Saturday, May 28, 2016

Postblogging Technology, April 1946, II: British Turboencabulators Are Less Powerful Than American, And Not So Well Finished As German

Dear Dr. B:

Enclosed are family photographs sized as you suggested for my father-in-law's rooms. Thank you for letting me continue this correspondence. I doubt that I am as amsuing as I think I am, but I do not think I am wrong to think that it provides him with some connection with his sons and grandchildren.

I have no idea how to go about "not promoting the United Nations" as an "object of paranoia," but I do not have to pretend very hard to find its proceedings so far to be pretty pointless! I am sorry to hear that my father-in-law's symptoms are so entrenched this time around. Isn't mania supposed to subside with age, or is that just a layman's superstition? On the other hand, he has been through a great deal in the last few years, and perhaps a relapse was inevitable. Certainly my Uncle George expected it. (Don't worry; I haven't suddenly decided that electrical refrigeration causes mania as well as cancer!) 


Dear Father:

I have forwarded you pictures of the junior James and Grace, and of Victoria; as well as your youngest decked out in Navy whites; and of your oldest in his best Saville Row, courtesy of the Earl. Which, he tells me, was  utterly over-the-top at Eimac. For Stanford --er, I should probably say something like "the junior college," but what's the point-- they do not seem able to grasp the concept of getting dressed! Not that James is exactly a clotheshorse, as you often mention yourself.

On the bright side, the same outfit perfectly suited the Bank of America, and I think it looked smashing. We also gave the morning coat a tryout at the Easter service at the university chapel, where I had a chance to show off my new hat.

What? It's Easter! 

In other family news, Aunt Bessie has had an unexpected recovery. She is still bedridden, but the doctors now say that she has years left in her. Uncle George left for Boston last week, along with Wong Lee. Who is not bringing along his new prize, which will be described below, and which could prove quite handy for dealing with situations in which individuals won't come out into the light. (I will say no more, except that Uncle Henry has been coming under considerable pressure recently in regards to loose ends of the business of the dam.) They will be proceeding to Poughkeepsie by auto. I can't believe we have business in a town with such a ridiculous name, but no-one asked me what a good location for a college might be, and so I cannot judge. I had a brief conversation with "Miss V.C." on the phone by long distance last night, and it turns out that the school has quite a reputation for, well, that, amongst the younger set. 

Back home, you have heard that the labour difficulties in the movie industry continue. As you know, the Engineer's youngest is now a member of his union; the interesting thing is that he is vaguely associated with negotiations with Mr. Johnston. I am now wondering if there is a percentage for us here . . . 

Hmm. Well, all's best that ends well.


Women like hats! That's why this is funny.

Time, 15 April 1946


A serviceman, named withheld, is upset that General Lanham compared editorial policy at Stars and Stripes to the Hearst chain, because the Army should be democratic, which might be news to the Army.  Herbert McCracken, president of the Scholastic Sports Institute, writes to say that he is not a con artist. George Beatty III writes to say that ants aren’t termites. Victor von Hagen, of Westport, Conn., writes to make the same joke. 

Several writers write to give the correct pronunciation of the Moon Goddess' name. Walter Duranty writes to say that he is not mostly dead, only a little. Paul H. Nitze, Vice Chairman of the US Strategic Bombing Survey, writes to say that American precision bombingwould have been precise, only the Germans cheated. Mary L. Moreland, of Indianapolis, writes to make fun of Professor Lysenko. John H. Green, of the Office of the Publication Board of the Department of Commerce writes to say that all 16,000 Nazi patents are now available to American businessmen. David Sayre, of Philadelphia, writes to complain that the paper is anti-Communist. A. Lester Taylor, of Penticton, Canada, writes to point out that Mr. Churchill drinks a great deal, just like other very successful men; like General Grant. And also that hobo we found in the ditch the other day. The letter from the publisher explains that the paper has many top men covering the United Nations Organisation.

National Affairs

Under “The Presidency” heading, the paper quotes many people who think that the President is a disappointment. But he might be a successful disappointment! In other news, up might be down; it’s too soon to say. His Army Day speech in Chicago is covered. He said the same things he said in The Economist. Everyone cheered Ike, instead.

“Civics Lesson” The paper is appalled that Senator Murray, a "rich New Dealer from Montana," was cutting to Senator Taft on the floor of the Senate while some otherworldly nuns were in attendance. And all because Senator Taft meekly and politely called Murray’s national health insurance bill “the most socialistic thing ever proposed in this house.” The Senate did, however, pass the Minimum Wage bill, confirmed Baruch and Vardeman, and yelled at Caesar Petrillo.
If there's one thing Henry Luce won't stand for, it's incivility. Unless it's smutty. And in that case, we only report to disapprove.

“Messersmith’s Nose” Ambassador Messersmith’s appointment to Buenos Aires may be a retreat from the Administration’s anti-Peronist position, or else a subtle rebuke, on account of how he was rude to a Nazi once. .

“Under the Skin” DNC Chairman Bob Hannegan cannot say that the Case anti-strike bill is good, because then the unions will be mad, or that it is bad, because then Southern Democrats will be upset.

“Giant of the West” 

This week’s cover person is Mr. Giannini, of California. He was born of poor Genoese immigrants in a cheap hotel room in San Jose, and now he is as big as the state. Just think: Great-Uncle thought so little of his prospects that he didn’t even bother to waste a San Francisco birth certificate on him. Though, to be fair, an Italian sailor and his Eurasian wife off the Shanghai docks do not seem like the parents of a man who can stand in for the "giant" state of California in a Time cover article. 

“Operation Whalen” United Nations delegates get around in cars. Further bulletins as events warrant.

Scranton Bets the Future” Scranton is a poor town, but, led by Ralph Weeks, president of the International Correspondence Schools, it just invested in a factory to make .  .. things?

“Limited Victory” UN delegates like to take boat tours. Further bulletins as events warrant.

“How to Understand” UN translators have to work very hard. Further bulletins. . ..

“New Manor Lords” The Russians bought the old Charles Pratt mansion as a country retreat for their New York UN embassy.
I don't find Killenworth, apparently actually the homem of one of Pratt's sons, on Wikipedia, but here is the Brooklyn brownstone where he was raised.  By Beyond My Ken - Own work, GFDL,

Foreign News

“Beginning of the End” The Cabinet Committee’s consultations in Delhi are almost at an end, because it gets hot there in the summer, and they are going to Kashmir.
The Vale of Kashmir was a beautiful place to spend the summer until the Cabinet Committee fixed it.Source.

“Hey. That’s Mine” King Ananda of Siam is quite upset about crimes against his person. Someone stole his Nash and his Luger, and it is hard to imagine the former being easy to hide in Bangkok.
Wikipedia seems to be presenting a somewhat sanitised version of events.

“After Things Quiet Down” An alleged fortune in gold, silver and platinum, stolen from the Bank of Japan during the last days of the war by some Japanese Army officers, is being sought in the muddy waters of Edo Bay by the Americans. Supposedly, it was being held to finance Japan’s return to greatness after things quieted own.

“In the Russians Wake” The Russians have left Manchuria a complete mess, because they are Communists, and that is what Communist do.

