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Title: Stories of Useful Inventions
Author: Foreman, Samuel Eagle
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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STORIES OF USEFUL INVENTIONS


[Illustration:

    Guglielmo Marconi
    Benjamin Franklin
    Thomas Edison
    Sir Henry Bessemer
    Robert Fulton
    Alexander Graham Bell
    Hudson Maxim

A GROUP OF INVENTORS]



                    STORIES OF
                 USEFUL INVENTIONS

                        BY
                   S. E. FORMAN

    AUTHOR OF "A HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES,"
              "ADVANCED CIVICS," ETC.

                  [Illustration]

                     NEW YORK
                  THE CENTURY CO.
                       1911


                Copyright, 1911, by
                  THE CENTURY CO.

            _Published September, 1911_



PREFACE


In this little book I have given the history of those inventions which
are most useful to man in his daily life. I have told the story of the
Match, the Stove, the Lamp, the Forge, the Steam-Engine, the Plow, the
Reaper, the Mill, the Loom, the House, the Carriage, the Boat, the
Clock, the Book, and the Message. From the history of these inventions
we learn how man became the master of the world of nature around him,
how he brought fire and air and earth and water under his control and
compelled them to do his will and his work. When we trace the growth of
these inventions we at the same time trace the course of human progress.
These stories, therefore, are stories of human progress; they are
chapters in the history of civilization.

And they are chapters which have not hitherto been brought together in
one book. Monographs on most of the subjects included in this book have
appeared, and excellent books about modern inventions have been written,
but as far as I know, this is the first time the evolution of these
useful inventions has been fully traced in a single volume.

While preparing the stories I have received many courtesies from
officers in the Library of Congress and from those of the National
Museum.

      S. E. F.

  May, 1911.
    Washington, D. C.



CONTENTS


                                           PAGE

        THE FOREWORD                         ix

        I THE MATCH                           3

        II THE STOVE                         13

        III THE LAMP                         28

        IV THE FORGE                         38

        V THE STEAM-ENGINE                   54

        VI THE PLOW                          73

        VII THE REAPER                       85

        VIII THE MILL                        97

        IX THE LOOM                         109

        X THE HOUSE                         123

        XI THE CARRIAGE                     144

        XII THE CARRIAGE (_Continued_)      156

        XIII THE BOAT                       166

        XIV THE CLOCK                       187

        XV THE BOOK                         203

        XVI THE MESSAGE                     222



A FOREWORD[1]


These stories of useful inventions are chapters in the history of
civilization and this little book is a book of history. Now we are told
by Herodotus, one of the oldest and greatest of historians, that when
the writer of history records an event he should state the _time_ and
the _place_ of its happening. In some kinds of history--in the history
of the world's wars, for example, or in the history of its
politics--this is strictly true. When we are reading of the battle of
Bunker Hill we should be told precisely when and where the battle was
fought, and in an account of the Declaration of Independence the time
and place of the declaration should be given. But in the history of
inventions we cannot always be precise as to dates and places. Of course
it cannot be told when the first plow or the first loom or the first
clock was made. Inventions like these had their origin far back in the
earliest ages when there was no such person as a historian. And when we
come to the history of inventions in more recent times the historian is
still sometimes unable to discover the precise time and place of an
invention.

It is in the nature of things that the origin of an invention should be
surrounded by uncertainty and doubt. An invention, as we shall see
presently, is nearly always a response to a certain want. The world
wants something and it promises a rich reward to one who will furnish
the desired thing. The inventor, recognizing the want, sets to work to
make the thing, but he conducts his experiments in secret, for the
reason that he does not want another to steal his ideas and get ahead of
him. We can see that this is true in respect to the flying machine. The
first experiments with the flying machine were conducted in secret in
out of the way places and pains were taken that the public should know
as little as possible about the new machine and about the results of the
experiments. The history of the flying machine will of course have to be
written, but because of the secrecy and mystery which surrounded the
beginnings of the invention it will be extremely difficult for the
future historian to tell precisely when the first flying machine was
invented or to name the inventor. If it is so difficult to get the facts
as to the origin of an invention in our own time, how much more
difficult it is to clear away the mystery and doubt which surround the
beginnings of an invention in an age long past!

In a history of inventions, then, the historian cannot be precise in
respect to dates and places. Fortunately this is not a cause for deep
regret. It is not a great loss to truth that we cannot know precisely
when the first book was printed, nor does it make much difference
whether that book was printed in Holland or in Germany. In giving an
account of an invention we may be content to treat the matter of time
and place broadly, for the story is apt to carry us through a stretch of
years that defies computation, a stretch that is immensely longer than
the life of any nation. For our purpose these millenniums, these long
stretches of time, may be thought of as being divided into three great
periods, namely: the _primitive_, the _ancient_, and the _modern_
period. Even a division so broad as this is not satisfactory, for in the
progress of their inventions all countries have not kept equal step with
the march of time. In some things ancient Greece was modern, while in
most things modern Alaska is primitive and modern China is ancient.
Nevertheless it will be convenient at times in this book to speak of the
_primitive_, the _ancient_ and the _modern_ periods, and it will be
useful to regard the _primitive_ period as beginning with the coming of
man on earth and extending to the year 5000 B. C.; the _ancient_ period
may be thought of as beginning with the year 5000 B. C. and ending with
the year 476 A. D., leaving for the _modern_ period the years that have
passed since 476 A. D.

In tracing the growth of an invention the periods indicated above can
serve as a time-guide only for those parts of the world where the course
of civilization has taken its way, for invention and civilization have
traveled the same road. The region of the world's most advanced
civilization includes the lands bordering on the Mediterranean Sea,
Central and Northern Europe, the British Isles, North America, South
America and Australia. It is within this region that we shall follow the
development of whatever invention is under consideration. When speaking
of the first forms of an invention, however, it will sometimes be
necessary, when an illustration is desired, to draw upon the experience
of people who are outside of the wall of civilization. The reason for
going outside is plain. The first and simplest forms of the useful
inventions have utterly perished in civilized countries, but they still
exist among savage and barbarous peoples and it is among such peoples
that the first forms must be studied. Thus in the story of the clock,
we must go to a far-off peninsula of Southern Asia (p. 190) for an
illustration of the beginning of our modern timepiece. Such a departure
from the beaten track of civilization does not spoil the story, for as a
rule, the rude forms of inventions found among the lowest races of
to-day are precisely the same forms that were in use among the Egyptians
and Greeks when they were in their lowest state.

When studying the history of an invention there are two facts or
principles which should ever be borne in mind. The first principle is
this: _Necessity is the mother of invention._ This principle was touched
upon when it was said that an invention appears as a response to a want.
When the world wants an invention it usually gets it and makes the most
of it, but it will have nothing to do with an invention it does not
want. The steam-engine was invented two thousand years ago (p. 55) but
the world then had no work for steam to do, so the invention attracted
little attention and came to naught. About two hundred years ago,
however, man did want the services of steam and inventors were not long
in supplying the engine that was needed. About a hundred years ago the
broad prairie lands of the United States began to be tilled but it was
soon found that the vast areas could not be plowed and that the immense
crops could not be harvested by the old methods. So improvements upon
the plow and the reaper began to be made and in time the steam gang-plow
and the complete harvester were invented. When the locomotive first came
into use a simple handbrake was used to stop the slow-going trains, but
as the size and the speed of trains increased the handbrake became more
and more unsatisfactory. Sometimes a train would run as much as a half
mile beyond a station before it could be stopped and then when "backed"
it would again pass beyond the station. The problem of stopping the
train promptly became fully as important as starting it. The problem was
solved by the invention of the air-brake. And thus it has been with all
the inventions which surround us: necessity has been the mother of them
all.

The other principle is that a mechanical invention is a _growth_, or, to
state the truth in another way, an invention nearly always is simply an
improvement upon a previous invention. The loom, for example, was not
invented by a particular person at a particular time; it did not spring
into existence in a day with all its parts perfected; it _grew_, century
by century, piece by piece. In the stories which will follow the steps
in the growth of an invention are shown in the illustrations. These
pictures are not for amusement but for study. As you read, examine them
carefully and they will teach you quite as much about the growth of the
invention as you can be taught by words.


FOOTNOTE:

[1] Where readers are quite young the Foreword had better be postponed
until the stories themselves are read.



STORIES OF USEFUL INVENTIONS



THE MATCH


Did you ever think how great and how many are the blessings of fire? Try
to think of a world without fire. Suppose we should wake up some bitter
cold morning and find that all the fires in the world were out, and that
there was no way of rekindling them; that the art of kindling a fire had
been lost. In such a plight we should all soon be shivering with the
cold, for our stoves and furnaces could give us no warmth; we should all
soon be hungry, for we could not cook our food; we should all soon be
idle, for engines could not draw trains, wheels of factories could not
turn, and trade and commerce would come to a standstill; at night we
would grope in darkness, for we could use neither lamp nor gas nor
electric light. It is easy to see that without fire, whether for light
or heat, the life of man would be most wretched.

There never was a time when the world was without fire, but there was a
time when men did not know how to kindle fire; and after they learned
how to kindle one, it was a long, long time before they learned how to
kindle one easily. In these days we can kindle a fire without any
trouble, because we can easily get a match; but we must remember that
the match is one of the most wonderful things in the world, and that it
took men thousands of years to learn how to make one. Let us learn the
history of this familiar little object, the match.

Fire was first given to man by nature itself. When a forest is set on
fire by cinders from a neighboring volcano, or when a tree is set ablaze
by a thunderbolt, we may say that nature strikes a match. In the early
history of the world, nature had to kindle all the fires, for man by his
own effort was unable to produce a spark. The first method, then, of
getting fire for use was to light sticks of wood at a flame kindled by
nature--by a volcano, perhaps, or by a stroke of lightning. These
firebrands (Fig. 1) were carried to the home and used in kindling the
fires there. The fire secured in this way was carefully guarded and was
kept burning as long as possible. But the flame, however faithfully
watched, would sometimes be extinguished. A sudden gust of wind or a
sudden shower would put it out. Then a new firebrand would have to be
secured, and this often meant a long journey and a deal of trouble.

[Illustration: FIG. 1.--GETTING A MATCH FROM NATURE.]

[Illustration: FIG. 2.--PRIMITIVE FIRE-MAKING. THE STICK-AND-GROOVE
METHOD.]

In the course of time a man somewhere in the world hit upon a plan of
kindling a fire without having any fire to begin with; that is to say,
he hit upon a plan of producing a fire by _artificial_ means. He knew
that by rubbing his hands together very hard and very fast he could make
them very warm. By trial he learned that by rubbing two pieces of dry
wood together he could make _them_ very warm. Then he asked himself the
question: Can a fire be kindled by rubbing two pieces of wood together,
if they are rubbed hard enough? He placed upon the ground a piece of
perfectly dry wood (Fig. 2) and rubbed this with the end of a stick
until a groove was made. In the groove a fine dust of wood--a kind of
sawdust--was made by the rubbing. He went on rubbing hard and fast,
and, behold, the dust in the groove began to glow! He placed some dry
grass upon the embers and blew upon them with his breath, and the grass
burst into a flame.[2] Here for the first time a man kindled a fire for
himself. He had invented the match, the greatest invention, perhaps, in
the history of the world.

[Illustration: FIG. 3.--THE FIRE DRILL.

(Simple Form.)]

The stick-and-groove method--as we may call it--of getting a flame was
much better than guarding fire and carrying it from place to place; yet
it was, nevertheless, a very clumsy method. The wood used had to be
perfectly dry, and the rubbing required a vast amount of work and
patience. Sometimes it would take hours to produce the spark. After a
while--and doubtless it was a very long while--it was found that it was
better to keep the end of the stick in one spot and twirl it (Fig. 3)
than it was to plow to and fro with it. The twirling motion made a hole
in which the heat produced by the friction was confined in a small
space. At first the drilling was done by twirling the stick between the
palms of the hands, but this made the hands too hot for comfort, and
the fire-makers learned to do the twirling with a cord or thong[3]
wrapped around the stick (Fig. 4). You see, the upper end of the stick
which serves as a drill turns in a cavity in a mouthpiece which the
operator holds between his teeth. If you should undertake to use a
fire-drill of this kind, it is likely that your jaws would be painfully
jarred.

[Illustration: FIG. 4.--FIRE DRILL.

(Improved Form.)]

By both the methods described above, the fire was obtained by rubbing or
_friction_. The friction method seems to have been used by all primitive
peoples, and it is still in use among savages in various parts of the
world.

[Illustration: FIG. 5.--STRIKING FIRE.]

[Illustration: FIG. 6.--TINDER BOX, FLINT, STEEL, AND SULPHUR-TIPPED
SPLINTERS.]

The second step in fire-making was taken when it was discovered that a
spark can be made by striking together a stone and a piece of iron ore.
Strike a piece of flint against a piece of iron ore known as pyrites, or
fire-stone, and you will make sparks fly. (Fig. 5.) Let these sparks fall
into small pieces of dried moss or powdered charcoal, and the _tinder_,
as the moss or the charcoal is called, will catch fire. It will glow,
but it will not blaze. Now hold a dry splinter in the glowing tinder,
and fan or blow with the breath and the splinter will burst into a
flame. If you will tip your splinter with sulphur before you place it in
the burning tinder, you will get a flame at once. This was the
strike-a-light, or _percussion_, method of making a fire. It followed
the friction method, and was a great improvement upon it because it took
less work and a shorter time to get a blaze. The regular outfit for
fire-making with the strike-a-light consisted of a tinder-box, a piece
of steel, a piece of flint, and some splinters tipped with sulphur (Fig.
6). The flint and steel were struck together, and the sparks thus made
fell into the tinder and made it glow. A splinter was applied as quickly
as possible to the tinder, and when a flame was produced the candle
which rested in the socket on the tinder-box was lighted. As soon as the
splinter was lighted the cover was replaced on the tinder-box, so as to
smother the glowing tinder and save it for another time.

The strike-a-light method was discovered many thousands of years ago,
and it has been used by nearly all the civilized nations of the
world.[4] And it has not been so very long since this method was laid
aside. There are many people now living who remember when the flint and
steel and tinder-box were in use in almost every household.

About three hundred years ago a third method of producing fire was
discovered. If you should drop a small quantity of sulphuric acid into a
mixture of chlorate of potash and sugar, you would produce a bright
flame. Here was a hint for a new way of making a fire; and a thoughtful
man in Vienna, in the seventeenth century, profited by the hint. He took
one of the sulphur-tipped splinters which he was accustomed to use with
his tinder-box, and dipped it into sulphuric acid, and then applied it
to a mixture of chlorate of potash and sugar. The splinter caught fire
and burned with a blaze. Here was neither friction nor percussion. The
chemical substances were simply brought together, and they caught fire
of themselves; that is to say, they caught fire by _chemical_ action.

The discovery made by the Vienna man led to a new kind of match--the
chemical match. A practical outfit for fire-making now consisted of a
bottle of sulphuric acid (vitriol) and a bundle of splints tipped with
sulphur, chlorate of potash, and sugar. Matches of this kind were very
expensive, costing as much as five dollars a hundred; besides, they were
very unsatisfactory. Often when the match was dipped into the acid it
would not catch fire, but would smolder and sputter and throw the acid
about and spoil both the clothes and the temper. These dip-splint
matches were used in the eighteenth century by those who liked them and
could afford to buy them. They did not, however, drive out the old
strike-a-light and tinder-box.

In the nineteenth century--the century in which so many wonderful things
were done--the fourth step in the development of the match was taken. In
1827, John Walker, a druggist in a small English town, tipped a splint
with sulphur, chlorate of potash, and sulphid of antimony, and rubbed it
on sandpaper, and it burst into flame. The druggist had discovered the
first _friction-chemical_ match, the kind we use to-day. It is called
friction-chemical because it is made by mixing certain chemicals
together and rubbing them. Although Walker's match did not require the
bottle of acid, nevertheless it was not a good one. It could be lighted
only by hard rubbing, and it sputtered and threw fire in all directions.
In a few years, however, phosphorus was substituted on the tip for
antimony, and the change worked wonders. The match could now be lighted
with very little rubbing, and it was no longer necessary to have
sandpaper upon which to rub it. It would ignite when rubbed on any dry
surface, and there was no longer any sputtering. This was the
_phosphorus_ match, the match with which we are so familiar.

After the invention of the easily-lighted phosphorus match there was no
longer use for the dip-splint or the strike-a-light. The old methods of
getting a blaze were gradually laid aside and forgotten. The first
phosphorus matches were sold at twenty-five cents a block--a block (Fig.
7) containing a hundred and forty-four matches. They were used by few.
Now a hundred matches can be bought for a cent. It is said that in the
United States we use about 150,000,000,000 matches a year. This, on an
average, is about five matches a day for each person.

[Illustration: FIG. 7.--A "BLOCK" OF MATCHES.]

There is one thing against the phosphorus match: it ignites too easily.
If one is left on the floor, it may be ignited by stepping upon it, or
by something falling upon it. We may step on a phosphorus match
unawares, light it, leave it burning, and thus set the house on fire.
Mice often have caused fires by gnawing the phosphorus matches and
igniting them. In one city thirty destructive fires were caused in one
year by mice lighting matches.

[Illustration: FIG. 8.--A BOX OF MODERN SAFETY MATCHES.]

To avoid accident by matches, the _safety match_ (Fig. 8) has recently
been invented. The safety match does not contain phosphorus. The
phosphorus is mixed with fine sand and glued to the side of the box in
which the matches are sold. The safety match, therefore, cannot be
lighted unless it is rubbed on the phosphorus on the outside of the box.
It is so much better than the old kind of phosphorus match that it is
driving the latter out of the market. Indeed, in some places it is
forbidden by law to sell any kind of match but the safety match.

The invention of the safety match is the last step in the long history
of fire-making. The first match was lighted by rubbing, and the match of
our own time is lighted by rubbing; yet what a difference there is
between the two! With the plowing-stick or fire-drill it took strength
and time and skill to get a blaze; with the safety match an awkward
little child can kindle a fire in a second.

And how long it has taken to make the match as good as it is! The
steam-engine, the telegraph, the telephone, and the electric light were
all in use before the simple little safety match.


FOOTNOTES:

[2] Mr. Walter Hough of the National Museum, himself a wizard in the art
of fire-making, tells me that a blaze cannot be produced simply by
rubbing sticks together. All that can be done by rubbing is to make them
glow.

[3] A narrow strip of leather.

[4] The ancient Greeks used a burning-glass or -lens for kindling fire.
The lens focused the sun's rays upon a substance that would burn easily
and set it afire. The burning-glass was not connected in any way with
the development of the match.



THE STOVE


From the story of the match you have learned how man through long ages
of experience gradually mastered the art of making a fire easily and
quickly. In this chapter, and in several which are to follow, we shall
have the history of those inventions which have enabled man to make the
best use of fire. Since the first and greatest use of fire is to cook
food and keep the body warm, our account of the inventions connected
with the use of fire may best begin with the story of the stove.

The most important uses of fire were taught by fire itself. As the
primitive man stood near the flames of the burning tree and felt their
pleasant glow, he learned that fire may add to bodily comfort; and when
the flames swept through a forest and overtook a deer and baked it, he
learned that fire might be used to improve the quality of his food. The
hint was not lost. He took a burning torch to his cave or hut and
kindled a fire on his floor of earth. His dwelling filled with smoke,
but he could endure the discomfort for the sake of the fire's warmth,
and for the sake of the toothsomeness of the cooked meats. After a time
a hole was made in the roof of the hut, and through this hole the smoke
passed out. Here was the first stove. The primitive stove was the entire
house; the floor was the fireplace and the hole in the roof was the
chimney (Fig. 1). The word "stove" originally meant "a heated room." So
that if we should say that at first people lived in their stoves, we
should say that which is literally true.

[Illustration: FIG. 1.--THE PRIMITIVE STOVE.]

Early inventions in cooking consisted in simple devices for applying
flame directly to the thing which was to be cooked. The first roasting
was doubtless done by fastening the flesh to a pole placed in a
horizontal position above the fire and supported as is shown in Figure
2.[5] The horizontal bar called a spit was originally of wood, but after
man had learned to work in metals an iron bar was used. When one side of
the flesh was roasted the spit was turned and the other side was exposed
to the flames. The spit of the primitive age was the parent of the
modern grill and broiler.

[Illustration: FIG. 2.--PRIMITIVE COOKING.]

Food was first boiled in a hole in the ground. A hole was filled with
water into which heated stones were thrown. The stones, by giving off
their heat, caused the water to boil in a very short time. After the
art of making vessels of clay was learned, food was boiled in earthen
pots suspended above the fire.

The methods of warming the house and cooking the food which have just
been described were certainly crude and inconvenient, but it was
thousands of years before better methods were invented. The long periods
of savagery and barbarism passed and the period of civilization was
ushered in, but civilization did not at once bring better stoves.
Neither the ancient Egyptians nor the ancient Greeks knew how to heat a
house comfortably and conveniently. All of them used the primitive
stove--a fire on the floor and a hole in the roof. In the house of an
ancient Greek there was usually one room which could be heated when
there was need, and this was called the "black-room" (_atrium_)--black
from the soot and smoke which escaped from the fire on the floor.

But we must not speak harshly of the ancients because they were slow in
improving their methods of heating for in truth the modern world has
not done as well in this direction as might have been expected. In a
book of travels written only sixty years ago may be found the following
passage: "In Normandy, where the cold is severe and fire expensive, the
lace-makers, to keep themselves warm and to save fuel, agree with some
farmer who has cows in winter quarters to be allowed to carry on their
work in the society of the cattle. The cows would be tethered in a long
row on one side of the apartment, and the lace-makers sit on the ground
on the other side with their feet buried in the straw." Thus the
lace-makers kept themselves warm by the heat which came from the bodies
of the cattle; the cows, in other words, served as stoves. This
barbarous method of heating, was practised in some parts of France less
than sixty years ago.

[Illustration: FIG. 3.--A ROMAN BRAZIER.]

The ancient peoples around the Mediterranean may be excused for not
making great progress in the art of heating, for their climate was so
mild that they seldom had use for fire in the house. Nevertheless there
was in use among these people an invention which has in the course of
centuries developed into the stove of to-day. This was the _brazier_, or
warming-pan (Fig. 3). The brazier was filled with burning charcoal and
was carried from room to room as it was needed. The unpleasant gases
which escaped from the charcoal were made less offensive, but not less
unhealthy, by burning perfumes with the fuel. The brazier has never been
entirely laid aside. It is still used in Spain and in other warm
countries where the necessity for fire is rarely felt.

The brazier satisfied the wants of Greece, but the colder climate of
Rome required something better; and in their efforts to invent something
better, the ancient Romans made real progress in the art of warming
their houses. They built a fire-room--called a _hypocaust_--in the
cellar, and, by means of pipes made of baked clay, they connected the
hypocaust with different parts of the house (Fig. 4). Heat and smoke
passed up together through these pipes. The poor ancients, it seems,
were forever persecuted by smoke. However, after the wood in the
hypocaust was once well charred, the smoke was not so troublesome. The
celebrated baths (club-rooms) of ancient Rome were heated by means of
hypocausts with excellent results. Indeed, the hypocaust had many of the
features and many of the merits of our modern furnace. Its weak feature
was that it had no separate pipe to carry away the smoke. But as there
were no chimneys yet in the world, it is no wonder there was no such
pipe.

[Illustration: FIG. 4.--A ROMAN HYPOCAUST.]

The Romans made quite as much progress in the art of cooking as they
did in the art of heating. Perhaps the world has never seen more skilful
cooks than those who served in the mansions of the rich during the
period of the Roman Empire (27 B.C.-476 A.D.). In this period the great
men at Rome abandoned their plain way of living and became gourmands.
One of them wished for the neck of a crane, that he might enjoy for a
longer time his food as it descended. This demand for tempting viands
developed a race of cooks who were artists in their way. Upon one
occasion a king called for a certain kind of fish. The fish could not be
had, but the cook was equal to the emergency. "He cut a large turnip to
the perfect imitation of the fish desired, and this he fried and
seasoned so skilfully that his majesty's taste was exquisitely deceived,
and he praised the root to his guests as an excellent fish." Such
excellent cooking could not be done on a primitive stove, and along with
the improvements in the art of cooking, there was a corresponding
improvement at Rome in the art of stove-making.

When Rome fell (476 A.D.), many of the best features of her civilization
perished with her. Among the things that were lost to the world were the
Roman methods of cooking and heating. When the barbarians came in at the
front door, the cooks fled from the kitchen. The hardy northerners had
no taste for dainty cooking. Hypocausts ceased to be used, and were no
longer built. For several hundred years, in all the countries of Europe,
the fireplace was located, as of old, on the floor in the center of the
room, while the smoke was allowed to pass out through a hole in the
roof.

[Illustration: FIG. 5.--A CHIMNEY AND FIREPLACE IN AN OLD ENGLISH
CASTLE.]

The eleventh century brought a great improvement in the art of heating,
and the improvement came from England. About the time of the Conquest
(1066) a great deal of fighting was done on the roofs of English
fortresses, and the smoke coming up through the hole in the center of
the roof proved to be troublesome to the soldiers. So the fire was moved
from the center of the floor to a spot near an outside wall, and an
opening was made in the wall just above the fire, so that the smoke
could pass out. Here was the origin of the _chimney_. Projecting from
the wall above the fire was a hood, which served to direct the smoke to
the opening. At first the opening for the smoke extended but a few feet
from the fire, but it was soon found that the further up the wall the
opening extended the better was the draft. So the chimney was made to
run diagonally up the wall as far as possible. The next and last step
in the development of the chimney was to make a recess in the wall as a
fireplace, and to build a separate structure of masonry--the
chimney--for the smoke. By the middle of the fourteenth century chimneys
were usually built in this way (Fig. 5). As the fireplace and chimney
cleared the house of soot and smoke, they grew in favor rapidly. By the
end of the fifteenth century they were found in the homes of nearly all
civilized people.

The open fireplace was always cheerful, and it was comfortable when you
were close to it; but it did not heat all parts of the room equally.
That part next to the fireplace might be too warm for comfort, while in
another part of the room it might be freezing. About the end of the
fifteenth century efforts were made to distribute heat throughout the
room more evenly. These efforts led to the invention of the modern
stove. We have learned that the origin of the stove is to be sought in
the ancient brazier. In the middle ages the brazier in France took on a
new form. Here was a fire-box (Fig. 6) with openings at the bottom for
drafts of air and arrangements at the top for cooking things. This
French warming-pan (_réchaud_) was the connecting-link between the
ancient brazier and the modern stove. All it lacked of being a stove was
a pipe to carry off the smoke, and this was added by a Frenchman named
Savot, about two hundred years ago. We owe the invention of the chimney
to England, but for the stove we are indebted to France. The Frenchman
built an iron fire-box, with openings for drafts, and connected the box
with the chimney by means of an iron flue or pipe. Here was a _stove_
which could be placed in the middle of the room, or in any part of the
room where it was desirable, and which would send out its heat evenly in
all directions.

[Illustration: FIG. 6.--A STOVE OF THE MIDDLE AGES.]

The first stoves were, of course, clumsy and unsatisfactory; but
inventors kept working at them, making them better both for cooking and
for heating. By the middle of the nineteenth century the stove was
practically what it is to-day (Fig. 7). Stoves proved to be so much
better than fireplaces, that the latter were gradually replaced in large
part by the former. Our affection, however, for a blazing fire is
strong, and it is not likely that the old-fashioned fireplace (Fig. 8)
will ever entirely disappear.

