Heinkel He 50

Heinkel He 50

Heinkel He 50

The Heinkel He 50 was a biplane dive bomber developed for the Japanese Navy before being taken up by the Luftwaffe. In 1931 Heinkel received an order from the Japanese Navy to produce a two-seat dive bomber, capable of carrying a 550lb bomb load and using either wheels or a flat undercarriage.

The resulting aircraft was a two-bay biplane, of mixed wood and welded steel tube construction with a fabric cover. The first prototype, He 50aW, flew in the summer of 1931, and was powered by a 390hp Junkers L 5 liquid-cooled engine. It soon became clear that this engine wasn't powerful enough, and so the second prototype, the landplane He 50aL, was give a 490hp Siemens Jupiter VI radial engine. The same engine was used in the third prototype, the He 50b.

A small batch of aircraft was completed for the Japanese navy as the Heinkel He 66. The second prototype, with the new designation He 50 V1, was shown to the German Defence Ministry in 1932, and impressed enough for the Ministry to place an order for three development aircraft. These were completed in the summer of 1932, and were powered by un-cowled 600hp Siemans SAM 22B radial engines.

The development aircraft were followed by sixty similar He 50As, which were produced during 1933. The same year also saw twelve aircraft produced for China, as the He 66b. These used the same SAM 22 engine, but with a NACA cowl. They were taken over by the Luftwaffe in 1933 and served as the He 50B.

In1935 the He 50 was used to equip the first dive-bomber unit in the Luftwaffe, Fliegergruppe Schwerin (later I/StG 162). At its peak it equipped or partially equipped nine squadrons, but the He 50 was soon replaced by the Henschel Hs 123 and the Junkers Ju 87, and the aircraft moved to the training schools.

Like many early Heinkel aircraft in the winter of 1943-44 the He 50 was brought out of retirement and used to equip night harassing group, in this case Nachtschlachtgruppe 11 (NSGr 11), a night harassment unit based in Estonia. This unit used the He 50 to fly night harassment raids on the Eastern Front, before a shortage of spares grounded the remaining aircraft in September 1944.

He 50A
Engine: Bramo 322B nine-cylinder radial piston engine
Power: 650hp
Crew: two
Wing span: 37ft 8 3/4in
Length: 31ft 6in
Height: 14ft 9 1/4in
Empty weight: 3,528lb
Loaded weight: 5,778lb
Max Speed: 146mph at sea level
Climb to 3,280ft: 3 minutes
Service Ceiling: 20,998ft
Range: 373 miles
Armament: One 7.9mm MG 15 machine gun in observer's cockpit as reconnaissance aircraft, or one fixed forward firing MG 17 as dive bomber
Bomb-load: 250kg/ 551lb


Heinkel He 50 - History

    The initial preproduction He-51A-0 fighter, first flown in 1933, equipped the Mitteldeutsche Reklamestaffel, (Central Germany Publicity Squadron), which would later become the core of Jagdgeschwader, JG132 "Richtofen," when the Luftwaffe was revealed to the rest of Europe in 1935. 3 Early accidents were laid to deficiencies in training rather than anything intrinsic to the design.

    The He-51B structure was strengthened, including twin-wire bracing of the landing gear, and a provision for a 50-liter drop tank beneath the fuselage was added. As production proliferated in 1936-37, so did the Jagdgeschwader mounted on the elegant-looking fighter, with their colorful unit markings.

    The beginning of the end for the He-51 came in January 1936. The Luftwaffefuhrungsstab considered that the Arado Ar-68 offered little over the Heinkel in terms of performance and questioned putting it into production. Ernst Udet, Inspector of Fighter and Dive Bomber Pilots, decided to resolve the question. At comparative trials in Brandenburg, mounted in the Ar-68E, with a very experienced pilot in an He-51, Udet out-climbed, out-dove and out-maneuvered the Heinkel fighter with ease. 4 Like the He 51, the Ar-68a was also originally equipped with a BMW VI engine, but citing poor performance, the engine was replaced with Junkers Jumo 210, inverted-Vee engine. 5

He 51 graphic courtesy of History in Illustration

    In July of 1936, a major air war began in Spain prompting requests from General Francisco Franco to Hitler, to provide air support to the Nationalists. At the beginning of the war, only thirty-six domestically built Nieuport Ni D.52s were available of which twenty-nine were in possession of Republican forces. 6 Six He-51s were sent to Spain with six German pilots to instruct Spanish pilots. Unfortunately, the airplane was a "handful" for the Spanish, who immediately wrote off two of them. The Germans Condor Legion entered combat and met with such success, that it allowed Luftwaffe pilots to gain invaluable air combat experience.

    It was about this time that Polikarpov I-15s and Polikarpov I-16s, flown by Soviet "volunteers" appeared on the side of the Republicans. When the opponents met, it was no contest as to which was the better: the "Chato" and "Rata" could fly rings around the Heinkel, as well as outgun it, and the He-51s were reduced to targets, unfit to take part in aerial combat. Even Adolph Galland, commander of He 51 squadron 3/J88, a future ace of WWII, had no opportunity to gain victories in Spain. 7 By the end of the war, almost two-thirds of He 51s sent to Spain were lost in combat. 8 He-51C-1s, fitted with bomb racks to carry up to six 22-lb (10 kg) bombs, continued service as ground attack fighter, a role this version was designed for, remained in service in Spain, while the Luftwaffe's He 51C-2 were replaced as rapidly as possible, after the He 51s poor showing at the comparative trials at Brandenburg. 9