“The Ricksha Men” Are protesting the Nationalists’ ban on rickshaws.

The Sons of theMaidens” The Kurds of Iran, Iraq and Turkey are revolting, in hopes of Russian support.

“The Suitors” France has leftists, who, being European leftists, are prone to sliding further leftward, which is why the Russians sent a ship full of Russian wheat, which is a Russian plot. America responded by pointing out that it had sent even more, while the English made nice on the Ruhr. In other Paris-related news, Alice Prin used to be famous there because she posed topless. Now her memoirs are out.
It is very hard to find pictures of Prin that are glamorous and have clothes. This one is from Laurie R. King's Pinterest page, and is promoting her book, The Bones of Paris.

Latins and Austrians are excitable.

“Square Deal, Square Meal” The Women’s Land Army threw a one-day strike in London for higher pay as members of the armed forces.

“Romance Clipped” It is alleged that female conductors (“clippies”) on London busses are leading drivers to follow other drivers to reduce the load on their conductors, because of romance. This is why they should be replaced by male conductors, and not because men are awful.

Latin Americans are excitable, including Brazilian airlines, which got their first Constellation this week. Boring Canadians, meanwhile, got a new Governor-General, and admitted that their Russian spy was the embassy cipher clerk, 27-year-old Igor Gouzenko. It is supposed that the Cheka will now hunt him down, and that he is as dead as a plugged nickel. 


“Faith, Hope and Parity” Farm economists call for “parity,” under which a farmer should be able to buy as much stuff with the same amount of wheat now, as he could in 1900—05, out of fairness. This would require subsidies, which sounds crazy until the alternative, which is overproduction, is considered. Say the farmers. The “non-farm bloc” just thinks that it is subsidies.

“Big Troubles for Little Men” Small business is sick and tired of Government interference.

“End of the Match Game” Ivar Krueger, the Swedish match king, shot himself fourteen years ago, but it has taken until now to unwind his match cartel. In labour news, the Steelworkers got 21 cents, more than they were asking for from Buffalo’s New York Car Wheel Co., and are ecstatic, and this counts as national news. So does the Navion.
Ivar Krueger and some friends. They look like Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks, but might be Kardashians. 

“Under the Hood” Britain’s auto industry is “bumbling,” and the Labour government is looking into whether it makes engines that are too small, doesn’t do enough mass production, and in general is too English.
I would also acccept Adrian Mole's driving lessons.

“Clap Hands, Here Comes Charlie” McCormick Spices is expanding aggressively with a new sales force.

In shorter news, many US cities are competing for the next World’s Fair, and radio profits are up 38 1.2% this year. 


Several people bought or sold expensive things, including manuscripts of Alice and Of Human Bondage. Grace Coolidge and Will Rogers, Jr. both made appearances in Washington, while Shirley Temple talked about her wedding gown and Aneurin Bevan operated an electric iron at the Modern Homes exhibition in London. Also in the not-quite news, Jim Corbett (Man-Eaters of Kumaon), Sinclair Lewis, Ernest Hemingway, Charles Lindbergh, Congressman Albert Sabaoth, and Frederick Cecil Bartholomew. Of them, only Lewis is a “Red,” and shouldn’t be in this column. (Shame!) A college student says no-one reads Mencken any more, and Norman L. Douglas, of South Wind, materialised in a flop house in London, which explains why no-one has heard of him in years.

Science, Medicine and Education

“The Wonderful Pile” General Leslie Groves announced this week that the Oak Ridge Laboratory is working on an atomic pile for peaceful purposes. 

Glenn T. Seaborg says that radioactive isotopes of various elements might be used to trace chemical reactions, in much the same way that radioactive iodine can be followed in the body, as see below. The recent tidal wave in Hilo, Hawaii, is explained as a “tsunami,” the Japanese word for a wave caused by displacement during an undersea earthquake.

“Irresponsible Ions” The paper covers the recent solar storms, which interfered with Atlantic communications.

“Man-Made Weather” The Air Force has built a giant hangar in Florida which is equipped with various equipments to simulate weather conditions from Arctic to tropical.

For NoferTrunnions” Engineers ran to the newsstand to snap up copies of Arthur D. Little’s The Turbo-Encabulator in Industry. I'm sending James a copy.

The paper covers the suggestion at the AMA that pregnancies might be legally terminated if the mother contracts rubella.

“Era of New Hope?” Fred Learned, a former farm editor and now an employee of the American Cancer Society, volunteered to take a dose of radioactive iodine so that Dr. Robley D. Evans, of MIT, could show how this substance could help fight cancerof the thyroid. Iodine concentrates in the thyroid, so a dose of the radioactive substance would concentrate there and attack the cancer. This radioactive therapy is only one of 19 fields that the ACS is currently investigating, it told the AMA. He also told the convention that, contrary to "houswives' tales" (oh, we houswives!), you cannot get cancer from aluminum cookware or an electric refrigerator. China needs foreign doctors to fight the plagues sweeping the nation, because Chinese doctors are too Chinese. Frank Herrington is not only a foreign doctor, but a personal friend of the Generalissimo, which makes him extra-effective against plague.

“A Case of Crates” The Army has crates and crates of educational books to give away, but schools don’t want most of them. Meanwhile, an educational committee visited Japan and decided that MacArthur’s school reforms are not nearly “punitive” enough. Virginia Gildersleeve thinks that it will take decades to reform Japanese education.

“Three-Ring Circus” Some 3.5 million American children still attend one-room schools. A teacher at one of them writes in to tell various stories to suggest that their products may not go on to Harvard or Yale.

Press, Art, Radio

“Same Old Smith” Paul Smith is back form the war and at The Chronicle. The paper likes him, and hates Harold Ickes, and Smith feels exactly the same. In other news, PM tracked down seven housewives who were quoted in the Hearst press saying mean things about the OPA, and established that they actually had high opinions of the OPA. Well, that settles it: PM is too left, and the Hearst papers are too right, and the paper is right in the middle, which is the good place.  
The paper covers a Gauguin exhibition, and the Met is doing an Egyptian one. Under the paper’s extensive religion coverage that I usually ignore (“Can Protestantism Win?”) is coverage of Wei Cho Min.

“The Voice of FDR” A two-album set of the President’s radio speeches will be released to accompany a memorial programme on NBC. Also, Hedda Hopper’s hat contest was a whopper, says the paper.

In Music news, Margot Fonteyn is a London ballerina, Woody Guthrie is a red, which means that he cannot be a folk singer. Betty Sanders, who sang The Mighty Atom Bomb, is also a red, but she is an anti-Hearst Red, so that’s almost okay. (This in connection with a “Hootenany” in New York.)

It's hilarious because Senator Bilbo and left-wing "folk singers" are pretty much the same thing, only on opposite ends of the political spectrum. (Which actually approach each other, because it's more like a circle than a line. ZOMG Big Thought!)

The New Pictures

But first, a story about Jane Russell’s The Outlaws being released. “Bust Becomes Bonanza.” Men are awful.

Devotion[!]  is a three-year-old Warner product being dumped on the spring market. It is like Little Women, only weak as water. The Green Years is a drama about drama, which the paper did not like. “Lumbering, overstacked…” It turns out that a lot of lumbering movies came out this month. Good news for house builders!


