Sunday, July 14, 2019

Postblogging Technology, April 1949, II: Prelaxed

R_. C_.,

Dear Father:

I can't express how grateful I am to  you, and how happy we all were to hear that you were all right after that call from Wong Lee. I hope that there were no Hakka-speaking FBI eavesdroppers, because even the unflappable Wong Lee . . . 

It is very hard to believe that at 74, Hoover is going to learn the sense that avoided him in his active career, but trying to hijack a peace meeting? Even if we weren't ready for it, it would have been a terrible idea! And now he will have to wear a hearing aid for the rest of his life. Even a tiny little Italian .25 makes a din in a small room! I know I still hear mine going off. What a terrible thing it is!

Perhaps, just perhaps, the ex-President will remember watching while our men bundled two bodies out of that hotel room, and examine his conscience. He could have had our treaty, with no dead men on his conscience, if he hadn't convinced himself that his dime store hoods could outdraw the men Great-Uncle trained. This is the trouble he gets into when there is no Soong standing at his side to supervise. 

At least it wasn't Dragon Tong men, so that the Soongs have to feel that they have lost face. Do we even know where Hoover got those mooks?

So now I am composing the kindest letter I can write to UBC now, explaining that I will be attending Stanford after all. I hope this doesn't cause trouble for you! 

I will be working at Magnin's as an assistant buyer this summer while Mrs. Stanley is taking her daughter around Europe, while Reggie's orders have been cut for Alameda, from where he will be flying a "hush hush" P2V with a filter trap to catch radioactive dust, rumblings being heard from behind the Iron Curtain again. (I wonder if there is a British Standards Specification for Curtains, Iron?) It is so wonderfully convenient for both of us. Reggie expects he will have plenty of time to write these letters over the summer. You can only sieve the North Pacific for Strontium 90 and whatnot for so long. 

Yours Sincerely,

Engineering, 15 April 1949

"Physical Society Exhibition" You know how this works. Engineering goes to the show and you know how this goes. One wanders from display to display and takes barely comprehensible notes about interesting things that are then turned into barely comprehensible short notes. And then the fascinated reader is left struggling with something that is obviously very interesting, but nearly impossible to grasp. 

The first "transistor" in Britain just slips into the discussion. No-
one has any idea of just how important it's going to be. Not nearlyas cool as these gadgets!
I'm going on at length because Barr and Stroud (the naval rangefinder manufacturers) have an instrument that automatically draws contour maps from a stereoscopic set of aerial photographs. How does that even work? Well, there is an explanation, and it is not entirely automatic, but the explanation is, as I say, gibberish. Also, E. Fischer has a CRT display that has a "light valve," such that the illumination of the image is independent of the power of the electron beam. More magic! Ferranti's magnetic amplifier is not magic at all, even though Engineering labours over it for pages, and Hughes' aircraft telescopic sextant reminds me of the Smiths installation in the North Star that reminds me that Smiths had to settle for second-helpings after Sperry designed the autopilot. Mullard Electrical Products has designed an ultrasonic generator. I'm not sure what it is good for, but it is probably very good for it. Messrs. Muirhead have a low-frequency, valve-maintained tuning fork. Talk about holding a note! Philips has an electron microscope, British Thomson Houston a gas-leak detector that works by having the escaped gas displace the "reference gas" in a meter. Plessey had a revolutions counter for use in test planes, that is a very good one, and Standard Telephone has the American "Transistor," a contraption for giving very reliable, high gain amplification with nothing more than a hunk of germanium. Salford has a watch tester, or a photometer, or maybe both. 

Kollsman has an AC current servo motor, we're told in a little box to make up column space.


Blanche Dalton's Review of Engineering Literature is a compendious American list of all "sources of engineering information." Engineering is a bit sour on this American approach that insists on listing everybody without waspish little reviews (Ronnie knows nothing about such things!), but has to concede its usefulness. John Gloag and Derek Bridgewater's A History of Cast Iron Architecture is a nice introduction to this historical subject from the first cast iron beams to the columns now used for their compression strength alongside wrought iron members for tensile. Engineering wishes that they had spent more time on the question of how Nineteenth Century cast iron architecture got to be so ugly. D. W. Hinde's Diesel and Diesel-Electric Locomotives is a good review of a hugely important subject. Engineering reminds us that, taking all sizes of engines into account, this is far more relevant to Britain today than some might think. 

E. G. West's "Welding of Aluminum and its Alloys" is one of a number of articles on aluminum construction over the next three issues, and is mainly concerned with producing strong welds, and testing them to make sure that they are strong. 

"The Severity of Circuit Breaker Test Conditions" is F. O. Mason's pamphlet for the British Electrical and Allied Industries Research Association. It will repay study from anyone who studies circuit breakers. Which sounds dismissive, and not fairly, since Engineering is dutifully interested, so this is important to someone. 

The Institute of Foundrymen is having a conference where it will hear many, many papers. J. Monaghan's "The Application of Slag Control to the Manufacture of Tube Steel" is about, I hazard a guess, accurately measuring how much limestone you need to put into a steel casting to get the right amount of slag (the scum that floats on top at the end) without wasting limestone. If I'm wrong, you read it! 

Colliers have to load coal, so they have all sorts of cranes and hoists on top that need to be powered by something, and the latest single-screw collier for  the British Power Authority, Pompey Power, uses AC current for the first time, in Britain, in such a small ship. That's news, but not worth a whole article, so imagine my surprise when I get into it and the meat of the discussion is the machinery, which uses reheated steam. Now, obviously reheat is old news in some applications, but reheat in a marine turbine installation is big news, especially with the Engineering Branch and its critics throwing imprecations at each other. You know how reheat works, but if anyone else reads this, ever, it is where steam coming out of the turbines is given a touch of  heat from the copioius sources of its in a machinery installation and is sent round again. The steam used in Pompey Power is sometimes boosted as high as 750 degrees, no novelty in naval installations, but a bit spicy for a collier, I would have thought. Who knows? This month's run is going to have at least one extremely embarrassing moment, and maybe the Pompey Power will blow up next month. Probably not, though. It's probably fine. I'm not going to talk about the AC-powered hoists, because the only news is that they're on a ship. 

Regional Notes Notetakers maintain a steady tone. The North gloats over all the business it is doing, worries about coal mine production, and is actually looking for steel imports so that it can get lacking bits in semi-finished steel exports. The South-west is producing as much steam coal as it can, and is eager to fill more foreign orders, but cannot, due to domestic demand. There's a hint that more coal might come on if prices went up, and there's especially no coal to spare for local steelworks, which have to get it where they can. Yorkshire explains lagging production in terms of holidays, and swings from gloating over steel research at firms that look like they will escape terrible old nationalisatoin to a panic over a Swiss contract for some railcar tyres that the Czechs snatch out from under Sheffield, no doubt because those dirty commies subsidise their industries. Cleveland and the North has its obsession, which is sources of iron ore, which are coming up short. Fortunately, local steelmakers can substitute scrap, which is coming in at a good rate. 

"Stainless Steel for Gates of Dam" Stainless steel seems like a pretty extravagant material to make dam gates out of, but the Conemaugh River in western Pennsylvania is distinctly acidic due to all the coal mines in the area, and the Corps of Engineers needs to drastically improve flood control on the system after last year's disastrous flooding, so it has ordered 26 gates from the Metal products Division of Koppers of Baltimore. 


"The Agricultural Tractor Industry" Engineering has  hold of a research article from the Trade Relations Research Bureau, which asks whether the current expansion of the British agricultural tractor industry can be maintained without running up a bunch of new markets in Africa and places like that. The answer is --we don't know? As far as the domestic industry goes, Britain is the most heavily mechanised in the world, with one tractor per fifty acres. Given that the American sector has one per 100 acres, and instead of absorbing all tractors made, America is able to produce for exports. This suggests that perhaps Britain is over-tractored, or, more likely, there are different kinds of tractors for different jobs on different land, and these numbers don't tell us much. If that is true, the steady increase in tractors in Britain might continue for a while, and the domestic market is safe. Ditto the American, starting from their lower base. 

"District Heating in American Housing Estates" District heating is where you use the waste steam from an electrical power plant to heat a downtown or perhaps a subdivision. A British group went over to study it because it is being proposed for British New Towns. It seems that they brought their own preferences (electrical "co-generation" being not that important; hot water being beter than steam as a heat transmission mechanism) to their study. 

Notes reviews a big conference on designing foundations for machinery held by the Inst. Mech. Eng. that I will get to when it becomes a Leader  in two weeks. We also hear that the War Office is throwing open recruiting for all of its technical officer reserve branches, that the bicentennary of Joseph Bramah is being celebrated in Birmingham, that the annual meeting of the British Gear Manufacturer's Association doesn't like socialism, and that the United Nations Economic Commission is on the continent to investigate the development of a European Continental Highways system, which has all of the engineers throwing in with zest to imagine a world in which there is not a single at-grade crossing in Europe, and many other utopian ideas. Obituary has a feature on Henry Main, the managing director of Caledon Shipbuilding, who died recently at 61. 


R. S. Philips, author of Electric Lifts, doesn't think that the Engineering review was fair. Engineering stoutly argues that it was. A. C. Vivian thinks that the frequent brittle failure of American steel plates has so far evaded Britain for reasons (mumble, mumble), but will soon arrive on Britain's shores now that the British Standards Association have adopted the American practice of rating steel plates by their ultimate tensile strength in failure, whereas they should adopt his own "effective ductility" figure of merit" as well, and, in the process, accept his argument that low ductility increases the risk of brittle failure. (Rest of steelmaking community: "Heretic! Stone him!")

