Sunday, November 17, 2019

Postblogging Technology, August 1949, II: Axis of the World

R_. C_.,

Dear Father:

Well, here it is, another summer over. No matter for me, for I am a daring naval aviator now, but Ronnie is on to law school and the legendary rigours of First Year Law, which, in a single year, determines whether you will sit on the Supreme Court or chase ambulances. Horror stories are told of the "Socratic method," which apparently involves professors humiliating their students one after another in class. Ronnnie is looking forward to  it. 

I know, I'm frightened, too. But I did rent a truck and move Ronnie down to Palo Alto! Moving, it seems to me, is a big part of this whole thing. She only has to study, while I have to double clutch. Also, I have to be seen dead in Palo Alto, something I feel keenly even though I have difficulty explaining to anyone just why I find it so offensive. (It's got Herbert Hoover, that's why.) 

Your Loving Son,

(A portrait of Harvard Law roughly seventeen years after Ronnie's first year. My fond memories are of watching the tv series on Showtime while attending Okanogan College It's been many years, but I still remember the theme music. I might have been a bit naive about the university experience.)

Time, 15 August 1949


Harry Lloyd was a Freemason, says the article. Freemasons are great, say more correspondents than I can count. Two writers have differing opinions about the barrels used to age whiskey, but Marron Fort is a chemical engineer and says that the industry does it for a reason, so that's that for me. The Managing Director of the Daily Express objects to it being called a rag. Barron Beshoar, the chief of Time's Denver bureau, is a fine journalist, who tracked down the last of the Barker brothers.

National Affairs

"Raising Up and Tearing Down" The White House and Capital are being renovated, the White House being the bigger job, and an analogy with American foreign policy occurs. Europe is being renovated, China is being torn down. Then Time goes on to the White Paper on China and says the same thing again until way down in the middle it is time to say bad things about the State Department, nice things about the church lady lobby (John Davis Lodge and Arthur Vandenberg), and bad things again about anyone who wanted to have truck with the Communists (Stilwell, Marshall, Wallace, Pat Hurley) before finally endorsing the Wedemeyer report. If only America had started giving another couple billion in 1947, but this time coupled with effective domestic reforms, everything would have been different. 

"To Do the Needful" Congress finally passed the military aid bill before  going on summer vacation. Also, Frank Boykin and Sam Rayburn are corrupt Southern Democrats, and John Maragon came from Missouri (hint, hint) to corrupt them. Also some more, Time was completely wrong about who would be the next RNC chairman. It was someone that the Taft people put forward, but it was a New Jersey lawyere named Guy Gabrielson. Also yet again, Eleanor Roosevelt and Cardinal Spellman have kissed and made up over parochial schooling. And even more again, Time is still following the fight in Virginia between the Byrd machine and the cartoon cat that got in its way. 

"Displaced Person" The wildcat steelworkers' strike in Omaha against the (unnamed) employer of Displaced Person Eugene Stefan is over. Stefan was fired, which sounds like the worst kind of bigotry until you appreciate that the miracle that got Stefan to Omaha might be linked to the fact that his cousin is, somehow, a Republican Congressman in the Nebraska delegation. Also in news that paints the labour movement in a bad light, the dock strike in Hawaii is continuing. 

"Where the Money Goes" Americans paid $54.5 billion in taxes last year, an all-time record totalling an average of $372 for every American. 

"I'm Awful Thankful" The UMW's new pension fund is funded by a 90 cent due per ton of coal. It has taken in $90 million in the last twelve months, but is still $14 million in the hole due to the enormous backlog of misery as it pays out $174 on average in death benefits to the 32,000 survivors of coal miners killed on the job, $64 million on disability and $30 million on the $100-a-month pension fund, plus $5 million for health and medical services. But that's not what the Senate Banking and Currency committee, which elicited this information and the tragic testimony of various beneficiaries, was concerned about. What it was concerned about was that two of the fund's three trustees are taking in $35,000 a year. (The third, John Lewis, is also making too much, but not from the fund.) One of those trustees, it turns out, is Styles Bridges, who already makes $12,500 plus a $2500 expense account for being a (R, Conn.) Senator. Bridges told his colleagues to shove off. Trusteeing is hard and thirsty work. 

Big Belt fire
"Cricket Coogler's Revenge" Cricket, a teenaged "barfly" in Las Cruces, New Mexico, was murdered and buried in a shallow grave near the town last year. Sheriff A. L. ("Happy") Apocaca responded by putting Jerry Nuzum, a Philadelphia Steeler player, in jail under "voluntary arrest." When a reporter managed to talk his way in to see him, it turned out that Apodcaca was holding him incommunicado while trying to extort a confession. This, it turned out, was standard practice, and the upshot is that he was indicted for several rapes, his gambling joints were raided, and his patron, Dan Sedillo, was also indicted on Coogler-murdering-like charges. Time likes this story because New Mexico is as Democratic as Nebraska is Republican.

If you're missing Americana, it's all true crime stories and a Massachusetts man who made his children sit through a reading of an officially notarised statement denying that he  had any part in the "Roosevelt dynasty." Stay healthy, my Republican friends!


"Traveling Show" The Joint Chiefs caught a ride to Europe in the President's plane to hang out with all the other generals for summer vacation and do general things like announce that there will be a military alliance very soon and the Communists better watch out, but only if they invade, because it is a defensive alliance. Cross our hearts, hope to die. 

"'No One is Astonished'" The Council of Europe and the Consultative Assembly met in Strasbourg. The first part is a boring The Economist story where they say the same thing again and again until you are completely distracted when something new happens. The second part is the new thing. Oops,, because while it is in the middle of a long and boring paragraph about the same things all over again,  it is the last paragraph instead of the middle, so if you read up from the bottom, you actually hear about it. You'd never catch The Economist doing that! Ask The Economist to check your copy next time. Anyway, the Consultative Assembly is basically the Congress of the United States of Europe, in case it exists some day.

"On Condition" Time wastes three whole paragraphs telling off a magazine called United Nations World for giving the Soviet point of view, because telling us what the Soviets are saying is Russian "propaganda."

"The Beginnings" Germany is having an election. The two main parties are the Christian Democrats and Socialists, and both are very critical of the occupation powers and each other, and there is even a tiny Nazi party. It is not very democratic. Kurt Schumacher, of the Socialists is a "violent champion of the separation of church and state," while his opponent, Konrad Adenauer, has a "smooth and sibilant way." Germans are so funny. And threatening.  Also, now that the Berlin Blockade is over, we can all move on to the next stage of being very nostalgic for it, because unemployment was low and Berlin was getting ECA aid. Like it is now. The important thing is, it wasn't for a few weeks there.

Also, now that Brigadier General Howley, the American Military Governor of Berlin has resigned to go back to his old job at the Philadelphia advertising firm, Frank Howley and Associates, the army is going to put a professional in charge, General Maxwell Taylor. He will also command the US garrison, which was a split job under Howley, because, come on, he was an ad executive in 1941. 

The war was another time.
Also in the news is the Aga Khan and Rita Hayworth, who were held up at tommy gun point on their way to the plane from their place at Deauville. The bandits got away with a cool eight hundred grand in insured jewelry. Unh hunh. Sure. Also, "[b]achelor Norman Kennedy, 40," of the Amalgamated Society of Woodworkers, was fired from his job with the union for being a Communist and for criticising the cost of remodelling Clarence House for Princess Elizabeth and her new family. It's pretty low for Henry Luce's organ to make a point of Kennedy being a forty-year-old bachelor, I have to say. Yes, I know that Henry did the proper thing and married a harridan so that he could go on exploring Whittaker Chambers' cavities, if you know what I mean, but he doesn't live with Clare Boothe Luce.

Also, two stories from Hungary showing that Communism is bad. The first is an unconfirmed (and false) report that the head of the Hungarian secret police had committed suicide in prison, while the second makes fun of the journalism at Budapest's Free People weekly. Also, in Czechoslovakia, Communism was bad for banning marriage advertisements in the paper, because Communism hates marriage, while communism in Yugoslavia is good because it hates Stalin. And in Canada, or Italy, or Poland, or Siberia, Communism is bad because Jan Olechny went from being a farmer in Minsk to being a farmer in Canada by way of the Anders Army. 

"The Angry Dwarf"  An un-named Chinese gangster called "the Dwarf" shot a possible fellow participant in the recent $2 million gold hijacking at Bangkok airport and then escaped. Pramote Prathuengphong is in jail under protective custody, while his chauffeur, a guest in his house and his eight-year-old niece are dead in the tragic but completely ineffectual hit. Also, because Asians are funny, a man named Fusao Negichi was arrested last week for pickpocketing on the Tokyo subway. Now that's news! (The "Dwarf" is news, because a cool two million in gold vanished at Bangkok airport and a former police captain is in custody with no sign of the gold. Which is about as smelly as the Aga Khan being robbed of almost a million in insured jewelry.) 

"A Matter of Despair" The Communists, and stop me if you've heard this somewhere, are winning in China. Changsha fell this week, Canton is next. Time is upset because both Koumintang generals commanding in Human province went over to the Communists. 

In ever-picturesque Latin America, an earthquake in and around Ambato killed "uncounted thousands," with Shell pitching in by crashing a plane carrying 34 would-be rescuers with no survivors. Ecuador is promising that Ambato will be rebuilt as a modern and quake-proof city. In Peru, the Army and Air Force recently set out to find the Lake of El Dorado, near Moyobambo and failed, although the remnants of the expedition became the first white men known to have visited the village of Angayza. In Honduras, the United Fruit Company has been accused of "rustling clouds" with its cloud-seeding operations.

Business and Finance

"Risks and Taxes" When asked what the Government could do about the recession, FRB chairman Tom McCabe said that the problem was a shortage of risk capital, and that this could be best addressed by reducing and simplifying taxes, eliminating the "double taxation" of dividends, getting rid of the tax-free status of municipal bonds, and assorted changes in carry forward and carry back provisions. This would free up money for investment, not in the Western frontier, but the new "frontier . . . [of] technology."

"Spotty" As we watch the business news and try to figure out whether the business recession is over, getting better, the same, or getting worse, the same news keeps getting recycled. Unemplyment is near 4 million, but employment is still near an all time high. The stock market has begun to recover, but it was slumping during the boom. Cars are selling, inventories are low, consumer credit is growing. 

"'A Shocking Situation" Comptroller General Lindsay Carter Warren is shocked, just shocked, by various dubious government contracts and blames, well, government. 

"Food on the Fly" Jimmy Dobbs, of Dobbs Houses fame, got his start catering airlines and saves money by hiring cheap chefs. He is hoping to get into the railroad dining car racket, next. 

