1919 Motor Transport Corps convoy

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pages: 423 words: 129,831

The Big Roads: The Untold Story of the Engineers, Visionaries, and Trailblazers Who Created the American Superhighways by Earl Swift

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1919 Motor Transport Corps convoy, big-box store, blue-collar work, Donner party, edge city, new economy, New Urbanism, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Ralph Nader, side project, smart transportation, traveling salesman, Unsafe at Any Speed, urban planning, urban renewal, Victor Gruen

MacDonald replied that he looked forward to working with Joy and was " much interested" in the truck project. " In fact," he added, " if it seemed possible to spend the time necessary, I would feel better prepared to undertake the work at Washington after just such a trip." As it happened, Joy was persuasive—the army did send a convoy of its trucks across the country, from Washington to San Francisco, on the Lincoln Highway that summer. Among the officers assigned to the mission was a young lieutenant colonel named Eisenhower. PART II Connecting the Dots 4 DWIGHT EISENHOWER ENJOYED little promise of a great military future when, in the first days of July 1919, he heard that the army would attempt to drive a train of heavy trucks from the Atlantic to the Pacific; he volunteered to go along as a Tank Corps observer because he had nothing better to do.

The trucks had trundled out of Washington after a late-morning ceremony on the Ellipse, just south of the White House and a few blocks from Thomas MacDonald's new office, accompanied by a flock of civilian hangers-on. It took seven hours to reach Frederick, where Eisenhower reported for duty, ready, he admitted later, for a summertime lark. Instead he got " a genuine adventure." The convoy joined the Lincoln Highway in Gettysburg and grunted up its twisting, steeply graded path over the Alleghenies. The greenhorn drivers took the Midwest's rough roads too fast, stripped gears, gunned engines until their radiators boiled over. Breakdowns were frequent. The trucks crushed scores of bridges—fourteen in one day, by Eisenhower's count—which trailing soldiers scrambled to rebuild. But the expedition encountered nothing truly unexpected, and though long hours and summer heat and seemingly unending repairs wore on the men, that held true until the convoy reached the desert southwest of Salt Lake City.

Tasker Oddie (Joy papers, Bentley). [>] But in September 1919 ...: My account of the Wendover Road controversy was informed by documents preserved in the Lincoln Highway and Federal Aid-Utah files at the Archives: L. I. Hewes's letter to his Utah district engineer of October 18, 1921; "The Lincoln Highway," an editorial in the Los Angeles Times, February 1, 1922; "Nevada Urges Utah's Governor to Complete Lincoln Way," a news release containing an April 7, 1922, letter from Nevada officials to Utah governor Charles R. Mabey; Gael Hoag, June 8, 1922, report to the Lincoln Highway board; Hoag's July 25, 1922, report to the BPR on "Primary East and West Highways in Utah & Nevada"; undated BPR "Memorandum re Federal Aid Routes in Nevada"; Henry Joy letter to F.


pages: 253 words: 80,074

The Man Who Invented the Computer by Jane Smiley

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1919 Motor Transport Corps convoy, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Arthur Eddington, British Empire, c2.com, computer age, Fellow of the Royal Society, Henri Poincaré, IBM and the Holocaust, Isaac Newton, John von Neumann, Karl Jansky, Norbert Wiener, Pierre-Simon Laplace, RAND corporation, Turing machine, V2 rocket, Vannevar Bush, Von Neumann architecture

He had been attempting to come up with a calculating machine since the early thirties, and he had tried all sorts of ideas. On that night in December 1937, frustrated that his work seemed stalled and baffling, he left his house on Woodland Street after supper and went back to his office in the physics building, but that was no good, either. So he jumped in his new car and headed for the Lincoln Highway—the two-lane road that was the first highway to connect the East Coast with the West Coast (Times Square in New York with Lincoln Park in San Francisco). Atanasoff drove east for some sixty or seventy miles, through the flat prairies of Story County and Marshall County, to Tama, then he turned southeast toward Marengo.

A major Allied setback that was not understood until after the war was the fact that the Germans also managed to crack English codes, specifically the code that routed convoys, Naval Cipher No. 3. Even though they did not have the benefit of a machine like the Bombe to do so in real time, they could often figure out the “size, destinations, and departure times,” according to Andrew Roberts, but “instead of recognizing the danger, the Admiralty put the U-boats’ remarkable success in intercepting convoys down to the advanced hydrophone equipment they used … Naval Cipher Code No. 3 was not replaced with No. 5, which the Germans never cracked, until June 1943.”