It is hard to get it right with the paper. Foreheads must be high, or, at a pinch, low; not middleish. But not too high! The public is not so discriminate. No less than six novels have sold more than a million copies in the first four months of the year: Daphne du Maurier, Gladys Schmitt, Erich Maria Remarque, Evelyn Waugh, Frank Yerby and Elizabeth Metzger Howard have won the lottery that is the public’s fickle book buying habits.

Now set brows to just-right, as the paper reviews a life of Charles Dickens by “Dame UnaPope-Henessy,” who is too low, and a collection of short stories by Elizabeth Bowen, whichis just right. Also, war correspondent Vincent Sheean shares his opinions about the world.

Flight, 18 April 1946


“This Pressurisation” Everyone is talking about how while the English are still experimenting with pressurisation, the Americans have it coming and going. The paper thinks this is wrong! “One American aircraft is now being flown in service with its pressurising equipment in action,” but the differential is low, and there is still much to be done with air conditioning and humidifying. Even systems that work in one size of cabin are hard to scale up, largely due to leak rates. “Caulking” large cabins is important, but only one step towards high-altitude air conditioning.

“Noises Off” When we are done solving air conditioning, perhaps we can work on noise. Piston engines are notoriously loud, and the problems of jet engines (impellors and tail pipes) have not really been tackled yet, because who cares about fighter pilots’ hearing, except fighter pilots, who really should have gone to Sandhurst if they wanted to be able to talk to their wives over the breakfast table in 1966. (Woolwich and Greenwich have cannons, and Keyham has mechanicals.)
Old fashioned before it was even new-fangled. But so what? It's on the market. 

“Bigger and Better” The paper is excited about rumours that three more Brabazons have been ordered, along with three of the Saunders-Roe flying boats. 

It is now suggested that Filton airfield will require £2 million in work before the prototype Brabazon can fly from it. The paper finds this distressing, but no reason to rethink the Brabazon, which should continue in a “high pressure” way.

H. PP. Henry, “A Teaser in Hydraulics: Equipment Used for Operating the pontoon, Wing-tip Floats and Other Services on the Blackburn B.20” When Major Rennie of Blackburn first approached Lockheeds in 1936, the problem of building this, I suppose I need to say “aircraft,” seemed “insuperable.” For example, the pontoon movements had to be synchronised across a 55ft distance. That’s a lot of pipe for hydraulic fluid to surge through! A synchronising valve was developed, and linked to the symmetric jacks, which means that the hydraulic services of the B.20 were mechanically operated. Also specialised, with separate locks and selector valves, with “levers mechanically joined” controlled the two wingtip floats. The rest of the hydraulics were cut-out-accumulator types, but. Just to be clear, these components were direct service. It is all worth talking about because of how well it worked!

“Turbine-Jet Pioneers Resign: Original Team Disbanding as Result of New Policy” Sixteen ofthe original Midland team of jet propulsion engineers are to resign from Power Jets Limited. Whittle and the sixteen want the freedom to develop new jet turbines, and are not content with the testing role envisioned for Power Jets. Also, the government is terrible.

“India’s Air Pageant at Willingdon Airport: Over 100 RAF and RIAF Aircraft Take Part in Delhi Victory Week Display” To clear up the confusion, “Willingdon” Airport is at Delhi. It sounds like a good, old-fashioned kind of show, with lots of very loud, low-flying, very fast planes. Although the presence of Hurricanes does remind everyone that the “Royal Indian Air Force” did not exactly get the most fashionable planes.

Here and There

“Transatlantic Babes” New regulations at Trans-Canada remove the age restrictions on children on transatlantic flights, and passengers between the ages of two and twelve will from now on go at half fare, but must be accompanied by a responsible person of at least twelve. They will also get the full adult baggage allotment of 66lbs in the “Canadian-built” fourteen-hour Montreal-Prestwick service.

“A Light Blue Affair” The estimated 3000 current and former members of the Cambridge University Air Squadron are invited to a 21st Anniversary dinner. 3000!

ATC club subsidies blah. The paper also reports signs that while bricklayers and carpenters are still in short supply, there might now be more cabin crew than employers need.

The paper reports that Miss Philippa Bennett, a pre-war B-license and ATA pilot has started an air taxi service at Southampton Airport, and an RAF flight-sergeant reports being well treated by Indonesian insurgents after being down by their AA fire.  

“’Indicator’ Discusses Topics of the Day: In Praise of Ourselves: The Air Speed Record Situation: What We Have in Hand; The Jet Fuel Situation” Official silence has fallen over the American air speed record experiments, but they are presumably continuing, with efforts being made to up the Mach number of the P-80 to make full use of its thrust. Pilots think that the Meteor is capable of as  much as 460mph, so a minimal American record could easily be beat with the existing aircraft. Mach 0.84 has been shown in tests, and give a sea level speed of 640mph. Beyond that, “Indicator” doesn’t say. 
If  you read the article carefully (or think about it later after reading about the W2/700), you realise that "Indicator" is casting shade on the claim that the Meteor can do 460. It's not thrust that's the issue, here. It's transsonic acceleration.

On the subject of fireworthiness, the idea of fueling jets with low-octane petrol rather than kerosene has been mooted. The higher vapour pressure of petrol makes it a greater fire risk, octane rating aside, but it might also make relighting a jet turbine easier, especially at high altitudes.

The Wikipedia article seems to be a bit of a crock, as Miles was in "financial difficulties" well before the cancellation of the M.52.

“Rolls-Royce Nene I: A Description of the Most Powerful Turbine-jet Unit in Full Production” The usual pictures of impellers, rotors and combustion chambers. The forged turbine is of Jessop G.18B alloy steel, while, as on the Derwent, the blades are of Nimonic 80. Combustion chambers are of similar design to the Derwent, but larger, and the fuel injection system is still by Lucas: multiple plunger, variable stroke. Two pumps are provided, with  incorporated hydraulic pressure control to a pilot-controlled throttle. A duplex fuel burner arrangement is to ensure, without resort to abnormally high pressure, a fully atomised fuel spray at low rates of flow. Lubrication is a wet-sump system, so changed from the Derwent’s dry sump. The front bearing is ingeniously sealed by compressed air, but the sump has a conventional Purolator pressure filter, a pressure relief valve and a deaerator. From there it is fed to the three bearings and a gallery pipe by metered jets for wheel case bearings. A scavenge pump returns oil from the centre and rear bearings to the sump. Starting is by a 24v electrical motor. The Nene was first used on the Lockheed XP-80, and it has been tested on a de Havilland Vampire. Dr. Hooker has already noted that a four Nene Lancaster would cruise at 400mph with an all up weight of 60,000lb, and save 4000lb on the Merlin installation.

The Nene, ready to defend international socialism!

“Cabin Lighting for Air Liners: Even Illumination Required to Ensure Maximum Eye Comfort: Fluorescent System Advocated” Mr. R. A. Rugge, of the Curtiss-Wright Corporation, presented the full form of this paper to the Society of Automotive Engineers in Chicago, and the lighting system described was trialed on the CW-20E. Fluorescents are god because the light source can be concealed.

