Saturday, June 20, 2020

Postblogging Technology, March 1950, I: Go Sane!

The General Semantics guy died this month.

R_. C_.,

Dear Father:

I'm sure you're not suprised to hear from me again.I'd say something sarcastic, or angry, but what is left to say? Palo Alto's public health officer is apparently allowed to lock himself in his house for as long as he likes (although the note on his office door at Memorial Hospital has been changed so that it doesn't mention the date he started working at home any more, so I guess that's progress of a sort). If you don't get your magazine subscriptions, then maybe you should stop being so cheap and resubscribe! I'm sure Time would like that!

I'd tell you more, but I've not much to say. Things are a bit tense here right now, and I've been showing the "better part of valour" at Uncle George's urging. I can't tell you how grateful I am that he's decided to stay in Hong Kong "for the duration of the filming." Quotation marks because I thought that your average Hong Kong movie takes about fifteen minutes to film, but I am not going to argue that he should be moving on when I feel like I need eyes in the back of my head.  

Your Loving Son,

Time, 6 March 1950

 Folks sure like Texas wildcatter Glenn McCarthy. Except those as don't. James Hyde of Albany, Ohio likes linoleum, but Herman Hawker of Teague, Texas doesn't like Gris' Bottle of Bordeaux, and Arthur Gilbert of Winnetka, Illinois, has this just in: Modern art is bad. The vast majority of correspondents areappalled by Professor Murdock's sex talk. Although some like him, including Pastor R. S. Caldwell, who thinks more young folk should "get busy," as they say. Germans don't seem to be impressed by the notion that they should get over France seizing the Saarland because it is a "foreign" matter. Our publisher is very impressed by circulation editor Noel Sherry's travels around the Pacific Rim in search of subscribers in exotic foreign lands like India. 
National Affairs 

"No Sham Agreements"

Senator McMahon's proposal, which Time describes as a $50 billion global Marshall plan somehow including a massive payment to the Russians to give up the atom bomb, is, Time says, a non-starter because, as President Truman says, it is a sham agreement that won't lead anywhere, no matter what Winston Churchill says.  Time is clearly a bit uneasy about being on Truman's side against Churchill, so the's an awful lot of gas to the story/editorial that basically boils down to "No way, Brien!" (I'm also going to mention  here a story a ways down about America's cooling relationship with (NEWS!) Bulgaria. Ambassadors have been recalled, assets frozen. The Russians are, supposedly, fine with it, because the American embassy in Sofia was a "listening post," and that's bad. 

"Problems of Success" As it is finally possible to relax and admit that the ECA was a success, it's time to worry about the next problem, which is American manufacturers demanding tariff relief from foreign competition. 

"Searching Decision" Time explains the decision in Rabinowitz, which has it quite excited. It seems a bit much that the Court overturned a precedent that is only two years ol! 

"Dental Operation" The FEPC managed to come before the House again and avoided adjournment and a substitute bill, but could not fight off a Dixiecrat move to soften its enforcement provision to mediation and a harsh scolding for those as violate equal employment provisions. Meanwhile, the Senate heard a 5 1/2 hour speech from Joe McCarthy denouncing those 81 Communists and party liners in the State Department that he's been talking about so much, although without naming a single name. Is it 81, as he says now, and not 205, or 57, or  80? No-one knows, Time points out. The Senate will authorise an inquiry, which will be "neither a witch hunt nor a whitewash." Next up, John Rankin's "speech" on the FPEC, which wasn't actually given in the House, but instead was just dumped into the Congressional Record, where nobody would have seen it if Time hadn't pointed out that it was a 13 column screed against the Jewish Bolsheviks' sinister plan to "enslave the white people of America" by ending segregation. 

"To Win Friends" rounds up the biggest lobbyists in Washington. Leading off is the Committee for Constitutional Government, recently seen in these pages circulating made-up Lincoln quotes, the National Association of Electric Companies, United World Federalists, Townsend Plan Lobby, Association of American Railroads, National Small Business Men's Association, Milk Producers, Real Estate Boards, Colorado River Association and the National Association of Margarine Manufacturers. 

It's not clear whether he was managing
to avoid anti-Semitic raving at this piont.
In Labour news this week, Cyrus Ching heads the mediators trying to bring the coal unions and owners to an agreement before the country runs out of coal. John Lewis is absent in Springfield for another death in the family, and no-one else will move. 

"Asking For It" Captain Crommelin, he of the sinister B-36 conspiracy, has been giving anti-Pentagon talks in San Franciscos for months, and the CNO recently ordered him to stop. This week, he defied the order, because a court martial would just give him even more publicity. 

"The Happiness Boys" The Progressive Party had its annual convention this week. Time is pleased that the Communists were sidelined and that Wallace called for a "broader, forward-looking party" that was for "progressive capitalism, not socialism." Sigh. Paul Robeson settled for singing, Vito Marcantonio criticised the President for being too right-wing, so that was good. Unfortunately, the Party wasn't nearly anti-communist enough for Time. 

Political Notes rounds up the early hustings in various states. November's only seven months away! 

Manners and Morals is pleased with Richard Millikan, who, after the Van Nuys Chamber of Commerce dinner went on far too long, stood up, refused to give his after-dinner address, and left. 

"Similar to Murder" Rounds up the week in the Sander mercy killing trial and checks in with Teddy Marcinkiewicz, convicted along with Joe Majczek for the 1932 killing of a Chicago cop in a speakeasy. Majczek got the Chicago Times on his side and a movie made about him, and went free in '45, but Marcinkiewicz sat in jail this year, when a writ of habeas corpus was issued to the Chicago Crime Commission.  

And in Oklahoma City, a three day dragnet for a leopard who declined to be kept in a pit at the city zoo is in its third day with no leopard, but also none of the assorted hunters having shot each other, so that's good. 
"Leapy the Leopard," it says  here. "We
didn't exactly catch him, but, on the other
hand, he didn't catch us, either."