    In retrospect, the failure of the He-51 when it entered combat was ultimately a good thing for the Luftwaffe, since it forced the service to bring the Messerschmitt Bf-109 into operational use far earlier than would otherwise have been the case, subjecting that great design to the pressure of wartime development from the beginning of its career, and assuring it of the ascendancy it would hold, when war finally broke out in Europe. The introduction of the Bf-109 into combat, enabled pilots of the Luftwaffe to abandon the outdated three-plane fighter Vic formations, and develop the double-pair or Schwarm formations. 10 Height was becoming a significant factor used in dive and zoom attacks to catch the fast and modern bombers coming into use at the time, such as the SM.79, Heinkel He III and Dornier Do.17. 11

Heinkel
He 51B-1
Specifications:
Dimensions:
Wing span: 36 ft 1 in (11.00 m)
Length: 27 ft 6-3/4 in (8.40 m)
Height: 10 ft 6 in. (3.20 m)
Weights:
Empty: 3,219 lb. (1,460 kg)
Max Gross: 4,178 lb (1,895 kg)
Performance:
Max Speed: 205 mph (330 km/h)
Ceiling: 25,262 ft. (7,700 m)
Normal Range: 354 miles (570 km)
Powerplant:
BMW VI 7.3Z 750 hp (559 kW) for TO, 12 cyl. inverted vee,
liquid cooled engine.
Armament:
Two upper front fuselage 7.9 mm MG 17, machine-guns.

Endnotes
1. David Mondey. The Concise Guide to Axis Aircraft of World War II. New York, Smithmark Publishers, 1984. 80.
2. Kenneth Munson. Fighters Between the Wars, 1919-39. New York, The Macmillan Company, 1960. 127.
3. Joachim Dressel and Manfred Griehl. The Luftwaffe Album, Bomber and Fighter Aircraft of the German Air Force 1933-1945. London, Arms and Armour Press, 1994. 7.
4. Ibid. 10.
5. David Mondey. 13.
6. Norman Franks. Aircraft Versus Aircraft, The Illustrated Story of Fighter Pilot Combat from 1914 to the Present Day. London, Grub Street, The Basement, 1998. 66.
7. Ibid, 67.
8. Kenneth Munson.
9. Ibid.
10. Norman Franks. 68.
11. Norman Franks. 67.

©Larry Dwyer The Aviation History On-Line Museum. All rights reserved.
Created February 18, 2007. Updated October 21, 2013.


The Extraordinary Secret Life of Dr. James Barry

Dr. James Barry was actually born Margaret Ann Bulky around 1789 in County Cork, Ireland, at a time when women were barred from most formal education, and were certainly not allowed to practice medicine. She was the second child of Jeremiah (a grocer) and Mary-Ann Bulky. While still a teenager, it is believed that Margaret was raped by an uncle. She gave birth to a baby, Juliana, who was raised by her mother.

Margaret was interested in pursuing an education, and doing something beyond the realm of what was allowed of her gender. In the 2016 book, James Barry: A Woman Ahead of Her Time, authors Dr. Michael du Preez and Jeremy Dronfield recount a story from when Margaret was 18, where she openly chastised her spendthrift brother saying, “Were I not a girl, I would be a solider!” And a solider she would be.

When her family fell on hard times, Margaret (who was in her late teens) moved with her mother to London, where Mary Ann had a brother—James Barry, a Royal Academician and painter. The two women met Barry’s friends, including the Venezuelan-exile General Francisco de Miranda and David Steuart Erskine, the Earl of Buchan. They were impressed by young Margaret, knowing her intelligence could take her far. They likely played a role in hatching the plan for Margaret to pursue an education, and specifically, a career in medicine. The original James Barry died in 1806, leaving his sister and niece enough money to set them up𠅊nd his name up for grabs.

Dr James Barry (on the left). (Credit: Public Domain)

Three years later, Margaret Bulky no longer existed. Clad in an overcoat (that was worn at all times regardless of the weather), 3-inch high shoe inserts and a distinctive high-pitched voice, Margaret now identified as James Barry. Moving to Edinburgh, the young Barry enrolled in medical school in 1809 and altered his age to match his young, boyish look. Rumors flew, as Barry’s short stature, high voice, slight build and smooth skin caused many people to suspect that he was a child too young to be in medical school𠅋ut Barry never broke. When Barry wasn’t allowed to sit for examinations because they suspected he was too young, Lord Erskine intervened. The soon-to-be doctor received a degree in medicine at the age of 22. Barry enlisted in the army as an assistant surgeon where once again his age was called into question, but he was eventually allowed to serve.

Barry began his military career on July 6, 1813, as a Hospital Assistant in the British Army, and was soon promoted to Assistant Staff Surgeon, equivalent to lieutenant. He then served in Cape Town, South Africa, for 10 years where he befriended the governor, Lord Charles Somerset. Some believe Somerset knew Barry’s secret. The two grew close, and Barry moved into a private apartment at his residence. Rumors circulated about the nature of their relationship and a poster was hung by an anonymous accuser stating that Somerset was 𠇋uggering Dr. Barry.” Commissions were set up to investigate the scandal, but both parties were later exonerated.

Perhaps to take on a more stereotypical, brash masculine personality, or maybe because it was actually his true nature, Barry was known for his short, hot temper. Patients, superiors, army captains and even Florence Nightingale herself were on the receiving end of his anger. He threw medicine bottles and even participated in a duel, where thankfully neither party was seriously injured.

