From Cook Stoves to Tanks . . . They Roll from the Automobile Factories (Aug, 1941)

From Cook Stoves to Tanks . . . They Roll from the Automobile Factories


THE Detroit genius for industrial organization is sorting out the sudden chaotic avalanche of defense orders with its customary frantic and incredible orderliness. It is responding to the fabulous impetus of something like a billion and a half in armament orders assigned by the U. S. Government to the automobile industry. The vast industrial center, already a huge magnet, drawing raw materials and manufactured parts selectively from many parts of the country, is being called upon suddenly for all its reserve power. Its standard products, such as automobiles, trucks, and their accessories, were in extraordinary de-mand, but now there are imperative pleas also for airplane, marine, and tank engines; for the airplanes and the tanks themselves and for antiaircraft guns, cook stoves, ammunition components, refrigerators, Diesel engines, and a conglomeration of other articles.

Discovery of King Tut’s Tomb (Oct, 1923)

This article was published less than a year after the tomb was discovered.


By R.C. Folger

TREASURE that has been variously estimated to be worth from $15,000,000 to $40,000,000, has recently been brought to light upon the opening of a tomb believed to be that of Tutankhamen, who ruled in Egypt over 3,000 years ago.

The first objects to greet the eyes of the entrants to the tomb, were three magnificent state couches, each made of gilt wood with exquisite carvings and decorated with a lion’s head and other emblematic figures. On these rested gilt beds also beautifully carved and inlaid with ivory and jewels, and a number of boxes of rare workmanship. These boxes were inlaid with ivory and ebony with gilt inscriptions.

The Real Truth About the Wilkins Polar Sub (Jan, 1932)

It does not sound like this trip was very fun.

The Real Truth About the Wilkins Polar Sub

The real story of the submarine Nautilus, which set out on a fantastic Jules Verne expedition to travel under ice to the North Pole, and which now lies abandoned in a European harbor after an amazing succession of catastrophes, is here told you for the first time by a member of the expedition. Fascinating, thrilling— an “inside” story—scientific adventure in the raw!

by ALFRED ALBELLI who interviewed Arthur O. Blumburg, Chief Electrician’s Mate of the Nautilus

ARTHUR O. BLUMBURG Mr. Blumburg has been for 15 years in the United States Navy submarine service, and was granted a leave of absence to lend his expert services to the Wilkins Polar Submarine Expedition. That Mr. Blumburg was one of the most valued members of the crew, is testified to by the following sentences taken from a letter written to the Secretary of the Navy by Commander Sloan Danenhower of the Nautilus: “Arthur O. Blumburg had charge of recommissioning the electrical department, the installation of the storage batteries and special gyro compass, the automatic pilot, and other electrical equipment. He accomplished this work with great dispatch and efficiency, and has been a faithful, zealous, and efficient head of the electrical department throughout the entire voyage.”

Atomic Clock Verifies Oldest Bible Manuscript (Dec, 1951)

Atomic Clock Verifies Oldest Bible Manuscript

By James T. Howard

They shall heat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.

—Isaiah II, 4.

WHEN the atom bomb first mushroomed its message or death and destruction into the sky six years ago, there were many who speculated on the future uses of atomic knowledge. But few if any put Bible study on their list.

Now, as Christmas of 1951 nears, we find the seeming miracle has come to pass. Science is revealed as the handmaid of religion; radioactive carbon-14 and the Geiger counter are instruments for casting new light on the accuracy of our modem Bible. Cosmic rays that bombarded the earth when Christ was born have left behind a coded message for nuclear physicists to decipher.

First Telephone Used to Help Escaping Slaves (Nov, 1933)

First Telephone Used to Help Escaping Slaves

America’s oldest telephone, pictured here, was used before the Civil War by abolitionists who helped negroes escape. It consisted of a wire attached between drumlike boxes containing diaphragms. A ringing bell announced that a message was to be sent.

