Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Postblogging Technology, November 1949, II:

R_. C_.,
The Alexander Young Hotel,

Dear Father:

Hopefully this reaches you before you leave Hawaii. Not that it is terribly critical. We welcomed Mrs. C. and Fat Chow's plane last Friday, and reclaimed their children from the Wongs. Heartwarming. I don't even mind being the only driver, on account of  the Wong's old Ford needing a new everything and Reggie's Jeep not being exactly suitable for toddlers. It's almost enough to make me think that James has a point about "practical" cars. 

On second thought, pish-posh. Dinner at the Tang Garden which has moved to the old Perfumed Garden's space across the street from the Benevolent Association, now that they've moved uptown. This meant that Wong Lee felt that he could join us. (Why, yes, I did get that lecture about being more careful myself. So glad you thought to ask!)

Sorry. But I've been hearing a lot of that kind of thing this "Horror Week," which, right now, I am putting behind me as we plan a Thanksgiving fit for our conquering heroes. I don't know. Does creating an American pipeline for Tibetan gold count as "conquering?" Well,, I don't care. As criminal enterprises go, it's a lot better than some of the business we could be involved in! 

Yours Sincerely,

Flight, 17 November 1949


"The Weakest Link" Being a pilot is hard. There should be some research into that. (Actually, there is. A lot of it; but it's late November, and what else is Flight going to write about?)
The Athena comes in Merlin-, and Dart-
powered versions for extra noise. 

"In Search of Proof: Research and Test Facilities of the English Electric Aircraft Division" Help, writes Flight. We've got nothing to write about. So down to the works goes our intrepid English Electric publicity writer. "What is jolly well up, engineering lads, tally ho?" He asks, as Englishmen talk these days, trust your intrepid reporter on that. And they tell him that everyone is saying that it is odd that the Canberra should come from a rank newcomer, but English Electric isn't a newcomer, and also they have this fine laboratory with an absolutely brilliant new low-speed wind tunnel and a thingie for crushing aircraft mockups to see how crushable they are, and they aren't just talking about a high speed wind tunnel, which would be quite the thing. They actually have one. Fortunately, its turbine outlet is pointed in a relatively lightly populated direction.

Here and There

A Stratocruiser has set another Atlantic record. The Belgian government has been granted a license to manufacture Derwents. An S-51 went to rescue a Frenchman marooned on a buoy a mile from Cherbourg, but he had been swept away during the night. The Comet's latest  test run hit 43,000ft and 530 mph. A USAF F-86 recently hit Mach 1.275 in a 35 degree dive. The Air Ministry clarifies that it did not fire all the air gunners when it eliminated the classification, because there were already hardly any air gunners. As armed bombers muster out to Canberras, such air gunners as remain will just be given different jobs. Andrew Kalitinsky, of Oakridge, predicts that the future of giant supersonic bombers belongs to atomic-powered planes. A Navion recently took off with the assistance of a Jato Junior, which is the small version of the Jato, and unfortunately still listed as "restricted," so your local Boy Scout troop will have to wait to try it out. Lord Pakenham was amongst the high and mighty who took a recent ride on a Comet. An estimated 8000 aircraft are being used for dusting crops in America this year. Kaman has installed an "automatic observer" in their latest helicopter under a Navy contract to keep better track of what is going on in the helicopter while the pilot is busy trying not to die. 
Forging the Air Weapon" I have already covered Sir Frederick Handley Page's lecture on the future of the bomber, below under Engineering, which I wrote first, even though it's down below and a later edition. It's a confusing world, I know. Don't worry, there's not much to it besides the table I abstract here. 
He also cites figures showing that the time required to produce a "bomber centre section" falls from over 1000 hours at the beginning of the production run to 230 at the end, which is interesting, but isn't one of the keys to airliner profitability the fact that you have to include the work setting up the jigs? Which means that it's not just the man hours required after twelve months that falls, but the man-hours required for the first twelve months, if production is still going on, twelve months later. 

"Barometric Parachute Release"  Irving Airchute has a new parachute for high altitude use, which automatically releases when air pressure falls to a suitable point. Major T. W. Willans, a veteran of several parachute drops over enemy territory during the war, demonstrated by jumping from 15,000ft and timing the descent by stopwatch. Release was at 6000ft, give or take 200ft by stopwatch measure. 

American Notebook, by Stanley H. Evans Well! So much for my theory that "Favonius" was Lieutenant John Saxon, USAF, who wrote some suspiciously similar-sounding articles for Aviation Week. Evans leads off with the XB-51, a very inventive prototype bomber with three GE J-47s, giving almost 16,000lbs thrust, which is enough to get it in the air providing a variable-incidence wing, retractable tandem-style landing gear, wing-tip lateral stabilisers, and, in general, all  mod cons. It almost makes up for all the pods. The variable incidence wing pivots around the front spar instead of the rear, as in previous attempts at the idea, leaving the back of the wing free for full-span flaps, leaving control to be exercised by tiny little ailerons with spoilers and leading edge slats. Sweepback is to a NACA-recommended 35 degrees. It is enormously long, at 80ft, and enormously heavy, at 80,000lbs, especially considering its small wing area. This is because it is mostly fuel tank. The bomb bay can hold 12,000lbs, and the nose cone has an armaments package of 4 20mm cannons, with an alternative arrangement of four 75mm cannons available per rumour. Evans thinks that the plane would never have got so far if the USAF didn't think it would hit its 650mph target speed, although we don't know what how fast it can go now, and Evans calculates that it could hit that speed at 16000lbs thrust, except for compressibility, and settles for 630mph, at which speed it will make a perfectly fine ground attack aircraft. Starting with any the airfield, with a 160mph landing speed. 

Douglas has a cargo version of the DC-6 out, and is almost done its C-124A military freighter, a modernised version of the C-74. This leads Evans to suggest, once again, that someone should design a specialised freighter aircraft to take advantage of the market that he's sure is there. 

"Warm Outlook: New Developments in Thermal De-misting of Windscreens" Flight was over at the Jet Conversion School at Driffield last month, where it noticed that mist was still blinding pilots in rapid descents from altitude. That isn't good! Flight then strains to explain what every motorist already knows before summarising the solutions that every motorist already knows about. But Triplex Safety Glass has an alternative, which is to bury some heating wires in a layer of optically clear plastic in the windshield. The wires are so fine that they are invisible, and can deliver the necessary 700 watts per square foot, which, since it is the equivalent of 1 hp, implies some kind of automatic control in case it starts melting the plastic. So Triplex put in a thermometer in, as usual, an "ingenious" arrangement to achieve same. This only covers outer icing, but Triplex is eager to put in another layer at the inner side of the windshield to deal with misting. In other words, it doesn't have a solution to the problem at all, but is willing to work on one if someone will pay for it. 

"'Sevens' in Service" The Meteor 7 Trainer is in service, and Flight has pictures. 

'Bellerophon,' "Air Defence at the Crossroads: Problems of Interception in the Atomic Age" Bombers are fast now, and they have atom bombs. Interceptor fighters should be super, super fast, and have radar, especially if they're going to intercept by day and by night, which would be a very efficient use of resources. The Americans have fast jets, but no good interceptors, due to high wing loading. The Germans tried out a rocket-powered fighter, but that's just silly. If you're going to go with exclusive rocket power, you need to go with a guided missile. In the meantime, the future belongs to a jet fighter with rockets. They should carry that new German 30mm cannon, because who knows defending against modern bombers better than the Germans?

Civil Aviation News

The idea of Germany having an Air Ministry and an airline gave an American vapours, since next thing you know, the Luftwaffe will be back. Tut-tut, the British say, we need the Germans controlling things on the ground, at least, and we'll watch out for any signs of the Luftwaffe coming back. The National Airport crash has the CAA looking into the problem of "intruders," specifically, military aircraft wandering around civilian airports under their own control and at their own speed. Either Service aircraft should be banned from civilian airport airspace, as some American airports are requesting, or they should come under the airport's control while they are in "mixed-use" space. 

As we've been hearing, BOAC's first Stratocruiser will make its first flight 6 December, replacing Constellations on the London-New York/Bermuda route, and freeing them up for the London-Montreal service, which will be daily from April 1950. To commemorate the Short C class flying boats, the lead Stratoliner will be named the "Freezing to Death in Mid-Harbour While the Lighter Tries to Come Alongside" No, I was freezing when I wrote my notes, and I couldn't make out my squiggles. "Caledonia." BOAC will continue to fly the Yorks that were replaced by Argonauts, but as freighters.  

The IATA has approved a settlement of the squabbles over African routes, one of which will involve a landing at "Monkey Bay, near Cape Maclear." Australian National Airways is in a snit because it can't buy Douglas on account of the dollar shortage. The PAA-AOA merger advances apace. Canadian and American KLM pilots are having trouble remitting their salaries to Canada and America due to the --believe it or not!-- dollar shortage! TCA is expanding its London office, and BOAC is marketing in America because of the Yankee dollar. The French Assembly is laying out twenty million francs for an expedition to the Kerguelen Islands in the Southern Indian Ocean with the aim of building a weather station followed by some airstrips. The CAA has commenced certification work on the "Super" DC-3. 

"B-50 for 1950" The USAF has 222 B-50s on order to upgrade the venerable (I feel old!) B-29 with new radar, a modified forward gun turret, the Boeing single-point refuelling system, and a maximum all up weight of 165,000lbs as from the B-50D. Refuelling arrangements are unclear, as the B-50D lacks the hose-coupling beneath the tail that appears on British-equipped B-50As, and the B-50D might use the Boeing "boom" refuelling method. 

"The Herald: A New Ultra-Light: Two-seat Version  May Follow" Hants and Sussex Aviation is pleased to announce that it has a new "ultra-light" plane with a 36hp JAP engine and fixed-pirch wooden airscrew, with a 65hp Continental version to follow. 
The Herald wouldn't fly, but their work for the 1965 movie did!

The rules for the 1950 National Air Races have been published. 