"Jubilee and Jitters" Tito has recognised Ho Chi Minh's government to show that he is a real Communist after all, while the government of Siam is split on recognising Ho or Bao Dai. The argument is that, on the one hand, Ho has an army that might threaten the supposedly pacifistic Siamese; on the other, the Americans haven't given Siam enough to make it worth their while. Also, the French are in a tizzy because Francois Mauriac said something anti-American in Le Figaro, and then "hard-hitting commentator Raymond Aron" answered back. Or Time is in a tizzy, anyway. I'm told that Aron disagreeing with Mauriac isn't exactly something new, because Aron is, as Congressman Rankin so politely put it, "Yiddish." 

"Mr. Eliot" That's T. S. Eliot. Turns out that  he's not the one who doesn't write in all lower-case, but he does write poems about cats, just like the all-lower case poet, only maybe he doesn't? I am so confused! Time isn't. Eliot is a Very Important Person and it is time for him to have a cover story. So he does. I guess it's under International because he is just back from a South African vacation.
But if you really want cat girls

"We Won't Run Away" The British General Election was very long drawn out and exciting affair and ended with a narrow Labour majority that is somehow illegitimate because it is only 3 [5] seats. "[D]espite his narrow majority, [Clement Atlee] would carry on the 'King's government.'"
"Before and After" The election saw Labour knocked back from 61% of the Commons to "a shade more than 50%." The Tories supported the welfare state and Labour soft pedaled nationalisation. Left wing Labourites like Bevan wanted a more militant campaign, and think it would have got a better result. The Tory gains are mainly due to better rural turn out, but the sheer magnitude of changes in the organisation of the House of Commons makes it hard to compare this election with the last. Labour probably can't govern long with such a slim majority, so there will be another general election soon. Turn out was very high. Time can't help sneering that the rising wages and full employment in Britain is partly subsidised by American aid, and quotes Tory insiders and some Labourites as thinking that an economic crisis is due this year. Time saves the fact that Labour won a larger majority of the popular vote than of Commons seats to a footnote, although the difference isn't that great. (According to The South China Morning Post, 46.1% for Labour, 43.4% for the Tories.) Also,  the American naval attache to Austria (why is there such a person??) died or maybe was murdered (by Communists!) on the train to Paris. 

"Duckling" Now that Russia has access to all the ports in China, it can be a for-sure-for-reals naval power, and incidentally it has 270 submarines, which is a lot, and also now it has a Naval Ministry and a Naval Minister, which just goes to show that Truman lost China. On the other hand, Franco has cracked down on rightist opposition, leading the Duchess of Valencia to make such a scene. 
Not the only Weapon Alpha out there, but the only one targeted at horrid little Russian diesels. No, wait, strike that, I don't want anyone following up on my search history.

"Let It Be War" I'm not going to spend much time on this, because it is one of those news stories that doesn't have any news, but because we're marking time towards a possible war between India and Pakistan, I also can't ignore the story or settle for just complaining about it. It'll be real news the moment the fighting starts, if it does, and I have to feel for the publisher. 

"With His Majesty's Compliments" Court in Hong Kong has handed 71 "U.S. made" planes to the Communists. Formerly Koumintang crates, they used to belong to CNAC and CTAC, but were flown to Kai Tak when the Communists overran the mainland. Back in November, the air and ground crew all defected to the Communists, so the Nationalists sold them to Claire Chennault, but the Hong Kong courts have decided that if the Reds are the official government of China, then the planes officially belong to the Reds. Time implies that it is all down to the spineless British following the money. 

In this hemisphere, blah blah Peron, blah blah Mardi Gras Rio; while in Mexico, Franco's emissary, Jose Gallostra, has been murdered by a Civil War veteran and refugee. And in Canada, The country's hangman, who is anonymous, carried out two executions in Saskatoon before catching the train to Vancouver to carry out two more.


Lead story is racketeering promoters on Broadway, specifically Sam, Lee and Jake Shubert, who are in trouble with antitrust. 

"Double Edged Sword" GM is using a decline in the BLS cost of living as an excuse to cut the UAW wage rate under its cost of living clause. They lose 2 cents an hour under the clause. 

Follows big stories about advertising and insurance that I think I'm going to skip. I guess we're still worried that the insurance companies have too much money, but the story's not about that, so I don't think we care. 

"Goodyear's Deal" Goodyear is building rubber tire factories in Europe, specifically Luxembourg, to get at Europe's remaining hard-currency markets. 

"Come Out of the Kitchen" Chicago's Cory Corporation is excited about the export prospects of its glass coffee makers and a new automatic diswasher design, the Matic Maid, which is based on hydraulic pumps previously used to clean aircraft parts. 

Science, Medicine, Education

"Hydrogen Hysteria" University of Chicago Associate Professor Harrison Brown warns that a hydrogen bomb will "fill the air with fiercely radiating isotopes" that will "drift with the wind, he believes, like a swarm of invisible locusts, killing people, animals, insects, plants." To destroy the USSR, it might be enough to explode a line of hydrogen bombs from north to south across Europe, with the radioactivity carried east by the winds in a strip 1500 miles wide . . .  and 3000 miles deep." Leo Szilard pointed out that the 50 tons of neutrons released by hydrogen fusion would be enough to create a radioactive dust cloud that could kill the entire world population. Hans Bethe and Frederick Seitz, appearing on the same show, were more moderate but didn't actually contradict their colleagues. It is unlikely that the winds would cooperate well enough to make this practical, and it would take a lot of radioactive material to kill the entire globe. But even Time is a bit frightened. 

"Unproved Plum" The AMA has come out to tell us that there's no cure for the common cold. Thanks for letting us know! And Willard Hargrave, the former Indiana schoolboy who was promoted from dunce to star pupil and LA newsman when he was diagnosed with deafness in one ear, has been researching hearing loss in his spare time and has quite a study out showing that  hearing loss is very common in the workers at the Long Beach Naval Yard and that it is very disabling. 

