Friday, April 7, 2017

Postblogging Technology, March 1947, I: Rocket Is For Emergency Use Only


Washington Square Hotel,
New York.

Dear Father:

I hope this catches up with you before you board ship for England. I've included a private and confidential from Uncle George, who has been talking to the people behind the Dick Barton serials --this may be the lead we've been looking for. Uncle George is very anxious that it succeed, as he is getting nervous about the possibility of charges being pressed. He only went to England under very firm assurances that bygones with the cousins would be bygone if we got their money out of the country. I cannot for the life of me understand why they would continue to ostracise their daughter now that there are grandchildren, but they also have not reached out to Macau --not a good sign, if the silver "arbitrage" falls through before Uncle George can leave the country. 

As for sweetening the deal with the movie people, James has suggested that they might want to do something with Great-Uncle next. I think he was being sarcastic, as I am really not sure that the market is crying out for Great Uncle just now. Still, it is a property that we can command. Speaking of, one of you might want to hop over to France and have a sit-down with R. I have heard muttering at the Benevolent Society about his recent appearance in New York, and someone might remind him that his association with the family has been long and prosperous, and that he might have a serious think about keeping it that way.

My, I do sound bloodthirsty! Two weeks and counting of enforced bed rest will do that to a girl. All in, then, because, as for making a serial about Great Uncle and the likely response "on the street," the word is that it must be very, very clear, that it is tongue-in-cheek. . . and that it would be best if we made an example, to make it clear that we are not acting out of weakness. Perhaps there are some "open files" where an example might be made? Another week of this and I might just be willing to shoot the Engineer myself. 

I know that that's not very fair --I write it while looking at a very nice flower arrangement that he has sent me-- but in my current mood, best not to draw my attention!


The Economist,  1 March 1947

The paper ought to have been out for a winter holiday, but the nice fellow at the Financial Times gave them a one-page spread, and, to show proper gratitude, the whole thing was bound in with the 8 March issue as a pamphlet. At least it’s a short issue, although that doesn’t make the eye-glazing length of the “Case for Deflation” Leading Article any less deadening. [Torygraph]

The paper has read the Government’s “Economic Survey for 1947,” and is displeased. The Government does not have a plan, but somehow needs to get exports to 140$ of the 1938 level, build 300,000 homes, produce 200 million tons of coal, increase the labour force by 278,000, and “secure a large increase in output per man-year.” That this will happen is not very plausible, so a plan is needed, and the paper thinks that a financial one is called for, because “Finance is the grand ‘atmospheric’ control.” Since the Government is trying to manage an economy of scarcity in the face of inflation, the solution is deflation by price rises, budget cuts and an end to cheap money.
At least we can look forward to The Economist's fulsome apology next winter., when it turns out that giving miners some time off increases productivity. By Plazak - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Notes of the Week

“Coal Debate’ Stafford Cripps said things. The thing that the paper liked is the suggestion that industry get priority for coal over the consumer; people can’t freeze fast enough for the paper. Then the TUC and Lord Shinwell were up and all blah blah about how coal miners need some time off. How are we going to get to 200 million tons without all the coal miners working all the time? (With “incentives” for extra digging.)

“Palestine Recriminations” Mr. Bevin scolded “American statesmen” in the debate last week, and ended with a refusal to submit a plan for Palestine; suggesting that the best plan was for America to accept the few hundred thousand Jews who want to leave Europe.

“Power to Whom?” Also in the absence of specific plans, Lord Pethick-Lawrence “made it clear in the . . . Lords on Wednesday that responsible authorities in India did not believe that British rule could be efficiently maintained after 1948.” So the English are out by June, 1948, plan or no plan.

Also in the news, the Koumintang Government has notified the powers that it expects to be told all about all China-related issues discussed at the Moscow conference, which might include the Japanese mandate islands in the South Seas; The French are out with their second mandated price cut; and the Civil Estimates were tabled. The industry “switch-on” is not going smoothly, and some North-eastern manufacturers may not be able to get back into production until coal supply is reliable; the latest White Paper indicates that the American Loan (and Canadian), will last no more than another two years, and much less if full convertibility leads to actual conversion. (Which is why the Earl doesn’t think it will happen.) The paper goes into further details about why it doesn’t think that the Economic Survey’s goal of 200 million tons of coal in 1947 is feasible. It also expands on why the 140% export target won’t be reached, and adds that just reaching the target during the year is not the same thing as earning 140% of the 1938 trade balance. Given the shortage of base metals, it seems likely that the gains, which must be realised mainly in the engineering industries, can be met just in terms of raw materials. Finally, in extra gloominess, the railways are all about to shut down from deferred maintenance.  
Islands of vast strategic importance if World War II ever happens again. Also, Australia cares about them, and Australia's huge sterling balance is never going to be cleared if we don't suck up to them hard. 

Flight,  6 March 1947


“Coal Comfort” The paper thinks that the last two weeks were worse than the Blitz, because I couldn’t publish. “So far as this paper is concerned.”

“Urgently Required –Magic Carpets” The paper is worried that problems with the Viking and Tudor might be a portent of things to come, and everyone should work and think harder about the next crop of transports. (Meanwhile, the Viking’s icing problems have been fixed by an extension of the icing fluid lines and the addition of another tank containing 62 gallons of de-icing fluid, reducing fuel capacity to 692 gallons.)

Almost 600 built as Vikings, Valettas and Varsities. 

“Private Flying” The paper is upset that the new requirement for a pilot’s license involves 40 hours of instructed flying and 150 hours instrument training; because this is expensive and will lead to fewer private fliers. It also thinks that it is not fair to require private planes to have blind flying instruments.

H. A. Taylor, “Mission to India: The Story of a Liaison Flight from the Empire Air Navigation School: Past I –The Halifax and Its Special Equipment: Some Navigational Items for the Future”
Following up on Air Commodore D'Aeth, I encounter a colorful story of Aries II just getting off the ground from a seven-week tour of the Antipodes in the fall of 1947. Loaded with illicit "souvenirs" and taking off from Bulawayo (1350m elevation), with a full load of fuel for the thirteen hour leg to Khartoum, Group Captain A. A. Vielle barely pulls the aircraft into the air. 

 It’s awful in England right now, and the Aries has been retired, so Air Commodore D’Aeth, commander of the Empire Air Navigation School, loaded up a Halifax and headed out for India in January. They even took Hank Taylor along to get better news coverage. The flight was done in ten hour stages, to test very important navigational stuff, with the Hercules engines running smoothly at 1850rpm, 2 ½ lb boost, indicated air speed 170—175 knots, giving a speed of 198 knots true, or 228 mph at 8000ft. Then they spent a month showing off two distant reading compasses, with two repeaters and a map reader; an H2S Mk III,; Gee, LORAN and Rebecca receivers with their cathode-ray indicators; an air mileage unit; an automatic position indicator; and the American radar altimeter.  The distant reading compasses were two variations on the Sperry Gyrosyn, both electrically driven, which replaced the old directional gyros. There are also manual compasses, in case the electric supply fails, which is good, since the API still needs to be manually corrected for drift.

