Saturday, January 30, 2016

Postblogging Technology, December 1945, II: Journey to the West

My Lord:

Our best wishes, and profound gratitude to you this Christmas, or, rather this Twelfth Day. "Miss V.C." has given me a full account of the Berlin negotiations, and your handsome letter, signed by the General (and Mr. H., in advance!) So the mortgage is extended, and I shall take the good news up to the "junior college" as soon as American academia awakens itself from its Christmas nap. I am sure that they will be glad enough to have a budget for next year that there will be no problem with discrete archival access.

I honestly still have my doubts that the arrangement. The University's reputation will be as badly damaged as the Engineer's if any details of his father's arrangements emerge, and those details are what Grace expects to find. I know that she wants to tiptoe around this, simply hold it over his head; but we have already been visited by assassins. The Soongs do not play the game like gentlemen! However, with civil war in the offing in China, we cannot spare a weapon. 

As I say, Twelfth Night, which I mention because of your telegram of concern, which I have passed on to "Miss V.C.," who has written you a thank you note, which, since it goes by surface mail, will probably reach you with the first swallow of spring. The reason we celebrate the Nativity so late, as you guessed, is that she was caught in the storm that shut the railroads down in the East on the 18th.  

I do not know if "Miss V.C." told you, however, but there is more to the story. It was not just the young lady stranded by the road, but a full house for Christmas Eve in Cleveland Central Station.

Very well, the details.  The original plan was for her to fly to California, joining her parents in San Francisco for Christmas, and then to visit with us. She would be accompanied by my half-brother, who is in college in Boston, who would take the train up to Montreal and fly back with her. Her parents found the idea of winter flying to be ridiculously dangerous, although, given the state of the trains, an argument could be made either way. So, just to be safe, they asked the young man that Grace likes to refer to as "Lieutenant A." to escort her. As I am sure she told you, she and the young lieutenant are all but formally engaged, though this does not dim my brother's hopeless attraction to her a wit. 

The odd thing about this is, even though "Miss V.C." treats my brother with the utmost propriety, and assures all that she has no feelings for him, her parents still seem concerned. A family marriage --even though they are only third cousins!-- is out of the question. An admiral's son is just the sort they are looking for, especially as his career seems to be flourishing in Washington. (Oddly enough, given that Admiral Nimitz detests him, and for good reason, I have to say.) 

So, "Miss V.C." the young lieutenant, who was to turn around for Texas as soon as he saw his almost-intended safely to San Francisco, and my brother as third wheel. Put that way, it sounds worse than a storm! But it was at this point in the planning that the Engineer's youngest got involved. As you will have heard, he is a minor Hollywood star, and somewhat at loose ends after leaving the Army, as his studio has not offered him anything but a supporting role in a "comeback" film for one its stars next year. So he conceived a plan to visit the Canadian film board in Montreal, and to earn a little cash by conducting a tour for the 4H-Club at Santa Clara, which I cannot even begin to imagine explaining to you --the salient point being that our former housekeeper is a member, and was one of the teen companions in their late adventures here in California. 

Now, I have to admit that I am at a loss to explain all of this. My father has a simple explanation. He has somehow convinced himself that not only does "Miss V.C." carry a secret torch for my brother, but that the lieutenant only keeps up his end because it gives him an excuse to visit with our former housekeeper, who really is the prettiest thing, in that blonde Californian way, but of rather too low a stock for his mother's ambitions. (At least, as long as "Miss V.C." is in play.)

That's the theory. I don't believe a word of it. But the important point is that the Engineer's son may. Grace is convinced that, although he is charming and convivial to the bone, he is repressing some malicious impulses. My father takes this on board, and adds one last flourish to his theory. It is all deliberate. Our B-movie actor friend is trying to throw a wrench in our Chicago relatives' carefully-laid matrimonial plans for their daughter. 

I worry about my father. Uncle George has been expecting him to have a breakdown under the press of the war for years now, but he has not needed a rest cure since 1939. Perhaps his next spell is at hand?

It is far too late to say that I will be brief, but I do leave to your imagination a gaggle of young folk celebrating Christmas Eve with what they could find at the Harveys Restaurant in the Central Station.  
And that was the Christmas adventure that you sent "Miss V.C." into. If now I were to say that I would be brief, it would be end by saying that you should have no regrets, that all is well that ends well, and that it all makes me wish that I were young again. 

Your Humble & Obedient Servant,

Time, 17 December 1945


(Y3C) Lawrence W. Strattner writes to point out that while the Letters section is full of people condemning “the brutal wanton ways in which many GIs are conducting themselves abroad,” others are writing in to nominate Senator Bilbo and Colonel McCormick as the Men of the Year. “And so it goes. . . “ Not content to end with an ironic twist, Strattner goes on to recommend education as the cure for both. Some “Occupation Forces Officers Names Withheld” write to say that our policy is to be much too lenient to the Japanese, and that we are far too willing to let Japanese-American citizens return to America. If we are not harsher, there will be another war within 30 years. Christopher Isherwood writes to deny being the original of “Larry,” in Maugham’s The Razor’s Edge, pointing out that this rumour has been poisoning his life for six months, and he hopes that it will die away soon. I haven’t read the book, but I suppose Larry is an obliviously unself-aware character with no idea how rumour works. Henry Remak, a Warrant Officer in the Merchant Service, writes to denounce “harsh words for Britain.” Paramahansa Yogananda writes to explain that he is a crackpot with ridiculous ideas about history based on the “Hindu scriptures” which no-one could take seriously. Frank G. Robeson, of New Haven, Connecticut, writes to say that Russian Communism has a secret plan for world domination, which can only be prevented by war, which means atomic war, which means that it must come as quickly as possible, since the longer we delay atomising the communists, the worse the aftermath.

Worse? This would be awesome! Well, except for the atomic apocalpyse part, of course.
National Affairs

“Half a League” The paper anticipates the foreign ministers’ meeting in Moscow, and notes that the Senate has voted to authorise the UNO: the New York Daily News responds with the headline; “The Passing of the Republic!” 

“Tea for 400” Just to review, the paper used to like Mrs. Truman because at least she was better than Mrs. Roosevelt. This week she gave a tea party for 400, which makes her the best First Lady ever. (Also, events for the United Nations Relief Bazaar and Good Will Industries.) 

“Open Break” The paper thinks that the CIO might break with the President, after Philip Murray said nasty things about him on the radio, and other CIO men agreed. Some think that a break between labour and the President might be Stassen’s chance. The paper thinks that this is premature. The UAW strike continues.

“Attention!” General Yamashita thanked the court in Manila for giving him a fair trial. Upon which, he was sentenced to death by hanging for the crime of embarrassing the hell out of MacArthur.

“Stassen’s Ten-Year Plan” Harold Stassen has a ten-year plan for “economic conferences” of, well, everybody. The paper seems to think that Strassen is the new Willkie. 

