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´╗┐Title: Marvels of Modern Science
Author: Severing, Paul
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Marvels of Modern Science" ***

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MARVELS OF MODERN SCIENCE

By PAUL SEVERING

Edited by THEODORE WATERS

1910



CONTENTS

CHAPTER I
FLYING MACHINES
Early attempts at flight. The Dirigible. Prof. Langley's
experiments. The Wright Brothers. Count Zeppelin. Recent aeroplane
records.

CHAPTER II
WIRELESS TELEGRAPHY
Primitive signalling. Principles of wireless telegraphy. Ether
vibrations. Wireless apparatus. The Marconi system.

CHAPTER III
RADIUM
Experiments of Becquerel. Work of the Curies. Discovery of Radium.
Enormous energy. Various uses.

CHAPTER IV
MOVING PICTURES
Photographing motion. Edison's Kinetoscope. Lumiere's
Cinematographe. Before the camera. The mission of the moving
picture. Edison's latest triumph.

CHAPTER V
SKY-SCRAPERS AND HOW THEY ARE BUILT
Evolution of the sky-scraper. Construction. New York's giant
buildings. Dimensions.

CHAPTER VI
OCEAN PALACES
Ocean greyhounds. Present day floating palaces. Regal
appointments. Passenger accommodation. Food consumption. The one
thousand foot boat.

CHAPTER VII
WONDERFUL CREATIONS IN PLANT LIFE
Mating Plants. Experiments of Burbank. What he has accomplished.

CHAPTER VIII
LATEST DISCOVERIES IN ARCHAEOLOGY
Prehistoric time. Earliest records. Discoveries in Bible lands.
American explorations.

CHAPTER IX
GREAT TUNNELS OF THE WORLD
Primitive Tunnelling. Hoosac Tunnel. Croton aqueduct. Great Alpine
tunnels. New York subway. McAdoo tunnels. How tunnels are built.

CHAPTER X
ELECTRICITY IN THE HOUSEHOLD
Electrically equipped houses. Cooking by electricity. Comforts and
conveniences.

CHAPTER XI
HARNESSING THE WATER-FALL
Electric energy. High pressure. Transformers. Development of
water-power.

CHAPTER XII
WONDERFUL WAR SHIPS
Dimensions, displacements, cost and description of battleships.
Capacity and speed. Preparing for the future.

CHAPTER XIII
A TALK ON BIG GUNS
The first projectiles. Introduction of cannon High pressure guns.
Machine guns. Dimensions and cost of big guns.

CHAPTER XIV
MYSTERY OF THE STARS
Wonders of the universe. Star Photography. The infinity of space.

CHAPTER XV
CAN WE COMMUNICATE WITH OTHER WORLDS?
Vastness of Nature. Star distances. Problem of communicating with
Mars. The Great Beyond.



Introduction

The purpose of this little book is to give a general idea of a few of
the great achievements of our time. Within such a limited space it was
impossible to even mention thousands more of the great inventions and
triumphs which mark the rushing progress of the world in the present
century; therefore, only those subjects have been treated which appeal
with more than passing interest to all. For instance, the flying machine
is engaging the attention of the old, the young and the middle-aged,
and soon the whole world will be on the wing. Radium, "the revealer,"
is opening the door to possibilities almost beyond human conception.
Wireless Telegraphy is crossing thousands of miles of space with
invisible feet and making the nations of the earth as one. 'Tis the
same with the other subjects,--one and all are of vital, human interest,
and are extremely attractive on account of their importance in the
civilization of today. Mighty, sublime, wonderful, as have been the
achievements of past science, as yet we are but on the verge of the
continents of discovery. Where is the wizard who can tell what lies
in the womb of time? Just as our conceptions of many things have been
revolutionized in the past, those which we hold to-day of the cosmic
processes may have to be remodeled in the future. The men of fifty
years hence may laugh at the circumscribed knowledge of the present
and shake their wise heads in contemplation of what they will term our
crudities, and which we now call _progress_. Science is ever on the
march and what is new to-day will be old to-morrow. We cannot go
back, we must go forward, and although we can never reach finality in
aught, we can improve on the _past_ to enrich the _future_. If this
volume creates an interest and arouses an enthusiasm in the ordinary men
and women into whose hands it may come, and stimulates them to a study
of the great events making for the enlightenment, progress and elevation
of the race, it shall have fulfilled its mission and serve the purpose
for which it was written.



CHAPTER I

FLYING MACHINES

  Early Attempts at Flight--The Dirigible--Professor Langley's
  Experiment--The Wright Brothers--Count Zeppelin--Recent Aeroplane
  Records.


It is hard to determine when men first essayed the attempt to fly. In
myth, legend and tradition we find allusions to aerial flight and from
the very dawn of authentic history, philosophers, poets, and writers
have made allusion to the subject, showing that the idea must have
early taken root in the restless human heart. Aeschylus exclaims:

    "Oh, might I sit, sublime in air
    Where watery clouds the freezing snows prepare!"

Ariosto in his "Orlando Furioso" makes an English knight, whom he names
Astolpho, fly to the banks of the Nile; nowadays the authors are trying
to make their heroes fly to the North Pole.

Some will have it that the ancient world had a civilization much higher
than the modern and was more advanced in knowledge. It is claimed that
steam engines and electricity were common in Egypt thousands of years
ago and that literature, science, art, and architecture flourished as
never since. Certain it is that the Pyramids were for a long time the
most solid "Skyscrapers" in the world.

Perhaps, after all, our boasted progress is but a case of going back
to first principles, of history, or rather tradition repeating itself.
The flying machine may not be as new as we think it is. At any rate
the conception of it is old enough.

In the thirteenth century Roger Bacon, often called the "Father of
Philosophy," maintained that the air could be navigated. He suggested
a hollow globe of copper to be filled with "ethereal air or liquid
fire," but he never tried to put his suggestion into practice. Father
Vasson, a missionary at Canton, in a letter dated September 5, 1694,
mentions a balloon that ascended on the occasion of the coronation of
the Empress Fo-Kien in 1306, but he does not state where he got the
information.

The balloon is the earliest form of air machine of which we have record.
In 1767 a Dr. Black of Edinburgh suggested that a thin bladder could
be made to ascend if filled with inflammable air, the name then given
to hydrogen gas.

In 1782 Cavallo succeeded in sending up a soap bubble filled with such
gas.

It was in the same year that the Montgolfier brothers of Annonay, near
Lyons in France, conceived the idea of using hot air for lifting things
into the air. They got this idea from watching the smoke curling up
the chimney from the heat of the fire beneath.

In 1783 they constructed the first successful balloon of which we have
any description. It was in the form of a round ball, 110 feet in
circumference and, with the frame weighed 300 pounds. It was filled
with 22,000 cubic feet of vapor. It rose to a height of 6,000 feet and
proceeded almost 7,000 feet, when it gently descended. France went
wild over the exhibition.

The first to risk their lives in the air were M. Pilatre de Rozier and
the Marquis de Arlandes, who ascended over Paris in a hot-air balloon
in November, 1783. They rose five hundred feet and traveled a distance
of five miles in twenty-five minutes.

In the following December Messrs. Charles and Robert, also Frenchmen,
ascended ten thousand feet and traveled twenty-seven miles in two
hours.

The first balloon ascension in Great Britain was made by an experimenter
named Tytler in 1784. A few months later Lunardi sailed over London.

In 1836 three Englishmen, Green, Mason and Holland, went from London to
Germany, five hundred miles, in eighteen hours.

The greatest balloon exhibition up to then, indeed the greatest ever,
as it has never been surpassed, was given by Glaisher and Coxwell, two
Englishmen, near Wolverhampton, on September 5, 1862. They ascended
to such an elevation that both lost the power of their limbs, and had
not Coxwell opened the descending valve with his teeth, they would
have ascended higher and probably lost their lives in the rarefied
atmosphere, for there was no compressed oxygen then as now to inhale
into their lungs. The last reckoning of which they were capable before
Glaisher lost consciousness showed an elevation of twenty-nine thousand
feet, but it is supposed that they ascended eight thousand feet higher
before Coxwell was able to open the descending valve. In 1901 in the
city of Berlin two Germans rose to a height of thirty-five thousand
feet, but the two Englishmen of almost fifty years ago are still given
credit for the highest ascent.

The largest balloon ever sent aloft was the "Giant" of M. Nadar, a
Frenchman, which had a capacity of 215,000 cubic feet and required for
a covering 22,000 yards of silk. It ascended from the Champ de Mars,
Paris, in 1853, with fifteen passengers, all of whom came back safely.

The longest flight made in a balloon was that by Count de La Vaulx, 1193
miles in 1905.

A mammoth balloon was built in London by A. E. Gaudron. In 1908 with
three other aeronauts Gaudron crossed from the Crystal Palace to the
Belgian Coast at Ostend and then drifted over Northern Germany and was
finally driven down by a snow storm at Mateki Derevni in Russia, having
traveled 1,117 miles in 31-1/2 hours. The first attempt at constructing
a dirigible balloon or airship was made by M. Giffard, a Frenchman,
in 1852. The bag was spindle-shaped and 144 feet from point to point.
Though it could be steered without drifting the motor was too weak to
propel it. Giffard had many imitations in the spindle-shaped envelope
construction, but it was a long time before any good results were
obtained.

It was not until 1884 that M. Gaston Tissandier constructed a dirigible
in any way worthy of the name. It was operated by a motor driven by
a bichromate of soda battery. The motor weighed 121 lbs. The cells
held liquid enough to work for 2-1/2 hours, generating 1-1/3 horse
power. The screw had two arms and was over nine feet in circumference.
Tissandier made some successful flights.

The first dirigible balloon to return whence it started was that known
as _La France_. This airship was also constructed in 1884. The
designer was Commander Renard of the French Marine Corps assisted by
Captain Krebs of the same service. The length of the envelope was 179
feet, its diameter 27-1/2 feet. The screw was in front instead of
behind as in all others previously constructed. The motor which weighed
220-1/2 lbs. was driven by electricity and developed 8-1/2 horse power.
The propeller was 24 feet in diameter and only made 46 revolutions to
the minute. This was the first time electricity was used as a motor
force, and mighty possibilities were conceived.

In 1901 a young Brazilian, Santos-Dumont, made a spectacular flight.
M. Deutch, a Parisian millionaire, offered a prize of $20,000 for the
first dirigible that would fly from the Parc d'Aerostat, encircle the
Eiffel Tower and return to the starting point within thirty minutes,
the distance of such flight being about nine miles. Dumont won the
prize though he was some forty seconds over time. The length of his
dirigible on this occasion was 108 feet, the diameter 19-1/2 feet. It
had a 4-cylinder petroleum motor weighing 216 lbs., which generated
20 horse power. The screw was 13 feet in diameter and made three hundred
revolutions to the minute.

From this time onward great progress was made in the constructing of
airships. Government officials and many others turned their attention
to the work. Factories were put in operation in several countries of
Europe and by the year 1905 the dirigible had been fairly well
established. Zeppelin, Parseval, Lebaudy, Baidwin and Gross were
crowding one another for honors. All had given good results, Zeppelin
especially had performed some remarkable feats with his machines.

In the construction of the dirigible balloon great care must be taken
to build a strong, as well as light framework and to suspend the car
from it so that the weight will be equally distributed, and above all,
so to contrive the gas contained that under no circumstances can it
become tilted. There is great danger in the event of tilting that some
of the stays suspending the car may snap and the construction fall to
pieces in the air.

In deciding upon the shape of a dirigible balloon the chief
consideration is to secure an end surface which presents the least
possible resistance to the air and also to secure stability and
equilibrium. Of course the motor, fuel and propellers are other
considerations of vital importance.

The first experimenter on the size of wing surface necessary to sustain
a man in the air, calculated from the proportion of weight and wing
surface in birds, was Karl Meerwein of Baden. He calculated that a man
weighing 200 lbs. would require 128 square feet. In 1781 he made a
spindle-shaped apparatus presenting such a surface to the resistance
of the air. It was collapsible on the middle and here the operator was
fastened and lay horizontally with his face towards the earth working
the collapsible wings by means of a transverse rod. It was not a
success.

During the first half of the 19th Century there were many experiments
with wing surfaces, none of which gave any promise. In fact it was not
until 1865 that any advance was made, when Francis Wenham showed that
the lifting power of a plane of great superficial area could be obtained
by dividing the large plane into several parts arranged on tiers. This
may be regarded as the germ of the modern aeroplane, the first glimmer
of hope to filter through the darkness of experimentation until then.
When Wenham's apparatus went against a strong wind it was only lifted
up and thrown back. However, the idea gave thought to many others years
afterwards.

In 1885 the brothers Lilienthal in Germany discovered the possibility
of driving curved aeroplanes against the wind. Otto Lilienthal held
that it was necessary to begin with "sailing" flight and first of all
that the art of balancing in the air must be learned by practical
experiments. He made several flights of the kind now known as _gliding_.
From a height of 100 feet he glided a distance of 700 feet and found he
could deflect his flight from left to right by moving his legs which
were hanging freely from the seat. He attached a light motor weighing
only 96 lbs. and generating 2-1/2 horse power. To sustain the weight he
had to increase the size of his planes.

Unfortunately this pioneer in modern aviation was killed in an
experiment, but he left much data behind which has helped others. His
was the first actual flyer which demonstrated the elementary laws
governing real flight and blazed the way for the successful experiments
of the present time. His example made the gliding machine a continuous
performance until real practical aerial flight was achieved.

As far back as 1894 Maxim built a giant aeroplane but it was too
cumbersome to be operated.

In America the wonderful work of Professor Langley of the Smithsonian
Institution with his aerodromes attracted worldwide attention. Langley
was the great originator of the science of aerodynamics on this side
of the water. Langley studied from artificial birds which he had
constructed and kept almost constantly before him.

To Langley, Chanute, Herring and Manly, America owes much in the way
of aeronautics before the Wrights entered the field. The Wrights have
given the greatest impetus to modern aviation. They entered the field
in 1900 and immediately achieved greater results than any of their
predecessors. They followed the idea of Lilienthal to a certain extent.
They made gliders in which the aviator had a horizontal position and
they used twice as great a lifting surface as that hitherto employed.
The flights of their first motor machine was made December 17, 1903,
at Kitty Hawk, N.C. In 1904 with a new machine they resumed experiments
at their home near Dayton, O. In September of that year they succeeded
in changing the course from one dead against the wind to a curved path
where cross currents must be encountered, and made many circular
flights. During 1906 they rested for a while from practical flight,
perfecting plans for the future. In the beginning of September, 1908,
Orville Wright made an aeroplane flight of one hour, and a few days
later stayed up one hour and fourteen minutes. Wilbur Wright went to
France and began a series of remarkable flights taking up passengers.
On December 31, of that year, he startled the world by making the
record flight of two hours and nineteen minutes.

It was on Sept. 13, 1906, that Santos-Dumont made the first officially
recorded European aeroplane flight, leaving the ground for a distance
of 12 yards. On November 12, of same year, he remained in the air for
21 seconds and traveled a distance of 230 yards. These feats caused
a great sensation at the time.

While the Wrights were achieving fame for America, Henri Farman was
busy in England. On October 26, 1907, he flew 820 yards in 52-1/2
seconds. On July 6, 1908, he remained in the air for 20-1/2 minutes.
On October 31, same year, in France, he flew from Chalons to Rheims,
a distance of sixteen miles, in twenty minutes.

The year 1909 witnessed mighty strides in the field of aviation.
Thousands of flights were made, many of which exceeded the most sanguine
anticipations. On July 13, Bleriot flew from Etampes to Chevilly, 26
miles, in 44 minutes and 30 seconds, and on July 25 he made the first
flight across the British Channel, 32 miles, in 37 minutes. Orville
Wright made several sensational flights in his biplane around Berlin,
while his brother Wilbur delighted New Yorkers by circling the Statue
of Liberty and flying up the Hudson from Governor's Island to Grant's
Tomb and return, a distance of 21 miles, in 33 minutes and 33 seconds
during the Hudson-Fulton Celebration. On November 20 Louis Paulhan,
in a biplane, flew from Mourmelon to Chalons, France, and return, 37
miles in 55 minutes, rising to a height of 1000 feet.

The dirigible airship was also much in evidence during 1909, Zeppelin,
especially, performing some remarkable feats. The Zeppelin V.,
subsequently re-numbered No. 1, of the rigid type, 446 feet long,
diameter 42-1/2 feet and capacity 536,000 cubic feet, on March 29,
rose to a height of 3,280, and on April 1, started with a crew of nine
passengers from Frederickshafen to Munich. In a 35 mile gale it was
carried beyond Munich, but Zeppelin succeeded in coming to anchor.
Other Zeppelin balloons made remarkable voyages during the year. But
the latest achievements (1910) of the old German aeronaut have put all
previous records into the shade and electrified the whole world. His
new passenger airship, the _Deutschland_, on June 22, made a 300
mile trip from Frederickshafen to Dusseldorf in 9 hours, carrying 20
passengers. This was at the rate of 33.33 miles per hour. During one
hour of the journey a speed of 43-1/2 miles was averaged. The passengers
were carried in a mahogany finished cabin and had all the comforts of
a Pullman car, but most significant fact of all, the trip was made on
schedule and with all regularity of an express train.

Two days later Zeppelin eclipsed his own record air voyage when his
vessel carried 32 passengers, ten of whom were women, in a 100 mile
trip from Dusseldorf to Essen, Dortmund and Bochum and back. At one
time on this occasion while traveling with the wind the airship made
a speed of 56-1/2 miles. It passed through a heavy shower and forced
its way against a strong headwind without difficulty. The passengers
were all delighted with the new mode of travel, which was very
comfortable. This last dirigible masterpiece of Zeppelin may be styled
the leviathan of the air. It is 485 feet long with a total lifting
power of 44,000 lbs. It has three motors which total 330 horse power
and it drives at an average speed of about 33 miles an hour. A regular
passenger service has been established and tickets are selling at $50.

The present year can also boast some great aeroplane records, notably
by Curtiss and Hamilton in America and Farman and Paulhan in Europe.
Curtiss flew from Albany to New York, a distance of 137 miles, at an
average speed of 55 miles an hour and Hamilton flew from New York to
Philadelphia and return. The first night flight of a dirigible over
New York City was made by Charles Goodale on July 19. He flew from
Palisades Park on the Hudson and return.

From a scientific toy the Flying Machine has been developed and
perfected into a practical means of locomotion. It bids fair at no
distant date to revolutionize the transit of the world. No other art
has ever made such progress in its early stages and every day witnesses
an improvement.

The air, though invisible to the eye, has mass and therefore offers
resistance to all moving bodies. Therefore air-mass and air resistance
are the first principles to be taken into consideration in the
construction of an aeroplane. It must be built so that the air-mass
will sustain it and the motor, and the motor must be of sufficient
power to overcome the air resistance.

A ship ploughing through the waves presents the line of least resistance
to the water and so is shaped somewhat like a fish, the natural denizen
of that element. It is different with the aeroplane. In the intangible
domain it essays to overcome, there must be a sufficient surface to
compress a certain volume of air to sustain the weight of the machinery.

The surfaces in regard to size, shape, curvature, bracing and material,
are all important. A great deal depends upon the curve of the surfaces.
Two machines may have the same extent of surface and develop the same
rate of speed, yet one may have a much greater lifting power than the
other, provided it has a more efficient curve to its surface. Many
people have a fallacious idea that the surfaces of an aeroplane are
planes and this doubt less arises from the word itself. However, the
last syllable in _aeroplane_ has nothing whatever to do with a flat
surface. It is derived from the Greek _planos_, wandering, therefore the
entire word signifies an air wanderer.

The surfaces are really aero curves arched in the rear of the front
edge, thus allowing the supporting surface of the aeroplane in passing
forward with its backward side set at an angle to the direction of its
motion, to act upon the air in such a way as to tend to compress it
on the under side.

After the surfaces come the rudders in importance. It is of vital
consequence that the machine be balanced by the operator. In the present
method of balancing an aeroplane the idea in mind is to raise the lower
side of the machine and make the higher side lower in order that it
can be quickly righted when it tips to one side from a gust of wind,
or when making angle at a sudden turn. To accomplish this, two methods
can be employed. 1. Changing the form of the wing. 2. Using separate
surfaces. One side can be made to lift more than the other by giving
it a greater curve or extending the extremity.

In balancing by means of separate surfaces, which can be turned up or
down on each side of the machine, the horizontal balancing rudders are
so connected that they will work in an opposite direction--while one
is turned to lift one side, the other will act to lower the other side
so as to strike an even balance.

The motors and propellers next claim attention. It is the motor that
makes aviation possible. It was owing in a very large measure to the
introduction of the petrol motor that progress became rapid. Hitherto
many had laid the blame of everything on the motor. They had
said,--"give us a light and powerful engine and we will show you how
to fly."

The first very light engine to be available was the _Antoinette_,
built by Leon Levavasseur in France. It enabled Santos-Dumont to make
his first public successful flights. Nearly all aeroplanes follow the
same general principles of construction. Of course a good deal depends
upon the form of aeroplane--whether a monoplane or a biplane. As these
two forms are the chief ones, as yet, of heavier than-air machines,
it would be well to understand them. The monoplane has single large
surfaces like the wings of a bird, the biplane has two large surfaces
braced together one over the other. At the present writing a triplane
has been introduced into the domain of American aviation by an English
aeronaut. Doubtless as the science progresses many other variations
will appear in the field. Most machines, though fashioned on similar
lines, possess universal features. For instance, the Wright biplane
is characterized by warping wing tips and seams of heavy construction,
while the surfaces of the Herring-Curtiss machine, are slight and it
looks very light and buoyant as if well suited to its element. The
Voisin biplane is fashioned after the manner of a box kite and therefore
presents vertical surfaces to the air. Farman's machine has no vertical
surfaces, but there are hinged wing tips to the outer rear-edges of
its surfaces, for use in turning and balancing. He also has a
combination of wheels and skids or runners for starting and landing.

The position to be occupied by the operator also influences the
construction. Some sit on top of the machine, others underneath. In
the _Antoinette_, Latham sits up in a sort of cockpit on the top.
Bleriot sits far beneath his machine. In the latest construction of
Santos-Dumont, the _Demoiselle_, the aviator sits on the top.

Aeroplanes have been constructed for the most part in Europe, especially
in France. There may be said to be only one factory in America, that
of Herring-Curtiss, at Hammondsport, N.Y., as the Wright place at
Dayton is very small and only turns out motors and experimenting
machines, and cannot be called a regular factory. The Wright machines
are now manufactured by a French syndicate. It is said that the Wrights
will have an American factory at work in a short time. The French-made
aeroplanes have given good satisfaction. These machines cost from
$4,000 to $5,000, and generally have three cylinder motors developing
from 25 to 35 horse power.

The latest model of Bleriot known as No. 12 has beaten the time record
of Glenn Curtiss' biplane with its 60 horse power motor. The Farman
machine or the model in which he made the world's duration record in
his three hour and sixteen minutes flight at Rheims, is one of the
best as well as the cheapest of the French makes. Without the motor
it cost but $1,200. It has a surface twenty-five meters square, is
eight meters long and seven-and-a-half meters wide, weighs 140 kilos,
and has a motor which develops from 25 to 50 horse power.

The Wright machines cost $6,000. They have four cylinder motors of 30
horse power, are 12-1/2 meters long, 9 meters wide and have a surface
of 30 square meters. They weigh 400 kilos. In this country they cost
$7,500 exclusive of the duty on foreign manufacture.

The impetus being given to aviation at the present time by the prizes
offered is spurring the men-birds to their best efforts.

It is prophesied that the aeroplane will yet attain a speed of 300
miles an hour. The quickest travel yet attained by man has been at the
rate of 127 miles an hour. That was accomplished by Marriott in a
racing automobile at Ormond Beach in 1906, when he went one mile in
28 1-5 seconds. It is doubtful, however, were it possible to achieve
a rate of 300 miles an hour, that any human being could resist the air
pressure at such a velocity.

At any rate there can be no question as to the aeroplane attaining a
much greater speed than at present. That it will be useful there can
be little doubt. It is no longer a scientific toy in the hands of
amateurs, but a practical machine which is bound to contribute much
to the progress of the world. Of course, as a mode of transportation
it is not in the same class with the dirigible, but it can be made to
serve many other purposes. As an agent in time of war it would be more
important than fort or warship.

The experiments of Curtiss, made a short time ago over Lake Keuka at
Hammondsport, N.Y., prove what a mighty factor would have to be reckoned
with in the martial aeroplane. Curtiss without any practice at all hit
a mimic battle ship fifteen times out of twenty-two shots. His
experiment has convinced the military and naval authorities of this
country that the aeroplane and the aerial torpedo constitute a new
danger against which there is no existing protection. Aerial offensive
and defensive strategy is now a problem which demands the attention
of nations.



CHAPTER II

WIRELESS TELEGRAPHY

  Primitive Signalling--Principles of Wireless Telegraphy--Ether
  Vibrations--Wireless Apparatus--The Marconi System.


At a very early stage in the world's history, man found it necessary
to be able to communicate with places at a distance by means of signals.
Fire was the first agent employed for the purpose. On hill-tops or
other eminences, what were known as beacon fires were kindled and owing
to their elevation these could be seen for a considerable distance
throughout the surrounding country. These primitive signals could be
passed on from one point to another, until a large region could be
covered and many people brought into communication with one another.
These fires expressed a language of their own, which the observers
could readily interpret. For a long time they were the only method
used for signalling. Indeed in many backward localities and in some
of the outlying islands and among savage tribes the custom still
prevails. The bushmen of Australia at night time build fires outside
their huts or kraals to attract the attention of their followers.

Even in enlightened Ireland the kindling of beacon fires is still
observed among the people of backward districts especially on May Eve
and the festival of mid-summer. On these occasions bonfires are lit
on almost every hillside throughout that country. This custom has been
handed down from the days of the Druids.

For a long time fires continued to be the mode of signalling, but as
this way could only be used in the night, it was found necessary to
adopt some method that would answer the purpose in daytime; hence
signal towers were erected from which flags were waved and various
devices displayed. Flags answered the purposes so very well that they
came into general use. In course of time they were adopted by the army,
navy and merchant marine and a regular code established, as at the
present time.