R. F. Mason recalls the old days, during the war. F. Barling writes to correct the mistaken impression that the Wright four-engine training simulator is a new thing, as they existed back during the war. W. A. Smith has time to waste writing to Flight. Thomas Keegan presents statistics that suggest that remaindered Vickers Vikings will be the only twin-engined freighters in the 28,000lb+ class when the new IATA rules go into effect, and suggests that until the DC-3 is upengined, we should all just ignore the IATA rules, because it worked for Nelson. L. G. F. Hewitt, of Hardy and Collins, writes to say that, contrary to Taylorcraft publicity, the Auster Autocrat isn't an economical crop-dusting aircraft. Auster writes back that it was actually talking about another Auster, and only seemed to be talking about the Autocrat. It is a natural mistake to write "Autocrat," instead of "Gipsy-powered J-5"!  

Engineering, 18 November 1949

"Limits and Fits for Locomotive Work, London Midland Region" So British Standards has recently handed down an Imperial Edict on "Limits and Fits for Locomotives." That means that it is time for the LMR to tell us what it is doing about that. The dispute here is between bilateral and unilateral limits for holes, obviously, and I hardly need to explain how this impacts running, push, driving, etc. At the same time, the Committee recognised that while unilateral limits were to be preferred, there was a case for bilateral working in some cases. Specifically, the LMR uses bilateral limits for valve gear pins in order to provide running fit, and a push fit on different points of a gear of varying diameter. 

Well, obviously! I'd include a nice table of increasing sizes of motion pin and holes, but it is only applicable to the London Midlands Region.


Engineering has received Documentation, by the eminent Dr. Bradford, and can there be any doubt about which book gets the lead review? The main theme of the book is the superiority of the Universal Decimal Standardisation system. This somewhat controversial decision mars the value of the book, because notwithstanding the superiority of this system, it gets in the way of the intention to provide a thorough account, which would make time for such alternatives as the Library of Congress system. Oh! It's about libraries! And professional abstracting services, which would do a much better job of classifying the literature if Dr. Bradford's preferred system were adopted. Says Dr. Bradford. I should probably give my natural facetiousness a rest. Workers in the technical fields can't possibly master the whole range of useful publications on their subjects, and so depend on abstraction services, which in turn rely on classification systems to make those abstracts available. Would a better classification system bring useful work in obscure journals to light? It can't hurt!

Frank Hunt's Steamers of the Thames and Medway is a fine book because it is organised by lines rather than strict chronology, which makes it easier to look ships  up, and because it is largely free of technical mistakes. I'm sure this book is awfully boring, but the idea of it is interesting. I had no idea that there used to be all of these passenger steam services on the Thames. The London busses (I forget the exact right name and would have to read the review again to remind myself just this minute) had a steamer service, which I guess means that fifty years ago or so, your City businessman was riding across the river in a steamer, umbrella, bowler hat and rolled copy of the Thames and all. So there you go. Slice of history!

"The Seventeenth Annual Conference on Navigation, Cont." The previous installment covered 12 papers given at the Conference. This one covers more! Specifically, it covers sessions on improving the speed of navigation, and on dealing with "large differences in head." So it turns out that "navigation" here means inland waterways. That out of the way, it seems as though there are national themes. So when it is the Italian turn to go on improving speed, it is all about more and better canals and canalised rivers, with  considerable discussion of the latest methods of training rivers. Who is a good river? You're a good river! Whereas the Dutch and Germans want to talk about new and faster engines, mostly diesel, which are also better milers, which is always good for getting out of a light faster, or whatever they have on rivers instead. When it comes to dealing with head, the Dutch and Belgians want to talk about barge elevators, Americans about building higher walls, French about the continuing virtues of old-time locks, and a Polish professor about his crazy scheme for a lock that uses air bladders instead of water. (Which "Congreve" tried near London back in 1817, but which didn't work.)

(Getting ahead of myself again, but what the heck.)

"Electricity in the Cotton Industry" They have it! In the old days, they used to use "process steam," which was produced in boilers and sent through little steam engines to do all the mill work. Except that the steam was handy in the various chemical workings, this was pretty inconvenient, but it took literally forever to persuade everyone that electricity was better. 

"'Reactive' Wiredrawing Machine with Hydraulic Drive" Messrs Arthur Lee and Sons, of Sheffield, supply designs for wiredrawing machinery, which are made by Vickers-Armstrong and sold by Rockwell Machine Tool Company as agent. They  have recently added 'reactive' machines, which are exceptionally good at wiredrawing, as many satisfied customers are now discovering. Don't you want to be a satisfied customer, too? Reactive machines add a "back pull" to the front pull, which makes it sound like the machine is playing tug-of-war with itself, but evidently has the advantage of eliminating overhead tackle like control gear, since the "blocks," which I think are the holes the wire is pulled through, impart pull on each other. The hydraulic motor has to be a continuous-drive swashplate type, which is interesting because of the sold start that the Royal Navy gave the swashplate, starting with door motors and leading on to turret-rotating machinery before finally arriving at "oilgears." I don't know if there's a connection --I would have to be some old-time mechanical engineer brought up in all the other ways that a swashplate motor might be used, so I leave that to the older generation. By the way, it seems odd that an American licensed agent would be advertising in Engineering. It is one thing if Vickers can't sell to British customers. It's another if they end up importing the equipment back from America! 

"3000hp, 3000v Direct Current Locomotives for Brazil" Brazil wants to electrify a 60 mile section of rail that connects with another section of already-electrified rail. It has a maximum gradiant of 2/5%, and carries heavy traffic, about 65% of which is freight. It is hoped that the new electrified line will be able to handle 21,000t of freight, up 40% from currently. The locomotives will be built at Vulcan Foundry, the electrical equipment by English Electric. Because of the nature of track and switching yards, short locomotives are needed, and these will be limited to 600 ton loads. There are lots of details of construction, design and equipment, of which what stands out for me is provision of hand, pneumatic and regenerative braking, and a right-hand control cabin, which is evidently a thing on British rails as well as cars! 

"Dies and Press for Jointing Steel-Cored Aluminum Cables" You more or less insert Fork A into Slot B, like assembling a baby crib while Mrs. C. putters around making you coffee and trying not to look as tired as she is, and then crimp it down like anything with a big old press, so that the result is as strong as the rest of the wire and as conductive, but Messrs. Tate Brothers go into detail, since they want you to buy their crimp-like-anything press. 

"Factory for the Manufacture of Twist Drills" After dealing with the crucial matter of the corporate history of the 70 acre Openshaw site of English Steel, the writer moves on to the nub of the article, which is that, since Openshaw does lots of related work in the field of making specialty steels, it sure would be nice if it had its own factory making tools of special steel for working special steel. Twist drills, which consist of one part of specialty steel "butt-welded" (I hope that passes the censors!) to not-specialty steel. Naturally this involves a factory laid out in a certain way, and not another way. "The production line includes many interesting machines, automatic and semi-automatic machines being preferred where possible."

This once, for all technical writers: Calling something "interesting" doesn't make it so. You know this. The people you have inflicted your first drafts on have been telling you this since you were a short schoolboy in long pants, or the other way around. Why do you keep saying it? Are you trying to get a laugh? Because, well, actually, never mind. It still works.

Also, it has "visual control," which you'd expect, on the basis of the preceding article, to have a long and confusing explanation. But it doesn't! The end.

Launches and Trial Trips Four motor ships and one steamship this week. Lammermuir, Taiyuan, Lexa Maersk and Delphic are a trawler, mixed passenger-cargo, cargo and refrigerated cargo liner, respectively. Kingston Garnet is a trawler.

Engineering attended Marconi's recent demonstration on the radio control of an airport and were very impressed by the twelve-pound "walkie-talkie" which can be holstered to your leg.

Regional Notes Scotland is in the mood to apologise for steel production figures which are down from last October and barely up from September, which is unimpressive compared to England, even though the yearly production is up. By the end of the month, production is rising further due to abundant raw materials. Bars are available because of falling foreign sales, and rerollers are not completely busy. Steel plate makers are, because of demand from shipyards, but there are concerns about lack of forward orders. Coal exports hit record levels, and coal is coming forward to meet increasing industrial and domestic demands due to rising production although by the end of the month shortages reappear. The southwest sees a similar increase as miners buckle down to earn Christmas money, with steam coal exports continuing to rise through the end of the month and the business looking to the American strike to open up even more new markets, while the tinplate business is looking up. South Yorkshire is seeing the effects of brownouts, and also a "go slow" campaign by steelworkers in the first half of the month. However, production is high, and a more serious problem is a shortage of skilled labour as retirements take their toll, and a lack of new apprentices due to the fact that they can make more money in well-paid unskilled jobs. The factories are using more DPs to compensate, especially tool factories, which are very busy at the end of the month. Coal output is up. Cleveland and the Northern Counties are still doing good business but is anxious about future contracts due to rising continental competition, expected to get fiercer when the Baltic thaws. In contrast to Scotland, these fears are abating by the end of the month. Iron ore is still in demand.


It wouldn't look like this if the Romans had a copy of the Rubber Handbook
"The Strengths of Materials, Revisited" Engineering goes to a lecture by Sir Andrew McCabe, who has thoughts about same. As always, we begin with a historical review. The Greeks and Romans had no idea about strengths of materials, which is why their structures were so overbuilt. Leondardo da Vinci tried to measure it, Galileo made another effort, and Hooke finally came up with Hooke's Law, which led to Young's Modulus. In recent years, engineers have become aware that Hooke's Law doesn't apply perfectly, and now Dr. McCabe has come along to explain why in the modern style, with crystals and crystal lattices and atoms getting unstuck and diffusing about. Apart from securing the use of Hooke's Law again, he does a good job of explaining creep.

Systems of Limits and Fits for Locomotives" Engineering clarifies the article at the beginning of the paper by saying the same thing all over again.

I guess he finally learned better with the Victor? A bit late!
Notes The Institution of Mechanical Engineers heard a paper on "The Engineering Implications of the Surface Preparation of Mild Steel Prior to Fabrication" As usual, it turns out to be a running attack on all methods not preferred by the author, followed by an extensive discussion of the one he likes. Pickling steel in phosphate (I believe they used to say) gives it a good surface for painting but it otherwise useless; shot blasting is good but far too expensive in plant; sanding it down is too much work. Surface deposition of metal, on the other hand, is good for steel, excellent for fabrication, and cures the common cold! Sir Frederick Handley Page gave a talk to the RUSI. Although delivered two hours late, at least it was at least ten percent heavier than a competing American talk, and had complicated sentences that Australians aren't equipped to disassemble. Sir Frederick notes that bombers have been getting more complicated. He delivered the first Handley Page bomber of 1915  at the expenditure of only 300 draftsmen's hours, whilst the Halifax took 8400. He noted that future bombers would probably be limited by runway length, and went on and on again about how bombers had to be designed for production from the start. I wonder if Sidney Camm showed up and accused him of producing overweight junk again?