"Death in a Crib" is about the scourge of "accidental suffocation," which is medicine's current best guess at the cause of crib death. Keith Bowden, writing in the Australian Medical Journal, thinks that it is actually due to miscellaneous other diseases, which can come on very rapidly in babies and kill them so quickly that the mother has no inkling. They actually seem quite safe from suffocation, 

"Rebellion in Bethany" The high school in Bethany, Oklahoma, bans kissing, amongst other things, and local teens will have none of it, because "When religion gets into schools like this, something is wrong." Also, George Santayana said something nasty about Harvard these days in the Harvard paper, and Albert Lynd thinks that the modern high school principal is a nasty fellow due to all sorts of "academic 'quackery'" that is going on these days what with the teachers' colleges and all. 

Press, Radio and Television, Art, People

Billy Rose's last column for the New York Herald Tribune was dropped because he criticised the Met for hiring Kirsten Flagstad. Honestly. WWII was just years ago. Why are we lingering? Rose has gone to the Daily News. 

Drew Pearson is in trouble for reporting that the town jail in Taylorsville, Kentucky was locking up juvenile delinquents with hardened criminals, when, it's just a four-cell log building that hadn't held a juvenile since 1943. Seventeen has got so big that there's not room any more for Helen Lachman Valentine and Alice Thompson, and since Thompson is the publisher, Valentine had to go. Looking forward to Sixteen! And the New Yorker is 25, which since Time reads the New Yorker, is a reason for a long, long article. 

Rudy Vallee has a radio show, and Sliver Theatre recently broadcast a show produced in Hollywood, and if that wasn't enough, it used a three-camera shooting method, which has the advantage of using film, which makes it easier to distribute the show to stations without coaxial hookups.  Variety was very impressed with the 'live' feeling.


"Gloomy Protege"  introduces us to Picasso protege, Bernard Buffet, who is young (23) and also gloomy. On the flip side, the milionaire owner of Michelangelo's Pieta is not feeling so rich right now, so he is trying to sell it, which has the Italian government trying to scratch up $750,000 to match a rumoured bit from Myron C. Taylor. And art restorer Jesus Martin Benito has found a prize in a Madrid junk shop, a fragment of a lost Velasquez canvas, long since cut up for sale in pieces. 

Astrologer-Numerologist Florence Anne Jensen of Manhattan says that Eisenhower, Ingrid Bergman, Dean Acheson and John L. Lewis have the most interesting horoscopes right now. Nunnally Johnson and Darryl Zanuck are disagreeing about whether a biopic about General Rommel can be filmed in America or has to be shot on location in North Africa. "Support your local desert," says Nunnally. Ernest Hemingway's publishers have decided not to censor a bad word in one of his stories. News! Hattie Carnegie has designed  new uniforms for the WAC, Army Nurses, and Women's Medical Specialist Corps using new military colours like taupe, "rosy beige," and "antiqued gold." George VI is wearing tartan dinner jackets. People are for some reason still listening to Louis Bromfield, who recently said that about 60% of American farmers are unfit for their job. Prince Hubert of Prussia has emigrated from Germany to be a sheep farmer in South Africa. Colonel McCormick landed in Madrid in his personal B-17 on his latest world tour with a Republican flag painted on the nose of his plane, because someone gave the painter an old picture. (He's still in trouble.) By way of apology, the Colonel gave a speech in which he called Franco "The greatest European general of our times." Tyrone Power has had a baby with Linda Christian, and former citizen of the world Garry Davis is trying to get his US passport back, and is astounded that Audrey Peters, the 20-year-old Holly wood dancing teacher claims to be engaged with him. 

Moira Shearer is married, Elliot Paul is divorced, Sarat Chandra Bose, George Richards Minot, Robert Diggs Wimberly Connor, Sir Henry Lauder and Irving Addison Bachellor have died. 
Movies has a "best of the half century" feature that you might like, because you're old. 

The New Pictures 

Chain Lightning has Humphrey Bogart, Eleanor Parker and Raymond Massey making a hot movie about hot jets into a cold shower. Paid in Full is a "smooth and competent" tearjerker straight from the pages of the Reader's Digest. When Willie Comes Marching Home is broad comedy, but with John Ford(!) directing it, is something else, although it is William Demarest, the "professional WWI veteran," who makes the film. 


John Hersey's The Wall is about the creation, slow suffocation and final, rapid death of the Warsaw ghetto. Time doesn't like it because it is told as an epistolary (Ronnie taught me that word!) novel. A new life about John C. Calhoun is out from Margaret Coit. She makes him sound nicer than Scheslinger did! A collection of Walter de la Mare's stories is out, and Edmund Bergler's the Writer and Psychoanalysis is the latest contribution to that middlebrow trend. Time is not impressed. 

Aviation Week, 6 March 1950

News Sidelights reports that Piasecki's ad to the effect that it was aiming to hire engineers away from Sikorski to work on the H-21 has raised some questions. Why is Piasecki hiring engineers to work on what was supposed to be a finished design? The Pentagon's M-Day plan apparently calls for the MATS to take up all civilian four-engined airliners on the first day of war mobilisation. Even so, MATS would only be at a third of M-Day airlift requirements with no plan to make up the shortfall. Many nonskeds have dropped out of the CAB hearings on trans-continental coach services because it is taking too long and they can't afford to wait. CAB is suspected of planning overly generous rates for the new, separated air mail postal rates. "Farming out" maintenance to subcontractors is controversial under current union contracts. The Air Force is fiddling with Group strengths, increasing B-29 and B-50 group strengths from 35 to 65 aircraft, but it is doing it to include tankers with the bombers, to give the Groups of smaller aircraft the same range as the B-36. Railway Progress is very bitter about the CAB subsidy for feeder airlines. 

News Digest reports that American is on strike, that the first T-29 trainer and R4Q-1 Packet have been delivered, that R. M. Phelps has resigned as executive vice president of the National Aeronautical Association, which will be forming a special committee in December to study its future; that James Ogburn, President of Fairchild Camera and Instrument, has died on vacation at the age of 67, that the window of a Pan Am Constellation recently blew out at 20,000ft on a ferry flight to Miami, and a stewardess was nearly sucked out. Grumman, Northwest and Consolidated have all had positive financial news; and that the Comet recently made a 5 3/4 hour hop, an endurance equivalent to that needed for the London-Gander flight. 