The railroad introduced the semaphore as a signal, and field tactics
the heliograph or reflecting mirror which, however, is only of service
when there is a strong sunlight.

Then came the electric telegraph which not only revolutionized all
forms of signalling but almost annihilated distance. Messages and all
sorts of communications could be flashed over the wires in a few minutes
and when a cable was laid under the ocean, continent could converse
with continent as if they were next door neighbors.

The men who first enabled us to talk over a wire certainly deserve our
gratitude, all succeeding generations are their debtors. To the man
who enabled us to talk to long distances without a wire at all it would
seem we owe a still greater debt. But who is this man around whose
brow we should twine the laurel wreath, to the altar of whose genius
we should carry frankincense and myrrh?

This is a question which does not admit of an answer, for to no one
man alone do we owe wireless telegraphy, though Hertz was the first
to discover the waves which make it possible. However, it is to the
men whose indefatigable labors and genius made the electric telegraph
a reality, that we also owe wireless telegraphy as we have it at
present, for the latter may be considered in many respects the resultant
of the former, though both are different in medium.

Radio or wireless telegraphy in principle is as old as mankind. Adam
delivered the first wireless when on awakening in the Garden of Eden
he discovered Eve and addressed her in the vernacular of Paradise in
that famous sentence which translated in English reads both ways the
same,--"Madam, I'm Adam." The oral words issuing from his lips created
a sound wave which the medium of the air conveyed to the tympanum of
the partner of his joys and the cause of his sorrows.

When one person speaks to another the speaker causes certain vibrations
in the air and these so stimulate the hearing apparatus that a series
of nerve impulses are conveyed to the sensorium where the meaning of
these signals is unconsciously interpreted.

In wireless telegraphy the sender causes vibrations not in the air but
in that all-pervading impalpable substance which fills all space and
which we call the ether. These vibrations can reach out to a great
distance and are capable of so affecting a receiving apparatus that
signals are made, the movements of which can be interpreted into a
distinct meaning and consequently into the messages of language.

Let us briefly consider the underlying principles at work. When we
cast a stone into a pool of water we observe that it produces a series
of ripples which grow fainter and fainter the farther they recede from
the centre, the initial point of the disturbance, until they fade
altogether in the surrounding expanse of water. The succession of these
ripples is what is known as _wave_ motion.

When the clapper strikes the lip of a bell it produces a sound and
sends a tremor out upon the air. The vibrations thus made are air
waves.

In the first of these cases the medium communicating the ripple or
wavelet is the water. In the second case the medium which sustains the
tremor and communicates the vibrations is the air.

Let us now take the case of a third medium, the substance of which
puzzled the philosophers of ancient time and still continues to puzzle
the scientists of the present. This is the ether, that attenuated fluid
which fills all inter-stellar space and all space in masses and between
molecules and atoms not otherwise occupied by gross matter. When a
lamp is lit the light radiates from it in all directions in a wave
motion. That which transmits the light, the medium, is ether. By this
means energy is conveyed from the sun to the earth, and scientists
have calculated the speed of the ether vibrations called light at
186,400 miles per second. Thus a beam of light can travel from the sun
to the earth, a distance of between 92,000,000 and 95,000,000 miles
(according to season), in a little over eight minutes.

The fire messages sent by the ancients from hill to hill were ether
vibrations. The greater the fires, the greater were the vibrations and
consequently they carried farther to the receiver, which was the eye.
If a signal is to be sent a great distance by light the source of that
light must be correspondingly powerful in order to disturb the ether
sufficiently. The same principle holds good in wireless telegraphy.
If we wish to communicate to a great distance the ether must be
disturbed in proportion to the distance. The vibrations that produce
light are not sufficient in intensity to affect the ether in such a
way that signals can be carried to a distance. Other disturbances,
however, can be made in the ether, stronger than those which create
light. If we charge a wire with an electric current and place a magnetic
needle near it we find it moves the needle from one position to another.
This effect is called an electro-magnetic disturbance in the ether.
Again when we charge an insulated body with electricity we find that
it attracts any light substance indicating a material disturbance in
the ether. This is described as an electro-static disturbance or effect
and it is upon this that wireless telegraphy depends for its operations.

The late German physicist, Dr. Heinrich Hertz, Ph.D., was the first
to detect electrical waves in the ether. He set up the waves in the
ether by means of an electrical discharge from an induction coil. To
do this he employed a very simple means. He procured a short length
of wire with a brass knob at either end and bent around so as to form
an almost complete circle leaving only a small air gap between the
knobs. Each time there was a spark discharge from the induction coil,
the experimenter found that a small electric spark also generated
between the knobs of the wire loop, thus showing that electric waves
were projected through the ether. This discovery suggested to scientists
that such electric waves might be used as a means of transmitting
signals to a distance through the medium of the ether without connecting
wires.

When Hertz discovered that electric waves crossed space he unconsciously
became the father of the modern system of radio-telegraphy, and though
he did not live to put or see any practical results from his wonderful
discovery, to him in a large measure should be accorded the honor of
blazoning the way for many of the intellectual giants who came after
him. Of course those who went before him, who discovered the principles
of the electric telegraph made it possible for the Hertzian waves to
be utilized in wireless.

It is easy to understand the wonders of wireless telegraphy when we
consider that electric waves transverse space in exactly the same
manner as light waves. When energy is transmitted with finite velocity
we can think of its transference only in two ways: first by the actual
transference of matter as when a stone is hurled from one place to
another; second, by the propagation of energy from point to point
through a medium which fills the space between two bodies. The body
sending out energy disturbs the medium contiguous to it, which
disturbance is communicated to adjacent parts of the medium and so the
movement is propagated outward from the sending body through the medium
until some other body is affected.

A vibrating body sets up vibrations in another body, as for instance,
when one tuning fork responds to the vibrations of another when both
have the same note or are in tune.

The transmission of messages by wireless telegraphy is effected in a
similar way. The apparatus at the sending station sends out waves of
a certain period through the ether and these waves are detected at the
receiving station, by apparatus attuned to this wave length or period.

The term electric radiation was first employed by Hertz to designate
waves emitted by a Leyden jar or oscillator system of an induction
coil, but since that time these radiations have been known as Hertzian
waves. These waves are the underlying principles in wireless telegraphy.

It was found that certain metal filings offered great resistance to
the passage of an electric current through them but that this resistance
was very materially reduced when electric waves fell upon the filings
and remained so until the filings were shaken, thus giving time for
the fact to be observed in an ordinary telegraphic instrument.

The tube of filings through which the electric current is made to pass
in wireless telegraphy is called a coherer signifying that the filings
cohere or cling together under the influence of the electric waves.
Almost any metal will do for the filings but it is found that a
combination of ninety per cent. nickel and ten per cent. silver answers
the purpose best.

The tube of the coherer is generally of glass but any insulating
substance will do; a wire enters at each end and is attached to little
blocks of metal which are separated by a very small space. It is into
this space the filings are loosely filled.

Another form of coherer consists of a glass tube with small carbon
blocks or plugs attached to the ends of the wires and instead of the
metal filings there is a globule of mercury between the plugs. When
electric waves fall upon this coherer, the mercury coheres to the
carbon blocks, and thus forms a bridge for the battery current.

Marconi and several others have from time to time invented many other
kinds of detectors for the electrical waves. Nearly all have to serve
the same purpose, viz., to close a local battery circuit when the
electric waves fall upon the detector.

There are other inventions on which the action is the reverse. These
are called anti-coherers. One of the best known of these is a tube
arranged in a somewhat similar manner to the filings tube but with two
small blocks of tin, between which is placed a paste made up of alcohol,
tin filings and lead oxide. In its normal state the paste allows the
battery current to get across from one block to another, but when
electric waves touch it a chemical action is produced which immediately
breaks down the bridge and stops the electric waves, the paste resumes
its normal condition and allows the battery current to pass again.
Therefore by this arrangement the signals are made by a sudden breaking
and making of the battery circuit.

Then there is the magnetic detector. This is not so easy of explanation.
When we take a piece of soft iron and continuously revolve it in front
of a permanent magnet, the magnetic poles of the soft iron piece will
keep changing their position at each half revolution. It requires a
little time to effect this magnetic change which makes it appear as
if a certain amount of resistance was being made against it. (If
electric waves are allowed to fall upon the iron, resistance is
completely eliminated, and the magnetic poles can change places
instantly as it revolves.)

From this we see that if we have a quickly changing magnetic field it
will induce or set up an electric current in a neighboring coil of
wire. In this way we can detect the changes in the magnetic field, for
we can place a telephone receiver in connection with the coil of wire.

In a modern wireless receiver of this kind it is found more convenient
to replace the revolving iron piece by an endless band of soft iron
wire. This band is kept passing in front of a permanent magnet, the
magnetism of the wire tending to change as it passes from one pole to
the other. This change takes place suddenly when the electric waves
form the transmitting station, fall upon the receiving aerial conductor
and are conducted round the moving wire, and as the band is passing
through a coil of insulated wire attached to a telephone receiver,
this sudden change in the magnetic field induces an electric current
in the surrounding coil and the operator hears a sound in the telephone
at his ear. The Morse code may thus be signalled from the distant
transmitter.

There are various systems of wireless telegraphy for the most part
called after the scientists who developed or perfected them. Probably
the foremost as well as the best known is that which bears the name
of Marconi. A popular fallacy makes Marconi the discoverer of the
wireless method. Marconi was the first to put the system on a commercial
footing or business basis and to lead the way for its coming to the
front as a mighty factor in modern progress. Of course, also, the honor
of several useful inventions and additions to wireless apparatus must
be given him. He started experimenting as far back as 1895 when but
a mere boy. In the beginning he employed the induction coil, Morse
telegraph key, batteries, and vertical wire for the transmission of
signals, and for their reception the usual filings coherer of nickel
with a very small percentage of silver, a telegraph relay, batteries
and a vertical wire. In the Marconi system of the present time there
are many forms of coherers, also the magnetic detector and other
variations of the original apparatus. Other systems more or less
prominent are the Lodge-Muirhead of England, Braun-Siemens of Germany
and those of DeForest and Fessenden of America. The electrolytic
detector with the paste between the tin blocks belongs to the system
of DeForest. Besides these the names of Popoff, Jackson, Armstrong,
Orling, Lepel, and Poulsen stand high in the wireless world.

A serious drawback to the operations of wireless lies in the fact that
the stations are liable to get mixed up and some one intercept the
messages intended for another, but this is being overcome by the
adoption of a special system of wave lengths for the different wireless
stations and by the use of improved apparatus.

In the early days it was quite a common occurrence for the receivers
of one system to reply to the transmitters of a rival system. There
was an all-round mix-up and consequently the efficiency of wireless
for practical purposes was for a good while looked upon with more or
less suspicion. But as knowledge of wave motions developed and the
laws of governing them were better understood, the receiver was "tuned"
to respond to the transmitter, that is, the transmitter was made to
set up a definite rate of vibrations in the ether and the receiver
made to respond to this rate, just like two tuning forks sounding the
same note.

In order to set up as energetic electric waves as possible many methods
have been devised at the transmitting stations. In some methods a wire
is attached to one of the two metal spheres between which the electric
charge takes place and is carried up into the air for a great height,
while to the second sphere another wire is connected and which leads
into the earth. Another method is to support a regular network of wires
from strong steel towers built to a height of two hundred feet or more.

Long distance transmission by wireless was only made possible by
grounding one of the conductors in the transmitter. The Hertzian waves
were provided without any earth connection and radiated into space in
all directions, rapidly losing force like the disappearing ripples on
a pond, whereas those set up by a grounded transmitter with the
receiving instrument similarly connected to earth, keep within the
immediate neighborhood of the earth.

For instance up to about two hundred miles a storage battery and
induction coil are sufficient to produce the necessary ether
disturbance, but when a greater distance is to be spanned an engine
and a dynamo are necessary to supply energy for the electric waves.

In the most recent Marconi transmitter the current produced is no
longer in the form of intermittent sparks, but is a true alternating
current, which in general continues uniformly as long as the key is
pressed down.

There is no longer any question that wireless telegraphy is here to
stay. It has passed the juvenile stage and is fast approaching a lusty
adolescence which promises to be a source of great strength to the
commerce of the world. Already it has accomplished much for its age.
It has saved so many lives at sea that its installation is no longer
regarded as a scientific luxury but a practical necessity on every
passenger vessel. Practically every steamer in American waters is
equipped with a wireless station. Even freight boats and tugs are
up-to-date in this respect. Every ship in the American navy, including
colliers and revenue cutters, carries wireless operators. So important
indeed is it considered in the Navy department that a line of shore
stations have been constructed from Maine on the Atlantic to Alaska
on the Pacific.

In a remarkably short interval wireless has come to exercise an
important function in the marine service. Through the shore stations
of the commercial companies, press despatches, storm warnings, weather
reports and other items of interest are regularly transmitted to ships
at sea. Captains keep in touch with one another and with the home
office; wrecks, derelicts and storms are reported. Every operator sends
out regular reports daily, so that the home office can tell the exact
position of the vessel. If she is too far from land on the one side
to be reached by wireless she is near enough on the other to come
within the sphere of its operations.

Weather has no effect on wireless, therefore the question of meteorology
does not come into consideration. Fogs, rains, torrents, tempests,
snowstorms, winds, thunder, lightning or any aerial disturbance
whatsoever cannot militate against the sending or receiving of wireless
messages as the ether permeates them all.

Submarine and land telegraphy used to look on wireless, the youngest
sister, as the Cinderella of their name, but she has surpassed both
and captured the honors of the family. It was in 1898 that Marconi
made his first remarkable success in sending messages from England to
France. The English station was at South Foreland and the French near
Boulogne. The distance was thirty-two miles across the British channel.
This telegraphic communication without wires was considered a wonderful
feat at the time and excited much interest.

During the following year Marconi had so much improved his first
apparatus that he was able to send out waves detected by receivers up
to the one hundred mile limit.

In 1900 communication was established between the Isle of Wight and
the Lizard in Cornwall, a distance of two hundred miles.

Up to this time the only appliances employed were induction coils
giving a ten or twenty inch spark. Marconi and others perceived the
necessity of employing greater force to penetrate the ether in order
to generate stronger electrical waves. Oil and steam engines and other
appliances were called into use to create high frequency currents and
those necessitated the erection of large power stations. Several were
erected at advantageous points and the wireless system was fairly
established as a new agent of communication.

In December, 1901, at St. John's, Newfoundland, Marconi by means of
kites and balloons set up a temporary aerial wire in the hope of being
able to receive a signal from the English station in Cornwall. He had
made an arrangement with Poldhu station that on a certain date and at
a fixed hour they should attempt the signal. The letter S, which in
the Morse code consists of three successive dots, was chosen. Marconi
feverishly awaited results. True enough on the day and at the time
agreed upon the three dots were clicked off, the first signal from
Europe to the American continent. Marconi with much difficulty set up
other aerial wires and indubitably established the fact that it was
possible to send electric waves across the Atlantic. He found, however,
that waves in order to traverse three thousand miles and retain
sufficient energy on their arrival to affect a telephonic wave-detecting
device must be generated by no inordinate power.

These experiments proved that if stations were erected of sufficient
power transatlantic wireless could be successfully carried on. They
gave an impetus to the erection of such stations.

On December 21, 1902, from a station at Glace Bay, Nova Scotia, Marconi
sent the first message by wireless to England announcing success to
his colleagues.

The following January from Wellsfleet, Cape Cod, President Roosevelt
sent a congratulatory message to King Edward. The electric waves
conveying this message traveled 3,000 miles over the Atlantic following
round an arc of forty-five degrees of the earth on a great circle, and
were received telephonically, by the Marconi magnetic receiver at
Poldhu.

Most ships are provided with syntonic receivers which are tuned to
long distance transmitters, and are capable of receiving messages up
to distances of 3,000 miles or more. Wireless communication between
Europe and America is no longer a possibility but an accomplishment,
though as yet the system has not been put on a general business basis.
[Footnote: As we go to press a new record has been established in
wireless transmission. Marconi, in the Argentine Republic, near Buenos
Ayres, has received messages from the station at Clifden, County Galway,
Ireland, a distance of 5,600 miles. The best previous record was made
when the United States battleship _Tennessee_ in 1909 picked up a
message from San Francisco when 4,580 miles distant.]



CHAPTER III

RADIUM

  Experiments of Becquerel--Work of the Curies--Discovery of
  Radium--Enormous Energy--Various Uses.


Early in 1896 just a few months after Roentgen had startled the
scientific world by the announcement of the discovery of the X-rays,
Professor Henri Becquerel of the Natural History Museum in Paris
announced another discovery which, if not as mysterious, was more
puzzling and still continues a puzzle to a great degree to the present
time. Studying the action of the salts of a rare and very heavy mineral
called uranium Becquerel observed that their substances give off an
invisible radiation which, like the Roentgen rays, traverse metals and
other bodies opaque to light, as well as glass and other transparent
substances. Like most of the great discoveries it was the result of
accident. Becquerel had no idea of such radiations, had never thought
of their possibility.

In the early days of the Roentgen rays there were many facts which
suggested that phosphorescence had something to do with the production
of these rays It then occurred to several French physicists that X-rays
might be produced if phosphorescent substances were exposed to sunlight.
Becquerel began to experiment with a view to testing this supposition.
He placed uranium on a photographic plate which had first been wrapped
in black paper in order to screen it from the light. After this plate
had remained in the bright sunlight for several hours it was removed
from the paper covering and developed. A slight trace of photographic
action was found at those parts of the plate directly beneath the
uranium just as Becquerel had expected. From this it appeared evident
that rays of some kind were being produced that were capable of passing
through black paper. Since the X-rays were then the only ones known
to possess the power to penetrate opaque substances it seemed as though
the problem of producing X-rays by sunlight was solved. Then came the
fortunate accident. After several plates had been prepared for exposure
to sunlight a severe storm arose and the experiments had to be abandoned
for the time being. At the end of several days work was again resumed,
but the plates had been lying so long in the darkroom that they were
deemed almost valueless and it was thought that there would not be
much use in trying to use them. Becquerel was about to throw them away,
but on second consideration thinking that some action might have
possibly taken place in the dark, he resolved to try them. He developed
them and the result was that he obtained better pictures than ever
before. The exposure to sunlight which had been regarded as essential
to the success of the former experiments had really nothing at all to
do with the matter, the essential thing was the presence of uranium
and the photographic effects were not due to X-rays but to the rays
or emanations which Becquerel had thus discovered and which bear his
name.

There were many tedious and difficult steps to take before even our
present knowledge, incomplete as it is, could be reached. However,
Becquerel's fortunate accident of the plate developing was the beginning
of the long series of experiments which led to the discovery of radium
which already has revolutionized some of the most fundamental
conceptions of physics and chemistry.

It is remarkable that we owe the discovery of this wonderful element
to a woman, Mme. Sklodowska Curie, the wife of a French professor and
physicist. Mme. Curie began her work in 1897 with a systematic study
of several minerals containing uranium and thorium and soon discovered
the remarkable fact that there was some agent present more strongly
radio-active than the metal uranium itself. She set herself the task
of finding out this agent and in conjunction with her husband, Professor
Pierre Curie, made many tests and experiments. Finally in the ore of
pitchblende they found not only one but three substances highly
radio-active. Pitchblende or uraninite is an intensely black mineral
of a specific gravity of 9.5 and is found in commercial quantities in
Bohemia, Cornwall in England and some other localities. It contains
lead sulphide, lime silica, and other bodies.

To the radio-active substance which accompanied the bismuth extracted
from pitchblende the Curies gave the name _Polonium_. To that which
accompanied barium taken from the same ore they called _Radium_ and to
the substance which was found among the rare earths of the pitchblende
Debierne gave the name _Actinium_.

None of these elements have been isolated, that is to say, separated
in a pure state from the accompanying ore. Therefore, _pure radium_
is a misnomer, though we often hear the term used. [Footnote: Since
the above was written Madame Curie has announced to the Paris Academy
of Sciences that she has succeeded in obtaining pure radium. In
conjunction with Professor Debierne she treated a decegramme of bromide
of radium by electrolytic process, getting an amalgam from which was
extracted the metallic radium by distillation.] All that has been
obtained is some one of its simpler salts or compounds and until
recently even these had not been prepared in pure form. The commonest
form of the element, which in itself is very far from common, is what
is known to chemistry as chloride of radium which is a combination of
chlorin and radium. This is a grayish white powder, somewhat like
ordinary coarse table salt. To get enough to weigh a single grain
requires the treatment of 1,200 pounds of pitchblende.

The second form of radium is as a bromide. In this form it costs $5,000
a grain and could a pound be obtained its value would be
three-and-a-half million dollars.

Radium, as we understand it in any of its compounds, can communicate
its property of radio-activity to other bodies. Any material when
placed near radium becomes radio-active and retains such activity for
a considerable time after being removed. Even the human body takes on
this excited activity and this sometimes leads to annoyances as in
delicate experiments the results may be nullified by the element acting
upon the experimenter's person.

Despite the enormous amount of energy given off by radium it seems not
to change in itself, there is no appreciable loss in weight nor
apparently any microscopic or chemical change in the original body.
Professor Becquerel has stated that if a square centimeter of surface
was covered by chemically pure radium it would lose but one thousandth
of a milligram in weight in a million years' time.

Radium is a body which gives out energy continuously and spontaneously.
This liberation of energy is manifested in the different effects of
its radiation and emanation, and especially in the development of heat.
Now, according to the most fundamental principles of modern science,
the universe contains a certain definite provision of energy which can
appear under various forms, but which cannot be increased. According
to Sir Oliver Lodge every cubic millimeter of ether contains as much
energy as would be developed by a million horse power station working
continuously far forty thousand years. This assertion is probably based
on the fact that every corpuscle in the ether vibrates with the speed
of light or about 186,000 miles a second.

It was formerly believed that the atom was the smallest sub-division
in nature. Scientists held to the atomic theory for a long time, but
at last it has been exploded, and instead of the atom being primary
and indivisible we find it a very complex affair, a kind of miniature
solar system, the centre of a varied attraction of molecules, corpuscles
and electrons. Had we held to the atomic theory and denied smaller
sub-divisions of matter there would be no accounting for the emissions
of radium, for as science now believes these emissions are merely the
expulsion of millions of electrons.

Radium gives off three distinct types of rays named after the first
three letters of the Greek alphabet--Alpha, Beta, Gamma--besides a
gas emanation as does thorium which is a powerfully radio-active
substance. The Alpha rays constitute ninety-nine per cent, of all the
rays and consist of positively electrified particles. Under the
influence of magnetism they can be deflected. They have little
penetrative power and are readily absorbed in passing through a sheet
of paper or through a few inches of air.

The Beta rays consist of negatively charged particles or corpuscles
approximately one thousandth the size of those constituting the Alpha
rays. They resemble cathode rays produced by an electrical discharge
inside of a highly exhausted vacuum tube but work at a much higher
velocity; they can be readily deflected by a magnet, they discharge
electrified bodies, affect photographic plates, stimulate strongly
phosphorescent bodies and are of high penetrative power.

The radiations are a million times more powerful than those of uranium.
They have many curious properties.

If a photographic plate is placed in the vicinity of radium it is
almost instantly affected if no screen intercepts the rays; with a
screen the action is slower, but it still takes place even through
thick folds, therefore, radiographs can be taken and in this way it
is being utilized by surgery to view the anatomy, the internal organs,
and locate bullets and other foreign substances in the system.

A glass vessel containing radium spontaneously charges itself with
electricity. If the glass has a weak spot, a scratch say, an electric
spark is produced at that point and the vessel crumbles, just like a
Leyden jar when overcharged.

Radium liberates heat spontaneously and continuously. A solid salt of
radium develops such an amount of heat that to every single gram there
is an emission of one hundred calories per hour, in other words, radium
can melt its weight in ice in the time of one hour.

As a result of its emission of heat radium has always a temperature
higher by several degrees than its surroundings.

When a solution of a radium salt is placed in a closed vessel the
radio-activity in part leaves the solution and distributes itself
through the vessel, the sides of which become radio-active and luminous.

Radium acts upon the chemical constituents of glass, porcelain and
paper, giving them a violet tinge, changes white phosphorous into
yellow, oxygen into ozone and produces many other curious chemical
changes.

We have said that it can serve the surgeon in physical examinations
of the body after the manner of X-rays. It has not, however, been much
employed in this direction owing to its scarcity and prohibitive price.
It has given excellent results in the treatment of certain skin
diseases, in cancer, etc. However it can have very baneful effects on
animal organisms. It has produced paralysis and death in dogs, cats,
rabbits, rats, guinea-pigs and other animals, and undoubtedly it might
affect human beings in a similar way. Professor Curie said that a
single gram of chemically pure radium would be sufficient to destroy
the life of every man, woman and child in Paris providing they were
separately and properly exposed to its influence.

Radium destroys the germinative power of seeds and retards the growth
of certain forms of life, such as larvae, so that they do not pass
into the chrysalis and insect stages of development, but remain in the
state of larvae.

At a certain distance it causes the hair of mice to fall out, but on
the contrary at the same distance it increases the hair or fur on
rabbits.

It often produces severe burns on the hands and other portions of the
body too long exposed to its activity.

It can penetrate through gases, liquids and all ordinary solids, even
through many inches of the hardest steel. On a comparatively short
exposure it has been known to partially paralyze an electric charged
bar.

Heat nor cold do not affect its radioactivity in the least. It gives
off but little light, its luminosity being largely due to the
stimulation of the impurities in the radium by the powerful but
invisible radium rays.

Radium stimulates powerfully various mineral and chemical substances
near which it is placed. It is an infallible test of the genuineness
of the diamond. The genuine diamond phosphoresces strongly when brought
into juxtaposition, but the paste or imitation one glows not at all.

It is seen that the study of the properties of radium is of great
interest. This is true also of the two other elements found in the
ores of uranium and thorium, viz., polonium and actinium. Polonium,
so-called, in honor of the native land of Mme. Curie, is just as active
as radium when first extracted from the pitchblende but its energy
soon lessens and finally it becomes inert, hence there has been little
experimenting or investigation. The same may be said of actinium.

