Saturday, April 14, 2012

What in the World are they Doing?



First, we need to clear up who was in yesterday's picture. Right off the bat many of you recognized that it was Michael Faraday. He invented the Faraday Cage and electrical structure used to shield charge. For example, when you are inside your car, the metal skin of the car acts as a Faraday Cage. If your car is struck by lightening, the conductive skin of the car conducts the charge around the outside, and you remain safe inside. Faraday did much of the very early work on charged particles and electrostatic potential. This work formed the basis for practical use of electricity.

Now, we had so much fun last week trying to guess what was going on in the pictures, I have decided that this week we will extend the concept, and call it, "What in the World are they Doing Week". So, what are the men in the picture doing?

18 comments:

  1. They are using an early version of a flight simulator.

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  2. Is this an early flight simulator for practicing landing? The seated officer seems to have a joystick in his right hand and the foot pedals look something like old aircraft controls. As he moves the joystick and rudder pedals etc., the lights on the display in front of him show where he would be in regards to a runway.
    Mind you, that seems so simple an answer that it is probably totally wrong and these guys are among the forerunners of the elctronic games industry trying out the very first pinball machine. It was later found that machines on tables were better suited 'cos then the customer could tilt the machine too. And drink a Coke at the same time. And he could keep his cap on.

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  3. This is a photo from the Military Surgeons and Pharmacists Congress, May 8, 1955 in Washington, DC. Lt. Ugo Reitano of Italy looks on while Capt. C.L. Leedhorn of the United States instructs Gen. Constantine Iliescu of Romania on the latest weapon against international Bolshevism. The plan was to retrofit giant steam irons onto the underbelly of B-36 bombers and make low passes over assembled men in formation from the allied nations at the appropriate time, steam would be released, permanently pressing their uniforms, saving time and giving the allies a psychological advantage over their rumpled Communist foes. The plan was abandoned when it was discovered in initial trials that the time saved on mass uniform steaming was wasted as the men in trials had to reapply Brylcreem.

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    1. NATE, I ask again, what color is the sky in your world?

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    2. the plan was scuttled because the gentlemen in the picture later discovered that the british had a more elaborate way of pressing their uniforms with better result.

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  4. It does look like an early flight simulator ,but it does seem to be too easy and too obvious.

    Perhaps it is an early spy school teaching Bolsheviks or Nazis how the Army Air Coprs operated so they could infiltrate and steal our secrets.

    Or perhaps these gentlemen are at a yard sale, notice all the lovely stuff in the background (I particularly like the chairs), and happened upon a flight simulator which they snapped up for next to nothing, whereby saving taxpayers millions of dollars.

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  5. Nate has identified the gentlemen correctly, however Leedhorn is schooling Iliescu on the first manual transmission training device. It was developed to save wear and tear on army jeep transmissions. After the war these devices were distributed to churches across North America where they were housed in the basement. Here women of the Ladies Aid Society could practice shifting gears without the 'help' of their husbands.

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    1. Just like NATE, I am asking what color is the sky in your world?
      You two have great imaginationa, I love it.

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    2. Thanks Dadd, but Nate's got me beat by a country mile! :)

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  6. Anyone interested in old pics should take a peek at this set from 'The Register', all about old electronics.
    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/04/14/reg_picture_puzzler/
    While nowhere near as old as PJM's esteemed old pics (and not as interesting!) I found the very first one rather fascinationg. I remember we had an old radio set which had things like that inside of it (valves).

    Also, we ran that mains electric radio in a house with no electricity. It used a combination of a high tension Ever-Ready battery and a rechargeable, glass housed, lead-acid accumulator. We had two accumulators, one in use in the radio and one at the local bicycle shop which did have electricity installed and would recharge the accumulators for a small fee. Me and my brother were detailed to take the discharged accumulator to the shop about once a week to swap it for the charged one, always with the warnings of our parents ringing in our ears:
    "Hold it upright! Hold it steady! Don't let it tip! Watch out for the acid!"

    I rather think any parents sending their young 'uns on such expeditions these days would soon attract the attention of the SS (Social Services!).

    Happy days!

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  7. DADD, Nate and Tracy are obviously housed in a secret government institution, maybe Area 51, where they are only allowed outside very rarely, and always at night with heavy supervision (guards) and so they never will see the light of day and know the color of the sky. Nate has a vivid imagination and might remember it from when he was a teacher, but it most likely has been washed away as part of his work (confinement) for the government.

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  8. Nate had me at first! What an imagination. Very funny comments.

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  9. Could this be the first LINK trainer for would -be pilots? It might be set up to test the pilots coordination or to illustrate when he made a coordinated turn in an airplane.(probablly a military).Since the operator seems rather mature, he is probably the commander or a visitor from HQ.

    I really like Nate wild guess.

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  10. its a trainer-simulator for aircraft carrier landing?

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  11. This apparatus located at the back of the officer's club was affectionately known as "Pin the medal on the Corporal".

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  12. I agree that it's some kind of flight trainer, but I'm wondering about the panel. Were those lights on the panel? If so, was this some kind of instrument trainer? I notice that he has the stick fairly neutral, while he's holding quite a bit of left rudder down.

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