, the current ICAO rules aren't binding, but when they become binding, the DC-3 won't pass muster at an all up weight of 28,000lbs. It won't be able to maintain height on one engine. This is a tad concerning for the industry, which is operating vast numbers of DC-3s for reasons of cost and reliability. This is why everyone is losing their shirts trying to get a DC-3 replacement out! Recently, there's been signs that some are trying the sneakier tactic of improving the DC-3. The version that replaces the Wright Twin Wasp with a Mamba is Armstrong Siddeley's approach. The Mamba is lighter than the Twin Wasp, which frees up weight for other uses, and more powerful, which addresses the ICAO regulation.

As usual with these write-ups, no-one wants to criticise Armstrong Siddeley (mainly because the authors are some publicity writers for Armstrong Siddeley), so Mr. Masefield's criticism that the conversion lacks endurance, goes unmentioned. Reggie's more esoteric objection that the engine is going to come in underpowered when the plane fails to make ambitious speed targets, thereby reducing the residual thrust, is unmentioned by anyone. Making fun of the builders' speed claims is the one thing no-one does in this industry. It's like calling your mother "fat."

"Self-exciting Alternator" Your basic alternator is the coil of wires on a bearing that you stick a shaft through. An engine spins the shaft, the shaft has a magnet on it, an ac current pulses through the alternator. Or the alternator spins, or its a (dc) electromagnet on a spit, or something like that. If it's the alternator that spins (or maybe alternators are only the ones that spin?), it won't just start spinning. It needs an "exciter" current. Well, no longer, because British Thompson Houston has found a way of wiring up the alternator so that it doesn't need an exciting current, and boy, oh boy is BTH excited.

"Axial-Flow Back Pressure Turbine" Factories that need low pressure steam for uses such as space heating sometimes get it from backflow turbines, which is why Brush Electrical Engineering of Longsborough thinks that its range of same are just the thing for your business. Not pausing to explain the all-too-obvious advantages of axial-flow back pressure turbines in producing low-pressure steam specifically, they rush on to the advantages of their many models. These include a neat arrangement that allows a diesel engine to take more of the load when steam demand is low, and vice versa, and a nice arrangement for the alternators. It moves on to describe the materials and machining in loving detail before closing with a discussion of how the automatic nozzle controls maintain full load as steam supply varies.
Classic. CC BY-SA 3.0,

I've ordered three, one of each size. My room gets quite cold in the Bay winters, and I need space heating!

British Standards Specifications directs the from-now-on sole permissible details of bore diameter for Reels and Drums for Drawn Wire; and expands upon the classic work of British Standards Specifications N. 16 (1937), itself a revision of (1905.) It adds specifications for Telegraph Material such as pole insulators, black bolts and nuts, of types originally introduced for conserving labour in wartime, but now to be Standard Specifications. 

Regional Notes Scotland is concerned with misgivings in some industries (shipbuilding, I think?) and declining order books for steel rerollers, and singles out Belgian imports. If only the imports could be stopped for a while, everything would be fine. Steel is still working hard, although heavy forgings and big plates are also less in demand. Coal is fine. In the Southwest, coal miners are rallying to calls for increased productivity to increase coal exports to France by 200,000 tons and maintain recent increases to South America and Italy. South Yorkshire also perceives holes in the order books, and notes that further orders, especially of forged steel, would be welcome. However, there is hope of increased exports to the Dominions thanks to devaluation, and of entirely new classes of exports to Canada and America. Towards the end of the  month, pig iron production picks up, and there is good business in special steels for gas turbines and stainless steel. Coal is fine, although the Coal Board would welcome a Saturday shift to increase production. Cleveland and the Northern Counties find production of iron and steel is being held back by lack of hematite ore and German scrap, and semi-finished steel and finished iron makers are in a position to take new orders, although plate and sheet makers are fully occupied and demand for colliery equipment is high.


"The Value of an Object Lesson" The report of the steel industry's fact finding group on productivity's visit to the United States is in. Like The Economist, Engineering is completely convinced by its finding that American steelworkers are between 50% and 90% more productive than British for purely "psychological" reasons. Like The Economist, it doesn't seem particularly interested in presenting the statistics that lead to this conclusion, or naming the 16 members of the Team, apart from mentioning how many of them work in which management position. (I am going to assume that the unmentioned ones are union members, and would be fascinated to know what they think.) Instead, it spends rather a long time speculating on how British unions (unlike American ones) get in the way of productivity. I had thought that the United Steelworkers were rife with "featherbedding," at least, that is what I have been told with great force. Either I was wrong, or the British are even worse.

"War Time Production in the United States" Two books about wartime production in the United States are out. Actually, they are about wartime production at MIT and GE, so institutions in the United States. Also, MIT didn't actually make anything, just designed things that were made. They're by John Burchard and David Woodbury, respectively. Burchard has all of the institutional details from the place that spent $10 million to not make things, while Woodbury has a long string of anecdotes about the glorious successes of Westinghouse corporation, which is better than any dumb collection of statistics because it's so colourful.

Still better than a The Economist review. Not as good as the reviews in the actual review section.

Notes visits the International Congress of the History of Science, which is currently organising the next international conference  of the History of the Association For Promoting Ink and Paper Consumption By Writing Out Pointlessly Long Organisation Titles. The James Watt Appreciation Society is having a James Watt Appreciation Dinner, as see above, The Newcomen Society had a meeting where Maxim's flying machine was discussed. The Royal Aeronautical Society has had an interesting session where interesting papers were heard, including one about wing flutter that was very mathematical. We'd love to tell you more, but that's a paragraph already. The "Electrical Supply in New Zealand" conference gets similar treatment.


Jas. Jackson, a Dutch engineer in the West Indies, writes to point out that Engineering is completely wrong about the relative proportion of bogie-, versus rigid-mounted railcars in the United States. D. V. Onslow doesn't care that the argument about metric versus Imperial is over. It misused the German word "technisch, and that will not be allowed to stand. R. Tandy defends engineering apprentices against the allegation that they put on airs like college men.

"The Institute of Metals, cont" Over at the 41st session, papers were heard on the relationship of silicon content to crack formation in aluminum alloys was heard; followed by one on the segregation and liquidification of alloys, the mechanism of creep, and on variation in Young's modulus with temperature.

G. V. Manley, "Fifty Years Survey of Merchant Ships Abandoned, Foundered, or Missing" I know that both you and Uncle George have copies of the original report, and the Engineering article just reproduces the summary tables with a minimum of commentary, so I will just pass over it here.

Launches and Trial Trips An impressive 1 motor vessels but only one steamship (Brighton, a twin-screw 1400 passenger ferry for the Channel service), plus an unnamed lifeboat from Samuel White, a 45ft diesel.

Labour Notes W. B. Beard, in his Monthly Trade Report, says that the only alternative to devaluation was unemployment, and that Sir Stafford says that there won't need to be another devaluation, and that the trade situation will right itself. Bright thinks that this is wrong, and that wages have to come down, or that unemployment will go up; and that what was really needed was slavery. Excuse me, I mean, "compulsory direction of labour." We have been living beyond our means, says Mr. Beard. More trade with Eastern Europe was no solution, he says, because their prices are too high. The TUC, meanwhile, disagrees.

A. B. Middleton, "The Production of Platinum by Powder Metallurgy" I know what you're thinking, but this isn't an article about alchemy at all. The issue is that it is hard to get your hands on pure platinum metal to make platinum things. It used to be made by burning ammonium chloroplatinum, which is, I assume, the easiest way to collect up the platinum atoms that exist in nature. (Sounds like it might be one of those things you get when you wash ore in assorted acids and bases, maybe?) Anyway, the upshot was a grey powder or sponge, which it was then hard to turn into billets for working. Modern powder metallurgy solves the problem, evidently by sintering it. That is, I am taking the editorial position that no-one around here needs to know how powder metallurgy turns powdered platinum into solid, thin sheets and wires. I could be wrong, but I'm the redactor!