But there were concerns other than weather—principally the question of what the Germans thought the Allies were planning. On June 5, Eisenhower was interrupted in a staff meeting by a courier bringing the first Colossus-decoded German communication from Bletchley Park. Flowers writes, “Hitler had sent Field Marshall Rommel battle orders by radio transmission, which Bletchley Park had decoded with the aid of the new Colossus. Hitler had told Rommel that the invasion of Normandy was imminent, but that this would not be the real invasion. It was a feint to draw the troops away from the channel ports, against which the real invasion would be launched later. Rommel was not to move any troops. Eisenhower read the paper silently, then announced, ‘We go tomorrow.’


pages: 523 words: 159,884

The Great Railroad Revolution by Christian Wolmar

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1919 Motor Transport Corps convoy, accounting loophole / creative accounting, banking crisis, Bay Area Rapid Transit, big-box store, collective bargaining, cross-subsidies, intermodal, James Watt: steam engine, Ponzi scheme, quantitative easing, railway mania, Ralph Waldo Emerson, refrigerator car, Silicon Valley, strikebreaker, too big to fail, trade route, transcontinental railway, traveling salesman, union organizing, urban sprawl

At the federal level, little progress was made until 1912, when at last the federal government, under pressure from campaigners within the automotive industry, began to consider building a transcontinental road. In 1919, a military convoy traveled from coast to coast using the partly completed road known as the Lincoln Highway and took sixty days to make the journey. It was led by Lieutenant Colonel Dwight D. Eisenhower, who was so appalled at the poor condition of the roads that, when he was president in the 1950s, he launched the program to build the interstate network that would have such a devastating effect on the railroads (see next chapter). The thirty-three-hundred-mile Lincoln Highway, mostly called US Route 30, was not actually completed until 1923, but support for the project showed that the federal government was at last taking an interest in the issue, despite the fact that the Constitution, as mentioned in Chapter 1, notionally prevented federal funds from being spent on national infrastructure.

The Western Maryland was an inadequate single-track line with scrap-iron rails on poor-quality ties and no adequate sidings or even a telegraph system. Haupt quickly drafted four hundred men to improve the line, and consequently it was used to send a series of huge convoys to the front and, crucially, bring back the wounded from what proved to be the bloodiest battle of the war. Rather than allowing a higgledy-piggledy timetable to be run by the military, Haupt established a service of three convoys of trains per day, each consisting of five ten-car sets carrying fifteen hundred tons of supplies, and once the battle commenced, they were used to return to Baltimore with up to four thousand wounded soldiers each.

Created by the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956, the forty-six-thousand-mile system, officially named after Eisenhower, was built over a period of thirty-five years and cost in excess of $425 billion.12 Federal funding was allowed because the system was seen as essential for military purposes and for use at times of national emergencies, and consequently the roads were engineered to very high standards, paid for by a national tax on fuel. It was the biggest construction project in American history and represented a crippling blow to the railroads, especially as road construction has continued to be supported through related highway-funding legislation also enacted by Eisenhower’s administration in 1956.


pages: 540 words: 168,921

The Relentless Revolution: A History of Capitalism by Joyce Appleby

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1919 Motor Transport Corps convoy, agricultural Revolution, anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, Bartolomé de las Casas, Bernie Madoff, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, call centre, collateralized debt obligation, collective bargaining, Columbian Exchange, commoditize, corporate governance, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, Doha Development Round, double entry bookkeeping, epigenetics, equal pay for equal work, European colonialism, facts on the ground, failed state, Firefox, fixed income, Ford paid five dollars a day, Francisco Pizarro, Frederick Winslow Taylor, full employment, Gordon Gekko, Henry Ford's grandson gave labor union leader Walter Reuther a tour of the company’s new, automated factory…, Hernando de Soto, hiring and firing, illegal immigration, informal economy, interchangeable parts, interest rate swap, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, land reform, Livingstone, I presume, Long Term Capital Management, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Wolf, moral hazard, Parag Khanna, Ponzi scheme, profit maximization, profit motive, race to the bottom, Ralph Nader, refrigerator car, Ronald Reagan, Scramble for Africa, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, special economic zone, spice trade, spinning jenny, strikebreaker, the built environment, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Thorstein Veblen, total factor productivity, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, transatlantic slave trade, transcontinental railway, union organizing, Unsafe at Any Speed, Upton Sinclair, urban renewal, War on Poverty, working poor, Works Progress Administration, Yogi Berra, Yom Kippur War

As a young lieutenant colonel Eisenhower had participated a generation earlier in the caravan of army vehicles sent across the country to see how easily troops could be moved from the East to the West Coast. “Not very easy” was the answer. The trip took sixty-two days and sometimes required oxen to pull the trucks out of the mud. The new interstate highway system followed the same route, the old Lincoln Highway, as the army convoy of 1919.18 Organized labor became a force in the American economy after passage of the Wagner Act, formally known as the National Labor Relations Act of 1935. This Magna Carta for labor gave statutory protection to organizing workers. Public opinion, as well as court decisions, had begun to turn in labor’s favor, first in the twenties for the right to assemble and then during the Depression for the right to organize.

The American Telephone and Telegraph Company ran its own Bell Laboratories, and pharmaceutical companies also maintained first-rate research facilities of their own.28 Three days before he left office, President Dwight Eisenhower warned about the dangers of something he dubbed a military-industrial complex. Calling attention to the permanent war footing of the country and the vastly more complicated weaponry involved, he asked Americans to be alert to “the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific, technological elite.” After noting that the United States annually spent more on military security than the net income of all U.S. corporations, Eisenhower urged “the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty might prosper together.29 Only the catchphrase “military-industrial complex” caught on; the warning went pretty much unnoticed.