Air Commodore D'Aeth enjoys some downtime in India, February 1947

Here and There

Two tragic deaths at the Air Ministry, of C. P. Robertson, the press secretary, and Sir William Brown,Permanent Under-Secretary for Air. The Douglas Skystreak will have a turbine engine, not rockets, and is expected to attempt speeds from 550 to 850mph. 

A North American P-82 flown by Captain R. E. Thacker, with his wife in the port cockpit (cracks about her being where she can be heard but not seen will not be tolerated), has set a new fighter record, flying Honolulu-New York, 4,978 miles, in 14h 33 min.

“Tudor Tropics: Progress with Production: Marks and Layouts: Equipment and Modifications: Atlantic and Empire Services: Costs” So what is happening with the Tudor? It’s been forever since it first flew (Tudor I: June 1945; Tudor II, last March). Seven marks are proposed, including the Mark IV, which will carry 32 passengers on the South American route, for which it needs a navigational dome at the top of the crew compartment, which has complicated pressure cabin design. Three, of various marks, are now flying, and, recently, a Tudor took a trip to Africa with a BOAC crew.  As already reported, the Africa flight showed excessive tail buffeting and swinging at takeoff, and high fuel consumption. It is not obvious how some of these will be fixed, especially the swinging, which is common in tailwheeled aircraft. The “kippering” of the Press in a recent demonstration flight, however, was caused by oil build up in the compressor motors of the pressurisation system, and that can be fixed. Besides, who doesn’t enjoy a roaring fire on a cold day? And it’s always cold at 20,000ft! Noise issues were caused by incipient failure of the silencing baffles due to unexpected hammering from airflow, and that can be fixed. Meanwhile, the large order of 79 Tudor IIs is trickling forward due to labour and material shortages, as the priority for York production for Transport Command remains high. Tudor Is, carrying only twelve passengers, albeit in “de luxe conditions,” (defined as 300lbs of fixtures per passenger, compared with 160lb on the proposed 24-seat, 3250 mile range proposed Tudor I variant) cannot compete with Trans-Canada DC-4Ms on the London-Rineanna-Gander-New York run without a “first class” fair, and people to pay it.

 It cannot make the direct London-New York, which must be left to Constellations and Stratocruisers. However, on the “bright” side, west-to-east Atlantic bookings have fallen off notably of late, and flying 10 passengers in a twelve-seat luxury cabin is the same as flying ten in a 42-seater.   BSAA's Tudor IV will have only 128lb fixture per head.  
The other links in text are to BSAA's two Tudor disappearances "over the Bermuda Triangle." This one is to the 1950 Llandow air disaster.  Even given the gruesome safety records of "successful" designs like the Constellation and Stratocruiser, the Tudor IV was special.

All-up weight for the Tudors, originally set at 76,000lb, has been raised to 82,000lbs to accommodate operators’ modifications and power-plant weight. This requires runway length and takeoff power, and “none of these requirements are entirely available.” The Merlin 612 provides enough power to takeoff from European airfields but not some on the Empire routes, which are hot, short, and sometimes at several thousands of feet of altitude. It is calculated that the Tudor will require engines giving 2000hp at takeoff; in the mean time, range is needed so that planes can avoid problem airfields in bad weather. Empire runways are also too light to accommodate an 80,000lb tailwheeled aircraft, since virtually the whole weight of the plane rests on the tailwheel while it is taxiing. Later Tudor IIs might have Hercules or Griffon engines, and in the former case will be quieter. [pdf] Projected operating costs have also risen, due to the increasing price of the plane, so that must be debt-servicing cost. The Tudor II was originally projected, improbably enough, to be cheaper than the I, because four times as many were ordered. Not only is the order expected to be cut, but reason has prevailed, and it now costs slightly more, making more cancellations likely. This is why you shouldn't hit the brakes going into a curve.

“The Royal Viking” The Vickers Vikings of the Royal Flight are described. They are very nice.

FIDO an Expensive but Effective Expedient: A Pioneer’s Views: Fog Dispersal Abroad” FIDO costs a half-million to install, and £3500/hour to run, per runway, at Heathrow, exclusive of the cost of a forty-man crew, and only works in still weather. Landing between two lines of fire is also, apparently, not a soothing experience. The paper doesn’t think it’s a very good idea, but the inventor does. We Americans are experimenting with both a version of FIDO called ELMER, and with a proprietary product, developed by C. R. Pleasants, a California chemist, called “Nofog,” which disperses fog at a cost of $15/use with an explosive shell loaded with calcium chloride and charcoal. Another American inventor, C. Wiser, is interested in “Nofog,” but also arrays of refrigerators to chill fog out of the air. The Navy is experimenting with ultrasonic siren batteries, developed by the Ultrasonic Corporation; while Arcata Airport is experimenting with 5000 watt runway lights.

So Arcata Airport was actually built to develop bad weather landing methods. Because why else would anyone go to the northern half of California, except to drive to Oregon? I think there's more words in the Wikipedia article on Eureka than there are people living there.

“Empire Air Defence: Past Lessons and Present Problems: Precis of a Talk Given to the Royal Empire Society by Air Chief Marshal Sir Philip Joubert” In the old days, we had very few aircraft, which were very old-fashioned, and spread around a very large Empire. Then we spent lots of money, and had lots of aircraft, and then we had a war with them. Now, we are not having a war, and we have a shrinking Empire, and the question is, what kind of airplanes or airplane-like things, such as long range guided missiles, should we buy? Also, how should we fight modern submarines, and enemy long-range guided missiles? Uncle George will be very satisfied to hear that we mostly need better electronics. Better radars will allow anti-submarine planes to bomb submarines; long-range radars will allow our guided missiles to shoot down enemy bombers; our electronic counter measures will distract their long-range guided missiles.

Civil Aviation News

The Civil Aviation Estimates have been given their first reading. PICAO has held a regional meeting at Melbourne to set the Pacific right. It laid out flight information regions, each with a traffic control centre; agreed on standard flight distances on the assumption that everyone was instrument flying, and discussed setting up an Atlantic-style network of weather ships. Portsmouth City Council is upset that the national flying boat base will not be at Langstone Harbour.  IATA has recommended increased passenger fares to PICAO. Sir Harold Hartley, chairman of British European Airways, gave a talk to the National Union of Manufacturers luncheon, in which he proved that it paid for business executives to fly, as their time was valuable. A Bristol Wayfarer recently flew down to South Africa and back in 90 hours, demonstrating its usefulness in doing South African-related business. Various new services have been started; Rollasons’ has imported the first Seabee brought into England, and reminds everyone that it has the exclusive license.

