Made during WWII, AS THE WORLD SPINS details the work of Dodge Brothers, a division of Chrysler, in WWII war production. The film focuses on electric gyro-compasses designed by Sperry, which needed to be mass produced for the wartime Liberty Ship and Victory Ship effort, as well as for the fleet. With Sperry overwhelmed by demand, Dodge picked up the slack and pulled off one of the engineering miracles of the war, producing the extremely complex device in large numbers and in record time.
The film begins with a brief history of the compass and shows how the magnetic compass was subject to deflection once ships were made out of metal and not out of wood. It was replaced by an electric compass, incapable of being deflected by metal and (also important) magnetic mines which were used by the Germans. At 2:12, the toll on shipping taken by magnetic mines in the Battle of the Atlantic is vividly demonstrated as a ship hits a mine and is badly damaged. At 2:29, the principle of a degaussing cable is shown, but unfortunately it destroys the accuracy of magnetic compasses.At 2:50 the Sperry gyro compass, which is not affected by deflecting purposes, is shown. Its advantages are described. Up to five repeater and master compasses are used on a ship, as shown at 4:00. At 4:27, the Dodge plant is shown, with its production line used to produce large numbers of gyrocompasses in record time. At 4:50, sub-assembly of the compass is shown, with different tasks being assigned to various parts of the factory -- with each compass using up to 10K parts inside. 300 sub-contractors supplied machine parts to Dodge for this work. At 7:00, the difficult work of assembling the rotor for the gyroscope is seen. At 8:18, constant inspection of precision parts is shown. At 13:19, "hot runs" of the gyrocompass and repeater compasses is shown to ensure perfect operation. At 14;15, a female war worker takes a record of the compass' readings. At 16:00, crated gyrocompasses are shipped.
Elmer Ambrose Sperry produced a workable gyrocompass system , and founded the Sperry Gyroscope Company. The unit was adopted by the U.S. Navy and played a major role in World War I. The Navy also began using Sperry's "Metal Mike": the first gyroscope-guided autopilot steering system. In the following decades, these and other Sperry devices were adopted by steamships such as the RMS Queen Mary, airplanes, and the warships of World War II. After his death in 1930, the Navy named the USS Sperry after him.
A gyrocompass is a type of non-magnetic compass which is based on a fast-spinning disc and the rotation of the Earth (or another planetary body if used elsewhere in the universe) to find geographical direction automatically. Although one important component of a gyrocompass is a gyroscope, these are not the same devices; a gyrocompass is built to use the effect of gyroscopic precession, which is a distinctive aspect of the general gyroscopic effect. Gyrocompasses are widely used for navigation on ships, because they have two significant advantages over magnetic compasses: (1) they find true north as determined by the axis of the Earth's rotation, which is different from, and navigationally more useful than, magnetic north, and (2) they are unaffected by ferromagnetic materials, such as in a ship's steel hull, which distort the magnetic field.
A gyro compass operates by reacting to earth’s rotational movement and points to true north. Several repeaters are used aboard ships to provide a true bearing, dial at the steering station, the “wings” on either side of the wheelhouse, possibly the captain’s quarters and engine room. At the “wing” repeaters a bearing circle can be used to determine direction to buoys, a landmark and other vessels. From buoys and landmarks a plot can be made of own position. Gyrocompass data are also sent to navigational aids, such as radar ARPA, radio direction finder, Loran and Transit Satellite Navigator to provide true bearing data.
We encourage viewers to add comments and, especially, to provide additional information about our videos by adding a comment! See something interesting? Tell people what it is and what they can see by writing something for example: "01:00:12:00 -- President Roosevelt is seen meeting with Winston Churchill at the Quebec Conference."
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