The process of obtaining radium from pitchblende is most tedious and
laborious and requires much patience. The residue of the pitchblende
from which uranium has been extracted by fusion with sodium carbonate
and solution in dilute sulphuric acid, contains the radium along with
other metals, and is boiled with concentrated sodium carbonate solution,
and the solution of the residue in hydrochloric acid precipitated with
sulphuric acid. The insoluble barium and radium sulphates, after being
converted into chlorides or bromides, are separated by repeated
fractional crystallization.

One kilogram of impure radium bromide is obtained from a ton of
pitchblende residue after processes continued for about three months
during which time, five tons of chemicals and fifty tons of rinsing
water are used.

As has been said the element has never been isolated or separated in
its metallic or pure state and most of the compounds are impure. Radium
banks have been established in London, Paris and New York.

Whenever radium is employed in surgery for an operation about fifty
milligrams are required at least and the banks let out the amount for
about $200 a day. If purchased the price for this amount would be
$4,000.



CHAPTER IV

MOVING PICTURES

  Photographing Motion--Edison's Kinetoscope--Lumiere's
  Cinematographe--Before the Camera--The Mission of the Moving
  Picture.


Few can realize the extent of the field covered by moving pictures.
In the dual capacity of entertainment and instruction there is not a
rival in sight. As an instructor, science is daily widening the sphere
of the motion picture for the purpose of illustration. Films are rapidly
superseding text books in many branches. Every department capable of
photographic demonstration is being covered by moving pictures.
Negatives are now being made of the most intricate surgical operations
and these are teaching the students better than the witnessing of the
real operations, for at the critical moment of the operation the picture
machine can be stopped to let the student view over again the way it
is accomplished, whereas at the operating table the surgeon must go
on with his work to try to save life and cannot explain every step in
the process of the operation. There is no doubt that the moving picture
machine will perform a very important part in the future teaching of
surgery.

In the naturalist's domain of science it is already playing a very
important part. A device for micro-photography has now been perfected
in connection with motion machines whereby things are magnified to a
great degree. By this means the analysis of a substance can be better
illustrated than any way else. For instance a drop of water looks like
a veritable Zoo with terrible looking creatures wiggling and wriggling
through it, and makes one feel as if he never wanted to drink water
again.

The moving picture in its general phase is entertainment and instruction
rolled into one and as such it has superseded the theatre. It is
estimated that at the present time in America there are upwards of
20,000 moving picture shows patronized daily by almost ten million
people. It is doubtful if the theatre attendance at the best day of
the winter season reaches five millions.

The moving picture in importance is far beyond the puny functions of
comedy and tragedy. The grotesque farce of vaudeville and the tawdry
show which only appeals to sentiment at highest and often to the base
passions at lowest.

Despite prurient opposition it is making rapid headway. It is entering
very largely into the instructive and the entertaining departments of
the world's curriculum. Millions of dollars are annually expended in
the production of films. Companies of trained and practiced actors are
brought together to enact pantomimes which will concentrate within the
space of a few minutes the most entertaining and instructive incidents
of history and the leading happenings of the world.

At all great events, no matter where transpiring, the different moving
picture companies have trained men at the front ready with their cameras
to "catch" every incident, every movement even to the wink of an
eyelash, so that the "stay-at-homes" can see the _show_ as well, and
with a great deal more comfort than if they had traveled hundreds,
or even thousands, of miles to be present in _propria persona_.

How did moving pictures originate? What and when were the beginning?
It is popularly believed that animated pictures had their inception
with Edison who projected the biograph in 1887, having based it on
that wonderful and ingenious toy, the Zoetrope. Long before 1887,
however, several men of inventive faculties had turned their attention
to a means of giving apparent animation to pictures. The first that
met with any degree of success was Edward Muybridge, a photographer
of San Francisco. This was in 1878. A revolution had been brought about
in photography by the introduction of the instantaneous process. By
the use of sensitive films of gelatine bromide of silver emulsion the
time required for the action of ordinary daylight in producing a
photograph had been reduced to a very small fraction of a second.
Muybridge utilized these films for the photographic analysis of animal
motion. Beside a race-track he placed a battery of cameras, each camera
being provided with a spring shutter which was controlled by a thread
stretched across the track. A running horse broke each thread the
moment he passed in front of the camera and thus twenty or thirty
pictures of him were taken in close succession within one or two seconds
of time. From the negatives secured in this way a series of positives
were obtained in proper order on a strip of sensitized paper. The strip
when examined by means of the Zoetrope furnished a reproduction of the
horse's movements.

The Zoetrope was a toy familiar to children; it was sometimes called
the wheel of life. It was a contrivance consisting of a cylinder some
ten inches wide, open at the top, around the lower and interior rim
of which a series of related pictures were placed. The cylinder was
then rapidly rotated and the spectator looking through the vertical
narrow slits on its outer surface, could fancy that the pictures inside
were moving.

Muybridge devised an instrument which he called a Zoopraxiscope for
the optical projection of his zoetrope photographs. The succession of
positives was arranged in proper order upon a glass disk about 18
inches in diameter near its circumference. This disk was mounted
conveniently for rapid revolution so that each picture would pass in
front of the condenser of an optical lantern. The difficulties involved
in the preparation of the disk pictures and in the manipulation of the
zoopraxiscope prevented the instrument from attracting much attention.
However, artistically speaking, it was the forerunner of the numerous
"graphs" and "scopes" and moving picture machines of the present day.

It was in 1887 that Edison conceived an idea of associating with his
phonograph, which had then achieved a marked success, an instrument
which would reproduce to the eye the effect of motion by means of a
swift and graded succession of pictures, so that the reproduction of
articulate sounds as in the phonograph, would be accompanied by the
reproduction of the motion naturally associated with them.

The principle of the instrument was suggested to Edison by the zoetrope,
and of course, he well knew what Muybridge had accomplished in the
line of motion pictures of animals almost ten years previously. Edison,
however, did not employ a battery of cameras as Muybridge had done,
but devised a special form of camera in which a long strip of sensitized
film was moved rapidly behind a lens provided with a shutter, and so
arranged as to alternately admit and cut off the light from the moving
object. He adjusted the mechanism so that there were 46 exposures a
second, the film remaining stationary during the momentary time of
exposure, after which it was carried forward far enough to bring a new
surface into the proper position. The time of the shifting was about
one-tenth of that allowed for exposure, so that the actual time of
exposure was about the one-fiftieth of a second. The film moved,
reckoning shiftings and stoppages for exposures, at an average speed
of a little more than a foot per second, so that a length of film of
about fifty feet received between 700 and 800 impressions in a circuit
of 40 seconds.

Edison named his first instrument the kinetoscope. It came out in 1893.
It was hailed with delight at the time and for a short period was much
in demand, but soon new devices came into the field and the kinetoscope
was superseded by other machines bearing similar names with a like
signification.

A variety of cameras was invented. One consisted of a film-feeding
mechanism which moves the film step by step in the focus of a single
lens, the duration of exposure being from twenty to twenty-five times
as great as that necessary to move an unexposed portion of the film
into position. No shutter was employed. As time passed many other
improvements were made. An ingenious Frenchman named Lumiere, came
forward with his Cinematographe which for a few years gave good
satisfaction, producing very creditable results. Success, however, was
due more to the picture ribbons than to the mechanism employed to feed
them.

Of other moving pictures machines we have had the vitascope, vitagraph,
magniscope, mutoscope, panoramagraph, theatograph and scores of others
all derived from the two Greek roots _grapho_ I write and _scopeo_ I
view.

The vitascope is the principal name now in use for moving picture
machines. In all these instruments in order that the film projection
may be visible to an audience it is necessary to have a very intense
light. A source of such light is found in the electric focusing lamp.
At or near the focal point of the projecting lantern condenser the
film is made to travel across the field as in the kinetoscope. A water
cell in front of the condenser absorbs most of the heat and transmits
most of the light from the arc lamp, and the small picture thus highly
illuminated is protected from injury. A projecting lens of rather short
focus throws a large image of each picture on the screen, and the rapid
succession of these completes the illusion of life-like motion.

Hundreds of patents have been made on cameras, projecting lenses and
machines from the days of the kinetoscope to the present time when
clear-cut moving pictures portray life so closely and so well as almost
to deceive the eye. In fact in many cases the counterfeit is taken for
the reality and audiences as much aroused as if they were looking upon
a scene of actual life. We can well believe the story of the Irishman,
who on seeing the stage villain abduct the young lady, made a rush at
the canvas yelling out,--"Let me at the blackguard and I'll murder
him."

Though but fifteen years old the moving picture industry has sent out
its branches into all civilized lands and is giving employment to an
army of thousands. It would be hard to tell how many mimic actors and
actresses make a living by posing for the camera; their name is legion.
Among them are many professionals who receive as good a salary as on
the stage.

Some of the large concerns both in Europe and America at times employ
from one hundred to two hundred hands and even more to illustrate some
of the productions. They send their photographers and actors all over
the world for settings. Most of the business, however, is done near
home. With trapping and other paraphernalia a stage setting can be
effected to simulate almost any scene.

Almost anything under the sun can be enacted in a moving picture studio,
from the drowning of a cat to the hanging of a man; a horse race or
fire alarm is not outside the possible and the aviator has been depicted
"flying" high in the heavens.

The places where the pictures are prepared must be adapted for the
purpose. They are called studios and have glass roofs and in most of
them a good section of the walls are also glass. The floor space is
divided into sections for the setting or staging of different
productions, therefore several representations can take place at the
same time before the eyes of the cameras. There are "properties" of
all kinds from the ragged garments of the beggar to kingly ermine and
queenly silks. Paste diamonds sparkle in necklaces, crowns and tiaras,
seeming to rival the scintillations of the Kohinoor.

At the first, objections were made to moving pictures on the ground
that in many cases they had a tendency to cater to the lower instincts,
that subjects were illustrated which were repugnant to the finer
feelings and appealed to the gross and the sensual. Burglaries, murders
and wild western scenes in which the villain-heroes triumphed were
often shown and no doubt these had somewhat of a pernicious influence
on susceptible youth. But all such pictures have for the most part
been eliminated and there is a strict taboo on anything with a degrading
influence or partaking of the brutal. Prize fights are often barred.
In many large cities there is a board of censorship to which the
different manufacturing firms must submit duplicates. This board has
to pass on all the films before they are released and if the pictures
are in any way contrary to morals or decency or are in any respect
unfit to be displayed before the public, they cannot be put in
circulation. Thus are the people protected and especially the youth
who should be permitted to see nothing that is not elevating or not
of a nature to inspire them with high and noble thoughts and with
ambitions to make the world better and brighter.

Let us hope that the future mission of the moving picture will be along
educational and moral lines tending to uplift and ennoble our boys and
girls so that they may develop into a manhood and womanhood worthy the
history and best traditions of our country.

     *       *       *       *       *       *

The Wizard of Menlo Park has just succeeded after two years of hard
application to the experiment in giving us the talking picture, a real
genuine talking picture, wholly independent of the old device of having
the actors talk behind the screen when the films were projected. By
a combination of the phonograph and the moving picture machine working
in perfect synchronism the result is obtained. Wires are attached to
the mechanism of both the machines, the one behind the screen and the
one in front, in such a way that the two are operated simultaneously
so that when a film is projected a corresponding record on the
phonograph acts in perfect unison supplying the voice suitable to the
moving action. Men and women pass along the canvas, act, talk, laugh,
cry and "have their being" just as in real life. Of course, they are
immaterial, merely the reflection of films, but the one hundred
thousandth of an inch thick, yet they give forth oral sounds as
creatures of flesh and blood. In fact every sound is produced
harmoniously with the action on the screen. An iron ball is dropped
and you hear its thud upon the floor, a plate is cracked and you can
hear the cracking just the same as if the material plate were broken
in your presence. An immaterial piano appears upon the screen and a
fleshless performer discourses airs as real as those heard on Broadway.
Melba and Tettrazini and Caruso and Bonci appear before you and warble
their nightingale notes, as if behind the footlights with a galaxy of
beauty, wealth and fashion before them for an audience. True it is not
even their astral bodies you are looking at, only their pictured
representations, but the magic of their voices is there all the same
and there is such an atmosphere of realism about the representations
that you can scarcely believe the actors are not present in _propriae
personae_.

Mr. Edison had much study and labor of experiment in bringing his
device to a successful issue. The greatest obstacle he had to overcome
was in getting a phonograph that could "hear" far enough. At the
beginning of the experiments the actor had to talk directly into the
horn, which made the right kind of pictures impossible to get. Bit by
bit, however, a machine was perfected which could "hear" so well that
the actor could move at his pleasure within a radius of twenty feet.
That is the machine that is being used now. This new combination of
the moving picture machine and the phonograph Edison has named the
_kinetophone_. By it he has made possible the bringing of grand
opera into the hamlets of the West, and through it also our leading
statesmen may address audiences on the mining camps and the wilds of
the prairies where their feet have never trodden.



CHAPTER V

SKY-SCRAPERS AND HOW THEY ARE BUILT

  Evolution of the Sky-scraper--Construction--New York's Giant
  Buildings--Dimensions.


The sky-scraper is an architectural triumph, but at the same time it
is very much of a commercial enterprise, and it is indigenous,
native-born to American soil. It had its inception here, particularly
in New York and Chicago. The tallest buildings in the world are in New
York. The most notable of these, the Metropolitan Life Insurance
Building with fifty stories towering up to a height of seven hundred
feet and three inches, has been the crowning achievement of
architectural art, the highest building yet erected by man.

How is it possible to erect such building--how is it possible to erect
a sky-scraper at all? A partial answer may be given in one
word--_steel_.

Generally speaking the method of building all these huge structures
is much the same. Massive piers or pillars are erected, inside which
are usually strong steel columns; crosswise from column to column great
girders are placed forming a base for the floor, and then upon the
first pillars are raised other steel columns slightly decreased in
size, upon which girders are again fixed for the next floor; and so
on this process is continued floor after floor. There seems no reason
why buildings should not be reared like this for even a hundred stories,
provided the foundations are laid deep enough and broad enough.

The walls are not really the support of the buildings. The essential
elements are the columns and girders of steel forming the skeleton
framework of the whole. The masonry may assist, but the piers and
girders carry the principal weight. If, therefore, everything depends
upon these piers, which are often of steel and masonry combined, the
immense importance will be seen of basing them upon adequate
foundations. And thus it comes about that to build high we must dig
deep, which fact may be construed as an aphorism to fit more subjects
than the building of sky-scrapers.

To attempt to build a sky-scraper without a suitable foundation would
be tantamount to endeavoring to build a house on a marsh without
draining the marsh,--it would count failure at the very beginning. The
formation depends on the height, the calculated weight the frame work
will carry, the amount of air pressure, the vibrations from the running
of internal machines and several other details of less importance than
those mentioned, but of deep consequence in the aggregate.

Instead of being carried on thick walls spread over a considerable
area of ground, the sky-scrapers are carried wholly on steel columns.
This concentrates many hundred tons of load and develops pressure which
would crush the masonry and cause the structures to penetrate soft
earth almost as a stone sinks in water.

In the first place the weight of the proposed building and contents
is estimated, then the character of the soil determined to a depth of
one hundred feet if necessary. In New York the soil is treacherous and
difficult, there are underground rivers in places and large deposits
of sand so that to get down to rock bottom or pan is often a very hard
undertaking.

Generally speaking the excavations are made to about a depth of thirty
feet. A layer of concrete a foot or two thick is spread over the bottom
of the pit and on it are bedded rows of steel beams set close together.
Across the middle of these beams deep steel girders are placed on which
the columns are erected. The heavy weight is thus spread out by the
beams, girders and concrete so as to cause a reduced uniform pressure
on the soil. Cement is filled in between the beams and girders and
packed around them to seal them thoroughly against moisture; then clean
earth or sand is rammed in up to the column bases and covered with the
concrete of the cellar floor.

In some cases the foundation loads are so numerous that nothing short
of masonry piers on solid rock will safely sustain them. To accomplish
this very strong airtight steel or wooden boxes with flat tops and no
bottoms are set on the pier sites at ground water level and pumped
full of compressed air while men enter them and excavating the soil,
undermine them, so they sink, until they land on the rock and are
filled solid with concrete to form the bases of the foundation piers.

On the average the formation should have a resisting power of two tons
to the square foot, dead load. By dead load is meant the weight of the
steelwork, floors and walls, as distinguished from the office furniture
and occupants which come under the head of living load. Some engineers
take into consideration the pressure of both dead and live loads gauging
the strength of the foundation, but the dead load pressure of 2 tons
to the square foot will do for the reckoning, for as a live load only
exerts a pressure of 60 lbs. to the square foot it may be included in
the former.

The columns carry the entire weights including dead and live loads and
the wind pressure, into the footings, these again distributing the
loads on the soil. The aim is to have an equal pressure per square
foot of soil at the same time, for all footings, thus insuring an even
settlement. The skeleton construction now almost wholly consists of
wrought steel. At first cast-iron and wrought-iron were used but it
was found they corroded too quickly.

There are two classes of steel construction, the cage and the skeleton.
In the cage construction the frame is strengthened for wind stresses
and the walls act as curtains. In the skeleton, the frame carries only
the vertical loads and depends upon the walls for its wind bracing.
It has been found that the wind pressure is about 30 lbs. for every
square foot of exposed surface.

The steel columns reach from the foundation to the top, riveted together
by plates and may be extended to an indefinite height. In fact there
is no engineering limit to the height.

The outside walls of the sky-scraper vary in thickness with the height
of the building and also vary in accordance with the particular kind
of construction, whether cage or skeleton. If of the cage variety, the
walls, as has been said, act as curtains and consequently they are
thinner than in the skeleton type of construction. In the latter case
the walls have to resist the wind pressure unsupported by the steel
frame and therefore they must be of a sufficient width. Brick and
terra-cotta blocks are used for construction generally.

Terra-cotta blocks are also much used in the flooring, and for this
purpose have several advantages over other materials; they are
absolutely fire-proof, they weigh less per cubic foot than any other
kind of fire-proof flooring and they are almost sound-proof. They do
equally well for flat and arched floors.

It is of the utmost importance that the sky-scraper be absolutely
fire-proof from bottom to top. These great buzzing hives of industry
house at one time several thousand human beings and a panic would
entail a fearful calamity, and, moreover, their height places the upper
stories beyond reach of a water-tower and the pumping engines of the
street.

The sky-scrapers of to-day are as fireproof as human ingenuity and
skill can make them, and this is saying much; in fact, it means that
they cannot burn. Of course fires can break out in rooms and apartments
in the manufacturing of chemicals or testing experiments, etc., but
these are easily confined to narrow limits and readily extinguished
with the apparatus at hand. Steel columns will not burn, but if exposed
to heat of sufficient degree they will warp and bend and probably
collapse, therefore they should be protected by heat resisting agents.
Nothing can be better than terra-cotta and concrete for this purpose.
When terra-cotta blocks are used they should be at least 2 inches thick
with an air space running through them. Columns are also fire-proofed
by wrapping expanded metal or other metal lathing around them and
plastering.

Then a furring system is put on and another layer of metal, lathing
and plastering. This if well done is probably safer than the layer of
hollow tile.

The floor beams should be entirely covered with terra-cotta blocks or
concrete, so that no part of them is left exposed. As most office
trimmings are of wood care should be taken that all electric wires are
well insulated. Faulty installation of dynamos, motors and other
apparatus is frequently the cause of office fires.

The lighting of a sky-scraper is a most elaborate arrangement. Some
of them use as many lights as would well supply a good sized town. The
Singer Building in New York has 15,000 incandescent lamps and it is
safe to say the Metropolitan Life Insurance Building has more than
twice this number as the floor area of the latter is 2-1/2 times as
great. The engines and dynamos are in the basement and so fixed that
their vibrations do not affect the building. As space is always limited
in the basements of sky-scrapers direct connected engines and dynamos
are generally installed instead of belt connected and the boilers
operated under a high steam pressure. Besides delivering steam to the
engines the boilers also supply it to a variety of auxiliary pumps,
as boiler-feed, fire-pump, blow-off, tank-pump and pump for forcing
water through the building.

The heating arrangement of such a vast area as is covered by the floor
space of a sky-scraper has been a very difficult problem but it has
been solved so that the occupant of the twentieth story can receive
an equal degree of heat with the one on the ground floor. Both hot
water and steam are utilized. Hot water heating, however, is preferable
to steam, as it gives a much steadier heat. The radiators arc
proportioned to give an average temperature of 65 degrees F. in each
room during the winter months. There are automatic regulating devices
attached to the radiators, so if the temperature rises above or falls
below a certain point the steam or hot water is automatically turned
on or off. Some buildings are heated by the exhaust steam from the
engines but most have boilers solely for the purpose.

The sanitary system is another important feature. The supplying of
water for wash-stands, the dispositions of wastes and the flushing of
lavatories tax all the skill of the mechanical engineer. Several of
these mighty buildings call for upwards of a thousand lavatories.

In considering the sky-scraper we should not forget the role played
by the electric elevator. Without it these buildings would be
practically useless, as far as the upper stories are concerned. The
labor of stair climbing would leave them untenanted. No one would be
willing to climb ten, twenty or thirty flights and tackle a day's work
after the exertion of doing so. To climb to the fiftieth story in such
a manner would be well-nigh impossible or only possible by relays, and
after one would arrive at the top he would be so physically exhausted
that both mental and manual endeavor would be out of the question.
Therefore the elevator is as necessary to the skyscraper as are doors
and windows. Indeed were it not for the introduction of the elevator
the business sections of our large cities would still consist of the
five and six story structures of our father's time instead of the
towering edifices which now lift their heads among the clouds.

Regarded less than half a century ago as an unnecessary luxury the
elevator to-day is an imperative necessity. Sky-scrapers are equipped
with both express and local elevators. The express elevators do not
stop until about the tenth floor is reached. They run at a speed of
about ten feet per second. There are two types of elevators in general
use, one lifting the car by cables from the top, and the other with
a hydraulic plunger acting directly upon the bottom of the car. The
former are operated either by electric motors or hydraulic cylinders
and the latter by hydraulic rams, the cylinders extending the full
height of the building into the ground.

America is pre-eminently the land of the sky-scraper, but England and
France to a degree are following along the same lines, though nothing
as yet has been erected on the other side of the water to equal the
towering triumphs of architectural art on this side. In no country in
the world is space at such a premium as in New York City, therefore,
New York _per se_ may be regarded as the true home of the tall building,
although Chicago is not very much behind the Metropolis in this respect.

As figures are more eloquent than words in description the following
data of the two giant structures of the Western World may be
interesting.

The Singer Building at the corner of Broadway and Liberty Street, New
York City, has a total height from the basement floor to the top of
the flagstaff of 742 feet; the height from street to roof is 612 feet,
1 inch. There are 41 stories. The weight of the steel in the entire
building is 9,200 tons. It has 16 elevators, 5 steam engines, 5 dynamos,
5 boilers and 28 steam pumps. The length of the steam and water piping
is 5 miles. The cubical contents of the building comprise 66,950,000
cubic feet, there are 411,000 square feet of floor area or about 9-1/2
acres. The weight of the tower is 18,300 tons. Little danger from a
collapse will be apprehended when it is learned that the columns are
securely bolted and caissons which have been sunk to rock-bed 80 feet
below the curb.

The other campanile which has excited the wonder and admiration of the
world is the colossal pile known as the Metropolitan Building. This
occupies the entire square or block as we call it from 23rd St. to
24th St. and from Madison to Fourth Avenue. It is 700 feet and 3 inches
above the sidewalk and has 50 stories. The main building which has a
frontage of 200 feet by 425 feet is ten stories in height. It is built
in the early Italian renaissance style the materials being steel and
marble. The Campanile is carried up in the same style and is also of
marble. It stands on a base measuring 75 by 83 feet and the
architectural treatment is chaste, though severe, but eminently
agreeable to the stupendous proportions of the structure. The tower
is quite different from that of the Singer Building. It has twelve
wall and eight interior columns connected at every fourth floor by
diagonal braces; these columns carry 1,800 pounds to the linear foot.
The wind pressure calculated at the rate of 30 lbs. to the square foot
is enormous and is provided for by deep wall girders and knee braces
which transfer the strain to the columns and to the foundation. The
average cross section of the tower is 75 by 85 feet, the floor space
of the entire building is 1,080,000 square feet or about 25 acres.

The tower of this surpassing cloud-piercing structure can be seen for
many miles from the surrounding country and from the bay it looks like
a giant sentinel in white watching the mighty city at its feet and
proclaiming the ceaseless activity and progress of the Western World.



CHAPTER VI

OCEAN PALACES

  Ocean Greyhounds--Present Day Floating Palaces--Regal
  Appointments--Passenger Accommodation--Food Consumption--The One
  Thousand Foot Boat.


The strides of naval architecture and marine engineering have been
marvelous within the present generation. To-day huge leviathans glide
over the waves with a swiftness and safety deemed absolutely impossible
fifty years ago.

In view of the luxurious accommodations and princely surroundings to
be found on the modern ocean palaces, it is interesting to look back
now almost a hundred years to the time when the _Savannah_ was
the first steamship to cross the Atlantic. True the voyage of this
pioneer of steam from Savannah to Liverpool was not much of a success,
but she managed to crawl across the sails very materially aiding the
engines, and heralded the dawn of a new day in transatlantic travel.
No other steamboat attempted the trip for almost twenty years after,
until in 1838 the _Great Western_ made the run in fifteen days.
This revolutionized water travel and set the whole world talking. It
was the beginning of the passing of the sailing ship and was an event
for rejoicing. In the old wooden hulks with their lazily flapping
wings, waiting for a breeze to stir them, men and women and children
huddled together like so many animals in a pen, had to spend weeks and
months on the voyage between Europe and America. There was little or
no room for sanitation, the space was crowded, deadly germs lurked in
every cranny and crevice, and consequently hundreds died. To many
indeed the sailing ship became a floating hearse.

In those times, and they are not so remote, a voyage was dreaded as
a calamity. Only necessity compelled the undertaking. It was not travel
for pleasure, for pleasure under such circumstances and amid such
surroundings was impossible. The poor emigrants who were compelled
through stress and poverty to leave their homes for a foreign country
feared not toil in a new land, but they feared the long voyage with
its attending horrors and dangers. Dangerous it was, for most of the
sailing vessels were unseaworthy and when a storm swept the waters,
they were as children's toys, at the mercy of wind and wave. When the
passenger stepped on board he always had the dread of a watery grave
before him.