"The Institution of Naval Architects," Continued. Here's a pickle. Because I only read half the issues of this one, I missed the beginning of the landmark "Safety of Life at Sea" conference. I hope that this is a precis of a longer proceedings that will appear in due time in your Trans. Roy. Nav. Arch. If not, you need to tell your newsagent to get you the back issue, and, of course, all issues of Engineering through the end of April at least. This is important, and my epitome won't nearly due it justice. The conference heard about grain ships (and grain spills), about fire detection and fighting, about both the need to increase the number of lifeboats and to provide better lifeboats, and, perhaps as importantly, better divots; about subdivision, which clearly needs to be improved in many cases (. . . ), but may have gone too far in other cases; and about collisions, or more generally, "interactions of ships at sea," to include wakes. That's a lot of stuff! And it doesn't even get into related subjects. (As I say, aluminum construction is big this month, and there's an article about aluminum superstructures in ships that touches on the use of aluminum in swinging thwart decks that can be brought to vertical to create separating compartments in tramp ships when they take on a load of grain. For example.)

I guess my advice isn't actually that useful, as these issues of Engineering will long since be out of the newsagent before your quarterly from the Institution arrives. So let me amend it. Get both! 

The Institute of Metals is having a meeting, the coverage of which will go on all month, which is much less interesting, because it is all about the problems of casting light alloys. Hot, bubbling metal being poured from cauldron to cauldron to mould calls for study and attention, yes, but by experts! I wonder if experts can tell anything about turbine metal from the section that discusses silver-nickel pours at Henry Wiggins? It might have something do do with Nimonic! 

Good point on fatigue. You wouldn't want to have to withdraw
an entire class of bombers prematurely due to fatigue
failure of main spars. 
Dr. H. Sutton, "Light Alloys in Aircraft Construction" This one has already been epitomised in flight, but, for a change, this article is much more interesting and full. I learn that we have much to learn, as usual. In aircraft, that translates into us still not being sure enough of the strength of plates, so that scantlings and stringers are probably stronger and heavier than they need to be. Dr. Sutton is particularly interested in the recent explosion of use of aluminum-zinc-magnesium alloys that are even stronger than Duraluminum. It seems as though the Americans have taken the lead, and he encourages greater use. It does, however, require more careful heat treatment, with two aging periods instead of one, and works up so quickly that rivetting is a problem. Either welding or punch rivets are a good substitute for drilled. [Oops.] Stringers are also a problem here, in that shaping them in the face of this rapid work-hardening material may lead to excessive built-in stresses. A number of magnesium alloys are also discussed, including zinc-zirconium ones with promising characteristics. One caution however, is that fatigue is likely to be an increasing problem in the future, and needs to be thoroughly investigated.

Launches and Trial Trips MS British Prudence and Milford Duchess; SS Starella. Two trawlers, one single-screw freighter, one single-screw tanker. They say that steam is better for tankers, but no-one has told these builders. 

A special books session, Annuals and Reference Books covers Electric Trades Directory, 1949, the M. M. Yearbook, Whittaker's Almanac, The Manual of Electrical Undertakings, and The Water Engineer's Handbook and Dictionary. The "M.M." is a guide to second hand machine tools for sale. The difference between "Electric trades" and "Electric Undertakings" is that the one is the companies that make electrical engineering goods, while the latter is a list of all the utilities in Britain. 

Time, 18 April 1949


Nadya Olyanova of New York City is upset in advance at Dean Acheson because he is "left slanting." Several writers have corrections about the airlines and Llanfair articles. Blanca Holmes writes to defend playwright Clifford Odets. Jane Braham defends Goddard College's pedagogy, which gives out the best education that no-one else recognises as an education, while Charles Baughman sticks up for Oxford, which has the opposite problem. Time updates a fan on the current circumstances of Dubsky Zipper, and Byron Bonnheim is as appalled as I am about the idea of unleashing tailored diseases to kill Californian pests. 

The Publisher's Letter apologises for saying that all Western correspondents in eastern Europe are fellow travellers. It turns out that Time only said it, and had no intention of implying it. It lists many, many western journalists in eastern Europe that it didn't mean to insult before going on to offer a blanket apology to all the others in the name of their heroic services to freedom. 

National Affairs

"A Great Week's Work" North Atlantic Pact signed, full ECA pushed through Congress. That was quick! Secretary Acheson then went on to say that "he would see what he could do" about a $2 billion arms air package to move Europe past the point where an American alliance was just a guarantee that America would liberate them in the future. Then it was off to Florida to talk to the Chiefs of Staff, who were relaxing and having fun in the sun.

"Unruly Charges" Besides the ongoing fight over ECA, Congress dealt with the reappointment of Governor Ernest Gruening over the lobbying of Austin Lathrop, and approved a military budget of $15.9 billion, enough to give the Air Force 58 groups instead of the President's 48. 

"I Wouldn't Hesitate" President Truman says that if he needs to drop the atom bomb again, he won't hesitate. 

"Farm Pharmacy" Time is upset about the new Department of Agriculture price support scheme because it will cost a lot and discourage Farmers from voting Truman out. 

"'Unfair Surprise'" The latest government witness in the Smith Act trials in Manhattan is Herbert Philbrick, who has been informing on the Communist Party from within for the FBI since 1940. It's good to have the testimony that the underground apparatus of the CPUSA has been teaching violent revolution, but Time slobbers all over him. It's a bit disgusting.

Plenty of fuel, vulnerable population, no fire drills
"Glare in the Sky" Time covers the horrible, horrible hospital fire at St. Anthony's in Effingham, Illinois that killed 78 of the 128 people in the hospital.  No answers on how such a thing could happen yet. 

"Team, Team, Team!" Everyone celebrated Army Day in Washington this week, but Johnson says that it will be the last Army Day, and that next year there will be an Armed Forces Day, instead, probably on VJ-Day. Also, he appointed publicity man Steve Early as his Under-Secretary. This is quite a sacrifice for Early, who leaves a $25,000/year job as vice-president of Pullman to take $12,000 as Under-Secretary. Everyone is just wondering what the sacrifice is for. Handling the flack from cancelling the United States, it turns out! 

Time rounds it out with the failure of the New York taxi strike and Kathy Fiscus. 


"The Great Schism" Have you heard that Tito and Stalin have had a falling out? I think everyone has, so,to stretch this into a story, we're told about how the Bulgarians are trying to build an anti-Titoist base in Macedonia, which is a province in southern Yugoslavia, and not a province in northern Greece. Or maybe it's both? Neither? Am I getting warmer? And, not to make everything about China, but Time even has something to say about the new line that Mao is "the Tito of Asia." Time doesn't think so. 

"Agreement on Germany" Bizonia is becoming Trizonia, the Germans are being invited to write their own constitution, the Americans held an Army Day tank parade to make it clear that they were in Germany to fight. Time is quite optimistic about it. It's also pleased to see the Soviets turn against Israel and embrace anti-Semitism. 

"The Smellies" Russian movie director Grigory Alexandrov announced that Soviet cinema was working on Smell-O-Vision. (It's a joke!)

"Voice of Conscience" Time covers the issues before the Assembly (recognition of Israel, diplomatic relations with Spain, Indonesia and the Italian colonies again) before moving on to something important. The General Assembly decided to have an investigation into the Mindszenty trial, easly warding off a  boorish Russian attempt to put lynchings, American Indians and the Smith trial on the agenda in return. Meanwhile, at the International Court of Justice, the British are seeking a $3.5 million award for the mining of Saumarez and Volage.  The court ruled in favour of the British this week, but without awarding damages, which was put off to later hearings.

 "Revolt in the Fortress" Time covers Labour's defeat in the London County Council, which may or may not presage defeat in the upcoming elections, and also offers it an opportunity to get very upset at Labour's attempt to maintain control over the city government by bringing in an outside chairman. 

"The Iron Chancellor" Time sees Cripp's budget as bad news, in that food subsidies are going down and taxes are going up. It "recognise[s] Cripp's courage," but says that "there is no getting away from the fact that it represented a crisis in Labour Party affairs." 

Next I need to mention some wonderful baby pictures of Prince Charles and a sad murder case from France (and vivid Time-style writing), even though they're not news. 

"City of Victory/ City of Defeat" The Chinese Communist Party Central Committee met a Nationalist peace delegation in --Peking, I think? I am pretty sure that the Communists don't say "Peiping," and they're the ones in charge of the capital now-- , did not reject their overtures, and held a parade. Then Mao was off to review the troops currently reducing the Nationalist bridgeheads on the left bank of the Yangtze. Meanwhile, in Nanking, everyone is gloomy and fatalistic, acknowledging that the war is over.

 Latins are excitable (Young Panamanians use English slang, old Panamanians are appalled; An Argentinian university sponsored a convention of academic philosophers, which is ridiculous because it is Argentina; and liberals took to the streets in Bogota for some silly old reason like mourning the assassination of Jorge Eliecer Gaitan, even though it was basically his fault for being so excitable.)


"Easter Parade" Easter sales are the first week in six when retail sales were higher than last year's, while construction starts are also up, suggesting that the economy is back on track, two weeks after Fortune and The Economist gave us permission to say "recession. "

"Husbands and Wives" Du Point has a programme encouraging problem drinkers to go to AA meetings. And, after 52 years, Dow Chemicals has no Dow at its head, after Dr. William Henry Dow was killed in  a plane crash on 31 March. Dow, which began life extracting bromine from salt brine mined in Michigan, now has two Ph.Ds to take care of things until 22 year-old Herbert Henry Dow II graduates from MIT. "If," Reggie says. "How does a Dow not get a bachelor's degree?" I ask. "Some people are born with a gift," Reggie says. "Strange gift," I say. Speaking of some more, Pepsi is doing well, so its management gets a nice mini-profile. 