Industry Observer reports that Convair, Lockheed, Martin or Hughes might join the bidding for the Navy's new anti-submarine warfare helicopter; that several aircraft have put down, or attempted to put down on the LA airport's slopeline lights, mistaking them for runway boundary lights, the story reaching the press thanks to the recent crashlanding of an air force C-47; the first RB-36 has been delivered at Fairfield; that Canadair will definitely put the Orenda in the Canadian version of the F-86; that the Wright R-3350-30W compound engine will go into the new ASW version of the Lockheed P2-V4 Neptune; that Pan-Am's sale of four Convair Liners is the first step in its divestment from the Convair, which will see the sale of 20 aircraft; that De Havilland is abandoning plans to seek American certification for its DH104 Dove; that Alcoa is opening a new division for rolling magnesium at its New Kensington market to meet increasing demand for aeronautical magnesium, which is widely used in new airframes such as the B-36 and the F7U; that making the containers to hold jet engines is developing into a  lucrative sideline of military aircraft production; that the expansion of research and development buyers' section of Air Material Command, Wright Field, is a good sign for vendors. 

I'm going to go with the Northrop Snark as the 
goofiest product of this generation. 

"Report Spells Out Guided Missile Plan" The Joint Chiefs have before them a report calling for the elimination of five guided missile contracts and the consolidation of six other. This doesn't mean a funding cut, just a reallocation away from umpromising projects. The Army is spending $18 million on seven projects, the Navy $50 million on 15, and the Air Force $35 million on 13. We are a long way from WWII promises of push-button warfare. The Army and Navy see missiles as an extension of artillery; the Air Force as an outgrowth of manned aircraft. Missiles turn out to be an extremely complicated "package" to develop, due to the need to get engine, electronics and airframe to work together the first time out. The wide range of expertise needed has proven impossible for the services to correlate. The large number of resulting projects reflects the fact that no contractor can cover all the possibilities, and this means that promising avenues of approach might go unexplored. A coordinating panel is needed, and that is the key recommendation of the report.  The services visualise three stages of development. Missiles for the "crisis period" from 1951 to 1955 will be improvised adaptations of existing experimental designs, themselves largely building on wartime German work. The next period will see the introduction of "interim" domestic designs, while from 1960 onwards we will see transsonic and supersonic missiles, and surface-to-air missiles. Reaction is mixed, with the Navy grumpy, as usual, and scientists "aghast at the erratically aimless progress control of missile research" as currently practiced. 

"House Report Cheers Navy Friends" The House Armed Services Committee has recommended a new 65,000t supercarrier, and more Convair B-36 supercarriers, on the perfectly reasonable grounds that the Air Force knows what is best for the Air Force, the Navy for the Navy. Which is fine. I have my doubts about the supercarrier, but the boat Navy is convinced that they can make it work, and it's not my money. (Yes, it is my money; but mainly it is Congress' money.) Okay, that makes sense. Now what about the part where the Marine Corps gets a seat on the Joint Chiefs? Again, don't get me wrong. I like it that the Navy has two votes, and I'm even happy that the second vote is more aviation than boat navy. But . . . Marines? The Joint Chiefs are for planning. And administration. Okay, obviously they didn't ask me. The Committee also wants to apologise to Admiral Denfield, so that's nice, and SAC should let Navy boys play with their toys. Keen! 

"McGraw-Hill Change" Junior has resigned as President and Chairman of the Board, and has been succeeded by Curtis McGraw, formerly President and Treasurer. This seemed a little brief, so I looked James McGraw, Jr in Who's Who, and found out that he is 56, not exactly the age to retire. Hmm. 

The "airports like car dealerships
business model didn't work out.
Alexander McSurely, "Pratt and Whitney Unveils 6250lb-Thrust J-48" Pratt and Whitney modestly points out that the J-48 is the most powerful engine in the world and has been ordered for the F9F and the F93. And maybe something else? The article vaguely says that since the initial order, the company has received orders worth $9.98 million. The plain sense of that is more orders for more enginesIt has a dry thrust rating of 8000lbs, and an afterburner. It's also a license-built version of the Rolls-Royce Tay, but it would be unpatriotic to dwell on this too much, so McSurely just points out that it is a "joint development," and that the Tay is the British version of the J48. The engine is centrifugal, and a half inch wider than the Nene (J-42). Pratt and Whitney seem to think they've licked the problem of producing an afterburner that consistently produces more thrust than it loses in turbulence, and an "eyelid" feature in the afterburners can also be used to reduce thrust, improving landing performance, although the F9F, the aircraft that could really use that feature, is forced to use a conventional afterburner for size reasons. Pratt and Whitney think that the engine, and their Rolls-Royce collaboration, has closed the development gap between it and the wartime jet makers, GE, Westinghouse and Allison. 

"Martin 4-0-4 Deal Reported with TWA" Martin isn't giving up on replacing the DC-3, putting between 30 and 35 4-O-4s into the TWA stable. It will be 39 inches longer, allowing it to carry 40--44 passengers compared with 36 for the 2-0-2s, will increase all up weight to 42,750lbs from 39,900, have pressurisation and more fuel, but the same top speed. Also, Lycoming's newest 125hp four cylinder engine has been certified by the CAA.

E. H. Heinemann, "First Details of the F3D Skyknight"  So if you're not following things, you could be excused for not knowing that the F3D is a Douglas crate and that Heinemann is their chief designer, so this article isn't exactly going to be cold and objective! As this is the Navy's first jet night fighter, and is a twin-jet, two-placer with a big radar, it isn't going to be a hot ship, so you don't have to be embarrassed if it doesn't come up to any other jet fighter, performance-wise. You'd think that that would have made Heinemann's job pretty easy, but he's here to tell that it's not, because fitting all that stuff into a jet plane was tough. 

On the other hand, he settled for one of those tunnel-bail out arrangements that's basically a "show willing" effort so I doubt the crews will cut him much slack.  Ed (we call him Ed) also has the nerve to congratulate himself for fitting in a nosewheel.
Actually, it will serve through Vietnam.

Probably no big deal in the end, because it's part of the big '45 generation of 75S planes, so it won't last very long in service, what with the stress corrosion.

