Vol. 58, No. 102
Thursday, Dec. 27, 1951; p. 10



by Ralph W. David Jr.

San Bernardino one of the scientific centers of the nations?

Hah, you might scoff. Yet, if a handful of scientific-minded men know what they're talking about and have their way, that very thing well could happen.

These gentlemen – each with a somewhat revolutionary project or two of his own – have a sizable ambition.
And if it is realized, a very big thing will have a very humble beginning in a small San Bernardino business building.

In that building are the models and papers of a series of inventions around which this group of men would build a vast scientific center.

These men want to set up the center in San Bernardino – or just outside the city to be exact. They have the old Camp Ono site in mind for location.
This center would be erected to house "some of the finest minds in the country" and would be the the location for research, development, production and distribution of breath-taking inventions. 

The gentlemen? 

First, Dr. Roy F. Booth is president of their organization  the Federation of Allied Scientific Projects. With him in San Bernardino are Charles F. Rocheville, inventor of a new jet engine; Jacque Fresco, designer of futuristic airplanes, buildings and three-dimensional TV; James H. Holther, who has a non-slap piston which increases the horsepower while decreasing the fuel consumption, and Joseph Botkin, developer of a non-glare light for automobiles and airplanes. 
Oh, yes, Dr. Booth has the one that perhaps is the most vital to drought-stricken San Bernardino Valley. 

He has a "fast, inexpensive method of reducing sea water," and says that Mexico, Brazil, Israel, England and Australia all "have invited the Booth process to their respective countries to solve their water problem." 

Dr. Booth says his process produces fresh water from sea water and "with such economy of operation that it antiquates damsite installations and a dependency on rainfall." He continues: 

"There are approximately 327,000 U.S. gallons of water to an acre foot. Process units can be mass-produced to handle 25 acre feet per day each, and installed individually or in multiple units of two, three, four, five, six, seven, or eight. It is suggested that installations for such a place of need as Los Angeles be spaced in dual-unit installations at several locations along 40 miles of coastline. The maintenance and defense advantages of such a method of installation, plus the consideration of the extended service such diversified production-sites offers, are immediately discernible. 
"The process not only separates the sodium chloride (salt) from the ocean brine. but a chemical control is maintained which accurately control the degree of purity. For instance, the U.S. Navy specifications for maximum allowable salt content per gallon of converted water is one-quarter grain. The Booth process controls this content to a 250 percent decrease in this maximum allowable figure one-tenth grain per gallon. Chemistry and electronics displace distillation as the medium and consequently the control is not dependent on centrifuge alone. 

"The versatility of the installation units eliminates the expensive settling basins in many areas, it being possible to pump the fresh water directly into the distribution systems. Control of mineral content renders health, vitamins fertilization factors possible... 

"Sweet water separation is achieved at the low cost of approximately $55 per acre foot of water on this experimental scale. Commercially, the cost may be reduced considerably  as much as 60 percent less than experimentally." 
The technical discussion of the process itself is most confusing, but Dr. Booth guarantees that it 'works. He say s congressional funds are being appropriated for further work. 

But more about some of the others: 

The glare-proof headlights are more simple to understand. They simply have additional reflectors which bounce the light back once more and put it out on the highway in a more compact area. Fresco is the designer of a small sized house which is constructed of aluminum and glass. Ten men can put one up in eIght hours, he says. It weighs leal than 5,000 pounds, has 914 square feet and costs about $5,250, Fresco says. 

He also envisions "nuclear-powered aircraft with electrostatic controls." These look like a streamlined flying wing and finally, a flying saucer. 
Fresco also designed the structure, or rather series of structures, the group would have constructed on the Camp Ono grounds. 

The central building is sort of doughnut shaped, with a helicopter port in the "hole" and oblong buildings branching out from the sides. The gentlemen point out that any expansion would be "out," rather than "in." As they say, it surely would make a nice-looking industrial section  with these aluminum and glass buildings. 

The adjacent factory also would be circular in shape, and would revolve to avoid loss of delivery time. All structures can be taken apart or added on to without disrupting the regular functions, they say.

How did these gentlemen, who say their organization numbers 61 scientists from all over the country, happen to choose San Bernardino? 
Labor pool, climate and location. 

How did they all get together in their organization? 

Through constant association and inter-change of help on projects. 

Lastly, where would the funds come from to build and set up the center? 

Federally, subscription and foundations. 

The inventors say a committee of prominent local civic leaders will be organized to push the plan. 

Confused by all this? 

Well, skeptical or not, why don't you drop in at the building at 937 Waterman Ave., and talk to the gentlemen. You'll find it most interesting.


Look At Tomorrow? – These are two projects on which a group of inventors would like to work at a proposed scientific center in San Bernardino. The top photo is of a model "nuclear-powered aircraft" which goes the "flying wing" some better. The lower photo shows the ultimate in aircraft, a further development of the plane in the top picture. Both are designed by Jacque Fresco, one of the scientists who hope to set up the center. (Photos by Chet Thebus)