Bench Grass is a blog about the history of technology by the former student of a student of Lynn White. The main focus is a month-by-month retrospective series, covering the technology news, broadly construed, of seventy years ago, framed by fictional narrators. The author is Erik Lund, an "independent scholar" in Vancouver, British Columbia. Last post will be 24 July 2039.
Postblogging Technology, March 1951, I: Shipshape and Teakettle Fashion
R_. C__., Shaughnessy, Vancouver, Canada.
Just a short note to say that everything is going swimmingly with everything, that all arrangements have been put in place in Macao and that anyone who is worried that the Reds are about to march into either Hong Kong or Macao needs to stop worrying and plant their head firmly back on their shoulders. I should also confirm that I have confirmed that I will be registered in classes back in California in September, that we have a place to live near Palo Alto largely thanks to my father, and that while the Navy is not likely to be so convenient as to send Reggie back to California, his days of cloak-and-dagger flying in Formosa are coming rapidly to an end. Which means it will probably be back to Hawaii and trying to make assorted submarine-detecting devices work like it says in the brochure.
There's an off-chance of radar early-warning work if it doesn't go to the carrier crowd, but the Navy's interest in submarine detection is palpably mounting because it is a way of participating in the European Conventional Warfare Armageddon that we are currently imagining.
Your Loving Daughter,
Time, 5 March 1951
Bailey Guard of Louisville, Kentucky wants a nation in arms, although from the sound of the letter he might not be aware that there has ever even been a conversation about such things. (Those who read this but don't follow French politics might be in the same boat, so I'll just say that the French talk about it a lot.) William Thibodeau of Houlton, Maine, is upset that people are talking about "McCarthyism," which is just some "nasty word" made up by "parlour pinks" to slander the sainted Senator. On the other hand, Dr. Fishbein of Providence and Karl Pick of Kingston, New York don't like the Senator at all. The "revolt" at the American Legion over its treatment of amputees gets some attention, and so does the organisers' decision to ban the Koreans team that placed first, second and third in last year's Boston Marathon, on the grounds that they ought to be in Korea, fighting Communists. I missed the story because it was in the Sports section, and just as well for my blood pressure, which apparently I have to watch for the duration like some apoplectic old man. Walter Gropius writes to say that he didn't design the new Graduate Centre at Harvard, which was done by his firm. T. Leaming Smith is tired of critics who make fun of television. Camilo Cruz Santos of Colombia and Andrew Riosa of Caracas liked the article about President Vargas of Brazil. Our Publisher is pleased to report that readers around America are sharing their old Time magazines, or even buying new ones, with assorted Europeans who might be vulnerable to Communist propaganda. If flying neutrons can make an atomic pile go self critical, can firing neurons do the same to people?
MOBILISATION! According to Charlie Wilson, America is well on its way to matching the standing Russian advantage of 40,000 tanks and 19,000 planes, with almost no effect on the civil economy at all, because America's population is up 15% since 1939 while its production has doubled. Meanwhile, Labour has "won" respite from the wage freeze, and the Defence Department's casualty return from Korea stands at 8,366 dead, 31,377 wounded, 9,409 missing. The Pentagon estimates total Communist casualties at 206,000 Chinese, 418,000 North Koreans. A round up of Presidential news has Truman planning a vacation soon to get some rest, but also doing a review of Snyder's easy money policy, reconciling the Georgia Senate caucus by letting them appoint some judges and the like, which, I'm told, is one of those ways that Senators do favours in their states when the President is minded to let them. In the wake of what Time chooses to call "the great debate," and not, "Our Dumbest Ex-President Ever Having a Fascist Tantrum on the Radio," Senator Kenneth Wherry pushed a resolution to the Senate floor calling for Congressional approval for sending American troops to Europe. Republican senators proceeded to call an exciting variety of Republican or crypto-Republican (can't let the Communists have all the fun!) witnesses to argue pro or con. General LeMay turned out to blather on about air power and conclude that there's no need for troops when we have atom bombers, while Harold Stassen and Tom Dewey made trips down to Washington to eviscerate Wherry, Hoover, and all the other isolationists. By which we mean, while delicately only suggesting it in the last sentence, "Mr. Conservative" himself, Senator Taft. I guess we knew that Stassen was going to run in '62. Does this mean that Dewey, will, too?
"Male Drop" For the first time in history, there are more women alive in America than men. It's not a big difference: 98.1 to 100, but it is in line with what my girlfriends tell me!
The Senate inquiry into the RFC had a bit of a melt-down when it turned up a massive file of Senatorial and Congressional correspondence with the RFC which had been extracted from the Refinancing Corporation's files and turned over to the Executive Office (the President's office, that is). Turns out that President Truman has been keeping very, very close tabs on Congressional requests for RFC financing, and so maybe it might be for the best if no-one ever got to the bottom of it. Senators Douglas and Fullbright, who don't seem over-blessed with self-awareness, wanted to keep right on digging on the grounds that because they were special, their letters asking for loans for local banks and the Waltham Watch Company and so on were excusable and it was other peoples' patronage requests that had to be dragged out into the light. And the Kefauver Committee is looking into the cozy relationship between St. Louis gamblers and the St. Louis police, and Time is beside itself, because the President is from Missouri and Time doesn't like bookies or the President, either, newsflash.
"Through the Loophole" The Army sent Maxwell Taylor to explain to Congress that the Army doesn't want any more Reserve or National Guard units. Congress was surprised, because at the same time Selective Service is having an impossible time meeting the call-up requirements, what with all the loopholes. General Taylor explained that the army only wants a "certain kind of manpower." The Army wants to have 24 divisions under arms, counting six National Guard divisions and 18 regimental combat teams already federalised since Korea, plus replacements, plus a reserve of trained manpower to meet the needs of a sudden mass expansion. So what it needs is a stream of new recruits to replace veterans, who will go to the National Guard and Reserve after two years of active service. Congress also questioned the continuing draft exemption for men joining the National Guard, but the Army is okay with that if it can have universal military training, by which at this point we mean reducing the draft age from 19 to 18, or calling boys up for their last year in high school; the latest compromise reduced the age of call up to 18 1/2, so right after high school. I am not sure that is really halfway to UMT, though.
Also, Time notices that the upper ranks of the Army are starting to get very paratrooper-heavy.
"Killer Sub" The Navy's latest submarine is the 750t K-1, "only a little more than half the size of the Navy's fleet type," and designed as a submarine killer, to lie in ambush for enemy submarines, detect them with sonar, and then hit them with homing torpedoes equipped with "electronic ears." Reggie points out that American fleet submarines were designed with the range for Pacific operations, which is why they're twice as big as not only K-1, but also the Germans' Type VII, which was the mainstay of the Battle of the Atlantic. So it's like cars; they're only small by American standards.
"On the Sun's Heels"
An RAF Canberra arrived in America this week after making a four hour, forty minute crossing of the Atlantic, Britain to Gander, beating the previous record, set by a Mosquito flying west to east with the prevailing winds, by forty minutes. Time describes it as having a "fairly conventional wing" compared with the "radical swept-wing design of modern US jet jobs," and goes on to explain that a B-47 that just arrived in Hawaii is "as fast as the Canberra and much bigger," although all that the air force will say is that it made the flight to Hawaii at 400mpy. It seems a bit patronising considering that the Canberra is a 600mph bomber at 40,000ft. which is the B-47's ceiling.
Remember how Mayor Orville Hubbard of Dearborn, Michigan, might have been in trouble because he tried to stop the Fords from donating a hospital to Dearborn because they didn't go through him? Well, after a long campaign of Negro-baiting, Ford-baiting, Irish-baiting, police-and-fireman-baiting, and wife-,daughter-,and son-baiting, Hubbard has been re-elected by his largest margin yet. Ever the man of principle, he has promised to stop snow removal in precincts that voted against him and has blocked the Dearborn papers from covering police news. I don't know. It seems like Dearborn deserves its mayor.
