Saturday, March 27, 2021

Postblogging Technology, December 1950, II: Christmas Corps


R_. C_.,
Vancouver, Canada

Dear Father:

I write, curled up in an alcove overlooking the front, replete with a post-Christmas breakfast that I hadn't the heart to refuse. This "eating for two" malarkey is hard to fend off when the food is so good! You're right to say that Uncle George is in a better mood than I have seen him since he was a teenager. He is holding forth on the back verandah right now on the Hungnam evacuation, giving his eyewitness version of the sight of the US burning, breaking, and back-shipping the entire logistics base it just set up while the indigenous Koreans tried to get out any way they could.

You will see a bit of his old cynicism leaking through. Right now he is as "amazed as a man can be" that Americans are letting so much  old-time anti-Semitism leak through into their anti-Communism. Is it the return of the Taftites? The rise of Israel? Or are the brains of the men who fought WWII going soft over Korea? 

I don't know. I'm just a girl, and I mainly think that Uncle George is funny. Not as funny as Uncle Henry, but the difference is that Uncle George knows that he is being funny. Uncle Henry probably thinks he can build a fleet of Flying Boxcars at Willow Run.

By the way, if  you're wondering about all of the Roosevelt County, Montana content, it's because I think it's funny. As no-one else will, I probably should explain. I've been through there, taking Route 2 from Coeur d'Alene to Winnipeg while I was housesitting there in '47, long story involving maybe meeting Reggie under Aunt Grace's nose, short. So when I saw the story about the Roosevelt County Selective Service board threatening to refuse to send out any more call-up letters unless the US threw some atom bombs I had Uncle George on race on my brain, and remembered the drive through Fort Peck Reservation. If the Selective Service is really calling up Sioux boys while letting all the rich kids science their way out of Korea, things will not end well!

I guess I taught that joke what for, beating it to death like that. My next will reach you from Formosa and the far-off days of January 1951. 

Your Loving Daughter,

Time, 18 December 1950


General MacArthur, Chairman Mao, the Pope, Jacob Malik, Bob Taft, Joe McCarthy (twice, one because he gallantly risked his career to expose the Communists, the other because he is the greatest menace to civil liberties this year), Dean Acheson, GI Joe and Joe Stalin get nominations for Man of the Year. John Nolde if Maine and J. Edward Graham of Massachusetts were both impressed with the quality of the "How Strong is Russia?" article. Gilbert Brittain of Chicago tracked down the photographer who took the picture of USS Franklin that impressed everyone so much. It was William Bates, Photographer's Mate 1/c, then of Juneau, now serving aboard USS Philippine Sea in Korean waters. Linton Wells of Connecticut is very upset at the Hopalong Cassidy cover since seeing it will turn his children into murderers, while William Cowan objects to it because TV ruins the eyes, and Ralph Hitz, Jr., of New York, likes it because he likes Hopalong. Someone has to! P. J. Stewart points out that the use of geiger counters trace oil pipeline "pigs" isn't something they just invented in Arabia. He did the same job from Regina, Saskatchewan down to the US border just the other day (only with much  more powerful radioactives, because the pipeline is buried), and his ears are still frozen. Time explains that "pigs" are wipers that clean pipelines from the inside out, so I guess the counter picks up impeded flow or something like that. Our Publisher, who evidently doesn't spend very much time in libraries, is surprised to hear that there was a Time (London), seventy years ago. He reports that It was pretty much just like the modern Time, except that the founding editor was a very colourful character who was eventually sent to jail for irresponsibly printing compromising photographs of the Earl of Lonsdale. So very different, then! 

National Affairs

"The Road Back" Time is pleased that the Marines made it out of encirclement, but points out that defeat in Korea has to be balanced by victory somewhere else "[I]f the world-wide march of Communism was to be halted." The President has been in meetings with Clem Atlee all week, so all we've heard are trial balloons: A larger draft call up, an army of 4.5 million men, wage and price controls, an end to "gray" mobilisation. 

"Agreeing to Disagree" More on the talks: Atlee brought Slim and Tedder with him and picked up Ambassador Franks in Washington to make 4 Britons around the table; lunch on the presidential yacht consisted of sea food, soup, chicory salad, chesse and crackers, baked Alaskas, chocolates and assorted nuts. Ambassador Franks is taller then Atlee, who smokes a pipe and tends to be pretty quiet, except when he gave a press conference, where he told Americans to stop saying "appeasement" al the time and to give up on the anti-Communist blockade, Manchurian bombing, supporting the Koumintang, and anti-Communist guerillas on the mainland. this sort of "limited war" can't stay limited, and by the way, how about letting Communist China into the UN, with due "safeguards" for Formosa. Strategic materials would not be monopolised by any one power, and the President would tell London before he dropped any atom bombs. Time reminded everyone that it will hold its breath until it turns blue if the US "abandons" the Koumintang. 

"Forward by the Inch" This week the US ordered its first medium tanks since WWII, 500 of an "improved model" to the M-47, to be built by American Locomotive of Shenectady, cancelled the Army Christmas furlough, blockaded China some more, tightening up restrictions to include the cargo of the Isbrandtsen's Flying Clipper, already at sea, and announced plans to hire 218,000 more civilians for the Defence Department. The fact that bad notices for Margaret Truman's singing getting nasty letters from the White House places so far down in National Affairs is probably a sign of just how worried Time is about what might happen to the Koumintang and all its missionary and church lady friends. 

"The Menacing Look" The big news from the Economic Stabilisation Agency is, well, no news yet.

 "The Vanishing Draftee" Various categories can avoid the draft, and that is unacceptable. All the boys need to go to Korea unless they know science. Hence, Universal Military Training coming back, as you've heard again and again and again. Would that include Coloureds? Because I think I see the problem. 

"The Home Front Mobilisers" Remember how Uncle George turned Fortune's  Short Cuts into one long joke about how you got into the page if Henry Luce wanted to have lunch with you? I don't know anyone who wants to have lunch with Symington, Sawyer, Snyder, Brannan, Chapman, (William Henry) Harrison, (Thomas Bayard) McCabe, Alan Valentine, Michael DiSalle, Ching and (Millard Fillmore) Caldwell, but there must be someone. 

I, for one, feel that I have learned something about America just knowing that there is a family out there proud to name a son after Millard Fillmore. (A former US President, he ran for a second term in 1852 as the candidate of the, get this, "Know Nothing" Party. Seriously. I repeat, seriously.) These are the "Homefront Mobilisers," if you wanted to know what corner my train of thought had wandered off and died in. 

"I Never Felt Worse" Congress was a bunch of real glum chums in the last week of November and first week of December. Not having much to do other than wait for news from Korea, they whiled away the hours extending rent control, passing the Excess Profits Tax through the House and sending it up to the Senate, and complaining about the Administration. Time, taking in the mood, distracted itself by drawing little hearts and arrows around Paul Douglas' picture in the Senate yearbook. Because he made a speech demanding thatAmerica stand firm, fight Russia if Russia fought us, blockade China, take up Chiang's offer of 33,000 soldiers for Korea, use atom bombs on the Chinese (because you can't bomb the Russians until they actually do something to deserve it), and cut Europe right off if it doesn't support the Koumintang like America supports the Koumintang. Only not really, so I guess that part was just blowing off steam. 