[Illustration: FIG. 7.--THE MODERN STOVE.]

[Illustration: FIG. 8.--AN OLD-FASHIONED FIREPLACE AND OVEN.]

The French stove just described is intended to heat only one room. If a
house with a dozen rooms is to be heated, a dozen stoves are necessary.
About one hundred years ago there began to appear an invention by which
a house of many rooms could be heated by means of one stove. This
invention was the _furnace_. Place in the cellar a large stove, and run
pipes from the stove to the different rooms of the house, and you have a
furnace (Fig. 9). Doubtless we got our idea of the furnace from the
Roman hypocaust, although the Roman invention had no special pipe for
the smoke. The first furnaces sent out only hot air, but in recent years
steam or hot water is sent out through the pipes to _radiators_, which
are simply secondary stoves set up in convenient places and at a
distance from the source of the heat, the furnace in the cellar.
Furnaces were invented for the purpose of heating large buildings, but
they are now used in ordinary dwellings.

[Illustration: FIG. 9.--A MODERN FURNACE.]

In its last and most highly developed form, the stove appears not only
without dust and smoke, but also without even a fire in the cellar. The
modern _electric_ stove, of course, is meant. Pass a slight current of
electricity through a piece of platinum wire, and the platinum becomes
hot. You have made a diminutive electric stove. Increase the strength of
your current and pass it through something which offers greater
resistance than the platinum, and you get more heat. The electric stove
is a new invention, and at present it is too expensive for general use,
although the number of houses in which it is used is rapidly increasing,
and in time it may drive out all other kinds of stoves. It will
certainly drive all of them out if the cost of electricity shall be
sufficiently reduced; for it is the cleanest, the healthiest, the most
convenient, and the most easily controlled of stoves.


FOOTNOTE:

[5] Several of the illustrations in this chapter are reproduced through
the courtesy of the Boston Stove Co.



THE LAMP


Next to its usefulness for heating and cooking, the greatest use of fire
is to furnish light to drive away darkness. Man is not content, like
birds and brutes, to go to sleep at the setting of the sun. He takes a
part of the night-time and uses it for work or for travel or for social
pleasures, or for the improvement of his mind, and in this way adds
several years to life. He could not do this if he were compelled to
grope in darkness. When the great source of daylight disappears he must
make light for himself, for the sources of night-light--the moon and
stars and aurora borealis and lightning--are not sufficient to satisfy
his wants. In this chapter we shall follow man in his efforts to conquer
darkness, and we shall have the story of the lamp.

We may begin the story with an odd but interesting kind of lamp. The
firefly or lightning-bug which we see so often in the summer nights was
in the earliest time brought into service and made to shed its light for
man. Fireflies were imprisoned in a rude box--in the shell of a
cocoanut, perhaps, or in a gourd--and the light of their bodies was
allowed to shoot out through the numerous holes made in the box. We
must not despise the light given out by these tiny creatures. "In the
mountains of Tijuca," says a traveler, "I have read the finest print by
the light of one of these natural lamps (fireflies) placed under a
common glass tumbler (Fig. 1), and with distinctness I could tell the
hour of the night and discern the very small figures which marked the
seconds of a little Swiss watch."

[Illustration: FIG. 1.--A FIREFLY LAMP.]

[Illustration: FIG. 2.--A BURNING STICK WAS THE FIRST LAMP.]

Although fireflies have been used here and there by primitive folk, they
could hardly have been the first lamp. Man's battle with darkness really
began with the _torch_, which was lighted at the fire in the cave or in
the wigwam and kept burning for purposes of illumination. A burning
stick was the first lamp (Fig. 2). The first improvement in the torch
was made when slivers or splinters of resinous or oily wood were tied
together and burned. We may regard this as a lamp which is all wick.
This invention resulted in a fuller and clearer light, and one that
would burn longer than the single stick. A further improvement came when
a long piece of wax or fatty substance was wrapped about with leaves.
This was something like a candle, only the wick (the leaves) was
outside, and the oily substance which fed the wick was in the center.

In the course of time it was discovered that it was better to smear the
grease on the _outside_ of the stick, or on the outside of whatever was
to be burned; that is, that it was better to have the wick _inside_.
Torches were then made of rope coated with resin or fat, or of sticks or
splinters smeared with grease; here the stick resembled the wick of the
candle as we know it to-day, and the coating of fat corresponded to the
tallow or paraffin. Rude candles made of oiled rope or of sticks smeared
with fat were invented in primitive times, and they continued to be used
for thousands of years after men were civilized. In the dark ages--and
they were dark in more senses than one--torch-makers began to wrap the
central stick first with flax or hemp and then place around this a thick
layer of fat. This torch gave a very good light, but about the time of
Alfred the Great (900 A.D.) another step was taken: the central stick
was left out altogether, and the thick layer of fat or wax was placed
directly around the wick of twisted cotton. All that was left of the
original torch--the stick of wood--was gone. The torch had developed
into the _candle_ (Fig. 3). The candles of to-day are made of better
material than those of the olden time, and they are much cheaper; yet in
principle they do not differ from the candles of a thousand years ago.

[Illustration: FIG. 3.--THE CANDLE.]

[Illustration: FIG. 4.--A SHELL FILLED WITH OIL AND USED AS A LAMP.]

I have given the development of the candle first because its forerunner,
the torch, was first used for lighting. But it must not be forgotten
that along with the torch there was used, almost from the beginning,
another kind of lamp. Almost as soon as men discovered that the melted
fat of animals would burn easily--and that was certainly very long
ago--they invented in a rude form the _lamp_ from which the lamp of
to-day has been evolved. The cavity of a shell (Fig. 4) or of a stone,
or of the skull of an animal, was filled with melted fat or oil, and a
wick of flax or other fibrous material was laid upon the edge of the
vessel. The oil or grease passed up the wick by capillary action,[6] and
when the end of the wick was lighted it continued to burn as long as
there were both oil and wick. This was the earliest lamp. As man became
more civilized, instead of a hollow stone or a skull, an earthen saucer
or bowl was used. Around the edge of the bowl a gutter or spout was made
for holding the wick. In the lamp of the ancient Greeks and Romans the
reservoir which held the oil was closed, although in the center there
was a hole through which the oil might be poured. Sometimes one of these
lamps would have several spouts or nozzles. The more wicks a lamp had,
of course, the more light it would give. There is in the museum at
Cortona, in Italy, an ancient lamp which has sixteen nozzles. This
interesting relic (Fig. 5) was used in a pagan temple in Etruria more
than twenty-five hundred years ago.

[Illustration: FIG. 5.--AN ETRUSCAN LAMP 2500 YEARS OLD.]

[Illustration: FIG. 6.--AN ANCIENT LAMP.]

Lamps such as have just been described were used among the civilized
peoples of the ancient world, and continued to be used through the
Middle Ages far into modern times. They were sometimes very costly and
beautiful (Fig. 6), but they never gave a good light. They sent out an
unpleasant odor, and they were so smoky that they covered the walls and
furniture with soot. The candle was in every way better than the ancient
lamp, and after the invention of wax tapers--candles made of wax--in the
thirteenth century, lamps were no longer used by those who could afford
to buy tapers. For ordinary purposes and ordinary people, however, the
lamp continued to do service, but it was not improved. The eighteenth
century had nearly passed, and the lamp was still the unsatisfactory,
disagreeable thing it had always been.

[Illustration: FIG. 7.--AN ARGAND LAMP.]

Late in the eighteenth century the improvement came. In 1783 a man
named Argand, a Swiss physician residing in London, invented a lamp that
was far better than any that had ever been made before. What did Argand
do for the lamp? Examine an ordinary lamp in which coal-oil is burned.
The _chimney_ protects the flame from sudden gusts of wind and also
creates a draft of air,[7] just as the fire-chimney creates a draft.
Argand's lamp (Fig. 7) was the first to have a chimney. Look below the
chimney and you will see open passages through which air may pass upward
and find its way to the wick. Notice further that as this draft of air
passes upward it is so directed that, when the lamp is burning, an extra
quantity of air plays directly upon the wick. Before Argand, the wick
received no supply of air. Now notice--and this is very important--that
the wick of our modern lamp is flat or circular, but _thin_. The air in
abundance plays upon both sides of the thin wick, and burns it without
making smoke. Smoke is simply half-burned particles (soot) of a burning
substance. The particles pass off half-burned because enough air has not
been supplied. Now Argand, by making the wick thin and by causing plenty
of air to rush into the flame, caused all the wick to be burned and
thereby caused it to burn with a white flame.

After the invention of Argand, the art of lamp-making improved by leaps
and by bounds. More progress was made in twenty years after 1783 than
had been made in twenty centuries before. New burners were invented, new
and better oils were used, and better wicks made. But all the new kinds
of lamps were patterned after the Argand. The lamp you use at home may
not be a real Argand, but it is doubtless made according to the
principles of the lamp invented by the Swiss physician in 1783.

Soon after Argand invented his lamp, William Murdock, a Scottish
inventor, showed the world a new way of lighting a house. It had long
been known that fat or coal, when heated, gives off a vapor or gas which
burns with a bright light. Indeed, it is _always_ a gas that burns, and
not a hard substance. In the candle or in the lamp the flame heats the
oil which comes up to it through the wick and thus causes the oil to
give off a gas. It is this gas that burns and gives the light. Now
Murdock, in 1797, put this principle to a good use. He heated coal in a
large vessel, and allowed the gas which was driven off to pass through
mains and tubes to different parts of his house. Wherever he wanted a
light he let the gas escape at the end of the tube (Fig. 8) in a small
jet and lighted it. Here was a lamp without a wick. Murdock soon
extended his gas-pipes to his factories, and lighted them with gas. As
soon as it was learned how to make gas cheaply, and conduct it safely
from house to house, whole cities were rescued from darkness by the new
illuminant. A considerable part of London was lighted by gas in 1815.
Baltimore was the first city in the United States to be lighted by gas.
This was in 1821.

[Illustration: FIG. 8.--THE GAS JET.]

[Illustration: FIG. 9.--AN EARLY ARC LAMP.]

The gas-light proved to be so much better than even the best of lamps,
that in towns and cities almost everybody who could afford to do so laid
aside the old wick-lamp and burned gas. About 1876, however, a new kind
of light began to appear. This was the _electric_ light. The powerful
_arc light_ (Fig. 9), made by the passage of a current of electricity
between two carbon points, was the first to be invented. This gave as
much light as a hundred gas-jets or several hundred lamps. Such a light
was excellent for lighting streets, but its painful glare and its
sputtering rendered it unfit for use within doors. It was not long,
however, before an electric light was invented which could be used
anywhere. This was the famous Edison's _incandescent_ or glow lamp (Fig.
10), which we see on every hand. Edison's invention is only a few years
old, yet there are already more than thirty million incandescent lamps
in use in the United States alone.

[Illustration: FIG. 10.--AN INCANDESCENT ELECTRIC LIGHT.]

The torch, the candle, the lamp, the gas-light, the electric
light,--these are the steps of the development of the lamp. And how
marvelous a growth it is! How great the triumph over darkness! In the
beginning a piece of wood burns with a dull flame, and fills the dingy
wigwam or cave with soot and smoke; now, at the pressure of a button,
the house is filled with a light that rivals the light of day, with not
a particle of smoke or soot or harmful gas. Are there to be further
triumphs in the art of lighting? Are we to have a light that shall drive
out the electric light? Only time can tell.


FOOTNOTES:

[6] Hold the end of a dry towel in a basin of water and watch the water
rise in the towel. It rises by capillary action.

[7] Light a short piece of candle and place it in a tumbler, and cover
the top of the tumbler. The experiment teaches that a flame must have a
constant supply of fresh air and will go out if the air is shut off.



THE FORGE


After men had learned how to use fire for cooking and heating and
lighting they slowly learned how to use it when working with metals. In
the earliest times metals were not used. For long ages stone was the
only material that man could fashion and shape to his use. During this
period, sometimes called the "stone age," weapons were made of stone;
dishes and cooking utensils were made of stone; and even the poor, rude
tools of the age were made of stone (Fig. 1).

[Illustration: FIG. 1.--IMPLEMENTS OF THE STONE AGE.]

[Illustration: FIG. 2.--IMPLEMENTS OF THE BRONZE AGE.]

In the course of time man learned how to make his implements and weapons
of metals as well as of stone. It is generally thought that bronze was
the first metal to be used and that the "stone age" was followed
directly by the "bronze age," a period when all utensils, weapons, and
tools were made of bronze (Fig. 2). It is easy to believe that bronze
was used before iron, for bronze is made of a mixture of tin and copper
and these two metals are often found in their pure or natural state.
Whenever primitive man, therefore, found pieces of pure copper and tin,
he could take the two metals and by melting them could easily mix them
and make bronze of them. This bronze he could fashion to his use.
There is no doubt that he did this at a very early age. In nearly all
parts of the world there are proofs that in primitive times, many
articles were made of bronze.

If primitive man were slow to learn the use of iron it was not because
this metal was scarce, for iron is everywhere. "Wherever, as we go up
and down, we see a red-colored surface, or a reddish tint upon the solid
substances of the earth, we see iron--the bank of red clay, the red
brick, the red paint upon the house wall, the complexion of rosy youth,
or my lady's ribbon. Even the rosy apple derives its tint from iron
which it contains."[8] But although iron is so abundant it is seldom
found in its pure or natural state. It is nearly always mixed with other
substances, the mixture being known as iron ore. Primitive man could
find copper and tin in their pure state but the only pure iron he could
find was the little which fell from heaven in the form of meteors, and
even this was not perfectly pure for meteoric iron is also mixed
slightly with other metals.

The iron which lay about primitive man in such abundance was buried and
locked tightly in an _ore_. To separate the iron from the other
substances of the ore was by no means an easy thing to do. Iron can best
be extracted from the ore by putting the ore in a fire and melting out
the iron. Place some iron ore in a fire and if the fire is hot
enough--and it must be very hot indeed--the iron will leave the ore and
will gather into a lump at the bottom of the fire. To separate the iron
from its ore in this way is to make iron. When and where man first
learned the secret of making iron is of course unknown. A camp-fire in
some part of the world may have shown to man the first lump of iron, or
a forest fire sweeping along and melting ores in its path may have given
the first hint for the manufacture of iron.

[Illustration: FIG. 3.--THE PRIMITIVE FORGE.]

Iron making at first doubtless consisted in simply melting the ore in an
open heap of burning wood or charcoal, for charcoal is an excellent fuel
for smelting (melting) ores. But this open-fire method was wasteful and
tedious and at a very early date the smelting of the ore was done in a
rude sort of a furnace. A hole ten or twelve feet deep was dug in the
side of a hill. In the hole were placed charcoal and iron ore, first a
layer of charcoal, then a layer of the ore. At the top of the mass there
was an opening and at the bottom there were several openings. When the
mass was set on fire the openings produced a good strong draft, the
charcoal was consumed, and the ore was smelted. The product was a lump
of _wrought iron_, known as the _bloom_.

[Illustration: FIG. 4.--BELLOWS WORKED BY THE FEET.]

The hillside furnace worked well enough when the wind was favorable, but
when the wind was unfavorable there was no draft and no iron could be
made. So ironmakers found a way by which the air could be driven into
the furnace by artificial means. They invented the _bellows_, a blowing
apparatus (Fig. 3) which was usually made of goat skins sewed together
and which was operated either by the hands or by the feet (Fig. 4).
Sometimes the bellows consisted of a hollow log in which a piston was
worked up and down (Fig. 5). After the invention of the bellows,
ironmakers could make their iron whenever and wherever they pleased, for
they could force air into their furnaces at any time and at any place.
This rude bellows forcing a draft of air into a half-closed furnace
filled with a burning mass of charcoal and iron ore was the first form
of the forge, one of the greatest of all inventions.

[Illustration: FIG. 5.--THE WOODEN BELLOWS.]

With the invention of the forge the stone age gradually passed away and
the iron age was ushered in. Tools and weapons could now be made of
iron. And great was the difference between iron tools and stone tools.
To cut down a tree with a flint hatchet required the labor of a man for
a month, while to clear a forest with such an implement was an
impossible task. But the forge gave to man iron for the sharp cutting
tools, for the ax and knife and chisel and saw. With these he became the
master of wood and he could now easily cut down trees and build houses
and make furniture and wagons and boats.

As time went on and man advanced in civilization, iron was found to be
the most useful of metals. Iron can be shaped into many forms. It can be
drawn into wire of any desired length or fineness, it may be bent in any
direction, it may be sharpened, or hardened, or softened, at pleasure.
"Iron accommodates itself to all our wants and desires and even to our
caprices. It is equally serviceable to the arts, the sciences, to
agriculture and war; the same ore furnishes the sword, the plowshare,
the scythe, the pruning-hook, the needle, the spring of a watch or of a
carriage, the chisel, the chain, the anchor, the compass and the bomb.
It is a medicine of much virtue and the only metal friendly to the human
frame."[9]

A metal that was so useful was needed in large quantities, yet the
primitive forge could turn out only small quantities of iron. A day's
labor at the bellows would produce a lump weighing only fifteen or
twenty pounds. As a result of this slowness in manufacture there was
always in primitive and ancient times a scarcity of iron. Indeed in some
countries iron was a precious metal, almost as precious as silver or
gold. In many countries, it is true, there were thousands of forges at
work, but in no country was the supply of iron equal to the demand. The
old forge could not supply the demand, yet centuries passed before any
great improvement was made in the progress of iron making.

[Illustration: FIG. 6.--A BLAST FURNACE OF THE MIDDLE AGES.]

Near the close of the Middle Ages improvements upon the primitive forge
began to be made. In the sixteenth century ironmakers in Germany began
to smelt ore in closed furnaces and to build their furnaces higher and
to make them larger (Fig. 6). Sometimes they built their furnaces to a
height of twenty or thirty feet. About this time also a better and a
stronger blast was invented. Water-power instead of hand-power began to
be used for operating the bellows. In some cases wooden bellows--great
wooden pistons working in tubs--were substituted for the old bellows of
leather. By the end of the sixteenth century so many improvements had
been made upon the primitive forge that it no longer resembled the forge
of ancient times. So the new forge received a new name and was called a
_blast furnace_.[10] You should observe, however, that the blast furnace
was simply the old forge built with a large closed furnace and provided
with a more powerful blast.


The invention of the blast furnace marked the beginning of a new era in
the history of iron making. In the first place there was produced in the
blast furnace a kind of iron that was entirely different from that which
was produced in the primitive forge. In the primitive forge there was
made a lump of practically pure unmelted iron, known as wrought iron. In
the blast furnace there was produced a somewhat impure grade of melted
iron, known as _cast_ iron, or _pig_[11] iron. In the second place, the
blast furnace produced iron in quantities vastly greater than it was
ever produced by the old forge. In the blast furnace more iron could be
made in a day than could be made by the forge in a month. In some of the
early blast furnaces a thousand pounds of iron could be made at one
melting and we read of one early furnace that produced 150 tons of iron
in a year.

[Illustration: FIG. 7.--MAKING CHARCOAL.]

But even with the blast furnace it was still difficult to make enough
iron to supply the ever-increasing demands of the industrial world. In
the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries machinery was brought into use
more than ever before and of course more iron was needed for the
construction of the machines. There was ore enough for all the iron that
was needed but it was difficult to get fuel enough to smelt the ore.
Charcoal was still used as the fuel for smelting (Fig. 7), and in order
to get wood for the charcoal great inroads were made upon the forests.
In England in the early part of the eighteenth century Parliament had to
put a check upon the manufacture of iron in certain counties in order to
save the forests of those counties from utter destruction. It then
became plain that if iron making were to be continued on a large scale a
new kind of fuel would have to be used in the furnaces. So men set their
wits to work to find a new kind of fuel. As far back as 1619 Dud Dudley
in the county of Warwick, England, undertook to use ordinary soft coal
in his furnaces but his experiment was not very successful or very
profitable. More than a century after this an English ironmaker named
Abraham Darby began (in 1735) to use _charred coal_ in his blast
furnaces, and his experiments were successful. Here was the new fuel
which was so badly needed. Charred coal is simply _coke_ and coke could
be had in abundance. So the new fuel was soon used in all parts of
England and by the end of the eighteenth century coke was driving
charcoal out of blast furnaces (Fig. 8).

About the time the use of coke for smelting became general, an
Englishman named Neilson brought about another great change in the
process of iron making. Before Neilson's time the blast driven into the
furnace had always been one of cold air. Neilson learned that if the air
before entering the furnace were heated to a temperature of 600 degrees
it would melt twice the amount of ore and thus produce twice the amount
of iron without any increase in the amount of fuel. So he invented (in
1828) a _hot blast_ for the blast furnace (Fig. 9). With the use of coke
and with the hot blast the production of iron increased enormously. But
there was need for all the iron that could be made. Indeed it seems that
the world can never get too much iron. About the time the hot blast was
invented iron chains instead of ropes began to be used for holding
anchors, iron plows began to be made in great numbers (p. 83), iron
pipes instead of hollow wooden logs began to be used as water-mains in
cities, and iron rails began to be used on railroads. To supply iron for
all these purposes kept ironmakers busy enough, even though they burned
coke in their furnaces and made use of the hot air blast.

[Illustration: FIG. 8.--A PITTSBURGH COKE OVEN.]

[Illustration: FIG. 9.--A MODERN BLAST FURNACE.]

But ironmakers were soon to become busier than ever before. About the
middle of the nineteenth century Sir Henry Bessemer invented a new
process of making steel. Steel is only iron mixed with a small amount of
carbon. Ironmakers have known how to make steel--and good steel,
too--for thousands of years, but before the days of Bessemer the process
had always been slow and tedious, and the cost of steel had always been
very great. Bessemer undertook to make steel in large quantities and
at low prices. In his experiments amid showers of molten metal he often
risked his life, but his perseverance and courage were rewarded. By 1858
he had invented a process by which tons of molten iron could be run into
a furnace and in a few minutes be converted into a fine quality of
steel. This invention of Bessemer was the last great step in the history
of the forge.

[Illustration:

        From copyright stereograph by Underwood & Underwood, N. Y.

FIG. 10.--GREAT STEEL RAIL PASSING THROUGH ROLLER STEEL MILL.]

Now that steel could be made in great quantities and at a low cost it
was put to uses never dreamed of in former times. Soon the railroad rail
was made of steel (Fig. 10), bridges were made of steel, ships of war
were plated with steel. Then ocean grayhounds and battleships were made
of steel, still later steel freight cars and steel passenger coaches
were introduced, while in our own time we see vast quantities of steel
used in the building of houses. So while the invention of Bessemer
marked the last step in the history of the forge it also marked the
ending of the Age of Iron and the beginning of the wonderful age in
which we live--the Age of Steel.


FOOTNOTES:

[8] J. R. Smith, "The Story of Iron and Steel," p. 3.

[9] From "Five Black Arts," p. 311.

[10] The old forge continued to be used by the side of the blast furnace
for centuries, and of course where it was used it was still called a
forge. Thus we are told that in Maryland in 1761, there were eight
furnaces and ten forges. It is said that as late as twenty-five years
ago in certain parts of the Appalachian regions the American mountaineer
still worked the little primitive forge to make his iron.

[11] It was given the name of _pig_ iron because when the molten metal
ran into the impressions made for it upon the sanded floor and cooled,
it assumed a shape resembling a family of little pigs.



THE STEAM-ENGINE


We have now traced the steps by which man mastered the art of kindling a
fire quickly and easily and have followed the progress that has been
made in the most common uses of fire. But the story of a most important
use of fire remains to be told, the story of its use in doing man's
_work_. How important this use is, how much of the world's work is done
through the agency of fire, a little reflection will make plain. Fire
makes steam and what does steam do? Its services are so many you could
hardly name all of them. The great and many services of steam are made
possible by the fire-engine, or _steam-engine_, and the story of this
wonderful invention will now be told.

That steam has the power to move things must have been learned almost as
soon as fire was used to boil water. Heat water until it boils and the
steam that is formed is bound to move something unless it is allowed to
escape freely. It will burst the vessel if an outlet is not provided.
That is why a spout has been placed on the tea-kettle. Where there is
cooking, steam is abundant and the first experiments in steam were
doubtless made in the kitchen (Fig. 1). It has been said that the idea
of the steam-engine first occurred to Adam as he watched his wife's
kettle boil.

[Illustration: FIG. 1.--FIRST EXPERIMENTS WITH STEAM.]

Whatever may have happened in ancient kitchens, we are certain that
there were no steam-engines until many centuries after Adam. The
beginnings of this invention are not shrouded in so much mystery as are
those of the match and the lamp and the forge. In giving an account of
the steam-engine we can mention names and give dates from the very
beginning of the story. We know what the first steam-engine was like
and we know who made it and when and where it was made. It was made
120 B. C. by Hero, a philosopher of Alexandria in Egypt. It was like
the one shown in Figure 2. The boy applies the fire to the steam-tight
vessel _p_ and when steam is formed it passes up through the tube
_o_ and enters the globe which turns easily on the pivots. The steam,
when it has filled the globe, rushes out of the short tubes _w_ and _z_
projecting from opposite sides of the globe and bent at the end in
opposite directions. As it rushes out of the tubes the steam strikes
against the air and the reaction causes the globe to revolve, just as in
yards we sometimes see jets of water causing bent tubes to revolve. This
was Hero's engine, the first steam-engine ever made.

[Illustration: FIG. 2.--HERO'S ENGINE, 120 B. C.]

Hero's engine was used only as a toy and it seems to represent all the
ancients knew about the power of steam and all they did with it. It is
not strange that they did not know more for there is no general rule by
which discoveries are made. Sometimes even enlightened peoples have for
centuries remained blind to the simplest principles of nature. The
Greeks and Romans with all their culture and wisdom were ignorant of
some of the plainest facts of science. It is a little strange, however,
that after Hero's discovery was made known, men did not profit by it. It
would seem that eager and persistent attempts would have been made at
once to have steam do useful work, as well as furnish amusement. But
such was not the case. Hero's countrymen paid but little attention to
his invention and the steam-engine passed almost completely out of men's
minds and did not again attract attention for nearly seventeen hundred
years.

About the end of the fifteenth century Europe began to awaken from a
long slumber and by the end of the sixteenth century its eyes were wide
open. Everywhere men were now trying to learn all they could. The study
of steam was taken up in earnest about the middle of the sixteenth
century and by the middle of the next century quite a little had been
learned of its nature and power. In 1629 an Italian, Branca by name,
described in a book a steam-engine which would furnish power for
pounding drugs in a mortar. There was no more need for such a machine
then than there is now and of course the inventor aroused no interest
in his engine. You can easily understand how Branca's engine (Fig. 3)
works. The steam causes the wheels and the cylinder to revolve. As the
cylinder revolves, a cleat on it catches a cleat on the pestle and lifts
the pestle a short distance and then lets it fall. Here the pestle
instead of being raised by a human hand is raised by the force of steam.
This engine would be more interesting if an engine had actually been
made, but there is no reason to believe that Branca ever made the engine
he described. We owe much to him, nevertheless, for suggesting how steam
might be put to doing useful work.

[Illustration: FIG. 3.--BRANCA'S ENGINE, 1629.]

It was not very long before an Englishman put into practice what the
Italian had only suggested. Edward Somerset, the Second Marquis of
Worcester, in 1663 built a steam-engine that raised to the height of
forty feet four large buckets of water in four minutes of time. This was
the first useful work ever done by steam. Figure 4 shows the
construction of Worcester's engine.