Either the entire South fell and hit its head last week, or Time has been trawling the news wires for embarrassing stories, because the South does NOT come off well in the end of section roundup of Americana. And after that warm up, it is on to heartwarming stories of immigrants sending clothes home to Italy and fighting in WWII.
Manners and Morals reports on "The Coffee Hour," which is when all American workers everywhere leave work at 9am precisely to go out to a coffee shop for a long time. I think "Coffee Hour" is hyperbole; beyond that, housewives are having coffee breaks and teens are even having coffee break dates. Time thinks it is awful and blames the tough labour market of WWII. (It makes more sense if you explain the cause of the trend before you get to teens and housewives.)
War in Asia
"Security for Japan" The Japanese used to think that Vladivostok was a "dagger pointed at the heart of Japan," it being a mere 680 miles from Tokyo, but now it is Sakhalin Island, instead, only 26 miles from Hokkaido. "A Russian invasion of Japan from Sakhalin could outflank and trap U. S. forces in Korea." The Pentagon is responding to this threat by sending two National Guard divisions to finish their training in Japan. Meanwhile, in Korea, the fighting is turning into a "Battle for Casualties" as UN forces try to kill Communists more than to gain ground, and General Ridgway, "The Airborne Grenadier," gets the cover story, helping the US Army regain its confidence and vindicate "the contention of US artillerymen that a compact, mobile fighting force, long on organisation and heavy in firepower, can stand up against the mass levies of a Communist war machine." We're going to shoot them with big giant guns until they give up and go home. At least it's a plan! Then, after a surprisingly short cover story predictably singing Ridgeway's praises (but on the other hand it is now okay to imply that Walker was dumb and that MacArthur is out of touch), it is on to check in with up-and-coming Colonel John Henry Michaelis and Major General Bryant Henry Moore, dead of a heart attack. And if that's not enough, a box story lists Ridgeway's entire new team of six generals, while checking in with five Korean veterans rotated back Stateside to share their experiences. I don't really want to list and summarise the already brief biographies of Ridgeway's new team, but I want to say something, and so I will tell you that there is one cavalry man, one tanker, three infantry officers and an engineer in the list.
"UN Casualties" Besides 49,132 American casualties, there have been 267 Australian, 6 Canadian, 373 French, 67 Greek, 94 Netherlander, 7 New Zealand, 15 Filipino, 948 Turkish, 894 United Kingdom and 3 South African casualties. In China, there is speculation that either or both of Mao and Lin Piao might be ill or on the outs.
"Tonkin Line" After heroically defeating the Viet Minh with nothing but his leadership, massive American aid and the end of the rainy season, de Lattre de Tassigny is replacing the colonial-era fortresses along the Chinese border with a "Tonkin Line" of modern concrete bunkers, north of Haiphong.
You can tell that the Russians are terrible because they say that the West is the warmongers, and that Russia has only half the number of men in arms as the combined force of 5 million fielded by the US, Britain and France. Whereas, Time says, it is actually 2.5 million for the West versus 5 million for the Russians (and another million for the Warsaw Pact, plus 10 million Chinese.) You can also tell that the World Peace Council is terrible because it pretends to be for peace when it is in fact, pink. It was especially funny when Dean Hewlett Johnson said that Eisenhower came to Europe to raise "a German army under onetime Nazi generals" to "employ those forces against the same Soviet Union that saved our culture at Stalingrad." I'm not sure what's funny about that, because it's all true. I guess you could ask for nuance; the generals were lukewarm Nazis at best, and just because the Russians were good guys then doesn't make them bad guys now, is how I would put it. But the way Time puts it, it is like it knows just how weak the argument is, and doesn't even try to make it, because bluster and bullying will work just as well. Anyway, that's my opinion!
"Walks of Humility" Clement Attlee had to tell Parliament that there was going to be an American NATOs Supreme Sea Commander, Atlantic. "Supreme Sea Commander"? Is this a comic book!? Apparently it is, because when Churchill threw a fit, the whole House joined in. Time has no time for them. What do those silly British even know about modern carrier operations, anyway? They're all about "submarines this," and "submarines that," when real modern naval warfare is about vast fleets of gleaming aircraft carriers steaming at flank speed and launching mighty air strikes. But Churchill and also Labour member, John Hynds, were having none of it, even though Philip Vian is to be Deputy Supreme Sea Commander, which is something in the way of the Empire's revenge on the poor Supreme Sea Commander, if you ask James and Grace, who have had the pleasure.
News from Britain include the Tories winning a vote, but not on a matter of confidence, which is the ones where you have to call an election if you lose, which means that Labour didn't clear out the wards to bring in the vote, so it is completely meaningless except that private truck drivers will be able to compete with Government over 60 mile hauls instead of 25. The daughter-in-law of the Ambassador to Egypt came back to Britain with 56lbs of coal because her French friends were concerned she would get cold with the shortage and all, and Labour is still fighting snobbishness, which allows Time to go to town on a comment from Herbert Morrison on the theme of how unions shouldn't cold-shoulder working class men promoted to management. Also, Dr. Fuchs has been denaturalised and will be deported to Germany when he gets out of jail, Italian police are raiding Communist arm dumps that it sounds like Communists are finking out; Czech and Hungarian communists are trying their best to be loyal to Moscow; Spain is still not Fascist at all.
"The Ingathering" Israel has received a half-million immigrants since 1948, joining the half-million already there at independence, and will be receiving another half million in the next two years. The new immigrants are "not educationally, physically or psychologically equipped to build a new homeland," so the Israelis put them in work camps and re-educate them. (I added the last part. But only the last part!) Time is very concerned with the racial balance. In 1948, "European Jews" outnumbered "Oriental" by four to one, but the immigrants have been 60% Oriental, and the ratio will go much higher. Time notices that European Jews long for the day when they could bribe officials for special treatment, while Oriental Jews eat with their hands, have lice, sleep on the ground, and are amazed by running water and roofs that don't leak. Time explains that the current debate between secular, socialist European Jews and the Orthodox community over education is actually about the racial divide, since Orthodox Jews are "overwhelmingly" Oriental and do not want to be assimilated into secular society, whereas European Jews are convinced that they can "save" the Oriental Jews, which I don't think just means allowing them to escape persecution in their old countries. Oh, and in India the Congress Party is turning anti-Communist. Yay, cheers Time.
In this hemisphere, Argentina celebrated the end of the Pan-American Games by being horrible and Peronist, the legislature of the island colony of Grenada called in a cruiser and its contingent of Royal Marines to fight a general strike, the Dominican Republic's Trujillo and Haiti's Paul Magloire met to sign a treaty and promise to be good neighbours from now on, and two American cotton planters in Nicaragua are showing those backward people how to grow cotton right.
The NPA has put through the first cut in steel for autos and other consumer goods, while the OPA is imposing a price schedule for used car sales. Uncle Henry has cleared his debt to the Federal Government with a $37 million check backed by his latest private loan, clearing his entire Government debt except for the $51 million still owed by Kaiser-Frazer. Everything is fine, because Kaiser Steel and Kaiser Aluminum are actually making money. French fashion designers are still ooh-la-la.
"Another Blow" The Post Office has announced that it will be switching from rail to trucks for mail shipments of less than 200 miles, because trucks cost about 30 cents a ton for short hauls versus 4$ for rail.
"Needed: Freight Cars" The worst freight car shortage in US history won't end any time soon with the target at 10,000 cars a month and deliveries at less than 6000, and a recent steel allocation cut of 7%. The 290,000t allocation is enough for only 9300 cars a month, although the NPA has promised more steel when the builders can actually produce the cars.