Haswell Alder, E. L. J. Potts, and Arthur Walker, "Yield-Pillar Technology in Deep Coal Mining --I" Deep coal mining is hard because the weight of the ground on top is greater than any practical artificial support. No pit props, in other words. Pillars must be left in place to support the overhead "strata," which is tricky, because the strength of the pillar depends on the material being dug. Up in Northumberland and Durham, they'be been working this out for many years. The authors have seen a 1708 pamphlet called The Compleat Collier, which describes "yield pillar" working at 30ft depth. Ye Compleat Collier left pillars of coal unworked, the problem being that people would get to greedy and chisel at the pillar until it collapsed, which is bad for the Ye Compleat Colliers digging away at it! And the deeper you get, the bigger the pillars. Various tricks were soon put into place allowing the pillar to be cut away as the miners withdrew from the mine. Longwall working developed in the Eighteenth Century as a way of avoiding the pillars altogether. It involves plenty of technical talk about the "road" and "bord" that gets the miners to the coal, but the gist of it is that the actual mine is dug through the not-coal parts. While wasteful of effort, it gets more coal out. Longwall working is easy to mechanise, and is the coming thing in the United States. (Which helps explain why American coal miners don't rule the world, considering that they cut three times as much coal as the British workers. It's because the time spent tunnelling through not-coal isn't counted!) The authors are very high on longwall working, which means that they need to explore the bearing strength of the not-coal, which can be many kinds of material, so there!

Notes on New Books E. Molov, et al, have Electrical Installations, which is a compact(!) 550 page edition of the top hits of The Electrical Engineer Reference Book of last year. The print is very small, so this is a very handy 550 page book. A stocking stuffer! Henry Miller's Cold Cathode Fluorescent Lighting is a searing treatment of the loves, infidelities and indecencies of a method illuminating factories and other large buildings. Full of self-loathing but not details of hot cathode fluorescent lighting. It is very jerky, and not suitable for the broader public, although specialists may find it of use. Stanley Gale's Drainage of Land, Estates and Buildlings is unfortunately not a book of civil engineering written by a major modern American author at odds with the Comstock Laws. It's too bad, because I imagine Henry Miller knows a lot about drainage, and Norman Mailer probably knows even more. Yes, I'll quit it, now. It's actually for New Town planners.

Engineering, 28 October 1949

F. Laszlo, "Local Overstraining of Metals, Part I" There are many causes of overstrain. What allows this paper to pull together splits caused by hammer forging, pitting caused by coal dust on rails, cracks caused by hot working on surfaces, and so on, is their local character.


The Annual Report of the Director of the Department of Terrestrial Magnetism of the Carnegie Institute of Washington for the Year 1947--1948 isn't going to get reviewed many places,, so this had better be a good one!The Directorate has transferred its observatories in Peru and Australia to their host governments, so this report is more purely physic, dealing with experimental and practical geophysics, nuclear physics and biophysics in its attempt to understand the nature of terrestrial magnetism, and, in particular the "origin of the earth's magnetic field." My understanding that the "origin" is a great big ball of liquid-hot iron in the middle of the Earth, and since we can't exactly go down to the basement and have a look at it, we need to take other approaches. This year's work includes taking samples from Vermont glacial deposits and sediments under the Pacific that were laid down anywhere from 20,000 to a million years ago. The conclusion is that the magnetic material in these deposits is all randomly jumbled up and doesn't tell us anything about thousands and millions of years ago.
Hey! Justina Vale is in this. Good for her!

Better known for promoting the "angels of Mons"!. Also, !!!! 
Another field of inquiry was the measurement of electrical fields at the tops of thunderclouds. This work was mainly useful in working out the bugs in the measuring equipment. The nuclear physics consisted of measuring the angular distribution of the alpha particles produced by the disintegration of lithium with a big old Van de Graaf generator. This sounds like it was fun, and perhaps some science was done along the way. C. Conway Plumbe (which is a real name) has Factory Well-Being, which his about making factories so nice that everyone will want to be there.

Shorter Notes describe the heroic effort required to move a giant synchronous condensers to a New Zealand, though road tunnels and suburbia bar the way. It involved putting a big trailer on a barge, if you want to know. On a similarly heroic scale is a torsion-testing machine in America that takes a million feet-pound of torque.

"The Institute of Metals, Cont." The last technical session of the autumn meeting of the Institute, held in Paris from 3--19 October (RONNIE WANTS EXPENSE ACCOUNT) heard two papers on the structure of aluminum rich binary and ternary alloys, which dealt mainly with forming and working methods. (Heating, tempering, crystallisation). There followed papers on inclusions in magnesium alloys, and the one on the production of platinum alloys by powder metallurgy.

Shorter notes on this page mention Pilkington Brother's work on double-glazed glass, which they dub "Insulite." Insulite has much better insulating properties than regular glass and "do not become misty inside." I found this a bit mystifying at first, as it took until the second paragraph to explain that the miracle properties of Insulite come from it being two thin panes of glass separated by an air space. Insulite passes 0.50 BTU per square foot per degree Fahrenheit per hour, compared with 1 for single-pane glass and 0.45 for a single-course brick wall. The largest available pane of Insulite is 80 by 80 inches, and it is light enough to be installed in a regular window frame. Reggie felt compelled to show me the math, which I actually appreciate, because it is very keen. It's the same as for an electrical circuit! Working it out seems like there is quite a bit of room for improvement here. This could be big news for builders.

Gilbert Cook, "Properties of Engineering Materials" was the Presidential Address to the Institute of Engineers and Shipbuilders of Scotland, given on 4 October 1949. It is actually a summary of how engineers approach the "plasticity" of materials. Engineers talk of compression, elasticity, and fluidity. But are these the right concepts to be working with as we approach a new era of "overstrain?" In the course of WWI, French engineers developed a method of creating "locked in overstrains" by autofrettage, which allowed the production of guns that could sustain, well, bigger booms. Reggie tells me that "locked in overstrains" to be the kind of thing that the poor dears of the mechanical engineering department conjure up for fear of being bit by a rabid quantum mechanic and turning into a partial differential equation by the light of the full moon. But it might also be that we don't actually know that much about what is going on down there in the "crystal lattices" formed by individual atoms. I'll just go on about it because autofrettage is one of those newfangled things that came out of the war and which might change our lives un unguessed-at ways. Being that it's about thick-wall tubes containing fluids, I am plumping for dorm showers that don't keep trying to scald me alive.
 Once again, the page, and in fact, next page as well, is taken up by shorter unsigned notes, probably from the pr department. The first is about the Bristol 175 airliner, of which 25 have been ordered, whether with Centaurus or Proteus is still not settled. The Coal Utilisation Training Centre now exists. The Thompson Grinder Company of Springfield, Ohio, has quite a large and modern horizontal surface grinder, with push-button control. Lincoln Electric has a pamphlet on designing for arc welding. The Research Laboratory of the British Internal Combustion Engine Research Association had an open house day last week. Engineering went out and took pictures of assorted equipment in use for studying "torsional vibrations, pressure charging, gas turbines, etc." The laboratory has 31 investigations ongoing, including one testing cylinder engine starters for gas turbines.
Under the heading of pressure charging comes unpressuted work, I guess. The Laboratory has some looted German engines that it is using to investigate engine timing. Including a four-stroke diesel, so maybe there's hope for them after all? Or maybe it is just a convenient way of testing the octane rating of diesel fuels. Although they have special engines from Armstrong Siddeley for testing low-grade fuels.

"Supervisory Control at London Central Line Stations" The London subway system receives power at high voltage from the National Grid through eleven rectifier substations, ten of which were provided by GEC, which has unleashed a publicist who is determined to explain why their control consoles are better and faster at recovering from a power outage because you only have to pull this switch and press that button, and the action is very snappy.

British Standards Specifications 

New standards for strip steel for packaging, cast-iron and pressed steel sectional tanks and ship's cargo lifting blocks. Actually, sectional tanks are covered in two Specifications, one each for cast iron and pressed steel. They sound quite detailed, with, for example, tables of scantling dimensions.


