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Title: American Inventions and Inventors
Author: Mowry, William A., Mowry, Arthur May
Language: English
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[Illustration]



  _America's Great Men and Their Deeds._

  American Inventions and Inventors

  By

  William A. Mowry, A.M., Ph.D.
  _and_ Arthur May Mowry, A.M.

  Authors of "_First Steps in the History of our Country_," and
  "_A History of the United States, for Schools_."

  [Illustration]

  Silver, Burdett and Company

  New York Boston Chicago



  FOR THE STUDY OF AMERICAN HISTORY

  _FIRST STEPS IN THE HISTORY OF OUR COUNTRY._

  By WILLIAM A. MOWRY, A.M., PH.D., and ARTHUR MAY
  MOWRY, A.M.
  Pp. 320, profusely illustrated. The narrative of our country as told
  in the stories of 39 great Americans. Introductory price, 60 cents.

  _A HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES, for Schools._

  By WILLIAM A. MOWRY, A.M., PH.D., and ARTHUR MAY
  MOWRY, A.M.
  Pp. 466, highly illustrated. Accurate in statement, clear and graphic
  in style, patriotic and unpartisan in spirit. Introductory price,
  $1.00.

  _HISTORICAL GEOGRAPHY OF THE UNITED STATES._

  By TOWNSEND MACCOUN, A.M. Pp. 48, 43 colored maps with text.
  Introductory price, 90 cents.

  _HISTORICAL CHARTS OF THE UNITED STATES._

  By TOWNSEND MACCOUN, A.M. 20 charts, 38x40 inches, containing
  26 progressive maps, in high colors, for school and lecture-room use.
  Introductory price, with supporter, $15.00.

  Both the "Historical Geography" and the "Historical Charts" portray
  the appearance of the map of our country after each of its changes
  until the present.

  _Copyright, 1900_

  BY SILVER, BURDETT AND COMPANY



PREFACE.


A school history should set forth such facts, and in such an order, as
to show the progress of civilization. The great lessons of history are
found in that line of events in the past which exhibits the progress
of mankind--the uplift of humanity. The record of no other country
can present a more startling array of forward movements and upward
tendencies than that of our own land, and in no one direction does this
upward movement appear quite so clearly as in the line of inventions.

Man's efforts are, first, to overcome nature. Food, shelter, and
clothing are his primary wants. After these are supplied, he rises to
higher realms of thought and action. Then he nourishes his intellect,
exercises his sensibilities, and provides nutriment for his soul, that
it, also, may grow. In this book the above logical order is followed.

It is painfully evident that many schoolchildren dislike the study of
history. The authors of this book believe that this need not be. It
is clear that the study should be undertaken at an earlier age than
is usually the case in our public schools. It is not necessary, and
oftentimes not desirable, that the books of history should be studied
as text-books. Frequently they should be used as reading books. Such
use is more likely to develop in the minds of the younger children a
love for history.

This book, while adapted to older persons, has been prepared with
special reference to the needs and capacities of children from ten to
twelve years of age. It is commended to teachers and parents with full
confidence that they will find it useful, and that the children will be
both interested and profited by its perusal.



CONTENTS.


  HEAT.

  CHAPTER                          PAGE

     I. FIRE,                        11

    II. INDIAN HOMES,                17

   III. COLONIAL HOMES,              24

    IV. CHIMNEYS,                    31

     V. FUEL,                        37

    VI. COAL,                        44

   VII. MATCHES,                     51


  LIGHT.

     I. TORCHES,                     61

    II. CANDLES,                     67

   III. WHALE OIL,                   72

    IV. KEROSENE,                    77

     V. ILLUMINATING GAS,            81

    VI. ELECTRIC LIGHTING,           85

   VII. LIGHTHOUSES,                 90


  FOOD.

     I. UNCULTIVATED FOODS,          99

    II. CULTIVATED FOODS,           104

   III. IMPLEMENTS FOR PLANTING,    111

    IV. IMPLEMENTS FOR HARVESTING,  117

     V. SOIL,                       124

    VI. A MODERN DINNER,            131


  CLOTHING.

     I. COLONIAL CONDITIONS,        143

    II. THE COTTON GIN,             148

   III. COTTON,                     153

    IV. WOOL,                       158

     V. LEATHER,                    164

    VI. NEEDLES,                    172

   VII. THE STEAM ENGINE,           178


  TRAVEL.

     I. BY LAND,                    187

    II. BY WATER,                   194

   III. STAGECOACHES,               200

    IV. STEAMBOATS,                 207

     V. CANALS,                     215

    VI. RAILROADS,                  223

   VII. MODERN WATER TRAVEL,        229

  VIII. MODERN LAND TRAVEL,         235


  LETTERS.

     I. LANGUAGE,                   247

    II. THE PRINTING PRESS,         252

   III. THE POSTAL SYSTEM,          258

    IV. SIGNALING,                  265

     V. THE TELEGRAPH,              270

    VI. THE ATLANTIC CABLE,         278

   VII. THE TELEPHONE,              286

  VIII. CONCLUSION,                 292



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.


  Frontispiece

                                                   PAGE

  Count Rumford                                       9

  A New England Kitchen One Hundred Years Ago        10

  A Train Leaving the Station                        11

  A Vestal Virgin                                    14

  Iroquois Long House                                20

  Indian Method of Broiling                          22

  Plying the Axe                                     25

  A Colonial Fireplace                               27

  Hauling in a Backlog                               29

  Cooking in a Colonial Kitchen                      30

  A Franklin Stove                                   34

  In a Coal Mine                                     42

  Blacksmith at His Forge                            48

  Thomas Carrying Fire                               52

  Tinder Box, Flint, and Matches                     53

  Thomas A. Edison                                   59

  Minot Ledge Light, Massachusetts Bay               60

  Indians Traveling at Night                         62

  Ancient Lamps                                      65

  Franklin Making Candles                            69

  Reading by Candlelight                             70

  Whale Fishing                                      73

  Oil Wells                                          79

  A Gasometer                                        83

  Edison's Heroic Act                                86

  Grace Darling                                      94

  Cyrus H. McCormick                                 97

  Cutting Sugar Cane in the Hawaiian Islands         98

  Indians Hunting Game                              102

  The Corn Dance                                    104

  Captain John Smith                                106

  An Ancient Plow                                   109

  Mowing with Scythes                               118

  A Reaper and Binder                               120

  The McCormick Reaper                              121

  Threshing with Flail                              123

  Colonists in a Shallop                            124

  An Irrigating Trench                              128

  A Rice Field                                      129

  A Dinner Party                                    131

  Loading Fish at Gloucester                        134

  A Cattle Train                                    136

  Drying Coffee in Java                             139

  Eli Whitney                                       141

  A Quilting Bee in the Olden Time                  142

  Tailor and Cobbler                                145

  Flax Wheel                                        146

  An Old-Fashioned Loom                             147

  A Cotton Field                                    149

  A Cotton Pod                                      150

  The Cotton Gin                                    151

  President Jackson and Mr. Slater                  156

  The Interior of a Modern Cotton Mill              157

  Sheep-Shearing                                    162

  Dr. Whitman Starting on His Journey               168

  Sewing by Hand                                    173

  An Old Windmill                                   178

  A Corliss Engine                                  181

  Robert Fulton                                     185

  An Ocean Steamer                                  186

  A Man and His Wife Traveling on Horseback         191

  The Bay-Path                                      193

  Pilgrim Exiles                                    195

  A Birch-Bark Canoe                                197

  Old-Style Calashes                                202

  An Old-Fashioned Stagecoach                       204

  Munroe Tavern, Lexington, Mass.                   205

  Fitch's Steamboat                                 209

  Collision of the _Clermont_ and the Sloop         217

  The Erie Canal                                    221

  Old-Style Railroad Train                          227

  A River Tunnel                                    234

  A Pullman Sleeper                                 237

  Brooklyn Bridge                                   239

  The Boston Subway                                 242

  Electric Car, New York City                       243

  Samuel F. B. Morse                                245

  Modern Printing Presses                           246

  Ancient Implements of Writing                     249

  An Ancient Scribe                                 251

  A Franklin Press                                  255

  Postage Stamps                                    261

  Assorting Mail on the Train                       262

  Signaling by Beacon Fires                         266

  Electric Wires                                    270

  Morse Hears of His Success                        274

  Laying an Ocean Cable                             282

  The _Great Eastern_                               283

  A Telephone                                       287

  Alexander Bell Using a Long-Distance Telephone    288


[Illustration: COUNT RUMFORD.]


[Illustration: A NEW ENGLAND KITCHEN ONE HUNDRED YEARS AGO.]



AMERICAN INVENTIONS AND INVENTORS.



SECTION I.--HEAT



CHAPTER I.

FIRE.


"All aboard!" cries the conductor, and slowly the long train draws out
of the San Francisco station on its way to Chicago and the Atlantic
coast. Three sleepers, two chair coaches, passenger, baggage, and mail
cars, loaded with travelers, trunks, and pouches of letters and papers;
we are familiar with the sight of these heavy cars and the puffing
engine which draws them. But what makes the train move? What power is
great enough to do this? It is the power of steam, and steam is made
from water by means of fire.

[Illustration: A TRAIN LEAVING THE STATION.]

Now the long journey across the continent is over, and we are standing
on the dock in New York City. Here we see the steamboat _Puritan_,
thronged with passengers, ready to steam away from the wharf on its
regular night trip to Fall River. For hours, perhaps, we have been
watching the longshoremen as they have rushed back and forth, loading
the great vessel with freight for New England. A few minutes later, as
we see the majestic steamer, hundreds of feet long--larger than most
city business buildings--slowly, but gracefully moving away from the
dock, we say to ourselves, "Can it be that steam, caused by fire, has
power enough to make the steamboat move through the water like this?"

While we watch the steamer glide around Castle Garden into East River,
evening begins to come on; we must hasten uptown. As we pass along
Broadway, lights flash out in the darkness and our thoughts are again
turned to fire and steam. We have heard that the source of the electric
light is in the dynamo, and that steam power is used to turn that
great machine. The enormous engine, the mammoth boat, the brilliant
light--all need the power of steam, and nothing but fire will produce
this steam. What, then, is fire? and is its only use that of changing
quiet, liquid water into powerful steam? Let us see.

Did you notice that machine shop which we passed when we were in
Cleveland a few days ago? Did you see those furnaces with the huge
volumes of flame bursting out of the open doors? You know that great
heat is necessary to make tools and other implements of iron, and all
the instruments of everyday life that are formed out of metals. Our
pens and needles, our hoes and rakes, our horseshoes, our stoves and
furnaces, our registers and the iron of our desks--all depend upon heat
for their production. Fire can do much for us. To change water into
steam is but one of its powers. Fire and heat are behind most of the
operations of modern life.

As we open the door of the house we are met by a current of warm air
rushing out into the chilly evening. It is the last of October, and
in the middle of the day windows and doors have been left wide open
to let in all the light and warmth of the bright sunshine. But it is
evening now, and the sun has long since sunk below the horizon; it no
longer gives us any of its heat. All night the air will grow colder and
colder, and were we unprotected by clothing we should suffer from the
chill atmosphere. Even coverings are not sufficient to keep the heat of
our bodies from passing off into the air, just as the warm air rushed
out through the open hall door. It has been found necessary to warm the
air in our houses so that the bodily heat, which we need to sustain
life, may not so easily be lost. The heat which the sun furnishes us
is called natural heat; that which is produced by the skill of man is
called artificial heat.

This artificial heat is used for a fourth purpose also. As we have
seen, it makes steam for the locomotive, the steamboat, and other
engines; it is necessary in the manufacture of tools and various
utensils out of iron and other metals; and it warms our houses and
schools, our offices and stores. It is also used everywhere and by
everybody in cooking. Had we no fires or artificial heat of some sort
we should have to eat our meat and fish raw; we could only mix our meal
and flour with cold water, which would not be palatable to most of us;
our vegetables, uncooked, would fail to satisfy us; and many of us
would find ourselves limited to fruits and nuts, which would be hardly
sufficient to keep us in good health, to say the least.

Have you ever thought that men or human beings are very much
like other animals? Have you ever tried to find out the important
differences between man and what are called the lower animals? One
of these differences comes right in the line of our present thought.
Dogs are fond of meat, and so are most people; but dogs do not need to
have their meat cooked as we do. Horses whinny for their oats at night
and morning; but they would not care for our favorite breakfast dish
of cooked oatmeal. Bears are partly protected from the cold by their
thick, shaggy coverings of fur; but even in very cold regions they
have no warm fire around which to gather. Man is the "only fire-making
animal," and to this fact he owes much of his power.

If we read the history of the world, and especially the story of the
earlier life of the different nations and peoples, we shall find that
fire was considered by them all to be one of the greatest blessings
belonging to man. They thought that the gods whom they worshipped also
treasured fire. The Romans offered sacrifices to Vesta, the goddess of
the fireplace, and it was the duty of the vestal virgins to keep a fire
always burning on her altar. Among the Greeks the hearth or fireplace
itself was an object of worship.

[Illustration: A VESTAL VIRGIN.]

These early peoples regarded the blessing of fire as so great that they
believed it must have originally belonged to the gods alone. Many of
them had traditions that the gods did not permit men in the earliest
ages to have any knowledge or use of fire. Myths or stories have
been found among the people of Australia, Asia, Europe, and America,
telling how fire had been stolen from the gods and brought down to
men. The best of these stories is that of the Greek, Prometheus, whose
name means "forethought." This ancient mythical hero was supposed to
have been the great friend and benefactor of mankind. But of all his
gifts to men the most valuable was the gift of fire. According to the
old myth, Prometheus went up into Olympus, the Greek heaven, and was
welcomed by the gods. While there he examined the fire of the gods and
thought what a blessing it would be to mankind. Acting under the advice
of Athene, the goddess of wisdom, he stole some fire from the sun god,
concealed it in a hollow reed, and brought it back with him to earth.

In early times there were no matches, and if a fire went out it was
not easy to kindle it again. Probably the people wondered how the fire
was made for the first time. They knew that it must have been obtained
somehow, from somewhere; and out of this grew the story of Prometheus
among the Greeks, and of the other fire stealers, the heroes of other
peoples in all parts of the globe.

But all these stories of the fire of the gods and the way in which
human beings were able to get hold of this priceless blessing we now
know to be only myths. Students of early history are agreed that all
men, everywhere, and at all times, have had the knowledge and the use
of fire. Great differences exist between civilized and uncivilized
people; the savages of interior Africa seem almost to belong to a
different species of being from the cultured people of Europe and
America; but all are able to warm themselves and to cook their food by
means of burning fuel.

Civilized man has better arrangements for kindling his fire, better
means of obtaining more good from it, and better ways for avoiding the
smoke and other unpleasant features than has uncivilized man. A savage
would not understand the modern chimney nor a kitchen range. He would
be utterly at a loss to comprehend our modes of heating by the hot-air
furnace or the coils of steam pipes. The forest provides him with all
the wood that he needs for his fire, and he has little or no knowledge
of coal or oil or gas.

Thus you and I are far in advance of the poor, half clad, half warmed
savage; we are also in far more comfortable circumstances than were
our ancestors who came from Europe to America two or three hundred
years ago. In all the ages of the past until within a few hundred years
little advance had been made in the methods of obtaining artificial
heat. But since Columbus set sail from Spain, since John Cabot first
saw the shores of this continent, since John Smith made friends with
the Indians in Virginia, and William Bradford guided the lives of the
Pilgrims at Plymouth, discoveries and inventions have changed most of
our habits and customs as well as our surroundings. The methods of
heating our houses and cooking our food have altered greatly, and we
cannot fail to be interested in comparing the simple wood fires of
long ago with the complex ways in which heat is now evenly distributed
wherever it is wanted. For a little while, then, let us turn our
thoughts to the primitive forms of heating and cooking which were
common three centuries ago, and see in what ways the modern systems of
providing artificial heat have been developed.



CHAPTER II.

INDIAN HOMES.


Our homes and their surroundings are so familiar to us that it is hard
for us to realize that our country was not always as it is now. Let us
think about it. Have you seen any changes near where you live since you
can remember? Have any new houses been built? Do you know of any old
buildings that have been torn down in order that larger or better ones
might take their places? Have you watched men making a new street or
road, or, perhaps, working upon an old road to make it better? If you
have, then you can think back to a time when some house that you can
see to-day was not there; a time when there were not so many roads nor
such good streets as now. Can you think back still further to a time
when the house in which you live had not been built? when the street in
front of your house had not been made? Can you imagine a time, still
further back, when none of the houses in your city or village were
standing? when there were no streets at all within sight of the place
where you live? Then it will not be so very hard to think of the time,
four hundred years ago, when there were no houses of wood, brick, or
stone, such as we now see, anywhere in this country; when there was not
a carriage road nor a street of any kind in the whole United States.
We will try to imagine how this country looked before any white people
lived in it, and before the cities and towns and villages and farms
and ranches, that are so familiar to us, had been begun.

Four hundred years ago John Cabot sailed across the Atlantic Ocean and
saw this country for the first time. As his little vessel moved along
the coast, he looked upon bays and mouths of rivers which were very
much as they are to-day. The peninsulas, the capes, and the islands
were in the same places that they now are. They were, however, almost
entirely covered with woods. Here and there were fields of grass,
through which blue streams were flowing; but the larger part of what is
now New England and the other Atlantic States was covered with thick
forests. The trees were large and close together; their branches had
never been cut off, and grew close to the ground. Shrubs and bushes
filled all the space that was left between the larger trees, and made
it almost impossible for any one to pass through. Wild animals had made
paths for themselves, but if people had attempted to use these paths
they would have been obliged to get down on their hands and knees and
crawl through them. The rivers and the smaller streams of water were
the best roads in those days; for unless they were shallow or flowed
too swiftly down the rapids, boats could quite easily be pushed up
stream as well as be carried down by the current.

In this country, covered with forests, were there only wild animals?
Were there no human beings: no men, nor women, nor children? No white
men lived in New England; the city of New York had not even been
thought of; Baltimore and Savannah were impassable forests; and the
great West was only a hunting ground. But the red men or American
Indians did live in this country and were its only owners.

The Indians did not live in many roomed houses of wood or brick
or stone; they never built roads or streets; nor did they ride in
carriages. If they wished to go from one place to another they used
canoes on the rivers as far as they could; if they wished to cross the
land from one stream to another they made a foot path, called a trail.
Sometimes a trail was broad enough to permit a canoe to be carried.
Thus the Indians could travel long distances without growing tired from
much walking.

The Indians must have had dwelling places to protect them from the cold
and the storms which were as common then as now. Many tribes of Indians
were in the habit of moving frequently from place to place, and for
this reason their homes were not built for permanent use, but were made
of materials that could be quickly put together. The Indians that lived
in Canada and New England were more roving than those of New York;
therefore their houses were very simple. They were long and narrow,
with rounded roofs, and covered on the tops and sides with matting that
could be readily removed.

The Iroquois, dwelling south of Lake Ontario, were a little more
civilized than their neighbors, and built more permanent houses. Their
dwellings were very long, from one to two hundred feet in length, and
usually about thirty feet wide. The frames were made of long sticks or
poles, set firmly in the ground; other poles formed the roof, with two
sloping sides, over which were laid large strips of elm bark. These
houses had a door at each end, with no windows, and light entered only
through the doors and the large openings in the roof. The openings were
made at frequent intervals to allow the escape of the smoke from the
fires directly beneath.

Although the Indian dwellings varied greatly among the different
tribes, in none of them did a family live by itself Usually twenty or
more families dwelt together in each of the Iroquois "long houses." A
building planned for twenty families had ten stalls or open closets as
they might be called, arranged along each side. An open passageway ran
the entire length of the house from door to door, in which were built
five fires at equal distances. Each fire belonged to the four families
whose stalls--two on each side--opened directly toward it.

[Illustration: IROQUOIS LONG HOUSE].

Now let us imagine ourselves in one of these long houses, and let
us try to see just how everything looked. Let us suppose that it is
a little after sunset on a cold, stormy winter evening. We are glad
to get under any covering in order to be somewhat protected from the
biting wind and the stinging sleet. We have been welcomed by the
Indians, have been made the guests of one of the families, and have
been given something to eat. Supper over, we are able to look about us
and to think whether we should consider ourselves cosy and comfortable
if this were our own home.

The first thing that we observe is the fire, as it snaps and hisses.
How warm it is, and how good it feels as we toast our cold hands and
feet before it! But somehow we begin to wish that we were back beside
our own stove. Then our eyes would not ache from the smoke. Why does
it not go out at the top? It tries to, but the wind blows it back into
the house so that, at times, it fills every corner, blinding our eyes,
stifling our breath, and covering us with cinders from head to foot.

But as we sit, Turk fashion, squatted before the fire, we notice that
we are being slowly covered up by something else than cinders. Although
all the smoke does not go out at the opening, it seems as if almost
all the snow did come in. At times it falls gently, slowly sifting
into every fold in our clothing, into our eyes and ears, and gradually
covering everything with its mantle of white. At other times a strong
gust of wind sweeps down into the room, almost putting out the fire,
and chilling us through and through in spite of the roaring blaze.

Now cold shivers begin to run down our backs. Besides, our limbs are
growing tired from sitting so long in the unusual position. So we
think that we will try a change, and we decide to lie down at full
length with our faces to the fire. It is not easy to move into the
new position, because our neighbors are crowded so close to us; but
we finally succeed. In a very few minutes our feet begin to ache with
the cold and our faces seem burning up with the heat. Shall we change
again, and for a time let our heads get cool while we warm our feet? We
cannot keep this up all night, but we would need to do so if we tried
to be really comfortable.

In this way the Indians lived. They had no beds, no separate chambers,
no kitchen, dining room, nor parlor. In this one room, if it can be
called a room, all the families ate and slept. Around these fires
they spent their time while in the house. Here they lay stretched out
for sleep, with skins of animals under them as a slight protection
from the damp ground. They did not spend much time in changing their
clothes, for they practically wore the same night and day. They really
needed only the roof to cover them and the fire to warm them. Though
the fire warmed them unevenly, though the smoke was uncomfortable,
though the cold, the snow, and the rain came in at the opening and all
around the sides of the house, yet the Indians had a covering, they had
a fire, and they were to a great degree contented and happy.

[Illustration: INDIAN METHOD OF BROILING.]

They were used to this life; they knew no other. Even after the white
men came and the Indians had seen them in their houses, they had no
desire to change their mode of living. "Ugh!" grunted an old redskin,
as he studied the white man's ways;--"ugh! Injun make a little fire and
set close to him; white man make a big fire and set way off."

The Indians needed food as well as covering. Their cooking must have
been quite different from that which is done on a large modern kitchen
range. They had no domestic animals except the dog; no cows nor pigs,
no hens nor turkeys. They were compelled to hunt wild animals if they
wanted meat. This meat they usually broiled; not on a broiler or a
toaster, but upon slats or strips of wood placed above the fire. Fish
was cooked in the same way. Sometimes they boiled the meat. For this
they usually had wooden dishes, which could not be put over the fire.
These were filled with water, into which red hot stones were placed.
When the water had been heated the food was put in it to be cooked.

We should now have some idea of the manner of life among the Indians.
We have learned a little about their houses and their habits; we have
seen how they made their fires and did their cooking; we have heard
about their trails and their canoes, and the way in which they traveled
from place to place. Thus lived the American Indians or red men three
or four hundred years ago, and thus they would probably be living
to-day if Columbus or some one else had not discovered America; if the
English, the French, and the Spaniards had not come across the ocean;
if farms and villages, towns and cities had not sprung up all over the
country; if the white men had not taken much of the land over which the
Indians had roamed for centuries; and if the Indians had not learned
much from the white men which has greatly changed their conditions.



CHAPTER III.

COLONIAL HOMES.


The Indians, seated in their long community houses around their
wood fires, ranging over their hunting ground seeking fresh meat,
or stealthily creeping through the forest hoping to surprise some
human enemy, at last found that they could no longer have this entire
continent to themselves. More than four hundred years ago Europeans
discovered the "New World" and began to explore it. More than three
hundred years ago the Spaniards conquered the Indians in Mexico and
made a settlement in Florida. Nearly three hundred years ago the French
began to build homes in Canada, the Dutch in New York, and the English
in Virginia and New England.

These white men, with their wives and children, crossed the Atlantic
Ocean in the small vessels of those days, and built villages and
cleared the land for farms. Their settlements were generally near
the seacoast or the great rivers. The pioneers were thus nearer one
another, and could the more readily hasten to each other's assistance
in case of need.

The newcomers were not alike in appearance or habits. The French had
different customs from the Spaniards. They not only spoke a different
language, but they wore different kinds of clothes, tilled the soil in
a different way, and lived in houses of different styles. The Dutch
were quite unlike the English. Then, again, the life of the English in
Virginia was different from life in New England: in the former colony
some of the settlers were wealthy, owned large plantations, and lived
at long distances from one another; in the latter the colonists had
more nearly equal possessions, occupied smaller farms, and lived close
together.

Although the colonists thus had differing habits and customs, in
many respects they were much alike. They had come to a country where
everything was new. No mills nor factories were run by the streams;
no shops made clothing or farming tools; no stores sold furniture or
groceries. Everything that the colonists needed must be either brought
across the ocean or roughly made by themselves. Of course only the rich
could afford the expense of bringing heavy articles three thousand
miles in sailing vessels; therefore a large part of what the colonists
wore or ate or used for furniture or buildings was rude and of home
manufacture. A description of the mode of life in one section of the
country will give something of an idea of how the colonists lived in
other sections.

[Illustration: PLYING THE AXE.]

Almost the first thing that was necessary for the colonist to do,
as soon as he had determined where he was to live, was to build his
house; he began at once to fell the trees. The axe was one of the most
important of his possessions and he soon learned to use it with great
skill. If he needed his house immediately he usually built it of rough,
unsplit logs, filling the spaces with clay and covering the roof with
thatch.

There is a story told of a log house which was built in the early part
of one winter. The trees were cut when their trunks were frozen, and
were laid in proper position to form the sides of the cabin. The stone
chimney was built, and the house was ready. Day after day the great
fireplace sent out its heat into the single room, until the sap in the
logs was melted and little shoots with tender leaves began to form,
which in time, at the ends of the logs nearest the fire, grew into long
twigs. The logs had remained frozen on the outside, but had thawed
within--a pleasant suggestion of the cheer and comfort found in a well
warmed house.

If the newcomer had neighbors who could shelter his family for a time,
he would split the logs and make a house somewhat tighter and better
protected from cold and storm. After a time lumber mills were built
and the logs were sawed into planks and boards. Many of the earliest
New England houses contained but one room with an attic. The house was
entered directly from out-of-doors, and was lighted by windows set
with very small panes of glass or oiled paper. In one corner was the
staircase, which sometimes was merely a ladder or perhaps a few cleats
nailed on the framework. The furniture was meagre and most of it rudely
made.

Can we see any improvement in this rough cottage over the Indian long
house? It was more permanent; it was tighter and warmer; it was the
abode of one family; it was a real home. In another respect the comfort
of the log cabin was greatly increased: it had an enclosed fireplace
and a chimney.

Some years ago fireplaces were seldom seen in our dwellings. In
many of the old houses, in which the fireplaces were as old as the
houses themselves, they were never used and were either boarded up or
carefully screened from view. But more recently they have come into
use again, and now seldom is a well arranged house built without one
or more open fireplaces. We are then--most of us--acquainted with this
small opening in the side or the corner of the room, in which small
logs of wood burn upon the andirons or a bed of coals upon the grate.
However, this modern grate or hearth is very unlike the huge fireplace
of one and two centuries ago.

In the houses in which your great-grandmother and her mother and
grandmother and great-grandmother lived the fireplace was not confined
to a corner of the room, nor did it burn sticks fifteen or eighteen
inches long. In the oldest house now standing in Rhode Island the
fireplace was nearly ten feet long and about four feet in depth. Its
back and sides were of stone, nearly two feet thick, and the chimney,
thirteen feet by six, did not begin to narrow, as it went upward, until
it reached the roof. This fireplace made an excellent play-house when
the fire was out, and children found great delight in watching the
stars from their seat in the chimney corner.

[Illustration: A COLONIAL FIREPLACE.]

At first this open fireplace, with the fire burning in the centre, was
the only means for cooking which our ancestors possessed. When they
were able to build larger houses, with two, four, or eight rooms, even
two stories high, they still had the great hearths; not one alone, but
one in each of the principal rooms, and sometimes in the chambers.
As time went on, stone or brick ovens were built by the side of the
fireplaces, and frequently tin or "Dutch" ovens were brought across
the ocean and used in case of need. Let us look into one of these old
houses on a Saturday, or "baking day," and notice some of the pleasures
and inconveniences of cooking in olden time.

When Mother Brown rises at half past four in the morning she dresses
quickly, for the coals, which had been carefully covered up, have given
out little heat during the bitter, cold night. Before she can wash
her hands and face she must start up the fire, for all the water in
the house is frozen. She carefully rakes off the ashes from the coals
which are still "alive," deftly lays on them a few shavings and pieces
of bark, and, when they begin to burn brightly, piles upon them small
and then larger sticks of wood. Now Father Brown and John, the hired
man, who have come in from doing the chores, lift on to the fire one
of the six foot logs, three or four feet in circumference, which have
been previously brought in. Then Mother Brown calls the children. Ruth,
the eldest, is already nearly dressed; Mehitable, just in her teens,
is soon ready; while Polly, "the baby," nearly eight years old, finds
it hard work to crawl out from between the sheets. The boys are even
harder to rouse, for mother has to call Nathaniel, aged eleven, three
times before he appears, and Joseph, two years younger, is slower still.

We will not stop to notice the breakfast, which is eaten, and the
dishes washed, long before the sun rises. Now the outside door opens
and in comes the old white horse, hauling a great backlog. John
unhitches the chain and rolls the log upon the fire. This done, the
horse goes out at the door opposite the one he entered. Father Brown
brings in several armfuls of brush and heavier sticks, and throws them
down near the fireplace.

As this is baking day, the oven must be made ready The great brick
oven, one side of which makes also one side of the fireplace, is filled
with the brush and light wood, which is soon burning briskly. For an
hour the fire is kept up, new wood being thrown in when necessary;
then it is allowed to go out. Meanwhile Mother Brown and Ruth are
busy--mixing and rolling, sifting rye and Indian meal, stirring up
eggs, and adding milk and butter. By the time the oven is heated the
cooks are ready to use it; and Mehitable rakes out the coals and ashes
with a long stick, shaped like a shepherd's crook.

[Illustration: HAULING IN A BACKLOG.]

First the pans of "rye 'n' Injun" bread are laid in the oven, away back
at the farther end. Then the "pandowdy" or great apple pudding and the
"Injun" pudding are placed in front of the bread. While the bread and
the puddings are baking, two tin ovens are brought in and prepared for
use. These Dutch ovens are mere sheets of metal curved around into
more than half a circle, with the opening placed toward the fire. A
long iron rod runs through from side to side of the oven on which the
meat for roast is to be spitted. Mother Brown removes one of the spits
and thrusts it through a piece of beef, and in the same way spits a fat
turkey on the other. Here is work for little Polly, upon whom rests the
task of frequently turning the spit so that the meat is evenly roasted.

Later in the day, when the bread is baked, the oven is heated again and
filled with pies--apple, mince, squash, and pumpkin. By the time these
are baked the day is done. The coals on the hearth are covered with
ashes and the tired cooks gladly retire for the night.

[Illustration: COOKING IN A COLONIAL KITCHEN.]

On other days meat is boiled in pots that are hung from the crane, a
long, swinging, iron rod which reaches directly over the fire or may be
turned out into the room. Upon the hearth potatoes are baked, corn is
roasted, and other primitive forms of cooking are used. We have made
a long step from the Indian's open fire and his simple cooking to the
brick and tin ovens and the metal pots and kettles of our ancestors;
but is it not a longer step to the coal, oil, and gas ranges of to-day?



CHAPTER IV.

CHIMNEYS.


Remembering our experience in the Indian long house--the discomfort
of the smoke and the opening in the roof--we shall understand another
great improvement in the colonist's house. Even the log cabin had its
chimney. The rising column of hot air from the fire, carrying the smoke
with it, is confined between walls of stone or brick, and the room is
fairly free from smoke. Why did not the Indian build a chimney? The
temporary nature of his dwelling may have been a partial reason; but
the red man's lack of civilization was doubtless the most effective
cause. Even many so-called civilized nations built their houses without
chimneys, and in fact this convenience is but a few centuries old.

The ancient Greeks are praised for their high civilization, and yet
they were little better off than the savage Indians of the New World in
the methods of heating their houses. Neither the Greeks nor the Romans
had chimneys for their dwellings. It is true that Greece and Italy are
warmer countries than England or most of the United States, and doors
and windows could be left open with less discomfort than with us. Much
of the smoke might thus escape, but enough doubtless remained to be
unpleasant. The Greeks refrained from carving the rooms in which fires
were built, for they realized that such ornamentation would soon be
discolored by soot.

After Greece had been conquered by the Romans and Rome had been
overthrown by the Germanic tribes, much of the ancient civilization
was lost and the "Dark Ages" followed. During this period the people
throughout Europe made their fires in holes in the centre of the room,
under an opening in the roof--just as we have seen that the Indians
did. When the family went to bed at night they covered the hole in the
roof with a board and also threw ashes over the coals, to prevent the
wooden house from catching fire while they slept. It was the custom in
every town, for many centuries, to ring the curfew or "cover-fire" bell
each night, warning the inhabitants to cover their fires, put out their
lights, and go to bed.

The first chimneys were probably built in Northern Italy about seven
hundred years ago. The story is told that the Lord of Padua went to
Rome in 1368 and found no chimney in his hotel. The Romans still held
to the custom of kindling their fires in openings in the ground in the
middle of the room. The Lord of Padua, longing for the comforts to
which he was accustomed, sent to Padua for carpenters and masons, and
had them build two chimneys like those at home. On the top of these he
had his coat of arms affixed.

Gradually chimneys came into use throughout Europe, and when the
colonists came to America they built them as a matter of course. As we
have seen, the fireplaces were mammoth, and the chimneys therefore were
also of great size; and for this reason, although the discomfort from
the smoke was less than in the Indian long houses, it was not wholly
avoided. For centuries, however, people had been used to the smoke,
which occasionally poured back into the room instead of going up the
chimney, and it did not occur to them, any more than to the red men,
that it could be avoided. Not until a New England boy, who was then
living in England, began to study into the cause of smoking chimneys
was any relief obtained.

Benjamin Thompson was born in Woburn, Massachusetts, and had just come
to manhood when the American Revolution broke out. Partly owing to
certain family connections, he took the side of King George III., and
went to England. After the war was over he went to Bavaria, entered
the service of the king, and became his chamberlain. He rose through
various positions until he became minister of war, and was made Count
Rumford. He remained in Bavaria a few years, then lived for a time in
England, and spent his last days in Paris.

Both in Bavaria and in England, Count Rumford devoted himself to
science and the improvement of the conditions of his fellow men. It
would be interesting to know the steps that he took and the good
that he did, but we can here notice only some of his improvements in
the methods of heating houses. As a scientist he was asked to "cure"
smoking chimneys, and he succeeded so well that he once said he had
"cured" more than five hundred in London alone.

He found out the simple fact that smoke will readily go up a chimney,
unless there is something to stop it. All that was necessary was to
discover the trouble and remove it. In nearly all of the five hundred
chimneys nothing more was needed than to make the lower part of the
chimney and the fireplace of the right form and size. One firm of
builders was kept constantly employed carrying out his suggestions. Not
only did he "cure" the chimneys, but he also prevented the waste of
much heat. In accordance with his directions the square fireplace was
changed so that the sides made a greater angle with the back and would
therefore reflect more heat into the room. He also made the space
about the fire smaller, thus rendering the air hotter and therefore
more ready to rush up the chimney, carrying more of the smoke with it.
Count Rumford's ideas have been generally followed since his day, and
now fireplaces seldom give out smoke into the room while they furnish
more heat.

Count Rumford next took up the problem of improving stoves. Before we
consider his improvements, however, we must note something about the
first stoves. Another Massachusetts boy, born nearly half a century
before Benjamin Thompson, also became a scientist, inventor, and
discoverer. Benjamin Franklin was a traveler and in many other respects
was like Count Rumford. But he chose to go with the colonies when they
revolted from Great Britain, and he gave all his services to his fellow
countrymen. A few years before the birth of Thompson, Franklin made an
invention which was the first improved method of heating rooms. There
had been so-called German stoves before his day, but they were not much
used in this country.

[Illustration: A FRANKLIN STOVE.]

It was in 1742 that Franklin, while in Philadelphia, devised the
"Franklin stove" or "Pennsylvania fireplace." It consisted of iron
sides, back and top, and was entirely open in front. A flue was
arranged in the back which connected with the chimney to carry off the
smoke. This movable fireplace was designed to burn wood, comparatively
small logs being used. It had many advantages over the stone
fireplace. It was set up nearer the middle of the room, thus sending
heat out in all directions and warming the entire room. It saved much
of the heat which had previously passed directly up the chimney and
been lost. In the Pennsylvania fireplace this heat warmed the iron on
the top of the stove and at the back, as well as the flue itself, all
of which warmed the air in the room. Saving the heat saved wood also.
Franklin himself said:

"My common room, I know, is made twice as warm as it used to be, with a
quarter of the wood I formerly consumed there."

Franklin was offered a patent for his device by the governor of
Pennsylvania, but he declined it. He declared that inasmuch as "we
enjoy great advantages from the inventions of others, we should be
glad of an opportunity to serve others by any invention of ours."
Unfortunately, however, the people did not obtain from his generosity
all the advantages that Franklin expected, for a London iron
manufacturer made some slight changes in the pattern, not improving
the stove in the least, and obtained a patent. From the sale of these
stoves he made what was called "a small fortune."

Franklin's fireplace was but the first in a long series of inventions
that have brought to us the stove of to-day. The great merit in his
work was the idea of giving up the stone fireplace for one of iron.
Changes in the form and shape of the stove have followed as a matter of
course. No special credit is due to any one else, unless it be to Count
Rumford, who, after curing the chimneys, made a cook stove with an
oven. Then, for the first time since men knew how to cook over a fire,
cooking could be carried on and the cook be protected from the direct
heat of the fire.

Thus we come to the modern house with its modern stoves. No longer have
we but one method of heating a dwelling. Sometimes a stove is set up in
each of the rooms. Sometimes a larger stove is placed in the cellar,
and this furnace heats air that is carried by large pipes or flues to
the rooms, where the heated air comes out through registers. Sometimes
a furnace in the cellar heats water, and hot water or steam is sent
through small pipes, and passing through coils or radiators gives out
heat. Besides, the cooking range is found in most kitchens.

All these systems of heating houses exist instead of the old-fashioned
fireplace. Even when the modern grate is built, it is usual to find a
register or steam coil on the opposite side of the room, because the
open fire is apt to warm one side of the room only. It is pleasant,
however, to look into a blazing fire, and we are sometimes almost
willing to have the heat unevenly distributed if only we can watch the
flames.

Some form of the stove, however, is our main dependence, and its
various developments have been due, generally, to the desire of being
freed from the discomforts of the old time methods. Perhaps also the
growing scarcity of wood and the discovery of coal have had some effect
upon the development of the stove; but that we must leave to another
chapter.



CHAPTER V.

FUEL.


"What do you burn in the stoves in your houses?" was asked of a class
of schoolchildren in a small Pennsylvania town. Hands went up in every
direction; one said "kerosene oil"; two others shouted "gas"; a few
replied "wood"; most of the class answered "coal." Then the teacher
made further inquiries to learn why these different substances were
used. The three who answered gas and oil agreed that coal was burned
in other stoves in their houses, but that oil and gas stoves were used
also because they were so convenient.

When the question was asked why coal was used, instantly the answer
was given that coal was the best thing to burn; everybody burned it.
Now this was not quite true, but Miss Turner, the teacher, instead of
immediately correcting the error, turned to the pupils who had answered
"wood," and inquired why they used wood. One said, "We haven't any
coal"; another thought that it was because wood kindled more easily
than coal; a third was sure that he was right--"We don't have to buy
wood; coal costs money."

Now this boy had the correct idea. He lived in the country, though near
the town. His father owned a large farm, a part of which was still
forest land; he could cut his own wood, and therefore did not buy coal.
After a few more questions the teacher discovered that all those who
burned wood lived some little distance from town.

Then she turned to the class again and asked them if they could now
tell why the town families used coal instead of wood. One said, "We
do not own forests." Another thought that it was because there were
not trees enough. A third shook his hand wildly and shouted, "Coal is
cheaper than wood!" A shy little girl ventured to suggest, "Because
coal is better than wood; it lasts longer."

"You have each of you given a good reason," Miss Turner answered. "Coal
is cheaper than wood here in the town because wood is growing more and
more scarce. Many of your parents prefer coal because with it the fire
needs less attention. But the coal dealers charge more to carry coal
out into the country, and those who still own forests find it cheaper
to burn their own wood. What sort of replies would I have received if I
had asked the same questions of children in Pennsylvania Colony, or in
any of the colonies, one hundred and fifty or two hundred years ago?"

The children had studied history somewhat. They knew the story of
Columbus and his discoveries; they had read of the Pilgrims and the
Puritans; they could have answered questions concerning John Smith and
Henry Hudson; and they were especially familiar with William Penn and
the Quakers, with George Washington and Braddock's defeat. But not one
of them remembered that he had ever been told anything about the fires
of the colonists.

There was a pause for a time; then one boy asked, "Didn't they burn
just what we burn?" After another pause the shy little girl asked,
"Didn't they have more forests then than now?" Before the teacher could
reply, a boy said, "Perhaps they did not have any coal."

The children had thus thought it out for themselves, and they were
right. Miss Turner then told them that it was many years after the
time of Columbus or Hudson or Penn before coal mines were discovered
in this country or coal used. She added that almost all the country,
from Maine to Georgia and westward across the Alleghany Mountains, was
covered with thick forests when the colonists crossed the Atlantic
Ocean.

"What do you suppose our ancestors thought of these forests? Were they
glad to see them, or did they wish that they covered less ground?"
asked the teacher.

Most of the children answered that the forests must have been of great
value to the colonists; they would not have to pay anything for fuel.

"Can you raise vegetables or grain in the woods?" was Miss Turner's
next question.

Then the pupils began to see that the forests were hindrances as well
as helps. The teacher told them that they gave the colonists more wood
than was needed for fires and for lumber. She added that every acre of
ground that they wished to plant with Indian corn or rye, with potatoes
or squashes, must first be freed from the trees. Before the land could
be plowed it must be cleared. If, then, the trees furnished more wood
than could be used, it was natural for the farmer to burn the trees and
stumps in the fields.