"Battle for the Long Island" The Pennsylvania, which owns the Long Island Railroad, had intended to take it into bankruptcy and reschedule its debts before the latest crash, but now the state of New York wants to take it over, because no-one believes the Pennsylvania can run it under the current rate schedule. Under New York control, the Long Island would be relieved of real estate taxes and be free to set its own fares. The Pennsylvania says that this is "state socialism," because apparently the tree of free enterprise has to be watered with the blood of commuters even now and then.
"Working Girl's Friend" Time is very impressed with the Seraphic Secretaries of America's 672pp Complete Secretary's Handbook.
Douglas just delivered the first DC-6 built for cargo service, to Slick Airways, which is as good an excuse as any for a long profile of Slick Airways. Thanks, but around here we give our business to Aviation Week. Time also checks in with someone who won a best-in-show prize for a heifer in Texas, the Department of Commerce, which says that 4 million firms went into business in 1950 versus 350,000 that went out, Burberrys is department store in London with a Royal Warrant.
New Ideas reports that Bendix Aviation, which has a new Fish Finder out. It is "similar" to the ones that commercial fishing boats use, but smaller, at only 15lbs. Time helpfully explains how sonar works, and J. W. Wolfenden's new silverware that stays tarnish-free thanks to a coating "baked onto the silver."
Science, Medicine, Education
"Liquid Water Crystals" So it turns out that liquid water doesn't form an amorphous blob of random molecules, but rather "small, loose crystals." At least, so says Harvard Physics professor Gerald J. Holton, who advances the hypothesis to explain energy lost from sound waves in water. In a recent experiment with "compressed water," he found less than the expected energy loss, which he accounts for by saying that the crystals were collapsed. This is interesting because he is using sound waves and quartz crystals to convert them into electrical impulses, which is how SONAR works. I guess I am not surprised that physics professors at Harvard and wherever else are looking into the way that sound propagates through water. Submariners better hope they don't discover anything too big!
"Race 15B" That's the "race" of black stem rust that is now threatening the US wheat crop and which the Department of Agriculture is researching at a special farm in the Imperial Valley. The Department's success in breeding rust-proof crops has been an important part of the wheat boom of the last fifteen years, so a new, more virulent strain is bad news. The Department is thinking of either doing nothing and hoping it will all turn out for the best; launching an effort to extirpate barberry throughout the wheat belt, because barberry bushes can harbour wheat rust spores; and perhaps breeding a Race 15B-resistant variety of wheat, just like it has been doing all along.
"Trained Lifeboat" Add this one to "In aviation, no-one mentions the problem until it has been solved" file. It turns out that those lifeboats that the rescue planes are dropping are almost impossible to reach in a wind. The Air Force's solution is a "radio-controlled lifeboat that picks up survivors as if it were a seagoing taxi." Which means that the pilot can drive the boat right up the survivors, and set the boat's gyrocompass on a course for the nearest land, to boot. The boat carries enough fuel to run the motor for 800 miles.
"Six Without Hope" Time follows a Philadelphia reporter who walks up the "dingy staircase leading up over the grocery" and down the "gloom in the drab corridor" to the apartment of William Baird and family, where "there is no gloom inside," because even though son, Robert, has muscular dystrophy, which probably means all five of his brothers will also get the same horrible disease and die in ten years or so, they are refusing to give in to despair. Because muscular dystrophy is just that awful. And that's the story!
"Young and Old" Next Time checks in with Mrs. Anna Smith, a 38-year-old Carbondale, Illinois mother of seven who is married to father, "Mr. Smith" who is 101, a former undertaker, and now an evangelist, and who started his family in his eighties. Dr. Richard Asher wrote up a story about one Munchausen case in The Lancet, and since Time has nothing better to report this week, here's the summary.
I miss The Economist, which at least never seemed to be falling away from its usual reporting standard when it summarised a story from the American wires and couldn't be bothered to learn the first name of a subject.
"Grafted Brogue" And then, after all these silly little lifted stories, down at the bottom of the column, the case of doctors at London's Westminster Hospital who built a new tongue for an Irish boy who lost his tongue in a freak farm accident two years ago. Cyril Morrison's new tongue was built up from muscle tissue and wrapped with "thinly sliced skin from his arm." He can talk already, and the next operation will give his tongue a tip. Wow!
"The Munchausen Symptom" Oh, I know this one. Baron Munchausen is a famous German tall-tale teller of centuries long gone, and his name has been invoked to explain people who lie about their symptoms to get attention from doctors, up to, and including operations.
"A Ride in the Country" Time catches up with a pledge for one of Mobile, Alabama's six high school fraternities who was taken into the countryside, stripped, beaten, tarred, tortured, and was being exposed on the running board of a speeding car when his parents caught up with the initiation rite somewhere north of 10pm. Speaking to the press, the Mobile County school superintendent placed the blame for it all firmly where it belonged, on "indifferent parents," for not somehow getting rid of the fraternities on their own. Now he hopes that the state legislature will do away with them, because obviously it's none of the school board's business!
"'Here are the Books'" The President of Johns Hopkins has launched a $100 million fund raising campaign and also a plan to completely transform college education by allowing students to randomly wandering through whatever courses they want, aim for whatever degree they want, and read whatever they want. This will work, Detlev Wulf Bronk (seriously!) says, because Johns Hopkins students are super-duper smart, and he will put some of that hundred million into scholarships to get even smarter students. Time, I think, muffs the story a bit, which is actually about Bronk's plan, which was originally to eliminate undergraduate teaching at the university entirely. The faculty gave that the thumbs down in 1925, but now he wants to eliminate first and second year instruction, admit new students only by transfer, and let them begin graduate studies even before they finish their bachelor's degrees.
"Defence of Brooklyn" A schoolteacher in Brooklyn is very upset at all the pseudo-intellectuals that make fun of the Brooklyn accent and wants everybody to know that it is okay to have a dialect because even upper-class English people talk funny by some standards.
Art, Press, Radio and Television, People
Marcello Muccini gets a show and also a little lecture from Time about being too lazy to produce more canvasses. Louis Bouche also gets a show, but no lecture, because he is a Manhattan man-about-art who dresses flamboyantly and used to run his own gallery.
The lead press story might be better in Sports, as the Journal-American uncovers a game fixing scandal in college basketball. To fit it into Press instead, Time rounds up the reaction from other papers. So the New York Times worries about the climate of moral corruption on campus, the Chicago Daily News blames the New Deal, while the Daily Worker points its finger at Wall Street. Likewise, the second story might be better in Art, being about the recent rediscovery of the world's first war photographer, Roger Fenton, who photographed the Crimean War for the British press (The Illustrated London News, not that it says so here), and now recaptured in "a photographic supplement of The Cornhill," a notable London literary quarterly. Does it normally have photographic supplements? I have no idea, in spite of being a regular literature girl.
"Coming Home" Betty Graham, the young American reporter with the Shanghai Evening Post and Mercury has died under obscure circumstances.
"Headliner" NBC's Meet the Press is a very important television show because it is about politics, which are for grown-ups, and not at all for old men who like yelling at the radio. All the papers like it because they can sit and watch it at home and scribble down some controversial comments by Senator Fullbright, or whoever, and, Bam! News!
"Indians, Snakes and Noah" WNBC's Answer Mangets 2500 questions a day, all of which are answered by mail, even the ones that get on the radio. About 40% can be answered from a standard reference book, while the remaining 60% are handled by producer Bruce Chapman, his 40 person staff, the 5 million volumes of the New York Public Library, "and a postal panel of 20,000 obliging experts." Some questions are stranger than others. For example, "Do Indians have beards?" is the most recurrent question of all, say Answer Man staff. It has also been duplicated in assorted foreign countries.