"Economies and Economics" Engineering joins the general chorus of disappointment that the Government's austerity programme envisions only £250 million in cuts, especially since some will be at the expense of planned power generation. Disinflationary cuts are aimed especially at capital investment and building. Engineering is still a critic of the capital investment cuts, and thinks more can be done to cut building, especially when building materials have to be imported. Overall, however, it seems clear that something is not right and that something must be done, although instead of saying just what, Engineering wanders off with an analogy about how an aircraft in a fatal spin should be pulled out of it with the rudder and not the elevator. In other words, a "change of course is needed." When The Economist does this, I know that it is being vague because everyone gets mad at it when it advocates for high unemployment. When Engineering does it, all I know is that for a technical paper, it sure doesn't know much about spin recovery!

"Road Problems" The Road Research Board used to just research road construction, but at some point back before the war, safety was added to the job list because road accidents were costing as much as road building. So maybe not enough road building? During the war, the Board did war research. Now that the war is over, it is back on the warpath. Its annual report shows that most accidents are at intersections, but also that many if not most accidents are on straightaways. Ronnie is confused, and doesn't find Engineering's explanation all that helpful.

Ronnie thinks what's actually going on is that intersections are only dangerous if there is intersecting traffic. Where there isn't, most of the accidents are due to cars overtaking on the straightaway. The Road Research Board has no idea what is causing this (but if you read between the lines, it thinks people don't know how to drive). The Board has looked at some American jurisdictions that have instituted compulsory brake and signal testing, and thinks that the British might try it.

Check out the Argyris link.
He's a computing pioneer! 

Engineering is very impressed by the Comet's run to Castel Benito on the 25th at an average speed of 440mph outbound at 35,000ft, and 456mph for the return leg, less time on the round trip than a single leg on BOAC. Lloyd's report on world shipbuilding shows that the amount of shipping under construction is the second highest recorded after December 1921. Britain is producing a little mover 2 million tons, more than six months ago, but 190,000t less than in June of 1948. The overseas total of 2.5 million tons is increased on no small part by Japan's entry into the lists at 190,000t under construction. The Royal Aeronautical Society's second series of sectional lectures heard from Mr. J. Hadji-Argyris on new methods of stressing aircraft designs. The Twenty-Fifth Cycle and Motorcycle Show at Earl's Court, London, was the occasion to notice that Britain exported 1.3 million bicycles and 56,000 motorcycles last year. Bicycles are being made with double frames for extra strength on bad roads, with built-in stands for parking on streets with no kerbs, hub dynamos for lights, and with increasing use of aluminum and plastic mudguards for lightness. Most frames have drop-out wheels for easier maintenance. The Electricity Supply Commission for South Africa's twenty-fifth anniversary report is a very attractive booklet with pictures of the distinguished members of the board and statistics drawn from the Census of Industrial Production, which I think is cheating. South Africa has just short of 2 million kW/hours installed, and there was exciting progress in new generating stations this year.

The Institution of Mechanical Engineers had a dinner and heard the President speak on increasing productivity through shift work and more mechanical geegaws.


C. L. Champion writes to point out that the only reason so many non-university engineers (apprentices) are being hired right now is that industry is desperate for help. In more normal times, the existing undergraduate programmes could probably fill most of industry's needs, and should. All Britain's competitors are training their engineers at universities, and that universities should think about giving engineers a more general training and perhaps letting them take a few arts courses even. J. A. L. Matheson, the Dean of Engineering at the University of Melbourne, has opinions about how a general-purpose 30t universal testing machine should look.

"The International Association for Hydraulic Structures Research" The third session of the international association of dam builders and designers met in swanky digs in France in September, heard many papers, visited the Neyrpic research laboratory, and went on a motor coach tour of scenic Provence, with special attention to hydraulic structures.

Harold J. Burke, "Fighting Fire at Sea" Captain Burke is a US naval reservist with special experience in fighting fires aboard our aircraft carriers during the Pacific war. He covers the problems of maintaining stability with free water from fire fighting on deck; the modern proportional pump, which reduces same to the amount needed to fight the fire; low pressure foam, which is a good alternative to water; high pressure foam, which takes up less tank space but breaks down quickly; fog sprinklers,which, again, are more efficient in their use of water; personal breathing apparatus, which uses oxygen in solid alkalis, released by wetting them. He recommends that firefighters wear helmets and carry oxy-acetylene torches. Bow areas should be designated as refuges for crew not needed for fire fighting efforts. In the event of another mass mobilisation war, firefighting training should begin before men go aboard ship, so that they can take advantage of mock-ships on land.

"Old Gasholder at Fulham" What is believed to be the oldest working gasholder in the world was recently opened up for public viewing by the North Thames Gas Board during regular maintenance. Built in 1830, possibly by a Mr. William and a Mr. Ward, it was a brick and puddle construction, 102ft by 32, and was opened up only 17 years after gas was first supplied in the area.

Shorter notes on this page cover some electrical generating equipment going to "Palestine," specifically Haifa; Blaw-Knox's materials-testing reactor, which will basically shoot radiation at various building materials so that the AEC can assess their use in future atomic power reactors, and Australia's plans for airports to serve Sydny and Adelaide, as well developments at Essenden (Melbourne), where one of the originally-planned concrete runways has had to be built of bitumin and crushed stone due to the shortage of concrete in Australia.

Launches and Trial Trips has a more even distribution of five steam and five motor vessels. The steamships include Goulistan, Champavati, Rohdas, Northern Queen and Irish Hazel. All except Irish Hazel are small, special purpose vessels (ferries and one trawler.) Motor vessels Stringham Sands, Nordpol, Samuel Clegg, Cormandel and Felipes is a more varied selection of two tankers, one collier, one small ferry and two cargo vessels.

Labour Notes There's been a bit of excitement in British yards over the possibility that they might build ships for the US Merchant Marine. While it is true that American yards are not competitive on price, the solution, everyone reminds British builders, is going to be higher subsidies, not foreign orders. That doesn't mean that there shouldn't be economies in British yards --and elsewhere, as the rest of the section is devoted to various unions seeking higher wages and various important people assuring them that they would be the ruin of Britain.

"Yield-Pillar Technique in Deep Coal Mining--I" I suppose that last week's installment was in the way of an introduction, and this week's installment is the actual first part. No, wait, this is Part I, Concluded, and is immediately followed by Part II. Take that, bibliographers of the future!  Part I, concluded, covers a particular mine in the North where the "roads" were driven particularly well, while the second part is a summary of recent American photoelastic studies of stress in yield pillars.

"The Avro Jetliner"A short article on the design of the Jetliner drawing from the same manufacturer's writeup followed by Aviation Week, although I don't remember quite as much detail about the electrical system (28v DC), high pressure hydraulics, or engine mountings as in Engineering. Quite a good writeup, as far as it goes, but we still don't have performance information.

C. T. Melling, "Industrial Electrification and National Productivity" The mechanical engineers having made their claim, it is time for the electrical supply industry to posit that the key to increasing British productivity is more use of electricity. From using 1500kwH/year per worker in 1935, British industry has increased to 2100kW/h in 1948, which is a disappointingly small figure, considering that American workers use 7000kW/h. However, the statistics are based on completely different measurements, so that actually British workers have the same amount of electricity as American. I have no idea how that works. This is also disappointing in that since 1920, when they were about level, British productivity has increased by 65%, American by 150%, so that in some industries American workers produce twice or five times as much as British, which is very depressing. The solution is probably even more electricity.

Shorter notes cover a handbook on signalling and recent Upper Atmospheric Research in the United States, which is for some reason not under Notes on New Books which has received W. S. Hemp, The Elementary Theory of Stressed Skin Construction and Scientific Survey of North-Eastern England. The former is an "excellent" 31 page non-mathematical summary, with indications of how detailed calculations should be carried out. The second is a report by a Nosy Parker investigative committee of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, which went around various labs and the like, and got the scoop on how science is faring in the faraway Northeast.

