1940s_POWERExcerpt

1940s:  The role of engineers in the war effort seems a consistent theme in POWER’s 1940s pages. But so are efforts to ramp up security at power plants. Early in the decade, POWER published a large wall chart titled, “How to Fight the Fire Bomb,” and in another piece, published a photograph of a “bomb snatcher”—a “pair of tongs with semi-cylindrical jaws to enclose the bomb and hold it as in a cup to prevent” a blast. Another fascinating article predicts the widespread use of “mercury power plants”—facilities outfitted with a mercury vapor turbine developed by General Electric that used a mercury steam cycle and reportedly had a thermal efficiency of above 50%. General Electric built at least four commercial large mercury plants between 1920 and 1950 in Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, and New Hampshire. Their widespread commercial acceptance was hampered by more cost-efficient and safer ways to improve the steam cycle, however.

1940s:

The role of engineers in the war effort seems a consistent theme in POWER’s 1940s pages. But so are efforts to ramp up security at power plants. Early in the decade, POWER published a large wall chart titled, “How to Fight the Fire Bomb,” and in another piece, published a photograph of a “bomb snatcher”—a “pair of tongs with semi-cylindrical jaws to enclose the bomb and hold it as in a cup to prevent” a blast. Another fascinating article predicts the widespread use of “mercury power plants”—facilities outfitted with a mercury vapor turbine developed by General Electric that used a mercury steam cycle and reportedly had a thermal efficiency of above 50%. General Electric built at least four commercial large mercury plants between 1920 and 1950 in Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, and New Hampshire. Their widespread commercial acceptance was hampered by more cost-efficient and safer ways to improve the steam cycle, however.