“Tudor II in Camera: round Avro’s New Sixty Seater with Flight’s Cameraman” Everyone should buy a Tudor II of their very own. They're very commodious! 

“A Brabazon Comes to Life”

“Rocky Mountain Secret” It can now be revealed that experiments with floating ice airfields, dubbed “Operation Habbakuk,” were carried out at Lake Louise in the Canadian Rockies.  Also in the news is the first successful run of the Monaco 100hp flat-four engine, and a Maharajah who has a plane, and flies it places.
Sure. Why not? The art doesn't seem to be attributed, but here's one site I could have scraped it from!

“Britain’s Test Pilots, No. 5: Geoffrey de Havilland, OBE” Geoffrey is the son of the original Geoofrey, the founder of the company, and replaced all sorts of tedious old men who were fatally handicapped by not being the owner’s son. His first development aircraft was the D.H. Albatross. He has had various adventures since.

“Miles Technical School: Private Scheme for Training Young Students: Complete Factory Practice in Classrooms” Miles has a training centre attached to its factory, just like every aircraft manufacturer, but Miles differs from the others in needing lots of publicity, right now.

Look! Automation making white collar skills obsolete!

Civil Aviation News

“Orders for the Convair” It is reported that American airlines have ordered 100 Consolidated Vultee 240s. In other news, KLM is to use Prestwick as its intermediate station on the north Atlantic run. Norwegian Airlines are now flying a service from Oslo to Croyden. BOAC now has a fast service to Cairo on twelve-seater Yorks, 12h 20 min outbound, 13h 10min inbound. The Australians seem to be on board with the British Commonwealth Pacific Airlines plan, so I should eat my hat (which is a very nice hat).
In 1946, Easter means endless "Religion" sections in Time and also new hats.

I think I’ll wait for a bit, though. Canada is not, and will run TCA services “in parallel,” but word is that the BCPA will fly Montreal-built DC4As. I know a carrot when I see one! Straight Aviation air services is resuming its Central Navigation School. There has been another statement in the house about London Airport/Heathrow. Twenty-six Percival Proctors have been flown out to India, the first by Jim Mollison.


An Air Cadet thinks that “unwanted U.S. aircraft” should be given to the ATC. J. Noel Jackson, Flt. Lt, Ex-RAFVR, was very pleased by ‘Indicator’s description of the Whitley. From the sounds of things, the fact that he is only a Flight Lieutenant might have something to do with the fact that he could never get the Whitley to do what it was told. Fred Young explains why heavier aircraft fly at lower speeds, are in the air longer, and have overall higher fuel consumption. R. L. Bennett, on the other hand, shares “Mixture’s” original puzzlement, and David W. Hearsey explains at great length. F. G. Isaac thinks that the problem with British aviation is that it does not have enough boosters, and suggest that there should be more. “Wing CO, Rtd” has opinions about how ex-aircraft apprentices are mistreated by the British class system, and R. E. T. Hack has more technical opinions about power losses in gas turbines.  

Time, 22 April 1946


Kurt Ladenburg says that the Russians have occasion to be upset that America has all the atom bombs and refuses to share. A. E. Clouse thinks that the paper is being hypocritical in supporting the British Loan while being concerned about the expenses of paying benefits to veterans of “past wars.” Several writers have opinions about religion. Ernest Nathan, of West Warwick, Rhode Island, thinks that Britain should only have her American alliance when she lets her colonies go. Robert Conway of the New York Daily News is a monster for doubting the severity of the European famine, says Charles R. Joy of the Unitarian Service Committee in Boston, and Henry Foley, of Syracuse, Now York. James T. Etheridge of Tampa, and Joseph Wechsberg, of Hollywood, write to ask the paper to name the “Republocrats” (or “Demopulbicans”) who oppose the President’s legislative programme. The letter from the publisher pats the paper on the back for doing last week’s cover story on ten days’ notice.

National Affairs

“Shakedown I” The country is shaking down into peace, says the paper, based on its reading of local newspapers, which refuse to cover all the world-shaking events in New York and Washington on the grounds that their readers don’t care.

“Shakedown II” Reconversion continues, even as it gets a bit tattered.

“This is the House” The President visited FDR’s grave at Hyde Park this week.

“Merger Can Wait” The Army-Navy merger bill is held up in the House as the President fulminates against the admirals.

“High Cost of Hague” The paper blames Mayor Hague for the high property taxes of Jersey City, as the rest of the country wonders if the paper lives in Jersey City, because otherwise, who cares?

The Gods of theMountainThe bill to establish a permanent office to control atomic energy is out of committee. (The “gods” being the ones who will be in charge of it, the final question being whether they should be army or civilian.)

“Dangerous” Bill” General Eisenhower thinks that delaying the new peacetime draft bill is a gamble with the peace of the world, while Congress thinks it a dangerous bill to bring forward in an election year. Also before the Senate was the British Loan, the Tyding Act, the rejected Emergency Housing subsidy, various appointments to be confirmed, and a rise in meat price ceilings.

“Better All the Time” Caesar Petrillo is negotiating with the movie industry. The joke here is that while the industry calculates that his demands will raise the cost of movie making by $15 million, he says it will only raise it by 12.

“’Twas Always Thus’” John L. Lewis is holding out on settling the coal strike, and the paper resorts to poetry.

“Mud and Cigars” The paper reminds everyone that unless Filipinos vote for the right person, the wrong person will win.

“Belly Americans” Americans are the best-fed people in the world; which makes it especially disheartening that they are 12 million bushels short of their commitment of wheat to Europe. Italian children are showing the swollen bellies of malnutrition, while German burghers eat bark, and the Yugoslavs and poles are down to two days stockpile. Worse, Americans are ignoring the Engineer’s “grave admonitions.”
I didn't realise you could cook yams without marshmallows. 

“Bounty” From a completely different perspective, it is reported that the winter wheat crop is coming in well. It will be a record crop, unless there is a drought this summer.

“Bobby Sox Convention” A convention of senior girl scouts in Denver was heard to agree that Bobby-Soxers are awful.

The kids today, with their droopy socks and their be-bop music!

“Slow Peace” United Nations delegates like music. Further bulletins. . . Wait, because there are further bulletins! There might be a four -power convention this year, and the League of Nations is still meeting(!)

“Cruise of the Ada Rehan” Ada Rehan was a nice, Victorian lady, and the paper is appalled that this vessel of the American merchant marine is  having a depraved and vice-ridden round-the-world voyage, and that its crew are currently all down in the dives of Shanghai. What?

I think that might be a wig.

“The Flagellator” The Engineer thinks that Americans are not guilty enough about starvation in Europe, so he has sent a missive to Washington explaining that everyone is hungry. It is “the most crijtical food period in all history . . . From the Russian frontier to the Channel, there are topday 20 millions of children . . . badly undernourished. . . “

“A Lot of Whiskey” Lord Inverchapel has announced that his work is done, that the situation in Indonesia is all sorted out, and that he is going back to his manor in the Highlands to drink a lot.

“Long Shadow” India is the subject of the cover story, on Mohammed Ali Jinnah.

“Vernal Mood” It is spring in China, cables the paper’s correspondent, who reports that the civil war is still on. In other Chinese news, Premier Chen Kung-po was condemned to death this week, with Madame Chen Pi-Chun to follow.

