With Edison’s Insomnia Squad
by Richard G. Berger
IT WAS during the summer of 1916 just after my graduation from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, that I read an article in Munsey’s Magazine concerning Thomas A. Edison and his “Insomnia Squad.” I immediately wrote to Mr. Edison requesting employment in his laboratory.
He was away on one of his annual Firestone-Burroughs vacation trips. Upon his return I received a letter stating that Mr. Edison offered me two weeks’ trial employment in his laboratory at fifteen dollars per week. I acceptedâ€”in fact I would have taken the position without salaryâ€”and reported to the laboratory at West Orange, fully expecting to be back home at the end of the two weeks.
The sight of Mr. Edison with several days growth of beard and dressed in baggy clothes, vigorously chewing tobacco, set me at ease. He assigned me to work on various problems of phonograph record composition and the manufacture of phenol (carbolic acid) which was then much in demand for both records and explosives.
LICORICE may create new assets for you
Some businessâ€”perhaps yoursâ€”may soon find an additional source of wealth through licorice. This could happen by improving on some product now in use or developing a brand new one.
A prime example of product improvement from research is to be found in the tobacco industry. For many years now, licorice has been added to certain tobacco products to improve the taste, and also as a mellowing and conditioning agent. And a prime example of a new product as the reward for research is Foamite Firefoamâ€” a foam of great staying power obtained from the “spent” root after completion of the initial extraction process.
How to Run An Atomic Power Plant
Nuclear research piles give preview of methods that may be used to make tomorrow’s electricity.
By Martin Mann
Youâ€”as a citizenâ€”own a part of the 2-1/2 billion-dollar atomic-energy industry. Although your individual share is only one in 143,000,000, it is probably the most important single thing you own. It provides the most powerful weapon in our arsenal for war, promises cures for many diseases, and will eventually furnish cheaper electricity and transportation.
YOU’VE heard a lot about atomic energy. But you probably have a lot of questions because so few people have actually seen an atomic engine. Well, I have. I was one of a small group of reporters who saw two nuclear piles early this winter. While they were operating, I touched them, stood on top of one, saw it turned on and off, watched as “hot” radioactive materials were taken out of it. So maybe I can help you visualize the process and get rid of some of the mystery. Let’s imagine you have just gotten a job running an “atom furnace.” Sure I mean you! Some day such jobs will be as common as locomotive engineers. The engines of die future will be like the experimental piles I saw at the Argonne National Laboratory, which the University of Chicago runs for the U. S. Atomic Energy Commission, used to transfer heat out of power piles, but what that material will be is still a question. That’s one reason nobody has built a real power pile yet. A good heat-transfer fluid will probably be found among the metals that melt easilyâ€”bismuth might be a possibility.
Tomorrow’s Design Today…
Airplane design involves a staggering amount of data processingâ€”a seemingly endless number of computations and tests between the drawing board and the production line. Every hour…every day … every week gained here brings the time when the finished plane takes off on its first flight just that much closer. In the aircraft industry, as in many other engineering applications, the Remington Rand ERA 1103 Electronic Computing System has proven how easily it can handle the most difficult research problems. Here are some reasons why leading aircraft builders and other prominent users are counting on the ERA 1103 these days:
Because of its ability to reduce large volumes of data at extremely high speeds, the ERA 1103 is the ideal computing system for scientific applications. Its speed is matched by many other outstanding characteristics: superb operating efficiency, obtained through large storage capacity … great programming versatility… the ability to operate simultaneously with a wide variety of input-output devices … and far greater reliability than any computer in its class. For more information about the ERA 1103, or for information about how you might apply the system to your particular problems, write to …
ELECTRONIC COMPUTER DEPARTMENT, REMINGTON RAND
ROOM 1915, 315 FOURTH AVE., NEW YORK 10
Expert Tastes Soap for a Living
TESTING soap by taste is one of the chief duties of Joseph Strobl, chief soap maker for a Los Angeles company. He samples the cooking product much like an expert chef. Chemical tests take too long at critical stages and are said to be less accurate than Strobl’s tongue.
Figures Prove You Lose $300 If Letter Chain Is Unbroken
You can’t lose,” said the chain letter fans, I but Dr. C. R. Fountain, of Peabody College, Nashville, Tenn., estimated that everyone would lose at least $300. Each one in the dime chain expected to receive more than 15,000 dimes.
“In order to bring that about,” Dr. Fountain was quoted as saying, “the chain would have to keep spreading until it reaches everyone 15,000 times, when each person will have to give back all the dimes he takes in. Then we will all be back where we startedâ€”only each one will be out the amount he spends on postage, or about $300.”
In the case of the one dollar chain, in which a person receiving the letter had to get a dollar bill from two friends, mathematicians calculated that when the chain had reached its thirty-third stage in passing from one person to two others, to four others, and so on, a total of $17,179,926,032 would be in the purses of chain letter fans. This sum is approximately $3,000,000,000 more than the total amount of money actually existing in the United States. Chains up to $25 were started throughout the country.
Sylvania & Univac
“Blueprint for Tomorrow”, “Office of the Future”â€”these are phrases used to describe Sylvania’s new Univac Data-Processing Center. For Sylvania is creating, with the Remington Rand Univac, a nerve center for its entire decentralized operations. It is utilizing Univac’s electronic speed and unrivalled accuracy to establish a priceless storehouse of up-to-the-minute management information. This will be available for rapid and truly enlightened management decisions at all levels, and at all locations.
Every alert executive should know the significance of this new step towards automation in business. To get the complete story of Sylvania and Univac, write for EL278, “Is This a Blueprint for Tomorrow’s Offices?” Room 1702, 315 Fourth Avenue, New York 10, N. Y.
Remington Rand Univac
Makers of: Univac I â€¢ Univac II â€¢ Univac Scientific â€¢ Univac File-Computer â€¢ Univac 60 â€¢ Univac 1.20 â€¢ Univac High-Speed Printer
DIVISION OF SPERRY RAND CORPORATION
Daring Bird-Man Soars At 10,000 Ft. On Homemade Wings
FOR three years Clem Sohn, parachute jumper of Lansing, Michigan, dreamed of the time when man might go aloft and soar like a bird. Recently his dream became a reality.
Clad with foot-webbing and home-made wings of airplane canvas, he bailed out of a ship at an altitude of 12,000 feet. During the first 2,000 feet of his fall, he kept his wings folded at his side while he tested his leg-webbing. Slowly, he opened his wings to check his descent, and for more than a minute he banked, looped, climbed and zoomed to right and left. At 6,000 feet he pulled the rip cord of his parachute and floated back to earth.
While aviation authorities who witnessed the stunt failed to see any practical value in man’s new “conquest of the air,” Sohn was already at work designing bigger wings and planning future aerial maneuvers.
I think their marketing department might want to rethink this slogan. Perhaps “the best” or “highest quality” might serve them better.
149 SKF BEARINGS
are on this, the Largest Airplane in the World
NO time to think about bearings … not when the altimeter registers ten thousand feet… not when a hundred trusting passengers are dozing in their seats behind.
No time to wish that the bearings had been purchased upon performance rather than upon price… not when the twelve roaring motors on the wing will continue to roar only so long as the bearings stand up … nor when the twenty-four engine generators are running on them, and lighting dynamo, radio installation and fuel pump depend upon them.
The plane that helped win the war now helps win the peace
â€”the Douglas C-54
Last August nearly 4,000 Moslem pilgrims bound for Mecca were stranded in Beirut 800 miles from the holy city.
In one of the finest demonstrations of international good will, the Department of Defense provided a “magic carpet” in the form of the Military Air Transport Service to speed these pilgrims on their way.