[Illustration: FIG. 4.--WORCESTER'S ENGINE, 1663.]

In this engine there was one improvement over former engines which was
of the greatest importance: there was one vessel in which the steam was
generated and another in which the steam did its work. The steam-engine
now consisted of two great divisions, the boiler and the engine proper.

Worcester spent a large part of his fortune in trying to improve the
steam-engine, yet he received neither profit nor honor as a reward. He
died poor and his name was soon forgotten. His service to the world was
nevertheless very great. In his time the mines of England had been sunk
very deep into the earth; and the deeper they were sunk the greater was
the difficulty of lifting the water out of them and keeping them dry.
The water was lifted up from the mines by means of buckets drawn by
horses or oxen (Fig. 5). Sometimes it took several hundred horses to
keep the water out of a single mine. It was Worcester's object to
construct an engine that would do the work of the horses. The engine he
built could not do this, yet it furnished the idea--and the idea is
often the most important thing. It was not long before engines built
upon Worcester's plan were doing useful work at the mines. At the
opening of the eighteenth century the steam-engine had been put to work
and was serving man in England and throughout the continent of Europe.

[Illustration: FIG. 5.--AN ANCIENT METHOD OF DRAWING WATER.]

[Illustration: FIG. 6.--PAPIN'S ENGINE, 1690.]

The first engines were not safe. Often the steam pressed too heavily
upon the sides of the vessel in which it was compressed and there were
explosions. About 1680 Denis Papin, a Frenchman, invented the _safety
valve_, that is a valve that opens of its own accord and lets out steam
when there is more in the vessel than ought to be there. About ten years
later Papin gave the world another most valuable idea. In Worcester's
engine the steam in the steam chest pressed directly on the water that
was to be forced up. Papin showed a better way. He invented the engine
shown in Figure 6. In this engine a small quantity of water was placed
in the bottom of the cylinder _A_. Fitting closely in the cylinder was a
_piston_ _B_ such as Papin had seen used in ordinary pumps. We will
suppose that the piston is near the bottom of the cylinder and that a
fire is built underneath. The bottom being made of very thin metal the
water is rapidly converted into steam and thus drives the piston up to
the top as shown in the figure. Here a latch _E_ catches the piston-rod
_H_ and holds the piston up until it is time for it to descend. Now the
fire is removed and the steam, becoming cold, is condensed and a vacuum
is formed below the piston. The latch _E_ now releases the rod _H_ and
the piston is driven down by the air above it, pulling with it the rope
_L_ which passes over the pulleys _TT_. As the rope descends it lifts a
weight _W_ or does other useful work. As the inventor of the piston
Papin ranks among the greatest of those whose names are connected with
the development of the steam-engine.

Our story has now brought us to the early part of the eighteenth
century. Everywhere men were now trying to make the most of the ideas of
Worcester and Papin. The mines were growing very deep. As the water in
them was getting beyond control something extraordinary had to be done.
Now it seems that whenever the world is in need of an extraordinary
service someone is found to render that service. The man who built the
engine that was needed was a humble blacksmith of Dartmouth, England,
Thomas Newcomen. This master mechanic in 1705 constructed the best
steam-engine the world had yet seen. We must study Newcomen's engine
(Fig. 7) very carefully. The large beam _ii_ moved freely up and down on
the pivot _v_. One end of the beam was connected with the heavy pump-rod
_k_ by means of a rope or chain working in a groove and the other end
was connected with the rod _r_ in the same way. When steam from the
boiler _b_ passed through the valve _d_ into the cylinder (steam-chest)
_a_ it raised the piston _s_ and with it the piston-rod _r_ thus
slackening the rope and allowing the opposite end of the beam to be
pulled down by the weight of the pump-rod _k_. As soon as the piston _s_
reached the top of the cylinder the steam was shut off by means of the
valve _d_ and the valve _f_ was turned and a jet of cold water from the
tank _g_ was injected into the cylinder _a_ with the steam. The jet of
cold water condensed the steam rapidly--steam is always condensed
rapidly when anything cold comes in contact with it--and the water
formed by the condensation escaped through the pipe _p_ into the tank
_o_. As soon as the steam in _a_ is condensed, a vacuum was formed in
the cylinder and the atmosphere above forced the piston down and at the
same time pulled the pump-rod _k_ up and lifted water from the well or
mine. When the piston reached the bottom of the cylinder the valve _d_
was opened and the piston again ascended. Thus the beam is made to go up
and down and the pumping goes on. Notice that steam pushes the piston
one way and the atmosphere pushes it back.

[Illustration: FIG. 7.--NEWCOMEN'S ENGINE, 1705.]

In Newcomen's engine the valves (_f_ and _d_) at first were opened and
shut (at each stroke of the piston) by an attendant, usually a boy. In
1713 a boy named Humphrey Potter, in order to get some time for play, by
means of strings and latches, caused the beam in its motion to open and
shut the valves without human aid. We must not despise Humphrey because
his purpose was to gain time for play. The purpose of almost all
inventions is to save human labor so that men may have more time for
amusement and rest. Humphrey Potter ought to be remembered not as a lazy
boy but as a great inventor. His strings and latches improved the engine
wonderfully (Fig. 8). Before his invention the piston made only six or
eight strokes a minute; after the valves were made to open and shut by
the motion of the beam, it made fifteen or sixteen strokes a minute and
the engine did more than twice as much work.

[Illustration: FIG. 8.--HUMPHREY POTTER'S LATCHES AND STRINGS.]

Newcomen's engine as improved by Potter and others grew rapidly into
favor. It was used most commonly to pump water out of the mines but it
was put to other uses. In and about London it was used to supply water
to large houses and in 1752 a flour mill near Bristol was driven by a
steam-engine. In Holland Newcomen's engines were used to assist the
wind-mills in draining lakes.

[Illustration: FIG. 9.--JAMES WATT STRIVING TO IMPROVE NEWCOMEN'S
ENGINE.]

For nearly seventy-five years engines were everywhere built after the
Newcomen pattern. Improvements in a small way were added now and then
but no very important change was made until the latter part of the
eighteenth century, when the steam-engine was made by James Watt
practically what it is to-day. This great inventor spent years in making
improvements upon Newcomen's engine (Fig. 9) and when his labors were
finished he had done more for the steam-engine than any man who ever
lived. We must try to learn _what_ he did. We can learn what Watt did by
studying Figure 10. Here P is a piston working in a cylinder A _closed
at both ends_. By the side of the cylinder is a _valve-chest_ C into
which steam passes from the pipe T. Connecting C with the cylinder there
are _two_ openings, one at the top of the cylinder and the other at the
bottom. The valve-chest is provided with valves which are worked by
means of the rod F, which moves up and down with the beam B, thanks to
Humphrey Potter for the hint. The valves are so arranged that when steam
enters the opening at the top of the cylinder it is shut off from the
opening at the bottom, and when it enters the opening at the bottom it
is shut off from the opening at the top. When the opening at the bottom
is closed the steam will rush in at the upper opening and push the
piston downward; when the piston has nearly reached the bottom of the
cylinder the upper opening will be closed and steam will rush in at the
bottom of the steam chest and push the piston upwards. Here was _one_
of the things done by Watt for the engine: he contrived to make the
steam push the piston down as well as up. You have observed that in
Newcomen's engine steam was used only to push the piston _up_, the
atmosphere being relied upon to push it down. Thus we may say that
Watt's engine was the first _real steam-engine_, for it was the first
that was worked entirely by steam. All engines before it had been worked
partly by steam and partly by air.

[Illustration: FIG. 10.--WATT'S ENGINE.]

Watt's greatest improvement upon the steam-engine is yet to be
mentioned. In Newcomen's engine when the cold water was injected into
the cylinder it cooled the piston and when steam was let into the
cylinder again a part of it, striking the cold piston, was condensed
before it had time to do any work and the power of this part of the
steam was lost. Watt did not allow the piston to get cold, for he did
not inject any cold water into the cylinder. In his engine as soon as
the steam did its work it was carried off through the pipe _M_ to the
vessel _N_ and there condensed by means of a jet of water which was
injected into _N_ (called the _condenser_) by means of a pump _E_ worked
by the motion of the beam, thanks again to Humphrey Potter for the idea.
This condensation of the steam outside of the cylinder and at a distance
from it prevented the piston (and cylinder) from getting cold. In other
words, in the Watt engine when steam entered the cylinder it went
straight to work pushing the piston. No steam was lost and no power was
lost and the cost of running the engine was greatly reduced.

It cannot be said that Watt invented the steam-engine--no one can claim
that honor--yet he did so much to make it better that he well deserves
the epitaph which is inscribed on his monument in Westminster Abbey.
This inscription is as follows:

                NOT TO PERPETUATE A NAME
        WHICH MUST ENDURE WHILE THE PEACEFUL ARTS
                        FLOURISH
                      BUT TO SHEW
        THAT MANKIND HAVE LEARNT TO HONOR THOSE
            WHO BEST DESERVE THEIR GRATITUDE
                        THE KING
          HIS MINISTERS AND MANY OF THE NOBLES
              AND COMMONERS OF THE REALM
                RAISED THIS MONUMENT TO
                      JAMES WATT
          WHO DIRECTING THE FORCE OF AN ORIGINAL
                        GENIUS
          EARLY EXERCISED IN PHILOSOPHIC RESEARCH
                  TO THE IMPROVEMENT OF
                    THE STEAM ENGINE
          ENLARGED THE RESOURCES OF HIS COUNTRY
              INCREASED THE POWER OF MAN
              AND ROSE TO AN EMINENT PLACE
        AMONG THE MOST ILLUSTRIOUS FOLLOWERS OF
                        SCIENCE
          AND THE REAL BENEFACTORS OF THE WORLD
                BORN AT GREENOCH MDCCXXXVI
            DIED AT HEATHFIELD IN STAFFORDSHIRE
                        MDCCCXIX

But the story of the steam-engine does not end with Watt. It will be
remembered that in the engines of Nero and of Branca the steam did its
work by reaction or by impulse. Now soon after the time of Watt,
inventors turned their thoughts to the old engines of Nero and Branca
and began to experiment with engines that would do their work by a
direct impact of steam. After nearly a century of experimenting and
after many failures there was at last developed an engine known as the
_steam-turbine_. In this engine the steam does its work by impinging or
pushing directly upon blades (Fig. 11) which are connected with the
shaft which is to be turned, and it does this in much the same manner
that we saw the steam do its work in Branca's engine. One of the
greatest names connected with the steam turbine is that of Charles
Algernon Parsons of England. In 1884 this great inventor patented a
steam-turbine which proved to be a commercial success and since that
date the steam-turbine has been constantly growing in favor. So great
has been its success on land and on sea that there are those who believe
that the engine invented by Watt will in time be cast aside and that its
place will be taken by an engine which is the most ancient as well as
the most modern of steam motors.

[Illustration: FIG. 11.--SHAFT OF A LARGE MARINE TURBINE.

Within the cylinder are thousands of blades upon which the steam acts
directly in the turning of the shaft. In the largest turbines there are
as many as 50,000 blades.]



THE PLOW


You have now learned the history of those inventions which enabled man
to gain a mastery over fire and to use it for his comfort and
convenience. We shall next learn the history of an invention which gave
man the mastery of the soil and enabled him to take from the earth
priceless treasures of fruit and grain. This invention was the plow.

In his earliest state man had no use for the plow because he did not
look to the soil as a place from which he was to get his food. The first
men were hunters and they relied upon the chase for their food. They
roamed from place to place in pursuit of their prey--the birds and
beasts of the forest and the fishes of the stream. They did not remain
long enough in one spot to sow seed and to reap the harvest. Still in
their wanderings they found wheat and barley growing wild and they ate
of the seeds of these plants and learned that the little grains were
good for food. They learned, too, that if the seeds were planted in a
soil that was well stirred the plants would grow better than they would
if the seeds were planted in hard ground. So by the time men had grown
tired of wandering about and were ready to settle down and live in one
spot they had learned two important facts: they knew they could add to
their food supply by tilling the soil, and they knew that they could
grow better crops if they would stir the soil before planting the seed.

[Illustration: FIG. 1.--THE KATTA OR DIGGING STICK.]

For the stirring of the soil the primitive farmer doubtless first used a
sharpened stick such as wandering tribes carry for the purpose of
digging up eatable roots, knocking fruits down from trees, and breaking
the heads of enemies. Such a stick known as the _Katta_ (Fig. 1) is
carried by certain tribes in Australia, and we are told by travelers
that the Kurubars of Southern India use a sharp stick when digging up
the ground. The digging stick is used by savages in many parts of the
world and we may regard it as the oldest of implements used for tilling
the soil.

[Illustration: FIG. 2.--THE FIRST PLOW.]

The first plow was a forked stick or a limb of a tree with a projecting
point (Fig. 2). With this implement the ground was broken not by digging
but by dragging the fork or projecting point of the stick through the
ground and forming a continuous furrow. In this forked stick we see two
of the principal parts of the modern plow. The fork of the stick is the
_share_, or cutting part of the plow, while the main part of the stick
is the _beam_.

[Illustration: FIG. 3.--THE SYRIAN PLOW KNOWN AS JOB'S PLOW.]

An improvement upon the simple forked stick is seen in Figure 3, which
is copied from an ancient monument in Syria (in Asia Minor). The old
Syrian plow consists almost wholly of the natural crooks of a branch of
a tree, the only artificial piece being the brace e which connects the
share and the beam and holds them firm. In this crooked stick we have
three of the main parts of the modern plow, the beam (a), the share
(c-b) and the handle (d). The plow in this form requires the services of
two persons--one to draw the plow and one to guide it and keep it in the
ground. It is said that it was with a plow of this kind that the
servants of Job were plowing when they were driven from their fields by
the Sabeans.

The first plows were drawn by the strength of the human body (Fig. 4).
Upon a very old monument of ancient Egypt, the country which seems to
have been the first home of the plow, we have a plowing scene which
shows a number of men dragging a plow by means of a rope. But primitive
man was not at all fond of labor and in the course of time he tamed wild
bulls and horses and made them draw the plows. So upon another Egyptian
monument of a later date we have a picture of a plowing scene in which
animals are drawing the plow (Fig. 5). In this Egyptian plow we see
improvements upon the crooked stick of the Syrians. The Egyptian plow,
you observe, has a broader share. It will, therefore, make a wider
furrow and will plow more ground. Moreover, it has two handles instead
of one. Taking it altogether, the Egyptian plow was a fairly good
implement.

[Illustration: FIG. 4.--PLOW DRAWN BY HUMAN LABOR.]

[Illustration: FIG. 5.--THE EGYPTIAN PLOW.]

Many centuries passed before any real improvement was made upon the old
Egyptian plow. If there were any improvement anywhere it was among the
Romans. We read in Pliny--a Roman writer of the first century--of a
plow that had wheels to regulate the depth of the plow and also a
_coulter_, that is, a knife fixed in front of the share to make the
first cut of the sod (Fig. 6). But such a plow was not in general use in
Pliny's time. A thousand years later, however, the plow with wheels and
coulter was doubtless in common use. In a picture taken from an old
Saxon print we see (Fig. 7) a plow which was used in the time of William
the Conqueror (1066). Here the plow has a coulter inserted in the beam
and there are two wheels to regulate the depth to which the plow may go.
This Saxon plow is drawn by four fine oxen and it is plainly a great
improvement upon the old Egyptian plow.

[Illustration: FIG. 6.--PLINY'S PLOW, 70 A. D.]

[Illustration: FIG. 7.--AN OLD SAXON PLOW, 1000 A. D.]

[Illustration: FIG. 8.--A DOUBLE PLOW OF THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY.

(This plow was proposed but was never made.)]

But improvements in the plow during the dark ages came very slowly. At
the time of the discovery of America the plow was still the clumsy
wooden thing it was five hundred years before. In the sixteenth and
seventeenth centuries, however, when improvements were being made in so
many things, it was natural that men should begin to think of trying to
improve the plow. In an old book published in 1652 we read of a double
plow--one which would plow two furrows at one time. A picture (Fig. 8)
of the double plow is given in the book but there is no proof that such
a plow was ever made or ever used. The world did not as yet need a
double plow, although the time was to come when it would need one.

In the early part of the eighteenth century we begin to see real
improvements in plow making. About this time Dutch plowmakers began to
put _mold-boards_ on their plows. The purpose of the mold-board is to
lift up and turn over the slice of sod cut by the share. Without the
mold-board the plow simply runs through the ground and stirs it up.
With the mold-board of the Dutch plow (Fig. 9) the sod was turned
completely over and the weeds and grass were covered up. This was the
kind of plow that was needed, for if the weeds and grass are not covered
up the best effects of plowing are lost. So the mold-board was a great
improvement and its invention marks a great event in the history of the
plow.

[Illustration: FIG. 9.--THE DUTCH PLOW SHOWING THE MOLD-BOARD.]

The Dutch plow was taken as a model for English plows and, in fact, for
the plows of all nations. The mold-board grew rapidly into favor and by
the end of the eighteenth century it was found on plows in all civilized
nations. But the plow was still made mostly of wood (Fig. 10) and it was
still an awkward and a poorly constructed affair. The method of making
plows about the year 1800 has been described as follows: "A mold-board
was hewed from a tree with the grain of the timber running as nearly
along its shape as it could well be obtained. On to this mold-board, to
prevent its wearing out too rapidly, were nailed the blade of an old
hoe, thin strips of iron, or worn out horseshoes (Fig. 10). The land
side was of wood, its base and sides shod with thin plates of iron. The
share was of iron with a hardened steel point. The coulter was tolerably
well made of iron. The beam was usually a straight stick. The handles,
like the mold-board, were split from the crooked trunk of a tree or as
often cut from its branches. The beam was set at any pitch that fancy
might dictate, with the handles fastened on almost at right angles with
it, thus leaving the plowman little control over his implement, which
did its work in a very slow and most imperfect manner."

[Illustration: FIG. 10.--A COLONIAL PLOW.]

But about the end of the eighteenth century the world was beginning to
need a plow that would do its work rapidly and well. Population was
everywhere increasing and it was necessary to till more ground than had
ever been tilled in former times. Especially was a good plow needed in
the United States where there were vast areas of new ground to be
broken. And it was in the United States that the first great
improvements in the plow were made. Foremost among those who helped to
make the plow a better implement was the statesman, Thomas Jefferson.
This great man while traveling in France in 1788 was struck by the
clumsiness of the plows used in that country. In his diary he wrote:
"The awkward figure of their mold-board leads one to consider what
should be its form." So Jefferson turned his attention to mold-boards.
He saw that the mold-board ought to be so shaped that it would move
through the ground and turn the sod with the least possible resistance
and he planned for a mold-board of this kind. By 1793 he had determined
what the proper form of a mold-board should be and had in actual use on
his estate in Virginia several plows which had mold-boards of least
resistance. Mr. Jefferson's patterns of the mold-board have, of course,
been improved upon, but he has the honor of having invented the first
mold-board that was constructed according to scientific and mathematical
principles.[12]

[Illustration: FIG. 11.--DANIEL WEBSTER'S PLOW.]

[Illustration: FIG. 12.--JETHRO WOOD'S PLOW, 1819.]

About the time Jefferson was working upon the mold-board, Charles
Newbold, a farmer of Burlington, New Jersey, was also doing great things
for the improvement of the plow. We have seen that the plow of this time
was a patch work of wood and iron. Newbold thought the plow ought to be
made wholly of iron and about 1796 he made one of cast iron, the point,
share, and mold-board all being cast in one piece. But the New Jersey
farmers did not take kindly to the iron plow. They said that iron
poisoned the crops and caused weeds to grow faster than ever. So Newbold
could not sell his plows and he was compelled to give up the business in
despair.

But soon the iron plow was to have its day. In 1819 Jethro Wood of
Scipio, New York, took out a patent for a plow which was made of cast
iron and which combined the best features of the plow as planned by
Jefferson and by Newbold. In Wood's plow (Fig. 12) the several
parts--the point, share and mold-board--were so fastened together that
when one piece wore out it could easily be replaced by a new piece. In
Newbold's plow when one part wore out the whole plow was rendered
useless. Wood's plow became very popular and by 1825 it was rapidly
driving out the half-wooden, half-iron plows of the olden time. Great
improvements of course have been made upon the plow since 1819, but in
the main features the best plows of to-day closely resemble the
implement invented by Jethro Wood. Since our greatness as a nation is
due largely to the plow all honor should be given to the memory of this
inventor. "No citizen of the United States," said William H. Seward,
"has conferred greater benefits on his country than Jethro Wood."

[Illustration: FIG. 13.--THE GANG PLOW DRAWN BY HORSES.]

[Illustration: FIG. 14.--PLOWING BY STEAM.

The plow is drawn across the field by means of cables. Sometimes a
traction engine moves along with the plow.]

But the plow of Jethro Wood, as excellent as it was, did not fully meet
the needs of the western farmer. The sod of the vast prairies could not
be broken fast enough with a plow of a single share. So about the middle
of the nineteenth century the _gang plow_, a hint for which had been
given long before (p. 78) was invented, and as this new plow moved along
three or four or five furrows were turned at once. At first the gang
plow was drawn by horses (Fig. 13) but later it was drawn by steam (Fig.
14).

The great gang plow drawn by steam marked the last step in the
development of the plow. The forked stick drawn by human hands and
making its feeble scratch on the ground had grown until it had become a
mighty machine drawn across the field by an unseen force and leaving in
its wake a broad belt of deeply-plowed and well-broken soil.


FOOTNOTE:

[12] Daniel Webster was another great statesman who turned his attention
to the making of plows. He planned a plow (Fig. 11) and had it made in
his workshop on his farm at Marshfield. When the plow was ready for use,
Webster himself was the first man to take hold of the handles and try
it. The plow worked well and the great man is said to have been as much
delighted with his achievement as he was with any of his triumphs in
public life at Washington.



THE REAPER


After man had invented his rude plow and had learned how to till the
soil and raise the grain, it became necessary for him to learn how to
harvest his crop, how to gather the growing grain from the fields. The
invention of the plow, therefore, must have soon been followed by the
invention of the _reaper_.

[Illustration: FIG. 1.--PRIMITIVE SICKLES.]

The first grain was doubtless cut with the rude straight knives used by
primitive man. In time it was found that if the knife were bent it would
cut the grain better. So the first form of the reaper was a curved or
bent knife known as the sickle or reaping hook (Fig. 1). The knife was
fastened at one end to a stick which served as a handle. When using the
sickle the harvester held the grain in one hand and cut it with the
other. (Fig. 2).

[Illustration: FIG. 2.--REAPING WITH THE SICKLE.]

_When_ the sickle first began to be used is of course unknown. Among
the remains of the "stone age" (p. 39) are implements of flint which
resemble the sickle, while among the remains of the so-called "bronze
age" many primitive sickles made of bronze have been found. Nor do we
know _where_ the sickle was first used, although Egypt seems to have
been the first home of the sickle just as it was the first home of the
plow. Upon the wall of a building of ancient Thebes is a picture of an
Egyptian harvest scene. Two men with sickles are cutting the wheat. A
man following the reapers seems to be gleaning, that is, picking up the
wheat that the reapers have cut. Other harvesters are carrying the grain
to the threshing place where it is tramped out by the slow feet of oxen.
A primitive sickle such as was used by the Egyptians was used by all
civilized nations in ancient times, by the Hebrews, by the Greeks, and
by the Romans.

The first improvement upon the primitive sickle was made by the Romans.
About the year 100 A. D. the Roman farmers, who were at the time the
best farmers in the world, began to use a kind of scythe for cutting
grass. The Roman scythe was simply an improved form of the sickle; it
was a broad, heavy blade fastened on a long straight handle, resembling
the pruning hook of to-day (Fig. 3). The scythe was swung with both
hands and it was used chiefly for cutting grass.

For more than a thousand years after the appearance of the Roman scythe
agriculture in Europe was everywhere neglected and little or no
improvement was made in farming implements. About the end of the Middle
Ages, however, improvements in the form of the scythe began to appear.
In Flanders farmers began to use an implement known as the Hainault
scythe (Fig. 4). This scythe had a fine broad blade and a curved handle.
When reaping with this scythe the reaper with his left hand brought the
stalks of grain together with a hook and with his right hand he swung
the scythe and cut the grain. This scythe was an improvement upon the
sickle but it was still a very awkward implement.

[Illustration: FIG. 3.--AN EARLY SCYTHE.]

[Illustration: FIG. 4.--THE HAINAULT OR FLEMISH SCYTHE, WITH HOOK.]

The Hainault or Flemish scythe was followed by the _cradle scythe_. On
this scythe (Fig. 5) there were wooden fingers running parallel to the
blade. These fingers, called the cradle, caught the grain as it was cut
and helped to leave it in a bunch. In the early cradle-scythe the
fingers were few in number and they ran along the blade for only a part
of its length, but in America during the colonial period the cradle was
improved by lengthening the fingers and increasing their number. At the
time of the Revolution the improved American cradle was coming into use
and by the end of the eighteenth century it was driving out the sickle.

[Illustration: FIG. 5.--EARLY FORM OF THE CRADLE SCYTHE.]

[Illustration: FIG. 6.--THE IMPROVED CRADLE SCYTHE.]

But even the excellent American cradle-scythe could not meet the needs
of the American farmer. The cast iron plow which was brought into use in
the early part of the nineteenth century (p. 82) made it possible to
raise fields of wheat vastly larger than had ever been raised before.
But it was of no use to raise great fields of grain unless the crop
could be properly harvested. Wheat must be cut just when it is ripe and
the harvest season lasts only a few days. If the broad American fields
were to be plowed and planted there would have to be a reaping machine
that would cut the grain faster than human hands could cut it with the
scythe (Fig. 6).

[Illustration: FIG. 7.--THE FIRST REAPING MACHINE, 70 A. D.]

So about the year 1800 inventors in Europe and in America took up the
task of inventing a new kind of reaper. The first attempts were made in
England where population was increasing very fast and where large
quantities of grain were needed to feed the people. The first hints for
a reaper were from a machine which was used in Gaul nearly 2,000 years
ago. Pliny, who described for us a wonderful plow used in his time (p.
77), also describes this ancient reaper of the Gauls. It consisted of a
large hollow frame mounted on two wheels (Fig. 7). At the front of the
frame there was a set of teeth which caught the heads of grain and tore
them off. The heads were raked into the box by an attendant. The machine
was pushed along by an ox. This kind of machine was doubtless used in
Europe for a while but it was not a success. It passed out of use and
for many centuries it was entirely forgotten. Still, the first English
reaping machines were made after the plan of this interesting old reaper
of ancient Gaul.

[Illustration: FIG. 8.--OGLE'S REAPER, 1822.]

The most remarkable of the early reapers was one invented by Henry Ogle,
a schoolmaster of Remington, England. In 1822 Ogle constructed a model
for a reaper which was quite different from any that had appeared before
and which bore a close resemblance to the improved reapers of a later
date. In Ogle's reaper (Fig. 8) the horse walked ahead beside the
standing grain, just as it does now, and the cutting apparatus was at
the right, just as it is now. The cutter consisted of a frame at the
front of which was a bar of iron armed with a row of teeth projecting
forward. Directly under the teeth lay a long straight edged knife which
was moved to and fro by means of a crank and which cut the grain as it
came between the teeth. A reel pushed the grain toward the knife and
there was a platform upon which the grain when cut might fall. Ogle's
machine did not meet with much success yet it holds a very high place
in the history of reaping machines, for it had nearly all the parts of a
modern reaper.