W. Taylor, who is the head of the gas turbine division of the Modern School of Engineering Sciences[?], has done a back-of-the-envelope calculation that shows that the jet-propelled cargo ship described in M. Watson's recent paper would need a 70ft diameter pipe. W. T. and Avery, Ltd, is dismayed by Professor Matheson of Farnborough's criticism of their 30 ton universal testing machine for not being standardised enough or something. Their point is that the 30 tonners are good enough for most work, and when it comes to the kinds of things that Farnborough does, like test the limits of 90t tensile limit steel or entire ship or airframe structures, you really can't standardise, so why bother trying? A. C. Vivian writes to call out Gilbert Cook for misunderstanding how steel stretches in his Presidential Address to the Institution of Engineers and Shipbuilders of Scotland, which also heard Watson's goofy paper about jet-propelled ships.

O. L. Prowde, who spent most of his career building dams and irrigation works in Egypt, although popping back to Jolly Old to argue for the Great Ouse flood abatement scheme, has died. So has P. J. Waldram, a consulting engineer with a practice specialising in daylight, Henry Deck, who sold farm equipment for Ransomes, and Professor Meyerberg, who emigrated from Nazi Germany in 1933 at the age of 43, and worked in Britain for the rest of his career, from 1941 on the staff of Engineering Digest. Prowde and Waldram both made it to 80, but three obituaries does still make it a sickly season for old engineers.

The Iron and Steel Institute concerned itself this month with a special session on the flow of gasses in model furnaces.

"The International Association for Hydraulic Structures Research, Cont." Just in case you couldn't get enough of international meetings on the subject of thingies in water. The main burden of the conference was port structures, or in one case weirs in inlets, but surge tanks and sewer systems were also heard from. Or about, as perhaps no news from sewer systems is good news.

Labour Notes The first two thirds of  the notes are devoted to everyone agreeing that everyone should moderate wage demands because of inflation before finally arriving at some news, which is that unemployment rose abruptly from 267,000 to 300,000 in the last month, compared to a rise of only 7000 in the month before. But the work force increased by 25,000, which is less than 10th of a percent, but still an increase. Engineering got 7000, textiles got 6000, chemicals got 3000, while the collieries loss 4000, with the remainder presumably going to parasitic, unworthy jobs in retail and services.

R. E. Tricker, "Metals Used in Clock and Instrument Manufacture" Ii don't really feel up to summarising this four page article about all the brasses, steels and other metals used to make all sorts of components such as springs and escapements and cogs and so on.

"Air-Operated Tyre Fitting Machine" Messrs. Harvey Frost and Company have come up with a way of mechanising the fitting of inner tubes and covers to auto-mobiles.

"Information Services of the Royal Society" Engineering was reporting on the annual conference just the other day, I think I recall. Anyway, something came up, specifically the fact that with all of these new photo-copiers around these days, scientists were making personal copies of library articles, and this is technically illegal under the copyright act. So the Service has pronounced a "Fair Use" principle according to which you can make copies if you don't go overboard. I'd give you more exact details, but it would constitute proof that I've read the article and am knowingly breaking the law in the law library every afternoon. Which I'm not. I swear! (Glumph glumph as Ronnie eats the incriminating copy of "Argle vs. Bargle.")

Notes on New Books notes the new edition of Young and Morrison's Structural Problems in Steel and Timber and explains why students can't get away with used copies of the old edition. F. R. Storie's Organic Chemistry for Engineering Students is his lecture notes done up in a book, and is very lucid and useful. G. H. Lewis' Factory Steam Plant is a newer and better textbook on same for the new age of expensive coal, and not at all an extended advertising brochure for equipment the author likes.

"Dust Controlling Grinding Machine" Murad Developments has a very nice machine where the driveshaft of the grinding wheel also operates a vacuum that sucks out the dust produced by the grinding. The air is then passed through a filter before being used to cool the motor.

Time, 21 November 1949


Judge Medina, Captain Crommelin, Cardinal Mindszenty, Ralph Bunche, Edwin Nourse, Stafford Cripps, Tito, Robert Taft, Admiral Denfield and Albert Schweitzer are proposed as Men of the Year. Upton Sinclair is appalled that while South Pacific will take in $5 million at the box office, the speculators that backed it will take in $8 million. J. F. Pariso and Ralph E. Dunkel gives a farmer's and a man-in-the-street's defence of the Brennan Plan, while David Porter of Clinton, New York and S. L. Worsley of Scottsboro, Alabama, give an anti-price guarantee position from a farmer's and an Alabaman perspective. R. S. Boggs of the University of North Carolina points out that while Edward L. Dohenny intended to name his company "relatives" in Spanish, it's actually a rude word and a bit of a boner. Readers are divided on whether John Dewey is the best educational reformer ever, or the spiritual parent of a generation of "sloppy-minded youngsters who can neither read nor write."

Our Publisher wants us to know that the Time Recipe Book is out. All tested in the kitchen of Mrs. Florence Arfmann. (Which is a real name.) Avocado ice cream! Raw fish soaked overnight in lime juice!

National Affairs

"Stand for Something" The GOP is a bit shell shocked after its heavy defeats in New York, especially after setting up the Senate race as a referendum on the Fair Deal. Some say that a defeat for Internationalist John Dulles is a victory for the Midwestern wing of the party, while others say that it shows that the GOP needs to develop a platform that goes beyond opposition to the Administration. Time prefers the views of re-elected Governor Driscoll of New Jersey, who points out that there's nothing wrong about "me-tooism" if it is "me-tooism" in support of the right things.The Republican Party needs to take its stand against the bad things in the President's platform, such as socialised medicine. Further on the theme, the President hosted Democratic Party kingmakers at a very happy victory party on election day, as Democrats won practically everywhere except New Jersey. In California, voters rolled back the state old age pension scheme, while in Virginia and Texas, voters defeated attempts to get rid of the poll tax by large majorities, undermining the argument that the best way to advance civil rights is to leave it to the states. In Ohio, Senator Taft is pushing a "Massachusetts-style" ballot that will gain the Republicans a hundred thousand votes by, basically, confusing the voters. Also, Julius Krug, embattled over corruption scandals, has resigned. The Associated Press has done a back-of-the-envelope calculation showing that the federal payroll is over $10 billion, that six of every 100 workers are in the pay of the US government, and that the Government payroll alone costs taxpayers $227 a year. The Crommelin saga has ended not in a court martial, but a stiff letter of reprimand that means he will not reach flag rank, and, in fact, should retire next year. Washington's detachments of the Shore Patrol, MPs and Air Police will be merged next year into the Armed Services Police Department. John Lewis is in trouble with coal miners, while Cyrus Ching has negotiated an end to the steel strike and given up on coal.

In more slice of life news, a shooting at Ohio State University is  national news, Congress estimates that more than 8 million American families had incomes less than $1000 last year, and that almost a third of the nation was under $2000. Wisconsinites drank the most beer in the nation last year, 30 gallons, and 11 year old Artie Briggs managed to sneak aboard a TWA Constellation to fly to Los Angeles, and made it to St. Louis before being caught.


"Traffic Jam" Everyone is talking about Germany again because times are tough in Berlin. My summary of the late foreign ministers' meeting. Dean Acheson gets good marks in Germany for saying nice things about the country. Andrei Vishinsky spells off by being mean, instead. He is also in trouble with Time for being an awful hypocrite about atomic bombs now that Russia actually has one, and everyone thinks that Russia's claim to be developing atomic bombs for peaceful uses such as blowing up inconvenient mountains is ridiculous. Because it is.

"Towards Recognition" The State Department wants to recognise the Chinese Communists on the thin grounds that they run the country. But President Truman is digging in  his heels, as he doesn't like Communists. The British, along with the Indians and Australians, will recognise the Communist government by year's end, but America wants to see how the Koumintang blockade works out, first, and whether the presence of American diplomats "inhibits" Chinese communist hi-jinks.  So far, it doesn't seem so.

"To the Rescue" Time is appalled at the way that the Chinese are treating Angus Ward. Still. More importantly, so is the New York Times, which is good, because quoting it is better than looking like Time being Time. In a similar vein, Ambassador Briggs has secured the release of Samuel Meryn. Since that is Czechoslovakian news, we follow with the Czech Catholic Church's latest surrender to the Communist, which Time thinks is too much surrendering, while the Communists think that it isn't enough. Also, in Sweden, Senator Elmer Thomas is on junket, and having a fine old time complaining about how assorted Europeans aren't nearly grateful enough for Marshall aid, which has the Swedish press out of joint.

"The Lonely Election" Time is worried that the elections in the Philippines aren't democratic enough.

"Coup" The Chinese Communist seizure of assorted Koumintang airliners gets a longer treatment here that emphasises that some of the fleet is grounded at Kai Tak, and that the British won't let the Koumintang take them back; and that the American pilots are divided, with CNAC pilots willing to fly for any official Chinese government, while CATC is inclined to the Koumintang. Our new friend, General Chennault, is offering jobs to airmen of "proven loyalty." Also, Haile Selassie has celebrated his 19th year on the throne, and Time gets to Marshal Rokossovsky's appointment as Polish defence minister. Time thinks that he is far too aristocratic and not nearly Polish enough.

"Man in the Wings" And speaking of marshals and generals, how about that de Gaulle? l'Epoque is reporting that Georges Bidault has entered into a secret electoral compact with the General, while General Bedell Smith's memoirs of his time as ambassador to Moscow get a full page treatment.

"Unavoidable Delay" A nice bit of human interest to underline German industrial delay: Wagner and Lange's, a razor manufacturer in Solingen, just filled a paid 1939 order from Charles Liddy of Castleblayney, Ireland, with a note apologising for the "unavoidable delay."

Down Latin America way, where the nights are gay and the sun smiles gently on the mountain top, a half century of constitutional government is at an end with a Conservative coup against the Liberal majority in Congress, accompanied by widespread political fighting in the countryside where the dead are counted in "thousands." While in Lima, Peru, a beauty contest almost degenerated into a private showing of the bathing-suited contestants before the judges, until the Archbishop of Lima stepped in. The winner has black hair and flashing eyes, and a grandfather whose estate included two million dollars in cold coins. Truly, beauty is in the eye of the (be)holder. In Havana, government workers were given the day off to rally in support of the President's decision to borrow two million American dollars to pay for this and that. And in Canada a disgraceful nude statue shocked Montreal.