Barry’s medical skills were unprecedented. He was a very skilled surgeon, the first to perform a successful caesarean section were both the mother and child survived. He was also dedicated to social reform, speaking out against the sanitary conditions and mismanagement of barracks, prisons and asylums. During his 10-year stay, he arranged for a better water system for Cape Town. As a doctor, he treated the rich and the poor, the colonists and the slaves.

Dr James Barry, Inspector General of the Army Medical Corp . (Credit: Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Barry’s next posting was to Mauritius in 1828 where he butted heads with a fellow army surgeon who had him arrested and court-martialed on a charge of 𠇌onduct unbecoming of the character of an Officer and a Gentleman.” He was found not guilty. Barry moved wherever his service was needed, continuing to climb the ranks as he traveled the world. In 1857, he reached the rank of Inspector General in charge of military hospitals𠅎quivalent to Brigadier General. In that position, he continued his fight for proper sanitation, also arguing for better food and proper medical care for prisoners and lepers, as well as soldiers and their families.

Dr. James Barry died from dysentery on July 25, 1865. They say on his deathbed acquaintances were waiting for a secret to be revealed—some saying they had guessed it all along. Barry’s last wishes were to be buried in the clothes he died in, without his body being washed—wishes that were not followed. When the nurse undressed the body to prepare it for burial, she discovered two things: female anatomy and tell-tale stretch marks from pregnancy.

The secret was made public after an exchange of letters between the General Register Office and Barry’s doctor, Major D. R. McKinnon, were leaked. In these letters, Major McKinnon, who signed the death certificate, said it was “none of my business” whether Dr. James Barry was male or female𠅊 statement Barry himself probably would have agreed with.

Dr. James Barry is buried in Kensal Green cemetery, in north-west London. One thing remains for sure, Dr. James Barry was way ahead of his time𠅊s a doctor and a humanitarian.


Die He 50 war ein zweisitziger Doppeldecker mit verspannten Tragfl์hen. Die Tragfl์hen waren teilweise mit Leichtmetall verkleidet, sonst mit Stoff bespannt. Der Rumpf bestand aus geschweißten Stahlrohren der vordere Teil bis zu den beiden Sitzen war mit Leichtmetall verkleidet, der restliche Teil mit Stoff bespannt. Sie konnte mit Doppelschwimmern oder einem Fahrwerk mit festem Sporn ausgerüstet werden.

Die ersten im Auftrag der Marine hergestellten Prototypen waren noch mit Junkers-L-5-Motoren ausgestattet, die sich jedoch als zu schwach erwiesen. Die Heꁐ wurde daraufhin mit einem luftgekühlten Siemens-„Jupiter“-Motor ausgestattet. Der Serienbau erfolgte 1935 bei Heinkel (insgesamt 60 He 50), im Jahre 1936 dann bei den Bayerischen Flugzeugwerken (15 Flugzeuge) und Focke-Wulf (18 Flugzeuge).

Noch während der Erprobung begann die Serienfertigung. Ein als Heꁦ bezeichnetes Exemplar wurde im Dezember 1933 an Japan geliefert und nach Einbau eines einheimischen Motors als Aichi D1A in Serie gebaut. Mindestens 24 St࿌k der Exportausführung Heꁦ wurden 1934 und 1935 für China hergestellt. [1] Im Rahmen der Erprobung kam eine He 50 in der Legion Condor zum Einsatz. [2]

Die Maschinen wurden als sturzflugfähige Schulmaschinen und für Versuche als mögliche Trägerflugzeuge für die Graf Zeppelin eingesetzt. [1] Im ersten Halbjahr 1939 fanden in Travemünde umfangreiche Bremslandeversuche für den Trägerbetrieb statt. Ein Einsatz fand nicht statt, es blieb bei den umfangreichen Versuchen. Die im Seefliegerhorst Pillau abgestellten 37 für den Trägerflugbetrieb modifizierten He 50 T1 waren für die Verschrottung vorgesehen. Stattdessen wurden diese am 2. April 1943 als Erstausstattung der „Staffel Buschmann“ von der NSGr 11 zugewiesen. Der Einsatz erfolgte im Nordabschnitt der Ostfront, die He 50 wurden von estnischen Freiwilligen geflogen. [2]


Nasazení [ editovat | editovat zdroj ]

Letouny Heinkel He 50A byly zpočátku používány jako školní stroje Luftwaffe a od 1. října 1935 se staly prvními střemhlavými bombardéry Fliegergruppe Schwerin. Od 1. dubna 1936 nesla tato jednotka označení I./St.G. 162, souběžně existovaly i další II./St.G. 162 a I./St.G. 165, každá se třemi Staffeln.

Od konce jara 1943 pokračovalo bojové nasazení těchto letounů na východní frontě. Stroji He 50A byly vyzbrojeny 1. a 2. Staffeln v Nachtschlachtgruppe 11 v rámci Luftflotte 1. Létaly na nich estonští dobrovolníci na severním úseku východní fronty. V září 1944 činnost těchto jednotek pro nedostatek náhradních dílů a paliva ustala.


Heinkel He 50

Heinkel He 50 là một loại máy bay ném bom bổ nhào của Đức trong Chiến tranh thế giới II, ban đầu nó được thiết kế cho Hải quân Đế quốc Nhật Bản.

He 50
Kiểu Máy bay ném bom bổ nhào
Nhà chế tạo Heinkel
Chuyến bay đầu 1931
Vào trang bị 1935
Thải loại 1944
Sử dụng chính Luftwaffe
Số lượng sản xuất 78


All 50 mayors in Cleveland history -- and their claim to fame

CLEVELAND, Ohio - There have been 50 different Cleveland mayors over the years, including two city managers who ran the city during Cleveland's flirtation with an alternative form of government.