[Illustration: FIG. 9.--THE FIRST MCCORMICK REAPER.]

English inventors did much to prepare the way for a good reaping machine
but the first really successful reaper, the first reaper that actually
reaped, was made in the United States. In the summer of 1831, Cyrus
McCormick, a young blacksmith living in the Shenandoah Valley in
Virginia, made a trial of a reaper which he and his father had
invented--how much they had learned from Ogle we do not know--and the
trial was successful (Fig. 9). With two horses he cut six acres of oats
in an afternoon. "Such a thing," says Mr. Casson in his life of
McCormick, "at the time was incredible. It was equal to the work of six
laborers with scythes or twenty-four peasants with sickles. It was as
marvelous as though a man had walked down the street carrying a dray
horse on his back."

Although McCormick had his reaper in successful operation by 1831 he did
not take out a patent for the machine until 1834. One year before this
(in 1833) Obed Hussey, a sailor living in Baltimore, took out a patent
for a reaper that was successful and that was in many respects as famous
a machine as McCormick's. So while McCormick was the first in the field
with his invention, Hussey was the first to secure a patent. The
machines of McCormick and Hussey were very much alike: both had the
platform, the iron bar armed with guards and the long knife moving to
and fro. The most remarkable feature of Hussey's machine was the knife
which consisted of thin triangular plates of steel sharpened on two
edges and riveted side by side upon a flat bar (Fig. 10). The saw-like
teeth of Hussey's knife caught the wheat between the guards and cut it
better than any knife that had as yet appeared. Both the McCormick
reapers and the Hussey reapers were practical and successful and each of
these inventors performed a noble part in giving the world the reaper it
needed.

[Illustration: FIG. 10.--THE KNIFE BLADE OF HUSSEY'S REAPER.]

The McCormick and the Hussey reapers gave new life to farming in the
United States. Especially was the reaper a blessing to the Western
farmers. In 1844 McCormick took a trip through the West, passing through
Ohio, Michigan, Illinois, and Iowa. As he passed through Illinois he saw
how badly the reaper was needed. He saw great fields of ripe wheat
thrown open to be devoured by hogs and cattle because there were not
enough laborers to harvest the crops. The farmers had worked day and
night and their wives and children had worked but they could not harvest
the grain; they had raised more than the scythe and sickle could cut.
McCormick saw that the West was the natural home for the reaper and in
1847 he moved to Chicago, built a factory, and began to make reapers. In
less than a year he had orders for 500 machines and before ten years had
passed he had sold nearly 25,000 reapers. It was these reapers that
caused the frontier line to move westward at the rate of thirty miles a
year.

[Illustration: FIG. 11.--REAPER PROVIDED WITH SEAT FOR THE RAKER.]

Improvements upon the machines of Hussey and McCormick came thick and
fast. One of the first improvements was to remove the grain from the
platform in a better way. With the first machines a man followed the
reaper (Fig. 9) and removed the grain with a rake. Then a seat was
provided and the man sat (Fig. 11) on the reaper and raked off the
grain. Finally the _self-raking_ reaper was invented. In this machine,
as it appeared in its completed form about 1865, the reel and rake were
combined. The reel consisted of a number of revolving arms each of
which carried a rake (Fig. 12). As the arms revolved they not only moved
the standing grain toward the knife, but they also swept the platform
and raked off the wheat in neat bunches ready to be bound into sheaves.
So the self-raking reaper saved the labor of the man who raked the wheat
from the platform.

[Illustration: FIG. 12.--SELF-RAKING REAPER.]

Because it saved the labor of one man the self-raking reaper was for a
time the king of reaping machines. But it did not remain king long, for
soon there came into the harvest fields a reaper that saved the labor of
several men. This was the _self-binder_. With the older machines, as the
grain was raked off the platform it was gathered and bound into sheaves
by men who followed the reaper, one reaper requiring the services of
three or four or five human binders. With the self-binder (Fig. 13) the
grain was gathered into sheaves and neatly tied without the aid of human
hands. At first, wire was used in binding the sheaves but by 1880 most
self-binders were using twine. So the self-binder saved the labor not
only of the man who raked the grain from the platform but it saved the
labor of all the binders as well.

[Illustration: FIG. 13.--A SELF-BINDING REAPER.]

[Illustration: FIG. 14.--A COMBINED HARVESTER AND THRESHER.]

The last step in the development of the reaper was taken when the
_complete harvester_ was invented. This machine cuts the standing grain,
threshes it, winnows[13] it, and places it in sacks (Fig. 14). As this
giant reaper travels over the field one sees on one side the cutting bar
15 to 25 feet in length slicing its way through the wheat, while on the
other side of the machine streams of grain run into sacks which, as fast
as they are filled, are hauled to the barn or to the nearest railway
station. The complete harvester is either drawn by horses--30 or 40 in
number--or by a powerful engine. It cuts and threshes 100 acres of wheat
in a day and the cost is less than 50 cents an acre. It does as much
work in a day as could have been done by a hundred men before the days
of McCormick. Of all the wonderful machines used by farmers the most
wonderful is the complete harvester, the latest and the greatest of
reapers.


FOOTNOTE:

[13] To winnow grain is to separate it from the chaff by a fanning
process.



THE MILL


[Illustration: FIG. 1.--THE FIRST MILL.]

The first mill was a hole made in a stationary rock (Fig. 1). The grain
was placed in the hole and crushed with a stone held in the hand. On
Centre street in Trenton, New Jersey, not many years ago one of these
primitive mills could still be seen and there are evidences that such
mills once existed in all parts of the world. In those places where the
earth did not supply the stationary rock, stones were brought from afar
and hollowed out into cup-like form and in these the grinding was done.

[Illustration: FIG. 2.--THE KNOCKING-STANE.]

The mill which consisted of a hole in a rock and a stone in the hands
was followed by the "knocking-stane" and mallet (Fig. 2). The
"knocking-stane" was a mortar, or cup-shaped vessel made of stone; the
mallet was usually made of wood. The grain was placed in the mortar and
struck repeatedly with the mallet, the beating being kept up until a
coarse flour was produced. This is an exceedingly rude method of
crushing grain, yet this is the way the people in some parts of Scotland
grind their barley at the present time.

[Illustration: FIG. 3.--MORTAR AND PESTLE MILL.]

At a very early date the "knocking-stane" was laid aside for the mortar
and pestle (Fig. 3) almost everywhere. In this mill the grain instead of
being struck with a hammer was pounded with a pestle. The bottom of the
pestle was frequently covered with iron in which grooves were cut. As
the man pounded he found that when he gave the pestle a twirling or
rotary motion as it fell it ground the grain much faster. We may be sure
that after this was learned the twirling motion was always given.

The mortar and pestle were followed by the slab-mill (Fig. 4). Here the
grain was ground by being rubbed between two stones. Dr. Livingstone,
the great African explorer, gives the following description of a
slab-mill which he saw in operation in South Africa. "The operator
kneeling grasps the upper millstone with both hands and works it
backwards and forwards in the hollow of the lower millstone, in the same
way that a baker works his dough. The weight of the person is brought to
bear on the movable stone and while it is pressed and pushed forward and
backward one hand supplies every now and then a little grain to be
bruised and ground."

[Illustration: FIG. 4.--THE SLAB-MILL.]

[Illustration: FIG. 5.--THE UPPER AND NETHER MILLSTONE.]

As we have seen, the primitive miller gradually learned that the pestle
did better work when it fell with a twirling motion. This little bit of
experience led to important results in the development of the mill. If
the grinding were done better with a twirling motion, why not have as
much of the twirling motion as possible? Why not make the upper stone go
round and round? This was what was done. The upper stone was caused to
turn round and round. The wheel-mill, the mill of the upper and nether
millstone (Fig. 5), was invented. When and where it was invented we
cannot tell for it was in use among all civilized peoples before history
began to be written. There were many kinds of wheel-mills among the
nations of antiquity and in principle they were all alike in
construction. How they worked may be learned by studying Figure 5 which
represents a mill used in ancient India. The upper stone is placed upon
the pivot projecting from the center of the lower (nether) stone, and
caused to revolve by means of the handle. The grain when placed in the
hollow at the center of the upper stone (Fig. 5) works its way down
between the stones and comes out at the circumference ground, bran and
flour together. The mill was fed with grain by the operator. The first
hopper was a human hand.

[Illustration: FIG. 6.--AN ANCIENT JEWISH MILL.]

[Illustration: FIG. 7.--AN OLD ROMAN MILL.]

[Illustration: FIG. 8.--A SCOTTISH QUERN.]

[Illustration: FIG. 9.--POMPEIAN FLOUR MILL, 79 A. D.]

We have here several pictures of ancient mills. Figure 6 is an ancient
Jewish mill. As we look at it we may recall the words, "Two women shall
be grinding at a mill, the one shall be taken, and the other left."[14]
Figure 7 is an old Roman mill bearing a strong resemblance to the coffee
mill that is used in our kitchens. Figure 8 is a Scottish quern, a mill
that may still be found in use, it is said, in some parts of Scotland.
Figure 9 is an old flour mill dug from the ruins of the city of Pompeii
which was destroyed by an eruption in the year 79 A. D. Figure 10 shows
the construction of this interesting mill. The upper (outer) stone is
shaped like an hour-glass, the upper half of which serves as a hopper;
the lower half turns upon the cone-shaped lower stone and does the
grinding. The mill was operated by the projecting handles, the operators
walking round and round the mill. Sometimes it was turned by human
power, sometimes by horses or oxen.

[Illustration: FIG. 10.--SHOWING THE INTERIOR OF POMPEIAN MILL.]

[Illustration: FIG. 11.--THE FIRST WATER-MILL, 50 B. C.]

[Illustration: FIG. 12.--SHOWING THE INTERIOR OF THE FIRST WATER-MILL.]

The Pompeian mill shows that as early as the first century the Romans
ground their grain by animal power. Indeed about this time a still
greater change was made in the method of grinding grain. When Julius
Cæsar flourished (50 B. C.) men began to harness the power of running
water and make it turn their mills (Fig. 11). From Figure 12 we may
easily learn how this was done. The running water turns the wheel and in
doing so turns the upper millstone. A hopper is suspended from the roof
by ropes. Through this the grain passes into the mill. Here was a
great saving in human labor and a great advancement in mill making. A
Roman writer of Cæsar's time appreciating how great a blessing was the
invention of the water-mill exclaimed:

        Ye maids who toiled so faithful at the mill
        Now cease from work and from these toils be still;
        Sleep now till dawn and let the birds with glee
        Sing to the ruddy morn, on bush and tree;
        For what your hands performed so long, so true,
        Ceres[15] has charged the water-nymphs to do;
        They come, the limpid sisters, to her call,
        And on the wheel with dashing fury fall;
        Impel the axle with a whirling sound
        And make the massive millstone reel around
        And bring the floury heap luxuriant to the ground.

Nothing can be simpler than the water-mill described above; it was the
old mill of the upper and nether millstones, the old hand mill turned by
water. That was all. Yet, as simple as it was, many centuries passed
after its invention before a new principle in flour making was
discovered. There were inventions for lowering and raising the stone so
as to grind finer or coarser as might be desired, and there were
improvements in the kind of water wheels employed, and better methods of
sifting the flour from the bran were discovered from time to time, but
the water-mill invented in the time of Julius Cæsar remained practically
unchanged until the early part of the nineteenth century, when the last
step in the development of the mill was taken.[16]

[Illustration: FIG. 13.--AN EARLY FLOUR ROLLER-MILL.]

About 1810 millers in Austria, more particularly those in Vienna, began
to grind their grain by passing it between two horizontal rollers (Fig.
13). The rollers were spirally grooved and turned toward each other.
There was a wide difference between this process and the one to which
the world was accustomed, yet the new method was found to be better than
the old one. Austrian flour and Austrian bread became famous. The
delicious Vienna bread on our tables of course has never seen Vienna. It
is called "Vienna bread" because it is made out of a kind of flour which
was first ground in the Austrian capital. The Austrian way of grinding
grew rapidly into favor among millers everywhere. In the United States
where there was so much wheat to be ground the roller process was taken
up eagerly and improved upon as only Americans know how to improve upon
an idea. In the flour mills of the West the grain was soon passing
through a series of rollers. By the first pair of rollers the grain was
simply cracked into pieces somewhat coarse. Then after being bolted
(sifted) it was passed between a second pair of rollers and reduced to a
greater fineness. Then it was bolted again and passed between a third
pair of rollers. The rolling and sifting continued until a practically
pure flour was obtained. A pure flour is the modern miller's ideal. He
wants a branless flour and a flourless bran. The old stone mill could
not grind this kind of flour. Before the roller mill appeared there was
always bran in the flour and flour in the bran.

[Illustration: FIG. 14.--A MODERN FLOUR ROLLER-MILL.]

The invention of the flour roller-mill (Fig. 14) is the last step in the
development of the mill. The roller process has almost entirely driven
out all other processes. Now and then we see by the roadside an old
fashioned mill with the upper and nether stone, but we seldom see one
that is prosperous and thriving. Millers, like everybody else in these
days, do business on a large scale and to make flour on a large scale
they must use the roller-mill. Thus the hole in the rock in which a
handful of grain was laboriously crushed has, through long ages of
growth, become the great factory in which thousands of barrels of flour
are made in a day.

[Illustration]


FOOTNOTES:

[14] Matthew xxiv, 41. In ancient times nearly all the grinding was done
by women.

[15] Ceres was the goddess of grain.

[16] In the thirteenth century wind-power began to be used for turning
mills, and in some countries windmills were as common as water-mills.



THE LOOM


Have you ever seen a loom? It would not be a wonder if you have not. In
these days the average person seldom sees one. Everyone knows in a vague
sort of way that clothes and carpets are made of wool or silk or cotton,
as the case may be, and that they are woven upon an instrument called a
loom. This is about as much as we usually know about the clothes we wear
or the carpets we walk upon. We buy these things from the store and that
is all there is to it. In the olden times, and not so very long ago
either, everybody knew something about weaving, at least every girl and
woman knew something of the art, and a loom was as familiar an object in
the household then as a sewing machine is now.

        Matrons and maidens sat in snow-white caps and in kirtles
        Scarlet and blue and green, with distaff spinning the golden
        Flax for the gossiping loom, whose noisy shuttle within doors
        Mingled their sounds with the whir of the wheels and the
                songs of the maidens.

This picture of home life in Acadia two hundred years ago would have
served as a picture of home life almost everywhere in the civilized
world. From the beginning of history until modern times most of the
weaving was done by the women in the home.

The earliest practical weaver on record is the spider and it may be that
man learned his first lesson in weaving from this skilled little workman
(Fig. 1); or the beautiful nest of the weaver-bird may have given to
human beings the first hints in the weaving art. Whoever may have been
his teacher, it is certain that man learned how to weave in the earliest
stages of existence. It is thought that his first effort in this
direction consisted in making cages for animals and wiers (traps) for
catching fish (Fig. 2) by interlacing vines or canes or slender boughs.
The next step was taken when women began to make baskets and cradles and
mats by interlacing long slender strips of wood (Fig. 3).

[Illustration: FIG. 1.--THE FIRST LESSON IN WEAVING.]

[Illustration: FIG. 2.--A WIER TRAP OF THE VIRGINIA INDIANS.]

[Illustration: FIG. 3.--PRIMITIVE BASKET MAKING.]

[Illustration: FIG. 4.--THE PRIMITIVE LOOM.]

Basket weaving led to cloth weaving, and this led to the loom. In Figure
4 we see the simplest and oldest form of the loom. It consisted of a
single stick (yarn beam) of wood about four feet long. This was the
first form of the loom--just a straight stick of wood and nothing more.
From the stick the threads which run lengthwise in the cloth were
suspended. These threads are known as the _warp_. The threads which
run breadthwise in the cloth are known as the _weft_, or _woof_. As the
woman's deft fingers pass along with the weft she carries the thread
over the first warp thread, under the second, over the third, under the
fourth, and so on. Here we have not only the simplest form of the loom
but the simplest kind of cloth.

[Illustration: FIG. 5.--THE PUEBLO LOOM.]

[Illustration: FIG. 6.--THE HEDDLE.]

In the loom worked by the Pueblo woman (Fig. 5) a new piece appears.
This is the frame through which the threads of the warp pass and which
the woman is holding in her right hand. The frame is called a heald, or
_heddle_ (Fig. 6). The heddle is of the greatest importance in the
construction of the loom and it is well worth while to understand what
it does. In the loom operated by the Chilcoot woman (Fig. 4) you noticed
that the weaver passed the weft thread above and below the alternate
threads of the warp. This required a separate movement for every thread
of the warp; if there were a hundred threads a hundred movements were
required to pass the weft across once. Now the heddle used by the Pueblo
woman separated the fifty warp threads that were to pass above the weft
thread from the fifty that were to pass below it, making an opening
called, a _shed_. When the shed was made the weft thread could be passed
across at one movement. One movement instead of a hundred! How was this
accomplished? Fifty alternate warp threads were passed through the holes
in the bars of the heddle frame, one thread through each hole; the other
fifty alternate threads passed between the bars of the heddle frame.
Now suppose the entire warp of a hundred threads is stretched tight and
firm between the woman's body and the yarn beam. With her right hand she
_raises_ the heddle and thus lifts the fifty threads which pass through
the holes in the bars, while the other fifty threads remain unmoved.
This movement makes the passage or shed through which she passes the
weft with the left hand. After beating the weft thread close to the
cloth either with the fingers or with a sword-like stick, she lowers the
heddle with its fifty threads, the other fifty still remain fixed and
unmoved. Another shed is formed and the weft is passed through again.
Thus with the raising and lowering of the heddle the weft is passed
backward and forward and the weaving goes on quite rapidly. If you care
to do so you can make a Pueblo loom and can weave a belt on it.

[Illustration: FIG. 7.--AN OLD AFRICAN LOOM.]

In the old African loom represented in Fig. 7 we find several
improvements upon the loom of the Pueblo woman. In the first place, it
has two heddles instead of one. These are operated by the feet, leaving
the hands free to do other work. In the second place, the wooden frame
which the weaver holds in his right hand is not to be seen in the Pueblo
loom. This frame called the _batten_, or _lathe_, contains the _reed_,
which is a series of slats or bars between which the threads of the warp
pass after they leave the heddle. When the weaver has thrown the weft
through the shed he brings the batten down hard and the reed drives the
last weft thread close to the woven part of the cloth. The reed takes
the place of the sword-like stick used by the Pueblo woman. Last and
most important: in the African's left hand is the _shuttle_, or little
car--weaver's ship, the Germans call it--which carries the weft across
(Fig. 8).

[Illustration: FIG. 8.--A PRIMITIVE SHUTTLE.]

The loom described above seems to be clumsy and rude when compared with
a loom of the present day, yet it is really the kind of loom which was
used by nearly all civilized people from the dawn of their civilization
to the middle of the eighteenth century. It is the loom of history and
poetry and song. Upon a loom of this kind was woven Joseph's coat with
its many colors and the garment which the fair Penelope made when she
deceived her suitors. Of course as the centuries passed the parts of the
loom were better made and weavers became more skilful. In Figure 9 we
have the loom as it appeared in the sixteenth century. If we inspect it
closely we shall find it to be merely the old African loom mounted on
stout upright timbers instead of being mounted on a tripod made of
poles. With her feet the weaver works the heddle, with her right hand
she throws the shuttle, with her left she draws toward her the swinging
batten and drives the weft home with the reed.

[Illustration: FIG. 9.--A LOOM OF THE SIXTEENTH CENTURY.]

[Illustration: FIG. 10.--KAY'S FLYING SHUTTLE.]

The year 1733 is a most important date in the development of the loom
for in that year John Kay, a practical loommaker of Lancashire, England,
invented the flying shuttle and thus did more for the loom than any man
whom we can distinguish by name. To appreciate the great service of Kay
we must recall how the shuttle was operated before his time. You
remember it was thrown through the shed by one of the weaver's hands and
caught and returned by the other hand. Sometimes it was caught and
returned by a boy. This was at best a slow process and unless the weaver
had an assistant to return the shuttle only narrow pieces could be
woven. The common width of cloth, three-fourths of a yard, had its
origin in necessity. The weaver's arms were not long enough to weave a
wider piece. "The essence of Kay's invention was that the shuttle was
thrown from side to side by a mechanical device instead of being passed
from hand to hand. One hand only was required for the shuttle while the
other was left free to beat up the cloth (with the batten) after each
throw, and the shuttle would fly across wide cloth as well as narrow."
You will be able to understand Kay's invention by studying Figure 10
which shows how the flying shuttle worked. _G_ is a groove
(shuttle-race) on which the shuttle runs as it crosses through the shed
leaving its thread behind it. _I_ and _I_ are boxes which the shuttle
(Fig. 11) enters at the end of the journey. In each box is a driver _K_
sliding freely on the polished rod _F_. The weaver with his right hand
pulls the handle _H_ and _K_ drives the shuttle to the opposite side.
With his left hand he works the reed, with his feet he works the heddle.

[Illustration: FIG. 11.--A MODERN SHUTTLE.]

The profits of Kay's invention were stolen, his house was destroyed by a
mob and he himself was driven to a foreign country where he died in
poverty. Yet he deserves high rank among the benefactors of mankind, for
the flying shuttle doubled the power of the loom and improved the
quality of the cloth woven. Kay's invention was the first step in a
great industrial revolution. The increased power of the loom called for
more yarn than the old spinning wheel could supply. Hargreaves and
Arkwright set their wits to work and made their wonderful spinning
machine, and the demands of the loom were supplied. So great was the
supply of yarn that the hand loom was behind with its work. Then in
order to keep up with the spinning machine the _power-loom_ was
invented. Heddle and batten and shuttle were now driven by a force of
nature and all the weaver had to do was to keep the shuttle filled with
thread and see that his loom worked properly. At first the water-wheel
was used to drive the power-loom but later the steam-engine was made to
do this work. All this was changing the face of the civilized world.
Hitherto weavers and spinners had worked for themselves in their homes
or in their own shops; now they were gathered in large factories where
they worked as wage earners for an employer. Hitherto industry had been
carried on in small villages; the great factories drew the people to
large industrial centers and the era of crowded cities began.

[Illustration: FIG. 12.--THE JACQUARD LOOM.]

Following the invention of the power-loom in the latter half of the
eighteenth century came the invention of Joseph Jacquard of Lyons,
France. This very ingenious man in 1801 invented a substitute for the
heddle. We cannot readily understand the workings of Jacquard's
wonderful "attachment," as his substitute for the heddle is called, but
we ought to know what the great Frenchman did for the loom. In Figure 12
you see that the cloth which is exposed shows that beautiful designs
have been woven into it. This is what Jacquard did for the loom. He made
it weave into the cloth whatever design, color or tint one might desire.
He made the loom a mechanical artist rivaling in excellence the work of
a human artist. The Jacquard loom has brought about a revolution in
man's, and especially in woman's dress. With the old loom, colors and
designs could be woven into cloth but only very slowly, and goods with
fancy patterns were made at a cost that was so great that only the rich
could afford to buy. In the olden times, therefore, almost everybody
wore plain clothes. With Jacquard's attachment the most beautiful
figures can be cheaply woven into the commonest fabrics. As far as
weaving is concerned, it costs no more to have beautiful figures in
cotton goods than it does to have them in silk. As a result the poor as
well as the rich can dress as their taste and fancy may suggest.

The last century brought improvements in the weaving art as every
century before it brought improvements, but the changes made since
Jacquard's time need not concern us. The story of the loom ends with the
Jacquard "attachment." Perhaps no other of man's inventions has a more
interesting development than the loom. We can see it grow, piece by
piece. First a simple stick from which dangle the threads of the warp;
then the heddle, then the shuttle, then the reed, then the shuttle-race
and the swiftly flying shuttle, and last the Frenchman's wonderful
device for weaving in colors and fancy figures.



THE HOUSE


Man has always been a builder. Like squirrels and beavers and birds he
provides himself a home as by instinct. The kind of house erected by a
people in the beginning depended upon the surroundings, upon the enemies
that prowled about, upon the climate, upon the building materials close
at hand. In a hilly, rocky region primitive folk built one kind of
house, in a forest they built another kind, in a low marshy district
they built still another kind. In all cases they took the materials that
were the easiest to get and erected the kind of dwelling place that
would afford the greatest safety and comfort.

If one could have traveled over the earth during the first days of man's
history one would doubtless have found that dwellings were made of wood,
for in those days the greater part of the earth was covered with
forests. To build a home in the forest was the simplest of tasks. All
that was necessary was to fasten together the tops of several saplings,
interlace the saplings with boughs (Fig. 1) and cover the frame with
skins of animals or thatch it with leaves and grass. A cone-shaped
structure of this pattern, a tent, or hut, or wigwam, was the first
house of all primitive people who lived where there was plenty of wood.

[Illustration: FIG. 1.--BUILDING A HOUSE WITH WOOD.]

[Illustration: FIG. 2.--A CAVE-DWELLING.]

In many regions, especially in parts of northwestern Europe, the wigwam
or hut was not always the most suitable dwelling place for early man. In
hilly and mountainous districts and along streams where shores were
overhung by rocks or pierced by caverns the first inhabitants found that
a hollow in the earth was the best kind of house. Sometimes the house of
the cave-dwellers was made by Nature (Fig. 2); sometimes it was an
artificial living-place dug in the side of a hill or mountain. The cave
was truly a rude and gloomy home, yet there was a time when large
numbers of the human race lived in caves. The Zuni Indians of Arizona in
seeking a refuge from their enemies built their homes far up in steep
cliffs where it was almost impossible for a stranger to go.

Coming down from the highlands to the lowlands where there were swamps
and marshes or where inland lakes were numerous, we find that the first
houses were built upon piles driven in the water or in the mud (Fig. 3).
These lake-dwellings, as houses of this kind were called, were generally
connected with the mainland by gangways of wooden piers, although
sometimes they could be approached only by boat. In the floors of some
of these curious dwellings were trapdoors through which baskets could be
lowered for catching fish in the lake below. The children of the
lake-dwellers were tethered by the feet to keep them from falling into
the water. The beautiful city of Venice in its infancy was a community
of lake-dwellers. The rough canoe of the lake-dwelling time has
developed into the graceful gondola, and the rude wooden pier has grown
to be the magnificent Rialto.

[Illustration: FIG. 3.--LAKE-DWELLINGS, RESTORED.

(From Troyon.)]

In many regions the most convenient building material is stone and all
over the earth there are proofs to show that building with stone began
at a very early date. The stones in the earliest stone structures were
rough and unhewn and were laid without mortar or cement (Fig. 4) yet
they were sometimes fitted together with such nicety that a thin knife
blade could not be passed between them. Remains of stone houses built
many thousands of years ago may be seen in Peru, Mexico, Italy, and
Greece. These primitive dwellings were humble and simple, but they were
made of good material and they were well built. They have weathered the
storms of ages and they have remained standing while later and more
pretentious buildings have crumbled and disappeared.

[Illustration: FIG. 4.--A PRIMITIVE STONE HOUSE.]

The illustrations of early building which have been given will make
plain the truth that the people of a particular country have taken the
materials nearest at hand and have constructed their homes according to
their particular needs. Now since the beginnings of house building have
been different in different parts of the earth, the story of the house
will not be the same in all countries. In China and Japan, where the
light bamboo has always flourished and has always been used in building,
the house has had one development; in countries where granite and marble
and heavy timber abound it has had another and an entirely different
development. What then is the story of the house as we see it in our
country? Can this story be told? As one passes through an American city
looking at the public buildings and churches and stores and dwellings
can one go back to the beginning and trace step by step the growth of
the house and tell how these came to be what they are? Let us see if
this cannot be done.