. . . So, anyway, perhaps you can see why, when The Economist covered the coup in Colombia, it worried that Americans aren't taking the anti-democratic drift in South America seriously enough.


"Fool's Gold" Speculators have been driving up the price of gold on the merry supposition that the official price was sure to go up. John Snyder said not, but who believes the silly old Treasury Secretary? Now the President has said the same, and the price of Homestake Mining accordingly fell 3 1/2 points.

"No Bones Broken" The end of the strikes saw American industrial production for October down only 6% compared with the 11 1/2% the Federal Reserve warned about, and in spite of temporary layoffs in Detroit, employment is well up along with retail, which is finding inventories too lean, again. GM is handing out the biggest cash dividend in US history, which is occasion to point out that Ford is family held, so we have no idea how much money is behind its two dividend payments.

The A and P is carrying on a press campaign against the Justice Department over its antitrust campaign. Meanwhile, du Pont, in trouble over its monopoly on cellophane, has been trying to drum up a competitor, which has finally emerged in the form of Olin Industries, which will be sold licenses to all du Pont cellophane patents at knock-down-take-them-away prices so that it can branch out of ammunition and into the crinkly transparent stuff, which it will make in a du Pont-designed factory, once du Pont has trained its staff. Wall Street would be gaga, if it weren't that Olin is family-owned, all shares divided between brothers John and Spencer Olin; which makes the company gross and profit a family secret. Interestingly, the Olins and du Ponts have each owned 49% of Equitable Powder Manufacturing Company, which, in turn, sells America its blasting powder and dynamite through three wholly-owned subsidiaries.
A link to the Wikipedia article on the John M. Olin Foundation for your convenience
"Coffee Pot Tempest" American housewives are hoarding coffee beans.

"Theodora's Tap" While I'm a state away from Hollywood, I am close enough to tell you that Time's take on bottled water, that it is a "mark of class" down in LA, is spot on. Now, Theodora Getty is branching out from crooning to sell "Hereford water." Hereford is the town where teeth never decay, due to the flouride in the country water, and she has sewn up commercial rights to the city's water, and leased a 10,000 gallon tanker car to take it to Hollywood at $1100 a trip. Stars who buy at $1.25 for the 5 gallon bottle include Bogart, Crosby and Hope, and she  hopes to expand through the Western states and then nationwide.

"Rocking Empire" Time's coverage of the disastrous news out of the Rank Organisation points out that it has lost almost $10 million making movies in 1949, and might have to stop making movies entirely in June of 1950. Time puts the blame on the 40% entertainment tax that has funnelled $25 million into the Rank Organisation alone, "draining the industry's lifeblood" through the box office. Michael Foot modestly suggests nationalising the industry.

Science, Medicine, Education

"Can Civilisation Survive?" Vannevar Bush's Modern Arms and Free Men is coming out next week, so it's time to hit the press. Ever since WWI, war has been about science and factories, not men. That led to "submarines, airplanes and the new pursuit of electronic miracles," and then, finally, atomic energy. Just to pick out a theme here, Bush keeps returning to "electronic miracles." Radar and sonar appear on a list of wonder weapons ahead of the V-1, which "might well have stopped the Normandy invasion" and the usual assortment of rocket guns before he moves rapidly on to the schnorkel submarine and its long-range homing torpedoes that can be fired "from a point well beyond the earshot of sonar." Nazi ingenuity is now in Russian hands. Then a paragraph break, before the atom bomb finally reappears. "The Cancelled Carrier" gets a column break so that Bush's opinion of the Revolt of the Admirals can be summarised, after which we move on to his conclusion that the great fleets and air sea battles of WWII won't recur due to the guided bomb, guided missile and proximity fuze. Ominously, "Cancelled Carrier" is followed by "The Cancelled Bomber," on the grounds that the ramjet missile will be able to shoot down the highest-flying, fastest bomber, very soon.

So, will the next war be resolved by fleets of intercontinental bombers dropping atom bombs? Perhaps not. The atom bomb is not as devastating as popularly supposed, and "the cost of manufacturing and of delivering it would be so vast that they might well exhaust a nation before it had struck a winning blow," and Bush thinks you should not underestimate defences against it. The Germans did not get 5% of the way there, and the time of a Russian bomb is long away. Oops! On the other hand, America might strangle itself with the welfare state.

So if I had to pick a theme out of here, it's not exactly a subtle one. Vannevar Bush is a great deal more concerned with "electronic miracles" than with big, weapons that go boom. Submarines are a threat to be countered by better sonar; aircraft carriers and bombers are to be countered by guided weapons; interceptors to be made effective with better radar. I better not tell Uncle George, or his head will swell three sizes!

"Poles Apart" Admiral Peary's claim to have discovered the North Pole has been criticised many times, most recently by dear Professor Hubbard, who was willing to face off every gunman in the Koumintang for us that night in 1946, reports that the air force used loran to find the Pole and then sent out the air force to look at it, and it is a "nightmare jigsaw puzzle of ice floes that Peary couldn't have crossed if his life depended on it.

"War Booty" Professor Gerhard Domagk, discoverer of the sulfa drugs, had one more trick up his sleeve as war closed in on international medical cooperation: Tibione, a member of the thiosemicarbazone chemicals, new to medicine and unrelated to the antibiotics, but effective against tuberculosis. Now, Drs. H. Corwin Hinshaw of Stanford and Walsh McDermott of New York Hospital-Cornell have fetched it back to America as, well, the title.  Hinshaw and McDermott see it as a supplement to streptomycin, as it is ineffective against generalised tuberculosis and most effective against tuberculous laryngitis and enteritis. It is more toxic than streptomycin, but the patient recovers rapidly, and it can be used in a four-dose-a-day course for years at a time. Since the patents were seized as enemy property during the war, any American factory can make it, and it will soon be tried on thousands to determine its effectiveness against pulmonary tuberculosis.

"Science vs. the Cold" In a report summarising a three year study, Dr. Christopher Howard Andrews summed up just how little science knows about this simple disease. In spite of using concentrated distillations of nose-drippings (EWW!!!), the study was unable to infect more than 55% of volunteers. Dr. Andrews concludes that cold infects when people receive even a small dose at moment when their defences are low. But he has no idea when that is. It's not when you are cold or have wet feet --he studied that. He'd study more, but even "the most eminent men of science" lose all sense when they get a cold, so there you go. Uncle George prescribes hot rum punch, for what it's worth.

"Worst Kind of Troublemaker" This week's cover story is Dean Robert Hutchins of the University of Chicago, the man who invented The Middlebrow Five-Leg Learning in the form of the Great Books course. Call me a Continental snob, but yuck! Of course there's a too-bourgeois-by-far picture of the eminent Dean in casual three-piece, posed beside his wife and in front of the obligatory and ever-so-bourgeois bookshelf of neatly arranged and probably colour-coordinated leather bindings. Even more revealing, a picture of a younger but no less square-jawed Hutchins posed beside his father, a former "professor of  homiletics." And while I am not as sure on my feet with the real Five Leg Learning as I am with Hutchins' version, that character translation is worth an essay in itself. Oh, the ruins of Yin . . . 

Art, Press, Radio and Television, People

Tsuguharu Foujita is the name on everyone's lip after his show open in Manhattan. World War II must be over; Foujita's back! Also, Francis Bacon took a break from destroying his own canvasses to have a show.

New Orleans, and the New Orleans Item were taken in by a fake German prince who married a rich old maid, always a good story, while Editor Erwin Canham of the Christian Science Monitor is concerned that American newspapers and radio stations aren't doing a good job of covering national and international affairs, while Aubrey Williams' success in turning around Southern Farmer shows that Birmingham, Alabama secretly yearns for a good, liberal paper. As for Communist papers, Laurence Todd has been demoted as Washington bureau chief of Tass, because the agency wanted an actual Russian in charge.

"Non-Party Line" There's a telephone news service in Berlin that is free from the party line, while Arthur Godfrey is upset that his listeners prefer Bill Lawrence to the cool jazz stylings of Wendell Peacock, summoned to the studio to explain "atomic energy and fission, nuclear fission and all those things."

Lady Astor is upset that there is too much sex about in this modern "striptease age." Admiral Halsey was in Walter Reed for cataract surgery, Ava Gardner is sick and tired of posing for cheesecake, Judge Medina is tired of adulation from the masses, Countess Ciano is going to be woman's section editor of Insieme,, Nehru is not tired of the adulation of the masses, Vice President Barkley is coping with a tough pre-wedding week along with his bride-to-be, Mrs. Carleton S. Hadley, and Dr. Frances Everett Townsend, campaigner for old age pensions, is tired out after watching his grandson for a week. Tommy Dorsey has had a girl, Darryl Zanuck's daughter has had a wedding, Russell Weisman, Clarence Owens, William Baskett, Clyde Martin Reed and Walter Runciman have died.

The New Pictures

Time is appalled by Chicago Deadline's "anti-male message." Apparently, tracking down the murderer of a young girl found dead on the tracks with a thick black book only to find that the city is full of wolves on the hunt is some kind of blast against the monstrous regimen of men. I mean, the fact that I can lift a literal translation of John Knox's little page turner out of the most conservative of my five Chinese-English dictionaries ought to tell you something! Although "[Alan] Ladd's paralyzed imitation of Alan Ladd" is a good line. On the other hand, The Big Wheel has "cyclonic energy and pace" and "juvenile vigour." It may be no match for 1932's The Crowd Roars, but they knew how to make movies back then (Tell me more, Grandpa!), but Mickey Rooney throws punches, drains bottles, and, oh, yes, wins races like anyone's business. 


