The Blue Riband II

Lead: One of the most interesting developments in the history of transport was the role of government in subsidizing the pursuit of the Blue Riband.

Intro. A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: With the coming of the global economy in the 1900s speed in ocean transport became one of the vital goals of shippers. No prize was more valued than the Blue Riband, the mythic reward for the fastest crossing of the Atlantic. At first American ships dominated the route between New York and Liverpool, England, but in the 1840s British ships, especially the Cunard steam and sail side-wheelers began to take the lead from the all-sail American packets. The foundation of Cunard's initial success was the mail subsidy. Parliament voted a large cash payment for regular transatlantic service to carry the mail. Ships could then carry cargo and passengers for a lesser fee than if they had to charge actual cost of transport. Speed and regular service were the key to obtaining the government subsidy. The faster the better.

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The Blue Riband I

Lead: The dream of transatlantic shipping companies was to build a ship able to capture the Blue Riband.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: With the coming of the global economy in the nineteenth century, the element of speed of transport began to acquire more and more importance. The success of a manufacturing plant in Manchester, England depended on how quickly it could get its products to customers in Sacramento, California or Buenos Aires. Because it had no fighting navy to protect its worldwide shipping, and because it was nearly always being caught between one or another of the warring nations of Europe, the United States soon after independence began to take the lead in building very fast light ships that could run blockades and elude captors.

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Titanic II

Lead: On the evening of April 14, 1912, in the radio room of the Titanic, the pride of the White Star Line and the largest ship afloat, radio operator Jack Phillips had his hands full. Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts Content: Phillips was busy sending passenger messages to friends and relatives which had been backing up while the ship was out of radio range in mid-ocean. About 9:30 He was interrupted by a message from the steamer Mesaba to the Captain, "Ice Report. Saw much heavy pack ice and great number large icebergs. Also Field Ice. Weather good. Clear." Now Phillips had had a very rough day and this new message didn't seem very important to him. He never delivered it.

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Titanic I

Lead: It was about 11:15. The cold night seem

In the radio room, operator Cyril Evans began to pick up a large amount of traffic between a passenger liner quite close by and the telegraph relay station on the coast of Newfoundland at Cape Race. Evans interrupted and telegraphed, “We're stopped and surrounded by ice. The Liner replied, "Shut up! Shut up! I'm busy, I'm working Cape Race." Twenty minutes later he could still hear the liner sending its passenger telegrams when he shut down his set and went to bed.

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C-130 Workhorse (Aircraft) of the World II

Lead: One of the reasons for the success of the C-130 Hercules aircraft was the sheer lack of limits to the ways it could be configured for service - even from a Navy aircraft carrier.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: At first the Lockheed C-130A was designed to carry cargo. Because it was literally overpowered by its four huge Allison turboprop engines, it could land and take off on paved or dirt runways in remarkably short distances – 800 feet to take off as compared to the thousands of feet other aircraft of its size required. So powerful were its engines that once in the air the plane could fly on three or even two engines with little loss of performance.

C-130 Workhorse (Aircraft) of the World I

Lead: In July 1951 the U.S. Air Force awarded the contract for the construction of a new cargo aircraft. The C-130 Hercules has been one of the most successful aircraft in aviation history.

Intro: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts

Content: It was becoming clear by the early 1950s that the U.S. World War II airlift fleet was outdated. The Air Force needed a new approach and awarded a development contract for the design to Lockheed Aircraft (predecessor of Lockheed Martin). The proposed aircraft would need to demonstrate short-distance landing and takeoff from paved or dirt strips, fly long distances with men and matériel, carry large heavy equipment, and do this in the most economical way. The result was the Lockheed prototype YC-130 which flew first in 1954. Since that time over 2500 units have been manufactured and delivered to more than 70 countries, but particularly to the U.S. Armed Services and Reserves.

High Octane/High Test Gasoline

Lead: In the 1930s, oil companies were struggling to boost the octane of gasoline. Eugène Houdry’s catalytic cracking process made it possible and may have helped win World War II.

Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

Content: When it comes from the ground, crude oil is almost useless, a mixture of thousands of different types of hydrocarbons: asphalt to gasoline to natural gas. Each has a different molecular weight, therefore, crude oil must be refined to pull out the impurities such as sulfur compounds and separate different components such as kerosene, gasoline, fuel oil, and so forth.

Fulton’s Folly – Part II

Lead: On August 17, 1807, Robert Fulton, in a thirty-two-hour experimental excursion, ushered in of a new era of transportation. Steam power took to water.

 

                Intro.: A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts.

 

                Content: Fulton, artist, inventor and engineer, directed the construction of a steamboat he had conceived while previously living in Paris, working there on canal and submarine designs. It was in the French capital that Fulton met the American minister to Napoleon’s government, Robert Livingston a wealthy and aristocratic New York businessman. Livingston contracted with Fulton to design a commercial steamboat for use on the Hudson River. Although his was not the first steamboat, Fulton demonstrated conclusively this means of propulsion was a much needed and practical form of transportation.

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