Some of the mayors became well-known figures beyond Cleveland, including Carl Stokes, Dennis Kucinich and George Voinovich, while the names of other former mayors grace important local institutions, including Cleveland-Hopkins International Airport, Burke Lakefront Airport and the Anthony J. Celebrezze Federal Building.

We take a look at all the mayors in this slideshow. Some you might know well, others you might be hearing about for the first time.

The images of the former mayors used in this slideshow include photographs of the their portraits that hang in City Hall or sketches that are in the public domain. The biographical data on the mayors comes primarily from the Encyclopedia of Cleveland History, including those passages that are in quotes.

The city of Cleveland's count of 57 mayors differs from the 50 reported here, because the city counts more than once each of the mayors who served non-consecutive terms.


50 Cent's shooting

'Ghetto Qu'ran' leaked around the year 2000 and contains lyrics about drug dealers from the 1980s in 50 Cent's neighborhood of South Jamaica, Queens.

A particular kingpin that didn't take kindly to the song is one Kenneth McGriff, a notorious drug trafficker with a crack distributing organization. Federal investigators had claimed that McGriff felt the song was too revealing of details about him, thus the reason for arranging 50 Cent's attempted murder, according to reports.

The same year the song leaked, Curtis was sitting in his friend's car outside his grandmother's home when the incident happened. Another car pulled up to their side and alleged shooter Darryl 'Hommo' Baum shot Curtis with a 9mm handgun in the arm, hand, both legs, hip, chest, and left cheek, and he was left with a permanently swollen tongue and a slur in his voice. The slur is said to have been caused by a fragment of a bullet stuck in the inside of his mouth which his doctor decided to leave lodged as it could potentially do more damage to remove than help.

Curtis had to spend 13 days in the hospital for his recovery, after which he returned home to his girlfriend and son. He would then have to use a walking frame and exercise at home to stay in shape.


50 Reasons We're Living Through the Greatest Period in World History

I recently talked to a doctor who retired after a 30-year career. I asked him how much medicine had changed during the three decades he practiced. "Oh, tremendously," he said. He listed off a dozen examples. Deaths from heart disease and stroke are way down. Cancer survival rates are way up. We're better at diagnosing, treating, preventing, and curing disease than ever before.

Consider this: In 1900, 1% of American women giving birth died in labor. Today, the five-year mortality rate for localized breast cancer is 1.2%. Being pregnant 100 years ago was almost as dangerous as having breast cancer is today.

The problem, the doctor said, is that these advances happen slowly over time, so you probably don't hear about them. If cancer survival rates improve, say, 1% per year, any given year's progress looks low, but over three decades, extraordinary progress is made.

Compare health-care improvements with the stuff that gets talked about in the news -- NBC anchor Andrea Mitchell interrupted a Congresswoman last week to announce Justin Bieber's arrest -- and you can understand why Americans aren't optimistic about the country's direction. We ignore the really important news because it happens slowly, but we obsess over trivial news because it happens all day long.

Expanding on my belief that everything is amazing and nobody is happy, here are 50 facts that show we're actually living through the greatest period in world history.

1. U.S. life expectancy at birth was 39 years in 1800, 49 years in 1900, 68 years in 1950, and 79 years today. The average newborn today can expect to live an entire generation longer than his great-grandparents could.

2. A flu pandemic in 1918 infected 500 million people and killed as many as 100 million. In his book The Great Influenza, John Barry describes the illness as if "someone were hammering a wedge into your skull just behind the eyes, and body aches so intense they felt like bones breaking." Today, you can go to Safeway and get a flu shot. It costs 15 bucks. You might feel a little poke.

3. In 1950, 23 people per 100,000 Americans died each year in traffic accidents, according to the Census Bureau. That fell to 11 per 100,000 by 2009. If the traffic mortality rate had not declined, 37,800 more Americans would have died last year than actually did. In the time it will take you to read this article, one American is alive who would have died in a car accident 60 years ago.

4. In 1949, Popular Mechanics magazine made the bold prediction that someday a computer could weigh less than 1 ton. I wrote this sentence on an iPad that weighs 0.73 pounds.

5. The average American now retires at age 62. One hundred years ago, the average American died at age 51. Enjoy your golden years -- your ancestors didn't get any of them.

6. In his 1770s book The Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith wrote: "It is not uncommon in the highlands of Scotland for a mother who has borne 20 children not to have 2 alive." Infant mortality in America has dropped from 58 per 1,000 births in 1933 to less than six per 1,000 births in 2010, according to the World Health Organization. There are about 11,000 births in America each day, so this improvement means more than 200,000 infants now survive each year who wouldn't have 80 years ago. That's like adding a city the size of Boise, Idaho, every year.

7. America averaged 20,919 murders per year in the 1990s, and 16,211 per year in the 2000s, according to the FBI. If the murder rate had not fallen, 47,000 more Americans would have been killed in the last decade than actually were. That's more than the population of Biloxi, Miss.

8. Despite a surge in airline travel, there were half as many fatal plane accidents in 2012 than there were in 1960, according to the Aviation Safety Network.

9. No one has died from a new nuclear weapon attack since 1945. If you went back to 1950 and asked the world's smartest political scientists, they would have told you the odds of seeing that happen would be close to 0%. You don't have to be very imaginative to think that the most important news story of the past 70 years is what didn't happen. Congratulations, world.