[Illustration: FIG. 5.--AN EGYPTIAN HOUSE.]

[Illustration: FIG. 6.--AN ANCIENT HEBREW DWELLING.]

[Illustration: FIG. 7.--INTERIOR OF AN ANCIENT EGYPTIAN PALACE.]

Our story takes us back many thousands of years to Egypt, the cradle of
civilization. From Egypt it will take us to Greece, thence to Rome,
thence to the countries of Northern Europe, thence to America. What kind
of houses did the Egyptians first build? They built as simple a
structure as can be imagined; they erected four walls and over these
they placed a flat roof (Fig. 5). The roof was made flat because in
Egypt there is scarcely any rain and there was no need for a roof with a
slant. In all those countries where rain seldom falls, or never falls,
the flat roof is the natural roof (Fig. 6). Although their buildings
were simple in construction the Egyptians left behind them most
remarkable specimens of the builder's art. Their pyramids and monuments
and sphinxes and palaces have always been foremost among the great
wonders of the world. Figure 7 shows the interior of an ancient Egyptian
palace. This palace had only an awning for a roof. That was all that was
necessary to keep out the rays of the sun. Notice the lofty pillars or
columns of this building. You see they are adorned above or below with
the figure of the lotus, the national flower of the Egyptians. The
column, as we shall see, plays an important part in the history of the
house and it was ancient Egypt that gave the world its first lessons in
the art of making columns.

From Egypt we pass over "the sea" to Greece. The Greeks borrowed ideas
wherever they could and in the matter of architecture they borrowed
heavily from Egypt. But they did not borrow the flat roof of the
Egyptians. In Greece there was some rainfall and this fact had to be
taken into account when building a house; the roof had to slant so that
the rain could run off. Now the Greeks taught the world the best way to
make a slanting roof. They made the roof to slant in two directions from
a central ridge (Fig. 8) instead of having the entire roof to slant in
one direction like an ugly shed. The slant was gentle because there was
no snow to be carried off. The roof of two slants formed a gable. The
Greeks, then, were the inventors of the _gable_. The column they
borrowed from Egypt. But whenever the Greeks borrowed an invention or
an idea they nearly always improved upon it. Instead of slavishly
imitating the Egyptian columns they tried to make better ones and they
were so successful that they soon became the teachers of the world in
column making.

[Illustration: FIG. 8.--A GREEK DWELLING.]

[Illustration: FIG. 9.--THE THREE ORDERS OF COLUMNS.]

The oldest and strongest of the Greek columns belong to what is known as
the Doric order (Fig. 9), a name given to them because they were first
made by the Dorians, the original Greek dwellers in Europe. Aside from
the flutes or channels which ran throughout its length the Doric column
was perfectly plain. In the older Doric columns even the flutes are
absent. Its _capital_ or top, was without ornament. Later the graceful
and elegant Ionic pillar (Fig. 9) came into fashion. We can always
distinguish an Ionic column by the volute or scroll at its capital. The
latest of the Greek columns was the Corinthian (Fig. 9), the lightest,
the most slender and the most richly decorated of all. A cluster of
acanthus leaves at its capital is the most prominent ornament of the
Corinthian column. The Greeks carried the art of column making to such
perfection that even to this day we imitate their patterns. A column in
a modern building is almost certain to be a Greek column. It is worth
one's while, therefore, to be able to tell one Greek column from
another. One can do this by remembering (1) that the Doric column is
perfectly plain and has no capital; (2) that the Ionic column has a
scroll at the capital; (3) that the capital of the Corinthian column is
adorned with a cluster of acanthus leaves.

[Illustration: FIG. 10.--AN OLD ROMAN ARCH.]

Our story now takes us to Italy. Greece fell before the power of Rome
146 B.C., but before she fell she had taught her conquerors a great deal
about architecture. Indeed the Romans took up the art of building where
the Greeks left it. They needed the Greek gable for they had rains, and
the Greek column recommended itself to them on account of its beauty.
They used the best features of Grecian architecture and added a feature
that was largely their own. This was the _arch_. The Greeks, like the
Egyptians before them, bridged over the openings of doors and windows
and the spaces between columns by means of straight wooden beams or long
blocks of stone. The Romans bridged over these spaces with the arch
(Fig. 10). If you will study the arch you will see that it is a curved
structure which is supported by its own curve. You will also see that it
is a structure of great strength. The greater the weight placed upon it,
providing its bases are supported, the stronger it gets. In teaching the
world how to make arches Rome added to the house an element of great
strength and beauty. With the arch came the tall building. In Greece a
house was never more than two stories high. In Rome arch rose upon arch
(Fig. 11); the dome which is itself a kind of arch appeared and palaces
were piled story upon story until they seemed to reach the skies.

From Italy we pass to northern Europe. The power of Rome fell 476 A.D.,
but before that date the greater part of Europe had been Romanized, and
the Roman way of building with column and arch and dome had been learned
in France and Germany and England. But the climate of those countries
was different from that of Italy and a slight change in the Roman way of
building was necessary. In the northern countries there were heavy rains
and snows and a roof with a gentle slope was not suitable for carrying
off large quantities of water and snow. A gable (Fig. 12) with a sharp
slant was necessary. Hence throughout northern Europe the roofs were
built much steeper than they were in Italy and Greece, although in other
respects the northern houses resembled more or less closely those of the
older southern countries.

[Illustration: FIG. 11.--INTERIOR OF A ROMAN CLUB HOUSE.]

[Illustration: FIG. 12.--A DWELLING IN NORTHERN EUROPE.]

The pointed roof which was made necessary by the climate of the north
prepared the way for a new style of building, the _pointed_ or _Gothic_
style. This style began to appear in the twelfth century and by the end
of the thirteenth century--that remarkable century again--the buildings
of all northern Europe were Gothic. The new style began with a change in
the arch. The Roman arch was a semi-circle and was therefore described
from one center. The Gothic arch was formed by describing it from two
centers instead of one and was therefore a pointed arch. As the pointed
arch grew in favor it became the fashion to shape other parts of the
building into points wherever it was possible to do this. The rounding
dome became a spire "pointing heavenward"; the windows and doors were
pointed and so were the ornaments and decorations. For several centuries
buildings fairly bristled with points (Fig. 13). The finest example of
Gothic architecture is the glorious cathedral at Cologne.

[Illustration: FIG. 13.--POINTED STYLE.

Typical scheme of a fully developed French cathedral of the 13th
century. (From Viollet-le-Duc's "Dict. de l'Architecture.")]

During the thousand years of the Dark Ages (476-1453) the glories of the
civilization of ancient Greece and Rome faded almost completely from
human vision. Events of the sixteenth century brought those glories
again into view and Europe was dazzled by them. Men everywhere became
dissatisfied with the things around them. They longed for ancient
things. They read ancient authors, they imitated ancient artists, they
imbibed the wisdom of ancient teachers. This was the period of the
Renaissance, the time when the world was born anew--as it pleased men to
think and say. The world of the present died and the old world of Greece
and Rome was brought to life. Of course in the new order of things
architecture underwent a change. _It_ was born again; _it_ experienced a
renaissance. The pointed style grew less pleasing to the builder's eye,
and wherever he could he placed in his building something that was Greek
or Roman, here an arched doorway, there a Greek column. There resulted
from these changes a style that was neither Gothic, Grecian nor Roman,
but a mixture of all these. This mixed style was named after the period
in which it arose. When you see a building that strongly resembles the
buildings of ancient Greece and Rome and at the same time has features
which belong to other styles you may safely say that the building
belongs to the renaissance style. (Fig. 14.) The most noble and
beautiful examples of renaissance architecture are the church of St.
Peter's at Rome and the church of St. Paul at London.

[Illustration: FIG. 14.--A RENAISSANCE DWELLING.]

We now pass over to America. About the time the old world was born anew
the new world was found. The houses of the first settlers in America
were of course rude and ugly but as the colonies grew in population and
wealth more expensive and beautiful houses were built. As we should
expect, the colonists built their best houses in the style that was then
in fashion in the old world and that was the renaissance style. They did
not, however, copy the old world architecture outright. They had
different materials, a different climate and a different class of
workmen and they had to build according to these changed conditions. The
result was a style of building that has been called colonial (Fig. 15).
Colonial architecture was simply American renaissance. And that is what
it is to-day. To say that a house is in the colonial style is to say
that it represents a certain architect's ideas as to what is best and
most beautiful in all styles.

[Illustration: FIG. 15.--A COLONIAL MANSION.

The Cliveden Chew Mansion, where the Battle of Germantown was fought.]

The story of the house really ends with the period of the renaissance.
Since the sixteenth century nothing really new in architecture has been
discovered and men have been wedded to no particular style. When we want
to build a house we choose from all the styles and build according to
our tastes. Our story of the house, however, will not be complete
without a brief account of what has been called _elevator_ architecture.
The high price of land in large cities makes it necessary to run
buildings up to a considerable height if they are to be profitable. Now
if a building is more than five stories high it must have an elevator,
or lift, and if an elevator is to be put in, the building might as well
be run up nine or ten stories. American business men learned this
thirty or forty years ago and began to build high, and they have been
building higher and higher ever since. There are tall buildings in other
countries but the "sky-scraper" of twenty-five and thirty stories is
found only in the United States (Fig. 16).

[Illustration: (Copyright 1911 by Underwood & Underwood, N. Y.)

FIG. 16.--ELEVATOR ARCHITECTURE.

The tower-like structure in the distance is a building more than forty
stories in height.]

Thus we may see in the house of to-day a long and unbroken story. Where
the roof is flat it is Egyptian; where it slants gently in two
directions it is Greek; where it is steep or sharply pointed it is
Gothic. The columns are Greek, the rounded arches are Roman. The whole
is the result of the thousands of years of effort which man has given to
the task of providing for himself a safe, convenient and beautiful
home.



THE CARRIAGE


We are very proud in our day of our means of transportation. If one
wishes to send a present to a friend a thousand miles away a few cents
spent in postage will take the article to its destination. If for the
sake of higher prices a fruit grower wishes to sell his crops in a
distant city, the railroad people will haul it for him at a very small
cost. If you wish to visit a friend in town several blocks away, there
is the electric car ready to take you for a nickel. If your friend is
several hundred miles away, the steam car will take you in a few hours
at a cost of not more than two or three cents a mile. I am living in the
country sixteen miles from the city in which my work lies, and for nine
cents I am carried to the place of my business in less than
half-an-hour. What has been the history of the inventions which make
transportation so comfortable, rapid and cheap? Our subject divides
itself into two parts, transportation on land and transportation on
water or the story of the Carriage and the story of the Boat. We will
have the story of the carriage first.

Man's only carriage at first was of course his own feet. When he wanted
to go to any place he had to take "Walker's hack," if a playful
expression may be pardoned. As a traveler on foot, man soon surpassed
all other animals. He could walk down the deer and wear out the horse.
When it came to carrying things from place to place, in the beginning he
had to rely upon his own limbs and muscles. It was not long, however,
before he learned that there were good ways and bad ways of carrying
things, and he soon set about finding the best way. We may believe that
he began by making a snug bundle and carrying it on his shoulder. Then
he found that he could carry a heavier burden upon his back, and he
invented a pack or frame on which he could carry things on his back
(Fig. 1) after the manner of one of our modern pack peddlers.

[Illustration: FIG. 1.--A HUMAN BURDEN BEARER.

(From a Model in National Museum.)]

In the course of time man tamed one or more of the wild beasts which
roamed near him. Then the burden was shifted from the back of a man to
the back of a beast. The first beast of burden in South America was the
llama; in India it was the elephant; in Arabia it was the camel (Fig.
2). In Europe and in parts of Asia and in Egypt the horse first became
man's burden bearer and the nations which had the services of this swift
and strong animal outstripped the other nations of the world. "Which is
the most useful of animals?" asked one Egyptian god of another. "The
horse," was the reply, "because the horse enables a man to overtake and
slay his enemy."

[Illustration: FIG. 2.--A SHIP OF THE DESERT.]

[Illustration: FIG. 3.--A CART WITHOUT WHEELS.

(From a Model in the National Museum.)]

It is often easier to drag a thing along than it is to carry it. This
fact led to the invention of what we may call the first and simplest
form of carriage. This was the drag or travail (tra-vay´), a cart
without wheels (Fig. 3). Two long saplings were fastened at the large
end to the strap across the horse's breast and the small end upon which
the burden was placed dragged upon the ground. Mr. Arthur Mitchell in
his delightful book, "The Past in the Present," tells us that he saw
carts of this kind in actual use in the highlands of Scotland as late as
1864! An improvement upon the travail was the sledge made of the forked
limb of a tree (Fig. 4). This primitive sledge was really a travail
consisting of one piece.

[Illustration: FIG. 4.--A PRIMITIVE SLEDGE.

(From a Model in National Museum.)]

In many cases it is easier to roll a thing than it is to drag it. This
fact led to another step in the development of the carriage; it led from
the cart without wheels to a cart with a wheel--a most important step in
the history of inventions. The first wheeled cart was simply a log from
each end of which projected an axle (Fig. 5). The axle fitted in the
holes of a frame upon which the body of the cart was placed and to which
the horse or the ox was attached. As the cart moved along, wheel (log
and axle) turned together. The very ancient method of moving a load by
rolling it along was in use in the United States not so very long ago.
As late as 1860 in some of the southern States hogsheads of tobacco
(Fig. 6) were rolled over country roads in the manner just described and
as late as 1880 the fishermen of Nantucket used as a fish cart a vehicle
that had only a barrel for its wheel. (Fig. 7.) The common wheel-barrow
and the one-wheeled carts which are still used in China and Japan had
their origin in the rolling log.

[Illustration: FIG. 5.--THE FIRST CART.

FIG. 6.--HAULING TOBACCO.

(From a Model in National Museum.)]

[Illustration: FIG. 7.--A NANTUCKET FISH CART.

(From a Model in the National Museum.)]

We are told by some writers that the rolling log (the one-wheeled cart)
was followed by the two-wheeled cart, on which the wheels were the ends
of a log and the axle was the middle portion of the log hewn down to a
proper size (Fig. 8). Here wheels and axle turned together precisely
like a modern car wheel. This makes a very pretty story but I am afraid
the solid two-wheeled affair represented in Figure 8 is only imaginary,
and that in a true account of the development of the cart it has no
place. The true beginning of the two-wheeled cart may be learned from
Figure 9. Here the wheels are two _very short_ logs through the center
of which are holes in which the round ends (axles) of a piece of timber
(the axle-tree) fit. When the cart moves, the wheels turn upon the axle.
The one-wheeled cart had at first _one log_ turning _with_ the axle;
the two-wheeled cart at first had as its wheels two very short logs
turning _on_ the axles.

[Illustration: FIG. 8.--A CART WITH WHEELS AND AXLE IN ONE PIECE.]

[Illustration: FIG. 9.--CART WITH A SOLID WHEEL.]

[Illustration: FIG. 10.--CART WITH WHEEL PARTLY SOLID.

(From a Model in the National Museum.)]

The first two-wheeled carts were a great improvement upon the single
rolling log, yet they were exceedingly heavy and clumsy. The trouble was
with the wheel. This was very thick and with the exception of the hole
in which the axle went it was entirely solid. Wheelwrights at a very
early date saw that the problem was to make the wheel light and at the
same time to keep it strong. Little by little this problem was solved.
At first crescent-shaped holes were made in the wheel (Fig. 10). This
made the wheel lighter, but did not weaken it. In its next form the
wheel was even less solid than before. It now consisted of four curved
pieces of wood (Fig. 11) held together by four spokes. In this wheel
there was a hub, but the spokes were not inserted in it; they were
fastened about it. In the Egyptian chariot (Fig. 12) we find the wheel
in the last stage of its interesting and remarkable development. Here
the spokes, six in number, are inserted in the hub from which they
radiate to the six pieces of the felly or inner rim. Around the felly
is the outer rim or tire made of wood and fastened to the felly with
thongs. The wheel of to-day has more iron in it, and has more spokes and
is lighter and stronger than the old Egyptian wheel, yet in its main
features it is made like it.

[Illustration: FIG. 11.--WHEELS WITH SPOKES.

(From National Museum.)]

[Illustration: FIG. 12.--AN ANCIENT EGYPTIAN CHARIOT SHOWING HUB,
SPOKES, FELLY AND RIB.

(From National Museum.)]

[Illustration: FIG. 13.--WONDERFUL ONE HOSS SHAY.

(From National Museum.)]

A light running two-wheeled carriage was used by all the civilized
nations of the ancient world. Three thousand years ago in the great and
wicked city of Nineveh chariots raced up and down the paved streets
"jostling against one another in the broad ways, with the crack of the
whip, the rattle of the wheel and the prancing of horses." The chariot
played an important part in the life of the Greeks and Romans, in their
racing contests and in their wars, and throughout the Middle Ages it
was the only vehicle in general use in Europe. As time passed it was of
course made lighter and stronger and better. The doctor's gig so
charmingly described by Holmes in his "Wonderful One Hoss Shay" may be
taken as an illustration of the full development of the two-wheeled
carriage (Fig. 13).

[Illustration: FIG. 14.--AN ANCIENT ROMAN CHARIOT.]

Bring the hind part of one Egyptian chariot opposite to the hind part of
another, lash the two chariots together, remove the tongue of one of the
chariots and you have made a chariot of four wheels or a _coach_. The
form of the most ancient of four-wheeled carriages leads to the belief
that the coach was first made by joining together two two-wheeled
chariots in the way just described. The ancient Egyptians had their
four-wheeled chariots but only their gods and their kings had the
privilege of riding in them. For centuries none but the great and the
powerful rode in coaches. The Roman chariot (Fig. 14), bad imitations of
which we see nowadays in circus processions, was used only in the
splendid triumphal processions which entered Rome after a great victory.
In the Middle Ages we get a glimpse of a four-wheeled carriage now and
then, but usually the king or a queen is lounging in it (Fig. 15). The
coach could not be generally used in Europe in medieval times because
the roads were so bad. The excellent roads made by the Romans had not
been kept in good condition. Traveling had to be done either on
horseback or in the two-wheeled carriage. In 1550 there were but three
coaches in Paris and in London there was but one. In 1564, however, we
find Queen Elizabeth riding in a coach (Fig. 16) on her way to see her
lover, Lord Leicester. Insert more spokes and lighter ones in the
wheels of this coach of the queen's, put on rubber tires and mount the
body on elliptical springs[17] and we will have the coach of to-day.

[Illustration: FIG. 15.--A COACH OF THE MIDDLE AGES.]

[Illustration: FIG. 16.--QUEEN ELIZABETH'S COACH.]


FOOTNOTE:

[17] About the year 1700 elliptical springs were invented, but they did
not find their way into general use until more than a hundred years
later.



THE CARRIAGE

_Continued_


[Illustration: FIG. 1.--NEWTON'S STEAM CARRIAGE, 1680.]

In the last chapter the story of the Carriage was brought up to the
reign of Queen Elizabeth of England. In the century following
Elizabeth's reign a new and most remarkable step in the development of
the carriage was taken. You remember that in the seventeenth century
there was a great deal of experimenting with steam (p. 58). Among other
experiments was one made by Sir Isaac Newton. This great philosopher
tried in 1680 to make a steam-carriage, or _locomotive_, as we call it.
Figure 1 shows the principle upon which he tried to make his carriage
work. The steam was to react against the air, as in the case of Hero's
engine (p. 56) and thus push the carriage along. Newton's experiment was
not satisfactory but the idea of a steam-carriage was now in men's heads
and the hope of making one continued to be cherished. In 1769 Cugnot, a
French army officer, invented a steam-carriage of three wheels (Fig. 2)
but it was a very poor one. It traveled only three or four miles an
hour, it could carry but three persons, and it had to stop every ten
minutes to get up steam. Cugnot, however, deserves to be ranked among
the great inventors for he showed that a steam-engine could be attached
to a carriage and could push it along. In other words he showed that
steam could be used for transportation as well as for working pumps and
turning the wheels of factories. And that was just what was needed most
in the latter part of the eighteenth century. Man needed assistance in
traveling; he especially needed help in carrying things from place to
place. The steam-engine was keeping the mines dry and making it possible
to mine great quantities of coal and was turning the wheels of great
factories where the spinning-jenny and the new power loom (p. 119) were
consuming enormous quantities of cotton and wool. Now if the
steam-engine could also be made to carry the coal and cotton and wool to
the factory, and the manufactured products from the factory to the
market, the industrial revolution would be complete indeed.

[Illustration: FIG. 2.--CUGNOT'S STEAM CARRIAGE, 1769.]

Inventors everywhere put their wits together to construct an engine that
would draw a load. The great Watt tried to make one, but having failed,
he came to the conclusion that the steam-engine could do good work only
when standing still. Among those who entered the contest was Richard
Trevithick, a Cornish miner, born in 1771. Trevithick when a lad at
school was able to work six examples in arithmetic while his teacher
worked one. He proved to be as quick in mechanics as he was in
mathematics. He began his experiments with steam when a mere boy, and as
early as 1796 he had built a steam-locomotive which would run on a
table. By 1801 he had constructed a steam-carriage (Fig. 7). Three years
later (1804) Trevithick exhibited a locomotive which carried ten tons of
iron, seventy men, and five wagons a distance of nine and one-half miles
at the rate of five miles an hour. This was the first steam carriage
that actually performed useful work. The honor of inventing the first
successful locomotive, therefore, belongs to Richard Trevithick,
although he never received the honor that was due him.

The honor went to George Stephenson, of Wylam, near Newcastle, England.
Stephenson's parents were so poor that they could not afford to send him
to school long enough for him to learn to read and write. In his
eighteenth year, however, he attended a night school and learned
something of the common branches. In his childhood Stephenson lived
among steam-engines. He began as an engine boy in a colliery and was
soon promoted to the position of fireman. At an early age he was trying
to build the locomotive that the world needed so badly, one that would
do good work at a small cost. Trevithick's locomotive was too expensive.
Stephenson wanted a locomotive that would pay its owner a profit. At the
age of thirty-three he had solved his problem. In 1814 he exhibited a
locomotive that would run ten or twelve miles an hour and carry
passengers and freight cheaper than horses could carry them. Eleven
years later he was operating a railroad between Stockton and Darlington,
England. The steam carriage was now a success (Fig. 3). The iron horse
was soon transporting passengers and freight in all the civilized
countries of the world (Fig. 4). Observe that the first passenger car
was simply the old coach joined to a locomotive.

[Illustration: FIG. 3.--STEVENSON'S LOCOMOTIVE, 1828.]

[Illustration: FIG. 4.--THE "BEST FRIEND." THE FIRST LOCOMOTIVE BUILT
FOR ACTUAL SERVICE IN THE UNITED STATES.]

The locomotive worked wonders in travel and in carrying loads, yet men
were not satisfied with it. We never are satisfied with our means of
transportation. No matter how comfortably or cheaply or fast we may
travel we always want something better. In the latter part of the
nineteenth century the great cities of the world were becoming
over-crowded. The people could not be carried from one part of a city
to another without great discomfort. The street cars drawn by horses
could not carry the crowds and the elevated steam cars were not
satisfactory. Wits were set to work to relieve the situation and about
thirty years ago the _electric car_ (Fig. 5) was invented. Without horse
or locomotive this quick-moving car not only successfully handles the
crowds which move about the city but it also relieves over-crowding by
enabling thousands to reach conveniently and cheaply their suburban
homes. It also does the work of the steam car and carries passengers
long distances from city to city.

[Illustration: FIG. 5.--A TROLLEY CAR.]

[Illustration: FIG. 6.--A HORSELESS CARRIAGE OF THE SIXTEENTH CENTURY.]

A late development in carriage making is seen in the automobile. As far
back as the sixteenth century a horseless carriage was invented (Fig. 6)
and was operated on the streets of a German city. But here the power was
furnished by human muscle. The first real automobile (Fig. 7) was
invented in 1801, by the man who invented the first successful
locomotive. Trevithick's road locomotive--for that is what an automobile
really is--did not work well because the roads upon which he tried it
were in very bad condition. Inventors after Trevithick for a long time
paid but little attention to the road locomotive; they bestowed their
best thought upon the locomotive that was to be run upon rails--the
railroad locomotive. In recent years, however, they have been working on
the so-called automobile and they have already given us a horseless
carriage that can run on a railless road at a rate as great as that of
the fastest railroad locomotives. To what extent is this newest of
carriages likely to be used? It is already driving out the horse. Will
it also drive out the electric car and the railroad locomotive? Are we
coming to the time when the railroad will be no more and when all travel
and all hauling of freight will be done by carriages and wagons without
horses on roads without rails? The answers to these questions can of
course only be guessed.

[Illustration: FIG. 7.--THE FIRST AUTOMOBILE.]

[Illustration: FIG. 8.--GOOD-BY TO THE HORSE.]

The last and latest form of the carriage is seen in the
_flying-machine_, the automobile of the air. In all ages men have
watched with envy the movements of birds and have dreamed of
flying-machines, but only in modern times has man dared to take wings
and glide in bird-like fashion through the air. The first actual flying
by a human being was done by a Frenchman named Bresnier, who, in 1675,
constructed a machine similar to that shown in the right hand picture
at the top of Figure 9. Bresnier worked his wings with his feet and
hands. Once he jumped from a second story window and flew over the roof
of a cottage. From the days of Bresnier on to the present time man has
taxed his wits to the utmost to conquer the air, and in his efforts to
do this he has invented almost every conceivable kind of machine. About
the middle of the nineteenth century inventors began to apply steam to
the flying-machine, and it is said that in 1842 a man named Philips was
able, by the aid of revolving fans driven by steam, to elevate a machine
to a considerable distance and fly across two fields. In 1896 Professor
Langley, with a flying-machine driven by a small steam-engine, made
three flights of about three-fourths of a mile each over the Potomac
River, near Washington. This was the first time a flying-machine was
propelled a long distance by its own power; it was the first aerial
automobile. But the aerial steam carriage was never a success; the steam
engine was too heavy. In the early years of the twentieth century
inventors began to use the light gasoline engine to drive their
flying-machines and then real progress in the art of flying began, and
so great has been that progress that the automobiles of the air are
becoming rivals of those on the land.

[Illustration: FIG. 9.--SOME UNSUCCESSFUL FLYING MACHINES OF A HUNDRED
YEARS AGO.]

[Illustration: FIG. 10.--A SUCCESSFUL FLYING MACHINE OF TO-DAY.]



THE BOAT


[Illustration: FIG. 1.--THE FIRST BOAT.]

At first, when a man wanted to cross a deep stream, he was compelled to
swim across. But man at his best is a poor swimmer, and it was not long
before he invented a better method of traveling on water. A log drifting
in a stream furnished the hint. By resting his body upon the log and
plashing with his hands and feet he found he could move along faster and
easier. Thus the log was the first boat and the human arm was the first
oar. Experience soon taught our primitive boatman to get on top of the
log and paddle along, using the limb of a tree for an oar (Fig. 1). But
the round log would turn with the least provocation and its passenger
suffered many unceremonious duckings. So the boatman made his log flat
on top. It now floated better and did not turn over so easily. Then the
log was made hollow, either by burning (Fig. 2), or by means of a
cutting instrument. Thus the canoe was invented. Very often if the
nature of the tree permitted it, the log was stripped of its bark, and
this bark was used as a canoe.