How different to-day. Danger has been eliminated almost to the vanishing
point and the mighty monsters of steel and oak now cut through the
waves in storms and hurricanes with as much ease as a duck swims through
a pond.

From the time the _Great Western_ was launched, steamships sailing
between American and English ports became an established institution.
Soon after the _Great Western's_ first voyage a sturdy New England
Quaker from Nova Scotia named Samuel Cunard went over to London to try
and interest the British government in a plan to establish a line of
steamships between the two countries. He succeeded in raising 270,000
pounds, and built the _Britannia_, the first Cunard vessel to cross the
Atlantic. This was in 1840. As ships go now she was a small craft
indeed. Her gross tonnage was 1,154 and her horse power 750. She carried
only first-class passengers and these only to the limit of one hundred.
There was not much in the way of accommodation as the quarters were
cramped, the staterooms small and the sanitation and ventilation
defective. It was on the _Britannia_ that Charles Dickens crossed
over to America in 1842 and he has given us in his usual style a pen
picture of his impressions aboard. He stated that the saloon reminded
him of nothing so much as of a hearse, in which a number of half-starved
stewards attempted to warm themselves by a glimmering stove, and that
the staterooms so-called were boxes in which the bunks were shelves
spread with patches of filthy bed-clothing, somewhat after the style
of a mustard plaster. This criticism must be taken with a little
reservation. Dickens was a pessimist and always censorious and as he
had been feted and feasted with the fat of the land, he expected that
he should have been entertained in kingly quarters on shipboard. But
because things did not come up to his expectations he dipped his pen
in vitriol and began to criticise.

At any rate the _Britannia_ in her day was looked upon as the _ne plus
ultra_ in naval architecture, the very acme of marine engineering. The
highest speed she developed was eight and one-half knots or about nine
and three-quarters miles an hour. She covered the passage from Liverpool
to Boston in fourteen and one-half days, which was then regarded as a
marvellous feat and one which was proclaimed throughout England with
triumph.

For a long time the _Britannia_ remained Queen of the Seas for speed,
but in 1852 the Atlantic record was reduced to nine and a half days by
the _Arctic_. In 1876 the _City of Paris_ cut down the time to eight
days and four hours. Twelve years later in 1879 the _Arizona_ still
further reduced it to seven days and eight hours. In 1881 the _Alaska_,
the first vessel to receive the title of "_Ocean Greyhound_," made the
trip in six days and twenty-one hours; in 1885 the _Umbria_ bounded over
in six days and two hours, in 1890 the _Teutonic_ of the White Star line
came across in five days, eighteen hours and twenty-eight minutes, which
was considered the limit for many years to come. It was not long
however, until the Cunard lowered the colors of the White Star, when the
_Lucania_ in 1893 brought the record down to five days and twelve
hours. For a dozen years or so the limit of speed hovered round the
five-and-a-half day mark, the laurels being shared alternately by the
vessels of the Cunard and White Star Companies. Then the Germans entered
the field of competition with steamers of from 14,500 to 20,000 tons
register and from 28,000 to 40,000 horse power. The _Deutschland_
soon began setting the pace for the ocean greyhounds, while other
vessels of the North German Lloyd line that won transatlantic honors
were the _Kaiser Wilhelm II., Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse, Kronprinz
Wilhelm and Kronprinzessin Cecilie_, all remarkably fast boats with
every modern luxury aboard that science could devise. These vessels
are equipped with wireless telegraphy, submarine signalling systems,
water-tight compartments and every other safety appliance known to
marine skill. The _Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse_ raised the standard
of German supremacy in 1902 by making the passage from Cherbourg to
Sandy Hook lightship in five days and fifteen hours.

In 1909, however, the sister steamships _Mauretania_ and _Lusitania_ of
the Cunard line lowered all previous ocean records, by making the trip
in a little over four and a half days. They have been keeping up this
speed to the present time, and are universally regarded as the fastest
and best equipped steamships in the world,--the very last word in ocean
travel. On her last mid-September voyage the _Mauretania_ has broken all
ocean records by making the passage from Queenstown to New York in 4
days 10 hours and 47 minutes. But they are closely pursued by the White
Star greyhounds such as the _Oceanic_, the _Celtic_ and the _Cedric_,
steamships of world wide fame for service, appointments, and equipment.
Yet at the present writing the Cunard Company has another vessel on the
stocks, to be named the _Falconia_ which in measurements will eclipse
the other two and which they are confident will make the Atlantic trip
inside four days.

The White Star Company is also building two immense boats to be named
the _Olympic_ and _Titanic_. They will be 840 feet in length and will be
the largest ships afloat. However, it is said that freight and
passenger-room is being more considered in the construction than
speed and that they will aim to lower no records. Each will be able
to accommodate 5,000 passengers besides a crew of 600.

All the great liners of the present day may justly be styled ocean
palaces, as far as luxuries and general appointments are concerned,
but as the _Mauretania_ and _Lusitania_ are best known, a description of
either of these will convey an idea to stay-at-homes of the regal
magnificence and splendors of the floating hotels which modern science
places at the disposal of the traveling public.

Though sister ships and modeled on similar lines, the _Mauretania_ and
_Lusitania_ differ somewhat in construction. Of the two the _Mauretania_
is the more typical ship as well as the more popular. This modern
triumph of the naval architect and marine engineer was built by the firm
of Swan, Hunter & Co. at Wellsend on the Tyne in 1907. The following are
her dimensions: Length over all 790 feet. Length between perpendiculars
760 feet. Breadth 88 feet. Depth, moulded 60.5 feet. Gross tonnage
32,000. Draught 33.5 feet. Displacement 38,000 tons.

She has accommodation space for 563 first cabin, 500 second cabin, and
1,300 third class passengers. She carries a crew of 390 engineers, 70
sailors, 350 stewards, a couple of score of stewardesses, 50 cooks,
the officers and captain, besides a maritime band, a dozen or so
telephone and wireless telegraph operators, editor and printers for
the wireless bulletin published on board and two attendants for the
elevator.

The type of engine is what is known as the Parsons Turbine. There are
23 double ended and 2 single ended boilers. The engines develop 68,000
horse power; they are fed by 192 furnaces; the heating surface is
159,000 square feet; the grate surface is 4,060 square feet; the steam
pressure is 195 lbs. to the square inch.

The highest speed attained has been almost 26 knots or 30 miles an
hour. At this rate the number of revolutions is 180 to the minute. The
coal daily consumed by the fiery maw of the furnaces is enormous. On
one trip between Liverpool and New York more than 7,000 tons is required
which is a consumption of over 1,500 tons daily.

There are nine decks, seven of which are above the water line. Corticine
has been largely used for deck covering, instead of wood as it is much
lighter. On the boat deck which extends over the greater part of the
centre of the ship are located several of the beautiful _en suite_
cabins. Abaft these at the forward end are the grand Entrance Hall,
the Library, the Music-Room and the Lounging-Room and Smoking-Room
for the first cabin passengers.

There is splendid promenading space on the boat deck where passengers
can exercise to their hearts' content and also indulge in games and
sports with all the freedom of field life. Many life boats swing on
davits and instead of being a hindrance or obstacle, act as shades
from the sunshine and as breaks from the wind.

In the space for first-class passengers are arranged a large number
of cabins. What are known as the regal suites are on both port and
starboard, and along each side of the main deck are more _en suite_
rooms.

On the shelter deck there are no first-class cabin quarters. At the
forward end of this deck are the very powerful Napier engines for
working the anchor gear. Abaft this on the starboard side is the general
lounging room for third-class passengers, while on the port-side is
their smoking room with a companion way leading to the third-class
dining saloon below and to the third-class cabins on the main and lower
decks. The third-class galleys are accommodated on the main deck house
and close by is a set of the refrigerating machinery used in connection
with the rooms for the storage of supplies for the kitchen department.
The side of the ship for a considerable distance aft of this is plated
up to the promenade deck level so that the third-class passengers have
not only convenient rooms but a protected promenade. Abaft this
promenade is another open one. Indeed the accommodations for the third
class are as good as what the first-class were accustomed to on most
of the liners some dozen years ago.

To the left of the grand staircase on the deck house is a children's
dining saloon and nursery.

On the top deck are dining saloons for all three classes of passengers,
that for the third being forward, for the first amidships and for the
second near the stern; 470 first-class passengers can be seated at a
time, 250 second class and more than 500 of the third class.

The main deck is given up entirely to staterooms. The whole of the
lower deck forward is also arranged for third-class staterooms. The
firemen and other engine room and stokehold workers are located in
rooms above the machinery with separate entrances and exits to and
from their work. Promenade and exercise space is provided for them on
the shelter deck which is fenced off from the space of the second and
third class passenger. Amidships is a coal bunker with a compartment
under the engines for the storage of supplies.

The coal trimmers are accommodated alongside the engine casing and
abaft this are the mailrooms with accommodation for the stewards and
other helpers. The "orlop" or eighth deck is devoted entirely to
machinery with coal bunkers on each side of the boilers to provide
against the effect of collisions.

The general scheme of color throughout the ship is pleasing and
harmonious. The wood for the most part is oak and mahogany. There are
over 50,000 square feet of oak in parquet flooring. All the carving
and tracing is done in the wood, no superpositions or stucco work
whatever being used to show reliefs.

The grand stairway shows the Italian renaissance style of the 16th
century; the panels are of French walnut; the carving of columns and
pilasters is of various designs but the aggregate is pleasing in effect.

The Library extends across the deck house, 33 by 56 feet; the walls
of the deck house are bowed out to form bay windows. When you first
enter the Library the effect is as though you were looking at shimmering
marble, this is owing to the lightness of the panels which are sycamore
stained in light gray. The mantelpiece is of white statuary marble.
The great swing doors which admit you, have bevelled glass panels set
in bronze casings. The chairs have mahogany frames done in light plush.

The first class lounging room is probably the most artistic as well
as the most sumptuous apartment in the ship. The panels are of beautiful
ingrained mahogany dully polished a rich brown. The white ceiling is
of simple design with boldly carved mouldings and is supported by
columns embossed in gold of exquisite workmanship. Some of the panels
are of curiously woven tapestries, the fruit of oriental looms.
Chandeliers of beautiful design in rich bronze and crystal depend from
the ceiling. The curtains, hanging with their soft folds against the
dull gold of the carved curtainboxes, are of a charming cream silk and
with their flower borders lend a tone both sumptuous and refined. The
carpet is of a slender trellis design with bluish pink roses trailing
over a pearl grey ground and forms a perfect foil to the splendid
furniture. The chairs are of polished beech covered with 18th century
brocade.

The smoking-room of the first-class is done in rich oak carving with
an inlaid border around the panels. An unusual feature in the main
part of the room is a jube passageway extending the whole length and
divided into recesses with divans and card tables. Writing tables may
be found in secluded nooks free from interruption. The windows of
unusual size, are semicircular and give a home-like appearance to the
room.

The dining saloon is in light oak with all carvings worked in the wood.
A children's nursery off the main stairway in the deck house is done
in mahogany. Enameled white panels depict the old favorite of the Four
and Twenty Blackbirds baked in a Pie.

An air of delicate refinement and rich luxury hangs about the regal
rooms. A suite consists of drawing-room, dining-room, two bedrooms,
bathroom and a private corridor. The drawing- and dining-rooms of
these suites are paneled in East India satin-wood, probably the hardest
and most durable of all timber. The bedrooms are in Georgian style
finished in white with satin hangings.

The special staterooms are also finished in rich woods on white and
gold and have damask and silk hangings and draperies. An idea of the
richness and magnificence of the interior decorations may be obtained
when it is learned that the cost of these decorations exceeded three
million dollars.

The galleys, pantries, bakery, confectionery and utensil cleaning rooms
extend the full length of the ship. Electricity plays an important
part in the culinary department. Electric motors mix dough, run grills
and roasters, clean knives and manipulate plate racks and other articles
of the kitchen. The main cooking range for the saloon is 24 by 8 feet,
heated by coal. There are four steam boilers and 12 steam ovens. There
are extensive cold storage compartments and refrigerating chambers.

In connection with the commissariat department it is interesting to
note the food supply carried for a trip of this floating caravansary.
Here is a list of the leading supplies needed for a trip, but there
are hundreds of others too numerous to mention: Forty thousand pounds
of fresh beef, 1,000 lbs. of corned beef, 8,000 lbs. of mutton, 800
lbs. of lamb, 600 lbs. of veal, 500 lbs. of pork, 4,000 lbs. of fish,
2,000 fowls, 100 geese, 150 turkeys, 350 ducks, 400 pigeons, 250
partridges, 250 grouse, 200 pheasants, 800 quail, 200 snipe, 35 tons
of potatoes, 75 hampers of vegetables, 500 quarts ice ream, 3,500
quarts of milk, 30,000 eggs and in addition many thousand bottles of
mineral water and spirituous liquors.

The health of the passengers is carefully guarded during the voyage.
The science of thermodynamics has been brought to as great perfection
as possible. Not alone is the heating thoroughly up to modern science
requirements but the ventilation as well, by means of thermo tanks,
suction valves and exhaust fans. All foul air is expelled and fresh
currents sent through all parts of the ship.

There is an electric generating station abaft the main engine room
containing four turbo-generators each of 375 kilowatts capacity.

There are more than 5,000 electric lights and every room is connected
by an electric push-bell. There is a telephone exchange through which
one can be connected with any department of the vessel. When in harbor,
either at Liverpool or New York, the wires are connected to the City
Central exchange so that the ships can be communicated with either by
local or long distance telephone.

By means of wireless telegraphy voyagers can communicate with friends
during almost the entire trip and learn the news of the world the same
as if they were on land. A bulletin is published daily on board giving
news of the leading happenings of the world.

There is a perfect fire alarm system on board with fire mains on each
side of the ship from which connections are taken to every separate
department. There are boxes with hydrant and valve in each room and
a system of break glass fire alarms with a drop indicator box in the
chartroom and also one in the engine-room to notify in case of any
outbreak.

The sanitation is all that could be desired. There are flush lavatories
on all decks in marble and onyx and with all the sanitary contrivances
in apparatus of the best design.

The vessel is propelled by four screws, rotated by turbine engines and
the power developed is equal to that of 68,000 horses. Now 68,000
horses placed head to tail in a single line would reach a distance of
90 miles or as far as from New York to Philadelphia; and if the steeds
were harnessed twenty abreast there would be no fewer than 3,400 rows
of powerful horses.

Such is the steamship of to-day but there is no doubt that the thousand
foot boat is coming, which probably will cross the Atlantic ocean in
less than four days if not in three. But the question is, where shall
we put her, that is, where shall we dock her?

To build a thousand foot pier to accommodate her, appears like a good
answer to this question, but the great difficulty is that there are
United States Government regulations restricting the length of piers
to 800 feet. Docking space along the shore of New York harbor is too
valuable to permit the ship being berthed parallel to the shore,
therefore vessels must dock at right angles to the shore. Some
provisions must soon be made and the regulations as to dock lengths
revised.

The thousand footer may be here in a couple of years or so. In the
meantime the two 840 footers are already on the stocks at Belfast and
are expected to arrive early in 1911. Before they come changes and
improvements must be made in the docking and harbor facilities of the
port of New York.

If higher speed is demanded, increased size is essential, since with
even the best result every 100 horse-power added involves an addition
to machinery weight of approximately 14 tons and to the area occupied
of about 40 square feet. To accomplish this the ship must be as much
larger in proportion.

The ship designer has to work within circumscribed limits. If he could
make his vessel of any depth he might build much larger and there would
be theoretically no limit to his speed: 40 knots an hour might be
obtained as easily as the present maximum of 26, but in designing his
ship he must remember that in the harbors of New York or Liverpool the
channels are not much beyond 30 feet in depth. High speed necessitates
powerful engines, but if the engines be too large there will not be
space enough for coal to feed the furnaces. If the breadth of the ship
is increased the speed is diminished, while on the other hand, if too
powerful engines are put in a narrow vessel she will break her back.
The proper proportions must be carefully studied as regards length,
breadth, depth and weight so that the vessel will derive the greatest
speed from her engines.



CHAPTER VII

WONDERFUL CREATIONS IN PLANT LIFE

Mating Plants--Experiments of Burbank--What he has Accomplished.


In California lives a wonderful man. He has succeeded in doing more
than making two blades of grass grow where grew but one. Yearly, daily
in fact, this wizard of plant life is playing tricks on old Mother
Nature, transforming her vegetable children into different shapes and
making them no longer recognizable in their original forms. Like the
fairies in Irish mythology, this man steals away the plant babies, but
instead of leaving sickly elves in their places, he brings into the
world exceedingly healthy or lusty youngsters which grow up into a
full maturity, and develop traits of character superior to the ones
they supplant. For instance he took away the ugly, thorny insipid
cactus and replaced it by a beautiful smooth juicy one which is now
making the western deserts blossom as the rose. The name of this man
is Luther Burbank whose fame as a creator of new plants has become
world wide.

The basic principle of Burbank's plant magic comes under two heads,
viz.: breeding and selection. He mates two different species in such
a way that they will propagate a type partaking of the natures of both
but superior to either in their qualities. In order to effect the best
results from mating, he is choice in his selection of species--the
best is taken and the worst rejected. It is a universal law that the
bad can never produce the good; consequently when good is desired, as
is universally the case, bad must be eliminated. In his method, Burbank
gives the good a chance to assert itself and at the same time takes
away all opportunity from the bad. So that the latter cannot thrive
but must decay and pass out of being. He takes two plants--they may
be of the same species, but as a general rule he prefers to experiment
with those of different species; he perceives that neither one in its
present surroundings is putting forth what is naturally expected from
it, that each is either retrograding in the scale of life or standing
still for lack of encouragement to go forward. He knows that back of
these plants is a long history of evolutions from primitive beginnings
to their present stage just as in the case of man himself. 'Tis a far
cry from the cliff-dweller wielding his stone-axe and roaming nude
through the fields and forests after his prey--the wild beast--to the
lordly creature of to-day--the product of long ages of civilization
and culture, yet high as the state is to which man has been brought,
in many cases he is hemmed in and surrounded by circumstances which
preclude him from putting forth the best that is in him and showing
his full possibilities to the world. The philosopher is often hidden
in the ploughman and many a poor laborer toiling in corduroys and
fustian at the docks, in the mills, or sweeping the streets may have
as good a brain as Edison, but has not the opportunity to develop it
and show its capabilities. The same analogy is applicable to plant
life. Under adverse conditions a plant or vegetable cannot put forth
its best efforts. In a scrawny, impoverished soil, and exhausted
atmosphere, lacking the constituents of nurture, the plant will become
dwarfed and unproductive, whereas on good ground and in good air, which
have the succulent properties to nourish it the best results may be
expected. The soil and the air, therefore, from which are derived the
constituents of plant life, are indispensably necessary, but they are
not the primal principles upon which that life depends for its being.
The basis, the foundation, the origin of the life is the seed which
germinates in the soil and evolves itself into the plant.

A dead seed will not germinate, a contaminated seed may, but the plant
it produces will not be a healthy one and it will only be after a long
series of transplantings, with patience and care, that at length a
really sound plant will be obtained. The same principle holds good in
regard to the human plant. It is hard to offset an evil ancestry. The
contamination goes on from generation to generation, just as in the
case of the notorious Juke family which cost New York State hundreds
of thousands of dollars in consequence of criminality and idiocy. It
requires almost a miracle to divert an individual sprung from a corrupt
stem into a healthy, moral course of living. There must be some powerful
force brought to bear to make him break the ligatures which bind him
to ancestral nature and enable him to come forth on a plane where he
will be susceptible to the influence of what is good and noble. Such
can be done and has been accomplished.

Burbank is accomplishing such miracles in the vegetable kingdom, in
fact he is recreating species as it were and developing them to a full
fruition. Of course as in the case of the conversion of a sinner from
his evil instincts, much opposition is met and the progress at first
is slow, but finally the plant becomes fixed in its new ways and starts
forward on its new course in life. It requires patience to await the
development Burbank is a man of infinite patience. He has been five,
ten, fifteen, twenty years in producing a desired blossom, but he
considers himself well rewarded when his object has been obtained.
Thousands of experiments are going on at the same time, but in each
case years are required to achieve results, so slow is the work of
selection, the rejecting of the seemingly worthless and the eternal
choosing of the best specimens to continue the experiments.

When two plants are united to produce a third, no human intelligence
can predict just what will be the result of the union. There may be
no result at all; hence it is that Burbank does not depend on one
experiment at a time. If he did the labors of a life-time would have
little to show for their work. In breeding lilies he has used as high
as five hundred thousand plants in a single test. Such an immense
quantity gave him a great variety of selection. He culled and rejected,
and culled and rejected until he made his final selection for the last
test.

Sometimes he is very much disappointed in his anticipations. For
instance, he marks out a certain life for a flower and breeds and
selects to that end. For a time all may go according to his plans, but
suddenly some new trait develops which knocks those plans all out of
gear. The new flower may have a longer stem and narrower leaves than
either parent, while a shorter stem and broader leaves are the
desideratum. The experimenter is disappointed, but not disheartened;
he casts the flower aside and makes another selection from the same
species and again goes ahead, until his object is attained.

It may be asked how two plants are united to procure a third. The act
is based on the procreative law of nature. Plant-breeding is simply
accomplished by sifting the pollen of one plant upon the stigma of
another, this act--pollenation--resulting in fertilization, Nature in
her own mysterious ways bringing forth the new plant.

In order to get an idea of the Burbank method, let us consider some
of his most famous experiments, for instance, that in which by uniting
the potato with the tomato he has produced a new variety which has
been very aptly named the pomato. Mr. Burbank, from the beginning of
his wonderful career, has experimented much with the potato. It was
this vegetable which first brought the plant wizard into worldwide
prominence. The Burbank potato is known in all lands where the tuber
forms an article of food. It has been introduced into Ireland and
promises to be the salvation of that distressed island of which the
potato constitutes the staple diet. The Burbank potato is the hardiest
of all varieties and in this respect is well suited for the colder
climates of the Temperate Zone. Apart from this potato which bears his
name, Mr. Burbank has produced many other varieties. He has blended
wild varieties with tame ones, getting very satisfactory results. Mr.
Burbank believes that a little wild blood, so to speak, is often
necessary to give tone and vigor to the tame element which has been
long running in the same channels. Probably it was Emerson, his favorite
author, who gave him the cue for this idea. Emerson pointed out that
the city is recruited from the country. "The city would have died out,
rotted and exploded long ago," wrote the New England sage, "but that
it was reinforced from the fields. It is only country that came to
town day before yesterday, that is city and court to-day."

In Burbank's greenhouses are mated all kinds of wild and tame varieties
of potatoes, producing crosses and combinations truly wonderful as
regards shape, size, and color. One of the most palatable potatoes he
has produced is a magenta color approaching crimson, so distributed
throughout that when the tuber is cut, no matter from what angle, it
presents concentric geometric figures, some having a resemblance to
human and animal faces.

Before entering on any experiment to produce a new creation, Burbank
always takes into consideration the practical end of the experiment,
that is, what the value of the result will be as a practical factor
in commerce, how much it will benefit the race. He does not experiment
for a pastime or a novelty, but for a purpose. His object in regard
to the potato is to make it a richer, better vegetable for a food
supply and also to make it more important for other purposes in the
commerce of the nations.

The average potato consists of seventy-five per cent. water and
twenty-five per cent. dry matter, almost all of which is starch. Now
starch is a very important article from a manufacturing standpoint,
but only one-fourth of the potato is available for manufacturing, the
other three-fourths, being water, is practically waste matter. Now
if the water could be driven out to a great extent and starchy matter
increased it is easy to understand that the potato would be much
increased in value as an article of manufacture. Burbank has not
overlooked this fact in his potato experiments. He has demonstrated
that it is as easy to breed potatoes for a larger amount of starch,
and he has really developed tubers which contain at least twenty-five
per cent. more starch than the normal varieties; in other words, he
has produced potatoes which yield fifty per cent. of starch instead
of twenty-five per cent. The United States uses about $12,000,000
worth of starch every year, chiefly obtained from Indian corn and
potatoes. When the potato is made to yield double the amount of starch,
as Burbank has proved it can yield and more, it will be understood
what a large part it can be made to play in this important manufacture.

Also for the production of alcohol the potato is gaining a prominent
place. The potato starch is converted into maltose by the diastase of
malt, the maltose being easily acted upon by ferment for the actual
production of the alcohol. Therefore an increase in the starch of the
potato for this purpose alone is much to be desired.

Of course the chief prominence of the potato will still consist in its
adaptability as an article of food. Burbank does not overlook this.
He has produced and is producing potatoes with better flavor, of larger
and uniform size and which give a much greater yield to the area.
Palatability in the end decides the permanence of a food, and the
Burbank productions possess this quality in a high degree.

Burbank labored long and studied every characteristic of the potato
before attempting any experiments with the tomato. Though closely
related by family ties, the potato and the tomato seemed to have no
affinity for each other whatever. In many other instances it has also
been found that two varieties which from a certain relation might
naturally be expected to amalgamate easily have been repellant to each
other and refused to unite.

In his first experiment in trying to cross the potato and tomato,
Burbank produced tomatoes from the seeds of plants pollenated from
potato pollen only. He next produced what he called "aerial potatoes"
of very peculiar twisted shapes from a potato vine grafted on a
Ponderosa or large tomato plant. Then reversing this operation he
grafted the same kind of tomato plant upon the same kind of potato
plant and produced underground a strange-looking potato with marked
tomato characteristics. He saw he was on the right road to the
production of a new variety of vegetable, but before experimenting
further along this line he crossed two distinct species of tomatoes
and obtained a most ornamental plant, different from the parent stems,
about twelve inches high and fifteen inches across with large unusual
leaves and producing clusters of uniform globular fruit, the whole
giving a most pleasing and unique appearance. The fruit were more
palatable than the ordinary tomatoes, had better nutritive qualities
and were more suitable for preserving and canning.

Very pleased with this result he went back to his experiments with the
potato-tomato, and succeeded in producing the most wonderful and unique
fruit in the world, one which by a happy combination of the two names,
he has aptly called the pomato. It may be considered as the evolution
of a potato seed-ball. It first appears as a tiny green ball on the
potato top and as the season progresses it gradually enlarges and
finally develops into a fruit about the size and shape of the ordinary
tomato. The flesh is white and the marrow, which contains but a few
tiny white seeds, is exceedingly pleasant to the taste, possessing a
combination of several different fruit flavors, though it cannot be
identified with any one. It may be eaten either raw or cooked after
the manner of the common tomato. In either case it is most palatable,
but especially so when cooked. It is exceptionally well adapted to
preserving purposes.