"The Great Debate" Elsewhere in this great land of ours (as near as I can tell from the vantage point of Christmas on the Avenue of Harmony), various people are all for slinging some atom bombs. Two members of the Selective Service Board for Roosevelt County, Montana, refused to draft anyone until America had Bombed someone. This would have been good news for the two boys Roosevelt County actually stood to send over, but they were promptly fired. We can't fire the presidents of the Legion, VFW, and the Disable Veterans of America, but they also can't really do anything about their opinion that some atom bombs should be thrust into General MacArthur's hands right now. Russell Birdwell's opinion that the President should punch Clem Atlee out for the cameras is also something that was said. Senator Alexander Wiley, Cordell Hull and Harold Stassen also had hot-headed things to say, while the Reverend Billy Graham was the voice of reason, relatively speaking, when he suggested that the President and the Prime Minister should have a prayer meeting. 

"A Place to Hide" Mrs. Alf Heiberg, ex-wife of General MacArthur, is building an atomic bomb shelter for 150 on the grounds that the Russians would be aiming for her especially when they bombed Washington and she didn't want to leave her neighbours in the cold. The Administration means to build atom bomb shelters for 50 million, while the states point out that if they were asked to build anything like that many, it would just lead to a vast boondoggle and runaway inflation. 

Manners and Morals reports on "The Pink Slip," which is what the Earl of Essex issued his prospective bride when a Seattle civil marriage ceremony came a bit undone. The Earl and his bride are both short on cash, and they frankly just wanted to slip off to a motel somewhere before the press got hold of the story. 

"Crime and Punishment" Harry Gold was sent up for thirty years this week for espionage and not for being a fink and also Jewish. Meanwhile, Judith Coplon walked on a technicality, or, as Time put it, because of "legal blunders" the FBI made while "gathering the evidence and making the arrest." Does it still count as "blundering" when your average Joe breaks into someone's apartment and steals their stuff? Alger Hiss' latest appeal of his perjury conviction was rejected by the court, and some old lady bailed out Earl Browder, ending his "martyrdom." If you slept through this last week, it's illegal to be an unregistered Communist in America right now, so Browder came down to Washington and told everyone that he was an unregistered Communist, so then they had to put him in jail, which was vey embarrassing for all concerned, even though, as Time points out, it is all Browder's fault for being a Communist. So this nice old lady showing up with a handy fifteen hundred in her purse is just the ticket to spare Congress any more publicity regarding the McCarran Act making it basically illegal to think Communist thoughts without first notifying the local DA. 


In recent news out of the UN, it turns out, and I cannot stress this enough, that Communism is terrible, leading the Russian Ambassador to the UN and the Red Chinese special envoy to the UN to deny that their countries had done anything wrong, and to Ambassador Vishinski vetoing a very harsh condemnation put to the Security Council, which lead to another very harsh condemnation being advanced in the General Assembly instead. The Indians continue to betray all right-thinking individuals by putting the Chinese negotiation position forward. and then it was off to follow the Chinese Communist delegation around the bookstore district, where they picked up books on atomic energy, the H-bomb, air power and Vogue's Book of Etiquette. Afterwards, the FBI slipped in and demanded to see the stores' receipts to confirm the Communist reading list.

Time rounds up Allied sentiment. The British are afraid that America is going to drag Britain into a war with "locust-like" China, for which they are unprepared "psychologically or materially." In other words, they're chicken and lightweights. The French point out that the basic problem in Korea is that MacArthur has gone off the rails and are not impressed by atom bomb-related sabre rattling. The Germans point out that if the Americans abandon or neglect Europe, they will have to make their own arrangements with the East. Italy, Japan and Yugoslavia all seem firmly in the "On the one hand this, on the other hand that" category. And in the latest "United States of Europe What's Keeping It?" news, General Eisenhower is definitely going to be commander-in-chief of the joint Allied army in Europe that will include some Germans and definitely Americans. 

War in Asia

"Exit?" At week's end, Eighth Army's "rapid withdrawal" had saved most of it, and likewise the "fighting retreat" of X Corps in the northeast, but it is not all good news, as it is yet another episode of "Peasants humiliate Yanks," "Because it had wheels, the Eighth outdistanced the pursuing foe." The Chinese have 18 divisions chasing Eighth Army, and crossed the Taedong in an impressive assortment of power junks and small craft. In spite of repeated air attacks, "the locustlike swarm of the enemy never stopped." "Locust" is Time's word of the week. US 24th and 1st Cavalry Division have replaced the badly-mauled 2nd Infantry on the right flank of the 8th Army. The 2nd has been so badly mauled that it will have to be reconstituted in the rear, so look sharp for your letter from the Selective Service boys! 

"Retreat of the 20,000" X Corps wasn't really retreating since it was cut off from the rear at the beginning of the campaign, but the Chinese could not hold their roadblocks, especially because the Air Force airlift resupplied them with everything, up to, and including bridging supplies, and the wounded were evacuated by air from Hagaru airstrip. "The marines abandoned none of their disabled men, but bulldozers pushed the dead into mass graves by the hundreds." The article appears to contradict stories about the Reds throwing phosphorus grenades into abandoned trucks full of wounded. I guess it just means the disabled who reached Hagaru. As for the Chinese, they seem to have pushed so far beyond their supply points that some of them are surrendering to the Marines for food and clothes, and the Marines were, as of this writing, firmly ensconced in the port of Hungnam, from which they will be evacuated by the time Your Humble Correspondent has had her enormous Christmas dinner.

"The Moving Man" Time gives General Tunner and his Combat Cargo Command the cover, and rightfully so. "An airlift permits an army to accelerate its tempo . . . Where a campaign supply by surface might take months or years, an airlift makes it possible to finish it in weeks or even days. Who can assess the cost of months and years?"

"Ready for the Worse" You may recall General De Lattre de Tassigny from such previous hit Family Newsletters as "Ronnie Mistakenly Takes Ephedrine for Morning Sickness and  Hallucinates a Story About France's Most Eminent General Taking Command in Indochina" Well, now it's actually happened, so I guess I'm a fortune teller, too. The talk around Hanoi is that the French can stop a Viet Minh offensive, but not a Chinese one, but that before the Chinese come in, the French and the Viet Minh will make a deal. To the north, throughout mainland China, the populace is getting ready for air raids and being braced against the possibility of anti-Communist guerillas. 

Foreign News 

This week we pause for actual Foreign News. France gives us a story where little known novelists get prestigious prizes that boost their careers, written in as colourful a way as possible that I will not delve into because I doubt you want to hear about Paul Colin, Serge Groussard or Pierre Moulaine. However, it is important to note, points out Time, that Jean Masares, Ernestine Gilbreth Carey, Frank Gilberth and H. P. Goussier also got prizes, which just goes to show. In Germany,  Time went to a Communist play that was a disgrace because it was anti-American. Goes to show! Meanwhile an anti-Communist German journalist is smashing Communist lies to flinders, and in Hungary and Czechoslovakia, Communists remind us once again that they are terrible: The Hungarians for claiming that the waltz and the polka are acceptable dances, because they are "inherently democratic," unlike American dances, which Hungarian youth should avoid. Actually, when I read it, it does sound terrible. Also terrible, the Indonesians, for invading the western part of New Guinea, which used to be part of the Dutch East Indies, but should remain Dutch rather than Indonesian for excellent reasons that do not need explaining. (The "fuzzy wuzzy Melanesian cannibals" will get independence in due course.)  