“Hurley-Burly” Ambassador Patrick Hurley’s hearings were a bit of an embarrassment. He thinks that career diplomats George Atcheson and John S. Service were conspiring against him. The absence of any evidence of this leads Ambassador Hurley to point out that it must be so, because the State Department is conspiring to lose Iran to the Roosians, and he should know, because he is the secret author of the  final declaration of the Teheran conference. The paper is pleased that at least the hearings led Secretary Byrne to repudiate Service. This message brought to you by the Committee to Send Chiang Lots of Tanks.
It almost looks like the glasses have been retouched to make him look crazier. Or maybe I'm just imagining a conspiracy. Anyway, there's a similar picture of Harold Laski, so if Time did it once, it did it twice.
“Magic was the Word for It” Our cryptographic attack on Japanese ciphers was dubbed “Magic,” it is finally revealed. Why? It certainly is an enigma to me! At the Pearl Harbour hearings, Congressmen hear from General Marshall that leaks in Magic included the ill-advised interception of Admiral Yamamoto, a decoder who tried to sell the secret in Boston, a well-meant OSS ransacking of the Japanese Embassy in Lisbon, “whereupon the Japs adopted a new code for military attaches,” which is why you get a profession like Wong Lee to do this sort of thing, and, “worst scare of all,” during the 1944 election campaign, when it was feared that Governor Dewey would talk about it, although he patriotically declined to do so. The Pearl Harbour Committee (the original one), also heard, and declined to keep secret, the news that “the U.S., with the help of the Briitsh, had decoded German as well as Japanese messages.” Publication of these letters led to a diplomatic row with the British, as well as the first German knowledge that at least one of their codes was being read. (Technically, “deciphered” means an attack on a cipher, not a code. We certainly are lucky that the Germans were not using a standardised ciphering/deciphering machine, under the understandable delusion that it was possible to build a randomising writing machine that produced unattackable ciphers. Given that such thing are widely commercially available, it certainly is an enigma why they didn’t! Various other things were said, at length, about how the Pearl Harbour attack was an inexcusable lapse that wasn’t really anyone’s fault as such.
Except the President’s, for leaving the Pacific Fleet so egregiously exposed, but we are not to say that.

“Victory in Rutledge” Roy Thomas Hollis, an escapee from a Georgia chain gang ten years ago, received a retroactive pardon for being an upstanding citizen ever since. And because the entire population of his home town had neglected to inform on him after he returned. You might almost think that there was something rotten in the state of Georgia . . . .

“Victory on Sugar Hill” Judge Thurmond Clarke of Los Angeles Superior Court throws out a racial covenant inthe West Adams neighbourhood which would have forced the eviction of a number of Coloured movie stars. There is justice for Hattie McDaniel! My father, drunk, notes that his neighbourhood has covenants against Orientals and Indians. Fortunately, not in front of Grace.

Army and Navy

“Merger” Admiral H. makes a fool of himself again.

“Home by Christmas?” The Administration is BUNGLING conscription. (With a hat tip to my wife.) There are some new details, though, like a load of 46 Army nurses arriving in San Francisco and spending three days on a troop train sharing two chair cars with GIs getting to San Antonio for demobilisation. Which is at least better than the thousands of troops stalled in the West Coast ports. Barracks ships have been mobilised in Puget Sound to hold them while trains are freed up, but it looks like many of them will not be home for Christmas, either, and the National Maritime Union has called a one day strike to “dramatise the lack of troop ships and demand that the men be brought home to prevent their use in imperialist intervention.”  Although as the  paper points out, four million GIs have been brought home since VE Day, and by the end of December it will be 5. After WWI, it took a year and a half to repatriate 2 million from Europe. The Army promises that by June, the discharge backlog wil be gone. The dead will be returning, as well, with Congress debating a bill to return any bodies that relatives request, although this will by no means empty out the war cemeteries, with 122,000 buried in Europe, 41,000 in the Mediterranean, 29,000 in the Southwest Pacific and 11,000 in the Pacific Ocean area. The cost of returning all these remains might run to $200 million, and, the paper thinks, might lead to “reborn” grief.

“Early Birdman” You know what there hasn’t been enough of lately? Anonymous news stories promoting John Towers’ career.

“Shaking Down the Stars” The paper thinks that it is “embarrassing” that the Army is retiring or demoting 500 generals, shaking out 1000 of 1540. And just when I was recalling the last story, about Towers, along comes the kicker paragraph, which singles out “53-year old Brehon B. Somervell, who, as chief of the Army Service Forces ran history’s greatest supply job.” Oh dear: the man who painted Alaska with taxpayer dollars might have to retire, “up or out," as only a Lieutenant General. It gets even more ridiculous when it notes that “66 year-old Lieutenant General Ben (‘Yoo-hoo’) Lear” is going to have to retire. Oh, no! The Navy has, of course, been much kinder to the 369 flag officers still on active duty, simply asking for volunteers for retirement. Only 16 have spoken up, so far, and that includes Halsey, Ingersoll and Land! The 51 who were recalled after Pearl will be out at the end of the year, and the Navy “hopes” to get down from 400 to 228 by next June. Of the Marines’ 81(!) generals, a good dozen or so might go voluntarily, and the Corps has no plans for forced redundancies. Perhaps it could set up a machine gun nest at one end of Camp Lejeune, collect up the generals, and let nature take its course, in the form of an instinctual, mass frontal charge?



“Cheer Up” Dr. Hans Bethe assures us that “It  . . . seems extremely unlikely that there will be any possibility of igniting the atmosphere or the sea by atomic bombs.”

“What the Nazis Thought” It turns out that, never mind racing directly to fusion-powered bombs, the Nazis were not even up on fission weapons, and thought that “such weapons were a hundred years away,” says Dr. S. A. Goudsmit, the American scientist who led the investigative mission to Germany.

“Mission to Moscow” It’s Uncle George’s joke, but it’s still true that we are, literally, talking about talking about international diplomacy. I shall regret being flippant if the UNO does break down over disagreement over atomics, the Balkans or Japan in Moscow, but Uncle’s cynicism is infectious, and I I cannot believe that will happen.

“It Can Be Simply Said” The paper must be reading Uncle George’s old notes, too! The joke here is that it can just quote the recent State Department statement on the loan and let its turgid, platitudinous prose speak for itself. Apparently, we’re going to have world trade, because of the world war?

“Toward World Trade” And then it ruins its joke by producing its own version. The paper focusses on the amount it will cost America very briefly, on the fact that there will be no let up on British austerity at more length, and closes with a brief summary of every Economist of the last year: to get back on track, Britain has to export 75% more than in 1938, whereas on V-J Day it was only exporting 38%. Actually, it is probably worse than The Economist makes it out to be, because Mr. Crowther seems to think that British coal exports can be revived by stern words to the miners, and problems in the coal fields the world around suggest that he is probably just kicking the dog.

“Winter of Discontent” Germany is cold, no-one has any food, and some people do not have roofs. The target ration of 1,550 calories/day is supposedly enough to prevent “disease and unrest,” so by definition, the actual current 1,350 will lead to both. The Germans are surely getting more on the black market, and, more importantly, I would guess, from whatever they call their Victory Gardens, but poor folk in flats do not have gardens. America will be sending more food, and Washington has now accepted that it will have to pay for the occupation, rather than charging it to the Germans, which would have meant rapidly rebuilding German heavy industry, we are told.

“The Source” The British chief justice at the Nuremberg trials gave a long speech. (For some reason, the paper uses the German orthography.) Rudolf Hess reminisced from his cell. Joseph Berry Keenan will be the American chief prosecutor at the Tokyo war crimes tribunal when it opens in January.

“An Arrogant Challenge” “Little Laski” was in New York to give a talk, giving the paper a chance to explain that it does not like Harold Laski.

Foreign News

“Tactical Deployment?” A riotous mob destroys two pro-Russian papers in Istanbul.