A Precis of Aviation Week for the Back Half of the Month

As I write this, I find that somehow my copy of the 27 October number of Flight is missing, probably at Reggie's flat. Well, I am certainly not going to let this letter hang around for another two or three days when I have two issues of Aviation Week on hand!

The 17 October Aviation Week News Sidelights feature surveys the fight between small aircraft builders and the CAA, which keeps trying to regulate them, the fight between MATS and the big American builders, who have so far only delivered a single four-engined transport that really meets the Military Air Transport Service's requirements, E. H. Atkin's cold shower for flying wing transport enthusiasts, the Oklahoma Congressional delegation's faint-hope fight to preserve the 58 group air force, raiding betwixt Boeing's major unions in Seattle, the CAA's attempt to standardise air jargon so as to make plane-tower chatter more understandable, and the CAA's efforts to gain an extension for its airport expansion budget authorisation beyond 1953. News Digest notes the grounding of the Martin Mars following the engine-falling-off-on-the-way-to-Hawaii incident, Wright's new ramjet engine testing facility in New Jersey, the unexplained loss of a Grumman XTB3F  during a propeller check flight, the T-28's ahead-of-schedule progress, Harold S. Stuart's nomination to be Assistant Secretary of the Air Force, the Slick Airlines crash at Cheyenne, Virginia Sweet winning the Amelia Earhart scholarship, and De Havilland Canada's booming business in Chipmunks, and Beavers.

Industry Observer updates us with Air Force thinking about trainers, with the contract possibly going to Fairchild, Beech or TEMCO. A paragraph-long explanation of how the Double Mamba works in the new Fairey Type 17 goes on to point out that a similar Allison T-40 installation will go intot he Convair P5Y-1. The Convair XF-92 may achieve supersonic flight under afterburner. The De Havilland Dove (twin Gipsy Queens) will soon have American certification.

"Navy Berates the USAF Concept of Air Power" Aviation Week has taken its stand against the Navy --or, really, the carrier navy, but does try to summarise the argument, which also recruited Brigadier General Vernon Megee of the Marines to argue that not only does the strategic air force shortchange the navy, it also neglects the army, or tactical air power. General Megee finds the Russian method of controlling tactical air power to be vastly superior.  Various junior naval aviators appeared to explain how navy fighters could sweep the B-36 from the skies if they were only allowed. The Skynight's radar allows it to make interceptions from 20 miles range, and the night fighter version of the Banshee will have a similar capability at night. Commander Metsger pointed out that either the Me-163 or the Me-262 could intercept the B-36, pointing out that the Me-262 intercepted and shot down several Mosquito photoreconnaissance aircraft, a similar problem. to intercepting B-36s.

An article about the current round of "secret" budget cuts brings the total up to $800 million. The Navy is to lose $353 million, $203 million in aircraft procurement, the Air Force will lose $150 million, the Army, $300 million. The Department of Defence points out that it is up to the services how they absorb the cuts, so the Navy is choosing to give up planes (from 843 to 570). Fred Vinson isn't appeased for a second, noting that it will be limping along with only 6 large and 8 small carriers, a mere 6 carrier air groups and 12 Marine squadrons, plus 20 patrol squadrons, down from 30, and 7 anti-submarine squadrons, down from 8. He foresees a dismal future in which the Navy is reduced to escorting convoys and operating submarines.

And just because the Russians won't build a navy. It's not fair! For the Air Force, cuts will hit the Lockheed F-94 night fighter, Convair T-29 trainer, all small transport contracts,  the Fairchild C-119B, and the Republic F-94, as well as reducing B-36 procurement in 1950 from 51 to 40 planes.

So it looks as though Reggie is safe for now! Technically the 50% cut in patrol squadrons hits his side of things, but "anti-submarine" just means the planes with all the electrics, or as we say now, "avionics." That's Reggies' strong suit, so he won't be hitting civilian street any time soon. I wonder if there's any call for lawyers in Formosa? There is also good news for Fairchild, as the navy orders eight photo versions of the Banshee to carry the CA-8 camera, forty of which will be ordered to go into patrol planes  as well, if and when the Navy gets one with acceptable high-altitude performance, since it is shifting to all high-altitude photoreconnaissance. So long, Privateer!

The CAA's new runway requirements have dropped cross-wind landing requirements on the assumption that castering wheels are about to become standard.

"First Details of Avro's Orenda Turbojet" The Canadian entry is a large turbojet of conventional design with unusually good combustion properties. Canada deserves a pat on the head and a crisp new five dollar bill from Uncle.

"Periscopic Sextant: U.S. British Versions" In the great battle to see whether mother or rebellious son is victorious in this bold new technological departure, we look at the latest Kollsman, installed in the Constellation, and DC-4, over and against the Henry Hughes version specified for the Canadair Four. It turns out that both companies hurried into action after that navigator was blasted out of an astro-hatch in 1946, I think? The differences? Mountings, horizontal reference (mirror versus spirit level). The British one has an integrator with an electrical motor, while the American one is driven by a clockworks that is wound by a gear off the integrating lever. The Kollsman guards against moisture with sealing and a dessicant inside, while the Hughes has heating. Everyone loves the Kollsman, whilst no-one Aviation Week could find knew anything about the Hughes instrument, which is probably British rubbish.

American Airlines has fitted up a Convair Liner with a Navy APS-10 search radar to test its suitability for airline operations. It is good for weather and helpful for navigation, but the most obvious use, assisting in blind flying, will have to wait on better stabilisation. It's also a bit heavy.

"How Navy Solves its Jet Problems" The Navy jet problem is that Navy jets keep running into the crash barriers at top speed on account of jet engines taking their own sweet time to respond to the throttle. Proper design is apparently the key --if Navy jets are slow enough, they won't have to be waved off so often, and the lower wing loading gives them better climb and high altitude performance. The Navy has other advantages. For example, its jets can be shorter ranged, because the carrier itself provides them with range. Okay, that's a bit of a head scratcher. Aviation Week hurries on to point out that that doesn't mean that the Navy is neglecting range. Range is important! With the United States, the Navy would have solved all naval jet problems forever, but since the mean old Air Force made the President cancel it, the Navy is focussing on bringing its existing carriers up to date. It is also working on proper instruments for jet fighters, and particularly some kind of jet thrust indicator, but also horizon, turn-and-bank, angle and fuel indications, because everything goes into the pilot's attempt to hit the right approach angle and maintain it as airspeed sinks. Radar, the promised solution to B-36s whizzing through the interception zone, is a fast-moving field of activity, as is armament and new homing equipment. The Navy has finally given up on the .50 in favour of the 20mm cannon, and is working on engine starters, with the AiResearch gas-turbine-compressed air system favoured. Aboard carriers, better degassing facilities and deck carts are needed, with the latter needing considerable armoured protection of various volatiles such as pilot's oxygen in the event of assorted oopsies.

The crash report on the Pan American Convair Liner that crashed on takeoff from Havana on 9 December was probably caused by the crew's inability to stop the plane in time after two tires blew. The crew thought they felt an unusual vibration, but it turns out they were just imagining things. The plane had two reversible Hamilton Standard propellers with the reversing feature made inoperative by the carrier. The CAA's conclusion is that the braking system needs emergency modification, followed by installation of a new high-power brake system as soon as possible.

The week's Editorial is upset that New York won't protect the scabs trying to bust the strike at Bell. This had me a bit burned up. Then it went on to point out that while there aren't enough sheriffs and state troopers protecting people trying to cross the picket lines in Buffalo, there were 1000 deputy sheriffs and 200 state troopers  "preserving order" at the Hollow Brook Country Club near Peekskill on 4 September, when Paul Robeson and concert goers were attacked at his concert. Aviation Week reluctantly accepts that stoning Communists is bad, at least if it also means that stoning scabs is bad. Dewey is a coward preserving "pink and labour" votes.