Dwight and Mamie, Earl Browder, the Duchess of Kent and Anthony Eden, Rita Hayworth and Aly Khan, the Duchess of Windsor, King Richard I, Enrico Caruso, Sally Rand, Trygve Lie, Nehru, Robert Jackson, Robert M. Hutchins, Frank N. Buchanan, Eddie Duchin, Lloyd C. Douglas, Hetty Green, Astrid Varnay, Conrad Hilton, Arthur MacArthur, Dean Acheson, Generalissimo Franco and Marshal Petain are in the page, which is the usual mess. For example, the Duchess of Kent and Anthony Eden are only a couple in the minds of gossip columnists right now. Enrico Caruso isn't actually in the news, but rather his widow, but she is not famous, and so doesn't get the bold print. Likewise Richard I, who has been dead an awfully long time. Some historian has discovered that he received treatment for ulcers (sweet wine, about which I have my doubts), but no-one cares about some dumb historian. And Franco and Petain are here because Franco has invited the French to let Petain out of jail so he can come be the Generalissimo's room-mate. Someone else is dipping into the sweet wine! And speaking of something sweet Eddie Duchin's estate is probated at $400,000 and Lloyd Douglas's at $100,000.
General Franco also had a grandchild this week. Lawrence Fisher of Detroit's Fisher brothers has married. Edmund Pillsbury, president of Pillsbury has died crashing the plane he was piloting along with two friends, a and "socialite sportsman," and another Minneapolis "business leader" in his mid-thirties, as has Lewis Brown of Johns-Manville and Horace Horton Underwood, the Presbyterian missionary in Korea, Fred Morrell Zeder of Chrysler, Albert Grunwald, Margaret Mayo, Joseph Di Giorgio, Cyril Maude, and "General" James Moore of the United Confederate Veterans.
The New Pictures
Perhaps because of its "claptrap" "No-one under the age of 16 will be admitted" publicity campaign, the British import, No Orchids for Miss Blandish, doesn't get its review under the header, even though it definitely has one: It's claptrap! Storm Warning, a KKK melodrama starring Ronald Reagan has been gently handled to avoid offending Southern audiences. For one thing, the man lynched by the KKK on the main street is a reporter from a major Southern newspaper and not Coloured, for another it turns out that everyone in town, from Our Cousin the Prosecutor on down (but not our heroine's brother-in-law! Conflict!) are anti-Klan, except for the Klan! And its cynical leader who is just in it for the dues. I'd Climb the Highest Mountain is sort of like Stars in My Crown, only worse because it "stumbles into every pitfall the latter avoided," and is sentimental as a result.
Vice-Admiral Lockwood's Sink 'Em All and Rear Admiral Harley Cope and Captain William Karig's Battle Submerged tell the story of the United States submarine service in WWII. Arturo Barea's The Broken Root is his first novel, but also, in a sense, a sequel to his memoir, The Forging of a Rebel. Barea has never returned to Spain, so he can safely make the protagonist's abandoned Spanish family into one long, epic melodrama, "which is more effective as a report than a novel." Evan John's Ride Home Tomorrow is a novel about the last days of the old Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem, with the usual necessary addition of Robin Hood along the way. Time liked it. Gerald Sykes' The Nice American has a sarcastic title! The Americans in it aren't nice at all! Eventually the protagonist learns that he shouldn't be dallying around Europe and has to return to America to cultivate his own garden.
Aviation Week, 5 March 1951
News Digest reports that Slick has ordered six more DC-6As, the Mid-Continent Airways Convair crackup, Convair's new factory for anti-aircraft missiles, proposals to revive the National Air Races in 1951, near completion of the SAAB underground factory, and a new South African jet factory.
Sidelights reports that Conversion of the Lustron plant at Columbus for war production has bogged down due to lack of demonstrated need for porcelain houses at the front. The Navy, a bit frustrated, has pointed out that it needs it for planes. The Administration is going to ask Congress for $10 million to launch the National Science Foundation's "program to promote basic research" soon.
Industry Observer reports that the Air Force is evaluating the Grumman SA-16, Fairchild C-119, Chase XC-123 and Douglas Super DC-3 in the long-range rescue mission at Elgin Air Field. The French have received their first batch of MDAP F-84s, Chance-Vought would like us all to ignore that press release about the F7U-3 Cutlass, as the contract, and plane are still secret, and they can't be secret if we go around knowing about it! The industry thinks that the reason the Air Force has suddenly announced a 25,000lb payload requirement for its new medium transport means that it has already chosen the winner. Air Force demonstrators are flying F-84s around Brussels to show the Belgians that they are not getting America's sloppy seconds, after all. Helicopters! Blah! (Specifically, American has leased a factory to produce the pulsejet X-45 just as soon as it actually flies.) Test flights of the XB-52 will begin as soon as the Pratt and Whitney J-57 is available. "Largely." The Air Force will be getting production Chase C-122Cs soon, and the B-47 and XB-51 have received anti-skid gear suitable for their bicycle landing gear after Westinghouse originally developed it for tricycle gears.
Washington Roundup reports that the Emergency Programme is just limping along, and that the USAF is now talking about a 250 group(!!!) air force, which would still not be enough for offensive action against Russia, which, it is deemed, would take 300 divisions and 300 air groups. In Washington, Air Force generals say that we need more airplanes. News!
"New Way to Get Defence Orders" Hey, would-be Air Force contractors. Here's how you do it, some more!
"AF Studies Canberra First Hand" It's a "sleek fighter-bomber designed for tactical support operations," says Aviation Week. With a 50,000ft ceiling in case the Communists have really, really tall troops. The story probably comes out of Martin, since it has that last bit about how the Air Force is going to for sure order the XB-51 any day now.
"Who Will Build the Atom Plane?" It looks like it is going to be Consolidated Vultee, because they built the B-36 and the even bigger XC-99. Although Boeing, Douglas, and Lockheed all also have a claim to have built a really, really big plane. Putting an atom pile on a plane calls for a big one. In fact, considering how much shielding you need to moderate the neutrons and protect the crew (50t in total, it says here), it seems like it might be too big to fly at all, but GE is confident it can deliver the necessary atomic power plant, and the total power plant and maximum fuel on the B-36 is 75 tons, which makes it sound a bit more doable.
Our Expanding Industry reports contracts for Alison, Link, Whirlpool, Boeing, Bell, Seeger Refrigerator and Luscombe. The consumer goods makers are the only expansion in the expanding, and are making itty-bitty parts for wings and fuel tanks. Also in the news, the AMC is spearheading an industry die pool for aluminum and magnesium extrusions, the Curtiss-Wright extruded propeller gets a bit more coverage than in Time, and the Corps of Engineers announces plans for expansions on runway expansion on Hawaii and Johnson Atoll. The Army has set aside money to buy more C-122Cs, Fairchild is building a guided missile plant, Convair is pleased to report more orders for the 340.
Production reports that the AMC has a new Industrial Planning Division to expedite manufacturing, followed by a story about McDonnell's new forge (exttrusion)-tapering process to produced aluminum alloy wing spars for fighters.
George L. Christian, "Spark Advance Saves at National" George is still at the National Air Lines ship in Miami, and this week writes about why they are the only company to put automatic spark advance intot he R-2000s in their DC-4s, and why it's a great idea. That doesn't really make an article, so he follows up with some more tidbits, including National's use of cabin music to soothe passengers with Muzak, the new cutoff valve on the alcohol propeller de-icers, the company's decision to use Elastic Stop Nut Rollpin fasteners, and even more exciting news! Also, Bangkok airfield is the latest to install hydrant fuelling, and a new engine-silencing installation.
New Aviation Products reports on Goodrich Tires' new "dimple tread" for airplane tires, Dixie Tallyho's tire changer for really big airplane tires, GE's new low tension cable for aircraft electric systems, Tableway Lubricant's "Febis K-53" lubricant for machine tools, and W. S. Thomas' safe flight decals.
