JF Ptak Science Books LLC Post 545
[Read last year's post, 12 March 2008: Dr. Seuss and the 236 Words...]
These two maps were printed within a few weeks of one another in LIFE magazine in October/November 1943, which is unusual to my experience, as I haven't seen too much in the way of unusual 20th century North Pole maps (especially as advertisements). The first is a placement for Winchester Arms, concentrating on the dependability of its ammunition, and assuring the readers of the magazine that if "your soldier" was carrying a Winchester carbine, or a Garand, or whatever Winchester product it was, "that you can be sure his ammunition is okay". The map is pretty odd and completed in a projection unknown to me: it centers itself at the North Pole and includes cities in both the northern and southern hemispheres, which is an unusual thing to do on a single-hemispheric projection.
I know that Winchester was just trying to graphically present the notion that the ammo was suited to "global climates", and did so using an impossible image; but, since it was wartime...
The second image could also slide into the History of the Future category, Seagram's Whisky somehow aligning itself with trans-polar future flight. The airport in the ad's image was at the North Pole, and was the layover/refueling point for the Chicago-Moscow run at some point in tomorrow. Those little horizontal yellow rectangles are actually windows, and in my original you can see dozens of heads in there, making this one big stinking plane. By my calculations, the plane was something like 1500' wide, giving it a surface area of something like two square acres. In comparison, the Boeing 777 has a wingspan of about 200' and a 4,600 square-foot wing surface, which means that five 777's could be placed wing-tip-to-wing-tip along the visible part of this Seagram's monster. (And I'm being generous.)
Then there's the problem of the runway, which looks about 15,000 feet long--way more than enough for a 777, but nowhere near enough for this beast, unless of course there was some hidden sumpin' sumpin' that I don't know about. Lastly, there are eleven aircraft on the ground at this North Pole airport, which more than filled it up. The terminal looks possibly more (relatively speaking) mammoth than the planes, and could undoubtedly provide rooms if not houses for everyone traveling around in these Big Berthas. Judging the building against the aircraft, it looks like it is 800 feet tall by 4500 feet by 6500 feet. I'm not sure how many Malls of America you could fold into this thing, but it would be a lot.
Now I'm not saying that something like this structure wouldn't ever be built, because "ever" and "never" are big words; as a matter of fact, I would say that it was probable that something like this would come into existence so long as we here on Earth lasted long enough.