 The 24 October issue covers the "budget victory,"as Congress allows the Defence Department $500 million above the Administration's request, allowing movement towards the 58 group air force and a total procurement of more than 2500 new aircraft. The services are directed to make the usual savings on waste and and overhead. Aviation Week points out that the Russians are three years ahead of their atomic development timetable while the Air Force is two years behind its target of a 70 group force.

News Digest on the week is corporate, union and personnel news and recycled stuff from Flight. Industry Observer predicts that between two and three West Coast builders will anounce turbojet transport projects soon. American airlines are moving to aluminum propeller blades after problems with hollow steel blades. Piper is working on a five-place twin-engine type based on the Bauman Brigadier, which is the plane that a letter-writer in Flight was whining about, if you're wondering. The Piper Brigadier is expected to fly in December.  McDonnell is putting a short afterburner in its XF-88 Voodoo that is expected to provide a 40% thrust boost.

"Symington Counter-Attacks the Admirals" The Secretary of the Air Force takes the stand before the House Armed Services Committee to bring it up to date on the "revolt of the admirals." It all begins, in his telling, with an anonymous attack on USAAF strategic bombing entitled "The Strategic Bombing Myth," which is, in Franklin D'Olier's words, a "deliberate falsification aimed at distorting the conclusions of the survey report." (that is, the United States Strategic Bombing Survey.) Many phrases and mis-statements used by the admirals in their testimony are found in the report, which was also used by a Naval Reserve group in New York. Another anonymous document, traced to Cedric Worth in the Navy Undersecretary's office, touched off the investigation into corruption in the B-36 procurement. Several naval officers  have been implicated in Worth's activities. Symington goes on to show that the Navy had been concerting its story since a 1947 speech by Admiral Nimitz, and he went on to deal with several specific allegations, showing that the Air Force wasn't depending on the B-36 alone, and that various critics skeptical of the value of atomic bombing were inaccurate in various ways that I'm not going to go into in detail since it seems so frankly crazy to me.

At this point the Navy got in its licks, with General Cates of the Marine Corps accusing the Army of being jealous of the Marines and of plotting to reduce them to a police force, while Admiral Denfield swung in behind Radford and the revolting admirals in spite of being in the middle of a second term as CNO, appointed by Truman. Denfield, a submariner, deems air power the dominant element of American armed power, and wants the Navy to have its share. After trying to throw procedural roadblocks in the way of B-36 procurements, Denfield briefly touches the realms of sanity to point out that the Navy mainly needs planes to counter submarines, before pushing back off into cloud-cuckoo land by explaining that this means air attacks on submarine bases, shipyards and training areas. The Navy needs aerial minelayers, hunter-killer groups, patrol planes, helicopters and blimps to detect schnorkel submarines. He is still upset about the cancellation of the United States, blaming General Bradley for siding with the Air Force in a two-on-one vote.

Following this, a "galaxy" of admirals turned out to defend the super-carrier, at which point there is a bit of a pivot, with Admiral Blandy arguing that strategic bombing was actually useful in the war, but that just means that the Navy needs atom bombers. Admiral Connolly linked supercarriers to the defence of Europe, while Admiral Luis de Florez says that the Navy needs them for up-to-date training. Captain Thatch says that the Navy needs supercarriers because otherwise it won't have a place to put its jet fighters.

Paul Robeson being attacked by state troopers and sheriff's
deputies at the Peekskill riot
In strike news, the Alcoa strike won't affect aircraft production much, and the Bell strike has ended after the New York state mediation was successful

Ralph Damon and Eddie Rickenbacker agree that the British aren't going to sell any Ambassadors, Comets or Viscounts into the American market, no matter how good they are, because of really good reasons that hardly need explaining. In fairness to Rickenbacker, his comments get fuller airing a bit below. He is worried about exhaust melting runways and lack of spare parts, and hopes that a Government appropriation of $75-$100 million will get the American industry back into competition before the Comet gets out of its proving trials, which are likely to go on for a few years yet.

In other news that makes Americans look a little crazy, the CAA and the National Air Races are trying to keep the Cleveland Air Races. Cleveland is willing to stage the races again, as long as they don't fly over populated areas, which I think basically means "Cleveland." The NAA, more hopefully, thinks that by raising the altitude, revising medical requirements and requiring anti-G suits might be enough, while the Goodyear midget race will required dynamically-balanced ailerons. The basic problem here is that the P-5 that took Bill Odom into a house and killed a mother and a baby, didn't do so because Bill Odom passed  out. It did so because it flipped on its back while doing 400mph at 500ft due to an attempted course correction, and the reason for that is probably that there was something seriously wrong with the rudder balance, and the reason for that is probably Jackie Cochrane's harebrained scheme to replace the airscoop with wingtip radiators. But if we looked at the plane, someone might criticise Cochrane, and you can't have that! (And Jimmy Stewart, who also had a souped-up Mustang in the race.)

"Analyzing the British Proteus Turboprop" This is a reprint of an article that's already run in Flight. It's a pretty detailed description of the free-wheel turbine design that is going into the Bristol 175.

A shorter piece covers the Commonwealth CA-22, and another long technical article assess the new Y-member stiffener approved after recent NACA tests.

"Muddling in High Places" Jimmy McGraw Junior's long-missing line-wide editorial appears this number to denounce devaluation.  Junior points out that production is far ahead of prewar volume, "thanks largely to the Marshall Plan," but "trade between nations is shackled as it has never been since the 18th Century." Junior points out that the question is whether America can "generate trade between nations, as Britain did in the 19th century." Britain can't do it, because of socialism. By reducing the working day, letting "welfare economics run riot,": and allowing "[h]igh taxes . . .  sap . . . initiative, they have ruined everything. Labour and capital cling to cartels and featherbedding, and government controls and trading "hamstring private initiative." Nationalisation is bad, too! But now that he's blamed British socialism for the world's trade problem, Junior goes on to point out that it isn't actually socialism's fault, because "[v]irtually every country in the world, socialist or not, faces the same dollar crisis that Britain faces." America has a postiive trade balance with the world, and yet wonders why there is as dollar crisis. Americans need to decide whether they want world trade or an export surplus, and the British need to decide whether they want trade or socialism. Yes, these are different sides of the same coin, except in the sense of being completely not that! But having established that, Junior can go on and prescribe solutions, which include cuts in British government spending, less socialism, and less managed trade. In return, the IMF might fund British trade for a while, and there might be some kind of vague American support for "meeting" Britain's war debts with India, Pakistan and Egypt. Also, there should be more American investment abroad, and cuts in the American tariff barriers.

. . . Or we could recognise that the dollar is trading above its value and do something about that, except it would hurt the farmers and spur inflation, so no thanks on that score.

"Design Compromises Cut in Orenda" A very interesting article on the production of the Orenda, which used some  neat tricks to reduce design compromises. For example, Avro developed a "pantograph-type" grinder so that turbine blades and compressor blades could be machined more readily, reducing the effort required in making the dies. In other production news, Aeronca has achieved bankruptcy relief, and de Havilland is buying some Hufford "stretch wrap" presses.

"DH Comet: British Firm's Private Gamble"

Aviation Week assures us that the Comet was a private initiative and not a state-sponsored design at all, which just goes to show that the appearance of the world's first turbojet from a socialist and nationalising country is actually a victory for free enterprise. Except for the part where it was developed from the DH108 contract and the part where the Ministry of Supply guaranteed the purchase of the prototype as an experimental aircraft.
The Comet is a pretty amazing plane. It has 30 degree wing sweepback, uses the same epoxy (Redux) fastening method developed in the Hornet, cruises at 40,000ft. The ailerons give it competitive landing and takeoff performance at below 100mph, which is specially notable given the way people are talking about the rocket-launched B-47 as the basis for a competitor. As de Havilland points out, there is no way to re-design current jet bombers to give a top speed of over 500mph and a landing speed under 100. The only way to do that is to start with a transport. Unlike American jets, the Ghost engines are buried in the wings, giving good drag performance, which contributes to that high cruising speed and good fuel consumption. Hopefully, it will have improved enough to make the Comet a 6-hour London-New York transport by 1953.