[Illustration: FIG. 2.--THE INVENTION OF THE CANOE.]

[Illustration: FIG. 3.--THE RAFT--SHOWING ALSO EARLY USE OF THE SAIL.]

[Illustration: FIG. 4.--A PRIMITIVE OARLOCK.]

The canoe was one of the earliest of boats, but it is not in line with
the later growth. The ancestry of the modern boat begins with the log
and is traced through the raft rather than through the canoe. By lashing
together several logs it was found that larger burdens could be carried.
Therefore the boat of a single log grew into one of several logs--a raft
(Fig. 3). By the time man had learned to make a raft he had learned
something else: he had learned to row his boat along by pulling at an
oar instead of pushing it along with a paddle. But in order to row there
must be something against which the oar may rest; so the oarlock (Fig.
4) was invented. Rafts were used by nearly all the nations of antiquity.
Herodotus, the father of history, tells us that they were in use in
ancient Chaldea. In Figure 3 we have a kind of raft that may still be
seen on some of the rivers of South America. Here a most important step
in boat-building has been taken. A _sail_ has been hoisted and one of
the forces of nature has been bidden to assist man in moving his boat
along.

The raft was bound to develop into the large boat. The central log was
used as a keel and about this was built a boat of the desired shape and
size. Stout timbers, called ribs, slanted from the keel, and on the ribs
were fastened planks running lengthwise with the vessel. To keep out the
water the seams between the planks were filled with pitch or wax. Thus
the raft grew into a large spoon-shaped vessel (Fig. 5). The early boat
was usually propelled by oars, although a single sail sometimes invoked
the assistance of the wind. It had no rudder and no deck, and if there
was an anchor it was only a heavy stone.

[Illustration: FIG. 5.--"THUS THE RAFT GREW INTO A LARGE, SPOON-SHAPED
VESSEL."]

In the early history of the boat there was no such thing as a rudder.
The oarsman had to steer his craft as best he could. With the
appearance of larger boats, however, a steersman comes into view. He
steers by means of a paddle held over the stern of the boat. Within
historic times, probably about the time of Homer (1100 B. C.), the
rudder appears as an oar with a broad blade protruding through a hole in
the side of the boat well to the stern (Fig. 6). Throughout the whole
period of ancient history boats were steered by rudders of this kind.

[Illustration: FIG. 6.--THE POSITION OF THE RUDDER IN ANCIENT TIMES.]

[Illustration: FIG. 7.--ANCIENT ANCHORS.]

The anchor came later than the rudder. Of course even in primitive times
there were methods of securing the vessel to the ground under water but
they were very crude. Sometimes a sack of sand was used as an anchor,
sometimes a log of wood covered with lead was thrown overboard to hold
the boat in its place. In Homer's time the anchor was a bent rod with a
single fluke. About 600 B. C. Anacharsis, one of the seven wise men of
Greece, gave a practical turn to his wisdom and invented an anchor with
two flukes (Fig. 7). The invention received the name of "anchor" from
the name of the inventor.

[Illustration: FIG. 8.--A ROMAN GALLEY OF ONE TIER OF OARS, INTRODUCING
THE RUDDER.]

It was in the Mediterranean Sea that the boat had its most rapid
development. As early as we can get a glimpse of that wonderful body of
water it was alive with boats (called galleys) that had well-laid keels
and lofty sides, and rudders, and sails. The greatest of the earlier
navigators were the Phoenicians whose boats had traversed 5,000 years
ago the whole course of the Mediterranean and had even ventured beyond
the Straits of Gibraltar. The ancient Greeks also were a great sea-going
people, and their merchantmen or trading boats visited every part of the
known world. But it was the Romans who at last became masters of the
ancient seas. The Roman galley, therefore, may be taken as the
representative boat of ancient times. What kind of a boat was the Roman
galley? It was propelled chiefly by oars, just as nearly all the boats
of antiquity were. Occasionally a sail was hoisted when the wind was
favorable but the main reliance was the rower's arm. Men had not yet
learned to use the sail to the best advantage. The older galleys had one
row of oarsmen (Fig. 8), but as the struggle for the mastery of the sea
became keener the boats were made larger and more rowers were necessary.
Galleys with two and three, and even four rows of oarsmen were built by
the Roman navy. When there was more than one row of oars the rowers sat
on benches one above another. The oarsmen were slaves or prisoners
captured in war, and their life was most wretched.[18] They were chained
to the benches on which they sat, and were compelled to row as long as a
spark of life was left. Sometimes they dipped their oars to the music of
the flute, but more often it was to the crack of the lash. Figure 9
shows us how the Roman galley looked when Rome was at the height of her
power (100 A. D.). Here is a vessel about 400 feet long and about 50
feet across its _deck_, a part of the boat, by the by, which was not to
be seen in the earlier galleys. The boat is a trireme, that is, it has
openings for three tiers of oars, and it is propelled by several hundred
oarsmen. For steering purposes it has four stout paddles, two on each
side near the stern. Two masts instead of one carry the sail which,
considering the size of the boat, would seem to be insufficient. This
galley of the first century of our era represents the full development
of the boat in ancient times.

[Illustration: FIG. 9.--A ROMAN GALLEY WITH THREE BANKS OF OARS.]

After the downfall of Rome (476 A. D.) it was a long time before there
was any real progress in boat-making. The glimpses we get now and then
of vessels in the Middle Ages almost make us feel that boat-building was
going backward rather than forward. But such was not the case. The ship
in which William of Normandy sailed (Fig. 10) when he crossed over the
Channel to give battle to Harold (1066 A. D.) was not so impressive as a
Roman galley, yet it was, nevertheless, a better boat. In the first
place William's boat was a better sailer; it relied more upon the force
of the wind and less upon the oar. In the second place, it could be
steered better, for the rudder had found its way to its proper place and
was worked by a tiller. Finally, the shape of the Norman boat fitted it
for fiercer battles with the waves.

[Illustration: FIG. 10.--THE SHIP IN WHICH WILLIAM THE CONQUEROR CROSSED
THE CHANNEL IN 1066.]

[Illustration: FIG. 11.--A MEDITERRANEAN GALLEY OF THE 14TH CENTURY.]

If we should pass from the English Channel to the Adriatic we should
find that boat-making had undergone the same changes. A Mediterranean
galley of the fourteenth century (Fig. 11) shows fewer oars and more
sails. Instead of three rows of oars and two sails as on the Roman
galley, there are three sails and one row of oars. This was the tendency
of the boat-builder in the Middle Ages; he crowded on the sail and took
off the rowers. A war-boat of the sixteenth century (Fig. 12) shows that
the last row of oarsmen has disappeared.

[Illustration: FIG. 12.--A WAR-BOAT OF THE 16TH CENTURY, SHOWING THAT
THE LAST ROW OF OARS HAD DISAPPEARED.]

[Illustration: FIG. 13.--A CHINESE COMPASS. AS THE CART MOVED THE HUMAN
FIGURE IN FRONT ALWAYS POINTED NORTH.]

About the middle of the thirteenth century there began to appear on the
decks of vessels almost everywhere in Europe, a little instrument that
is of the greatest importance in the history of the boat. This was the
_mariner's compass_. The use of the magnetic needle was known in China
(Fig. 13) a thousand years before it was known to the Europeans, but in
this, as in many other instances, the Chinese did not profit by their
knowledge. Sailors have always sailed at night by the North star; but
before the use of the compass was understood they could little more than
guess their way when the night was dark and the stars could not be seen.
With a mariner's needle on board they can tell the direction they are
going no matter how dark the night. We can easily understand that
sailors prized very highly the discovery of the compass. With the
appearance of this faithful guide they became bolder and bolder and were
soon venturing out upon the trackless expanse of the ocean. It was the
compass that led to the discovery of the new world, for without it no
sailor could have held his course due west long enough to reach the
American coast.

After men had learned to carry their burdens on the broad back of the
ocean, boat-building took on new life. All the great nations of Europe
wanted a share in the new world that had just been found; but no nation
could hope to profit greatly by the discovery of Columbus if its vessels
were not swift and strong. So there arose a grim contest for the mastery
of the Atlantic, just as in ancient times there had been a struggle for
the mastery of the Mediterranean. Spain, France, Portugal, Holland and
England all joined in the battle. When we see the kind of boats she sent
out upon the oceans we are not surprised that England won. Compare the
heavy, angular galley of the first century with the graceful ship of the
sixteenth century and we see at once the progress the boat made in the
Middle Ages (Fig. 14).

[Illustration: FIG. 14.--THE GREAT HARRY.]

The log, the raft, the galley, the sailing-ship, these were the steps in
the development of the boat up to the end of the seventeenth century. In
the eighteenth century another step was taken. You remember that in that
century inventors were everywhere trying to make a steam carriage. They
were at the same time trying to make a steam boat. Their efforts to use
steam to drive boats were rewarded with success earlier than were their
efforts to use it to draw carriages. This was to be expected.
Boat-building has always moved along faster than carriage-building. Men
were gliding about in well-built canoes before they had even the
clumsiest of carts. The Londoners who gazed with admiration upon the
_Great Harry_ as it sailed on the Thames, had never seen as much as a
lumbering coach. And so with the steamboat; it had crossed the Atlantic
before the locomotive could carry passengers from one town to the next.

France, England, Germany and America were all eager to have the first
steamboat. In this race America won, although France and England came
out with their colors flying. As far back as 1663 the Marquis of
Worcester, of whom we have heard before (p. 59), described a vessel that
could be moved by steam: "It roweth," he said, "it draweth, it driveth
(if needs be) to pass London bridge against the stream at low water." It
was one thing, however, to describe a steamboat, and quite another thing
to make one. Worcester's steam-vessel existed only in the imagination of
the inventor. Denys Papin, who did so much for the steam-engine, fitted
out a boat with revolving paddles which were turned by horses. This was
nothing new. The ancient Roman galley was sometimes propelled by
paddle-wheels turned by horses or oxen. It is sometimes claimed that
Papin turned the paddle-wheels of his boat by means of steam, but there
are no grounds for the claim. If France wants the honor of having made
the first steamboat she would do better to turn from Papin and look to
Marquis of Jouffroy of Lyons, This nobleman, it is claimed, built a
steamboat (Fig. 15) which made a successful trip on the river Soane, in
the year 1783, before a multitude of witnesses. This claim may or may
not be just. It may be as the French say: the boat after the trial trip
may have been taken to pieces, the model may have been lost and the
French Revolution may have swallowed up those who witnessed the trip.

[Illustration: FIG. 15.--THE MARQUIS OF JOUFFROY'S STEAMBOAT, 1783.]

About the time the Frenchman is said to have been experimenting with his
steamboat on the Soane similar experiments were being tried in many
other places. In the latter part of the eighteenth century the idea of a
steam-propelled boat seemed to be in the air. An English poet of the
time was bold enough to prophesy:

        Soon shall thy arm, Unconquered Steam, afar
        Drag the slow barge and draw the rapid car,
        Or on wide, waving wings, expanded bear
        The flying chariot through the fields of air.

For the most part the prophesy has been fulfilled, although the steam
flying-machine is not yet an accomplished fact. Among those who helped
to make good the words of the poet was James Rumsey, of Sheppardtown,
Virginia. Rumsey in 1786 propelled, by means of steam, a boat on the
Potomac River moving at the rate of five miles an hour. It is almost
certain that this was the first boat ever drawn by steam. How did Rumsey
drive his boat? A piston in a cylinder was worked by a steam-engine.
When the piston was raised it brought water in and when it was pushed
down it forced the water out behind and the reaction of the jet pushed
the boat along. A remarkable revival of a very ancient idea! Just as
Hero turned his globe by reaction, just as Newton pushed the first steam
carriage along by reaction, so Rumsey pushed the first steamboat along
by reaction.

If you will look on a map of the United States and observe the vast
network of waterways which come to the different parts of the country
you will understand how important a subject steam navigation must have
been to the people of America in the latter part of the eighteenth
century. Here was a tract of land containing millions upon millions of
fertile acres, but it lacked good roads, and without roads it could not
be developed. It was, however, traversed by thousands of miles of
excellent water-roads and it was plain that if steamboats could be put
upon these rivers the gain would be incalculable. The most pressing need
of the time, therefore, was a steamboat. No one saw this more clearly
than John Fitch. This talented but eccentric man served his country in
the Revolution, and after the war was over roamed hither and thither for
several years as a soldier of fortune. About 1785 he went to
Philadelphia with a plan for a steamboat. He organized a company, and
secured enough money to enable him to carry out his plans. His boat was
ready by August, 1787, and he made his trial trip in Philadelphia when
the Constitutional Convention was in session. Many of the members of
that distinguished body went down to the river to see how the new
invention worked. It worked fairly well, but did not arouse much
enthusiasm. Its speed was only three or four miles an hour and its
movement was exceedingly awkward. It was pushed along by two sets of
oars, one set entering into the water as the other came out. The steam
rowboat of 1787 proved at least to be a failure, and was abandoned as
worthless. Fitch afterward built another steamboat, but it also met with
accident and came to naught. Heartbroken by his many failures the poor
fellow at last ended his life with his own hand. He deserved a better
fate, for his experiments taught the world a great deal about the
steamboat.

[Illustration: FIG. 16.--THE CHARLOTTE DUNDAS, 1802.]

While Rumsey and Fitch were making their boats in America, European
inventors were not idle. On the contrary they were so very active that
they almost won the honor of making the first successful boat. One of
these, William Symington, an Englishman, built a boat that may, with
much justice, be called the first practical steamboat that was ever
launched. This was the _Charlotte Dundas_ (Fig. 16) which made its trial
trip on the Clyde and Firth Canal in 1802. On the _Charlotte_ was a
_paddle-wheel_ instead of Fitch's two sets of paddles. The wheel was
placed at the rear of the boat and was drawn by means of a crank which
was turned by a rod attached to the piston-rod. Watt and his co-workers,
a few years before, had shown how the steam-engine could be made to turn
a wheel and Symington in the construction of his boat put this principle
to good use. The _Charlotte_ did so well that the Duke of Bridgewater
ordered eight more boats like her to be built for use on the canal.
Symington was elated for he thought he had at last made a successful
steamboat, that is, a steamboat that would give to its owner a profit;
but he was doomed to disappointment for the owners of the canal refused
to allow steamboats to be employed upon it, and worse than this the
duke soon died and the inventor's financial support was gone. The
_Charlotte_ was taken off the canal and laid in a creek where she fell
to pieces. The really successful steamboat had not yet been built.

It was to be built first where it was needed most, and that was in
America. It was built by a man who kept his eyes on Rumsey and Fitch and
Symington, and made the best of what he saw. As all the world knows,
this was Robert Fulton. In August of 1807 Fulton's steamboat the
_Clermont_ (Fig. 17) made a trip on the Hudson River from New York to
Albany, a distance of 150 miles, in thirty-two hours, and returned in
thirty hours. Fulton advertised for passengers, and his boat was soon
crowded. "The _Clermont_," says an English writer, "was the steamboat
that commenced and continued to run for practical purposes, and for the
remuneration of her owners." Here was the boat that was wanted--one that
was financially profitable.

[Illustration: FIG. 17.--FULTON'S STEAMBOAT, CLERMONT.]

[Illustration: FIG. 18.--THE BOAT OF STEVENS.]

The paddle-wheels of the _Clermont_ were on the sides of the boat about
midship. As the wheel turned, about half of it was in the water and
about half was out. There were engineers, even in Fulton's day who did
not believe the wheels ought to be on the sides of the boat. Look at
waterfowl, they said, look at the graceful swan; its feet do not work at
its sides, half under the water and half out. Every animal that swims
propels itself from behind, and its propellers are entirely under the
water. So, thought these engineers, the paddle-wheel of a boat should be
placed behind, and should be entirely covered by the water. John
Stevens, an engineer of Hoboken, New Jersey, in 1805 built a steamboat
according to this notion (Fig. 18). A close inspection of the wheel of
the boat would show that it is spiral- or screw-like in shape. Stevens'
boat made a trial trip on the Hudson and worked well; but after Fulton's
great success the little steamer with its spiral-shaped wheel in the
rear was soon forgotten. The idea of a screw-propeller, however, was not
lost. It was taken up by John Ericsson, a Swedish engineer, who, in
1839, built, in an English shipyard for an American captain, the first
screw-propeller that crossed the Atlantic--the _Robert F. Stockton_.
This was the last step in the development of the boat. Since 1839 there
has been marvelous progress in ship-building, but the progress has
consisted in improving upon the invention of Ericsson rather than in
making new discoveries. With the screw-propeller in its present form we
may close our story of the boat. The homely log propelled by rude
paddles has become the magnificent floating palace.


FOOTNOTE:

[18] A spirited account of life on a Roman galley is found in Wallace's
"Ben Hur."

[Illustration: THE ADRIATIC AT SEA.]



THE CLOCK


"Tic-tac! tic-tac! go the wheels of time. We cannot stop them; they will
not stop themselves." Time passing is life passing and the measurement
of time is the measurement of life itself. How important then that our
chronometers, or time measures, be accurate and faithful! It is said
that a slight error in a general's watch caused the overthrow of
Napoleon at Waterloo and thus changed the history of the world. Because
of its great importance the measurement of time has always been a
subject of deep human interest and the story of the clock begins with
the history of primeval man.

The larger periods of time are measured by the motion of the heavenly
bodies. The year and the four seasons are marked off by the motion of
the earth in its long journey around the sun; the months and the weeks
are told by the changing moon; sunrise and sunset announce the coming
and the going of day. The year and the seasons and the day were measured
for primeval man by the great clock in the heavens, but how were smaller
periods of time to be measured? How was the passing of fractional parts
of a day, an hour or a minute or a second to be noted? An egg was to be
boiled; how could the cook tell when it had been in the water long
enough? A man out hunting wished to get back to his family before dark:
how was he to tell when it was time to start homeward?

[Illustration: FIG. 1.--A PRIMITIVE SUN-DIAL.]

Plainly, the measurement of small portions of time was a very practical
problem from the beginning. The first attempt to solve the problem
consisted in observing shadows cast by the sun. The changing shadow of
the human form was doubtless the first clock. As the shadow grew shorter
the observer knew that noon was approaching; when he could reach out one
foot and step on the shadow of his head he knew it was time for dinner;
when his shadow began to lengthen he knew that evening was coming on.
Observations of this kind led to the _shadow clock_ or _sun-dial_ (Fig.
1). You can make one for yourself. On a perfectly level surface exposed
all day to the sun, place in an upright position (Fig. 1) a stick about
three feet long, and trace on the surface the shadows as they appear at
different times of the day. A little study will enable you to use the
shadows for telling the time. Sun-dials have been used from the
beginning of time and they have not yet passed out of use. They may
still be seen in a few public places (Fig. 2), but they are retained
rather as curiosities than as real timekeepers. For the sun-dial is not
a good timekeeper for three reasons: (1) it will not tell the time at
night; (2) it fails in the daytime when the sun is not shining; (3) it
can never be used inside of a house.

[Illustration: FIG. 2.--A MODERN SUN-DIAL.]

The sun-dial can hardly be called an invention; it is rather an
observation. There were, however, inventions for measuring time in the
earliest period of man's history. Among the oldest of these was the
fire-clock, which measured time by the burning away of a stick or a
candle. The Pacific islanders still use a clock of this kind. "On the
midrib of the long palm-leaf they skewer a number of the oily nuts of
the candle-nut-tree and light the upper one." As the nuts burn off, one
after another, they mark the passage of equal portions of time. Here is
a clock that can be used at night as well as in the daytime, in the
house as well as out of doors. Mr. Walter Hough tells us that Chinese
messengers who have but a short period to sleep place a lighted piece of
joss-stick between their toes when they go to bed. The burning stick
serves both as a timepiece and as an alarm-clock.

Fire-clocks of one kind or another have been used among primitive people
in nearly all parts of the globe, and their use has continued far into
civilized times. Alfred the Great (900 A. D.) is said to have measured
time in the following way: "He procured as much wax as weighed
seventy-two pennyweights, which he commanded to be made into six
candles, each twelve inches in length with the divisions of inches
distinctly marked upon it. These being lighted one after another,
regularly burnt four hours each, at the rate of an inch for every twenty
minutes. Thus the six candles lasted twenty-four hours."[19]

We all remember Irving's account of time-measurement in early New York:
"The first settlers did not regulate their time by hours, but pipes, in
the same manner as they measure distance in Holland at this very time;
an admirably exact measurement, as the pipe in the mouth of a true-born
Dutchman is never liable to those accidents and irregularities that are
continually putting our clocks out of order." This, of course, is not
serious, yet it is an account of a kind of fire-clock that has been
widely used. Even to-day the Koreans reckon time by the number of pipes
smoked.

If we could step on board a Malay proa we should see floating in a
bucket of water a cocoanut shell having a small perforation through
which the water by slow degrees finds its way into the interior. This
orifice is so perforated that the shell will fill and sink in an hour,
when the man on watch calls the time and sets it to float again. This
sinking cocoanut shell, the first form of the water-clock, is the clock
from which has been developed the timepiece of to-day. With it,
therefore, the story of the clock really begins. In Northern India the
cocoanut shell is replaced by a copper bowl (Fig. 3). At the moment the
sinking occurs the attendant announces the hour by striking upon the
bowl.

[Illustration: FIG. 3.--AN EARLY FORM OF THE WATER-CLOCK.]

The second step in the development of the water-clock was made in China
several thousand years ago. In the earlier Chinese clock the water,
instead of finding its way into the vessel from the outside, was placed
inside and allowed to trickle out through a hole in the bottom and fall
into a vessel below. In the lower vessel was a float which rose with the
water. To the float was attached an indicator which pointed out the
hours as the water rose. By this arrangement, when the upper vessel was
full, the water, by reason of greater pressure, ran out faster at first
than at any other time. The indicator, therefore, at first rose faster
than it ought, and after a while did not rise as fast as it ought to.
After centuries of experience with the two-vessel arrangement, a third
vessel was brought upon the scene. This was placed above the upper
vessel, which now became the middle vessel. As fast as water flowed from
the middle vessel it was replaced by a stream flowing from the one above
it. The depth of the water in the middle vessel did not change, and the
water flowed into the lowest vessel at a uniform rate. Finally a fourth
vessel was brought into use. The Chinese water-clock shown in (Fig. 4)
has been running in the city of Canton for nearly six hundred years.
Every afternoon at five, since 1321, the lowest jar has been emptied
into the uppermost one and the clock thus wound up for another day.

[Illustration: FIG. 4.--CHINESE WATER-CLOCK AT CANTON.]

[Illustration: FIG. 5.--AN EARLY GREEK CLEPSYDRA.]

To follow the further development of the water-clock we must pass from
China to Greece. In their early history the Greeks had nothing better
than the sun-dial with which to measure time. About the middle of the
fifth century B. C. there arose at Athens a need for a better timepiece.
In the public assembly the orators were consuming too much time, and in
the courts of law the speeches of the lawyers were too long. It was a
common thing for a lawyer to harangue his audience for seven or eight
hours. To save the city from being talked to death a time-check of some
kind became necessary. The sun-dial would not answer, for the sun did
not always shine, even in sunny Greece; so the idea of the water-clock
was borrowed. A certain amount of water was placed in an amphora (urn),
in the bottom of which was a small hole through which the water might
slowly flow (Fig. 5). When the amphora was empty the speaker had to stop
talking. The Greeks called the water-clock a _clepsydra_, which means
"the water steals away." The orator whose time was limited by a certain
amount of water would keep his eye on the clepsydra, just as a speaker
in our time keeps his eye on the clock, and if he were interrupted he
would shout to the attendant, "You there, stop the water," or would say
to the one who interrupted him, "Remember, sir, you are in my water."
The story goes that upon one occasion the speaker stopped every now and
then to take a drink; the orator's speech, it seems, was as dry as his
throat, and a bystander cried out: "Drink out of the clepsydra, and
then you will give pleasure both to yourself and to your audience."

[Illustration: FIG. 6.--AN IMPROVED GREEK CLEPSYDRA.]

At first the Greeks used a simple form of the clepsydra, but they
gradually adopted the improvements made by the Chinese, and finally
added others. The great Plato is said to have turned his attention to
commonplace things long enough to invent a clepsydra that would announce
the hour by playing the flute. However this may have been, there was in
use in the Greek world, about 300 B. C., a clepsydra something like the
one shown in Fig. 6. This begins to look something like a clock. As the
water drops into the cylinder _E_ the float _F_ rises and turns _G_,
which carries the hour hand around. Inside of the funnel _A_ is a cone
_B_ which can be raised or lowered by the bar _D_. In this way the
dropping of the water is regulated. Water runs to the funnel through
_H_, and when the funnel is full the superfluous water runs off through
the pipe _I_, and thus the depth of the water in the funnel remains the
same and the pressure does not change. Notice that when the hand in this
old clock has indicated twelve hours it begins to count over again, just
as it does on our clocks to-day. How easily it would have been to have
continued the numbers on to twenty-four, as they do in Italy, and on
the railroads in parts of Canada, to-day.

If we pass from Greece to Rome, our usual route when we are tracing a
feature of our civilization, we find that the Romans were slow to
introduce new methods of timekeeping. The first public sun-dial in Rome
was constructed about 200 B. C., an event which the poet Plautus
bewailed:

        Confound the man who first found out
        How to distinguish hours! Confound them, too
        Who in this place set up a sun-dial
        To cut and hack my days so wretchedly
        Into small portions! When I was a boy
        My stomach was my sun-dial, one more sure,
        Truer, and more exact than any of them,
        This dial told me when 'twas the proper time
        To go to dinner.

The water-clock was brought into Rome a little later than the sun-dial,
and was used as a time-check upon speakers in the law courts, just as it
had been in Athens. When the Romans first began to use the clepsydra it
was already a very good clock. Whether it received any great
improvements at their hands is not certain. Improvements must have been
made somewhere, for early in the Middle Ages we find clepsydras in forms
more highly developed than they were in ancient times. In the ninth
century the Emperor Charlemagne received as gift from the King of Persia
a most interesting timepiece which was worked by water. "The dial was
composed of twelve small doors which represented the divisions of the
hours; each door opened at the hour it was intended to represent, and
out of it came the same number of little balls, which fell, one by one
at equal distances of time, on a brass drum. It might be told by the eye
what hour it was by the number of doors that were open; and by the ear
by the number of balls that fell. When it was twelve o'clock, twelve
horsemen in miniature issued forth at the same time, and, marching round
the dial, shut all the doors." Less wonderful than the clock of the
emperor, but more useful as an object of study, is the medieval
clepsydra shown in Figure 7. This looks more than ever like the clock we
are accustomed to see. It has weights as well as wheels. As the float
_A_ rises with the water it allows the weight _C_ to descend and turns
the spindle _B_ on the end of which is the hand which marks the hours.
Notice carefully that this is partly a water-clock and partly a
_weight_-clock. The weight in its descent turns the spindle; the water
regulates the rate at which the weight may descend.

[Illustration: FIG. 7.--A MEDIEVAL CLEPSYDRA.]

[Illustration: FIG. 8.--DE VICK'S CLOCK. THE FIRST WEIGHT CLOCK.
(1370.)]