If there had been but few settlers and if they had been widely
scattered over a large territory, no harm would have resulted. But
the colonists came over by the thousands and had large families of
children. By the time the country had been settled a hundred years,
great gaps had been made in the forests. A few of the most foresighted
of the colonists began to think about the future and to wonder what
they would do for fuel if the wood should give out. In fact, trees
began to be scarce in the neighborhood of the larger towns, and
firewood as well as lumber became expensive.

"Suppose that all the forests in this country had been destroyed," the
class was asked, "what would the people have done for fuel?"

"Used coal," replied a boy from a back seat.

"Yes," said Miss Turner, "if there were any coal, and if the colonists
knew where to find it and how to use it. But what is this coal and
where does it come from?"

"We owe all our knowledge of the origin of coal to the geologists, who
have made a careful study of the surface of the earth," continued Miss
Turner. "They tell us that there was a time when human beings did not
live on the earth; when not even animals that need to breathe the air
could exist. The atmosphere which surrounded the earth in those days
was different from the air which we breathe. We need the oxygen that
is in our air to sustain life; poor ventilation in our rooms or halls
soon renders them uncomfortable and often causes our heads to ache. The
reason for this is the presence in the air of too large a quantity of a
gas called carbonic acid gas; an extra amount of it makes the air unfit
to breathe, but a certain amount is necessary to sustain plant life.

"In the coal-forming or carboniferous age the atmosphere around the
earth contained less oxygen than at present and great quantities of
carbonic acid gas. For this reason, as I have said, animals did not
exist, but plants--large shrubs, great ferns, and huge trees--lived and
grew vigorously. If we have ever seen thick woods we need only imagine
all the bushes and trees of the forest to be of enormous size in order
to have some idea of the vegetable growth of the carboniferous age. The
earth was preparing vast quantities of fuel to be ready, thousands of
years later, for the millions of men that were to come.

"The growth of the forests was but one step in the preparation of coal.
The second step was the submerging of the forests, covering them with
water as if at the bottom of the sea. Then the streams brought gravel,
sand, and mud into this ocean, and these were hardened into clay and
sandstone by the pressure of the water, perhaps aided by the heat
of the earth itself. The trees and ferns were bent down and pressed
together and driven into the most compact condition possible.

"But again earthquakes came and the water disappeared. The layer of
clay and sandstone was covered with soil which became dry enough to
produce other forests, growing as rank as the first. These were again
overwhelmed and covered first with water, then with rocks and soil,
only to be lifted again for another growth. This process was repeated
in some cases many times, as we can see with a little study."

Here Miss Turner stopped and said: "Next Saturday, if it is pleasant,
we will have our annual spring picnic. We will go to a new place this
time. We will try Howland's Grove, and then in the afternoon we will go
down into the Jefferson mine and see what it is like."

We have not time to read about the picnic, nor of the interest that the
class showed before the appointed Saturday, as well as all the forenoon
of that day. Nor can we tell how the children went down the shaft of
the mine, and how they were at first so quiet that hardly a word was
said. The teacher showed them a layer of coal in the mine which was
about three feet thick. Just above it was a rock which was different
from the coal. This they were told was sandstone, the hardened sand
which had been heaped upon the forests so many thousand years before.
Then below the coal was another rock which was entirely unlike either
the coal or the sandstone. This was the seat-stone, the rock made out
of the soil in which the forest had grown. Then below this they found
three more layers, sandstone, coal, and seat-stone, and so on until the
bottom of the mine was reached.

By this time the children were ready to ask questions.

"Oh, Miss Turner, what is this curious-looking thing in this part of
the seat-stone?" asked one of the boys.

Miss Turner replied: "That is a fossil. It is part of a root of a tree,
and has retained its shape and appearance all these thousands and
thousands of years."

[Illustration: IN A COAL MINE.]

One of the miners who had been listening to the conversation said: "If
you will step this way, madam, I can show you the whole of a tree-trunk
in the coal."

The children eagerly crowded around as the miner showed the fossilized
trunk of a tree still standing just as it grew, with its roots in the
seat-stone and its top in the sandstone above the coal--for here the
layer of coal was several feet in thickness.

A few minutes afterward, as the children were looking carefully at
the sides of the mine to see if they could find more fossils, the shy
little girl said quietly to the teacher: "I think that I have found
something, Miss Turner; won't you please see?"

She led the way to a trunk which showed the various stages in the
process of change. One end was still almost like wood, the middle part
was a very soft brown coal, while the other end was true coal.

"That helps us to understand more about the way in which the forests
were changed to coal," said Miss Turner. "Now here is one more proof
that coal was formed out of wood."

The teacher picked up a piece of coal and broke it with a hammer. Then
she showed on the new surface some patches of a black substance. "Does
not that look like charcoal?" she asked. "You know that charcoal is
wood partly burned."

Thus the class learned how nature, ages and ages ago, began to prepare
for the use of man a fuel which seems inexhaustible, is superior to
wood in many respects, and is freely distributed in various portions
of the world. This coal, which has taken the place of wood to a great
extent in furnishing heat for our houses and stores, is found in large
quantities in the United States, but was not mined or used here until
the middle of the last century.



CHAPTER VI.

COAL.


The use of coal for heating purposes is so familiar to every one
nowadays that probably few have ever thought about the time when it
was unknown. Coal was as plentiful three thousand years ago as it is
now. Layers and beds of the fuel existed just under the surface of the
ground, and in many places cropped out through it. But the stones were
merely "black rocks," and the idea that rocks would burn was too absurd
to occur to any one. We may well wonder how it was first discovered
that coal would burn.

Professor Greene suggests a possible explanation of this discovery.
"There is in coal a hard, yellow, brassy mineral which flies in the
fire and not infrequently startles the circle that has gathered
around its cheerful blaze. When exposed to damp air this mineral
undergoes chemical change, and during the process heat is given out,
sometimes in sufficient quantities to set the coal alight. In this way
it occasionally happens that seams of coal, when they lie near the
surface, take fire of their own accord. One day a savage on a stroll
was startled by finding the ground warm beneath his feet, and by seeing
smoke and sulphurous vapors issuing from it. He laid it first to a
supernatural cause; but curiosity getting the better of superstition,
he scraped away the earth to find whence the reek came. Then he saw a
bed of black stone, loose blocks of which he had already noticed lying
about; parts of this stone were smouldering, and as soon as air was
admitted burst into a blaze."

Whether coal was thus discovered or not, its first discovery must have
occurred early in the history of the world. More than twenty centuries
ago the Greek scholar, Theophrastus, wrote of the coals which were used
by blacksmiths. There are indications that coal was mined in England
before that country was conquered by the Romans. But not until the
twelfth century was enough of the mineral mined in Newcastle, the great
coal region of England, to warrant its being carried to London. As this
coal was brought in vessels to the metropolis it received the name of
"sea-coal," and it was thus called for several centuries.

How strange it is that opposition always arises to every new thing!
People are always to be found who think that anything with which they
are not familiar cannot be good. So it was in London. A cry began to
arise that the use of coal was injurious to health. The coal was soft
or bituminous, and burned with considerable flame and a dense smoke.
This was before the common use of chimneys, and therefore the air in
the rooms where it was burned became filled with an unpleasant odor.
The belief was general that the use of coal rendered the air unfit
to breathe, and Parliament was requested to put a stop to it. King
Edward I. issued a proclamation forbidding any but blacksmiths to burn
sea-coals, and directing that buildings from which coal-smoke was
seen to come should be torn down. Though the law was repealed under a
later king, coal was but little used for household purposes until the
eighteenth century.

Most of the coal beds in the United States are situated at some
distance from the ocean; therefore the first colonists, settling along
the coast, were for a long time ignorant of their existence. The first
white man to discover coal was Father Hennepin, who more than two
hundred years ago, while exploring the Mississippi River, found it in
Illinois. The first mines worked were the Richmond fields in Virginia,
where coal was taken out a century and a half ago.

There is a tradition that a boy left home one morning to go fishing.
After trying his luck for a time he found that his bait was gone.
Accordingly he began to hunt for crawfish, and while searching stumbled
over some black stones which attracted his attention. He had found the
"outcrop" of a coal bed, and on his return he made known his discovery.
A rich vein of coal was soon disclosed, and mining on a small scale was
begun. We must remember that this story is only tradition and may not
be true. We might wonder, perhaps, how the boy knew that the stones
were any different from other rocks except in being black.

The way in which a twelve-foot vein was discovered in Pennsylvania is
told in _Forest and Stream_, and is probably quite true.

Elias Blank, living in Western Pennsylvania in the latter part of the
last century, was called to his door one night and found there Lewis
Whetzell, a famous Indian fighter, and Jonathan Gates, commonly called
"Long Arms."

"Friend Lewis," said Mr. Blank, "where have thee and our friend been,
and where bound?"

"I want to get out of here at once," said Whetzell, "and Long Arms is
of the same opinion. This country's bewitched, and Long Arms and I are
nearly scared to death."

"Friend Lewis, thee must not tell such stories to me," said old Elias.
"Thee knows I am thy friend, and I have saved thee when a price was on
thy head. I know thou art a man of courage, and friend Jonathan Gates,
whom some call 'Long Arms,' fears nothing on earth, and I'm fearful
nothing anywhere else; and yet thou tellest me that he and thee are
scared even almost to death. Shame on thee so to declare before thy
friend, who loves ye both as he were thy father!"

"No, no, Elias," said Whetzell, dropping into the Quaker speech. "I
tell thee no lie. We are scared. Yesterday afternoon we were in hiding
about a mile from Dunkard Creek, and in the evening we built a fire
under the bank very carefully; and we got some black rocks to prop up a
little kettle, and put them beside the fire rather than in it; and the
black rocks took fire and burned fiercely, with a filthy smoke and a
bright light; and Long Arms said the devil would come if we stayed; and
we grabbed the kettle and poured out the water, and made our way here,
leaving the black rocks to burn."

Elias Blank was much interested. He did not tell Whetzell what the
black rocks were, but he found out exactly where the men had made their
fire, and the next day hunted up the camping-ground, found the "black
rocks" in one of the river-hills, and opened a coal bank.

Thus, a little here and a little there, coal was discovered and used.
At first it was mingled with wood, and then burned alone on the hearth.
This coal was easily kindled, for it was bituminous or soft; it was
not necessary to provide an extra draft, or to spend much more time in
lighting it than had been customary with wood. Not many years passed,
however, before a variety of coal was found that was hard and would not
kindle easily. Accordingly it was thrown aside as useless. This was
anthracite coal, and it is now generally preferred to the bituminous
because of this very quality. Being hard, it does not burn away so
rapidly; besides, it needs less attention and gives out much less
smoke.

Just before the Revolution, Obadiah Gore, a blacksmith in the Wyoming
valley in Pennsylvania, tried hard coal in his forge. At first, even
with his great bellows, he was unable to make it burn. He continued
the experiment, however, and after a time the lumps began to yield and
flames darted from them. He thus discovered that pieces of anthracite
coal could be kindled and burned if there was a "strong current of
air," as he said, "sent through them by the bellows; without that I
could do nothing with them."

Mr. Gore thus used anthracite coal in his forge, but even he did not
burn it at home. Not until the beginning of this century was hard coal
used for domestic purposes. Oliver Evans in 1803 successfully burned
it in a grate. Many years passed, however, before hard coal came into
common use. A few people purchased anthracite coal, but they could not
burn it; they used it just as they had been accustomed to use soft
coal. After that, great difficulty was experienced in persuading any
one to try the new coal.

Nicholas Allen in Pennsylvania discovered anthracite coal and got out
several wagonloads of it. He tried in vain to sell it. "No," said the
people, "we have tried that once, and we do not propose to be cheated
again." Mr. Allen became discouraged and sold his interest to his
partner, Colonel Shoemaker, who took the coal to Philadelphia. Here
he praised it so highly that at last a few people bought a little for
trial. They continually punched the coal and stirred up the fire,
but they did not succeed in making it burn. They became enraged
with Colonel Shoemaker, and procured a warrant for his arrest as a
common impostor. The colonel heard of the warrant, quietly left the
city, and drove thirty miles out of his route in order to avoid the
officer. Fortunately a firm of iron factors who had purchased some of
the coal succeeded in making it burn. They announced the fact in the
Philadelphia newspapers, and other iron-workers tried the coal. Soon
all the furnaces were using it.

[Illustration: BLACKSMITH AT HIS FORGE.]

Both anthracite and bituminous coal are freely mined in various
sections of the United States. There is coal enough underground to
last for many centuries. It used to be said that England was the great
coal-mining country, for her coal fields are nearly as extensive as
those of all the rest of Europe. But the United States has a supply
of coal that will apparently be hardly diminished when that of the
British Islands is entirely used. The single State of Pennsylvania has
a greater store of coal than all Europe, and her part is less than
one-tenth of the stock of coal in the United States.

Even if the forests of the entire country should be destroyed, we
should not want for fuel. But let us remember that not only would the
loss of our forests deprive us of wood for other purposes than merely
to keep us warm, but it would also cause great injury to the farming
interests of the country. If we would have good crops we must have
proper rainfalls; without forests the rain would do greater and greater
injury and less and less good. We ought to do all in our power to help
preserve our forests, and as far as we can to increase the number of
trees.



CHAPTER VII.

MATCHES.


"Thomas! Thomas! The fire is out! Get right up and go over to neighbor
Wallace's and borrow some fire." It was a cold morning, eight degrees
below zero, and Mr. Wallace lived three-quarters of a mile away. The
sun would not rise for two hours; but, when mother called, the boys
instantly obeyed. Thomas hurriedly dressed, snatched a shovel which was
standing by the hearth, and hastily shutting the outside door, ran as
fast as he could to the nearest neighbor's. Of course he hurried, for
was not mother all dressed and not a bit of fire in the house? The fire
must have died down too much the evening before; and although the coals
had been carefully covered with ashes before father and mother went to
bed, mother could not find a tiny spark anywhere under the ashes in the
morning.

Thomas kept up his run until he was tired, and then fell into a brisk
walk. When he reached neighbor Wallace's, he was glad to warm his
numbed fingers over the raging fire in the fireplace. But he knew that
he must not stop long, so he stated his errand, and Mrs. Wallace placed
some live coals on his shovel and thoroughly covered them with ashes.
Thomas rested a moment longer and then hastened home; for if those
coals should be out when he reached the house he would have to make the
trip over again.

This disaster did not befall him, however, and soon his mother had
placed the coals on the hearth and had laid upon them a few shavings.
These kindled at once; small sticks were soon ablaze, and in a very
short time the fire was burning as vigorously as the neighbor's had
been.

[Illustration: THOMAS CARRYING FIRE.]

The boys of two centuries ago fully realized what it meant to have
the fire go out. Perhaps the nearest neighbors were not always so far
distant, but it was no pleasant task to be sent for coals any distance
on a winter morning. If, however, no neighbors were near and coals
could not be borrowed, how under circumstances like these could a new
fire be kindled? If we wanted a fire nowadays we might say, "Strike a
light," because we should obtain the light by striking a match; but,
before matches were invented, the expression used would probably have
been, "Rub a light."

An early method of producing a light, and from this a fire, was by
rubbing two sticks together. If this process be continued long enough
the wood will become heated and sparks will fly off. Then, in order
to start the fire, it is only necessary to catch one of these sparks
upon something that will burn easily. This method was used thousands of
years ago, and is still common among the savages in various parts of
the globe. This seems simple enough, but if you try it you will find
that it is no easy task. It requires considerable muscular power to
"rub a light" from two sticks of wood, and almost any other process is
preferable.

The most important thing in this method of kindling a fire is the
rapidity with which the sticks are rubbed together. Some one of the
savages more keen than the others conceived the idea that he could save
labor and at the same time increase the rapidity with which the stick
moved. He took his bow and twisted the cord once around a stick. Then
he placed one end on a piece of wood, and by moving the bow back and
forth twisted the stick with great rapidity. Soon the shavings which
he had placed at the point of contact were ablaze. Little by little
this drill was improved, and now among some of the American Indians it
furnishes a comparatively easy way of kindling a fire.

[Illustration: TINDER BOX, FLINT, AND MATCHES.]

Most children have seen a spark caused by the shoe of a horse striking
a stone in the road. Sometimes if one stone strikes another a spark
is produced. All this was perceived even in the earliest times, and
the best substances to be used became well known. The stone called
flint was found to be the best for one of the two substances, and
steel is usually preferred for the other. When steel and flint strike
each other, if a spark falls upon some vegetable matter a fire is soon
kindled.

Perhaps the most common substance used to catch the spark was
touchwood, a soft, decayed wood carefully broken into small fragments.
After a time, in place of the touchwood, tinder was used, which was
made by scorching old linen handkerchiefs. Later the tinder box was
invented, in which a steel wheel was spun like a top upon a piece of
flint set in tinder. After the discovery of gunpowder, flint and steel
were used in guns. A hammer of flint struck an anvil of steel, and the
spark produced fell into a pan of gunpowder, causing the flash which
fired the gun.

Before the American Revolution, and even into the present century, the
process of kindling a fire was not a simple one. The most frequent
means employed, as has been seen, was the borrowing of coals from
a neighbor. Less often, recourse was had to the long and difficult
process of rubbing a spark from two pieces of wood. Sometimes,
among the well-to-do, the tinder box was used; but it was seldom
satisfactory. For these reasons the fire was always most carefully
watched; every precaution was taken to prevent it from going out.
Seldom could the house be left by the whole family for any length of
time, and all because of the lack of a match.

Matches are a result of the study of chemistry. During the Dark Ages
a few scholars were interested in what they called alchemy; but
they spent most of their time and thought in trying to discover two
things--how to change iron into gold, and how to keep themselves
eternally young. About two hundred years ago these two foolish desires
came to be considered unpractical, and since then chemists have been
constantly seeking to discover ways of benefiting mankind. For many
years students in different countries tried to find certain chemicals
that could be so combined as to render the tinder box unnecessary.
Several of these attempts to make a light seemed successful, but most
of them were dangerous and all were expensive. An account of one of
these trials may be of interest.

About seventy years ago a young man named Lauria, in Lyons, France,
watched his professor pound some sulphur and chlorate of potash
together. The resulting flash and sharp crack set him thinking, and he
went home and began to experiment. He had a few sticks of pine wood
which had been partly dipped in sulphur, and a few glass tubes, and he
obtained more sulphur and some chlorate. He tried melting and mixing,
only to meet with many accidents. Finally he dipped the end of one
of the sticks into sulphur and then into the chlorate. He observed
that some of the chlorate remained on the stick. Then he rubbed
this prepared end on the wall where there happened to be a little
phosphorus; the stick immediately blazed. He had discovered for himself
the principle of the match; all he needed besides was something which
would make the chlorate always stick to the sulphured wood.

However, this match was not satisfactory and was never manufactured
for sale. Phosphorus was dangerous, and it was not safe to have it
spread upon a wall or any other surface. The first matches of practical
use were made in 1833, and were invented by six different men in six
different countries. These were the original Lucifer matches, which did
not require the use of phosphorus. They were made of thin sticks of
wood partly covered with sulphur. The ends of these sticks were then
dipped into a compound of chlorate of potash, sulphite of antimony,
and gum. When used these matches were drawn through a bent piece of
sandpaper. They were costly, frequently selling for a cent apiece.

A few years later a famous chemist discovered the red form of
phosphorus, which is not dangerous to handle. Since that time most
matches have contained this substance in the mixture, although during
the last half century hundreds of different combinations have been
invented. To-day hardly any article is manufactured that is so common
and inexpensive as the match. Without it we should feel almost lost,
and surely it would seem to us that the Dark Ages had returned. We
are told that the inhabitants of the United States use on an average
more than a thousand matches a year each. There are more than forty
manufactories in this country, most of them being in California,
Connecticut, New York, and Pennsylvania, yet the entire business is
principally controlled by one great company.

During the last two hundred years chimneys have been improved, stoves
have been invented and developed, coal has been discovered, and matches
have come into universal use. The log cabins of our ancestors have been
replaced by the well-built houses of to-day. The mammoth fireplaces,
sending much heat up the chimney and much smoke into the room, have
given way to the stoves and furnaces that render life comfortable. No
longer is it necessary to freeze our backs while roasting our faces.
Cranes, pot-hooks and trammels, and Dutch ovens are chiefly to be seen
in museums, and the kitchen range saves the cook much needless labor.
Nowadays we seldom find the fires out on a winter's morning and the
water frozen in the pitcher. Instead of hastening through the cold and
the snow to a neighbor to borrow fire, we simply "strike a match."
We all of us live in comfort that would have seemed luxury to the
wealthiest families two centuries ago.

Can we look forward to the changes that may come in the future in the
methods of heating our houses and cooking our food? Already railroad
cars are being heated by steam from the engines and electric cars are
heated by electricity. Already oil stoves and gas stoves have come
into common use and are found to possess many advantages: No ashes
need removal; the fire may be started without delay; the room is less
heated than with a coal fire; and the blaze may be turned out when no
longer needed. Already in some parts of the country natural gas is
led by pipes directly from the wells into houses for cooking and for
heating purposes. Already experiments in heating houses and cooking
food by means of electricity are common and to some extent successful.
It would seem that the inventions and improvements of the next hundred
years may render the homes as much more comfortable than those of
to-day as ours surpass those of our ancestors.


[Illustration: THOMAS A. EDISON.]


[Illustration: MINOT'S LEDGE LIGHT, MASSACHUSETTS BAY.]



SECTION II.--LIGHT.



CHAPTER I.

TORCHES.


Wood and coal, gas and oil, electricity even, aid us in our demand for
warm houses. In winter we should suffer greatly were it not for our
fireplaces, our stoves, and our furnaces. The sun then shines but a
short time every day, and sends us little heat. In summer "the great
orb of day" remains many hours in the heavens, and warms us through and
through. We have little desire then for artificial heat; natural heat
is sometimes more than sufficient.

The sun shines over all the world. "His going forth is from the end of
the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing
hid from the heat thereof."

The sun does much more for us than send us its heat-rays: all day long
we rejoice in the bright sunshine. But at night, when the sun has set,
we ask for artificial light. How shall we get it? How did our ancestors
obtain it?

We have in our day the electric light; we can use illuminating gas;
kerosene is easily obtained; if necessary, we can resort to candles.
Yet there was a time when the electric light had not been discovered.
Earlier still, gas had not been made and kerosene was not known.
Indeed, long, long ago even candles had not been seen by men. What
did the people do for light on a dark night in those times? After the
sun had set and night had settled down upon them, what could they do
during the long winter evenings without some method of lighting up the
darkness?

[Illustration: INDIANS TRAVELING AT NIGHT.]

As we looked to the American Indians for the simplest and rudest
methods of obtaining heat, so we can also learn something from them of
the primitive modes of lighting. Much of the time the red men found
sufficient light for all their wants in the wood fire. They needed no
candles to read by, for they had no books nor papers. They cared for
no lamp to dress by; they sought no illumination for halls or churches
or theatres. What little need they had for artificial light was
practically satisfied by that which came from the blazing logs.

If, however, on any special occasion they wished to light up their
long houses more brightly, the Indians used pitch-pine knots. In case
they were traveling by night and did not care to proceed stealthily
or secretly, these fagots of pitch pine gave them all the light they
wanted. The light from these sticks was dim; it flickered so as to hurt
the eyes; more smoke was given out than light; but the savage was fully
content.

Long before the red men were known, however, the burning fagot was used
by the people of Europe and Asia to lessen the darkness of the night.

An interesting story is told of Hannibal when he was leading the
Carthaginian army against Rome. In the course of his journey he marched
his whole force into a valley which was entirely surrounded by high
mountains very difficult to cross. Fabius, his Roman opponent, placed
his own army in the pass and enclosed Hannibal in the valley. Hannibal
was apparently caught in a trap, but he was a shrewd commander, and he
quickly devised a trick to make Fabius withdraw his legions. Early in
the day he sent out a large detail from his army to gather fagots. What
was he about to do with such great quantities of pine knots?

In the afternoon, by Hannibal's orders, these fagots were bound to the
horns of oxen which had been driven along during the march for food for
the army. At nightfall the fagots were lighted and the oxen were driven
directly up the steep side of one of the mountains. Fabius naturally
supposed that the lights moving up the mountain-side must be carried by
soldiers, and he thought that Hannibal and all his army were trying to
escape in that direction. Accordingly he quickly withdrew his troops
from the pass in order to attack the enemy when they came down the
opposite side of the mountain. Hannibal then quietly marched his army
through the pass, meeting with no opposition.

Long, long centuries before Hannibal the torch was known. In that
strange story of Gideon and his three hundred men who overcame the
Midianites, the torch or lamp was one of the weapons used. The vast
host of the Midianites, fearing no hostile attack, was spread over a
great valley. Gideon placed his little band of men on the hills around
the enemy's camp, each man at a considerable distance from the next, so
that they made a line nearly surrounding the entire valley. Every man
had a trumpet in one hand, and a lamp or torch covered by an upturned
pitcher in the other. This arrangement of the lamp and the pitcher
allowed a little light to be thrown upon the ground directly beneath.
The men could thus avoid stepping upon dry sticks and making a noise
which might alarm the guards around the camp of the Midianites. At the
same time the light was concealed from the eyes of their enemies.

When all was ready a shout was raised, "The sword of the Lord and of
Gideon!" and the pitchers were thrown with a great crash upon the
ground. The sudden noise of voices and of the breaking pitchers awoke
the Midianites from a deep sleep; the trumpets and the shouts turned
their eyes to the hills. All along the line of the three hundred men
spread out in a circle around them blazed the three hundred torches.
As it was the custom in those days to have a torch or a lamp indicate
the headquarters of a general, the Midianites in their sudden terror
naturally thought that an immense army was surrounding them. They
imagined that Gideon had hired vast forces from Egypt and elsewhere,
for they supposed that each of the several hundred torches indicated a
general with all his followers. Their only thought, therefore, was to
flee as quickly as possible. They ran against each other, and, unable
in the darkness to distinguish friend from foe, they killed their
own men. The entire army of one hundred and thirty-five thousand men
perished.

It is not certain whether the lights which were covered by the pitchers
came from lamps or torches. Gideon lived three thousand years ago, and
at that time both torches and lamps were used. He was a general of
the Israelites, and they certainly had lamps when in Egypt many years
before the time of Gideon. Lamps were also used by the Greeks and the
Romans.

The lamp of these ancient times was merely a small vessel like a
modern cup or bowl, usually having a handle. This was filled with oil,
generally olive, or sometimes only with grease. In this cup was placed
a small piece of cloth hanging over the side, which when lighted served
as a wick. It was the simplest arrangement possible.

[Illustration: ANCIENT LAMPS.]

The pitch-pine knot and the cup of grease have been more or less used
since these early times. When our ancestors came to this country their
houses were generally lighted by candles. In many cases, however,
the light from the fireplace was all that was used except on rare
occasions. The settlers who gradually moved westward to take up new
lands retained nearly all the inconvenient methods of the earlier
colonists. In the newer settlements of the Ohio and Mississippi valleys
and on the great Western plains the logs on the hearth were frequently
the only means for lighting the house during the evenings.

On Knob Creek, in the new State of Kentucky, a little school was kept
nearly eighty-five years ago. Among the pupils was a small boy not
seven years of age. One of his schoolmates afterward said of him that
he was "an unusually bright boy at school, and made splendid progress
in his studies. He would get spice-wood brushes, hack them up on a
log, and burn two or three together for the purpose of giving light by
which he might pursue his studies." It does not surprise us to learn
that this boy who thus in his earliest years showed such eagerness to
learn as to utilize the light of the kitchen fire was Abraham Lincoln,
afterward the famous President of the United States.

Many men are now living who do not remember to have seen in their
boyhood days any better light than the grease lamp. One of these
primitive lamps was easily made. An old button was covered with cloth,
which was tied with a string close to the button, the edges of the
cloth hanging free. This covered button was placed upon lard in a
saucer or other similar vessel, and a light applied. The lard around
the cloth melted, the button acted as a wick, and a rude lamp was the
result.

The hearth fire, the fagot or pitch-pine knot, and the pot of grease
or lard with a simple wick were the earliest methods of artificial
lighting. These, though still in use in newly settled communities, gave
place, in the main, centuries ago to the candle. As this was the first
improved method for lighting houses, churches, and other buildings, it
should next be considered.



CHAPTER II.

CANDLES.


Nobody can tell when candles were invented. Candlesticks are often
spoken of in the Bible, but those doubtless held oil and burned a wick
which hung over the side like the Roman lamps of later time. These
lamps appear to have been used by the Romans in their worship, and
after the Christian religion was established at Rome, candles were
introduced into the Christian service. During all the centuries since
that time the candle has been used in Catholic churches and cathedrals.

The Romans on the second day of February burned candles to the goddess
Februa, the mother of Mars, the Roman god of war, and Pope Sergius
adopted the custom and established rites and ceremonies for that day in
the offering of candles to the Virgin Mary. This was called Candlemas
day. The common people supposed that these candles would frighten away
the devil and all evil spirits not only from the persons who burned
them, but from the houses in which they were placed. There is an
ancient tradition about Candlemas day which seems to have traveled all
over Europe and found its way into this country; if the weather is fine
on that day--February 2d--it indicates a long winter and a late spring.
The Scotch state the legend in this way:

    "If Candlemas day is fair and clear,
    There'll be two winters in the year."

For several centuries past candles have been used all over the world
for lighting purposes. We have a variety of candles even in these days,
as they are now made of tallow, stearin, bleached wax, spermaceti,
and paraffine. Those commonly used by the early colonists were dipped
candles, often roughly made at home. For the wicks a loose, soft,
fibrous substance was taken, generally cotton. These were hung upon a
frame and dipped in melted tallow, taken out, suffered to cool, and
dipped again and again until the required thickness was obtained.
Moulded candles were cast in a series of tubes, the wicks first being
adjusted in the middle of the tubes and melted tallow poured in. The
best candles were made of wax. These were neither dipped nor moulded.
The wicks were warmed, and melted wax poured over them until they
acquired the proper thickness, then they were rolled between flat
pieces of wet, hard wood.

It is related of Benjamin Franklin that when a young man he received an
invitation from Gov. William Burnet, of New York, to call upon him. The
governor was delighted with his conversation, and was surprised to hear
him quote from Locke on the Understanding. The governor asked him at
what college he had studied Locke.

"Why, sir," said Franklin, "it was my misfortune never to be at any
college, or even at a grammar school, except for a year or two when I
was a child."

Here the governor sprang from his seat, and staring at Ben, cried out:
"Well, and where did you get your education, pray?"

"At home, sir, in a tallow-chandler's shop."

"In a tallow-chandler's shop!" exclaimed the governor.

"Yes, sir; my father was a poor old tallow chandler with fifteen
children, and I the youngest of all. [His father had, later, two other
children, both girls.] At eight he put me to school; but finding he
could not spare the money from the rest of the children to keep me
there, he took me home into the shop, where I assisted him by twisting
candlewicks and filling the moulds all day, and at night read by
myself." So Benjamin Franklin spent two years of his life, between the
ages of ten and twelve, in making candles for the good people of Boston.

[Illustration: FRANKLIN MAKING CANDLES.]

The candles gave but a poor light compared with the lights which we
have to-day. The combustion was only partial, and there was constant
trouble from the necessity of "snuffing the candle," that is, cutting
off the burnt wick. In those days, in every well-regulated house, on
the little centre-table stood the candlestick, and by its side upon a
small tray made for the purpose could always be found the "snuffers"--a
singular instrument, something like a pair of scissors, with a small
semi-circular pocket in which to hold the snuff taken from the candle.

[Illustration: READING BY CANDLELIGHT.]

Let us imagine an early New England family on a winter's evening
sitting before the blazing fire of the open fireplace. They are
gathered around a small table upon which is a solitary candle, giving a
feeble, sickly flame. By its light the mother is sewing and the father
is reading from the Bible, The Pilgrim's Progress, or it may be Bacon's
Essays, or Locke on the Understanding. The children are listening
and trying to get interested in what is being read to them, while
occasionally one or another of them snuffs the little candle. By and by
the candle burns down "to the socket," and goes out. The mother rises
and goes to the pantry to get another, but finds to her dismay that she
has used her last one. The family must therefore see by the light of
the fire or retire for the night, and to-morrow the good wife must dip
some more candles.

When the children go to bed they have no brightly burning lamp to
light them to their several bedrooms, but they climb the ladder to the
open, unfinished loft with no light except what comes to them from
the embers upon the hearth. Then the father covers up the coals with
a great body of ashes, hoping to "keep the fire" till morning. What
a marked contrast between the life of those people and the customs
of to-day in the same country and among the grandchildren and the
great-grandchildren of those same pioneer settlers!

In the colonial days for an evening service the churches must be
lighted with candles. Occasionally you will find even now in some
ancient church the antique candelabra or chandelier. Sometimes in
wealthy churches these were made of glass, and were of beautiful
construction. In the old meeting-house of the first Baptist church
in Providence, Rhode Island, which was founded by Roger Williams and
others in 1639, there is one of these ancient glass candelabras. It
is of immense proportions, hanging from the ceiling by a long, stout
chain, and arranged for a large number of candles. It has not been
used for many years, but it is a beautiful ornament and a suggestive
reminder of the method by which our ancestors lighted their churches in
the early times.

In these days of brilliant electric lights, how small appears the light
of the ancient candles! Have we gained in knowledge and manner of
living as greatly as in heating and lighting our houses?



CHAPTER III.

WHALE OIL.


No one knows when the whale fishery began. Eight hundred years ago
whales were caught off the coast of France and Spain, and before the
Pilgrim fathers landed at Plymouth the whale fishery had been carried
on to such an extent on the west coast of Europe that the supply of
whales had begun to fail. The American whale fishery began with the
earliest settlers. They found it profitable to catch whales and try
out the oil for use in their lamps. It has been said that one of the
arguments for settling on Cape Cod was the presence along the coast of
large whales of the best kind for oil and whalebone.

The first whale fishery in America was carried on from Cape Cod,
Nantucket, and Martha's Vineyard by large rowboats. A company of hardy
pioneers would row out from the coast into deep water, wait for the
appearance of a whale, strike their harpoons into his side, and let
him run. Sometimes it would be days before death would result. Often
he would sink and later rise and float upon the surface. The fishermen
would then pull him to the shore and try out the oil. Many whales thus
harpooned would be lost to those who had wounded them. A story is told
that in the town of Southampton, Long Island, before the year 1650,
the men divided themselves into squads to watch night and day for
whales that might come ashore, and this became in a few years a regular
industry.

After a time whaling vessels were fitted up and sent out for the
capture of whales. These vessels cruised in all waters. They coasted
along Greenland and into the Arctic Ocean. They traversed the
South Seas, and sailed upon the Pacific through all latitudes from
Patagonia to Bering Sea. Great vessels--barks, brigs, and full-rigged
ships--manned with large crews of stalwart men, with supplies for a
three-years' voyage or more, would leave home for a cruise in foreign
waters after these monsters of the deep.

[Illustration: WHALE FISHING.]

When the whale is killed its body is towed alongside the vessel and
is made fast by the ship's chains. The fat of the whale is cut into
slices, and these slices taken in between decks. This cutting up--or,
as the sailors call it, "cutting in"--occupies the entire ship's
company for hours. The fat or "blubber," as they call it, is cut into
smaller cubical pieces, heated in a large pot, and the oil strained
off. This is called "trying out." The oil is stored in casks to be
conveyed home. A large whale will give two or three tons of blubber.
It is estimated that a ton of blubber will yield nearly two hundred
gallons of oil. Sometimes a single whale will produce oil and whalebone
to the value of $3,000 or $4,000.

It will readily be seen that whale fishing is both a laborious and
a dangerous occupation. The wounded whale is accustomed to strike
violently with its tail in the endeavor to destroy its enemies. Here is
a true story about the experiences of one family engaged in the whale
fishery. Long before the year 1800 and after that date for almost half
a century, New Bedford, Nantucket, Martha's Vineyard, and Provincetown
in Massachusetts, with Warren and Bristol in Rhode Island, engaged
very largely in this hazardous but profitable business. In one of
these towns an industrious and enterprising man of more than ordinary
ability followed this occupation for half a century and amassed a small
fortune. He had several sons. When the oldest grew to manhood he very
naturally followed in the footsteps of his father. He went to sea on a
whaling vessel and was lost during his first voyage.

The second son shipped on a whaler. In the Arctic waters he was one
day pursuing a whale that had already been wounded, rowing with all
his might. The whale in his anger struck at the boat with his huge
tail, hit the oar with which the young man was rowing, and drove the
end of it into his mouth, breaking the bones and crushing in the very
interior. Still the young man lived. He was tenderly cared for by his
shipmates, and finally reached home. Then he was turned over to the
doctors. Skillful surgery supplied him with a false lower jaw, a gold
roof to his mouth, and a false palate. He lived many years and was a
successful business man. Had you met him on the street he would have
talked with you like any other man, and you would have observed nothing
unusual except the scars of two cuts on the upper lip.

The third son when eighteen years of age also left home on a whaling
voyage. At the end of three years his ship returned with a full cargo
of excellent oil. The heavily freighted vessel anchored in the bay,
and the captain went up to the town in a rowboat to announce his
arrival, and to tell the people of the success of the voyage and that
all were well on board. Just as the captain was leaving for the shore
some young men in the crew, wishing to celebrate their safe return,
proposed firing the ship's swivel-gun. As the captain started over the
side of the vessel he cautioned them, saying that the gun was rusty and
that it would not be safe to fire it. But it was our young friend's
birthday. He would risk the old gun. They ran it out on deck, loaded
it up, and touched it off. There was a terrific explosion. The gun
burst and blew off both hands of the young man who was celebrating
his birthday. Another boat was pushed off for the shore and carried
the wounded man to his home. Nothing could save his hands; they were
both amputated at the wrists. Through a long life he wore wooden hands
covered with kid gloves. He was accustomed frequently to mourn that
he had not at least one thumb. If he could have had a single thumb
he could have done many things. Was it not Emerson who said that the
thumb is the symbol of civilization? Man could never have attained his
present position without a thumb.

For many years this man, thus maimed for life, kept a store and sold
groceries and ship supplies. A visitor one day saw him weigh out for a
lady customer a quarter of a pound of pepper. It was at the noon hour,
when the clerks were all away at dinner. The customer came and asked
for a quarter of a pound of pepper. The storekeeper pulled out the
drawer, placed it on the counter, put a piece of paper in the hopper,
adjusted the scale to the quarter pound, slipped one of his wooden
fingers through the handle of the little tin scoop, and scattered the
pepper upon the paper until the full weight was made. He then returned
the drawer to its place, took off the hopper and laid it upon the
counter, pulled out the paper and the pepper, doubled the paper over
on one side and back from the other side, doubled over one end and
then the other, picked it up between his two wooden hands, and handed
it to the customer. She placed the money on the back of his hand. With
the other hand he pulled open the money drawer and tossed the money
in. With both hands he took off his hat, picked up the change with his
lips, placed the change upon the back of his hand, and passed it to the
lady. Three unfortunate experiences in one family would seem to have
been enough, so the next son never went to sea.

We may now ask what was the object of all this whale fishery? Man had
made a new invention. He had not only discovered the value of whale oil
as a material for furnishing artificial light, he had also invented
the modern lamp. In the candle the burning material, whether tallow
or something else, is solidified around the wick. The heat from the
burning wick melts the tallow and the combustion gives light.

In the modern lamp the simple device of a tube or two tubes to hold
the wick is all that is needed over and above those used in ancient
times. Tin tubes are placed in the top of the lamp and the wicks run
up through the tubes. The lamp then being filled with oil, capillary
attraction will bring the oil up to the top of the wick. The lamp when
lighted will burn until the supply of oil is exhausted.

The invention of this modern lamp, though very simple, has been of
great value. At first it was made of metal--lead, block tin, Britannia,
brass--and finally of glass. Lamps of various patterns and different
sizes became common. For a long while very little change was made in
this new mode of obtaining light. This method continued in common use
until about the middle of the nineteenth century.



CHAPTER IV.

KEROSENE.


It was a long step from the smoky and ill-smelling whale-oil lamp to
the clear and brilliant kerosene burner. At the present time the best
illumination is furnished by gas and electricity, but in the country
and to a large extent in the cities the kerosene lamp is still in
common use, and doubtless will remain so for a long time to come. This
lamp with its recent important improvements is mainly of American
origin and development.

Kerosene for lighting purposes has some advantages over gas or
electricity. The light produced from it is steady; therefore it is less
harmful to the eyes than the flickering light of illuminating gas, and
even better than the electric light. It is far cheaper than either. It
has a third advantage, since it can be used in a hand lamp which can be
carried from place to place. A large portion of our population consider
it so valuable that they would rather give up the gaslight altogether,
or indeed the electric light, than be obliged to lose the kerosene lamp.

Kerosene is a form of petroleum which is obtained from the earth by
deep wells. It is only within the last fifty years that this oil has
been pumped in sufficient quantities to make it a valuable industry,
though petroleum was obtained here and there in small quantities far
back in the early ages. It seems a little singular that the people of
Japan and Persia should have dug oil wells centuries ago. Herodotus,
who wrote history five hundred years before Christ, tells us of the
springs of Zante, one of the Ionian Islands in the Mediterranean Sea,
from which oil flowed. It is said that these springs are still flowing.

China seems to have been the first country to draw oil from artesian
wells. We proud Americans are accustomed to think ourselves a little
ahead of all other people. When an American boy in San Francisco, for
instance, meets a Chinese lad, he is quite apt to look down upon him
and to think that this little Chinese boy came from a country hardly
civilized and certainly far behind the "universal Yankee nation;"
yet we are constantly finding traces of a civilization in China much
earlier than our own.

The first successful oil well in this country was made by Col. E. L.
Drake, near Titusville, Pennsylvania. In 1854 the Pennsylvania Rock-Oil
Company was organized for the purpose of procuring petroleum in Oil
Creek. Four years later this company employed Colonel Drake to drill
an artesian well. On the 29th of August, 1859, he "struck oil" only
sixty-nine feet below the surface of the ground. The next day this well
was found to be nearly full of petroleum.

Oil is now found in large quantities in various sections of
Pennsylvania, New York, Indiana, and Kentucky, and it has recently
been discovered in California, Wyoming, Colorado, and other portions
of our land. The largest part of the oil used in commerce is from
Pennsylvania. At the present time more than fifty million barrels of
petroleum are produced annually in the United States alone, which
is more than half of the entire product of the world. A single well
has been known to yield forty thousand gallons a day, flowing freely
without the slightest use of pumping apparatus.