In this hemisphere, Canada joined the ranks of the appeasing, cowardly allies, as Lester Pearson called for negotiations with Red China, but still joined the American trade embargo. A way down south, the US Assistant Secretary of State for Latin America dropped into Rio to tell South Americans to brace up, tighten the belt, and get ready to produce more strategic materials and to sell them at controlled prices in return for rationed American exports. He avoided the price of coffee, before closing with warm warnings for would-be war profiteers who ask for extortionate prices for strategic materials. It's the Good Neighbour policy! Also, Ex-President of Cuba, Fulgencio Batista, announced from Miami that he would be a candidate in the Cuban elections in 1952. 


Blah blah prices wages stabilisation credit controls blah blah. Oh, no, Ford prices are up! It's the end of the world!!! (Consumers, meanwhile, have stopped buying.)

"The Wilson Plan" Charles Wilson of GM not only thinks that steel isn't expanding fast enough, he has offered to loan Jones and Laughlin Steel $28 million at 3% to finance its plan to increase its capacity by 1.5 million tons, of which GM guarantees to take 50,000t a year. 

"Miss R.'s Reward" Macy's has made Beatrice Rosenberg, a 57 year-old company woman, its first woman vice-president. 

"Grab Bag" You may remember the Johnson Committee from the "Farmer Flips Aeronautical Computers from B-29s to B-36s, Makes Big Money, Somehow Government's Fault" Well, now brace yourself. The strategic stockpile of --gasp!-- wool is empty. Meanwhile the British are pointing out that "reckless" US stockpiling is just driving prices up. (Unless you can bully Latin Americans into not raising them in the first place.) The Pentagon replies, "Never mind wool, what about the British going around every scrap heap in Europe." Speaking of world wars and the end times being upon us, the new liner Independence has won the Blue Riband so that it can set new records for speed in bringing the boys of Roosevelt County over to Europe in time to save the day. 

"The Big Question" The National Association of Manufacturers had their 55th annual convention at the Manhattan Waldorf Astoria, of course, and are firm against the excess profits tax, although they are willing to consider higher "corporate and other" taxes. Uncle Henry has his loan, which the wags are saying is a lifeline until he can get some war contracts for Kaiser-Frasier. 

"Tuner Titan" Time stops in at Standard Coil Products, which is raking in the bucks by virtue of having 40% of the television tuning coil business.

Science, Medicine, Education

"Tough Jets" USAF F-80s and F-94s have turned in some of the lowest loss rates of any American aircraft in the Korean War, which the USAF attributes to their very strong construction and lack of fiddly engine bits. 

"For Rainy Days" Dow Chemicals is touting a new waterproofing compound made of silicon "oil," which doesn't wear off nearly as quickly as traditional tallow. I wonder if it goes rancid?

"Last Chance at Mt. Everest" An American expedition is off to climb Mt. Everest during this year's Himalayan climbing season. Oliver Houston intended to explore the Nepalese side of the mountain (it is conveniently on the border, it turns out), and made his approach via the Buddhist monastery of Thyangboche, conveniently located at the 13,000ft mark. Charles Houston and H. W. Tilman made the expedition's first attempt on the mountain, and found that the south face is probably an impossible route. Since the northern side of the mountain is in Communist-held Tibet, this may be te last attempt at climbing Mt. Everest, because Communism is awful. 

"The Farmer and the Drug" Dr. James Whitlaw, of the Santa Monica Hospital in Phoenix, Arizona, seems to have saved a victim of third degree burns to two-thirds of his body by treatment with 20mg shots of ACTH, administered every 6 hours. The drug acts to stimulate the adrenal glands and forestall early symptoms ("shock, pain, fever, infection, impairment of kidney function, loss of bodily fluids") and then promote the rate of healing. Other miracle ACTH cures reported in conference this week include a woman saved from a black widow spider bite, and another who was bitten by a copperhead. It also seems to have helped a victim of rheumatic fever, averting damage to the heart. On the other hand, there is the disappointing news that it only gives short term relief for rheumatoid arthritis; but in Minneapolis, Drs. Millard Tufts, S. B. Pessin, and Tiber Greenwalt reported dramatic results from treatment with a salve made from placental blood, following on the intuition that the arthritic relief that sufferers experience during pregnancy must be due to a miracle substance and not the female sex hormone analoge to ACTH. Time then gives Dr. Dean Sherwood Luce of Canton, Massachusetts a nice, long story in honour of his 45 years of service to the community. Then it is off to round up what doctors have to say about itching and scratching at the various conferences this week. They seem divided as between those who think that it is psychosomatic in some way, and those who think that it is because of dry skin, brought on mainly by too much bathing. 

"Lost and Found" Time brings us the story of Professor Richard D. Altick of Ohio State, who has a book out about English scholars who find out interesting things out while researching their subjects. His contribution? Sir Thomas Mallory, the author of a medieval book about King Arthur, was quite the troublemaker. As if making a page and a half out of that weren't enough, two columns are next spent on the breathless news that in some crazy departure from all that is normal and right, the Fitzgerald family has given his papers to Princeton. (As ou are no humanist, I should add that I am being sarcastic.) Oh, and the Harvard Lampoon is in trouble for some dirty cartoons. 

Art, Radio and Television, Press, People

It has been a long time since Art did one one of those stories about how an old artist who is dead was quite some artist. So, this week, Rodin. With this penance to the classics taken care of, it is off to London's galleries to take in the work of Denis Williams, who in spite of being a "young Negro artist" from Guiana, is no "loincloth primitive." Good to know! I think being beaten up by Asiatics again has put a bee in Time's bonnet. Perhaps that is why the section closes out with another tribute, albeit this time to the still-living Andrew Wyeth, even if Time does seem bent on pickling himand putting him up on the shelf.  

The RCA colour television demonstration was satisfactory, at least for everyone who was there, which didn't include anyone from the FCC, which you might think makes it beside the point. And did you know that there are ad men selling advertisements on the television now? News, what news? In the spirit of things, Woodbury College of Los Angeles did a survey of parents and teachers on the effects of television, found that there had been pretty much no effect according to most parents. 

"'Keep Your Shirt On'" The monthly press is quite embarrassed by all the nice stories they put out in the last month about General MacArthur. The dailies did much better, with William White of the Emporia Gazette denouncing the war as a cynical attempt to win the midterms while the New York Times put the blame on MacArthur for a "colossal military blunder." The dailies are particularly divided on the question of dropping the Bomb on China. The smaller the paper, the more pro-Bomb. Then it is off to profile The Oregonian, which has made quite the turnaround under a new publisher.

The White House press corps and the President are devastated by one more personal loss this week, which might account for the President's angry letter to the music critic that I mentioned above.  Pogo is the big new newspaper comic strip. 

Henry Urey is pretty sure that there is intelligent life on other planets. J. B. Priestly doesn't want to hear any more silly talk about interplanetary travel. One planet's troubles are enough! William Faulkner, Bertrand Russell, Yehudi Menuhin, Yogi Berra, Ernest Hemingway, Ava Gardner, Rachel Mussolini, Jules Romaine, Linda Darnell, Paul Douglas, Jean Sibelius, the Windsors, E. E. Cummings, Martha Vickers, Elizabeth Taylor, Conrad Hilton and Garry Davis are all in the paper for either some reason, or because they pulled an old football injury making out with Linda Darnell on camera in the case of Paul Douglas. Robert and Elizabeth Montgomery and Hattie McDaniel are divorced. Oliver Frederick George Stanley, Clarence Baker Gordon, Charles Griffith Ross, General Ma Chan-shan, Herbert Marcus, Colonel Charles Franklin Craig and Sri Arubindo are dead. 