The water-clock just described led easily and directly to the
weight-clock. Clockmakers in the Middle Ages for centuries tried with
more or less success to make clocks that would run by means of weights.
In 1370, Henry De Vick, a German, succeeded in solving the problem. De
Vick was brought to Paris to make a clock for the tower of the king's
palace, and he made one that has become famous. In a somewhat improved
form it can still be seen in Paris in the Palais de Justice. Let us
remove the face of this celebrated timepiece and take a look at its
works (Fig. 8). It had a striking part, and a timekeeping part, each
distinct from the other. The figure shows only the timekeeping part. The
weight (A), of 500 pounds, is wound up by a crank (the key) at _P_. _O_
is the hour-hand. If _A_ is allowed to descend, you can easily see how
the whole system of wheels will be moved--and that very rapidly. But if
something does not prevent, _A_ will descend faster and faster, the
hour-hand will run faster and faster and the clock will run down at
once. If the clock is to run at a uniform rate and for any length of
time, the power of the weight must escape gradually. In the clepsydra
(Fig. 1) the descent of the weight was controlled by the size of the
stream of flowing water. De Vick invented a substitute for the stream of
flowing water. Fasten your attention upon the workings of the
saw-toothed wheel _II_ and the upright post _K_, which moves on the
pivots _l_ and _k_, and you may learn what he did. Fixed to the upper
part of the post _K_ is a beam or balance _LL_, at the ends of which are
two small weights _m_ and _m_, and projecting from the post in different
directions are two pallets or lips _i_ and _h_. Now, as the top of the
wheel _II_ turns toward you, one of its teeth catches the pallet _i_ and
turns the post _K_ a part of the way round _toward_ you. Just as the
tooth _escapes_ from _i_ a tooth at the bottom of _II_ (moving from you)
catches the pallet _h_ and checks the revolving post and turns it _from_
you. Thus as _II_ turns, it gives a to-and-fro motion to the post _K_
and, consequently, a to-and-fro motion to the balance _LL_. _II_ is
called the _escapement_ because the power of the descending weight
gradually _escapes_ from its teeth. In the clepsydra the trickling of
_water_ regulated the descent of the weight; in De Vick's clock the
trickling of _power_ or _force_ from the escapement regulated the
descent of the weight. The invention of this escapement is the greatest
event in the history of the clock. The king was much pleased with De
Vick's invention. He gave the clockmaker three shillings a day, and
allowed him to sleep in the clock tower; a scanty reward indeed for one
who had done so much for the world, for De Vick's invention led rapidly
to the excellent timepieces of to-day, to both our watches and our
clocks. After the appearance of the weight-clock, the water-clock
gradually fell into disuse, and all the ingenuity of the clockmaker was
bestowed upon weights and wheels and escapements and balances. A century
of experimenting resulted in a clock without a weight (Fig. 9). In this
timekeeper you recognize the beginnings of the modern watch. The
uncoiling of a spring drove the machinery. Instead of the balancing beam
with its weights as in De Vick's clock, a _balance wheel_ is used. The
escapement is the same as in the first weight-clock. The busy and
delicately-hung little balance wheel in your watch is a growth from De
Vick's clumsy balance beam. The spring-clock would run in any position.
Because it could be carried about it led almost at once to the watch.
Many places claim the distinction of having made the first watch, but it
seems that the honor belongs to the city of Nürenburg. "Nürenburg eggs,"
as the first portable clocks were called, were made as early as 1470.
The first watches were large, uncouth affairs, resembling small table
clocks but by the end of the sixteenth century small watches with works
of brass and cases of gold or silver were manufactured (Fig. 10).

[Illustration: FIG. 9.--A CLOCK WITHOUT WEIGHTS.]

[Illustration: FIG. 10.--A WATCH OF THE 16TH CENTURY.]

[Illustration: FIG. 11.--GALILEO'S PENDULUM. (1650.)]

The last important step in the development of the clock was taken when
the _pendulum_ was brought into use. The history of the pendulum will
always include a story told by Galileo. This great astronomer, the story
runs, while worshiping in the cathedral at Pisa one day, found the
service dull, and began to observe the swinging of the lamps which were
suspended from the ceiling. Using his pulse as a timekeeper he learned
that where the chains were of the same length the lamp swayed to and fro
in equal length of time, whether they traveled through a short space or
a long space. This observation set the philosopher to experimenting with
pendulums of different lengths. Among the many things he learned one of
the most important was this: a pendulum thirty-nine inches in length
will make one vibration in just one second of time. Now, if the pendulum
could only be kept swinging and its vibrations counted it would serve
as a clock. Galileo, of course, saw this, and he caused to be made a
machine for keeping the pendulum in motion (Fig. 11), but he did not
make a clock; he did not connect his pendulum with the works of a clock.
This, however, was done about the middle of the seventeenth century,
although it is somewhat difficult to tell who was the first to do it.
The honor is claimed by an Englishman, a Frenchman, and a Dutchman. The
truth is, clockmakers throughout Europe were trying at the same time to
make the best of the discoveries of Galileo, and several of them about
the same time constructed clocks with pendulums. The one who seems to
have succeeded first was Christian Huygens, a Dutch astronomer, who, in
1656, constructed a clock, the motions of which were regulated by the
swinging of a pendulum (Fig. 12). The weight was attached to a cord
passing over a pulley and gave motion to all the wheels, as in De Vick's
clock. Like De Vick's clock also Huygens's clock had its escapement
wheel acting upon two pallets. In the Dutchman's clock, however, the
escapement, instead of turning a balance beam to and fro, acted upon the
pendulum, giving it enough motion to keep it from stopping.

[Illustration: FIG. 12.--THE FIRST PENDULUM CLOCK. (1656.)]

We need not carry our story further than the invention of Huygens.
Timepieces are cheaper and better made and more accurate than they were
two hundred years ago, but no really important discovery has been made
since the pendulum was introduced.


FOOTNOTE:

[19] Wood, "Curiosities of Clocks and Watches."



THE BOOK


What is a book? It is an invention by means of which _thought_ is
recorded, and carried about in the world, and handed down from one age
to another. Almost as soon as men began to think they began to make
books and they will probably continue to make them as long as they
continue to think. The story of the Book, therefore, takes us back to
the very beginning of human existence.

At first thought was recorded and preserved by _tradition_. An account
of a nation's deeds, its laws, the precepts of its religion were
stamped, printed, on the memory of persons specially trained to memorize
these things and hand them down by word of mouth from generation to
generation (Fig. 1). These persons were usually priests, who underwent
long years of daily and hourly training in memorizing what was to be
handed down. The Sanskrit Vedas, the sacred scripture of the Hindoos,
were for many centuries transmitted by tradition, and it is said it took
forty years to memorize them. It is a wonder it did not take longer, for
the Vedas make a volume as large as our Bible. It is believed that
primitive people everywhere first adopted the method of tradition to
record and preserve the thought which they did not wish to perish. We
may say, then, that the first book was written on the tablet of the
human memory.

[Illustration: FIG. 1.--TRADITION.

A Mural Decoration in the Library of Congress.]

The first step in the growth of the book was taken when _memory aids_
were invented. Sometimes we tie a knot in a handkerchief to help us to
remember something. Now, it was just by tying knots that primitive man
first lent assistance to the memory. The first material book was
doubtless a series of _knots_ well represented by the _quipu_ (Fig. 2)
of the ancient Peruvians. This curious-looking book was written (tied)
by one known as the officer of the knots. It contains an account of the
strength of the Peruvian army, although it is confessed that its exact
meaning cannot be made out. It was not intended to be read by any one
who was not a keeper of the knots. Books made of knots were used by
nearly all the ancient peoples of South America and by some of those of
Asia. Akin to the knotted cord is the _notched stick_, which is still
used in Australia by the savages to assist the memory of one who has a
message to carry. Figure 3 shows a variety of such message-sticks. The
lowest one--a crooked branch of a tree--contains an invitation to a
dancing party. The notches are read by the messenger. The notched stick
as an aid to memory is not confined to savage races. Many a highly
civilized baker has kept his accounts by making notches in sticks and so
has many a modern dairyman, as he has delivered milk from door to door.

[Illustration: FIG. 2.--THE QUIPU OF THE PERUVIANS.]

[Illustration: FIG. 3.--MESSAGE-STICKS.]

Memory aids were followed by _picture-writing_. To express thought by
means of pictures is an instinct shared alike by the lowest savage and
the most enlightened people. All over the earth we find examples of
early picture-writing. A beloved chief had died, a fierce battle had
been fought, an exciting chase had occurred: promptly the event was
pictured on a stone or on the skin of some animal. Pages might be filled
with illustrations of these primitive picture-books, but we must be
content with a single specimen (Fig. 4). This was found painted on a
rock in California: "_We selected this as a camping place, but we have
found nothing_," say the human figures _f_, _g_, _h_, _i_. The upturned
palms say plainly, "nothing, nothing." "_One of our comrades_ (_d_) _has
died of starvation_," say the three lank figures at _c_ pointing to their
own lean bodies. "_We deeply mourn his loss_," says the sorrow-stricken
_a_. "_We have gone northward_," says _j_, his distinguished arm
extended to the north.

[Illustration: FIG. 4.--PICTURE WRITING.]

Practice in picture-making was bound to lead to shorter methods of
expressing ideas. It was soon found that reduced pictures, or
_picture-signs_, would suffice to express ideas. Thus, if the idea of
sorrow was to be expressed it was not necessary to draw an elaborate
picture of a sorrowful looking man like _a_ in Figure 4; a weeping eye
would express the idea just as well. Instead of numerous figures (_e_,
_f_, _g_, _h_, _i_) weeping and saying, "nothing here," a single pair of
empty palms would say the same thing just as clearly. In this way a
pair of clasped hands came to mean "friendship"; two trees meant "a
forest"; a calf running toward water meant "thirst." These
picture-signs, of course, assumed the form in which they could be most
easily and rapidly drawn. The weeping eye became [symbol: eye]; the pair
of extended palms [symbol: palms]; the forest [symbol: trees]; thirst
[symbol: dog walking on water]. A simple picture of this kind became a
fixed conventional sign for certain ideas; it was always drawn in the
same way and it always stood for the same idea.

Picture-signs (ideographs) followed picture-writing in almost every
country where the people were progressive. China was writing its books
with picture-signs many thousands of years ago, and it is writing them
in the same clumsy way still. Even in highly civilized countries
picture-signs have not been entirely abandoned. Examine the advertising
page of a newspaper or observe the business signs on the street and you
will find picture-signs--pictures that are always made in the same way
and that always stand for the same thing.

Each of the great nations of antiquity had its own peculiar system of
writing, but the system that should interest us most is that of ancient
Egypt, for it is to ancient Egypt that you must look for the origin of
the book that is in your hands. The book in Egypt passed through the
stages of tradition, memory aids, picture-writing and picture-signs
(ideographs); then it passed into the _alphabetic_ stage. Since the
alphabet is certainly the most wonderful and perhaps the most useful of
all inventions, and since it is an Egyptian invention, it is well worth
your while to learn how the Egyptian picture-signs--hieroglyphics they
are called--grew into letters, but if you wish to understand the change
you will have to give the subject very close attention.

Well, here was the Egyptian system of picture-signs consisting of
several thousand pictures of birds, beasts, reptiles, insects, trees,
flowers, and objects of almost every description. Now suppose you were
employed in writing _English_ by means of several thousand picture-signs
and in the course of an hour would have to write the words _man_age,
_man_sion, _man_tle, _man_date, might it not occur to you that it would
be a good thing if that sound _man_ could be represented by the
picture-sign for man ([symbol: man])? And if you had to write _trea_cle,
_trea_son, _trea_ty, might you not feel like beginning these words with
a tree ([symbol: tree])? At some time in the remote past Egyptian
scribes--priests they usually were--noticing that syllables identical in
sound were constantly recurring in the different words, began to
represent these _syllable-sounds_ that occurred most frequently by
_picture-signs_.[20] The picture-sign substituted for a syllable-sound
was placed in the word not because it stood for an _idea_, but because
it stood for a _sound_, just as in the case supposed above you would use
the [symbol: man] or the [symbol: tree] not because it represented a
thought, but because it had a certain sound. So certain Egyptian
picture-signs began to be used to represent the sound of certain
syllables. The picture-signs thus chosen were called _phonograms_.

The phonogram led to the alphabet. The scribes in seeking a way to
shorten their work found that the syllable itself could be broken up
into separate sounds. For example, when they came to the syllable whose
sound is spelled by our three letters _pad_, they found that it had
three distinct sounds, namely: (1) one a lip sound which could be
represented by the first sound of the picture-sign [symbol: door] (a
door); (2) one an open-throat or vowel sound which could be represented
by the first sound of the picture-sign [symbol: eagle] (an eagle); (3)
one a dental sound which could be represented by the first sound in the
picture-sign [symbol: hand] (a hand). So the scribes wrote the syllable
(p-a-d) with the three characters [symbol: door] [symbol: eagle]
[symbol: hand]. And so with all the other sounds in the Egyptian
language; each was represented by one of the picture-signs already used.
Since there were only about twenty-five distinct elementary sounds in
the Egyptian language, twenty-five picture-signs were sufficient to
represent any sound or any word in the language. These twenty-five
picture-sounds were the letters of the Egyptian alphabet. Twenty-five
characters instead of thousands! Now the Egyptian youth could learn to
read in three or four years, whereas under the old system it took
fifteen or twenty years, just as it takes fifteen or twenty years for
the Chinese youth to learn to read well.

Now that its origin has been explained, the story of the alphabet may be
rapidly told. Indeed, its whole history can be learned from Figure 5. In
column (a) are the three Egyptian picture-signs referred to above.
Column (b) shows how the rapid writing of the priests reduced the old
hieroglyphics to script; [symbol: door] became [symbol: 3 c's]; [symbol:
eagle] became [symbol: odd a] and [symbol: hand] became [symbol:
squiggle]. The Phoenicians, who were great travelers, visited Egypt at a
very early date and borrowed not only the idea of the alphabet, but also
the forms of the Egyptian letters, as column _c_ shows. Column _d_
confirms the words of Herodotus, who tells us that the Greeks borrowed
their alphabet from the Phoenicians. Column _e_ shows that the Greeks
handed the alphabet on to the Romans, who handed it on to us. Thus the
three letters p, a, d come straight from the Egyptians and were
originally a _door_, an _eagle_, and a _hand_, respectively. As it is
with these three letters, so it is with nearly all the letters of our
alphabet. If the letters on the page before you could be suddenly
changed to their original form, you would behold a motley collection of
birds, serpents, animals, tools, and articles of household use.

[Illustration: FIG. 5.--SHOWING THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE THREE LETTERS, P,
A, AND D.]

[Illustration: FIG. 6.--AN ANCIENT VOLUME.]

We must look to Egypt for the origin of the material form of our book as
well as for the origin of our alphabetical characters. Before history
had dawned the Egyptians had covered over with their writing nearly all
the available surface on their pyramids and in their temples. At a time
too far back for a date necessity seems to have compelled them to seek
a substitute for stone. This they found in the _papyrus_ plant, which
grew in great luxuriance in the valley of the Nile. They placed side by
side strips of the pith of the papyrus, and across these at right angles
they placed another layer of strips. The two layers were then glued
together and pressed until a smooth surface was formed. This made one
sheet. To make a book a number of sheets were fastened together end to
end. When in book form the papyrus was wound around a stick and kept in
the form of a roll, a _volume_ (Fig. 6). The roll was usually eight or
ten inches wide, but its length might be upward of a hundred feet. This
papyrus roll was the parent of our modern paper book, as the word
papyrus is the original of our word paper. The pen used in writing upon
papyrus was a split reed (_calamus_), and the ink a mixture of soot and
gum.

[Illustration: FIG. 7.--THE OLDEST BOOK IN THE WORLD. WRITTEN NEARLY
5,000 YEARS AGO.]

The most ancient volume in the world is an Egyptian papyrus (Fig. 7) now
in the National Library of France. It was written nearly 5,000 years ago
by an aged sage and contains precepts of right living. In this oldest of
volumes we find this priceless gem:

"If thou art become great, if after being in poverty thou hast amassed
riches and art become the first in the city, if thou art known for thy
wealth and art become a great lord, let not thy heart become proud, for
it is God who is the author of them for thee."

In Assyria and in other ancient countries of Central Asia letters were
engraved on cylinders and these were rolled upon slabs of soft clay,
making an impression of the raised letters, just as we make an
impression with the seal of a ring. In the ruins of the cities of
Assyria these old clay books may be found by the cart-load. The Assyrian
cylinder was really the first printing press. In ancient Greece and Rome
wooden tablets within which was spread a thin layer of wax were used as
a writing surface in schools and in the business world. The writing on
the wax was done with a sharp-pointed instrument of bone or iron called
the _stylus_. But next to papyrus the most important writing material of
antiquity was _parchment_, or the prepared skin of young calves and
kids. The invention of parchment is said to have been due to the
literary ambitions of two kings, the king of Persia and the king of
Egypt. The king of Pergamus (250 B.C.) wishing to have the finest and
largest library in the world was consuming enormous quantities of
papyrus. The king of Egypt, who also wished to have the finest library
in the world, in order to cripple the plans of his literary rival,
issued a command forbidding the exportation of papyrus from Egypt. The
king of Pergamus, being unable to get papyrus except from Egypt, caused
the skins of sheep to be prepared, and on these skins books for his
library continued to be written. The prepared skins received the name of
_pergamena_, because they were made in Pergamus, and from pergamena we
get the word parchment. This is the story that has come down to us to
explain the origin of parchment, but it cannot be accepted as wholly
true. We know very well that the Old Testament was written in gold on a
roll of skins long before there was a king of Pergamus. Indeed, writing
was done on skins as far back as the picture-writing period.

After the invention of the alphabet and of paper (papyrus) books
multiplied as never before. "Of making many books there is no end,"
exclaimed Solomon a thousand years before the Christian era. Greece in
her early day was slow to make books, but after she learned from the
Phoenicians (800 B.C.) how to use an alphabet she made up for lost time.
In 600 B.C. there was a public library at Athens, and 200 years later
the Greeks had written more good books than all the other countries in
the world combined.

But the most productive of ancient book-makers were the Romans. In Rome
publishing houses were flourishing in the time of Cicero (50 B.C.).
Atticus, one of Cicero's best friends, was a publisher. Let us see how a
book was made in his establishment. Of course, there were no
type-setters or printing-presses. Every book was a manuscript; every
word of every copy had to be written with a pen. The writing was
sometimes done by slaves trained to write neatly and rapidly. We may
imagine 50 or 100 slaves sitting at desks in a room writing to the
dictation of the reader. Now if Atticus had ten readers each of whom
dictated to 100 slaves it took only two or three days for the
publication of 1,000 copies of one of his friend Cicero's books. Of
course every copy would not be perfect. The slave would sometimes make
blunders and write what the reader did not dictate. But books in our own
time are not free of errors. An English poet recently wrote:

        "Like dew-drops upon fresh blown roses."

In print the first letter of the last word in the line appeared as _n_
instead of _r_. This mistake disfigured thousands of copies. In the
Roman publishing house such a blunder marred only one copy.

You can readily see that by methods just described books could be made
in great numbers. And so they were. Slaves were cheap and numerous and
the cost of publication was small. It is estimated that a good sized
volume in Nero's time (50 A.D.) would sell for a shilling. Books were
cheaper in those days than they had ever been before and almost as cheap
as they are to-day, perhaps. The Roman world became satiated with
reading matter. The poet Martial exclaimed, "Every one has me in his
pocket, every one has me in his hand." Books became a drug on the market
and could be sold only to grocers for "wrapping up pastry and spices."

[Illustration: FIG. 8.--BOOK-MAKING IN THE MIDDLE AGES.]

But a time was to come when books would not be so plentiful and cheap.
With the overthrow of Rome (476 A.D.) culture received a blow from which
it did not recover for a thousand years. The barbarian invaders of
Southern Europe destroyed all the books they could find and caused the
writers of books to flee within the walls of the churches. Throughout
the Middle Ages nearly all the writing in Europe was done in the
religious houses of monks (Fig. 8), and nearly all the books written
were of a religious nature. The monks worked with the greatest patience
and care upon their manuscripts. They often wrote on vellum (calf-skin
parchment) and illuminated the page with beautiful colors and adorned it
with artistic figures.

The manuscript volumes of the dark ages were beautiful and magnificent,
but their cost was so great that only the most wealthy could buy. A
Bible would sometimes cost thousands of dollars. Along in the 14th and
15th centuries Europe began to thirst for knowledge and there arose a
demand for cheap books. How could the demand be met? There were now no
hordes of intelligent slaves who could be put to work with their pens,
and without slave labor the cost of the written book could not be
greatly reduced. Invention, as always, came to the rescue and gave the
world what it wanted.

In the first place, writing material was made cheaper by the invention
of paper-making. The wasp in making its nest had given a hint for
paper-making, but man was extremely slow to take the hint. The Chinese
had done something in the way of making paper from the bark of trees as
early as the first century, but it was not until the middle of the 13th
century that paper began to be manufactured in Europe from hemp, rags,
linen, and cotton.

[Illustration: FIG. 9.]

In the second place, _printing_ was invented. On a strip of transparent
paper write the word _post_. Now turn the strip over from right to left
and trace the letters on the smooth surface of a block of wood. Remove
the paper and you will have the result shown in Figure 9. With a sharp
knife cut out the wood from around the letters. Ink the raised letters
and press upon them a piece of paper. You have printed the word "post"
in precisely the way the first books were printed. In the 13th century
fancy designs were engraved on wood and by the aid of ink the figures
were stamped on silk and linen. In the 14th century playing cards and
books were printed on engraved blocks in the manner the word "post" was
printed above. (Fig. 10.) The block-book was the first step in the art
of printing.

[Illustration: FIG. 10.--A BLOCK PRINT CONTAINING THE ALPHABET USED BY
CHILDREN WHEN LEARNING TO READ.]

The block-book decreased the cost of a book, for when a page was once
engraved as many impressions could be taken as were wanted, yet it did
not meet the necessities of the time. In the middle of the 15th century
the desire for reading began to resemble a frenzy and the books that
could be got hold of "were as insufficient to slake the thirsty craving
for religious and material knowledge as a few rain drops to quench the
burning thirst of the traveler in the desert who seeks for long,
deep-draughts at copious springs of living water." To meet the demand of
the time book-makers everywhere were trying to improve on the
block-making process and by the end of the century the book as we have
it to-day was being made throughout all Europe.

In what did the improvement consist? First let us call to mind what the
book-maker in the early part of the 15th century had to begin with; he
had paper, he had printing-ink, he had skill in engraving whole pages
for block-books, and he had a rude kind of printing-press. The
improvement consisted in this: Instead of engraving a whole page on a
block, single letters were engraved on little blocks called types, and
when a word or a line or a page was to be printed these types were set
in the position desired; in other words, the improvement consisted in
the invention of _moveable types_. The types were first made of wood and
afterward of metal.

[Illustration: FIG. 11.--AN EARLY PRINTING PRESS.]

The great advantage of the moveable types over the block-book is easily
seen. A block containing, say, the word "post" is useless except for
printing the word _post_; but divide it into four blocks, each
containing a letter: now you can print _post_, _spot_, _tops_, _stop_,
_top_, _sop_, _sot_, _pot_, _so_, _to_ and so forth.

The exact date of the invention of moveable types cannot be determined.
We can only say that they were first used between 1450 and 1460. Nor can
we tell who invented them. The Dutch claim that Lawrence Koster of
Harlem (Holland) made some moveable types as early as 1430, and that
John Faust, an employee, stole them and carried them to Mayence
(Germany), where John Gutenberg learned the secret of printing with
them. The Germans claim that Gutenberg was the real inventor. Much can
be said in behalf of both claims. What we really know is that the
earliest complete book printed on moveable types was a Bible which came
from the press of John Gutenberg in 1455.

Since 1450 there has been no discovery that has changed the character of
the printed volume. There have been wonderful improvements in the
processes of making and setting type, and printing-presses (Fig. 11)
have become marvels of mechanical skill, but the book of to-day is
essentially like the book of four hundred years ago. The tablet of the
memory, the knotted cord and notched stick, the uncanny picture-writing,
the clumsy picture-sign, the alphabet, the manuscript volume, the
printed block-book and the volume before you bring to an end the story
of the book.


FOOTNOTE:

[20] The illustration is taken from Keary's "Dawn of History."



THE MESSAGE


Men had not been living together long in a state of society before they
found it necessary to communicate with their fellow-men at a distance
and in order to do this the _message_ was invented. We have seen (p.
205) that among certain tribes of savages notched sticks bearing
messages were sent from one tribe to another. Among the ancient
Peruvians the message took the form of the curious looking quipu. After
the alphabet had been invented and papyrus had come into use as a
writing material, the message took the form of a written document and
resembled somewhat the modern _letter_.

[Illustration: FIG. 1.--A LETTER CARRIER OF ANCIENT EGYPT.]

The ancient Egyptians, as we would expect, were the first to make use of
the letter in the sending of messages (Fig. 1). The ancient Hebrews were
also familiar with the letter as a means of communication. We read in
the book of Chronicles how the post went with the letters of the king
and his princes throughout all Israel. The word _post_, as used here and
elsewhere in the Bible, signifies a runner, that is, one specially
trained to deliver letters or despatches speedily by running. Thus
Jeremiah predicted that after the fall of Babylon "one post shall run to
meet another and one messenger to meet another to show the King that his
city is taken." Although we frequently read of the post in Biblical
times we are nowhere told that the ordinary people enjoyed the
privileges of the post. In olden times it was only kings and princes and
persons of high degree that sent and received letters.

[Illustration: FIG. 2.--AN EGYPTIAN MAIL CART.]

In nearly all the countries of antiquity there was an organized postal
system which was under the control of the government and which carried
only government messages. In Egypt there were postal chariots (Fig. 2)
of wonderful lightness designed especially for carrying the letters of
the king at the greatest possible speed. In ancient Judea messengers
must have traveled very fast, for Job, in his old age, says: "Now my
days are swifter than the post, they flee away." In ancient Persia the
postal system awakened the admiration of Herodotus. "Nothing mortal,"
says this old Greek historian, "travels so fast as these Persian
messengers. The entire plan is a Persian invention and this is the
method of it. Along the whole line of road there are men stationed with
horses, the number of stations being equal to the number of days which
the journey takes, allowing a man and a horse to each day, and these men
will not be hindered from accomplishing at their best speed the distance
they will have to go either by snow, or rain, or heat, or by the
darkness of night. The first rider delivers the message to the second
and the second to the third, and so it is borne from hand to hand along
the whole line."

[Illustration: FIG. 3.--A LETTER CARRIER OF ANCIENT GREECE.]

The postal system which Herodotus found in Persia was better than the
system which existed in his own country for the reason that the Greeks
relied upon human messengers rather than upon horses to carry their
messages. Young Greeks were specially trained (Fig. 3) as runners for
the postal service and Greek history contains accounts of the marvelous
endurance and swiftness of those employed to carry messages. After the
defeat of the Persians by the Greeks at Marathon (490 B. C.) a runner
carried the news southward and did not pause for rest until he reached
Athens when he shouted the word "Victory!" and expired, being overcome
by fatigue. Another Greek, Phillipides by name, was despatched from
Athens to Sparta to ask the Spartans for aid in the war which the
Athenians were carrying on against Persia, and the distance between the
two cities--about 140 miles--was accomplished by the runner in less than
two days.

[Illustration: FIG. 4.--A LETTER CARRIER OF ANCIENT ROME.]