10. People worry that the U.S. economy will end up stagnant like Japan's. Next time you hear that, remember that unemployment in Japan hasn't been above 5.6% in the past 25 years, its government corruption ranking has consistently improved, incomes per capita adjusted for purchasing power have grown at a decent rate, and life expectancy has risen by nearly five years. I can think of worse scenarios.

11. Two percent of American homes had electricity in 1900. J.P Morgan (the man) was one of the first to install electricity in his home, and it required a private power plant on his property. Even by 1950, close to 30% of American homes didn't have electricity. It wasn't until the 1970s that virtually all homes were powered. Adjusted for wage growth, electricity cost more than 10 times as much in 1900 as it does today, according to professor Julian Simon.

12. According to the Federal Reserve, the number of lifetime years spent in leisure -- retirement plus time off during your working years -- rose from 11 years in 1870 to 35 years by 1990. Given the rise in life expectancy, it's probably close to 40 years today. Which is amazing: The average American spends nearly half his life in leisure. If you had told this to the average American 100 years ago, that person would have considered you wealthy beyond imagination.

13. We are having a national discussion about whether a $7.25-per-hour minimum wage is too low. But even adjusted for inflation, the minimum wage was less than $4 per hour as recently as the late 1940s. The top 1% have captured most of the wage growth over the past three decades, but nearly everyone has grown richer -- much richer -- during the past seven decades.

14. In 1952, 38,000 people contracted polio in America alone, according to the Centers for Disease Control. In 2012, there were fewer than 300 reported cases of polio in the entire world.

15. From 1920 to 1949, an average of 433,000 people died each year globally from "extreme weather events." That figure has plunged to 27,500 per year, according to Indur Goklany of the International Policy Network, largely thanks to "increases in societies' collective adaptive capacities."

16. Worldwide deaths from battle have plunged from 300 per 100,000 people during World War II, to the low teens during the 1970s, to less than 10 in the 1980s, to fewer than one in the 21st century, according to Harvard professor Steven Pinker. "War really is going out of style," he says.

17. Median household income adjusted for inflation was around $25,000 per year during the 1950s. It's nearly double that amount today. We have false nostalgia about the prosperity of the 1950s because our definition of what counts as "middle class" has been inflated -- see the 34% rise in the size of the median American home in just the past 25 years. If you dig into how the average "prosperous" American family lived in the 1950s, I think you'll find a standard of living we'd call "poverty" today.

18. Reported rape per 100,000 Americans dropped from 42.3 in 1991 to 27.5 in 2010, according to the FBI. Robbery has dropped from 272 per 100,000 in 1991 to 119 in 2010. There were nearly 4 million fewer property crimes in 2010 than there were in 1991, which is amazing when you consider the U.S. population grew by 60 million during that period.

19. According to the Census Bureau, only one in 10 American homes had air conditioning in 1960. That rose to 49% in 1973, and 89% today -- the 11% that don't are mostly in cold climates. Simple improvements like this have changed our lives in immeasurable ways.

20. Almost no homes had a refrigerator in 1900, according to Frederick Lewis Allan's The Big Change, let alone a car. Today they sell cars with refrigerators in them.

21. Adjusted for overall inflation, the cost of an average round-trip airline ticket fell 50% from 1978 to 2011, according to Airlines for America.

22. According to the Census Bureau, the average new home now has more bathrooms than occupants.

23. According to the Census Bureau, in 1900 there was one housing unit for every five Americans. Today, there's one for every three. In 1910 the average home had 1.13 occupants per room. By 1997 it was down to 0.42 occupants per room.

24. According to professor Julian Simon, the average American house or apartment is twice as large as the average house or apartment in Japan, and three times larger than the average home or apartment in Russia.

25. Relative to hourly wages, the cost of an average new car has fallen fourfold since 1915, according to professor Julian Simon.

26. Google Maps is free. If you think about this for a few moments, it's really astounding. It's probably the single most useful piece of software ever invented, and it's free for anyone to use.

27. High school graduation rates are at a 40-year high, according to Education Week.

28. The death rate from strokes has declined by 75% since the 1960s, according to the National Institutes of Health. Death from heart attacks has plunged, too: If the heart attack survival had had not declined since the 1960s, the number of Americans dying each year from heart disease would be more than 1 million higher than it currently is.

29. In 1900, African Americans had an illiteracy rate of nearly 45%, according to the Census Bureau. Today, it's statistically close to zero.

30. People talk about how expensive college is today, but a century ago fewer than one in 20 Americans ever stepped foot in a university. College wasn't an option at any price for some minorities because of segregation just six decades ago.

31. The average American work week has declined from 66 hours in 1850, to 51 hours in 1909, to 34.8 today, according to the Federal Reserve. Enjoy your weekend.

32. Incomes have grown so much faster than food prices that the average American household now spends less than half as much of its income on food as it did in the 1950s. Relative to wages, the price of food has declined more than 90% since the 19th century, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

33. As of March 2013, there were 8.99 million millionaire households in the U.S., according to the Spectrum Group. Put them together and they would make the largest city in the country, and the 18th largest city in the world, just behind Tokyo. We talk a lot about wealth concentration in the United States, but it's not just the very top that has done well.

34. More than 40% of adults smoked in 1965, according to the Centers for Disease Control. By 2011, 19% did.

35. In 1900, 44% of all American jobs were in farming. Today, around 2% are. We've become so efficient at the basic need of feeding ourselves that nearly half the population can now work on other stuff.