The New Pictures

"Where Danger Lives" is "at long last, a chance to see . . . Faith Domergue, latest graduate of the Howard Hughes straining-bodice school of the dramatic art." Time is such a "confirmed bachelor." And the movie's not very good, either. For Heaven's Sake is "tasteless whimsy." Orpheus is an imported, high brow French film directed by Jean Cocteau, the kind of movie that Time, in its current mood, loves. Also see The Way of Love. More seriously, I bet this week's columnist is the Christmas replacement.


 This is The Year in Books feature. This was Mikka Waltari and Thor Heyerdahl's year, and definitely not Hemingway's, Steinbeck's or Waugh's. Elliott and Faulkner save the day for the cause of Great Men of Literature. WWII, Calhoun and Roosevelt, and letters come in behind rafts in the South Pacific on the non fiction side. 

Aviation Week, 18 December 1950

News Digest reports that F-84s are now in action in Korea, giving US-made axial engines their first full-scale test in combat. Having placed an advertorial in every issue for the last few months, Airborne Instruments Laboratory is pleased to report that it is being bought with Rockefeller money, and they're giving President, Chief Letter Writer and Pretty Much The Only Employee, Henry R. Skifter, a job as president and general manager. Bell's modified B-50, to be used for testing the X-1, has flown. The latest version of the B-36, the B-36F, to be powered by the Pratt R4360 in place of the old Wasp Major, is in service. The F3D is in delivery. Percival Princes are flying as feederliners in Brazil. 

Industry Observer reports that the Air Force is checking out the first flights of the Vampire tandem trainer to see if the RAF's new side-by-side seating arrangement is all it is cracked up to be. USAF figures think that Avro Canada's plan to put Orendas into the first Canadian F-86s is too ambitious. Sikorsky is building a 16-25 passenger seat helicopter with dual 800hp engines. Rocket tets of the Republic XF-91 have been put off due to the rockets not working properly. The RCAF is buying 100 de Havilland Doves as trainers. 

Washington Roundup reports that the USAF budget is going to hit $15 billion, with a $100 billion for defence including $25 billion for European arms aid off the table unless "the US is ensnared in a major war with China," in which case the Europeans are on their own (but with American guns.) But while first in budget, the Air Force is last in manpower, with 1.164 million in the Army, 855,000 in the Navy, and only 651,000 in the Air Force. Maybe the Air Force could get its own army? It worked for the Navy! Senator Vinson says that the Air Force Secretary's testimony that most aircraft engine makers are working forty hour weeks is "misinformation." NACA is adding 600 more engineers, but needs some custodians to confiscate defective copies o confidential documents from the duplicators before they blow away in the breeze. Civil Air is mobilising somehow, the transportation tax might go up, war risk insurance is coming back, and Transit Van Corporation wants everyone to know nothing about its hush hush flying van that could "revolutionise air cargo."

en Lee, "Congress Questions Contract Slow-Down" and "Kaiser Bids for C-119 License" feature my favourite kind of news: indecipherable political news out of Washington that doesn't go anywhere, mainly about contracts being slow to place, and Uncle Henry angling for cheap publicity. Following up on the first kind of news, "Manpower Supply Crisis Looms". Which would be bigger news if it hadn't been looming since the 80 group air force was first mooted more than a year ago. I mean, obviously it will get worse if the draft takes more men, but on the other hand if the draft exempts aviation industry workers, it will push men into the business, right? Oh, and the Air Force is starting its liaison plane evaluation. It's a hrilling question of what small private plane will fly for the Air Force in small numbers for a few years while they persuade helicopters to eat their Wheaties and grow up into real planes! Aro Commander? Navion? Cessna 195? Atlas H-10 (who?)? Beaver? Bellanca? The suspense is killing the people who own shares in those companies! Also, the CAA is thinking about forming a "group" to evaluate prototypes. 

"PO Studies XC-99 Use As All-Mail Plane" Why the XC-99? I'm sure that the British can spare a Brabazon or two to be the Post Offices new WhiteElephantLiner. The serious side of the story is that the PO is floating it as the railroads demand a doubling of their postal rates. See, they can sort mail on the train, which you can't do on a plane right now. On the XC-99, though . . .
Erwin J. Bulban, "Aviation Newcomer Buys Kollsman" Standard Coil, which got a story into Time about its 40% share of the nation's television tuner market, is in Aviation Week buying the Kollsman Instrument Division of Square D Company of New Jersey. Aviation Week expands a bit, but basically Standard Coil wants to diversify and can afford to throw some money at Square D. 

"Massive Tooling Marks Industry's Defence Programme" North American and Lockheed are both buying some gigantic machine tools with which to squeeze, bend, fold and mutilate pieces of aluminum and magnesium into plane parts.

Aeronautical Engineering reports, "Machining Studies Aid Aero Production"  The vague title is a reference to the USAF's study of metal-cutting research that will speed and improve deliveries of critical jet engine parts. Precision machining and surface treatment of novel alloys is a double problem. Aviation Week reads the report so that we don't have to get into microstructures, microhardness, grades of cast iron, the properties of carbides, and "helps" for high temperature working. 

"Navy Device Teaches Ejection Bailout" A giant catapult launches the pilot into the 105ft tower gantry, originally developed by Martin-Baker in Britain, which then catches him and deposits him back on the ground. 

Aviation Week catches us up with Texas Aggie's new spray plane next. 

"Rocket Air Tests" This is the rocket engined X-1 we are talking about. Engineer Richard F. Gont put in a paper about it to the American Rocket Society's fifth annual convention (held during the ASME). "It is a high tribute to the pilots, maintenance personnel, Reaction Motors, Inc., and Bell Aircraft Co, that in these four years there have been no serious accidents." Because these engines are VERY dangerous. 

Avionics has David A. Anderton, "Project Typhoon Aids Missile Designers" The latest giant computer is a joint effort of RCA and the Office of Naval Research. It is a big bank of analogue equation analysers with some extra stuff including a "space plotter," which  is a glass cube the size of a telephone booth that shows two tiny lighted balls against a black interior lit by ultraviolet that allow you to trace the computer's simulated bomber and missile in three dimensions. Sounds like it would benefit from a picture, but none is on offer. 

Engineering Forum has letters, one from Douglas A. King, who points out that high speed seaplanes aren't actually anything new, reminding us of those obscure(!!!) old Schneider Trophy competitions, while T. O. McClure of Piaseki has a long letter enthusing about the Double Mamba and twin Allison, both of which he thinks would be better fits for re-engining existing airliners than the new Pratt and Whitney, which is a bit too big. 

George L. Christian, "New Bantam Automatic Coupler: Undisclosed Number of Lear Units Being Built for USAF: Compactness Permits Fighter Installation" Time pays more to get better writers, so I am going to refer you to the Time version of this same story. The "coupler" in question "couples" beacon input from localisers with the Lear F-35 autopilot to give low visibility autolanding capability, with automatic trim control so the plane doesn't sideslip into the ground trying to follow the beam.  
There's also a bit about a venturi booster, suitable to small, carbureted engines and a typical story about an overhaul dock, this one Northwest's dock for the Stratoliner at St. Paul. Like the Stratoliner itself, it is huge. 