“Progress Report” Japan had a very progressive election, although the results are not thought sufficiently progressive.

“Postwar Garbo?” Sweden deserves to have a famous, beautiful actress: could Viveca Lindfors be the one? Maybe!

“Verdict on a Verdict” A British report on the Greek elections concludes that they were just fine!

“Pots, Pans and Profits” London’s Financial Times thinks that the Labour budget was just awful. Taxes are down much further on things poor peoplelike, such as pots and pans, than on rich people, and the EPT is not ending soon enough. Although it ought to be pleased at the massive reduction in government expenditure. Emmanuel Shinwell proposed that if the British auto industry doesn’t get itself going, the government might nationalise it after all.

“Holiday” Famine and shortages notwithstanding, Europeans are on vacation this week.

In Latin American news, Peru has introduced a more generous royalties scheme for its oil than Venezuela, but the industry is still upset, and Chile has communists. In Canada, Emma Woikin, a Doukhobor girl, was the first of the Gouzenko spies to go on trial, and got two-and-a-half years.


“Hatchet Work” The OPA just decontrolled another set of prices: included this time are up to 85% of consumer food products and 80% of industrial and capital goods.

“Old Trick, New Warning” Back in the 20s, stock splits were common and got very shady. This week, the President of the NYSE detected early signs that these shady splits were coming back.

“The Race is On” Henry Ford II announced this week that Ford was forming a new division to make cars for less than $1000. Others who might be getting into the cheap car business include GM with a low-priced Chevrolet, and Wily-Overlands.

“Goodyear Makes Its Bow” Goodyear this week showed off its modular/prefab house, a 26-by-8 wooden house with structures made of “tempered presswood,” which Goodyear is going to make in a plant at Litchfield Park, Arizona.

“On the Ball” The “fabulous, atomic era, miraculous” pen of Reynolds International Pen is doing very, very well. Although 6000 of the first batch of 100,000 were returned as defective. Gimbels is still ordering another 100,000, and a new plant in Chicago is equipped to make 30,000 a day.

“Profitable HOLC” Whereas most government interventions into the housing market cost money, the Home Owners Loan Corporation has had a net profit of $11 million. Its business of refinancing mortgages in danger of foreclosure has done very well, due to the war.

“Works Like Magic” The New York State Board of Education reluctantly agreed this week that lessons from the Arthur Murray dance studio could be covered by the GI Bill, as wallflowers need tdo have fun, too.

Science, Medicine, Education

“Inverted Alchemy” Researchers at the University of California in Berkely this week announced that they had turned gold into mercury. This is apparently an important achievement because the ionisation bands of mercury 198 will be the new standard unit of light measurement.

“Claghorn Compass” Senator Claghorn, as a true Soutnerner, of course never uses a compass, because its needle points north. Well, the joke is on him, because GE has just developed a compass that points east-west, due to being made of silmanal, an alloy of slver, manganese and aluminum, which will be useful in electrical control equiopment. (Other novel magnetic materials are cunico, alnicol and Vectolite.)

“V-2 Day” The Army is going to fire off 25 V-2s from its White Sands Test Range on 8 May, in order to measure the gas composition of the ionosphere and the incidence and effect of cosmic rays.

“Malnutrition” Since actual malnutrition is breaking out in Italy (I’m tempted to say something here), it is time to talk about the science of slow starvation.

“Footling Figures” The American Society of Chiropodists reports that American feet are disintegrating, or something, due to everyone walking too much.

“Malaria Cure” The OSRD thinks that it may have found one. It is identified for now as SN13,276. It has high toxicity, however, and may cause anemia in the darker-skinned races.

“A Cow for Spenser” Professor Theodore Spenser, of Harvard, is the paper's new heartthrob. Perhaps this bow-tied heartthrob understands supply and demand?

“110-Mile Walk” After Trinity (Methodist) College agreed to change its name to Duke for a million a year, Wake Forrest had a tough act to follow, but it is living up to the state tradition by moving its campus for Reynolds money.

“Man About the World” William Montgomery McGovern is returning from his duties in the occupation of Japan to teach a course at Northwestern because the Navy has discovered that it can spare him.


Henry Ford celebrated his 58th wedding anniversary this week. The Count de Marigny has a memoir out. Lady Astor lost a nylon while talking to the press. Frank Sinatra went to see the UN, because there would be no bobby-soxers there. The Duke of Hamilton was in New York talking up a trans-Atlantic air service. Edgar Lee Masters, another famous writer found in a flophouse (this time in 1944), has been given a $5000 fellowship to nurse himself back to health. Arthur Schlesinger, the 28-year-old author of that history of that American president, is going to write another book this one about New Dealers, who are just like the friends of that old American president he wrote about before. Haile Selassie and Winston Churchill have both ordered expensive things in New York, but that is all right, as they are not reds. Peggy Cummins had a house fire, Marie McDonald is trying to get rid of her agent, and Jane Russell has not vanished from the face of the Earth.

Radio, Press, Art

“Cure All” Many have tried to diagnose radio’s problems, but Charles Arthur Siepman is ready to prescribe a cure. A former BBC director, Harvard lecturer, and all-round high forehead, he thinks less advertising and more competition from newly-opened FM stations are the cure. And he lectures at Harvard. . . The paper likes Breakfast with Dorothy and Dick. Lots of people do! Why, Walter Winchell says that he “stays up” to listen. It’s funny because he keeps late nights! Hal Peary, who usually appears as Throckmorton P. Gildersleeve, has a record of “Stories for Children” out. It is doing very well, although it is not really radio so much as a record by a radio man.

“Who’s Pushing?” PM is laying off 26 staff and changing its format. In other newspaper news, “Dorothy Dix” turns 75 this week, while The New Republic is, like PKL, changing direction under the direction of a new, young publisher, Michael Straight.

The Whitney is having an exhibition of American modernists, and Marc Chagall is getting a retrospective in the Metropolitan.

The New Pictures

From This Day Forward is a “tardy but sincere filming” of All Brides are Beautiful, an uplifting Depression-era novel. It is warm, humane and honest, but patronising and oversentimental. The paper thinks that Joan Fontaine speaks “regular English” like a Vassarite, which, I discover, is code for Vassar being a school for rich girls. Well, then! The Kid from Brooklyn is the remake of a Harold Lloyd chump-to-champ vehicle featuring the up-and-coming Danny Kaye. The paper likes Kaye, but thinks he has too much heavy lifting making this one go.


Ralph Ingersoll’s Top Secret reveals that Field-Marshal Montgomery is awful. So is General Eisenhower. And Prime Minister Churchill! And, really, pretty much all Englishmen. The paper thinks that it Ingersoll is a bit awful.

The paper liked Eudora Welty’s Delta Wedding. “Tall, blue-eyed Welty is a spinster of 37.” Also hitting the perfect brow-level is Charles H. Baker, Blood of the Lamb, which is about dark god-worshipping, backwood, inbred cultists in Florida. Or possibly Pentecostals.

Finally, the War Department has Omaha Beachhead out. It turns out that the reason there were so many American casualties is that there was a battle there!