Aeronautical Engineering cross the pond to report on the Fairy 17, ordered into production for the Royal Navy after extensive competitive trials. Fairey says that the ease of lighting the Double Mamba engine, and its automatic prop pitch control were some of the most important reasons for the Fairy win.
C. J. Moss, "British Metals Adhesive Uses" An article about Redux, as used in the Hornet, Vampire, and more recently the Dove, Heron, and Comet, and probably pretty much all new British aircraft from now on. The article goes on to explain that Redux is pretty much a miracle glue, and has to be used like glues.
Short pieces report that the Air Force is pushing a new program to study motion sickness, a visor that "adds safety to high speed bailout, and a non-tumbling rate gyro that allows the new Westinghouse electrical autopilot to feature "unlimited manoeuvrability." It is going into the F-94C.
"Raydist: New Position-Measuring Device Claimed to Have Accuracy of 1 in 500 Feet" Hasting Instrument's Raydist has won a development contract from the All-Weather Flying Division at Wright Field as a testing equipment to measure accuracy with ILS, PAR, GCA and other actual production navigation gear. Hastings assures us that with more development, Raydist can replace all that stuff, because it is magic. (For one thing, it relies on low-frequency radio and so can somehow work beyond the radio horizon.)
What's New likes D. W. Perrie's Cloud Physics and is particularly taken with a new pamphlet about the Bendix ignition analyser and "associated equipment," although it has tough competition from a pamphlet about amorphouse phosphate coatings for aluminum alloys by Alfred Douty and F. P. Spruance and on medium intensity airport lighting and fluid flow rate testing by Line Material Co.'s Airport Lighting Division and Fisher and Porter, respectively.
J. V. N. Gardner of the Aircraft Radiation Systems Laboratory of Stanford, liked the article about buried antennas, but has a number of specific criticisms. Moulton Taylor, of Aerocar fame, has a much, much longer letter on the inevitability and imminence of flyable roadable autoplanes explaining why it is taking so long to certify the Aerocar in spite of it being perfect.
Time, 12 March 1951
Most veterans are very upset about the way that MacArthur's headquarters is handing out medals to generals, although a few are just cynical about it. Time and its correspondent in Hong Kong apologise for implying that the firm of Lo and Lo is engaged in selling pass ports. Some fellow in Wichita thinks that there must be something wrong with Snyder's easy money policy. A Liberty Tree image invites loads of letters taking the analogy and running with it. Totalitarianism is bad! America needs more spirituality! Henry Bennett of the Technical Cooperation Administration is pleased as punch about the article about Point Four. Lewis Oliffe writes to point out that the regents of the New York movie board that licensed The Miracle are 6 Protestants, 2 Catholics and 2 Jews, and that there are not, in fact, 6 Jews on the board, this being a mistaken transposition. Our Publisher writes to explain that they don't like Peron, but that's not why they write bad things about Peron that got their Buenos Aires bureau chief thrown in jail. They write bad things about Peron because you can't cover Argentina without saying bad things about Peron. Looking at it another way, Time wants Spain in NATO, but that doesn't mean that it is going to stop writing bad things about Franco. You see, even the war against Communism isn't as important as the war for press freedom. Hmm. HMM.
"The Carrot Technique" That is, the Administration is moving away from easy money with the "carrot technique" of offering a new issue of nonconvertible 2.75% bonds that can be swapped with 2.25% bonds maturing in 1967--72. Holders won't be able to convert the new bonds into cash, and will be gently encouraged to swap old bonds for new. Both moves will reduce the money out there and hopefully reduce inflation, with the cost of living index up 1.5% from December to January. Speaking of which, a very long story catches us up with the Wage Stabilisation Board's ongoing talks with the United Labour Policy Committee of the AFL and CIO. On the bright side, the railway workers settled this week for 12 cents/hour retroactive to February, although the engineers, firemen and switchmen are still without a contract.
In and around Washington, the President is off for his 23 day Key West vacation, the first in almost a year, and South Dakota's former Senator, Chan Gurney, is being rewarded for something or other with a seat on the CAB worth $15,000/year.
US Korean War casualties have passed the 50,000 mark, with 8612 dead and 9550 missing. Time is very upset that the US Ambassador to Switzerland, John Carter Vincent, has been posted as diplomatic agent at Tangiers. Tangier is the only chef de mission post that doesn't require a Senate hearing, and Time was relishing a good, long look at Vincent's traitorous "anti-Chiang, pro-Communist" position as Director of the State Department's Office of Far Eastern Affairs.
"Natural Royal Pastel Stink" The Senate subcommittee hearings on the Reconstruction Finance Corporation heard an exciting variety of accusations and defences from various people involved in Lustron and other suspect RFC deals, including a White House stenographer who got the mink coat so described in her capacity for "making friends." That's probably as much summary of the story as it needs. Right now it is all accusations and who knows what is going to come from it?
"Going Up" That is, the price of a sneak bomber attack on American soil, thanks to the announcement that the radar picket line around the United States would be finished by 1951. The Air Force still needs all-weather jet interceptors and more civilian observers, but, like it says here, the cost of an attack is going up.
"It Pays to Organise" As if long stories about the wage ceiling negotiations and the RFC investigation weren't enough, here's this week's coverage of the Kefauver Committee investigation into gambling and organised crime.
"Second Flight" Thirty passengers escape the Mid-Continent Airways Convair crash in Tulsa last week, including Mrs. James Alway, the 49-year-old wife of a WWI aviator and doctor who were on their way to Mexico on vacation. Instead, she took another Mid-Continent plane, a DC-3, back home to Aberdeen, South Dakota, leaving her husband in Arkansas, and crashing to her death at Sioux City, Iowa with fifteen other passengers. I could have set that story up better, Time-style, but you knew what was coming, right? Also, two crashes in a week for a non-sked!
"Sound Risk" The Air Force is ordering the Boeing B-52 right off the drawing board as a "sound risk" investment. Still no word on orders for the B-36.
"Lesson in Law" Time is beside itself at a federal judge giving Julius Emspak, the treasurer of the UEW the what-for, specifically six months in jail and a $500 fine for contempt of Congress.
Around the world it is talk, talk, talk. Diplomats are feeling out an agenda for a "Big Four" foreign minister's meeting, the Americans are backing the French, who are trying to break up the Ruhr cartels as the price of the Schumann Plan, Turkey is negotiating an entry into NATO, India is resisting UN intervention in Kashmir, a "patient reporter for United Nations World" says that the Russian delegation talks about half the time, the American delegation hardly at all. (Which is good.)
War in Asia
Ridgeway's attritional offensive continues, but an ambush of a US 155mm battery at Hoengsong with only two survivors shows that UN forces aren't having it all their own way. This is the fighting in which the Dutch took such heavy casualties. Total American losses (according to a Hong Kong paper with a fuller account) were 1900. Time next has a second swing at the "and then he died" story as it reports on Lieutenant Harry Sutton's Silver Star citation for Hungnam and then goes on to report the hero dying a hero's death on 3 February near Suvon. Naval aviator Admiral Harold M. Martin will replace amphibious specialist Arthur Struble in command of Seventh Fleet. Struble rotates back to take over First Fleet, State-side. The French battalion is the first non-American unit to receive a Distinguished Unit Citation in Korea. Time's correspondent in Viet Nam sends in a long dispatch from the field where he accompanied a patrol through the Mekong delta in the south, looking for Viet Minh guerillas. It is very picturesque, as they travel mud flats and narrow streams in amphibious vessels, with forest and ruined temples crowding the banks.