State of Business reports that the net income of American railways in January and February was $17 million, less than half the same period in 1948. When, it has to be added, the railways weren't paralysed by blizzards in half the country. Sewell Avery told stockholders in Montgomery Ward that sales were off almost 17% over last year, and that they would have to like it or lump it, because there was no way he was quitting, and no way they could make him. The US Maritime Commission has commissioned the largest passenger liner ever, at $70 million, including $42 million in fed money, which has Aviation Week fit to be tied. Admiral is showing off some 12 1/2" televisions with an AM and FM radio and a three-speed phonograph included. They are being offered at $475-- $575. 

Science Medicine, Education

Ronnie's personal dislike of Yeager has a number of causes.
"Man in a Hurry" This week's cover story is dedicated to the one-and-only (just ask him!) Chuck Yeager, the Air Force test pilot who broke the sound barrier in his Bell X-1. (Time reports that Yeager and his colleagues are selected for their pleasant personalities and pretty wives, as they are ambassadors for the Air Force. Which goes to show that CBS didn't get all the comics.)

"Like Cornered Animals" Allergists Hyman Miller and psychologist Dorothy Baruch of Beverly Hills, report that a study of 90 children with allergies and 53 without, allergic children turn out to have it rough. Also, Robert Nelson of Johns Hopkins may have found a better test for syphilis and other diseases.  Curious, I looked this up, and it turns out that Dr. Nelson might be stepping on some toes. 

Education is dominated by a feature on the centennary of Washington and Lee University, but manages to find time for the resignation of Yale President Charles Seymour, who famously wrote the history of Right Now in his 1916 Diplomatic Background of the War, and liked to sing "The Sword of Bunker Hill" at Yale parties while waving an actual sword.

 The son and father of Yale professors, Charles Seymour became a full professor at the tender age of 33, and does have one historical monograph that's historical. 

Art, Radio and Television, Press, People

In a hilarious bit that never gets old, Time makes fun of the San Francisco Art Association's "Round Table" on modern art. The only thing funnier than modern art is trying to explain it, and the only thing funnier than that is Frank Lloyd Wright arguing against modern art.

"Meeting of East and West" Time really likes Dong Kingman.  "The Stepchild" is a short profile of Bernice Judis, the manager of New York's WNEWS, an independent radio station that is pushing for more consideration of independent stations at the National Association of Broadcasters. "Family Trouble" The family feud at the New York Post, which I will pretend is as important as New York, and so almost as important as Time thinks it is, is over. Ted Thackrey, the estranged husband of the Post's owner, Dolly Backer, has resigned as editor over politics. Dolly Thackrey will move the paper to the right, to a "liberal democratic" position, and sell to the right fellow, at the right price, which will probably be about $10 million, given that Dolly has dropped half the fortune she inherited from her father into it already. I'm mentioning this mainly because I can't recall any of the other news coverage dropping the information that Dolly's father was Mortimer Schiff. 

"Mercy Killings" This week, Street and Smith cancelled its last four "pulps," Detective Story, Western Story, Doc Savage and The Shadow. Circulation was down to 700,000 a month from wartime highs of over 4 million. Some comics are still doing well, but the house is more interested in its women's magazines, Madamoiselle, Charm and Mademoiselle's Living. Astounding Science Fiction and the slicks Air Trails Pictorial and Pic Sports Quarterly survive. 

The rest you'll have to wiki yourself. But: Roosevelt's boy married
a du Pont, and I thought you should know.
By New York Evening Graphic -,
Princess Fawzia of Egypt, Lilly Dache, Eleanor Holm and Lady Astor were women who appeared in public. Most of them said things, which were silly, because they are women. Too bad there was no Latin American Communist woman to make it a three-for! Frances Browning, former child bride to Edward "Daddy" Browning, swore off divorces at her fourth. General Wainwright has done an ad for Pabst beer. Navy Secretary John L. Sullivan, General Arnold, James Forrestal, Olivia de Havilland, Wallace Beery, Bobo (Mrs. Winthrop) Rockefeller and Ambassador Lewis Douglas are all sick of reasons ranging from fish-hook to the eye to a difficult pregnancy. Taylor Caldwell is depressed because fame and fortune didn't come soon enough. Sister Elisabeth Kenny is leaving Australia because it does not appreciate her methods for treating polio. Orson Welles and Erich Maria Remarque are both in French courts over money. Ethel du Pont was in Reno finalising her divorce from Franklin D. Roosevelt, Jr. 

Just four years from the first issue of Playboy
Prince Aly Khan's divorce is final, allowing him to marry Rita Hayworth. Andrew Lawrence Somers has died at 54 of a liver ailment. John Russell Scott of the Manchester Guardian had a heart ailment, instead. Tom Creighton, Seymour Hicks and Chase Salmon Osborne have died of unspecified things, 

New Pictures

Adventure in Baltimore is not the movie that is going to reignite Shirley Temple's career, although it "is good for some drowsy amusement and one or two chuckles." Set-Up sounds like just another boxing flick, but Time liked it for its "honesty" and "atmosphere." El Paso is a sort-of film noir Western that Time didn't like, especially for its "unpleasant" "muddled moralising on civil rights," and "brutal, juicily detailed lynchings." Oh, we're sorry for reminding you those things exist! Outpost in Morocco is about a French legionnaire, George Raft, who falls in love with  "the Paris-bred daughter of a rebel chieftain," Marie Windsor, and then has to blow her up, for the usual reason that it is the patriotic duty of a French occupier to blow up Moroccans in Morocco. 


Ronnie, again, has personal reasons to dislike
The Collected Poems of William Empson is a book that exists for the purpose of being reviewed enthusiastically in middlebrow magazines, adding tone, along with the surprisingly favourablly-reviewed Vera Panova, The Train, and  Virginius Dabney's Dry Messiah, which is a life of Prohibitionist Bishop Cannon, who made a career of ruining parties and sucking all the joy out of life. Joyce Cary's To be a Pilgrim is this week's English book about an English eccentric. It is the second part of a trilogy of eccentrics being eccentric that makes up an epic saga of English manners and morals in the first half of the 20th Century. I hope someday to hear that this dry messiah has something as interesting as stock fraud (or whatever it turned out to be in the end when the world had finished destroying Bishop Cannon) on his conscience!

Flight, 21 April 1949


"Air Racing Again" Flight is happy that the King's Cup and National Air Races are back. Water is wet!

"Aeronautical Indigestion" There is too much aeronautical science going on these days(!!!)

"Another 'First'" British aviation has achieved another amazing first that is amazing! The Armstrong Whitworth Apollo, which used to be the Athena before Balliol came along and made its own, is ready to fly, only eight months after the Viscount, which is an amazingly short time to get an axial-flow turboprop airliner in the air. If there were anyone else trying to do it, Armstrong Whitworth would have beat them in the race!

"America Wins" Specifically, the Air Ministry has given up trying to persuade the world to embrace "Gee"-style navigation instead of American style radio ranges. 

"Apollo Airborne" The Apollo was built to the Brabazon IIB specification. Reggie says taht this is the DC-3 replacement, and it is quite the replacement, being four-engined, for one thing, which means that it can fly over large stretches of water. It is currently a 29,000lb plane, 37,000lbs all up. The latter will certainly increase, especially if a longer-fuselage variant is ordered, which might add 2500lbs of payload, or 45 passengers instead of the current 24/36. This particular Mamba, we're told, delivers a maximum of 1010 shp plus 307lbs static thrust. Which strikes me as a bit of problem considering that the Dart has already been announced as having a maximum thrust of 1290shp, plus 96lbs residual thrust. 
The only Flight Lieutenant Pledger who turns up in Google
transfers from general duties to the medical branch between
1953 and 1962. So he got the Air Force to pay for his medical
degree? Nice work, if you can get it!

"Graduation Day" The Duke of Gloucester turned out for Cranwell's first passing out parade. Cadet Pledger received the Sword of Honour. Shorter notes cover the exciting research done by the Fulmer Institute, one of several international congresses of aeronautics scheduled for the fall, the possibility that the Gyrodyne will have set a new helicopter speed record by the time the issue goes to press, and a demonstration of British-built radio equipment. 

Here and There

A bit strange that he left the BBC without a real job in
hand, but fortunately there was the Tory cabinet to keep
him occupied.
Breguet's new four-engined transport will be similar to the Marathon. Australia is building a flying-wing shaped guided missile, which is funny because it looks like a boomerang. The Vickers-Supermarine 501 is a swept-wing follow on to the Attacker. The forthcoming issue of Aircraft Production has articles on North American's new high altitude wind tunnel in LA and Bristol's new copper-plated engine cylinders. HMS Eagle, which was launched in 1946 and which might be in service by 1950, is being moved from Belfast to Liverpool for propeller fitting, because it is too large for the Belfast dry docks. Sperry Review says that the Admiralty has ordered 70 Supermarine Attackers. The first B-36D (the one with jet engines) test flight lasted 3h 15min. Takeoff distance was reduced from 5000ft to 3500ft, and 40,000ft was attained. Mr. Orr-Ewing, who recently resigned from the BBC Television Service, has joined Cossor Radar as a director. The complete ABAS installation for Pretoria Airport, manufactured by Pye Telecommunications, weighs over 10 tons!