Eleanor Roosevelt's memoirs are out, and as much as I worship the ground Mrs. Roosevelt walks on, it isn't for her writing, so, thank you, I'll pass. Some pretty strong hints that she was aware of Lucy Rutherfurd, though. Ahem. Yes, for a very serious young women of the very highest intellectual attainment, I do spend too much time reading the gossip. Why do you ask? Other women being out and in the open, time to move on to Alberto Moravia's The Woman of Rome, a bit of a sensation thanks to Moravia's reputation. Continuing to comb the strands of the foreign transom (mixed metaphor alert!), it's Five Novels of Ronald Firbank, an omnibus edition of yet another author who is willing to be an American's idea of what he is supposed to be, if that makes any sense. (He liked boys.) Then it is back to America for William Faulkner's Knight's Gambit, which is a collection of Faulkner's Yoknapatawpha detective fiction, which isn't really a genre that anyone needed.

Flight, 24 November 1949


"Jet Awakening" Flight is very, very smug about how far ahead Britain is in the jet field, and how the silly Americans don't even realise that they are at the edge of the bottomless precipice of jagged rocks.

L. G. Griffiths, "Ships and Flying Ships: Ocean Liners and Marine Aircraft Compared: A Study in Progress" Griffiths, a retired Lieutenant Commander, has some  kind of point to make, but it is buried at the end of an long introduction belabouring the history of Atlantic liners over the last century or so that has my eyes rolling back in my head.
At least it comes to an ending quickly enough to make room for a three-quarters page spread of Caledonia landing back at London Airport after its maiden Atlantic service.

Here and There

De Havilland is now talking prices and delivery for Comets. Lancasters joined the lesser folks' fun in bombing Malayan Communist "terrorists." Lucky Lady II, the round-the-world B-50A is reported to have burned 56,000 gallons in its round-the-world flight. There  haven't been enough news stories saying exactly the same thing about the Ryan Firebird air-to-air missile, so here's another one. The Hercules 650 has been cleared to run 1000 hours between overhauls, and a Douglas C-74 is part of the USAF trans-Atlantic airlift that is the largest airlift ever. The 1951 Exhibition will have numerous airminded features. Admiral Slattery of Shorts hosted a luncheon for the crew of the Sunderland that landed by Amethyst during the crisis. The Air Force's Convair T-29, a mercy purchase of 240s, is getting some air time. It has four astrodomes, 18 radio antenna and a single radome. I ordinarily ignore the Forty Years Back feature because it's almost as irrelevant as News from the Clubs, but this one features the "Vuitton-Huber helicopter," just to show that people have been working on helicopters for a long, long time. And it appeared at the Paris Air Show, which has also been going on for a long, long time!

"R. Aux. A. F. Squadrons Re-Equipped" Two squadrons of the Auxiliaries have nice new hats to go with their Vampires.

"Aerodynamic Cleanness: Precis of a Lecture to the R Ae. S. by E. J. Richards" It seems a bit obvious that clean design is important, but the actual meat of the lecture was evidently a discussion of radical attempts to achieve cleanness with laminar flow, flying wings, boundary layer suction, forward slots and tailless designs. The flying wing seems to have some potential.

"Crop-Dusting in South Africa" It happens.

"Forging the Air Weapon: A Precis of a Lecture to the RUSI by Sir Frederick Handley Page, Part II" James is pretty firm that Handley Page's "production centred" approach was a disastrous mistake that produced overweight bombers. That said, after a good page and a  half of blither, Sir Frederick gets into photo-lofting, which sounds like a very interesting way of going directly from loft layout to production without intermediary drafting work.
Forty-five minutes coast-to-coast! Not counting time wasted waiting for the paramedics to roll the victims out before you
disembark. If you're wondering about the rest, this month's Natural History magazine is pine-scented. 

"Research by Rocket" I guess the Handley Page article ran short, because Flight inserts the same story about the USAF firing off German V-2s for research that you've heard a million times before in the last three years. Even the following Dowty catalogue entry on its new C. 1224Y miniature undercarriage position indicator is more interesting.

C. B. Bailey-Watson, "Naval Night Fighters: Men, Machines and Modus Operandi of No. 809 Squadron, Naval Aviation" It is nice to see Miss (Mrs.?) Bailey-Watson getting something besides a corporate pr-rewrite and polish job. The Admiralty wants a night fighter squadron. It first experimented with a Firefly, which Reggie thinks is a bit hot for the job, at least as a single seater. The RN must have drawn the same conclusion, because it soon raised a night fighter/night strike squadron in a modified twin-seat Sea Hornet. The squadron had previously been raised as a Swordfish unit, and flew at Taranto, and its commander is out of the Royal Marines, although he has been a naval aviator for most of his career. The squadron has done plenty of deck training, but hasn't actually gone to sea, for various reasons, of which I suspect the whole "letting the smoke out" problem is the main one. They need their radar for strike navigation as well as air interception.

Civil Aviation News

The MCA has been asked to look into the high landing fees at London Airport compared with Brussels, Amsterdam and especially Paris. Various Americans are optimistic that they will be able to catch up with the British in spite of the shock of Farnborough. Caledonia, etc. The major airlines saw the Marconi demonstration of radio control of ground operations at London Airport and was very impressed.

"BEA's Recovery: Current Economy Measures: Results Already Apparent" Lord Douglas lays out the basis of BEA's recovery to profitability in great detail. The question remains whether it will be able to maintain it after devaluation, but it  hopes for increasing American traffic to compensate for the lower revenues. Every American fare is, after all, an "invisible export." KLM's report is less brilliant but just as optimistic, although they're afraid of being kicked out of Indonesia. Ankara is to have the world's largest airport, and Shoreham Airport is no longer scheduled for nationalisation, while the MCA has told Brighton Council that it is releasing Brighton Airport from requisition. The last Argonaut, Arion, has been delivered to BOAC eight months ahead of schedule. The Koumintang's airlines have been suffering defections, as ten Commandoes and a brand new Convair join the vanguard of the proletariat.

"Holland's Jet Trainer" Fokker's latest effort is a jet trainer, which leaves enough room for the new Murex heavy duty ground starter that has been firing up the Comet in its trials.

"Freighter-Fertiliser: Suggested Employment of the Bristol 170 of Phosphate Distribution" The RNZAF has been experimenting with literally top-dressing hilly pasture with phosphates using Grumman Avengers. It's been succesful enough that it has been proposed that the Bristol 170 be modified to do it for real. Fifteen freighters might service 750,000 acres within 50 miles of the air base, with one plane doing 420 acres a day.

"Two Notable Books" Destiny Can Wait is the story of the Polish aircrew who served in the RAF during the war, most notably in the Battle of Britain. Published by the Polish Air Force Association, it is a good reminder to everyone who wants to keep D.P.s out. And if you're wondering why this isn't under a Book heading, it is because Frederick Pile's Ack-Ack is too important for that. The combination memoirs/ wartime history of AA Command it deserves its own heading. Besides its wartime record, Flight calls our attention to Pile's belief that radar-controlled guns with proximity fuzes would have accounted for 10% of V-2 rockets had the war continued another year. Finally, Pile puts in a plea for an AA Command ribbon.


G. Heilig is quick off the mark at the rumours that Transport Command is to be abolished, recommending that the work be handed off to the charter industry. J. R. Anderson thinks that RAE employees should be allowed to patent their inventions rather than let the profits fall to the companies that produce Farnborough's designs. It seems fair, but it is an old, old argument. "Ex-Nine-Ack Fitter" recalls the old days, before the war. "Aeolus" points out that helicopters really aren't big enough for cargo or passenger service yet, but they're certainly good for lifesaving, and the recent death of that marooned French sailor from last week, because no helicopter was ready in time, is evidence that the MCA isn't doing enough about it. There should be a full rescue helicopter squadron on standby before they are hived off for crop dusting and the night mails. P. L. Burke read John Yoxall's history of 600 Squadron and recalls the old days, during the war.

Engineering, 25 November 1949

T. Westerdijk and E. C. Lantzhuis, "A Theory of Atmospheric Burners" Atmospheric burners are when gas is blown into a burner charged with regular atmosphere or maybe an air stream, and burned. The authors lay out a theory to predict behaviour.


D. T. Chalmers has written a fine book about Historical Researches: Episodes in the History of Physical and Chemical Discovery. Unfortunately, it is a fine book originally published as articles between 1944 and 1948. In The Engineer! The Engineer!  It was full of amateurs and poseurs when Engineering broke off with it in 1884, and it still is! It is no surprise that Engineering's reviewer knows all the facts better than Chalmers and is at hand to explain why the mistakes are important. Still, for the reader of The Engineer, inclined to "dally pleasantly in the past," and needing help to "appreciate the importance of the moment," it'll do. Claus G. Goetzel's Treatise on Powder Metallurg. Volume I, Technology of Metal Powders and Their Products  covers the field since the development of powder metallurgy a few years before the war. Since there has been a whole rash of publications on the subject, full of rah-rah hype and Hollywood tinsel, Engineering's heart sinks at the very thought of a weighty tome, with two more promised. But it turns out to be a good book with a great section on sintering.  Someday, powder metallurgy will be a science instead of a convenient way of making small parts.

The Iron and Steel Institute 

This week's installment features discussions of boron steel and the iron-nickel system. Boron is an element related to carbon, which is already added to steel. Experiments have shown that boron increases steel's hardenability, so United Steel has been doing experiments with boron steels to find out what else it can do. The ideal is a weldable plate steel with a yield strength greater than 30 tons per square inch, and adding boron to molybdenum steel is easy from a production stand point and looks promising. However, it can only be added to fully killed steel, which reduces the furnace yield, and would probably contaminate returned scrap metal. There are also some chemical problems involving interaction with nitrogen and the use of boronic acid as the ladle additive. The papers on the nickel iron system are basically about producing one of those super-complicated phase diagrams that they have for steel, only for alloys of nickel, iron, and sometimes other metals. It is pretty tricky, because the structure is so much more complicated. X-rays can help. Which is just one of those things that D. T. Chalmers missed!

"The 17th International Navigation Conference, Cont" What did those crazy canaliers get up to now? The first session reported this week was devoted to flow from storage reservoirs. Storage reservoirs are big old lakes they dam up behind dams, dunh, although sometimes also barrages. You can let water out to improve navigation (no water, no navigation!), prevent floods, irrigate fields, or even produce electric power. All those aspects and more are covered in the course of many, many papers. But that's hardly enough excitement for one issue of Engineering, so room is found for another session, on the regulation of natural and artificial estuaries. I'd always thought of estuaries as those slightly-slimy stretches of water and mud near the coast that are full of grass and trees and snakes, but it turns out that they are defined as those parts of a waterway subject to tidal action, so sea-level canals qualify, which is where the "artificial" estuaries come in; and it also means that instead of worrying about mud and grass and snakes, the canaliers are worrying about the math of tides and the digging-out of channels. Pooh! And not the kind of pooh you get when your town's sewers empty out into an estuary, either.