“The Rhythym Recurs” This week’s cover is the young Shah of Iran, and the main story is an extended treatment. “Whenever the Lion is in trouble, the Bear takes a poke at Iran.” Also, “History is a oeom in which the words change, but the rhythm recurs.” Iran has a lot of oil, so naturally the Russians are provoking the Kurds into revolt. The paper supposes that the Russians have discovered a need for Iran’s oil.

“Court Circular” Kings Zog of Albania, George of Greece and Peter of Yugoslavia are all at leisure in England, while Prince Adalbert of Prussia shifts from one Swiss resort hotel to another “at the request of management.” Also at loose ends are an Austrian archduke and the King of Belgium. In better news for crowned heads, at least the King of Thailand can leave for home to resume his duties, spinning the wheel of Dharma.

"Indian relief from Amaravati, Guntur. Preserved in Guimet Museum" . Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Commons -,_Guntur._

“Politics of Procreation” “Death was claiming three of every ten Italian babies before the age of one.” It would be bad enough if the next bit, which underlines France’s 1.25 million population decline since 1938 did not make it clear that the paper sees Italy’s horrifying mortality in the light of the old talk about “How many rifles can the Nation field”? As Grace pointed out. I would have kept it from her, but she caught my voice dying away. So now I am writing this in the sitting room, while my wife, trembling in a white rage, dictates a letter to her Senator to a patient Judith. On the bright side, she wrote rather a large (and reluctant) cheque to Senator Knowland last summer, and if we have to forego another on grounds of high principle, well, that’s money in our pockets!

“The Good Earth” Of the 59,000 women who enlisted or were drafted into the Women’s Land Army, 30,000 have agreed to stay in after their demobilisation day, March 1st. The paper supposes that this is because the war has revealed that people hate living in the city and just want to get out into the fresh, country air. I guess that the dose of cynicism injected a few pages ago has already worn off. We are talking about people working the land under “austerity,” you see, and there is this thing called a “black market. . “ I wonder how things  will go past lambing?

“The Vegetarians Draw Blood” The paper, unlike The Economist, notices how ridiculous the Conservative Vote of Censure was.
Latins and Austrians are excitable.  German anti-Nazi book banners are like Nazi book burners. Really. Must everything be compared to the Nazis?

“Sputtering” “While houseboys served cooling drinks” the various Allied generals and plenipotentiaries of the South Seas met with Lord Alanbrooke to discuss the return of peace and order to the land through generous lashings of “strong policy.” Premier Sjahrir is open to meet with the Dutch, but “[we] will stick to our claim to self-determination.” As the paper summarises, “The proconsuls wanted more force and less violence.”
Why not use Indian troops to suppress Indonesian independence? What can possibly go wrong?

“Return to Mukden” Lieutenant General Tu Li-ming marches into Mukden, and plans to advance on to the other major Manchurian cities soon. The paper supposes that the Communists are establishing themselves at Kalgan, an “arsenal” city where they have found an enormous cache of Japanese arms, conveniently left for them by the Russians. Where “enormous” includes a full regiment of Japanese tanks! We'll learn our lesson when they roll into Washington. 

Latin America

Latins are. . . 

Usually the opposite. Though I am just as glad that I have decided to stay in the sitting room until I reach the back pages, as there is a story about how the Province of Saskatchewan is debating the introduction of a programme of sterilising “mental defectives.”

Business and Finance

“The Glacier Moves” Marion Hargrove gave a tongue lashing to the annual convention of the National Association of Manufacturers, which he deems to be on the reactionary right. It made a good opening for Chester Bowles, who told the NAM that his office had the end of price controls in sight. Harold Stassen’s talk “gave the NAM the most to chew on.” The paper thinks that the NAM is moving left, on the grounds that several members think that it is now okay to talk with labour. The paper also notes the “flop” of last year’s million-dollar “Guts and Gripping” advertising campaign that tried to sell the public on the idea that the boss knows best.

“Touchdown for Britain” The paper’s version of the PAA-British government story.
Airports of the future will have colossal statues. What's security screening?

“Wooden Christmas” There will be hardly any mechanical toys in stores for Christmas. Marshal Field has only got 56 tricycles in, and black marketers in Atlanta are moving second hand bikes at up to $60. Lionel is turning out a “mere” 1500 electric train sets a day; and Chicago’s two main stores got only 285, which sold out in a day.

“Ah, Sweet Mystery of Sugar” The OPA is trying to find out why sugar keeps going short. The latest theory is that food manufacturers are getting around the quota by buying cane syrup from the refiners, as it is supposedly not included in the quotas.

“Tip Topper” Harry Lustig and four aides were found guilty of tax evasion this week, by, among other things, keeping two sets of books and by taking the hat-check girls’ tips.

“Facts and Figures” The paper is amazed that Manhattan’s Dale Fifth Avenue sold a man’s alligator bag at $2000, after offering it on  a lark, and now has received four orders, with another 50 pending. Grace, almost as sarcastic as Uncle George, explains that the price is the point. The paper notes the XB-42 record, and adds something I haven’t heard anywhere else, but which is scarcely surprising: the engine caught fire on landing. It also notes the milk shortage, apparently driven by ex-G.I. consumption.

Science, Medicine, Education

“The Oil Bugs” Dr. Claude E. ZoBell, a “California ‘geomicrobiologist,” thinks that oil fields might come from bacteria. That is, ancient sea animals are buried in the silt, along with the bacteria they host. Over long ages, some of that bacteria turns the bodies into petroleum, and persists to be found on petroleum samples in the lab today. Therefore, by adding cultures of this bacteria to organic matter, it might be possible to turn it into petroleum. Other bacteria found in underground deposits of petroleum extend the fields by corroding holes through rock, and yet other bacteria decomposes oil spills, and might be detectable over undiscovered fields.

“Atoms for Horsepower” A recent conference of scientists and engineers believe that atomic power might be competitive with $15/ton coal within decades at the most, perhaps only years.

“The First Farmhouse” Archaeologists excavating what may be the world’s first farming community, near Hassuna “in the highlands of northern Iraq,” have prseented an imaginative reconstruction of what might have been the first farmhouse.

“Seisms and Sferics” The Army and Navy have “finally taken the wraps off two wartime improvisations which are proving valuable aids to the still not-too-exact-science of aerology.” They are the Navy’s “microseisms,” seismographs used to detect small vibrations in the Earth which cannot be tracedto earthquakes, and which might therefore be caused by atmospheric activity; and the Army’s Static Direction Finder, a device developed in Florida, which tracks storms with a radar-like apparatus that detects electrical activity such as lightning storms.

“The Flu” There is no flu epidemic this year, anecdotes to the contrary, but there is an increase in cases, with 25% of Chicago schoolchildren home with respiratory distress this week, and similar numbers reported from Des Moines and Kansas City. This year’s flu is less mild than 1943’s, but still serious enough.

“Farm Boy No. 2” Alvin SaundersJohnson, long-time principal of the New School for Social Research in New York, gets a profile on the occasion of his retirement in favour of said farm boy, Brynjolf Jacob Hovde.

People, Music, Art

General Doolittle is returning to Shell Union Oil as a vice-president. Patricia Chapman (“Buff Cobb”) is news because she has released a publicity photo of herself in a sarong. 