"Why Crash Protection Is Needed" If you're thinking, "What?" The article is really about making excuses for the CAB's ridiculously low crash load requirement of 6 Gs compared with the proposed Australian 25 G standard before going on to use the Australian data to show that if the Australian standard had been implemented in America a long time ago, civil aviation accidental death rates would be comparable with the railways from 1939 on. In conclusion, crash loadings should be increased considerably so that seats don't collapse, seatbelts don't fail, and sundry structures don't collapse, trapping people while a near-instantaneous gas fire roars through the wreck, which is very demoralising for the few people who escape in time, never mind the ones who burn to death. 

Short bits report on NACA's Ames Field hypersonic wind tunnel, which has been in satisfactory operation for two years, and the new Douglas rain tunnel. 

New Aviation Products reports on "Plane Tower Talk Tape-Recorded" Which makes all of us nervous, but it is a necessity. More importantly, it's the latest use of magnetic tape recorders, in which we have some interest, and uses the new multi-channel tapes. The article points out that it would have been awful useful in the recent Washington accident, for example. The whole shebang involves a huge rack of spare tapes and a "playback" machine which is described at some length because the author is very excited by its 14(!) amplifiers. Also, Kay Electric of New Jersey has a "Rotaliser," which measures rotations, Aviation Chemicals, a Division of Fine Organics of New York, has a new deicing and anti-frosting compound for airport use, Hermann H. Stricht has a very precise millisecond timer, Clifford Hannay of New York has a hose reel with an explosion-proof motor and Yale and Town of Philadelphia has a "sideshifter attachment" for its hydraulic fork truck.

Financial has news of the non-sked's last-ditch fight, the ICAO's latest study of the problem of setting up enough weather stations, and some operating statistics from Italy. Oh, and American is doing fine. (Also, IATA is going to have an American meeting.)
By RuthAS. 

"Britain's Bid for Feeder Market" Half the British builders aren't doing  doing anything but fighting over the feeder market, so I guess it shouldn't surprise that this is actuallly corporate bumpf, this time for the De Havilland Heron, a four-engine (somehow) short-hauler presumably aimed at the MCA subsidy for the Scottish islands. It will carry 14 to 17 passengers and have good short takeoff and landing performance, and use many Dove components. And it's a DC-3 replacement! But isn't everything?

Editorial defends coach services and complains about the railways complaining about the airlines. 

Time, 13 March 1950


Henry Dittman, Ph. D., who has the honour of teaching at the University of Redlands, quite liked the article about how "Superintendent Oberholtzer" thinks that the problem with American secondary education is that principals don' know nothing. He chimes in to point out that American students don't know anything also too. William Gillis of Connecticut thinks so, too. On the other hand, Gordon Williams thinks that the reason that standards are so low right now is that they are set by examining students, which I guess means he agrees with Dittman. But Charlotte Swatek thinks that after all some teachers don't care for all that pedagogical theorising, so there. Students are dumb, PS. Also, five grade school students write in because they're pleased as punch they got their pictures in Time. Maybe not this article? Frederic Richardson of Fort Benning writes that he thinks the new, cheap Kaiser-Frazer will go like hotcakes because people have been waiting for a cheap car. Larry Hester of Texas really like that "Capitalist Manifesto" Time ran; and James DeWitt Fox, MD, writes that the main cost that sends patients into debt is hospital charges, and that what the country probably needs is public hospitals and private doctors, not the other way round. Our Publisher reminds us that it is just as nerve wracking for a journalist to interview someone like T. S. Eliot as it would be for anyone else, and that it was just as big a struggle for Eliot to find some way to break the ice and make the man comfortable! Also, nuns in Toronto and a German living near Hamburg write in to say how much they appreciate their subscriptions. (The last guy is one of those perpetual subscribers, doesn't mind that he is owned a twelve year backlog, because it's Hitlers fault, just like everything else in Germany from 1933 to 1945.)

National Affairs

"Total Diplomacy" Time is pleased as punch to report that America's global anti-communist effort requires "total diplomacy," which is like "total war," but with diplomacy. Then it was off to the Senate to bring anxious Senators up to date on the ongoing effort to purge the State Department of Communists and degenerates. The Committee was shocked to hear that the State Department had let 90 homosexuals go, on that last count. The story is that homosexuals are vulnerable to blackmail. Well, of course they are! They could lose their job! Then the committee got onto the real job, which was to try to embarrass the Secretary over Alger Hiss, leading Acheson to make a long statement that didn't say much of anything. Fitting in neatly here is the World Congress of Partisans of Peace, which was going to send a delegation to America, but now isn't, because the State Department denied them entry into the country because they are all communists, or at least pinkos. 

"The Marengo Campaign" The coal strike court case drags on, even if the coal strike is over, and whoever else won it, John Lewis sure did. Like Napoleon won the Marengo campaign! 

"The Elephant Hunt" Herbert Humphrey is taking on Harry Byrd on the floor of the Senate for running a "nonessential committee on nonessential expenditures." Given how many friends Byrd has in the Senate, it was a doomed effort, but maybe it makes Humphrey looks good. In other news, as you've  heard, Alaska and Hawaii have been approved for statehood. 
"hunter-killer cruiser" Norfolk

"According to Plan" This week's cover subject is Forrest Sherman, whom Time presents as the gigantic brain leading the Navy back into the limelight. Time doesn't make quite as big a deal of the super carrier as Aviation Week does, but it does notice how effective the Russian submarine buildup has been in leveraging money out of the Pentagon. The Navy gets a new cruiser, and probably some destroyers next year, which, after seven years fallow, is definitely something, since there'll be a lot of new ideas to try out.  

"I, and I Alone" Captain Brown's defence of his conduct in the Missouri's grounding is that it was everyone else's fault but his, until last week, when he was firmly told that that was not what a Captain says, and he decided to take responsibility. The article seems to be presenting his case, which makes me wonder. 

Colourful local news leads off with the Oklahoma City leopard, which died this week of the effects of over-sedation. Sooners will stuff him and put him on display, and "Killer" t-shirts are available for the young folk. Which is a nice interlude before it is off to Alabama, where one of the Klan suspects in the Klan shooting of Charlie Hurst of Pell City, Alabama committed suicide before he could be arrested, leaving the two other men in the car to be charged. Two pastors and the athletic director of the Avondale textile mills, if you wanted to know. 