New Aviation Products  Has an ILS meter tester from Collins, a door latch from Modern Metal Spinning, a jet engine valve from Hydro-Aire, and a varnish suitable for high oil resistance at low temperatures, ABC Impregnating Oil, from Frederic S. Bacon Laboratories. 

Aviation World News checks in with a Bristol Freighter being used for top dressing fields in Wales.

Letters  has a bunch of letters from air freight people responding to "Why Sneer at Air Cargo." They al think it's great! I'm not sure what the controversy even is? Herbert Kramer of Julian Gross Advertising writes in to make it clear that it was Industrial Sound Control of Hartford, Connecticut that did such a good job of designing the jet noise abatement equipment at the McDonnell labs, and someone from Lear writes to put in a good word for George L. Christian. Sorry to imply you couldn't write for Time, George! 

Short Cuts has Bonanza Airlines putting in some illuminated ground beacons for its pilots, BEA considering some more internal routes in Britain, and proposals for new equipment to ease air traffic control at Washington. What's New has a fascinating new introduction to helicopter mechanics. 

Editorial With Our Jets fighting Their Jets in Korea, it is time for an "Air War Forum!" Jets are robust, low maintenance, and are not as restricted by range now that they use wing tanks. We assume that the Russians must be cheating on armour or armament or range, since it is otherwise impossible to make a Communist MiG-15 go faster than a Capitalist F-86, and as soon as we actually have a wreck to examine, we will confirm this. In the mean time, we just keep flying. To confirm the basics, the Communists aren't providing air support to their ground troops, UN air has no way of bombing moving targets through overcast, night operations are hard but anyone who says the Marines are better at it than the Air Force are just wrong, our B-29s have been flying and bombing through the retreat, the Air Force has found napalm very effective in action and has no  intention of using gas. 

Time, 25 December 1950


GI Joe, Stalin (twice), Mao, Dean Acheson, General MacArthur, Warren Austin, the Pope, Senator Taft, Hopalong Cassidy, L. Ron Hubbard, Eisenhower and nobody get nominations for Man of the Year. Why is it never Woman of the Year? Frank Thomas writes to remind us of Reader A. L. Peake's prediction that the Reds had staged the Korean War to lure in our front line fighting forces and bag them. Letters run 5 to 2 in support of Mercy Hospital (Brownsville, Texas) withdrawing visiting privileges to Dr. Stephens for sewing up a patient's fallopian tubes after a Caesarean section. The Publisher's Letter is very pleased with the Christmas cover, a "modern Christmas painting," Frank Meyer's The Gift. Meyer is an art teacher from Rochester, and very definitely true to the spirit of the year, at least at Time, it is a markedly more conservative "modern" painting. 

National Affairs

"A Message at Christmas" Time checks in at Hungnam, leading into the President's mobilisation-at-last speech. Uncle George (who seems to have recovered his old zest for flying, by the way) was in old form, announcing this as a great mistake, since the war will be over and forgotten "As quickly as the Boer War," and leave us with a hangover of inflation and unwanted weapons. Reggie seemed about half persuaded, so it fell on me to point out the risks if he is wrong. If we do fight World War III, we have to WIN. Fast and hard!!!

Oh, yes, someone probably wants to know the details: A million man expansion in the armed forces to 3.5 million by next spring; intervention in the rail strike; a freeze on auto prices in the form of a rollback of the recent increases, but not a nationwide control order; a fivefold increase in aircraft production from the current 3000/year; four times as many combat vehicles; 4 1/2 times as many electronics goods, Uncle George smiling like a madman in the corner; United States of Europe army for sure this time; but not yet a full-blown garrison state. In people news, Charlie Wilson is going to be the mobilisation czar, but only because Tom Dewey can't have the job no matter how much he wants it. (Dewey gave a counterpoint the President's speech calling for Universal Military Training, demothballing the entire Navy, a 100 division army and an 80 group Air Force, a military alliance with Tito and Franco, re-arming the Germans, Japanese and Koumintang, full mobilisation and controls and a partridge in a pear tree. (This is crazy. American divisions are twice as large as Russian divisions.) Vannevar Bush must have decided that Dewey couldn't have all the fun, so he blasted America for buying televisions when the Russians are upgrading their radar defences. Since what with one thing or another, the Russians will be able to stop the Bomb, we need, he says, an even bigger army than 3.5 million. The Republican caucus, invited over to the White House to hear the mobilisation speech, agreed 200%, which means they agreed so much they disagreed, and helpfully suggested that the President should fire Dean Acheson.

Time goes into the details of the call-up a bit later. Draft quotas for the next two months are to be increased from 90,000 to 160,000 men. By the end of February, the Army will reach a strength of 1.25 million men. To accomplish this, the draft laws will be tightened, and the Marines will start taking draftees. Two more National Guard divisions will be called up, the 31st from Alabama and the 47th from Minnesota and North Dakota. Selective Service won't take even more, because Secretary Marshall thinks that it's a terrible idea to have a draftee army of millions sitting around army bases with nothing to do. The boys of Roosevelt County are safe! (Also if you were wondering what the Navy and Air Force are doing, it is building giant aircraft carriers and forming "fighter interceptor wings" around the continental US to guard against "surprise attacks.")

"Object Lesson" And this week of all weeks. Time helpfully tells the story of Alfred Riedl, the Austro-Hungarian spymaster who was blackmailed by the Russians over his homosexuality, the lesson being that Senator Clyde Hoey's inquiry into homosexuality in the Government is a good thing. We can agree to disagree, but the gigantic hypocrisy of firing 600 "sex perverts" because they are security risks on account of their knowing that they can be fired if their secret is exposed by Russian agents should be obvious even to Time. But people --men, really-- don't think straight when these things come up. Also, the President apologised for his letter to Paul Home. 

"Battle of the Billygoats" Drew Pearson and Joe McCarthy got into a fight in the cloakroom of a Washington club and then McCarthy denounced Pearson from the Senate floor and threatened his advertisers. Government! 

"Shave and a Haircut, $3.25" The price of living is up! Time's fearless reporters went out for breakfast and reported prices up a dime for many plates in many places. From the Statler and Waldorf to the restaurant in Santa Fe, New Mexico. (I thought maybe there were two or three, but I was wrong.) Okay, I kid. Inflation is real, and it is going to hurt not only the average American, but the Democratic Party. 

"World Without Friends" Time has been looking around under the beds here and there and has found an isolationist: Joe Kennedy. Shut up, stupid, Time helpfully explained to the Ambassador. This seems somehow linked to the Supreme Court's decision of the 11th that as long as being a Communist is a crime, Communists are allowed to invoke their right to avoid self-incrimination. It seems like this might also make the McCarran Act's "Can't think Communist thoughts without dropping a note to the DA" provision unconstitutional. Who would have believed it?

"Sea Gull's Nest" If you read Time regularly, you might have got the impression that most people who disagree with Henry Luce are at least "pink-tinged," or "Moscow line," if not actually "Communists," and this is, of course, true. But what if you are a random person who is accused of being a Communist, and Henry Luce likes you? Then it is the worst thing in the world. Just last week we had the case of George Marshall's aid, Anna Rosenberg. Now, I know what you're thinking. That's a Jewish name, and if not all Communists are Jews, and not all Jews are Communists, at least we can agree that Jewish Communists are the worst kind of Communists. (as long as we don't actually say it, because it is gauche to say anti-Semitic things. People with the right sort of education know how to imply!) But it happens that she is a nice person, so the Senate Armed Services Committee did some digging and discovered that the people who accused her of being Communists are terrible people who were put up to it by even more terrible people ("Jew baiter" Gerald L. K. Smith, John Rankin, Joe McCarthy, Edward K. Nellor). When this was revealed, accuser Benjamin Freedman apologised and lead witness, Ralph de Sola, went back to the crazy house. The moral of the story is, you can be as awful as you like as long as you don't cross the wrong people.