"The Building Exhibition at Olympia"

 Engineering had fun looking at the cranes and dumpers and bulldozers and such, although it has to concede that the concrete mixers are more important. That's boring, but what's not boring is lecturing the industry on not using enough machinery. Britain has lots of good machinery, and really should use it all the time on everything.

"The Single-Screw Cargo Ship Wanstead" You know Engineering is out of material for the month when it steals entries from Launches and Trial Trips for feature articles. As it's a motorship, it doesn't even have an elaborate new steam system, just a standard Doxford diesel built by Scott. Most of the article is devoted to the accommodaions, which are very nice compared with other freighters, because it is so hard to get crew these days.

Launches and Trial Trips Eight motorships and just one steamer. Stability, Lockwood, British Ardour, La Sierra, Harry Richardson, Janus, Thorshavn and Wanganui are all single screw cargo or tanker vessels except a collier and Wanganui, which is a dredge hopper for New Zealand. SS Gadinia is a two-screw bulk tanker with an old fashioned triple expansion engine.

Maxwell is one seriously obscure guy. I guess it is because it's
an obscure era. Valiant has the first all-British reactor, but that's
because work on the postwar reactor was cancelled in '52.
I wonder who carried the can for that? 
British Standard Association has pronounced ex cathedra that from now on there shall be a Schedule of Weights for Building Materials, and also laid down the rules for Indirect Cylinders for Hot Water. It cautions that in cases where extreme accuracy is required, you should still weigh your bricks and so on before putting them in the your project, but usually you can just look them up in these handy tables. Thanks. I feel so much better driving over a bridge, now.

Personal It's official. James' great rival has triumphed. The Honourable D. C. Maxwell is Engineer Vice-Admiral of the Fleet in succession to Denys Ford. Its a bit sad to see your son's greatest ambition acknowledged as the second item in the Personal column, after Lord Cunliffe's latest chairmanship and right above Arthur Smout receiving an honourary in a South African society, but maybe he'll invent something useful to society, like glue-on brassieres and become famous for that.


"Traction on British Railways" Way back in 1937, Sir Nigel Gresley surveyed the rail situation for the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, noting how Britain was falling behind the Continent in the field of high speed rail service. He explained that the reason was the sheer density of British services, and predicted that these difficulties would be overcome and that there would be fast, single-class rail service between London and the other major centres in the medium future. The war, and the persisting labour shortage caused by national defence(!) has prevented this prediction from coming true. At the same time, between the labour shortage and the coal shortage, there has been continuing pressure to cut local services, shunt lines and small stations, clearing many of the obstacles to Gresley's vision away. Now, in a speech to the Transportation Institution, Sir Eustace Messenden sees progress about to resume. The first cause is the spread of electrification, the second of the likely triumph of the diesel. Right, now British Rail spends £85 million on steam locomotives, £25 million on diesel, but the maintenance burden is £16 million on steam, £1.4 million on diesel. Steam locomotives burn about 700 tons of coal a year, at a price that has tripled since the war. Electrification is a way around that, to the extent that power plants can use inferior grades of coal, but the costs of full electrification per the Weir report are excessive and it should be shelved for now. Full electrification will come in its own good time. Future services will have to be faster, on lighter trains, so that freight can be have guaranteed next day delivery.

Sure, put off deep electrification. What's the worst that could happen?


Dr. A. Parker has given the 36th annual Thomas Hawksley Lecture to the IME, on the subject of "World Energy Resources and Their Utilisation," It's really mostly about coal, since all the other energy sources pale in comparison to established coal reserves. It's the 400th anniversary of the Savile Professorship at Oxford, so Oxford wants to remind us of all the famous Savilians, and this is the place to do that. The Budapest bridge, which is a faithful replica of the Nineteenth Century original, except, you know, modern, has reopened. So never say that the Communists can't accomplish things! (Hopefully they're not nearly as good at driving tank spearheads to the Rhine.) There's to be yet another display of engineering products, and Sir Arthur Smout of wide renown (it's a real name) was in the chair at the Institute of Metals when it heard an interesting paper on the use of electron microscopes in metallurgy.


A. R. I. writes a very long letter disputing W. J. Duncan's more extreme claims for the utility of dimensional analysis. He is perfectly correct as far as he argues that attention to the reduction of differential equations to dimensionless quantities like the Reynolds Number greatly simplifies them. But when he argues that dimensional analysis can provide insight into the solutions to differential equations that currently can't be solved mathematically, he goes too far. W. T. Marshall, of the Engineering School at Dundee, writes in to describe a method for salvaging used strain gauges developed by the department's senior technician, R. J. Linton.

"The International Association for Hydraulic Structures Research, Cont" What have our dammers been up to since last we left them? "Waves," and "Transport of Materials." Waves includes some interesting math and theory, but when you read that another paper considered how "beds of semi-permeable material" affect waves, you see just how hard it is to turn it into math. That is, what happens to waves running in from the ocean when they pass over a bottom formed out of aggregated gravel versus thick mud? Now let's see your algebra! So it's good that the third paper is about a "modified form" of the classic three-link machine. Uncle George explains that the "three link machine" is the computing element in Lord Kelvin's tide calculation machine. It just amazes me that when we're talking about how computers might be able to think like humans, we are talking about machines where the guts of some of the most successful ones hitherto are three bars flexibly linked together. Anyway, when your waves are running over sea grass into gravel past mud through wired aggregate, you need to modify your three links! "Transport of Material" turns out to be about silk and junk being carried by the water, and not, you know, barges. Once again there is some interest in the material of the beds, so I guess that's the frontier of hydraulic structure research. It figures. We can pave airfields, build bigger roads, why not better bottoms?

A. Parker, "World Energy Resources and Their Utilisation" It is amazing to look back on the changes wrought by a mere 250 years. At the beginning of that period, a population of 7 million Britons used about 3 million tons of coal. Even since 1900, the population of Britain has risen by some 13 millions to  more than 50 millions (I missed that memo! The last number I recall hearing was 46), and the population of the Earth to more than 2.2 billion, likely to be more than 3.6 billion in 2000 at the current rate. The world might be able to support 4 billion people or 9 billion, it's hard to tell. The one thing for sure is that there will be coal for all of them for many years to come. Tables follow, showing that currently Britain has 200 years of coal at 231 million tons a year, that North America has a huge proportion of known coal reserves, which almost certainly reflects better surveying, which means taht when Asia and Africa are fully surveyed, we'll be absolutely swimming in coal. Coal, coal, as far as the eye can see!

Because what's the worst that could happen?

Pictured: The road from Sydney to that other city in
Australia; silly British gadget; A Land-Rover being
tested. Wait. That's not silly at all! 
Labour Notes begins with a roundup of everyone assuring everyone else that everyone has to exercise wage restraint. I don't know. Has anyone asked Geoffrey Crowther if wage restraint might have an inflationary outcome due to its "moral effects?" It ends with sinking receipts on the rails, and British Rail losing money. But in between, Mr. C. Henniker-Heaton, leader of a delegation from the cotton-spinners sent to America by the Anglo-American Council on Productivity loses his official script and says that the British industry has nothing to learn from the Americans, since while their productivity is higher, it is because they focus on the cheap stuff. 

Andrew McCance, "The Plastic Behaviour of Solids" Solids flow, sort of, when you hit them hard enough, long enough. Theory and data follows for many, many pages. 

"Automobile Engineering Research" Engineering does a Flight and gets confused about who is the author and what is the title, so let's say that this is a paper by the Motor Industry Research Association, and none to be the wiser. The Association has been focussing on exports, and to that end have built a nice little road at their facility at Lindley Airfield that mimics the kinds of roads to be found in backward places of the world such as Africa and Australia. A slight drawback to doing tests on an airfield is a lack of hills (except in Wales), so in a very typically British way, the Association has replaced hills with a "power absorbing trailer," and are on about their merry way, trying to find ways of making crankshafts and chassis that will tolerate being driven over a cheese grater whilst dragging a "power absorbing trailer." 

"The Metropolitan Water Board Report for 1948" I vaguely recall the water supply of London being an imminent crisis in The Economist, but this appears no longer to be the case, although the Board is softening the public up for a new intake that will be very big and expensive. Overall, very large amounts of water are being provided to very large numbers of people. 

"Road Damage by Drought" The severe drought of 1947 wasn't the worst ever, but did considerable damage to the roads by drying out the soil beneath. This report by the Transport Board looks at the effects on four different types of pavement without coming to any definitive conclusions about which is best, although it does recommend new methods for making kerbs, and more aggressive measures against fast-growing plants on the roadside.

Newsweek, 28 November 1949


Correspondents detect grammatical errors in a quote from The Economist and "doctoring" of John L. Lewis' eyebrows in a photograph. Newsweek rejects both imputations against a free and impartial press. Concerning the supposed lost city of Peshawarun, H. M. Kirik notes that there are more than a few lost cities along the course of the Helmand, having found another while doing oil industry business there, and noting that, since it is located on an abandoned bed of the river, there's really no mystery about how it came to be displaced. Now I regret missing the original story! Oh, well, it's not like an ancient lost city right next door to modern Peshawar will just disappear from the news forever. Lois Ann Sweenson detects an error in the  17 October "book report" about A.B. Guthrie's The Way West, which I seem to recall we encountered in Time. Newsweek clarifies. Ben Burns and William Cernock both find errors in the article on Ebony that are harder to s hake off. Lots of people write in about Vice-President Barkley's marriage, even the one obligatory sourpuss who finds it too "trivial" to cover.

