Monday, November 28, 2011

"While You Were Out" message for an engineer

Here's a great find from inside a book that was discovered by my mom.

Tucked away inside a 1957 hardcover copy of "Radiation Shielding"1 was a typed "While You Were Out" note from a pink telephone message pad.2

The note is from "Anne" to "TRD" -- who I can safely assume is the "Thomas R. Darmody" whose name is stamped in red on the inside front cover of the book.3

Anne is passing along to TRD that a Mr. Kennard left a message at 1:30 on 6/22. Mr. Kennard's message, as typed by Anne:
would like you attend meeting tomorrow at 10 AM in Conf. Rm. B re: preproposal to National Lead (about 1-1 1/2 hrs)
Ahh, there's nothing like the idea of a 90-minute "preproposal" meeting to get your juices flowing. And, the way this note is written, is doesn't appear as if Mr. Kennard is giving TRD a choice.

Then again, if Darmody was reading books such as "Radiation Shielding," it's possible that 90 minutes in a conference room would seem like a refreshing break.

The dense tome contains chapters with titles such as:
  • Ionization as a measure of biological damage
  • Recommended maximum permissible levels for external whole-body irradiation4
  • The attenuation of narrow beams of gamma rays
  • Heating of the shield by gamma rays from core and reflector
  • Minimum cost bulk shields5
  • Activation induced by irradiation in a neutron flux
Here's one example of the type of illustrations and diagrams that can be found throughout the book:

CAPTION: "Fig. 2.11.6. Intensity and angular distribution of bremsstrahlung produced by stopping monoenergetic electrons in targets slightly thicker than the maximum range of electrons (BUECHNER et al.(69))."
ME: "Sure."

1. "Radiation Shielding," by B.T. Price, C.C. Horton and K.T. Spinney, was part of the International Series of Monographs on Nuclear Energy. It is Volume 2 of Division X (Reactor Design Physics).
2. This pink pad was produced by Lerman Bros. Inc., Contract Stationers-Printers-Office Furniture, Hunters Point Ave. & 39th St., Long Island City, N.Y. (Here's a tangental question: Other than the fact that you don't want them to get lost amidst the shuffle of white papers, why did they choose PINK for message pads?)
3. In a search on Google Books, a "Thomas R. Darmody" turns up as a railway engineering draftsman in the 1940s; as the assistant general manager of Vitro Engineering Division, Vitro Corp. of America (which was tied to the military and atomic industries), in the mid-1950s; as the vice president of engineering for The M & T Company in Philadelphia in the early 1960s; and as manager of Parsons-Jurden Corp.'s Systems Engineering Division in the late 1960s. All of those seem to logically fit the profile of the man who owned this book and received this pink message slip.
4. Those folks might need one of the "Personal radiation exposure record" forms featured in this previous Papergreat post.
5. Maybe it's just me, but the shielding of reactors and radioactive materials seems like an area in which you wouldn't want to be thrifty and opt for "minimum cost" shields.

1 comment:

  1. Secretary Anne was so efficient that she TYPED a message for her boss??