Science: Fireflies, Knees & Fuses

Modestly accepting the congratulations of U.S. science and industry, the National Bureau of Standards celebrated its 50th birthday last week. Without the bureau's busy, intelligent activities,U.S. nuts would not fit as many bolts so handily; houses would not be as warm; false teeth would not look or chew as well. In thousands of ways, both obvious and obscure, the bureau has increased the technical effectiveness of American living.

Created by a 1901 Act of Congress, and originally concerned with standardizing weights & measures, the bureau has outgrown its name. It has become a national laboratory with 3,300 employees, about 2,000; of whom...

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