But the best postal system of ancient times was the one which was
organized by the Romans. As one country after another was brought under
the dominion of Rome it became more and more necessary for the Roman
government to keep in close touch with all the parts of the vast empire.
Accordingly, by the time of Augustus (14 A.D.), there was established
throughout the Roman world a fully organized and well-equipped system of
posts. Along the magnificent roads which led out from Rome there were
built at regular distances stations, or post-houses, where horses and
riders were stationed for the purpose of receiving the messages of the
government and hurrying them along to the place of their destination.
The stations were only five or six miles apart and each station was
provided with a large number of horses and riders. By the frequent
changes of horses a letter could be hurried along with considerable
speed (Fig. 4). "By the help of the relays," says Gibbon, "it was easy
to travel a hundred miles in a day."

When Rome fell (476 A.D.) before the attacks of barbarous tribes her
excellent postal system fell with her and many centuries passed before
messages could again be regularly and quickly despatched between widely
separated points. Charles the Great, the emperor of the Franks,
established (800 A.D.) a postal system in his empire but the service did
not long survive the great ruler. In the 13th century the merchants of
the Hanse towns of Northern Germany could communicate with each other
somewhat regularly by letter, but the ordinary people of these towns did
not enjoy the privileges of a postal service. In the Middle Ages, as in
the ancient times, the public post was established solely for the
benefit of the government. Private messages had to be sent as best they
could be by private messengers and at private expense. As late as the
reign of Henry VIII (1509-1547) the only regular post route in England
was one which was established for the exclusive use of the king.

But the time was soon to come when ordinary citizens as well as officers
of state were to share in the benefits of a postal system. In 1635
Charles I of England gave orders that a post should run night and day
between Edinburgh and London and that postmen should take with them all
such letters as might be directed to towns on or near the road which
connected the two cities. The rate of postage[21] was fixed at two
pence for a single letter when the distance was under sixty miles; four
pence when the distance was between 60 and 140 miles; six pence for any
longer distance in England; and eight pence from London to any place in
Scotland. It was ordered that only messengers of the king should be
allowed to carry letters for profit unless to places to which the king's
post did not go. Here was the beginning of the modern postal system and
the modern post-office. Henceforth the post was to carry not only the
king's messages, but the messages of all people who would pay the
required postage.

The example set by England in throwing the post open to the public was
followed by other nations, and before a hundred years had passed nearly
all the civilized countries of the world were enjoying the privilege and
blessings of a well-organized postal system. It is true that the post
for a long time moved very slowly--a hundred miles a day was regarded as
a flying rate--and postage for a long time was very high, but the
service grew constantly better and by the close of the nineteenth
century trains were dashing along with the mails at the rate of a
thousand miles a day and postage within a country had been reduced to
two cents,[22] while for a nickel a letter could be sent to the most
distant parts of the globe.

Thus far we have traced the history of only one kind of message, the
kind that has the form of a written document and that is conveyed by a
human carrier over land and water from one place to another. But there
is a kind of message which is not borne along by human hands and which
does not travel on land or water. This is the _telegraph_,[23] the
message which darts through space and is delivered at a distant point
almost at the very instant at which it is sent.

The first telegraph was an aerial message and consisted of a signal made
by a flash of light. From the earliest times men have used fire signals
as a means of sending messages to distant points. When the city of Troy
in Asia Minor was captured by the Greeks (about 1100 B.C.) torches
flashing their light from one mountain top to another quickly carried
the news to the far-off cities of Greece. The ancient Greeks gave a
great deal of attention to the art of signaling by fire and they
invented several very ingenious systems of aerial telegraphy. The most
interesting of these systems is one invented and described by the Greek
historian Polybius, who flourished about 150 B.C. When signaling with
fire Polybius arranged for using two groups of torches with five torches
in each group, and for the purpose of understanding the signals he
divided the letters of the alphabet into five groups of five letters
each.[24] The torches were raised according to a plan that made it
possible to flash a signal that would indicate any letter of the
alphabet that might be desired. Thus if the desired letter was the third
one of the first group--that is, the letter _k_--one torch would show
which group was meant and three torches would show which letter was
meant (Fig. 5). In theory this system was perfect, for it provided for
sending any kind of message whatever. But in practice it had little
value, for it required so many torches and signals that an entire night
was consumed in spelling out a few words.

[Illustration: FIG. 5.--TELEGRAPHING BY MEANS OF FIRE, 150 B. C.]

Although the elaborate system of aerial telegraph proposed by Polybius
was not generally adopted, nevertheless for centuries, both in ancient
times and during the middle ages, the fire signal was everywhere used
for the quick despatch of important news. In the seventeenth century
inventors began to devise new systems of aerial telegraphy. In 1663, the
Marquis of Worcester, who was always busy with some great invention (p.
178), announced to the world that he had discovered a plan by which one
could talk with another as far as the eye could distinguish between
black and white, and that this conversation could be carried on by night
as well as by day, even though the night were as dark and as black as
pitch. But the telegraph of the Marquis was like many of his other
inventions--it was chiefly on paper. In 1864, Dr. Robert Hooke of
England invented a method by which aerial messages could be sent a
distance of thirty or forty miles. His plan was to erect on hill tops a
series of high poles connected above by cross-pieces and by means of
pulleys suspend from the cross-pieces the letters of the alphabet which
would spell out the message (Fig. 6). In order to read the letters at
such great distances the eye was assisted by the telescope, an
instrument which had recently been invented.

[Illustration: FIG. 6.--HOOKE'S AERIAL TELEGRAPH, 1684.]

[Illustration: FIG. 7.--CHAPPE'S AERIAL TELEGRAPH, 1793.]

But the greatest improvement in aerial telegraphy was made during the
French Revolution by Claude Chappe, a Frenchman living in Paris. In
1793, Chappe erected on the roof of the palace of the Louvre a post at
the top of which was a cross-beam which moved on a pivot about the
center like a scale beam (Fig. 7). The cross-beam could be moved
horizontally, vertically or at almost any angle by means of cords.
Chappe invented a number of positions for these arms and each position
stood for a certain letter of the alphabet. Machines of this kind were
erected on towers at places from nine to twelve miles apart and soon
Chappe was sending messages from Paris to the city of Lille, 130 miles
away. The messages were sent with great rapidity, for they passed from
one tower to another with the velocity of light--about 185,000 miles a
second--and it was possible for the operator to spell out about 100
words in an hour. And Chappe's messages could be sent at any time, day
or night, for the arms of the machine were furnished with Argand lamps
for night work.

Chappe's invention was the greatest which had thus far been made in the
history of the message. The new system of telegraphy proved to be
entirely successful and practical and it was not long before machines
similar to those invented by Chappe were in use in England and other
countries. In 1828, an English writer had the following words of praise
for aerial telegraphy: "Telegraphs have now been brought to so great a
degree of perfection that they carry information so speedily and
distinctly and are so much simplified that they can be constructed and
maintained at little expense. The advantages, too, which result from
their use are almost inconceivable. Not to speak of the speed with which
information is communicated and orders given in time of war, by means of
these aerial signals the whole kingdom could be prepared in an instant
to oppose an invading enemy."

[Illustration: FIG. 8.--STURGEON ELECTRO-MAGNET, 1825.]

But the aerial telegraph was soon to have a most dangerous rival. This
rival was _the electric telegraph_. Many years before the invention of
Chappe men had been experimenting with electricity with a view of
sending messages by means of an electric current. These experiments
began in 1728 when an Englishman named Gray caused electricity to
produce motion in light bodies located at a distance of more than 600
feet. In 1748, the great Benjamin Franklin, who conducted so many
wonderful experiments in electricity, sent an electric current through a
wire which was stretched across the Schuylkill River and set fire to
some alcohol which was at the opposite end of the wire. We may regard
the flash of alcohol as a telegraph, for it could have been used as a
signal. In 1819, Professor Oersted of Copenhagen brought a magnetic
needle close to a body through which an electric current was passing and
he observed that the needle had a tendency to place itself at right
angles to the electrified body. In 1825, William Sturgeon of England
coiled a copper wire around a bar of soft iron and found that when a
current of electricity was sent through the wire the bar of iron became
a temporary magnet; that is, the bar of iron attracted a needle when the
current was passing through the wire and ceased to attract it when the
current was broken (Fig. 8). These discoveries of Oersted and Sturgeon
led to the invention known as the _electro-magnet_ and the
electro-magnet led rapidly to the invention of the electric telegraph,
for by means of the electro-magnet a signal can be sent to a distance
as far as a current of electricity can be sent along a wire. In 1831,
Professor Joseph Henry, one of America's most distinguished scientists,
discovered a method by which an electric current could be sent along a
wire for a very great distance. The next year Henry constructed and
operated an apparatus which was essentially an electric telegraph (Fig.
9). "I arranged," he said, "around one of the upper rooms of the Albany
Academy a wire of more than a mile in length through which I was enabled
to make signals by sounding a bell. The mechanical arrangement for
effecting this object was simply a steel bar permanently magnetized,
supported on a pivot and placed with its north end between the two arms
of a horse-shoe magnet. When the latter was excited by the current the
end of the bar thus placed was attracted by one arm of the horse-shoe
and repelled by the other and was thus caused to move in a horizontal
plane and its further extremity to strike a bell suitably adjusted."
Thus by 1832 the electric current had been used for sending signals at a
distance and the electric telegraph had been invented.

[Illustration: FIG. 9.--PROFESSOR HENRY'S ELECTRO-MAGNET, 1832.]

But the electric telegraph was still only a toy. How could it be made a
practical machine? How could it be used for sending messages in a
satisfactory manner? Inventors everywhere worked diligently to discover
a satisfactory method of signaling and many ingenious systems were
invented. As early as 1837 a telegraph line was established between
Paddington, England and Drayton--a distance of 13 miles--and messages
were sent over the wire. But the line failed to give satisfaction and
its use was discontinued. The honor of inventing the first really
practical and useful system of electrical telegraphy was at last won by
an American, S. F. B. Morse, a painter and professor of literature in
the University of the City of New York. In 1832 Morse began to think
about a plan for recording signals sent by electricity and by 1837 he
was about ready to take out a patent for making signals "by the
mechanical force of electro-magnetic motion." Morse was a poor man and
he lacked the means of conducting his experiments. He was fortunate,
however, in making the acquaintance and gaining the confidence of Alfred
Vail, a student of the University. Vail furnished the money for the
experiments and assisted Morse in perfecting his system. Indeed some of
the most original and valuable features of Morse's system were invented
by young Vail and not by Morse. In the face of much discouragement and
bad luck Morse and Vail worked patiently on together and by 1843 their
invention was completed.

[Illustration: FIG. 10.--THE KEY USED BY MORSE.]

The main feature of Morse's system was to use the electric current for
sending an alphabetical code consisting of certain combinations of "dots
and dashes." The "dots" were simply clicking sounds and the "dashes"
were simply intervals between the clicking sounds. The sounds were made
by closing and breaking the current by means of a key or button (Fig.
10). If the sender of the message pressed upon the key and immediately
released it he made at the other end of the line a sharp click which was
called a "dot," and a single dot according to the code was the letter E.
If the sender of the message pressed upon the key and held it down for a
moment he made what was called a "dash," and a single dash according to
the code was the letter T. Thus by means of "dots and dashes" any
letter of the alphabet could be speedily sent.

[Illustration: FIG. 11.--MORSE'S TELEGRAPHIC INSTRUMENT.]

Morse applied to Congress to aid him in his plans and in 1843 he secured
an appropriation of $30,000 for establishing a telegraph line between
Baltimore and Washington. Morse and Vail now hurried the great work on
and by May, 1844, the wires had been stretched between the two cities
and the instruments were ready for trial. And such heavy, clumsy affairs
the instruments (Fig. 11) were! "The receiving apparatus weighed 185
pounds and it required the strength of two strong men to handle it. At
the present day an equally effective magnet need not weigh more than
four ounces and might be carried in the vest pocket." But, awkward and
clumsy as it was, the new telegraph did its work well. On May 24, 1844,
Morse sent from Washington the historic message, "What hath God
wrought?" (Fig. 12) and in the twinkling of an eye it was received by
Vail at Baltimore, forty miles away.

[Illustration: FIG. 12.--THE FIRST TELEGRAPHIC MESSAGE SENT FROM
WASHINGTON TO BALTIMORE, MAY 24, 1844.]

The Morse system proved to be profitable as well as successful and after
1844 the electric telegraph was soon in general use in all parts of the
world. In the United States cities were rapidly connected by wire and by
1860 all the principal places in the country could communicate with each
other by telegraph. In 1861, a telegraph line extended across the
continent and connected New York and San Francisco. Five years later,
thanks to the perseverance and energy of Cyrus W. Field, of New York,
the Old World and the New were joined together by a telegraphic cable
passing through the waters of the Atlantic from a point on the coast of
Ireland to a point on the coast of Newfoundland. With the laying of this
cable, in 1866, all parts of the world were brought into telegraphic
communication and it seemed that the last step in the development of the
message had been taken.

But the story of the Message did not end with the invention of the
telegraph and the laying of the Atlantic cable. Almost as soon as
inventors had learned how to send a current along a wire and make
signals at a distance they began trying experiments to see if they could
not also send sounds, especially the sound of the human voice, along a
wire; as soon as they had made the _telegraph_ they began to try to make
the _telephone_.[25] In 1855 Professor Wheatstone of England invented an
instrument by means of which musical sounds made in one part of a
building were carried noiselessly along a wire through several
intervening halls and reproduced at the other end of the wire in a
distant part of the building. About the same time a Frenchman named
Bourseul produced a device by which a disk vibrating under the influence
of the human voice would, by means of an electric current, produce
similar vibrations of a disk located at a distance.

About 1874 Professor Alexander Graham Bell, of Boston, seized upon an
idea similar to that of Bourseul's. Bell saw in the vibrating disk a
resemblance to the drum of the human ear. In imagination he beheld "two
iron disks, or ear drums, far apart and connected by an electrified
wire, catching vibrations of sound at one end and reproducing them at
the other." With this conception in mind he went to work to construct an
apparatus that would actually catch the sounds of the voice and
reproduce them at a distance. Bell, like Morse, was without means to
conduct his experiments, but friends came to his aid and furnished him
with the necessary money and by 1876 his labors had resulted in making a
machine that would carry the human voice; he had invented the telephone.
At first the telephone was only a toy and would operate at only short
distances, but as improvements were made the distances grew greater and
greater until at last one could talk in Boston and be heard in Denver,
or talk in New York and be heard in London. The telephone grew rapidly
into favor as a means of communication and in a short time it was used
more than the telegraph. It is estimated that in the entire world about
ten billion conversations are held over the telephone in the course of a
single year.

[Illustration: FIG. 13.--PROFESSOR ALEXANDER GRAHAM BELL SPEAKING OVER
THE FIRST LONG DISTANCE TELEPHONE BETWEEN NEW YORK AND CHICAGO.]

As wonderful as the telephone was it was quickly followed by an
invention even more wonderful. Almost as soon as men had thoroughly
mastered the art of sending messages by the aid of wires they set about
trying to find a way by which messages could be sent long distances
without any wires at all. In 1889, Heinrich Hertz, a German scientist,
showed that electric waves could be sent out in all directions just as
light waves go out in all directions. He also showed how these waves
might be produced and how they might be detected or caught as they
passed through space. In 1896, William Marconi, an Italian electrician,
making use of the facts discovered by Hertz, sent a message a distance
of 300 feet without the use of wires. This was the first _wireless
telegraph_. Marconi continued his experiments, sending wireless messages
between places further and further apart, and by 1911 he was able to
signal without cables across the Atlantic Ocean.

[Illustration: FIG. 14.--A WIRELESS TELEGRAPH STATION.]

And now it seems that the wireless telegraph is to be followed by an
invention still more wonderful. Men are now working upon a _wireless
telephone_. Already it is possible to talk without the aid of wires
between places so far apart as Newark and Philadelphia, and many
inventors believe that it is only a matter of time when the wireless
telephone will be used side by side with the wireless telegraph.


FOOTNOTES:

[21] In the payment of the postage no stamps were as yet used. Indeed
the postage stamp is a late invention. Postage stamps were not used in
England until the year 1840, while in the United States they were not
regularly used until 1847.

[22] In 1840, the English government following the recommendations of
Sir Rowland Hill, adopted throughout the United Kingdom a uniform rate
of one penny for letters not exceeding half an ounce in weight, and
after this cheap postage became the rule in all countries.

[23] The verb telegraph means to write at a distance afar off.

[24] As there are only 24 letters in the Greek alphabet, the last group
was one letter short, but this did not interfere with the working of the
system.

[25] Just as the word telegraph means to "write afar off," so the word
telephone means to "sound afar off."



INDEX


    A

    Aerial messages, 228.

    Aerial telegraphy, 229-233.

    African loom, 115.

    Alfred the Great, 196.

    Alphabet, 208-211.

    Alphabetical Code, 229, 236.

    Amphora, 193.

    Anacharsis, 170.

    Anchor, 169, 170.

    Arch, 135, 137.

    Arc-light, 36.

    Argand, 34.

    Arkwright, 119.

    Atrium, 16.

    Automobile, 161.

    Axle, 147.


    B

    Balance-wheel (of a watch), 199.

    Bamboo dwelling, 128.

    Basket weaving, 110.

    Batten (of loom), 115.

    Beam (of plow), 75, 80.

    Bell, Alexander Graham, 239.

    Bellows, 43, 47.

    Bessemer, Sir Henry, 51.

    "Black room," 16.

    Blast-furnace, 46-52.

    Block-book, 219.

    BOAT, history of, 166-186.

    Boiling, 15.

    Bolting (flour), 107.

    BOOK, history of, 203-221.

    Bourseul's telephone, 239.

    Branca's engine, 58, 71.

    Brazier, 18.

    Bresnier, 163, 164.

    Bronze, 38-40.

    Bronze Age, 38.

    Burning glass, 9.


    C

    Cable, Atlantic, 238.

    Calamus, 213.

    Candles, 30-32, 190.

    Canoe, 168.

    Capital (of column), 133.

    Car, electric, 161.

    CARRIAGE, history of, 144-165.

    Cart, 147-151.

    Cast iron, 47.

    Cave dwellings, 125.

    Chappe, Claude, 231.

    Charcoal, 42, 48, 49.

    Charlemagne's clock, 196.

    Chariots, 151-152.

    _Charlotte Dundas_, 182.

    Chemical matches, 9.

    Chilcoot loom, 113.

    Chimneys, 21.

    China, 175, 191.

    Clepsydra, 193-195.

    _Clermont, the_, 183.

    CLOCK, history of, 187-202.

    Cliff dwellings, 125.

    Coach, 153.

    Coke, 49.

    Cologne, cathedral, 138.

    Colonial architecture, 141.

    Columns, 131, 132.

    Compass, mariner's, 175.

    Complete harvester, 95.

    Condenser, 69.

    Cooking, 15, 19.

    Corinthian column, 133.

    Cradle (for scythe), 86.

    Cradle scythe, 87.

    Cugnot's steam-engine, 156.

    Cutter (for reaper), 90, 92.


    D

    Darby, Abraham, 49.

    Deck (of a boat), 172.

    De Vick, Henry, 197.

    Digging-stick, 74.

    Doric column, 132.

    Drag, 147.

    Dudley, Dud, 49.

    Dutch plow, 79.


    E

    Edison, Thomas, 37.

    Egypt (ancient), 76, 85, 128, 151, 153, 208, 211, 222.

    Electric car, 161.

    Electric light, 36.

    Electric stove, 27.

    Electric telegraph, 232-239.

    Electro-magnet, 232.

    Elevator architecture, 142.

    England, 22, 49, 59, 89, 176, 178, 227.

    Ericsson, John, 184.

    Escapement, 198.


    F

    Faust, John, 221.

    Felly, 152.

    Field, Cyrus W., 238.

    Firebrands, 4.

    Fire-clock, 189.

    Fire drill, 6.

    Fireflies, 28.

    Fireplace, 14, 20.

    Fire signals, 228.

    Fitch, John, 181.

    Flying-machine, 163.

    Flying shuttle, 116.

    FORGE, history of, 38-53.

    France, 23, 178.

    Franklin, Benjamin, 233.

    Friction-chemical match, 10.

    Fulton, Robert, 183.

    Furnaces, 25, 46.


    G

    Gable, 131, 136.

    Galley, 171.

    Gang plow, 78, 83.

    Gas, 35.

    Germany, 46, 221.

    Gothic architecture, 137.

    Gray's electric telegraph, 233.

    Greeks (ancient), 18, 32, 57, 86, 131, 152, 171, 192, 215, 224.

    Gutenberg, John, 221.


    H

    Haimault scythe, 87.

    Hargreaves, 119.

    Harvester, complete, 95.

    Heating, 7.

    Hebrews (ancient), 86, 102, 222.

    Heddle, 112, 114.

    Henry, Joseph, 234.

    Hero's Engine, 55, 71.

    Hertz, Heinrich, 241.

    Hieroglyphics, 208.

    Hill, Sir Rowland, 227.

    Hooke, Robert, 230.

    Hopper (for mill), 100.

    Horse, 146.

    Horseless carriage, 161.

    Hot blast, 50.

    HOUSE, history of, 123-147.

    Hub, 151.

    Hussey, Obed, 91.

    Huygens, Christian, 201.

    Hypocaust, 18.


    I

    Ideographs, 207.

    Incandescent light, 37.

    Industrial revolution, 119, 158.

    Ionic column, 133.

    Iron Age, 44-52.

    IRON, history of, 41-63.

    Iron plow, 81.


    J

    Jacquard's attachment, 122.

    Jacquard, Joseph, 120.

    Jefferson, Thomas, 81.

    Job's plow, 75.

    Jouffroy, Marquis, 178.


    K

    Katta, 74.

    Kay, John, 116.

    Keel, 169.

    Knocking-stone, 97.

    Koster, Laurence, 221.

    Knots (for writing), 204.


    L

    Lake dwellings, 126.

    LAMP, history of, 28-37.

    Langley, Professor, 165.

    Lathe (of loom), 115.

    Letter, 222.

    Livingstone (quoted), 99.

    Llama, 145.

    Locomotive, 156-161.

    LOOM, history of, 109-122.


    M

    McCormick, Cyrus, 91.

    Magnetic needle, 175.

    Manuscript volumes, 217.

    Marconi, William, 240.

    Mariner's compass, 175.

    MATCH, history of, 4-12.

    Memory aids, 204.

    MESSAGE, history of the, 222-241.

    Message sticks, 205.

    Meteoric iron, 41.

    MILL, history of, 97-108.

    Millstone, 100.

    Mortar, 97.

    Moldboards, 78, 81.

    Morse, S. F. B., 235.

    Moveable types, 220.

    Murdock, William, 35.


    N

    Newbold, Charles, 82.

    Newcomen, Thomas, 62.

    Neilson, 49.

    Newton, Sir Isaac, 156.

    "Nürenburg eggs," 199.


    O

    Oarlock, 168.

    Oersted, Professor, 233.

    Ogle, Henry, 90.

    Ore (iron), 41.


    P

    Pack (for burdens), 145.

    Paddle-wheel, 183, 184.

    Paper-making, 218.

    Papin, Denis, 61, 178.

    Papyrus, 212.

    Parchment, 214.

    Parsons, C. A., 71.

    Pendulum, 200.

    Penny postage, 227.

    Percussion matches, 8.

    Pergamus, king of, 214.

    Pestle, 98.

    Phillipides, 224.

    Phoenicians, 171, 210.

    Phonograms, 209.

    Phosphorus matches, 11.

    Picture signs, 206.

    Pig iron, 47.

    Piston, 62.

    Plato, 194.

    Pliny, 76, 89.

    Pliny's plow, 77.

    Plow, history of, 73-84.

    Pointed arch, 137.

    Polybius, 228.

    Post, 222.

    Postage, 227.

    Postage stamps, 226.

    Postal systems, 223-228.

    Potter, Humphrey, 64, 69.

    Power-loom, 119.

    Printing, 218.

    Propellers, 184.

    Pueblo loom, 113.


    Q

    Quipu, 204.


    R

    Radiators, 25.

    Raft, 168.

    REAPER, history of, 85-96.

    Richaud, 22.

    Reed (of loom), 115.

    Reed (for writing), 213.

    Reel (for reaper), 90.

    Renaissance, 139.

    _Robert F. Stockton_, 186.

    Roller-mill (for flour), 107.

    Romans (ancient), 18, 57, 86, 134, 152, 171, 196, 215, 225.

    Rudder, 169, 170, 174.

    Rumsey, James, 180.


    S

    Safety match, 12.

    Safety valve, 61.

    Sail, 168.

    St. Paul's (cathedral), 139.

    St. Peter's (cathedral), 139.

    Screw-propeller, 184.

    Scythe, 86.

    Scythe cradle, 88.

    Self-raking reaper, 93.

    Self-binding reaper, 94.

    Seward, W. H. (quoted), 83.

    Share (of plow), 75.

    "Shay, wonderful one hoss," 153.

    Shed (of cloth), 113.

    Shuttle, 115, 116.

    Shuttle-race, 118.

    Sickle, 85.

    Sledge, 147.

    Smelting, 42.

    Smoke, 35.

    Somerset, Edward, 58.

    Spinning Jenny, 119.

    Spit (for cooking), 15.

    Spokes, 151.

    Spring (of clock), 199.

    Spring (of vehicle), 155.

    Stamps (postage), 226.

    Steam, 54.

    Steamboat, development, 177-186.

    Steam-carriage, 156.

    STEAM-ENGINE, history of, 54-72.

    Steam-plow, 84.

    Steam-turbine, 71.

    Steel, 51.

    Stephenson, George, 159.

    Stevens, John, 184.

    Stone Age, 38.

    Stone dwelling, 127.

    STOVE, history of, 13-27.

    Strike-a-light, 8.

    Sturgeon, William, 233.

    Sun dial, 188.

    Syllable-sounds, 208.

    Symington, William, 182.

    Syrian plow, 75.


    T

    Tapers, 33.

    Telegraph, 228-239.

    Telephone, 239-241.

    Tiller, 173.

    Tinder, 7.

    Torch, 29, 31.

    Tradition, 203.

    Travail, 147.

    Trevethick, Richard, 158, 162.

    Trireme, 172.

    Turbine (steam), 71.

    Types, moveable, 220.


    U

    United States, 80, 91, 106, 178, 180.


    V

    Vail, Alfred, 235.

    Vedas, 203.

    Vienna bread, 106.

    Volume, 213.


    W

    Walker, John, 10.

    Warming pan, 17, 22.

    Warp, 112.

    Watches, 199.

    Water-clock, 191-195.

    Water-mill, 103.

    Watt, James, 67, 70, 158.

    Weaver-bird, 110.

    Webster, Daniel, 81.

    Weft, 112.

    Weight-clock, 196-199.

    Wheatstone, Professor, 239.

    Wheel, development of, 147-151.

    Wheel-barrow, 148.

    Wicks, 30, 34.

    Wigwams, 123.

    Wireless telegraph, 241.

    Wireless telephone, 241.

    Wood, Jethro, 82.

    Worcester, Marquis of, 58, 78, 230.

    Wrought iron, 43.


    Y

    Yarn beam, 110.


    Z

    Zuni Indians, 125.


       *       *       *       *       *


Transcriber's Notes:

Illustrated symbols are denoted as: [symbol: description].

Hyphenation, punctuation, and spelling standardized when a
predominant choice was available; otherwise unchanged.

Page 81: illustration captioned "FIG. 11.--DANIEL WEBSTER'S PLOW." is
referenced in Footnote 12.

Page 147: text apparently omitted after "of one piece"

Page 198: reference to "Fig. 1" is incorrect.

Index entry for "Iron, history of, 41-63" probably should read "41-53"





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