36. One of the reasons Social Security and Medicare are underfunded is that the average American is living longer than ever before. I think this is literally the best problem to have.

37. In 1940, less than 5% of the adult population held a bachelor's degree or higher. By 2012, more than 30% did, according to the Census Bureau.

38. U.S. oil production in September was the highest it's been since 1989, and growth shows no sign of slowing. We produced 57% more oil in America in September 2013 than we did in September 2007. The International Energy Agency projects that America will be the world's largest oil producer as soon as 2015.

39. The average American car got 13 miles per gallon in 1975, and more than 26 miles per gallon in 2013, according to the Energy Protection Agency. This has an effect identical to cutting the cost of gasoline in half.

40. Annual inflation in the United States hasn't been above 10% since 1981 and has been below 5% in 77% of years over the past seven decades. When you consider all the hatred directed toward the Federal Reserve, this is astounding.

41. The percentage of Americans age 65 and older who live in poverty has dropped from nearly 30% in 1966 to less than 10% by 2010. For the elderly, the war on poverty has pretty much been won.

42. Adjusted for inflation, the average monthly Social Security benefit for retirees has increased from $378 in 1940 to $1,277 by 2010. What used to be a safety net is now a proper pension.

43. If you think Americans aren't prepared for retirement today, you should have seen what it was like a century ago. In 1900, 65% of men over age 65 were still in the labor force. By 2010, that figure was down to 22%. The entire concept of retirement is unique to the past few decades. Half a century ago, most Americans worked until they died.

44. From 1920 to 1980, an average of 395 people per 100,000 died from famine worldwide each decade. During the 2000s, that fell to three per 100,000, according to The Economist.

45. The cost of solar panels has declined by 75% since 2008, according to the Department of Energy. Last I checked, the sun is offering its services for free.

46. As recently as 1950, nearly 40% of American homes didn't have a telephone. Today, there are 500 million Internet-connected devices in America, or enough for 5.7 per household.

47. According to AT&T archives and the Dallas Fed, a three-minute phone call from New York to San Francisco cost $341 in 1915, and $12.66 in 1960, adjusted for inflation. Today, Republic Wireless offers unlimited talk, text, and data for $5 a month.

48. In 1990, the American auto industry produced 7.15 vehicles per auto employee. In 2010 it produced 11.2 vehicles per employee. Manufacturing efficiency has improved dramatically.

49. You need an annual income of $34,000 a year to be in the richest 1% of the world, according to World Bank economist Branko Milanovic's 2010 book The Haves and the Have-Nots. To be in the top half of the globe you need to earn just $1,225 a year. For the top 20%, it's $5,000 per year. Enter the top 10% with $12,000 a year. To be included in the top 0.1% requires an annual income of $70,000. America's poorest are some of the world's richest.

50. Only 4% of humans get to live in America. Odds are you're one of them. We've got it made. Be thankful.

Check back every Tuesday and Friday for Morgan Housel's columns on finance and economics.


A complete list of every 50-homer season

Fifty home runs in a season is quite the accomplishment. There have been just 46 50-homer seasons in Major League history. The story of 50-homer seasons begins with the Live Ball Era, in 1920, when Babe Ruth hit 54. In fact, nobody other than Ruth hit 50 or more homers until 1930, when Hack Wilson hit 56.

Which team has had the most 50-homer seasons from its players? That would be the Yankees, with nine. They’re the only team to have multiple players with 50 or more homers in a single season, when Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle did it in 1961. The most 50-homer hitters across the Majors in a single season is four, in 2001 and 1998.

Here’s a list of every 50-homer season in Major League history, in reverse chronological order.

Pete Alonso, NYM, 2019 (53 homers): Alonso hit his 50th homer with about a week left in the regular season, putting a round number on a season full of records. He's the only player to hit 50 or more home runs in the season in which he made his Major League debut, and when he connected for his 53rd on Sept. 28, he broke the MLB rookie home run record, too (Aaron Judge, 52, 2017).

Giancarlo Stanton, MIA, 2017 (59 homers): He won the NL MVP Award while hitting the most homers in a season since 2001, when Barry Bonds set the single-season record with 73 and Sammy Sosa swatted 64.

Aaron Judge, NYY, 2017 (52 homers): Judge’s 52 home runs set the single-season record for rookies, and he was the first -- and until Alonso in 2019, only -- rookie to ever hit 50 home runs.

Chris Davis, BAL, 2013 (53 homers): Davis’ was the second 50-homer season in Orioles franchise history, besting the previous franchise mark of 50 set by Brady Anderson in 1996.

José Bautista, TOR, 2010 (54 homers): Bautista entered the 2010 season with 59 career homers in 575 career games with the Orioles, Devil Rays, Royals, Pirates and Blue Jays. Then he hit 54 in 2010 in 161 games, almost doubling his career total.

Alex Rodriguez, NYY, 2007 (54 homers): Rodriguez had three 50-homer seasons in his career, but the 2007 iteration was the only one of those to yield an MVP award to go along with it. He hit 54 homers, drove in 156 runs, slugged .645 and got all but two of the first-place votes for AL MVP.

Prince Fielder, MIL, 2007 (50 homers): Fielder broke the single-season franchise record of 45, which had been set by Gorman Thomas in 1979 and subsequently tied by Richie Sexson in 2001 and 2003. Fielder’s remains the only 50-homer season in Brewers history, though Christian Yelich (44 homers) was on pace to at least match it until a fractured kneecap ended his 2019 season.

