Science: Happy Ending

Louis H. Crook, professor of aeronautical engineering at Washington's Catholic University, is a pint-sized (5 ft.) man of 61 with twinkling eyes and white hair. Last week, Professor Crook was a happy man: he had just won one of the biggest patent suits in U.S. history.

In 1926, Louis Crook got to thinking about a contemporary problem. Airplane radios of the day were bothered by high-tension interference from the engine's spark plugs, each of which acted like a miniature radio transmitter. Various attempts had been made to shush the plugs, but none had succeeded well. The professor focused his mind on...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!