"A Quarter a Day" Assorted appliance retailers in the Midwest are seeing their sales come back thanks to a quarter-a-day plan crossed with a piggy bank called the Meter-Matic. Also, Harry Murphy is succeeding Carl Budd at the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy, and Congress can't see any reason why Army and Navy base PX stores shouldn't pay excise taxes, and have told them to start, forthwith. 

Science, Medicine

"A Problem of Loyalties" J. B. S. Haldane is a geneticist and a Communist, so of course he eventually had to say something nice about Lysenkoism, because Communism is bad; but, because science is good, it was very qualified. (He likes Lysenko's emphasis on the idea that a genetic trait will only manifest itself in the right environment.)

"The Greek Pill" Philo of Byzantium recommended a pill made of squill, sesame and opium poppy for addressing soldier's hunger, which Time interprets as a medieval K ration, and, quoting Dr. Pan S. Codello, writing in the Bulletin of the History of Medicine, is very modern and scientific. Ronnie says that this is why you don't let doctors do history. 

"Hope Deferred" ACTH (adrenocorticotropic hormone), the wonder drug for arthritis, gout, rheumatic fever and related ills, which is extracted from pituitary glands, won't be available in quantity any time soon, because it takes 125,000 hog pituitary glands to make 5 ounces of ACTH, and I am guessing that that isn't a lot. In fact, it is all that Armour Laboratories can get from Armour-controlled slaughterhouses, and is only enough for further research, which is too bad, because it has been used in a few experimental treatments with good results, and now everyone wants ACTH even though it's not for sale. 

One of ACTH's functions in the body is to control the secretion of cortisone, which is also good for rheumatic arthritis, and is even harder to come by. Merck and Company make it from the bile of butchered cattle and produce only 1 1/2 ounces a week, which they are selling for $60 per 300 milligram vial. 

"A Question of Initiative" Psychiatrists are arguing about how much harm is done by prefrontal lobotomies. Now, "Coley B. Chapman, 26, a Negro laborer for the Long Island Rail Road," is suing for damages as a result of being shot in the head in a scuffle by a terminal policeman, with resulting damage similar to a lobotomy. Chapman is alleging permanent damage, although Time sneers that an alleged "loss of initiative" didn't stop him from suing for $340,000. Because only a low-down dirty lawyer would sue just because he was shot in the head for no reason. 

"Nature's Irony" It has long been known that pregnant women with ulcers get relief during pregnancy. Dr. David J. Sandweiss and surgeon Harry C. Saltzstein believe they have found the explanation, a hormone they have dubbed "anthelone" and have extracted from the urine of pregnant mares.  The irony is that ulcers mainly affect men, so a feminine extract is curing men. 

Press, Radio and Television, Art, People

"A Castle for a Princess" Ruth Elizabeth McCormick Miller is the 28-year-old "princess" of the McCormick chain, and is being put in as publisher of the Washington Times-Herald, because blood will out. Time, very much on its game, calls her a "plain, unexcitable, grey-eyed blonde . . ." who "parts her bobbed hair in the middle, does not worry herself too much about what the well-dressed woman should wear . . . " and has two children, a fourteen-room house and a stable of Arabians. She's a Taftite who thinks that the Midwest is the heart of the country and that Washington is a "parasite community." I predict good things for her paper! Also, Life has a new publisher, the Saturday Review of Literature's anniversary issue was top-notch, although the publisher is very sad that reader attention is declining and everyone wants short and punchy prose now. Why, there's already Quick, a "news digest of news digests," and soon there will be a Quicker, and then a Quickest, and who knows what? 

(This schtick never gets old.)

Also, the Los Angeles Independent is folding after six weeks, taking some of Henry Luce's money with it. Oops! 

"Leaning Tower of Babel" The television networks are all losing money due to a mid-summer exodus by advertisers and an "unexplained slump" in the sale of televisions. Also, writers and actors are dissatisfied because they aren't making much money. On the other hand, Martin Codell, of Television Digest, points out that football is coming back soon and the World Series is coming up. To which Time adds that it is summer, and the $200 TV is on the horizon. "Despite the surface evidence that television had built too quickly and recklessly," everything might be all right in the end. Lot to learn from The Economist, is all I'm saying. Also, Ethel Merman will either save NBC single-handed, or not. Exactly why Merman is slumming it on radio is another question. 

The big --in fact, cover-- story in Art is "New Shells," and is about ---wait for it, as the comics say-- Levittowns. I know! Not just the Levittown developments, either, but the Bohannon Organisation around here (we're too small to make a national paper), the Gerholz Community Homes in Flint, and who knows what else. The reason and actual subject, we finally get around to saying, is Richard Joseph Neutra, a Los Angeles area architect who designs contemporary homes like the Levittown bungalows, only much larger and more expensive. I guess the moral of the story is that, when we develop the Spokane (and maybe the Couer d'Alene lands?), we should hire an architect. If it's all going to be a couple of bungalow designs, they should be the best designs we can get.

Westbrook Pegler wants everyone to know that he is not just anti-democratic, -racketeer and  -communist, but also anti-union. Bebe Shopp is on record opposing "falsies" and French bathing suits, because they are so skimpy. Erika Raeder, wife of the Grand Admiral, showed up in Berlin to give a press conference about her life in Russia. Sometimes she was treated well, other times she was treated badly, and after four years they let her go. In conclusion, Communism is bad. Shirley May Franco received best wishes from Gertrude Ederle ahead of her attempted crossing of the English Channel. Jimmy Stewart's mom is relieved that he is finally getting married at forty. General Lucius Clay has signed on as a bank director, and Clark Gable and Paulette Goddard did a joint press even at LA airport that has everyone talking. Herbert Hoover and Kirsten Flagstad have been welcomed back into polite society because communism is bad. Mrs. Truman has lost weight, Graham Greene is working on a biography of "distant relative" Robert Louis Stevenson, and Sara Churchill is still being an actress. Bob Hope wrenched his back on set, Moscow's Literary Gazette doesn't like Somerset Maugham, T. S. Elliot, Stephen Spender or Edith and Osbert Sitwell. After nine years on the Supreme Court at an annual salary of $25,000, Justice Frank Murphy left an estate of $2500, of which $1600 went to his hotel. Eleanor Roosevelt has her first great-grandchild, Nicholas Seagraves, Esther Williams has had a son, John Dos Passos has married, Marriner Eccles has divorced. And Hyman Goldsmith of the Manhattan Project, and Mathilde Townsend Welles have died; he of accidental drowning, she of peritonitis. 

The New Pictures 

You know I don't cover Cinema, but, oh, boy, Ingrid Bergman. 

Getting on with the show, Madam Bovary aims to be the same scandal at the cinema as the novel was back in the day. That is, it was a scandal then thanks to being about a serial adulteress, and it is today thanks to Eric Johnston, and also Jennifer Jones. The Johnston code won't let an adulteress prosper, and Jones has plunging decolletage. Anna Lucasta is a terrible version of the play because Paulette Goddard is all wrong for the part, while the part written for Van Johnson is wrong for Scene of the Crime. 


Ronnie's above the "middlebrow slot," while I take notes. This week, I need to read Elizabeth Sprigge's The Strange life of August Strindberg and find out about the crazy Swedish writer. Mary McCarthy's The Oasis might also qualify for my How to be a Middlebrow list, since it is a Very Serious Novel, although some people say it's funny. (It's about how Communism is bad, too, so don't knock it!) M. A. Radford's Encyclopedia of Superstitions, E and M sounds like quite it'll go on being a fun read forever. 

Flight, 18 August 1949


"Off to a Good Start" The Comet has done eighteen flights so far, and is far along in its flight trials when it wasn't even expected to be flying by now, but there is still a lot to be learned about cruising at 40,000ft, especially in terms of keeping the passengers comfortable. How many months has it been since we were reading article after article about how hard it was to pressurise, air condition and humidify the cabin air? Flight's turned cautious! Or even maybe sane. As it says, we might need every scrap of those two years to test flying passengers at altitudes currently reserved for the fighter boys. Look at how far we've had to come since Boeing first thought the Stratoliner was a good idea, and it was supposed to fly at just a bit more than half the altitude the Comet is going to cruise at.  We also need to know more about how the engines and the plane work out under operations. Hopefully, by the time the first test planes are ready to be written off, the BOAC will be proving routes, not having unpleasant surprises like the ones that overtook the Convair 240 (prop) or Martin 2-0-2 (wing spar.)

"Zero Reader: Air Experience of Sperry's New Flight Instrument: Simplified Presentation for Flying, Navigation and Landing Approach, By the Editor" I don't think I've ever seen that byline before. I guess this is Flight speaking, but it's silly to say that Flight tried out an Anson with a Zero Reader, two weeks ago. It was Maurice Smith who flew the plane, but if Maurice Smith signed the article, it wouldn't be by Flight. So the Zero Reader is a console instrument that takes the info from all the other instruments and translates it onto a "cross-point meter" or "two-point indicator," so that all you have to do is steer the two points to the centre of the indicator. It's not magic. You use a selector switch to control the information, and all that it tells you is how much you have to turn or climb to get back on course. Gyroscopic magic (and they are magic, let no-one tell you differently) makes sure that you are doing it right, even in a 20 degree bank. It is no substitute for what Sperry's Glen Nesbitt calls a "gyropilot," but it allows a human pilot to come much closer to automatic control than manual flying on a conventional crossed-point meter. On a plane with an autopilot, the Zero Reader is still independent, as a manual standby in case the autopilot fails and the pilot has to take over. The promise is that we will be able to take over right there, without having to circle or climb to repeat the approach. The Zero Reader is plugged into a vertical gyro and has its own pitch and roll pickoffs. It is also hooked up to the Gyrosyn with a repeat-back azimuth signal, and a control circuit with an amplifier, signal modifier, combiner and limiter. "Signals are also obtained from the aircraft's glide slop and navigation receivers." For a takeoff from London, or Heathrow (MAKE UP  YOUR MIND!), Smith stooged around, using the Zero Reader "in conjunction" with the ILS installed there, and hardly anywhere else in Britain. He then set off cross country with the Zero Reader in flight instrument mode, where it turned out to be a handy tool for keeping the flight path from wandering. Then it was back to London Airport for the acid test, a landing in which ILS "shadowed"  Zero Reader, which it did very well. The Zero Reader can't replace the blind flying panel, which is still needed in emergencies, but does what's promised.