"The Saar Again" The French have still signed a 50 year deal for Saar coal with the French occupation authorities in Saarland, the Germans are still upset as all get out, and the British and the Americans are still trying to find a way of making peace that doesn't send the Germans crazy. And the theatre critic of the New York Herald Tribune checked around the UN General Assembly and found that most of the delegates didn't take in  much threatre, and the Norwegian delegate was still recovering from getting lost on the subway, although the Yugoslav delegate had taken in All the King's Men, and was quite impressed at Huey Long's threat to democracy. 

"How They Do It" The State Department has published the transcript of an interview with one of the Bulgarian purge trial victims that tries to explain how the secret police get their confessions. Threats, it turns out! Entirely unrelated, Klaus Fuchs has confessed to everything in London. As the law only allows the court to sentence him to 14 years. Fleet Street, be it noted, is APPALLED that a Communist was allowed into all those secrets back in WWII, when we were only allied to Communism just a little bit. Someone surely did something wrong! "Sir Percy Sillitoe, the tall, burly former South African police officer who heads MI5" wants a shakeup of the British security services. Okay. I'm just amazed that the story as of last month, in which the British secret services are so secret that their heads are only known by an initial, etc, is suddenly not so secret. Because there wasn't enough secrecy, you see. Apparently Sillitoe is the man who beat the Glasgow razor gangs, by bringing in toughs from the Highlands to beat them up until they went away, if you were wondering.  

"Whistle in the Dark" Time is off to London to report on the pageantry of the King's Speech and the new cabinet, which is a "slide to the right," because Morison's men get promotions while Bevan is blocked in at Health. Shinwell is in at Defence, and Richard Rapier Stokes, of Ransomes and Rapier, is the new Minister of Works. Also, John Strachey, just promoted from Food to the War Office, is in trouble with Fleet Street because he used to be a Communist. Meanwhile in France, the French Communists keep insisting on acting like Communists, which is just obviously not on, whilst a Coca-Cola sales offensive in France has it all: Red coloured things, the American way of life, and enough caffeine to make you very, very silly. 

On the other hand, the Greek election went fine, so that's nice, while the Russian one was Communistic, and a mere sham. 

"Return of the Gitmo" It is now official that Li Tsung-jen will remain in New York City convalescing from whatever afflicted him, and that Chiang Kai-Shek will succeed him as President. In these parts, all who were careful not to cut their cord to the Gitmo are congratulating themselves, while those who didn't --well, let's just say that there are more sentries on the field all of  a sudden. 

And in the Western hemisphere, European goods are back in Latin America, where they have the unfair advantages of being cheaper and better and do not cost dollars. Also, Eva Peron is dropping classical references in speeches, which goes to show that she sure is something, while in El Salvador, American emigrant Benny Bloom is giving back by funding a hospital that did a lifesaving operation on this one orphan, more than making up for the $25 million fortune he has accumulated in the country, which is probably more money than the rest of the country has together.


State of Business reports that the coal strike has had virtually no effect on the economy. New works are planned at Niagara Falls, more than doubling its output from 10 to 23 billion kWh. The American public utility industry is gearing up for a fight to the death against the awful prospect of cheap electricity for all. 

"Uranium Unlimited" Donald Nelson is said to be the public face of a possible mining stock swindle by the Pregel brothers, who run the Canadian Radium and Uranium Corporation of New York, and are already in trouble for selling uranium oxide to the Russians during the war. On the contrary, it turns out that they are clean as a whistle, and the sale to Don Nelson was to make them even cleaner. Glad tht's cleared up! 

"Chemical Change" ICI of Britain used to stay out of America in deference to its "great and good friend," du Pont. Well, no longer, although perhaps mainly because the DOJ has charged the two companies with forming a global cartel. To get into the American market, ICI had to buy out Arnold Hoffman at $55/share, a total cost of $3.5 million, financed in New York to save dollars. The Department of Justice was not impressed. Also, the Junto School in Philadelphia, which is a very high minded institution of learning, is somehow now a partner in Levittown, and Time has some actual reporting on the TWA 4-0-4 deal, which is aimed at helping Martin get back in the black instead of floating along on the sale of its wartime purchases. 

"New Picture" Technicolor, which made no friends in Hollywood with an ever-lengthening delay before it could complete work on new pictures, was taken into the Department of Justice's sights two years ago for running a monopoly on the strength of its exclusive rights to Kodak three-colour film. This week, Technicolor gave in without going to court and will make its expertise and 152 patents available to competitors. 

Science, Medicine

"Cult of Doom" That's what you call all your "prophets of hydrogen Doomsday." Time is pleased as punch to report that David Lilienthal has no time for them. Mainly, it must be said, because they're depressing people, and not because they're wrong. 

"Electron Fattener" The newest and biggest betatron in the world got under way at the University of Illinois last week, juicing up electrons to 600 times their rest mass worth of energy to make high energy x-rays for photography and curing cancer and whatnot, and also producing mesons by hitting targets really, really hard, so the mesons fly out. 

"Venus on the Loose" "Universal Scholar" Immanuel Velikovsky has a theory, put forward in his upcoming book, Worlds in Collision, that Venus used to go whizzing through the Solar System back about 1500BC or so, coming close to other planets and causing disasters and also collective amnesia, which is why no-one wrote any of this down, except indirectly in various clues that allow Velikovsky to piece it all together. (More charitably, Venus was a gigantic comet that made a close pass of the Earth and Mars before being turned back to adopt a planetary orbit.) He is getting favourable publicity from such astronomical journals as Harpe's and Readers' Digest, which is bizarre, because they could just call an actual astronomer, or even an actual Bible scholar, as they are apparently equally skeptical. 

Most of the feature is given over to yet more editorialising about the Sanders mercy killing trial, but there's space for plastic surgeon William G. McEvitt's discovery that sandpaper was a swell way to reduce acne scarring. Teenagers are advised not to do it for themselves. 