British Commonwealth Pacific lost £160,000 in its first year of operations, which is deemed to be not so bad.

A Letters section turns up mainly because Aviation Week has some good letters on hand. K. R. Duke of writes to sell Edison fire detectors, which isn't really what a letters section is for, but Noah Davis' very long letter about rockets, although also an advertisement, in this case for Buffalo Electro-Chemical, which is working on hydrogen peroxide rocket assisted takeoff in lieu of the existing nitromethane rockets, is long and well-sourced. It's also a bit tendentious, if you ask me, as it is intended to prove that hydrogen peroxide rockets are safer than nitro-methane rockets, which isn't, as I understand it, actually true or anything! Beverly Howard writes in about the September 12th editorial that suggested that air adventurers try harder to not crash into occupied homes at 400mph. If the National Air Races don't continue, what will happen to competition and free initiative and enterprise? It will be all down to long-haired engineers and factory test pilots, who will probably not kill hardly any babies at all. What of progress, then?

The 31 October number doesn't find any news for the News Digest or News Sidelights, but Industry Observer tells Admiral Radford that there are only 103 B-36s on order, with another 67 ordered as RB-36E reconnaissance photo-planes and another 51 to be ordered in 1950. Observer then goes full on at the Navy for slashing 500 anti-submarine aircraft from its budget, and reports that Piper is not going ahead with its version of the Brigadier. Northrop will be test-flying the jet version of the B-35 with Turbodyne engines soon.

"New Uses for Air Refuelling" The title is a lie. Air refuelling is for refuelling in the air. The USAF is doing its first trials with refuelling equipment on transports, but as this bleary, weary reader can tell you, Flight Refuelling has been pushing that for years.

Aviation Week takes yet another victory lap over Secretary Johnson putting down the "Revolt of the Admirals." General Bradley bluntly reminds the Navy that until such time as the Russians build a navy and occupy a bunch of Pacific islands, it is not going to be able to plan for an island-hopping campaign. The Italian Vampire contract is reported. The helicopter industry is up in arms over some changes in helicopter rules. Trans-Australian is reported to be planning to buy Avro C-102 airliners and to have them in service by November of 1950. "RAF Tests New Anti-Sub Planes" is an interesting way to describe preliminary tests of the Fairey 17 and its Blackburn rival, especially the week after the Grumman prototype crash. The CAA has been bluntly told by local airport managers that the new one-runway rule for Class I airports is not going to fly. The CAA might believe in castering wheels, but airport managers don't. I guess we shouldn't all run out and buy Goodyear stocks after all. The WAA is making a new push to get rid of the old war plane plants, Douglas is making more money, and the McDonnell F2H Banshee gets as feature article.

"Stronger Tubes for Harder Usage" The National Bureau of Standards is doing tests so that it can write specifications for "ruggedised" vacuum tubes capable of withstanding higher shocks and greater temperature extremes. They are described at some length.

"British Turboprops Threaten US Market" Apart from "Vickers sales manager Robert Handasyde," it's not clear who thinks that the Viscount and Apollo threaten US markets. Aviation Week seems to think so, and it has a point. It's pretty much common sense that a faster, noise, low-maintenance and vibration-free plane would take some business away from old American clunkers! But right now, American airline operators seem determined to ignore them.

The final Editorials for the month announce the Aviation Week safety awards. Hugh de Haven, who investigates the relationshipo between crash injuries and structural causes, Leonard Greene, of the "Greene anti-stall warning device," American Airline's home movie section, and the Flight Safety Foundation at LaGuardia are the winners. Actually, American is getting the award for some excellent safety movies shown to passengers ("This Way Out") and to the Coast Guard, focussing on aircraft safety at sea.


Several (male) correspondents are upset that the Chordettes are a female barbershop quartet, but not on the grounds that they are women, because that would be pure misogyny. Stephen Gonczy and John Maass were pleasantly surprised by the article on European posters, which they thought were too modern and, well, European to make an American middlebrow rag. Several letters correct a mistaken claim that Kirsten Flagstad hasn't performed in America in over a decade; no-one was interested in the whole Quisling thing. Old news! Our publisher is excited to tell the world that copies of Newsweek can be found, smuggled, in Eastern Europe, and gloats that Newsweek predicted the Justice Department crackdown on Amtorg, the resignation of Edwin Nourse, and the replacement of the ambassador to Yugoslavia. Our Publisher is so pleased that he is going to predict the date of the next British general election.

The Periscope reports that the President wants a centralised board to coordinate research in the pure sciences. The Defence Department is eagerly awaiting the Navy court martial of Captain Crommelin. It is suggested that there will be no such thing. Secretary Krug will leave the government when he leaves Interior. The House Commerce Committee's comprehensive report is expected to be critical of European socialised medicine and favour the Swedish plan, where patients pay a part of their bill. Mon Wallgren will replace Leland Olds at the Federal Power Commission by a neat little maneouvre. Incidentally, the New England federal power plan is expected to be as big a vote winner as the Brannan plan. Speaking of which, the GOP is having fundraising troubles, while minor employees at the RNC now call it "Taft Headquarters," and the CIO's counter to talk of "Truman's welfare state" is the "ill-fare state." High ranking French and American officers have criticised British Army manoeuvres in Germany for "excessive concenttration of troops on narrow fronts," while talk is turning to the danger of fifth columnists and guerrillas, who will be countered by having the military take over countries with strong leftist movements. Rumours say that "daredevil" "Black Trios" are being recruited from the Communist secret-police training schools and sent into Yugoslavia to eliminate Tito. It is reported that arms are being smuggled from North Korea into Japan to arm its half-million Korean communists. Japanese police officials fear that the 125,000 men they are limited to will not be enough to suppress a Korean Communist uprising. The State Department wants all countries shipping arms to the Middle East to provide details. Newsweek predicts the British general election will be on either 25 May or 30 March. 

Admiral Ushakov is the mightiest warship ever built in the former Soviet
Union. Look at  it there, sustaining the share prices of Blackburn,
Vickers-Barrow and Grumman without even breaking a sweat!
The Russians are reported to be building, or have built, 5 8800t, 35 knot cruisers. They are also buying industrial diamonds in Brazil. The Commodity Corporation's price-guarantee purchases of cottonseed is likely to leave it with a stockpile of 6 million tons at a cost of $278 million, with no prospect of selling it. The Federal government workforce keeps growing while the Air Force is talking about handing primary flight training over to private schools. Business failures have gone u pin 1949, coffee prices are due for a jump, the Home Finance Agency, which is in charge of the Federal slum-clearance programme, might become the largest government agency, oleomargarine taxes will be repealed in January, labour leaders want more liberal unemployment insurance rules.

Ingrid Bergman will make movies in Europe with Roberto Rossellini. Fred Astaire will make a surprise (not any more!) appearance in Bing Crosby's next, Simone Signoret will come to Hollywood to appear beside Gary Cooper in Brightleaf, Vivien Leigh is the likely choice of Streetcar Named Desire. Bella V. Dodd's expose of the US Communist Party, to appear in the Saturday Evening Post, will be shocking, and will earn her $15,000.  The Clarence Day Foundation is shopping the tv and movie rights to Life with Father around at a very reasonable price after the Broadway flop of Life with Mother. 

Washington Trends reports that "anti-unification"officers will resign or be ousted now that the "Revolt of the Admirals" is over. Louis Denfield is among those out, as Truman will back Bradley "to the hilt." The ECA is mad at Europe again, while Commerce Secretary Charles Sawyer has an ambitious plan to help business with lower taxes, greater depreciation, and an overhaul of Federal procurement. He also wants a "more adequate reserve of public-works projects." Various anti-monopoly measures are also expected. The House Expenditure's "blast" against the Maritime Commission probably scuttles any hope of a new merchant-marine programme. The Labour Department's new housing market and price study will shed light on the "problem of apartment-building construction," which real-estate interests believe is being over-emphasised.

