National Geographic : 1954 Jul
120 Moulin Studios This Telephone Pole Is 30 Feet High! The 1952 record-breaking blizzard near Donner Summit in the High Sierra buried telephone lines-and almost everything else. These linemen on snowshoes scrape away snow to inspect crossarms for damage. industry. Bell scientists had special knowl edge of ultrahigh-frequency radio waves, the type used in radar. Many radar devices, in cluding radars for directing antiaircraft guns, and electronic computers to aim them, were developed in the Laboratories. Nearly a third of the 6,000 scientists and technicians at Bell Laboratories have stayed in military research. Among other things, they have developed a new and spectacular electronic device: the Nike guided missile. Nike, named after the Greek "Winged Vic tory" goddess, is an antiaircraft weapon with which the Army hopes to protect American cities and atomic plants from enemy aircraft attack. It is a slim torpedo-shaped rocket which can fly faster than sound. Launched from a platform on the ground, Nike can race to meet an enemy bomber thou sands of feet in the air and overtake and de stroy it no matter how the pilot may twist and turn (pages 110, 114). Installation of the first Nike base is under way at Fort Meade, 24 miles northeast of Washington, D. C. The all-important electronic brain that con trols Nike's flight is made by Western Electric Company, A. T. & T.'s manufacturing sub sidiary. Other parts of the rocket are made by Douglas Aircraft. Thus the telephone's "nervous system" not only brings America together by sight and sound and touch, but also controls a powerful muscle and a hard clenched fist to defend the country if it becomes necessary.