The production of such a fruit from a vegetable is one of the crowning
triumphs of the California wizard. Probably it is the most novel of
all the wonderful crosses and combinations he has given to the world.

It would be impossible here to go into detail in regard to some of the
other wonders accomplished in the plant world by this modern magician.
There is only space to merely mention a few more of his successful
achievements. He has given the improved thornless and spiculess cactus,
food for man and beast, converting it into a beautifier and reclaimer
of desert wastes; the plum-cot which is an amalgamation of the plum
and the apricot with a flavor superior to both; many kinds of plums,
some without pits, others having the taste of Bartlett pears, and still
others giving out a fragrance as sweet as the rose; several varieties
of walnuts, one with a shell as thin as paper and which was so easily
broken by the birds that Burbank had to reverse his experiment somewhat
in order to get a thicker shell; another walnut has no tannin in the
meat, which is the cause of the disagreeable flavor of the ordinary
fruit; the world-famed Shasta daisy, which is a combination of the
Japanese daisy, the English daisy and the common field daisy, and which
has a blossom seven inches in diameter; a dahlia deprived of its
unpleasant odor and the scent of the magnolia blossom substituted; a
gladiolus which blooms around the entire stem like a hyacinth instead
of the old way on one side only; many kinds of lilies with chalices
and petals different from the ordinary, and exhaling perfumes as varied
as those of Oriental gardens; a poppy of such dimension that it is
from ten to twelve inches across its brilliant bloom; an amaryllis
bred up from a couple of inches to over a foot in diameter; several
kinds of fruit trees which withstand frost in bud and in flower; a
chestnut tree which bears nuts in eighteen months from the time of
seed-planting; a white blackberry (paradoxical as it may appear), a
rare and beautiful fruit and as palatable as it is beautiful; the
primusberry, a union of the raspberry and the blackberry; another
wonderful and delicious berry produced from the California dewberry
and the Cuthbert-raspberry; pieplants four feet in diameter, bearing
every day in the year; prunes, three, four, and five times as large
as the ordinary and enriched in flavor; blackberries without their
prickly thorns and hundreds of other combinations and crosses of fruits
and flowers too numerous to mention. He has improved plums, pears,
apples, apricots, quinces, peaches, cherries, grapes, in short, all
kinds of fruit which grow in our latitude and many even that have been
introduced. He has developed hundreds of varieties of flowers, improving
them in color, hardiness and yield. Thus he has not only added to the
food and manufacturing products of the world, but he has enriched the
aesthetic side in his beautiful flower creations.



CHAPTER VIII

LATEST DISCOVERIES IN ARCHAEOLOGY

  Prehistoric Time--Earliest Records--Discoveries in Bible Lands--
  American Explorations.


For the earliest civilization and culture we must go to that part of
the world, which according to the general belief, is the cradle of the
human race. The civilization of the Mesopotamian plain is not only the
oldest but the first where man settled in great city communities, under
an orderly government, with a developed religion, practicing
agriculture, erecting dwellings and using a syllabified writing. All
modern civilization had its source there. For 6,000 years the cuneiform
or wedge-shaped writing of the Assyrians was the literary script of
the whole civilized ancient world, from the shores of the Mediterranean
to India and even to China, for Chinese civilization, old as it is,
is based upon that which obtained in Mesopotamia. In Egypt, too, at
an early date was a high form of neolithic civilization. Six thousand
years before Christ, a white-skinned, blond-haired, blue-eyed race
dwelt there, built towns, carried on commerce, made woven linen cloth,
tanned leather, formed beautiful pottery without the wheel, cut stone
with the lathe and designed ornaments from ivory and metals. These
were succeeded by another great race which probably migrated into Egypt
from Arabia. Among them were warriors and administrators, fine
mechanics, artisans, artists and sculptors. They left us the Pyramids
and other magnificent monumental tombs and great masses of architecture
and sculptured columns. Of course, they declined and passed away, as
all things human must; but they left behind them evidences to tell of
their prestige and power.

The scientists and geologists of our day are busy unearthing the remains
of the ancient peoples of the Eastern world, who started the waves of
civilization both to the Orient and the Occident. Vast stores of
knowledge are being accumulated and almost every day sees some ancient
treasure trove brought to light. Especially in Biblical lands is the
explorer busy unearthing the relics of the mighty past and throwing
a flood of light upon incidents and scenes long covered by the dust
of centuries.

Babylon, the mightiest city of ancient times, celebrated in the Bible
and in the earliest human records as the greatest centre of sensual
splendor and sinful luxury the world has ever seen, is at last being
explored in the most thorough manner by the German Oriental Society,
of which the Kaiser is patron. Babylon rose to its greatest glory under
Nebuchadnezzar, the most famous monarch of the Babylonian Empire. At
that period it was the great centre of arts, learning and science,
astronomy and astrology being patronized by the Babylonian kings. The
city finally came to a terrible end under Belshazzar, as related in
the Bible. The palace of the impious king has been uncovered and its
great piles of masonry laid bare. The great hall, where the young
prophet Daniel read the handwriting on the wall, can now be seen. The
palace stood on elevated ground and was of majestic dimensions. A
winding chariot road led up to it. The lower part was of stone and the
upper of burned bricks. All around on the outside ran artistic
sculptures of men hunting animals. The doors were massive and of bronze
and swung inward, between colossal figures of winged bulls. From the
hall a stairway led to the throne room of the King, which was decorated
with gold and precious stones and finished in many colors. The hall
in which the infamous banquet was held was 140 feet by 40 feet. For
a ceiling it was spanned by the cedars of Lebanon which exhaled a sweet
perfume. At night a myriad lights lent brilliancy to the scene. There
were over 200 rooms all gorgeously furnished, most of them devoted to
the inmates of the king's harem. The ruins as seen to-day impress the
visitor and excite wonder and admiration.

The Germans have also uncovered the great gate of Ishtar at Babylon,
which Nebuchadnezzar erected in honor of the goddess of love and war,
the most renowned of all the mythical deities of the Babylonian
Pantheon. It is a double gateway with interior chambers, flanked by
massive towers and was erected at the end of the Sacred Road at the
northeast corner of the palace. Its most unique feature consists in
the scheme of decoration on its walls, which are covered with row upon
row of bulls and dragons represented in the brilliant enamelled bricks.
Some of these creatures are flat and others raised in relief. Those
in relief are being taken apart to be sent to Berlin, where they will
be again put together for exhibition.

The friezes on this gate of Ishtar are among the finest examples of
enamelled brickwork that have been uncovered and take their place
beside "the Lion Frieze" from Sargon's palace at Khorsabad and the
still more famous "Frieze of Arches of King Darius" in the Paris Louvre.

The German party have already established the claim of Herodotus as
to the thickness of the walls of the city. Herodotus estimated them
at two hundred royal cubits (348 feet) high and fifty royal cubits
(86-1/2 feet) thick. At places they have been found even thicker. So
wide were they that on the top a four-horse chariot could easily turn.

The hanging gardens of Babylon, said to have been built to please
Amytis the consort of Nebuchadnezzar, were classed as among the Seven
Wonders of the World. Terraces were constructed 450 feet square, of
huge stones which cost millions in that stoneless country. These were
supported by countless columns, the tallest of which were 160 feet
high. On top of the stones were layers of brick, cemented and covered
with pitch, over which was poured a layer of lead to make all absolutely
water-tight. Finally, on the top of this, earth was spread to such a
depth that the largest trees had room for their roots. The trees were
planted in rows forming squares and between them were flower gardens.
In fact, these gardens constituted an Eden in the air, which has never
since been duplicated.

New discoveries have been recently made concerning the Tower of Babel,
the construction of which, as described in the Book of Genesis, is one
of the most remarkable occurrences of the first stage of the world's
history. It has been found that the tower was square and not round,
as represented by all Bible illustrators, including Dore. The ruins
cover a space of about 50,000 square feet and are about ten miles from
the site of Babylon.

The ruins of the celebrated synagogue of Capernaum, believed to be the
very one in which the Saviour preached, have been unearthed and many
other Biblical sites around the ancient city have been identified.

Capernaum was the home of Jesus during nearly the whole of his Galilean
ministry and the scene of many of his most wonderful miracles. The
site of Capernaum is now known as Tell Hum. There are ruins scattered
about over a radius of a mile. The excavating which revealed the ruins
of the synagogue was done under supervision of a German archaeologist
named Kohl. This synagogue was composed of white limestone blocks
brought from a distance and in this respect different from the others
which were built of the local black volcanic rock. The carvings
unearthed in the ruins are very beautiful and most of them in high
relief work, representing trailing vines, stately palms, clusters of
dates, roses and acanthus. Various animal designs are also shown and
one of the famous seven-branched candlesticks which accompanied the
Ark of the Covenant.

Most of the incidents at Capernaum mentioned in the Bible were connected
with the synagogue, the ruins of which have just been uncovered. The
centurion who came to plead with Jesus about the servant was the man
who built the synagogue (Luke VII:1-10). In the synagogue, Jesus healed
the man with the unclean spirit (Mark I:21-27). In this synagogue, the
man with the withered hand received health on the Sabbath Day (Matthew
XII:10-13). Jairus, whose daughter was raised from the dead, was a
ruler of the synagogue (Luke VIII:3) and it was in this same synagogue
of Capernaum that Jesus preached the discourse on the bread of life
(John VI:26-59). The hill near Capernaum where Jesus fed the multitude
with five loaves and two fishes is also identified.

The stoning of St. Stephen and the conversion of St. Paul are two great
events of the New Testament which lend additional interest to the
explorations now being carried on at the ancient City of Damascus.
Damascus lays claim to being the most ancient city in the world and
its appearance sustains the claim. Unlike Jerusalem and many other
ancient cities, it has never been completely destroyed by a conqueror.
The Assyrian monarch, Tiglath Pileser, swept down on it, 2,700 years
ago, but he did not succeed in wiping it out. Other cities came into
being long after Damascus, they flourished, faded and passed away; but
Damascus still remains much the same as in the early time. Among the
famous places which have been identified in this ancient city is the
house of Ananias the priest and the place in the wall where Paul was
let down by a basket is pointed out. The scene of the conversion of
St. Paul is shown and also the "Street called Straight" referred to
in Acts IX:II.

Jerusalem, birthplace and cradle of Christianity, offers a vast and
interesting field to the archaeologist. One of the most remarkable of
recent discoveries relates to the building known as David's castle.
Major Conder, a British engineer in charge of the Palestine survey,
has proved that this building is actually a part of the palace of King
Herod who ordered the Massacre of the Innocents in order to encompass
the destruction of the Infant Saviour.

The tomb of Hiram is another relic discovered at the village of Hunaneh
on the road from Safed to Tyre; it recalls the days of David. Hiram
was King of Tyre in the time of David. The tomb is a limestone structure
of extraordinary massiveness Unfortunately the Mosque of Omar stands
on the site of Solomon's Temple and there is no hope of digging there.
As for the palace of Solomon, it should be easy to find the foundations,
for Jerusalem has been rebuilt several times upon the ruins of earlier
periods and vast ancient remains must be still buried there. The work
is being pushed vigorously at present and the future should bring to
light many interesting relics. At last the real site of the Crucifixion
may be found with many mementoes of the Saviour, and the Apostles.

Professor Flinders Petrie, the famous English archaeologist, has
recently explored the Sinaitic peninsula and has found many relics of
the Hebrews' passage through the country during the Exodus and also
many of a still earlier period. He found a remarkable number of altars
and tombs belonging to a very early form of religion. On the Mount
where Moses received the tables of the law is a monastery erected by
the Emperor Justinian 523 A.D. Although the conquering wave of Islam
has swept over the peninsula, leaving it bare and desolate, this
monastery still survives, the only Christian landmark, not only in
Sinai but in all Arabia. The original tables of stone on which the
Commandments were written, were placed in the Ark of the Covenant and
taken all through the Wilderness to Palestine and finally placed in
the Temple of Solomon. What became of it when the Temple was plundered
and destroyed by the Babylonians is not known.

Clay tablets have been found at Nineveh of the Creation and the Flood
as known to the Assyrians. These tablets formed part of a great epic
poem of which Nimrod, the mighty hunter, was the hero.

Explorers are now looking for the palace of Nimrod, also that of
Sennacherib, the Assyrian monarch who besieged Jerusalem. The latter
despoiled the Temple of many of its treasures and it is believed that
his palace, when found, may reveal the Tables of the Law, the Ark of
the Covenant, the Seven-branched candlestick, and many of the golden
vessels used in Israelitish worship.

Ur of the Chaldees, birthplace of Abraham, father and founder of the
Hebrew race, is a rich field for the archaeologist to plough. Some
tablets have already been discovered, but they are only a mere
suggestion as to future possibilities. It is believed by some eminent
investigators that we owe to Abraham the early part of the Book of
Genesis describing the Creation, the Tower of Babel and the Flood, and
the quest of archaeologists is to find, if not the original tablets,
at least some valuable records which may be buried in this neighborhood.

Excavators connected with the American School at Jerusalem are busy
at Samaria and they believe they have uncovered portions of the great
temple of Baal, which King Ahab erected in honor of the wicked deity
890 B.C. When the remains of this temple are fully uncovered it will
be learned just how far the Israelites forsook the worship of the true
God for that of Baal.

The Germans have begun work on the site of Jericho, once the royal
capital of Canaan, and historic chiefly from the fact that Joshua led
the Israelites up to its walls, reported to be impregnable, but which
"fell down at the blast of the trumpet." Great piles have been unearthed
here which it is thought formed a part of the original masonry. One
excavator believes he has unearthed the ruins of the house of Rahab,
the woman who sheltered Joshua's spies. Another thinks he has discovered
the site of the translation of Elijah, the Prophet, from whence he was
carried up to heaven in a fiery chariot.

Every Christian will be interested in learning what is to be found in
Nazareth where Jesus spent his boyhood. Archaeologists have located
the "Fount of the Virgin," and the rock from which the infuriated
inhabitants attempted to hurl Christ.

In the "Land of Goshen" where the Israelites in a state of servitude
worked for the oppressing Pharaoh (Rameses II), excavators have found
bricks made without straw as mentioned in Scripture, undoubtedly the
work of Hebrew slaves, also glazed bead necklaces. They are looking
for the House of Amran, the father of Moses, where the great leader
was born.

The site of Arbela, where Alexander the Great won his mightiest victory
over Darius, has been discovered. It is a series of mounds on the
Western bank of the Tigris river between Nineveh and Bagdad. All the
treasures of Darius were taken and Alexander erected a great palace.
Bronze swords, cups and pieces of sculpture have been unearthed and
it is supposed there are vast stores of other remains awaiting the
tool and patience of the excavator. The famous Sultan Saladin took up
his residence here in 1184 and doubtless many relics of his royal time
will be discovered.

The remains of the city of Pumbaditha have been identified with the
immense mound of Abnar some twenty miles from Babylon, on the banks
of the Euphrates. This was the centre of Jewish scholarship during the
Babylonian exile. One of the great schools in which the Talmud was
composed was located here. The great psalm, "By the waters of Babylon,
we sat down and wept." was also composed on this spot, and here, too,
Jeremiah and Isaiah thundered their impassioned eloquence. Broken tombs
and a few inscribed bowls have been brought to light. Probably the
original scrolls of the Talmud will be found here. Several curiously
wrought vases and ruins have been also unearthed.

Several monuments bearing inscriptions which are sorely puzzling the
archaeologists have recently been unearthed at the site of Boghaz-Keni
which was the ancient, if not original capital, of the mysterious
people called the Hittites who have been for so long a worry to Bible
students. Archaeology has now revealed the secret of this people. There
is no doubt they were of Mongolian origin, as the monuments just
discovered represent them with slant eyes and pigtails. No one as yet
has been able to read the inscriptions. They were great warriors, great
builders and influenced the fate of many of the ancient nations.

In many other places throughout these lands, deep students of Biblical
lore are pushing on the work of excavation and daily adding to our
knowledge concerning the peoples and nations in whom posterity must
ever take a vital interest.

A short time ago, Professor Doerpfeld announced to the world that he
had discovered on the island of Ithaca, off the west coast of Greece,
the ruins of the palace of Ulysses, Homer's half-mythical hero of the
_Odyssey_. The German archaeologist has traced the different rooms
of the palace and is convinced that here is the very place to which
the hero returned after his wanderings. Near it several graves were
found from which were exhumed silver amulets, curiously wrought
necklaces, bronze swords and metal ornaments bearing date 2,000 B.C.,
which is the date at which investigators lay the Siege of Troy.

If the ruins be really those of the palace of Ulysses, some interesting
things may be found to throw a light on the Homeric epic. As the
schoolboys know, when Ulysses set sail from Troy for home, adverse
winds wafted him to the coast of Africa and he beat around in the
adjacent seas and visited islands and spent a considerable time meeting
many kinds of curious and weird adventures, dallying at one time with
the lotus-eaters, at another braving the Cyclops, the one-eyed monsters,
until he arrived at Ithaca where "he bent his bow and slew the suitors
of Penelope, his harassed wife."

In North America are mounds, earthworks, burial sites, shell heaps,
buildings of stone and adobe, pictographs sculptured in rocks, stone
implements, objects made of bone, pottery and other remains which
arouse the enthusiasm of the archaeologist. As the dead were usually
buried in America, investigators try to locate the ancient cemeteries
because, besides skeletons, they usually contain implements, pottery
and ornaments which were buried with the corpses. The most
characteristic implement of early man in America was the grooved axe,
which is not found in any other country. Stone implements are plentiful
everywhere. Knives, arrow-points and perforators of chipped stone are
found in all parts of the continent. Beads and shells and pottery are
also found in almost every State.

The antiquity of man in Europe has been determined in a large measure
by archaeological remains found in caves occupied by him in different
ages, but the exploration of caves in North America has so far failed
to reveal traces of different degrees of civilization.



CHAPTER IX

GREAT TUNNELS OF THE WORLD

  Primitive Tunneling--Hoosac Tunnel--Croton Aqueduct--Great Alpine
  Tunnels--New York Subway--McAdoo Tunnels--How Tunnels are Built.


The art of tunnel construction ranks among the very oldest in the
world, if not the oldest, for almost from the beginning of his advent
on the earth man has been tunneling and boring and making holes in the
ground. Even in pre-historic time, the ages of which we have neither
record nor tradition, primitive man scooped out for himself hollows
in the sides of hills, and mountains, as is evidenced by geological
formations and by the fossils that have been unearthed. The forming
of these hollows and holes was no indication of a superior intelligence
but merely manifested the instincts of nature in seeking protection
from the fury of the elements and safety from hostile forces such as
the onslaughts of the wild and terrible beasts that then existed on
the earth.

The Cave Dwellers were real tunnelers, inasmuch as in construction of
their rude dwellings they divided them into several compartments and
in most cases chose the base of hills for their operations, boring
right through from side to side as recent discoveries have verified.

The ancient Egyptians built extensive tunnels for the tombs of their
dead as well as for the temples of the living. When a king of Thebes
ascended the throne he immediately gave orders for his tomb to be cut
out of the solid rock. A separate passage or gallery led to the tomb
along which he was to be borne in death to the final resting place.
Some of the tunnels leading to the mausoleums of the ancient Egyptian
kings were upwards of a thousand feet in length, hewn out of the hard
solid rock. A similar custom prevailed in Assyria, Mesopotamia, Persia
and India.

The early Assyrians built a tunnel under the Euphrates river which was
12 feet wide by 15 high. The course of the river was diverted until
the tunnel was built, then the waters were turned into their former
channel, therefore it was not really a subaqueous tunnel.

The sinking of tunnels under water was to be one of the triumphs of
modern science.

Unquestionably the Romans were the greatest engineers of ancient times.
Much of their masonry work has withstood the disintegrating hand of
time and is as solid and strong to-day as when first erected.

The "Fire-setting" method of tunneling was originated by them, and
they also developed the familiar principle of prosecuting the work at
several points at the same time by means of vertical shafts. They
heated the rock to be excavated by great fires built against the face
of it. When a very high temperature was reached they turned streams
of cold water on the heated stone with the result that great portions
were disintegrated and fell off under the action of the water. The
Romans being good chemists knew the effect of vinegar on lime, therefore
when they encountered calcareous rock instead of water they used vinegar
which very readily split up and disintegrated this kind of obstruction.
The work of tunneling was very severe on the laborers, but the Romans
did not care, for nearly all the workmen were slaves and regarded in
no better light than so many cattle. One of the most notable tunnels
constructed by the old Romans was that between Naples and Pozzuoli
through the Posilipo Hills. It was excavated through volcanic tufa and
was 3,000 feet long, 25 feet wide, and of the pointed arch style. The
longest of the Roman tunnels, 3-1/2 miles, was built to drain Lake
Fucino. It was driven through calcareous rock and is said to have cost
the labor of 30,000 men for 11 years.

Only hand labor was employed by the ancient people in their tunnel
work. In soft ground the tools used were picks, shovels and scoops,
but for rock work they had a greater variety. The ancient Egyptians
besides the hammer, chisel and wedges had tube drills and saws provided
with cutting edges of corundum or other hard gritty material.

For centuries there was no progress in the art of tunneling. On the
contrary there was a decline from the earlier construction until late
in the 17th century when gunpowder came into use as an explosive in
blasting rock. The first application of gunpowder was probably at
Malpas, France, 1679-1681, in the construction of the tunnel on the
line of the Languedoc Canal 510 feet long, 22 feet wide and 29 feet
high.

It was not until the beginning of the nineteenth century that the art
of tunnel construction, through sand, wet ground or under rivers was
undertaken so as to come rightly under the head of practical
engineering. In 1803 a tunnel was built through very soft soil for the
San Quentin Canal in France. Timbering or strutting was employed to
support the walls and roof of the excavation as fast as the earth was
removed and the masonry lining was built closely following it. From
the experience gained in this tunnel were developed the various systems
of soft ground subterranean tunneling in practice at the present day.

The first tunnel of any extent built in the United States was that
known as the Auburn Tunnel near Auburn, Pa., for the water
transportation of coal. It was several hundred feet long, 22 feet wide
and 15 feet high. The first railroad tunnel in America was also in
Pennsylvania on the Allegheny-Portage Railroad, built in 1818-1821.
It was 901 feet long, 25 feet wide and 21 feet high.

What may be called the epoch making tunnel, the construction of which
first introduced high explosives and power drills in this country, was
the Hoosac in Massachusetts commenced in 1854 and after many
interruptions brought to completion in 1876. It is a double-track
tunnel nearly 5 miles in length. It was quickly followed by the
commencement of the Erie tunnel through Bergen Hill near Hoboken, N.J.
This tunnel was commenced in 1855 and finished in 1861. It is 4,400
feet long, 28 feet wide and 21 feet high. Other remarkable engineering
feats of this kind in America are the Croton Aqueduct Tunnel, the
Hudson River Tunnel, and the New York Subway.

The great rock tunnels of Europe are the four Alpine cuts known as
Mont Cenis, St. Gothard, the Arlberg and the Simplon. The Mont Cenis
is probably the most famous because at the time of its construction
it was regarded as the greatest engineering achievement of the modern
world, yet it is only a simple tunnel 8 miles long, while the Simplon
is a double tunnel, each bore of which is 12-1/4 miles. The chief
engineer of the Mont Cenis tunnel was M. Sommeiler, the man who devised
the first power drill ever used in such work. In addition to the power
drill the building of this tunnel induced the invention of apparatus
to suck up foul air, the air compressor, the turbine and several other
contrivances and appliances in use at the present time.

Great strides in modern tunneling developed the "shield" and brought
metal lining into service. The shield was invented and first used by
Sir M. I. Brunel, a London engineer, in excavating the tunnel under
the River Thames, begun in 1825 and finished in 1841. In 1869 another
English engineer, Peter Barlow, used an iron lining in connection with
a shield in driving the second tunnel under the Thames at London. From
a use of the shield and metal lining has grown the present system of
tunneling which is now universally known as the shield system.

Great advancement has been made in the past few years in the nature
and composition of explosives as well as in the form of motive power
employed in blasting. Powerful chemical compositions, such as
nitroglycerine and its compounds, such as dynamite, etc., have
supplanted gunpowder, and electricity, is now almost invariably the
firing agent. It also serves many other purposes in the work,
illumination, supplying power for hoisting and excavating machinery,
driving rock drills, and operating ventilating fans, etc. In this
field, in fact, as everywhere else in the mechanical arts, the electric
current is playing a leading part.

To the English engineer, Peter Barlow, above mentioned, must be given
the credit of bringing into use the first really serviceable circular
shield for soft ground tunneling. In 1863 he took out a patent for
such a shield with a cylindrical cast iron lining for the completed
tunnel. Of course James Henry Greathead very materially improved the
shield, so much so indeed that the present system of tunneling by means
of circular shields is called the Greathead not the Barlow system.
Greathead and Barlow entered into a partnership in 1869. They
constructed the tunnel under the Tower of London 1,350 feet in length
and seven feet in diameter which penetrated compact clay and was
completed within a period of eleven months. This was a remarkable
record in tunnel building for the time and won for these eminent
engineers a world wide fame. From thenceforth their system came into
vogue in all soft soil and subaqueous tunneling. Except for the
development in steel apparatus and the introduction of electricity as
a motive agent, there has not been such a great improvement on the
Greathead shield as one would naturally expect in thirty years.

The method of excavating a tunnel depends altogether on the nature of
the obstruction to be removed for the passage. In the case of solid
rock the work is slow but simple; dry, hard, firm earth is much the
same as rock. The difficulties of tunneling lie in the soft ground,
subaqueous mud, silt, quicksand, or any treacherous soil of a shifting,
unsteady composition.

When the rock is to be removed it is customary to begin the work in
sections of which there may be seven or eight. First one section is
excavated, then another and so on to completion. The order of the
sections depends upon the kind of rock and upon the time allotted for
the job and several other circumstances known to the engineer. If the
first section attacked be at the top immediately beneath the arch of
the proposed tunnel, next to the overlying matter, it is called a
heading, but if the first cutting takes place at the bottom of the
rock to form the base of the tunnel it is called a drift.