The State Department says that Western European communist parties have lost about a third of their party membership since the end of the war but meanwhile the spy hunt in Czechoslovakia has now implicated ten members of the Central Committee of the Czechoslovak Communist Pasrty, four district secretaries and a former ambassador. Sounds like a purge, to me! In France, the Pleven government has fallen over an attempt to reform the election law from the current proportional representation system to the two-ballot (vote and runoff) system of the Third Republic. Time sees proportional representation as favouring the Communists, and so is all in for the reform, although it doesn't seem likely that the new government, whoever forms it, will be able to push reforms through before the June elections. De Gaspari's government has suffered an embarrassing defeat in parliament due to increasing dissent from the more extreme wings of his Christian Democrat party.
"Tallyho" Churchill said a horrible old man thing in Parliament and his MPs apologised behind his back, which would be a super embarrassing story, so Time buries it in the middle of a story about how the Conservatives won another vote in the Commons over strategic materials stockpiles instead, because beating Labour is what matters.
"Scrambled Eggs" I don't know if we ever heard about the giant chicken farm in Gambia that was going to fix Britain's egg-and-dressed-chicken shortage. It was a Labour brainstorm of 1949, notwithstanding that it used "cheap native (non-union) labour" that would harvest feed and gather eggs. An American was brought in to run the project, and given $14,000 to buy hatching eggs from Rhode Island Reds. It turns out that you can't raise chickens in Gambia, and there you go. I made the mistake of mentioning this story to Ah May, who got a good laugh and now thinks that both Labour politicians are slack-jawed morons. In my defence, I think I tried to get it across that I thought that the story was more nuanced than that.
"Safari" A Treasury delegation has flown off to Argentina to salvage a meat deal that will restore British meat supplies, while Swiss voters have rejected female suffrage again.
"Boom and Terror" Time sent Dwight Martin to Singapore as part of his swing through Asia. He files from the Lion City that it stinks of garlic, Zam-Zam hair gel and uncured rubber, and that it is booming thanks to the rapidly rising price of rubber, with Malaya producing a record 704,000 tons this year, and another half million coming in from the rest of Southeast Asia for processing in Singapore plants. The Shanghai Bank is buried in bills, Rolls-Royces are everywhere, that Aw Boon Haw has added a swimming pool with slightly nightmarish mermaid statues to his mansion, all the little old ladies and nannies have permanents, coolies wear pith helmets, and the Communist insurgency is still on. Continuing on this tour of interesting facts, we check in with Manila, where the battle against its corrupt dock workers' union goes on. As far as I can tell from very briefly perusing the story, it is mainly being waged by another union that is raiding it for members, which doesn't necessarily sound like the Good Guys to me. And in China, Time hopefully speculates, there is a rising tide of uprisings against the Communists.
In this hemisphere, almost nothing matters except the arrest of Time's bureau in Buenos Aires, which was pretty quickly cleared up, and the latest attack on La Prensa, which has not been. Only "almost," though, because we check in with Mexico, where a biographical movie about Pancho Villa is doing great box office, and Canada, where C. D. Howe is Finance Minister, although the speech he gave complaining about unfair American criticisms of Canadian contributions to Western defence was given in Chicago.
"Sulphur Shortage" So. There's a sulphur shortage in America now? That's what I read, anyway. And in Britain, too!
"Triumph of the Egg Beater" Not content with stealing the National Bureau of Standard's business, Time goes after Aviation Week's bottomless supply of say-the-same-thing-again-and-again helicopter stories. What about those helicopters? They sure are something!
"From Icebox to Deep Freeze" Have you heard about price controls? We have them, now! I think word about price caps on cotton might actually be new news, but in unfairness to Time it puts that bit into a separate story in order to keep the say-the-same-thing-again-and-againness of the article pure and unsullied.
"Go and Stop" Now that the steel industry is finally opening new plants, the Government is churlishly suggesting that it is going too fast. It might have a point, in that the Committee of Economic Advisors was hoping that the industry would hit 120 million tons a year capacity in 1955, but now it looks like it will reach it in the middle of 1952. Given the projections of a doubled GNP by 1955, it follows that having that capacity two years too early, while the economy is expanding at gangbusters' pace, implies overcapacity. The industry predicts that the Defence Production Administration will shut down amortisation orders soon to allow the country to catch up.
New Ideas reports that Curtiss-Wright has discovered a way of extruding propeller blades' Du Pont de Nemours has a new synthetic, Amilar, which resists mold and mildew, launders easily, and will not stretch. The Great Northern, which cut its Seattle-Vancouver fare by 32% last year to see if rail passenger service could compete with busses, reports that it has been a stunning success.
Walter Schott is a world-historical genius, Time wants you to know.
"The Tube Known as Joe" RCA has just released its new colour television tube, which is named "Joe," because it is the Joe DiMaggio of colour television tubes that work according to the RCA electronic scanning system and not the CBS system that the FCC has approved. In other words, not reversing that decision will be like hating Jolting Joe. Considering that RCA's profits are up 84%, it must know what it is doing. (Counterpoint: The rest of the TV business is doing equally well, and so for that matter is the auto industry, in other boom news.)
Science, Medicine, Education
"Uranium, Please" The AEC has raised its $10,000 prize for an American deposit of high-grade uranium ore from $10,000 to $35,000.
"Too Much Magic" Rainmakers William Vittoni and Joseph Vowels, working for North American Weather Consultants of Pasadena, California, went up into the mountains to make rain, and were evidently so successful that they ended up snowbound and had to be rescued by snowplows. Honest!
"Shoran in Korea" SHORAN. Grr. It's an acronym for "Short Range Air Navigation," otherwise known as blind bombing by radio. The plane asks two ground stations if it is over the target, the ground stations pull out their protactors and do a triangulation, say, "Yes," and it's bombs away. Okay, I'm being funny. Actually, it is all automatic these days, but the same principle applies.
"Rubberneck Camera" Perkin-Elmer showed off a gigantic aircraft camera that can take "a detailed picture of the entire state of Pennsylvania in one day of sightseeing." Honestly! It is like aerial surveying wasn't invented in World War Bloody One, with the radio triangulation and the aircraft cameras and the aerial surveying. The article goes on to suggest that these new cameras might be used for the novel practice of --aerial photography over enemy territory. Who ever heard of such a thing?
"Fireflies, Knees and Fuses" The National Bureau of Standards, not satisfied with boring brains out at Aviation Week, invades Time to announce its 50th birthday by telling an interminable story about how it established an American standard for nuts and bolts back in the day, when it was young and music was worth listening to. The Bureau wants us to know that it invented the magnetic clutch, ac radio, the printed circuit, "the only successful guided missile" of WWII, and the proximity fuze; and that it measured "fireflies' light" and "the abrasiveness of female knees." I know something that's abrasive around here! I'll give you a hint: It is the NBS and its standardised grade of pure horsepucky.
"No Fetters, Nor Shackles" The Truman Administration wants compulsory national health insurance, the AMA thinks that that is totalitarian Nazi Communist socialism. You know what we need now? Some well meaning person to stand in the middle and tell them they're both wrong! Step up, Methodist Bishop G. Bromley Oxnam (which is a real name) of New York, to tell people not to listen to Nazi Communist socialism or "the reactionary propaganda of the AMA." Protestant Americans want an unspecified progressive solution to the problem, says Bishop Fancy Name. Non-Protestant Americans can go hang.
"Vigorous Middle Age" Dr. Thomas Kirk Cureton of the Physical Fitness Research Laboratory of the University of Illinois is 49 but still fit, which he attributes to exercising. He believes that other middle-aged men (26--60) should also exercise and eat right and so avoid heart attacks. As opposed to causing them by exercising too vigorously, which Dr. Cureton thinks isn't a big problem.
"Death to Dead Tissues" Debridement, the removal of dead tissue around wounds to improve healing, is hard because the procedure can damage tender, regrowing flesh. In WWII, doctors even revived the use of maggots for the purpose, but maggots are gross and disgusting. This week Drs. Howard Reiser, Richard Patton and L. C. Roettig of Ohio State reported progress in using the digestive enzyme, trypsin, instead, while researchers at NYU have been experimenting with streptokinase and strepotodornase, two extracts from streptococcus germs instead. I'm not sure I would want strep throat extract painted on my bed sores, but the doctors swear up and down that it works.