"Mamba Marathon Performance" I've been ranting on about how these turboprop-on-conventional aircraft installations are a mistake because when they turn out down on speed, the inlet air flow is down on speed, too, which turns the residual thrust that the designers are depending on for economy into residual drag. That's just me blue-skying, though. Maybe the company aerodynamicists are smarter than a know-it-all Institute  kid. (Not that your son's ever been called that more than a few times a day.) So does Handley Page prove I'm wrong with the Mamba Marathon? At 18,000lbs all up, the company is willing to divulge that climb is 3000ft/minute and that range should be 900 miles with an extra 140 gallon fuel tank, with cruising speed expected to be about 260mph. So I'm going to say that, yes, it's down on speed from where it was expected to be. Two Gipsy Queens could be expected to take about two hours to burn 140 gallons of fuel at cruising speed, so that's not very impressive endurance, either. 

Here and There

Silver City Airways recently flew the thousandth car across the Channel. "Operation Witch Doctor" is the RAF's rain-making experiments over Tee-side, featuring Wellington's dropping ICI's "Drikold" solid carbon dioxide. I do not know what to say. Any witch doctor who can keep a Wellie flying in 1949 shouldn't be wasting his time on Teeside! Saunders Roe's test SR/A.1 has hit some driftwood and sunk in waters too deep for salvage. That's what we're telling the broker, and that's what we're sticking with. 

Sweden is ordering 500 Ghost-powered J-29 fighter jets. Pan American Stratocruiser Clipper America has set a new 6h 48 minute record for the Gander-London flight, while Avro Canada's C-102 Jetliner has just made its first flight. The RCAF will spend $2.5 million putting its Bagotville station back in operation. SBAC awarded its 1949 apprenticeship grants to various promising boys, but no girls could be found for the 1949 Amy Johnson Scholarship. The prototype Northrop Raider has flown.  

Harry Harper, "The First Air Display: A Veteran Aviation Journalist Recalls the Rheims Meeting of 40 Years Ago" I guess you can't argue that there isn't a market for this for your average Flight reader. The editor was so bored that he missed a page-over by two paragraphs, forcing Flight to give a two column review to B. J. Hurren's Perchance: A History of British Naval Aviation, somehow published without a "May Contain Stupid" warning label. Flight very politely supplies same.

"Bristol Proteus: A High-Compression Turboprop for Wing Mounting" The Mamba got to press first, but here is the Proteus. A replacement for the Theseus, which wasn't powerful enough and was also lumbered with a heat exchanger about which we will not speak in the hopes that Americans, Russians, or, worst of all, French decide to try one.  Bristol is already committed to blundering around with the free-turbine for everyone, so that would have been a bit much. That's not to say that the free turbine isn't a good idea, unlike the heat exchanger. The combustion arrangements are farmed out to Lucas, and the very high heat and high compression handled by exorbitant use of Nimonic in cast and forged form. As the air expands, it gets cooler, allowing higher mechanical stresses, so the prop turbine rotates at 10,700rpm compared with the 10,000rpm of the compressor rotors. That's to give the reduction gearing something to do, you know. Ball and rotor bearings are used throughout, none of that visionary Armstrong-Siddeley thrust plate stuff. The reduction gearing is a conventional sunwheel with planetary pinions. No fancy Armstrong-Siddeley anti-hunting hydraulic pistons need apply, although a torquemeter balances the floating "fixed" gear and provides some measure of predictability to the power supply. A pump that controls prop pitch is also implicated back into the guts of the machine to make sure that compressor speed and free prop turbine speed don't get out of line.

"Athena Mark 2: Pre-Production Development of the Avro Advanced Trainer"  This is the Merlin version everyone agreed on after realising how exciting a Mamba-powered trainer was likely to be. It uses a Merlin 35, which is a 24 with a Mark 32 blower, giving 1280bhp at 3000rpm, 12 lb boost for takeoff. A de Havilland four-blade constant speed Hydromatic prop absorbs the power. The Merlin allows for a slight reduction of tankage, with a 140 gallon fuselage tank giving 2 3/4 hours and 45 gallon auxiliary wing tanks provided to raise endurance to over 4 hours if needed. The rudder is 5% bigger than on the Mark I, and there are servo'd spring tabs on the ailerons and trim tabs on the rudder. They've also fiddled with the dive brakes compared with the Mk 1.

"Brabazon I Pressurisation" The Brabazon has a pair of Marshall cabin superchargers mounted on the accessory drives aft of the coupled inboard power units. The Rootes-style blowers will give 60lb of air/minute, enough for 8000ft equivalent altitude at 25,000ft, which the Ministry thinks is more than enough for the Brabazon. It is simple, cheap and easy to maintain. Have I (or Ronnie) ever mentioned my doubts about Rootes-style blowers in superchargers? I still have them. 

Civil Aviation News 

The Berlin Air Lift that ended months ago has ended! For some reason, the Civil Air Lift dragged on all summer. Aer Lingus is still losing money (£162,850), but much less than last year thanks to selling off the Vikings, buying three more DC-3s, and squeezing five more seats into them. Aer Lingus makes most of its money by flying people back to the "Old Sod" from Britain, whether Irish or American tourists, and as long as they have a monopoly, no-one can complain that they're doing it in DC-3s. They will probably also be glad to take some Zero Readers, which sound like they'll be good for fuel mileage. MCA is doing some "operational research" to speed things up at London and Northolt airports. Qantas is cancelling its planned purchase of a fifth Constellation due to the dollar shortage. 

"Prestwick Pioneer Progresses"Scottish Aviation is still working on its light plane. It would probably have never appeared at all if they'd kept with the Gipsy Queen, but the design has been switched over to the Leonides, which is the decision I didn't think any of the light plane makers would make. Going from 240 to 520hp improved the takeoff rating. You don't say! Now that they've redesigned the aircraft for the Leonides, you can also put in a Cheetah or a Wasp Junior if you like. Some fiddling with wings and control surfaces were needed, but the Pioneer still comes basically to a stop in mid air and then drops on the runway and rolls to a stop crossing the street. 


Dennis Powell is not going to give up on the argument over which airliner as the first to have two decks, pointing out Lufthansa's Junkers G. 38. Geoffrey Dorman will not let an issue of Flight with B. J. Hurren in it go, without being just as stupid in print. This week, he points out that people like a little extra service on long flights from Kenya and Uganda. so "austerity air travel" is a terrible idea.

Engineering, 19 August 1949

D. A. Stewart, "Vibrated Concrete, Cont." If you stir concrete while it is setting, it turns out with a better consistency. Only it is hard to stir, so you should hit it a lot with a hammer, instead. Very "a lot." So it vibrates. More studies of concrete that's been hit with a hammer a lot are needed, but the ones the author has done, shows that vibrated concrete is the cat's meow.


R. Legendre's Convection de Chaleur en Regime Permanent: Conference au Centre d'Etudes Siuperior de Mecanique is in French. Engineering's reviewer reads French. Do you? You don't? You disgust Engineering, but since it is a very noble paper, it will review the book anyway. And read it, too, which is one of the reasons that Engineering is better than The Economist. M. Legendre shows the mathematics of convective heat transfer in certain mechanical systems, not including regenerators, to Engineering's disappointment. I wonder if he is related to the Legendre? Bernard Knight's Soil Mechanics for Civil Engineers is a new edition of Soil Mechanics for Engineers that gets rid of all the maths and numbers and words and replaces them with outlines you can crayon in. More seriously, it seems like a pretty dispensable book, ignoring peats and wet soils on the pretext that they should be avoided, and relying fairly heavily on published works listed in an extensive bibliography that is badly indexed.

S. A. Ghalib, "Electronic Control of Machine Tools," Ghalib explains that, while electronics haven't made that much of a headway in the machine tool industry, there is real potential for electronic control of variable speed drives, feeds, and automatic profile machining. Variable speed drives are necessary to keep loads constant. If an electrical motor runs at a set power, for example, a grinder will get faster and faster as the surface is ground down, presenting less resistance. A stepless adjustment over a range of 10 to 1 or so, with an accuracy of +/- 3%, will do for this, and the stepless feature has a special attraction for electrical control. A geared mechanical drive certainly doesn't deliver it! There are various ways of doing this with an alternator. Ghalib cites a Metrovick machine that uses a Ward Leonard generator with a thyratron to smooth variations in the AC input.

Feed control is dealt with similarly. The basic case is that pieces are fed into a process. The process is executed. The feed advances the stock into the bed as the finished piece is extracted. Power operation saves labour and can make this more accurate. A circuit with a single vacuum tube is good enough, because the rotations of the machine can be counted as a variable current, put through an LC circuit to integrate it, and when it reaches a preset total that corresponds to a complete operation, the vacuum tube is triggered and the feed motor pulses.

Automatic machining is more difficult since the machining head, of whatever kind it might be, needs two motion control, presuming the feed is the "third dimension." A "stylus" linked to a cross-piece follows the profile that the machine tool is to execute. It has two electromagnets in a circuit that is sensitive to movement, and variations in the circuit output are taken through an amplifier and used to control the motion of the head. Although electronic control has no obvious advantages over mechanical or hydraulic, it might be easier to implement, and is inherently high precision.

C. H. Desch, "The Cold Working of Metals, Continued" This is an abridged version of a longer paper given to the Fourth Empire Mining and Metallurgical Congress and is mainly concerned with additives, notably the aluminum, titanium and vanadium currently being added to deep-drawn steels in America to reduce carbon inclusions, rendering steels more heat and corrosion resistant. Having dealt with that, the author wanders off into a history of cold working from the beginning of the world (natural ore beds are, in a sense, cold worked), moving on to Egyptians making tools to build pyramids, and, oh, wait, there's only paragraph to go, so in conclusion we should probably look at pieces with powerful microscopes to find out what we're actually doing to them. (For example in the case of aluminum-killed steels, rendering them susceptible to catastrophic failure due to graphitisation at welds, as it turns out.)

"Group Apprentice Training" The British Association for Commercial and Industrial Education is interested in setting up a scheme for small firms to train their engineering apprentices together, and would like to  hear from more firms in the Midlands that might like to go in with the scheme.

"Boiler Feed Pump for Power Stations" Harland Engineering has quite a good one, if Harland Engineering doesn't say so itself. It has a feed pipe that goes somewhere other feed pipes don't, and that reduces the temperature and pressure stresses from high temperature feedwater. It was really tricky to design, so don't be fooled by other companies that claim that their boiler feed pump for power stations is just as good, because it isn't.

"British Standards Specifications" The British Standards Association showed up in Flight's Brevities  this week, reminding industry that they are the agent for all foreign standards associations. There is no escaping the tyranny of the British Standards Specification! This week, it tells industry how to report "Analysed Samples for Metallurgical Analysis," allows some designs of capacitors for intrinsically safe circuits, and dictates permissible design pressures (as distinct from working pressures) of fusion-welded steel air receivers.

