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Finally, in 1935, the Bureau could document an increase in requests from industry for data. This coincided with increased building at the state and federal levels which brought an increase in government requests for tests and calibrations (as well as a modest increase in funding, sufficient to rehire former staffers). In 1938, Congress approved construction of a new electrical testing laboratory to replace the obsolete one built 25 years earlier when voltage ranges were much lower than those being produced in the late ‘30s, further evidencing the improving economy. Thanks in large part to new dam-building projects across the country, the opening of new branch laboratories also increased during the late ‘30s.

 

Efforts to stimulate the economy through low-cost housing also led to Bureau funding for research into structural and fire-resistant properties of construction materials to be used for housing. This program and its funding were cut from New Deal sponsorship as WWII approached, but the work continuing at the urging of the building industry. After a hiatus during the war, building technology became its own division within the Bureau in 1950.

 

Also during the 1930s, the Bureau completed research relating to the preservation of paper records. The work, funded by the Carnegie Foundation, tested the effects of such forces as light, heat and humidity on storage of paper and books. Sulphur dioxide was determined to be the greatest enemy of paper storage. The work led, in turn, to studies on the preservation of all types of media and to the Bureau’s involvement in the preservation of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution at the National Archives.

 

Another interesting line of study at the time related to X-ray dosages and ultraviolet radiation. Although both technologies were becoming quite widely used by medical professionals, they did not really understand the thresholds of safe and unsafe exposure, particularly to the equipment operators as opposed to the patients. At the urging of the president of the Radiological Society of North America, Congress provided funding at the Bureau began to research the issue. Physicist Lauriston Taylor, who had been working on X-rays and electronics at Cornell was brought on to Bureau staff to lead the work.

 

Taylor’s first order of business was to construct new equipment for the testing, which he did from parts of other equipment on hand at the Bureau. In 1928, he attended the Second International Congress of Radiology and became the first Chairman of the National Committee on Radiation Protection and Measurements. Taylor published research in 1929 showing that X-ray dosages could be quantitatively measured and in 1931 he published guides for safety shielding of operating rooms, patients and operators. Similar publications for radium, at the hand of Dr. Leon Custiss, followed in 1934.

 

Paints, made from compounds including radium, were developed to have luminous properties for applications on instrument panels for the military during WWI and also on watch faces. Little was known about the effects of the radium paint at the time. It was later determined that the amount used for a watch face was fine, but the problem was the factory application of the paint to the watch during production. Being wartime, mostly girls worked in the factories and the put their paint brush tips in their mouths to draw them to a point, thereby ingesting the paint. Hundreds of these girls died of what was later diagnosed as radium poisoning. In 1932, the American Medical Association discontinued all internal administration of radium as a remedy. The Bureau’s research on the topic was found in the 1932 handbook on radium protection and in 1941 it had a handbook of its own.

 

Also during the 1930s, work advanced in spectroanalysis with new and accurate measurements of the atomic emission spectra of chemical elements, rare gases, and rare metals. An index was published by the American Society for Testing Materials that listed almost 1,000 papers on the subject written during the preceding two decades. Dr. Briggs also proposed that the Bureau sponsor a central agency for computing fundamental tables for applied mathematics. With basically no equipment provided, the project began in New York City with hundreds of workers doing calculations by hand. The first order of business? To prepare the 16-place values of natural logarithms, the 15-place values of probability functions, and the 10-place values of Bessel functions of complex arguments. Within a decade, equipment existed to compute in minutes what 400 individuals with pencils did in months, but the Mathematical Tables Project was widely and gratefully recognized at the time.

 

**The information presented here is drawn from “Measures For Progress: A History of The National Bureau of Standards” (Rexmond C. Cochrane)

 

As always, if you have any questions related to this material, our support staff at Cooper Instruments is available to help. Contact them by calling (800) 344-3921 or emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

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Tuesday, 17 February 2015 00:00

The AP 3000 Dial Mechanical Dynamometer

The AP Dynamometer

 

The Dillon AP Dynamometer (Cooper part number AP 3000) was first bought to market in 1936 and has since become the market leader in dynamometers. Its simplistic, mechanical form has limitless versatility and used in many diverse jobs such as suspended weighing, mounting cables for bridges, adjusting tension on guy wires and field testing of ropes, chains and wire.

 

The rugged build of the product makes it suitable for almost any enviromnment and has been seen put through its paces by the military on vehicles, submerged under water and in harsh field environments.

 

Read more in the product's full specifications...

 

As always, if you have any questions related to this material, our support staff at Cooper Instruments is available to help. Contact them by calling (800) 344-3921 or emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

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We left off with the Bureau facing three simultaneous investigations into its functions and budget. All three investigations resulted in the conclusion that it was necessary for the Bureau to continue performing essential testing whether specifically noted in its organic act or not. The investigations also pointed out that the Bureau had been hit disproportionately hard by funding cuts and staff reductions during the Depression, although they differed in their recommendations of how the Bureau should move forward. While no official change was made to formalize Bureau authority to perform testing deemed by some to be outside its scope, tacit approval was given by the new appropriations of 1935, which replaced 29 appropriations items with one act divided into four general funds, one of which included a provision for the Bureau’s continued involvement with the ASA and work on standards for commerce.