Civil Aviation News

British European will operate its Ambassador fleet from London Airport. Radio ranges will be installed in the United Kingdom, the Air Ministry announces, giving up its long fight for "Gee." Several air corridors are planned, and the Air Ministry is working out the details of merging ascending aircraft into the flow of traffic. Equipment for the scheme will cost  £180,000 or more, and will have to be purchased in America. Pan-American needs to get on with its takeover of AOA, or the CAB will withdraw its permission. The Avro XIX (Anson) that ditched off the Isle of Man on 11 June 1948 was lost because of a navigational error. 

[Caroline Bailey-Watson], "Fairey Gyrodyne: Design Survey of the World's Fastest Helicopter" Epitomiser's Note: Not currently the world's fastest helicopter, possibly not a helicopter at all! The Gyrodyne was developed to meet an Admiralty requirement for an aircraft capable of taking off from a ship's deck. Most of the Gyrodyne's power goes to the airscrews, with the rotor only using enough to provide more lift than the stub wings can supply at a given speed. This use of a single engine to drive three rotors makes for the usual, very complicated transmission; but maybe the amount of lift generated by the wing, makes the Gyrodyne a bit more proof against mechanical failure than, say, the Air Horse. Though, if anything, Caroline is a bit skeptical of the Gyrodyne than the Air Horse. "By virtue of the fact that the major order of reduction is made immediately beneath the rotor head, the torque loading in the transmission is kept reasonably low."

With good reason, since, instead of setting a new speed record, the prototype Gyrodyne crashed on Sunday, killing the test pilot (and observer, not mentioned in Flight.)

Ninth most dangerous airport in the world
"Madeira by Air: Impressions of a Survey Flight in a Hythe of Aquila Airline's Fleet, By a Passenger" "The Passenger," a footnote tells us, is "Courtney Edwards, who recorded his impressions for Flight."  Aquila plans to run a regular tourist service of Hythe flying boats to Madeira via Southampton and Lisbon. "The proposed return fare by air, with luxury-style 22-seat accommodation, is £87 10s, while by ship the cost ranges from £68 to 140. From Lisbon to Madeira the return fare is likely to be £35, a figure which, if a 51-seat layout is arranged, could be reduced, to £25." So you'll be able to fly to Madeira and back for well under a twentieth of the price of a new house. Bargain! The service seems ideal for a flying boat, since Madeira is short of flat land suitable for airports. To be sure, it is also short of sheltered water where flying boats can land; but if the service can't land at Madeira, it can always fly back to Lisbon or on to various African and island places in no case much more than a mere 500 miles away. Madeirans enthusiastically await any tourists who might take advantage. Let the guineas flow like water!

"Easter Monday at Elstree" There was an air display at Elstree! It was very nice, and the weather was fine.

"Certified Airworthy" A long article about how Airworks refits planes so that they can get their airworthiness certificate granted.

"For Maritime Reconnaissance: First Views of the Avro Shackleton G.R. Mk. I" The Shackleton is a four Griffon-engined successor to the maritime reconnaissance variant of the Lincoln. It has a giant radome, so you can guess it probably has a giant radar.

Letters is missing in this issue.

Engineering, 22 April 1949

"The Formation and Properties of Emulsions of Oil Fuel and Water" Are you interested? It must be a problem in motor ships.


Engineering's review of Robert F. Campbell, The History of Basic Metal Control in World War II starts off with a fulmination against the publisher, which chose to truncate the title to The History of Basic Metals, which will probably lead some library to file this under a history of basic metals since earliest times (fascinating!) instead of as a dutiful slog through the control of production and price of basic metals during the last war, which is worthy but boring. The ninth volume of the fourth edition of Thorpe's Dictionary of Applied Chemistry warrants a review to praise editor Martha Whiteley and her two assistants, eighty contributors, and the weighty scientific value of entries from "Oils, Fatty" to "Pituary Body;" but what Engineering really wants to say is that it is so well-written and interesting that the reviewer kept reading on into the next article, "which is the best test of the cultural value of such a work." I had honestly never given a moment's thought to the cultural value of a dictionary of applied chemistry. Interesting.

"The Electrical Research Organisation" The nationalisation of the industry ruined everything except the research, or will. The first paper considered is by "the late J. B. Cowle" and "the Earl of Bridgewater," which reminded me of someone, so I looked it up. "Bridgewater" is a canal, "navigation," as you Brits say, but it turns out that the Bridgewaters aren't ennobled engineers (my fancy!) but rather politicians, and a scoundrel in a novel. As for the paper, it is about the electric forced-air drying of hay and grain, leading on to a discussion of rural electrification. Research into switchgears, overhead lines, and lightning hitting lines was also heard. It turns out that this is a research institute for the electrical supply industry, which makes the fulmination about nationalisation more reasonable. Electrical engineering hasn't, and won't, be nationalised, but electrical supply was.

Charles Reid and William Reid, "The Reconstruction of the British Mining Industry" This is a two part article. There are two aspects to "reconstruction." The first is that this is a very large industry calling out for "rationalisation," as the scientific manager says. The Coal Board has 1400 mines, of which the 400 smallest produce 2% of national output. Eight hundred produce less than 100,000t, 67 produce more than 500,000. Some 640 employ fewer than 100 men, 237 more than 1000. Productivity varies, with a high of 50cwt per manshift and an average of 21.5. Once the NCB is finished its vast work of reconstruction, there is no reasonable doubt that 250 million tons a year is achievable at present productivity levels. Many engineers believe that the average output per manshift can be increased to 30 y 1965; but reallocation of labour involves uprooting whole communities. Transport can also be improved. Right now, it requires 220 manshifts to move 1000t of coal, but as basic a question as who gets stuck with low-quality coal remains unsettled by an industry committed to greatly increasing the amount of electrical power it uses to hoist and move coal.

"Welding Economics" The British Welding Research Association sponsored a conference on same, and heard many interesting papers. It was mainly devoted to steel welding, and the question is one of improving the relative economics of welding and other fastening methods. In general, rivetting is cheaper, because parts don't have to be as carefully designed, I guess because they have "give" at the rivets. (They also tend to be a bit heavier.) The question is whether, as designers get used to welded structures, this difference will be reduced, allowing welding's other advantages to shine even brighter.

The sixth Harland and Wolff ship to be wrecked on its
maiden voyage. Hurrah! The insurance payout was £2,295,000
and, "due to changing economic conditions," no replacement
was ordered. Captain was on his final voyage
before retirement. Nothing suspicious here . . . 
"Twin-Screw Passenger Liner Magdalena" The Royal Mail's new refrigerated-cargo passenger liner  (133 first class cabins, 346 third class) for the South African run doesn't have a reheat installation, but does have one of the new high-temperature plants (500lbs, 815 degrees, with elaborate controllable superheating (and de-superheating for when cooler steam is needed in the auxiliaries), with an economiser and feed heater to make best use of exhausted steam, which is recovered from the system by a Weir-design compressor. A high speed turbine and a low speed turbine for cruising, and an impulse case to convert power for reverse steaming. Gearing is double-reduction throughout, auxiliary power is diesel, including in the refrigeration, which seems like a waste of an opportunity to me. There is a gymnasium for the convenience of passengers.

And it hit a rock fifteen miles from Rio on its return journey in time for the intensely embarrassing story to hit next week's issue.

Launches and Trial Trips MS Katapol, British Freedom, Murdoch, British Ardour. SS Rialto. One collier,  two tankers, one refrigerated cargo liner, one cargo liner.


"Foundations for Machinery" If you're wondering how this could be an entire Institution of Mechanical Engineers colloquium, it is actually a pretty interesting discussion of the way that enormous engine vibrations are transmitted through the ground to either damage nearby important things, or not; and now you know what kind of engineering people look at when they try to decide how to rebuild after earthquakes like the one you just had!

"Rural Electricity Supply" The Earl of Bridgewater's concerns about electric hay-drying highlights the importance of electrical supply in raising agricultural productivity. The National Farmers' Union says that there are still 150,000 farms without electricity in Britain, compared with 81,000 that do, and with only 6000 added to the grid in the last year, slow progress is being made. This came up in parliament, where Conservative MP Colonel R. S. Clarke suggested that the Electricity Board consider hooking up farms even when they do not pay their way, for the general good, even though it is against "economic orthodoxy." According to Who's Who, the Clarkes own Britain's largest shipping company, but Colonel Ralph (I can't help it, I'm laughing as I translate. It sounds so funny in English, because "Ralph" is a funny name) has lived on a 200 acre farm in Surrey since 1912.

Notes visits the Electrical Power Committee of the Economic Commission of Europe. It is not quite so carried away as the "common highway" people, but it is abuzz with plans for new, international hydroelectric schemes that were never possible before, because they crossed borders. In spite of the matter of neutrality, Switzerland features prominently, which makes sense looking at a map. "A Temperature-Entropy Chart for Air" is available from the latest American work in the field of I'm-not-sure. I have vaguely philosophical ideas about what "entropy" is, but reference to a scientific dictionary (the work I do for you!) turns up its use in power generation and machines and chemistry and such. It's the opposite of heat, maybe? I thought that was cold! Obituary features the late Mr. E. A. Smith, long the "Chief Assayer" at Sheffield and the secretary of the British Base Metals Association. He was 81.

"Electrical Traction at Southend Pier" Southend Pier is a mile-and-a-third long pier at Southend-on-Thames. That is a very long way to walk, so back in the day, tracks were laid so that they could ride a train to their boat. The new train that just entered service is electrical. The distinguishing feature is that it has very powerful air brakes, pneumatic doors and a rapid power cut-off I imagine so that it can get up whisk excursion-goers to their excursion-going.

"The First Report of the Fulmer Research Institute" is given about the same amount of attention in Engineering as in Flight. 