The product of these wells after a time greatly diminishes and
sometimes ceases altogether. In such cases it is customary to explode
torpedoes at the bottom of the well. This is done by placing there
several gallons of nitroglycerine with a fulminating cap on top. This
cap is exploded by dropping a piece of iron upon it. The explosion
opens the seams and crevices around the bottom of the well so as to
renew the flow of oil.

[Illustration: OIL WELLS.]

It is now about forty years since the first introduction of kerosene as
an article of commerce. To-day it is in almost universal use throughout
the civilized world. It gives a convenient light at a moderate expense,
and has therefore proved a great blessing to mankind. Meantime the
whale fishery has largely diminished; indeed, it would seem to be
almost destroyed. The reasons for this are not difficult to find. In
the first place, the number of whales is much less than formerly, so
that this business is far less profitable than it used to be. In the
second place, the rapid development of the kerosene industry has so
cheapened the product that people cannot afford to light their houses
with whale oil, especially as they find the kerosene not only cheaper,
but more convenient and satisfactory.

Common whale oil previous to 1850 had been furnished at an average
cost of perhaps fifty cents a gallon, while the sperm oil, which is of
superior quality, cost as much as one dollar a gallon. The people of
the whole country east of the Rocky Mountains feed their lamps to-day
with kerosene at a cost of from eight cents to twelve cents a gallon.

A few persons have made great fortunes from the oil wells. On the other
hand, it should not be forgotten that the modern processes of purifying
kerosene could not have been put in operation without the aid of large
fortunes. A cheap and satisfactory light has been furnished to all the
people of the United States only by means of the great capital employed
in its production.

So you see civilization is progressing, and we are all enjoying more
blessings and conveniences than our fathers had. In the earlier times
every one had to labor diligently to secure food, clothing, and
shelter. As civilization advances these require less time and expense,
and we have greater opportunities to attend to the development of our
higher natures, the acquisition of knowledge, the pursuit of science,
and the elevation of the race.



CHAPTER V.

ILLUMINATING GAS.


Thus far our various methods of artificial lighting have been very
simple. At first men burned the pitch from the pine, and it produced a
flame; then they burned olive oil through a wick, and it gave forth a
flame. The tallow in the candle was burned through a wick, and it made
a light; the whale oil in the lamp was burned by means of a wick, and a
light was the result. In the same way refined petroleum, which we call
kerosene, was burned by means of a wick, and that gave a strong light.
These methods of lighting were all very similar.

We come now to a real invention. What would a boy of the year 1800,
could he return to the earth, say to see you strike a match, turn a
stopcock, and light the gas as you do to-day? He has never seen a
match. He is just as ignorant of a stopcock, and surely it would be
difficult for him to understand the burning of the gas. Many things
would need to be explained to this boy of a hundred years ago. He must
be told all about the production of illuminating gas, the storing of
that gas under pressure, the transportation of it to the place where
the light is wanted, and the proper apparatus for turning it on,
setting it on fire, and regulating its pressure so as to produce a
steady, uniform light.

Before the year 1700 Dr. John Clayton, an Englishman, prepared gas from
bituminous coal, collected it, and burned it for the amusement of his
friends. An English bishop in 1767 showed how gas could be produced
from coal and how it might be conveyed in tubes. These were the first
two steps toward our present almost universal illumination by gas:
making gas and conveying it in tubes.

The real inventor of practical gas-lighting was William Murdoch, of
Cornwall, England, who sometime before the year 1800 carried pipes
through his house and office, and lighted the various rooms with gas
which he had made from coal. Indeed, Murdoch did more than this: he
lighted with his new gas a small steam carriage in which he rode to and
from his mines. In 1802 he first publicly exhibited this gas-lighting
in Ayrshire, Scotland, and showed two immense flames from coal gas.
Nor did he stop here, for in 1805 he succeeded in lighting some cotton
mills by the same method.

In our country various experiments were made, but without any practical
result until 1821, when illuminating gas was successfully manufactured
and used in Baltimore. In 1827 the New York Gaslight Company introduced
this new method into many houses and sold the gas to the people for
lighting purposes.

That was over seventy years ago. What a change has been made within
these seventy years! In cities and large towns almost every new
house is piped for gas. Gas companies are formed for supplying this
illuminating product to the inhabitants. Gas meters have been perfected
which measure the quantity of gas, so that one pays for no more than he
uses. Moreover, the towns and cities put up street lights which burn
this same gas in the night, making it easy, convenient, and safe to
traverse the streets at any hour.

Bituminous or soft coal is used in the manufacture of illuminating
gas, as anthracite contains less of the needed materials. Gases are
easily driven off from bituminous coal whenever it is heated, if air
is kept from it. At the works, therefore, the coal is placed in large
closed ovens, called _retorts_. These are directly over furnace fires,
which are kept vigorously burning. The gases pass out of the coal and,
rising, enter a series of long pipes. The coal which is left in the
retorts is called coke. This process is called _distillation_.

Many substances pass off with the gas, from which it must be cleaned.
Tar and ammonia become liquids when cooled, and are left behind as
the gas passes through cold water. The series of iron pipes in which
this process is carried on is called the _condenser_. Then the gas
is carried through the _purifier_, in which all other impurities are
removed.

When thoroughly purified the gas passes into the _gasometer_. This
usually consists of two round iron cylinders of nearly the same size,
one inside of the other. The outside cylinder has no roof; the inside
has no floor. The sides of the inner one go down into a trench filled
with water. Its top is held up by the gas, which comes into it from the
purifier.

[Illustration: A GASOMETER.]

The roof of the inner cylinder presses down heavily upon the gas,
pushing it into the large _main pipes_, which run from the gasometer
through the principal streets. Smaller mains connect with these and the
gas is pushed into the _service pipes_, which enter the houses. When a
stopcock is opened in any house the pressure of the gasometer pushes
the gas through, it may be, miles of pipes, and out through the burner,
where it may be lighted.

Many houses have a simple electric-lighting attachment, so that by
merely turning a stopcock the gas is turned on and by pulling a chain
an electric spark sets the gas on fire, flooding the room with light.

Within a few years illuminating gas has greatly diminished in price.
It costs a little more than kerosene, but it is more convenient in
many ways. The danger of carrying lamps from room to room is avoided,
as well as the disagreeable task of filling them. Still the gas flame
is less steady than that of the kerosene lamp, and is therefore less
serviceable for reading. For the poor man the kerosene light is a great
blessing, while for all who can afford the extra cost the gaslight is a
greater convenience.



CHAPTER VI.

ELECTRIC LIGHTING.


The electric light differs widely from all modes of artificial
light previously invented. It is the latest method that man has
discovered for the production of light. In its practical form this
invention is quite recent. In England the arc light was produced in
lecture-room experiments as early as 1802. Prof. Michael Faraday, a
learned Englishman and celebrated chemist, experimented many years
in electricity and magnetism in the Royal Institution at London. He
continued his studies and experiments in developing the science of
electricity through his whole life, but he died, an old man, before a
single electric arc was seen in the streets of London.

In ancient times an invention was frequently the result of one man's
efforts, but at the present time it is often quite otherwise. Many
men are now engaged in the development of electric lighting. Charles
Francis Brush was a farmer's boy in Ohio. He pushed himself through the
Cleveland High School and graduated at the University of Michigan. He
established a laboratory in Cleveland and turned his attention to the
invention of apparatus for electric lighting. He was one of three or
four great American inventors who successfully put into operation the
dynamo and furnished electricity for the electrical lamp. This dynamo
is a machine which produces electric currents by mechanical power.
Brush's dynamo at the outset was so perfect and complete that for many
years it has continued in regular use with but very little change.

Elihu Thomson graduated at the Central High School in Philadelphia and
taught chemistry in that school. He studied with great care the subject
of electricity, giving special attention to lighting. He organized the
Thomson-Houston Electric Company, and has patented nearly two hundred
inventions relating to electric lighting and other applications of
electricity. He was also the inventor of the system of electric welding.

Among the great American inventors in electrical science is Thomas
Alva Edison. He was an Ohio boy whose Scotch mother taught him to
read. When he was twelve years old he was a newsboy on the Grand Trunk
Railroad. Here he acquired the habit of reading. He studied chemistry
and conducted chemical experiments on the train. He learned to set
type, and edited and printed a newspaper in the baggage car. He was
constantly noticing the telegraph stations along the road, and he soon
began to study electricity.

[Illustration: EDISON'S HEROIC ACT.]

One day the little child of a station master was playing on the track
just as a freight car was moving down toward him. Almost as swift as
lightning itself young Edison dashed out, stepped in front of the
coming car, and at the risk of his own life snatched the child from
danger. In gratitude the station master, knowing the boy's interest in
the telegraph, taught him how to use a machine. After that he acquired
great skill in this art and operated in many sections of the country,
perfecting himself in the subject.

For over twenty years he has had a large establishment, with an immense
workshop and many mechanics, at Menlo Park, N. J., where he has
devoted his whole attention to inventing. He has perfected his system
of duplex telegraphy and invented the carbon telephone-transmitter,
the phonograph, the platinum burner, and the carbon burner for the
incandescent light. He has patented very many inventions, and his
system of electric lighting for houses is now in general use. Edison's
whole life is an interesting study for young people.

At the present time the two methods of lighting by electricity are
the arc light and the incandescent light. The arc light is used for
lighting large buildings like churches, halls, and railway stations,
and for lighting the streets of a city. The incandescent light, or the
glow-lamp as it is called in England, is in general use for lighting
dwelling houses. This lamp consists of a glass bulb from which air has
been excluded so that it is almost a perfect vacuum and in which is
inserted a looped filament of carbon. The electricity is made to pass
through this carbon wire, which is thereby heated to a white heat and
thus furnishes the light. Being in a vacuum, the carbon is but slightly
burned. It therefore can be subjected to this heat for a long time
without breaking or wearing out.

At first Edison used a platinum wire in the little electric lamp.
He wanted something better. He needed some form of bamboo or other
vegetable fibre. He sent a man to explore China and Japan for bamboo.
He sent another, who traveled twenty-three hundred miles up the Amazon
River and finally reached the Pacific coast, searching for bamboo.
He sent a third to Ceylon to spend years in a similar search. Eighty
varieties of bamboo and three thousand specimens of other vegetable
fibre were brought him. He tested them all; three or four were found
suitable.

This system of incandescent lights has been rapidly extended within
a few years. There are millions of these lights now in use in this
country. They are used not only for lighting the rooms of hotels and
private houses, but also for lighting steamships, railway trains, and
street cars, and for nearly all indoor illumination. This light is
not as cheap as kerosene or gaslight, but it is so convenient and so
simple, requiring no daily care, that it is rapidly coming into use in
all towns and cities.

Among its advantages may be named the four following points. Matches
are not needed in making a light. Thus the danger from accidental
fires, which have so frequently occurred from the careless use of
matches, is avoided. Very little heat results from an electric light,
while from kerosene lamps and gaslight much heat is produced. In warm
weather this freedom from heat is agreeable. The burning lamp and
the gas jet make the air of the room impure and unfit for breathing.
This is not true of the electric light. In the use of kerosene and of
illuminating gas there is frequently danger of explosion. Not so with
the electric light.

It will be seen that we are thus using to-day for lighting purposes
occasionally the candle, quite largely the kerosene lamp, and to a
great extent in towns and cities the gaslight, and best of all--the
cleanest, the neatest, giving the brightest light, requiring the least
attention from the consumer, and manifesting the highest development of
man's inventive genius thus far--the electric light. Here at present
man's invention in this direction has stopped. What the next step will
be, no one can tell.

Slowly through the ages man has been developing. Gradually he has grown
in mental power and advanced morally and spiritually. It is very clear
that although he is an animal and has the nature and desires of an
animal, he has high mental capacity and is endowed with a spiritual
nature, a soul. At the very beginning of creation we are told, "God
said, Let there be light: and there was light." How and whence it
came we cannot tell. It would almost seem that man in his effort to
create light has kept step with his own development. The first light
was produced from the simplest substances, solids: wood on the hearth,
the pitch-pine knot, and the candle. Then followed light produced
from liquids: olive oil, whale oil, refined petroleum. Afterward the
inventive genius of man extracted from coal an invisible gas which
would burn and give a bright, clear light. Rising higher and higher,
man soars above all solids, liquids, and gases, and with a sudden bound
leaps almost out of the realm of matter and produces the electric
light, which is merely a form of motion. How clearly the progress of
man, his elevation, his civilization, his increased conveniences and
luxuries of life are made to appear in this study of his methods of
obtaining artificial light!



CHAPTER VII.

LIGHTHOUSES.


We have seen that artificial light is needed at night not only in
houses, churches, and public halls, but also in the streets of large
towns and cities for the benefit of those who have occasion to travel
after dark. Still further, it has been found necessary to light the
shores of the great sea, so that vessels may not run upon the rocks in
the darkness and be stove to pieces.

The building of lighthouses has chiefly developed during the present
century, although a few lighthouses were known to the ancients. The
full history of lighthouses, if we could trace it, would be very
interesting. If you were asked where the first lighthouse was built
you would be quite likely to guess right the first time, because you
know that the first ships and the first sailors were around the eastern
part of the Mediterranean Sea. You would certainly say somewhere along
the eastern coast of that sea. Now as a matter of fact there was a
lighthouse on the island of Pharos, just in front of the city of
Alexandria, which was built over three hundred years before Christ.
This was one of the most celebrated towers of antiquity; in fact, it
is classed among the Seven Wonders of the World. It is quite likely,
however, that this was not the first lighthouse. Probably there were
towers on the Dardanelles, the Sea of Marmora, and the Bosphorus which
may have preceded the Pharos of Alexandria.

The Romans built lighthouses at Ostia, Ravenna, Puteoli, and other
ports. All these ancient lighthouses were towers on the top of which
wood was burned at night, and the blaze of the burning wood furnished
the light which was to guide the mariner.

Two or three centuries ago many lighthouses were built along the shores
of France and England. The first lighthouse on the coast of our country
was Boston Light, at the entrance to Boston harbor, which was erected
in the year 1716. Ever since the United States government has been
established, much attention has been paid to our system of lighthouses.
In 1852 a lighthouse board was established within the department of the
United States Treasury.

Great skill and engineering ability are needed in the construction of
lighthouses. Our country has long Atlantic, Pacific, and lake coasts
to be protected, besides numerous rivers extending over thousands of
miles. All along these coasts and rivers our government has established
and maintains lighthouses. We have nearly a thousand lights on the
Atlantic coast, nearly two hundred upon the Pacific, and several
hundred along the shores of the Northern Lakes. The United States has
also many fog signals and almost innumerable buoys. Great sums of
money are necessary to build these lighthouses, many of which are now
of iron. Twelve of our most famous lighthouses have cost a total sum
of upward of $3,000,000 for their construction. Each year witnesses a
steady improvement in the method of construction and of lighting this
multitude of lighthouses.

At first, fires burning at the tops of lighthouses were the only
signals and guides at night. Then came the use of oil in lamps, with
reflectors constructed for the purpose. At first in this country fish
oil was used, and after that sperm oil. Within the last ten years
refined petroleum has been almost universally adopted for lighthouses
in the United States. At present about a million gallons are used in a
year. We have only a few electric lights, though two are now in use on
the Atlantic coast and two or three upon the lakes.

In late years commerce has been rapidly extended. The merchant marine
of the nations has grown to gigantic proportions. The amount of travel
not only coastwise but across the ocean for pleasure and profit has
become enormous. The nations are coming closer together and becoming
better acquainted with each other. All this promotes civilization, and
will ere long, it is to be hoped, operate to prevent international wars.

England has many famous lighthouses. Great Britain is an island and
her coast shows a continuous series of indentations. Perhaps the most
famous of her lighthouses is the Eddystone Light, a few miles off from
Plymouth.

If you will look on your map of Great Britain you will find that the
county of Northumberland is the extreme northern end of England,
bordering on the North Sea and adjoining the southeast corner of
Scotland. Off that coast you will see a little group of islands called
the Farne Islands. At low tide there are twenty-five of them. On one of
these little islands, early in the present century, stood the Longstone
Lighthouse. It was a solitary place, and sometimes weeks would pass
without any communication with the mainland. The keeper of this light
was William Darling, a man of intelligence, who gave a fair education
to each of his large family of children. One of these was a daughter
whose name was Grace. Think what the youth of an intelligent girl would
be on one of the Farne Islands. They are extremely desolate, are
covered with rocks, and have very little vegetation and very little
animal life except sea fowl.

Through the channels between these islands the sea rushes with great
force, and many a brave ship has gone down, dashed to pieces upon the
rocks. In 1838 a large steamer named the _Forfarshire_ struck these
rocks and was broken in two within sight of Longstone Lighthouse. This
steamer had on board more than forty passengers and twenty officers
and crew. Three persons only were in the lighthouse--Mr. Darling, his
wife, and Grace. The storm was furious, the sea was running high, and
through the mist, with the aid of his glass, Mr. Darling could make
out the figures of the sufferers who were still clinging to the broken
vessel. The lighthouse-keeper shrank from attempting their rescue, but
Grace insisted that they must make the effort to save them from certain
death. Even the launching of the boat was extremely hazardous. The old
lighthouse-keeper thought it impossible, but he could not resist the
pleadings of his daughter. The mother helped to launch the boat; the
father and daughter entered it and each took an oar. It was a terrible
undertaking to row the frail boat, and it required not only great
muscular power but the most determined courage.

The rescuers succeeded in reaching the rocks, but found great
difficulty in steadying the boat to prevent it from being destroyed
on the sharp ridges. There were nine persons clinging to the broken
vessel. These nine were all rescued. By tremendous energy, great skill,
and almost superhuman efforts they were rowed back to the lighthouse in
safety.

This heroic deed of a young woman scarcely twenty-three years of age
was heralded abroad until she became well known all over Europe, and
the lonely lighthouse was soon the centre of attraction to thousands
of curious and sympathizing persons. The Humane Society sent her a
most flattering vote of thanks, and a public subscription was raised
amounting to about thirty-five hundred dollars. Testimonials of all
kinds were showered upon her, which produced in her mind only a sense
of wonder and grateful pleasure.

[Illustration: GRACE DARLING.]

This brief outline of Grace Darling is here given because her heroism
served to call the attention of the world to the importance of
lighthouses and the isolated life of the keepers and their families.
You will find a picturesque account of the life of Grace Darling in
the first volume of Chambers's "Miscellany." This story does not stand
alone in lighthouse annals, but again and again has it been matched in
later times and in our own country.

One of the most famous lighthouse heroines in America was Miss Ida
Lewis, whose father kept the Limestone Lighthouse at the entrance to
the harbor of Newport, R. I. This lighthouse-keeper's daughter very
early in life became skilled in rowing and swimming. One day, when she
was eighteen years of age, four young men were upset in a boat in the
harbor. Ida quickly launched her own skiff, pushed off, rescued them,
and brought them safely to shore.

At another time three drunken soldiers had stove a hole in their boat
not far from the lighthouse. Two swam ashore and Ida reached their boat
in season to save the third. Two years afterward a sheep was being
driven down the wharf when the animal plunged into the water. Three men
running along the shore in pursuit found a boat and pushed out after
the sheep. A heavy "sou'wester" was blowing and the boat was carried
away into deep water. Ida Lewis, in spite of the high wind, rowed out
in her little skiff and brought them safely ashore.

One winter a young scapegrace stole a sailboat from the wharf and
put out to sea. About midnight the gale drove the boat upon the
Limestone rocks a mile from the light, but the boy clung to the mast
all night. In the morning Ida Lewis found him, as she said, "shaking
and God-blessing me and praying to be set on shore." By these and
other instances in which Miss Lewis rescued those in danger she became
famous, and her praises were heralded in the newspapers and spoken at
many firesides. The citizens of Newport presented her with a boat as a
token of their admiration of her bravery.

These famous instances and many more that could be added to them would
seem to indicate that life in a lighthouse, with the mind constantly
running out to the sea, becoming familiar with the storms that rise,
and observing the dash of the waves and the roar of the wind--life
inured to hardship, but shut up within the safe keeping of the solid
walls of the little tower high above the raging waves--it would
seem that such a life is calculated to give courage, strength, and
fortitude, and to endue the heart with a heroic forgetfulness of self.

How important is the position of a lighthouse-keeper! Many lives are
in his hands, and on his fidelity depends the safety of millions of
dollars of property. Boats and ships of all kinds, steamers great and
small, sail away from one shore of the vast sea to the opposite shore,
or along the coast, all in comparative safety because of the various
beacon lights.

Indeed, is not the lighthouse itself a great lesson in morals? Every
one of us--every one of the seventy million people of the United States
has a part in the lighthouse. It is we, the people, who are furnishing
the government with its resources, and it is the great government of
our country that builds the lighthouses to warn mariners of danger. The
modern lighthouse is the symbol of benevolence. It carries with it the
lesson of "loving thy neighbor as thyself." This is the lesson of the
lighthouse to the people of the land, though its service is performed
for the people of the sea.


[Illustration: CYRUS H. McCORMICK.]


[Illustration: CUTTING SUGAR CANE IN THE HAWAIIAN ISLANDS.]



SECTION III.--FOOD.



CHAPTER I.

UNCULTIVATED FOODS.


Heat and light--each is necessary for our bodily comfort and
well-being. We have seen that much time and thought have been spent
during the past three hundred years in providing the most satisfactory
methods for heating and lighting our houses. We have found that wood
and coal in our fireplaces, stoves, and furnaces have given us the
best heat. We have learned that kerosene and gas made from coal are
the most common sources of light. Even electricity, the latest means
for producing light and heat, usually needs the power of steam for its
development; and heat is necessary to produce steam. We have a common
name for the wood, the coal, the gas, and the oil, from the burning of
which heat and light result; this name is fuel.

Another form of fuel is even more necessary than coal and wood. In
the winter we warm our rooms so that we may not suffer from the cold;
but the stove does not warm us when out of doors. Then we put on our
heavy winter wraps, but these give us no warmth: they merely keep in
the heat of the body or keep out the cold blasts of the wind. We all
know that the body is warm of itself; that there is something within
us that produces heat, like a fire. When our fingers become chilled by
the frosty air we may warm them with our breath. The temperature of
a room may be seventy degrees or less, but if we place the bulb of a
thermometer beneath the tongue we shall find that the mercury rises to
ninety-eight degrees.

The fire in the body and the fire in the stove act very much alike. If
the draughts of the stove are closed tight and no air is admitted, the
fire dies down and goes out. If the air which enters the body is foul,
the fire feels the effect and our health is injured. If the lungs are
filled with water or anything else which keeps out the air, the fire
goes out and life is lost.

The fuel which we call food is just as necessary for the fire in our
body as is wood or coal for the fire in the stove. Three times a day or
oftener we take this food-fuel into our bodies; thus we keep the fire
steadily burning which makes us warm and keeps us alive.

On the other hand, fuel for the body must be very different from fuel
for a stove. In the stove heat alone is wanted; therefore one form of
fuel is enough. In the body bones must be enlarged and strengthened,
muscles must be developed, fat must be provided in sufficient
quantities, and brain-matter must be produced. Therefore the food-fuel
must provide not only heat but also the different materials of which
the body is made. One kind of food is necessary for the bones, another
for the blood, another for the flesh, and another for the nerves.
Thus while in studying common fuel we have only to learn about wood,
either in the form of trees or pressed into the form of coal, in
studying food-fuel we find that the kinds are almost numberless. Meat
and vegetables, fish and fruit, roots and nuts, in their infinite
varieties, are all included in the word food.

We are told that all matter belongs to one of three kingdoms--the
animal, the vegetable, and the mineral kingdoms. From two of these
three divisions we obtain most of our food. Food may be divided into
two classes then--animal food and vegetable food. In animal food we
have the meat of wild animals and of domestic animals. In early days,
when the number of people was small, the supply of wild animals was
large. A great part of the food in those days was obtained by hunting
and fishing. To-day most of the meat comes from domestic animals, so
that the keeping of herds and flocks is one of the great industries of
the time. Fish are still important in our lists of foods, but the flesh
of wild animals is less and less used for meat.

Three hundred years ago the Indians had this country to themselves.
They were few in number and were scattered over a vast territory. The
forests abounded in wild game and the lakes and rivers were filled with
fish. Love of hunting and fishing held the first place in the pleasures
of the red man. The hunting grounds extended far and wide in every
direction. Each tribe had its own hunting and fishing grounds, and it
was considered an act of war for any tribe of Indians to encroach upon
the territory of other tribes.

"Such places as they chose for their abode," says Hubbard's History,
"were usually at the falls of great rivers, or near the seaside, where
was any convenience for catching such fish as every summer and winter
used to come up the coast. At such times they used, like good fellows,
to make all common, and then those who had entertained their neighbors
at the seaside expected the like kindness from them again up higher in
the country."

The kinds of wild animals that the Indians hunted were very numerous.
One man describes the appearance of an Indian's "room of skins." He
says: "There they showed me many hides and horns, both beasts of chase
of the stinking foot--such as roes, foxes, jackals, wolves, wildcats,
raccoons, porcupines, skunks, muskrats, squirrels, and sables--and
beasts of chase of the sweet foot--buck, red deer, reindeer, moose,
bear, beaver, otter, hare, and martin." Captain John Smith tells of the
fowl that the red men hunted. He mentions eagles, hawks, cranes, geese,
ducks, sheldrakes, teal, gulls, and turkeys.

[Illustration: INDIANS HUNTING GAME.]

The variety of fish caught by the Indians was also very large. "Higher
up at the falls of the great rivers they used to take salmon, shad, and
alewives, that used in great quantities, more than cartloads, in the
spring, to pass up into the fresh-water ponds and lakes." "In March,
April, May, and half June," says John Smith, "here is cod in abundance;
in May, June, July, and August, mullet and sturgeon; herring, if any
desire them; I have taken many." Again he writes of whales, grampuses,
hake, haddock, mackerel, sharks, cunners, bass, perch, eels, crabs,
lobsters, mussels, and oysters.

We may also divide vegetable food into two classes--that which nature
provides without the aid of man, or wild vegetables, and that which
requires cultivation, or cultivated vegetables. Many forms of nuts,
berries and fruits, and some forms of common ground vegetables grow
wild. The red men found these in great abundance.

John Smith found in New England currants, mulberries, gooseberries,
plums, walnuts, chestnuts, and strawberries, besides other fruits of
which he did not know the names. He made a journey up the Potomac
River, and reported that the hills yielded no less plenty and variety
of fruit than the river furnished abundance of fish.

Smith also described acorns whose bark was white and sweetish; he added
that these acorns, when boiled, afforded a sweet oil that the red men
kept in gourds to anoint their heads and joints. The Indians also ate
the fruit of this acorn, made into bread. There were plums of three
kinds and cherries. Smith discovered also a great abundance of vines
"that climb the tops of the highest trees in some places. Where they
are not overshadowed from the sun, they are covered with fruit, though
never pruned nor manured."

Hunting and fishing are carried on in much the same way to-day as they
were centuries ago. The gun has taken the place of the bow and arrow,
and fishing implements have been somewhat improved. But to capture
and kill is now, as formerly, all that is needed to obtain this form
of food, if the wild animals themselves can be found. Wild vegetables
may be gathered to-day in just the way that our ancestors gathered
them, though they are not found in so great quantities because of the
increase of cultivation. In studying the changes in the modes of living
that have occurred in this country during the last three hundred years,
we find that almost all the improvements in the production of food have
been in the planting, cultivating, and harvesting of food, and the
bringing it to market.



CHAPTER II.

CULTIVATED FOODS.


Hunting and fishing did not furnish either sufficient or satisfactory
food for the Indians. A portion of their time was spent in cultivating
certain products of the soil. Black Hawk, a famous Indian chief,
writes: "When we returned to our village in the spring from our hunting
grounds we would open the caches and take out corn and other provisions
which had been put up in the fall, and then commence repairing our
lodges. As soon as this is accomplished we repair the fences around our
fields and clean them off ready for planting corn. This work is done by
our women. The men, during this time, are feasting on dried venison,
bear's meat, wild fowl and corn.

[Illustration: THE CORN DANCE.]

"Our women plant the corn, and as soon as they get done we make a feast
and dance the corn dance. At this feast our young braves select the
young woman they wish to have for a wife. When this is over we feast
again and have our national dance.

"When our national dance is over, our corn-fields hoed, and every weed
dug up, and our corn about knee high, all our young men would start in
a direction toward sundown to hunt deer and buffalo, and the remainder
of our people start to fish. Every one leaves the village and remains
away about forty days. They then return, the hunting party bringing in
dried buffalo and deer meat, the others dried fish.

"This is a happy season of the year; having plenty of provision, such
as beans, squashes, and other produce, with our dried meat and fish, we
continue to make feasts and visit each other until our corn is ripe.

"When the corn is fit for use another great ceremony takes place, with
feasting and returning thanks to the Great Spirit for giving us corn.
We continue our sport and feasting until the corn is all secured. We
then prepare to leave our village for our hunting grounds."

Thus we see that the most important crop among the Indians was maize or
Indian corn. This grain is specially suited to the climate and soil of
a large portion of the country; it was wholly unknown to the Europeans
who first came to America.

John Smith in Virginia and Roger Williams in New England were much
interested in the Indian corn. It is from their writings that we learn
how the red men cultivated and used this strange product of the New
World.

As corn was the Indians' main dependence, they ate it at all times and
in various ways. They roasted the green ears in the ashes; sometimes
they cut the kernels from the cob and boiled them with beans, making a
kind of succotash. Meal was made by pounding the kernels in a wooden
mortar; if the corn was old it was soaked over night and pounded in the
morning.

This meal also was cooked in different ways. Sometimes it was wrapped
in corn husks and boiled; at other times it was mixed with water and
made into cakes, which were baked in the ashes of the fire. Often a
pudding was made from the meal, in which blackberries were placed.
When the Indians travelled, they were accustomed to carry enough of
this meal to last several days, either in a small basket or a hollow
leathern girdle.

Such was life among the Indians. Usually food was plenty and feasting
was common, but at times food was scarce and fasting was necessary. If
the Indian had sufficient for to-day, he cared little for to-morrow. If
the corn crop failed or if the hunting expedition turned out badly, the
red man accepted it as a necessary evil and made no complaint.

[Illustration: CAPTAIN JOHN SMITH.

(From the history of Virginia, by Captain John Smith.)]

The first Englishmen to learn of the foods that could be obtained in
the New World were two captains sent out by Sir Walter Raleigh to
explore the Atlantic coast of America. They returned full of enthusiasm
for the fertile soil and the delightful climate of Virginia. They
praised also the kindness of the Indians, who provided them with the
best of food--deer, hares, fish, walnuts, melons, cucumbers, peas, and
corn.

Apparently there was an abundance of food in the New World--flesh,
fish, fruits, nuts, vegetables, and grain. The sailors were not
farmers, however; nor were the colonists who came over the next year.
They had no knowledge of the labor necessary to till the soil and raise
the food, and after a year on Roanoke Island they returned to England.

Twenty years later the colonists at Jamestown were no more ready to
labor at farming than those at Roanoke had been. Numbers died from
hunger during the first summer, but the leader, John Smith, was able,
from his own strength of character, to hold survivors to the work until
a fair abundance of corn had been obtained. Meanwhile Smith managed to
buy or borrow provisions from the Indians.

The settlers at Plymouth arrived in early winter and found a climate
much colder than that of England or Holland. They could not hope to
harvest a crop before the next autumn, and they also were dependent
upon the red men for many months.

Soon after the _Mayflower_ arrived in Provincetown harbor an expedition
was sent out to search for the best spot to build a village. They
followed the tracks of Indians, but could not find them nor their
dwellings. The first sign of human life was a piece of clear ground
which had been planted some years before. Going a little farther they
found a field in which the stubble was new, showing that the ground
had been recently cultivated. Finally they came upon "heaps of sand
newly paddled with their hands." Led by curiosity the Pilgrims digged
in these places and found several baskets filled with corn. This grain
seemed to the Pilgrims a "very goodly sight," though they had never
seen corn before. They carried the grain back to the ship, and when the
Indians who owned the corn were found, the Pilgrims gladly paid them
its full value.

When spring came the colonists at Plymouth began making preparations
for planting. An Indian, named Squanto, who had previously been carried
to England and had learned to speak some English, showed himself very
friendly. He taught them how to prepare the fish which must be put in
every hill for a fertilizer. He directed the planting and cultivating
of the fields. As a result they had "a good increase." They were not
so successful in other ways, for their barley crop was very light and
their peas dried up with the sun.

A curious story is found in some old records. The dogs in a Plymouth
colony town caused the farmers great trouble by digging up the alewives
which they were accustomed to place in the hills. Therefore a law was
passed that required the owner of every dog either to keep him securely
tied for forty days after the fields were prepared, or to tie a forepaw
to his head so that it would be impossible for the dog to dig in the
newly prepared hill.

Two years later the Pilgrims are said to have had nearly sixty acres of
ground well planted with corn, and many gardens filled with fruits and
vegetables. However, the crop was light, mainly because the colonists
had been too weak, from lack of food, properly to attend to it. A
famine would have followed for the third time had not a vessel arrived
from England, in August, bringing provisions sufficient for the winter.

For several years the Pilgrims were compelled to live partly upon wild
game and fish. One summer their main support was obtained by the use of
the only boat that remained, with which they caught large quantities
of bass. They also obtained clams when they could not get fish, used
ground-nuts in place of bread, and caught many wild fowl in the creeks
and marshes.

The colonists had no milk, butter, nor cheese for the first three years
in Plymouth. There were no domestic animals in New England until,
in the spring of 1623, a vessel arrived bringing the first cows. In
time beef and veal were added to the list of foods, and soon other
domestic animals were brought over. By the middle of the fourth summer
the village of New Plymouth was reported to have nearly two hundred
inhabitants, with some cattle and goats, and many swine and poultry.

[Illustration: AN ANCIENT PLOW.]

The tools used by the early colonists were, like their houses and
furniture, of the rudest manufacture. Agriculture, such as exists in
the United States to-day, was entirely unknown two centuries ago.
The plow was little used and the few plows among the colonists were
inconvenient, heavy tools. The important planting and cultivating
implement used by the farmers was the hoe.

The village or plantation blacksmith made the tools for the farmers,
and they were rudely formed and shaped. In harvest time the hoe was
again called into use, as well as the roughly constructed scythes and
pruninghooks. The muscle-developing flail separated the grain from the
straw, and the miller ground it into meal, or flour, taking "toll" for
his pay--that is, a fixed fraction of the product.

How the system of agriculture has changed during these two centuries,
or rather during the last century, for few of the improvements are yet
a hundred years old! As in the methods of producing heat and light,
inventions have done wonders in providing us with a greater amount and
a larger variety of food at a reduced cost. Formerly all farm-work was
done by the use of great muscular power. Only a strong man can wield
the hoe for hours at a time. To walk behind a plow, guiding the horse
and holding the plow in place, is no light task. To swing a scythe from
early morning until late in the day severely taxes the strength. To
thresh grain upon the barn floor with a flail day after day needs much
physical endurance. The labor of many men was required to manage even a
comparatively small farm. To-day all these conditions are changed.

At the present time "the most desirable farm-hand is the man with
the cunning brain who can get the most work out of a machine without
breaking it. The farm laborer finds himself advanced to the ranks
of skilled labor. The man who plows uses his muscle only in guiding
the machine. The man who operates the harrow has half a dozen levers
to lighten his labor. The sower walks leisurely behind a drill and
works brakes. The reaper needs a quick brain and a quick hand--not
necessarily a strong arm nor a powerful back. The threshers are merely
assistants to a machine. The men who heave the wheat into the bins only
press buttons."



CHAPTER III.

IMPLEMENTS FOR PLANTING.


George was determined to be a farmer. He was but twelve years of age,
yet he felt sure that he knew his own mind. He said to himself and
to his friends that life out of doors, life on a farm, was the best
and healthiest kind of life. He declared that to raise the food of
the world was the most important service that man could do for his
fellow-beings.

The boy lived in a city. He had always lived in a city and had never
seen a farm. He had never been away from home. His home was a flat, or
apartment, occupying a portion of one floor of a ten-story block. His
knowledge of life was limited entirely to city life. He had been to the
park; he had seen there trees and shrubbery, grass and flowers. Yet he
had never visited the park alone; he had never seen any of the work
needed in caring for the trees and flowers. He knew absolutely nothing
about gardening or farming; he could not tell the difference between a
hoe and a rake; he would not be able to answer the simplest questions
about farm life.

Yet George had decided to be a farmer, and he had made up his mind to
study the subject of farming at once. He proposed to ask Uncle Ben all
sorts of questions every chance he could get. He intended to obtain
books from the library that would tell him what he needed to know. Oh,
could he only go into the country, try for himself life upon a farm,
and see with his own eyes what a farmer had to do!

So George went to work. He did not neglect his school duties, but
carefully prepared his daily lessons. When these were done he was ready
to study agriculture. He did not know where to begin with books, so he
asked questions.

"Uncle Ben," he said one evening as the family was gathered around
the library lamp, "how does it happen that a farmer sometimes raises
tomatoes and sometimes potatoes? What does he do if he wants one rather
than the other?"

"Well, George," was the laughing reply, "I think that you have much to
learn before you make a successful farmer. Don't you know that if he
wants potatoes he plants potatoes?"

"Why, I suppose so," said George. "Then if he desires apples, does he
plant apples?"

"Hardly," said his uncle. "Seeds would be better than entire apples."

George was started and for the rest of the evening he asked no more
questions, his whole attention being turned to the large encyclopedia
on his knee. When next he plied his uncle with questions it was evident
that he had already learned something.

"When a farmer plants a potato, he puts it in a hole and covers it up.
I have read that he plows the ground first. What does he do that for?"

"For two reasons, I suppose," replied Uncle Ben. "The roots and
sprouts grow better in a soil that has been softened. When the ground
is unplowed, it is baked hard. Besides, plowing turns the soil over,
brings new dirt to the top, and generally mixes it all together."

"Oh, yes!" said George. "Then I must learn about plowing first."

George obtained as good a knowledge of plows and tillage as was
possible from books. In order fully to understand the subject, it
would be necessary to see the plows and use them. But that could not
come yet. The books told him that the earliest and simplest way to till
the soil was with a spade. From them George learned, what most boys
and girls know, what a spade was, and that a spade was all that was
absolutely needed to soften the soil and prepare it for planting.

To spade a piece of ground is slow work; it is also hard work. Could
not some method be devised so that the spading or tilling could be done
by horses or oxen? This led to the invention of the plow. This was made
thousands of years ago. The kooloo plow, still in use in India, was one
of the earliest and was very rude. It was made entirely of wood, the
sharp part of the plow being like a thorn in shape, but very thick and
strong.

As the centuries went on, iron began to be used; and early in the
history of iron it was applied to plows. They were still made of wood,
but iron plates were placed over the wood, where the instrument tore
into the ground. Later the plow itself was made of iron, leaving the
handles still formed of wood. This iron plow would sometimes become
covered with soil and so be almost useless. This was corrected by the
use of steel shares instead of iron. This brought George to the modern
plow.

George was not content with simply obtaining an idea about plows; he
wished to know all that he could about them. He obtained books that
gave complete accounts of the varieties of plows, the ways in which
they were used, and the work which they should do. He learned that a
plow should be fitted to its task. It should be as light as possible,
easily drawn, and it should run with even steadiness, at a uniform
depth. It should not only turn the soil over, but should thoroughly
powder it and bury the weeds.

To his great surprise George also learned that some of the modern
plows were as much superior to the ordinary plow as that was to the
spade. The sulky plow is easier for the horses than the common plow; it
makes furrows of different depths; and it has a seat for the farmer.
Sometimes several plowshares are placed side by side and drawn by a
large number of horses. This is called a gang plow. Steam and wind and
water and even electricity are coming into use to furnish power for
plows, in place of the animal power of horses.

"Well, Uncle Ben," said George one evening, "now I understand something
about plowing and tillage. The next thing a farmer does in the spring
is to plant his potatoes and corn, is it not?"

"Yes," was the reply.

"Well, then," said George, "that will not take me long to learn. All
there is to do is to dig a hole, put in the potato, and cover it with
earth."

"I am afraid that you will find that the job is not quite so simple as
that. Has the farmer nothing to plant but potatoes?" asked the uncle.

"Yes," said the boy. "Corn and turnips and oats and wheat and pumpkins
and lots of other things."

"Would you plant a kernel of corn in just the same way that you would a
potato?"

"No, I suppose not," was the reply.

"And do you think that every farmer does all his planting by hand? Does
he not have tools to help him?"

Thus George was started on a new line of thought. He read of the
sower, as he slowly walks the length of the field, throwing the grain
right and left. Even this work is better and more quickly done by
machinery. The hand sower is a little machine which the farmer straps
to his shoulders. The hopper of the sower is filled with grain and,
as the handle is turned, the grain is scattered broadcast to as great
a distance as possible. More saving of labor still is the horse sower,
which is simply the hand sower on a larger scale. Sometimes the seed
is inserted in the ground by means of grain drills, which deposit the
grain more evenly and at the same time cover it with earth.

After learning how to sow seed, George began to inquire into the
subject of planting. Many machines have been invented for this purpose
which save much labor. The most important are the corn planter and the
potato planter. Machines for planting other vegetables are much like
these. The hand corn planter, which is used on small farms, is carried
in the hand of the farmer. At each place where he wishes a hill of corn
he strikes into the ground the planter, which leaves the kernels at the
proper depth and covers them with soil. The horse corn planter is a
form of grain drill, which does the same work as the hand planter.

The potato planter is a simple machine, though it does a variety of
work. It cuts the potatoes into slices and drops them through a tube
into a furrow which the plow-like part of the planter makes. The
slices are dropped at regular spaces and are covered with dirt by the
machine itself. In other words, the farmer puts potatoes in the hopper
and drives the machine the length of the field. The planter does the
rest of the work, saving the farmer the labor of slicing the potatoes,
digging the hole, dropping the vegetable and covering it with earth.

All this and much more George learned during the next two weeks. Then
he showed that he was ready for a new subject by asking his uncle what
the farmer did between seedtime and harvest.

"I suppose," said the boy, "that most farmers get their planting done
almost before summer begins. Then it must be some time before they
begin to harvest the grain and dig the potatoes. What do they do all
summer?"