Wildcat striking is on the rise on the rails, and there's a uranium rush on in New Mexico.  A man in Oklahoma who said he found a mouse in a Coca-Cola bottle is now thought to have faked it!


The Indians, Canadians and Iranians are working on a Korea ceasefire, but haven't got there yet, while in Brussels the United States of Europe (Army Department) are currently being held up by the Communist peace offensive or maybe the Communist anti-German rearming offensive or anyway SNORE. 

War in Asia

 Looks like our old stereotypes about Chinese troops aren't working. Must be time for a new one! "The Chinese Communists are noted for sluggishness in victory." Time has a point, in that X Corps was able to evacuate from Hungnam and withdraw in good order south of the 38th Parallel, which isn't something they could have done if the Chinese had pushed harder. I guess the question is whether that's because of "sluggishness" or good reasons. Time has decided that the UN won't be able to hold the 38th Parallel when the Reds start attacking it, and that the next defensive position will consist of perimeters around Pusan and Seoul, against which the Chinese will proceed to dash themselves in a futile siege of lines that the US can hold with little effort.  It seems as dumb to decide in advance what the Communists are capable of this time as it was last time, is what I am saying.

"Shrinking Bridgehead" Reporting from Hungnam, Time watches Koreans helping themselves to the depots, troops setting fire to unlootable supplies, the Engineers blowing up rail bridges along with 30 locomotives and 400 old cars (they couldn't bring themselves to blow up a batch of circa 1950 Japanese railcars), and men being ferried out to Japanese and Norwegian ships in LCVIs, as only one Korean LST can make it to the beach, and, as Uncle George says, only the Koreans are much interested in evacuating civilians (up to and including armed ROK "civilians"), anyway. Considering how much the Americans are blowing up around Hungnam, it might be a good time to get out, anyway. 

"A Matter of Convenience" This might be the right moment to delicately broach the subject of the South Korean firing squads that have been "liquidating 'enemies of the state'" since the liberation of Seoul. "Some," Time quotes, "Said that more than 700 civilians had already fallen before the guns of ROK troops. Others said the total was at least 800." Others, of course, would add a zero or two, but they're Communists, since as the South China Morning Post points out, this was a single massacre last Friday, and others have been reported. US and British troops witnessed the massacre of the 15th and "voiced their loathing for the wholesale slaughter," Now, three American clergymen have protested officially. 

Foreign News

 "Suspended but not Ended" After British production had risen "40% over 1946," and "the rate of dollar spending" had fallen 25% year over year in the first quarter, Hugh Gaitskell decided it was time to suspend Marshall Plan aid. It's not the end of aid, since the current British gold and dollar surplus could be wiped out by a fall in exports or a rise in armaments spending, and The Economist sees shadowy shadows in the shadowy future, (SURPRISE!!!!!), but just right now everything is okay.

George Bernard Shaw has taken up photography in his old age, and because it is GBS he found a publisher and got a story in Time.  A British cavalry regiment has taken up inspecting soldiers' dress before they leave the base, as some have been spotted in zoot suits, which will not do. Ilse Koch had a hysterical breakdown in court after many witnesses accused her of horrifying crimes.  Time sent a reporter to spend four weeks in Yugoslavia and establish that it is pretty okay for a Communist country. The death of Nehru's chief lieutenant makes people wonder whether he can keep on holding his party together. A British court in Singapore has caused rioting by ruling in a custody case in favour of the Dutch parents of a girl raised by her Malayan Muslim  governess since 1941.


"Stalled Autos" Walter Reuther takes the point in Detroit's fight against the auto price stabilisation, which is set to do "irreparable damage" to the industry. Meanwhile, Henry Ford II blasted Washington for all that it is doing to speed up war production without actually placing war orders. The only order Ford has to compensate for all of these price rollbacks and steel restrictions and aluminum scheduling is that order for B-36 engines, which will go into production at Chicago Dodge in '53. 

Time reminds us that the Administration is too cozy with farmers, in case we've forgotten. 

"All-Weather Friends" Two former Air Force meteorologists have set up in private practice in Chicago because they can give more locally accurate and industry-specific forecasts than the Weather Bureau, or even just more accurate information, such as local temperatures along a candy company's delivery route. Also, defence stocks are up and the Government has had to admit that it will deliver 13% less synthetic rubber than projected at the beginning of the year, just as the National Production Authority also told tyre makers that they had to cut their use of natural rubber by 11% in January and 22% in February. Copper, tin and cadmium are also in short supply globally. 

Charles Wilson's replacement at GE is Ralph Cordiner, while Walter Beech's replacement at Beechcraft is his secretary/wife/mother of his three children, Olive Anne Mellor, who has been pretty much running the business since 1940, anyway.

The Department of Commerce is now scrutinising exports to Spain especially closely because they might re-export them to Red China. Priorities! (To be fair, Sweden and Switzerland get the same scrutiny, no word on Swaziland and Somaliland.)

Science, Medicine, Education

"The Pure Savannah" The AEC admitted this week that it had studied many rivers around the country before settling on the Savannah River. The Hanford Reservation was established next to the Columbia because it had lots of water, but that water turned out to have lots of dissolved solids that turned radioactive after being passed through the reactors, affecting the fish of the Columbia. While the fish seem fine, they are "hot enough to take their own pictures" when laid on photographic film. The AEC says that you could eat these fish forever without getting too much radiation, but why take the chance? The rivers with the lowest levels of dissolved solids turned out to be Texas' Red River near Paris, and the Savannah. That maybe a head scratcher for those who've seen these muddy, muddy rivers, but the point is that the silt  isn't dissolved, so it can be removed by filters. Fish downstream of the plant will eventually get hot, but not very hot, and besides the plant is at the head of tide country south and east of Augusta, and I am reliably told by Uncle George that most of the people who live down there are Coloured.

"Autopilots for Jets" The Lear autopilot for the new fighter interceptors makes Time. The problem, as laid out in Aviation Week, is that bombers come in so high and fast that fighters only get one chance to intercept them, and until they have their own radars, they have to follow ground control to line up one shot, probably with a pod of rockets. That's pretty tough, so an autopilot that can guide the plane directly from ground control would be great. Lear's F-5 is the first one that is light enough and small enough to do the job in a fighter cockpit, at 55lbs and one cubic foot. It also has autolanding, or will when autolanding actually works. Time also briefly explains the Sperry A-1C gunsight radar that will aim the rockets or guns in the climactic encounter.  

"Danger at 40,000 Feet" The pressure difference between the inside of a jetliner and the stratosphere is so great that there is a risk that a hull puncture will produce such a powerful outflow of air that the decompression will  have an explosive, expulsive effect on passengers sitting near the breach, thus "explosive decompression." The CAA is studying it, and isn't sure that windows would be safe at all while flying at 40,000ft. Which is an interesting thing to say when an actual jetliner, complete with windows, is scheduled to fly at 40,000ft with BOAC in only eighteen months. 