K. Bauman, a long-established expert in the field, gives us "Heat Engines," which is the latest discussion of the relative economy of various heat engines (it turns out that this is where you use "entropy"). The first installment, this week, has an interesting investigation of gas turbines. After reading all of that discouraging talk about how gas turbines aren't actually good for much, it is heartening to hear that they have all sorts of advantages for stationary power installations. So the two major applications of the new technology are speed-and-damn-the-fuel-bill in teh air, and nd economical power! He is especially skeptical of gas turbine locomotives. Next week, he turns to best performances --economically-- by existing power plants, and reviews his 1939 predictions about large powery-steamy things to see how they came out.

British Standards Association has issued ukases on the subjects of electrically-welded mild steel chain and the dimensions of anchor cables, to be obeyed upon pain of death or worse.

UBC's subscription started in March. 


After some letters from dog fanciers, we're launched into a fascinating controversy, as author H. Struve Hensel defends --I think-- the claim that horizontal bombing sank no ships in WWII by refuting claims by H. C. Bartley that a B-17 sank Japanese cruiser Ashigara on 10 December 1941, and by C. C. Clay that a single bomb sank "a new British cruiser" off Anzio. Since it's important, I mention that Ashigara was lost to a submarine torpedo on 8 January 19454, although minesweepers MS-10 and MS-19 might have been victims of a bomber; while HMS Spartan was sunk by a glider bomb. The editor's letter explains how Newsweek's Harold Isaacs got his interview with Ho Chi Minh in spite of being barred from Southeast Asia by the French government, and explains that the cover story is the tenth anniversary of Marian Anderson's concert from the Lincoln Memorial.

Give a Negro a job just because  he negotiated Middle
East peace? Why, anyone could do that! Speaking of,
check out that Lodge biography. Did you know that
his support of the Guatemalan coup is the one incident
that taints his record with the legacy of imperialism?
The Periscope reports that various Administration officials are still hashing out the budget, that Congress is thinking about transferring 15% of ECA money to an arms aid purchase, that Truman might give Ralph Bunche another job to refute Moscow's allegations of American discrimination against Negroes, that Senator Lodge will get Senator Vandenberg's supporters in 1952, that there is talk of abolishing the Marine Corps now that the armed forces have been unified, that Russia is eager to join any Pacific defence pact; while it is probably not wanted, America is trying to get Ireland to join the Atlantic pact. Panama, Mexico, Guatemala and Uruguay will  oppose full diplomatic recognition for Spain, which is expected to experience domestic unrest if the bread and olive-oil rations are cut due to drought. Stalin's health is deteriorating. SCAP's public health efforts in Japan are being thwarted by quaint Japanese beliefs such as that it is good luck to have rats in the house. Brannan's farm aid package may be watered down in the final budget. The existence of the Douglas X-3 and Bell X-2 are reported. The Navy expects to lose 778 planes to crashes next year, up 100 from last year because more of them are jets. Congress will deny the Federal Reserve additional powers to cut credit. Army engineers propose to dredge out the Hudson River Seaway from 27 to 35ft. Congress will launch an investigation into anti-democratic labour union practices after it "disposes of" Taft-Hartley repeal. Several auto-makers have expressed interest in the Bureau of Standard's new magnetic fluid clutch, described in the 19 April issue of Newsweek. Westerns continue to give the highest returns in Hollywood, where a competitor to Technicolor might be on the way. Joe Palooka really is getting married soon. (In the comics, only. Cartoon characters can't get married in the real world, except in Reno.)

"271 Names on One Blank Check" Newsweek's version of the defence budget debate is that Congress has written the Pentagon a "blank cheque" over Herbert Hoover's objections.  Hoover, "conspicuously wearing a hearing aid" --I'll say!-- turned up to lecture Congress on how extravagant defence spending was a threat to the nation, and turn up various boondoggles that show that the waste is "staggering," and characterise unification as "the triplication act."  Meanwhile, the Truman Administration celebrated the fourth anniversary of his presidency with appropriate solemness and various discussions that might amount to something, while the Detroit Free Press got the real scoop, an interview with the President's dentist that revealed that the President is not afraid of the drill, and is very relaxed in the chair. Whereas I'm always trying to bite off my dentist's fingers, my dentist tells me, sourly. Lucky for him I can't afford dentistry any more!

80% of PacifiCorps' generating capacity is thermal. It belongs to Berkshire-
Hathaway and operates several coal mines.
"Paul Bunyan's River" Not in Minnesota, it turns out. This is a feature on the Grand Coulee Dam, which has the Pacific Northwest "browned out by a serious power shortage," mainly because the region uses even more electricity than the dam supplies, notably on the plutonium plant at Hanford, while flooding wiped out Vanport last year, showing that the dam isn't doing a very good job of controlling the Columbia. Consequentially, the President has renewed his push for a Columbia River Administration, which would spend a lot of money on various things to extend either the Reclamation Bureau's Columbia Basin project or implement the Army Engineers' more modest project. this has the Governor of Oregon and the President of Pacific Power and Light up in arms over the extension of "pure socialism."

"GOP Versus Lesinski" Newsweek explains a week of the ongoing fight to repeal Taft-Hartley. Without getting too far into the nitty-gritty, the question is whether the Administration's organiser in the house, Representative John Lesinski, can assemble enough votes to beat a coalition of Republicans and Southern Democrats and get the promised repeal through. Also, Glenn Taylor has decided that he would like to run as a Democrat in 1950, after all. Senator Taft read the riot act to the new Republican class, reminding them that they had to support "sound" welfare legislation such as slum clearance and public housing, or risk losing the next election.  Several senators disagreed, pointing out that socialism would destroy America.

The 13 April earthquake in Olympia (and Vancouver) gets a story that notes that it "hit with the force of 250 atom bombs."

Foreign Affairs

"Time to Lift the Blockade?" The 15 April "maximum lift" demonstration involved the British and Americans landing a plane every minute for an entire day to deliver 12,941 tons with 1,398 flights, requiring 39,640 radio contacts. This exceeds Berlin's former overland import of 10,000t a day. The rumour is that the Russians are going to lift the blockade soon; since that sounds like a nice thing for them to do, and that will not stand, additional rumours about the Russians backing a revived Second Reich are supplied. (That's the one with Bismarck.) Newsweek goes on to explain that the USAF is much nicer to journalists than the RAF, which requires 10 days notice if you want to ride along. And as part of the general story of German policy, Newsweek explains the end of the dismantling programme, which is part of the Trizonia talks. This is explained as the end of the "Morgenthau Plan," and not of German reparations in kind, because who remembers facts from a year ago? Ancient history! Also, France is nice. It's a topsy-turvy world: stories about not flying with Transport Command and France being back to normal. Next we'll hear that Latin America is boring!

Oh, no, wait, "How to Eat Dangerously" features Japanese being odd. Everything is back to normal! Oh, the story. Yes; They like to eat a poisonous fish because it is poisonous. Oh, those Japanese.

Newsweek's version of events in Britain emphasises the way that Labour was able to use the strange rules that prevail in the London County Council to retain control in spite of losing the popular vote for aldermen by a margin of over 100,000 votes. This is deemed unfair, and I see the point, and comes in a week when the "Labour Believes in Britain" pamphlet arouses outrage, and a failed dockers' strike upsets everyone.

Also, Tito is "flirting with Wall Street" in that he will probably accept credits to ease trade with the United States to escape the Communist blockade, while the purge in Bulgaria continues. To impartially show capitalism's bad side, Newsweek mentions a story about a bottling company in Britain fined for selling a drink called "Nifty," with a glamour girl on the label and a shocking ingredient list consisting of 975 water with some sweetener and citric acid. The issue is that they are selling a "food item" without the proper license. Okay, then. I thought the issue was that they were marking up water with a bit of sweetener, which seems to be taking advantage of anyone gullible enough to buy a bottle of water with a "glamour girl" on the label. In Nuremberg, the crimes of Nazism get their final airing, as the German diplomatic corps receives its sentences, or lack of it, for waging aggressive war and firing Jews.

A series of stories from China hold the place while we wait for something dramatic. Businessmen are trying to do business with the communists; the Nationalists cannot pay their troops, and the Generalissimo continues to pose as a retired statesman. The UN isn't getting anything done because of Russian intransigence. The Russians are also upset about Egerton Sykes' expedition up Mt. Ararat to look for Noah's Ark, which they think is a cover for MI6 skulduggery. The Russians also think that American skyscrapers are substandard compared with the ones that will be built in Moscow soon.

Foreign Tides with Joseph K. Philips is on the fourth installment of "Sources of Russian-American Tension" Considering that the column is an extended discussion of American-Bolshevik relations in 1919 and 1920, with a final, weak leap to 1949, as though to say, "And so today," I can only imagine how little ground was covered in the first three parts, and how many it is going to take for Philips to find his footing securely in 1949.

The Isaacs interview with Ho Chi Minh was supposedly carried out over shortwave radio, and might be summarised as Ho Chi Minh being the Tito of Asia.

In Canada, the Prime Minister is on a pre-election tour, while Freda Linton has turned herself into the RCMP on charges of being a Communist spy, and in Latin America, it is the turn of Panamanians and Puerto Ricans to be excitable.


The big story is the upcoming Montgomery Ward general meeting, with the faint possibility that Avery Sewell will go, leading to a reprinting of that picture. In Alabama, Leroy Springs, of Springs Cotton Mills, has decided that the depths of the recession is just the time to reequip his seven mills, because the market has probably bottomed. Newsweek's coverage of the American Car and Foundry deal with the Oriol family's for a "revolutionary" new aluminum train for the Pyrenees-Madrid run gets more coverage than Time, but no nice picture. Besides being light, the new cars are uniquely designed so that they fit together, have a lower centre of gravity, and can, in general, take curves faster. Mexico is seeking business for a proposed rail route across the isthmus in the middle of the country that would be 1600 miles shorter than the Panama Canal route, and cheaper, too.