Driving a heading is the most difficult operation of rock tunneling.
Sometimes a heading is driven a couple of thousand feet ahead of the
other sections. In soft rock it is often necessary to use timber props
as the work proceeds and follow up the excavating by lining roof and
sides with brick, stone or concrete.

The rock is dislodged by blasting, the holes being drilled with
compressed air, water force or electricity, and, as has been said,
powerful explosives are used, nitroglycerine or some nitro-compound
being the most common. Many charges can be electrically fired at the
same time. If the tunnel is to be long, shafts are sunk at intervals
in order to attack the work at several places at once. Sometimes these
shafts are lined and left open when the tunnel is completed for purposes
of ventilation.

In soft ground and subaqueous soil the "shield" is the chief apparatus
used in tunneling. The most up-to-date appliance of this kind was that
used in constructing the tunnels connecting New York City with New
Jersey under the Hudson River. It consisted of a cylindrical shell of
steel of the diameter of the excavation to be made. This was provided
with a cutting edge of cast steel made up of assembled segments. Within
the shell was arranged a vertical bulkhead provided with a number of
doors to permit the passage of workmen, tools and explosives. The shell
extended to the rear of the bulkhead forming what was known as the
"tail." The lining was erected within this tail and consisted of steel
plates lined with masonry. The whole arrangement was in effect a
gigantic circular biscuit cutter which was forced through the earth.

The tail thus continually enveloped the last constructed portion of
this permanent lining. The actual excavation took place in advance of
the cutting edge. The method of accomplishing this, varied with
conditions. At times the material would be rock for a few feet from
the bottom, overlaid with soft earth. In such case the latter would
be first excavated and then the roof would be supported by temporary
timbers, after which the rock portion would be attacked. When the
workmen had excavated the material in front of the shield it was passed
through the heavy steel plate diaphragm in center of the shell out to
the rear and the shield was then moved forward so as to bring its front
again up to the face of the excavation. As the shell was very unwieldy,
weighing about eighty tons, and, moreover, as the friction or pressure
of the surrounding material on its side had to be overcome it was a
very difficult matter to move it forward and a great force had to be
expended to do so. This force was exerted by means of hydraulic jacks
so devised and placed around the circumference of the diaphragm as to
push against the completed steel plate lining of the tunnel. There
were sixteen of these jacks employed with cylinders eight inches in
diameter and they exerted a pressure of from one thousand to four
thousand pounds per square inch. By such means the shield was pushed
ahead as soon as room was made in front for another move.

The purpose of the shield is to prevent the inrush of water and soft
material while excavating is going on; the diaphragm of the shields
acts as a bulkhead and the openings in it are so devised as to be
quickly closed if necessary. The extension of the shield in front of
the diaphragm is designed to prevent the falling or flowing in of the
exposed face of the new excavation.

The extension of the shell back from the diaphragm is for the purpose
of affording opportunity to put in place the finished tunnel lining
whatever it may be, masonry, cast-iron, cast-iron and masonry, or steel
plates and masonry. Where the material is saturated with water as is
the case in all subaqueous tunneling it is necessary to use compressed
air in connection with the shield. The intensity of air pressure is
determined by the depth of the tunnel below the surface of the water
above it. The tunnelers work in what are called caissons to which they
have access through an air lock. In many cases quick transition from
the compressed air in the caisson to the open air at the surface results
fatally to the workers. The caisson disease is popularly called "the
bends" a kind of paralysis which is more or less baffling to medical
science. Some men are able to bear a greater pressure than others. It
depends on the natural stamina of the worker and his state of health.
The further down the greater the pressure. The normal atmospheric
pressure at the surface is about fourteen pounds to the square inch.
Men in normal health should be able to stand a pressure of seventy-six
pounds to the square inch and this would call for a depth of 178 feet
under water surface, which far exceeds any depth worked under compressed
air. For a long time one hundred feet were regarded as a maximum depth
and at that depth men were not permitted to work more than an hour in
one shift. The ordinary subaqueous tunnel pressure is about forty-five
pounds and this corresponds to a head of 104 feet. In working in the
Hudson Tunnels the pressure was scarcely ever above thirty-three pounds,
yet many suffered from the "bends."

What is called a freezing method is now proposed to overcome the water
in soft earth tunneling. Its chief feature is the excavating first of
a small central tunnel to be used as a refrigerating chamber or ice
box in freezing the surrounding material solid so that it can be dug
out or blasted out in chunks the same as rock. It is very doubtful
however, if such a plan is feasible.

The greatest partly subaqueous tunnels in the world are now to be found
in the vicinity of New York. The first to be opened to the public is
known as the Subway and extends from the northern limits of the City
in Westchester County to Brooklyn. The oldest, however, of the New
York tunnels counting from its origin is the "McAdoo" tunnel from
Christopher Street, in Manhattan Borough, under the Hudson to Hoboken.
This was begun in 1880 and continued at intervals as funds could be
obtained until 1890, when the work was abandoned after about two
thousand feet had been constructed. For a number of years the tunnel
remained full of water until it was finally acquired by the Hudson
Companies who completed and opened it to the public in 1908. Another
tunnel to the foot of Cortlandt Street was constructed by the same
concern and opened in 1909. Both tunnels consist of parallel but
separate tubes. The railway tunnels to carry the Pennsylvania R. R.
under the Hudson into New York and thence under the East River to Long
Island have been finished and are great triumphs of engineering skill
besides making New York the most perfectly equipped city in the world
as far as transit is concerned.

The greatest proposed subaqueous tunnel is that intended to connect
England with France under the English Channel a distance of twenty-one
miles. Time and again the British Parliament has rejected proposals
through fear that such a tunnel would afford a ready means of invasion
from a foreign enemy. However, it is almost sure to be built. Another
projected British tunnel is one which will link Ireland and Scotland
under the Irish Sea. If this is carried out then indeed the Emerald
Isle will be one with Britain in spite of her unwillingness for such
a close association.

England already possesses a famous subaqueous tunnel in that known as
the Severn tunnel under the river of that name. It is four and a half
miles long, although it was built largely through rock. Water gave
much trouble in its construction which occupied thirteen years from
1873 to 1886. Pumps were employed to raise the water through a side
heading connecting with a shaft twenty-nine feet in diameter. The
greatest amount of water raised concurrently was twenty-seven million
gallons in twenty-four hours but the pumps had a capacity of sixty-six
million gallons for the same time.

The greatest tunnel in Europe is the Simplon which connects Switzerland
with Italy under the Simplon Pass in the Alps. It has two bores twelve
and one-fourth miles each and at places it is one and one-half miles
below the surface. The St. Gothard also connecting Switzerland and
Italy under the lofty peak of the Col de St. Gothard is nine and
one-fourth miles in length. The third great Alpine tunnel, the Arlberg,
which is six and one-half miles long, forms a part of the Austrian
railway between Innsbruck and Bluedenz in the Tyrol and connects
westward with the Swiss railroads and southward with those of Italy.

Two great tunnels at the present time are being constructed in the
United States, one of these which is piercing the backbone of the
Rockies is on the Atlantic and Pacific railway. It begins near
Georgetown, will pass under Gray's peak and come out near Decatur,
Colorado, in all a length of twelve miles. The other American
undertaking is a tunnel under the famous Pike's Peak in Colorado which
when completed will be twenty miles long.

It can clearly be seen that in the way of tunnel engineering Uncle Sam
is not a whit behind his European competitors.



CHAPTER X

ELECTRICITY IN THE HOUSEHOLD

  Electrically Equipped Houses--Cooking by Electricity--Comforts and
  Conveniences.


Science has now pressed the invisible wizard of electricity into doing
almost every household duty from cleaning the windows to cooking the
dinner. There are many houses now so thoroughly equipped with
electricity from top to bottom that one servant is able to do what
formerly required the service of several, and in some houses servants
seem to be needed hardly at all, the mistresses doing their own cooking,
ironing, and washing by means of electricity.

In respect to taking advantage of electricity to perform the duties
of the household our friends in Europe were ahead of us, though America
is pre-eminently the land of electricity--the natal home of the science.
We are waking up, however, to the domestic utility of this agent and
throughout the country at present there are numbers of homes in which
electricity is employed to perform almost every task automatically
from feeding the baby to the crimping of my lady's hair in her scented
boudoir.

There is now no longer any use for chimneys on electrically equipped
houses, for the fires have been eliminated and all heat and light drawn
from the electric street mains. A description of one of these houses
is most interesting as showing what really can be accomplished by this
wonderful source of power.

Before the visitor to such a house reaches the gate or front door his
approach is made known by an annunciator in the hall, which is connected
with a hidden plate in the entrance path, which when pressed by the
feet of the visitor charges the wire of the annunciator. A voice comes
through the horn of a phonograph asking him what he wishes and telling
him to reply through the telephone which hangs at the side of the door.
When he has made his wants known, if he is welcome or desired, there
is a click and the door opens. As he enters an electrically operated
door mat cleans his shoes and if he is aware of the equipments of the
house, he can have his clothes brushed by an automatic brush attached
to the hat-rack in the hall. An escalator or endless stairway brings
him to the first floor where he is met by the host who conducts him
to the den sacred to himself. If he wishes a preprandial cigar, the
host touches a segment of the wall, apparently no different in
appearance from the surrounding surface, and a complete cigar outfit
shoots out to within reach of the guest. When the gong announces dinner
he is conducted to the dining hall where probably the uses to which
electricity can be put are better exemplified than in any other part
of the house. Between this room and the kitchen there is a perfect
electric understanding. The apartments are so arranged that electric
dumbwaiter service is operated between the centre of the dining table
itself and the serving table in the kitchen. The latter is equipped
with an electric range provided with electrically heated ovens,
broilers, vegetable cookers, saucepans, dishes, etc., sufficient for
the preparation of the most elaborate house banquet. The chef or cook
in charge of the kitchen prepares each dish in its proper oven and has
it ready waiting on the electric elevator at the appointed time when
the host and his guest or guests, or family, as the case may be, are
seated at the dining table. The host or whoever presides at the head
of the table merely touches a button concealed on the side of the
mahogany and the elevator instantly appears through a trap-door in
the table, which is ordinarily closed by two silver covers which look
like a tray. In this way the dish seemingly miraculously appears right
on top of the table. When each guest is served it returns to the kitchen
by the way it came and a second course is brought on the table in a
similar manner and so on until the dinner is fully served. Fruits and
flowers tastefully arranged adorn the centre of the dining table and
minute electric incandescent lamps of various colors are concealed in
the roses and petals and these give a very pretty effect, especially
at night.

Beneath the table nothing is to be seen but two nickel-plated bars
which serve to guide the elevators.

Down in the kitchen the cooking is carried on almost mechanically by
means of an electric clock controlling the heating circuits to the
various utensils. The cook, knowing just how long each dish will require
to be cooked, turns on the current at the proper time and then sets
the clock to automatically disconnect that utensil when sufficient
time, so many minutes to the pound, has elapsed. When this occurs a
little electric bell rings, calling attention to the fact, that the
heat has been shut off.

Another kitchen accessory is a rotating table on which are mounted
various household machines such as meat choppers, cream whippers, egg
beaters and other apparatus all electrically operated.

There is also an electric dishwasher and dryer and plate rack
manipulator which places the dishes in position when clean and dried.

The advantages of cooking by electricity are apparent to all who have
tested them. Food cooked in an electric baking oven is much superior
than when cooked by any other method because of the better heat
regulation and the utter cleanliness, there being absolutely no dust
whatever as in the case when coal is used. The electric oven does not
increase the temperature nor does it exhaust the pure air in the room
by burning up the oxygen. The time required for cooking is about the
same as with coal.

The perfect cleanliness of an electric plate warmer is sufficient to
warrant its use. It keeps dishes at a uniform temperature and the food
does not get scorched and become tough.

Steaks prepared on electric gridirons and broilers are really delicious
as they are evenly done throughout and retain all the natural juices
of the meat; there is no odor of gas or of the fire and portions done
to a crisp while others are raw on the inside. In toasting there is
no danger of the bread burning on one side more than on the other, or
of its burning on either side and a couple of dozen slices can be done
together on an ordinary instrument at the same time. The electric
diskstove, flat on the top, like a ball cut in two, can be also utilized
as a toaster or for heating any kettles or pots or vessels with flat
bottoms.

Very appetizing waffles are made with electric waffle irons, because
the bottom and top irons are uniformly heated, so that the irons cook
the waffles from both sides at the same time.

Electric potato peeling machines consist of a stationary cylinder
opened at the top for the reception of the potatoes and having a
revolving disk at the bottom. The cylinder has a rough surface or is
coated with diamond flint, so that when the disk revolves the potatoes
are thrown against the sides of the cylinder and the skin is scraped
off. There is no deep cutting as when peeled by a knife, therefore,
much waste is avoided. While the potatoes are being scraped, a stream
of water plays upon them taking away the skins and thoroughly cleansing
the tubers.

Among other electric labor savers connected with the culinary department
may be mentioned floor-scrubbers, dish-washers, coffee-grinders, meat
choppers, dough-mixers and cutlery-polishers, all of which give
complete satisfaction at a paltry cost and save much time and labor.
A small motor can drive any of these instruments or several can be
attached and run by the same motor. The operation of an ordinary snap
switch will supply energy to electric water-heaters attached to the
kitchen boiler or to the faucet. The instantaneous water heater also
purifies the water by killing the bacteria contained in it.

The electric tea kettle makes a brew to charm the heart of a
connossieur. In fact all cooking done by electricity whether it is the
frying of an egg or the roasting of a steak is superior in every way
to the old methods and what accentuates its use is the cleanliness
with which it can be performed. And it should be taken into
consideration that in electric cooking there is no bending over hot
stoves and ranges or a stuffy evil smelling smoky atmosphere, but on
the contrary, fresh air, cleanliness and coolness which make cooking
not the drudgery it has ever been, but a real pleasure.

Let us take a glance at the laundry in the electrically equipped house.
There is a large tub with a wringer attached to it and a simple
mechanism by which a small motor can either be connected with the tub
or the wringer as required. The washing is performed entirely by the
motor and in a way prevents the wear and tear associated with the old
method of scrubbing and rubbing done at the expense of much "elbow
grease." The motor turns the tub back and forth and in this way the
soapy water penetrates the clothes, thus removing the dirt without
injuring or tearing the fabric. In the old way, the clothes were moved
up and down in the water and torn and worn in the process. By the new
way it is the water which moves while the clothes remain stationary.
When the clothes are thoroughly washed, the motor is attached to the
wringer and they are passed through it; they are completely dried by
a specially constructed electric fan. Whatever garments are to be
ironed are separated and fed to a steel roll mangle operated by a motor
which gives them a beautiful finish. The electric flat iron plays also
an important part in the laundry as it is clean and never gets too hot
nor too cold and there is no rushing back to replenish the heaters.
One is not obliged to remain in the room with a hot stove, and suffer
the inconveniences. No heat is felt at all from the iron as it is all
concentrated on the bottom surface. It is a regular blessing to the
laundress especially in hot weather. There is a growing demand in all
parts of the country for these electric flat-irons.

Electricity plays an important role in the parlor and drawing-room.
The electric fireplace throws out a ruddy glow, a perfect imitation
of the wide-open old-fashioned fireplaces of the days of our
grandmothers. There are small grooves at certain sections in the
flooring over which chairs and couches can be brought to a desired
position. When the master drops into his favorite chair by the fireplace
if he wishes a tune to soothe his jangled nerves, there is an electric
attachment to the piano and he can adjust it to get the air of his
choice without having to ask any one to play for him. In the
drawing-room an electric fountain may be playing, its jets reflecting
the prismatic colors of the rainbow as the waters fall in iridescent
sparkle among the lights. Such a fountain is composed of a small
electric motor and a centrifugal pump, the latter being placed in the
interior of a basin and connected directly to the motor shaft. The
pump receives the water from the basin and conveys it through pipes
and a number of small nozzles thus producing cascades. The water falling
upon an art glass dome, beneath which are small incandescent lamps,
returns to the basin and thence again to the pump. There is no necessity
of filling the fountain until the water gets low through evaporation.
When the lights are not in colored glass, the water may be colored and
this gives the same effect. To produce the play of the fountain and
its effects, it is only necessary to connect it to any circuit and
turn on the switch. The dome revolves by means of a jet of water driven
against flanges on the under side of the rim of the dome and in this
way beautiful and prismatic effects are produced. The motor is noiseless
in operation. In addition to the pretty effect the fountain serves to
cool and moisten the air of the room.

The sleeping chambers are thoroughly equipped. Not only the rooms may
be heated by electricity but the beds themselves. An electric pad
consisting of a flexible resistance covered with soft felt is connected
by a conductor cord to a plug and is used for heating beds or if the
occupant is suffering from rheumatism or indigestion or any intestinal
pain this pad can be used in the place of the hot water bottle and
gives greater satisfaction. There is a heat controlling device and the
circuit can be turned on or off at will.

There are many more curious devices in the electrically equipped house
which could they have been exhibited a generation or so ago, would
have condemned the owner as a sorcerer and necromancer of the dark
ages, but which now only place him in the category of the smart ones
who are up to date and take advantage of the science and progress of
the time.



CHAPTER XI

HARNESSING THE WATER-FALL

  Electric Energy--High Pressure--Transformers--Development of
  Water-power.


The electrical transmission of power is exemplified in everything which
is based on the generation of electricity. The ordinary electric light
is power coming from a generator in the building or a public
street-dynamo.

However, when we talk in general terms of electric transmission we
mean the transmission of energy on a large scale by means of overhead
or underground conductors to a considerable distance and the
transformation of this energy into light and heat and chemical or
mechanical power to carry on the processes of work and industry. When
the power or energy is conveyed a long distance from the generator,
say over 30 miles or more, we usually speak of the system of supply
as long distance transmission of electric energy. In many cases power
is conveyed over distances of 200 miles and more. When water power is
available as at Niagara, the distance to which electric energy can be
transmitted is considerably increased.

The distance to a great extent depends on the cost of coal required
for generation at the distributing point and on the amount of energy
demanded at the receiving point. Of course the farther the distance
the higher must be the voltage pressure.

Electrical engineers say that under proper conditions electric energy
may be transmitted in large quantity to a distance of 500 miles and
more at a pressure of about 170,000 volts. If such right conditions
be established then New York, Chicago and several other of our large
cities can get their power from Niagara.

In our cities and towns where the current has only to go a short
distance from the power house, the conductors are generally placed in
cables underground and the maximum electro-motive force scarcely ever
exceeds 11,000 volts. This pressure is generated by a steam-driven
alternating-current generator and is transmitted over the conductors
to sub-stations, where by means of step-down transformers, the pressure
is dropped to, say, 600 volts alternating current which by rotary
converters is turned into direct current for the street mains, for
feeders of railways and for charging storage batteries which in turn
give out direct current at times of heavy demand.

That electric transmission of energy to long distances may be
successfully carried out transformers are necessary for raising the
pressure on the transmission line and for reducing it at the points
of distribution. The transformer consists of a magnetic circuit of
laminated iron or mild steel interlinked with two electric circuits,
one, the primary, receiving electrical energy and the other the
secondary, delivering it to the consumer. The effect of the iron is
to make as many as possible of the lines of force set up by the primary
current, cut the secondary winding and there set up an electromotive
force of the same frequency but different voltage.

The transformer has made long distance the actual achievement that it
is. It is this apparatus that brought the mountain to Mohammed. Without
it high pressure would be impossible and it is on high pressure that
success of long distance transmission depends.

To convey electricity to distant centres at a low pressure would require
thousands of dollars in copper cables alone as conductors. To illustrate
the service of the transformer in electricity it is only necessary to
consider water power at a low pressure. In such a case the water can
only be transmitted at slow speed and through great openings, like
dams or large canals, and withal the force is weak and of little
practical efficiency, whereas under high pressure a small quantity can
be forced through a small pipe and create an energy beyond comparison
to that developed when under low pressure.

The transformer raises the voltage and sends the electrical current
under high pressure over a small wire and so great is this pressure
that thousands of horse-power can be sent to great distances over small
wires with very little loss.

Water power is now changed to electrical power and transmitted over
slender copper wires to the great manufacturing centres of our country
to turn the wheels of industry and give employment to thousands.

Nearly one hundred cities in the United States alone are today using
electricity supplied by transmitted water-power. Ten years ago Niagara
Falls were regarded only as a great natural curiosity of interest only
to the sightseer, today those Falls distribute over 100,000 horse-power
to Buffalo, Syracuse, Rochester, Toronto and several smaller cities
and towns. Wild Niagara has at last indeed been harnessed to the
servitude of man. Spier Falls north of Saratoga, practically unheard
of before, is now supplying electricity to the industrial communities
of Schenectady, Troy, Amsterdam, Albany and half a dozen or so smaller
towns.

Rivers and dams, lakes and falls in all parts of the country are being
utilized to supply energy, though at the present time only about
one-fortieth of the horse-power available through this agent is being
made productive. The water conditions of the United States are so
favorable that 200,000,000 horse-power could be easily developed, but
as it is we have barely enough harnessed to supply 5 million
horse-power.

Eighty per cent. of the power used at the present time is produced
from fuel. This percentage is sure to decrease in the future for fuel
will become scarcer and the high cost will drive fuel power altogether
out of the market.

New York State has the largest water power development in the Union,
the total being 885,862 horsepower; this fact is chiefly owing to
the energy developed by Niagara.

The second State in water-power development is California, the total
development being 466,774 horsepower over 1,070 wheels or a unit
installation of about 436 H.P.

The third State is Maine with 343,096 horse-power, over 2,707 wheels
or an average of about 123 horse-power per wheel.

Lack of space makes it impossible to enter upon a detailed description
of the structural and mechanical features of the various plants and
how they were operated for the purpose of turning water into an electric
current. The best that can be done is to outline the most noteworthy
features which typify the various situations under which power plants
are developed and operated.

The water power available under any condition depends principally upon
two factors: First, the amount of fall or hydrostatic head on the
wheels; second, the amount of water that can be turned over the wheels.
The conditions vary according to place, there are all kinds of fall
and flow. To develop a high power it is necessary to discharge a large
volume of water upon properly designed wheels. In many of the western
plants where only a small amount of water is available there is a great
fall to make up for the larger volume in force coming down upon the
wheels. So far as actual energy is concerned it makes no difference
whether we develop a certain amount of power by allowing twenty cubic
feet of water per second to fall a distance of one foot or allow one
cubic foot of water per second to fall a distance of twenty feet.

In one place we may have a plant developing say 10,000 horse-power
with a fall of anywhere from twenty to forty feet and in another place
a plant of the same capacity with a fall of 1,000, 1,500 or 2,000 feet.
In the former case the short fall is compensated by a great volume of
water to produce such a horse-power, while in the latter converse
conditions prevail. In many cases the power house is located some
distance from the source of supply and from the point where the water
is diverted from its course by artificial means.

The Shawinigan Falls of St. Maurice river in Canada occur at two points
a short distance apart, the fall at one point being about 50 and at
the other 100 feet high. A canal 1,000 feet long takes water from the
river above the upper of these falls and delivers it near to the
electric power house on the river bank below the lower falls. In this
way a hydrostatic head of 125 feet is obtained at the power house. The
canal in this case ends on high ground 130 feet from the power house
and the water passes down to the wheels through steel penstocks 9 feet
in diameter.

In a great many cases in level country the water power can only be
developed by means of such canals or pipe lines and the generating
stations must be situated away from the points where the water is
diverted from its course.

In mountainous country where rivers are comparatively small and their
courses are marked by numerous falls and rapids, it is generally
necessary to utilize the fall of a stream through some miles of its
length in order to get a satisfactory development of power. To reach
this result rather long canals, flumes, or pipe lines must be laid to
convey the water to the power stations and deliver it at high pressure.

California offers numerous examples of electric power development with
the water that has been carried several miles through artificial
channels. An illustration of this class of work exists at the electric
power house on the bank of the Mokelumne river in the Sierra Nevada
mountains. Water is supplied to the wheels in this station under a
head of 1,450 feet through pipes 3,600 feet long leading to the top
of a near-by hill. To reach this hill the water after its diversion
from the Mokelumne river at the dam, flows twenty miles through a canal
or ditch and then through 3,000 feet of wooden stave pipe. Although
California ranks second in water-power development it is easily the
first in the number of its stations, and also be it said, California
was the first to realize the possibilities of long distance electrical
energy. The line from the 15,000 horsepower plant at Colgate in this
State to San Francisco by way of Mission San Jose, where it is supplied
with additional power, has a length of 232 miles and is the longest
transmission of electrical energy in the world. The power house at
Colgate has a capacity of 11,250 kilowatts in generators, but it is
uncertain what part of the output is transmitted to San Francisco, as
there are more than 100 substations on the 1,375 miles of circuit in
this system.

Another system, even greater than the foregoing which has just been
completed is that of the Stanislaus plant in Tuolumme County,
California, from which a transmission line on steel towers has been
run in Tuolumme, Calaveras, San Joaquin, Alameda and Contra Costa
Counties for the delivery of power to mines and to the towns lying
about San Francisco Bay. The rushing riotous waters of the Stanislaus
wasted for so many centuries have been saved by the steel paddles of
gigantic turbine water wheels and converted into electricity which
carries with the swiftness of thought thousands of horse power energy
to the far away cities and towns to be transformed into light and heat
and power to run street cars and trains and set in motion the mechanism
of mills and factories and make the looms of industry hum with the
bustle and activity of life.

It is said that the greatest long distance transmission yet attempted
will shortly be undertaken in South Africa where it is proposed to
draw power from the famous Victoria Falls. The line from the Falls
will run to Johannesburg and through the Rand, a length of 700 miles.
It is claimed the Falls are capable of developing 300,000 electric
horse power at all times.

Should this undertaking be accomplished it will be a crowning
achievement in electrical science.



CHAPTER XII

WONDERFUL WARSHIPS

  Dimensions, Displacements, Cost and Description of Battleships--
  Capacity and Speed--Preparing for the Future.