"I think," replied his uncle, "that you will have to go into the
country and see some things for yourself. As the school term is nearly
finished, I believe that you must visit a good farmer and spend the
summer and autumn with him. Then you will know something of a real
farmer's life and work. But to answer your question by asking another,
Did you ever hear of weeds?"

After that George asked few questions. He began to think that he was
showing too much ignorance. From that evening until the end of June he
had no thoughts but of the farm. He read but little and waited to study
his subject at close hand. But he did discover that a farmer's life is
not too easy in the summer. He learned that the ground must be kept
free from weeds and continually loosened. He found that the farmer uses
his hoe in deadly hostility to the weeds; that he makes his horse do a
part of the work of hoeing; that the harrow and the cultivator keep the
soil loose between the rows.

When the summer came, George felt that he had some knowledge of
tillage, of sowing and planting, and of weeding; this was book
knowledge. Now he hoped to get into the inside and learn something of
the farmer's methods of harvesting. "Then," he thought, "I can be a
farmer."



CHAPTER IV.

IMPLEMENTS FOR HARVESTING.


George awoke the first morning at the farm to hear the roosters
crowing, the cows mooing, the sheep bleating, and the men cheerily
whistling as they hurried about the chores. No thought of turning over
for another nap entered his head, but in quick time he was dressed
and ready for the morning meal. Breakfast over, George hastened out
of doors and was soon eagerly watching Tom, who had been directed to
cut the grass around the edges of one of the fields which had been
previously mowed. Here for the first time he saw a scythe and learned
its use.

For a while George watched Tom's steady swing of the scythe as he
slowly cut a swath the length of the field. Then he hastened to another
field where the mowing machine was steadily moving across the lot. What
an improvement! What a saving of labor! How easily those knives moved
through the grass, laying every spire low as soon as it was touched!
How much more even the cut, though Tom was skilled with the scythe!
The horses drew the machine with ease and the driver had a comfortable
seat. However, it was plain that he must keep his head clear and his
eyes open, to properly attend to every part of the instrument.

When noon came George was tired and heated, and he gladly remained
in the house after dinner. Here he found his favorite encyclopedia
and was soon hunting up the history of the invention of the mower. He
was surprised to learn how short a time it had been in use. From the
beginning of history the crooked sickle and the straighter scythe had
been almost the only tools used for cutting grass and grain. Not until
about the middle of the present century had practical mowing machines
come into use. But now, except on very small or rocky farms, the horse
mower is an absolute necessity.

[Illustration: MOWING WITH SCYTHES.]

The next day George again visited the fields to see the next step in
the process of making hay. First he found Tom, with a fork, turning
over the grass which he had mowed the day before. Then he went to the
other field, where he saw the same work being done by a machine. The
mower had left the grass in heaps so that the sun could reach only the
surface. It is necessary that hay should be thoroughly dried as quickly
as possible. Across the field and back again went the hay tedder, its
forks picking up the grass and tossing it in every direction. One horse
only was needed, and the driver was a boy.

The third day George was again in the field. Once more the grass was
turned. Then in the late afternoon it was prepared for the barn. Tom
could only use the small hand rake, for his work was close to the
fence; he was simply cleaning up what the machines had failed to
reach. But in the field where George had watched the mower and the
tedder, machinery and horse power were again in use. A horse went back
and forth, drawing a horse rake behind him. Now and then, at regular
intervals, up came the rake, a pile of hay was left, and on went the
horse. Then a hay sweep passed along at right angles to the rake and
soon the hay was in piles. As the field was very smooth and free from
stones, a hay loader was used to place the hay upon the wagon. A boy
drove the horses, two men laid the load, and soon the wagon was started
for the barn. The old-fashioned, slow, hard work of lifting the hay by
the forkful into the barn was no longer necessary. Hay forks, run by
horse power, grappled the hay, and lifted the load. Conveyers carried
the hay to the right point and dropped it in the mow.

Such was the work done during the first three days that George spent
on the farm. He saw the old-fashioned hand work and the modern use of
labor-saving machinery. Then he studied his books. In them he found
that the hand labor of cutting, drying, and housing the hay used to
cost about five dollars a ton, and that now, with the best of modern
machines, it need cost not more than one dollar a ton. This machinery
is of great value to the farmer and also to those who buy the hay; for
the farmer can sell his hay at a lower price, since it costs him less
to make it.

This was the last of the haying. For several weeks George watched the
hoes and the harrows, as they kept the gardens and fields in good
condition. Then came harvest-time. Potatoes were first in George's
thoughts, and when he learned that they were to be dug on the morrow
he was thoroughly aroused. But he met with a sore disappointment. The
potatoes were not dug by machinery. The common hoe or the specially
shaped potato hoe were the only tools. Then the back-aching work of
picking up potatoes added to his disgust, and he declared that he never
would raise many potatoes. He learned that plows sometimes help the
hoes, but that potato-digging machines have never come into general
use, though good ones have been invented.

At last grain harvest-time came. This was the time to which George had
long looked forward. Now he could see the wheat cut and threshed. This
he was sure was the best work of the farmer. But when he saw Tom take
the short, crooked sickle, cut some grain with that, gather it in his
arms, and tie a cord around it, he could scarcely control himself. "Is
that the way grain is harvested?" he said. Then when he saw the grain
laid on the barn floor and struck rapidly by flails in the hands of two
men, he declared, "If that is what the farmer has to do to get a little
grain, then I do not want to be a farmer."

"Well," said Mr. Miller, "that is just what all farmers had to do until
within fifty years."

[Illustration: A REAPER AND BINDER.]

But George soon saw a different method. This first hand-work had been
merely to harvest a small amount of early grain; a few days later the
machines were brought out. Now George was happy. At last he saw a
reaping machine and a combined reaper and binder. This interested him
the most. He watched the machine as the horses drew it along the edge
of the standing grain. He saw the grain cut and laid upon a platform,
carried up into the machine, taken by two arms called packers, gathered
by them into bundles, bound by cords and thrown to the ground. What
more could be asked of any machine?

And yet there is a new type of harvester that has been used in San
Joaquin valley, California. It cuts a swarth fifty-two feet in width.
It not only cuts the grain but it threshes it as well. It makes the
sacks and fills them as it travels over the field. It is said to cut an
area of a hundred acres a day, and at the same time thresh the grain
and fill fifteen hundred sacks.

[Illustration: THE McCORMICK REAPER.]

Later in the autumn came the thresher. That belonging to Farmer Miller
was run by horse power. Two horses stood upon a platform, constantly
stepping forward but not moving from their position. Instead the
platform moved backward and this turned the machinery. The men placed
the grain stalks in the hopper and the threshed grain came out of the
machine, flowing into sacks, which when filled were tied by the men and
set aside ready for the market.

The reaper and the thresher seemed to George the greatest of
inventions. He obtained a book on inventions, and for many days he was
buried in it. He read of the Englishman, Henry Ogle, whose reaper,
made in 1822, aroused the anger of the working people, who threatened
to kill the manufacturers if they continued to make the machines; of
Patrick Bell's invention, which, though successful, was forgotten for
twenty or thirty years; of Cyrus H. McCormick, the American, whose
reaper first obtained a lasting success.

Most of all he was interested in the account of the first trial of
reapers in England, at the time of the world's fair in 1851. What
a joke it was for the London _Times_ to poke fun at the McCormick
machine, as it was exhibited in the Crystal Palace! How the great
newspaper did wish that it had kept quiet when a few days later it was
compelled to report the complete success of the ridiculed reaper!

The trial took place in Essex, about forty-five miles from London.
Two hundred farmers were present, ready to laugh at failure or to
accept any successful machine. The wheat was not ripe; the crop was
heavy; and the day was rainy. The Hussey reaper was first tried but
was soon clogged by the green, wet grain. The judges proposed to
discontinue the trial, as the conditions were so unfavorable. But
the agent of the McCormick reaper protested. His machine would work
under any conditions; he wished that the gentlemen who had taken the
pains to come to the trial should have a chance to see the McCormick.
Accordingly it was brought forward and, in spite of everything, it
went steadily forward, cutting all before it. Success was evident,
and the English farmers gave three hearty cheers for the American
reaping-machine.

Another trial, at which the reaper was timed, showed that it could cut
twenty acres a day with ease. Even the laboring men realized that the
machine would come at once into use; one, who was among the interested
spectators, took the sickle, which he happened to have with him, and
broke it in two across his knee; he said that he would no longer need
that.

Four years later a trial took place in France also. Here three
American, two English, and two French machines were tested. McCormick's
reaper easily came out ahead, with the other American machines close
behind. At the same time four threshing machines were tested. Six men
with their flails, working as hard as they could, obtained fifty-four
quarts of wheat in half an hour; the American thresher gave out six
hundred and seventy-three quarts in the same time!

[Illustration: THRESHING WITH FLAIL.]

We have spent much time on farming machinery. We must now leave George
to a further study of farm life and farm work. So far he has only
examined tools and machinery. He has learned from experience, however,
that a modern farmer has much more than this to learn, and much work
to do that cannot be done by machinery. He realizes that much study is
needed to make a successful farmer. He finds that nearly every State in
the Union has one or more agricultural colleges, and that the United
States does its share in giving aid and information to farmers. He
still desires to be a farmer, but he is glad that it is a modern farmer
that he must be. He goes back to school, eager to prepare himself to
enter the best agricultural college that he can find, in order that he
may be ready for intelligent farming as soon as opportunity comes.



CHAPTER V.

SOIL.


A little boat was sailing along the north shore of Massachusetts bay.
It was a shallop belonging to the fishing hamlet of Cape Ann. In it
were Gov. Roger Conant and a few of his friends. After a sail of a
dozen miles the boat was turned to the westward and entered a harbor.
On it went until it reached a point of land which separated two little
rivers. Upon this peninsula, which the Indians called Naumkeag, Conant
landed. He walked across from one stream to the other; he carefully
examined the trees, the weeds, the grass, and the remains of an Indian
cornfield. Then he sailed back to the cape.

[Illustration: COLONISTS IN A SHALLOP.]

A few weeks later Governor Conant and fourteen companions moved from
Cape Ann to Naumkeag, now Salem. For three years the hamlet on the
cape had been struggling for life. The colonists had at last become
disheartened and had abandoned the settlement. But what better fortune
could they expect at Naumkeag? Conant's study of the little peninsula
had taught him that here was a fertile soil from which he could raise
food enough for the colonists. Cape Ann had not proved fertile. It
was a "stern and rock-bound coast." The entire cape seemed to be one
vast ledge of granite rock, and only here and there could grain and
vegetables be grown.

The settlement of Salem was four years earlier than that of Boston,
and but six years after the Pilgrims arrived in Plymouth. Thus early
in the history of the colonies was it found necessary to seek fertile
soils for settlements. As these grew and the number of the colonists
increased, the need of more land and better soil became apparent. Ten
years after Conant went to Naumkeag, the population of three entire
towns near Boston moved, through woods, over hills and valleys, and
across streams, to the fertile valley of the Connecticut River.
Farms spread out in every direction until, before the middle of the
eighteenth century, nearly all of southern New England was dotted with
them.

The French and Indian War came, and at its close the valley of the
Ohio River was placed in the hands of the English. Then followed the
American Revolution, and the Northwest Territory became a part of the
United States. The New England farmers had become crowded by this time,
and many were eager for more land. A new migration followed. Farmers
from New England, New York, and Pennsylvania began to journey westward
and to settle the Northwest Territory. Ohio soon had sufficient
population to be made a State. Indiana and Illinois followed, then
Michigan and Wisconsin. Meanwhile the United States purchased the great
province of Louisiana, and Iowa, Minnesota, and Nebraska were settled
by the Eastern farmers and others who had come across the ocean from
Europe.

Never in the history of the world had there been such a rapid
settlement of new lands. It has continued even up to the present time.
A few years ago the new territory of Oklahoma was opened to farmers,
and its growth has been remarkable.

The principal reason for this rapid settlement of Western land may be
found in the excellent character of the soil. For ages it had lain
uncultivated, waiting for the coming of the white man. Unlike the
rocky portions of New England, the ground seldom contains a large
stone. Unlike the hills and valleys of the coast States, the interior
territory is prairie land, level as far as the eye can see. Here
the gang plows can be run; here the mowing machines and the mammoth
harvesters can be used to great advantage.

Thus grew the northern part of the United States. In the South the
westward movement was not so rapid. The conditions of agriculture
were different. The climate of South Carolina was unlike that of
Massachusetts; the cold of New York was unknown in Georgia. In New
England small farms were the rule; on these the work was done by the
owner, with the aid of his sons or perhaps a hired man or two. In
Virginia large plantations were common; here the proprietor lived at
his ease and the land was cultivated by slaves. In Connecticut the
crops raised were used for the most part by the farmer's family or sold
in the immediate neighborhood. In North Carolina the products of the
plantations were exported in great quantities.

In time, however, these Southern people became dissatisfied with their
early territory, as their Northern brothers had been, and gradually
new States were formed to the westward. Kentucky and Tennessee were
followed by Louisiana; Alabama and Mississippi were formed on one side
of the great river, but a few years before Missouri and Arkansas were
on the other. State after State was admitted to the Union as soon as
a sufficient number of people had flocked into them, and the number of
Territories was steadily diminishing.

At the farther end of the continent, the Oregon country, saved to us by
the heroism of Dr. Marcus Whitman, added a large territory of extremely
fertile soil. South of Oregon the great State of California was added
to the Union, as a result of Marshall's discovery of gold at Sutter's
Fort. Yet California to-day is a State for the farmer as well as the
miner. Thus finally, the Atlantic coast, the region of the Great Lakes,
the Ohio valley, the Gulf States, the valley of the "Father of Waters,"
and the Pacific slope--in fact, almost all sections of the United
States--were well peopled by farmers, drawing from the rich virgin soil
immense crops of food, more than sufficient for our own people.

But we were not satisfied. In the very heart of the country, between
Kansas, Nebraska, and the Dakotas on the east, and California, Oregon,
and Washington on the west, lay a great region which had no attractions
for the farmer. Let him properly plow and cultivate the soil, let him
add to it soil-food or fertilizers as much as he pleases, let the
spring and the summer come, and let the hot sun add its part to change
the seed into growing grain--in spite of all the farmer's efforts no
crop could be obtained. The grain dried up almost as soon as planted.
There was no water. For month after month no rain fell upon this
region. It was called the "Great American Desert."

The first attempt to make this desert soil yield a suitable return for
the labor of the farmer was made at Salt Lake City. Fifty years ago a
band of earnest men braved cold and famine, and the even more deadly
Indians, crossed the great region west of the Mississippi River, and
made a settlement in the very midst of the desert country. To-day the
desert of Utah blooms like a garden; the soil is fertile and yields
large returns to the industrious inhabitants. What has made the change?
Nothing but water.

If the heavens refuse to send rain to moisten the parched ground,
cannot the needed water be obtained in some other way? The pioneer
settlers of Salt Lake led the way in teaching mankind that the ground
may be irrigated by human means. Water may be carried to the fields
where, flowing along the surface of the ground, it soaks in until it
reaches the roots of the crops. The water may be pumped out of the
ground or it may be brought from the mountains in trenches or pipes.
This method of helping nature by providing water where rain is scarce
is called irrigation.

[Illustration: AN IRRIGATING TRENCH.]

In the same way many other sections of the great West have been
reclaimed. Southern California, formerly fit only for the raising of
vast herds of cattle, is now the great orchard of the country. Large
portions of New Mexico and Arizona now add to the general stock of
food. Irrigation bids fair to be of vast benefit to the country as,
little by little, barren lands are rendered fertile.

At present the principal grain region of our country is the great
Northwest, the twelve States west of Pennsylvania. The principal grain
is corn, and two-thirds of the entire crop of this country is grown in
the seven States of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas,
and Missouri. The banner corn State is Iowa.

The wheat crop is more valuable to the world than the corn. The United
States raises one-quarter of all the wheat grown in the world, and the
great Northwest produces two-thirds of that. Wheat can be profitably
raised in a cooler climate than is suitable for corn; therefore the
five Northern States Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, North and South
Dakota add their quota to the wheat grown in the seven great corn
States. Minnesota leads in the production of wheat. Not all the wheat
comes from this region, however, for two Pacific States, California
and Oregon, produce one-eighth of the entire crop of our country, and
Pennsylvania gives a large share.

[Illustration: A RICE FIELD.]

Iowa leads in the production of oats as well as of corn; more than
two-thirds of the oat crop comes from the Northwest. New York and
Pennsylvania add their quota, about one-eighth of the total crop. The
Northwest thus provides two-thirds of the grain, on much less than
one-half of the cultivated land of the United States.

Though grain is the great agricultural product, it is not the only crop
that we raise in large quantities. Ten of the Southern States furnish
each year more than sixty thousand tons of rice, a large portion of
which comes from Louisiana and South Carolina.

The United States is just beginning to take rank as a sugar-producing
country. We now raise about one-eighth of the sugar that we use each
year. At present most of the sugar comes from sugar cane, which is
grown mainly in Louisiana; but the central States and California have
recently begun the manufacture of sugar from beets, and beet-growing
is becoming an important industry. The recent annexation of islands
in the West Indies and the Pacific Ocean greatly increases our sugar
production.

Two other crops which are obtained from the soil must not be forgotten,
although they are neither of them foods. The Gulf States furnish
nine-elevenths of all the cotton raised in the world, and the States
north of them produce a large portion of the world's tobacco. Kentucky
leads in the production of the latter staple, raising each year nearly
one-half of the tobacco grown in the United States.

Grain, cotton, tobacco, rice, and sugar are the main products of the
soil in the United States. Each of these is produced in its own special
region, depending upon the character of the soil and the climate. The
value of our agricultural exports is rapidly increasing, and the world
is looking more and more to the United States to furnish a large part
of the food necessary for all mankind.



CHAPTER VI.

A MODERN DINNER.


George Baxter and his wife returned to New York, after a winter spent
in California just a week before Mrs. Baxter's sister and her husband
were preparing to start for a second summer in Europe. A third sister,
Alice Smith, decided to give the travelers a small dinner, to which
only the family should be invited.

[Illustration: A DINNER PARTY.]

When the evening arrived, eleven members of the Atwood family gathered
about the table in Mr. Smith's capacious dining room, the seat of honor
being given to the mother, Mrs. Atwood. Besides the three married
couples, Frank and Alice Smith, Albert and Mary Fremont, and George and
Lucy Baxter, there were the four unmarried children. James, the oldest
son, was a banker in the city; Walter, next younger than Lucy, was a
student fitting for Columbia University; Fred and Mabel were still
classed as school children.

After the trim waiter had brought on the soup, the moment's quiet was
broken by George Baxter, who said to the hostess: "How good to get back
to New York once more, if only to get a soup that one can eat without
burning the mouth with the sharp condiments. You have no seasoning at
all in the soup, have you, Alice?"

"Oh, yes," replied the hostess, "it is a very simple soup, but there is
the usual pepper and salt. What have you been in the habit of having?"

"I am sure that I could tell what we did not have in some of our
Mexican soups much easier than what we did have. I should think that
there must have been both kinds of pepper, ginger, garlic, mustard,
horseradish, Worcestershire sauce, and everything else. I cannot
understand why people living in the tropics want to season their food
with such hot stuff."

"What do you mean by two kinds of pepper, brother George?" asked Mabel.

"Cayenne pepper and black pepper," was the reply.

"Oh, yes, I know!" said Fred. "Cayenne pepper comes from Cayenne in
French Guiana. But where do we get black pepper?"

"Nearly all of it comes from Sumatra," said Mary. "Do you know where
Sumatra is, Mabel?"

"Sumatra is one of the large islands south and southeast of Asia, which
are called the East Indies," replied the schoolgirl.

The conversation had now become general, and Mr. Smith called attention
to the distance that these condiments travel in reaching us.

"Sumatra is almost exactly on the opposite side of the earth from us,"
said he. "Fred, how would the black pepper be brought to New York from
Sumatra?"

"Across the Indian Ocean and the Red Sea, through the Suez Canal and
the Mediterranean Sea, I suppose. But I do not know whether it would
then come straight across the Atlantic Ocean, or first go to England."

"Usually," said Mr. Smith, "it would go to England first."

"Alice," broke in Mabel, "what else is in the soup beside pepper? Oh, I
know, salt. Is salt also brought half-way round the world?"

"I know where salt comes from," said Fred; "up State. It is dug out of
the ground near Syracuse."

"That is right, Fred," said James. "But New York State does not supply
all the salt used in this country. For years many ships and barks have
come yearly into Gloucester harbor from Sicily, bringing salt for the
fishing-schooners. Steamers even are being used to bring salt from the
Mediterranean Sea, in order that the Gloucester fishermen may send salt
fish all over our country."

"We must not forget," said Mrs. Smith, "that there is rice in our soup
also. That comes from South Carolina."

Just then the plates were removed and the fish was brought on.

"This is a rarity," said the hostess. "Can you tell us what it is,
James?"

"I think so. It is halibut, is it not?"

"Why do you call it a rarity?" asked Mary.

"This halibut came from the Grand Banks," said Mrs. Smith. "I do not
understand how they get it here so fresh."

James, who seemed to be quite familiar with the Gloucester fisheries,
said: "The fishermen brought their load of halibut to the Gloucester
wharves last night and immediately loaded it upon the Boston steamer.
Three o'clock in the morning was its time for sailing, and at six it
was being unloaded in Boston. The six-hour trains brought some of it to
New York in time for our dinner."

[Illustration: LOADING FISH AT GLOUCESTER.]

"Steamers and railroad trains seem necessary for our dinner, do they
not?" said Albert. "But this fish sauce contains only articles from
nearer home, I am sure."

"Do not be too certain of that," said Mr. Smith. "Alice, what is there
in this sauce?"

"First, there are eggs."

"Those came from our Long Island farm, of course," said her husband.

"Then there is olive oil."

"That comes from Italy," said Mr. Smith. "That is not a home product.
The olives that you are eating are, of course, from Italy also."

"I doubt that," said George. "I was just about to remark that these
olives had come from California. I can easily detect the taste."

"Yes," the hostess added. "These olives I bought just to see if George
and Lucy would notice that they were not our usual queen olives. They
are said to have come from Pomona."

"That is a great olive center," said George.

"What else is there in the sauce, Alice?" asked her husband.

"Pepper and salt, vinegar----"

"Cider vinegar, I suppose," broke in Mrs. Baxter. "How much nicer
apple vinegar is than grape vinegar! Most of the vinegar that we had
in California was made from wine. That State is becoming a great
grape-producing region. But do you know, Frank, where the apples were
grown?"

"No," said Mr. Smith, "but probably they were raised either in Vermont
or New Hampshire. Last year the New York apple orchards gave but a poor
yield, while those of New England did much better. Probably this season
will prove an off year for Vermont apples, but we shall have all that
we can use in our own State."

"A little lemon ends the list," said the hostess.

"Lemons from Sicily, I suppose," remarked Mr. Baxter. "Have you tried
the California lemons yet?"

"Yes," said Mr. Smith. "We can sometimes get very fine lemons from
California, but not always. If the growers of lemons were more
particular about the quality of the fruit that they send out, there
would be a better trade in California lemons."

While this conversation was going on, the fish was removed and a roast
of beef was placed on the table, and with it the vegetables. The
different members of the family had become quite interested in the
discussion by this time, and it was continued as a matter of course.

"This is a good piece of beef," remarked James Atwood. "What are we
going to do for meat when the natural increase in the amount of land
devoted to cultivation uses up all the grazing regions?"

"You need not fret about that," said Mr. Baxter; "that will not come
in your day. You ought to take a trip through Texas, New Mexico,
and Arizona, through Wyoming and Montana, or other sections of the
Rocky Mountain region, and you would not fear for our cattle-raising
interests."

"Here, again, the railroads are important," said Mr. Fremont. "What
numbers of long freight trains daily come east, loaded with cattle for
New York and Boston, and even for Great Britain and the Continent. The
European consumption of our cattle is of great and rapidly growing
importance."

[Illustration: A CATTLE TRAIN.]

"These new potatoes came from the Bermudas," remarked the host.

"And the peas from Maryland," added the hostess. "Do you not think that
these are remarkably fresh after having been brought so far?"

"How about the lettuce?" asked James. "That must have come from some
greenhouse."

"Without doubt, though I did not inquire," replied Mrs. Smith.

Not willing to leave anything out of the conversation, Mabel here
inquired about the macaroni and tomatoes.

"The macaroni comes from Italy," replied her sister Mary. "Much of
it is shipped from Genoa, the city which claims to have been the
birthplace of Columbus. You would find it interesting, Mabel, to read
about the production and preparation of macaroni."

"The tomatoes were canned on our farm last autumn," said Mrs. Smith.
"We think them much superior to any that we can buy."

After this the conversation turned upon the bread. There were two
kinds, white and brown. One of the ladies remarked that she never ate
white bread; bread from whole wheat flour was so much more wholesome.
Another said that graham bread was good enough for her. They talked
about the white flour, made in Minneapolis, from Dakota wheat. They
spoke of the Indian meal made from corn grown in Iowa. They wondered
why so little rye was used in this country, since it is the staple
grain in Russia. They then inquired concerning the other substances
used in making the two kinds of bread.

"Where does the butter come from?" asked Mrs. Fremont.

"This particular box is marked from Delaware County, New York," replied
the hostess. "Most of the creameries that send butter to New York City
are located at some distance from the railroads. The farms nearer the
railroads send all their milk to the city. But the farmers that are too
remote profitably to send in the milk make the cream into butter and
cheese. They then feed the buttermilk to the pigs."

"That is a new thought to me," said James. "So it seems that some
products are made only where there are no railroads."

"Or where there is no great city within a few hundred miles," added
Walter.

"I suppose there is molasses in this brown bread," said Lucy Baxter.

"Molasses comes from Porto Rico," said Mabel, who was studying the West
Indies just at this time in her geography lessons at school.

"Some of it," said her oldest sister. "But most of the sugar comes from
Cuba."

"But not all," said James. "This sugar has been traveling for nearly
two weeks to reach New York. First a sea voyage of more than two
thousand miles, and then a railroad journey of more than three thousand
miles, and yet the section where it grew is a part of the United
States."

"It must have come from Honolulu then," said Walter. "I wonder whether
the Sandwich Islands, being now a part of the United States, will
interfere with the raising of sugar cane in our Southern States?"

"Very little probably, but now that the United States possesses Hawaii
and Porto Rico, it will scarcely be necessary for us to import any
sugar and molasses," said Fred.

When the dessert and fruit were brought on, new subjects for
conversation were found.

"What do you call this pudding, Alice?" asked her husband.

"It is a peach-tapioca pudding," was the reply. "The peaches are from
Delaware; canned, of course."

"Here, again, the West Indies are represented," said James; "the
tapioca came from Hayti."

"And the East Indies also," added Walter, "for I taste nutmeg, which
comes from the Molucca Islands. These islands furnish such an amount of
spice that they are commonly called the Spice Islands."

The discussion of foods continued throughout the dinner. The oranges,
almost the last of the season, had been brought from California.
Florida oranges were scarce that year. The bananas were from Mexico
and almost a luxury. The war with Spain had destroyed trade with Cuba,
from which island the great bulk of bananas had usually come.

Among the nuts were almonds that had been imported from Italy, filberts
that had been sent across the ocean from England, and walnuts that had
come from California. Finally the coffee was from the island of Java.

[Illustration: DRYING COFFEE IN JAVA.]

Before the dinner party broke up, Mr. Smith reviewed the facts which
had been learned in the conversation. He especially called attention
to the small number of articles that are not profitably raised in the
United States.

"We should miss our coffee very much," he said, "if our country were
blockaded at any time. The loss of the banana would be the loss of a
luxury. Had we no macaroni or tapioca we should still have enough to
eat. Perhaps our taste would become more natural were we deprived of
pepper. No other of the foods on this table should we be entirely
deprived of, even were we separated wholly from the rest of the world.
California could furnish us with olives, lemons, and almonds, as well
as Italy does. We need not go to England for filberts, and even if we
had not of late obtained new colonies, we could produce in time all the
sugar we needed to supply the entire country. No other nation in the
world is so well prepared to furnish its own food."


[Illustration: ELI WHITNEY.]


[Illustration: A QUILTING BEE IN THE OLDEN TIME.]



SECTION IV.--CLOTHING.



CHAPTER I.

COLONIAL CONDITIONS.


You all know that the United States of America was formed out of
thirteen English colonies scattered along the Atlantic coast. Virginia
was the first of these colonies to be founded, dating from 1607.
Massachusetts was settled in 1620, New York in 1623, and so on until
the last of the thirteen, Georgia, was established in 1733. From the
time of these settlements until the Declaration of Independence in
1776, these colonies were subject to Great Britain and under her rule
and control. The independence of these American colonies was a great
loss to the British government, but it created a new nation of the same
race which, together with the mother country, to-day holds the destiny
of the world in its hands.

Great Britain for centuries has been largely a manufacturing country.
It was the policy of the British government to control so far as
possible manufactures and commerce for all her provinces and colonies.
Hence during our colonial period the home government took every
possible measure to prevent the introduction of manufactures into
the colonies. We were dependent upon the mother country for cotton
and woolen goods, cutlery, iron ware, and, indeed, almost everything
that could be profitably manufactured in England and shipped to this
country. Even after we had secured out independence, the strictest
care was taken by the officials of England that drawings and models of
machinery should not be brought to America.

As late as 1816 an American manufacturer of cotton cloth visited
England. Although he carried letters of introduction which caused
him to be treated with great courtesy and attention, he was refused
permission to enter any of the cotton mills. The manufacturers
suspected his purpose, which was to learn the construction of the
"double speeder." Nevertheless he persisted, and one day, without
permission and in spite of the sign "Positively no Admittance," he
entered the carding-room, accompanied by a skilled mechanic. They
proceeded as rapidly as possible to examine the machine, which was in
full operation, but were soon ordered out by the overseer. They had,
however, seen enough of its construction to enable them to make one.

After their return to this country they made a machine and set it up
in the gentleman's cotton mill in the State of New York. The news of
its successful operation reached England and aroused a jealous feeling
among manufacturers. In their anger they planned a wicked scheme to
destroy the life of the American manufacturer. A box containing an
"infernal machine" was sent as freight on a packet ship bound for New
York. Fortunately, when the crew was discharging the cargo, the box
slipped from the car hook and fell with a crash upon the wharf. This
caused it to explode, but without injury to any one.

In colonial times the condition of society was such as to make it
almost impossible for the people to engage to any great extent in
manufactures. The country was new and the principal business must
be agriculture. After comfortable shelter for the families had been
provided, every exertion must be put forth to secure food. Cloth could
only be obtained from the mother country. Cotton and linen cloth were
imported for shirts and sheets, woolen goods for clothing, a few silks
for wedding dresses now and then, and leather for the shoes of all the
people.

[Illustration: TAILOR AND COBBLER.]

In the early times the tailor, with his goose and his shears, plied his
trade from house to house, staying with each family long enough to make
up the clothes necessary for the season. In like manner the shoemaker
traveled about the country, with his kit upon his back, stopping with
each household to make the shoes needed for the father, mother, and
children.

These were the pioneer days, but, before we became a nation, the
houses of the people had greatly improved in style of architecture
and in comfort. Considerable wealth had been secured by many, and but
little poverty was found anywhere. The mechanic arts were beginning
to improve, and manufacturing, after a long and tedious waiting,
was gradually making progress. At an early date sawmills had been
established upon the streams, using the water as motive power.
Gristmills had sprung up for grinding the grain raised by every farmer.
The spinning wheel and the hand loom had found their place slowly but
steadily in all parts of the country.

It is difficult to comprehend the great differences between the
industries of those early days and the methods of doing business among
us to-day. Now almost everything seems to be done by machinery, and
the division of labor has been carried to such an extent that each
laborer seems only an assistant to a machine. "You press the button,
the machine does the rest."

In the early days of our country, it was customary for the different
members of a family to do almost everything that the necessities or
comfort of the household required. Everywhere the farmer raised sheep,
sheared them, carded the wool, spun it and wove it, all this being done
upon the home farm. A well-to-do farmer would produce all the woolen
cloth needed for clothing for himself and his family.

[Illustration: FLAX WHEEL.]

The sheep grazed upon the hills and their wool was clipped in the
spring of the year. This wool was scoured, carded, spun by the family
in the farmhouse, and then woven into cloth for the winter's wear. All
this was done within the walls of the house, and the cloth was made up
into clothing for the different members of the family by the itinerant
tailor. What a contrast from the present system, which raises wool
upon our Western hills and prairies, makes it into cloth in the large
factories, and fashions it into trousers, vests, and coats in the great
wholesale clothing establishments.

In some sections of the country the farmers raised flax, and from it
made the purest white linen cloth. The writer of this chapter has in
his possession a beautiful piece of white linen, woven upon the farm
where he was born, from thread which was spun from flax raised upon the
same farm. The flax wheel and the loom were also made by the father of
the family.

[Illustration: AN OLD-FASHIONED LOOM.]

If you could look into that old kitchen what a sight you would see! How
quaint it would appear to each one of you! The kitchen makes an ell to
the main house. This ell was an old house, built more than a century
and a half ago, and moved up to the new house for a kitchen. In one
corner stands the large spinning wheel; near it is the smaller flax
wheel; in another corner stands the great wooden loom with its huge
beam for the warp and its shuttle which must be thrown back and forth
by hand. No carpet, not even an oil-cloth, is upon the floor, which is
covered with pure white sand.

It would seem very strange to us if we were obliged to live surrounded
by these primitive conditions. How much stranger would it appear to
those who lived at that day if they could witness the improvements of
our time!



CHAPTER II.

THE COTTON GIN.


In the quiet times that followed the French and Indian War, two years
after the Treaty of 1763, Eli Whitney was born in Worcester County
in Massachusetts. During the Revolutionary War he was busy making
nails by hand, the only way in which nails were made in those days.
He earned money enough by this industry and by teaching school to pay
his way through college. But it was a slow process, and he was nearly
twenty-seven years of age when he was graduated at Yale. Immediately
upon his graduation he went to Georgia,--a long distance from home in
those days,--having made an engagement to become a private tutor in a
wealthy family of that State. On his arrival he found that the man who
had engaged his services, unmindful of the contract, had filled the
position with another tutor.

The widow of the famous Gen. Nathaniel Greene had a beautiful home
at Mulberry Grove, on the Savannah River. Mrs. Greene invited young
Whitney to make her house his home while he studied law. She soon
perceived that he had great inventive genius. He devised several
articles of convenience which Mrs. Greene much appreciated.

At that time the entire cotton crop of this country might have been
produced upon a single field of two hundred acres. Cotton then
commanded a very high price, because of the labor of separating the
cotton fibre from the seed. The cotton clung to the seed with such
tenacity that one man could separate the seed from only four or five
pounds of cotton in a day. At that rate it would take him three months
to make up a bale of clear cotton. Already inventions in machinery
for the making of cotton cloth had made the production of cotton a
necessity. Some means must be provided for a more rapid separation of
cotton from the seed in order to make manufacturing profitable.

[Illustration: A COTTON FIELD.]

One day, one of Mrs. Greene's friends was regretting, in conversation
with her, that there could be no profit in the cultivation of cotton.
Mrs. Greene had great faith in the inventive powers of young Whitney,
and she suggested that he be asked to make a machine which would
separate the seed skillfully and rapidly, "for," said she, "Eli Whitney
can make anything."

When the workmen in the deep mines of England needed a safety lamp to
shield them from the explosions of the damp, they applied to the great
chemist, Sir Humphrey Davy, and he invented one. So, these cotton
raisers appealed to Mr. Whitney to invent for them a cotton engine or
"gin." He knew nothing about either raw cotton or cotton seed. Could he
be expected to invent a machine that would separate the cotton seed
which he had never seen from the raw cotton which also he had never
seen? But Whitney was an inventor. Trifles must not stand in his way.
He secured samples of the cotton and the seed; even this was not an
easy thing to do, for it was not the right season of the year.

He began to work out his idea of the cotton gin, but met with many
obstacles. There were no wire manufactories in the South and he could
not obtain wire even in Savannah. Therefore he had to make his wire
himself. Still further, he was obliged to manufacture his own iron
tools. Step by step he overcame all obstacles, until he had a machine
that he thought would answer the purpose.

[Illustration: A COTTON BALL.]

Accordingly, one day, he entered the room where Mrs. Greene was
conversing with friends and exclaimed, "The victory is mine!" All the
guests, as well as the hostess, went with the inventor to examine the
machine. He set the model in motion. It consisted of a cylinder four
feet in length and five inches in diameter. Upon this was a series of
circular saws half an inch apart and projecting two inches above the
surface of the revolving cylinder. The saws passed through narrow slits
between bars; these bars might be called the ribs of the hopper.

At once the saw teeth caught the cotton which had been placed in the
hopper and carried it over between the bars. The seed was left behind,
as it was too large to pass through. The saws revolved smoothly and the
cotton was thoroughly separated from the seed. But after a few minutes
the saws became clogged with the cotton and the wheels stopped. Poor
Whitney was in despair. Victory was not yet his.

[Illustration: THE COTTON GIN.]

Mrs. Greene came to the rescue. Her housewifely instincts saw the
difficulty at once and the remedy as well. "Here's what you want!" she
exclaimed. She took a clothes brush hanging near by and held it firmly
against the teeth of the saws. The cylinder began again to revolve,
for the saws were quickly cleaned of the lint, which no longer clogged
the teeth. "Madam," said the grateful Whitney, "you have perfected my
invention."

The inventor added a second, larger cylinder, near the first. On this
he placed a set of stiff brushes. As the two cylinders revolved,
the brushes freed the saw teeth from the cotton and left it in the
receiving pan.

Thus the cotton gin was invented by the Yankee schoolmaster, Eli
Whitney. Though improved in its workmanship and construction, it is
still in use wherever cotton is raised. One man with a Whitney cotton
gin can clean a thousand pounds of cotton in place of the five pounds
formerly cleaned by hand.

When a safety lamp was needed, Davy invented it. When faster water
travel was demanded, Fulton constructed the steamboat. When the world
needed vast wheat fields, McCormick devised his reaper. When the time
had come for the telegraph, Morse studied it out. In the fullness of
time, Bell, Edison, and others invented the telephone. When a cotton
gin was needed, Eli Whitney made it. Here again the law holds that
"necessity is the mother of invention."

When a great invention is made, everybody wants the benefit of it, and
people seem to think that the inventor "has no rights which they are
bound to respect." Whitney secured a patent upon his machine, but,
unmindful of that, a great many persons began to make cotton gins.
He was immediately involved in numerous legal contests. Before he
secured a single verdict in his favor he had sixty lawsuits pending.
After many delays he finally secured the payment of $50,000 which the
Legislature of South Carolina had voted him. North Carolina allowed
him a percentage on all cotton gins used in that State for five years.
Tennessee promised to do the same, but did not keep her promise.

Mr. Whitney struggled along, year after year, until he was convinced
that he should never receive a just return for his invention. Seeing no
way to gain a competence from the cotton gin he determined to continue
the contest no longer, removed to New Haven and turned his attention to
the making of firearms. Here he eventually gained a fortune. He made
such improvements in the manufacture of firearms as to lay his country
under permanent obligation to him for greatly increasing the means of
national defense.

Robert Fulton once said: "Arkwright, Watt, and Whitney were the three
men that did the most for mankind of any of their contemporaries."
Macaulay said: "What Peter the Great did to make Russia dominant, Eli
Whitney's invention of the cotton gin has more than equaled in its
relation to the power and progress of the United States."



CHAPTER III.

COTTON.


Almost exactly in the center of England is the County of Derby. A few
miles north of the city of Derby, on a small river called Derwent, a
branch of the Trent, is the little town of Belper. This town was noted
for its early manufacture of cotton and silk goods. Here, about the
time of the American Revolution, Richard Arkwright and Jedediah Strutt
were successfully engaged in cotton spinning.

In this town, in 1763, was born Samuel Slater. As the lad grew up,
his father, a well-to-do farmer, sent him to school where he received
the advantages of a good English education. His school days, however,
ended when he was fourteen years of age. He was greatly interested
in machinery. The hum of the spinning frame was music to his ears.
Therefore, he was apprenticed to Mr. Strutt to learn the business
of cotton spinning, and gained a thorough mastery of the process of
carding and spinning cotton, and even while an apprentice he made many
improvements in machinery.

At the close of the Revolutionary War, the Constitution of the United
States was adopted and George Washington became President. We have
already seen that England did not permit her American colonies to
engage to any great extent in manufacturing. But now, the very first
Congress under Washington passed an act to encourage manufactures,
and one or two of the States offered bounties for the introduction of
cotton machinery.

Young Slater, now about twenty-one years of age, determined to emigrate
to America. Since the laws of England did not permit him to take
drawings or models with him, he had to trust entirely to his memory
to construct new machinery when he should arrive in this country. He
landed in New York in November, 1789, and soon after wrote to Moses
Brown, a wealthy merchant of Providence, Rhode Island, telling him what
he could do and asking his help. Mr. Brown immediately replied: "If
thou canst do this thing, I invite thee to come to Rhode Island and
have the credit of introducing cotton manufactures into America."

So it happened that on the 21st of December, 1790, Samuel Slater,
representing the business firm of "Almy, Brown and Slater," set up at
Pawtucket three eighteen-inch carding machines, with the necessary
drawing heads, roving cases, winders, and spinning frames, with
seventy-two spindles. Here, in an old fulling mill, and by water power,
was started machinery for the making of cotton yarn. Mr. Slater had
been obliged to prepare all the plans of this machinery, and either
to construct it with his own hands or to teach others how to do it.
From the first the enterprise was successful. An excellent quality of
yarn was manufactured, quite equal to the best quality then made in
England. No attempts were made to use water power in weaving the yarn
into cloth. This was still done by hand looms in the farmhouses of the
country. A second cotton factory was started in the year 1800, and
within ten years from that date there were many of them in different
parts of the land.

When Mr. Slater came to America, he left at his father's house in
Belper a little brother. In 1805 this brother, now grown to manhood,
came to America, and went to Pawtucket to find his brother Samuel. Here
he found Mr. Wilkinson, a brother-in-law of Mr. Slater. Mr. Wilkinson
took him to his brother's house and said: "I have brought one of your
countrymen to see you; can you find anything for him to do?" Mr. Slater
asked from what part of England he came.

He replied: "Derbyshire."

"What part of Derbyshire?" said Mr. Slater.

"I came from the town of Belper," said John.

"Belper, the town of Belper? Well, that is where I came from. What may
I call your name?"

"John Slater."