The Periscope reports that there will be an atom bomb test at Eniwetok next year, that Chapman is taking over at Interior with Krug's departure, and Davidson, upset, will go back to Oregon to challenge Wayne Morse. Dr. L. A. Dubridge will be the next head of the Research and Development Board, and that John F. Holberg is the early favourite to be the next Under-Secretary of the Air Force. The Brannan Plan is still on, the AEC is to receive a report on atom bomb shelters from the American Institute of Architects, the UN is all in a flutter over atomic control again, Eisenhower is thinking about leaving his job as President of Columbia because it is too much work when he is trying to run for President (shh, it's a secret!) at the same time. The AEC's long promised book about atomic-weapon effects is being held up by censors, the Shah of Iran gave Mrs. Roosevelt a nice carpet, all Soviet Jews with family connections to the United States were recently deported from the Black Sea region, Peru may soon open up its Amazon region to foreign oil companies. "Military men" are concerned that Formosa will fall to the Communists before long and "flank . . . centres of US strength." US aid to Indonesia will go before Congress in January, as Indonesia needs money to get food to workers as an "incentive" for them to produce more tin, oil and rubber. The Poles have threatened to deport some Western correspondents if they aren't nicer to poor Marshal Rokossovsky. Russian production for last year is expected to exceed 1940, its best previous year. The youngest brother of the Emperor of Japan is reported to have embarked on a "concentrated study of Hebrew." Moscow won't tell the French Communists to follow the party line, because they'll just ignore it, and it is also not blowing up mountains with atom bombs when dynamite and convict labour will do.

Agriculture is still having trouble getting rid of Brannan Plan surplusses, with the India wheat-for-manganese deal falling through. Future X-planes might use solid fuel in their rocket boosters to go faster. The currently most exciting possibility for a new lightweight fuel is boron, "a product of borax." Well, you could put it that way! It being related to carbon on the Table of Elements, it has the same kind of energetic bonds, my friends tell me, and "three times the power potential of aviation gasoline," Newsweek tells me. The question is whether it will burn properly in its solid form. The UMW pension fund is still a scandal. The government can't find a buyer for its $4 million dollar floating fish cannery, Pacific Explorer, currently laid up on the West Coast. Remind me why us pluribus unum have a fish cannery again? Auto experts expect a 25% reduction in car dealers next year due to price pressure. GM isn't going to license its high compression engine the way it did Hydra-Matic, because it stands to make more money that way.

Hollywood's latest craze is circus movies, while there's talk of giving out fewer Academy Awards next year, as all the categories cheapen the prize. Cantinflas will make an American movie next year, while Twentieth-Century Fox will make an Australian one called Australian Story and featuring Tyrone Power, to unlock some of its frozen sterling.

The project evolved over time. 

CBS has found a sponsor for Life with Luigi, its comedy series about an Italian immigrant. The TV networks are expected to continue to dial back their weekly comedy shows. General Weygand's memoirs will blow up a storm, while Nicolai Sinerversky's A Year in the MVD will be a sensation next year. Also to be looked out for, Kazuo Sakamaki's I Attacked Pearl Harbour and Edwin Hartrich's We Came as Conquerors, about the US occupation of Germany.

Washington Trends reports that all plans for more guns are going ahead smoothly, labour peace is expected through spring of next year with emphasis on pensions over wage gains, while the Senate's expansion of old age and survivors' insurance may further smooth troubled waters. A European central bank is next on the agenda for European integration, and will please the ECA, although Acheson is pushing the British for something more solid than "sympathy" for European integration. The RFC is in danger of being folded into the Federal Reserve due to its loans to Kaiser-Frazer and Lustron. Senator Fulbright's investigation "insures" a Congressional attempt to "define more closely the RFC's powers." The recent Bangkok conference of US Far Eastern diplomats see no likelihood of either US recognition of Peking or aid for Peiping-that-was. A "Little Marshal plan" to shore up Southeast Asian anti-communist regimes is on the table, and, of course, delayed or not, British recognition is inevitable.

National Affairs

"Ye Goode Thanksgiving of 1949" Actually, the "ye" for "the" form is only for noncapitalised words, but no-one cares. Pilgrims, Indians, turkey. Also, the 1949 crop was "satisfactory," national income hit $217 billion, unemployment is only 3.3 million, and the President received so many gift turkeys he can't even eat them all. I can't even eat one! Okay, I can eat a twelve pound bird. Eighteen, maybe. I can't eat a twenty-five pound turkey! Accuracy in abstracting!

The next story is about the Shah of Persia's ongoing tour of Washington, where he is making friends left, right and centre.

"Davis Knight, White" The latest chapter in the ongoing story of Davis Knight, descendant of Captain Newt Knight of the Free State of Jones, and ucontested White man until he married Junie Lee Spradley, at which time he was charged with miscegenation on account of his descent from Captain Knight via one Rachel, "full-blooded Negro." Under the Mississippi law, being more than one-eighth Negro makes you Negro, so the key question at issue was whether Rachel really was "full-blooded," in which case the arithmetic annulled the marriage. The defence position was that Rachel was a "full-blooded Cherokee." State witnesses included Thomas Jackson Knight, 88, who recalled Rachel as "coal black and kinky haired," whilst others remembered her as of gingerbread complexion with straight hair and high cheekbones, indicating possible Indian ancestry. Knight was convicted, sentenced to five years in jail, and Junie to being, retroactively, an unwed mother. Last week, the Mississippi Supreme Court issued its verdict on the appeal: "Get the Hell out of our courtroom, you inbred morons!" Er, I mean, that the verdict "went against the evidence."

"Old Story, New Cast" Two white men broke into a Negro farmer's house in Walhalla, South Carolina and shot him dead in a burglary, and have now been arrested and sent to jail, which Newsweek wants all you Northern nosy parkers to know. White men can get arrested for shooting Black men in the South, so everything is fine.

Speaking of everything being fine, Red trials continue, with Alger Hiss up on perjury in New York and facing Whittaker Chambers in the witness stand again, while Judith Coplon's co-defendant, Valentin Gubitcheff is now following her before the bench, and Harry Bridges on trial in San Francisco.  At least it makes a change from "ghastly sex crimes against children." Newsweek goes to press to early to hear about the Yanez murder and the official start of "Horror Week." So what about that "war on men," again?

"Red Revolt" The riot at the National Maritime Union headquarters in New York was quite something in the week that the UMW went back to work. For now.

"B-29 Heartbreakers" Flight's habit of sneaking glancing reference to air disasters into the back pages because they just happen so gosh late was on display earlier in the month with this one, a Superfortress going into the drink off Bermuda for no better reason than being out of fuel while trying to cross the Atlantic on the Air Force's gig "trooping" exercise. HMCS Haida found them 72 hours after the distress call in two large rafts. Or 18 of them, anyway. So fewer deaths than in the crash of the search operations B-29 that went into the mud flats near Tampa, and far less than in the mid-air collision at Stockton that killed 18 crew.

Another California disaster in the making: Jimmy Roosevelt is going to run for Governor of California.

Ernest K. Lindley's Washington Tides column is about "Point Four to the Fore Again." As far as the "news" in "Newsweek" goes, one of the countries that might benefit from Point four loans or grants is Iran, and the Shah of Iran (or Persia!) is in Washington, where he said it was a great  idea. Well, it is. No-one wants to see a worldwide WPA, but loaning out dollars is one way of getting dollars out there. The world, Lindley assures us, really wants American technical skills and knowledge, and the means to buy American capital goods, but world peace means opportunities for productive investments. The question is whether Colombia qualifies as "peaceful" right now.

Foreign Affairs

"Shall We Arm the Germans Again?" One way of getting dollars out there is giving them to our Allies so they can buy American guns. Ahem. That's right, isn't it? Anyway, the bigger and better the foreign army, the more guns we can sell them with our own money. Okay, now Ronnie really doesn't understand. But! Germany would be a really big market. Er, Ally. Both? Anyway some more, we really can't defend Europe without German manpower to hold the line, and now the Russians have the bomb, what's to stop them from driving on the Rhine? The Germans aren't too keen on it, but can hardly say no if the French want it, and they may be persuadable, as (non-Communist) French increasingly see a Franco-German partnership as the key to a Communist-free Europe, and some French seem persuadable, if the East Germans start conscripting troops, first.

"Deep Freeze" The State Department has been trying to get two American icebreakers back from the Russians since the war, but the Russians are dragging their feet on the grounds that they are frozen into the ice, which leads on to Newsweek's special report from Scandinavia, where the Swedes are trying to be neutral behind the shield of the world's fourth largest air force and an almost self-sufficient economy of 7 million people. Norway is Socialist, pro-West, somewhat austere, has high liquor prices and a B-36-ready airfield at Stavanger. Denmark is also "austere," although since Newsweek reports, yet again, on the size of the hotel spreads and the beautiful stuff in the shop windows, I am going to guess that it means "cold." There may be two hundred years of coal in the ground, but it is in the ground. 

In its UN coverage, Newsweek for the 28th November is the latest to tell us that the Soviet "peace offensive" is disingenuous and evil before heading over to London, where, if it isn't a story about the sterling balance and dire tidings, it is about the British being strangely giddy (and a bit eccentric) in spite of same. And this story is --the latter. Princess Elizabeth is off to the Mediterranean, plane delayed by fog, which, when lifted, revealed a bobby's helmet on the top of the 310ft central spire of the Palace of Westminster. Two medical students are suspected. The crew of Amethyst got a parade through London to "strained cheers of medium-sized crowds." The election is due for March, engineering workers have rejected the TUC's bid for wage restraint, the stock market hates the government, Civil service economic projections are being reined in,  in case the Tories win, and they are called on to show that everything is awful, and Cripps defended devaluation against suggestions that rising prices for gold and dollars on the black market showed that everything is awful. While in France, Paris Pin-Up was acquitted of being salacious on grounds of Ooh-la-la.,

Captain Isbrandtsen of Flying Cloud is a hero for  defying the Koumintang blockade of Shanghai on its way to Pusan to discharge an ECA cargo. Except for the part where we're kind of in favour of the blockade. And where he is in standing trouble with the Maritime Commission for undercutting rates.  Aaron Ward continues to be an American hero for being in trouble up in Mukden, with the American Legion demanding that "armed forces . . . be dispatched."

The Japanese are, it turns out, a very strange and colourful people. Who knew? Australians are also eccentric, when they get where they're going, which isn't guaranteed what with the roads and all, says Engineering. Canada has rivers, not roads, and up one is Chalk River, where atomic things are going on, much to the US industry's chagrin, since the Canadians are doing it with a public corporation. Speaking of such things, there's a feature on British Columbia's compulsory hospital insurance scheme, about which you have probably heard more than Newsweek. 