"Primitive Pain" Last time we visited the "natural" versus "assisted" childbirth debate, we heard that at least primitive peoples have relatively painless childbirths. Not so, finds a new study by Drs. Duncan E. Reid and Mandel E. Cohen of the Boston Lying-In Hospital, who find that it's easy to make these claims when you just make your facts up. In reality, careful, scientific study shows that Pima and Apache Indian women suffer just as much as white women. 

"Anesthetising the Devil" The latest twist to treating manic-depressives is intravenous injections of ether every 2 1/2 to three hours every day for ten days in a month. "No unpleasant aftereffects were reported." 

"Out of the Rest" Johnny Fujio Aiso was a high school oratory champion who didn't win the California debate championship because he was "persuaded to decline the honour in favour of his runner-up." He is the son of a Japanese gardener, you see. (The title of his presentation is 'The American Constitution and What it Means to Me.") Allowed to tag along to Washington for the nationals, he met the Japanese ambassador, was enrolled at Brown, graduated in 1931, rose to be a Lieutenant colonel in WWII, and became a lawyer in the LA area. In the news this week because the Los Angeles Bar Association just reversed its Occidentals-only policy in order to make him a member. This is also the centenary of the University of Utah, and an occasion to celebrate the life and scholarship of Gilbert Murray, Greek scholar and model of a character in Major Barbara. He is very old, and absolutely as relevant as Greek studies. 

Press, Radio and Television, Art, People

 "Who's a Rascal?" Westbrook Pegler's attempt to prove that Eleanor Roosevelt is descended from a terrible person (Rufus Bullock) came astray when it turned out that, well, she wasn't. Jack Steele, Wayne Richardson, Herblock and Ted Poston have won Newspaper Guild awards, the Sanders trial is the biggest thing in news coverage since the Scopes Trial. (Hearst American: "WOMEN THRILL TO CHILL OF KILL.") The British Board of Trade has banned the import of American newspapers with "detachable" sections, which translates as separate colour funnies, which importers were in the habit of removing and selling separately. 

Fred Allen is waiting for a television offer, and A. C. Nielsen says that the Hooperatings are all but useless compared with his own Audimeters. This would hardly matter given that the Hooper service is cheaper, except that Neilsen just bought the Hooper ratings service out for a reported $600,000 and will take over all Hooper contracts. C. E. Hooper has plans to get back in the business with an automatic device for recording which television show a tv is tuned into. 

Kay Sage, "The Insant" 

Kay Sage's private show at her own gallery is the headline in Art. She is the "surreal surrealist," and only disturbs people who probably deserve to be disturbed. 

"Out of the Desert" Edy Legrand, a prolific French book illustrator, has turned to Bible material and is turning heads in Paris with landscape scenery from the Holy Land and daring portraits of Old Testament prophets. 

Rounding up from last week, Rogers and Hammersfield think that it's just fine if producers invite outside investment, since they have no intention of dying broke, while John Hersey clarifies that he wrote his book about the Warsaw Ghetto uprising as a novel because fiction is great. David Lilienthal is doing lectures all over the place at $1300 a show now that he's not the Chairman of the AEC any more. Charles Sawyer has had surgery, Queen Mary is out and about for the first time since her sciatica surgery in February, Claudette Colbert is back in hospital after another slip and fall, and Bing Crosby is in the hospital to have his appendix out. Just to clarify, Colbert is probably on the sauce, but Bing is not getting an abortion. Dolores Barrymore has married Thomas A. Fairbanks. Lew Lehr, Sidney Grauman, Alfred Korsybski of the Institute of General Semantics, Albert Lebrun and Edgar Lee Masters  have died. 

Cinema takes on the sudden MPAA decision to censor The Bicycle Thief. Serve you right for marrying our sweetheart! The New Pictures has Stage Fright, a comedy melodrama from Alfred Hitchcock, "who must compete with his own overpowering reputation." Time thinks he overdid it, but Jane Wyman saves the movie. I'm not surprised. She learns from her mistakesMalaya, on the other hand, just "squanders Spenser Tracy," although Valentina Cortese is pretty. 


Middle Brow coming through as Robert Graves has a collection of miscellaneous writings out. Canadians write novels now? Yes, they do. And Germaine Guevremont has one out, The Outlander, which is all about the French problem, you see. Theodora Keogh's Meg is "the story of a little girl" that is not for little girls. Well. That introduction is enough to start my blood curdling, and it sounds like reading the book will finish the job. Charles Wayland Towne and Edward Norris Wentworth are not the sorts of people you would expect to be interested in the pig business, but they are, and so they have written Pigs: From Cave to Corn Belt, which is an interesting book but also quaint, because of the authors, you know. Did you know that pigs eat 40% of US corn? Calder Willingham's Geraldine Bradshaw is a book about how a whole bunch of pretentious names got loose from the prep school one day and went on a New York city tear. It's sad for me when my instant impression of a novel matches Time's, because I feel dirty when I agree with Henry Luce's organ. 

Aviation Week, 20 March 1950

Industry Observer reports that a new USAF rocket with a 500 mile range has been flying under complete control at White Sands for almost two months. It is reusable, so they just land it and refuel it. North American is looking at electric heating as part of metal cutting. The CAA has found that modern  jet engine blasts do not "materially affect concrete runways." Boeing Wichita has turned the first B-47A over to the Air Force. Canadian Pacific's first Comets will have a forward smoking compartment for 8, aft compartment for 40. Further aircraft purchases are being negotiated. Chance Vought is experimenting with pre-rotation of the F7U-1's nosewheel (that's where you get the tyre up to speed before you land, reducing wear. They're using a set of vanes to do it, which seems like the most troublefree way of going about it, you'd think until you read about the details of the deflected exhaust jet being played over the vanes. Boeing is thinking about licensing the Scandia. Yeah, I don't think so. the prototype Aerocar (Yeah . . . ) might have the new Lycoming instead of the 100hp Franklin it has been using. It looks like the Ambassador's structural strength test, already reported, impressed Industry Observer, because it's repeating itself.   
Don Bennett did not go to jail.