The boy had changed so much that his older brother did not know him.
The interview was a delightful one to both; it was like the meeting of
Joseph and Benjamin. Questions and answers flew rapidly.

"Is my mother yet alive? How are my brothers and sisters? How is my old
master, Mr. Strutt? Is the old schoolmaster Jackson living?"

The next year the two brothers built a cotton mill in Smithfield, Rhode
Island, and in 1808 a large stone mill was erected at Blackstone,
Massachusetts.

So the business continued to increase. The power loom was
invented, and soon the manufacture of cotton cloth became one of
the leading interests of New England. The mills of Lowell became
famous. Manchester, in New Hampshire, Lawrence and Fall River, in
Massachusetts, were soon dotted with great mills turning out cloth of
all varieties by the million yards. The falls upon the rivers of New
England were utilized, by means of the water wheel, to furnish power
for moving all the machinery used in the making of cotton goods. The
song of the picker, the hum of the spinning frame, and the whack, whack
of the loom are now heard in a thousand mills in various parts of our
country.

Mr. Slater was visited at one time by Andrew Jackson while he was
President. It is related that the following conversation took place
between them:

"I understand," said the President, "that you have taught us how to
spin so as to rival Great Britain and that it is you who have set all
these thousands of spindles at work, which I have been so delighted
to see, and which are making so many people happy by giving them
employment."

"Yes sir," said Mr. Slater, "I suppose that I gave out the Psalm, and
they have been singing the tune ever since."

[Illustration: PRESIDENT JACKSON AND MR. SLATER.]

Samuel Slater died in 1835, leaving a large fortune to his family. John
Slater died a few years after the death of his brother. It was his son,
John F. Slater, who in 1882 placed $1,000,000 in the hands of a board
of trustees, the interest of which was to be used for the education
of the freedmen of the South and their descendants. The great Rhode
Island orator, Tristam Burgess, said in Congress on one occasion: "If
manufacturing establishments are a benefit and a blessing to the Union,
the name of Slater must ever be held in grateful remembrance by the
American people."

It would be next to impossible to give any adequate account of the
improvements which have been made in American machinery for the
manufacture of cotton cloth. Beginning with the cotton gin and the
introduction of the carding machine and the spinning frame by Slater,
we should have to record the great success of the double speeder, the
modern drawing-frame, the Crompton and the Whitin looms, and especially
the ring traveler spinning frame and the self-operating cotton mule.

[Illustration: THE INTERIOR OF A MODERN COTTON MILL.]

In 1791, 200,000 pounds of cotton were exported, very little being used
in this country. In 1891, the cotton produced in America reached more
than 3,500,000,000 pounds. This cotton is now grown in the Southern
States upon more than 20,000,000 acres of ground. The mills of America
to-day are using more than 2,000,000 bales of cotton per year. In
1793, Samuel Slater started seventy-two spindles to spin cotton; in
1893, there were 15,000,000 spindles. To such great proportions has
this industry grown from the small beginnings of Samuel Slater's
bold attempt to bring over from England in his memory the machinery
necessary to its manufacture.



CHAPTER IV.

WOOL.


As civilization has advanced, the clothing of man has improved. To-day
a great variety of material is necessary to make up the proper wardrobe
for civilized man. Our clothing is nearly all fabricated--that is,
manufactured from the raw material into what we call fabrics. We have
cotton, woolen, silk, and linen fabrics. The two principal articles
used for our clothing, however, are wool and cotton. Cotton and linen
are more largely used in warm weather and in warm climates, while
woolen has come into general use for wear in colder climates and in
colder seasons.

The making of woolen cloth is one of the oldest industries. In the
early ages the coarse wool of the sheep was spun into long threads,
then woven and made into rude garments for the clothing of man. The
dyeing of these cloths, by which brilliant colors were produced, was
one of the earliest of the fine arts. Many centuries ago the Egyptians,
the Persians, the Greeks, and the Romans made shawls and robes of
beautiful texture and brilliant colors. They also made mats, rugs, tent
cloths, curtains, and tapestry hangings.

During the last four hundred years steady progress has been made in the
construction of woolen fabrics. Long ago England became famous for the
manufacture of worsted goods, carpets, and broadcloths. Machinery for
making woolen cloth was introduced into England during the latter half
of the last century. The spinning jenny came into use a little after
1750, and the power loom was invented near the close of the century.

No machinery for making woolen cloth, except by hand spinning and hand
weaving, was introduced into our country until about the year 1800.
How do you suppose our forefathers and foremothers managed to make the
cloth needed before the introduction of machinery and the building of
factories? A single incident may explain how it was done.

Rev. Dr. Eliphalet Nott was president of Union College, Schenectady,
New York, for more than sixty years. He was born in Connecticut
just before the American Revolution. His father was very poor, but
a conscientious, godly man. He lived on a farm four miles from the
village and the church. During the early boyhood of Eliphalet his
father had no horse, and in bad weather, when the family could not walk
to church, they were drawn over the rough and hilly roads of that long
four miles by their only cow. Yet they were always at church.

One winter, Mr. Nott's overcoat had become so shabby that Mrs. Nott
told her husband it was not fit to be worn to church any longer. He had
no money to buy a new one. Should he stay away from divine service?
Not he! To this proposition neither he nor his wife would assent.
Soon, however, the good woman devised a plan to free them from the
difficulty. She suggested to her husband that they should shear their
only "cosset" lamb, and that the fleece would furnish wool enough for a
new overcoat.

"What!" said the old man, "shear the cosset in January? It will freeze."

"Ah, no, it will not," said the wife, "I will see to that; the lamb
shall not suffer."

She sheared the cosset and then wrapped it in a blanket of burlaps,
well sewed on, which kept it warm until its wool had grown again. This
fleece Mrs. Nott carded, spun, and wove into cloth, which she cut and
made into a garment for her husband, and he wore it to church on the
following Sabbath.

The first attempt to manufacture woolen cloth other than by hand was
made at Newburyport, Massachusetts, by two Englishmen, Arthur and John
Scholfield. They had learned the business in England, and now put
in operation the first carding machine for wool made in the United
States. Upon this they made the first spinning rolls turned out by
machinery. The same year they built a factory, three stories high and
one hundred feet long, in the Byfield district, at Newburyport. The two
brothers carried on the factory for a company of gentlemen who were the
stockholders. Arthur was overseer of the carding; John was in charge of
the weaving room.

This application of machinery to the making of woolen cloth created
much interest in the country, and wool was brought from long distances.
People visited the factory from far and near. These visitors became so
numerous that an admission fee of ten cents was charged. During the
first winter after the factory was opened sleighing parties came from
all the neighboring towns.

Some years ago an old lady, ninety years of age, wrote, in
"Reminiscences of a Nonagenarian," that she had seen row after row of
sleighs pass over Crane-neck Hill, enlivening the bright cold days by
the joyous tones of their merry bells. She describes the impression
made upon her own mind the first time she visited the factory: "Never
shall I forget the awe with which I entered what then appeared the vast
and imposing edifice. The large drums that carried the bands on the
lower floor, coupled with the novel noise and hum, increased this awe,
but when I reached the second floor where picking, carding, spinning,
and weaving were in process, my amazement became complete. The
machinery, with the exception of the looms, was driven by water power.
The weaving was by hand. Most of the operatives were males, a few young
girls being employed in splicing rolls."

After this John Scholfield established a factory in Montville,
Connecticut. Subsequently Arthur Scholfield removed to Pittsfield,
Massachusetts, where he passed the remainder of his life, and not only
carried on the woolen manufacture himself, but also built carding
machines and set them up for others to operate. Within the next twelve
years several woolen factories had been built in Massachusetts, New
Hampshire, Rhode Island, and New York.

The new industry had become so firmly established that when President
Madison was inaugurated, March 4, 1809, he wore a suit of black
broadcloth of American manufacture. But Washington Irving tells us that
Washington, our first president, was inaugurated twenty years earlier,
dressed in a "suit of dark-brown cloth of American manufacture."

From time to time the woolen industry has been protected by various
tariff bills passed by Congress. This industry to-day is of gigantic
proportions. The woolen factories in our country are now using about
five hundred million pounds of wool per year. More than half of this
is raised in our own country, and nearly all of the cloth produced is
retained in the country for home consumption.

Let us see now if we can understand how woolen cloth is made. The
father of Dr. Nott had in those early days a single sheep. Some farmers
would have half a dozen, others twenty-five or fifty. Now times are
changed. We have but few sheep in the older settled country along the
Atlantic coast. Those who raise wool to-day are apt to make it their
sole business, doing nothing else. Most of the sheep of this country
are raised upon the great plains and in the great valleys of the
Western country.

Many flocks of sheep, numbering from five hundred to several thousand,
may be seen in Texas, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming. There are to-day
in Texas more than three million sheep; about an equal number in
Wyoming; nearly as many in New Mexico, Oregon, California, and Ohio. We
have in our country at the present time more than forty million sheep.

[Illustration: SHEEP-SHEARING.]

Let us visit one of these sheep ranches. It is in the spring of the
year. The warm weather has come. The sheep have had their thick fleeces
to keep them warm through the cold winter. In the summer these thick,
shaggy coats would be as burdensome to them as a winter overcoat would
be to us. The ranchmen round up the flock, and taking them one by one,
cut off with a huge pair of shears the long wool.

The wool is sold to the dealers, and sent away to the market. It finds
its way to the woolen mill. It is sorted, washed, and scoured. It is
then carded. The cards straighten out the long fibres of wool so that
they may be readily spun. The mule or the spinning jenny spins it
into yarn, twisting this yarn like a rope or thread so that it will be
strong and will hold together. A part of the yarn is then arranged upon
a great beam for the warp. The warp is the threads that run lengthwise
of the cloth. The rest of it is wound upon little bobbins to be put
into shuttles. The shuttle is thrown back and forth across the warp,
thus weaving in the filling. This is done by means of what is called a
harness. This harness holds up the alternate threads of the warp and
presses down the other threads, so that when the shuttle is thrown
through it carries the thread of the filling "under and over"; that is,
under one-half of the warp threads and over the other half.

After the cloth is woven, it is put through the fulling mill, which
beats it up thick and firm. After this come the various processes of
finishing: shearing the surface so as to leave it smooth; brushing it
so as to set the nap all one way and give it a smooth, even, glossy
appearance. The quality of the cloth depends upon the quality of the
wool used, the quality of the machinery which makes the cloth, and the
skill of the workmen. A great deal of experience is necessary in making
first-class goods.

We are now using the very best machinery in the world in the
manufacture of our woolen goods. Possibly in the making of broadcloth
and a few varieties of the better class of goods we may not yet be
quite up to the older manufactories of Europe, but in cassimeres,
worsted goods, blankets and carpets we are already able to compete with
the products of the Old World. Although the price of labor in European
countries is less than in America, our workmen do more work in a day
and our machinery is of such improved patterns that we are generally
able to compete in price.



CHAPTER V.

LEATHER.


In the colonial days, as we have seen, the traveling shoemaker was
abroad in the land. He was accustomed to travel through his section of
the country with a kit of tools and bits of leather on his back. He was
familiarly called "Crispin," from the patron saint of his craft, and
ofttimes proved a "character" much appreciated by the farmers and their
families. Sometimes these traveling mechanics were quiet, silent men,
doing their work and going on intent only on obtaining their living;
but sometimes they were jolly, social people, facetious, even witty.

"Good mornin', neighbor Heyday," said a Crispin to a farmer. "I hope
you and the madam and the childers are all very well, the day."

"Eh, purty fair. The woman is ailin' some. She wants buildin' up,
buildin' up."

"Well, well," said Crispin, "the Lord has laid His hand of blessing
heavily upon ye, so He has that."

"What is the meanin' of that speech?" said the farmer.

"Eh, sorry is it for the joker when he has to explain his own joke.
Hasn't He filled your quiver full of childers? and isn't that the
greatest blessing the Almighty can bestow on man that is a sinner?"

"But I have only six childers."

"Yes, yes, I see, but the eldest counts less years than the clock tell
hours; and I wish ye had a dozen instead of half as many. Are ye
givin' 'em all good healthy understandin'?"

"Well, them that's old enough goes to school, if that's what you mean?"

"Well, there it is again. A man has to interpret his own wit. I mean,
have they all good soles on which to keep their bodies healthy?"

"The good Lord gives 'em the souls and their parents are responsible
only for the bodies."

"Blunderin' again it is that I am. I mean are ye'r shoes all in a good,
healthy condition, so that the brats will not take cold and be carried
off by a stout, lung fever, that the doctors call newmony?"

"Well, they've worn no shoes all summer except what the Lord gave 'em,
and that's the skin of their feet."

"Well, now, it's a full twelvemonth since I was around here afore, and
do ye want me to make up their winter shoes for 'em?"

So the conversation went on until they had struck a bargain, that the
Crispin should board with the farmer and make up the shoes for himself
and the children, the farmer paying for the leather and so much by
the week for the man's work. The shoemaker then made a strong pair of
cowhide boots for the father of the family; a pair of kid shoes for the
good wife; two pairs of calfskin shoes for the two girls; two pairs of
ingrain boots for the older boys; and two pairs of kid shoes for the
younger boys. The silver jingled in the pocket of the Crispin when his
task was completed, and he traveled onward to the next farm. He had
appropriated to himself a certain section of villages and country, and
he would treat the matter as a serious misdemeanor should any other
Crispin trespass upon his territory.

The Crispins of those days were honest and faithful in their work.
Slow they were,--that cannot be denied. Even as late as the early half
of this century a good shoemaker has been known to labor from morning
till night through the six days of the week on one pair of fine, sewed,
calfskin boots, and the entire price which the customer paid for them
was $5, which included both labor and material.

What a contrast from the ancient method the present system furnishes!
Not long since a wedding was to occur in Salem, Massachusetts. A
telegram was sent at ten o'clock in the morning to Lynn, ordering
a pair of ladies' slippers made from white kid, to be worn at the
ceremony that afternoon. The shoes were cut out and made up complete
and forwarded to Salem by the two o'clock train.

Miss Sarah E. Wiltse in her stories for children tells how little Alice
was drinking her cup of milk one night when she asked her father to
tell her a story about the good cow, for her third finger. She said:
"The cow does three things for me now. Here is milk for my thumb,
butter for the pointer, cheese for Mr. Tallman, and now my third
finger, Mr. Feebleman, wants something. What can the cow give me for my
third finger?"

Her father then told her the story of a king in the long, long ago,--I
think it must have been in the pre-historic times,--a king who put into
one pile the things which he knew, and into another pile the things
which he did not know. Now the pile which this foolish king did not
know was a great deal larger than the pile of things which he did know.
Neither he nor his people knew much about making houses or dishes or
even clothes for themselves. They went barefooted and bareheaded all
the time. One day the king's horse fell dead and he was obliged to walk
a long distance. The sharp stones cut his feet, and the briars and
brambles pricked them and tore them. Then the king told his people to
put down a carpet for him to walk on. So they all went to work to make
coarse carpets for the king to walk upon.

They had hard work to make carpets enough to lay down in advance of the
king, day after day, as he traveled across the country. At length one
of his servants went away by himself and worked all night. The next
morning he came and knelt before the king and said:

"Sire, I have a carpet for the whole earth, though none but the king
may walk upon it. Upon this carpet thou canst climb mountains and thy
feet be not bruised; thou canst wander in the valleys and thy feet
never be torn by brambles; thou canst tread the burning desert and thy
feet remain unscorched."

Then the king said: "Bring me that priceless carpet and half my kingdom
shall be thine." The servant brought to the king a pair of shoes which
he had made in the night. This was a new carpet for the king; and so
this was the fourth good thing which the cow gave to Alice; the milk
she put down for the thumb, the butter for the first finger, the cheese
for the middle finger, and now she put leather for the third finger.
What great changes have taken place in the process of making boots and
shoes since this witty servant made the carpet for the king's feet!

Let us trace briefly the history of leather and the evolution of a pair
of shoes. In the early colonial days the skins of animals were widely
used for clothing. Caps were made for the men and boys from bear skins,
wolf skins, and the skins of the catamount. Overcoats with sleeves and
hoods were made of skins of wild animals properly dressed, with the
hair on. Moccasins for winter service were from the same material.
Buckskin breeches with fringed edges were in common use. These costumes
in the newly settled regions of our Western country continued until
fifty or sixty years ago.

[Illustration: DR. WHITMAN STARTING ON HIS JOURNEY.]

In the winter of 1842-43 Dr. Marcus Whitman made his memorable journey
from Oregon across the country to the States. On a later occasion he
described the dress which he wore on that remarkable horseback ride. He
said: "I wore buckskin breeches, fur moccasins, a blue duffle coat, a
buffalo overcoat with hood, and a bearskin cap. Rather a fantastic garb
for a missionary, wasn't it?"

Inventions and machinery have done much to improve the processes of
tanning leather. Tanning itself is a curious process. It changes raw
hides into a condition in which the skins are useful in the arts and
manufactures. This process renders the skins nearly impervious to
water, and makes them so tough that they can withstand the ravages of
time and remain firm and strong even for centuries.

It is said that specimens of leather have been discovered in China
which are surely three thousand years old. They had been tanned by
the process which is called "alum tannage." When Columbus discovered
America he found, in possession of the Indians, skins that had been
tanned. Their process of tanning, too, was practically the alum method.

Sir Edwin Arnold found a pair of slippers in a sarcophagus in India,
and nothing else was present except a small heap of dust. In the huts
of the Rock Dwellers in Arizona tanned leather has been found. In
ancient Babylon they had a process of tanning, and nearly two thousand
years ago the Russians and Hungarians were skilled in the art. The
ancient Romans knew how to tan leather with oil, alum, and bark.

Most of the early tanning, however, was without bark. The process was
accomplished with oil, clay, sour milk, and smoke. Later, nutgalls
and leaves began to be used. Oak bark is the principal material now
employed throughout the world in tanning. Besides the oak bark, the
barks of hemlock, pine, birch, and willow are utilized.

When the texture of the skin has been so changed by this tanning
process as to become tough and durable, then the name leather is given
to it. In the days of the Crispins six months was as short a time
as the tanner thought needful for the proper curing of the hides.
The process was crude, long, and laborious; but the leather, ah! the
leather--it was strong and would wear like iron. Even the children
did not need copper toes. To-day the methods have changed greatly; in
no way more noticeably than in the shorter time required. The modern
process must be considered an improvement, even though the leather is
not as strong as formerly.

The skins of most animals may be used to make leather The domestic
animals, cows, calves, and sheep, are first called upon to give their
skins for leather. Glazed kid is made from goat skins. Kangaroo leather
is much used for shoes. Considerable use is made of alligator leather
for satchels and bags and even for shoes. Skins of lizards, snakes,
and seals are used; walrus hides are tanned, and the leather used
for polishing knives and tools. "Patent leather" is made principally
of cowhide, horsehide, and calfskin. Horsehide leather is very tough
and durable, but is too elastic for some purposes. Harness leather is
made from steer and cow hides. "Russia leather," formerly made only
in Russia, has been a favorite material for the choicest kinds of
pocketbooks and satchels. Bookbinders prefer it for binding their most
costly volumes.

Marshall Jewell was a New Hampshire boy. He learned the trade of
tanning and worked at it with his father. While yet a young man, he
removed to Hartford, Connecticut. There, at first with his father
and afterward alone, he carried on a large business in manufacturing
leather belting. He was three times governor of the State. The year
after leaving the governor's chair he was appointed Minister to Russia.
While in that country, through his intimate knowledge of the methods of
tanning, he discovered the secret of the Russian process. It had never
been known before in our country. Under his direction it was introduced
here, and within the last twenty-five years it has come into very
extensive use. The process is quite simple. It is thus described: Steep
the leather in a solution of fifty pounds each of oak and hemlock bark
and sumach, one pound of willow bark and nine hundred gallons of water;
heat by steam, and immerse the leather till struck through, and while
the material is still damp smear on the outer side a solution of oil of
birch bark dissolved in a little alcohol and ether. This imparts to the
leather its odor and its pliability.

A boot or shoe consists principally of two parts: the sole, made of
thick, tough, strong leather, and the uppers, made of a softer, more
pliable leather. By the old process the boot or the shoe was made
throughout by a single person. By the modern process, one person cuts
out the shoe, another binds it, and a third puts it upon the last;
still another manages the machine which sews the sole and the upper
together, a different person trims the edges, some one else attends to
the next process in the division of labor, until, it may be, a dozen
persons have done something to the making of one shoe.

The modern improved machines for sewing on the soles of shoes are
wonderful instruments. Upon one machine a good workman will sew eight
hundred pairs of women's shoes in ten hours. A great part of the
boots and shoes worn by the people of this country are made with this
improved machinery in large establishments in New York, Philadelphia,
Baltimore, and other large cities, and particularly in several towns
in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine. The most important seat of
this manufacture is Lynn, Massachusetts, but great quantities of shoes
are made in Brockton, Haverhill, Milford, Marblehead, Danvers, and
Worcester in Massachusetts, Portland, Auburn, and Augusta in Maine, and
Dover and Farmington, in New Hampshire.



CHAPTER VI.

NEEDLES.


In the earlier times what was the mantle that covered the human person?
How was it made? How was it held together? With what was the sewing
thereof? When was thread first used for the seam? How early in human
history was the eye made for the needle?

From the beginning of history we find references to sewing, even
earlier than to weaving. We might naturally suppose that leather was
sewed before cloth, and that stout leathern thongs served for thread.
The leather string for thread and the awl for the needle must have
been in use long, long ago. The stout moccasin, the wolfskin cap, the
buckskin breeches were sewed by punching holes and laboriously pulling
a leather string through them. By and by, however, some skillful
inventor produced the needle. Perhaps the first needles were made of
bone or ivory. Then metal was used.

What a great invention was the eye of the needle! No one knows who was
the inventor, but we have reason to bless the unknown personage who
first devised this ingenious arrangement. Would you not like to see the
needles that were in use hundreds of years ago? They were not like the
finely finished needles of to-day. Crude and coarse were they, and only
adapted to the crude and coarse sewing which could then be performed.
To-day the needle-woman is often an artist. Embroidery is done with
the needle. The plain seam, the hem, the gather, the back stitch, are
simply so many forms of the work of an artist.

Century after century our needle-makers have been improving in the
manufacture of this simple but effective little machine. In the
complicated civilization of the present time we have an almost infinite
variety of needles: the ordinary sewing needle for the making of
garments; smaller needles for lace work, the hemming of delicate
handkerchiefs and the seam of fine silk goods; and coarse and heavy
needles for carpet sewing, bagging, and leather work.

[Illustration: SEWING BY HAND.]

All this relates to sewing by hand, with a single needle and one
thread. It is stitch by stich, first one, then another; it is like the
brook,--"it goes on forever." It is like the clock that repeats its
tick tock, tick tock by the hour, by the day, by the week, by the year.
Perhaps many seamstresses would not recognize the duty of blessing the
man who invented the needle. The poet Hood has told this side of the
story in his famous poem, "The Song of the Shirt."

    "With fingers weary and worn.
    With eyelids heavy and red,
    A woman sits in unwomanly rags,
    Plying her needle and thread--
    Stitch! Stitch! Stitch!
    In poverty, hunger, and dirt.

       *       *       *       *       *

    Work! Work! Work!
    While the cock is crowing aloof!
    And work--work--work,
    Till the stars shine through the roof!

       *       *       *       *       *

    Band and gusset and seam,
    Seam and gusset and band,
    Till the heart is sick,
    And the brain benumbed
    As well as the weary hand."

Indeed, the time had come long ago when some ingenious device was
needed by which the seamstress could sew with less wear and tear of
nerve and muscle. Efforts were made in England for machine sewing
nearly one hundred and fifty years ago, but they were not successful. A
sewing machine was invented by Thomas Saint about one hundred years ago
which had some of the features of the sewing machine of to-day.

It was left, however, for American inventors to produce machines that
would do the work easily and successfully; the machines themselves had
such simplicity and were so nicely adapted that they were not likely to
get out of repair but would remain serviceable during a long period of
years. Sewing machines in large numbers were invented during the period
from 1830 to 1860.

As early as 1818 a sewing machine was invented by Rev. John Adams
Dodge, of Vermont. He used a needle pointed at each end with the eye in
the middle. This machine would make a good backstitch and sew a seam
straight forward. It was not patented and did not get into use to any
considerable extent. In 1832 Walter Hunt, of New York, brought out a
machine which used two threads, one being carried by a shuttle and the
other by a curved needle with the eye in the point. This machine also
was not patented.

Ten years later, J. J. Greenough patented a machine for sewing leather
and other heavy material, but this also did not acquire any extended
use. About the same time George H. Corliss invented a strong, heavy
machine for sewing leather, using two needles with the eyes near the
points; this machine was evidently an improvement on previous attempts.
Mr. Corliss soon turned his attention to improvements of the steam
engine and did not continue his efforts to perfect his sewing machine.

Hence it was that the first really successful sewing machine was that
of Elias Howe, patented in 1846. The first form of Howe's machine
was far from satisfactory, but it was an improvement on all previous
machines. Howe could not induce the people to appreciate the value of
his invention, and he went to England and there secured patents. But in
England also he became discouraged, and sold out his rights for that
country and returned home.

Meantime others had pirated his invention and were making his machines
and placing them upon the market. Howe immediately asserted his rights
and, after a series of suits in court, he succeeded in establishing
them, so that finally his machine came into extended use and its
inventor reaped a large pecuniary reward from his genius and skill.
Improvements now came forward rapidly. Patents were soon issued to
Allen B. Wilson of Pittsfield, Massachusetts, Isaac M. Singer of New
York, and William O. Grover of Boston. Later, the Weed, the Florence,
the Wilcox & Gibbs, the Remington, Domestic, American, Household, and
many others were added to the list of successful machines.

It is unnecessary to describe the difference in these machines and the
various ways in which the stitch is made. Some of them make the lock
stitch, others the double loop stitch, and still others the single
chain stitch. The best machines make also a special buttonhole stitch
and have particular devices by which they gather and ruffle, tuck, hem,
bind, and whatever else is required to be done with thread.

One machine or another can be used for almost any kind of sewing. With
them we sew shoes and boots, heavy woolen goods like beaver, several
thicknesses of duck, or, on the other hand, the very finest and nicest
muslin. Sewing machines are used in the making of gloves, pocketbooks,
traveling bags, and other articles of this character. Special machines
sew seams on water hose, leather buckets, bootlegs, and other articles
which require the seam to be made in a circle.

No other country has so many factories or such large ones for making
sewing machines as the United States. The establishments which
manufacture sewing machines have a combined capital of more than twenty
million dollars, and the value of their annual product aggregates
about fifteen million dollars. Meanwhile the price of sewing machines
has diminished so that they are now sold for less than one-half, and
sometimes as low as one-fourth, of the original price.

In 1830 a Frenchman, Barthélemy Thimmonier, constructed of wood eighty
machines which made a chain stitch of great strength. These were used
for making clothing for the French army. Laborers were so incensed at
this invention, which they thought was contrary to their interests,
that they raised a riot and destroyed all of the machines. A few years
later this inventor made other machines constructed of metal, and these
were also destroyed by a mob.

Many times it has happened that laborers have supposed that they would
be great losers from the invention of labor-saving machines. Instead of
this proving to be true, it would seem that laborers are benefited by
the inventions. There is much evidence showing that while inventions
greatly diminish the amount of labor necessary to accomplish a certain
result, on the other hand they open up new lines of industry which
fully compensate laborers for the loss which would otherwise fall upon
them. It is to be noted also that, in our country at least, the wages
of laborers have increased in the period during which labor-saving
machines have been invented.

The modern sewing machine is an inestimable blessing to a family. In
former days, the mother of half a dozen children would be obliged to
ply the needle night after night until the small hours in order to
keep her little ones properly clad. Now, with the little iron machine
standing upon its small table on one side of the room, the good mother
can make up the necessary garments for her children in quick time,
leaving her far more hours for sleep, recreation, and social life than
would be possible under the old method. Many a one can now call down
blessings not only upon "the man who invented sleep," but upon the man
who invented the sewing machine which gives one time to sleep.



CHAPTER VII.

THE STEAM ENGINE.


At the very summit of a mountain near Pasadena, California, stands a
huge windmill, which may be seen for many miles in all directions. Here
the wind blows almost constantly, and the great arms of the windmill
are employed to lift water from a well in the valley below to irrigate
the orange groves on the hillsides. Thus the wind has been harnessed by
man to serve his purpose.

[Illustration: AN OLD WINDMILL.]

Nature has not only furnished wind for a motive force, but it has also
provided man with water power. The water wheel, with its accompanying
dam across the stream, has been in general use from the time of the
earliest settlements. The weight of the water turned a wheel, thus
developing a force which was employed for sawing lumber or grinding
grain. When cotton and woolen manufactories were first introduced,
water power was almost universally used.

After wind and water came steam. A very simple steam engine was
devised by Hero more than two thousand years ago, but it was of little
practical value and was soon forgotten. Not until the beginning of the
eighteenth century was a machine invented which could successfully
produce motion by steam. This engine, made by an Englishman named
Newcomen, was very wasteful and was used only to pump water from mines.

Less than one hundred and fifty years ago a young Scotchman named James
Watt set himself to the task of improving the Newcomen engine and of
making a steam engine that would furnish power for different purposes.
He devoted his whole thought to his work, and after twenty years of
study he succeeded. The Watt steam engine is the basis of all engines
to-day. James Watt did not discover steam power, but he made the steam
engine of real value.

Many of the first engines used in this country for manufacturing
purposes were made by Boulton and Watt in Birmingham. The first steam
engines made in America were rough and crude, but the improvement
in their construction was rapid. At the present time engines of
the finest construction, with the latest improvements and adapted
to all kinds of work, are made in many establishments all over our
land. Engines are made for marine purposes--steamboats, yachts, and
war-vessels,--stationary engines for all sorts of manufactures, and
locomotives for the railroads. Perhaps the greatest improvements in the
manufacture of steam engines have been the result of the talent and
genius of George H. Corliss.

In 1825, when George was only eight years of age, his father moved to
Greenwich, New York, where the boy grew up to manhood. Here he went to
school, was clerk in a country store, and was employed in the first
cotton factory built in that State. Little did the people of that
country village think that this quiet boy had in him such wonderful
mechanical genius as he afterward displayed.

His father's house was situated near the bank of a small stream which
was much swollen every springtime by the freshets from the melting
snows above. A bridge which spanned this stream was carried away one
year by the freshets. Young Corliss, then twenty-one years of age,
proposed to build a cantilever bridge. Everybody said that the scheme
was impossible; he could not do it, it would be a failure. Nevertheless
he succeeded, and the bridge was built. It proved entirely successful.
It withstood the freshets and was in service, scarcely needing repairs,
for many years.

He went to Providence when he was twenty-seven years of age, and before
he was thirty he had established himself as the head of the firm of
"Corliss, Nightingale and Company," for the manufacture of steam
engines. He was but a little over thirty years old when he patented his
great improvements, applied to the steam engine. These improvements
were such as to produce uniformity of motion and to prevent the loss
of steam. By connecting the valve with an ingenious cut-off, which he
invented, he made the engine work with such uniformity that, if all but
one of a hundred looms in a factory were suddenly stopped, that one
would go on working at the same rate of speed as before.

The improvements which Mr. Corliss effected at once revolutionized the
construction of the steam engine. He immediately began the erection of
immense buildings for his machine shops, where now are employed more
than a thousand men. In 1856 the "Corliss Steam Engine Company" was
incorporated, and Mr. Corliss, purchasing the interest of his partners,
soon owned all the stock of this company and was both president and
treasurer. During a long period of more than forty years Mr. Corliss,
who was a large-hearted, benevolent man interested in public affairs
relating to city, State, and nation, devoted himself with great
industry to the development of his inventions.

[Illustration: A CORLISS ENGINE.]

Perhaps the most conspicuous work which more than anything else carried
his name to all the nations of the earth was the construction of the
great engine which furnished the motive power for all the machinery
in operation in Machinery Hall, at the Centennial Exhibition in
Philadelphia in 1876. Of this engine M. Bartholdi, in his report to
the French Government, said: "It belonged to the category of works of
art by the general beauty of its effect and its perfect balance to
the eye." Professor Radinger, of the Polytechnic School in Vienna,
pronounced the engine one of the greatest works of the day.

This engine stood in the center of Machinery Hall upon a platform
56 feet in diameter. The two working beams were 40 feet above the
platform, and were seen from all parts of the building, being the most
conspicuous objects in the hall. The fly-wheel was 30 feet in diameter
with a face of 24 inches.

This engine carried eight main lines of shafting, each line being 650
feet in length, and the larger part of this shafting was speeded to 120
revolutions a minute, while one line, used principally for wood-working
machines, made 240 revolutions per minute. The engine weighed 7,000
tons, and its power was equivalent to 1,400 horse-power. The entire
cost, about $200,000, was borne by Mr. Corliss. The engine is now in
active service, furnishing the motive power for the entire works of the
Pullman Car Company.

During the later years of Mr. Corliss's life he devoted much time and
thought to inventing improved pumps to be used in connection with
city waterworks, "for forcing water to higher levels." He made for
the city of Providence a rotary pump for high service which worked
automatically, keeping the pipes in the upper sections of the city full
at all times whether much or little water was used. This ingenious
pump was visited by mechanics from all parts of the world. Only a few
years before his death Mr. Corliss built another pump, an account of
which was published some years ago. This account included the following
incident:

"I went down to Pettaconsett, the other day, to see the foundations of
the building that Mr. Corliss is putting up there for the new pumping
engine which he has engaged to put in for this city. I found that, in
digging for the foundations, they came upon a deep bed of quicksand.
Mr. Corliss, ever fertile in expedients to overcome obstacles, instead
of driving down wooden piles, sunk in this quicksand great quantities
of large cobblestones. These were driven down into the sand with
tremendous force by a huge iron ball weighing four thousand pounds.
I said: 'Mr. Corliss, why did not you drive wooden piles on which to
build your foundation?'

"'Don't you see,' said he, 'that the piles _have no discretion_, and
that the cobblestones have?'

"'I don't think I understand you, Mr. Corliss,' was my reply.

"'If you drive a pile,' said he, '_it goes where you drive it, and
nowhere else_; but a cobblestone will seek the softest place and _go
where it is most needed_. It therefore has discretion, and better
answers the purpose.'

"I went away musing that the wooden 'piles' and the 'cobblestones'
represent two classes of boys. 'The piles,' said Mr. Corliss, 'have _no
discretion_, and _go only where they are driven_.' I think I have seen
boys who represented this quality. 'But the cobblestones go _where they
are the most needed_.' When boys fit themselves to go where they are
the most needed, they will be pretty likely to meet with tolerably good
success in life."

The great service Mr. Corliss has rendered to the world through
his inventions is shown by the awards made to him from the highest
scientific authorities. At the Paris Exposition (1867) he received
the highest competitive prize in competition with more than a hundred
engines. A great English engineer, one of the British commissioners at
the Exposition, said: "The American engine of Mr. Corliss everywhere
tells of wise forethought, judicious proportion, sound execution, and
exquisite contrivance."

The American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1870 awarded to Mr.
Corliss the Rumford Medal. This medal was presented by Dr. Asa
Gray, who said: "No invention since Watt's time has so enhanced the
efficiency of the steam engine as this."

At the Vienna Exhibition in 1873 Mr. Corliss sent neither engine nor
machinery, nor had he any one there to represent him; but the grand
diploma of honor was awarded to him. This was done because foreign
builders had sent their engines, which they themselves claimed were
built on his system, and they had placed his name on their productions.

The steam engine to-day is of vastly greater importance than it has
ever been before, especially in its use for furnishing the motive power
for cotton and woolen factories, and for all kinds of manufacturing
establishments. What should we do to-day without the steam engine? Long
before the beginning of this century Erasmus Darwin sang as follows:

  "Soon shall thy arm, unconquered steam! afar
  Drag the slow barge, or drive the rapid car."

All this has long been fulfilled. How long will it be before his next
two lines will also prove a reality?

  "Or on wide-waving wings expanded bear
  The flying chariot through the field of air."


[Illustration: ROBERT FULTON.]


[Illustration: AN OCEAN STEAMER.

    _"I carry the wealth and the lord of earth, the thoughts of his
          godlike mind;
    The wind lags after my going forth, the lightning is left behind."_]



SECTION V.--TRAVEL.



CHAPTER I.

BY LAND.


"Well, Charles, how do you purpose to go to the city to-day? The paper
this morning contains some news that ought to interest you. There was a
washout at Turk's Bridge last evening, and it will be several hours yet
before trains can run."

This question was asked by Mrs. Barlow, one morning during the great
street-car strike when the motormen and conductors had refused to run
cars until their demands were granted.

"I see but one way left open for me," replied her husband. "The roads
must be very muddy, and I cannot go on my bicycle. I suppose that I
shall be compelled to walk. That was the original mode of traveling,
and I imagine that in this case of necessity I can try it again. I am
not used to so long a walk, but I see no other way. In one respect I am
better off than my ancestors were, for I have good level side-walks,
most of them paved, instead of rough paths, partly trodden down. I will
start to walk, anyway."

Mr. Barlow did not own a horse, and could not drive to the city. He
did not feel able to hire a public carriage, as, since the street-car
strike began, so many desired to ride that the drivers charged very
high prices. But he felt that he must attend to his business in the
city that day, and immediately after breakfast he started on his
five-mile walk. He was very tired before he reached the office, and the
walk home in the afternoon wearied him still more. He was therefore
greatly pleased the next morning to find that the strike was over, the
railroad bridge repaired, the muddy roads nearly dry, and a choice open
to him to travel either by steam cars, electric street cars, or bicycle.

Mr. Barlow learned an interesting lesson by this one day's experience.
He obtained something of an idea of the life of his ancestors, who
were compelled to walk whenever they had business to transact. He
realized more than ever before what improvements had been made in the
last three centuries in the means for travel. His thoughts were turned
directly to these changes, and for several weeks he studied histories
and scientific works to learn the ways in which these improvements came
about. Let us note some of the results of his study.

Nearly three hundred years ago, Captain Newport, with a few small
vessels, sailed up the James River, in Virginia. After some weeks the
fleet returned to England, leaving about one hundred men, the colonists
of Jamestown, the first permanent English settlement in America. Here
was a little village, with the Atlantic Ocean, thousands of miles wide,
separating the colonists from all their friends and acquaintances. The
great forest which covered the entire Atlantic coast contained now
this clearing on the banks of the James River. North of the settlement
dense woods extended in every direction; no white men lived nearer
than the French colonies of Quebec and Nova Scotia. To the south also
spread the forest; the nearest European settlement was the Spanish
colony of Saint Augustine. Westward for hundreds and thousands of
miles the almost uninhabited wilderness extended to the Pacific Ocean,
the very existence of which was scarcely suspected by white men. Thus
was the Jamestown colony almost entirely shut off from the world of
civilization, a feeble band of Europeans surrounded by savage red men.

What interest had these colonists in travel? Tossed on the ocean
as they had been for many weeks, worn with seasickness and lack of
nourishing food, few had any desire to see more of the world. Besides,
if they had wished to travel, where could they have gone? Roads through
the forests were unknown; rivers were spanned by no bridges; swamps and
marshes extended in every direction. The most remote houses were at
easy walking distance. The little church was not far even from the last
house in the village. If need for firewood or lumber led any one into
the forest, he must go afoot. If any necessity arose for communication
with the Indians, the journey must be made on foot. Thus we see that in
the early days of Virginia what travel there was by land was limited to
walking.

Thirteen years after the building of Jamestown a second English colony
was planted in America. Another band of a hundred persons began a
settlement at Plymouth in New England. The colony of Virginia had
become well established by this time, yet it could be of but little
help to Plymouth. Many hundred miles distant, it seemed hardly nearer
than old England itself. The Pilgrims at Plymouth lived by themselves,
as had the Virginia colonists, and for some years what travel they had
was also on foot.

Time passed on in both colonies. New settlers came over the ocean
to Virginia, and other villages were built at some distance from
Jamestown. Thus arose reasons for journeys--desire to see friends
in other villages--necessities of trade or commerce between the
settlements. At first, of course, as travel by foot within a village
was common, so journeys between villages were made in the same way.

An easier means of communication was provided when horses were brought
over from England. These came in small numbers at first; there were but
six horses in Virginia when the settlers had been there nine years.
Thousands of years ago wild horses ranged in great numbers over the
whole continent of America. But, for some reason or other, these had
all perished, and when Columbus discovered the new world the red men
were wholly unacquainted with these animals or their use. Therefore,
when the white settlers in America desired horses they found it
necessary to bring them in vessels from Europe.

To the first and most common mode of travel, by foot, was thus added
the second method, namely, on horseback. In the old world this use of
horses had existed for thousands of years. In fact, three hundred and
four hundred years ago, at the time of the discovery and settlement
of America, it was almost the universal means for land travel. It was
natural then that it should be the first form taken up in America.
Besides, the making of a bridle path through the woods, that is, a path
wide enough for a man on horseback, was a comparatively simple matter.
To build a carriage road would have been a much more difficult task.

In New England, as well as in Virginia, the population rapidly
increased. The Plymouth colonists began to build other villages. A new
colony was founded on the coast of Massachusetts Bay, but thirty miles
from Plymouth. Here were established the towns of Salem, Charlestown,
Roxbury, Dorchester, Newtown, and Boston. Other towns were soon built
and clearings were made in every direction. Travel by horseback became
common among those who could afford to keep horses. Those who were too
poor must still travel on foot.

[Illustration: A MAN AND HIS WIFE TRAVELING ON HORSEBACK.]

Most of the traveling was done by men. We read that Queen Elizabeth was
an accomplished horsewoman; but as a rule few women were accustomed to
hold the reins, and few side-saddles were in use. The horses of those
days were very strong. They were trained to carry heavy burdens on
their backs rather than to draw loaded wagons. They frequently carried
more than one person; it was not unusual to see a man riding horseback,
and behind him his wife, sitting sideways and holding on to her husband
to keep from slipping off. For her comfort a pillion was used, which
was a pad or cushion fastened to the saddle.

Not only was Massachusetts Bay rapidly settled, but villages were
built fifty and even a hundred miles from Boston. Providence, Newport,
and Portsmouth were founded, forming the colony of Rhode Island and
Providence Plantations. Hartford, Wethersfield, and Windsor were
established on the Connecticut. Dover and Portsmouth in New Hampshire,
New Haven and Saybrook in Connecticut were built, and the village of
Agawam, now Springfield, was founded.

