Friday, November 9, 2018

If Elon Musk had a radium drill, he could really go to town

Not a good movie, but a sometimes interesting look at attitudes toward the future in the first part of the 20th Century, based on a popular 1913 book. It's worth noting that advances in radiation and (more importantly) metallurgy -- particularly the development of Bessemer steel -- had been major parts of the late 19th Century spike of progress.

From Wikipedia:

A group of wealthy industrialists gather in the home of Mr. Lloyd, a millionaire who introduces them to Richard "Mack" McAllan, the engineer who successfully spearheaded the construction of the Channel Tunnel (the story takes place in the unspecified near future, though it is noted in the film that the Channel Tunnel is built "in 1940"). McAllan informs the group that the "Allanite steel" he developed, along with a "radium drill" developed by his friend Frederick "Robbie" Robbins, makes it possible to construct an undersea tunnel linking England with the United States. Though the group is initially sceptical, the backing of Lloyd and his associate Mostyn convinces the group to buy shares in the project.

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