Flight, 25 April 1946


“a Floating Museum” The paper thinks that the idea of a “floating, perambulating” museum is a good idea. Not to dwell on Mr. Giannini any further, but he did once tell me that his yacht was a “hole through which to pour money into the water.”

“Looking Ahead”  Lord Winster and the other Air lord minister went to see the big patch of water where there might be a big flying boat base for giant flying boat airliners.Holes, water, money.

“Helicopter Development” It is now known that Cierva, Bristol and Fairey are all working on helicopters.

“Variable Incidence: Ancient Device in Super-modern Form Applied with Success to Supermarine Type322” It turns out that Supermarine built an even more ridiculous competitor to the Barracuda with even more flaps and struts and hydraulically extended and contracted bits. These included the wings themselves. I am pretty sure that no-one asked the wives of the pilots what they thought of including the wings in the bits that get fiddled around with hydraulics in flight.
It looks a lot less preposterous on the ground. Don't worry. They'll get the concept right, some day.

“Eire Agreement” There is an air agreement between Ireland and England.  BOAC gets to fly in if Aer Lingus gets to fly out.

Here and There

Skegness Airfield, a site of 73 acres, has been bought by a local resident. Also in airfield news, the new airport in Singapore, Changi, has been opened by Sir Keith Park. Father will be pleased to be able to fly out in even the “biggest types of aircraft.” Now if the only destinations available were not in Australia and India. . .

“Stratovision Progress” I am skipping Radio News this month, but the paper makes up for it by reminding us that Stratovision exists. Recent tests have confirmed that it works to the satisfaction of the FCC. Usable signals were received over 240 miles from 25000 feet using only 250 watts.
Next step is Internet from blimps!

The paper tells the story of a Gipsy Moth bought from the Disposals Commission flying from Cootamandra to Sydney, and having to make an emergency stop on Glamis Streeet, Rockdale. The passenger had to get out and muscle the plane to a stop before it ran off the street into the bush, but everything was otherwise fine. In other exotic, foreign news, the Americans already have a Republic Seabee ready for production. HMS Triumph has begun her trials. The US Post Office is testing a Fairchild C-82 Packet with an onboard mail-sorting room. Westland has formed a subsidiary called Normalair to handle its pressurisation equipment.

“Britain’s Test Pilots, No. 6: Philip Lucas, GM” Lucas started with the RAF just after WWI, flew for Martlesham Heath, and moved on to Hawker.

“No. 7. William Humble, MBE” Also a Hawker test pilot, “of the modern school.” Trained as a mining engineer and employed in the coal industry when he took his flying lessons at Marshal’s flying School in Cambridge, he soon caught on with Hawker.

“Keeping the Passenger Cool: Refrigeration a Necessary Part of Air Condition: Its Place in Pressurisation” This is a precis of a paper by Bernard L. Messinger, a thermodynamic expert at Lockheed, who explains that pressurising air heats it up, and the cooling effects of the atmosphere do not balance this out until you hit 7000ft. Lockheed uses an intercooler.

Metro-Vick Gas Turbine: British Axial-flow Unit with Efficient Ducted-fan Thrust Augmentation: High Thrust, Low Specific Consumption” This is he Metro-vick F/3. I wish James were around to talk to about this one. From the gossip/insiders’ point of view, Metrovick is the one to beat on a gas turbine, since steam turbines for electrical power are their bread-and-butter. This is another one that uses airflow that bypasses the combustion chambers to achieve higher thermalefficiency. The paper claims that this is weight-efficient.   But wouldn’t it necessarily be wider, and so lose some of the axial configuration’s advantage over the centrifugal?

Civil Aviation

“London Airport: Summary of the Plans for Heathrow: Proposed Layout: Development North of Bath Road” To summarise: London will be given an airport by simply paving the rest of the country up to the Scottish border, which will make it easy for transatlantic airliners landing at Prestwick to taxi on down to Croydon and Heston, thereby rendering Heathrow a complete white elephant. Also, in spite of having all runways in all directions, it will be terribly dangerous to land there unless the terminal is relocated to somewhere that no-one can get to from a train, ever.

In shorter news, we are reminded that helicopter research is ongoing, that it is now possible to fly from London the Riviera in one day, single fare £14 10s, and the Government has evil plans for Prestwick. Very evil plans. As mentioned by Time, the US Senate is not done talking about talking about civil aviation and wants to reopen the talking about talking, since the Senate was not involved in the talking about talking. American Airlines has bought a houseboat to house its personnel at Shannon, due to overcrowding there.

Percival Trainer: New Service Elementary Instructional Type: Three-seat Layout: All-metal Construction” The Percival T. 23/43 is a submission to the Air Ministry’s elementary trainer specification. It is designed to take a cowl for the amber filters used in the new “day-night” synthetic training.


"Stickler" reminds us that British postwar experiments were not the first to show an interest in twins aboard aircraft carriers, as the French experimented with a Potez based on the Type 56. Mr. E. Hall writes to correct “Indicator” on details of the Miles Master, and then “Indicator” corrects him. An ex-pilot of the Barracuda tells us that even if you can fall asleep in a Barracuda, as has been suggested you can due to its cabin being heated, its “wallowing” will soon wake up. He notes that the “gentle purring of the engine” always deafened him in an hour or two, contributing to the “pleasant, dazed feeling which was so conducive to sleep.” I think that’s sarcasm. “Ground Bound” suggests a more practical solution, a button which allows the observer gunner to poke the sleeping pilot with a pin. E. Watts thinks that either Furious or Argus would make fine floating FAA museums. “Ex-Airman” is upset about “other rank” pay rates in the postwar RAF.

Time, 29 April 1946


(Name Withheld) writes that if America would just float a loan to France, the French people would cover it overnight. (Name Withheld) does not tell us where the money would come from, but all his neighbours in Provence agree. A Signal Corps Captain, also (Name Withheld) thinks that everyone in the Army but him is stupid and lazy. W. C. Butler, of Santiago de Chile, thinks that America is going about Argentina all wrong. Vardis Fisher, of Hagerman, Idaho, writes to tell us that it was almost inliving memory that it was discovered that fathers contribute to theirchildren’s heredity. Franklin R. Williams writes to correct the misapprehension that all be-bop loving hipsters are not zoot-suited, marijuana-smoking characters. Most are just normal music-lovers, and that is why the paper is terrible. The editor writes to point out that the “Congress’s Work Done” column is back, now that there is peace.
Comic inspired by Vardis Fisher's twelve-volume Testament of Man. The things you learn. Like, don't do a Google image search for "Anthro."

National Affairs

Every Hour of the Day” Giving the Engineer last week to scold was not nearly enough, and he is back to scold some more. People are starving in Europe. Children are starving in Europe!

“Anatomy of Failure” And it is all America’s fault.

“Man Against Hunger” Most of the food to feed the world’s paler-skinned hungry will come from the American heartland, so it is time to point out that Americans did not convert nearly enough land to growing wheat instead of corn for hogs, and pasture for cattle. This week’s cover story is an Iowa farmer named Gustav Theodore Kuester, whose story guides us through this failure. Kuester raises hogs, so you might see him as part of the problem, but he clearly has no idea. “I don’t think folks got nawthin’ to worry about.” Odd to read that in a newspaper. 