All of these new settlements needed some connection with Boston, or the
Old Bay Colony as it was called. The roads were mere paths, however,
and over them carriages could not have passed, if there had been any.
In a story written by J. G. Holland, called "Bay-Path," he described
life in Agawam more than two and a half centuries ago, and his
description of the roads and travel in those days is well worth reading.

"The principal communication with the Eastern settlement was by a path
marked by trees a portion of the distance, and by slight clearings of
brush and thicket for the remainder. No stream was bridged, no hill
graded, and no marsh drained. The path led through woods which bore the
marks of centuries, and along the banks of streams that the seine had
never dragged. The path was known as 'the Bay-Path,' or the path to the
bay.

"It was wonderful what a powerful interest was attached to the
Bay-Path. It was the channel through which laws were communicated,
through which flowed news from distant friends, and through which came
long, loving letters and messages. That rough thread of soil, chopped
by the blades of a hundred streams, was a bond that radiated at each
terminus into a thousand fibers of love and interest and hope and
memory.

"The Bay-Path was charmed ground--a precious passage--and during the
spring, the summer, and the early autumn hardly a settler at Agawam
went out of doors or changed his position in the fields, or looked up
from his labor, or rested his oars upon the bosom of the river, without
turning his eyes to the point at which that path opened from the brow
of the wooded hill upon the East. And when some worn and wearied man
came in sight upon his half-starved horse, or two or three pedestrians,
bending beneath their packs and swinging their sturdy staves, were seen
approaching, the village was astir from one end to the other.

[Illustration: THE BAY-PATH.]

"The Bay-Path became better marked from year to year as settlements
began to string themselves upon it as upon a thread. Every year
the footsteps of those who trod it hurried more and more until, at
last, wheels began to be heard upon it--heavy carts creaking with
merchandise. A century passed away and the wilderness had retired.
There was a constant roll along the Bay-Path. The finest of the wheat
and the fattest of the flocks and herds were transported to the Bay,
whose young commerce had already begun to whiten the coast.

"The dreamy years passed by, and then came the furious stagecoach,
traveling night and day--splashing the mud, brushing up the dust,
dashing up to inns, and curving more slowly up to post-offices. The
journey was reduced to a day. And then--miracle of miracles--came the
railway and the locomotive. The journey of a day is reduced to three
hours."



CHAPTER II.

BY WATER.


When the Virginia colonists reached the shores of America, they sailed
up the James River until they found a peninsula extending into the
river and there they built Jamestown. When the Pilgrims completed
their explorations of the shores of Cape Cod Bay, they chose the
harbor of Plymouth as the best situation for their colony. Lord
Baltimore established the Maryland colony at St. Mary's on an arm of
the Chesapeake Bay. The Dutch founded New Amsterdam on the island of
Manhattan, at the mouth of the Hudson River. The first settlements in
each of the colonies were made on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean, or
but a few miles up large rivers. Why? The colonists had come to this
new world in European vessels which could only bring them to the shore.
Here they chose the most convenient place and built their town.

Thus these settlers were in the very beginning familiar with travel
by water. But what a poor, inconvenient means of travel it was! The
Jamestown colonists, one hundred and five in number, were tossed upon
the stormy ocean for more than four months, enduring all the hardships
of a severe winter in vessels that to-day would seldom venture upon the
ocean, even in coastwise trade. Compare the two months and more of life
on the _Mayflower_, where the passengers were crowded into the closest
quarters, with the short six or seven days' trip to or from England
to-day on the ocean steamers, where travelers find comforts and
conveniences almost greater than those they are accustomed to at home.

[Illustration: PILGRIM EXILES.]

Although the emigrants suffered greatly in these voyages across the
Atlantic Ocean, the day of the return of the vessels to England was
a sad one. When the last glimpse of the receding ship had vanished,
the homesick watchers realized as never before their isolation--their
separation from everybody and everything in which they were interested.
Until vessels should again arrive from across the ocean they would be
thrown entirely upon their own resources. The settlers were thus very
dependent upon the ships that crossed the Atlantic so infrequently and
with such difficulty.

Soon after the settlement, however, some of the colonies began to build
vessels of their own. The forests provided lumber in great quantity and
of the best quality. The first vessel to be built by the Massachusetts
Bay Colony was launched at Medford the next year after the settlement
of Boston. This small vessel was owned by Governor Winthrop and was
appropriately called the _Blessing of the Bay_. The same year a Dutch
ship, twenty times as large, was constructed at New Amsterdam.

A large part of the colonial shipbuilding was confined to New England,
the _Blessing of the Bay_ being but a leader in a long line. Within
two years a ship as large as the _Mayflower_ was built at Boston, and
another twice as large at Salem. Within thirty-five years Boston had
one hundred and thirty sail on the sea. New York built fewer but larger
ships. Philadelphia was a leading shipbuilding town, and many vessels
were constructed in the Carolinas.

The activity of the colonists in thus providing means for travel by
water was not limited to ocean shipbuilding. The rivers, the inland
roads, already prepared by nature, were used from the very beginning.
As the settlements grew, both in population and in numbers, travel
between them became more and more necessary, and the rivers and streams
came more and more into use. The settlers were wise enough to follow
the example of the Indians and to make themselves at once familiar with
canoes and small boats of every description.

The earliest form of water travel was, perhaps, the raft. It was
usually made of floating logs or bundles of brush tied together.
To-day, even, rafts of single logs, merely pointed at the ends, are
found in Australia, as well as rafts of reeds. On the coast of Peru
rafts seventy feet long and twenty feet broad are common,--large enough
to use sails as well as paddles.

The next step was to use the single log, made hollow by gradually
burning it out or by slowly chipping away pieces with some sharp
implement. On the Atlantic coast the most common form of canoe was the
dugout, made from the cedar log; and singularly enough the same tree
was most frequently used on the shores of the Pacific Ocean, especially
near Puget Sound. These Western boats were frequently of great size,
some on the Alaskan coast being ninety feet in length and propelled by
forty paddles. The Indians had found these dugouts very serviceable,
and as the European colonists began to travel over the same rivers and
streams they patterned their river craft after those of the red men.

[Illustration: A BIRCH-BARK CANOE.]

The lighter form of the canoe was preferred, where serviceable, to
the dugout. This was made of a light but strong framework covered by
bark or skins. That used by the Esquimaux was of sealskin stretched
over whalebone. But the more common form was the Indian birch-bark
canoe, which rapidly became very popular among the colonial hunters and
trappers. No better description of the birch canoe can be found than
that which the children's poet, Longfellow, gives in "Hiawatha."

    "'Give me of your bark, O Birch Tree!
    Of your yellow bark, O Birch Tree!
    Growing by the rushing river,
    Tall and stately in the valley!
    I a light canoe will build me,
    Build a swift Cheemaun for sailing,
    That shall float upon the river,
    Like a yellow leaf in Autumn,
    Like a yellow water-lily!

    "'Lay aside your cloak, O Birch Tree!
    Lay aside your white-skin wrapper,
    For the Summer-time is coming,
    And the sun is warm in heaven,
    And you need no white-skin wrapper!'

    "With his knife the tree he girdled;
    Just beneath its lowest branches,
    Just above the roots, he cut it,
    Till the sap came oozing outward;
    Down the trunk, from top to bottom,
    Sheer he cleft the bark asunder,
    With a wooden wedge he raised it,
    Stripped it from the trunk unbroken.

    "'Give me of your boughs, O Cedar!
    Of your strong and pliant branches,
    My canoe to make more steady,
    Make more strong and firm beneath me!'

    "Down he hewed the boughs of cedar,
    Shaped them straightway to a framework,
    Like two bows he formed and shaped them,
    Like two bended bows together.

    "'Give me of your roots, O Tamarack!
    Of your fibrous roots, O Larch Tree!
    My canoe to bind together,
    So to bind the ends together
    That the water may not enter,
    That the river may not wet me!'

    "From the earth he tore the fibres,
    Tore the rough roots of the Larch Tree,
    Closely sewed the bark together,
    Bound it closely to the framework.


    "'Give me of your balm, O Fir Tree.
    Of your balsam and your resin,
    So to close the seams together
    That the water may not enter,
    That the river may not wet me!'

    "And he took the tears of balsam,
    Took the resin of the fir tree,
    Smeared therewith each seam and fissure,
    Made each crevice safe from water.

    "Thus the Birch Canoe was builded
    In the valley, by the river,
    In the bosom of the forest;
    And the forest's life was in it,
    All its mystery and its magic,
    All the lightness of the birch tree,
    All the toughness of the cedar,
    All the Larch's supple sinews;
    And it floated on the river
    Like a yellow leaf in Autumn,
    Like a yellow water-lily."



CHAPTER III.

STAGECOACHES.


Both by land and by water the methods of travel among the early
colonists were extremely rude. From the early days of the settlements
until the Independence of the United States the improvement was
very slow. During the seventeenth century practically all of the
long-distance traveling was by water. Schooners made regular trips
from New England to Virginia, and smaller sloops or "packets" ran to
New York from the different towns to the eastward. These vessels were
dependent, of course, upon the wind, and the length of the journey
varied greatly. Perhaps a packet might sail from New Haven to New York
in two days, but calms or contrary winds might delay the trip, and make
it a week in going from port to port.

On land, however, the facilities for travel slowly but surely improved.
An interesting account of the rudeness and hardships of New England
land journeys is furnished by the journal of Sarah Knight, who went
from Boston to New York on horseback nearly two hundred years ago. The
roads were openings in the forest, made by cutting down trees, and
were often blocked by fallen trunks. The streams that must be crossed
caused the most trouble. "We came," she wrote, "to a river which they
generally ride thro'; but I dare not venture; so the post got a ladd
and cannoo to carry me to t'other side, and he rid thro' and led my
hors. The cannoo was very small and shallow, so that when we were in
she seemed ready to take in water, which greatly terrified mee and
caused mee to be very circumspect, sitting with my hands fast on each
side, my eyes stedy, not daring so much as to lodg my tongue a hair's
breadth more on one side of my mouth than t'other, nor so much as think
on Lott's wife, for a wry thought would have oversett our wherey." For
a woman to undertake such a journey was very unusual, and after her
return she wrote with a diamond on the glass of a window these lines:

    "Through many toils and many frights,
    I have returned, poor Sarah Knights.
    Over great rocks and many stones
    God has preserved from fractured bones."

About the time that this long journey was made, carriages began to come
into use. The most common of these were the large coach, the "calash,"
and a lighter, two-wheeled vehicle, with a calash top, similar to a
chaise. But these carriages were for a time only used within the towns
themselves, where the large number of houses required the building of
better roads and streets. Comparatively few persons could afford to own
private carriages, and their use was therefore not general for many
years. Before the middle of the eighteenth century, however, carriages
became more common. Broader and better roads had been built, and longer
journeys could be made. As early as 1725, carriages had been driven
from the Connecticut River to Boston, and overland travel began to be
more customary.

The first roads that could be called suitable for carriage travel
were for the most part toll roads. Instead of being made by the towns
or counties, or by the colonies, they were built by corporations.
These companies were granted the privilege of charging toll from every
traveler over their roads for the purpose of paying a profit to the
members of the company, as well as to keep the roads in repair. In the
same way corporations built bridges, charging a small toll upon every
one who crossed them. Thus travel was improved, time was saved, and
less discomfort was caused the travelers.

[Illustration: OLD-STYLE CALASHES.]

In the eighteenth century public carriages began to come into use.
Previously if any one wished to travel by land, he found it necessary
to own or hire horses. If he made a voyage by sea, he could pay his
fare on some vessel that made the trip he wished to take. This means
of public transportation, this carrying a person or his goods for pay,
had been limited, however, to water travel. There were no regular
conveyances running from town to town by land which would carry
passengers or freight.

The town of Plymouth had been settled nearly a hundred years before
the first line of stagecoaches in any part of the country was put in
operation. This "stage wagon" ran between Boston and Bristol ferry,
where it connected with the packet line to Newport and New York. Three
years later a stage line began to run from Boston to Newport, making
one trip each way every week. The driver advertised to carry "bundles
of goods, merchandise, books, men, women, and children."

Travel was slow, much slower than seems possible to-day. The roads were
still very poor, in fact scarcely fit to be called roads. Little by
little new stage lines were established, nearly always in connection
with some packet line. Up to the middle of the eighteenth century,
however, opportunities to travel by stage were few and the time
required great. Three weeks were needed to make the trip from Boston to
Philadelphia, even under the most favorable conditions.

Less than three years before the battle of Lexington, the first
stage was run between New York and Boston. The first trip was begun
on Monday, July 13th, and the journey's end was not reached until
Saturday, July 25th. Thirteen days were thus required for a trip which
may now be made in five or six hours. As the amount of travel increased
new lines were formed, the roads were improved, and stages were run
more frequently and more rapidly. Sixty years after the first trip
was made between New York and Boston the time had been cut down from
thirteen days to one day and five hours; more than a hundred lines of
coaches were then regularly running out of Boston.

In spite, however, of every improvement, travel by stage a hundred
years ago was no simple or pleasant matter. Professor McMaster says:
"The stagecoach was little better than a huge covered box mounted on
springs. It had neither glass windows nor door nor steps nor closed
sides. The roof was upheld by eight posts which rose from the body of
the vehicle, and the body was commonly breast-high. From the top were
hung curtains of leather, to be drawn up when the day was fine and let
down and buttoned when rainy or cold. Within were four seats. Without
was the baggage. When the baggage had all been weighed and strapped on
the coach, when the horses had been attached, the eleven passengers
were summoned, and, clambering to their seats through the front of the
stage, sat down with their faces toward the driver's seat."

[Illustration: AN OLD-FASHIONED STAGECOACH.]

The coach would set out from the inn with the horses on a gallop,
which would continue until a steep hill was reached. Then would follow
the slow pacing up the hill, the gallop down again, the dragging
through a stretch of muddy road, the careful fording of a river, the
watering of the horses every few miles, and the rapid gallop up to the
next inn. Here the mail pouches would be taken out and in, perhaps a
change of coaches made or more frequently of horses only, a delay for
a little gossip, and the stage would be off again. This was all very
exhilarating and agreeable in pleasant, warm weather, but how fatiguing
in the cold and snows of winter, and even during a chilly summer storm.

These public conveyances were used only when necessary. Private
carriages were much preferred to the stagecoach, as being a more
comfortable as well as a safer mode of travel. The story is told of
one young lady who was visiting near Boston, eighty years ago. She was
very anxious to return to her home, but her father was unable to come
for her. Her mother wrote: "Your papa would not trust your life in the
stage. It is a very unsafe and improper conveyance for young ladies.
Many have been the accidents, many the cripples made by accidents in
these vehicles. As soon as your papa can, you may be sure he will go or
send for you."

[Illustration: MUNROE TAVERN, LEXINGTON, MASS. (BUILT IN 1695.)]

Whether the traveler went by stage or in his private carriage, it was
necessary to stop at the inns. The taverns had a great deal to do with
making journeys pleasant or disagreeable. As a general rule, the New
England inns were kept by leading men, and in most cases the innkeeper
was required to obtain recommendations from the selectmen of the town
before he could get a license or a permission to establish and keep
the tavern. Even the smaller New England villages boasted of inns that
compared favorably with the hotels of the large towns. A Frenchman,
traveling through the United States early in this century, wrote in
highest praise of the inns of New England, whose windows were without
shutters, and whose doors had neither locks nor keys, and yet where
no harm ever came to the traveler. He admired "the great room, with
its low ceiling and neatly sanded floor; its bright pewter dishes and
stout-backed, slat-bottomed chairs ranged along its walls; its long
table; and its huge fireplace, with the benches on either side."

He had less praise for the inns of the rest of the country. The
buildings were poor, the fare was coarse, and the beds were bad. The
roofs leaked, the windows were sometimes mere openings in the wall; the
bedding was unclean and extremely uninviting.

If a traveler were compelled to stop at the Southern inns, he found
his journey far from agreeable. Fortunately for him the Southern
planter was the most hospitable of persons. "At his home strangers were
heartily welcome and nobly entertained. Some bade their slaves ask in
any traveler that might be seen passing by. Some kept servants on the
watch to give notice of every approaching horseman or of the distant
rumble of a coming coach and four." On the plantation the traveler was
always treated as a most intimate friend, and in the cheery comfort of
the mansion he forgot, for the time being, the trials and hardships of
travel by land.



CHAPTER IV.

STEAMBOATS.


The idea of payment for transportation is very old. Thousands of years
ago we read of vessels sailing upon the Mediterranean Sea prepared
to transport persons or freight for sums of money. Where this idea
originated is not known, but it may have occurred to a savage for the
first time in some such way as the following:

A hunter lived on the banks of a river in Asia. One day he shot a duck
which fell to the ground on the opposite shore. The hunter needed the
bird, for he was hungry, but how was he to obtain it? The river was
very deep at this point, and he could not swim. He knew that there
was a shallow place five miles up the stream, where he might ford the
river, and another ford five miles below. But to cross by either of
these would require a journey of ten miles to the bird and ten miles
back, just to get across a narrow river. He remembered that a big log
lay upon a sand-bar in the river not far from where he was. He took
a pole, pried off the log and rolled it into the water. Then seating
himself on it he poled himself across, obtained the duck, and soon
reached his home again. Here was the first water travel.

A few days later he heard a cry from over the river. Looking up, he
saw a man who desired to cross. The stranger called to him to get his
log and take him over, as he had carried himself. The hunter saw that
the stranger had a deer on his shoulder. He was hungry, and therefore
called out: "Give me the hind leg and half the loin of your deer for my
labor, and I will bring you safely over." The stranger promptly agreed,
and the hunter poled across the river. In some such way doubtless was
the first payment made for transportation, and the idea soon became
common that it was just and proper to charge a fare for carrying
freight and passengers.

What powers have we found used in transportation up to a hundred years
ago? First there was human power, either walking or plying oars or
paddles. This energy is limited; walking is necessarily a slow process,
and rowing is seldom a rapid mode of travel. Then came horse power,
used first to carry travelers or goods and later to draw carriages and
wagons, conveying passengers and freight. Horse power is superior to
human power both in speed and in endurance, but it also has its limits
and often fails at important times.

Then use was made of the wind, which, blowing against stretches of
canvas, propelled vessels. Here was no human power to become wearied;
no horse power to fail at the wrong time. Vessels need not stop at
night in order to sleep, nor even at noon in order to take dinner. But
the wind is fickle; it does not always blow; it frequently blows from
the wrong direction; it often blows too much. Human power, horse power,
wind power, each was insufficient or unsatisfactory, and the time was
ripe for some power stronger and less fickle to produce more rapid
transportation.

When the necessity of a new power became great, the needed energy and
a way to use it were soon found. Near the close of the eighteenth
century a number of men, unacquainted with each other's ideas, began
to experiment with steam as a means for propelling vessels. Why had
they not begun earlier? For two reasons. The demand for quicker
water travel had but just commenced, and the fact that steam could
practically be used as a motive power was only beginning to be
understood.

It so happened that James Watt's steam engine was perfected just as
the treaty of peace with Great Britain acknowledged the independence
of the United States. Now American inventors were able to make use of
the steam engine to aid travel and transportation. At once they began
work. Samuel Morey built a steamboat on the upper Connecticut River;
James Rumsey experimented on the Potomac; John Fitch on the Delaware,
and William Longstreet on the Savannah; Oliver Evans was at work in
Philadelphia, and John Stevens on the Hudson.

[Illustration: FITCH'S STEAMBOAT.]

One of these boats used the steam engine to move oars; another pumped
water in at the bow and forced it out again at the stern; a third had a
wheel in the stern; and a fourth had a paddle wheel on each side. Some
of the vessels used upright, and some horizontal engines. Most of these
inventors succeeded in running their boats against the tide or the
current of rivers, and proved that steam could be thus used. Each may
be said to have invented a steamboat. But these men were all without
means; they did not succeed in awakening the interest of wealthy men;
and the public cared little about such inventions. Therefore each
of these steamboats was given up in turn and soon forgotten; the
eighteenth century passed away, and no practical result had appeared.
It is natural to have more interest in the account of an invention
which proved of practical value than in the stories of even successful
attempts which were given up almost as soon as made.

Robert Fulton was born in Pennsylvania just as Watt began his study of
the steam engine. Almost as soon as Watt had completed his improvements
on the engine, Fulton came of age, and went to England to study
painting with Benjamin West, the famous American artist. In the midst
of his art studies he became interested in mechanical pursuits. He
attracted the attention of some English scientists, and, by their
encouragement, he abandoned painting and devoted himself to inventing.
But who knows how much assistance his skill in drawing may have been to
him in his preparations of plans and models?

Joel Barlow, a noted American poet, was then living in France, and upon
his invitation Fulton spent several years in his home in Paris. Here
he devoted his time to boats, as he had already done in London. His
schemes were of various kinds. He planned diving boats, steamboats, and
canal boats, and was particularly interested in a boat which he called
a marine torpedo. This boat he planned to be used to injure vessels
in naval warfare. For a time he neglected the steamboat, and bent
every energy to persuade the French Government to adopt the torpedo.
Afterward he urged his marine boats upon the English and American
governments, but in vain. He did not realize the enormously greater
future value of the steamboat.

In time, however, Fulton finished his plans, and a steamboat was
built for him upon the river Seine. The next step was to enlist the
coöperation of some one with power and means by proving that the
invention was valuable. Fulton accordingly sought to bring the boat
to the attention of the French Emperor. He succeeded in awakening
Napoleon's interest. It was just at the time that the emperor was
planning to take his great army across the Channel to attack England.
He saw that steamboats, if of practical value, would be serviceable to
him in these plans. Accordingly he directed a scientific committee to
attend a public trial of the boat.

A day was set for the examination. Fulton had worked steadily for
weeks, seeking to make every part as perfect as possible. The night
before the appointed day, Fulton retired for rest, but sleep would
not come to his eyes. His thoughts were so completely fixed upon his
invention and what the next day meant to him that he could not control
them. Not until morning began to dawn did he catch a nap, and then only
to be immediately awakened by a knock at his door.

A messenger had come to tell him that his boat was at the bottom of
the river. The iron machinery had proved too heavy for the little
sixteen-foot boat, and had broken through. Fulton's hopes were at an
end. Before he could build another boat and make another engine the
opportunity would be past. His disappointment was intense. However, he
did not despair, but was soon ready to try again.

Doubtless the failure was a blessing in disguise. The boat was probably
too small to make a successful trip. The next time he would have a
larger vessel. Instead of again trying to arouse French interest, he
decided to make the next experiment at home.

Robert R. Livingston, our minister to France, who together with James
Monroe purchased for the United States the great province of Louisiana,
had long been interested in the possibilities of steam navigation. He
entered into Fulton's plans and assisted him in every way. Soon after
the disaster on the Seine both men returned to America, and the next
six months were spent in building a boat and in putting into it a steam
engine which they had especially ordered in Birmingham, England. A
grant had been obtained from the New York legislature which gave them
the exclusive right to run steam vessels on any of the waters of the
State.

The new boat was a hundred and thirty feet in length, or eight times
as long as that lost in the Seine. It was called the _Clermont_, after
the country home of Livingston. It was a side-paddle steamboat, with
wheels fifteen feet in diameter and four feet wide. The trial trip was
announced for August 7th, 1807, and at one o'clock in the afternoon the
_Clermont_ stood at the wharf in New York ready for the journey.

Was the trial to succeed or fail? To succeed, the _Clermont_ must steam
up the Hudson River at a speed of, at least, four miles an hour. The
trip proposed was from New York to Albany, a distance of one hundred
and fifty miles, and return. This trip was regularly made by sailing
packets, and the average time was four days. Could the _Clermont_ reach
Albany in thirty-seven hours, or a day and a half? Unfortunately, a
north wind was blowing, which would greatly decrease the speed.

Fulton and Livingston were confident that it could be done. The
steamboat left the wharf and slowly sailed up the river. Soon the
faults natural to a new invention began to show themselves. The rudder
did not work as it ought; the wheels were unprotected by a covering;
the vessel sank too far in the water. But the trial, in spite of all
the odds against it, was successful. The one hundred and fifty miles
were made in thirty-two hours, with five hours to spare from the limit
set. If we subtract the time spent in stops, but twenty-eight and a
half hours were used, making an average of more than five miles an hour.

The first long steamboat trip had been accomplished. The indifference
of the public at once changed to enthusiasm. Fulton was immediately
urged to make regular trips, and, although the _Clermont_ needed many
improvements, he consented. The next winter, however, the boat was
removed from the river for repairs; but in the spring regular trips
were resumed, and the steamboat became a new and permanent means of
transportation.

There was abundant opportunity to improve the steamboat and develop its
use. At first Fulton's _Clermont_ alone steamed up and down the Hudson
River. Soon, however, other steamboats were built to run in opposition
to the sailing packets. Steamers began to ply on Lake Champlain and
on the Delaware River. Three years after the first voyage of the
_Clermont_, a steamboat was making three trips a week from New York to
New Brunswick, New Jersey; here the traveler took stage for Bordentown
on the Delaware River, whence another boat carried him to Philadelphia.
Two years later steam ferryboats ran between New York and the Jersey
shore.

The first river steamboat was launched at Pittsburg, and was sent
down the Ohio and the Mississippi to New Orleans in 1811. Three years
later the _Ætna_ steamed from Pittsburg to New Orleans, and back to
Louisville. The same year a steamboat was built on the Lakes to
run from Buffalo to Detroit, and a company was organized to start a
steamship line from New York to Charleston. Five years afterward the
steamship _Savannah_, using both steam and sails, crossed the Atlantic
Ocean. She made but slow time, and the great space required to hold the
fuel left little room for freight. Year by year, however, improvements
were made on the vessels and quicker time was the result. Finally,
anthracite coal came into general use, and thirty years after the trial
trip of the _Clermont_, the steamers _Sirius_ and the _Great Western_
began regular trips between Liverpool and New York. The day of steam
navigation had come, and from that time on the vexatious delays due to
fickle winds no longer need be a cause of trouble.



CHAPTER V.

CANALS.


Ninety years ago, two brothers, James and John, found it necessary to
make the long journey from their home in New York City to Kentucky.
They had frequently traveled through the country, and were familiar
with stages and packets. This time they proposed to make their first
trip on the steamboat, since the _Clermont_ was again making its
regular runs. It was advertised to leave New York at one o'clock on
Wednesday. The brothers felt no need of haste in their preparations for
the journey, and it was nearly two o'clock before they came in sight of
the wharf. Just then John made the remark that they were very foolish
to arrive so early.

"We shall have to wait an hour or two," he said; "the boat won't be
ready to start before three o'clock at the earliest."

"I am not so sure," was the reply. "Perhaps the steamboat will not be
as late as the packets."

When they reached the wharf, no steamboat was there. Far up the river
they saw, slowly moving off in the distance, a vessel, which they knew
must be the _Clermont_, from the line of smoke that lay behind it.
Immediately they began to inquire what it meant and were told, "Oh!
that is one of Fulton's notions. He has given strict orders that the
boat shall always leave the wharf exactly on advertised time." This
was a novelty almost as great as the steamboat itself. Sailing vessels
had been dependent upon the wind, and stages upon the conditions of
the roads and the weather; neither made any pretence of running upon
schedule time. Fulton's idea of punctuality was new and caused much
grumbling for a time; but with the coming of the railroads it became an
absolute necessity.

What were the two men to do? But two things could be done. They might
take passage on a packet, or wait for the next trip of the _Clermont_.
They decided to wait, as they were anxious to try the steamboat; they
had had enough experience with the slow sailing vessels, and their poor
accommodations. They did not permit themselves to be late a second
time. In fact, the clocks had hardly struck twelve when they stepped
aboard the _Clermont_.

The hour before the departure of the boat was spent in examining it
from stem to stern. The original _Clermont_ had been greatly improved.
The wheels were now properly protected; a rudder, specially adapted
to the boat and the river, had been constructed. Most noticeable were
the accommodations for the passengers, which were almost elegant when
compared with the poor quarters of the packets. In fact the _Clermont_
had become "a floating palace, gay with ornamental painting, gilding,
and polished woods."

At one o'clock sharp the boat quietly left the wharf. The wind was
blowing freshly down the river and the tide was going out. A packet
started at the same moment from a neighboring pier. The steamboat at
once turned its prow up the stream, but the packet headed for the
Jersey shore, as it could sail against the wind only by making long
tacks. This greatly increased the distance it had to travel, and before
sunset the _Clermont_ had left the packet many miles behind.

The next morning everything was still going smoothly when the two
passengers saw a little way ahead another packet, which had left New
York before the steamboat. This sloop was making tacks like those they
had watched the previous afternoon, and the _Clermont_ was rapidly
gaining on it. Suddenly John exclaimed, "What are they doing? Are they
trying to run us down?" It was evident that the packet was coming
straight for the steamboat; but the captain of the _Clermont_ shut off
steam at once and the packet passed its bow without doing harm.

[Illustration: COLLISION OF THE CLERMONT AND THE SLOOP.]

Soon a sloop was met coming down the river. Again came the exclamation
from John, "They are surely trying to run into us!" He had hardly
spoken when the crash came; the packet struck the wheel box, tore it
open, and then, sliding along the side of the steamboat, passed away
down the river. On inquiry John ascertained that this was merely an
illustration of the envy of the owners of packets, who feared that they
would lose all their business. No serious damage was done, however, and
the steamboat proceeded on its way.

The _Clermont_ arrived at Albany at seven o'clock Thursday evening
and the brothers spent the night at an inn. The next morning, after
an early breakfast, a stage was taken which in a few hours carried
them to Schenectady. This part of the journey was quickly made, as
the road was one of the best in the country. On reaching Schenectady
the travelers learned that they must wait till the next noon to take
a boat up the Mohawk River. The hours slowly dragged along, another
night was spent at an inn, and about three o'clock the next afternoon
the slow trip up the Mohawk began. Two days later they reached Utica,
and another stage took them, the next day, to Rome. From this village
two days' sail carried them across the Oneida Lake, and down the Oswego
River to Oswego on the banks of Lake Ontario.

After a delay of thirty-six hours a lake packet was found ready for
them, which in time arrived at Lewiston at the mouth of the Niagara
River, and so on they went, by land to Buffalo, by water to Erie, by
land again to one of the branches of the Alleghany River, and down this
to Pittsburg. From Pittsburg one of the flat-bottomed Western river
boats, borne along by the current, conveyed them to Louisville, at the
Falls of the Ohio.

Thus was made, in several weeks, a trip from New York to Louisville,
which to-day requires scarcely more than twenty-four hours. Ten times
had changes been made in the conveyances used. A steamboat, river
rowboats, lake packets, Western flatboats and stages, were all needed,
and nights and days even were spent at inns. Slow and cumbrous was
travel in those days and very expensive. There was little traveling for
pleasure, and only the most important business was worth the hardships
and discomforts of such travel.

If it was costly for passengers to travel, it was even more expensive
to carry freight. Enormous charges were placed upon all transportation
of goods. New and better roads were being built in all directions, but
these did little to reduce the cost of transporting goods. The cheapest
routes continued to be by the rivers, as the expense of building good
roads and keeping them in repair added to freight charges. The charges
for freight transportation were so great that it prevented entirely the
moving of many goods.

The people in Pennsylvania desired the salt which was obtained in New
York, but it cost $2.50 a bushel to carry salt three hundred miles.
Citizens of Philadelphia would have purchased flour which was raised
about the sources of the Susquehanna River had it not cost $1.50 a
barrel to carry it to Philadelphia. Hundreds of families were weekly
moving westward into the new country across the Alleghany Mountains;
they could not afford to take their household goods with them. The
freight charges from New York to Buffalo were $120 a ton; from
Philadelphia to Pittsburg, $125.

Something new in the line of transportation was needed; some way by
which freight could be carried at less expense. Private companies were
building new toll roads--but these did not accomplish the purpose.
Different States expended money in improving the highways, and still
the expense of transportation was enormous. The national Government
also took part in the work and constructed a highway from Cumberland,
Maryland, to Wheeling, on the Ohio River--but this was merely a single
road over the mountains, and freight charges were as high as ever.

What could be done? Of course the roads everywhere must be improved and
new ones built--all of which would take many years. But was there not
some way to avoid carrying so much freight in wagons drawn by horses?
Wherever there were rivers these could be used. Was it possible to
make rivers, or at least to make water-ways, upon which boats might be
used? The people of the United States began to talk of canals, and soon
enthusiasm for canal building became universal.

What is a canal? It is a trench cut in the ground, filled with water
deep enough for a well-laden boat, and wide enough for boats to pass
each other. On one bank is a path, called the towpath, upon which
horses or mules travel, pulling a canal boat behind them by means of a
long rope. In most canals it is found necessary to lift the boats over
higher land or up to a higher level. This is done by locks, which are
built where the two levels of the canal come together. These locks are
shut off from each part of the canal by gates. When the lower gates
are shut and the upper gates open, water is let into the lock from
the upper canal until on a level with it. Then a canal boat from the
upper canal enters the lock. The upper gates are closed, the lower
gates opened, and the water runs out of the lock. The boat, remaining
on top of the water, sinks to the lower level and is ready to proceed
on its course. In traveling the other way the process is turned about.
The boat enters the lock and rises with the water which is let in from
above until it is on the upper level.

Canals, with their locks, are simple and easily built. The expense
lies mainly in digging the trench. When the canal is once finished
the cost of running is very slight, and freight can be carried much
more cheaply than over roads, or even by the natural rivers. Canal
travel is very slow, however, as the boat is drawn by a horse at a slow
walk. Therefore a canal is used, for the most part, to carry freight,
especially freight not very perishable. Garden vegetables, fruit, and
meats, for example, are not carried on canals to any great distance; on
the other hand, the length of time used in conveying salt, or flour, or
household goods, is not of so much importance.

Plans for canals sprang up all at once throughout the country. The
Middlesex canal in Massachusetts and the Blackstone canal between
Providence and Worcester were among the first built. The Delaware and
Hudson canal in New York, and the Chesapeake and Delaware in Maryland
were of early importance. In time nearly every Atlantic State had
one or more canals as aids to transportation. Many of them were of
additional importance because they connected neighboring bays, and
could furnish opportunities for water travel, even when the harbors
might be blockaded in time of war.

[Illustration: THE ERIE CANAL.]

The greatest and by far the most important is the Erie canal, which
connects Buffalo on Lake Erie with Albany on the Hudson River. This
canal was due to the energy and persistence of Governor De Witt
Clinton, who dug the first shovelful of earth in 1817, and made the
first trip over the completed canal in 1825. There was great opposition
to building this canal at the expense of the State, and the nickname of
"Clinton's Big Ditch" was frequently applied to it.

Governor Clinton was wiser, however, than his opponents. Every cent
spent on this canal, which is 363 miles long, 40 feet wide, and 4
feet deep, was wisely spent. On the day that it was finished the
great prosperity of New York City began. A large part of the trade
and commerce between the East and the West was carried over the Erie
canal, because it furnished the cheapest route. Freight charges between
Buffalo and Albany fell at once to less than one-quarter their former
rates, and continued to decrease until they became less than $10 a ton.

Thus far had travel and transportation improved. From walking,
horseback riding, and rowboats, slow changes had led to stages,
packets, steamboats, and canals. From the simple Indian trail, like the
Bay Path, had grown up the great highways, like the National Road. From
slow and difficult journeys between neighboring towns, traveling had
become easy from Maine to Florida, and from the Atlantic Ocean to the
Mississippi River. Was there any chance for further improvement?



CHAPTER VI.

RAILROADS.


Up to this time progress had been more marked upon the water than upon
the land. On the land travelers were still limited to human power and
horse power. On the water, however, not only human power and wind were
used, but also horse power and even steam power. The steamboat was
thought to be the most rapid means of transit possible. No energy was
known greater than that of steam; therefore no new source of power was
expected.

If steam could aid water navigation, could it not be used in land
travel? This question was ever present in the minds of inventors,
mechanics, and travelers on both sides of the ocean. Little by little
an answer was obtained, and the field of steam was enlarged. Even
before Fulton's trial trip, the first step in the direction of the
railroad was taken, though steam had nothing to do with this first
practical experiment.

The city of Boston was built upon three hills, two of which have now
been almost entirely moved away. Upon the third, called Beacon Hill,
was built the State House. Early in this century the top of this hill
was lowered by carrying away the gravel. For this purpose a tramway was
built. This consisted of two sets of rails or tracks from the top to
the bottom of the hill, upon which cars were used. The full car on one
track ran down of its own weight, pulling up the empty car on the other
track. This was the first use of rails in this country.

The first permanent tramway was built in Pennsylvania. Thomas Leifer
owned a stone quarry about three-quarters of a mile from the nearest
wharf on the Delaware River. He desired to carry his stone to tide
water more easily than by the ordinary methods. Accordingly he built
a tramway from the quarry to the wharf, and placed upon the tracks an
ordinary wagon. To this he attached horses and had what we should call
a horse car. The rails made a smooth road over which his horses could
draw five tons as easily as one ton over the common roads. This tram
was used regularly for eighteen years.

One-half of the steam railroad had now been invented. The tramway
was the railroad--now steam must be applied. That was all. But that
was not so easy as it would seem now. Year after year passed and no
one attempted it. Doubtless many persons felt certain that the steam
railroads were coming some time and that they would be of value, just
as to-day many people expect that travel through the air is coming some
time. At the same time there were many who did not believe that steam
could be used for land travel at all; while others did not care to have
it come for fear that travel would be made too speedy.

One of the leading English magazines took occasion to express its
opinion concerning a proposed railway: "What can be more absurd and
ridiculous than the prospect held out of locomotives traveling _twice
as fast as stage coaches_! We should as soon expect the people of
Woolwich to suffer themselves to be fired off upon one of Congreve's
rockets as trust themselves to the mercy of a machine going at such a
rate. We trust that Parliament will, in all railways it may sanction,
limit the speed to _eight or nine miles an hour_, which is as great as
can be ventured on with safety." What would this writer say to the
safety of the trains of to-day, as they make forty fifty, sixty, and
even seventy miles an hour?

Many of the inventions which have done the most for mankind have been
made by Americans, but we owe the locomotive to an Englishman. George
Stephenson from early boyhood devoted himself to the study of engines
and machinery. When but thirteen years of age he assisted his father
in the care of an engine at a coal mine near Newcastle. Working by day
as an engineman, and studying by night in a night school, he prepared
himself for his future work. He won the confidence of his employers,
especially that of Lord Ravensworth, who supplied him with funds to
build a "traveling engine" to run on the rails of the tramroad between
the mines and the shipping port, nine miles distant. July 25th, 1814,
Stephenson made a successful trip with his locomotive, "My Lord," which
pulled the coal cars at the rate of four miles an hour.

Stephenson felt that this locomotive was but a beginning. He told his
friends that "there was no limit to the speed of such an engine, if
the works could be made to stand." He was still pursuing his studies
and experiments when he was appointed engineer of a proposed railroad
between Stockton and Darlington. The directors of the road had planned
to pull their cars by horses, but they were won over by Stephenson to
agree to try an engine. Eleven years after the trial trip of his first
engine, Stephenson was ready to exhibit a locomotive upon a railroad
joining two towns for the purpose of transporting passengers and
freight.

A short time before the trial trip, Stephenson made a prediction
concerning the future of his invention. "I venture to tell you," he
said, "that I think that you will live to see the day when railways
will supersede almost all other methods of conveyance in this
country--when mail coaches will go by railway, and railroads will
become the great highways for the king and all his subjects. The time
is coming when it will be cheaper for a working man to travel on a
railway than to walk on foot. I know that there are great and almost
insurmountable difficulties to be encountered, but what I have said
will come to pass as sure as you now hear me."

The Stockton and Darlington Railway was three years in process of
construction, and the day of its opening, September 27th, 1825, was
an important one in the history of travel. Imagine that first train
load--the locomotive, guided by Stephenson himself, six freight cars, a
car carrying "distinguished guests," twenty-one coal cars crammed with
passengers, and six more freight cars all loaded. Ahead of the train,
or procession, as it might be called, rode a man on horseback, carrying
a flag bearing the motto, "The private risk is the public benefit."
When the train started, crowds of people ran along by its side, for a
time easily keeping up with it. Finally, however, Stephenson called
to the horseman to get out of the way and, putting on steam, drove
the engine at the rate of fifteen miles an hour. The future of the
locomotive was assured.

Americans were ready for new methods of traveling. Three years after
the opening of the first passenger steam-railway in England, the
Baltimore and Ohio Railroad began to construct a line from Baltimore
westward, and in two years fourteen miles were opened to travel. For
a year, however, horses were used as motive power; in 1831, the road
advertised for locomotives. Meanwhile an engine, called the "Stombridge
Lion," was brought over from England, in 1829, and used on a line built
by the Delaware and Hudson Canal Company. It was found to be too heavy
and was abandoned. The second locomotive used in this country, "The
Best Friend of Charleston," was built in New York City, and was run on
the South Carolina Railroad.

[Illustration: OLD-STYLE RAILROAD TRAIN.]

The locomotive and the railroad had come, such as they were. The
locomotive had its boiler and its smokestack, its cylinders and driving
wheels; but it had no cab for the engineer and the fireman, and no
brake to stop the train. The tender was but a flat car, carrying fuel
and water. The cars were merely stagecoaches made to run on rails, and
in no way were the passengers protected from the smoke and cinders of
the burning wood. Yet this poor, inconvenient railroad was a great
advance in itself, and it foretold greater advances in the days to come.

In 1835, five years after the opening of the first steam railroad in
the United States, there were twenty-three roads and over a thousand
miles of track. After 1835, an average of nearly four hundred miles
was built yearly until 1848. From that time until the beginning of
the Civil War, railroad construction proceeded with great rapidity,
nearly two thousand miles of railroad being built each year. In 1849, a
continuous line of railroad was completed between New York and Boston.
Two years later two distinct lines were finished, connecting New York
and Buffalo. At the end of another two years, through connection was
had between New York and Chicago. At the same time railroads were
being built in all sections east of the Mississippi River.

After peace was restored in 1865, came a great period of railroad
building. During ten years the number of miles of railroad more than
doubled, nearly four thousand miles being built each year. This was
the period when the continuous lines, which had already reached the
Missouri River, were continued across the continent. After five years
of labor the Union Pacific Railroad, starting at Omaha, Nebraska,
met at Ogden, Utah, the Central Pacific, which had been built from
Sacramento, California. May 10th, 1869, the last spike was driven and
the Pacific coast was bound to the Atlantic by bands of steel.