Regional Notes

Scottish steel production continues to increase in step with the rest of the nation, with considerable interest from Argentine and Australian buyers, although the effects of Belgian competition are being felt. By the second installment of 26 August, Scottish Notes is concerned that order books eighteen weeks aren't full, although the industry is setting records now. Scottish coal production is recovering now that summer holidays are over, and also hits record rates by the end of the month. Wales is selling coal to Italy, Canada, Portugal and France, with South American and domestic demand coming in at the end of the month, while the Swansea steel business is doing okay, nothing to write home about. Yorkshire steel production continues strong, but there are concerns about the future and some signs of softness in future order books. In what may be a related story, the Board of Trade has authorised the industry to supply more scissor blanks,, and by the end of the month there are even more such orders, including ones for consumer goods such as fountain pens and scissors. British exporters, including textile firms, need more shearing blade, but a frustrated export is a frustrated export. Coal is mostly doing well, although some pits are having trouble getting the young folk to come into work. In the Northwest, the main impact of the holidays has been to starve steel of pig iron, with production falling off sensibly towards the end of the month, although this does help keep raw materials in stock. The oldest iron mine in Cleveland, at Eston, has closed.

Launches and Trial Trips Four steamships and three motorships, including SS City of Manchester, Glessula, Gateholm, Pineland; and MS Treloske, Elin Haven, British Captain and Hamlet. Ronnie is very surprised that "Hamlet" is available. City of Manchester has reversing impulse turbines with a single reduction helical gear, making it the most interesting, machinery-wise. All three motorships are tankers, while the steamers are three cargo liners and a lumber ship.


"Employment and the Professional Engineer" An extremely long and excruciatingly detailed explanation of how the Ministry of Labour's Engineering Appointments/Bureau compiles its Register.

"The Principles of Scientific Research" Paul Freedman, head of the lamp research department at Crompton Parkinson, probably gets a bit bored at work. It's just lamps! So he has written a book about The Principles io Scientific Research, which Engineering loved. It's about how hard scientific research is,and how, if you do it, you won't have time for the actual principles of scientific research, which are all philosophical and stuff like that. A very short note mentions the death of your friend and Keyham classmate, Dr. G. S. Baker. I think you'll be pleased by the full obituary that ran in the 26 August number, which I have copied for Uncle George with a ditto for you.


The programme for this years's meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science is out. The presidential address will be on population and food supply, again. I also notice big papers on marine propulsion, electronics, home heating, semi-conducting materials, building on clay, lighting the coal face, and high duty alloys. So that's what's fashionable this year!

The Model Engineering Exhibition will be at the Royal Horticultural Hall in August, and the Conference on the Rational Use of Coal will be at the seaside in September to save on heating costs. I guess. Engineering couldn't put its copy of the Bank of Nova Scotia's Monthly Review down, because the article about oil in Alberta was gripping. Alberta's oil production is up to 1.7 million barrels a month from over 800 wells, and people are saying that it might be one of the world's major oil fields. The refineries in Alberta and Saskatchewan are going at capacity, and there needs to be more pipeline or other access to the rest of the world, if oil production keeps going up. Some people say that Canada can be made self-sufficient in oil, others that it will never be economical to get Alberta oil back east.


H. S. Rowell writes to remind us that the metric system is the best system. Arthur Hoare is upset at newfangled methods of orthogonal projection that aren't nearly as good as the old-fashioned ones he likes.

"Polarised Headlights" This isn't news? These are the lens that polarise the incandescent light. Reflected, polarised light is phase changed, so that a windscreen with a viewer that blocks the outgoing polarisation will still allow the headlights to light the road, but will block out oncoming light from other cars equipped with polarisation equipment, eliminating headlight glare. This is Dr. Land of Polaroid's baby, and he is pushing it against all sorts of opposition. (It doesn't really work on lighted streets, where the viewer just cuts illumination in half; there will be a difficult transition period; and it is hard to see light-coloured objects.) Engineering is not convinced that it is a good idea.

J. P. Ball, "Extraction, Alloying and Fabrication of Magnesium, Continued" Magnesium's hopes of being the next aluminum took a beating when the war pushed the new high duty aluminum alloys into the picture. Magnesium producers are now looking for their own version of high duty alloys. Magnesium-Zirconium has been talked up in Germany, but has so far failed to get over various practical hurdles in Britain. Major Ball suggests the way forward, and adds that they seem to be invulnerable to the stress corrosion that bests the new aluminum alloys.

"The Pectosol-Cement Process for Soil Stabilisation" Adding vegetable materials is is a well known way to stabilise soils. A. S. F. Chemical Company has been selling a stabilisation material made of sisal tow and other leftover from fibre production. This is "Pectasol," and since Americans are experimenting with adding some concrete to dirt for mass, the company is doing its  own experiments with a concrete-Pectasol mix.

"The 'Python' Propeller-Turbine Aircraft Engine" It's a turboprop. TURBOPROP. It is easier to write, easier to type, easier to say. Oh,but you sound like an American, do you? Oh, no!

Ahem. This is the same article that's in Flight, except that Engineering isn't afraid of accidentally introducing the facts into the discussion, and maybe takes Armstrong Siddeley a bit too seriously. The Python is described as giving 3670 shaft horsepower at the props, 1150lbs residual thrust at sea-level takeoff, which requires 8000rpm on the turbines, and burns 350 gallons of fuel an hour. Climbing at 200mph, the Python gives 3450shp and 400lb thrust at 7800rpm, burning 315 gallons per hour. Cruising at 300mph, the numbers are 3200shp, 390lb residual thrust, 304 gallons per hour. At 400mph, 3,680shp, 220lb thrust, 314 gallons/hour. These are all somewhat notional figures that Flight politely buries in graphical form, since we actually have no idea how the Python will perform in the air at these speeds. The Python-Lancaster can't even get close to it, and I personally expect the early Pythons to be down on power from projections, just because that's how engine development is. At least the Wyvern is a military aircraft, so we're not confronted with figuring out whether we're getting enough speed and idle out of it to compete on high utilisation rates while still being able to stack at London and Paris. "London to as close to Paris as we can land" is not a route plan.

Labour Notes

The Coal Winders Association has decided not to walk out in response to the appointment of an arbitrator. The Ministry is willing to talk, which might mean recognition of the Winding Engine operators as a real union outside the NUM, but some local associations are upset, because they were hoping for a strike. There were 243,000 unemployed in Britain last month, the lowest number since September 1945. The total working population numbered 23.193 million, down 16,000 from last month. The number of women working held steady, so this is decline due to aging. The Patternmakers' Association is concerned that some shops have taken on too many apprentices.

Rex Wailes, "Norfolk Corn Mills" A historical paper based on a talk given the the Norfolk Newcomen Association back in 1926. Some 350 mills were surveyed. Most of the works are of wood, with some stone here or there. Wooden rack and pinion gears, fancy that!

Notes on New Books Two books on railroads, Locomotives by Cecil Allan and one by the British Intelligence Objectives Subcommittee (BIOS), German Railways during the War. Also, one on the behaviour of buckling rectangular plates under shear.

Time, 22 August 1949


John Leonard says that infertile people should just get over it and help underprivileged children instead. John Leonard is terrible, so of course  he lives in Palo Alto. Many veterans write in to ask why they should be ashamed of taking veteran's employment insurance under "52-20" during the recession. Time complains that veterans get too much as it is. Time doesn't even have the excuse of living in Palo Alto. Donald Crittenden, of Brighton, Mass., thinks that most of the "52-20s" are "former drugstore cowboys" "living with their parents" and "taking postgraduate studies at the local tavern." He could stand to move to Palo Alto. It turns out that nothing makes Time readers more pro-Eleanor Roosevelt than being attacked by a Catholic bishop. The Publisher's Letter mentions that Ecuador's President, Galo Plaza Lasso, sent in an entry in Time's news quiz. I think, given the earthquake, they could have passed on mentioning that! Fifteen Greek professors wrote to say how much they liked Time's story about the Greek Civil War. A French reader wrote in to thank Time for leading him forth from Communism.

National Affairs

"The Deep Freeze Set" General Vaughan was up before a Senate investigatory committee and it doesn't look good for him, the President, or the five percenters, as it turns out that bid-friendly Administration officials have a way of getting deep freezers at below-retail prices. Also, the Vice-President has been seen around town with a comely widow. Could wedding bells be in the offing?

"Man for the Job" Omar Bradley is the first chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, while J. Lawton Collins succeeds him at army.

"The Empire Builders" Kenneth McKellar and Pat McCarren have been forced to give ground on their opposition to the ECA and a Displaced Persons bill, respectively, which shows that there are cracks in their "empire."

"Sulphur and Molasses" It seems like the recession is receding, but there are still nine areas of the country with more than 12% unemployment, and the Government is moving in to give local employers first crack at contracts. Also, Herbert Hoover gave a speech at a big Stanford shindig in honour of his 75th birthday that was all about how America is on "the last mile to collectivism" because taxes are too high and there are too many government employees.

"Experts and Explanations" Carl Vinson's Armed Forces Committee started its B-36 hearings this week. General Vandenberg admitted to teething troubles, George Kenney admitted that he wanted to cancel it until talked out of by "the youngsters," and Curtis LeMay says that it can fight its way through to Moscow. (Not a place as far away as Moscow; actual Moscow.) Where did the charges of "political skulduggery" come in, then? From a "rambling" anonymous document prepared by a group of Navy regulars and reservists and fed to James Van Zandt, says Stuart Symington. Van Zandt tried to ask Symington just what targets a B-36 could hit, but his attempt to nail the Secretary were overtaken by Vinson nailing him, asking about the sources behind his anonymous document. Van Zandt obviously can't squeal out the squealer, so it looks like the B-36 and Van Zandt's congressional career are done deals.

"Empty Hands, Full Heart," Summertime is junket time, and some countries, the best junket they can afford is Washington in August. President Quirino was by to talk about a "Pacific union against Communism," and to see Cardinal Spellman in muggy Manhattan weather.

"The Field Day is Over" Judge Medina ordered US court marshals to seat and silence the Communist lawyers at the Smith Act trial that's been going on forever. In this week' development, one of them was forced to admit that the US Communist Party official line is that a violent American proletarian revolution is inevitable. Also, a Chicago lawyer named Luis Kutner just got a man out of jail after serving 24 years for a rape that never even happened. A Negro man, of course. 

"The Bare-Faced Look" Georgia has made it illegal to wear a Ku Klux Klan hood in public, which is probably not related to the heat wave back East that gets its own story.


You can't always put your hands on a picture of a dying celebrity
The United States of Europe is taking its own sweet time, and the UN could barely agree on an opening prayer, even after it devolved into a minute of silence. Tito is still the Communist we like.