Cyril Joad made a spectacle of himself with Harry Price. Rita Hayworth and Orson Welles are divorcing. Eric Johnston has hired Byron Price, ex-Director of Censorship at Wabash College, to be vice-president in charge of the Hays Office. Grace now glares at me after I make a joke at Miss Chapman’s expense. Andre Maurois is to teach at Kansas City University. Seriously? Lin Yutang is marketing his 64-key “practical Chinese typewriter.” Sold! I hear from the daybed. The paper is very cattish after Mrs. Roosevelt says something cutting about Madame Chiang. General Patton has been injured in an auto crash and partially paralysed. Admiral Darlan’s widow, “still in and around Warm Springs, Georgia,” has fallen and injured herself. 

Carole and Burl Ives have married. Rear Admiral Albert Borland Randall, Doctor Thomas Hunt Morgan, Antoinette Carter Hughes, Cosmo Goron Long, Julia Elizabeth Westfall Wolfe, mother of Thomas Wolfe and William Phelps Eno have died.

“Spike Jones, Primitive” British comic, Spike Jones, has quite the amusing Christmas album out.
“Wine on the Wing” The paper notices a show of “15 newly acquired Shang bronzes” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.


“The Unacceptables” Edgar Snow has been denied a pass to cover US Marine operations in China, joining a list of “unacceptable” that now includes Daniel Berrigan, Harold Isaacs, Vincent Sheean, Brooks Atkinson and Leland Stowe. The paper approves. The paper rerunsJoe Martin’s picture of Philadelphia mother, Vera Blackson, receiving the newsthat her children had died in a house fire. The Seattle press strike continues, with shopping papers now publishing short sections of world news. Markoosha Fisher explains why war news from Moscow correspondents toed “the Party line.” It was because of the war, you see. From here on, she hopes it will be more critical, in aid of the next war! Marshal Field, “pious leftist,” has bought the World Book Encyclopedia and Childcraft. In opposition to his Pocket Books line, Harper, Random House, Book-of-the-Month and Little, Brown have joined with Curtiss to bring out a rival Bantam Books line. In less happy news for Field, PM is back in the red.

The New Pictures

Cornered is ex-crooner Dick Powell’s second try. It is “heads and shoulders above the average” thriller. Masquerade in Mexico is a formulaic “cinemusical” starring Dorothy Lamour. Its one funny bit features Mikhail Rasummy as a singing Mexico City taxicab driver. Danger Signal is one of those average thrillers.


My wife accuses this section of being one long exercise in pretension, and she has a point this week, as we have a long column on all the serious books that people ought to read at the head.

Last year’s events were so momentous that the only books which rise to explain them adequately are official publications, mainly General Marshall’s Report and Henry de Wolf Smyth’s Atomic Energy for Military Purposes. For high seriousness we have to go to Bertrand Russell’s History of Western Philosophy, Koestler’s The Yogi and the Commissar, William Aylett Orton’s the Liberal Tradition, and Norman Cousin’s Modern Man is Obsolete. At which point we can give over the improving diet and move on to literature, where are promised “pot boilers. . “ and given Cass Timberlane and Daisy Kenyon for even more roughage before, at last, the paper notices that Thomas B. Costain had a best seller of “forbidden love” in old England, that Pinckney’s Three O’Clock Dinner will soon be a Lana Turner movie, that The Manatee features semi-nudity, that Adria Locke Langley’s A Lion is in the Streets has been optioned by MGM, and that the Robe, Forever Amber and The Fountainhead all hung on to their places on the bestseller’s lists. But since the paper cannot rest until it has listed every book published this year, it has to move on to yet more seriousness in other genres (books about Russia; books by Secretary Wallace; poetry, books about words. . .

Flight, 20 December 1945


Even by the recent standards of the Post Office, this number is mangled, so you must trust me when I say that the first leading article or articles is about private owners and petrol rations and this and that. Certainly the last paragraph is. As for the rest of it, I suppose that someone between London and our mailbox has some shredded paper to their account.

“Civil R.A.T.O” Getting airliners off the ground both cheaply and safely is hard. Either you can design an airliner to accomplish this (hard), or you an attach rockets to their wings and blow them off the ground, the paper suggests. It wonders why this had not been considered “seriously,” as yet. Perhaps someone should attach rockets to the paper’s Granny’s rocking chair, and demonstrate “unseriousness.”

“Indicator,” “Since To-Morrow: A Christmas Fantasy” a wartime pilot has an eerie, supernatural experience that ends in a way known only to the US Postal Service. Or possibly the fellow at the fax service. Good God! I am definitely writing to complain.

Here and There

The RAF did a show in Prague. Some Australian troops currently occupying the Moluccas are to receive 5000lb of chilled beef flown in from Brisbane, wonders of the Aerial Age, etc. It is an experiment because it is not actually chilled in the sense of being kept in a refrigerator aboard the plane, but rather simply hung out in an unheated cargo hold during the high altitude flight. Frank Whittle says that jets will oust piston engines in airliners in 5—10 years on noise and vibration grounds. He also thinks that future jet turbines will be “tailor made” to the airframe, instead of the airframe being designed to the engine, as now. The paper saw a documentary about how de Havilland created the Mosquito, and loved it, and thinks that it should be shown to all the foreigners and colonials (if different) to increase “British prestige.” The Bristol Freighter might be equipped with an optional “horse box” so that Irish breeders can send their stallions off on overseas house calls. Seven million square feet of factory space in 28 premises has been turned over to the Board of Trade in the latest allocation. Lord Henderson, son of the Rt. Hon. Arthur Henderson, has been appointed additional member of the Air Council. A Skymaster has set a new east-west transcontinental record for Australia. The Middle East Flying School, in Heliopolis, has trained 800 students from countries ranging from America to Iraq since it opened, 18 months ago. The P-82 “Twin Mustang” exists more.
Sqn Ldr. T. Mammatt, “State of Suspense” An amusing story about helicipters, which can hover.

“Christmas Interlude” Flight’s resident cartoonist draws things.
Share the laughter!

“British Aircraft Gas Turbines: Dr. Roxbee Cox Delivers the Wright Brothers Lecture to American Institute of the Aeronautical Sciences”

Various British scientists and engineers have been working on jet turbines since 1701. Things only got serious after 1918, however, and the Royal Aircraft Establishment played an important role that included the Whittle engine, after 1937, and a collaboration between RAE and Metropolitan-Vickers which led to an actual exeperimental turboprop as early as 1940. Armstrong-Siddeley began work on the axial turbine configuration (for jets) in 1942, with the ASX. RAE’s direction and coordination led to an extraordinary cooperation. Mond Nickel, Firth-Vickers, Jessops and NPL all worked on high temperature materials. Power Jets on burners. Lucas and de Havilland on combustion technique. “The Asiatic Petroleum Company and the Combustion Panel on the physics of combustion.” That’s a dirty –well, I suppose that it is true, as far as it goes, and I appreciate that our work has to be kept secret for a few more years. I just hope that the Engineering Branch gets its credit, then!  Finally, Constant’s team at RAE worked on gas analysis, blade vibration and blading design. Which, again, leaves us out of the picture, and again with very good reason, as no-one on the air side seems to care about cavitation noise, whereas for us, with regard to the submarine and acoustic mine menace—well, probably enough said, unless you want to hear more. Finally, Dr. Cox had some interesting things to say about the future of ducted turbine-driven fans as perhaps the most economical installations of all.