“Percival Programme: New P. 50 Medium Transport with Leonides Engine Announced” Percival is putting the Merganser on hold and will be building this slightly larger plane with the Leonides engine.
Percival Prince. By RuthAS - Own work, CC BY 3.0,


F. Elliott writes to remind everyone that control-locking devices (of the kind that would have prevented the Copenhagen crash) were installed on the Armstrong-Whitworth Ensign, back in 1938, and are also on the AW 52. J. A. Pothecary writes to point out that there would be no problem with air traffic safety if the press didn’t keep telling the public about accidents. Joseph A. Blondin writes to point out that air travel really is dangerous, that the “passenger air miles per death” statistic really is hopelessly misleading, and that his critics aren’t thinking their complaints through. A fatality per passenger statistic is needed. R. Reynolds thinks that we will only stop noticing all the planes crashing when test pilots stop talking about their “narrow escapes,” which just leads to the impression that air travel is dangerous. C. G. Pullin, of Cierva Autogiro, Ltd, writes to point out that gyrodynes are just as inferior to autogiros as are all other helicopters. Specifically, they have vibration and, secondarily, noise problems.

The Economist, 8 March 1947


“After the Ban” The paper deals with a story of how the paper was going to be printed in America and then flown over to England to get around the ban, and the Government stopped it, because it hates the paper. The paper doesn’t think people hate it, because, like most boring people, doesn’t realise how it comes across. So, the scheme was wrong-headed, and, anyway, would have cost foreign exchange, which would have been against the paper’s strict principles of liberalism (except to poor people), fiscal responsibility (except for tax cuts) and freedom of enterprise (except for imposing full technical efficiency).

“Expedients and Politics” There is to be a debate about The Economic Survey. The paper fearlessly predicts that it will be all politics and expedients, and not the desperate measures actually needed, which seems mainly to mean punishing people until they work harder, and then giving them “incentives” when they do. It’s especially keen on deflation, and launches into ways of accomplishing it.

“Moscow –via Dunkirk” The English and French have signed a treaty at Dunkirk, which the paper assumes the reader knows all about, leaving it free to go for a trip to Moscow, which is where communism, and the Moscow Conference are. The connection is, of course, obvious to everyone who knows the paper’s opinion about the actual Dunkirk Treaty. And since the paper is glaring fiercely and rubbing its temple as it projects that opinion into our heads, what excuse have we?

Vintage 1940s NATO trench coats, the Pinterest page says.

“Too Much and Too Soon” The paper is all for town and country planning, but not the Town and Country Planning Bill.

“Postponement in the Pacific” The final peace treaty in the Pacific has been postponed again, which leaves the question of Japan’s mandated islands, and American bases on Commonwealth-owned islands (and the “Anglo-French New Hebrides Pandemonium”) open. The Australians are not pleased by this, and if the Commonwealth means anything, England should weigh in, and support Australia in opposing “piecemeal” resolutions of matters that should be heaped together in the final peace treaty. No resolution until the end –it’s like reading a Leading Article.

New Caledonia Tourism thinks you should come and have a look, but I'm just posting this to have an excuse to say that I think "Anglo-French New Hebrides Pandemonium" is funny. 

Notes of the Week

“Blood for Blood” Inter-communal violence is getting ever more horrible in India, and the sooner England is out of it, the better, the paper thinks. In a following short note, the paper condemns the English government for giving India ambassadors and diplomats twenty years ago, because Indians are awful.

“America and the Eastern Mediterranean” The Americans have volunteered to carry part of the load in Greece. Greece is the one sore spot where the English haven’t been able to set a fixed date at which English troops can withdraw (and therefore stop spending dollars),and the hope is that the Americans, if they are serious about the whole anti-communism thing, will take even more of a share.

“The Service’s Manpower”Speaking of fighting communists in Greece, the English Army is still going to be 1.2 million when the Estimates come down, or 1.772 million including the navy and air force, and still above a million at the end of the year. Critics are suggesting that the services aim for three-quarters of a million, instead, which would meet the Economic Survey’s target for additional labour.

“To Leave or not to Leave” Further to that, the suggestion had been offered that the rise in the school-leaving age should be postponed for a year to make more labour available. Even the paper finds that a bit harsh, but manages to find a way to support it by referring to overcrowded schools and teacher shortages, instead. Coincidentally, it also thinks that the LCC’s £187 million school improvement plan is too grand. Although it does think that the bold spirit of it deserves praise.

“German Drive for Dollars” The Germans are going to launch an export drive, leading some to suggest that, in that case, they don’t need their £39 million in English government aid. The paper looks forward enthusiastically to future industry complaints.

In less important news, the Government is on about winding up some Friendly Societies, whatever they are, ending casual labour on the docks, is rethinking the stop to the rural home “reconditioning” (that’s English for renovating) grant, and that the Town Planning Act is in committee, where people are talking about giving Wales a break on development charges. The details of putting the National Fire Service back into local hands are proving complicated. Hungarians and Bulgarians are excitable, and the paper thinks that more noses should be stuck further into West African affairs. It is hoped that there will be as many German PoWs to take in the harvest this year as last, and the Australian assisted emigration scheme is being held back by lack of ships, although the Government also promises to do something to make sure that the Australians don’t get any precious English skilled labour.

Letters to the Editor

A. C. Gilpin and Angus Maude write to suggest that the paper’s “case for deflation” is stupid. The paper replies that, no, they’re stupid, and that what bounces off the paper, sticks to them. Jan Kowalski writes to correct previous statements about the life of the current Polish premier, who really is a Chekist. Gordon Russ writes to suggest that everything deserves good design, and Henry Meun writes to approve of General Smuts’ egregious bigotry, on the grounds that the “fecundity of the Asian” will otherwise shortly swamp the White race(!)


The paper loved Britain and Her Export Trade, edited by Mark Abrams, and could not put it down. Arthur Millspaugh, Americans in Persia, is a fine book that says a lot about Russians in Persia, and also something about Americans in Persia that isn’t completely wrong. The point is that Persia needs representative government and financial reform, and the sooner that the three occupying powers get together to impose this on Persia, the better. Frank Lorimer, The Population of the Soviet Union: History and Prospects, discusses the uncertainties of the statistics, noting that in 1937, when the population was counted at 165 millions instead of an anticipated 180 millions, the statisticians were purged. He then goes on to suggest that the 1939 census return of 170 million is probably accurate, and projects forward to 1970, when the population is expected to be 221 millions, down from 250 millions projected in 1939. The war will cost the Soviet Union 30 million people in 1970! This population will still be much younger than western Europe’s (in the old days, people used to worry about army strength on this basis), but aging.
This stuff is harder than it looks. By LokiiT - Own work, CC BY 3.0,

From The Economist of 1847

The Ten-Hours Bill, which I guess is a bill to reduce the work day to ten hours, and maybe especially  for women and children, is a laudable sentiment but a bad thing in practice. (Because in the present crisis, the Government is trying to increase exports and so cannot, etc.) The bold spirit should be praised, the bill defeated.

