National Geographic : 1965 Mar
shoveled dolomite into a steel-mill furnace, talked with millionaires and unemployed workers. I interviewed the men who are re shaping the city and scientists intent upon conquest of the stars. On the lighter side, I tried the Highland fling at a Scottish party and joined a lively kolo with a Slavic dance troupe. At the Ma sonic Shrine's Syria Mosque in Oakland, which serves as symphony hall, grand opera house, twist emporium, and Shriner conven tion headquarters, I watched Pittsburghers of varied national heritages perform songs and dances of their ancestral lands: Serbia, Italy, Israel, Slovakia, Poland, the Ukraine. Research Opens New Realms of Power Since coming to Pittsburgh, I have seen the city and the industrial complex that surrounds it undergo great and sometimes painful changes. Once it thought of itself in terms of the sheer might of its heavy industry. Now it is leaning more and more on science. "There's no doubt about it. Pittsburgh is the nuclear power capital of the world," Dr. W. E. Shoupp, vice president and general manager of Westinghouse Research Labo ratories, told me. "It is also one of the great industrial research centers of America." In the office next door, Dr. Shoupp's asso ciate, Dr. J. K. Hulm, plopped a doughnut shaped coil of threadlike wire onto his desk (page 356). "That little thing should help seed a whole new generation of powerful atom smashers," he informed me with a smile. "What is it?" I asked Dr. Hulm, a Cam bridge scholar and wartime radar expert. "The world's first superstrength, super conducting magnet," he replied. "We devel oped it here four years ago. We're making much bigger ones now, and by 1970 we'll triple theirstrength. But even that little thing can create a magnetic field twice as strong as you'd get from a conventional iron-core elec tromagnet as big as an automobile. It will revolutionize the generation of electricity and offer a key to long-distance space travel. "We can push only a certain amount of current through an iron-core electromagnet. After that, we would melt the coil's copper windings. But this new magnet has no iron core. The coil is a new alloy, and by immers ing it in liquid helium, we can keep it near absolute zero-minus 459.69° F.-where it becomes a superconductor." Dr. Shoupp elaborated: "Once the magnet has been energized, its power supply can be disconnected, and the original current will 344 flow on and on without losing strength. Its "Smoky City." "Grimesville." "Three-shirt a-day town." For a century and a half Pitts burgh's choking smog made it a target of quipsters and a sorrow for residents. As late as 1945 (upper view), street lights burned 24 hours a day. But Pittsburgh plotted a trans formation, and in the postwar years an al most magical thing happened (lower view). A smoke-abatement drive wiped the black shroud from the skies and converted the city from ugliness to beauty. COURTESY, CITY OF PITTSBURGH; KODACHROME(UOfUSIIL) N.O. . Tranquil terrace in a muscular metropolis, Mellon Square Park tops a multilevel garage for 900 cars. To Pittsburghers it represents more than a subterranean parking lot: On its opening in 1955 it became a symbol of the urban rejuvenation that won the city a new look at the sun. This view from the alumi num-sheathed Alcoa Building looks across to the offices of U. S. Steel and the Mellon National Bank and Trust Company.