And that brings us to Latin America, which comes after Canada over at Newsweek, and specifically Colombia. Newsweek has a long explanation, which is interesting, but misses the important point. As much as Colombia's problems are Colombia's sorrow and Colombia's doing, at the very least we need to hear about what America thinks about it. Because if the world gets the idea that America is for Conservatives throwing Liberals out of government and unleashing civil war in the countryside and also for Point Four loans to friendly governments, well, I shudder to think what might happen next.


"Gimmick for the Budget" The 1950 Federal budget will have a $5.5 billion deficit, but the Administration is working on a way of presenting it so it won't sound so bad.

"Eastern Faire Hike" The Interstate Commerce Commission is allowing a rail fare hike in he eastern area (north of the Potomac and the Ohio, east of the Mississippi). The railways are happy, even if they don't really have a plan to counter passengers' exodus to the air.

"Seminar for Foremen" American Brake Shoe Company has 58 plants in 22 states employing anywhere from 50 to 700 people and deals with 62 unions, so they're running seminars for their foremen, where they'll learn about getting along with unions and cost-cutting.

A feature on the 1950 models isn't exactly long on information. The 1850 step-down Hudson will be slightly shorter than the original at 119 inches wheel base versus 126, have a 112hp engine against the original 128, and an optional automatic transmission. It will be priced at $1800, $500 less than the standard. The New York Journal of Commerce claims to have information about the Kaiser "baby."

Trends and Changes reports that a congressman has opinions about big business, that the 100,000 new homes completed in October will be a new record, that the airlines are more profitable than ever, that the 102 airmen crammed into a C-74 for the flight home from Britain was a record and didn't involve ditching in the Atlantic, and the Ladies Garment Makers Union has a scholarship.

"Tie to Productivity?" Talk of tying wage gains to productivity increases by some automatic escalator has support from Administration economists, but has Clark Kerr of the University of California on edge because it will require too much "centralised policy determination by government or by industry and organised labour . . "

What's New

The Fastener Corporation has a pocket stapler the size and shape of a fountain pen. Electro-Mechanical Devices, Corporation's "Dish-Dri" is a portable enclosed fan that blows hot air across dishes after washing, and can also be used to thaw frozen foods, dry fruit and set glued joints. Scovill Manufacturers of Waterbury, Conn., have an "X-frame" zipper designed for rough handling on work clothes and such.

As promised, Henry Hazlitt's column this week is gold buggery, arguing that "Gold Goes With Freedom." Apparently, when a country can't conduct its own monetary policy, it is "free." Henry takes a moment to apologise for being rude to Sir Stafford last week, allowing that he has the highest respect for Sir Stafford, who is a statesman of the first rank, and that his point was that if such a fine man and exemplary citizen could do something shabby like devaluing the pound, what would a bad Treasury Secretary do?
I don't know? Stand by and let the nation starve rather than take action against a deflation caused by, and leading to, gold hoarding? It could happen!

Science, Medicine

"The Third Sex" This sounds exciting, but really isn't. It turns out that Blepharisma, one of the simplest lifeforms, one-cell affairs only a hundredth of an inch long, have three sexes, in which Sex A fertilises Sex B, while Sex C fertilises Sex A. Introductions must be something!

"Pilot's Pilot's Pilot" Since it is almost 1950, it is time for Newsweek to explain how gyroscopes work,so that someone will know. (Imagine if The Economist tried to explain it? Ronnie boggles at the thought.) Anyway, gyros have a lag, which means that they'll let a plane wiggle up or down as much as 100ft before the automatic pilot adjusts the flight, which makes dropping an atom bomb just too inaccurate, don't you know. So this week, the news is that Kollsman's new autopilot has "nerves" consisting of "four aneroids like the vacuum-filled disks in dial-type barometers" that sense changes in altitude and start a "miniature motor which is linked" to the pilot. I take it back. The Economist could do it better.

"Science Against War" Newsweek's read on Vannevar Bush is that he is saying that future war won't blow us back into the Stone Age, because radar-guided interceptors will shoot down the bombers before they can drop their atom bombs, war gasses and artificial plagues.

Clarence is a Proctor and Gamble heir. This
aspect of his life doesn't seem to have made it
into the Wikipedia article, but his wife's role as
"perfect helpmate" does. 
"State Sterilisation" Under eugenics laws going back to a Supreme Court ruling of 1927, 49,000 insane and feeble-minded people have been sterilised in the 27 states that allow it, according to Dr. Clarence J. Gamble's Birthright, Inc, Sterilisation for Human Betterment, which has released a report, showing that California has been the most energetic steriliser, with 19,000 operations, followed by Virginia with 5000 and Kansas with 3000. Dr. Gamble points out that while 1948 saw 1400 sterilisations, medical admissions for insanity were 39 times that total in the sterilisation states, showing that the procedure had to be vastly expanded. "Each year there are at least twenty new feeble-minded persons per 100,000," nine times the rate of state sterilisation, and twice the California rate.

"Meat and Drink" The age-old theory that alcoholism causes cirrhosis of the liver has "defied all attempts at proof or complete repudiation." The fact that it occurs in non-alcoholics raises doubts not assuaged by studies finding a link. Now, Dr. C. H. Best, co-discoverer of insulin, has found that the addition of certain foods to an alcoholic regimen may prevent cirrhosis. He thinks that both alcohol and soft drinks cause a reduced appetite for choline, which is the protective agent against cirrhosis, and that addition of choline to alcoholic and sweet beverages may be the cure.

"The Old Primapara" This is what obstetric circles call a pregnancy over 35. The well known risk to mother and baby has long led doctors to go to prompt Caesrean delivery if spontaneous delivery isn't immediate, but Dr. L. A. Calkins of Kansas City, Kansas, disagrees, arguing that if you are young enough to get pregnant, you are young enough to have a baby, and that doctors should wait to initiate surgery if the pregnancy is without complications, especially ones that might indicate heart disease.

Press, Radio-Television, People

Lead off in Press is a profile of  Ashton Stevens, followed by Alexander MacDonald of the Bangkok Post. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette cancelled its new Sunday edition after just seven months, while the Chicago Tribune is pleased to announce that it has A-bomb shelters in the basement of the Tribune Tower, having gone in on its own because the Government is soft on surviving atom bomb blasts.

NBC's decision to televise Vice-President Barkeley's wedding won it 10.5 million viewers in spite of being terrible television. The Telephone Hour gets a profile.

 Gene Tierney is back in America. William O'Dwyer is upset that the press ruined his post-election holiday. Frank Sinatra feels like a small fry when he visits New York because they're so blase about stars there. Ely Culbertson is going to write the book on canasta to goo with his book on contract bridge. Errol Flynn is getting engaged to a Romaniani princess, and Bernard Baruch is leaving his entire fortune to medical research. Robert Frost got a medal, Senator McKellar got a sore hip, Hugh Gravitt, the hit-and-run driver who killed Margaret Mitchell got twelve-to-eighteen years, and Janette Bakst Winchell, mother of Walter, got dead. I'm sorry, but I was extending my parallelism. Fell from a window. Such a tragedy.

The New Pictures As I've had occasion to say before, this isn't actually a section in Newsweek, I'm just trying to standardise my coverage with Time. But the reason I say it is that Newsweek's coverage of the new movies often leads in from a pretty interesting story, and this week's is about Cecil DeMille's Samson and Delilah, which has been working its way to the theatre since 1935(!). It will finally release in December, and features Hedy Lamarr, which is almost a story in its own right. Oh, and Victor Mature, too. It's too early for a review, but it's also probably reviewer-proof. It will be interesting to see whether it leads to more DeMille movies. I have a feeling that he's just too old.

Ahem. Thank you for  your patience. The "other" new movies are Seabiscuit and --oops, I might have torn a page while trying to cut out a glam shot of Hedy. What can I say? She's my fashion godddess!


The Art section has wandered a way down past Cinema, so, what the heck, I'll give it its own heading, especially when the lead article is "Japanese Life Experience," which is not your typical Art page fare. A grand coalition of Church Ladies and General MacArthur (okay, the American Association of University Women and the Supreme Allied Command) have sponsored an exhibit of art by Japanese schoolchildren. It is so American, visitors say, that "only the hairstyles are Japanese." Another New York showing is a travelling exhibit of "treasures" from the Vienna Fine Arts Museum, which sounds like a great place to visit, although it's not especially Viennese, in that the museum has the  usual collection of great masters like Vermeer and Reuben, albeit perhaps a bit focussed on the former Habsburg lands. (Of which old Belgium, and Antwerp, is one.) 


The Fiction of the Forties is a giant book of 51 stories chosen from mostly Story Magazine, including many, many authors, but not, according to the reviewer, really capturing the Forties in the way that Sherwood Anderson capture the Twenties or Hemingway the Thirties. Unless the Forties are a "mad" decade, since insanity emerges as a common theme. Hmm. HMM. Magda von Hattingberg (which is a real name) has Rilke and Benvenuta, which is the story of Rainer Maria Rilke's love affair with a concert pianist who wrote him a fan letter in 1913, and got an "outpouring"  of "affection, in cadenced phrases." Followed by something more, we are given to understand. Except for those who think that she is making it all up. Duncan Phillips, author of a many-volume history of Salem, has turned to something lighter, Pepper and Pirates, which is about the old-time Salem adventurers who made a lot of money on Sumatran pepper --and helped pay the full fifth of the cost of the US government covered by the Salem customhouse. James Norman Hall's A Word for His Sponsor is a book in the form of a long narrative poem of rhymed couplets about Chester White, a young broadcaster who abandoned his Bentley's Beer-sponsored show in mid-broadcast and has a series of colourful adventures, if by adventures we allow meeting people, first on a park bench and then in a shack by the city dump. Newsweek is very impressed, and quotes at length. The American Finnegans Wake" We'll see. But no.

Raymond Moley's column this week is "Organising for Freedom." Moley's point is that Dulles' defeat in New York was a foregone conclusion, because everyone loves Lehman. Instead of drawing some kind of hopelessly limp conclusion about the popularity of the President's programme, all opponents of the Fair Deal, north and south, should mobilise and stand together and defeat it. Republicans, Democrats, labour leaders, "nationwide political alliances . . " They all need to stand for FREEDOM. A right-wing counterpart to Americans for Democratic Action and the Political Action Committee is required. Being apart from the GOP, it will be free to ditch the civil rights albatross --Ahem, "leave civil rights to the states," and "override a score of political taboos."

That was pretty wild. I don't think Moley is very happy about Dulles going down.

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