It amazes me that the paper can print these things and then look itself in the eye.

American Survey

“The Third Arm” The Third Arm, if you were wondering, is the third arm of government, which is the Supreme Court, which is in some or the other fuss-up right now, the main point being saved for the end, it being that the Court’s New Deal judges might gussy up an argument to overrule Congressional anti-union legislation.

“America’s Extra Budget” America exports more than it imports, and politics gets in the way of importing more. How will those exports be financed? Overseas lending and aid would have to reach $7—8 billion a year to cover the surplus, and while there is a large but uncertain unmet demand in America, there is also enormous unsatisfied demand in China for exports. A drop in the world’s supply of dollars would have calamitous effects, but that appears to be what is going to happen.

American Notes

“The Price of Greatness” “The forced and disorderly liquidation of so many English interests” is causing alarm (although sometimes also enthusiasm) in America, which might be expected to take them up. The Administration is to ask Congress for a $400 million loan to Greece, and the Engineer has returned from Germany and Austria to demand more, urgent relief there. The President is expected to offer $350 million. General MacArthur needs either more food or more soldiers in Japan, and the thought is that the cuts in the Services appropriations will undermine General Marshall in Moscow. In other words, the President’s budget is in trouble.

Americans are going to run out of things to buy soon.
“Magnificent Prosperity” Americans are doing quite well, and California especially. Prices are up, but so is employment, and American demand for capital goods is so great that it can sustain the economy, minor recessions apart, for years before a “deflationary abyss yawns,” especially as the population continues to rise. However, the flip side of a work force of 62.5 millions in 1950 is that production must be going even faster to employ them all, and “even a modest change in capital expenditure” could be “a powerful lever in either direction.” So things could be terrible in 1950. Here's hoping!

“Budget Revision” The GOP’s promise of an immediate 20% cut in personal income taxes and a reduction in the public debt has proven impractical which has led to the budget getting stuck in the House of Representatives, where the Budget Committee has been tinkering with it –boosting the projected yield of current taxes by $1.4 billion, for example. This is dangerous, since one thing is sure, and that is, that for the first time in a decade, the national income is getting no boost from a Federal deficit, and tax receipts might fall by as much as one-third of any decline in the national income.

Taft in 1939
The paper, like Fortune, is surprised that Senator Taft is doing so poorly in the polls ahead of 1948.

The World Overseas

“France and the Alliance” The Dunkirk Treaty is finally explained as a military pact between France and England. The question is whether it is aimed at Moscow or Germany. The French think that the latter would be unnecessary if the English would just get behind France overtaking Germany as the economic centre of Europe.

Latins are excitable; Turks and Swiss are industrious.

 The Business World

“The Coal Target Re-Examined” All the paper’s good opinions have already appeared. The 200 million ton target cannot be met; the five-day week would be a disaster; there will be a coal shortage next winter; there will be coal rationing and industrial slowdowns this year to prepare for next winter.

“Bretton Woods in Practice” The paper is pleased that John McCloy has finally been appointed successor to Eugene Meyer as President of the World Bank. He now faces the task of selling bonds in America to finance all of those American exports. The IMF also faces great challenges stabilising exchanges.

Business Notes

It is proving harder than anticipated to turn the lights back on, the engineering industry is bargaining over incentives, recalculated exports suggest that “productive efficiency” is not increasing, the hard currency trade deficit is worsening, and it is almost a relief to read about “Argentine railway problems,” because at least they are problems that another country is having.
Windows Photos is being a bit capricious this week, but at least you get a taste of late-Forties Economist talk!

On the bright side, the Danish Food Agreement is holding, and South Africa is using targeted tax reductions to promote gold mining, which will increase the supply of gold available to ship to the United States to balance its trade.

“Silver Arbitrage” The price of silver on the New York exchange has recently fallen for various reasons, from 90 to 70 cents, opening up a 40% price difference with Bombay and raising arbitrage possibilities, which English traders cannot exploit, as they would have to buy dollars and end up with rupees, the final result being to increase Indian’s sterling balance. But European operators with dollar holdings can take advantage, and have, and the New York price has recently gone back up over 80 cents, so good news for us. 

Flight,  13 March 1947


“The Air Estimates” The Air Estimates for 1947—8 is £214 millions, compared with 388 millions for the Army and 196.7 millions for the Navy. £42,750,000 have been allocated for aircraft, engines, spares and accessories, which is nice, but the paper is concerned that too much is being spent on things like trooping and the Air Ministry’s staff. The RAF’s strength will be cut from 760,000 to a mere 370,000.

“Icing Research” The grounding of the Viking shows that fluid de-icing will work, but only with flow rates far above those previously recommended by the ARB.

“Forward the ‘Fifty-Two’” John Cunningham went to Northrop and was very impressed with the B-35 flying wing. The paper hopes that the A.W. 52 will be just as impressive once it actually gets into the air.
Well, the AW52 achieved a 50% survival rate, so there's that. On the other hand, it's not like it every actually accomplished anything apart from showing that flying wings were very hard to control with Fifties era technology, making the success of the Avro Vulcan even more difficult to understand.

“The Gyrosyn Compass: Dead-beat Stabilised Indications Monitored Relative to Earth’s Magnetic Lines of Force: NO Turning Errors: True Course Readings Given” The Sperry Gyrosyn, previously discussed as a component of the latest Sperry autopilot, and mentioned last week, gets its own article this week.

It is an electrically driven gyro compass, correcting against precession, ingeniously corrected, step-by-step, by a magnetic compass, and by a flux gate that detects the Earth’s lines of force, equipped for distant reading so that it can be located remotely from the cockpit. The distant reading arrangements also allow it to be “fed” into an autopilot. The “Syn” signifies that it uses a Selsyn, for which see any of James’ rants on same. However, as even he will admit, you can correct for the Selsyn’s lack of stability and make a worthwhile Selsyn-based control gadget, and you probably should if, for some reason, you do not want to fiddle with high-pressure hydraulics. The article goes into greater length about how the self-synchronisation and correction mechanisms work, and points out that a simplified Gyrosyn is available for smaller, private aircraft.

