Red River Flood, 1952.

Click for full image

Mrs. Colin Campbell would not be ousted from her home: she is standing on the roof of her back porch, after climbing out a second story window. The water is about 4 feet away from covering her feet, but she was non-plussed; in the accompanying article, she defied police attempts to evacuate her, declaring it was a good time to catch up on her embroidery. On April 16, 1952, the Red River crested at around 35 feet; a USGS paper declared it the highest crest since 1897. Her address, 106 1st Avenue South, no longer exists; Urban Renewal wisely razed the neighborhood south of Main and east of 4th street, which was regularly subject to inundation even in light flood years.

Labels: , , , , ,

The USS Nautilus. Artist's Impression

In December, 1952, Collier's Magazine made the USS Nautilus its cover story. Nautilus was the first US nuclear-powered sub, and it set record after record during its time at sea. The date of the Collier's article, however, is a clue to this picture's origin. Construction on the Nautilus started 14 June 1952, and the ship wasn't seaworthy until 1954. The design for the sub was definitely in existence, but the ship itself was still a few years away. With the help of Rear Admiral Homer N Wallin, Collier's was able to assemble an excellent description of our newest not-so-secret weapon.

The above image has to be enlarged to be appreciated; the detail is tremendous, and I'd bet the original was huge. The diagram spanned two pages, from edge to edge. I find it a bit disconcerting that the area marked "nuclear lab" is right next to the galley, but I'd imagine that this artist's rendition isn't completely accurate; it does closely resemble the map seen here, though. The article gives quite a few details about the Nautilus' capabilities, no doubt as a show of US power and induce fear in our enemies of the surprise attack from such a formidable opponent. The details in the diagram above do show a bit more than I'd expected -- in the room marked "Crew's Quarters", the following detail is shown:

Yes sir, our red-blooded sailors, spending months cruising beneath the choppy waves, will enjoy the companionship of the all-American pin-up gal (nsfw). Maybe the artist was far more truthful about the submarine's nature than I thought.

Labels: , , , , ,

Socialized Power For Our Children

My first reaction was that this advertisement, published in a 1952 farming magazine, was steeped in anti-communist propaganda. After all, socialism and communism are terms arm-in-arm, almost interchangeable, depending on where they're used. The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was the enemy, we had just defeated Germany's National Socialist party, so in 1952 socialism seemed to be America's greatest enemy.

The threat here turns out to be closer to home. Eisenhower, as I mentioned a couple days ago, was quite 'left' when it came to socialized and public works. Socialized power, or, rather, federally-funded power plants, was high on Eisenhower's 'to-do' list. Eisenhower didn't have some haughty Marxist ideals -- he had been a leader during WWII, and saw first-hand how a country's strong infrastructure kept it operating during adversity. Eisenhower's highway system is still the road upon which American commerce and communication rolls, and he thought having federally-controlled electricity would allow the country to weather problems by controlling the source. Private electricity companies, as you might gather, felt quite threatened by the possibility of their racket being leaned on by government influences. "Won't Someone Think of the Children?" the power companies cried, so soon forgetting how Roosevelt's REA program brought hot water and radio to the children of the farmers that bought this magazine. At least with REA, private companies got the money for the work -- turbines at Niagara was another thing altogether.

(click the image to read the content of the ad)

Labels: , , , ,