The old saying "Ignorance is bliss," is often misinterpreted as a happy thing in that keeping one's
mind free of uncomfortable facts and details makes for a more content existence. It was probably some
tyrannical statist ruler who came up with the line in hopes the peons would simply comply with his
edicts while trusting those 'in the know' to look out for their welfare. We see a lot of that today in
all societies - both controlling megalomaniacs and willing dupes (often on the
dole). A more realistic interpretation of the saying impugns the target as a figurative lemming
(or buffalo) who will go over a cliff with a smile on his face as long as
everyone around him is doing the same - while praising the one who inspired the suicidal behavior.
This report in a 1949 edition of Radio & Television News includes a photo of an RCA TV tube
factory where part of the manufacturing process involved workers (mostly women)
handling toxic materials - usually without the benefit of protective gloves or face masks. Take a look
at the "Crystals Go to War"
video to see workers submersing their bare hands in oil all day long for another example. The list is
long, and to be honest a lot of the instances were the result of true ignorance on the part of both
implementers and practitioners. A plethora of laws now attempt to protect the masses from exploitation -
at least in first-world countries. However, there are still millions of poor souls worldwide that toil
daily in known extreme hazardous environments as participants in materials mining and reclamation
businesses. A Google search will turn up many stories and videos of bare-footed children burning,
smoking piles of discarded circuit boards to reclaim precious metals, and tribal members wading
knee-deep in reservoirs of tantalum slurry - all so that we can enjoy our 'stuff.'
Then again, maybe it is best not to search and remain ignorant so that life will be more blissful.
RCA Tube Department's Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Plant
The "settling room" of the RCA Tube Department's Lancaster, Pennsylvania,
plant. In this room the glowing fluorescent screen of the tube on
which the television picture appears is applied to the face of the
The process consists of pouring a quantity of a solution containing
the powders to settle smoothly and evenly on the face of the tube
to form a flawless viewing surface. After this, the aqueous part
of the solution is poured off. In the foreground is seen the old
process in which the tables were tilted by hand to pour off the
remainder of the solution after the settling of the face had taken
place. In the background is one of" three giant "settling belts,"
containing RCA's new 16-inch metal television picture tube, on which
the process is now automatically accomplished. On these unique new
machines, the bulbs, untouched by human hands, have the screen face
applied, are automatically washed in a variety of solutions, dried,
and readied for the trip via conveyor belt to the next robot machine.
Posted July 17, 2015