"A Look at 2049" Time's read of Dr. Moulton's report is almost longer than Fortune's, and uses a picture left over from the MVA article, too. In 2049, we will  reuse and recycle!

"Eyes Right" Time calls the Christian Democrats' victory in the German elections a "sharp swing to the Right," and there was a riot by DPs in Munich, provoked by a paper printing an letter from an anonymous Nazi "to show that anti-Semitism was still rife." The Belgians are still fighting over their regency, the tiny republic of San Marino has a Communist government, which is a problem, because, "As goes San Marino, so goes Italy," or also possibly not, while the Greek army has almost finished off the Communists.

Time notices that The Economist disagrees with it about "socialism" causing the current exchange crisis. Time is still sure that Britain is going to have to give up this whole "welfare state" thing soon, but has to concede that that's not exactly the issue at hand.

"What the Army Desired" If you'll remember, a Syrian army general named Husni Zaim recently became the all-powerful dictator of Syria in a coup d'etat. Well, now he's not any more because of a coup d'etat. More precisely, he was shot, and now he's dead, although it is not clear whether he was executed by a firing squad or killed resisting arrest. Now Colonel Sami Hennawi is the all-powerful dictator of Syria, long may he reign. (At least 4 and a half months, hopefully!)

"Uncertain Future" At the anniversary of Indian independence, the economy isn't doing that well, and various enemies of the state are in jail and  Nehru has no obvious successor.

"Again the Black Horseman" The flood on the Yang-tse may lead to famine in China.

In Latin America, Peron is squabbling with one of his cabinet ministers, the Cuban President is defending his decision to seek a $35 million loan in Boston instead of Havana. and the Canadian Baptist Mission in Bolivia was attacked by "300 drunken Indians," with eight deaths. In Canada, the Jetliner is a huge success, with no mention of the undercarriage fiasco.


"An Industrial Revolution" The steel industry is very upset that the Administration's steel-fact finding board is looking into wages, because if the government sets wages in the industry, that will be a revolution, and not one of the good ones. Also, the railroads might be "pricing themselves out of business."

"Smoke Rings" The latest proposal to get around the dollar shortage so that American exports can increase is barter. For example, French cigarette paper for American tobacco, because Europeans spend so much on American tobacco --one fifth of a workman's wage, Alfred Lyon, chairman of Philip Morris, says.  Also, Italians are worked up about Coca-Cola's Italian bottling firm, which may be an American capitalist invasion.

"No. 12" The chairman of Sewell Avery's U.S. Gypsum has resigned because he can't work with Avery any more. He and Avery were fighting over company expansion plans, since Avery is still piling up financial reserves against the depression he knows is coming. Speaking of terrible management, Curtiss-Wright has a new chairman who is sure to be the guy who licks the problem of not being able to make something anyone wants to buy.

"Candy King Reaches Out" The President of Curtiss Candy, manufacturer of Baby Ruths and Butterfingers, is branching out into artificial insemination, because it has so much in common with candy manufacturing and distribution. (The point of most of the rest of the article being that the real key to the company's success was the way it made sure that stock was kept from going stale.)

Science, Medicine, Education

"Insect's Homer" Entomologist Jean Henri Fabre became famous by exposing all the weird and horrible things insects do. Now The Insect World of J. Henri Fabre doesn't do the obvious and expose the weird and horrible things that Fabre did, because he was actually a very nice guy who discovered his gift for being the press agent of the insect world after being fired for letting girls come to his college classes.

"Tricky Enemy" Doctors say that polio might be one of the commonest diseases, that practically everyone gets it, but it usually doesn't seem like much more than a cold. Only if the victim is unlucky enough to develop a virulent case does it become "infantile paralysis." Doctors don't understand how it is spread, why it is a hot weather disease, or why it has become more prevalent, especially in wealthy countries, in the last fifty years. It does seem likely that the apparent increase in infections is due to better reporting of mild cases. It also turns out that some cases of non-paralytic polio aren't polio, at all.

"A Bargaining Position" Most southern states won't let Negro doctors join medical associations, which is why there is a Negro Medical Association, which the AMA refuses to do anything about. This year, the AMA had observers on hand to persuade the NMA to join its resistance to the Fair Deal national health program, and "keep politics out of it," on the grounds that the NMA should get behind the AMA's lobbying against "socialised medicine" without worrying its little head about a bit of the old Jim Crow. The NMA responded by politely inviting the AMA to Excuse-my-French off.

"Velvet Tongue;" and "Rustic Menace" Oral administration of penicillin can lead to a side effect of "hairy tongue," while two cases of bubonic plague were recently identified in New Mexico, where both victims are recovering thanks to antibiotics.

"Arkansas Travelers" The State of Arkansas has a caravan going around the state promoting education. There's a joke there, somewhere. The Kent School in New York is one of those private schools that prepare you for Ivy League universities that prepare you for live in high society, only it is Catholic. Surprise ending!

Press, Art, Radio and TV, People

"With a Capital L" Hodding Carter is a "Southern liberal" who recently published "What's Wrong with the North" in the Delta Democrat-Times, which was a "heavy-handed satire of 'In the Land of Jim Crow,'" the theme of which that racism is actually worse in the North because it is in disguise, whereas in the South they are aware of racism and trying to do something about it, very slowly and gradually, as these things must be done.

Others say that "things are bad over there" is not an excuse for things being bad here. Or so they say. Time is just reporting.

"Love on a Dime" Love magazines are the latest thing on the dime rack. Bleeah. Icky girl stuff. Give me atomic rockets any day.

 "Last Stop" Jose Ortega y Gasset loves Fascism, hates modern art. Time is just reporting.

"Circulation" The Los Angeles Art Center School is showing an exhibition sponsored by Upjohns in which contemporary art pieces are labelled with slogans for Upjohns skin care aids, anemia cures and the like. It's to prove . . . something? Upjohns is going to sponsor a national tour. The Museum of Natural History has a big display of stuffed animals that is being renovated, and I have no idea what that proves.

"Giveaway Fadeaway" John Noone is upset that some of the prizes donated to his giveaway show are things like a round-trip air trip to the North Pole, which no-one wants.

"Who's Blacklisted?" William Sweets says that he left Gangbusters and Counter-Spy because of a radio blacklist initiated by Counterattack, the anti-Communist periodical. Counterattack's managing editor, Theodore Kilpatrick, says that the actual blacklist is against anti-Communists by Communist and fellow-traveller producers. Time suggests that it serves him right for being a pinko.

George Bernard Shaw is 93 and has a new play out. Ethel Barrymore is only 70, but settled for a birthday. Xavier Cugat, after touring in Latin America for a year, has no idea how much he's worth because of being paid in frozen pesos, coffee and real estate, and is now off to Spain to make a fortune in olive oil. Anything but dollars! Upton Sinclair has indirectly threatened more Lanny Budd books, as though there's going to be anything interesting events to insert Budd into now that WWII is over. "Lanny Budd helps invent canasta" kind of thing. Former Catholic priest Emmett McLoughlin, who quit the Franciscans rather than give up his hospital superintendent job, has married, as has Ward Morehouse. Walter White has remarried. Edward Lee Thorndyke, inventor of the Army Alpha Intelligence test, has died at 74, as have Al Shean and Harry Davenport.

Charles Tennyson has Alfred Tennyson. Does a book about your grandfather count as mddlebrow just because it's about a famous poet? Nigel Dennis' A Sea Change is the greatest comic novel ever because it makes fun of The New Republic. William Sansom has a whodunnit out, and William Baringer's Lincoln's Vandalia looks at Lincoln's Vandalia days. If you didn't know --I sure didn't!-- Vandalia was the capital of Illinois when Lincoln was in the State Assembly.

If you're wondering about The New Pictures, it got swallowed by this week's cover story, Elizabeth Taylor.

Flight, 25 August 1949


As it turns out, this is a great idea for a plane.
By RuthAS - Own work, CC BY 3.0,
"Custom-Built Replacements" BEA says that it cannot replace its money-losing Rapides on the Scottish routes without a specialised design, so off the Ministry of Supply goes to look for a fifteen plane order. Flight frets that other companies want a Rapide replacement, too, but they're all charters, and shouldn't they get some attention?

"Farnborough Fever" One of the best parts of getting excited about Farnborough is wondering which aircraft is going to be there. This year everyone is asking whether the Brabazon will be there. However, Flight notes that there are three new types so secret that the MoS won't let them be named, which might show up at Farnborough. Fingers crossed! 

"Bafo Air Show" The British Air Force of Occupation put on an airshow at Guetersloh. It was nice, and there were Vampires, P-80s and the usual assortment of paratroop demonstrations. The Army was not forgotten with an Auster demonstrating of artillery control and Mosquito fighter bombers strafing cardboard cutout Reds. 

"Thirty Years Ago: The Daily London-Paris Air Service was Inaugurated: The Work of the Pioneer Operators" Bill Lawford, who flew the first AT and T service, which started a week after the Airco pioneer, and who is still alive somehow, tells of screwing the solitary passenger in under a glass cover, hedge-hopping from London to the coast with the compass swinging 45 degrees, crossing the Channel at zero feet, narrowly missing the Varne lightship, though having a clear flight over France. On arrival at Le Bourget, he released the passenger from uncomfortable captivity, and was kissed on the cheek by a gendarme who then asked to see his passport and whether he had anything to decalre besides an Airco DH4, supposedly a two-passenger plane with comfortable seats and tables. No-one died before the service was taken over by Imperial, although one Airco went down in the Channel and pilot and passenger had to be rescued by a passing trawler. 

"Comet Testing Continues" Potential operators are reminded that it only took an hour to have a Ghost out for inspection after 30 hours of flying. 

"Week End Events in the West" Flight strikes a blow for awkward pauses in English sentences, and tells those who care about air soirees in the west. Is that the same as Wessex, the West Country or the West End? Probably not, as that wouldn't be confusing. There's also a separate feature on a gliding convention further below.

"English Electric Canberra: Details of First British Jet Bomber" The Canberra first flew way back on 13 May, but now we have some details. For example, its engine is the Rolls Royce Avon axial-flow turbine, and the aerodynamics were "evolved" for "the attainment of high Mach numbers." Honestly. Englishmen speak English like they're embarrassed to caught dead in it. Flight is excited about the smoothly tapered circular-section fuselage and absence of fillets. It appears to be unarmed, has crew positions in the cockpit only, "appears" to have a low wing loading, a speed of over 500mph, and plenty of power from two Avons.