 

As the Depression dragged on through the 1930s, Dr. Briggs repeatedly contested that new inventions would stimulate industry, the consumer and the economy. One stimulus strategy employed at the time was the idea of transforming the nation from a production-based economy to a consumption-based economy, or ushering in “consumerism.” The National Recovery Administration, set up by the Roosevelt administration in 1933, would be advised by an Industrial Board, a Labor Advisory Board and a Consumers’ Advisory Board to ensure maximum benefit to all parties from new legislation concerning issues like minimum wage, work hours and price regulation to the end of stimulation consumption.

 

The task of the Consumers’ Advisory Board was to promote use of specifications and labeling in consumer products through NRA code, but some believe agencies like the ASA and the Bureau of Standards incapable of making such recommendations because of their perceived propensity to favor industry above the consumer. Despite this concern, there were no reasonable grounds for setting up an independent laboratory for the task, so over the NRA’s 2-year life, the Bureau reviewed almost 500 codes for fair competition involving consumer standards.

 

Over the course of the late 1920’s to late 1930’s a number of agencies, publications and laboratories appeared dedicated to consumer education, but they lacked the organization to form a unified national force. The Bureau, for its part, had difficulties working with these consumer groups because their organic act legally oriented their efforts to industry. Nevertheless, the Bureau recognized the benefit of performing consumer testing within a single institution under the Federal Government but thought the creation of a consumer testing agency unlikely as Congressional funding would probably not be approved. The Bureau cooperated with the consumer movement by advising consumer laboratories on their test instruments and equipment, developing new testing equipment and issuing publications geared toward the individual consumer. One such publication was entitled “Services of the National Bureau of Standards to the Consumer,” which explained how the Bureau’s efforts benefitted the individual.

 

Even though it was a challenging period, the Depression created lulls in committee assignments to the Bureau and travel, as well as drop in supervisory duties which created more time for actual research. The Bureau was forced to make staffing cuts and could not hire qualified scientists, but their funding did provide for “clerks” and “draftsmen.” It was also during this time that Dr. Brigg won his battle to add the word “National” back to the Bureau’s name after 30 years of being the “Bureau of Standards.”

 

**The information presented here is drawn from “Measures For Progress: A History of The National Bureau of Standards” (Rexmond C. Cochrane)

 

As always, if you have any questions related to this material, our support staff at Cooper Instruments is available to help. Contact them by calling (800) 344-3921 or emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

COOPER INSTRUMENTS & SYSTEMS ANNOUNCES UPDATES TO PRODUCT LINE

 

January 6, 2015

Warrenton, VA

 

Cooper Instruments & Systems announced on Tuesday that they have expanded and updated their product line.

 

The ACX-1 Aircraft Cable Tension Meter replaces the ACX, the TX-1 and LX-1 Digital Tension Meters have replaced the TX and LX, and the STX-1 Digital Strap Tension Meter takes the place of the STX. All of the new products feature updated technology and software versus their predecessors. Other improvements include color screens, instead of black and white, and the new ability to define an acceptable tension range.

 

Cooper has also updated their WTM 502 Wire Tension Meter. New features include: backlight, data collection, up to 20 wire rope calibrations and enhanced display interface.

 

Cooper Instruments has also added the LR-19 Series Linear Position Sensors and LR-27 Series Linear Induction Sensors to their offerings from Alliance Sensors Group.

 

Cooper Instruments & Systems is a worldwide leading supplier of force and pressure measurement instrumentation, sensor systems and custom calibration services. Since opening for business in 1988, their products and systems have been used extensively around the globe.

 

# # #

 

For more information about Cooper Instruments & Systems, please contact Rex Cooper at (800) 344-3921 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

As always, if you have any questions related to this material, our support staff at Cooper Instruments is available to help. Contact them by calling (800) 344-3921 or emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

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Thursday, 11 December 2014 00:00

Cooper Instruments Works with Many Industries

Cooper Instruments & Systems is a leading supplier of force and pressure instrumentation. Our products and applications are used in a wide-range of industries, including automotive and healthcare.

 

Cooper Instruments & Systems is one of the world’s leading suppliers of force and pressure instrumentation, sensor systems, and calibration services. We offer an impressive selection of torque cells, load cells, force and pressure sensors, pressure transducers, digital instrumentation, custom test stands, and more. Because of our extensive product offerings, Cooper Instruments is able to serve a number of different industries and sectors. Some of the different industries in which our products are used include automotive, energy, medical, and materials testing and handling.

 

The company’s involvement in the automotive industry includes work with Ford, Toyota, Honda, and GM. We provide these companies, among others, with applications like spring testing, engine dynamometer, assembly machines, gas tank assembly, and crash testing.