Time celebrates the career of Dr. R. B. H. Gradwohl, who practically founded forensic medicine in America, and thereby gave detective fiction a whole new dimension, and notes that since 1890, cancers have gone from affecting more women than men, to affecting more men than women. The experts think that it might be because men's cancers are harder to diagnose.
Harvard Lampoon had a hilarious bit about Elizabeth Taylor the other day, Time wants you to know. And by "funny," Time doesn't mean "grand larceny at the expense of the Crimson." Because it was just a lark!
"Give it Back" To show that Time isn't always a bunch of right wing curmudgeons, it is off to Piedmont College to expose an attempt by Judge George Armstrong of Texas to boost the profile of his old friend and veteran white supremacist, George Van Horn Moseley by having him speak at the college in return for a $500/month subvention from Moseley's Armstrong-funded educational foundation. The student body rose in revolt and the cheques have been returned.
Time finishes up Education by checking in with the Univeristy of Illinois, Urbana, which is having a cultural festival that it likes so much that it is time for one of those capsule biographies of the university president responsible. George Stoddard, if you were wondering.
Or no, it doesn't, because even that effusion of words isn't enough, and we have a moment to check in with the Pestalozzi teaching method, with "Lessons from Yverdon," in honour of a new edition of his The Education of Man from the Philosophical Library, which evidently has the cash for a puff piece from Time.
Art, Press, Radio and Television, People
"Still in Washington" Andrew Mellon bought Raphael's Alba Madonna from the Russian government in 1931, and it is still in Washington. So why did the Reds recently claim that they still have it? Is it because they are awful? No, the Hermitage in Leningrad still has two Raphaels, and Voks Bulletin mistakenly illustrated an article about them with a photograph of the Alba Madonna, an honest mistake of the kind that less-well connected people go to Siberia for. In conclusion, it is because Communists are awful. Speaking of Old Masters, a Manhattan gallery sold 35 Reubens last week. Time reflects on what a wonderful painter Reuben was, as opposed to how much the Yankee dollar buys, overseas. At this point it is more than time for Time to write about an artist who is still alive, and preferably European, so let us hear it for Oscar Dominguez! He is in Paris, is independently wealthy, and did one of those surrealist abstract thingies of a gramophone that looked like a breast, once.
"Pegging to the Dollar" Wesbrook Pegler is in trouble with the Journal-American for denouncing US bonds and telling customers not to buy them, which is deemed unpatriotic. Which, I mean, yes, it is Pegler, and the language is the usual awful Pegler stuff, but if US bonds are giving an interest rate below inflation, then they are bad investments, and you should avoid them. Right?
"Return of the Native" You know that story where either a Coloured man, or a White man in makeup, does a tour of the South and comes back and tells us that it's awful? This time, it is Carl Rowan of the Minneapolis Tribune's turn, starting with his Tennessee hometown of McMinnville. He thinks that segregation is on its way out.
"Pearson vs. McCarthy" Senator McCarthy has made the mistake of calling Drew Pearson a Communist in a way not covered by Senate immunity, and Pearson has slapped him with a $350,000 libel suit, plus $250,000 for assault relating to the hat check episode. He's also throwing in $2.5 million against Pegler and Fulton Lewis of the Washington Times-Herald for piling in, on top of last year's $250,000 suit against Pegler. That's a lot of suing!
"Continued Story" King's Row was a scandalous success of a novel, eleven years ago, and the movie was equally successful and had just as much "sadism, incest, and violence." Now there's a radio show, and, hoo-boy, you can't say that on radio! But, the cast promises, if the audience has patience, soon they'll be doing "adult soap opera and getting away with it."
"Sensible Man" The New York Times has a radio critic? Yes! It is a guy named Jay Gould, and you know what he hates? the new Flash Gordon tv show! It's "a macabre and sordid half hour," he says, "a stimulation of horror, fright, and goulish suspense." Hmm, Where has this show been, all my life? So, anyway, Gould thinks that this is a bad thing and has petitioned the DuMont network to do something about it. DuMont naturally responded by surrendering in advance, putting a Western movie on in place of the next airing, and replacing it with Don Winslow going forward. Meanwhile, NBC has a nice tribute to composer Richard Rodgers, airing. Much better, Ronnie said, using her patented "sarcasm voice."
Mrs. D. Leigh Colvin, General MacArthur, Barnarr Macfadden, Gracie Fields, Pius XIII, Danish royals, William Faulkner, Newton Arvin, T. S. Elliot, Bernard M. Baruch, Connie Mack, Barbara Hutton, various Mussolinis, Elliott Roosevelt, John Paul Jones, Anita Loos, Al Capp, assorted Hollywood stars but also George Gershwin, Longfellow and Truman, Dr. Vannevar Bush, Lewis. B. Hershey, and Georgia Neese Clark feature in an extra long section this week. The usual division between Actual Famous People and People Actually Making News is a bit less obvious in this one. The only people hijacked on to the page are John Paul Jones (Elliott Roosevelt is writing a historical novel about him), and Gershwin et al, because People has a very long list of autographs for sale. Longfellow's goes for thirty bucks, which is sixty times as much as William S. Hart, who still fetches more than Betty Grable. The Mussolinis are thinking about moving to Argentina as a family, or so says Anna Maria, and Vannevar Bush shares the deathless insight that since we now have enough atom bombs to blow up Russia, war is off the table for the foreseeable future. Which gives President Taft more credit than seems humanly possible.
George Hearst, eldest son of William Randolph, has divorced his third wife. C. Day Lewis is also divorced, probably for the first time, since he is 46 and it is after 22 years of marriage and three sons. Should have had a daughter! Alberto Dodero, richest man in Uruguay, Sir George Oliver Colthurst, manager of Blarney Castle, Henry Armstrong, and Mrs. Ray Wilner Sundelson have died.
The New Pictures
Royal Wedding is an "illustration of what is wrong with splashy Techni-coloured cinemusicals --and how entertainign they can sometimes be in spite of it." I think that means that Time liked it when Fred Astaire danced on the ceiling. And it's got Sarah Churchill! The Groom Wore Spurs is about a singing cowboy who can't sing, and doesn't like horses, which could be funny, but isn't.USS Teakettleis an attempt to make a joke out of the "90 day wonders," (so, basically, Reggie says, "Me"), by putting them aboard an experimental sub chaser instead of Zero fodder aboard the late-war carrier fleet Reggie adds, that luckily by that time the Japanese were even shorter on pilots). The experiment is a steam plant alongside the standard diesel, and instant Reserve Lieutenant Gary Cooper is understandably nonplussed at being put in charge of the experiment, along with three equally-inexperienced officers and a veteran boatswain's mate who is too ashamed of being seen with them to be a proper nursemaid. Time mostly liked it.
Margaret Case Harriman, yes, that Case, has a book about the Algonquin Hotel Round Table, also known as the Vicious Circle. It's pretty funny. George Tabori's The Caravan Passes is a "perspiring novel about modern Arabia," with lots of murder and intrigue, which the novelist tried to turn into some kind of political parable, although Time didn't notice until it was over, suggesting that it wasn't a very good parable. Ethel Waters' His Eye is on the Sparrow is "one of the frankest self-revelations ever to see print." James Hilton's Morning Journey turns "ham into spam."
Aviation Week, 15 March 1951
News Digest reports that Martin has received another order for its P5M-1, that the Avro Jetliner is on yet another American sales tour, this time to be evaluated as a air-refuelling tanker, that Boeing has delivered the first C-97Cs to MATS, that the aviation editor of the New York Journal of Commerce, William Graham, has been killed in the crash of a Navy plane in which he was flying as a passenger, off Korea, that Lyman Gilmore has died at 74, that Kenneth Ferguson has resigned as vice-president of operations and engineering at NWA to become a consultant, and that the first de Havilland Beavers have been delivered to the army.