Here and There

"Bernard MacFadden," who might be the same person as Bernarr MacFadden, did a 2000ft parachute drop at Dansville, New York last week to show that 81 wasn't too old to get in the paper. Three more RNVR squadrons are going to sea soon, on a tour aboard Illustrious. Canada is ordering 100 F-86 Sabres to replace its Vampires, which has Flight huffy.  North American is delivering its newly produced Sabres directly into cocoon storage due to the Bendix strike holding up delivery of undercarriages. The Avro Jetliner has been grounded after its undercarriage jammed, although it stacked for two hours above Malton while they tried to fix it. Greece is taking delivery of 49 Helldivers, which should be useful attacking mountain positions. There are hardly any unemployed civil pilots or navigators, although that seems to be ibecause most of them have taken other jobs. Chas Burdick, of air brush fame, has died in San Francisco of being old.

"Versatile Super Ace: A New Chislea For All-round Passenger and Light Freight Work" I bet you thought you'd heard the last of Chislea and its Ace due to the company going belly up. Not a bit of it, because it is back with a new Super Ace that is even better than ever! It will appear at Farnsborough, Chislea promises. 

"Viscount in the Air: A Glimpse of a New Phase in Air Transport: Handling and Performance of a Turboprop Airliner: By the Editor: No 32 Of This Series" Forget my wild speculations above. Flight has retroactively decided that Our Editor going up in a plane is, and has been for a long time, a continuing feature. This one is quite important, since "the intended replacement for the Viking" is a pretty exceptional machine. So I guess that means that the Viking has been replaced! Smith flew only as a second pilot, and aboard the smaller prototype, since the bigger Viscount 700 isn't available yet, and all the flying possible is being done on the smaller plane, with derated Darts, just to see what's what. Quiet, smooth, nimble on the ground, fast takeoff, good climb, rather more fussing with prop pitch than I would like, and just as I feared, but the pressurisation worked well and it is as smooth as advertised. The Vickers pilot was able to formate on a Valetta in spite of the difficulties of precise power control and worries about relight if an engine stalls. landing was fast and a bit abrupt, but nothing too bad, and Smith was able to hit 260 indicated air speed in a shallow dive over Epsom. As with the Comet, it will be about two and a half years before the Viscount enters service, and every second will be useful to sorting out the Darts.

G. A. Tokaev, "Russia's jet Progress: German Brains Picked: Heaven-sent Nenes: Interest in the Ju-263" Colonel Tokaev is a recent emigre who may not know as much about Russian developments as he thinks he does. There's not much to add from the body of the article that isn't in the title, as Colonel Tokaev reserves most of his verbiage for the disgraceful neglect of Russian rocket engine developers and the failure to develop a Russian jet engine at all. Fortunately, they have both German and British jet engines to copy, and have some projects going, including a supersonic fighter and jet bombers based on a German wartime model. 

"Monopropellant for Rockets" The SAE convention in New York heard a paper by Fritz Zwicky and Chandler Ross of Aerojet Engineering on nitromethane, a liquid fuel made of a molecule which liberates a free oxygen molecule to oxidise the main chain, as the technical explanation of monopropellants go. Unlike the main modern monopropellants (otherwise known as gunpowder), nitromethane is a liquid, which allows it to be pumped around, but which otherwise strikes me as missing a trick. 

Civil Aviation News

A BEA Dakota crashed last Friday at Greenfields in Lancashire, striking ground just below the summit of a 1300ft hill on the approach to Ringway. 21 of 29 aboard, including thee infants, and three of four crew were killed. It seems to be a similar accident to the Skymaster ditching in the Atlantic on Monday, which was due to fuel exhaustion compounded by loss of communication. That is, it is likely that mechanical failure led to loss of power, bringing it down to a dangerous elevation.

Britain and Canada have a route agreement, BOAC is opening a Stratocruiser training school at Filton to replace the one Boeing is closing at Renton.  DH isn't so much closing its civil aircraft repair depot as moving it, and the report is in on the Mannin Airways DH Rapide 89A that crashed in the Mersey last 11 November killing both crew and five of six passengers. The crash was a ditching due to fuel exhaustion, and passengers and crew clung to the fuselage of the sinking aircraft for 25 minutes, but no-one was clear where it had ditched and the lifeboat was late. Nine unused lifevests were found in the cabin, under each seat. A pressurised Dakota is now available. Canadian Pacific is moving its headquarters west from Montreal to Vancouver now that it has a Pacific service. KLM pilots have been told not to use the Bendix electrical autopilot on their Constellations until further notice, although that does not mean that the autopilot was definitely responsible for the Bari crash. TAA reports that its Convair fleet is flying many hours and is more economical than DC-3 or DC-4 operations.

"No Galley Slaves: The Interior Layout of BOAC Stratocruisers: Another Viewpoint"

Since "Favonius" recently shared his (stupid) opinions, here is BOAC's position: The Stratocruiser is delayed and over budget because of Boeing problems, not because BOAC has opinions about where the galley should go. The galley was always intended to have been supplied by the customer. BOAC likes a central galley, and so do United and American. Miss Morrow-Tait's world flight ended with her arrival in Prestwick this week, and Flight reminds everyone that the very exiting mechnical Handling Equipment show is going to repeat at Olympia next June, so get your tickets early. 

F. S. Bloomfield, "Joy Through Strength: A Simple Treatment of the Use of Load Factors in Aircraft Design" This is a very brief explanation of the definition of load factors, an example of where they come into play (pulling out of a dive), and how they are improved when found to be inadequate. Since it is very complicated to do this at the stresser's level of detail for all situations, the Air Ministry has the Eleven Conditions of design for load factor, which Bloomfield ends by explaining. I like the article. It's fun. It also seems like filler.

"Antarctic 'Air Lift'" The Governor of the Falkland Islands has ordered a Noorduyn Norseman, in case the British expedition to Marguerite Bay in Graham Land  is still iced in next year. If it can't land due to broken-up ice, it will parachute supplies.

It was a "Falkland Islands Dependency Survey," so it doesn't get into the history of Antarctic exploration. The guys got out by ship, so the Falklands used their new plane to extend their air service. Here's a picture of Stanley Airport for eye-resting purposes. 

Lord Riverdale writes to remind everyone to donate to the Battle of Britain Appeal. S. B. Parkinson and "Gulliver" object to Thomas Keegan's "austerity air travel," while J. van Hattum is in favour. Francis Kappey remembers how it was, years ago, just after the war, when Acton Airfield was a derelict scene of battered canvas tents and abandoned Caudrons.

Engineering, 26 August 1949

"Engineering and Marine Exhibition at Olympia" This is by far the longest article in this week's number, covering the bi-annual Exhibition. This is the second since the war, and Engineering senses a subtle shift from innovation to production in this year's display. Perhaps this year's motto, "Productive efficiency is the key to national recovery" was some kind of hint. In the interest of achieving full technical efficiency, arrangements have been made for tour groups of factory workers can arrange for free tickets to come see all the efficiency. Five hundred firms are exhibiting this time around, and Engineering feels as though it needs to make some kind of concession to organisation, so it starts out by grouping all the diesel engines together before moving on to cover some locomotives, turbo-generators, turbocompressors, cranes, pumps, some of BTH's Emotrol electronically-controlled machine tools, a "precision rotary combination machine" by F. J. Edwards and shown alongside their "Besco" production guillotine and an assortment of equipment made by the "600 group of companies."

The diesels start out with some pretense of being grouped as marine auxiliaries in the 100-200hp range, but end with a 1500hp Crossley machine. I'm struck by how many of the spectacular gizmos adventurously included in aero-engines are normal in these big plants that don't have to climb 20,000ft or do  inverted rolls. An AEC machine has its cooling pumps run off a reduction gear, while the Crossley uses a curtain of exhaust gas to close the injection valves with a pressure wave so that no mechanical valve closing is required. Or maybe it's additional? My eyes got a bit blurry. Ruston Bucyrus showed off its combustion gas turbine, the first of its kind in Britain designed as an industrial prime mover. It is a thirteen stage axial, and, again, has a reduction gear, which you would of course need to drive typical industrial machinery from a turbine spinning at 8000rpm. Speaking of final drives, the Gas Council has a whole set of demonstration machines showing the potential of producer gas-driven machinery. That is, the gas engine is right in the tipping motor or what have you, and power is supplied and controlled by the gas lines. Parsons is showing the instructional turbo-alternators it is supplying to universities around the world.

"The Motor Trawler, Jorunder" The copy-editor intended for another page about Olympia and a picture to appear here, but they're not back from press, so here's a new diesel trawler, instead.

British Standard Specifications dictates Electrical Wiring Systems and Rust-, Acid-, and Heat-Resisting Steels on pain of death.

Launches and Trial Trips is very brief this week, one motorship,the single-screw cargo liner Trelawney and one steamship, the Saramati, also a single-screw cargo liner.


"The Engineering and Marine Exhibition" Frederic W. Bridges, who founded the Exhibit and ran it for many years, died nine years ago, and people have been saying disrespectful things about him. Engineering loved him like a brother, and those people should be ashamed of themselves.

"The Dry Cooling of Coke" When coal is fired up in a retort to drive off gas and produce coke for ironmaking, it gets quite hot. In Switzerland, where coal is very expensive, the hot coke is dumped in retorts and cold air is circulated around it to extract all the heat available for steam-raising. People keep going to Switzerland, being impressed by the efficiency of this, and bringing the idea back to Britain, only for the plant to go out of use after a few years, with some exceptions, like the Ford Motor Company works at Dagenham. A committee recently set out to find out why. They concluded that the usual objection, that the British practice of cooling the coke with water and then using the water for steam-raising, is reasonably efficient and wets the coke down for easy transport. It explains what makes dry cooling better than wet in the places where it is done, which will be useful by those tempted by the efficiency of the idea.


The Agenda of the World Power Conference is out. The half-yearly meeting of the Board of Managers of the American Bureau of Shipping met last week. America still has quite a large fleet of 38 million tons, and 1.5 million tons will be joining it this year from new production, mostly American, as well as some ships being returned by Japan and other countries that had them on loan. Nevertheless, American shipbuilding is on a small scale and shrinking, and most of what is being done is for the Great Lakes. The agenda of the International Navigational Congress is out, and Shell has some interesting work to share on the storage and bulk transport of bitumin.

Dr. Stewart's stirring paper on vibrating concrete concludes.

Douglas Hay, "Modern Trends in Coal-Mining Practice in Great Britain" The late Professor Hay surveys recent developments in the managing of the coal face, cutting coal at the face, transporting it back from the face, mass transport in main tunnels, the handling of tailings, and ambitious plans for full electrification of the pits where conditions warrant. I'm impressed by the discussion of track-laying in permanent ways on stone floors, and, yes, the idea of underground tunnels has a certain fascination to boys, and, yes, I do remember what Uncle George says about that. It all sounds a bit too elaborate to me. Why can't you just dig the stuff up everywhere, and not just at the open cast operations? It's not like the mines are under mountains!