“Good Man” Lord Halifax seemed like he might be a bad choice for ambassador when he turned up in Washington in 1941; but, actually, he was quite a good one! “The Nazis killed one of his three sons in Egypt; another had lost both legs in the battle of Alamein,” after all. And this week, he gave quite a nice farewell speech.

“Showplace of Chicago” Betty Ackerman, a Chicago waitress who has been renting a tent in a 6by 9 corner of a basement in Kitty Stertz’s Chicago rooming house, got upset when her rent was hiked to $7.50/week, and, eventually, complained to the Daily-Tribune, turning the thing into quite the story.

“The Kill” The House voted this week to kill the OPA in nine months’ time.

“Work Done” This week in the Senate, the British loan was debated; the Wagner-Ellen-Taft bill was sent to the House; while the House sent up to the Senate bills increasing service pay, and the “inadequate” draft bill.

“Distaff Invasion” Army transport Thomas H. Barry set off from Manhattan’s Pier 84 this week, loaded with Army dependents going to join their servicemen, mostly officers’ wives and children. Fourteen generals’ wives are along, while the youngest is the 17-year-old wife of an MP private in Vienna, Mary Anne Orr. Within a month, a total of 1.250 dependents will have sailed.

“The Case Should Be Stayed” Chief Justice Harlan Stone, who seemed to have an episode on the bench while reading a dissent, returned home and died there five hours later of a massive cerebral hemorrhage –giving President Truman is own “cerebrovascular episode” to deal with in an election year.

“Broomless Bruja” A DA in Colorado is having a devil of a time prosecuting one Mrs. Martina Cordova for defrauding some clients with ineffectual witchcraft.

“How Much Hunger?” The paper covers the statistics which have already appeared in The Economist! But, it his vignettes. One vignette is a botanical show at the China Office of the UNRRA, showing the innocent-looking wild herbs which the peasants of Hunan have been living on for the last forty days. Another is Gundel’s Restaurant in Budapest’s Town Park, where an American can eat a black market meal of foie gras, venison, wine, salad and dessert for $1.66, while ordinary Hungarians get 5oz of bread daily. In Italy, Europe’s lowest bread rations are about to be cut again. Britons have seen no onions in five months, get one shell egg a week; a pineapple costs $30; yet a French girl visiting London called it a “paradise,” because Londoners get enough to eat. Now, because we haven’t quoted the Engineer in just pages and pages, it is time to trot him out again. The starvation is bad enough; unless the 1946 crops are very good, it will get worse. If they are good, the world will limp along until 1947. In spite of all the killing, there are 100 million more people in the world today than in 1939, 35 million of them in India alone. (Who obviously can't feed themselves, because they are Indians. Not that we will send them any food, as they are Indians. And yet they live. So strange.)

“Guilty” Hans Frank, former Nazi Governor-General of Poland, pled guilty this week in Nuremberg. “I am guilty, as is the rest of Germany. A thousand years will pass and this guilt will not be erased.”
The paper does not like Ilya Ehrenburg.

“Turn of the Screw” United Nations delegates like baseball. Further bulletins as events warrant. (Also, Iran and Franco.)

Poles and Ukrainians are excitable (and the paper can follow it, because of two return immigrants from Buffalo), and the paper follows the story of Ann Barley, an unmarried, 36-year-old American civil servant who went to Europe and adopted two war orphans.

“MacArthur’s Way” General MacArthur had an ugly, public blow-up with the Riussioam ,ember of the control delegation.

“Glue for the Dragon” Mdme Chiang and Mdme Chou En-lai met and had tea the other day. Braver woman than I.

“Face in Fushin” Fushin is the largest former Japanese industrial complex, with aluminum, shale oil, steel and power plants. 22 Nationalist engineers just arrived by train from Szechwan, and asked the Russians if they could kindly start running it. The Russians, who apparently want to go home and start, oh, I don’t know, feeding their families, were only minimally difficult about it, but the paper still disapproves. The paper further develops the “race for Manchuria.” If the Communists end up in charge up there, it will be all the Russians' fault.

“Trouble” A very-nearly incomprehensible (because censored) telegram from Bangkok is printed as received. The paper calls it “sinister.”

“Golden Circus” There is a gold rush going on in South Africa, a strike in the Odenraalsrus district yielding 6.6 oz/ton, confirming that the Witwatersrand reef continues under this area.

“Steel Ramp” The fuss over possible nationalisation of steel continues.

“They Called Him Cassandra” The paper eulogises Lord Keynes, “soft-spoken, knife-witted, twinkle-eyed.” Have I ever mentioned that Uncle George introduced me to him in London in 1939? It wasn’t much of an occasion, but I can say that I took his hand, and he asked me how London compared to San Francisco. (Which left me stretching, considering that I had spent the previous two years in Hong Kong.) The paper says that “orthodoxy caught up” with him. Or that he thought it had, anyway.

“Stately is as Stately Does” The paper covers the proposed sale of Glenfiddich, the 31,000 acre Banffshire estate of the Dukes of Richmond and Gloucester. Now, that would cover a nice bit of England’s dollar balance! This is by way of introducing the paper’s version of the Wentworth Woodhouse story, in which the excavation has been going on for a while, and is not the result of Shinwell’s personal vendetta against rich people.
Cozy! By Andrewrabbott - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,
Cozier! (The Wingfoot "presswood" prefab house erected in Washington. The blurry photo is the fault of the Library of Congress and not me, for a change. 

Latins are excitable.

“Lest We Forget” The paper’s correspondent in Germany, Percy Knauth, is afraid that people are already forgetting about Buchenwald. At least one person has not forgotten, and that is the unknown person who smeared arsenic on the bread ration given to 15,000 SS prisoners at Stalag 13, near Nuremberg, causing 1000 cases of serious illness.

Mexico is having an election; the British are sensing barriers to British investment in Argentina. In Canada, there are now 213,000 unemployed, up by 41,000 in four months. The unemployed are predominantly young. Canadians would like to remind Americans that Canada is quite nice, especially in the summer, and that they should come, and bring their dollrs with them.


“Ersatz, Texas-Style” Texans are quite upset at the way that their natural gas has been going mostly to waste. Now, a Reconstruction Financing Corporation effort to turn natural gas into gasoline is getting under way near Carthage, Texas. Carthage Hydrocol uses a variant of the German method for making gasoline outof coal; both start by decomposing the feedstock into carbon monoxide and hydrogen, and then reassembling them into gasoline fractions. Twelve refineries are backing this, in hopes that it will prove profitable, and not just possible.
A Ford's in your future, and a lot of gasoline.

“Wherefore, Petitioners Pray” Rail freight rates are a subject of contention again.

“How High is a House” The price of houses under $6000 is up 665% over the year; of 6000-$12000, 52%. The price of undeveloped land for housing is up 60 to 62% (hurrah!). The NHA says that these increases are out of line with price controls, and proposes a solution: more houses, at prices that would-be homeowners can afford.

“A Giant and Still Growing” Sheraton proposes to get into the hotel business in a much bigger way this week by taking over United States Realty and Improvement after it reorganises itself in bankruptcy.

“A Ghost Walks” Talking about talking about civil aviation is back!