The paper notes the death of Pauline Gower, only a few months after that of her old partner, Dorothy Spicer. (The paper, strangely, omits to mention the cause of her death, which gave me a bit of a faint when I read it in the Chronicle. Thirty-seven is awfully old to be giving birth to twins. . . )

Pauline Fahie, nee Gower, 1910--47.  Gower, Grace Moore, Dorothy Spice, Ellen Wilkinson --1947 is taking a toll.

Here and There

Rolls-Royce has set up some Nenes to heat their works with oil instead of coal. The “Save Europe Now” fund has asked the RAF to help with sending 30 tons of urgently needed clothes to Hamburg, using all spare capacity of the two Dakotas run daily between Abingdon and Buckesberg and Hamburg, at about 3000lb of clothes per day. Americans continue to dally with the idea of licensing Rolls-Royce jet engines. Lord Kemsley has put up £1000 to cover the costs of the British team demonstrating the sport of gliding at the 1948 London Olympics. Icing has been reported on numerous airliners on north-of-England flights. Elliott Brothers is moving into new research laboratories at Boreham Wood. E. A. “Chris” Wren has replaced Jack Stanton at the public relations office of the Air Ministry, as Stanton moves on to a position at Lockheed Europe. Fairey has announced a new line of airscrews, including one suitable for the Fairey Gyrodyne.
Wren drew for The Aeroplane, so he's a bit obscure, but Tartan Terror has it covered!

H. A. Taylor, “Mission to India, Part II: The Outward Journey: Thoughts on Nonstop Flying: Navigational Facilities: Desert and Yet More Desert” Long distance flying, Taylor reports, is tiring and boring. His Hercules, named Sirius, flew the same route as the BOAC Lancastrians running to Australia, except for an extra stop in Africa. “Excellent though it might be to reach India in 30 hours and Australia in 60 hours, no one in his right mind would make such a necessarily limited-stop journey unless time-saving was of vital importance.” He also found trips too and from hotels to be tiring, and hopes that shorter-staged flights can be accommodated with guest-houses near the airfields. From the air, it seemed that the entire world was barren desert and empty sea.

“Hunting Aerosurveys: Multi-Purpose Air Photography: World-wide Organisation: Extreme Accuracy Achieved” A little blurb about your rivals. To be fair, though, their fully-outfitted Proctors and Mergansers look far more expensively outfitted than your Noorduyns, and are intended to map much larger areas.

In shorter news, the paper mentions a recent demonstration by Schermuly Pistol Rocket Apparatus, Ltd, and a news release from Pratt and Whitney mentioning that their new turbine research laboratory has the machinery of the destroyer escort Bligh as its power plant. Two marine boilers and two main and two auxiliary turbo power sets were removed from the ship, on its return from lend-lease service. The paper ends with a little dig at Pratt and Whitney’s claimed early research into jet turbines, which, “We imagine, if a report were made [on it] . . . would not be exactly voluminous.”
Gyrojet pistol, not the boring old Schermuly Pistol Rocket, because it's not boring. Stupid, but not boring.

“Nene Installation: Details of Rolls-Royce Gas Turbine Power Units in a Lancastrian” As we’ve been told and told that Rolls-Royce Nenes have flown in a Lancastrian (that’s another name for, basically, a Lancaster) in place of its outboard Merlin engines. Here, the paper again pretends that this is, somehow, the first “jet transport,” before admitting that the trials have demonstrated that flying a heavy transport with jet power at 30,000ft is unexpectedly hard, and that a working jet airliner is probably a few years off. It was, however, the first trial of engine, air and starting power supply to a jet engine in the wing of a bomber, and a great deal was learned. On the other hand, having the Merlins gave the designers a crutch, and starting power, heat and auxiliary drives were all off the Merlins. (Though Rolls-Royce did have to design a driveshaft to power the starter engine on the Nene.) The paper expects a jet-powered Tudor II next, later this year.

Avro Ashton -- The Tudor that didn't crash. There was also a Viking with jet engines in place of  the Hercules. 

“Ice on the Vikings: Important Flying Tests: Results and Remedies: Resumption of Services” After four months of grounding, the Viking fleet is back in service with the thicker, longer de-icing fluid tubes and rudder modifications to accommodate their weight; and also the original problem of instability due to I ce accumulation on the rudder balances. Everyone is now beating themselves up for not investigating icing more thoroughly in the past, and the Viking is rated safe even if it runs out of de-icing fluid –or, at least, as safe as any other aircraft without de-icing fluid. Hot air blowers will be used as a standard operating procedure to de-ice the carburettors on landing. “This has little effect on power output.”

“The Air Estimates” The headline numbers have already been covered, but the article has a nice summary chart for you to look at. (I’ve clipped and included it.).
You certainly can't say that the're not giving military Keynesianism a fair trial.

Civil Aviation News

“The Air Navigation Bill” The paper explains the new Air Navigation Bill, made necessary by the fact that international aviation is now governed by completely new conventions since the last one was passed. The French report on the recent Constellation incident, in which a Pan-American Constellation completed its flight with two engines stopped –the one where the paper criticised the daily press for making a fuss of fire engines and ambulances being sent to the airport—explains that the first engine failed due to a failure in the reduction gearing assembly that led to the oil draining out of the front of the engine. The airscrew continued to windmill, causing overheating and burning oil that gave the impression of a fire. The airscrew was eventually shed, fouling the airscrew of No. 3 engine as it flew away, breaking it, and causing damage to several cylinder heads, as well as vibrations that forced the No. 3 engine to be feathered. Flight remained satisfactory on the remaining two engines running at 1250hp, giving an average speed of 150mph, and a successful landing was made at Casablanca. No damage to the airframe was recorded, and, contrary to reports, no baggage had to be jettisoned.
So, just to summarise, first an airscrew raced out of control, which would have been very obvious from the noise. Then, the engine appeared to catch fire. Then, the blade failed. Fragments smashed into the next engine in, putting it out of action. Flying at minimum speed with no power on one side, the crew made an emergency diversion to the nearest available airfield, and landed safely. Perfectly routine!

PICAO has published standardised aircrew licensing requirements. The Danish government will establish a DECCA chain in that country. The Australian Pilots’ Association has put in a claim for increased pay from the country’s three airlines. British European Airways is not going ahead with its separate cargo division due to the Air Ministry’s refusal to let it buy eight Dakotas for the division, and will continue to include cargo operations under the Continental Division. The Electric Boat Company has bought Canadair.


“Benson 1942” wants to know if there is an official PRU cap badge he can wear. “Adjutant” is concerned that someone or other is BUNGLING the ATC. R. N. K. Aveline has a long letter entitled “Early Empires Recalled,” which, in spite of the nostalgia-drenched header, is noticing the same thing I already noticed, that whenever a new “power egg” arrangement comes out, the article always treats it as something new. W. Knight reminds everyone that he invented turbines-silencing, these many years ago. H. J. Manners thinks that many an accident could be prevented if only aircraft carried emergency rocket engines that they could set off in emergencies.