"Control of the Darling River, New South Wales" The Darling River is a 1700 mile river in New South Wales, although its drainage basin extends into the next northern state of Queensland, and it discharges into the Murray River, which is in South Australia. I didn't even know that Australia had rivers, and here's one big enough to cover three provinces! In fact, isn't there a small province --sorry, state-- down in the corner where the lowest tributaries come from? The Darling rises in the Great Dividng Range, flows at varying gradiants down to the Murray, and carries a lot of water in wet years, and hardly any in dry. So the idea is to build impoundment dams to manage flooding in wet years and reservoirs to stabilise flow in dry, so the locals don't face the kind of swings implied when Engineering tells us that its ranges carried 16 million sheep forty years ago, and 6 million today. There's unfortunately no convenient location for a hydroelectric storage dam, but there's a great deal of work to be done in a very small country (population-wise), so that should keep them out of mischief for awhile.

Rex Wailes, "Norfolk Corn Mills" continues, with some very keen pictures. It's all of somewhat antiquarian interest, and there's a bit where Wailes looks at the inscriptions, including, over one lintel, "T. B. Peace, 1814," and another, "T. H., 1743."

Newsweek, 29 August 1949


There is some controversy over the question of whether baseball clubs are trying to prevent broadcasts of their game on the grounds that it cuts attendance. 

It's funny because it's true.

Arthur Gilbert writes to say that, while he opposes the Ku Klux Klan as much as the next man, he also opposes opposing them marching with the flag, because they are patriotic and it is against American freedom and democracy. The Klan may only be opposed in ways that promote tolerance, human rights and public order. Dorothy Mooney thinks that men who complain about the heat are big babies who can't possibly sweat as much as the man in the photo. The Editor invites Mooney to come out of her air conditioning and see how she likes it. The Publisher's Letter has Newsweek congratulating itself for calling the Communist vote total in the German elections.

The Periscope reports that General Vaughan is on a P.R. offensive, that the DNC has a full campaign chest, that Paul Herzog and Philip Jessup are leaving the NLRB and State Department, respectively, that Karl Bendetsen will be the next Assistant Army Secretary. Rep. Victor Wickersham (D. Ok.), who sells real estate and does car ads on the side, is in trouble with the Air Force for boasting that he could catch an Air Force plane anywhere in the country, because he knows people. The fight over the RNC chairmanship isn't over by a long shot. The Air Force is stepping up Arctic training and margarine-tax-repeal proponents have given up on the current Congress. A box story at the start say that "the promise of devaluation of the pound" (Shh! It's a secret!) can't be a trading point in upcoming talks, because it is unavoidable. Washington flatly rejects any devaluation of the dollar by raising the price of gold. There will be no further loans to Britain. The US might buy additional manganese, tin, rubber and chrome for stockpiling, and consider lowering some  tariffs, but the implicit tradeoff is that Britain has to come in on side of the China boycott. Britain is reluctant to do it, in case the Chinese blockade Hong Kong.

Abroad, the US Ambassador to Moscow wants to be able to travel more widely in the country, more coups are expected in the Arab world due to the weakness of their governments, and there will be a new wave of strikes in France in the fall. The skill with which the Russians jam Voice of America shows that they "at least understand the techniques that would be used in a radar-detection system." Which is a stunningly stupid thing to say unless it is supposed to translate as "The Russians can so too intercept the B-36, so there."

The Finnish strike wave is no worry, Tito is still our favourite Communist. In business, farmers are complaining that the Commodity Credit loan application is too complicated. The price of old houses and farms will continue to slide. "Anti-Truman" forces are going to fight the section in the omnibus private-housing bill that authorises direct housing loans to Veterans. In movie news, Howard Hughes is retitling the movie Ingrid Bergman is filming on Stromboli from After the Storm to Stromboli. Because the storm isn't going to end any time soon! Danny Kaye may be Bottom in a Technicolor A Midsummer Night's Dream, Bette Davis will be in a movie version of A Streetcar Named Desire, MGM is giving Mario Lanza the star buildup, Andre Kostelanetz is returning to CBS and will give Life With Luigi another thirteen weeks. Philip Morris has bought Candid Camera, and Lucille Ball will be a guest star on Bob Hope's show as well as doing her own radio programme in the fall. Four of the ten bestsellers on the Japanese lists in the first six months of 1949 are by Nagasaki survivor Takashi Nagai, and scientsts are going to try to use "the degree of radioactivity in organic carbon" to date the Great Pyramid.

Washington Trends reports that all remaining supply bills before Congress will be wrapped up in a single appropriations bill costed and voted together. Congress is also considering challenging the legal status of the item-veto power. Demands for excise tax cuts, but not cuts to spur capital investment, will move forward in the next session. The lobby investigation will be Washington's "next big show." The real estate lobby is expected to get a special once over, and the Army Corps of Engineers. The Mundt-Ferguson-Johnson "communist control" bill is unlikely to move forward this year due to constitutional concerns and because the President will veto it, although this will be good ammunition for Republicans and Dixiecrats in 1950. The fix is in for the B-36 but not the airlines, the electrical industry won't see a strike. John L. Lewis will continue the coal production freeze until stockpiles come down.

National Affairs

All it took was one radio speech by Senator McCarthy to
make us forget all this stuff. Styles Bridges was re-elected
in 1954 and 1960, the "Senator from John Lewis"
was later known as a staunch defender of McCarthy. 
"The Bipartisan Honeymoon is Over" Because 71 Democrats joined 137 Republicans to "rout" the Administration over the Military Assistance bill, cutting it in half. On the other hand, there is a bipartisan alliance between House socialists and fellow travelers and Isolationists. It turns out that when it comes down to saving some money without hurting any constituents, Congress isn't quite as convinced that the Communists are about to take over  the world and eat all the babies as it used to be.

Also, the Administration's efforts to implement the Hoover Reports are not going well, and the House and the Senate are squabbling over procedures. Over in Oregon, the Secretary of the Navy was "noncommittal" about the Columbia Valley Authority, which caught the Navy flatfooted, as it had just launched a full-scale defence of of the CVA, accusing the GOP of "hamstringing the development of hydroelectric power for the benefit of all the people." Also, General Vaughan and the five percenters some more. Senator Bridges, fresh off the swipe from Time about taking $35,000 year as a trustee of the UMW pension fund, is in fresh trouble as Senator Taylor has dug up correspondence between the fund and the Senate Banking Committee showing that Bridges had built a swimming pool full of money instead of using all the money on very worthy causes, as he claimed. Also, the battle against Communist executives in the trade unions continues.

A short bit about a long-running tap on Mickey Cohen's phone turns up the fact that he's been looking into Bugsy Siegel's killing on his own hook. Oops. I know Wong Lee isn't the type to leave evidence, but it might be embarrassing down in Los Vegas if the  Italian mob ever figures out the Kaiser connection. Gun battles featuring Earl Bircham and Ernest Craig lightened up the mood in the Midwest, as who doesn't like to see a thousand rounds and 200 tear gas bombs fired at a barricaded Chicago house? The story goes on to say that five policemen and one woman spectator were wounded by Craig's return fire, and that he was "riddled" with twenty bullets. But a cocaine smuggling ring was busted in New York, cutting off a cool half million in imports a month, so that's all behind us now. No more cocaine!

"Anti-Red Law Upset" Maryland's anti-Red law has been struck down in Circuit Court as unconstitutional both by the state and Federal constitutions, essentially for making it illegal to think Communist thoughts. It is likely that pretty much all the state anti-Communist laws would fail this test, so that's bad news for anti-thinking-Communist-thoughts forces.

Washington Tides has Ernest K. Lindley taking notes on the arms-aid cut. He gives the usual reasons: Lack of a sense of international crisis, desire for economy, doubts about the Atlantic alliance, desire to drag China into it, desire to poke the President in the eye, although that's not how Lindley phrases it. Which is strange, because, as he points out, it's the only reason that is actually a reason!

"Lost Week End in the Welfare State" The British are enjoying a nice summer instead of panicking over the imminent and inevitable end of the Welfare state due to the dollar being price too high --I mean, due to lack of full technical efficiency. In wacky British news, Sir Stafford is in his Swiss nursing home, Princess Margaret went out dancing for her 19th birthday, since she is supposed to have promised her father that she wouldn't marry until she was twenty, Prince Charles went out for a perambulation, government ordnance factory workers are taking too much paid sick leave now that they have it, a Plymouth man returning to his "aluminum bungalow" got an electric shock from his key and found the hot water running from the cold water faucet, the Royal Military Canal rose 2 1/2 inches in spite of the dry weather, some Canadian workers spent $280 each for round trip third class tickets to Britain to get free operations under National Health that would cost $800 in Canada, a Middlesex driver managed to run over seventeen bicyclists, killing one and injuring two more. In dreary economic news, while even The Economist has had it up to here with American complaints about the welfare state,  R. F. Harrod is upset about the release of blocked pounds to India and Pakistan so that they could buy British goods and keep the factories busy, even though "Britain got nothing in return," and the Manchester Guardian and Times of London are upset that government expenditure exceeded income by $380 million in the first four months of 1949, and predict inflation unless there is immediate retrenchment and reform involving cuts in food subsidies and National Health spending. In news that sounds even sillier even though it shouldn't, the British Medical Association Journal recommends self-hypnotism to combat "Soviet and other totalitarian torture techniques." Self-hypnotism, Dr. E. B. Strauss of St. Bartholomew's says, can make a person insensitive to pain, sounds, induce amnesia, and allow the practitioner to sleep in any circumstance.

I'm sure I've use this before, but this is a case for Sir Launcelot. 

On the continent, the Greeks are winning and Tito is getting a steel mill, in the first case of a plant with "war potential" going to a Communist country. In a whole four years. I can't help thinking that Tito getting a steel mill might have something to do with glorious Greek victories.

"The Murdering Basutos" "Ritual murders" in Basutoland have taken 40 lives in the last unspecified significant period. Apparently ordered by witch doctors, the "40 lives," I find on closer reading, is the number of people hung for participating in them. Someone is ritually murdering, that's for sure!

"The Long Road Home" Ruth Williams, a 24 year-old London typist, married Seretse Khama, an Oxford law student and heir to the Bamangwatos in South Africa. Now she is living in a brick bungalow outside Serowe in Bechuanaland while locals and South Africans take turns being appalled.