Since the completion of the Union and Central Pacific railroads, four
other through lines have been constructed across the Rocky Mountains,
within the territory of the United States, and one in Canada. It is now
possible to go from ocean to ocean in less than five days, and to have
such a choice of routes that neither the cold of winter nor the heat of
summer need be troublesome.

At last the limit of rapid traveling seems to have been reached.
Walking and horseback riding are indulged in only for pleasure and
health; stagecoaches are used only for short lines where the railroad
has not yet come; but all the long-distance traveling is now done
behind the locomotive. Journeys of weeks have become trips of a few
days, days have been lessened to hours, and the country has become knit
together by rapid transit. Is there a chance for further improvement?



CHAPTER VII.

MODERN WATER TRAVEL.


James Greenleaf arrived in Duluth, one bright June day, four hundred
and five years after the discovery of America. For nearly forty years
he had been a missionary among the Indians of the British Northwest,
but he had finally been persuaded to take a well-earned rest. Leaving
his little settlement of red men, and taking a canoe, he had paddled
up stream, carried his canoe over a portage, and paddled down a river
until he reached Lake Superior, where a small sailboat had taken him to
the flourishing city at the western end of the lake.

At the hotel he found, as he expected, his nephew, Henry Towne. Mr.
Towne was a commercial traveler, always "on the road," as he would
say, for a large furniture establishment in New York. In a letter to
his uncle he had stated that business would call him to Minnesota at
just that time, and that he would make the journey with his uncle from
Duluth to New York.

The next day the two men started. The nephew had made all the necessary
arrangements, having purchased tickets and engaged staterooms on the
line of steamboats that connect Duluth with Buffalo. The first sight of
the steamboat caused Mr. Greenleaf to exclaim at its size.

"It is not much like the steamboat that I took on the Hudson in the
spring of 1856," he said. "I imagine, however, that I shall see greater
differences than this, the further I go."

As the two men made a tour through the steamboat, the older gave
expression to his thoughts in many ways.

"We did not have the saloon in those old days, when I did my traveling.
Whenever we did not care to remain on the open deck there was no parlor
to which we could go. No orchestra helped to while away our hours. No
piano or organ added the charm of music to our journey."

"But you had a state room to which you could retire," replied his
companion, as they came to the rooms numbered 240 and 242, which
numbers were on the keys that they had obtained at the purser's.

"Yes," said his uncle, "a tiny room, six feet by six, with narrow
little berths, and two small stools. I can assure you that it was
nothing like these comfortable sleeping rooms, brilliantly lighted,
with regulation beds, convenient toilet arrangements, and carpeted
floors. However, I do not imagine that the machinery will let me sleep
any better now than then."

The next morning, as the travelers went down to breakfast, the younger
man asked, "Well, uncle, how did you sleep?"

"Never better," was the reply. "I tell you, Henry, I want to look at
the machinery, after breakfast. It must be somewhat unlike the engine
of my day, or the boat, large though it is, would have more of a jar."

When the two men stood above the mammoth engine and noted the smooth
working parts, the regular and even motion of the great piston rods in
and out of the cylinders, the quietness and gentleness with which each
movement took place, the uncle said: "More improvements have been made
on the engine of forty years ago than had then been made on that of the
_Clermont_. And we used to think that the steamboats of our day were as
much superior to Fulton's boat as his was ahead of Fitch's steam-moved
paddles."

We cannot take note of all the novel sensations that came to the old
missionary, nor can we pause to relate many of the conversations
between the two men. We can record a few only of the greater changes
which were discussed as they continued their journey, and mention some
of the comments called forth by the scenes through which Mr. Greenleaf
was passing.

On the afternoon of the second day the steamboat passed through the
locks of the canal at Sault Ste. Marie.

"Uncle," remarked the drummer, "how does this canal compare with the
Delaware and Hudson canal, with which you were familiar?"

"How can they be compared?" replied his uncle. "That was a long trench,
hardly more than a scratch on the surface of the ground. This is broad
and deep, though not long."

"Yes," said Mr. Towne, "but there is no new principle here. This canal
is somewhat wider and deeper; its locks and gates are somewhat larger.
Still it is only a canal."

"But we could not make such a hole in our day. We could not afford to
hire men enough to dig it; it must have required many years to make
this excavation."

"Oh; this canal was not made as large as this when it was first built.
It has been enlarged since. But you know that we do not do all our
digging now by hand. Steam shovels do the work for us. That gives us a
great advantage over the day laborer with his pick and shovel."

"What strikes me as most noticeable," said Mr. Greenleaf, "is the
number of vessels waiting on both sides of the lock. What causes such a
crowd to-day, particularly?"

"This is no unusual number," replied Mr. Towne. "You do not realize
what a traffic there is on the great lakes. It is stated that the
tonnage passing through this canal is greater than that through any
other strait on the face of the globe. This growth is very recent and
very rapid."

"But what causes the traffic and where are all the vessels going?"
asked the missionary.

"The great bulk of the freight," answered the younger man, "is grain
from the Northwest, and iron, copper, coal, and lumber, now being
obtained in vast quantities south of Lake Superior. So long as the
steamboats can carry freight more cheaply than the steam cars, grain
and ores will take this route. Sometime we shall have canals large
enough for ocean steamers, which will connect the great lakes with the
Atlantic Ocean. Then we can load our freight at Chicago or Duluth and
not change it until it is unloaded at some English or European port."

The next day, as the steamboat was lying at the wharf at Detroit,
conversation was turned to the great ferryboats plying across the river.

"I notice great changes in the steam ferries, since last I crossed the
North River at New York," remarked Mr. Greenleaf.

"Yes," was the reply, "but you see only improvements. The ferryboats
are larger and you might almost say clumsier; that is all."

"I do not think so," returned the missionary. "There must be some new
invention to enable entire trains, with cars filled with passengers, to
be carried across such a river as this."

"Of course," said his nephew, "the boat must be strong and large.
However, the ferry docks have been improved. Now, when the boat is
fastened, the wharf can be raised and lowered, until it is exactly on
the level of the boat. Then not only passengers, but wagons and steam
cars can pass from one to the other almost without knowledge of the
change."

"How far have these cars come that I see on the ferry?"

"That," said the drummer, "is one of the through trains from Montreal
to Chicago. The ferryboat next beyond, going the other way, bears a
train containing cars bound for New York and Boston."

"Well, well! This is convenient," said the missionary. "The passengers
are saved much trouble by not being required to gather up all their
traveling bundles, leave the cars for the boat, and the boat for a new
set of cars. We should have thought this a great gain, forty years ago."

"But do you realize what an inconvenience this ferry causes? Much time
is wasted, not only because of the slow movement of the boats, but also
from the necessary delays in embarking and disembarking the cars."

"Yes, I suppose so. But what would you do? Here is the river and it is
too wide for a bridge."

"Oh, no!" replied Mr. Towne. "The bridge could be built, but it would
be expensive and would not pay. But what do you think of a tunnel?"

"A tunnel? What do you mean?" said the other man, with a touch of
surprise in his voice for the first time. "A tunnel? Where? Not under
the river?

"Yes," answered his nephew, "a tunnel under the river. There is one,
a few miles north, at Port Huron. There the train, instead of being
delayed hours by the ferry, passes at almost full speed directly under
the river, proceeding on its way as though the river were not there."

"Is not that something new?" asked Mr. Greenleaf.

[Illustration: A RIVER TUNNEL.]

"Yes. It was opened only a half-dozen years ago. It is said to be the
greatest river tunnel in the world. It is a little over a mile long
and is fifteen feet below the bed of the St. Clair River. Half a mile
of it is directly under the water, yet no one passing through it would
realize that it was different from any one of the hundreds of tunnels
through which the railroads of this country pass. It is but a natural
following out of such tunnels as the five-mile tunnel under the Hoosac
Mountains in Massachusetts, or the three-quarter-mile tunnels in Jersey
City, or the score of tunnels on the line of the Southern Railway over
the Blue Ridge in North Carolina. It is a great tunnel to-day, of
course, but when the North River tunnel is finished, from New York to
Jersey City, this will be of little account in comparison."

Detroit was soon left, Lake Erie was reached, and night came on. The
next morning the steamboat reached its journey's end at Buffalo. Our
friends hastened across the city and were soon seated in a sleeper, on
the train for New York.



CHAPTER VIII.

MODERN LAND TRAVEL.


Soon after the train had started from the Buffalo station conversation
began between Mr. Greenleaf and his nephew. "The steam is the same as
in my day," remarked the former; "the steam pushes the piston in just
the same way; there is no change in this direction. But all else is
new."

"Yes," said the drummer, "you must see great changes; tell me some of
them."

"Very well," was the reply. "The most noticeable thing about a
railroad train used to be the jerking motion. We seemed to be going
'bump-i-ty-bump' all the time; and starting and stopping a train would
often throw us off our feet."

"Various improvements," said Mr. Towne, "have helped to produce this
easy-riding motion. The roadbeds are laid with much greater care--long
experience and numerous experiments have provided us with the best
rails; but more especially the absence of jar is due to steel springs,
and also to the breaks and couplers. When one car was attached to
another by two bolts thrust through a ring, nothing was firm, as the
bolts would slide forward and back with every motion of the car. The
new automatic couplers hold the two cars more firmly together. Again,
the old hand brakes have been replaced by the automatic air brake."

"Yes, I have heard of that, but I do not understand it. Can you explain
it to me?"

"I think so. George Westinghouse, Jr., about thirty years ago, took
out a patent for the air brake. This alone has been enough to make him
famous, although he has twelve hundred patents issued in his name. The
Westinghouse air brake is now almost universally used. Some of the
surplus steam in the locomotive pumps air into tanks in the cars, which
air presses upon a piston, that moves a rod against the brakes. Thus
the brakes can be held against the wheels with great force at the will
of the engineer."

"Well, the next thing that I notice," said the missionary, "is the
improved comfort of the passengers. The cinders filled the cars in the
old days; the air within was always bad; the candles gave more smoke
than light; and in winter, the stoves at the end of the cars gave no
heat in the center."

"Yes, all that is changed," replied the younger man. "Spark arresters
keep out the cinders; the overhead ventilators give us good air; bright
light, almost like that of day, surrounds us in the evening; and, when
wanted, the engine supplies steam in pipes running the entire length of
the car, which gives even and ample heat."

"This car is wider than ours used to be, is it not?" queried Mr.
Greenleaf.

"Yes," was the reply. "When the first Pullman sleeping car, the
'Pioneer,' was run on the Chicago and Alton Railroad, it was wider and
higher than the ordinary coaches. Several bridges had to be raised to
allow the car to pass under; and all the station platforms were altered
to permit it to pass. Since then, as Pullmans and Wagners have come
into use on so many roads, many changes in bridges have been found
necessary, and station platforms have almost universally been cut down
to the ground."

"Did I understand you to say that this is a sleeper?" asked Mr.
Greenleaf. "Our sleeping cars, few and far between as they were, had
berths or bunks three tiers high, fitted in on each side of the car,
making it useless except to sleep in."

[Illustration: A PULLMAN SLEEPER.]

"That was the great feature of Mr. Pullman's invention," was the reply.
"He saw that few railroad companies would care to go to the expense
of running cars which could only be used for sleeping purposes. He
was familiar with the 'old-fashioned, stuffy cars, where men sat in
stiff-backed seats and dozed and yawned and waited for morning. By
putting people to sleep this wide-awake man made a fortune.' You are
sitting on the bed now. But here comes the porter to make up the berths
next to us. The lady wishes to put her little boy to sleep."

With much interest Mr. Greenleaf watched the porter make a sleeping
room out of a sitting room. In a trice the cushions in the seats and
backs were twisted about and laid from seat to seat, making a bed. With
a jump, the porter stood on the arm of the seat, and turned a knob in
the roof. Down came another bed, a few feet above the first. From this
was pulled a triangular board which was placed between the beds and
the next seats. Sheets, blankets, and pillows, which had been shut up
in the roof, were soon properly spread out, and two good beds were
the result. Curtains were found above the upper bed, which, hung upon
poles, shut the beds off from the car aisle. Behind these the mother
undressed her child and put him to bed.

Just at this moment a man went through the car crying "First call for
dinner." Mr. Towne immediately jumped to his feet and said, "Let us go
and get good seats."

"You have forgotten your hat, Henry," said his uncle.

"I don't need it. Come, hurry," said Henry.

Perplexed, the old man followed his nephew through three cars to the
dining car, where they were soon seated at a little table, in front
of a large window, from which everything they passed could be seen.
It is not necessary to describe the dining room, for it was merely
a well-furnished restaurant. The men ordered what they desired, and
settled back to wait until their dinner was brought on.

"How is it, Henry, that we did not feel the wind as we passed from car
to car? You hurried me so fast that I did not have time to notice."

"Don't you see," said the drummer, "how attaching a dining car to a
train required another change also? There used to be a rule of every
railroad company forbidding the passengers to go from car to car while
the train was in motion. When the company put on the 'diner,' it
invited the people to break its own rule. So vestibule cars came next.
Side doors are built on the car platforms and with these closed the
regular car doors can be left open. Thus one can walk the entire length
of the train, through sleeper, parlor car, dining car, smoking saloon,
library, bath room, barber shop, and writing room, without once going
out of doors. This is a modern vestibule train."

One more interesting discussion took place the next morning as they
were nearing New York City.

"Tell me something about modern bridges," said Mr. Greenleaf.

[Illustration: BROOKLYN BRIDGE.]

"Oh! I am afraid that is too long a story to tell during the time that
we have left. There seems to be no limit to the engineering skill of
to-day. The world-famous structures are being surpassed every little
while by new ones. To-morrow you must see the Brooklyn Bridge. We have
supposed that this great suspension bridge with its sixteen hundred
feet from tower to tower was about the limit. But the cantilever bridge
over the Forth in Scotland has a span more than a hundred feet longer
than the East River bridge. When the North River bridge is built to
Jersey City, with its proposed span of three thousand feet, these other
great bridges will be small in comparison.

"Our bridges are mostly of steel rather than wood nowadays," he
continued. "Since the Portage viaduct on the Erie road, which was eight
hundred feet long and two hundred and thirty feet above the river, and
contained a million and a half feet of lumber, was wholly burned in
1875, wooden bridges have usually been but temporary affairs. In these
days of frequent trains, the engineer's skill is needed on the shorter
bridges as well as on these enormous structures. Iron towers were put
in place of stone towers, and iron beams in place of wooden ones, at
the Niagara Suspension Bridge, without interfering with the trains.
I read the other day how a new iron bridge took the place of an old
wooden one. It was built across the river by the side of the railroad
track; during the night, when there was less travel than during the
daytime, the old bridge was moved off, the new one took its place, and
in a few minutes trains were running over it. Whatever engineering work
is needed nowadays, some one will soon be found prepared to provide it."

At last the train entered the long cut and series of tunnels, which
finally brought it to the Grand Central station on Forty-Second Street,
New York City. Hurried along by the crowd, the aged sightseer hardly
had an opportunity to make a remark about the immensity and grandeur of
the brick station.

"But this station is poor and far behind the times," said Mr. Towne.
"You should see some of the more modern ones that have recently been
erected, or wait for the new New York station, which must soon be
built. But let us hasten; I want to get home."

The young drummer, accustomed to travel of all kinds, familiar with
crowds, and wont to make his way anywhere, did not realize that his
companion was having difficulty in keeping up with him as he hastened
along the street. Receiving no answer to a question that he asked,
he glanced around to find that his uncle was not with him. Inwardly
accusing himself of remissness in forgetting his companion's lack of
experience, he turned and rapidly retraced his steps. He found his
uncle standing on a corner, not daring to cross the street; to the
relief of the latter, he decided to take a horse car across town.

Leaving the car at Sixth Avenue, the two men climbed the stairs to the
elevated road. They had hardly purchased their tickets when a train
drew up at the little station and a minute afterward they were off for
Harlem. The horse-car ride, followed by that on the elevated road,
started a discussion concerning street-car traffic. The horse car was
remembered by the old missionary, who remarked that it came before the
steam railroad.

Mr. Towne replied, "Yes. But its day is nearly over. New York City does
not seem to have fully outgrown this slow street travel, but elsewhere
more rapid transit is the rule. New York is coming to it, however. The
elevated roads cannot carry all the travel--the horse cars are too
slow--the size of the city demands something more than we now have."

"What do you expect will be done?" asked Mr. Greenleaf.

"We shall have to build a tunnel, an underground railway, a subway. Of
course our roads must be either above ground, on the ground level, or
below ground. The elevated roads have shown themselves to be unpleasant
and annoying. It is not agreeable to look into the upper-story windows
of dwellings, nor do people enjoy living on streets where the elevated
road runs. Rapid transit is impossible in the street, where cross
streets continually delay the cars, and where wagons and carriages of
all sorts are regularly passing. The subway is the best method, the
only decent way left open."

"Would not such a tunnel be dark and damp, dirty and unhealthy in every
sense?" asked his uncle.

"Oh! no," was the reply. "Boston has recently completed a subway,
something like a mile and a half long, with two branches, which has
proved its great advantages. Sheltered in winter, cool in summer,
never blocked by teams nor interfered with by snow or ice, brilliantly
lighted, with air wholesome and dry, and less liable to accidents than
any other device yet tested, the Boston Subway is a great success.

[Illustration: THE BOSTON SUBWAY.]

"Did you say that there was no smoke?" again asked Mr. Greenleaf.

"No smoke at all. The cars are run by electricity, and cinders are
therefore entirely absent."

"Are electric cars coming into general use?" was the next question.

"Yes; throughout the country," replied Mr. Towne. "New York even now
has its electric roads up town. Horse cars have been replaced by
electric cars in almost every city. Cable cars are used in some places,
but the electric is preferred. The last few years have seen a wonderful
development in electricity in every way, but in no respect greater
than in the increase of electric railways. For shorter lines they are
competing with the steam cars, and seem to be winning the day. Some
steam roads are equipping their lines for electric service, and report
successful results so far as tried. Whether the electric car will
wholly replace the steam car, time only will tell."

"What a relief it must be to ride in a street car and not be obliged
to pity the poor horses as they tug and strain to pull the heavy
loads!" added the old missionary.

"You know, I suppose," replied the drummer, "that not only from the
street cars, but in other ways the horse is being retired. The bicycle
has supplanted the horse and buggy for use in thousands of families,
besides being where horses could never be afforded. And now we have
automobiles, or horseless carriages, run by gasoline, naphtha, or
electric motors. These are expensive, and comparatively few can yet
afford them for private use. They are being used to a considerable
extent in large cities, especially here in New York, for public service
or for the delivery of goods from our large stores. But the expenses
will gradually lessen, and perhaps the day when the horse is to rest
has begun."

[Illustration: ELECTRIC CAR, NEW YORK CITY.]

"All this is wonderful," remarked his uncle. "We may walk still, if
we wish. We may ride a horse or drive a carriage. We may take the
stagecoach, or a private coach, or tally-ho. We may journey across
the continent in palace steam cars. We may ride through a city on
horse cars, or cable cars, or electric cars. We may travel on elevated
tracks or underground. We may pedal our bicycles or ride in horseless
carriages. We find good carriage roads, and excellent roadbeds for
our railroads. Bridges and tunnels carry us over and under rivers,
across ravines and through mountains. On the water, the canoe and the
rowboat, the sailing vessel and the steamship, are at our disposal.
Naphtha launches and electric yachts glide across the water. Harbors
are dredged, lighthouses are erected, breakwaters are constructed, and
canals are built, all for the use of travelers and commerce. The last
years of the nineteenth century form an era in travel of which the
world never dreamed."


[Illustration: SAMUEL F. B. MORSE.]


[Illustration: MODERN PRINTING PRESSES.]



SECTION VI.--LETTERS.



CHAPTER I.

LANGUAGE.


What is the difference between a dog and a boy, or, rather, what is the
difference between the brute creation and mankind? It is as natural for
a dog to think as for a boy; he sees and hears and touches, smells and
tastes as well as does the boy; he remembers and, in a certain way, he
may be said to reason; he loves and hates and fears; he is pleased and
frightened; is revengeful; has his likes and dislikes, his tastes and
prejudices; indeed, a dog, or a horse, or an elephant has many points
of resemblance to a boy or a man. But there are essential points of
difference.

One of the most important differences is that man has the power of
speech which is not possessed by the brute creation. This power of
speech is a great boon to mankind, one held in common by all peoples in
all ages.

Talking or conversation suggests at least two persons, the speaker and
the hearer, and involves the use of the vocal organs on the part of
the talker and the ear, the instrument of hearing, on the part of the
listener. This power of communicating thought, as has been said, is
universal with the human race.

In childhood one learns the language of his parents and of the people
where he lives. In this country, Great Britain, Canada, and Australia,
most of the people speak the English language; in France, the French
tongue; in Russia, the Russian; in Germany, the German; in Turkey,
the Arabic; and so on. This common speech forms a great bond of unity
between all people of the same race, and by means of it we communicate
our ideas one to another.

There is another language differing widely from the gift of speech,
yet quite as important for the welfare of the human race. Barbarous
and savage tribes are dependent upon speech alone, but in civilized
countries the people have acquired another art, that of writing, or of
using a written language. In speech arbitrary sounds represent ideas.
In writing arbitrary symbols or characters, called letters and words,
are used. They are observed by the eye and not by the ear. This written
language is as extended, as sharp, as definite, as full and complete,
as is the language of speech. Moreover, it has a great advantage over
speech. Words can be spoken only to a person immediately present, but
words can be written and conveyed to one who is absent. No matter how
far apart two persons are, each can communicate his ideas to the other
just as well as if they were near.

This written language has still greater usefulness. By means of it
wise men of all countries who have had great thoughts, thoughts of
value to the whole human race, have been enabled to put those thoughts
into a permanent form. Thus they have been preserved and handed down
from generation to generation, so that we inherit to-day the wealth of
all the ages. We can make ourselves familiar with the great thoughts
uttered by Jesus, by Socrates, Aristotle, Shakespeare, Milton, Burke,
Patrick Henry, Daniel Webster, Emerson, Longfellow, and countless
others, so that they become our own property. Moreover, when the eye
gathers up these grand truths from the printed page, they are not
absorbed, they still remain there. They may be used and transmitted
again and again in the same book and upon the same page, even to future
generations.

On one occasion King Solomon said: "Of making many books there is no
end, and much study is a weariness of the flesh." The second part
of this sentence is certainly very true, but that is not saying
anything against study, for anything that is worth doing is a cause
of weariness. When we get weary the best thing is to get thoroughly
rested, and after that to work until we become weary again. It does not
injure a strong, well person to get healthily tired; on the contrary,
the weariness which comes from normal exercise of the hands or the
brain is better than inactive ease.

[Illustration: ANCIENT IMPLEMENTS OF WRITING.]

What did Solomon mean when he made this sage remark, "Of making many
books there is no end"? Under what circumstances was the remark made?
We may not be able to answer the last question literally, but we may be
permitted to imagine the circumstances. Let us suppose that the Queen
of Sheba had made her famous visit to Jerusalem. She had heard in her
own country of the acts and the wisdom of Solomon, and had come to the
kingdom of Israel to see, with her own eyes, if these reports were
true. She heard his wisdom from his own lips, for he "told her all her
questions."

Then the Queen of Sheba had said to Solomon: "It was a true report
which I heard in mine own land of thine acts, and of thy wisdom:
howbeit, I believed not their words, until I came, and mine eyes had
seen it: and, behold, the one half of the greatness of thy wisdom was
not told me; for thou exceedest the fame that I heard. Happy are thy
men, and happy are these thy servants, which stand continually before
thee, and hear thy wisdom. Blessed be the Lord thy God, which delighted
in thee to set thee on his throne, to be king for the Lord thy God."

The Queen had gone home, and early one morning Solomon had risen from
his couch and gone up to the flat roof of his house on Mount Zion just
as the sun was rising. There in his meditations he thought to himself
that the Queen of Sheba had paid him great honor and that he ought in
courtesy to send her a suitable present. What should it be? He was
impressed with the idea that he would send her a copy of the sacred
books then in the keeping of the high priest. What present could be
more appropriate, more honorable to him, more welcome to her, or more
acceptable to Jehovah, the God of his people Israel?

If he sent her a copy of these books it surely ought to be a perfect
copy. Books were not printed in those days; they were written with
the pen, or rather with the stylus. Solomon called a servant and said
to him, "Send for the chief of the scribes. Bring him here." He came,
and the king directed him to select only those scribes that could do
perfect work, and to set them at the task of making the finest possible
copy of the books of Moses and the other sacred books.

Month after month went by, until finally the work was finished and the
scribes were ushered into the royal presence, bearing in their arms the
product of their long-continued labor. Roll after roll of the finest
parchment was submitted to Solomon for inspection. Each skin began
with an illuminated letter, and the whole work was done in the highest
style of the art.

Well pleased was Solomon when these rolls were all properly packed,
secured from rain, placed upon the backs of camels, and the caravan,
with a military escort, had set out for the distant land of Sheba. Then
again in the gray of the morning Solomon was at his meditations upon
the housetop. Again he called a messenger who should summon to his
presence the chief of the scribes.

[Illustration: AN ANCIENT SCRIBE.]

"What was the cost of making the copy of our sacred writings for the
Queen of Sheba? How many shekels have been paid to the scribes for
their work?"

When the chief scribe had found out he reported it to the king. "Is it
indeed so much?" said the king; and when he had thought how many months
it had taken for that large number of scribes to make a single copy of
the sacred books, then he exclaimed: "Of making _many_ books there is
no end."



CHAPTER II.

THE PRINTING PRESS.


The times have changed since King Solomon's day. The art of printing
has been discovered. Now it would be possible to make not merely one
copy but thousands of copies, not only of the sacred books of the
Jews in the time of Solomon, but of the entire Bible as we have it
to-day. Not in the months required by the Jewish scribes, but in a
single month, thousands of copies of the whole Bible could be printed
from the type set in a single establishment in Boston, New York, or
Philadelphia. Surely, before the art of printing one might truly say,
"Of making books there is no end." But to-day our modern press sends
out its volumes by millions, so that no longer is there any truth in
this apparently wise statement of Solomon. It was true in his day, but
times have changed.

Two visitors were wending their way through Machinery Hall at the
Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia in 1876. Clatter, clatter,
clatter--clatter, clatter, clatter--jigger, jigger, jigger--jigger,
jigger, jigger. What was that great machine that they were
approaching? It was the Walter press, invented in London for the
London _Times_,--"The Thunderer." Well, well! the press does thunder,
literally, does it not? It was printing that day's issue of the New
York _Times_, and there were coming from that press about twelve
thousand copies of the double-size sheet in an hour. Well might it make
a racket if it accomplished such a work as that.

After the visitors were done admiring it they passed on, and a little
beyond came suddenly upon another printing press which was doing its
work in comparative silence. Before them stood a double Hoe perfecting
press, printing the Philadelphia _Times_, turning off thirty thousand
copies per hour. These came out from the machine, folded ready for the
wrappers or for the newsboy to take upon his arm and run out into the
street to sell! So marvelous was the work of the American press. The
original invention was surprising, but the progress that has been made
in making type, setting it, electrotyping and inking, and making paper,
as well as in the presswork, is beyond the power of description.

There are vague, indefinite stories of printing by the Chinese a
thousand years before Christ. The Greeks and Romans made metal stamps
with characters engraved in relief. It was not, however, until about
the middle of the fifteenth century that movable types were made
with which books could be printed. The period between 1450 and 1500
witnessed a rapid advance of civilization in Europe. It was marked by
a great revival of classical learning and art, and announced the dawn
of modern civilization. At that time Europe began to come out into the
light of reason, learning, and both civil and religious liberty. The
mariner's compass had been invented; gunpowder had been discovered; and
now the art of printing came into use. It would seem that no one man
invented this art in the way that Stephenson invented the locomotive
and Whitney the cotton gin. It grew up, one man doing a little, and
another something more, until the system was brought to its present
wonderful efficiency.

It has been said that Coster of Haarlem, Holland, invented wooden types
about 1428 and metal types a little later. About 1440 John Faust did
a little printing, and others also have claimed the invention. John
Gutenberg is the only claimant who is known to have received honor
during his life time as the true inventor. The evidence would seem to
show that he was engaged in his secret process before the year 1440. He
certainly had a printing office in 1448 at Mentz. About this time Faust
came into possession of this printing office and managed it until his
death. Among the earliest books printed were, "Letters of Indulgence,"
two editions of the Bible, and a Latin dictionary.

John Baskerville, an Englishman, devoted his life and fortune to
the improvement of printing. He was born in 1706 and died in 1775.
He published an edition of Vergil in royal quarto, which was then
and is still considered a wonderful specimen of beautiful printing.
His English Bible, Book of Common Prayer, and editions of various
classics are still admired and greatly sought. A Baskerville classic is
difficult to find in these days and it commands a high price; when one
is found it shows great skill, judgment, and taste.

Baskerville made types much superior in distinctness and elegance to
any that had previously been used. He improved greatly the lines of
the letters, their style and appearance, making them as artistic as
possible. To this end he planned in detail the style of all type which
he used. He experimented also in the manufacture of ink to get that
which had the most permanent color. He superintended the manufacture of
the paper he used in order to obtain a finished surface best adapted to
receive the impressions of the type.

Printing in America during the colonial days was subject to much
difficulty. The first printing press in our country was set up at
Cambridge in the house of the president of Harvard College, Rev. Henry
Dunster, in 1639. Eliot's Bible in the Indian language was printed upon
this press between 1660 and 1663. This same printing establishment is
still in existence and has been known for many years as the University
Press.

The first Bible printed in America in any European language was a
German Bible issued in 1743 by Christopher Sower in Germantown,
Pennsylvania. This was a wonderful work for those early days. It was a
large quarto Bible, consisting of 1,284 pages, and it took four years
to complete the printing of it.

[Illustration: A FRANKLIN PRESS.]

How quaint the early printing press would appear to us of to-day! It
was used with very little change for one hundred and fifty years. The
"forms" of type were placed upon wood or stone beds surrounded by
frames called "coffins," moved in and out by hand with great labor,
and after each impression the platen which had pressed the paper down
upon the type had to be screwed up again with a bar. The presses which
Benjamin Franklin used were made with wooden framework of the simplest
possible construction. Iron frames were first used in England just one
hundred years ago.

Franklin, in his Autobiography, tells the story of his attempt to set
up a printing establishment in Philadelphia. At first he found it
difficult to obtain any work, but finally he was given the job of
printing forty sheets of a "History of the Friends." The price offered
was low, but Franklin and his partner, Meredith, decided to accept it
as a beginning.

Franklin set up the type for a sheet each day, while Meredith "worked
it off at the press" the next day. The type had to be distributed every
evening in order that it might be ready for the next day's composition.
Therefore it was often late at night before Franklin finished his day's
task, perhaps eleven o'clock or even later.

Other little jobs came in to delay the printers, but Franklin was
determined to do a sheet a day of the history. One night, just as his
work was done, one of the forms was accidentally broken, and two pages
"reduced to pi." Franklin, late as it was, distributed the pi and
composed the form again before going to bed.

Such industry and perseverance were sure to bring success in the
end. Though, in the clubs and markets, every one was saying that the
establishment must fail, since the two other printers in town had
barely enough to do, yet Dr. Baird was nearer right; he used to say:
"The industry of that Franklin is superior to any I ever saw of the
kind; I see him at work when I go home from the club, and he is at work
again before his neighbors are out of bed."

To-day we have a great variety of printing presses which embody both
science and art in skillful fashion. These range from the smallest size
of hand presses, through numberless grades, varying in size, strength,
power, rapidity, and ease of running, to the modern newspaper press and
folder and the wonderful color printing press. One of the newspaper
presses will print at one impression, from a single set of stereotype
plates, papers of four, six, eight, ten, twelve, fourteen, or sixteen
pages, at the rate of twelve thousand per hour, all cut at the top,
pasted, and folded, with the supplement inserted at its proper place.
With duplicate sets of plates, it will print sets of four, six, or
eight page papers at the rate of twenty-four thousand per hour.

Let us look for a moment at the method of inking the type. Until a
comparatively recent date the inking was all done by hand, by means of
an inking pad. The ink is now spread over the type with almost perfect
regularity by means of flexible rollers.

Great improvements have been made in typesetting. Several late
inventions largely take the place of the old-fashioned setting by
hand. One of these which is much used in newspaper work, and to some
extent upon books and magazines, is called the linotype. By pressing
the key of the proper letter upon a keyboard arranged something like
a typewriter, the letter is pushed down, and when a line of letters
and words has been completed, and the words properly spaced, this
matrix is pressed down upon the melted type metal. The line is already
stereotyped for use.

The recent processes of stereotyping and electrotyping have added
greatly to the cheapness, accuracy, and beauty of printing. Nearly all
books formerly printed from movable type are now either stereotyped or
electrotyped, so that edition after edition may be printed from the
same plates.

The art of printing has been called the "Divine Art." It is "the art
preservative of all arts." To a large extent all civilization depends
upon the art of printing.



CHAPTER III.

THE POSTAL SYSTEM.


We have already seen that letters may be written and sent by mail to
distant countries or cities. To send a letter to any place in our own
country will cost us but two cents; to any country in Europe, but five
cents. Indeed, we may send a letter to any one of the countries within
the postal league,--and this includes most of the countries of Asia and
South America, some parts of Africa and many islands of the sea,--for
the same simple postage of five cents.

But the time was when nothing of the kind could have been done. In the
"long ago" there was no post-office system in any country; no mails,
regular or irregular, were sent from one place to another.

The modern postal system evidently grew out of the practice among kings
of sending couriers to carry messages from one to another. In the early
times some powerful rulers organized a staff of government couriers.
After a time it came about that these government couriers began to
carry letters from private individuals of high rank to their friends.
So, in the process of time, this grew into a permanent system; that is,
the government couriers were accustomed to carry private correspondence
as well as the missives of the king.

This transmission of letters by special couriers sent out by the king
dates back to very early times. Explorations in Egypt have brought
to light specimens of these letters dating back to a period of two
thousand and even three thousand years ago. Upon what do you suppose
those letters, sent so long ago and preserved to the present time, were
written? They could not have been written upon paper, for paper was not
known in those days, and could not have been preserved through so many
ages; neither were they written upon parchment or upon the skins of
animals. These letters which have stood the test of time for twenty or
twenty-five centuries were written upon tablets of clay or of stone.

The development of the modern postal system seems to have been begun in
Great Britain. Some of the account books of the kings of England who
lived about six hundred years ago have been preserved to the present
time. In these are found records of letter-carrying on regular lines
and at stated intervals. From this beginning the English postal system
increased in efficiency and importance; when the colonists came to
America they early made arrangements for the carrying of letters.

The records of the General Court of Massachusetts show that in 1639 it
was enacted "that notice be given Richard Fairbanks that his house in
Boston is to be the place appointed for all letters which are brought
from beyond the seas or are to be sent thither to be left with him, and
he is to care for them, that they are to be delivered or sent according
to the directions; he is allowed for every letter a penny, and must
answer all mistakes from his own neglect of this kind." In 1657 the
colonial law of Virginia required "that every planter was to provide
a messenger to convey the dispatches as they arrived, to the next
plantation and so on, paying and forfeiting a hogshead of tobacco for
default."

In 1672 it was agreed between some of the colonies along the coast
that a post be sent once a month from New York to Boston. How should
we be able to-day to transact business under such conditions? Now we
have many mails a day between these two cities. Gradually the postal
system was extended, and in 1730, Colonel Spotswood of Virginia was
made Postmaster-General of the colonies by the British Government.
In 1753, Dr. Franklin was made Postmaster-General. Franklin was very
efficient in this office; he visited nearly all of the offices in the
country in person, and introduced many improvements. In 1774, by his
loyalty to the colonies, Franklin incurred the enmity of the British
Government and was dismissed from the office. The next year, however,
he was appointed Postmaster-General by the Continental Congress. In
1792, regular rates of letter postage were fixed by Congress, based on
the distance to be sent.

The writer remembers that when he was a boy he received a letter
from his mother fifteen miles away for which he had to pay six cents
postage. At another time a letter was received from his sister who was
a little over thirty miles away, for which he had to pay eight cents;
and when a schoolmate who lived more than sixty miles distant sent him
a letter, he had to pay the postmaster ten cents in order to get it.
These letters were written on coarse, heavy paper with quill pens. The
letter was folded, and the fold of one side was tucked into the fold
of the other side so as to leave but one thickness of paper outside of
that fold. The letter was sealed by a wafer or by sealing wax dropped
upon the paper where the two edges came together, and stamped with a
seal. On the opposite side the letter was properly addressed. There
were no envelopes in those days.

See what changes have taken place within the memory of persons still
living. To-day we write a letter, fold it, insert it in an envelope,
and place on it a two-cent stamp; the carrier comes to the house,
puts the letter in his pouch, carries it to the post office, and it is
sent to California or any of the United States, Mexico or Canada, and
delivered to the person to whom it is addressed.

Postage stamps were not used on mail matter by government direction
until the year 1840, and it was not until 1847 that the Government
issued the first stamps for general use. Prior to that, however,
individual postmasters, on their own responsibility, had printed and
sold postage stamps. Within a few years their use became quite general
in many countries.

[Illustration: POSTAGE STAMPS.]

About the year 1850, it was noticed that stamps of different colors and
design were received in the mails from various parts of the world. Then
the idea of collecting stamps came into vogue. After a time children
and young people generally began to collect and to study stamps. Every
minute variation of paper, with style of printing, gum, water mark, and
other differences was considered as making a different issue, and in
some cases as many as fifty distinct styles of a single stamp have been
collected.

An extra fee of ten cents secures the immediate special delivery by
messenger of any letter thus sent. Merchandise parcels can be sent
as well as letters and papers. There is a money order system and at
the present time a great deal of thought is put upon the question
of post-office savings banks, which have already been successfully
established in Great Britain and other countries of Europe.

By the Constitution of the United States, Congress has power "to
establish post-offices and post-roads." Before roads were common
between one State and another, the mail was carried on horseback.
Later, mail wagons were used to convey the mails from one office to
another. As stagecoaches multiplied they were used as mail wagons, the
Government paying the stage company a sum of money for carrying the
mail pouches.

[Illustration: ASSORTING MAIL ON THE TRAIN.]

The general introduction of railroads modified this system of mail
carriage. Almost every railroad has become a postal road, the mail
being carried upon its trains. Most of the trains upon the main
lines of railroads have each a postal car fitted up with the proper
conveniences for receiving and delivering the mail at the various
stations and sorting it while the train is moving.

Suppose a mail pouch to be received at New Haven; before reaching
Bridgeport its contents are sorted; all that is to go to Bridgeport
is put into a separate pouch and dropped off at that place; that which
is to go to Greenwich is put into another pouch and left there, and so
on. The mail of New York City is put into various pouches according to
its destination. The mail matter for the sub-offices, like Station A
and Station B, is put into separate pouches and sent from the railroad
station on 42d Street directly to these offices, while that for the
central office is so sorted that there is no delay in sending it out
after its arrival at the office. The letters for lock boxes are placed
together by sections, while those for carriers are put up in divisions
so as to be delivered at once to the several carriers. Meantime mail
matter which is to go beyond New York is put into proper pouches so
that one can be dropped off at Trenton, another at Philadelphia, and so
on.

It will readily be seen that vast improvements have been made in postal
arrangements. The condition of the United States postal system has
been greatly improved each year. It seems almost marvelous that the
mail service is so reliable and that the transmission of mail matter
is so expeditious and satisfactory. If mail matter should happen to be
lost, which is very rarely the case, the facilities for finding it are
sometimes quite surprising, as the following incident will show.

A young lady in Iowa sent by mail a piece of crocheted edging to
her cousin in Dorchester, which is a part of Boston, Massachusetts.
The contents slipped out somewhere and the wrapper was delivered to
its proper address, but without the edging. A letter had already
been received in which the sending of the article was mentioned,
so that the receiver knew from whom the wrapper came. She notified
the sub-postmaster in charge of the Dorchester office, and he began
the system of tracing by means of blanks prepared for that purpose.
He wrote out the description of the article and the facts of the
case, and sent these blanks to the postmaster at Boston. The Boston
postmaster forwarded them to Chicago; from Chicago the blanks were sent
to the several offices west of Chicago until they reached the point
of departure, in Iowa. No trace was found to answer the description,
and the blanks came back to Chicago. They were then sent eastward. At
Cleveland the missing article was found and forwarded to the postmaster
at Chicago, whence the blanks had last been sent out. The Chicago
postmaster forwarded the same to Boston with the missing article; from
Boston the description and the merchandise were sent to Dorchester.
Meantime the family had moved to Salem, and the Dorchester postmaster
forwarded them to Salem. The receiver secured the missing article and
receipted for the same, while the description with its various entries
of travel, from Dorchester to Boston, from Boston to Chicago, from
Chicago to the various offices in Iowa, then back to Chicago, thence
to the different offices as far as Cleveland, and then from Cleveland
to Chicago, Boston, Dorchester, and Salem, furnished a document of
considerable interest.

In 1790 there were 70 post offices and 1,875 miles of post roads.
That year the number of letters and papers delivered did not exceed
2,000,000. In 1890, one hundred years afterward, there were more than
65,000 post offices and more than 30,000 mail routes. During that
year more than 10,000,000,000 pieces of mail matter were handled. The
receipts and expenditures of the post-office department in the United
States amount annually to about $75,000,000.

This résumé of the postal service plainly shows the energy, enterprise,
and intelligence of our people, the success attained by our Government,
and the tremendous growth and development of our country.



CHAPTER IV.

SIGNALING.


The transmission of letters from one point to another always requires
time. Even when a letter is dropped into the post office it will not
go until the next regular mail. It was long ago seen that occasions
frequently arose when it was necessary to send messages quickly. This
was especially important in times of war, when each army desired to
know immediately the movements of the enemy. This necessity led to
various devices for transmitting messages instantaneously. Any form of
signaling would be satisfactory if the signals were visible to the eye
of the distant observer.

The earliest method of signaling was the use of the beacon fire or the
sending of messages by light. In the early colonial period in this
country, during the anxious times of Indian hostilities, beacon poles
were here and there set up and from them large kettles were suspended
which held combustible matter. The burning of this material conveyed
the intelligence that danger was at hand.

One of the earliest beacon poles was erected on Beacon Hill, in Boston,
about 1634. A watchman was constantly at the place to give the signal
on the approach of danger. That beacon pole was a tall mast, firmly
supported, about seventy feet in height. Tree nails were driven into
it to enable the watchman to ascend, and near its top an iron crane
projected which supported an iron skeleton frame. In this frame was
placed a barrel of tar to be fired when the occasion required the
signal. This beacon was more than two hundred feet above the sea level,
and the light of it, therefore, could be seen for a great distance
inland. Many of the early settlements in New England were made upon
the tops of hills in order that the people might the more quickly
and easily see the approach of Indians and signal the news to other
settlements by bonfires.