Trends and Changes reports that the price of coal is going down, while American Casualty is makig history by offering accident policies to the blind, and at only one fifth higher a rate than for the able-bodied! British rubber producers are trying to sell American state-highway departments on "rubber highways" of asphalt mixed with one-third to one ton of powdered natural rubber per mile.

The Tucker Company's court-appointed trustees say that there is no way they can manufacture cars, as the company has no assembly lines or other facilities. The "War against Self-Service," Californian style self-pumping gas, has hit New Jersey, the latest of ten states to ban it on various pretexts. Newsweek polls manufacturers and establishes that none of them are interested in providing a small car to the American market. A Nash prototype has been seen around and about, but it isn't really serious. Neither is the proposed Chrysler businessman's coupe, or other trial balloons. As Charles Wilson of GM points out, "you strip out value faster than you strip out cost," although it is also an issue that the big companies have sunk a quarter-billion dollars into assembly lines dedicated to making big, existing cars.

What's New reports that Owens-Illinois has a prismatic glass block designed to spread sunlight around a room. They're intended to be installed above windows to reflect the light downwards. Abbott Industries has packages with adjustable spouts that do away with the need for funnels. Motorola has a 12 pound portable phonograph player for 45rpm only. G. W. Carbert of Birmingham, Michigan, has a combined fire, burglary and flood alarm.

Business Tides with Henry Hazlitt Socialism-Boo-Scaries that "The Welfare State Runs Wild." He doesn't like the Administration's farm price subsidy programme, of course. I mean, what do you expect? But Brannan made some kind of comment about how giving the farmer's money will boost purchasing power and increase demand for industrial goods, which leads Hazlitt into one of his patent oh-so-much-smarter-than-you lectures about how this is just a "transfer," and that any schoolboy can tell you that transferring spending power from the taxpayer to the farmer will just reduce spending power by the cost of the programme.

. . . Unless the farmer is more inclined to spend than "the taxpayer." I mean, that's Keynes' fndamental point! At least take a moment to refute the argument, Henry! I'm sure you've heard it. Oh, wait, it's almost as though he's not really interested in making an argument at all.

Speaking of loathsome people being loathsome, the feature about Anderson follows, which is in music, which I normally ignore, but not this time, Hazlitt, you worm.

Science, Medicine

There are two golf courses in the City of Vancouver and one on the adjacent
Endowment Lands. That's why we need more residential density.
"Young Man with a Bomb" Ralph E. Lapp, a "blond, athletic nuclear physicist" who has spent his entire career in atomic bombs (it helps to know that he is 31, or you really feel old!) comes bearing happy news about atom bombs, which seems to be that they are not so bad, as the radioactive contamination at Bikini was probably overblown and won't be repeated, and radioactive mutants aren't so bad, either, and radioactive dust isn't so bad, because it decays. However, atomic blasts are quite bad, so his solution is to build "satellite cities" that will be immune to atomic war by virtue of being so spread out.

"Early Corn" Two graduate students in archaeology and botany at Harvard  and Herbert Dick and C. Earle found 4500 year-old corn cobs in a cave near Mexico City, which suggests that it has been around for a long time, and, as I read the article, perhaps did not evolve from a grass called teosinte, which was previously thought to be the origin of maize corn.

"Cancer and the Mouse Dairy" Dr. John Bittner, who believes that he has identified a virus that might be responsible for certain forms of breast cancer, has a study of mouse milk that has, for the first time, identified a viral cause of cancer. It is not currently known if there is a "milk factor" in human breast cancer. That is, if a mother transmits a possibly breast cancer-causing virus to their offspring via their milk.

"Mongolism Findings" Dr. Clemens E. Brenda, of the Harvard Medical School, and psychiatric director of the Walter E. Fernard School of Waverley, Massachusetts, has found that mongolism is not hereditary, but rather caused by a growth deficiency in the fetus, caused by "an abnormal condition" in the mother at the time. This causes the child to be born "unfinished," or "physiologically immature." Age plays an important role. Only one child in 8000 is mongoloid in mothers born between 20 and 24, but the figure rises to 12.5% in mothers between 45 and 47. Previous difficult pregnancies and thyroid deficiencies are also contributory factors.

"Aide of the Year" Roland J. Braun, a psychiatric aide at the Milwaukee County Asylum, has successfully removed physical restraints from 32 patients, reinforcing the National Mental Health Foundation's belief that such restraints are rarely actually needed. Brand's ward seems more like a "club room" than an asylum, and he himself claims that there is no "secret method;" you just have to make friends with the patients and their relatives. Education features a private school headmaster retiring and a Latin instructor who makes his subject relevant by coining new Latin phrases.

Radio and Television, Press, People

You can fly to Madeira and back ten times for the cost
of a new car, and easily buy a new house for the price of 10
The prediction of the week comes from Merlin Aylesworth, the first president of NBC, who says that television networks will wipe out radio within three years, while Mrs. Anthony J. Perra, who won an elephant in a radio jackpot, showed wifely acumen by selling it back to the circus that donated it for $2000, instead of keeping it as a family pet, as you can imagine someone doing(?!) Miami's radio stations are carrying a joint public service announcement naming locals with a criminal record and suggesting that they are up to no good. Miami's police chief points out that this is "not helpful."

Ireene Wicker, the Singing Lady, has moved from radio to television, where she wears a wig and a gown, and carries a wand. Press has a profile of the President's host, Ding Darling. I had no idea that Hoover was staying with a famous editorial cartoonist. I asked Wong Lee about it, and he pointed out that the man is practically retired, so no great loss. I have a feeling that that isn't how it would have gone if he'd caught a bullet! Oh, well, sometimes things just end up for the best. And a mountain in Pennsylvania has been named for Joe Palooka, which is only fair, because Ham Fisher used to live nearby. The new LA Mirror gets a puff, and a new scandal in Illinois, as it is revealed that 33 Illinois newspaper editors and publishers, mostly with downstate weeklies, were on the government payroll during Governor Dwight Green's two terms, drawing an annual payroll of $305,682.

Newsweek's photographers catch some exotic dancers brawling in New York before whipping up to Seattle, where Pappy Boyington is showing off his actress wife in the old hometown, thanks to the money he is making in his very dignified jobs as part-time actor and wrestling referee. Harold Laski threatened LA with Russian atom bombs because his invitation to give a talk at the University of California was withdrawn(!!!) Eleven-year-old Shirley Anne Martin of Syracuse, New York, has a statue of St. Anne that cries miraculous tears, leading to her house becoming a healing shrine besieged by the "crippled and devout" for three days last week. George Bostwick has divorced, Harvey Firestone has been elected national president of the USO, Wallace Beery has died, of a heart attack, Newsweek says.

After this little misunderstanding, they combine to activate
his giant cannon --Look, I'm just the stenographer.
Movies has reviews of Tulsa, in which Susan Howard gets to fight it out with oilmen and romance a geologist. Well, if he's right for you, I guess, dearLucrezia Borgia would know what to do if he weren't. In Bride of Vengeanceshe even --almost-- poisons John Lund! And if she could get a look at the way Newsweek leers at her (or Paulette Goddard, playing her), there'd be a bit more poison on the way! "If you like straight Hollywood, this is it."

Follows a long article about the guy who runs location shoots in New York for the city. Interesting, but not for here.

Books catches up with Kenneth Roberts, who has an autobiography out, and Pearl Buck, who makes a break from her recent spate of "second-rate novels" with Kinfolk, which Newsweek loved. Three books, by Andre Fancourt, Major George Elliot, and Quentin Howards, are about how the non-democracies are terrible. Communists mostly, but Fancourt is on about the Nazis, for balance. Elliot, by the way, thinks that Russia will win a hot war against the West, but is losing the cold war, which strikes me as a less optimistic picture than he thinks it is.

Flight, 28 April 1949


"British Air Transport" This is a special air transport issue.

"The Search for Knowledge" Flight went to the 47th Annual Wright Lecture, given by Dr. Hugh Dryden, Director of Aeronautical Research for NACA. He reminds everyone that aeronautical research comes by hard work, not "some chance inspiration." Flight reminds us that it is also cost and manpower-intensive.

"Paris Tomorrow" Flight is going to the Paris Air Show, but doesn't hold it against any British firm if it doesn't, due to the expense.

"Paris Once Again" Paris is very nice. Lots of British firms won't be there, for one reason or another. There will be a model of the Supermarine Attacker, and those swell Vickers reclining aircraft seats. The Gyrodyne won't be there, because it crashed. Bristol will show off the latest marks of the Centaurus and Hercules, in case some foreigners lose their minds and buy a sleeve valve; also, the Proteus. There will be models and pictures of the Brabazon, Wayfarer and Brigand. Vickers will have models of the Viscount, and there are rumours that the swept-wing version of the ATtacker will be shown, if it can be ready in time. A Mamba will be exhibited, and yet more models.

In shorter notes, It has recently been announced that the Vampire 6 is good for 499mph at 45,000ft. Later Vampire models are probably even better.

"A. Viator," "Some Thoughts on Air Transport: An Operator Ponders --Not Too Seriously-- On What the Passenger is Offered" Flying is quite nice, except for the part about being on a plane, which the author stoutly denies is unpleasant in any way at all. Better than a bad hotel, he says! More expensive, too. . .

Shorter notes on this page cover the latest USN Goodyear blimp, which is better than the last one, and the recent death of yet another prominent glider pilot, Terence Horsley, who, at 45, leaves a wido and three children.