"A Cool Library" Speaking of radioactive sports fish, Oak Ridge National Laboratory has a problem. Some of its labs are so radioactive that if someone takes the latest issue of Flight down to the lab, it will be too radioactive to share around. Clearly the only possible solution for this is to commission the Radio Corporation of America to create a mobile, high speed facsimile transmitter so that one lab can send that article to the other, with no physical movement of "hot" articles. (Speaking of which, I include a cut out of an Yvonne de Carlo publicity photo. Gammahoy, boys!)

"Biggest Chunk" Radiation therapy for cancer can use X-ray machines, but there's nothing like radium for blasting tumours with gamma rays. The problem is that there isn't that much radium around. This week, Manhattan's Roosevelt Hospital announced an arrangement with the Belgians whereby they get an entire, giant, 3 1/2 ton bucket of lead, mercury and steel to fill with radium to direct from its underground lair  in "converging rays on deep seated cancers." Once said lair and bucket are finished, the bucket will be sent to Belgium to be filled with radium. Time reads a nice letter from Florence Nightingale about how 18 is too young to start nurse's training because girls that age aren't mature enough to stand gore. 

"Imperfect Weapon" Tuberculosis takes a life every seven second around the world, so it is time to visit the tuberculosis vaccine, first tested on calves by the Pasteur Institute back in 1908, but still not proven on people. That's not for lack of trials. Denmark has been using it for years, and credits it with cutting the death rate from 71 to 19 per thousand over the last two decades, but perhaps Denmark has just been unusually thorough in eradicating the contributing causes of tuberculosis such as overcrowding. On the other hand there are countries where "all hope is loss," so why not inoculate? The International Tuberculosis Campaign has inoculated 14 million in assorted war-torn countries around the globe, and they "hope" it has reduced morbidity by four-fifths. Britain has adopted it, but the US has not, because maybe it will cause people to neglect other preventive measures such as regular X-ray screening. But last week a committee set up to examine the subject by the AMA found that it was harmless, could do some good, especially if used for medical workers and members of afflicted families, but that its general use isn't warranted. 

There were 32,000 polio cases this year, the second worst on record after 1949. 

"Patriotic Duty" The New York State Board of Regents thinks that high school should be reduced to three years so that the boys can go into the army faster. The New York State Board of Regents is in charge of education. On the other hand, the Federal Security Administrator is considering a proposal to extend high school by rolling in Universal Military Training, because "girls" are just a story made up by sinister Orientals. Although the credulous have spread to unlikely corners, since St. John's College is going to let girls in next year. Speaking of junior colleges, Stanford's Education Department now has a special team to spread the findings of its "laboratory" for school fixtures next year, too. 

Under the Board of Regents are the New York Superintendent of Schools and Board of Education, which are still trying to keep seven teachers who would "neither confirm nor deny that they were communists" out of the classroom, on the grounds that academic freedom doesn't apply to nasty, sneaky Communists. 

 Press, Radio and Television, Art, People

"Geography Lesson" The Chicago Daily News is upset that the New York Times keeps saying "Chicago, Illinois," because it seems patronising. Because Joe McCarthy's two-knees-to-the-nethers in a Washington cloakroom is in the news, Time rounds up a range of other cases of reporters being roughed up this week, in one case two photographers for Redbook attacked by a mob of churchgoers in Ellenton, one of the towns being relocated to make room for the H-bomb plant in South Carolina. The President's new pressman is Joseph Hudson Short, Jr, and a Rex Morgan strip about euthanasia has been spiked by some papers but not others. Time explains about Rex Morgan, which is written by an actual doctor. 

"Signals Off" Pravda's sports columnist, Nat Low, is in trouble with the Daily Worker for being too down on college football. (Pravda doesn't have an American sports columnist, but just think if it did!) Plus, Dick Tracy is in trouble for moving into a palatial home in a recent strip, what with the Chicago PD and corruption and all of that. 

The Pope, Rear Admiral Arthur C. Davis, the Staff Director for the Joint Chiefs, and an anonymous ad man are all against TV this week. Admiral Davis is especially upset at soap operas for "raising a generation of morons." CBS' Hear It Now is an interesting experiment in broadcasting the nightly news on television. US Armed Forces Radio still exists and is still popular with the boys serving overseas. Du Mont is broadcasting a variety of television shows, including Captain Video, for which, you might be interested to know, old family friend V. is now writing. Word from the Bay is that he thinks he might be able to afford a new houseboat soon! Plus, "It sets up in a child's mind the idea of what electronics can do."

. . . Okay, then.

"Joyous Challenge" Not only did Time commission an original Christmas art painting from an art teacher in Rochester, it is giving Christmas art the cover story this week.

 Loretta Young, Alan Ladd, Olivia de Havilland, Robert Mitchum, Yvonne de Carlo, Clement Atlee, the Windsors, Maude Adams, Wladyslaw Anders, Frederic Joliot-Curie, Maurice Thorez, Palmiro Tagliatti, Wilhelm Peck, Boleslaw Bierut, Millard R. Tydings, Joseph E. Davies, Barbara Stanwyck, Robert Taylor, Elizabeth Taylor, Conrad Hilton, Jr., Betty Hutton, Adolf Hitler, Gustaf VI, Queen Elizabeth and David Ben-Gurion are in the page for various reasons. Mostly, the reason is that they're already famous and so get to be more famous, but Olivia and Robert have been mean to the Hollywood press, Yvonne de Carlo has quite the picture to show you, Senator Tydings has cancelled his daughter's debutante ball because of Korea, and the Queen's horse won a race. 

Enzio Pinzo has had a son, Colleen Townsend, Shirley Temple, Ruth Roman and Faye Emerson have married. Max Reiter, Peter Fraser and Agnes Repplier have died. 

The New Pictures

 Seven Days to Noon is a British film about an atomic scientist who has a crisis of consience and sends in an ultimatum to Downing Street to the effect that if the government doesn't denounce atom bombs in seven days, he will set one off in the middle of London. Time loved it, but the biggest part of the story is the incredible effort the city of London, from government down to regular citizens, put into filming it. For a panoramic shot of a deserted Piccadilly (the city is evacuated as the deadline approaches), all the streets leading into the square had to be closed for two hours, and a similar effort was put in to filming an abandoned Waterloo Station. Born Yesterday is livened up mainly by Judy Holliday's performance. Woman on the Run could have been a good movie, but isn't. 


The second volume of Stendhal's Lucien Leuwen is out in English translation, and Time gives it its imprimatur. This Stendhal guy is going places! John Berryman's Stephen Crane is a biography. Of Stephen Crane. Who did you think? Joseph Rinn's Sixty Years of Psychical Research gets a column title: "Avocation in Ectopiffle." Rinn, an 82-year-old former produce broker and amateur magician, has "spent most of a lifetime trying to expose fake mediums," along with friend and "fellow fake-hunter" Harry Houdini. Here is the fruit of sixty years of debunking. James Thurber's latest, Thirteen Clocks, is a whimsical fairy tale or fantasy. 

Aviation Week, 25 December 1950

News Digest reports that, well, nothing in particular. (The prototype Douglas XA2D-1 has crashed and TWA has ordered 10 Super Constellations.) The X2AD-1 is the first plane built around the 5000hp Allison turboprop. 