“The de Havilland Vampire I (D.H. 100): A ‘Conventionally Unconventional Jet Fighter Described: Good View, Exceptional Handling Qualties and High Operational Maximum Speed”

A detailed discussion of de Havilland’s transitional jet fighter. It is a very simple, straight forward design. The unconventional appearance is because the Goblin engine is short, and cannot be ducted through the full length of a conventional fuselage. The wing is sharply tapered in plan form and in thickness to give the least possible drag at high speeds and good low-speed characteristics. The difficult part, then, is to keep the tips on the plane when the depth available for strength is so quickly and dramatically reduced. This is acocmplised with a single “I” section main spar joined by Alclad ribs and a stringer-stiffened Alclad skin covering to a false rear spar. Spars are attached to the wing with a simple bolted flange. The main section is deepened to accommodate the air intake, but this is not a problem, as the undercarriage can be short and light and still keep all the plane off the ground, thanks to there being no airscrews. (Compare the excesses Grumman used to have to go through on its carrier planes.) There are air brakes, which are nicely balanced, allowing the Vampire to slow down enough to shoot at the bombers it is overhauling, unlike the Mosquito. The cockpit is pressurised, as is the fashion nowadays, but this no longer prevents designers from using a “bubble” canopy, with its excellent visibility. The Sea Vampire is essentially identical, not surprisingly, given that there really isn’t a Sea Vampire yet. (They need to work on the engines before this is really practical, although the arrangements to disengage the Goblin turbine rather than slow it down are a real step forward.)

In shorter news, the new Empire Radio School is to be established at Walden, Essex. The RAF Postwar Association is preparing for the first of many years of pleasantly boozy get-togethers. And a booklet published by the U.S. Aircraft Industry reports poll results showing that the United States Army Air Force has the best aircraft, was very large and powerful, and did good work, and should continue in the same vein, especially if it does not involve paying taxes. Most think that America needs more airports, and many think that the aircraft industry made quite enough, if not more than enough, money during the war, and most also think that surplus transport planes should be sold to private industry without much regard for industry’s profits.

“German Jet Developments” There have been no developments in German jets since the war, but the author went to see the factories, and, by Gum, you are going to see his photos, no matter how awful they are. The US Postal Service, or the fax fellow, unfortunately (or not), disagrees.

Alec E. Davis, “Air Transport in Transition: Wartime Norwegian Civil Aviation Prepares for the Future: The Work of R.N.A.T.” There are planes in, and around, Norway. After a transition period, there will be more.

Civil Aviation News

“Far Eastern Link” The French are first off the mark, with a service between Hanoi and Kunming. “This is interesting, because the former is in Indo-China, and the latter is a capital of Yunnan province.” 

The French are establishing the Decca service in France. Pan American states that while it accepts that the standardised Atlantic tariff of £93 15s is necessary for the “less economical” flying boat, their proposed £69 is more reasonable for the landplanes developed during the war. It regrets any “embarrassment” caused to the British Government in the recent tiff, but does not apologise to the paper for being cutting about flying boats. Australia is ordering more DC-4s. Canada’s Trans-Pacific service has not started yet, but will go via Vancouver-San Francisco-Honolulu-Canton Island-Fiji-Sydney (Auckland). It may be two years away. More air services to Scandinavia are in the wind, this time flown by KLM. Yet another single-control system has been patented in the United States, the Elme. The Americans are going to fly more “proving” flights to various parts of the world in the future.

Note that Time does not publish on Christmas Eve, as it would be wrong.

Flight, 27 December 1945

Another lost first page! The lead article was probably about the new Empire air school.

“Lord Winster’s Pink Paper” Lord Winster’s paper is wrong because it intimates that speed is the most important aspect of future air transport. The paper disagrees. Landing on water is the most important aspect. It is also still upset about nationalisation and the “misguided electorate” which brought it in.

Dr. Roxbee Cox, “Gas Turbine Problems: Dr. Roxbee Cox on Some of the Troubles Encountered in Jet Development and How Some Solutions Were Reached”

Bearings were contentious, and although the ball bearing is now predominant, a consensus has not been reached. Cooling and proper seating may be more important than the type of bearing, however. Sheet metal, widely used in parts of the engines, was formerly a “prolific source of failures,” due to inadequate experience with resitance welding, metal fatigue and fretting due to aerodynamic and mechanical buffeting, and from oxidation through contact with flame or distortion due to bad temperature distribution. Heat distribution failures in the flame tubes of early engines was solved by better combustion chambers. Annular combustion chambers are still prone to distortion, however. Impeller failures emerged as designs became more ambitious, due to resonant vibrations excited by new aerodynamic conditions. New designs, in the light of these failures, have given rise a better design theory and better manufacturing techniques, which will alleviate these problems in the future. Gas turbine disc problems are still an issue. Internal combustion issues get a mention, although, again, it is Lucas (for upstream combustion), and Isaac Lubbock and Asiatic Petroleum who get all the credit. I have to feel a little slighted, especially considering that I suggested that Shell send Isaac to Asiatic to work on it in the first place! (Even if it was for Breconshire, so that it could keep up with our cruisers on the South American Station without showing obviously un-merchantmanlike legs, so as not to cause suspicion when it went into the Latin ports to replenish. Oh,those forgotten days of yore; and then it occurred to us that we might get a turn of speed out of the Laforeys and Indefatigable with those burners, and then, well, as Dr. Cox tells us, it went on to jets. )

Here and There

Airbroath Air School is to be set up in the New Year to train Navy artificer apprentices. The paper went to see a nice exhibition on British engines at Trafford Park. The Way to the Stars was not a great success in New York, because it was clumsily retitled and because “the American characters are overdrawn, and the British characters understated.” Canada’s Operation Muskox is set for 15 February, and is to penetrate within 100 miles of the Magnetic Pole. Air Vice Marshal Fiddament is back from an around the world tour in a Lancastrian and reports that he has no idea what country he is in, and will people just leave him alone to sleep for a while. The Douglas XB-42 which set the speed record from Long Beach to Washington a few weeks ago, crashed the next week dueto engine failure.

“Indicator,” “In the Air –VII: Last of the Biplane Fighters: Memories of the Gladiator and Gauntlet: Another of the Handling Series by ‘Indicator.”

“Indicator” remembers the Gladiator as being easy and enjoyable to fly, notwithstanding the “claustrophobia” induced by the upper wing. But he points out that this was by comparison with the other planes he was flying in 1940. It seemed very “simple,” but this was because 1940 was just about the peak of “controllability” issues, when one had to remember all the flaps and airscrew controls and undercarriage pumps and whatnot. A few years later, the controls were much more simple, and, anyway, drills had been developed to the pont where, looking back, incipient signs of the “control” issue already present in the Gladiator would have been a concern, if there were any left. By the same token, while the Gladiator seemed easy to fly and easy to “disrespect” by throwing it around Welsh valleys at low altitude, this had a lot to do with the comparison with Spitfires and Hurricanes of the day, and, again, a few years later, one would have looked back, this time at the fighters of 1940, as the ones which could be “disrespected.” So nostalgia is not what it used to be, or something like that.

“Operation ‘Deadlight: Coastal Command Attack Surrendered U-Boats” Various Coastal aircraft sink moored U-boats for testing purposes. A Flight correspondent goes along for the ride.