Ryan Howard, PHI, 2006 (58 homers): Howard’s follow-up to his 2005 rookie campaign couldn’t have gone much better at the plate, where he hit 58 homers and drove in 149 runs. He won MVP honors for his efforts and outpaced the prior franchise record by 10 homers.

David Ortiz, BOS, 2006 (54 homers): Ortiz hit 541 career homers and 2006 was his most prolific year. He hit a career-high 54 home runs to lead the AL. He finished third in AL MVP voting, behind Justin Morneau and Derek Jeter.

Andruw Jones, ATL, 2005 (51 homers): Jones’ career-high and Major League-leading 51 homers in 2005 coincided with his best MVP finish. He came in second behind Albert Pujols for the NL’s award that year.

Alex Rodriguez, TEX, 2002 (57 homers): Rodriguez’s 57 home runs in 2002 were a career high and led the Majors. He also knocked in a Major Leading-leading 142 runs. Rodriguez had 8.8 WAR that year, though that was before it would’ve been part of any awards discussions. That was 3.2 more than Miguel Tejada, who won the AL MVP, while Rodriguez finished second.

Jim Thome, CLE, 2002 (52 homers): The Hall of Famer had 612 career home runs, including 14 seasons with at least 25 homers and nine seasons with at least 35. He reached 40 homers six times. But he reached 50 only once, in 2002, when he hit 52. Thanks to Rodriguez’s total, Thome didn’t even lead the AL.

Barry Bonds, SF, 2001 (73 homers): Bonds is the all-time home run record holder with 762, but he had just one season with 50 or more. It was 2001, when he set the single-season record for home runs with 73, breaking Mark McGwire’s record of 70 from 1998.

Sammy Sosa, CHC, 2001 (64 homers): Sosa had four 50-homer seasons in his career, tied with McGwire and Ruth for most of any player. The 2001 season was his final one and as in three of the four 50-homer seasons, he didn’t just hit 50, he reached 60, too.

Alex Rodriguez, TEX, 2001 (52 homers): Rodriguez is one of just five individuals to post back-to-back 50-homer seasons. The others? Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire, Ken Griffey Jr. and Babe Ruth. Pretty good company.

Luis Gonzalez, ARI, 2001 (57 homers): Gonzalez's 57 homers in 2001 didn't even sniff the Major League lead, but it was a career year for Gonzalez, whose season culminated in a World Series title. He finished third in NL MVP voting behind Bonds and Sosa.

Sammy Sosa, CHC, 2000 (50 homers): Of Sosa’s four 50-homer seasons, this was the one time when Sosa led the Majors -- even though it was the lowest of his four 50-plus home run totals. Sosa also hit 38 doubles in 2000, a career-high mark.

Mark McGwire, STL, 1999 (65 homers): A season after setting the single-season home run record that would stand until 2001, McGwire followed up with another big season -- this time hitting 65 homers, five short of his own record from 1998.

Sammy Sosa, CHC, 1999 (63 homers): Sosa played in all 162 games in 1999, but fell two homers short of tying McGwire for the Major League lead.

Greg Vaughn, SD, 1998 (50 homers): Vaughn’s 50 home runs led him to the only Silver Slugger award of his career, along with a fourth-place NL MVP finish. He also totaled a career-high 119 RBIs and tied his career high with 28 doubles.

Ken Griffey Jr., SEA, 1998 (56 homers): While he didn’t reach into the 60s the way McGwire and Sosa did in 1998, Griffey was still another strong offensive performer in that homer-heavy season. His 56 home runs matched his total from the year before, with those two seasons standing as his career highs.

Mark McGwire, STL, 1998 (70 homers): Roger Maris’ single-season record of 61 homers had stood since 1961, when he broke Ruth’s 1927 record of 60. But that record was no match for McGwire in 1998, who hit 70 home runs to set a single-season record. Sosa surpassed Maris’ mark, too, with 66.

Sammy Sosa, CHC, 1998 (66 homers): Sosa’s 66 home runs in 1998 were a career high, and at the time, it was the first time he’d ever hit more than 40. He didn’t lead the Majors in home runs -- that belonged to McGwire, above -- but Sosa led the Majors in RBIs with 158 and runs scored with 134, combining it all into an NL MVP award, the only one he’d win in his career.

Ken Griffey Jr., SEA, 1997 (56 homers): Griffey’s first of two 50-homer seasons was also his MVP award-winning year, when he had 147 RBIs and a .646 slugging percentage in addition to the 56 long balls. His MVP award was unanimous, as he got all 28 first-place votes in the AL.

Mark McGwire, OAK/STL, 1997 (58 homers): Like Sosa’s, McGwire’s four 50-homer seasons were consecutive. But McGwire’s 1997 season holds the distinction of being the only 50-homer season by a player who changed teams that year. McGwire hit 34 for the A’s before a July 31 trade to the Cardinals, then hit 24 for St. Louis to finish up the season.

Brady Anderson, BAL, 1996 (50 homers): The 1996 season was special for Anderson, who never hit more than 24 home runs in any other season of his career and had never hit more than 21 before 1996.

Mark McGwire, OAK, 1996 (52 homers): McGwire’s first 50-homer season was the lowest total of each of them, but it was a strong offensive season across the board. He led the Majors with 52 homers and led the Majors in on-base percentage and slugging percentage, too.