 

Cooper Instruments works closely with the energy industry to provide applications such as pump-off control, wire line tension control, calibration systems, and coil tubing.

 

We also offer a number of different load cells for various medical applications throughout the world. Examples of typical medical applications include patient weighing, rehabilitation equipment, bite force testing, and robotic surgical systems.

 

In the materials testing and handling industry, Cooper Instruments provides load cells, pressure sensors, torque sensors, force gauges, and test stands. They are used for applications like concrete testing, rubber sample testing, cable tension testing, and more.

 

Cooper Instruments & Systems has received positive feedback from virtually every industry we have been involved with. We have been able to build healthy relationships with all of the industries above and look forward to our involvement with other sectors in the near future.

 

About Cooper Instruments & Systems

Since 1988, Cooper Instruments & Systems has been a worldwide leading supplier of force and pressure instrumentation, sensor systems and custom calibration services. Cooper Instruments & Systems offers equipment such as load cells, torque cells, force and pressure sensors, torque gages, pressure transducers, pressure gages, digital instrumentation, hand-helds, test stands, custom test stands, and more. For more information, please visit CooperInstruments.com.

As the 1920s came to a close, the tension between the Bureau and the American Standards Association (ASA) continued, with both organizations claiming that the other was impeding their ability to effectively function. The ASA wasn’t the only source of animosity towards the Bureau. During the 1920s, newspapers including the Washington Post pointed to the Bureau as a prime example of wasteful government spending. From time to time, action was taken to limit Bureau authority (as in the case where the Bureau was informed that it was not to make optical glass for the Navy and would receive no further funding to do so), but the Bureau consistently proved the necessity of each project that came under fire (in the Navy example, when the Bureau proved that no other source was available to produce optical glass to meet Navy standards, the funding that was to be withheld was release and operations resumed).

 

Still another area of attack which developed during the 1920s-30s was the line of argument that the Bureau, while funded with taxpayer dollars, principally benefitted the government and that results of Bureau investigations should be made public so as to benefit the consumer directly. Of course, the reason that was not done was to protect manufacturers from commercial injustice, so the Bureau faced a double-edged sword on that point. Critics of the Bureau found plenty of other points to contend as well, including the system of using research associates employed by industry and not by the Bureau itself and argument that the Bureau directly competed with private research organizations.

 

In response to this series of criticisms, the Bureau itself petitioned the Department of Justice for a review of its organic act and subsequent congressional acts to determine if, in fact, the Bureau was conducting research beyond its limitations. The DoJ found no impropriety on the Bureau’s part. Later, Congress conducted a review of government interference in industry. Here, too, the Bureau was found to be least a fault among government agencies engaged in industry regulation. Actually, the report indicated that without government intervention during WWI, industry would not, on its own, have been able to meet the production demands of the time, but did conclude (without mentioning the Bureau of Standards by name) that perhaps funding limitations would be prudent.

 

Following the stock market crash of 1929 and the absorption into the government fold of many utilities and public works, the Bureau operated fairly normally. In fact, there was no formal acknowledgment of the Depression from the Bureau until a note of “reduced industrial activities” appeared in 1931, with an indication that the Bureau was taking measures to operate economically. Nevertheless, Dr. Burgess’ annual report of 1931 included the largest number of projects ever, 525. Funding for the Bureau had increased in 1931 also, allowing for salary increases, new laboratories and radio stations and land to expand Bureau facilities. Bureau administration continued to justify its large staff and fiscal requirements by vowing to focus its efforts on those projects that would help lift the country’s economy and relieve unemployment.

 

1932 told a dramatically different story. Funding was cut by 20%, but Dr. Burgess died before seeing the effects of the Depression on his agency. His successor, following much debate on the merits of promoting from within versus hiring an outsider, was Dr. Lyman Briggs, formerly assistant director for research and testing. Briggs was known for his calm demeanor and even temper, which he would need during the Depression and subsequent war years. A passionate baseball fan, one of Briggs last experiments in his life, conducted after he left directorship of the Bureau, was to scientifically test the degree to which a baseball could be made to curve in the 60 feet from pitcher to batter. Unfortunately, his years as Director were not as much fun as that experiment.

 

During the Depression years, his chief objective was to keep as much of his staff as possible and to convince Congress and the Roosevelt administration of the Bureau’s need to fund projects that could not directly be tied to alleviating the Depression. Despite proposals to eliminate the Bureau altogether, salary cut after salary cut, and the threat of dispersal when Roosevelt endeavored to reorganize government departments, the Bureau lived on through investigations by its own Visiting Committee, the Business Advisory and Planning Council and the President’s Science Advisory Board.

 

**The information presented here is drawn from “Measures For Progress: A History of The National Bureau of Standards” (Rexmond C. Cochrane)

 

As always, if you have any questions related to this material, our support staff at Cooper Instruments is available to help. Contact them by calling (800) 344-3921 or emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

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