Science: Fluorescent Bombing

Fluorescent lighting faces the biggest boom in its four-year existence (estimated sales for 1942: 40 million tubes). Recently the infant industry's 37-year-old James L. Cox, Hygrade Sylvania Corp. engineer, announced the demise of a technical "bug" that has been lurking in the luminescent tubes: the unpredictable "lumen slump" (blackened end-bands, dark streaks and splotches) that afflicts many lamps. Cox's bug killer: a technique for dosing each lamp with the exact amount of mercury needed for adequate ultraviolet radiation.

Common practice has been to deposit a small amount of mercury in each tube from...

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