All modern battleships are of steel construction. The basis of all
protection on these vessels is the protective deck, which is also
common to the armored cruiser and many varieties of gunboats. This
deck is of heavy steel covering the whole of the vessel a little above
the water-line in the centre; it slopes down from the centre until it
meets the sides of the vessel about three feet below the water; it
extends the entire length of the ship and is firmly secured at the
ends to the heavy stem and stern posts. Underneath this deck are the
essentials of the vessel, the boilers and machinery, the magazines and
shell rooms, the ammunition cells and all the explosive paraphernalia
which must be vigilantly safe-guarded against the attacks of the
enemy. Every precaution is taken to insure safety. All openings in the
protective deck above are covered with heavy steel gratings to prevent
fragments of shell or other combustible substances from getting through
to the magazine or powder cells.

The heaviest armor is usually placed at the water line because it is
this part of the ship which is the most vulnerable and open to attack
and where a shell or projectile would do the most harm. If a hole were
torn in the side at this place the vessel would quickly take in water
and sink. On this account the armor is made thick and is known as the
water-line belt. At the point where the protective deck and the ship's
side meet, there is a projection or ledge on which this armor belt
rests. Thus it goes down about three feet below the water and it extends
to the same distance above.

The barbettes, that is, the parapets supporting the gun turrets, are
one forward and one aft. They rest upon the protective deck at the
bottom and extend up about four feet above the upper deck. At the top
of the barbettes, revolving on rollers, are the turrets, sometimes
called the hoods, containing the guns and the leading mechanism and
all of the machinery in connection with the same. The turret ammunition
hoists lead up from the magazine below, delivering the charges and
projectiles for the guns at the very breach so that they can be loaded
immediately.

An athwartship line of armor runs from the water line to the barbettes,
resting upon the protective deck. In fact, the space between the
protective and upper deck is so closed in with armor, with a barbette
at each end, that it is like a citadel or fort or some redoubt
well-guarded from the enemy. Resting upon the water-belt and the
athwartship or diagonal armor, and following the same direction is a
layer of armor usually somewhat thinner which is called the lower
case-mate armor; it extends up to the lower edge of the broadside gun
ports, and resting upon it in turn is the upper case-mate armor,
following the same direction, and forming the protection for the
broadside battery. The explosive effect of the modern shell is so
tremendous that were one to get through the upper case-mate and explode
immediately after entering, it would undoubtedly disable several guns
and kill their entire crews; it is, therefore, usual to isolate each
broadside gun from its neighbors by light nickel steel bulkheads a
couple of inches or so thick, and to prevent the same disastrous result
among the guns on the opposite side, a fore-and-aft bulkhead of about
the same thickness is placed on the centre line of the ship. Each gun
of the broadside battery is thus mounted in a space by itself somewhat
similar to a stall. Abaft the forward turret there is a vertical armored
tube resting on the protective deck and at its upper end is the conning
tower, from which the ship is worked when in action and which is well
safe-guarded.

The tube protects all the mechanical signalling gear running into the
conning tower from which communication can be had instantly with any
part of the vessel.

To build a battleship that will be practically unsinkable by the gun
fire of an enemy it is only necessary to make the water belt armor
thick enough to resist the shells, missiles and projectiles aimed at
it. There is another essential that is equally important, and that is
the protection of the batteries. The experience of modern battles has
made it manifest, that it is impossible for the crew to do their work
when exposed to a hail of shot and shell from a modern battery of rapid
fire and automatic guns. And so in all more recently built battleships
and armored cruisers and gunboats, the protection of broadside batteries
and exposed positions has been increased even at the expense of the
water-line belt.

Armor plate has been much improved in recent years. During the Civil
War the armor on our monitors was only an inch thick. Through such an
armor the projectiles of our time would penetrate as easily as a bullet
through a pine board. It was the development of gun power and
projectiles that called forth the thick armor, but it was soon found
that it was impossible for the armor to keep pace with the deadliness
of the guns as it was utterly impossible to carry the weight necessary
to resist the force of impact. Then came the use of special plates,
the compound armor where a hard face to break up the projectile was
welded to a softer back to give the necessary strength. This was
followed by the steel armor treated by the Harvey process; it was like
the compound armor in having a hard face and a soft back, but the
plates were made from a single ingot without any welding.

The Harvey process enabled an enormously greater resistance to be
obtained with a given weight of armor, but even it has been surpassed
by the Krupp process which enables twelve inches of thickness to give
the same resistance as fifteen of Harveyized plates.

The armament or battery of warships is divided into two classes, viz.,
the main and the second batteries. The main battery comprises the
heaviest guns on the ship, those firing large shell and armor-piercing
projectiles, while the second battery consists of small rapid fire and
machine guns for use against torpedo boats or to attack the unprotected
or lightly protected gun positions of an enemy. The main battery of
our modern battleships consists usually of ten twelve-inch guns, mounted
in pairs on turrets in the centre of the ship. In addition to these
heavy guns it is usual to mount a number of smaller ones of from five
to eight inches diameter of bore on each broadside, although sometimes
they are mounted on turrets like the larger guns.

A twelve-inch breech-loading gun, fifty calibers long and weighing
eighty-three tons, will propel a shell weighing eight hundred and
eighty pounds, by a powder charge of six hundred and twenty-four pounds,
at a velocity of over two thousand six hundred and twenty feet per
second, giving an energy at the muzzle of over forty thousand foot-tons
and is capable of penetrating at the muzzle, forty-five inches of
iron.

During the last few years, very large increases have been made in the
dimensions, displacements and costs of battleships and armored cruisers
as compared with vessels of similar classes previously constructed.
Both England and the United States have constructed enormous war vessels
within the past decade. The British _Dreadnought_ built in nineteen
hundred and five has a draft of thirty-one feet six inches and a
displacement of twenty-two thousand and two hundred tons. Later, vessels
of the _Dreadnought_ type have a normal draft of twenty-seven
feet and a naval displacement of eighteen thousand and six hundred
tons. Armored cruisers of the British _Invincible_ class have a
draft of twenty-six feet and a displacement of seventeen thousand two
hundred and fifty tons with a thousand tons of coal on board. These
cruisers have engines developing forty-one thousand horse-power.

Within the past two years the United States has turned out a few
formidable battleships, which it is claimed surpass the best of those
of any other navy in the world. The _Delaware_ and _North Dakota_ each
have a draft of twenty-six feet, eleven inches and a displacement of
twenty thousand tons. Great interest attached to the trials of these
vessels because they were sister ships fitted with different machinery
and it was a matter of much speculation which would develop the greater
speed. In addition to the consideration of the battleship as a fighting
machine at close quarters, Uncle Sam is trying to have her as fleet as
an ocean greyhound should an enemy heave in sight so that the latter
would not have much opportunity to show his heels to a broadside. The
_Delaware_, which has reciprocating engines, exceeded her contract speed
of twenty-one knots on her runs over a measured mile course in Penobscot
Bay on October 22 and 23, 1909. Three runs were made at the rate of
nineteen knots, three at 20.50 knots, and five at 21.98 knots.

The _North Dakota_ is furnished with Curtis turbine engines. Here is a
comparison of the two ships:

                                                     North
                                          Delaware    Dakota
  Fastest run over measured mile......... 21.98      22.25
  Average of five high runs.............. 21.44      21.83
  Full power trial speed................. 21.56      21.64
  Full power trial horsepower............ 28,600.    31,400.
  Full power trial, coal
    consumption, tons per day............ 578.       583.
  Nineteen-knot trial
    coal consumption, tons per day....... 315.       295.
  Twelve-knot trial coal
    consumption, tons per day.............111.       105.

The _Florida_, a 21,825 ton boat, was launched from the Brooklyn Navy
Yard last May 12. Her sister ship, the _Utah_, took water the previous
December at Camden.

Here is a comparison of the _North Dakota_ of 1908 and the _Florida_ of
1910:

                          N. Dakota         Florida
  Length                 518 ft. 9 in.     521 ft. 6 in.
  Beam                   85 ft. 2-1/2 in.  88 ft. 2-1/2 in.
  Draft, Mean            26 ft. 11 in.     28 ft. 6 in.
  Displacement           20,000 tons       21,825 tons
  Coal Supply            2,500 tons        2,500 tons
  Oil                    400 tons          400 tons
  Belt Armor             12 in. to 8 in.   12 in. to 8 in.
  Turret Armor           12 inches         12 inches
  Battery armor          6 in.             6-1/2 in.
  Smoke stack protection 6 inches          9-1/2 inches
    l2-inch guns         Ten               Ten
    5-inch guns          Fourteen          Sixteen
  Speed                  21 knots          20.75 knots

The _Florida_ has Parsons turbines working on four shafts and generates
28,000 horse-power.

The United States Navy has planned to lay down next year (1911) two
ships of 32,000 tons armed with l4-inch guns, each to cost eighteen
million dollars as compared with the $11,000,000 ships of 1910.

The following are to be some of the features of the projected ships,
which are to be named the _Arkansas_ and _Wyoming_.

554 ft. long, 93 ft. 3 in. beam, 28 ft. 6 in. draft, 26,000 tons
displacement, 28,000 horse-power, 30 1/2 knots speed, 1,650 to 2,500
tons coal supply, armament of twelve l2-inch guns, twenty-one 5-inch,
four 3-pounders and two torpedo tubes.

Fittings in recent United States battleships are for 21-inch torpedoes.
The armor is to be 11 inch on belt and barbettes and on sides 8 inches,
and each ship is to carry a complement of 1,115 officers and men. Two
of the turrets will be set forward on the forecastle deck, which will
have 28 feet, freeboard, the guns in the first turret being 34 feet
above the water and those of the second about 40 feet. Aft of the
second turret will be the conning tower, and then will come the fore
fire-control tower or lattice mast, with searchlight towers carried
on it. Next will come the forward funnel, on each side of which will
be two small open rod towers with strong searchlights. Then will come
the main fire-control tower and the after funnel and another open
tower with searchlight. The two lattice steel towers are to be 120
feet high and 40 feet apart. The four remaining turrets will be abaft
the main funnel, the third turret having its guns 32 feet above water;
those in the other turrets about 25 feet above the water. The guns
will be the new 50-calibre type. All twelve will have broadside fire
over a wide arc and four can be fired right ahead and four right astern.



CHAPTER XIII

A TALK ON BIG GUNS

  The First Projectiles--Introduction of Cannon--High Pressure
  Guns--Machine Guns--Dimensions and Cost of Big Guns.


The first arms and machines employing gunpowder as the propelling
agency, came into use in the fourteenth century. Prior to this time
there were machines and instruments which threw stones and catapults
and large arrows by means of the reaction of a tightly twisted rope
made up of hemp, catgut or hair. Slings were also much employed for
hurling missiles.

The first cannons were used by the English against the Scots in 1327.
They were short and thick and wide in the bore and resembled bowls or
mortars; in fact this name is still applied to this kind of ordnance.
By the end of the fifteenth century a great advancement was shown in
the make of these implements of warfare. Bronze and brass as materials
came into general use and cannon were turned out with twenty to
twenty-five inch bore weighing twenty tons and capable of hurling to
a considerable distance projectiles weighing from two hundred pounds
to one thousand pounds with powder as the propelling force. In a short
time these large guns were mounted and carriages were introduced to
facilitate transportation with troops. Meantime stone projectiles were
replaced by cast iron shot, which, owing to its greater density,
necessitated a reduction in calibre, that is a narrowing of the bore,
consequently lighter and smaller guns came into the field, but with
a greater propelling force. When the cast iron balls first came into
use as projectiles, they weighed about twelve pounds, hence the cannons
shooting them were known as twelve-pounders. It was soon found, however,
that twelve pounds was too great a weight for long distances, so a
reduction took place until the missiles were cut down to four pounds
and the cannon discharging these, four pounders as they were called,
weighed about one-quarter of a ton. They were very effective and handy
for light field work.

The eighteenth century witnessed rapid progress in gun and ammunition
manufacture. "Grape" and "canister" were introduced and the names still
cling to the present day. Grape consisted of a number of tarred lead
balls, held together in a net. Canister consisted of a number of small
shot in a tin can, the shots being dispersed by the breaking of the
can on discharge. Grape now consists of cast iron balls arranged in
three tiers by means of circular plates, the whole secured by a pin
which passes through the centre. The number of shot in each tier varies
from three to five. Grape is very destructive up to three hundred yards
and effective up to six hundred yards. Canister shot as we know it at
present, is made up of a number of iron balls, placed in a tin cylinder
with a wooden bottom, the size of the piece of ordnance for which it
is intended.

Towards the close of the eighteenth century, short cast-iron guns
called "carronades" were introduced by Gascoigne of the Cannon Iron
Works, Scotland. They threw heavy shots at low velocity with great
battery effect. They were for a long time in use in the British navy.
The sailors called them "smashers."

The entire battery of the Victory, Nelson's famous flag-ship at the
battle of Trafalgar, amounting to a total of 102 guns, was composed
of "carronades" varying in size from thirty-two to sixty-eight
pounders. They were mounted on wooden truck carriages and were given
elevation by handspikes applied under the breech, a quoin or a wedge
shaped piece of wood being pushed in to hold the breech up in position.
They were trained by handspikes with the aid of side-tackle and their
recoil was limited by a stout rope, called the breeching, the ends of
which were secured to the sides of the ship. The slow match was used
for firing, the flint lock not being applied to naval guns until 1780.

About the middle of the nineteenth century, the design of guns began
to receive much scientific thought and consideration. The question of
high velocities and flat trajectories without lightening the weight
of the projectile was the desideratum; the minimum of weight in the
cannon itself with the maximum in the projectile and the force with
which it could be propelled were the ends to be attained.

In 1856 Admiral Dahlgren of the United States Navy designed the
_Dahlgren_ gun with shape proportioned to the "curve of pressure,"
which is to say that the gun was heavy at the breech and light at the
muzzle. This gun was well adapted to naval use at the time. From this,
onward, guns of high pressure were manufactured until the pressure
grew to such proportions that it exceeded the resisting power,
represented by the tensile strength of cast iron. When cast, the gun
cooled from the outside inwardly, thus placing the inside metal in a
state of tension and the outside in a state of compression. General
Rodman, Chief of Ordnance of the United States Army, came forward with
a remedy for this. He suggested the casting of guns hollow and the
cooling of them from the inside outwardly by circulating a stream of
cold water in the bore while the outside surface was kept at a high
temperature. This method placed the metal inside in a state of
compression and that on the outside in a state of tension, the right
condition to withstand successfully the pressure of the powder gas,
which tended to expand the inner portions beyond the normal diameter
and throw the strain of the supporting outer layers.

This system was universally employed and gave the best results
obtainable from cast iron for many years and was only superseded by
that of "built up" guns, when iron and steel were made available by
improved processes of production.

The great strides made in the manufacture and forging of steel during
the past quarter of a century, the improved tempering and annealing
processes have resulted in the turning out of big guns solely composed
of steel.

The various forms of modern ordnance are classified and named according
to size and weight, kind of projectiles used and their velocities;
angle of elevation at which they are fired; use; and mode of operation.

The guns known as breechloading rifles are from three inches to fourteen
inches in calibre, that is, across the bore, and in length from twelve
to over sixty feet. They weigh from one ton to fifty tons.

They fire solid shot or shells weighing up to eleven hundred pounds
at high velocities, from twenty-three to twenty-five hundred feet per
second. They can penetrate steel armor to a depth of fifteen to twenty
inches at 2,000 yards distance.

Rapid fire guns are those in which the operation of opening and closing
the breech is performed by a single motion of a lever actuated by the
hand, and in which the explosive used is closed in a metallic case.
These guns are made in various forms and are operated by several
different systems of breech mechanism generally named after their
respective inventors. The Vickers-Maxim and the Nordenfeldt are the
best known in America. A new type of the Vickers-Maxim was introduced
in 1897 in which a quick working breech mechanism automatically ejects
the primer and draws up the loading tray into position as the breech
is opened. This type was quickly adopted by the United States Navy and
materially increased the speed of fire in all calibres.

What are known as machine guns are rapid fire guns in which the speed
of firing is such that it is practically continuous. The best known
make is the famous Gatling gun invented by Dr. R. J. Gatling of
Indianapolis in 1860. This gun consists of ten parallel barrels grouped
around and secured firmly to a main central shaft to which is also
attached the grooved cartridge carrier and the lock cylinder. Each
barrel is provided with its own lock or firing mechanism, independent
of the other, but all of them revolve simultaneously with the barrels,
carrier and inner breech when the gun is in operation. In firing, one
end of the feed case containing the cartridges is placed in the hopper
on top and the operating crank is turned. The cartridges drop one by
one into the grooves of the carrier and are loaded and fired by the
forward motion of the locks, which also closes the breech while the
backward motion extracts and expels the empty shells. In its present
state of efficiency the Gatling gun fires at the rate of 1,200 shots
per minute, a speed, by separate discharges, not equaled by any other
gun.

Much larger guns were constructed in times past than are being built
now. In 1880 the English made guns weighing from 100 to 120 tons, from
18 to 20 inches bore and which fired projectiles weighing over 2,000
pounds at a velocity of almost 1,700 feet per second. At the same time
the United States fashioned a monster rifle of 127 tons which had a
bore of sixteen inches and fired a projectile of 2,400 pounds with a
velocity of 2,300 feet per second.

The largest guns ever placed on board ship were the Armstrong one-
hundred-and-ten-ton guns of the English battleships, _Sanspareil_,
_Benbow_ and _Victoria_. They were sixteen and one-fourth inch calibre.
The newest battleships of England, the _Dreadnought_ and the
_Temeraire_, are equipped with fourteen-inch guns, but they are not one-
half so heavy as the old guns. Many experts in naval ordnance think it a
mistake to have guns over twelve inch bore, basing their belief on the
experience of the past which showed that guns of a less calibre carrying
smaller shells did more effective work than the big bore guns with
larger projectiles.

The two titanic war-vessels now in course of construction for the
United States Navy will each carry a battery of ten fourteen-inch
rifles, which will be the most powerful weapons ever constructed and
will greatly exceed in range and hitting power the twelve-inch guns
of the _Delaware_ or _North Dakota_. Each of the new rifles will weigh
over sixty-three tons, the projectiles will each weigh 1,400 pounds and
the powder charge will be 450 pounds. At the moment of discharge each of
these guns will exert a muzzle energy of 65,600 foot tons, which simply
means that the energy will be so great that it could raise 65,600 tons a
foot from the ground. The fourteen-hundred-pound projectiles shall be
propelled through the air at the rate of half a mile a second. It will
be plainly seen that the metal of the guns must be of enormous
resistance to withstand such a force. The designers have taken this into
full consideration and will see to it that the powder chamber in which
the explosion takes place as well as the breech lock on which the shock
is exerted is of steel so wrought and tempered as to withstand the
terrific strain. At the moment of detonation the shock will be about
equal to that of a heavy engine and a train of Pullman coaches running
at seventy miles an hour, smashing into a stone wall. On leaving the
muzzle of the gun the shell will have an energy equivalent to that of a
train of cars weighing 580 tons and running at sixty miles an hour. Such
energy will be sufficient to send the projectile through twenty-two and
a half inches of the hardest of steel armour at the muzzle, while at a
range of 3,000 yards, the projectile moving at the rate of 2,235 feet
per second will pierce eighteen and a half inches of steel armor at
normal impact. The velocity of the projectile leaving the gun will be
2,600 feet per second, a speed which if maintained would carry it around
the world in less than fifteen hours.

Each of the mammoth guns will be a trifle over fifty-three feet in
length and the estimated cost of each will be $85,000. Judging from
the performance of the twelve-inch guns it is figured that these greater
weapons should be able to deliver three shots a minute. If all ten
guns of either of the projected _Dreadnoughts_ should be brought
into action at one time and maintain the three shot rapidity for one
hour, the cost of the ammunition expended in that hour would reach the
enormous sum of $2,520,000.

Very few, however, of the big guns are called upon for the three shots
a minute rate, for the metal would not stand the heating strain.

The big guns are expensive and even when only moderately used their
"life" is short, therefore, care is taken not to put them to too great
a strain. With the smaller guns it is different. Some of six-inch
bore fire as high as eight aimed shots a minute, but this is only under
ideal conditions.

Great care is being taken now to prolong the "life" of the big guns
by using non-corrosive material for the charges. The United States has
adopted a pure gun-cotton smokeless powder in which the temperature
of combustion is not only lower than that of nitro-glycerine, but
even lower than that of ordinary gunpowder. With the use of this there
has been a very material decrease in the corrosion of the big guns.
The former smokeless powder, containing a large percentage of
nitro-glycerine such as "cordite," produced such an effect that the
guns were used up and practically worthless, after firing fifty to
sixty rounds.

Now it is possible for a gun to be as good after two or even three
hundred rounds as at the beginning, but certainly not if a three minute
rate is maintained. At such a rate the "life" of the best gun made
would be short indeed.



CHAPTER XV

MYSTERY OF THE STARS

Wonders of the Universe--Star Photography--The Infinity of Space.


In another chapter we have lightly touched upon the greatness of the
Universe, in the cosmos of which our earth is but an infinitesimal
speck. Even our sun, round which a system of worlds revolve and which
appears so mighty and majestic to us, is but an atom, a very small
one, in the infinitude of matter and as a cog, would not be missed in
the ratchet wheel which fits into the grand machinery of Nature.

If our entire solar system were wiped out of being, there would be
left no noticeable void among the countless systems of worlds and suns
and stars; in the immensity of space the sun with all his revolving
planets is not even as a drop to the ocean or a grain of sand to the
composition of the earth. There are millions of other suns of larger
dimensions with larger attendants wheeling around them in the
illimitable fields of space. Those stars which we erroneously call
"fixed" stars are the centers of other systems vastly greater, vastly
grander than the one of which our earth forms so insignificant a part.
Of course to us numbers of them appear, even when viewed through the
most powerful telescopes, only as mere luminous points, but that is
owing to the immensity of distance between them and ourselves. But the
number that is visible to us even with instrumental assistance can
have no comparison with the number that we cannot see; there is no
limit to that number; away in what to us may be called the background
of space are millions, billions, uncountable myriads of invisible suns
regulating and illuminating countless systems of invisible worlds. And
beyond those invisible suns and worlds is a region which thought cannot
measure and numbers cannot span. The finite mind of man becomes dazed,
dumbfounded in contemplation of magnitude so great and distance so
amazing. We stand not bewildered but lost before the problem of
interstellar space. Its length, breadth, height and circumference are
illimitable, boundless; the great eternal cosmos without beginning and
without end.

In order to get some idea of the vastness of interstellar space we may
consider a few distances within the limits of human conception. We
know that light travels at the rate of 186,000 miles a second, yet it
requires light over four years to reach us from the nearest of the
fixed stars, travelling at this almost inconceivable rate, and so far
away are some that their light travelling at the same rate from the
dawn of creation has never reached us yet or never will until our
little globule of matter disintegrates and its particles, its molecules
and corpuscles, float away in the boundless ether to amalgamate with
the matter of other flying worlds and suns and stars.

The nearest to us of all the stars is that known as _Alpha Centauri_.
Its distance is computed at 25,000,000,000,000 miles, which in our
notation reads twenty-five trillion miles. It takes light over four
years to traverse this distance. It would take the "Empire State
Express," never stopping night or day and going at the rate of
a mile a minute, almost 50,000,000 years to travel from the earth to
this star. The next of the fixed stars and the brightest in all the
heavens is that which we call _Sirius_ or the Dog Star. It is
double the distance of Alpha Centauri, that is, it is eight "light
years" away. The distances of about seventy other stars have been
ascertained ranging up to seventy or eighty "light years" away, but
of the others visible to the naked eye they are too far distant to
come within the range of trigonometrical calculation. They are out of
reach of the mathematical eye in the depth of space. But we know for
certain that the distance of none of these visible stars, without a
measurable parallax, is less than four million times the distance of
our sun from the earth. It would be useless to express this in figures
as it would be altogether incomprehensible. What then can be said of
the telescopic stars, not to speak at all of those beyond the power
of instruments to determine.

If a railroad could be constructed to the nearest star and the fare
made one cent a mile, a single passage would cost $250,000,000,000,
that is two hundred and fifty billion dollars, which would make a
94-foot cube of pure gold. All of the coined gold in the world amounts
to but $4,000,000,000 (four billion dollars), equal to a gold cube of
24 feet. Therefore it would take sixty times the world's stock of gold
to pay the fare of one passenger, at a cent a mile from the earth to
Alpha Centauri.

The light from numbers, probably countless numbers, of stars is so
long in coming to us that they could be blotted out of existence and
we would remain unconscious of the fact for years, for hundreds of
years, for thousands of years, nay to infinity. Thus if _Sirius_
were to collide with some other space traveler and be knocked into
smithereens as an Irishman would say, we would not know about it for
eight years. In fact if all the stars were blotted out and only the
sun left we should still behold their light in the heavens and be
unconscious of the extinction of even some of the naked-eye stars for
sixty or seventy years.

It is vain to pursue farther the unthinkable vastness of the visible
Universe; as for the invisible it is equally useless for even
imagination to try to grapple with its never-ending immensity, to
endeavor to penetrate its awful clouded mystery forever veiled from
human view.

In all there are about 3,000 stars visible to the naked eye in each
hemisphere. A three-inch pocket telescope brings about one million
into view. The grand and scientifically perfected instruments of our
great observatories show incalculable multitudes. Every improvement
in light-grasping power brings millions of new stars into the range
of instrumental vision and shows the "background" of the sky blazing
with the light of eye-invisible suns too far away to be separately
distinguished.

Great strides are daily being made in stellar photography. Plates are
now being attached to the telescopic apparatus whereby luminous heavenly
bodies are able to impress their own pictures. Groups of stars are
being photographed on one plate. Complete sets of these star photographs
are being taken every year, embracing every nook and corner of the
celestial sphere and these are carefully compared with one another to
find out what changes are going on in the heavens. It will not be long
before every star photographically visible to the most powerful
telescope will have its present position accurately defined on these
photographic charts.

When, the sensitized plate is exposed for a considerable time even
invisible stars photograph themselves, and in this way a great number
of stars have been discovered which no telescope, however powerful,
can bring within the range of vision. Tens of thousands of stars have
registered themselves thus on a single plate, and on one occasion an
impression was obtained on one plate of more than 400,000.

Astronomers are of the opinion that for every star visible to the naked
eye there are more than 50,000 visible to the camera of the telescope.
If this is so, then the number of visible stars exceeds 300,000,000
(three hundred millions).