Not an airliner with emergency rockets slung under its wings to shoot it out of a bad landing, but also a good example of not thinking clearly, with rockets. Also further.
Aviation,  March 1947

Aviation Editorials

“Care and Feeding of Feederlines” The paper wants a fare increase.

“Let’s Re-Examine the Flying Boat” Blah.

"Hey, Admiral! Here's some money we  haven't set on fire yet! Can we give it to Martin?"

Line Editorials

James H. McGraw, Jr., “Tax Revision Can Make or Break American Business” Would you like a tax cut? I know that I’d like a tax cut! But here’s Mr. McGraw, to explain why we should get one. It’s not that we don’t deserve it for being so wonderful (although we do), it’s because it would be good for America. You see, the current tax system is inefficient. Specifically, the “double taxation on corporate dividends” must end, the current corporate income tax of 38% must come down, and there should be a depreciation period for claiming business losses of five to six years. Also, it spends too much. Mr. McGraw thinks that the Federal budget should go down to, oh, say, $25 billion, because “economy must go with tax cutting.”

Overall, this is a much longer and more substantive editorial than Junior usually produces. This is clearly something he thinks very seriously about. The question, unfortunately, is whether this is all self-interested reasoning, as I tend to think.

What’s New in Products and Services
Aviation is just sad these days. Good thing there's a Cold War on the way!

Aviation News

This month’s news is all about the “Accident Talk Tourney,” which is the hysteria about all the air accidents, which were entirely expected, routine, nothing to worry about, given increasing route mileage. In fact, flying has never been safer, etc.

More to come in June. Source.

The Air Force and Navy, “forgetting that the airlines taught them to fly schedule,” are all talking about their GCA achievements, and the CAA and the airlines countered by showing Sperry’s hookup of the gyro pilot to give automatic approaches on ILS. Now there is more talk of an independent accident air safety board, and $25 million extra for airport GCA, ILS and high intensity runway lights. In Senate hearings, Owen Brewster produced statistics showing that unscheduled services had even higher accident rates than the CAB imagined. Paper uses newspaperese with no subjects or preposition, making hard understanding doing who. It seems as though it is suggesting that the public hysteria over GCA and ILS is counterproductive, and that the paper prefers ILS, and is upset that everyone is talking about GCA.
A Bohn ad, just to break up the text.

In other news, there is talk of a fuel tax on air tickets, the air freight lines are losing ground to scheduled carriers, and major airlines are joining together to found an “Airlines Terminal Corporation” which will operate shared facilities. The paper also thinks that the Army has given away too much in unification talks with the Navy, that there will not be a mass-production light aircraft industry until small planes have proved their utility, and that the manufacturers are not doing enough to abate aircraft noise. WORLDATA reports that 170 scheduled common carrier airlines around the world operate 650,000 unduplicated route-miles and cover 12 million plane-miles per week, not including Russia. English manufacturers have orders for 1830 aircraft, of which 850 are fore export. Its latest information is that government pressure has forced BOAC to ease up on its Tudor I cancellations, and that the Metrovick F-3 jet engine has 6000lb thrust. Australian airlines are increasing their American orders after bad experiences with Yorks and Lancastrians and bad testing from the Tudor. South Africa is ordering Vickers Vikings for its internal routes, replacing DC-4s, and the “emergency” (overweight, that is) DC-4 services to England will be continued through July.

“Outlook for 47” This is the paper’s annual engineering issue, which means that it went to the IAS meeting, and, in place of anything so hard as summarising papers, got short comments from two dozen industry people about the future. They think that the air force should order more planes, that only Beech produces quality planes for the light plane market, that rockets and jets are here to stay, that only competitive airliners can be competitive,  that the very expensive Stratocruiser shows that the future belongs to very large, well-capitalised builders who are based in Seattle and have names that start with “B.” Others think that the new Martin plane will make people forget about Boeing, sliced bread and Lana Turner. Others think that only Piper has the kind of quality lanes that the light plane market wants. T. Claude Ryan thinks that his company will stay in the aircraft business, in spite of getting all of 50 orders in the whole of the World War.
Pictures of Walter Beech, T. Claude Ryan, and Stratocruisers available on request.

Aviation’s 1947 Yearbook

A yearbook of all the planes existing or imagined. As far as I can tell, the only planes I haven’t heard about are some new French ones.
Page after mind-numbing page of tiny little airplanes that no-one is going to buy. We really need a Cold War about now.

“New Aero Progress Revealed at IAS Technical Sessions” One sentence blurbs about the papers given at the sessions. I’m not sure how I’m supposed to summarise them. I could try one-word entries? Pressure Measurements in Upper Atmosphere, N. R. Beal, Naval Research Lab; Windy.  Laminar-Boundary Layer Oscillation and Stability of Laminar Flow, G. B. Schubauer and H. K. Skramstad, [pdf] National Bureau of Standards; Shaky. No, I don’t think that will work.

Recent books include Air Market Values, Examination of Industrial Measurements, The Social Effects of Aviation, Magnesium Fabrication, and Air Transport at War –a nice mix.

And that’s it! Say what you will about the annual engineering issue (mainly, that it’s a waste of paper), but all those pages of pictures of drawings of small planes that will never be built saves time!

Fortune, March 1947


“European Unity: Dream and Hard Reality” Various people have talked about unifying Europe. Now, John Foster Dulles is talking about it, and since Germany is the problem, he is suggesting internationalising the Rhineland, after which, there will be no more German problem, because there will hardly be a Germany. But we have to do this nicely, because otherwise the communists will win.
“Another Republican Opportunity: A New Farm Policy” As food prices go down and consumers benefit, the taxpayer pays to support the farmer, at an estimated tune of $1.3 billion this coming year. In a recession, the bill might go up to $2 billion. The paper hopes that the new Republican majority will find a way to get rid of these subsidies, and return the money to the taxpayer.

“Hope for Mr. Clayton and His Country” The paper reads The Economist, just like me, even if I’m not sure that we’re reading the same paper. (“Usually a middle-of-the-road publication.”) Anyway, it noticed a few months ago that The Economist  was going all squishy about Bretton Woods, IMF, and the World Bank, and that Professor Balogh was writing “doctrinaire” letters in support. Then, marvel of marvels, Professor Jewkes began writing, and dispersed the statists with a single charge. Hurrah for Professor Jewkes, but shed a tear for the trees that died so that Fortune could quote a letter written to The Economist.

The Fortune Survey

Speaking of The Economist, it has already spoiled the result of the poll, which is that any of the five Republican candidates, that is, Dewey, Vandenberg, Stassen, Bricker and Taft, could beat Truman, with Dewey strongest, Taft weakest. MacArthur and the Governor are not included, as they have yet to declare.