"Transport for Tomorrow" Flight is very excited by the Viscount, Apollo, Marathon, Brabazon and Saro Princess. Critics of the Brabazon and Princess, who want something smaller and faster, will be forced to eat their hats when the Comet comes out. The Bristol 175 will be more conventional, although still better than current American types, when it comes out with four Centaurus engines. It will be still better when a four-Proteus variant emerges. The Hermes VI will be a much lighter improvement on the Hermes IV, and the Blackburn Universal Freighter sounds just like the Wayfarer, only bigger, and designed specifically for short ranges.

Here and There
"The major problems of the T40 were its fragile gearbox, and the propeller
control system which used 25 
vacuum tubes, and was far from reliable."
Italics mine.

The version of the Vampire being manufactured in France has been identified as the FB51, and it has the Ghost D.G.t.3. The Shackleton has a 120ft span, is 77ft 6" long, and 17ft 6" high. It has two forward-firing barbettes, a dorsal and a tail turret with a total of 4 20mm cannons and 2 .50 calibre machine guns. Fluid de-icing is provided. The United States has been cancelled!!! (Hold on to that thought for a second.) Ninety-five RAF transports are now available for the Berlin Airlift, which will be able to lift 10,000t a day by the end of the summer. On 12 April, in an "all out effort," the Airlift moved 12,840 short tons into Berlin. Flight reports that Aviation Week reports that the B-36's performance will be improved from 372mph at 40,000ft to 500mph at 50,000ft by the extension of its wings to a 230ft span, and the installation of six Allison T-40 turboprops. Fifty B-36s have been built, with 184 more on the way, and all will receive the four J-47 turbojet wing-tip pods. The US Armed Forces Chemical Journal reports that the United States has between 200 and 300 atom bombs and is producing them at the rate of one per week at a cost of £25,000 each. 

Now, about the United States. We haven't heard a lot about it, because it was laid down without an appropriation, allowing the Navy to keep it at least semi-secret. Reggie has kept me up to date with it, because it was a giant aircraft carrier, intended to launch atom bomb-armed aircraft. As you know, the standard specification for an atom-bomber is that it can lift a 10,000lb bomb. And while it is our understanding that the actual weight of the "package" can be a bit lower, and will go down with the next bomb design, which is a super-secret fact known only to those with access to Navy gossip, right now the only Navy plane that can carry one is the latest patrol bomber, the P2V Neptune; the Navy has accordingly been firing off existing carriers on the odd occasion over the last two years to show that such a thing is actually possible. That's because the Neptune isn't by the wildest stretch of the imagination a carrier-capable aircraft. It can barely wallow off, but it certainly can't land back on, something that I've complained about before, along the lines of preferring that the Navy not schedule my fiance for any kamikaze missions. Although my  vision of married life also doesn't include domestic bliss in a post-atomic world, so there's that to think about.

By the time the United States was in service, the Neptune would have been replaced by a carrier-capable atom-bomber, probably the North American XAJ-1. As Reggie points out, the way the Navy does things, it's no surprise that they've ordered a plane that would put the carrier fly boys back in charge of the important stuff. In the mean time, the patrol bomber crowd would get the privilege of flying off one of the sacred carriers now and then, just to show willing to Congress. This would have meant flying off the Midways and the Essex-class as they're converted, which Reggie thought was a bit of a hot tamale, if you know what I mean. It's not that flying XAJs off United States (or, more importantly, landing back on) would have been that much safer. Jets and carriers don't really mix; unless the British experiments with rubber decks work out.  But! The patrol bombers could go back to taking off from land, as God intended them to do. No United States means dealing with the fact that Congress is funding two atomic air forces, apparently so that the admirals can keep their jobs. Reggie is not keen on that, because he is attached to his career, and would rather not be declared redundant.

I told him that he would make a very cute waiter and could bring in the tips and look after the babies while I do my law degree. He didn't think that was very funny.

Dr. B. O'Kane and M. I. Forsyth-Grant, "Air Radio: Modern Civil-Aviation Aids Reviewed" This is a strange article. After all I've read on this subject, I know perfectly well that any attempt to "review" this enormous field would require a magazine the size of a catalogue. These authors have five pages. They could just define a bunch of categories and each make a rating out of five or ten, but that would upset the advertisers. Instead they list the categories, generalise about what all the makes in each category look like, and maybe discuss one or two notable ones. I write this because I have a clear line or two above what turns out, as read, as a pretty savage epitome. I guess I'm getting less patient with blatant wastes of my time. If you couldn't tell from the way I read The Economist. 

It starts out with a paragraph about how radio aids for air navigation have improved over the last decade, and boils it down to "war aids" for navigationn, and VHF for short-ranged "control." Is that all? That's all! Next, it looks at what London Airport has: Twenty-one equipments for air navigation and control, and five for airfield control. A "review" would go on forever! Then we're back to VHF radiotelephone as apparently the only important one. GE, Marconi and Pye all make them. They come in low-power (5-15w), "larger" models (50w). EMI and Dictaphone build these, as well as the first three. Dictaphone? Perhaps for the automatically recording one that was mentioned in Notices to Airmen? Now, whenever I am epitomising, I am afraid of putting in "largest" because then I will turn the page and find out that the author is going on to treat something even larger. So it is, this time, with, I guess, largerer ones of 300W to 5kW. They're for "area control," though. That is, the authors started out by defining VHF radiotelephone control as happening within five miles of the tower, but there are also longer range ones, so to make the first distinction make sense, we need a new job for the big ones. "Area control." But in my care to make sure that I didn't muff up the list, I missed the value of the new category, which is that the authors could stop and take a breath at the "larger" stage and give the tiniest taste of an actual review by discussing the Rediffusion transmitter/receiver GR49 and Standard Telephone DU2. Yes, neither STT nor Diffuser were mentioned in my list of makes, above. Because there are too many to list, so why would we? It's just a "review"!

Skipping over any details of "area control" transmitter/receivers, "[m]ention should also be made of recent developments in regard to frequency-shift telegraphy and radio teleprinter equipment." Mention made! (The British Telecommunications Research, Ltd.'s equipment is best.) Now we can move on to navigational aids. People still use beacons in all three frequency bands, and Marconi makes a good one. The Instrument Landing System comes along to start a new paragraph. It uses 21 lines to cover glide-path transmitter, marker beacons and localiser, and prominent manufactures. The superceded Standard Beam Approach gets another paragraph, although a shorter one, followed by GCA, followed by all forms of position finding, including Decca. Deep breath, on to Aircraft Equipment. Following on from using London Airport as an exemplar, the authors list the  six equipments installed on the North Star and Hermes. But they are big airplanes, so they also list the 3 installations on the Dove. It seems as though there would be many, many equipments of various types by many different manufacturers to list and review, so, just to be fair, none are reviewed in this section. Instead, we move on to categories, beginning with communications. Here I learn --hold on to your hat!-- that VHF radiotelephones are becoming standard!

"Navigational aids" is mostly the aircraft side of the aids already mentioned on the ground side for airports. I read, and am saddened, that Cossor has a miniaturised Gee equipment that will come into mass production next year, because that means that the company's investment has been cruelly undercut by the Air Ministry giving up on Gee. Then we end with a half-page on gadgets either unready (collision avoidance radar) or unlikely (airborne teleprinters for receiving weather maps in flight.)

"British Transport Aircraft" This is a "survey" of types in operation. This could be a much shorter article than the last one, but then the advertisers would be upset. So be prepared to hear about the Airspeed Consul, Avro XIX,  and Short Solent! I learn, by the way, that the Hermes is currently outfitted to carry 40 passengers, although 63 are planned. So it seems Aviation Week is right about the Hermes coming in overweight. Bad news for everyone. Is there any reason, noise apart, for BOAC to stick with the Hermes for Empire routes now that it has the North Star? Everyone still likes the Viscount, but no-one's ordered it yet.

"Air Transport Equipment" A list of British companies that service aircraft and their equipment goes on for pages.

"Britain's Helicopters: Progress Towards Commercial Utilisation" Air Horse, Gyrodyne,Bristol 171 and Westland-Sikorsky. Also, the Cierva Skeeter, the tiny helicopter that originally had a Jameson engine, but which is now being modified to take a Gipsy. I hadn't heard about this one in months.

Civil Aviation News

ICAO's upcoming London meeting will deal with Atlantic LORAN stations and Denmark's claim for compensation for operating the Greenland weather station network, which is quite expensive, and serves Atlantic commercial flying, of which only 1.7% is Danish. London Airport is getting an approach way of low-intensity GEC lights and another of high-intensity lights suitable for nights on which visibility falls as low as 200yds.

"The British Corporations and Their Associated Airlines: How and Where They Operate" A good review of the three public corporations.

"The Research Scene: Reviewed by an NACA Director: To-night's Wilbur Wright Memorial Lecture" Dr. Dryden reviews current fields of NACA research: A new approach to plasticity theory; scale effects in wind tunnels; and new heat-resisting materials, especially ceramics and metals.

"Air Charter Guide: What Private Enterprise Offers the Public" A list of British charter airlines.  There's quite a lot of them.

"Bought From Abroad: American and Canadian Transports in British Service" Stratocruiers, Canadair Four (not North Star, here), Dakotas, old DC-4s, the Constellation. Special attention is given to the DC-3s converted in Britain, by Scottish Aviation, I think? They have quite a bit of radio for communications and navigations, which, of course, reflects the two-seat cockpit that is such a challenge for bad weather navigation of Dakotas. Miniaturised aircraft radio equipment is quite the booming field, not even mentioning the "micro-electronics" needed for guided missiles.