But the picture taking power of the finest photographic lens has a
limit; no matter how long the exposure, it cannot penetrate beyond a
certain boundary into the vastness of space, and beyond its limits as
George Sterling, the Californian poet, says are--

    "fires of unrecorded suns
    That light a heaven not our own."

What is the limit? Answer philosopher, answer sage, answer astronomer,
and we have the solution of "the riddle of the Universe."

As yet the riddle still remains, the veil still hangs between the
knowable and the unknowable, between the finite and the infinite.
Science stands baffled like a wailing creature outside the walls of
knowledge importuning for admission. There is little, in truth no hope
at all, that she will ever be allowed to enter, survey all the fields
of space and set a limit to their boundaries.

Although the riddle of the universe still remains unsolved because
unsolvable, no one can deny that Astronomy has made mighty strides
forward during the past few years. What has been termed the "Old
Astronomy," which concerns itself with the determination of the
positions and motions of the heavenly bodies, has been rejuvenated and
an immense amount of work has been accomplished by concerted effort,
as well as by individual exertions.

The greatest achievements have been the accurate determination of the
positions of the fixed stars visible to the eye. Their situation is
now estimated with as unerring precision as is that of the planets of
our own system. Millions upon millions of stars have been photographed
and these photographs will be invaluable in determining the future
changes and motions of these giant suns of interstellar space.

Of our own system we now know definitely the laws governing it. Fifty
years ago much of our solar machinery was misunderstood and many things
were enveloped in mystery which since has been made very plain. The
spectroscope has had a wonderful part in astronomical research. It
first revealed the nature of the gases existing in the sun. It next
enabled us to study the prominences on any clear day. Then by using
it in the spectro-heliograph we have been enabled to photograph the
entire visible surface of the sun, together with the prominences at
one time. Through the spectro-heliograph we know much more about what
the central body of our system is doing than our theories can explain.
Fresh observations are continually bringing to light new facts which
must soon be accounted for by laws at present unknown.

Spectroscopic observations are by no means confined to the sun. By
them we now study the composition of the atmospheres of the other
planets; through them the presence of chemical elements known on the
earth is detected in vagrant comets, far-distant stars and dimly-shining
nebulae. The spectroscope also makes it possible to measure the
velocities of objects which are approaching or receding from us. For
instance we know positively that the bright star called Aldebaran near
the constellation of the Pleiades is retreating from us at a rate of
almost two thousand miles a minute. The greatest telescopes in the
world are now being trained on stars that are rushing away towards the
"furthermost" of space and in this way astronomers are trying to get
definite knowledge as to the actual velocity with which the celestial
bodies are speeding.

It is only within the past few years that photography has been applied
to astronomical development. In this connection, more accurate results
are obtained by measuring the photographs of stellar spectra than by
measuring the spectra themselves. Photography with modern rapid plates
gives us, with a given telescope, pictures of objects so faint that
no visual telescope of the same size will reveal them. It is in this
way that many of the invisible stars have impressed themselves upon
exposed plates and given us a vague idea of the immensity in number
of those stars which we cannot view with eye or instrument.

Though we have made great advancement, there are many problems yet
even in regard to our own little system of sun worlds which clamor
loudly for solution. The sun himself represents a crowd of pending
problems. His peculiar mode of rotation; the level of sunspots; the
constitution of the photospheric cloud-shell, its relation to faculae
which rise from it, and to the surmounting vaporous strata; the nature
of the prominences; the alternations of coronal types; the affinities
of the zodiacal light--all await investigation.

A great telescope has recently shown that one star in eighteen on the
average is a visual double--is composed of two suns in slow revolution
around their common center of mass. The spectroscope using the
photographic plate, has established within the last decade that one
star in every five or six on the average is attended by a companion
so near to it as to remain invisible in the most powerful telescopes,
and so massive as to swing the visible star around in an elliptic
orbit.

The photography of comets, nebulae and solar coronas has made the study
of these phenomena incomparably more effective than the old visual
methods. There is no longer any necessity to make "drawings" of them.
The old dread of comets has been relegated into the shade of ignorance.
The long switching tails regarded so ominously and from which were
anticipated such dire calamities as the destruction of worlds into
chaos have been proven to be composed of gaseous vapors of no more
solidity than the "airy nothingness of dreams."

The earth in the circle of its orbit passed through the tail of Halley's
comet in May, 1910, and we hadn't even a pyrotechnical display of fire
rockets to celebrate the occasion. In fact there was not a single
celestial indication of the passage and we would not have known only
for the calculations of the astronomer. The passing of a comet now,
as far as fear is concerned, means no more, in fact not as much, as
the passing of an automobile.

Science no doubt has made wonderful strides in our time, but far as
it has gone, it has but opened for us the first few pages of the book
of the heavens--the last pages of which no man shall ever read. For
aeons upon aeons of time, worlds and suns, and systems of worlds and
suns, revolved through the infinity of space, before man made his
appearance on the tiny molecule of matter we call the earth, and for
aeons upon aeons, for eternity upon eternity, worlds and suns shall
continue to roll and revolve after the last vestige of man shall have
disappeared, nay after the atoms of earth and sun and all his attending
planets of our system shall have amalgamated themselves with other
systems in the boundlessness of space; destroyed, obliterated,
annihilated, they shall never be, for matter is indestructible. When
it passes from one form it enters another; the dead animal that is
cast into the earth lives again in the trees and shrubs and flowers
and grasses that grow in the earth above where its body was cast. Our
earth shall die in course of time, that is, its particles will pass
into other compositions and it will be so of the other planets, of the
suns, of the stars themselves, for as soon as the old ones die there
will ever be new forms to which to attach themselves and thus the
process of world development shall go on forever.

The nebulae which astronomers discover throughout the stellar space
are extended masses of glowing gases of different forms and are worlds
in process of formation. Such was the earth once. These gases solidify
and contract and cool off until finally an inhabited world, inhabited
by some kind of creatures, takes its place in the whirling galaxy of
systems.

The stars which appear to us in a yellow or whitish yellow light are
in the heyday of their existence, while those that present a red haze
are almost burnt out and will soon become blackened, dead things
disintegrating and crumbling and spreading their particles throughout
space. It is supposed this little earth of ours has a few more million
years to live, so we need not fear for our personal safety while in
mortal form.

To us ordinary mortals the mystery as well as the majesty of the heavens
have the same wonderful attraction as they had for the first of our
race. Thousands of years ago the black-bearded shepherds of Eastern
lands gazed nightly into the vaulted dome and were struck with awe as
well as wonder in the contemplation of the glittering specks which
appeared no larger than the pebbles beneath their feet.

We in our time as we gaze with unaided eye up at the mighty disk of
the so called Milky Way, no longer regard the scintillating points
glittering like diamonds in a jeweler's show-case, with feelings of
awe, but the wonder is still upon us, wonder at the immensity of the
works of Him who built the earth and sky, who, "throned in height
sublime, sits amid the cherubim," King of the Universe, King of kings
and Lord of lords. With a deep faith we look up and adore, then
reverently exclaim,--"Lord, God! wonderful are the works of Thy Hands."



CHAPTER XVI

CAN WE COMMUNICATE WITH OTHER WORLDS?

  Vastness of Nature--Star Distances--Problem of Communicating with
  Mars--The Great Beyond.


A story is told of a young lady who had just graduated from boarding
school with high honors. Coming home in great glee, she cast her books
aside as she announced to her friends;--"Thank goodness it is all over,
I have nothing more to learn. I know Latin and Greek, French and German,
Spanish and Italian; I have gone through Algebra, Geometry,
Trigonometry, Conic Sections and the Calculus; I can interpret Beethoven
and Wagner, and--but why enumerate?--in short, '_I know everything_.'"

As she was thus proclaiming her knowledge her hoary-headed grandfather,
a man whom the Universities of the world had honored by affixing a
score of alphabetical letters to his name, was experimenting in his
laboratory. The lines of long and deep study had corrugated his brow
and furrowed his face. Wearily he bent over his retorts and test tubes.
At length he turned away with a heavy sigh, threw up his hands and
despairingly exclaimed,--"Alas, alas! after fifty years of study and
investigation, I find _I know nothing_."

There is a moral in this story that he who runs may read. Most of us
are like the young lady,--in the pride of our ignorance, we fancy we
know almost everything. We boast of the progress of our time, of what
has been accomplished in our modern world, we proclaim our triumphs
from the hilltops,--"Ha!" we shout, "we have annihilated time and
distance; we have conquered the forces of nature and made them
subservient to our will; we have chained the lightning and imprisoned
the thunder; we have wandered through the fields of space and measured
the dimensions and revolutions of stars and suns and planets and
systems. We have opened the eternal gates of knowledge for all to enter
and crowned man king of the universe."

Vain boasting! The gates of knowledge have been opened, but we have
merely got a peep at what lies within. And man, so far from being king
of the universe, is but as a speck on the fly-wheel that controls the
mighty machinery of creation. What we know is infinitesimal to what
we do not know. We have delved in the fields of science, but as yet
our ploughshares have merely scratched the tiniest portion of the
surface,--the furrow that lies in the distance is unending. In the
infinite book of knowledge we have just turned over a few of the first
pages; but as it is infinite, alas! we can never hope to reach the
final page, for there is no final page. What we have accomplished is
but as a mere drop in the ocean, whose waves wash the continents of
eternity. No scholar, no scientist can bound those continents, can
tell the limits to which they stretch, inasmuch as they are illimitable.

Ask the most learned _savant_ if he can fix the boundaries of space, and
he will answer,--No! Ask him if he can define _mind_ and _matter_, and
you will receive the same answer.

"What is mind? It is no matter."

 "What is matter? Never mind."

The atom formerly thought to be indivisible and the smallest particle
of matter has been reduced to molecules, corpuscles, ions, and
electrons; but the nature, the primal cause of these, the greatest
scientists on earth are unable to determine. Learning is as helpless
as ignorance when brought up against this stone-wall of mystery.
_The effect_ is seen, but the _cause_ remains indeterminable. The
scientist, gray-haired in experience and experiment, knows no more
in this regard than the prattling child at its mother's knee. The child
asks,--"Who made the world?" and the mother answers, "God made the
world." The infant mind, suggestive of the future craving for knowledge,
immediately asks,--"Who is God?" Question of questions to which the
philosopher and the peasant must give the same answer,--"God is the
infinite, the eternal, the source of all things, the _alpha_ and
_omega_ of creation, from Him all came, to Him all must return."
He is the beginning of Science, the foundation on which our edifice
of knowledge rests.

We hear of the conflict between Science and Religion. There is no
conflict, can be none, for all Science must be based on faith,--faith
in Him who holds worlds and suns "in the hollow of His hand." All our
great scientists have been deeply religious men, acknowledging their
own insignificance before Him who fills the universe with His presence.

What is the universe and what place do we hold in it? The mind of man
becomes appalled in consideration of the question. The orb we know as
the sun is centre of a system of worlds of which our earth is almost
the most insignificant; yet great as is the sun when compared to the
little bit of matter on which we dwell and have our being, it is itself
but a mote, as it were, in the beam of the Universe. Formerly this sun
was thought to be fixed and immovable, but the progress of science
demonstrated that while the earth moves around this luminary, the
latter is moving with mighty velocity in an orbit of its own. Tis the
same with all the other bodies which we erroneously call "fixed stars."
These stars are the suns of other systems of worlds, countless systems,
all rushing through the immensity of space, for there is nothing fixed
or stationary in creation,--all is movement, constant, unvarying. Suns
and stars and systems perform their revolutions with unerring precision,
each unit-world true to its own course, thus proving to the soul of
reason and the consciousness of faith that there must needs be an
omnipotent hand at the lever of this grand machinery of the universe,
the hand that fashioned it, that of God. Addison beautifully expresses
the idea in referring to the revolutions of the stars:

    "In reason's ear they all rejoice,
    And utter forth one glorious voice,
    Forever singing as they shine-
    'The Hand that made us is Divine.'"

Our sun, the centre of the small system of worlds of which the earth
is one, is distant from us about ninety-three million miles. In winter
it is nearer; in summer farther off. Light travels this distance in
about eight minutes, to be exact, the rate is 186,400 miles per second.
To get an idea of the immensity of the distance of the so-called fixed
stars, let us take this as a base of comparison. The nearest fixed
star to us is _Alpha Centauri_, which is one of the brightest as
seen in the southern heavens. It requires four and one-quarter years
for a beam of light to travel from this star to earth at the rate of
186,000 miles a second, thus showing that Alpha Centauri is about two
hundred and seventy-five thousand times as far from us as is the sun,
in other words, more than 25,575,000,000,000 miles, which, expressed
in our notation, reads twenty-five trillion, five hundred and seventy-
five billion miles, a number which the mind of man is incapable of
grasping. To use the old familiar illustration of the express train,
it would take the "Twentieth Century Limited," which does the thousand
mile trip between New York and Chicago in less than twenty-four hours,
some one million two hundred and fifty thousand years at the same speed
to travel from the earth to _Alpha Centauri_. _Sirius_, the Dog-Star, is
twice as far away, something like eight or nine "light" years from our
solar system; the Pole-Star is forty-eight "light" years removed from
us, and so on with the rest, to an infinity of numbers. From the dawn of
creation in the eternal cosmos of matter, light has been travelling from
some stars in the infinitude of space at the rate of 186,000 miles per
second, but so remote are they from our system that it has not reached
us as yet. The contemplation is bewildering; the mind sinks into
nothingness in consideration of a magnitude so great and distance so
confusing. What lies beyond?--a region which numbers cannot measure and
thought cannot span, and beyond that?--the eternal answer,--GOD.

In face of the contemplation of the vastness of creation, of its
boundlessness the question ever obtrudes itself,--What place have we
mortals in the universal cosmos? What place have we finite creatures,
who inhabit this speck of matter we call the earth, in this mighty
scheme of suns and systems and never-ending space. Does the Creator
of all think us the most important of his works, that we should be the
particular objects of revelation, that for us especially heaven was
built, and a God-man, the Son of the Eternal, came down to take flesh
of our flesh and live among us, to show us the way, and finally to
offer himself as a victim to the Father to expiate our transgressions.
Mystery of mysteries before which we stand appalled and lost in wonder.
Self-styled rationalists love to point out the irrationality and
absurdity of supposing that the Creator of all the unimaginable vastness
of suns and systems, filling for all we know endless space, should
take any special interest in so mean and pitiful a creature as man,
inhabiting such an infinitesimal speck of matter as the earth, which
depends for its very life and light upon a second or third-rate or
hundred-rate Sun.

From the earliest times of our era, the sneers and taunts of atheism
and agnosticism have been directed at the humble believer, who bows
down in submission and questions not. The fathers of the Church, such
as Augustine and Chrysostom and Thomas of Aquinas and, at a later time,
Luther, and Calvin, and Knox, and Newman, despite the war of creeds,
have attacked the citadel of the scoffers; but still the latter hurl
their javelins from the ramparts, battlements and parapets and refuse
to be repulsed. If there are myriads of other worlds, thousands,
millions of them in point of magnitude greater than ours, what concern
say they has the Creator with our little atom of matter? Are other
worlds inhabited besides our own. This is the question that will not
down--that is always begging for an answer. The most learned savants
of modern time, scholars, sages, philosophers and scientists have given
it their attention, but as yet no one has been able to conclusively
decide whether a race of intelligent beings exists in any sphere other
than our own. All efforts to determine the matter result in mere
surmise, conjecture and guesswork. The best of scientists can only put
forward an opinion.

Professor Simon Newcomb, one of the most brilliant minds our country
has produced, says: "It is perfectly reasonable to suppose that beings,
not only animated but endowed with reason, inhabit countless worlds
in space." Professor Mitchell of the Cincinnati Observatory, in his
work, "Popular Astronomy," says,--"It is most incredible to assert,
as so many do, that our planet, so small and insignificant in its
proportions when compared with the planets with which it is allied,
is the only world in the whole universe filled with sentient, rational,
and intelligent beings capable of comprehending the grand mysteries
of the physical universe." Camille Flammarion, in referring to the
utter insignificance of the earth in the immensity of space, puts
forward his view thus: "If advancing with the velocity of light we
could traverse from century to century the unlimited number of suns
and spheres without ever meeting any limit to the prodigious immensity
where God brings forth his worlds, and looking behind, knowing not in
what part of the infinite was the little grain of dust called the
earth, we would be compelled to unite our voices with that universal
nature and exclaim--'Almighty God, how senseless were we to believe
that there was nothing beyond the earth and that our abode alone
possessed the privilege of reflecting Thy greatness and honor.'"

The most distinguished astronomers and scientists of a past time, as
well as many of the most famous divines, supported the contention of
world life beyond the earth. Among these may be mentioned Kepler and
Tycho, Giordano Bruno and Cardinal Cusa, Sir William and Sir John
Herschel, Dr. Bentley and Dr. Chalmers, and even Newton himself
subscribed in great measure to the belief that the planets and stars
are inhabited by intelligent beings.

Those who deny the possibility of other worlds being inhabited, endeavor
to show that our position in the universe is unique, that our solar
system is quite different from all others, and, to crown the argument,
they assert that our little world has just the right amount of water,
air, and gravitational force to enable it to be the abode of intelligent
life, whereas elsewhere, such conditions do not prevail, and that on
no other sphere can such physical habitudes be found as will enable
life to originate or to exist. It can be easily shown that such
reasoning is based on untenable foundations. Other worlds have to go
through processes of evolution, and there can be no doubt that many
are in a state similar to our own. It required hundreds of thousands,
perhaps hundreds of millions of years, before this earth was fit to
sustain human life. The same transitions which took place on earth are
taking place in other planets of our system, and other systems, and
it is but reasonable to assume that in other systems there are much
older worlds than the earth, and that these have arrived at a more
developed state of existence, and therefore have a life much higher
than our own. As far as physical conditions are concerned, there are
suns similar to our own, as revealed by the spectroscope, and which
have the same eruptive energy. Astronomical Science has incontrovertibly
demonstrated, and evidence is continually increasing to show that dark,
opaque worlds like ours exist and revolve around their primaries. Why
should not these worlds be inhabited by a race equal or even superior
in intelligence to ourselves, according to their place in the cosmos
of creation?

Leaving out of the question the outlying worlds of space, let us come
to a consideration of the nearest celestial neighbor we have in our
own system, the planet Mars: Is there rational life on Mars and if so
can we communicate with the inhabitants?

Though little more than half the earth's size, Mars has a significance
in the public eye which places it first in importance among the planets.
It is our nearest neighbor on the outer side of the earth's path around
the Sun and, viewed through a telescope of good magnifying power, shows
surface markings, suggestive of continents, mountains, valleys, oceans,
seas and rivers, and all the varying phenomena which the mind associates
with a world like unto our own. Indeed, it possesses so many features
in common with the earth, that it is impossible to resist the conception
of its being inhabitated. This, however, is not tantamount to saying
that if there is a race of beings on Mars they are the same as we on
Earth. By no means. Whatever atmosphere exists on Mars must be much
thinner than ours and far too rare to sustain the life of a people
with our limited lung capacity. A race with immense chests could live
under such conditions, and folk with gills like fish could pass a
comfortable existence in the rarefied air. Besides the tenuity of the
atmosphere, there are other conditions which would cause life to be
much different on Mars. Attraction and gravitation are altogether
different. The force with which a substance is attracted to the surface
of Mars is only a little more than one-third as strong as on the earth.
For instance one hundred pounds on Earth would weigh only about
thirty-eight pounds on Mars. A man who could jump five feet here could
clear fifteen feet on Mars. Paradoxical as it may seem, the smaller
a planet, in comparison with ours and consequently the less the pull
of gravity at its centre, the greater is the probability that its
inhabitants, if any, are giants when compared with us. Professor Lowell
has pointed out that to place the Martians (if there are such beings)
under the same conditions as those in which we exist, the average
inhabitant must be considered to be three times as large and three
times as heavy as the average human being; and the strength of the
Martians must exceed ours to even a greater extent than the bulk and
weight; for their muscles would be twenty-seven times more effective.
In fact, one Martian could do the work of fifty or sixty men.

It is idle, however, to speculate as to what the forms of life are
like on Mars, for if there are any such forms our ideas and conceptions
of them must be imaginary, as we cannot see them on Mars we do not
know. There is yet no possibility of seeing anything on the planet
less than thirty miles across, and even a city of that size, viewed
through the most powerful telescope, would only be visible as a minute
speck. Great as is the perfection to which our optical instruments
have been brought, they have revealed nothing on the planet save the
so-called canals, to indicate the presence of sentient rational beings.
The canals discovered by Schiaparelli of the Milan Observatory in 1877
are so regular, outlined with such remarkable geometrical precision,
that it is claimed they must be artificial and the work of a high order
of intelligence. "The evidence of such work," says Professor Lowell,
"points to a highly intelligent mind behind it."

Can this intelligence in any way reach us, or can we express ourselves
to it? Can the chasm of space which lies between the Earth and Mars
be bridged--a chasm which, at the shortest, is more than thirty-five
million miles across or one hundred and fifty times greater than the
distance between the earth and the moon? Can the inhabitants of the
Earth and Mars exchange signals? To answer the question, let us
institute some comparisons. Suppose the fabled "Man in the Moon" were
a real personage, we would require a telescope 800 times more powerful
than the finest instrument we now have to see him, for the space
penetrating power of the best telescope is not more than 300 miles and
the moon is 240,000 miles distant. An object to be visible on the moon
would require to be as large as the Metropolitan Insurance Building
in New York, which is over 700 feet high. To see, therefore, an object
on Mars by means of the telescope the object would need to have
dimensions one hundred and fifty times as great as the object on the
moon; in other words, before we could see a building on Mars, it would
have to be one hundred and fifty times the size of the Metropolitan
Building. Even if there are inhabitants there, it is not likely they
have such large buildings.

Assuming that there _are_ Martians, and that they are desirous
of communicating with the earth by waving a flag, such a flag in order
to be seen through the most powerful telescopes and when Mars is
nearest, would have to be 300 miles long and 200 miles wide and be
flung from a flagpole 500 miles high. The consideration of such a
signal only belongs to the domain of the imagination. As an
illustration, it should conclusively settle the question of the
possibility or rather impossibility of signalling between the two
planets.

Let us suppose that the signalling power of wireless telegraphy had
been advanced to such perfection that it was possible to transmit a
signal across a distance of 8,000 miles, equal to the diameter of the
earth, or 1-30 the distance to the moon. Now, in order to be appreciable
at the moon it would require the intensity of the 8,000 mile ether
waves to be raised not merely 30 times, but 30 times 30, for to use
the ordinary expression, the intensity of an effect spreading in all
directions like the ether waves, decreases inversely as the square of
the distance. If the whole earth were brought within the domain of
wireless telegraphy, the system would still have to be improved 900
times as much again before the moon could be brought within the sphere
of its influence. A wireless telegraphic signal, transmitted across
a distance equal to the diameter of the earth, would be reduced to a
mere sixteen-millionth part if it had to travel over the distance to
Mars; in other words, if wireless telegraphy attained the utmost
excellence now hoped for it--that is, of being able to girdle the
earth--it would have to be increased a thousandfold and then a
thousandfold again, and finally multiplied by 16, before an appreciable
_signal_ could be transmitted to Mars. This seems like drawing
the long bow, but it is a scientific truth. There is no doubt that
ether waves can and do traverse the distance between the Earth and
Mars, for the fact that sunlight reaches Mars and is reflected back
to us proves this; but the source of waves adequate to accomplish such
a feat must be on such a scale as to be hopelessly beyond the power
of man to initiate or control. Electrical signalling to Mars is much
more out of the question than wireless. Even though electrical phenomena
produced in any one place were sufficiently intense to be appreciable
by suitable instruments all over the earth, that intensity would have
to be enhanced another sixteen million-fold before they would be
appreciable on the planet Mars.

It is absolutely hopeless to try to span the bridge that lies between
us and Mars by any methods known to present day science. Yet men styling
themselves scientists say it can be done and will be done. This is a
prophecy, however, which must lie in the future.

As has been pointed out, we have as yet but scratched the outer surface
in the fields of knowledge. What visions may not be opened to the eyes
of men, as they go down deeper and deeper into the soil. Secrets will
be exhumed undreamt of now, mysteries will be laid bare to the light
of day, and perhaps the psychic riddle of life itself may be solved.
Then indeed, Mars may come to be looked on as a next-door neighbor,
with whose life and actions we are as well acquainted as with our own.
The thirty-five million miles that separate him from us may be regarded
as a mere step in space and the most distant planets of our system as
but a little journey afield. Distant Uranus may be looked upon as no
farther away than is, say, Australia from America at the present time.

It is vain, however, to indulge in these premises. The veil of mystery
still hangs between us and suns and stars and systems. One fact lies
before us of which there is no uncertainty--_we die_ and pass away from
our present state into some other. We are not annihilated into
nothingness. Suns and worlds also die, after performing their
allotted revolutions in the cycle of the universe. Suns glow for a
time, and planets bear their fruitage of plants and animals and men,
then turn for aeons into a dreary, icy listlessness and finally crumble
to dust, their atoms joining other worlds in the indestructibility of
matter.

After all, there really is no death, simply change--change from one
state to another. When we say we die, we simply mean that we change
our state. There is a life beyond the grave. As Longfellow beautifully
expresses it:

    "Life is real, life is earnest,
    And the grave is not its goal,
    Dust thou art, to dust returnest,
    Was not spoken of the soul."

But whither do we go when we pass on? Where is the soul when it leaves
the earthly tenement called the body? We, Christians, in the light of
revelation and of faith, believe in a heaven for the good; but it is
not a material place, only a state of being. Where and under what
conditions is that state? This leads us to the consideration of another
question which is engrossing the minds of many thinkers and reasoners
of the present day. Can we communicate with the Spirit world? Despite
the tenets and beliefs and experiences of learned and sincere
investigators, we are constrained, thus far, to answer in the negative.

Yet, though we cannot communicate with it, we know there is a spirit
world; the inner consciousness of our being apprises us of that fact,
we know our loved ones who have passed on are not dead but gone before,
just a little space, and that soon we shall follow them into a higher
existence. As Talmage said, the tombstone is not the terminus, but the
starting post, the door to the higher life, the entrance to the state
of endless labor, grand possibilities, and eternal progression.

THE END





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can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.



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