Mister-you’re getting paid in DYNAMITE! (Nov, 1943)

Compare this ad from WWII with the message our government is sending now. Then it was “save, don’t spend”, “don’t allow profiteering”, “buck up and pay higher taxes”. Now it’s “The best way to defeat the terrorists is for you to go shopping and support lower taxes for rich people!”

Mister-you’re getting paid in DYNAMITE!

Our pay envelope today is dynamite.

The wrong way to handle it is for us to wink at prices that look too steep . . . telling ourselves we can afford to splurge.

We can’t afford to—whether we’re business men, farmers, or workers. And here’s why:

Splurging will boost prices. First on one thing then all along the line.



By David Scott

WE HAD BEEN two days in Russia, two days of driving down a broad, virtually empty highway. After a stopover at Smolensk we headed once more for our goal, that city of paradoxes, Moscow. In the back seat, as always, was Vladimir, the 22-year-old interpreter assigned to us by Intourist, the Soviet travel agency.

Midafternoon of this third day brings a change of scenery. About 30 miles from Moscow we start seeing clusters of houses. Most of them are wooden shanties, but every one sprouts a TV antenna. Occasionally we pass a factory. At the city outskirts, huge apartment houses stand amid a forest of building cranes. Then the traffic really starts—few cars, but an endless stream of green trucks, like an army on the move.

New impressions tumble in. The road is being sprinkled by water tankers, then swept by mechanical brushes to clean up the muddy tracks deposited by trucks from adjacent building sites. Vladimir tells us you can be fined for driving a dirty car in Moscow. It’s also an offense to blow your horn or drop a cigarette butt in the street.

Lewis Carroll: Mathematician (Apr, 1956)

Lewis Carroll: Mathematician

Many people who have read “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” and “Through the Looking-Glass” are aware that the author was a mathematician. Exactly what was his work in mathematics?

by Warren Weaver

Lewis Carroll—wasn’t he a first-class mathematician too?” This is a typical remark when the name of the author of Alice in Wonderland comes up. That Carroll’s real name was Charles Lutwidge Dodgson and that his main lifelong interest was mathematics is fairly common knowledge. In fact, among his literary admirers there has long been current a completely false but unstoppable story that Queen Victoria read Alice, liked it, asked for another book by the same author and was sent Dodgson’s very special and dry little book on algebraic determinants.

Lewis Carroll was so great a literary genius that we are naturally curious to know the caliber of his work in mathematics. There is a common tendency to consider mathematics so strange, subtle, rigorous, difficult and deep a subject that if a person is a mathematician he is of course a “great mathematician”—there being, so to speak, no small giants. This is very complimentary, but unfortunately not necessarily true. Carroll produced a considerable volume of writing on many mathematical subjects, from which we may judge the quality of his contributions. What sort of a mathematician, in fact, was he?




A TELEPHONE bell rang in the office of Edward R. Stettinius Jr., chief of the National Defense Advisory Commission’s materials division. It was the Chinese Embassy calling.

A sizable quantity of tungsten had just become available in Indo-China. Would the “United States be interested?

It most certainly would. Three calls by Stettinius brought quick results. The Reconstruction Finance Corporation would supply funds for the purchase. The Procurement Division of the Treasury would instruct one of its agents to do the buying. The Maritime Commission would arrange shipment. Next day, the tungsten was aboard an American ship, on its way to the U. S. A.

Unshackle Him! (Nov, 1940)

Unshackle Him!

When “Ding” penned this cartoon some months ago, America’s great defense program was just beginning to roll. Today, industry has gone to war. Our powerful industrial giant is slipping free of his shackles and the smoke of activity is pluming from the nation’s factories. To provide our readers with an authoritative background against which to project the news of the day, POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY presents on the following pages the first of a series of dramatic articles revealing just how industry is being mobilized to arm Uncle Sam’s vast forces of defense for guarding our country against the danger of attack from any quarter.