The United States Navy presents “The NOL Story,” a circa 1950 color film that informs the viewer of the Naval Ordnance Laboratory in White Oak, Maryland. (The site had done considerable work that had practical impact upon world technology). Covering 900 acres with more than 70 buildings, the film shows the viewer an aerial view of the facility beginning at mark 01:30 before discussing the “ultramodern” facility and its research and development of new naval weapons. The film is filled with scenes of scientists and other employees as they work at “modern” computers, while the narrator continues to explain the need to continuously develop “super weapons” even during times of peace. “The essence of security is foresight,” says the narrator at mark 03:16. The narrator explains (at mark 04:00) how the laboratory uses technology such as “powerful probing x-ray” to examine enemy weapons, as the viewer is shown a Japanese aerial flare bomb from World War II. A look at the NOL wind-tunnel building follows along with a detailed explanation of how the structure is used to test the flight patterns of new rockets and missiles.
The use of plastics, including a plastic spray, is discussed beginning at mark 08:23 as the film shows employees working with a variety of synthetic materials. A visit to the environmental laboratory begins at mark 09:20 with a look at a hydrostatic pressure tank that tests the strength of military ordnance under various ocean depths, which is useful in the development of torpedoes and mines. Additional details about ordnance design plus the safe handling of such ordnance follows, and at mark 12:45 we learn of the use of high-speed cameras in ordnance research, as well as the role of sound and acoustics in such research.
As the film winds down, the viewer learns of how scientific and military personnel work together at the facility, and at mark 16:20 learns of the command structure of the facility, with an admiral overseeing naval interests and a civilian technical director who leads scientific pursuits (as we are introduced to physicist Ralph D. Bennett, who at the time was the NOL director). The film also shows the proximity fuse and high performance aerial torpedo, and the magnetic airborne detector, used extensively in WWII. From the laboratory to the classroom to the lunchroom, the NOL strives to coordinate hundreds of ideas and hundreds of moving parts before an ordnance is ready for use. “NOL has developed a team of many professions, both military and civilian … (so) that the United States Navy can have the weapons it needs and deserves,” the narrator concludes at mark 22:18.
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This film is part of the Periscope Film LLC archive, one of the largest historic military, transportation, and aviation stock footage collections in the USA. Entirely film backed, this material is available for licensing in 24p HD, 2k and 4k. For more information visit http://www.PeriscopeFilm.com