“Cause to Pause” Union Carbide presented an “incentive plan” for executives to its stockholders this week. Officers and key employees will be allowed to buy up to 464,000 shares of the company’s stock at prices 25% below the stock market valuation and pay for it with money borrowed from the company. By selling the stock, executives could make a quick profit of $12 million, and since this would be treated as a capital gains, the applicable tax rate would be only 25%. The US Treasury took one look at this scheme and announced that the gains would be taxed as income, not capital gains, based on a Supreme Court ruling handed down in February that attempted to put a stop to this kind of scheme.

“Double Dehydration” The slow process of unwinding the massive promotion exercise that was Howard Colwell Hopson’s Associated Gas is almost done.

“Boom or Magic” Another week, another dubious scheme floated on the NYSE. This time it involves the pricing of new stock issues.

“Red House to Big House” John Porter Monroe, who ran the notorious “red house on K Street,” where wartime contracts were fixed, is going to jail. Charges against Gilbert Verney and “other officials” were dismissed.

Science, Medicine

“Deserted Meridian” England’s Royal Observatory is moving. The joke here is that the observatory long defined the prime meridian, that is, zero degrees. The prime meridian won’t actually be moving, but it won’t have astronomers to keep it company any more.

“It’s About Time” The National Institute of Health has launched an all-out search for a cure for the common cold.

“Peeping Tom” The US Army revealed this week its infrared-scoped carbine, used in the last months of the Pacific War.

“Davy Jones’ Sound Effects” It can now be revealed that some Navy minefield sound detectors were “foxed” by the deafening sound of brine shrimp snapping their claws.

“Persephonium and Her Bastardium” Really, paper! The American Chemical Society had difficulties naming two more of the synthetic elements made at Berkeley, and after some inappropriate discussion of Greek myth, decided on “Americium” and “curium.”

“Epidemics by Air” Air travel could spread epidemics. A recent smallpox epidemic in Seattle is an example. San Francisco’s Director of Public Health, Jaco Casson Grieger, calls for a coordinated, worldwide effort to address the problem.


“More Sons for Eli” Yale is increasing its fall enrollment by 54%, to 8000. It has taken on 60 more faculty members, and plans to hire several hundred more, aiming for a record faculty of 1200. It will need 100 Quonset Huts, amongst other accommodations.

“Rufus Rex” Rufus Von KleinSmid was asked to resign this week after 24 years as President of the University of Southern California, because of inappropriate salary settlements. In general, he was paying too little, with one full professor (a woman, need I say more?) earning only $2400, when the President claimed that the “range” for full professors was $4200 to $7500. On the bright side, his football teams won.

“Junior” Harvard hired a 28-year-old associate professor of history this week. But it is Schlesinger, so you can figure that his brain is as giant as his father is –a Harvard professor.

People, Music

Bess Truman and General Eisenhower are in the not-really news. Greer Garson had to be rescued by a sardine fisherman acting as an extra during a movie shoot in Monterey Bay.

For some reason this episode of near-death-through-bad-filming doesn't get much attention in studio-generated publicity. Click through to the KleinSmid biography at Wikipedia for another example of polite history.
Hedy Lamar has been burgled of $19,000 in property. Burglars have stolen Ann Boleyn’s Psaltery in England, and the Empress Eugenie’s jewelry in France. Senator Vandenberg is upset that the UNO wants to change its name to UN because something about it not being manly? Somerset Maugham says that he is writing his last book, and that when he is done, he will return to the French Riviera and “end his life there.” What’s the Riviera got that Santa Cruz County doesn’t? Marshal Stalin has sent Averill Harriman a horse that he liked. We like to keep on Harriman’s good side, too; but really, Generalissimo! Harold J. Laski is running his mouth off again, saying that he had heard that the United States now had an atomic bomb big enough to devastate all England. The paper piously points out that everyone is shocked by this outlandish story. 

In music, the paper notices that Louis Armstrong is famous, and that Velma Middleton is overweight. In Japan, Ringo no Uta (“The Song of the Apple”) is the first Japanese sentimental song hit since 1941, and sounds “as sprightly as a hit from a U.S. college musical.”

Art, Radio, Press

“Victorian Surrealists” Probably not the exact translation, but I think the comparison serves. They’re the old Nineteenth Century artists who drew dreamlike images. And sometimes not.
Technically, the page header refers to one of those Victorian pre-Raphaelite fantasias that Time likes to reproduce, but we've already seen it.

“Newspaper of the Air” Vincent Lawless Hogan, the inventor behind New York’s WQXR, showed off his wireless facsimile this week. He has been fiddling with it for twelve years, has managed to persuade 20 broadcasters to invest $250,000 in it, and now has GE ready to tool up for production next year. Hogan’s facsimile recorders can be hooked up to any FM radio, and should “boost, not bust” the press.

“Undistinguished Voices” Some UN delegates need elocution lessons. Further bulletins . . .

“Mission to Washington” Ilya Ehrenburg came to Washington this week to give the capitalists what for.

“Fight for Freedom” The Committee for Freedom of the Press had a number of recommendations this week. Mostly, a plan for a worldwide free press consisting of US reporters, perhaps funded by the US government, going everywhere and seeing everything.

The paper reminds us again that the Russians are ruining Manchuria. In the press section, because it can’t be said enough. Unfortunately, it can’t find room to quote the Engineer again.

The New Pictures

The Virginian is a movie version of the novel supposedly based on the life of Everett Cyril Johnson. “This old swaybacked horse opera should have been put out to pasture long ago.” In spite of the Technicolor and the work of veteran Joel McCrea, it is lumbering, worn thin, and lifeless as a cemetery. So. I don’t think the paper liked it. It is, however, a trend. The cinemas are dropping a lot of money into “oaters” this year, inspired more by the end of the war as much as anything. They are cheap to make –even a Rogers or Autry film only costs a quarter million, and will bring in $650,000.

Toscanini: Hymn of the Nations was made by the OWI, so it won’t have to defend the idea that a symphony is the perfect thing to make a movie out of before the shareholders. Joe Palooka, Champ, is a “B” production of Ham Fisher’s beloved comic strip. The paper thinks that it is “intelligent,” even “brilliant,” because of the way it works the cartoon material into a movie. I think the paper also want to make the point that the comic strip isn’t as funny as itused to be back when it was “non-significant.”

“Hark from the Tomb” Leon Trotsky has a book out, even though he’s dead. It’s called Stalin, and, well, it turns out that Mr. Trotsky had a low opinion of Mr. Stalin. The paper thinks that Trotsky is quite nice for a red. Guess why?

It also has a bizarre footnote that says that Trotsky’s assassin, who is in a Mexico City jail, has been targeted for “liquidation” by the NKVD, and that the mission is in charge of a “little known U.S. woman Communist who lives in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village.” Is someone stealing the Sunday Times off the paper's doorstep?

I assume that Time is referring to Sylvia Ageloff, and it is being horrible.

“Gob Meets Girl” William Chapman White has a book out, ThePale Blonde of Sands Street. The paper thinks that it is a book that is aimed directly at a movie deal. I get the impression that it is being reviewed as a favour to someone.  

In conclusion, the man who wants to save China for Christianity publishes this magazine.

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