Sidelights reports that the special Congressional committee to investigate alleged abuses in the GI training programme has no plans to branch out to aviation schools right now, that the Johnson Committee is going to find that the Air Force has been hoarding manpower at the Lackland training intake centre, that the airmail rate is likely to go up this year, that Northwest replied to reports that is looking to sell its Stratocruisers to the Air Force and lease them back to fly the Pacific air lift by saying that if it were to get rid of any plane, it would be the 2-0-2. Pan Am is evacuating dependents of its employees in Hong Kong. It says here, right at the bottom of a potpourri column in Aviation Week!!!!
Industry Observer reports that the big new Allison/Chevrolet jet production programme is because the Allison J-35A has been selected for the B-47C, four to a plane, two in each pod. Ther Allision J-33 is the first American jet engine to be approved for 500h between overhauls. The Convair XP5Y-1 is due to fly shortly, and is designed for long range mine-laying, although the Air Force is ordering it as a transport. While that decision will not be changed, Convair is optimistic that there will be more orders, because Navy flying boat transports are the Coming Thing, as can be seen from British reports that the British will buy the 10-engine Saro Princess for RAF Transport Command. More reliable British sources confirm that the Canberra can carry a bomb as large as a "conventional four engine bomber," indicating that it will be a potential atom bomb carrier in USAF service. Aviation Week notices the new automatic lifeboat, and reports that Avro Canada is indignantly denying reports that it is shelving further work on the No. 2 Jetliner to focus on military production. Saunders-Roe has taken over development of the Cierva Skeeter.
Washington Roundup reports that the Navy is getting worried that Congress might be sniffing around Naval aviation, and specifically its attempt to poach strategic bombing away from the Air Force, because Naval air hasn't had an emergency buildup yet, and there's an emergency on! So if Congress says it can't have oh, I don't know, atomic jet flying boat atom bombers, what can it have? Apart from a giant fleet of 27 giant aircraft carriers with all the fixings, I mean. It probably won't even hit its 1952 target of 8000 planes! Also, General Marshall recalls how Congress was on his throat last year for calling for a partial mobilisation, and now look at it!
"Rentzel to Get Key Mobilisation Post" What can I say? It's the lead news story. So is "Minimum Radar Screen Complete This Year," but Time is already on that story, complete with grammar! Also scooped by Time, the Air Force B-52 procurement, but not the new School for Army copter pilots.
Our Expanding Industry has to go to a smaller font to cram in sixty contracts that deserve small font plus 10 that deserve normal font, paragraph breaks and bold face, and four that only deserve regular font and no paragraph breaks. Is this directly a measure of how much money they paid Aviation Week? I can't quite see it, but I wouldn't be surprised, either. And in case you're thinking that it has something to do with the importance of the contracts, Gibson Refrigerator's contract to build control surfaces on subcontract to Kaiser-Frasier gets bold-plus, Dow Chemical gets normal font treatment for a contract for magnesium expansions, and Republic Aviation is buried in the tiny font, no-breaks passage.
Outside the Expanding Industry box, the text "crawl" catches us up with the XB-52, the J-57, the Canberra, and the "sweptwing B-36," while the first in-print intimation that the XB-51 is dead as a doornail gets its own little box in the form of a question mark ("XB-51 Future?") in an otherwise upbeat report that orders are expected imminently.
"New Cutlass" I guess we've given up on keeping the Cutlass secret now that it's not secret.
"NATO Jets" Deliveries of the T-33 and F-84 are increasingly rapidly, and the USAF is working on a chain of bases in Europe.
"Douglas Aims to Hold Transport Leadership" It does! By delivering lots of Skyraiders! I paraphrase, but that's basically the story.
Aeronautical Engineering has a big report on the "Convair Triplets," the 240, Turboliner and 340. According to the article, everything is going swell. The Convair 240 is "proven," the Turboliner has accumulated 30 hours of test flying, and the 340, although designed for a Pratt and Whitney prop engine, is "specifically intended" to take a turboprop when one shows up. As I've mentioned to the point where you're sick of hearing it, Reggie has made a pretty devastating case against the idea that you can just chuck a turboprop in a plane designed for a piston engine. Convair could still prove him wrong, but they'd better hurry up if they expect to beat the Viscount.
Avionics has "Air Force Tests new Navigation System" Sperry Gyroscope has a new navigation system for "control of dense air traffic within airport terminal areas," two Sperry engineers say at the 19th Annual Institute for the Aeronautical Sciences meeting this year. It is based on the system recently installed at Wright-Patterson, uses phase difference in a 500mHz ominrange to measure distance to aircraft, reports on a "graphic computer display" in aircraft cockpits. It is being considered by the Air Force for the contract. Sperry promotes its as conserving frequency space, since all work is done at 500mHz, and by pointing to its accuracy, which will allow an 8 second separation of aircraft on touchdown.
Production visits Northrop to learn about its part inventory management system for the F-89 Scorpion.
Equipment has George L. Christian reporting from PanAm Miami. Again. This time it is about how they plan maintenance schedules. Also, Guild Laboratories wants us to know that its instrument-recording cameras withstand enormous accelerrations, will take any Leica lens, and take up to 5 frames a second at -40 to +160 degrees. Pakistan has bought some Marconi VHF direction finders, Lear wants us to know that its F-5 autopilot is also the best ever because it is better at coupling with radar tracking devices than any dumb old Westinghouse autopilot with non-toppling rate gyros. Vickers' fixed displacement hydraulic pumps are even better when refitted with the new wafer kit modification, and Goodrich's Geon vinyl plastic is going to be used all over the industry in place of dumb old unmodified polyvinyl chloride that no-one likes because it is dry and tough, unlike Geon, which has a plasticiser applied. Electro Polishing's new metal finishing process is also the best, and so is the Alodine brush on kit, which contains enough chemicals to Alodize 1000 sq feet of aluminum, with no skilled application required and no heat treatment.
New Aviation Products has a small fuel boost pump from the Adel Division of General Motors, and a new way of quieting jet engines from B and W Insulating Firebrick that reduces the sound coming out of jet engine test cells. I feel like everyone is crowding into this market because it is the one place where someone might be able to do something about jet engine noise. John Oster has a fast cycling capacitor and Air Associates, over in England, has something called "Interlock" "Finger sheet clamps," which sound like they belong in the basement of the Gestapo building, but which are actually for putting metal sheets together.
What's New 's favourite pamphlet this week is about Alternating Current Electrical Systems for Aircraft, from Westinghouse, although Leslie Neville's Aircraft Designers Data Book comes close, and also there's the 1950 Aircraft Yearbook for those who like such things. Neville used to work for Aviation Week before he got a real job at Curtiss-Wright.
Editorial is very upset at "Frowzy journalism," which is like bad journalism, only it is by girls, as witness it is in Cosmopolitan. Cosmopolitan has attracted Robert Woods' ire by wandering away from its place in things (Gloria Swanson and "fight referees")into the properly non-Frowzy matter of flight safety. Apparently, girls are getting it in their head that non-sked airliners crash all the time, just because non-sked air liners crash all the time. A proper and non-Frowzy journalist would, of course, discover that if you look at the numbers right (Let's see, divide by pi, carry the two . . . ) you would find that airliners hardly ever crash at all! To show the frowziness, Woods relentlessly reveals that the article in question has several errors bout the January 1949 Seattle crash, which Woods agrees was inexcusably negligent. But not as negligent as Cosmopolitan makes it out to be, which proves his point.
The problem with writing this kind of editorial is that it is hard to keep up with all the crashes that happen between deadline and newstand delivery, as see yesterday's Hong Kong crash.