National Affairs

"The Babies on Truman's Doorstep" A picture of 5-year-old Richard Feeney feeding squirrels on the White House lawn is just the antidote we need after a month of trouble at Agriculture, Treasury., Defence and in Congress.

"Capturing the Capitol" An army riot-training drill demonstrated just how quickly a bunch of soldiers could "capture the capitol." Or something. I'm honestly not clear. It's not like they arrested the President and Congress and seized the national radio station and the Treasury, like in a real coup!

"What'll We Do?" Now that the Russians have blown up a bomb, probably America will completely lose its nuclear superiority in, oh, say, two years. Harold Urey's solution is less security and less anti-communism, as these drive good scientists away. Which is certainly an interesting approach! Leo Szilard wants to tear up the Atlantic Pact and negotiate an arms-limitation pact with Russia. Newsweek thinks they're both mad.

"Off to Prison" The Smith Act trial has found the leadership of the American Communist Party guilty of advocating the overthrow of the American state, and Judge Medina has sentenced them all to five years and $10,000 in fines, except for Robert Thompson, who is a war hero, and got three years and ten grand.  Newsweek says that the Communist Party is quite pleased to have so many martyrs on its hands.

Newsweek is appalled at Mons Walllgreen's appointment at the FPC, because he is as crony. Burnita Shelton Matthews is the first woman appointed to a Federal district court bench in Washington. The New York senate race is shaping up into something quite exciting --a point that leads off two full pages on the New York elections, from Senate down to the mayoral office. California gets just one.

"$500,000 (Cash) Heaven" Five coloured men and five women last week carried a half million in cash into the Federal Trust Corporation to buy the Newroom Riviera, which will be the latest in Father Divine's string of "heavens," where his followers can live under his particular communal rules.

"Bradley Breath-taker" As the Revolt dies away, someone's attention is turned to the man who actually started it by backing the cancellation of the United States. Not that there's  much to say, given that the Navy's position was that atom bombs were useless unless the Navy had them, which is just ridiculous. Bradley lined up Lawton Collins, Eisenhower, Mark Clark, George Marshall and Herbert Hoover (got to be one dud!) to take the Navy position apart, which they did.

Ernest K. Lindley's column is a parting encomium to Alan Nourse, who leaves naught but Fair Dealers behind him at the Council of Economic Advisers. Lindley is more interested in proving that Nourse was the right man for the job than in all of that "economics" mumbo-jumbo. Everyone knows what's what with economics!

Foreign Affairs

"The Winter Tide Flows for Russia" It's raining in Britain and they have austerity now and that means Russia is winning. (Also, atoms, China, and strikes in America and France.) British austerity will consist of $280 million cut from government expenditures, $98 million from housing, $294 million from "other capital expenditures," $84 million from defence, a charge on prescriptions, a $19  million cut in food subsidies. Rumour claims that Sir Stafford is too sick to continue in office, but he has Ernie Bevins' support. The question now is whether the cuts are large enough. Rising wages would destroy the benefits of devaluation, so there must be deflation to counter the domestic effects of devaluation. Are the cuts enough? Everyone says they aren't. At some point next year Britain's dollar and gold reserves will drop to the point where the Bank of England will no longer be able to honour drafts, and the sterling area will break up.

I couldn't find an online biography of the notorious Mrs.
Fisher in the brief time I have availiable. She's certainly
not in Wikipedia. Anyone know if this gets into Crown?
Newsweek predicts that the cuts will have at least one effect, which is that they will allow Labour to win the next general election, because the Tories haven't shown they can do any better.

Princess Elizabeth is in a bit of a pickle for giving a speech against divorce, even though it was written for her by Rosamund Fisher, president of the Mothers Union and wife of the Archbishop of Canterbury. Apparently, Mrs. Archbishop is "notorious" for her opposition to divorce law reforms.

Hungary is curtailing foreign travel by its sports teams, because the members have a tendency to seek political asylum. In Belgium, there is to be a plebiscite on  whether King Leopold should abdicate. In France, everything is fine except there's still no cabinet. In China, everyone still wants to recognise the Communists except the Americans. But since they have the dollars, everyone else is holding off. Ernie Bevin is in trouble for having said as much. Apparently he's not allowed to have an opinion until he talks to Acheson.

Joseph Phillips' column is the second of a two-parter on Britain and austerity. The British are not enjoying rationing and will like austerity less, but it is their fault for not working hard enough, even though they deny it and it's not really a fair thing to say.

The new session of the UN will be all about Communist-not-liking. The Soviets are particularly upset that Yugoslavia has defeated Czechoslovakia for Eastern Europe's seat on the Security Council, which it thinks is dirty pool. "A gentleman's agreement must prevail for gentlemen," says Andre Vishinsky, predicting "painful consequences."

Latin America sees flooding in Guatemala and a new president of Bolivia, with Enrique Hetzog resigning due to kidney problems, an ongoing revolt, and persistent low tin prices.


"Nourse Out, Fair Deal in Saddle" A bit more detail on Keyserling over Nourse in the third round by TKO.

"Admiral on the March" Admiral's successes on the television front earn David Siragusa a profile. Although Philco and RCA contest the top spot with Admiral, they are established radio producers, while Admiral is a newcomer, so deserves the tiebreaker. Admiral is also trying to get into the refrigerator and electric heater market, but a shortage of steel is getting in the way.

What's New reports Thomas H. Bentley and Company's new power roller, which can be used as is, or loaded with ballast to roll anything from lawns to street patching. Consumer's Shopper of Kingston, New York, is marketing a tooth brush with its own built-in-toothpaste, in a reservoir int he handle, loaded into the brush with a stainless-steel plunger. Both Springfield Woollen and Beacon Manufacturing Company have washable wool blankets. Springfield's "Fortune" brand has no miracle of modern technology involved, but Beacon's is blessed with the magic of Lanaset.

Trends and Changes reports that now that Emil Schram has left the RFC and returned to Wall Street, he no longer believes that Federal loans via the Recovery Financing Corporation is the right way to go, and that the government can best increase the amount of venture capital available by lworing taxes. Hazleton, Pennsylvania, a coal mining town with awful unemployment problems, has raised $700,000 in cash to bankroll a new Auto-Lite factory. If I revisit this story in five years and find that Auto-Lite has skipped town, I will frown very, very harshly at Auto-Lite, and the town's boosters.
Tax cuts are always the answer. 

In shorter news, the Missouri railroad strike is over, the UEW has conceded and filed anti-communist affidavits with the NLRB to stop raiding, Philips will be importing more parts from Europe, thanks to devaluation, and the Supreme Court has overruled the court of appeals, allowing the SEC to continut its investigation of Otis and Company for blocking Kaiser-Frazer stock offerings.

Henry Hazlitt's column, "Devaluation Instead of Freedom" is about how devaluation is a mistake. Britain should have returned to "free exchange rates." If that is impossible, then there should be more freedom to set "profits, wages and salaries." Well, first off, as far as I know, the  whole international trading system is based on fixed exchange rates, but this must go to show the limits of the State of California's schools, because I am just a girl, and Henry Hazlitt is an internationally renowned writer on economics and finances with a well-trimmed moustache and a very nice suit. (American men are never overdressed, even when a Newsweek columnist can afford a fitted, double-breasted suit.) It's nice to hear that Hazlitt is in favour of higher wages now. Last month I got the impression that higher wages are just passed on to the customer as higher prices, and are therefore bad. This month it turns out that they are critical to moving labour over to exporting industries. But given that rising wages aren't on (I am not sure that Henry can spell "deflation," much less explain it), then, somehow, devaluation won't work after all. The author of Economics in One Easy Lesson doesn't explain how that is, either. Although he does claim that Sir Stafford doesn't understand it. (Either.)

