JF Ptak Science Books Post 2365
Yes, it is 1942; yes, Great Britain had been fighting the Nazis for nearly three years at this point, the Americans joining the fight just 10 months prior; yes there were bombings; yes there were hardships. And with great stiff-upper-lippedness, this becomes somewhat seen in advertisements that I noticed in reading through Nature magazine for the last quarter or so of 1942. Scientific instruments and the components that went into their constructions were scarce or non-existent, conscripted to the war effort. For example Newton Instruments (72 Wigmore Str., Lond), announced on the front page of Nature that “our production resources are very largely occupied by National demands”, but that even though their inventory was far down, they were still servicing existing equipment.
Baker of High Holburn made a similar announcement, and went a step farther, asking clients in their URGENTLY REQUIRED ad to release scientific equipment to the national war effort.
On the back back of the October 10, 1942 issue of nature we see the ad for William A. Webb (Skinner Str., London) apologising for being “unable to meet...requirements at the present time, but feel sure you appreciate we are sending out precision balances where the need is greatest.” Then: “later, you will once again be able to get balances...”
This does give a sense of pause, stopping the reader, finding the outside world, and war, showing itself of a giant scale in small scale in the pages of a scientific journal.
And what a good show these companies made in their support of the united national effort.