It did not get into perhaps the most interesting part, though, which is a look at the 23% of Roosevelt supporters who went Republican in 1946. These are the electors the GOP must keep in 1948, and the Governor’s case has to be that he is the most likely candidate to keep them. The group isn’t noticeably divided by occupational groups, with 11% of “prosperous” voters shifting to the Republicans, compared with 16% of factory workers, and the numbers at 11%--12% for the three occupational groups between. (Including “poor,” for some reason.) Veterans had the largest percentage of converts, at 19%, and 15% of Negroes switched. Voters also support the minimum wage, and strike bans at various “essential services” like the telephone company. The movement in Coloured voters is striking and probably explicable in terms of the rise of Jimmy Byrnes, so his fall is bad news for the Governor. On the other hand, if Truman does move back towards the New Deal on racial issues, that can't be a bad thing for Coloureds, of whatever colour. 

“Coal: Coal is Our NO. 1 Natural Resource, And the Base of Our Industrial Mobilisation: Yet We Do Not Mine It Efficiently, Transport It Economically, Or Consumer It Sensibly: What Shall We Do About It?” For all the progress made in recent years, coal is still the one, essential resource. With domestic oil supplies depleting rapidly, and atomic power hampered by massive capital costs and rigid structure, it looks as though coal is here to stay. America’s “inexhaustible” bitumen deposits can be turned into gas and oil, to power cars and such. We have enough coal for two thousand years (3.2 trillion tons); but as this article, and others to follow over the next few months will show, coal lags economically, socially and technologically.
As noted, Windows Phtoo is cropping strangely this week.

The case for the inefficiency of coal is that has too many producers (6000 companies), and that it has dropped the ball on competitiveness. In 1900, coal supplied 90% of American energy, and now it is only 40%. All six thousand companies are, together, smaller than Standard Oil, not surprisingly when the industry lost $350 million during the Depression. Current consumption is 600 million tons a year, but will rise to 1200 million tons as petroleum and natural gas reserves are exhausted. Yet productivity per man day has risen from 3 tons in 1897 to only 5.1 tons today.  This is not an industry that can double its output with existing methods, and especially not of superior, anthracite coal. There is very little time to adjust to this future, and no time to waste if America’s automobiles are to run on gasified coal by the time the petroleum runs out.
Although hilariously wrong, the article does make interesting reading as history of technology.

Looking back at 1900, when the railroads were done converting from wood to coal, when electric power was only eighteen years old, and the petroleum industry was selling kerosene for lamps and lanterns in America and China, and burning off or dumping its gasoline byproduct, when U. S. Steel was in its final year of consolidation, and 212 million tons of coal “poured” out of the mines, all that one can say is that times sure were primitive back then when you were a young man. Tell me about riding a dinosaur to school, etc.

There are many charts, which, for a change, I will not bore you with, since they just go to reinforce the point that coal production continues to depend heavily on the amount of labour, since coal cut per man isn’t rising very quickly. As surprising as, say the Economist might find it, mechanically cut coal has risen from 33% in 1905 to 91% today, and mechanically loaded from 33% in 1940 to 56% today, without greatly affecting these numbers. It’s as though old-time sailing ships were being reequipped with nylon sails, aluminum hulls and plastic gear, rather than becoming steam ships. Coal cutters might be marvelous examples of modern ingenuity, but the process of mining, which includes timbering, cutting, drilling, shooting, loading and hauling is complicated and has many discrete parts. Cutting and loading are the most arduous, and so the first to be mechanised, but even then, it was years apart. American coal mining is also very wasteful, with loss running from 10 to 45% depending on conditions, where western European losses rarely exceed 10%. Some of that waste is strictly on paper, as it is coal that is left under ground under mechanical mining conditions, but other waste is less excusable, such as the neglect of coal damp as a substitute for natural gas. Other forms of waste is sometimes not treated as waste at all, like the 400,000 men left to make their livings underground. On the other hand again, the paper then leaps into a paen to gasification and the substitution of pulverised coal for Diesel and bunker fuel, at which point James has had enough, and starts explaining the economics of making petroleum out of coal, the explosiveness of pulverised coal, and the amount of shale oil in the world.
This is a two-page spread. The other side shows the various stages of coal gasification.

“John L. Lewis Earns His $25,000” The paper personalises coal by interviewing a 52-year-old coal miner named John Allshouse.

“The Revolt against Radio” Radio is terrible, these days, some people say. More concretely, the FCC has given plenty of indications that it will crack down to force radio stations to be “the mouthpiece of the community it serves,” and cover elections, local athletics, music and artists, balance the interests of the various sponsors that promote sustained non-sponsored programmes, and eliminate advertising excess. I would feel a great deal more comfortable with all of this if it weren’t singling out “soap operas” again. I know that I will come across as some kind of feminist, but these are programmes that women like to listen to, and although I don’t listen (much), I really don’t see the harm in comparison with, say, sports broadcasting.
Cable cutting, 1947! It turns out that thumb-sucking articles about how awful mass media is, have been with us since forever.

Electronised Chemicals” Electronised Chemicals, Corporation, uses ultra-high frequency electron bolts to accomplish a number of things. For example, the rays, which are,effectively, a kind of ionising radiation, kill living bacteria, while leaving the food with which the bacteria is contaminated, untouched. Their demonstration piece is a raw steak, sealed in an airtight container, which remained fresh for over three months. A stunt, to be sure, but a real alternative to canning and freezing, possibly. The rays have also been shown to kill tumours in rats, and to harden chemicals. Principals Maurice P. Davison and Dr. Arno A. Brasch have turned a development of the old Van de Graaf generator (originally conceived of as an atom-smasher, but overtaken by the Cockroft-Walton voltage doubler) into, potentially, a major food industry tool.

Unfortunately, it turns out that food decay has almost as much to do with enzymes as with bacteria, and electron bombardment can create molecules like H2O2 (peroxide, in the layman’s tongue), which affects the taste of food. Consequentially, the company is focussing on a limited group of foods for the moment, including bottled beer; and medical supplies, where taste is presumably not that big an issue. They also go in for good old-fashioned hucksterism, with claims that electron bombardment might create plastics as strong as steel. (Although they say, “With some of the properties of steel,” in case they’re ever called to account. “Look, it is steel coloured!”)
So it turns out that food irradiation predates "the Atomic Age." You learn something new every day.