“New Gipsy Engines: Series of Units in Major and Queen Ranges: Increased Power Output: Supercharged and Geared” The Gipsy Queen 71 is pretty much like all the other civilian aircraft engines of the same power, only slightly different in a way which justifies a long article on a slow news day. There is, again, a constant speed unit, in spite of the small size of the engine, I suppose for takeoff purposes again.

“The Year That Has Passed: End of Two Wars: Aviation’s Share in Victory: Technical Progress” The year began with the Ardennes attack, which showed, once and for all, that a ground offensive can no longer succeed without control of the air. Parachute attacks behind enemy lines are not always successful, and also do not always happen in the year which is being reviewed by the year-in-review article which mentions them, for some reason. Perhaps the paper is still upset about it? Japan was defeated by British troops in Burma and Chinese troops in China, assisted by some Americans, who were awfully troubled by a few, sad Japanese suicide attacks. A Socialist Government, bent on nationalising civil aviation, was elected in Britain. The Conservatives have promised to fix this immediately they are elected. British planes are quite good, but British airliners are not as good as American, although no doubt this will change. Tremendous progress has been made on jet turbines, but the Napier Sabre is still worth mentioning. The Naval Air Arm has made great strides, procuring for example new makes of the Firefly, the Firebrand, Spearfish, Sea Spiteful, Sea Fury, Sea Hornet, Sea Mosquito and Sea Vampire. The RAF has procured, amongst other things, the Hornet and the three new Bristols. The civil Sunderland, Sandringham and Seaford are very exciting, as are the Ambassador, Dove, Handley-Page airliners, and, at the other end of the scale, the new PercivalProctor. Pictures of the Bristol Freighter, Rolls Royce Griffon, Nene, Metropolitan-Vickers ASX (twice!), De Havilland Dove, Supermarine Spiteful, Hawker Tempest, Armstrong Whitworth Argosy, Fairely Firefly, Westland Whelkin and Vickers Windsor are worth printing. 

Seemed like a good idea at the time. Source.

Time, 31 December 1945

(since it would be impious to publish a number on Christmas Eve)


Cpl Marty Solow says that “a specter is haunting the editors of TIME, Inc. A ‘Red Terror’ has cast its shadow. . “ And in a spirit of bipartisanship, G. Alexander Legman of New York City denounces the paper as “Bolshevik.” Arlene Erlanger, “Special Consultant to the Quartermaster General,” objects that a recent story on the disbanding of the K-9 Corps was inaccurate. Dogs that passed war training are easy to rehabilitate for civilian life. It is the rejects which have been in trouble. R. S. Pearle, Vice President of GE, believes that the paper slanders the company in alleging that GE conspired with Krupp to restrict imports of cemented tungsten carbide and keep prices high. The Governor of South Dakota, and mayor in the state of Washington object to the Black Hills of the Dakotas being described as “bleak.” 

Major General Follett Bradley, retired, objects to the paper’s coverage of the Nuremberg trials, pointing out that they are not creating new law with respect to “war crimes,” which are already offenses in the Universal code of Military Justice. Times of London military correspondent B. H. Liddell Hart was characterised in the paper, back in August, of almost uniformly failing to predict future events of the war correctly. This was because he is a believer in the supreme power of defence, and offensives kept succeeding. Now he writes the paper to explain that, actually, he was right all along, once things are taken in their proper light. The paper will have none of it.

National Affairs

“A Policy is Born” The President has appointed a commission to investigate Walter Reuther’s claim that General Motors can afford a 30% wage increase. In other news relating to the President, he will introduce Winston Churchill when he gives a speech at Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri next March.

“Complex Situation” The 79th Congress wants to raise its own salaries, is nervous about the public response.

“Mrs. Roosevelt and Others” Senator Theodore G. (“The Man”) Bilbo doesn’t like her. Other approved delegates to the UNO meeting in London include John Foster Dulles, Sol Bloom and Charles Eaton. Another senator who disapproved of all the approval was  J. William Fulbright, with Minnesota’s Ball and Oregon’s Wayne Morse approving of the disapproval of all the approval.
I'm beginning to almost think that being wrong isn't a problem for a good pundit.

“The Bomb and the Man” The paper wanted to make the atom bomb the man of the year, but atom bombs aren’t men, so that wasn’t possible. So it settled for the President, instead, because he was the one who dropped it. Also, he did other things in 1945, like end the war. Although, “not well,” because our generals were dumb, and because the world is wracked with hunger, turmoil and strife.

“This Side of Paradise” As I’ve said at the head, Christmas was pretty anti-climactic, if you go by the press, but that is precisely because, if my own experience is anything to go on, it was so privately intense. New Year’s, on the other hand, is not supposed to be private, and this one is shaping up to be wild.
That Was Then
This is Now

“End of the Line” Norman Armour resigned effective the end of the year. Secretary Forrestal is expected to resign, and the President is expected to make Edwin Pauley his replacement.

“For Roosevelt Historians” The Pearl Harbour Committee, still digging through the President’s correspondence, finds that he was more practical and less visionary than sometimes supposed. This is embarrassing for the man’s memory, the paper supposes. Kelly Turner told the Committee that Pearl Harbour was Admiral Kimmel’s fault.

“Breakthrough” The paper catches us up with the Christmas Week storm.
Stop picking on Buffalo!

Army and Navy

“Three-in-One” The President’s plan to fold the three services into one Department of Defence “dumfounds” the Navy. A compromise may see the Navy’s idea of a “National Security Council” superimposed on the Secretary of Defence, who will supervise Secretaries of War, Navy and the Air(?) Of no small significance to us is the proposal that the Navy will lose its land-based patrol planes. My wife is convinced, and has convinced my father, that without these forces, it will be very hard for young R. to reach senior rank. I’m not sure where I stand. I would like to defend the Admiralty’s record, but I may look foolish if no-one follows in Captain John’s tracks. 

“Crime and Punishment” The Army’s British prison for soldiers, most of them guilty only of AWOL, has been revealed as a sordid, brutal and ugly institution by the army general court-martial of guard Judson H. Smith.

“Death and the General” General Patton died this week. The paper reviews his car wreck, by which is meant his career.

“The Good of the Service” Chuck McVay walks the plank for the Indianapolis fiasco.

“Idea for Spring” General Eichelberger recommends that the wives of the officers and enlisted men of the Japan Occupation Forces be allowed to join their husbands in the Spring. I am beginning to doubt that the Occupation will get any harder than it already is.


“Where There is Wine” The UNO headquarters will be in the US, and San Francisco has lost out to New York, as you have heard. The “joke” here is that California was defended on the grounds that it has a wine growing industry. In other news, the Moscow meeting seems to be rolling some logs, and the Russians made an official demand for 10,000 square miles of Turkey this week.

“Good Lord Halifax” The paper makes fun of people making fun of the loan agreement for being seen as too harsh on both sides. Or something like that. So does Lord Keynes, so I suppose that it is a wrap. Dreadful picture of Keynes in the paper, by the way. Is he ill? In a red box bit, the paper expands on “Lavender and Plumbing,” which is to say, an extended list of misconceptions that British and Americans have about each other.

“The Little Caesars” The paper covers legal manoeuvring in Nuremberg which might have the effect of creating several hundreds of thousands of German war criminals on grounds of their willing membership in the SS and so on.

“The Faces of UNRRA” The paper’s year’s end review comes close to suggesting that it might actually be working. R. G. A; Jackson, former organiser of Malta’s submarine supply line and of the Middle East Supply Centre, is doing good work at one end in London, while at the other end, Harlem Coloured social organiser Ernest C. Grigg has had extraordinary success winning the cooperation of concentration camp residents. One might almost suggest. . .