"The Ministry of Aviation and Air Transport: Its Organisation and Functions Explained"  As if this isn't enough, there's also an article listing all the public organisations.


D. House writes that the large aircraft piston engine isn't doomed, because what about the new American VDT engine. This would be a much stronger argument if all of the VDT orders hadn't ben cancelled. R. P. Wilkinson thinks that RNVR flying clubs should jump on Tiger Moths, because they are very cheap, which also misses the point, but more credibly than D. House. House is beating what seems to be a dead horse. Wilkinson is too kind on the latest "hat" issue, which is that the flying clubs would like someone else to pay for them to fiddle about in Spitfires. T. Braun writes to suggest a "large, long-endurance interceptor" to deal with attacking bombers. They would launch, remain airborne for 24 hour patrols, thanks to air-to-air refuelling, extra tankage and "engines in pairs that can be switched off to cruise on half power." They would cruise at various points and altitudes so that one would always be available to intercept. He is imagining something in the 100,000lbs range(!), and the result could also escort long range bombers to their targets. He wonders if anything like this has ever been done before.

Engineering, 29 April 1949

"The British Industry Fair at Birmingham, I" This is going to be a long-running exhibit, and the fair organisers were still setting up when Engineering dropped by. (Specifically, they were painting a wall that would be used to screen home movies about particularly exciting machinery.) You know how it goes: the correspondent oohs and ahhs at things that aren't necessarily exciting. I won't judge! I'm still amazed at that contraption that can turn two photographs into a contour map, but this one is the usual hodge-podge of machine tools and switchgears and construction equipment. Should the Earl be inclined, I think the great-nephews will like the giant crane, but don't book a whole day for it unless you really like locomotives with unusual flanges (I skimmed, so I'm not sure why they have flanges) and giant circuit breakers --which at least comes back to the Mason pamphlet from the 15th. I know I mocked, but when you've got millions of amps running at 220,000 volts, you really need a circuit breaker, and it has to do something a lot more arduous than the annoying, snapping fuze in your bathroom that always goes when you try to run a curler and a razor at the same time. (This hair does not do itself!)

"Cubist" architecture is not what I imagined when I
did the image search, although it seems like it uses
aluminum for weight saving, so there you go. 
W. Stanley Hinde, "The Economics of Aluminum Alloy Superstructure" This is actually a response to a session at the recent Royal Institution of Naval Architects that wandered away from the main theme of safety of lives at sea, and also engages with some other papers of the last three weeks on aluminum. It's still interesting, and Hinde gets the last word as a builder of tramp steamers --for example, as I said, ones that need temporary "'tween decks that can be used vertically," which I am imagining as temporary bulwarks, although I might be using words wrong. Are 'tween decks "superstructure"? Quite possibly! At one point he discusses putting economisers (the heaters that use fuel exhaust to heat up feedwater) above the boilers, which was a trick he introduced in 1939 and which would be easier with an aluminum superstructure, since you get more space with less weight. Point is, if the ship's hull volume in which you put economisers is "superstructure," I am not sure what the word means. Perhaps it is non-strength members? That might be selling aluminum short (my bill is in the mail, Uncle Henry!), but, as Hinde says, it is up to the industry to provide safe aluminum, not up to shipbuilders to prove it safe. Overall, he is very excited about the possibilities of aluminum for improving the maximum cargo capacity of cargo ships by making them more "cubic" so they can hold more cargo.

(Yes, fire risk comes up in the Institution discussion. They are more interested in aluminum's loss of strength at  low temperatures, not flammability.)

G. C. J. Dalton's "Nuclear Reactors for Power Stations" is a precis of a longer talk, which I don't think does it justice. Up to this point, nuclear reactors have consumed power --a lot of it-- rather than generating it. It seems as though they would be fine "heat engines," but the open question is whether the neutrons they produce can be contained by "moderators." For there to be a power-producing, sustained reaction, the neutrons given off by fissioning U-235, plutonium, and, even, under the right conditions, U-238, as well as U-233 made by fissioning thorium, have to be slowed down and redirected to hit more atoms and fission them, producing more neutrons, etc. There are a number of "moderators" of different value that might be used with the various possible fuels. And, to add a wrinkle, given how expensive fuel is, there is the question of burning fuels that produce more fuel in the waste. Uranium 235 producing plutonium from the U-238 it is mixed with, is one example. That aside, and possibly the thorium one, there don't seem to be other "breeding" reactions. That's bad news for atomic power generation, because there is not much uranium in the world, and the amount of U-235 in it is very low.

"Road Bridge over the River Havel in the British Sector of Berlin" The Havel River bisects busy parts of Berlin, so it needs a good bridge. Unfortunately, the Russians and Germans blew up the old one while playing Liberators and War Criminals in 1945, and the British Army's handy-dandy Bailey bridge broke down under the weight of traffic from the airports during the blockade. So the job of replacing it was handed over to the Berlin authorities with the help of the RE (and the REME, which provided heavy vehicles, which are a bit short in Berlin). They scavenged pillars and girders from the dismantled Siemens plant to make quite a spiffy bridge that gets  a good, long-form, old time Engineering article, like in back in the days when we didn't take it for granted that engineers build bridges, that's what they're for, that sort of thing.

The High Bench of the British Standards Associations proclaims the proper way to make Photographic Safelight Screens and Steel Plate, Sheet and Strip, on this their island of Grand Britain. Hear and Obey! Actually, the last one is a bit misleading, since it is actually only specifications for 11 grades of chromium steel.


"Public Relations" Engineering is very, very upset at the way that public relations is handled at the ministries and companies, and reminds both about the difference between a press agent and a publicity agent, which is very, very important. It reminds both how very, very good it is to hire actual journalists from the technical magazines for this job, as only they can do it right. It doesn't actually say that, but this is one of those leaders that seems to strain with the effort to not say something blatantly self-interested, so that's how I choose to read it. Not what I expect from Engineering. Leave it to a shameless magazine like The Economist. Or Flight, nowadays. Sad sigh.

"Electricity Supply in 1946--7" The usual tale of ever upwards, ever onwards is hard to sustain looking back on the year of the Great Freeze. Engineering points out that the report achieves that by completely ignoring the six week period when Britain came to a halt in late winter for lack of coal. The Report does mention the progress of oil-fuel "undertakings" that year, which is an indirect measure of the impact of the coal shortage. I understand this trend is reversing already, which isn't surprising considering that Britain is built on coal and has practically no oil; but it could reverse again if the coal miners can't "reconstruct" their industry!

Notes, besides mentioning the Magdalena disaster, sits in for this year's Clayton Lecture, which was by E. G. Bailey, of America. He talked about the "Invention and Sifting-Out of Engineering Facts." Dr. Bailey thinks that inventions are quite important, and that it is alarming that there are fewer of them nowadays. He stoutly denies that the American practice of assigning inventions to employers has had any impact. Meetings of the other Institutions produced mainly procedural and educational talks, but Sir Edward Appleton told the Institution of Electrical Engineers about a new invention, "television," which may have some impact on their lives in the future.

Letters is taken up, the whole page, by C. K. Crookshank on the metric system. His point is that metrification is good, and that defenders of the British system are a bit silly. He wants to illustrate this by looking at measurement standardisation in China, which was even harder than in Britain, because not only was its taditional system of chis and shis, piculs and caddies, eccentric, it also varied from province to province. So the Koumintang set out on a two-step reform, first standardising same, and then, at some point in the distant future, going to metric. That's all very interesting, but then he wanders off to currency reform, pointing out that the colonial authorities in East and West Africa didn't even try to bring in the British currency system of eleventy seventh bits to the guinea to seventy million guineas to the weighing one pound more because you ate so much toffee.

. . .

I think other people have probably made better fun of "furlongs per fortnight" than I ever can, but that's not my job here, which is to point out that this very long and interesting letter wanders a bit as it covers all the silly ways people measure things and the silly ways they justify it. Bad Mr. Crookshanks! Bad!

Somehow, Messrs. Holden and Brook get an article in about their new circulator pump for water heating. Perhaps it is because an entire page of blurbs about meetings (and the Institute of Metals, still on about casting base metals) would otherwise have no pictures to draw one's eyes?

Launches and Trial Trips has MS British Workman, Landy II, Wimborne, Jon Porlarrson, Elin Haven, Delphic, Atlantic Empress and Carpentaria; and a lonely SS Lancer, a mere single-screw trawler. Associated news is that the Navy has passed a floating dock th rough the Panama Canal on its side, supported by "a large number" of pontoons and towed by six tugs. Let's see the Air Force do that! Or not, Ronnie says, immediately imagining a B-36 doing a roll under the Golden Gate Bridge. Or trying.

Labour Notes is concerned with "hidden unemployment" in the engineering industry in the form of reduced shifts and cut overtime, and meetings of the NUM and United Railworkers where wage demands or time of in lieu were floated.

"A Test Bed for Internal Combustion Engines" gets an article, again perhaps mainly so that a gray page could be spruced up with a photograph.

And lastly for the month, an over-the-transom look at seven books that Engineering lacks the space to review at length. A. P. Young's Coal, in the "World of Industry" series, is a popular tract, a little weak on technical detail, but just the thing for the young. A. H. Haycock's Sawing and Planing [available at Trove], on the other hand, is just the thing for the beginning machinist of wood, or, really, anyone. Can't recommend too highly, unlike Robert Hutchinson's Elementary Technical Electricity, which is pitched at a market that just isn't there --wrong material for the National Certificates and not advanced enough for later studies. L. Urwick's A Short Survey of Industrial Management is "well-written," and Engineering applauds the conclusion that too much of management theory is "opinion," not science. Films about Metals is a catalogue that no torture chamber should be without.

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