Albert Belle, CLE, 1995 (50 homers): Belle led the Majors in 1995 with 50 home runs, as well as leading everyone in doubles with 52 and slugging percentage at .690. That earned him the highest MVP finish of his career -- second, behind Mo Vaughn in the AL. Belle received just one fewer first-place vote than Vaughn, in a closely contested vote.

Cecil Fielder, DET, 1990 (51 homers): Fielder was the Majors’ first player with 50 or more homers since 1977, and led the Majors in RBIs with 132 and slugging percentage at .592 to go along with it. He finished second in AL MVP voting to Rickey Henderson.

George Foster, CIN, 1977 (52 homers): Foster’s 50-homer season was the only one in Reds history entering 2019. It was also his NL MVP year, when he drove in 149 runs, slugged .631 and added on 31 doubles and two triples to total 85 total extra-base hits.

Willie Mays, SF, 1965 (52 homers): Mays’ career-high 52 home runs went hand-in-hand with his second career NL MVP award. He hit .317, slugging .645 and notched 21 doubles and 112 RBIs. His 52 home runs came 10 seasons after his first 50-homer season.

Mickey Mantle, NYY, 1961 (54 homers): Mantle’s 54 homers didn’t lead the Majors in 1961 because his teammate Maris hit 61. It’s the only time in Major League history that teammates hit 50 homers in the same season.

Roger Maris, NYY, 1961 (61 homers): Ruth’s single-season record of 60 home runs was set in 1927, and until 1961, it was the only 60-homer season in Major League history. That is, until Maris came along and hit 61 to set a single-season record that itself would stand until 1998. Maris won the AL MVP award, his second straight such honor, for his efforts.

Mickey Mantle, NYY, 1956 (52 homers): Mantle’s 52 homers, 130 RBIs, .353 batting average and .705 slugging percentage all led the Majors in 1956. That earned him his first of three career AL MVP awards, and he won it by getting all 24 first-place votes.

Willie Mays, NYG, 1955 (51 homers): Mays turned 24 in May of the 1955 season, when he hit 51 home runs in his second year back from military service, after hitting 41 in 1954. In addition to leading the Majors in homers, he also led in triples with 13. He finished fourth in NL MVP voting to Roy Campanella, but modern stats tell us that Campanella had 5.2 WAR that year, while Mays led NL position players with 9.1.

Ralph Kiner, PIT, 1949 (54 homers): Kiner tied for at least the National League lead in home runs in seven straight seasons to start his career -- leading the Majors outright in some of those seasons, too. The 1949 season was his crown jewel, 54 homers to lead the Majors, 127 RBIs and a .657 slugging percentage.

Ralph Kiner, PIT, 1947 (51 homers): Kiner hit 51 homers in 1947 in just his second Major League season. At the time, he was the only player in Major League history with a 50-homer season within his first two big league years -- he has since been joined by Judge, who did so in his rookie year in 2017, which was his second Major League season overall, and Alonso, in 2019 in his rookie season and first year in the bigs.

Johnny Mize, NYG, 1947 (51 homers): Mize shared the home run title in 1947 with Kiner, hitting 51 for the Giants. He drove in a Major League-leading 138 runs and scored 137 on his own.

Hank Greenberg, DET, 1938 (58 homers): Before Greenberg hit 58 home runs in 1938, he’d never hit more than 40 in a season -- which he did the prior year, in 1937. He drove in 147 runs and led the Majors with 119 walks.

Jimmie Foxx, BOS, 1938 (50 homers): Foxx’s 50 homers and 175 RBIs in 1938 earned him the AL MVP Award. Foxx’s 175 RBIs that season rank as fourth-most in a single season since the stat became official in 1920, and each of those three seasons with more happened before 1938.

Jimmie Foxx, PHA, 1932 (58 homers): Foxx led the Majors with 58 homers in 1932 for the Philadelphia Athletics, also driving in 169 runs and hitting .364. He slugged .749 and had a whopping 1.218 OPS. He became the first AL player other than Ruth to hit 50 home runs in a season.

Hack Wilson, CHC, 1930 (56 homers): Wilson’s career-high 56 homers came with a Major League-leading RBI total of 191. Not only was that Wilson’s career high for RBIs, it was the ultimate high for RBIs. Since RBIs became official in 1920, no player has tallied more in a season than Wilson’s 191. The next-most is 185 by Lou Gehrig in 1931. Wilson also had the distinction of becoming the first Major League player other than Ruth to hit 50 or more homers in a season.

Babe Ruth, NYY, 1928 (54 homers): Ruth’s final 50-homer season was as a 33-year-old in 1928, when he hit 54. The most home runs he’d total in any subsequent season was 49, in 1930 at age 35.

Babe Ruth, NYY, 1927 (60 homers): Ruth’s 60 home runs in 1927 stood as the standard until Maris’ 1961 season. Ruth didn’t just hit 60 that year -- he scored 158 runs, drove in 165 and walked 137 times. He had a .772 slugging percentage, in a year where only Ruth and Gehrig (.765) slugged above .645.

Babe Ruth, NYY, 1921 (59 homers): By position player WAR, Ruth’s 1921 season was his second-best, with 12.9 WAR, second only to his 14.1 in 1923. He slugged .846, the second-highest mark of his career behind an .847 slugging percentage just a year earlier in 1920.

Babe Ruth, NYY, 1920 (54 homers): In 1920, Ruth set the initial standard, though it wouldn’t stand for long, as he would surpass his own total the following year and again in 1927. But in 1920, he was the first player ever to hit 50 in a season. Entering 1920, the single-season Major League record was 29 home runs by Ruth in 1919, before the Live Ball Era began in 1920.