“New World A-Comin” It was suggested that under the Charter, African natives might be allowed to address the General Assembly. South Africa’s George Heaton Nicholls jumped up to object that “to invite natives to get up on platforms and express their wishes would result in chaos in Africa.”

“The Wilted Flowers” The Japanese House of Peers is full of upper class twits. Its universities, too, evidently, given that Professor Shigeru Nambara of the Imperial University is quoted as saying that the Emperor will convert to Christianity soon.

“Crouching Dragons” The paper, unaware that it is quoting scripture, describes yet another planned Japanese suicide corps, this one of frogmen.

Not a comic book

“Devilish Devious” It is thought that the British might allow U Saw to return to Burma and public life soon, as it is having trouble with General Aung San, who is demanding immediate Burmese independence. If it thinks that U Saw will be willing to wait, they are due for a disappointment, I suspect.

“Hu Ying” Chinese politicians and scholars are pleased that General Marshall has come to mediate between Nationalists and Communists. Although the walkout by students in Kunming suggests that there is less enthusiasm for the Nationalists than the paper would prefer.

Iranians and Danes are excitable. English, too, this week, with the British Fascists throwing a ball to celebrate their release from internment, and John Amery hanging, and Field-Marshal Auchinleck naming Air Chief Marshal Sir Richard Peirse as co-respondent in a divorce suit.

Latin America
. . . . 
Not quite opposite, this week again, as the Company’s magazine, The Beaver (Doctor McLoughlin’s nemesis lives on!) holds an “Eskimo fashion show.”
No idea how to be a model

Business and Finance

“What Does Charlie Think?” The paper blames the stock market dive on Walter Winchell in way of introducing a joke about an American radio personality named Charlie McCarthy.

“Reynolds Steps Out” The problem of the American government-owned aluminum plants is resolved by Reynolds Metals agreeing to lease them.

“The Breaking Point” The December 18th storm was the “breaking point” for the railroads in their desperate attempt to get the boys home. The Eastern railroads have had to strip themselves to form a pool of 2000 cars in order to schedule the inadequate routes through to the Pacific Slope fully. This was still nowhere near enough to move the 329,000 troops now coming into the country each week, and left the railroads unprepared for the storm. With one New York yard buried under five feet of snow, even “crack” trains were pulling in 20 hours late, and would-be passengers had to camp in stations.

In shorter news, a plan to sell Pullman was approved, and so were Frazer’s first models, to be produced at Willow Run. If Uncle Henry suddenly turns into something other than a promoter, and with retail in the news (highest sales ever this Christmas, with the Emporium in town doubling its sales over 1941), Dorothy Shaver of Lord and Taylor gets a profile.
Buy at Amazon, Wikipedia explanation.

Science, Medicine and Education

“Thunder at Chalk River” It turns out that Chalk River, Ontario, is where Canada did its atomic-things in the war, and will continue to do them in peacetime. The current run of experiments will focus on thorium, the first public intimation that matters atomic might involve other natural heavy elements than uranium.

“Big Ten” Watson Davis, director of Science Service, lists the top ten scientific developments of 1945 as the atomic bomb; verification of the trans-uranium elements 93, 94, 95 and 96; use of the drug streptomycin; “the Army and Navy’s proximity fuze;” LORAN;  “psychological warfare methods which speeded Japanese surrender;’ British development of BAL, an antidote for arsenic poisoning; the Russians’ successful transplanting of hearts in warm-blooded animals. The “notable omission” is radar, because it was only “released from military secrecy last August.”

Blue Babies” Johns Hopkins surgeon Alfred Blalock operates on “blue babies,” bypassing their atrophied pulmonary arteries in an “open heart” procedure and restoring their circulation with an 80% success rate.*

Mumu and Virility” US Pacific veterans with filiarsis should be relieved to hear that it is not rendering them infertile, unlike victims in the South Pacific, where it often progressed into elephantiasis and sometimes led to grotesque swelling of the male organs. No, not that organ! Well, yes, actually, in some cases, that organ, too.

Free Trade in Scholars” Faced with difficulties getting dollars into the hands of foreign buyers, America has done more serious and substantial things than offer scholarships to foreign scholars, but this is Senator Fullbright’s pitch. Inspired by the Chinese indemnity for the Boxer Rebellion that sent many Chinese to study in America (far too many up the road in the tall trees, but that’s for another day), he wishes to extend the idea. The State Department would give $20 million to Americans studying abroad and foreigners studying here.

“Globalingo” The US Navy is running a training camp for Chinese sailors in Miami. It was successful due to Ivor Armstrong Richards’ ideas about Basic English, because no-one has ever trained a foreign navy to operate their ships before.

“Planner” Rexford Guy Tugwell, former Columbia University Professor turned all around public policy troublemaker, is off to the University of Chicago to head a new department of “civic planning.”

Press, Radio, Art

“Censorship: Pro and Con” Hermann Goering has been giving press interviews, and reporters covering the Nuremberg Trials have been told to cut it out. The US OC Cherbourg Area has demanded to see all despatches from the area so that he can remove ones showing French-American relations in a negative light. General MacArthur wants to “unfetter” the Japanese press. The US Office of the Censor has been dissolved, and made its final report this week. Russia, on the other hand, is still censoring, to protect Russia against poisonous slander. The Associated Press is in trouble for trying to exclude Field’s Sun, which is not a censorship story, if you were wondering. Bob Allen is returning from the service, out of favour with his old partner, Drew Pearson, and carrying a fearsome war injury, as he lost his right arm during an ambush in Germany. The Emperor gave a very limited press conference on the Palace grounds this week.

“Unprized Prizewinner” Paul Burlin’s The Soda Jerk, victorious in the Pepsi-Cola “Portrait of America” contest has been omitted by the company in its calendar, which instead features twelve runners-up.

“What the Conquerors Missed” A display of 200 prehistoric gold ornaments from Oaxaca, on loan from the Mexican Institute of Anthropology and History are being displayed in the Brooklyn Museum of Art this week. Most spectacular, a gold flask cast by the lost-wax method.

“Claghorn’s the Name” The paper finds Kenny Delmar’s “Senator Claghorn” to be hilarious. In other news, RadioLuxembourg is back on the air. 


Private Jacob L. “Jakie” Webb, 27, great-great grandson of Cornelius Vanderbilt, sues his wife for divorce from military prison, where he is serving time for going AWOL a second time. Winston Churchill’s son, Randolph, is being divorced by wife Pamela Digby, on various frivolous grounds, getting custody of her son, suggesting that the actual grounds were not aired in court, which you can guess from the absence of words and phrases such as “have sex with”, ” “anything” and “two legs.” Winston’s overdue for his American holiday, I think. Admiral Halsey embarrasses himself again. Ezra Pound became insane this week. (Last week he was only anti-Semitic.) Louis-Ferdinand Celine was arrested in Copenhagen this week. Ernest Hemingway got divorced this week, as did Hattie McDaniel and John Ramsey Ullman. Major General Leonard F. Wing has died, along with Thomas J. Martin, Arthur Cheney Train, Moman Pruiett[!] and Edward B. Marks.