News Digest reports that Karl Compton is replacing William Webster as chair of the Research and Development Board, that Josh Lee has been reappointed, and that Alexander Klemin has died. He was still technical editor for Aero Digest, which makes me wonder how the old bird is doing, but not enough to look it up. The Llandow air disaster gets in the news, because it's hard to ignore 80 deaths. It probably doesn't hurt that it happened in Britain, though. "Tudor craft have been taken off scheduled service."

The Avro Jetliner is visiting New York, and the Vickers Viscount is visiting just about everywhere.

"DME Order: New Life for Airport Plans" The CAA has ordered 450 Distance Measuring Equipments for $4,210,750, with Hazeltine Electronics winning the bid in competition with Federal Telephone, Bendix and Specialty Assembly and Packing of Brooklyn (who?).

The technical details of the DME transponder system have been treated around here, probably too briefly considering the magnitude of the purchase. First deliveries are scheduled for November, and completion by March of 1952. DME is based on wartime Racon, and is even higher frequency than existing omniranges. It will require an Ominrange/DME combined indicator instrument in the cabin and a 50lb receiver on the plane. It's also only part of the CAA's $23 million procurement budget for 1950/1, which also includes more equipment for the omnirange system, high intensity approacy lights for 30 more airports, 51 more assorted radars on top of 71 already on order, and a whole bunch of VHF/ADF equipments and 50 ILS sets.  

Assorted financial news, and a "news story" that's actually an attack on the Air Force budget follow. On the bright side, the first production Vought V7U-1 has been rolled out! 

The Letters page is back, and entirely devoted to the "controversial new plan for aircraft insurance," which is not what we're about here. 

New Aviation Products leads off with the exciting neews that the "fast-proven servo unit, used as a component in Lear autopilots," is now on the market as a general control device. It is a 4 1/2 lb unit for open and closed loop servo systems, previously used in remote positioning systems, as a follow-up servo in radar, gunfire, turret and autopilot controls, for control of current and timing in welding and in geodetic exploration equipment.
Which makes it sound like it is already in general use. So I guess we're actually looking for new markets. It is a neat little electrical motor with a magnetic clutch that works as an amplifier with 130 gain and a smooth and rapid action. The clutch used magnetised powder rather than liquid, as in existing electrohydraulic units because leaking hydraulic fluid is such a pain. 

"Special Sabre Performs Research Role" North American has modified an F-86 so that the air force can experiment with the way that swept wings affect aircraft flight loads. Most of the article is devoted to the instruments that are used to determine the loads, including transducers in the wings and flaps and oscillographs that read their output and record it on rolls of tape. This almost requires test flying just to find out what the oscillograph is telling us, but with the F-86 actually in service and ever more swept wings coming in, it's time to find out how they work! 

An uninteresting article explains what the Foundation for Research and Development will do. 

"Reinforcement of Openings Studied" A bulletin from the National Bureau of Standards brings us up to date with their work on accumulating empirical data to back up theoretical considerations regarding double plate fastenings and "other hole factors." It is interesting to see that they're working on sandwich panel now, two years after it sank the Martin 2-O-2. It seems like we took a lot of short cuts back during the war! 

"Pilot-Scientists: Advanced Course Trains Specialists for Probing Secrets of Fast Flight" The Air Force and Navy have a joint plan for turning engineer-pilots into engineer-scientist-pilots. This is a graduate school at Princeton, so the engineer pilots can add class without getting above themselves. "So far, 33 men have gone through the two-year course," and the services and industry need more, because with the kinks of transonic/supersonic flight being worked out in the air, there is a crying need for more engineer-scientist pilots to fly fast planes and think deep thoughts, and, if they're unlucky, wander aimlessly around Formosan airfields trying to persuade people that trying to persuade people not to drop bombs on British-flagged freighters bound for Shanghai is something that a USN pilot might reasonably be doing, instead of going home to his bungalow and working on his family newsletter. 

Sigh. This is what I get for paying more attention to the instruments than to doing a loop-de-loop under the Golden Gate. Although apart from missing Ronnie something fierce, there's something to be said about a Formosan vacation. Specifically, I'm getting fat!

Aviation Week is a bit skeptical that test ships are a better investment than wind tunnels. And speaking of ground research, Fritz Zwicky wants a jet fuel research institute, since right now we know hardly anything about the precise chemistry of fuel burning in combustion chambers.

The 4-0-4 sale has brightened the industry's finances at large, and last month's article on the "ideal spray plane" attracts condescension from the industry.   The CAB has no idea what to do about National Airlines, which is still trying to merge its way out of business to the perhaps despite of the Department of Justice. The CAA wants to raise the tax on aviation gasoline to put the nation's airways on solid financial grounds and maybe even pay for a jetliner. Seven non-skeds have filed to fly Atlantic services under special CAA exemptions. BEA will run a helicopter service Cardiff--Liverpool in the summer, $9.80 one way, and a rather leisurely 85mph on the S-51. The Standard Air Lines C-46 crash in July is blamed on pilot error, the plane being about a thousand feet too low. New Books has, along with the usual waste of paper (A new textbook on tubojets! Louis Keeley, Making Inventions Pay!), the useful sounding J. R. Nelson, Writing the Technical Report. 

Editorial takes a new tack with a "Washington Round-Up." Robert Wood reports that Stuart Symington wants out of his job, that CAB will approve the AOA-Pan Am merger because AOA parent company, TWA, is headquartered in St. Louis and therefore has pull with the President, it just logically follows. Robert Woods wants to do C. V. Whitney a favour. The closure of the Bulgarian embassy closes an aviation "peephole" through the Iron Curtain. Walter Winchell's prediction that the B-36 would be dropped in favour of the Northrop flying wing is so much hot air. Paul Aiken is leaving the US Post Office to run for the Senate in Kansas, and Aviation Week says, don't let the door hit you on the way out. It doesn't get to say goodbye to Louis Johnson, however, much as it might like to. CAB's approval of a 60 day charter deal between NAL and Pan-American "surprised the industry." The Railroad lobby spent almost $200,000 in Washington last year, while aviation lobbies Aircraft Inudstires Association and Air Transport Association are fighting the obligation to disclose any such information, but might have spent $700,000 or so. Wow. 

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