To review: (i) We have forgotten about the Nazis, because even though they were bad,
it was a long time ago. (ii) The Nazis are on the comeback trail and more dangerous
than ever. (iii) The Nazis who are back actually aren't so bad, compared with Reds.
Winston Churchill has been to Strasbourg to see what is taking the United States of Europe, while in Finland the Reds' aren't winning, thanks to the army being called out to fight Communist strikers, the Finnish army having some recent experience in the Communist-fighting field, Newsweek points out without a hint of shame. A huge box story outlines Europe's case for devaluing the dollar.  They believe that at this point the problem is a run to the dollar, and the only way to stop a run is to cut it off, which raising the price of gold to $50 will do. It is true that this would be a huge paper profit for America, but the profit could be used to fund a transition to full convertability. "Some economists" think that this would bring global free trade and doom British socialism, which is the principal barrier to world free trade. It could also be the lever to bring the world back on the gold standard, since that worked so well in 1929. In China, the United States has moved out of its consulates, while the Reds are going to respond to the Nationalist blockade on Shanghai by moving some two million inhabitants out of the city to the country so that they can be resettled in useful occupations.

In Canada, unions are on the march and the Dionne quintuplets' older sister is getting married.  In Chile, a mere 20 centavos increase in the fare authorised to Santiago's thirty bus companies has led to massive riots. In Peru, dirty deeds as the new government violates safe conducts and asylum in its hunt for President Odria's enemies.


Walter Hoving, the cover story this week, is president of Bonwit Teller. Ask Ronnie if you haven't heard about them. His stores are modelled on the Palace of Versailles, it says here. Seems like it would be hard to keep overhead down if your overhead is three stories high with chandeliers, but what do I know?

"Britain's Jet Transports" What we need here is another picture of the Comet to go with another story about the Comet. According to Newsweek, Americans missed a trick by not going in for jets. Just like the British missed a trick by not going in for airliners during the war, I'd say. The two are flip sides of each other, and it wouldn't be that important if it weren't so absolutely, critically important, that your airliners be built in your country. "A mad race to overtake the British seemed in the making." Also, we hear about the Jetliner crash.

By UpstateNYer - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,
Trends and Changes reports that Magnavox is going to stop making 10 1/2" television tubes, because no-one wants them. The Cleveland, St. Louis, Cincinnati and Minneapolis-St. Paul stock exchanges are going to merge in the fall. Meter-Aid gets another story. Refrigerator production is up 50% from its low at Westinghouse, and GE is recalling a quarter of lits laid off workers in Dayton as small refrigerators disappear from the stores. National Airlines is advertising a New York-Miami fare of $46.80. The Agriculture Department needs enough granaries to hold a half-billion bushels, which is up from 300 million in the mid-Thirties during Henry Wallace's "ever normal granary" days. A Chicago housing firm is going to set up 2000 Lustron Company porcelain houses in a development 32 miles south of the Loop.

"New Styles in Studebakers" The chairman of Studebaker doesn't like the 1950 models, because he is old. His daughter, who is twenty (jive talking jill, no word on jack, see below), does. So they're probably fine, he says, in his 59-year-old way.

"The Steelmen Talk Back" You know what we've been missing? The steelmen's opinion of the steelworkers' demand for a pension fund and a 30 cent raise. Why, no-one's said anything about it since the last issue of Time!

Now that you're on the edge of your seat, I'll let you in to what they're saying, which is that it's too much and they can't afford it. And that's the scoop!

What's New reports that the Allegheny Ludlum Steel Company has come up with a new steel alloy specifically for televisions, Telemet. R. E. Robertson's Dress-O-Meter is a thermometer indicating outdoor play conditions  and dress advice for children. Chrysler is going in for disc brakes. Russell Mason's new portable wire recorder has the lethal property of recording silently. (And automatically). You flip the switch, put it on the ground underneath the table, and it's as good as a bomb, only in reverse.

Have you ever wondered what Henry Hazlitt thinks of the idea of a government mediator setting a sector-wide wage in the steel industry? Well, wonder no more! He's against it! You see, you can't really set a wage unless you know the future, which the government doesn't. So there, QED. Honestly, even assuming that the steelmen bought a Hazlitt column, this is lazy work.

Science, Medicine, Education

Record Dive" Otis Barton's bathysphere dive to 4500 feet beneath the sea is a record. Barton is an inventor, not an ichthyologist, and isn't sure whether the bathysphere will actually advance fish science, but is looking forward to letting the bathysphere down into "narrow ocean canyons" with "guest explorers" along.

"Electron-Optical Shadow"  Scientists at the National Bureau of Standards are exploiting the electron microscope's sensitivity to magnetic fields to directly investigate same, producing images of the magnetic and electrical fields of minute electrical components used in radar, radio and other forms of electronic gadgets, including the electron microscope itself, in by-its-own-bootstraps news.

Also, Binac gets another story. That's the ENIAC derivative that Northrop has ordered to calculate why flying wings don't fly. (But don't tell the Air Force!) Excket-Maunchly, by the way, is working on an even bigger computer, UNIVAC, which will be able to handle alphabetic information. UNIVAC has already sold to the Census, the Army Map Serivce, the Air Comptroller's Office and the Prudential. At a recent press conference, Eckert again denied that automatic computers would be capable of "intuitive and creative thought." On the other hand, Robert Haife, a 19-year-old technician at the Analysis Laboratory of the California Institue of Technology, has built a tic-tac-toe machine that never loses. (Unless you throw the "easy play" switch, in which case you can.)

"African Treasure Hunt" The United States Public Health Service is interested in Stropanthus sarmentous, a rare African plant that produces cortisone (actually desoxycholic acid, from which cortisone can be made) in its seeds. America's seven million arthritics can't hope for regular cortisone treatments from animal sources, since it takes 40 head of cattle to produce a single daily dose, so African plantations of thousands of acres of this plant would be a good substitute.

"Mock Polio" More on the disease that imitates polio, which has an unknown number of infections, unknown method of transmission, and which cannot be told from polio in the laboratory except by injection of cultures of the virus into mice, where it affects the heart, liver and spleen as well as the nervous system, which is the only thing true polio attacks.

"Salty Comment" Prickly heat, currently treated by alcohol scrubs of the affected areas and loose clothing, might be alleviated by reducing salt in the diet in relation to water, or possibly just table salt, since substituting ammonium chloride will also do it. In more counter-logical medical advice, Dr. Spencer Brown, of the University of Iowa Speech Clinic, warns parents against getting too worked up if their kid seems to stutter, because chances are, they don't, and they'll just get anxious and start stuttering due to "parental guilt complex."

"Fun for the Family" James A. Wylie, an assistant professor of physical education at Boston University, has concluded that the problem with family life today is that there isn't enough physical education. Although since there's more toddlers than teens around these days, the money isn't in medicine balls and Iroquois squats. instead, it is in "family recreational activities" for kids.

Radio-Television, Press, People

"Gift Horse Hobbled" Fed Allen and Henry Morgan are upset at the FCC for banning giveaway shows starting 1 October, because it would make them more dependent on sponsors. The new rules will require participants to write a letter, answer a question, or be listening to the broadcast in order to win a prize. More importantly than two comedians, the National Association of Broadcasters, networks and one member of the FCC, Frieda Hennock, disagree.

"Burley Hurley" General Patrick Burley is in trouble for calling I. F. Stone a Jew on NBC's Meet the Press in an argument over whether the Koumintang are corrupt. Newsweek can't help pointing out that, well, Stone is Jewish.

"The Fourth Enemy" General Peron hates Communists, "oligarchs," political enemies, and the "fourth enemy," La Prensa. Which is a newspaper, and gets a full page profile of staid journalists writing long hand in hand-tooled leather chairs.

Okay, then. 
"The Fat and the Lean" Earl Wilson, editor of the New York Post's Home News, thinks that English girls are skinny and underfed and lack well-defined bosoms. Georgina Campbell ("Mrs. Tommy Manville No. 8") writes back that she isn't, and is willing to pay for a full-age ad in the Post to show she isn't, which leads the Post to put up her picture, return her $850, and suggest that she spend the money on "food packages for English girls."

"Seventeen is Five" Even though advertisers used to dismiss Seventeen readers as "jive-talking jills without jack," they were wrong.That's how Seventeen has come to produce 248 page issues (155 pages of advertising). Seventeen's secret is that it treats its readers as "bright eyed gals full of hope." Also, editor Helen Valentine is everyone's perfect grandmother.

General Eisenhower thinks that Senator Bridges is smoking the funny stuff if he thinks Eisenhower is going to run in '52. Virginia Mayo likes publicity. Mrs. D. Leigh Colvin, of the WCTU, thinks that the Russians got Americans drunk at Yalta while drinking "water from vodka bottles." Representative George Dondero has some more points to make. It's not just modern art that is communistic, it is also any or all "isms." Xavier Cugat is getting divorced. Slovak anti-Communist defector, General Ferjencik, is in trouble with the American Slovak League for being pro-Communist. Mrs. Morrow-Tait isn't sure how much money it cost to fly around the world, but it was a lot.

The New Pictures

Madam Bovary gets another review, and we hear about Jolson Sings Again, yet another musical biography of Al Jolson, continuing on from The Jolson Story.


Mika Waltari's The Egyptians isn't so much middlebrow (after all, it's Newsweek), as a book you can get away with reading in public and still qualify as same. It might be "long, rambling, Cecil B De Milleish panorama of life in ancient Egypt," full of love, hate, war and intrigue, but it's got Pharaoh Akhnaton, who was a monotheist religious reformer (that's good), and Tutankhamen, the teenage successor who was manipulated into reversing his reforms and then murdered, which is bad. The novel mainly features the doctor, "Sinuhe the Theban," who wanders the Middle East from "warlike Hittites to rich Syria to decadent Crete." Keep this volume away from the kiddies, Newsweek says.  L. Starkey's The Witches of Massachusetts is about the Salem Witch Trials, which all Americans need to learn about in school if they want to go into politics, so they know how it's done. Also, it was all a Negro's fault. George Howe's Call it Treason is about spying in the war and won a huge Catholic book prize because it is so Catholic. Newsweek also notices Pinkham was her Name, The River Line, English Heritage and The Big Wheel.  

Raymond Moley closes off with "Illusions of Security." And he should know One day you're on easy street, about to get a cushy job with the Dewey Administration, and next you're stuck writing columns for Newsweek for at least another four years. On the plus side, they don't have to be very good columns, it seems. Herbert Hoover recently said that collectivism is bad, Moley reminds us. How bad? Well, Asa Call, President of the Pacific Mutual Life Insurance Company, and head of the Life Insurance Association of America, also recently made a speech in which he explained why Social Security is terrible, and he should know, because he is the main competition to life insurance, and he knows life insurance.   Maybe Moley took a $5 bet with Hazlitt to see who could write the hackiest column this week, and now he's going to squirrel it away in his retirement account.

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