“$37,527,917,167: Or, Mr. Truman’s Budget For Next Year: Too Big? Yes, But Past Wars, A New Foreign Policy, And National Defence Take Three-Quarters: Cuts Will Come Hard” This is all old news by now. The budget is four times the 1939 budget, and the Republicans have sworn to trim enough fat off it to fund a huge tax cut, and the particularly stupid ones have said particularly stupid things (Rep. George Bender thinks he can get expenditures 26% under 1932 levels) but there really isn’t that much fat. On the contrary, the services think that they’ve already paid far too heavy a cost for Mr. Truman’s balanced budget. A specific look at discretionary items reveals that the biggest item up for cutting is the Corps of Engineers plans for the Missouri and flood control measures on rivers all over the country. Not only would it be foolish to cut these, it would be a “body blow” to the Congressmen of those districts. And yet the out year spending on these projects will only grow. Can the balanced budget be  maintained, or are we all doomed? Usually, the paper’s answer is that we aren’t, while The Economist says that we are; this time, Fortune is being a bit more cautious in its optimism.
Say this for Kim Il Sung; at least he derailed austerity in time for the swinging 50s.

“Machine as Salesman: The Rowe Corp., Comes Out on Top in Automatic Cigarette Dispensing” I guess its is a living. Mr. Rowe, by the way, is the inventor who may or may not have invented the cigarette dispensing machine; the actual name behind the business is Bob Greene.

“Puckett of Allied Stores” Earl Puckett of Allied Stores runs a mean chain of department stores. I don’t have an opinion –they’re not out on the West Coast, and you know my caution about being out and about in wildest America.

“Britain’s Billy Butlin: With His ‘Oliday Camps, This Young South African-Born Canadian Made a Fortune Revolutionising the Leisure Habits of the English” So apparently English people of modest means voluntarily go stay at feedlots in the summer?
Bognor Regis? Butlin Skegness? This is a joke, right?

I suppose there’s something for everybody. And if it’s any consolation, his English critics sound even more unhinged than his customers. The paper highlights a blurb to the effect that he is “debauching Britain.” Have these people been to London? Well, maybe they weren't escorted around by Uncle George and yourself. . . More to the point, the economics of people holidaying in concentration camps turns out to be very good, with Butlin shares selling at around $4, with less than 40 cents of tangible assets behind them, healthy profits, and so little for Jimmy Butlin to do that he spends most of his time “lounging around his camps.”

“The U.S. Does a Job” Americans are amazed at how docile the Japanese have been –I am not sure why, given the leadership they put up with for two generations. They are also amazed at how enthusiastically the Japanese have purged their politics, limited their large companies, and put women in the Diet. It is interesting that we are now saying that “of course” Japan has to be kept as an industrial nation, or it will starve.
There's not much to add to the pictures, of which these are only a selection. 

With only 30% of industry occupied, five million unemployed, 4.5 million repatriates looking for positions, only half as much coal available as before the war, shortages of everything, especially housing, and management “paternalistically padding the numbers of its employees,” there is a great deal of room for that. For SCAP, the issue is combining industrial revival with “democratisation” in the right form and mix.

It seems to be going well so far as land reform go, indifferently in the field of education and emperor worship, and problematically in the field of labour, where, if you give the unions their head, they tend to turn socialist.  Also now insert bromides about conservatism, native religion and something called “neo-Confucianism,”  used as usual to show that the writer knows so much about “Confucianism” that he can distinguish “neo-“ from whatever is its opposite in Greek or Hebrew or Latin or whatever language one is dropping to show one’s education. (I’m sorry if I run on with characters that haven’t seen the light of day in five hundred years. I’m trying to capture fancy English educated grammar.)

Shorts and Faces

The utility holding companies are in the news of late, so the paper reviews their stock performance before moving on to a years-end retrospective of the New York Stock Exchange, where total value is down, volume is down, and the Dow-Jones stands 3.3 points higher than on V-J Day. On the other hand, SEC filings are at a record high of $8 billion compared with $5.5 in 1946. The paper wants to go to a party in Cincinnati, where lawyer Edward Lamb, who successfully argued “portal to portal,” has his law office. The paper reviews the investment advisor business, which John Moody claims to have started in 1905, which counts as “relatively new” by the standards of grizzled old NYSE men who read the paper. Many advisers are cranks, and since they have no business code, unlike investment counsellors, there is not much that can be done about stargazers and cycle theorists. It notes Paul Babson, whose “Atomic Service” picks firms away from the coasts, which are vulnerable to atomic bombs, as an example, since he also owns United Business Services and has working control of Standard and Poor’s. Then it makes fun of the real charlatans, such as Major Lawrence Angas and W. H. Roystone, before warning that the advisors have no stake, no ability to cultivate informants, and are the first target of tipsters. Nest up is the ”Audograph,” made by the Gray Manufacturing Company, of Hartford, Conn., which is the latest dictating machine to invade the field so long dominated by Dictapone and Ediphone. Gray is, along with Soundscriber, the first company to actually offer a product, as opposed to boosting one that might appear one day. It was designed by B. A. Proctor, a classic inventor of inventions like high-speed code devices, propeller controls, floor cleaners and the like. With that track record, how can the Audograph fail? Apart from being the latest version of the constant-groove-speed device that produces low-quality records, that is. Next up is the booming business in distributing “foreign” cars, which in practice means Rolls-Royces, Bentleys, Jaguars and lesser marques to make up the volume, like Armstrong Siddelelys and Crossleys. J. L. Green and Fergus Motors are the two companies checked by name.
A real, genuine, Gray Audograph.

The Farm Column

Ladd Haystead looks at the chicken business, which is rapidly growing in scale and sales. Breeders are producing hybrid chickens that mature faster and lay more; farmers are growing hybrid corn that provides more chicken feed.

Since you are always going on to Uncle George about men who go out nowadays in slacks and without neck closings (I would never tattle about same being recently seen at lunch with a friend wearing a very snug pair of denims), I thought about clipping an ad from a New York clothier aimed at “men who never stop dressing young,” and then decided to just tease you, instead.

“Letter from the Pacific: Travel is Sometimes Safe, Sometimes Comfortable –Rarely Is It Both” Our correspondent travels on an Army trooper called the MacQuade as far as Honolulu. It sounds pretty typical for an Army trooper of today; in spite of being war-built, it is already rundown, kept going on  half-power by the efforts of passenger electricians and mechanics, and entertained by rumours of revolvers being confiscated against the inevitable moment when the 2000 passengers and crew have to take to the lifeboats. From Honolulu, he flies on an ATC R5D, which is expensive and fatiguing “after the first twenty-four hours” due to propeller noise that seeps through padded insulation even on a plush job. The only trip from Honolulu back to the West Coast that he has enjoyed was on a private liner. 

And that's it! James is very cool on the idea that we're in for a coal boom; and it is hard to imagine something as bizarre as holiday camps spreading beyond England, but radiating food sounds as though it has promise. Not as much promise as arbitraging silver; but getting into that game requires that you and Uncle George and his friends find us an English partner on the approved silver purchasing list.

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