August 1965

Infrared Astronomy “Researchers from the California Institute of Technology used the 100-inch reflecting telescope on Mount Wilson to make measurements of the carbon dioxide absorption bands in the photographic infrared radiation reflected from Mars; they concluded that carbon dioxide is less plentiful than had been indicated by earlier and less accurate measurements. This implied that the pressure of the atmosphere at the surface of Mars is only about 0.37 pound per square inch, or 2.5 percent of the earth's atmospheric pressure of 14.7 pounds per square inch at sea level. The Martian atmosphere therefore may be too rarefied to support either a winged vehicle or a parachute, both of which had been considered for landing instrument capsules from spacecraft.”

August 1915

Typhoid Vaccine “During the Franco-German war [1870–1871] thousands upon thousands of soldiers died from typhoid fever. The freedom from this disease in the present conflict is due in part to a better understanding of the principles of sanitation, and a great deal of it is due to the work of the man in the laboratory. Years of painstaking lab research have resulted in the antityphoid vaccine, which is saving the armies of the world from typhoid fever epidemics. During the year 1911 typhoid vaccination was made compulsory in the United States Army; the value of this vaccination may be seen in the fact that in 1912 the death rate from typhoid fever in the United States was 16.5 per hundred thousand and in the United States Army the rate was 0 per hundred thousand.”

World War I at Sea “Germany, realizing that her naval ships were shut up securely in her own ports, that her merchant fleet was being swept from the high seas, and that she was cut off from the greater part of her supplies by sea, had but one form of warfare left open for herself, namely, the secret warfare by mine and submarine. It is with the submarine that Germany has scored her greatest success.”

>>View images from the conflict at sea during World War I

Weather at the Movies “Weather forecasts on motion-picture screens were first shown in Birmingham, Ala., in January, 1912, since which time their display in this manner has been extended to 15 cities and at 27 moving-picture theaters. The Weather Bureau is willing to furnish forecasts for this purpose wherever they are desired, but the demand for them is limited by the fact that most moving-picture shows do not open until an evening hour subsequent to the time at which the same forecasts appear in the afternoon newspapers.”

August 1865

Picking Cotton “Since the war has ended the attention of many persons has been drawn to the cultivation of cotton with the laudable design of once more stocking the market and starting factories, so that the needs of the people shall be supplied. Of course the old-time methods of growing this staple are unsuited to the spirit which now directs operations. This listless and slovenly culture is to give way before an energetic, methodical and business-like mode, so that two bolls shall grow where but one did formerly. Machinery in general is wanted, but for one special machine, above all others, there is great need. That is one for picking cotton.”

[Successful mechanical pickers were not employed for another 80 years.]

Rent Was Too Darn High “It is one of the social evils of large cities that dwellings for persons of small means are not to be had. There are none who feel this more keenly than mechanics. After toiling hard all day in the noise and clatter of the factory, they need a clean and quiet home to refresh them for the labor of the day coming. But, in New York, and in most large cities, this is a thing unattainable. Every mechanic who desires to live comfortably pays rent far beyond his means; or if he chooses the other alternative—a low rent—the only places offered are crowded rooms, high up above the street, and reeking with vermin and stench.”