With a toehold on the European continent, Turkey could be considered Europe’s single Muslim country. At war’s end, Germany was a devastated country, on the verge of starvation. Kaiser Wilhelm II had fled to the Netherlands. The successor government, the Weimar Republic, was established in early 1919, if “established” is the right word. It had to struggle for stability against paramilitary socialist groups and the defeated military leaders who longed for the return of the monarchy. Perhaps what happened is best captured in the Theodor Plivier book title The King Goes, the Generals Remain. The Versailles Peace Treaty very much complicated Germany’s recovery by taking away 13 percent of its territory and assigning 10 percent of its population to other countries.


pages: 497 words: 144,283

Connectography: Mapping the Future of Global Civilization by Parag Khanna

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1919 Motor Transport Corps convoy, 2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 3D printing, 9 dash line, additive manufacturing, Admiral Zheng, affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, amateurs talk tactics, professionals talk logistics, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Asian financial crisis, asset allocation, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, Basel III, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, borderless world, Boycotts of Israel, Branko Milanovic, BRICs, British Empire, business intelligence, call centre, capital controls, charter city, clean water, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, complexity theory, continuation of politics by other means, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, data is the new oil, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deglobalization, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, Deng Xiaoping, Detroit bankruptcy, digital map, diversification, Doha Development Round, edge city, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, energy security, ethereum blockchain, European colonialism, eurozone crisis, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, family office, Ferguson, Missouri, financial innovation, financial repression, fixed income, forward guidance, global supply chain, global value chain, global village, Google Earth, Hernando de Soto, high net worth, Hyperloop, ice-free Arctic, if you build it, they will come, illegal immigration, income inequality, income per capita, industrial cluster, industrial robot, informal economy, Infrastructure as a Service, interest rate swap, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, John von Neumann, Julian Assange, Just-in-time delivery, Kevin Kelly, Khyber Pass, Kibera, Kickstarter, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, LNG terminal, low cost carrier, manufacturing employment, mass affluent, mass immigration, megacity, Mercator projection, Metcalfe’s law, microcredit, mittelstand, Monroe Doctrine, mutually assured destruction, New Economic Geography, new economy, New Urbanism, off grid, offshore financial centre, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, openstreetmap, out of africa, Panamax, Parag Khanna, Peace of Westphalia, peak oil, Pearl River Delta, Peter Thiel, Philip Mirowski, Plutocrats, plutocrats, post-oil, post-Panamax, private military company, purchasing power parity, QWERTY keyboard, race to the bottom, Rana Plaza, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Scramble for Africa, Second Machine Age, sharing economy, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, Skype, smart cities, Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spice trade, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, sustainable-tourism, TaskRabbit, telepresence, the built environment, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, transaction costs, UNCLOS, uranium enrichment, urban planning, urban sprawl, WikiLeaks, young professional, zero day

As the former World Bank chief economist Justin Lin argues, capital markets, multilateral institutions, and other structural funds should focus on strengthening regional banks so they can finance large-scale infrastructure that creates jobs and connects societies.*6 There is no better example than America’s own Interstate Highway System, ushered in by President Dwight Eisenhower in the 1950s. Having participated in an exhausting cross-country convoy from Washington to San Francisco in 1919 along the degraded, muddy, and potholed Lincoln Highway (America’s first transcontinental road) and then witnessed the advantages of Germany’s sturdy Autobahn highway network during World War II, Eisenhower lobbied the nation to enact a “grand plan” of over sixty-five thousand kilometers of highways at a cost of $25 billion. To this day, it is impossible to imagine America’s modern prosperity without it.*7 The same is true of China.

Flows become the solution to problems that frictions alone don’t solve. THE NEW GRAND TRUNK ROAD TO PAX INDICA The Grand Trunk Road is no longer the world’s most majestic road trip. The portion from Kabul to Jalalabad, while now a paved section of Afghanistan’s new highway system, has endured more than a decade of suicide bombers attacking NATO convoys. Heading east from Jalalabad through the spectacular Khyber Pass, one enters Pakistan’s restive tribal areas, where the government is struggling to build roads, power lines, and irrigation canals in a landscape beset by feudal rulers and Taliban insurgents. Another day of driving past the capital, Islamabad, and four hundred kilometers south to the cultural hub of Lahore brings you to the heavily armed Indian border at Wagah, famous for its goose-stepping daily flag-lowering ceremony.

Collectively, they belong to the growing ranks of climate refugees—who already outnumber the world’s political refugees—some of whom, such as in Darfur, are double victims of climate change and civil war. Natural disasters and food crises have led the militaries of the U.K., the Philippines, India, Pakistan, and Mexico to reorient their operational training around domestic humanitarian contingencies as well as foreign military ones. Sometimes these are one and the same. In 2014, Brazil launched its largest military exercises: defending the Amazon rain forest from invasion. Militaries are increasingly following America’s example of having substantial disaster response capabilities to support populations in the event of tsunamis, typhoons, earthquakes, and other catastrophes.