Industry Observer Northrop is  having trouble with horizontal stability in the F-89, Douglas is stepping up C-124A production, the Air Ministry has now ordered Avon production at four separate plants to meet demand for Canberra; Derby, Glasgow, Bristol and Napier. Napier meanwhile still hasn't been able to make its Naiad go properly. Large numbers of MiG-15s are reported from Germany. Allison expects its Turboliner to be giving flight demonstrations sometime early next year. Capital Airlines will make current equipment do through 1951 in spite of orders for Constellations and Super DC-3s, and the Convair XF-92A has been handed over to the CAA(?) for further test flying. It is the rocket-powered delta, which I think is superfluous to Air Force requirements. 

Washington Roundup reports that Russell Adams might go to State as Assistant Secretary of State for Air, if Pan Am lobbying doesn't kill the appointment. The "Spruce Goose" is back in the news, as Howard Hughes is trying to get it flying again, and is digging up his old fight with Senator Brewster in connection with Russell Adams' nomination. The Joint Chiefs are now talking about a 100 group(!!!) air force, Robert Lovett might go to Defence as the new secretary, Senator Harry Byrd is threatening to investigate lagging defence spending and Generals Collin and Vandenberg agree that there doesn't need to be any competition between the Army and Air Force for money as long as there is enough for both. Meanwhile the Navy is looking for 450 new planes.

"Government Confusion Slows Mobilisation" As far as I can tell, this is the same story that is everywhere, every week. There's not even any news about the latest grandiose expansion target. 100 divisions! 100 air groups! All the ships!

"Radar to Forecast Jet Weather" If the Comet is going to fly to Australia, it will fly at 40,000ft, and no-one in Australia knows what the weather is like up there because they haven't invented upside down weather balloons yet, so they'll be  using radar instead. (Seriously: To track weather balloons.)

"USAF Reveals Plans for Reopening Plants" If they're going to produce 15,000 planes a year, they need new plants. Tulsa will reopen for B-47s, Kansas City to build fighter jets, and, yes, Uncle Henry gets to build C-119s. Best evidence yet that this 15,000 plane a year plan isn't going to happen.

"Airresearch Builds Inland Plant" In Phoenix. It's news.

"Wright Day" Lord Tedder was in Washington for the Wright Day shindig to talk up the way that air power can save the West from the unlimited human cannon fodder of Communism. 100 divisions! Grover Loening gave a talk on the plane of 1970, which will cruise at 1500mph, be very quiet, land almost vertically, and have omniphibious landing gear. (I just learned that word and now I can use it!) I think Mr. Loening ought to have worn a helmet more back in the day.   The CAB blames the March 2-0-2 crash on the pilot. That's two crashes ago, if you recall. In much the same news, continued, Martin is offering the military the 4-0-4, because probably nobody else will take it. 

"Douglas Awards Total $97 Million" Someone's got their contracts!

"Fiberglas Ducts" Arrowhead Rubber Corporation of Downey, California, is pleased to report that its studies of its product shows that Fiberglas makes better ducts than metal, because its proprietary Airtron material is the best ever. 

David L. Anderton, "Lockheed XF-90 is Transonic Contender" In a three-place contest for the USAF's new penetration fighter, the XF-90 placed second. Triumph! David reads the Lockheed brochure to us. There's enough detail that I'm pretty sure that the USAF has rejected the plane. The idea of a plane that could escort atomic bombers to Moscow was always a bit unreal, but at least Lockheed got to experiment with swept wings, stabilators and some interesting structural tricks. 

"Jet Turbo-Starters" The RAF is using  with a Rotax fast starter cordite-powered turbine unit in its latest fighters. It spins up the engine fast and gets them into the air to intercept incoming atom bombers. 

Allison sends in some nice photographs of the Turboliner.

"High Latitude Navigation Trainer" The latest Link Trainer is specifically to train crews in high speed Arctic flight.  It has a dome representing the Arctic sky, and that's about it. I assumed that it would have a compass that went screwy, but the Air Force is just skipping that and moving directly to celestial navigation.

Exciting news about the biggest airport aircraft tractor yet, the Tournatow, designed for the Air Force by R. G. LeTourneau, a leak detector for inner tubes, and a handy guide to plug care from Champion.  

New Aviation Products reports on Stalwart Rubber's new high altitude rubber No. 808, suitable above 40,000ft, Heppenstall's new high temperature working die for the new generation of forgings, Stratolene from Fine Organics, Inc, for replacing carbon tetrachloride as a safer solvent, a 100gph fuel pump from Lear for its Continental-powered L-19s, and a compact hose fitting from Resistoflex Corporation. 


Donald Kramer of Farm Bureau Life clarifies that in a talk on increasing costs in the air industry, Murray D. Lincoln meant that aircraft part costs had risen almost three times, not planes. F. Q. Tredway of the Southern Pacific is upset that Aviation Week is upset at rail's anti-air advertising. Slick Airways responds to a dangerous lack of Slick Airways-related material in the current issue by writing in a letter pointing out that Slick Airways is very slick. Jack Daniels (seriously!)  of SerVair Associates writes in with something about government-backed loans and how you can't get money from the banks for less than 5%.  Hayes Dever of Capital Airlines thought that the article about the Super DC-3 was great and that the Super DC-2 is great, and if anyone wants to find out just how great, Capital Airlines has some for sale as soon as Douglas actually delivers. (I made up the last part. Sort of.)

F. Lee Moore, "Defence Puts Spotlight on DC-3" The Korean War shows that the DC-3 will never, ever go away. Tricks to increase its capacity are outlined, and an inset celebrates the first ocean-worthy DC-3, CAB approved, ready to fly to Alaska for Transocean, albeit in cargo and "mercy flights for Eskimos" service. 

"Comet Coming: Possibility of Early Jet Service on NY-Caribbean Run" The Comet is expected in service about 1 Sept, 1951, and is not suited for trans-Atlantic runs, but could fly New York-Nassau or New York-Jamaica, Sir Miles Thomas said in a wide-ranging speech luncheon talk otherwise crammed with the usual "Ever Upwards" airline talk of increasing services flying more passengers and cargo at higher speeds and lower costs. Look out Atlantic liners! (I think they're already looking out.) He says the Brabazon was an interesting experiment, and that BOAC is already looking at an improved Comet with Sapphires or Avons that might have Atlantic range. 

If you've forgotten about the Air Coordinating Committee, it has stirred into action to release a "Navigation Blueprint" that lays out the future of American commercial airways through 1955. No room for jetliners, alas for Avro Canada. Speaking of, Boeing estimates the cost of a jetliner at $2.5 million, which is too much for the airlines, hint hint. If the Air Force would just order a bunch of  jet transports for one thing or another, Boeing could swing th development, which would put the end cost of the jetliner closer to what airlines can afford. As for private borrowing to capitalise development, no way, says Boeing. The banks won't take on that much risk. 

Scholer Bangs, formerly of Aviation Week, has got on with the Herald Express. New Books is thrilling along to every page of German Aviation Medicine in Two World Wars. 

Editorial seems to be short on Korean material since it puts an entire page into Uncle Henry's C-119 license. Robert H. Wood is darkly concerned that Uncle Henry is pulling political strings, which, to be fair, he is. But the reason the Defence Department gave him the contract is that they're well aware that Uncle Henry will talk big and not deliver, and meanwhile the Defence Department is free of the headache of fending him off. Pretending that this is some sinister scandal is too just getting on the bandwagon of those who think that the RFC loan to keep Kaiser-Frasier afloat is a scandal. Which it is! Uncle Henry can do made-up scandals and real scandals! Just don't waste my Aviation Week-reading time with it! 


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