Science, Medicine, Education

"Farmer Rat" Ranchers don't like mesquite, but Merriam kangaroo rats[*] do, and "farm" it by burying mesquite seed. Missed seed, its chances of sprouting improved by a bit of gnawing, grow into new plants.  This is just like the modern and scientific mechanical scarring that promotes sweet clover growth.

"Dangerous Sound" Horace O. Parrack, the head of the Air Force's bio-acoustic research division at Wright Field, who has sacrificed "half an ear to science" by exposing himself to a shrieking siren until his eardrum burst, rendering his right ear "insensitive to high-pitched sounds," has told the National Safety Council that so-called "ultrasonic sickness" doesn't exist. By testing to show that jet engines don't produce ultrasonic death rays that kill rats by overheating, that is. They're still bad for you.

The City of Philadelphia's "Most Deserving" science awards, originally endowed by John Scott back in 1816, has gone to Dr. Charles King, of the Nutritional Foundation, who previously worked on isolating Vitamin C. I thought that happened many years ago, but it turns out that ascorbic acid was only chemically identified in the 1920s, although Funk and Wagonell's thinks that it was by a Hungarian guy with too many accent marks in his name for me to be bothered to translate it.

"Cortisone for Euphoria?" Dr. Edward Boland and Nathan Headley of Los Angeles believe that the  sense of euphoria widely reported by patients under experimental cortisone treatment for rheumatism might be experiencing a legitimate side effect --a speeding up of brain activity. All the patients had previously been depressed, and relief from pain, stiffness and disability was accompanied by "notable mental stimulation." EEG studies show 9% increases in the frequency of two patients' alpha waves. Since there is hardly any cortisone around for trials, the May Clinic will, for now, just observe the arthritis cases treated, but expect to be using cortisone to boost your giant super-brain in, oh, say, five years. I'm getting a head start by putting together a plan to take over the world with telepathy and death rays now!

"B6 for Arteriosclerosis" Same only different, Drs. James Rineheart and Louis Greenberg of the University of California Medical School have been researching the effects of vitamin B deficiency on monkeys, finding that after about five months, all the deprived monkeys were showing signs of arteriosclerosis, which might mean that doses of vitamin B6 helps with same.

"Blood for the Brain" Drs. Claude S. Beck, Charles F. McKhann, and W. Dean Belnap of Western Reserve Medical School, Cleveland, have been linking the carotid and internal jugular vein.[?] The jugular is then tied off below the link, preventing the arterial blood from returning to the heart while increasing the amount reaching the brain in certain patients with brain artery clots. It is a simple procedure, hasn't killed anyone yet, and is showing remarkable results in treating three of eleven patients treated. One 2-year-old mentally retarded girl, for example, is "improved in appearance and active in play."

A recent outbreak of nervous complaints in a British police station has been linked to the introduction of a mercury-chalk fingerprinting powder. In place of the perfectly safe but presumably less effective or more expensive ash-based powders used before. HOW CAN THIS HAPPEN????

a nice story promoting Boston University's School of Public Relations makes it to the head of the page. Some college courses, such as Purdue's "Cheese Manufacture," Smith's "Celestial Marine and Air Navigation," Stephens' "Pursuit of Knowledge," Dartmouth's "Economics of International Peace," Harvard's "Introductory Russian (Intensive)," Oregon State's "Management of Big Game," the New School's "Women and Their Money," Philadelphia's "Contest Technique," and Columbia's Education Department's "Alcohol Education" are remarkable.

Radio-Television, Press, People

"Dateline DC" Newsweek takes us inside Washington's National Press Club, which is very fancy now that the members don't heave spittoons out the windows or dangle waiters from same, but the 25-cent bourbon lowball is still legendary, and a book about it is out, Dateline Washington.

It seemed a lot more plausible in 1954
"The Thrown Bull" Jamestown, North Dakota horse trader Gene Holter recently turned up at a show with five miniature Herefords he claimed he'd found in a box canyon, leading to a bidding war for the exclusive photo rights, with Look offering Holter $500 for an exclusive trip to the box canyon. In an unbelievable development, it later turned out that Holter bought them at a stockyard.

In shorter bits, Harlan Logan of Look is very pessimistic about the new magazine market, and Westbrook Pegler doesn't like democracy and doesn't care who knows it.

"Decline and Fall" It looks as though the radio-giveaway show is going the way of the yo-yo, handies, mah-jonggs, Monopoly and miniature golf. That is, it's a fad, and it has crested. Jack Benny, Bob Hope, Arthur Godfrey and Fibber McGee and Molly are all back, and Don't Stop the Music has the highest Hooperating at only 66th place.

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Justice Douglas is recuperating from breaking fourteen ribs falling from a horse. Ann Harding has returned to Broadway in Goodbye, My Fancy.  Bette Davis is suing for divorce. Mrs Senator Vandenberg (who needs a name when you have two titles?) has a popular mashed-potato doughnut recipe well worth sharing in the national press[*]. Pat Munroe of the Western Reporters News Service set out to find a Roosevelt in the Netherlands, found only one. Henri Willem Frederik van Roosevelt is 32 and earns $18/week working in a Chinese restaurant. Senator Karl Mundt thinks that there are too many Phi Beta Kappas with Harvard accents in government. Sam Goldwyn thinks that Walter Winchell makes up stories about him. Jacques Faith thinks that American women are overdressed because they have too much money. Sarah Churchill has married, Dorothy Lamour has had a boy, and Mrs. Darinka Parker, flying to join her husband, Sgt. James Parker, in Germany, gave birth to Miodrag, 4 1/2lbs, in an American Overseas Constellation, 400 miles out from Shannon. Dr. Fred Henschel, a passenger, attended in the first ever birth on a transatlantic plane. Marshal Tolbukhin, defender of Stalingrad and liberator of Hungary, has died.


The Fallen Idol gets a full page treatment, helped out by a strange decision to run a profile of Bobby Henrey right after the review. Bette Davis' Beyond the Forest is a "regrettably melodramatic mess." The Affair Blum is a German production (made in Soviet-controlled east Berlin but surprisingly unpolitical) with a strong anti-Nazi theme, but otherwise just another whodunnit.


Giving a Graham Green adaptation a full page review might seem middlebrow enough that the whole issue can call it a day and move on to some bodice-rippers, but no, we need to be told that Raymond Chandler is a new Marlowe. (Professional tip: If you want to sound well-read, the comparison of the day is Laurence Sterne.) It is in aid of a whole story about the "hard-boiled" detective writers, where you pretty much have to admit that, no matter how much you like Chandler and maybe dislike "secret" pinko Hammett, the big name is Erle Stanley Gardner, who is very boring, because all he does is write. So instead most of the article is devoted to distinguishing the many kinds of mystery novel. But the hard-boiled one is best because it is secretly (again!) literature.

A neat little subtitle announces Other Books, which seems very appropriate when we have Edward Kimbrough's Secret Pilgrim grouped with the Scientific Autobiography and Other Papers of Max Planck. That leaves Marie Baumer's The Seeker and the Sought, John T. Flynn's Road Ahead, and Mary Ellen Chase's The Plum Tree  to round out the Otherness of it all. Chase's book is about the tragedy of old age, John Flynn explains how even the least concession to socialism and planning will lead America to communist totalitarianism by a gradual but inevitable path. and Baumer's book is a thriller.

No-one who preaches as much as Dulles does
can be a bad person! He was even against the
atomic bombing of Japan!
Raymond Moley's column is about "Two Little Words" that sum up New York politics. Pass. (If that's not good enough for you, Moley is defending John Foster Dulles waving the bloody shirt in the senatorial race. Dulles said, perfectly innocently mind you, that the American Labour Party will back Lehman, which since that means Communists will vote for the Democratic candidate he is both . . Oh, wait, finishing that sentence would be wrong, so we won't. And suggesting that the sentence would finish "Lehman is a communist and a Jew" would be worst kind of irresponsible rhetoric, dragging religion into politics. For shame, Mr. Lehman! You might as well have nailed the godly Mr. Dulles right up on that cross right now! 

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