[Illustration: SIGNALING BY BEACON FIRES.]

A second method of signaling was by the use of the semaphore. This was
invented by Claude Chappe and was adopted by the French Government in
1794. It consists of an upright post, which supports a horizontal bar
or arm, which can be put at various angles. In order to carry out this
system of signaling, stations must previously be agreed upon and signal
officers constantly on duty. If the intelligence was to be conveyed to
a considerable distance intermediate stations must be had. The second
station received the signal from the first and transmitted it to the
third, and so on. This proved to be a very difficult operation and was
never extensively used.

A third and successful form of signaling was by the motion of flags.
During our Civil War the army made much use of military signals. The
system was devised by Major Myer and was continued through the war,
not only in the army but on naval vessels. When the stations were
less than five miles apart signaling was considered to be at very
short range. Messages have been sent ten miles by means of a pocket
handkerchief attached to a twelve-foot rod. With the regular flags and
staffs used by the signal corps during the war, signals were often read
twenty-five miles away, and it is said that single words have been read
at a distance of forty miles.

In the early spring of 1863 General Peck was in command of the Union
forces at Suffolk, Virginia. He had under him about ten thousand men
and had thoroughly fortified the place by a connected system of forts,
redoubts, and breast-works. His outmost signal station was placed
on an elevated plateau across the Nansemond River. This station was
made by sawing off the top of a tall pine tree and placing thereon a
small platform surrounded by a railing. The signal officer would tie
his horse at the foot of the tree and mount to the platform by a rope
ladder.

Early one morning in March, this signal officer suddenly observed
the head of a column of troops emerging from the woods in the rear.
This was the advance guard of two Confederate corps under General
Longstreet. Instantly he caught up his signal flag and as quickly as
possible signaled to the town the approach of the enemy. Picking up his
signal book he hurried down the ladder, mounted his horse and galloped
away. Before he could reach his saddle, however, the Confederates were
within rifle range and fired at him. They did not succeed in hitting
him and he escaped safely to his friends.

The signal had been seen and was quickly repeated to all parts of the
fortified town. The drums instantly beat the long roll and, within
five minutes from the time his signal was given, and before General
Longstreet could swing out his light battery and open fire, the entire
Federal force was under arms and the artillery in the nearest battery
had opened a raking fire. The briskness of this fire from the Federal
battery soon obliged Longstreet to withdraw his forces to the cover of
the woods. Had it not been for the promptness of the signal officer it
is possible that the town might have been captured.

A notable use of this system of army signals occurred in the campaign
of General Miles against the Apaches in New Mexico and Arizona in 1886.
He established a system of thirteen signal stations in that country,
over which, during a period of four months, more than eighteen hundred
messages were sent. The savages were surprised and confounded by the
way intelligence of their movements became known hundreds of miles
distant.

As early as 1861 Moses G. Farmer introduced a successful method of
signaling which afterward was employed by the officers of the United
States Coast Survey on Lake Superior. This system was by means of
mirrors which were able to reflect the sunlight between stations
ninety miles apart. This method is called the heliographic system. The
French have used it among the islands of the Indian Ocean where the
stations are on mountain peaks sometimes 135 miles apart. Even this
long-range signaling has been surpassed by our own Signal Corps, which
has succeeded in sending messages by our method from Mount Uncompahgre
in Colorado to Mount Ellen in Utah, a distance of 183 miles. During the
siege of Paris, messages by the use of the calcium light, concentrated
and directed by lenses, were sent from one point to another.

A very unique form of signaling was employed by New York State at the
opening of the Erie Canal, in 1825. The cannon, which had been captured
by Commodore Perry at the time of his famous victory on Lake Erie, were
placed at intervals along the line of the canal. When the first canal
boat started from Buffalo, the first cannon was fired. When the sound
was heard at the second cannon, that was discharged; and so on, the
entire length of the canal. Two hours after the start at Buffalo the
news had reached New York.

All these various methods of communication at long range have proved
more or less objectionable and unsatisfactory. It was natural,
therefore, that as soon as it was known that electricity could be
conducted by wires from one place to another, experiments should
be begun in the hope of finding some possible means of conveying
intelligence by it. Perhaps the earliest suggestion was in a letter
published in _The Scots Magazine_, of February, 1753. The letter was
signed "C. M.", which probably meant Charles Morrison, a young Scotch
surgeon. He proposed to use as many insulated conductors as there
were letters in the alphabet. Each wire was to represent one letter
only, and the message would be sent by charging the several wires
in succession so that the operator in receiving it would be obliged
to notice the order of movement among the wires. From that simple
beginning inventors proceeded to suggest first one thing and then
another, but they found so many difficulties that it seemed impossible
to overcome them all.



CHAPTER V.

THE TELEGRAPH.


[Illustration: ELECTRIC WIRES.]

On the second day of April, 1872, in the city of New York, the life of
a benefactor of his race, an aged man who had seen more than fourscore
years of mingled trial and triumph, was ended. That man was Prof.
Samuel Finley Breese Morse, the inventor of the electric telegraph.
His name is as widely known the world over as that of Washington,
or Cæsar, or Aristotle. His long life had been extremely checkered.
He had passed through troubles, trials, anxieties, disappointments,
bereavements; he had been subject to persecutions, losses, poverty,
toil, discouragements; he had met with successes, gains, wealth,
luxury, honors, fame; and finally the homage of republics, kingdoms,
empires had been laid at his feet. He was never cast down, never unduly
elated. He bore all his poverty and disappointments and wore all his
honors and wealth with the "grace of a Christian and the calmness of a
philosopher."

Professor Morse was born at the foot of Breed's Hill in Charlestown,
Massachusetts, April 27th, 1791. He was the oldest of three brothers.
His father was a very distinguished man in his day; for more than
thirty years the pastor of a church in Charlestown, a noted preacher,
a good historian, the author of many books, and, particularly, the
father of the science of geography in the United States. Professor
Morse inherited from both his father and his mother those traits of
character which enabled him to succeed in his great life work, in spite
of discouragements, obstacles, and opposition. His ancestors were all
noted for their "intelligence, energy, original thinking, perseverance,
and integrity."

How we would like to step into the little schoolroom and see Samuel
at his first school. He was four years of age. His teacher was known
as "Old Ma'am Rand," an invalid who could not leave her chair. She
governed the uneasy little urchins with a long rattan that would reach
across the small room where she kept her school. At seven years of age
Samuel was sent to Andover to a preparatory school, kept by Mr. Foster;
here he fitted for Phillips Academy and, in that famous institution,
under the direction of Mark Newman, he prepared for Yale College, where
he was graduated in 1810.

While in college he was under the instruction of Jeremiah Day in
natural philosophy and paid great attention to the subject of
electricity, getting everything that was known about it at that time.
Professor Day said: "Morse was often present in my laboratory during my
preparatory arrangements and experiments, and thus was made acquainted
with them." On leaving college Morse had a burning ambition to be a
portrait painter. He put himself under the instruction of Washington
Allston, and went with him to England to pursue his favorite study.
Is it not a little singular that Morse, who invented the telegraph,
was a student under Allston, and that Robert Fulton, who invented the
American steamboat, was a student under West, another famous American
painter?

One day Mr. Allston introduced young Morse to Benjamin West, whose
fame at that time was as wide as the world of art. West was in his
studio painting his "Christ Rejected." After a time he began a critical
examination of Mr. Morse's hands and at length said: "Let me tie
you with this cord, and take that place while I paint the hands of
our Saviour." Morse of course complied; West finished his work and,
releasing him, said, "You may say now, if you please, you had a hand in
this picture."

Morse had many interesting experiences in England during his four
years' study under Allston. He returned to America in 1815, and from
that time for about fifteen years devoted himself to painting and
inventing. He was for some time professor of the fine arts in the
University of the City of New York, and during all these years he paid
much attention to the study of electricity.

After three years spent in Europe, he returned in 1832 on the packet
ship _Sully_. In the early part of the voyage, one day at the dinner
table, the conversation turned to the subject of electro-magnetism.
Professor Morse remarked: "If the presence of electricity can be made
visible in any part of the circuit, I see no reason why intelligence
may not be transmitted by electricity."

His mind could think of nothing else; this one idea had taken complete
possession of his soul; all that he had learned in former years, his
experiments with Professor Day at Yale College, and his later studies,
were all revived and drawn upon for ways and means to accomplish the
thing he had in mind. He withdrew from the table and went upon deck.
He was in mid-ocean, the sky everywhere above him, the sea everywhere
below him. As the lightning comes out of the east and shines unto the
west, so swift and so far was that instrument to work which was taking
shape in his mind.

He could not fail, for patience, perseverance, and hope were hereditary
traits in his character. He was just at the maturity of manhood,
forty-one years of age; from that time this one idea absorbed his mind.
All his powers were concentrated upon this one subject, the electric
telegraph.

Now began a series of experiences such as probably no other man ever
passed through. Scarcely did any one ever suffer so much, endure so
much, fail so many times to accomplish his darling object, as did
Morse. He completed his invention; he perfected it. He devised his
alphabet consisting of long and short marks and dots; he obtained
a patent for it; but he had not the money to put the invention in
operation. Years of trouble and even abject poverty followed. He was so
reduced at one time that he was without food for twenty-four hours. He
applied to Congress again and again for a grant to enable him to build
and put in operation a trial line between Baltimore and Washington.

On the morning of the 4th of March, 1843, as Professor Morse came down
to breakfast, at his hotel in Washington, a young lady met him and said:

"I have come to congratulate you, sir."

"For what, my dear friend?" asked the professor.

"On the passage of your bill."

That bill was for the appropriation by Congress of $30,000 for the
purpose of "constructing a line of electric-magnetic telegraph" under
the direction of Professor Morse. The bill had passed the House some
days before. It had been favorably reported to the Senate, but there
were a hundred and forty bills before it upon the calendar which were
to be taken up in their regular order. Professor Morse had remained in
the Senate chamber till late in the evening. His friends informed him
that it was impossible for the bill to be reached, as the Senate was to
adjourn at midnight. He had, therefore, retired to his hotel thoroughly
discouraged. Imagine then, if you can, his surprise and his joy when
Miss Ellsworth the daughter of his friend, Hon. H. L. Ellsworth, of
Connecticut, the commissioner of patents, told him that in the closing
moments of the session the bill had passed without a division.

[Illustration: MORSE HEARS OF HIS SUCCESS.]

He had invented the recording electric telegraph eleven years before
on board the packet ship _Sully_, upon his return voyage from Europe.
He had spent eleven years in perfecting his plans, and in striving to
secure the means for placing this great invention before the American
people. During this time he had converted all his property into money
and used all that money in pushing the enterprise. His only hope now
was the bill before Congress. That bill had passed! With streaming eyes
Professor Morse thanked Miss Ellsworth for her joyous announcement,
and promised her that she should dictate the first message which should
be sent over the wires.

And so it came to pass that on the 24th of May, 1844, these words
furnished by Miss Ellsworth were telegraphed by Professor Morse from
the Capitol at Washington, to his friend and assistant, Mr. Alfred
Vail, at Baltimore, and immediately repeated back again:

"What hath God wrought!"

Well may we believe that the inventor spoke from the heart when he said
years later: "No words could have been selected more expressive of the
disposition of my own mind at that time, to ascribe all the honor to
Him to whom it truly belongs."

A singular circumstance brought this invention to the attention of the
people of the whole country as hardly anything else could have done.
The National Democratic convention was in session at Baltimore. They
had unanimously nominated James K. Polk for the Presidency. They then
nominated Silas Wright as their candidate for Vice-President. This
information was immediately telegraphed by Mr. Vail to Professor Morse
and at once communicated by him to Mr. Wright, then in the Senate
chamber. A few minutes later the convention was astonished by receiving
a telegram from Mr. Wright, declining the nomination. The members were
incredulous and declared that it was a trick of Mr. Wright's enemies.
They voted to send a committee to Washington to interview Mr. Wright,
and adjourned until the next morning.

On the return of this committee the truth of the message was
corroborated, and thus this new telegraph, just completed, with a line
just open for public patronage, was advertised through the delegates of
this national convention to the people of every State in the Union.
Astonishment was the sensation of the hour. The work bordered upon the
miraculous. Ordinarily the motto is true that "To see is to believe,"
but this result staggered everybody.

Although the invention was complete and now in practical operation, yet
Professor Morse's trials were not over. He received the congratulations
of his friends, but he was also brought to the notice of his enemies.
Let us pass over these trials and give attention to the more pleasant
duty of considering his triumphs. The telegraph rapidly came into
general use between the great cities of the country. Nor was its use
confined to America; almost immediately it was successfully introduced
into the various countries of Europe.

In 1854, the Supreme Court of the United States decided unanimously in
favor of Professor Morse on all points involving his right to the claim
of having been the original inventor of the electro-magnetic telegraph.
In 1846, Yale College conferred upon him the degree of Doctor of Laws
(LL.D.). He was made a member of various learned societies in France,
Belgium, and the United States. He received a diamond decoration from
the Sultan of Turkey, a gold snuff box containing the Prussian gold
medal for scientific merit, the great gold medal of Arts and Science
from Würtemberg, and the great gold medal of Science and Art from the
Emperor of Austria. Other honors were conferred upon him by Denmark,
Spain, Portugal, Italy, and Great Britain. At the instance of Napoleon
III., Emperor of the French, representatives from various countries met
in Paris in 1858 and decided upon a collective testimonial to Professor
Morse, and the result of their deliberations was a vote of 400,000
francs.

No invention in ancient or modern times has wrought such a
revolution--a revolution in all business, in commerce, trade,
manufacturing and the mechanic arts, in politics, government, and in
religious affairs. It is not given to mortal man to comprehend the
greatness, to duly appreciate the grandeur, or to measure the utility
of this remarkable invention. Over the mountains, through the valleys,
under the seas flies the electric current, conveying all-important
items of news from place to place, from country to country, from
continent to continent.

    "This electric chain from East to West
      More than mere metal, more than mammon can,
    Binds us together--kinsmen, in the best;
      Brethren as one; and looking far beyond
    The world in an electric union blest."



CHAPTER VI.

THE ATLANTIC CABLE.


The growth of the telegraph was very much like that of the railroad. In
1844, the first line was opened, as we have seen, between Baltimore and
Washington, a distance of forty miles. Within a few years lines were
extended to the principal cities of the United States. In 1847, the
Morse telegraph was introduced into Germany and rapidly spread over the
entire continent of Europe. For the most part the wires were placed by
the side of the railroad tracks,--wherever the railroad penetrated the
telegraph went also.

Before many years had passed time was in a sense obliterated. Whatever
happened in New York might be immediately known in Chicago. Incidents
that took place in New Orleans might be narrated in Boston almost as
soon as they occurred. London and Rome, Madrid and St. Petersburg, were
united by the lightning rapidity of the telegraphic current. Meanwhile
London and New York were as far apart as ever. News could be conveyed
between the two hemispheres only by the comparatively slow-moving
steamers. The next step in the development of communication must be the
connecting of Europe with America by a telegraph wire.

The year before the passage of the act by which Congress provided
Professor Morse with the means for completing the first telegraph
line, he had stretched a wire under the water from Castle Garden, New
York City, to Governor's Island in the harbor. He had thus proved
that telegraph messages could be sent under water. Ten years later
a "submarine telegraph" was constructed, connecting England with
the continent of Europe. Other short submarine cables were laid and
successfully operated. To undertake, however, to lay a cable from
Europe to America, thousands of miles long and hundreds of fathoms
below the surface of the ocean, was an entirely different matter. A few
enthusiastic men, among them Professor Morse, believed that it could be
done, but the majority of people viewed it as an impossibility.

Was there any other way to connect the two worlds by an electric
wire? Might it not be possible to build a telegraph line from Europe,
starting from some point in Russia, across Northern Asia, to the
Behring Straits? Might not a comparatively short cable be laid to
Russian America (for Alaska had not then been sold to the United
States), which could connect with a telegraph line to be erected across
the continent to New York City?

Think of the magnitude of this proposition! In place of laying a
submarine cable across the Atlantic Ocean it was proposed to traverse
the entire circuit of the earth, except the Atlantic, by a telegraph
line. It was proposed to construct across the wilds of Siberia, where
no railroad had been built, a telegraph line thousands of miles in
length; and, besides laying a cable, to build another line of great
length from the Aleutian Islands to the Pacific coast of the United
States, and thence across the Rockies, where at that time there was no
railroad.

The undertaking was a great one, but a company was formed for the
purpose of erecting a Russian-American telegraph. Experienced men were
selected from English and American telegraphers and sent to Siberia to
push the work. The prospects of success for the great enterprise were
favorable when the news arrived that the long-talked-of Atlantic cable
was at last laid and in complete working order. The Russian-American
telegraph could not hope to compete with the cable, and the project was
abandoned.

To Cyrus W. Field belongs the honor of pushing forward to successful
completion the Atlantic cable. At the early age of fifteen Cyrus left
the parsonage at Stockbridge, Connecticut, the home of his father, Rev.
David Dudley Field, for New York. On arriving in the city he obtained
employment as an errand boy in the dry-goods establishment of A. T.
Stewart. Three years later, when he decided to give up his place as
clerk in the store, the proprietor showed his appreciation of the boy's
merits by urging him to remain, making him a liberal offer if he would
do so. He decided to make a change, however, and was soon engaged with
a brother in Lee, Massachusetts.

When young Field was twenty years of age he went into business for
himself, and for the next thirteen years was known as one of New
York's successful merchants. He then retired from active business,
but found it a difficult task to do nothing. After a long voyage to
South America, he returned to New York, where he gladly welcomed the
opportunity that then came to busy himself.

The Newfoundland Electric Telegraph Company had been engaged for a
year in the work of erecting a line on that island, preparatory to
connecting it with the mainland by a cable. The company was compelled
to stop work, however, for lack of the necessary means to continue. The
leading member of the company, Frederick N. Gisborne, appealed to Mr.
Field for material assistance. After several interviews, in the course
of which he became deeply interested in the scheme, Mr. Field came to
the conclusion not only that the plan of connecting Newfoundland with
the United States was feasible, but also that Newfoundland was the best
starting point for a cable to Ireland.

With characteristic energy Mr. Field went at once to work. He formed
a new company and obtained extensive privileges from the governments
of Newfoundland, Prince Edwards Island, and the State of Maine. Many
months were spent in erecting the land telegraph across Newfoundland,
over wild marsh and waste moor, rocks, hills, and forests. A cable,
obtained in England, was unsuccessfully laid across the Gulf of St.
Lawrence in 1855. The next year a second attempt was successful. The
preliminary work was now completed.

More means and more influence were needed. Mr. Field organized in
London the Atlantic Telegraph Company, and showed his own faith by
personally subscribing for one-quarter of the stock. The governments of
Great Britain and the United States liberally aided the new company and
furnished ships for laying down the cable.

On the 7th of August, 1857, the _Niagara_ and the _Agamemnon_ sailed
from Ireland, each carrying 1,250 miles of cable. The _Niagara_ began
paying out her line and all went well for three days. At nine o'clock
on the evening of the tenth, however, the cable ceased working. Three
hours later the electric current returned, to the intense relief of
all; but before morning came the cry, "Stop her! back her! the cable
has parted!"

With flags at half-mast the ships returned to Ireland. Half a million
dollars had been lost already. Disheartened, but not discouraged, the
company voted to increase its capital and try again the next year. This
time the two steamers sailed directly to mid-ocean, spliced the two
parts of the cable, and sailed away from each other, the _Agamemnon_
for Ireland and the _Niagara_ for Newfoundland. On the 17th of August
the extremities of the cable were connected with the instruments and
the work was done. In the space of thirty-five minutes there was
flashed under the ocean the message:

"Europe and America are united by telegraph. Glory to God in the
highest; on earth peace; good will toward men."

[Illustration: LAYING AN OCEAN CABLE.]

Messages and replies from the Queen to the President of the United
States and from the mayor of London to the mayor of New York followed.
The American people were wild with enthusiasm; they declared the
Atlantic cable to be the greatest achievement of the age, and they
heaped boundless praise upon the head of the persistent and courageous
Field. Eighteen days afterward, the signals became unintelligible and
the first Atlantic cable ceased to work.

Was all the time and money so far spent thrown away? No! for this first
experiment paved the way for another and successful attempt. It is said
also that one message, sent during these few days, saved the commercial
world no less a sum than two hundred and fifty thousand dollars. For
the time being, however, the project of an Atlantic cable was allowed
to remain quiet.

[Illustration: THE GREAT EASTERN.]

Mr. Field was financially ruined. The Civil War in the United States
occupied the thoughts of all for several years. But in time the
company was ready to try again. A newly prepared cable was made, the
twenty-three hundred miles of which weighed more than four thousand
tons. The largest vessel in the world, the _Great Eastern_, was
employed to carry and lay it. On July 23d, 1865, the steamer started
from Ireland and continued on its westward course until August 2d; then
the cable parted, more than a thousand miles from the starting point.
Nine days were spent in attempts to grapple for the cable, but all in
vain.

The next year the _Great Eastern_ again set sail, with a new cable
and with sufficient wire to complete the cable of the previous
year, if possible. In fourteen days the steamer entered the harbor
in Newfoundland. Two months later the same steamer again reached
Newfoundland, having captured the missing end of the other wire,
thereby completing two cables from Europe to America.

July 27th, 1866, was a joyous day in the life of Cyrus W. Field. For
thirteen years he had thought of little else but the submarine cable.
Failure after failure had not discouraged him; loss of property only
stimulated him to further efforts. Now success had come. The new cable
was more substantial than the other of eight years before. That had
failed, but this would succeed. It did succeed. From that day to this
telegraphic communication between Europe and America has been constant.

Submarine cables are now in extensive operation in all parts of the
world. More than half a dozen cross the Atlantic, and lines have been
constructed from England to India, from India to Australia, and from
the United States to Mexico and South America. At the present time
there are perhaps two hundred cables belonging to companies, and about
five hundred belonging to government systems. These cables, all told,
cover a distance of nearly a hundred thousand miles.

A recent incident is told that shows something of the greatness of the
telegraph. In June, 1897, a great celebration took place in London, in
honor of the sixty years that Queen Victoria had been upon the British
throne. The Queen rode in a procession through streets packed with
millions of people. Just as she left the palace she pressed an electric
button. Instantly this message was sent to her colonies all over the
world:

"From my heart I thank my beloved people. May God bless them. Victoria,
R. I."

To forty different points in her empire sped the electric message. In
sixteen minutes a reply came from Ottawa in Canada; then one by one
answers came in from more remote provinces; until, before the Queen
reached London Bridge, the Cape of Good Hope, the Gold Coast of Africa,
and the great continent of Australia had sent responses to her message.



CHAPTER VII.

THE TELEPHONE.


When the telegraph was invented, years ago, it seemed little less than
a miracle that a message could be dictated in one city and received
almost instantaneously in another city far distant from the sender.
Scientists, however, began at once on the invention of something more
wonderful. The telegraph lacks in one respect. By it messages must be
sent exactly as dictated and cannot be corrected until the reply is
received. In a sense, sending and receiving messages by telegraph is
a form of conversation, but a conversation at arm's-length. To carry
on a real conversation at long distances would be a great advance. An
instrument prepared for this purpose would be called a telephone.

In 1875 Alexander Graham Bell invented the first successful electric
telephone. This was exhibited at Salem, Massachusetts, and at
Philadelphia at the Centennial Exhibition, and a patent for it was
obtained. The apparatus of Bell's telephone is very simple, and
practically consists of four parts: the battery, the wire which
runs from the speaker to the hearer, a diaphragm against which the
vibrations of the air produced by the voice of the speaker strike,
and another diaphragm at the other end of the wire which reproduces
similar vibrations and sends them to the ear of the listener. Elisha
Gray of Boston made a similar invention and applied for a patent two
hours after Bell's application was filed. The invention of Mr. Bell
has proved a decided success. All telephonic operations, since this
invention, have been based upon the instrument which he patented in
1876.

Mr. Bell was the son of a distinguished Scotch educator, Alexander
Melville Bell. The father is noted for the invention of a new method
for improving impediments in speech. This system of instruction is
called "Bell's Visible Speech." It is used with great success in
teaching deaf-mutes to speak.

[Illustration: A TELEPHONE.]

His son Alexander was born in Edinburgh in 1847 and was educated at the
University of Edinburgh. He removed to London when he was twenty years
of age and was for a time in the University there. Three years later
he went to Canada with his father, and at the age of twenty-five took
up his residence in the United States, and became professor of vocal
physiology in Boston University. He had been in this country but three
years when he made his great invention, and its complete success gave
him immense wealth. Later he invented the "photophone," in which a
vibratory beam of light is substituted for a wire in conveying speech.
This instrument has attracted much attention but has not proved of
practical use. Professor Bell is a member of various learned societies
and has published many scientific papers. His present home is in
Washington.

Within ten years the art of telephoning has rapidly developed. This has
stimulated inventions and brought into use a vast number of special
contrivances for local and long-distance transmission. The principal
inventors of these new contrivances are Bell, Berliner, Edison, Hughes,
Dolbear, Gray, Blake, and Peirce.

Nearly all of the telephone business of our country is carried on under
licenses from the American Bell Telephone Company. The telephone lines
at present in the United States would aggregate a distance of more than
six hundred thousand miles, and there are more than half a million
instruments in our country alone. The longest telephone line extends
from Portland, Maine, via Boston, New York, and Chicago, to Milwaukee,
a distance of more than thirteen hundred miles.

[Illustration: ALEXANDER BELL USING A LONG-DISTANCE TELEPHONE.]

Let us consider for a moment the wonders of this marvelous invention,
as compared with another no less marvelous in its way.

In 1867 Anson Burlingame was appointed by the Chinese Government
special envoy to the United States and the great European governments,
with power to frame treaties of friendship with those nations. This was
an honor never before conferred on a foreigner. Mr. Burlingame accepted
the appointment and, at the head of a large mission of distinguished
Chinese officials, arrived in this country early in 1868, negotiated
with our Government the "Burlingame Treaty," proceeded the same year to
England, thence to France, the next year to Denmark, Sweden, Holland,
and Prussia, and finally reached Russia early in 1870. He died in St.
Petersburg after a few days' illness, on the 23d of February.

Now see what the telegraph did. His death occurred about half-past nine
in the morning. As soon as possible the fact was telegraphed to our
minister in Paris. He forwarded the news to our minister in London; by
him it was cabled across the Atlantic, transmitted from the cable to
Washington and delivered to Nathaniel P. Banks, a member of the House
of Representatives from Massachusetts. General Banks read the dispatch
to the House, and delivered offhand an extended eulogy upon the
distinguished son of Massachusetts. That speech of General Banks was
written out, sent to the telegraph office, transmitted by the electric
current to the various cities of the country, put into type, printed in
the evening newspapers, and the writer of this chapter read it at four
o'clock in the afternoon of the same day that Mr. Burlingame died. This
was done as early as 1870.

But what is that compared to the greater wonders of the telephone?
That a man can "talk into" the little instrument, and his voice be
heard and recognized, and his words understood, by his friend in a
city five hundred or one thousand miles away, is indeed a miracle.
Consider for a moment what is done by means of the switchboard in the
central telephone office of a great city. Every one of the thousands
of subscribers has his own instrument for transmitting and receiving
messages. One of these subscribers rings a bell in his house or his
business office which rings another bell at the central station; the
attendant inquires "Hello! what number?" and receives a reply, "four,
naught, eight, Tremont." The attendant by a simple switch, turned by
a touch of the hand, makes the connection and rings the bell of that
subscriber whose number is "408 Tremont." Number "408 Tremont" steps
to the instrument and in a quiet voice says "Hello! who is it?" Thus
these two persons are placed in direct communication, and can talk with
each other, back and forth, as long as they please.

This conversation is carried on between two different sections of the
city where these two men live, but the same conversation may with equal
ease be carried on between Boston and New York, between Boston and
Washington, or between New York and Chicago. Thus time and distance are
annihilated and the whole world stands, as it were, face to face.

But the marvel does not end here. The above conversation is carried on
by means of a continuous wire which runs from one place to the other.
If there are parallel wires, strange to say, the vibrations carried on
in the one wire are liable to create, by induction, similar vibrations
in the parallel wire. Here is an illustration:

Nearly twenty years ago, soon after the invention came into use, three
gentlemen in Providence, Rhode Island, put up a private line between
their three houses, making a circuit. Upon this line they carried on
experiments and made a number of important discoveries. The evening was
the time when they principally used their private telephone line. On
a certain Tuesday evening these three gentlemen, conversing one with
another, suddenly found themselves listening to strains of music. All
three of them heard the same thing: the sound of a cornet and of one or
two other musical instruments; then singing and a soprano voice. They
wrote down the names of the pieces that were sung and the tunes that
were played upon the instruments. They had no knowledge of the source
of these sounds.

The next day, and for days following, these gentlemen went about the
city inquiring of their friends everywhere if they knew of a concert
on that Tuesday night where such pieces were sung and such tunes were
played. Nobody had any knowledge of the affair. At length one of the
gentlemen published an article in the Providence _Journal_, describing
what he had heard through his telephone wire on that Tuesday evening,
giving the date, and asking any one who could inform him what the
concert was and where it was, to give him the desired information. Then
it transpired that this concert was a telephonic experiment.

The performers were at Saratoga, New York, and they were connected by
a telephone wire with friends in New York City. The experiment had
plainly demonstrated that the sounds made in singing and in playing
numerous instruments could be clearly understood, by means of the
telephone, from Saratoga to New York City. But it proved more than
this. The vibrations in that telephone wire between Saratoga and New
York induced the same vibrations in the parallel wire of the Western
Union Telegraph Company. These vibrations were continued through New
York City to Providence and onward. The private telephone line of these
gentlemen was parallel to the wire of the Western Union Company which
had been thus affected, and these vibrations were picked off from the
telegraph wire and conveyed by this parallel telephone wire to the
receivers at these three houses.

What will be the next wonderful invention? The telegraph transmits your
thoughts and delivers them in writing; the telephone transmits your
thoughts and delivers them to the ear by sounds. Some day, perhaps,
you may step into a cabinet in Boston and have your photograph taken
in New York City by aid of an electric wire, the telephote. Just as
the telephone transmits the sounds, the telephote may transmit the
light and give not only light and shade, but the colors of the solar
spectrum.



CHAPTER VIII.

CONCLUSION.


We have now considered six groups of topics connected with the growth
and development of our country. We have looked into the houses of the
Indians and of the settlers in the colonial times, and into the larger
and more elaborate homes of to-day. We have considered improved means
of heating and better methods of lighting. We have noticed improvements
in machinery for planting, cultivating, and harvesting the products
of the soil. We have seen the great advance that has been made in
the manufacture of our clothing, through improved cotton and woolen
machinery and the sewing machine. We have traveled by land and by
water, at home and abroad, on foot, on horseback, in stagecoaches, by
canals, steamboats, and railroads. Finally we have read and thought
and studied about language, the printing press, our postal system, the
telegraph and the telephone.

We have seen our country when it was wholly east of the Mississippi
River, whereas now it is extended even to the great western ocean. A
century ago our territory embraced about eight hundred thousand square
miles; now it is nearly five times as great, with large areas of
recently acquired Spanish islands to be added to that. The population
of the United States in 1790 was less than four millions; a hundred
years later it was sixty-three millions. It is now probably between
seventy and seventy-five millions. Our exports then were about fifty
million dollars in value; this year they are more than one thousand
millions. A century since, we imported into this country goods to the
value of about seventy million dollars. This was largely in excess
of our exports. To-day our exports are of far greater value than our
imports.

At the beginning of our national government we were almost altogether
engaged in the pursuits of agriculture. Now our people are largely
massed in cities and large towns, while our mechanical and
manufacturing interests are of immense proportions.

A hundred years ago the people speaking the seven principal languages
of Europe numbered about one hundred and fifty millions. To-day
they number about four hundred millions. The present number is
therefore almost three times that of a century ago. At that time the
English-speaking people ranked fifth among the seven, and numbered but
twenty millions. To-day they lead the list, and number one hundred and
twenty millions; there are six times as many people to-day using the
English language as there were a century ago. The inhabitants of our
country outnumber all other English-speaking people in the whole world.

Our country occupies, all things considered, the best portion of the
world. This includes the Atlantic slope, the great Mississippi basin,
and the Pacific slope, and our whole territory, except our new colonial
possessions, lies within the north temperate zone. We therefore have
a great variety of soil and climate; the soil is the most fertile and
the climate the most salubrious of the whole earth. We have an almost
infinite variety of productions and our people are engaged in the
entire round of human industries.

The United States has made vast strides in industry, in wealth, in
intelligence, and in the comforts of life. Civilization has rapidly
advanced during the whole of this century. If the great contest of the
future is to be between the Anglo-Saxon race and the rest of the world,
surely this great republic must have the leading position in that
contest.

The American people to-day form a nation of readers. In newspapers,
magazines, and books of all sorts and upon every subject the American
press is prolific. We have a system of public schools well established
in every State and every Territory of our Union, and supported by
taxation, and very generally the children are obliged by compulsory
laws to attend school. We are living in an age of great activity and
rapid advancement. The young people of our republic who are attending
school to-day are to be congratulated upon their good fortune;
and it becomes them to magnify their opportunities, to appreciate
their advantages, and to be especially loyal to their country, its
government, and its institutions.



INDEX.


  Ætna, 213

  Air brakes, 236

  ALLEN, NICHOLAS, 48

  ALLSTON, WASHINGTON, 272

  Ancient writing, 249

  Arc light, 87

  ARNOLD, EDWIN, 169

  Atlantic Telegraph Co., 281

  Automobile, 243

  Axe, 25


  Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, 226

  BASKERVILLE, JOHN, 254

  Bay-Path, 192

  BELL, ALEXANDER GRAHAM, 286

  Bicycle, 243

  Binder, 120

  Blackstone canal, 221

  BOULTON and WATT, 179

  Brooklyn bridge, 239

  BRUSH, CHARLES FRANCIS, 85

  BURLINGAME, ANSON, 288


  Cable, Atlantic, 278

  Cable cars, 242

  Cables, submarine, 284

  CABOT, JOHN, 18

  Calashes, 201

  Canals, 215

  Candelabra, 71

  Candles, 67

  Canoe, 197

  Carrying fire, 52

  Central Pacific Railroad, 228

  CHAPPE, CLAUDE, 266

  Chesapeake and Delaware Canal, 221

  Chicago and Alton Railroad, 236

  Chimneys, 31

  CLAYTON, JOHN, 81

  "Clermont," 212, 215

  "Clinton's big ditch," 221

  Coal, 44;
    anthracite, 47;
    bituminous, 47;
    sea, 45

  Coffee, 139

  Colonial conditions, 143

  Colonial cooking, 29, 30

  Colonial homes, 24

  CONANT, ROGER, 124

  Cooking, colonial, 29, 30

  CORLISS, GEORGE H., 175, 179

  Corn, Indian, 105

  Cotton, 150, 153

  Cotton gin, 148-151


  DARLING, GRACE, 92-94

  Delaware and Hudson canal, 221

  Dinner, a modern, 131

  DODGE, JOHN ADAMS, 174

  DRAKE, E. L., 78

  Dugout, 197

  DUNSTER, REV. HENRY, 254

  Dutch ovens, 27

  Dynamo, 85


  EDISON, THOMAS A., 86

  Electric cars, 242

  Electric lighting, 85

  Electrotyping, 257

  Eliot's Indian Bible, 254

  ELLSWORTH, MISS, 274

  Erie canal, 221

  EVANS, OLIVER, 209


  FABIUS, 63

  FAIRBANKS, RICHARD, 259

  FARADAY, MICHAEL, 85

  FARMER, MOSES G., 268

  FAUST, JOHN, 253

  FIELD, CYRUS W., 280

  Fire, 14

  Fire, carrying, 52

  Fireplace, Pennsylvania, 34

  Fireplaces, 26

  Fishing, whale, 73

  FITCH, JOHN, 209

  Flail, 109, 120, 123

  Flax, 147

  Flint, 53

  Foods, uncultivated, 99

  Fork, 118

  FRANKLIN, BENJAMIN, 34, 68

  Franklin press, 255

  Franklin stove, 34

  Freight, cost of transportation, 218

  Fuel, 37

  FULTON, ROBERT, 210, 272

  Furnaces, 36


  Gang plow, 114

  Gas, illuminating, 81

  Gasometer, 83

  GIDEON, 63

  Gin, cotton, 148-151

  GORE, OBADIAH, 48

  GREENE, NATHANIEL, 148

  GREENOUGH, J. J., 175

  Grist mills, 145

  GROVER, WILLIAM O., 175

  GUTENBERG, JOHN, 254


  HANNIBAL, 63

  Harvesting, implements for, 117

  Heat, 11

  HENNEPIN, FATHER, 46

  Hoe, 109

  Hoe perfecting press, 253

  Homes, colonial, 24

  Homes, Indian, 17

  HOOD, THOMAS, 173

  Horseback, 191

  HOWE, ELIAS, 175

  HUNT, WALTER, 175


  Illuminating gas, 81

  Implements for harvesting, 117;
    for planting, 111

  Incandescent light, 87

  Indian Bible, Eliot's, 254

  Indian corn, 105

  Indian homes, 17

  Inns, 205

  Iroquois, 19

  Irrigation, 127, 128


  JACKSON, ANDREW, 156

  JEWEL, MARSHALL, 170


  Kerosene, 77

  Kitchen, a New England, 10

  KNIGHT, SARAH, 200


  Lamp, modern, 76

  Lamps, ancient, 65

  Language, 247

  Leather, 164

  LEIFER, THOMAS, 224

  Letters, 247

  LEWIS, IDA, 94

  Light, arc, 87

  Lighthouses, 90

  Lighting, electric, 85

  Linotype, 257

  LIVINGSTON, ROBERT R., 212

  Log cabin, 26

  LONGSTREET, WILLIAM, 209

  Loom, 147

  Lord of Padua, 32


  Mail car, 262

  Matches, 51

  MCCORMICK, CYRUS H., 122

  Menlo Park, 87

  Message, first, across the Atlantic, 282

  Middlesex canal, 221

  MILES, GENERAL, in New Mexico, 268

  Modern land travel, 235;
    water travel, 229

  Money orders, 261

  MOREY, SAMUEL, 209

  MORSE, SAMUEL F. B., 270;
    his titles and honors, 276

  Mower, 117

  MURDOCH, WILLIAM, 82

  MYER, MAJOR, 266


  Needles, 172

  NOTT, ELIPHALET, 159


  OGLE, HENRY, 122

  Oil wells, 79

  Ovens, Dutch, 27


  Padua, Lord of, 32

  PECK, GENERAL, at Suffolk, 267

  Pepper, 132

  Pine knots, 62

  Planter, 115

  Planting, implements for, 111

  Plow, 109, 112

  Plow, sulky, 114

  Postage stamps, 261

  Postal system, 258

  Postmaster-general, 260

  Power of speech, 247

  Printing press, Franklin, 255;
    modern, 246

  PROMETHEUS, 15

  Pruning hook, 109

  Pullman sleeper, 237


  Queen of Sheba, 249


  Railroad train, old-style, 227

  Railroads, 223

  Rake, 118

  RALEIGH, WALTER, 106

  "RAND, OLD MA'AM," 271

  Range, 36

  Reaper, 120

  RUMFORD, COUNT, 33-35

  RUMSEY, JAMES, 209


  SCHOLFIELD, ARTHUR, 160

  SCHOLFIELD, JOHN, 160

  _Scots Magazine_, 269

  Scribe, ancient, 251

  Scythe, 109, 117

  Sea coal, 45

  Sewing machines, 175

  SHOEMAKER, COLONEL, 48

  Signal station, Suffolk, 267

  Signaling, 265

  SINGER, ISAAC M., 175

  SLATER, JOHN F., 156

  SLATER, SAMUEL, 153

  Soil, 124

  SOLOMON, 249

  Sower, 114

  SOWER, CHRISTOPHER, 255

  Special delivery, 261

  SPOTSWOOD, COLONEL, 260

  SQUANTO, 108

  Stagecoaches, 200

  Steamboats, 207

  Steam engine, 178

  STEPHENSON, GEORGE, 225

  Stereotyping, 257

  STEVENS, JOHN, 209

  Stockton and Darlington Railway, 226

  Stoves, 36

  Subway, Boston, 242

  Sulky plow, 114

  "Sully," packet ship, 272

  Suspension bridge, Niagara, 240


  Taverns, 206

  Telegraph, 270

  Telephone, 286

  Telephone incident, 290

  THIMMONIER, BARTHÉLEMY, 176

  THOMPSON, BENJAMIN, 33

  THOMPSON, ELIHU, 86

  Thresher, 121

  Threshing, 123

  Tinder box, 53

  Torches, 61

  Travel by horseback, 191;
    by land, 187;
    by water, 194


  Uncultivated foods, 99

  Union Pacific Railroad, 228

  United States post offices, 264

  University press, 255


  Vestal Virgin, 14

  Victoria Jubilee, 284

  Vinegar, 135


  Walter press, 252

  WATT, JAMES, 179

  Wells, oil, 79

  WEST, BENJAMIN, 272

  WESTINGHOUSE, GEORGE, JR., 236

  Whale fishing, 73

  Whale oil, 72

  WHITMAN, MARCUS, 168

  WHITNEY, ELI, 149

  WILSON, ALLEN B., 175

  Wool, 158



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  +----------------------------------------------------------------- +
  | Transcriber's Note:                                              |
  |                                                                  |
  | Minor typographical errors have been corrected without note.     |
  |                                                                  |
  | Punctuation and spelling were made consistent when a predominant |
  | form was found in this book; otherwise they were not changed.    |
  |                                                                  |
  | Ambiguous hyphens at the ends of lines were retained.            |
  |                                                                  |
  | Mid-paragraph illustrations have been moved between paragraphs   |
  | and some illustrations have been moved closer to the text that   |
  | references them.                                                 |
  |                                                                  |
  | Italicized words are surrounded by underline characters,         |
  | _like this_.  Words in bold characters are surrounded by equal   |
  | signs, =like this=.                                              |
  |                                                                  |
  | Duplicated section headings have been omitted.                   |
  |                                                                  |
  | Pp. 176 and 298: Marthélemy Thimonier changed to Barthélemy      |
  | Timmonier.                                                       |
  +------------------------------------------------------------------+





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