Caesar and Cleopatra was a bit of a scandal in London, as while it was J. Arthur Rank’s biggest production gamble yet, it was underwhelming for its $5 million budget. What Next, Private Hargrove is even funnier than See Here, Private Hargrove. I am not sure if the paper liked The Seventh Veil, but it did find it well-produced. Another intended British export to America, the question is whether it will win some American dollars to pay for all those imports.


John Brynton Priestley’s Letter to a Returning Serviceman is clearly afraid that the returning British serviceman will go off to cultivate his garden in domestic bliss instead of getting involved in Labour’s effort to remake British life. E. B. White’s Stuart Little and Norbert Guterman’s Russian Fairy Tales get a sort of joint review, since they are both fantastic books for children which are somehow aimed as much at adults. Louis Slobodkin’s Fo’castle Watch is a portrait of life on the high seas in wartime. And it has swearing.

Radio News, December 1945

Leading Article

"To License or Not To License" The Editor doesn't really have a position, except that he's sure that politics will BUNGLE it, whether or not radio servicers are licensed. Also, the Editor is upset that radio parts aren't available so that the industry can keep the country's radios operational and ensure "fine music for the Christmas season." Everything's a Christmas crisis!

Spot Radio News

Also in a state of crisis is the FCC, because it is overwhelmed with FCC-type work, with numerous applications for FM radio stations and experimental television stations to consider. CBS's application for a network of FM stations has been given the friendliest reception. Receiving equipment for colour television may be available next year. 

Leon Laden, "Plastics in Radio" In spite of unfortunate experiences in thme past, plastic is the future of radio. Thermosetting plastics are giving way to thermoplastics. The replacement of ugly, brown phenol-formaldehyde parts with the new plastics will make our radios prettier, lighter, and perhaps even better sounding, given the superior dielectric 
qualities of some new plastics. 

A. Liescher, RCA Victor Division, RCA, "The Audio Chananalyst" The new generation of multi-speaker public announcement systems makes a more sophisticated radio amplification diagnostic tool necessary. Buy your Chanalyst today.

Richard H. Bolt, "Studio Acoustics" Designing a recording studio requires a good grasp of the mathematics of acoustics. Which are, in many surprising ways, very similar to those of electronics. 

R. L. Rumpf, Jr., Engineering Department, Electronics Division, Westinghouse, "Design Characteristics of R.F. Generators for Dielectric Heating" You've probably heard as much as you wold ever want to know about this in our coverage of Aviation.

Bowen C. Dees, Renesselaer Polytechnic Institute, "Cosmic Rays" I'm not sure what to say here. "Cosmic rays" is a portmanteau for a range of high-energy particles (electrons, protons, neutrons and the mysterious "mesotron") and radio waves which originate beyond our solar system, presumably from the much larger and more active stars of the universe, as well as from stellar explosions. They are interesting for any number of reasons, including that they can interfere with sensitive electronics, and because Nature provides us with the byproducts of high-energy atomic reactions which we cannot yet reproduce, and which might give us clues as to how to go about producing them. (Preferably over Moscow.) To put this in perspective, cosmic rays have been observed which are five million times more powerful than  the particles emitted by the atomic bomb. And our theory completely fails to account for the "mesotron." The equipment used to study cosmic rays is also interesting. Or, at least, Professor Dees thinks so. It sounds like adaptations of the Geiger counter, to me. 

Charles M. Fogel, Physicist, National Union Radio Corporation, "Ionization Vacuum Gauge" A device which uses electrical ionisation to measure very high degrees of vacuum is described.

D. B. Sinclair, General Radio Company, "High-Frequency Measurements" A discussion of the fundamental principles of high frequency measurements with vacuum tubes and crystal detector voltmeters. 

Industrial Review

Sylvania Electric Products wants us to know that it built vacuum tubes for th eproximity fuze. Richard H. Kuehn, formerly of Chrysler, has formed his own firm to specialise in the expanded field of powder metallurgy. The General Electronics Company of Kansas City has a quartz gauge. Westinghouse is opening a laboratory to study all applications of high frequency radio dielectric heating. 

New Products

The Andrew Company of Chicago has a portable oscillator for checking h.f. aircaft radio receivers. The Potter Instrument Company is offering an imprvoed leectronic counter. B. F. Goodrich has a new, non-flammable plastic with good electrical and optical properties, called Kriston. Lucius A. Crowell, President of the Wire Recorder Development Company, does not realise that his days are numbered. Westinghouse has several new electrodes out, and a catalogue describing them. Shallcross Manufacturing, of Collingdale, Pa, offers a "milli-ohmeter."


Since there are soon to be television broadcasters, an annual convention is being organised. A four-page pamphlet on "Television as a Career" may be obtained from General Electric. A television course is to be offered by New York City College. The main store of the John Wannamaker Company will have "three complete television studios" installed in it. Other department stores are also experimenting with television. RCA encourages them to experiment even more.

News Briefs

The IEE is to have a winter meeting. Westinghouse is offering a new electron microscope which can resolve air particles, which will be useful for the filtration industry. Speaking of minute, irritating particles floating in the air, Owens-Corning is offering fiberglass milled fibres which might be useful as insulation. North American Phillips offers a sixteen-page illustrated brochure on x-ray diffraction.  The Patterson Division of DuPont has luminiscent chemicals on offer from a new plant. These, it reminds everyone, can be used to coat cathode ray tubes and television tubes.  Renesselaer wants everyone to know that it is offering several new engineering courses. 


Kurt Schlesinger assigns a patent for a new RC amplifier design to the Radio Corporation. Sydney B. Ingram assigns one for an electrical impulse counting circuit to Bell Telephone; and Edmunc E. Hoskins and Robert V. Langmuir assign a mass spectrometer to the Consolidated Engineering Company. 

Joe Marty's In the Shop column covers --buying equipment and training people?

S. J. Mallory, "Wave Guides" Wage guides are sort of like pipes for radio waves. They are particularly useful for high frequency radio waves such as the ones which carry television signals. It is possible in the future that television will be "piped," either between towns, or into individual homes, rather than being broadcast, like radio.

Rufus P. Turner, Consulting Engineer, Radio News, "Microfarad Meters: Their Advantages and Limitations

Edward M. Noll, Television Tech Enterprises, "Functions of Video Circuit: Part 10: Theretical design and Operation of the Video Section of a Television Receiver"

"The Proximity Fuze" An article describing the proximity fuze in some detail. 

J. M. Lee, "FM Radio Relay: Although Designed for Military Purposes, This Equipment Can be Used for peacetime Opeation as a Connecting lInk Between Remote or Isolated Areas and Existing Telephone Lines"

What's New in Radio

Du Mont has a two-beam five-inch cathode ray tube. Chatham Electronics of New Jersey has a xenon-filled voltage rectifier.  Alden Products has a number of power measurement lamps. the General Radio Company of Cambridge, Massachusetts has a new frequency meter. The Turner Company, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, introduces a new line of colour microphones for the new age, which demands colour harmony and such. 

It's like someone set out to define Art Deco. In Iowa.
The Cultrose Company, of Los Angeles, has a magnetic phonograph pickup. The Radio Craftsmen, of South Michican Avenue, Chicago, offer a --I swear I am not making this up-- a radio dial lock.

Jose A. Tartaletti, Lt. (j.G.) R. F. Sheehan write to say that they like radio and are very lonely where they are, which is Argentina and the Pacific, respectively. Horace D. Westbrooks writes to say that he has been reading the paper since 1920. A number of correspondents write in a very technical vein. 

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