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See Inside Scientific American Volume 309, Issue 3

50, 100 & 150 Years Ago: The News on Aviation Pioneer Igor Sikorsky

Innovation and discovery as chronicled in past issues of Scientific American
HYDRAULIC LIFT LOCK



SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN, VOL. CIX, NO. 10; SEPTEMBER 6, 1913

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September 1963

Erich Fromm on Carl Jung
“Book Review: Memories, Dreams, Reflections, by Carl G. Jung. Pantheon Books ($7.50). Jung's life from childhood on was dominated by the quest for certainty. Was God real? Was he, Jung, real? Was evil real? Eventually he believed he had found an answer in the concept that his visions, dreams and fantasies were all manifestations of the unconscious and that he was the first to have discovered this ultimate reality, to have submitted to it in full awareness and so tamed it. His autobiography is illuminating and impressive. It would arouse deep compassion, at least in this reader, if it were not for the fact that Jung combined an incapacity to see the truth with such a degree of opportunism that as a tragic hero he often resembles the Pied Piper of Hamelin. — Erich Fromm”

September 1913

Disaster and Safety
“In the recent wreck on the New Haven Railroad, the heavy colliding engine and train split entirely apart the two rear wooden sleeping cars of the train ahead, scattering the wreckage and the helpless passengers to right and left as it crushed its way through. Over a score of people were killed outright. There is abundance of evidence, drawn from the behavior of steel cars under conditions practically as severe as these, to show that steel construction would have saved the lives of many, if not the greater part, of the occupants of these two rear cars.”

To see a photograph album relating to disasters and safety from our archives of 1913, visit www.ScientificAmerican.com/sep2013/disaster-safety

Igor Sikorsky, Flight Pioneer
“The St. Petersburg correspondent of the Parisian sporting journal Aero telegraphs to his paper that Igor Sikorsky, a student at the technical high school of St. Petersburg, has built what is probably the biggest aeroplane which has thus far appeared. The span of the biplane is 27 meters. It is said that the machine actually made a flight with seven passengers of 90 kilometers lasting not quite two hours at an altitude of 500 meters, during which the pilots took turns in the pilot house and passengers walked about as if they were in a city apartment. Naturally these accounts of the machine's performances are received with considerable incredulity in France.”

Sikorsky's Russky Vityaz (“Russian Knight”) of 1913 was the world's first four-engine airplane. It was destroyed in a freak accident later that year.

Artificial Kidney
“The International Congress of Medicine, recently held in London, has this report from the London Times: ‘A demonstration which excited great interest was that of Prof. [John Jacob] Abel of Baltimore. Prof. Abel presented a new and ingenious method of removing substances from the circulating blood, which can hardly fail to be of benefit in the study of some of the most complex problems. By means of a glass tube tied into the main artery of an anesthetized animal the blood is conducted through numerous celloidin tubes before being returned to the veins through a second glass tube. All diffusible substances circulating in the blood pass through the intervening layer of celloidin. In this way Prof. Abel has constructed what is practically an artificial kidney.’”

September 1863

Machine Breaking
“If Satan, in his hatred of mankind, should set himself to devise the best mode of lowering the rate of wages, he could find no plan more effectual than that of inducing mobs to destroy labor-saving machinery. Wealth is being constantly produced by labor, and the amount produced is in proportion to the quality and supply of the tools and machinery that the laborers have to work with. A man can produce something with his naked hands, more with the aid of an axe or hoe, more still with a horse and plow, and still more with a steam engine, or saw-mill. When wealth is produced, it is divided between the laborer who does the work, and the man who owns the tools or machinery. The price of labor in England and the United States has multiplied several fold since the invention of the steam engine, the spinning jenny, the cotton gin and the power loom.”

This article was originally published with the title "50, 100 & 150 Years Ago."

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